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6-5-12

Older American’s Month

Senior citizens can lead independent and active lives for a number of years.  One key is to develop a healthy lifestyle, including some preventative measures.

Living a healthy lifestyle helps protect against the deterioration that is often associated with aging.  Dr. Vajeeha (Vah’-gee-ah) Tabassum, assistant professor of internal medicine at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, offers suggestions for seniors.

SOUND BITE:  “Seniors need to take charge of certain key actions in their life such as eating healthy, exercising regularly.  These things can boost their quality of life.  And staying active physically, socially, as well as mentally are the most important things seniors can do to maintain their health and a good quality of life for as long as possible.”

Dr. Tabassum says seniors should get regular screenings for diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol as well as colon cancer screenings.  She also advises seniors to become physically active.

SOUND BITE:  “Exercise is extremely important.  Regular exercises such as walking and weight training can help seniors to improve flexibility, muscle and bone strength and balance are also very important.  So, simple exercises such as brisk daily walking also help in better controlling their cholesterol levels, blood sugars and blood pressure levels, too.”

Dr. Tabassum says many diseases can be prevented or treated by eating more nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables.  She says seniors should check with their primary care physician about screenings, vaccinations and starting an exercise program.

This is Ruth Slottag at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.