Bear River Chiropractic
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Aging Gracefully: Dr. Emily's Tips

A guide to aging gracefully using Dr. Emily's top tips ranging from nutrients to exercise and much more!

Aging is something that is inevitable for all of us. Some of us age more gracefully than others and we all wonder what their secrets are. Here are a few of my top tips on staying youthful as you age! So, let's dive in:


  • Water

    • Water: it seems so simple, yet one of the most underused necessary resources for our function!  From skin elasticity to allowing our organs to function properly, water consumption is no joke. So lets explore some of the benefits of adequate water intake!
      • Chronic Disease: heart disease, cancer, kidney disease, immune function, cataracts, and bone fractures are all lessened with proper water intake! What?! That's right! Water allows these organs to function properly, stay hydrated, and flush the body of harmful substances. 
      • Brain Function: our brains actually function better when they are not dehydrated! Due to the fact that dehydration causes our brains to shrink, when we consume proper amounts of water we are more alert, oriented, less fatigued, and less confused/ or brain fogged. So, when you're having one of those mornings where you are just "brain foggy" drink a glass of water! It is also recommended that before even getting out of bed in the morning consuming one glass of water to start your body off right. 
      • Skin: by far the largest organ in our body, our skin lovesssss being hydrated! Water consumption is excellent for keeping a youthful complexion and skin elasticity. Our skin ages and wrinkles mainly due to oxidation.... so what does that mean... inflammation and decreased blood flow. Drinking water with antioxidants can be helpful as well (see more below). Eating a lot of organic, local vegetables is also great for skin because they have high water content as well! A side note: green tea is also a great source for skin health, just be mindful of caffeine consumed with green tea. There are also a variety of green tea based lotions that are great for keeping skin youthful.
    • How much water should I be consuming? 
      • Women vs. Men:  Drinking cold water allows for maximum absorption.
        • Women: should be consuming roughly 2-2.7 L of water per day. This number includes the water sources from vegetables. This breaks down to 4-7 cups of water per day if you are consuming a veggie rich diet.
        • Men: should be consuming 3-3.7 L of water per day. Again, this number includes any food sources that supply water as well. So, roughly 6-11 cups of water per day with a healthy amount of vegetables as well.
    • What if you don't like drink plain water?  Should/can I add anything to my water?
      • Yes! We all get sick of drinking plain water, but we all know that doesn't mean we should avoid getting the proper amounts.
        • Antioxidant rich water: to increase antioxidant properties of your water you can add fruits to your water such as black berries, blueberries, etc. Lemon is a great refreshing way to increase the detoxing capabilities of your water. Pinterest has many great ideas for different concoctions of ways to jazz up your water. 
        • Mineral rich water/ Sole: Adding pink Himalayan Sea Salt to your water gives it the unique name of "Sole" pronounced Solay. Sole allows your water to be mineral rich which again improves, skin, hair, nails, digestion, and much much more. So how do you make Sole? Well its pretty simple, again you have to use Pink Himalayan Sea Salt, which has 84 trace minerals (not table salt). This Himalayan Sea Salt has many restorative and healing properties.  Fill a container of your choosing (except a metal container) with water and allow it to become saturated with the sea salt. What does saturated mean? It means you allow the water to absorb as much of the salt as it possibly can so you have minimal amounts of the salt that still remain at the bottom of your container. Then use a wooden or plastic spoon to stir (again, avoid metal), and let the concoction sit overnight. 
  • Exercise:

    • Exercise is an important tool for many aspects of health. One major one as we age is to keep our bones strong and healthy. Osteoporosis is a common condition that affects the majority of us as we age. A lot of medications can also cause us to leach calcium from our bones encouraging osteoporosis which makes exercise even more important! The goal for exercise is about 30 minutes of moderate activity per day or 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. As we age it is important to stick to weight bearing exercises as this type of exercise helps us with keeping our bones strong. While swimming and biking are great exercise, these activities are not quite enough to encourage bone strength. Therefore, we recommend exercises like yoga, Pilates, walking, jogging, and light weight activities. We have many excellent yoga and Pilates studios here in northern Michigan. Also, we have a variety of gyms that offer training sessions if you are looking to incorporate weight lifting. We do not recommend adding weights into your routine without lifting instructions from a certified trainer; this is to prevent any injury. Lifting improperly can cause damage that outweigh the benefit of the exercise. Walking/ jogging are easy to do and we live in such a beautiful area! This summer season is great to start with walking, if even for just 10 minutes to start and working up to 30 minutes per day. You can also break up the walk into 3 shorter 10 minute walks. Exercise is not only great for your bone health but for heart disease and diabetes as well!
  • Essential Oils:

