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5 tips to help seniors maintain a healthy lifestyle

Submitted by Dr. Kimberly Smith-Griffin, Sentara Internal Medicine Physicians, Chesapeake, VA.  

Dr. Kimberly Smith-Griffin
Dr. Kimberly Smith-Griffin

As we age, it’s even more important to play an active role in our health. Here are some key points to maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle.

1.  Get tested

Be proactive about having tests done. Have a physical at least once a year.  Know your numbers and know what screening tests are appropriate for you. Make sure to ask your healthcare provider about the following tests:

  • Blood pressure testing
  • Cholesterol and glucose monitoring
  • Colon cancer screening
  • Breast & cervical cancer screening
  • Abdominal  aneurysm screening
  • HIV testing
  • Obesity screening – know your body mass index
  • Vaccines – influenza, pneumococcal, varicella and/or tetanus
  • Osteoporosis screening

2.  Eat healthy

A diet high in fiber and low in fat and carbohydrates will help prevent a multitude of health problems.

3.  Stay active

Talk to your healthcare provider about developing an exercise program. Typically, 15-30 minutes of physical activity is recommended daily. Of course, this depends on your health status.

4.  Read

Activate your mind.  Daily mental exercises will keep your mind limber. Try crossword puzzles, sudoku or word searches. Take time for pleasure reading and try to keep up with current events.

5.  Be social

Spend time with family and friends. It will promote a sense of well-being. Check your local newspaper or community organizations for activities that interest you. As always, if you are feeling sad or depressed or lack interest in doing things, talk to your healthcare provider about being screened for depression.

If you need more information on healthy living, please contact your healthcare provider.

Until next time….stay healthy!!!

Dr. Kimberly Smith-Griffin is board certified in Family and Internal Medicine. She is a member of the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Family Practice. Dr. Smith-Griffin is specialty trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of ailments in patients. She is currently accepting new patients. 

Editor

I’ve worked in Corporate Communications at Sentara Healthcare for the past 25 years. I am the editor of the Sentara Today blog, working behind the scenes to capture inspiring stories about our employees and patients. Currently, I am also working on Sentara Nurse, a new blog we just launched. I’ve had the opportunity to be closely involved in helping preserve our organization’s historical archives. In my spare time, when I am not blogging, I enjoy spending time with my husband and three children, reading, cooking, and practicing yoga as often as I can.

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