Maintaining an active lifestyle can play an integral role in the physical and mental well-being of seniors. At HealthCare Partners Nevada, we are dedicated to ensuring our patients maintain their physical fitness as they age.
As we age, there are many forms and methods of exercise that are beneficial, including:
- Engage in moderate-intensity aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, for approximately 20 minutes a day, seven days a week or 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
- Keep up with common chores, including gardening and cleaning, and raking leaves.
- Join a local gym or recreation center. Many of these facilities offer exercise groups for activities such as water aerobics, Pilates and yoga. These venues are air conditioned and especially comfortable when the summer months make it difficult to exercise outdoors.
- Do muscle-strengthening activities that work out all of the major muscle groups – legs, hips, back, shoulders, abdomen, chest and arms – at least two days a week.
Physical activity has many short-and long-term benefits for seniors, such as:
- Weight control
- Strengthening bones and muscles, which helps to prevent falls.
- Fewer hospitalizations and visits to the doctor
- Increasing chances of living longer by keeping the brain sharp, controlling blood sugar levels and boosting heart health
Regardless of age, it is important to talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise or diet plan. HealthCare Partners Nevada practices the Total Care Model, a team-based approach to care in which primary care providers collaborate with nurses, specialists, care managers and additional medical staff to coordinate all aspects of patients’ medical care, including diet and exercise plans. For more information about HealthCare Partners Nevada’s wide-ranging services, visit www.hcpnv.com.
With June serving as Men’s Health Awareness Month, HealthCare Partners Nevada recognizes the importance of raising awareness about preventable health issues and encouraging men to be proactive in seeking treatment for their ailments, including heart disease. A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated that, in 2012, the life expectancy for females was 81.2 years, compared to only 76.4 for males.
There are many reasons why men have a shorter life expectancy than women, including a higher risk for contracting illnesses such as heart disease, cancer and HIV, according to the CDC. In addition, a higher percentage of men have no health insurance and are more likely to have professions that are considered high-risk, including mining, construction and firefighting.
The leading cause of death among men is heart disease. Approximately 70 to 89 percent of sudden cardiac episodes occur in men, yet half of all men who die of sudden coronary heart disease had no previous symptoms. There are numerous steps that can be taken to improve cardiac health. Monitoring blood pressure is vital, as is regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. A diet high in fruits and vegetables is important and, of course, abstaining from smoking is imperative.
As men age, they need to be more aware of the symptoms of certain diseases. Rather than waiting for symptoms to worsen, HealthCare Partners Nevada encourages men to take the initiative and schedule check-ups with their health care providers on a regular basis. This allows doctors to provide patients with the best possible care and outline necessary treatment plans. Early detection and prevention play an integral role in keeping people healthy, and we want to ensure our patients are taking the steps needed to live long, productive lives.
HealthCare Partners Nevada’s innovative Total Care Model can help patients manage their health care and ensure screenings are completed at an appropriate time. There is no better time than the present to call and schedule an appointment with a HealthCare Partners Nevada provider. This coordination of care also helps patients maximize their health insurance benefits, which is critically important for patients who require long-term treatment.
Thermometers linger in the triple digits throughout the summer in Southern Nevada, significantly raising the risk of heat-related injuries and illnesses. People can experience a variety of health issues as a result of poor preparation for the blazing outdoor temperatures, and HealthCare Partners Nevada encourages locals to be aware of how to avoid these dangers.
Common summertime health issues include dehydration and heat exhaustion, a condition stemming from exposure to high temperatures that can result in symptoms such as dizziness, vomiting and fainting. The most serious form of heat injury is heat stroke, which occurs if an individual’s body temperature reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. If untreated, heat stroke can lead to organ damage and even death, according to the Mayo Clinic. Severe dehydration can also become a medical emergency, potentially leading to low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, fever and loss of consciousness.
Some people might be unaware of additional issues they can experience during the summer months, including burns from falling or walking barefoot on asphalt.
There are several simple steps individuals can take to prevent heat-related illnesses. These include:
- Drinking water regularly, especially when spending time outdoors
- Regularly seeking shade or air conditioning to cool the body
- Wearing a hat and light-colored clothing, which reflects sunlight
- Wearing shoes whenever walking on asphalt outdoors
In case heat-related issues do arise, it is important to be aware that some of these health conditions can be treated at urgent care locations, which typically offer immediate treatment at a more affordable rate than the emergency room. HealthCare Partners Nevada encourages patients to seek care at one of its four urgent care locations if they experience non-emergent symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, moderate dehydration and headaches.
It is advisable to seek emergency care for severe conditions such as major burns and heat stroke. If an individual is suffering from heat stroke, it is helpful to move the individual out of the heat and apply cool damp sheets on the neck and armpits until help arrives.
For more information about when to visit HealthCare Partners Nevada’s urgent care clinics, visit www.hcpnv.com/urgentcare.