Baltimore County Now
Better Fitness and Nutrition Enhances Overall Well-being
In the new year, there are more opportunities to be a better you at Baltimore County Senior Centers. And it is up to you to do more to map your own path to wellness in 2016.
With a holistic approach to eating better and exercising, you will discover wellness results – mind, body, and spirit.
And this year, the Baltimore County Department of Aging wants to assist you in meeting those goals. Take advantage of senior centers that offer a variety of programming that will inspire you to live well.
If You Want to Lose Weight
Each center offers fitness centers with the strength equipment and cardio aerobics classes.
You need muscle to burn more calories. With age, the body’s metabolism slows because of a loss of muscle. To counter this physiological effect, it is recommended that you do more weight-bearing and strength training exercises that will rev up the body’s metabolism.
However, weights and aerobics alone won’t do it though: what you put on your plate is vital to your success. Here are some recommended smart nutritional tips.
If You Want to Think Better
The cumulative effect of exercise and eating better has a more pronounced influence on the way we think and other Brain Matters.
Look for specific programming at your local senior center that will provide resources, activities and strategies to increase your brain fitness and health.
Here’s Why All of This is so Important…
Studies show that your digestive system is the feeding tube to your brain. Consistently eating high fat, tasty foods we love can lead to a myriad of health conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and the list goes on. With that, in some cases, comes issues of mental decline or brain fog.
You can learn about “power foods” and how to manage chronic diseases through the department’s evidence-based health education programs. It’s never too late to make physical and healthy lifestyle changes, which boost your mental vitality and will help increase your zest for life!
Wellness Specialist, BCDA Senior Centers Division
Sherry Kolbe, Manager
State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP), Baltimore County Department of Aging
Is your Medicare Part D plan the best fit for you in 2015? Each year, Part D plans are permitted to change. These changes may involve the drug formularies, tier structures, premiums and/or contracts with pharmacies.
Granted, the plans sent Notification of Change letters at the end of September for 2015, but how many of us actually read them? Even if you read them, you are not able to compare your plan with others unless you go onto the Medicare Plan Finder on www.Medicare.gov.
Too overwhelming? Help is here in Baltimore County
If all of these steps seem a bit overwhelming for you or a loved one, there is help for you through Baltimore County’s State Health Insurance Assistance Program’s (SHIP) team of volunteers. Dates have been set for the SHIP team to go to twelve of the twenty senior centers. Just call SHIP, 410-887-2059, to schedule an appointment to have a one-on-one conversation with a volunteer counselor. Once a member of the team enters your drugs into the Medicare Plan Finder, you will be able to review your options to either enroll in a new plan or stay in your current plan. You will be able to leave this meeting with a sense of satisfaction knowing you are in the best plan for your current drug list for 2015.
Do you qualify for financial assistance?
Counselors will also assess if you eligible for financial assistance to help pay for your Part D premium and or drug co-pays. Too many Medicare beneficiaries are eligible for assistance and may never have heard of the programs or think they are over-scale. Let the SHIP team share with you the details of programs that may help to save you money
Dave Sayler, Wellness Specialist, Baltimore County Department of Aging
Research has determined there is a direct link between the likelihood of healthy aging and the amount of exercise older people do. And it is never too early or too late to start! Even if you wait to begin being physically active around retirement age, you still will enjoy significantly better health later in life. Simply put, exercise is one of the best health boosters you can do for yourself. Just moving for 30 to 60 minutes three to five times a week boosts your health in eight impactful ways.
Every time you exercise, you…..
1. Lower your stroke risk. Studies show walking is associated with reduced risk of stroke.
2. Protect against osteoporosis. Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, promotes the build-up of new bone reducing your risk of osteoporosis and broken bones.
3. Increase your metabolic rate. After exercising you still continue to burn calories, even if you are relaxing in a chair. But it won’t work unless you exercise first!
4. Prevent, and even reduce, high blood pressure. Physical activity helps to lower the levels of stress hormones circulating in your blood. This helps to reduce your blood pressure.
5. Alleviate depression. Exercise can directly affect your mood and increase your overall happiness and life satisfaction.
6. Reduce your risk of developing cancer. Research has proven that as little as three hours of moderate exercise per week, such as walking, can reduce the risk of cancer.
7. Lower your blood sugar. Walking can improve your body’s use of insulin and prevent insulin resistance and diabetes.
8. Reduce your risk of falls. Exercise strengthens your core muscles which helps prevent falls.
Exercise Is Time Well Spent
Every moment spent exercising is time well spent. If you don’t know how to get started exercising, and you are over 60 years of age, the Baltimore County Department of Aging provides wonderful opportunities to engage in fitness and wellness activities. To explore these options, visit http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/seniorcenters.
Help Seniors and Have Fun
Register you, your friends and your family members in Baltimore County Department of Aging’s eighth annual “Get Ready! Get Set! Get Fit! 5K Run-Walk / 1 Mile Walk” on Sunday, September 21, 2014. This family-friendly event will be held at the CCBC Essex campus, conveniently located near I95 and I695 off of Rossville Boulevard. Let yourself be caught up in the fun and enthusiasm for an event that promotes a great cause: older adult fitness and wellness.
Participating in the Run/Walk can result in financial rewards too! Walgreens has generously sponsored the “Fitness Pays” Grand Door Prize Drawing of $500. To qualify to win the $500, or any of the other wonderful door prizes, simply register for the “Get Ready! Get Set! Get Fit! 5K Run-Walk / 1 Mile Walk” either at www.getreadygetsetgetfit5k.com or a Baltimore County senior center. Once registered, show up at the event (you must be present to win) and turn in your bib tab (the small square on the bottom of your bib number) at the “Fitness Pays” table. The first 50 people to turn in their bib tab will receive a free SweatSTR towel.
So if you want a longer, healthier life remember to add exercise to your day!
For more information on the “Get Ready! Get Set! Get Fit! 5K Run-Walk/1 Mile Walk” or senior center fitness programming, call 410-887-2040 or visit www.baltimorecountymd.gov/seniorcenters.