senior exercise 01 webYour health, especially as you grow older, is a combination of your genes, your lifestyle and luck, says Alaa Mira, MD, Chief of Geriatrics, St. Luke’s University Health Network. “Even in your golden years, you can slow, and in many cases actually reverse, the progression of many diseases,” he said. “For example, although lung disease runs in your family, you can reduce your risk of developing lung disease by no longer smoking. Even after decades, your lungs will begin to heal. You also reduce your risk of heart diseases and many other health conditions.”

“Eating healthier is another great way to slow the progression of disease”, says registered dietitian and diabetes educator Robin Gayle, MBA, RD, LDN, CDE, of the St. Luke’s Center for Diabetes. “By changing the diet alone, we’ve seen many patients improve their diabetes. Consequently, they lowered their risk of developing complications of diabetes, such as heart disease, as well as their dependence on medications to manage it, simply by changing the type and amount of food they eat. We encourage increasing the intake of plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables and legumes and limiting salt, sugar and saturated fats.”
“Many people think they don’t like vegetables because they never learned to prepare them properly,” she said. “They often associate childhood memories or a bad experience with their aversion to vegetables. Tasting properly prepared vegetables would most likely change their minds.”

Finally, studies show that pairing a healthy diet with regular exercise is the best way to not only prevent heart disease, but to reverse some risk factors, Dr. Mira says. “You don’t have to have start running or work out three hours a day in a gym,” Dr. Mira says. “Just get moving. Find one, two or more things you like to do and commit to doing them. five or more times a week. It could be as simple as walking in a park, playing tag with your grandchildren or riding a bike. The more you enjoy it, the more likely you will stick with it. Exercising just 30 minutes a day, five days a week will strengthen your heart and reduce your risk of heart disease.”

Register Now for St. Luke’s Community Diabetes Day Join us for a morning full of diabetes activities and education! Saturday, March 23 9:30 am - noon Featuring: Cardiologist Sobhan Kodali, MD Dentist Andrew Awad, DMD Tim Leech, RD, LDN
Doctor’s Pavilion and Atrium, St. Luke’s Bethlehem Campus 801 Ostrum Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015. To register or for more information, visit: www.sluhn.org/DiabetesDay or call InfoLink at 1-866 St. Luke’s, (785-8537) option #4.

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