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A healthy lifestyle not only keeps your body fit and your mind alert,
it helps protect you from illness and prevents chronic diseases you may already have from getting worse.
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Having a yearly physical is an important part of staying healthy. Annual physical exams and preventive health screenings detect early signs of chronic disease and allow us the opportunity to discuss the latest recommendations for your continued good health.

For that reason, we recommend all persons over the age of 50 have an annual visit with their physician to review their current health status and to monitor for illnesses that become more common as we get older. This includes screening for diabetes, blood pressure, cholesterol, and cancer, as well as vaccinations.

We are committed to maintaining the highest quality of care during these uncertain times. It is why we have taken many safety precautions to protect our patients and staff. Along with increased cleanings, we have implemented a remote check-in process for our doctor visits to reduce the amount of people in our lobby, and created social distancing cues for our lab waiting areas. We also require temperature and symptom checks at our entrances for both our team and patients, and require that masks be worn on our campuses. 

Besides making an appointment with your doctor for your annual physical exam, here are some tips to get you started on the right path for a healthy lifestyle:

Good Nutrition

Try to eat 3 nutritious meals a day, incorporating a variety of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grain foods while minimizing processed and high-fat foods. There is an abundance of fresh Louisiana products that are highly nutritious:

• Strawberries provide infection-fighting Vitamin C and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients.
• Sweet Potatoes provide a day’s supply of Vitamin A.
• Pecans are an excellent source of the powerful antioxidant Vitamin E and manganese, which has been shown to help protect cells from heart and breast disease.
• Gulf Shrimp provide protein and anemia-preventing Vitamin B12.
• Farm-Raised Catfish are an excellent source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, providing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
• Venison/Deer is one of the lowest fat, highest protein meats.
• Purple Rice is high in fiber and contains chemicals proven in studies to reduce plaque formations in the brain like those formed in Alzheimer’s disease.

Regular Exercise and Recreation

Do something physical at least 3 times a week; it doesn’t have to be difficult! Any activity that moves your muscles and joints and helps to increase your stamina counts as regular exercise. Here are some examples:

• Take a walk around the block. No sidewalks? Try out one of our local parks or a high school track.
• Gardening not only provides exercise, it helps you eat more fruits and vegetables!
• No green thumb? Take a walk around the local farmer’s market and support the community by purchasing some fresh local produce.

Mental Exercise and Social Interaction

Mental and emotional health are just as important as physical health, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced many of us into isolation over the past few months. Keeping in touch with family and friends helps you stay socially interactive, and has been shown to improve emotional and mental health. There are plenty of ways to stay connected to family and friends while adhering to social distancing regulations, like the use of virtual video platforms such as Skype, Zoom, and Facetime. Of course, there are also activities that you can do on your own to help keep your mind alert. Studies show that continuing to learn and challenge yourself as you get older decreases your risk for dementia. Try some of these things to stay mentally and socially active:

• Play word games, do crossword or Sudoku puzzles, or try an adult coloring book.
• Start a new hobby, learn to play a musical instrument or learn a new foreign language.
• Join a games club- anything from card games to chess, checkers or bowling!
• Read and keep up with world events.
• Laugh! A recent study found that laughter increased memory recall in senior volunteers.
• Get on the internet and surf the web or check out social media.

Do you know your numbers?

Men Over 50:

Current guidelines recommend a blood pressure of less than 120/80. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common disease that usually has no symptoms but is a major risk factor for serious illnesses including stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure. Knowing your numbers can save your life!

Preventative healthcare involves taking action to prevent problems before they develop. This is especially important for vaccinations to prevent infectious diseases and screening for early detection of cancer, and elevation of cardiovascular risk factors.

HAVE YOU HAD YOUR:
  • Blood Pressure Checked
  • Colonoscopy
  • Tdap within 10 years
  • Lipids every 5 years (yearly if on meds, high risk, or abnormal)
  • Tobacco Use assessment
  • ASCVD risk assessment
  • BMI evaluated
  • Alcohol screening
  • Flu Shot
  • COVID Vaccine

Women Over 50:

Cholesterol level is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Because of this, cholesterol should be measured at least once every 5 years. The goal for your LDL cholesterol level varies based on your 10 year risk of a heart attack or stroke. We recommend you discuss your LDL goal with your
physician. You can calculate your risk at: http://www.cvriskcalculator.com

Preventative healthcare involves taking action to prevent problems before they develop. This is especially important for vaccinations to prevent infectious diseases, screening for early detection of cancer, and evaluation of cardiovascular risk factors.

HAVE YOU HAD YOUR:
  • Blood Pressure Checked
  • Colonoscopy
  • Mammogram
  • Tdap within 10 years
  • Tobacco Use assessment
  • ASCVD risk assessment
  • Lipids every 5 years (yearly if on meds, high risk, or abnormal)
  • BMI evaluated
  • Alcohol screening
  • Flu Shot
  • COVID Vaccine