    • We love Young Living Essential Oils and all of their unique and pure health benefits, so of course we had to include a few oil recommendations for our Young Living Rep!
    • Skin: for keeping skin youthful, Sandalwood, Geranium, Frankincense, Lavender, Myrrh, and Thyme are excellent
    • Bone Health: Clove 
    • Longevity: this is a blend of Thyme, Frankincense, Orange, and Clove which covers both skin and bone health
    • NingXia Red: this product is an excellent high antioxidant which is good for heart heart, cholesterol, arthritis, and Fibromyalgia! 
  • Nutrition:

    • This is a big topic with a lot to discuss, so I will try to keep it brief and hit some of the high points. Of course, as always, we recommend eating a nutrient rich diet high in plant foods for the best quality and source of vitamins and minerals. But for those of us whose diets are not allowing us to get a full nutritious diversity, some supplements may be recommended. Again, these recommendations vary depending on pre-exisiting conditions and a variety of other factors, so please consult your doc before jumping in and trying something.
      • Calcium: Calcium is a supplement we DO NOT recommend. According to the research, calcium is a supplement that does more harm than good. Consuming calcium in your diet is a wonderful way to get calcium, so consuming calcium rich foods such as sardines, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, almonds, etc. is the best way to increase your calcium intake. Just a reminder that dairy is not a good source of calcium, so do not look to milk to feed your calcium supply. Calcium supplements can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke and in our personal opinion, the good does not outweigh the bad here. 
      • Magnesium: Personally, I am a fan of magnesium supplementation when dietary consumption is inadequate. Magnesium supplementation however, needs to be balanced with adequate intake of Vitamin K2, Vitamin D3, and calcium to be absorbed properly. So you cannot take one without the others.... but we just said not to supplement calcium. So, this means we encourage you to make a conscious effort to increase dietary calcium! Magnesium is great for muscles, decreased inflammation, and decreased heart disease.  But we want you to make sure you are taking a good source of magnesium. We DO NOT recommend magnesium citrate as it has a laxative effect and is not very effectively absorbed. We do recommend magnesium threonate or magnesium glycinate. 
      • Vitamin D3: Living in northern Michigan it can be hard to get Vitamin D year round. D3  supplementation helps to counter the effects of months without proper sunlight. Vitamin D is important for improved immune function, decreased bone fractures, and overall decrease mortality. Why in the form of D3? Well D3 is the form that comes from plants and is not a synthetic form. A safe amount of vitamin D3 to be consumed is around 2000 IU per day to avoid toxicity. In the winter months here in northern Michigan, this amount can be increased. 
      • Vitamin K2: As mentioned above K2 is essential for calcium absorption;  it allows the calcium to be deposited in the proper places. Usually you can find Vitamin K2 within your Vitamin D3 supplement. It helps with the absorption and decreased toxicity. Since the K2 is in conjunction with the D3, for approximately every 1000 IU of vitamin D3, you want a minimum of 100 mcg of K2. 
      • Fiber: Fiber is something we struggle with being able to consume enough of; however, it is very easily obtained by increasing our vegetable and fruit intake. The daily recommendation of fiber intake is a minimum of 25-30 g per day. Fiber rich foods include: carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, chia seeds, barley, and whole grains just to name a few! Fiber helps us to eliminate waste and toxins and prevent foods from essentially rotting in our intestines. We want to move foods through our intestines without allowing them to sit for long which creates oxidation and leads to chronic disease. 
      • Protein: We should be consuming protein specific to how much we weigh. The formula to calculate how much protein you should be consuming is to take your body weight in Kg and multiply that by 0.8 g of protein per day. For example, a 145 pound individual should be consuming roughly 53 g of protein in their diet per day. High protein rich foods include: spinach, guava, artichokes, fish, and game meats. Be sure that fish consumed is low in mercury and that meats consumed are free range, grass fed, and from a local farm!
      • Probiotic: Probiotics are very essential to our gut and digestive system health. They are easy to add in to our daily regimen and the benefits are amazing! Gut health is so important for helping your body to fight off chronic disease and inflammation. A daily probiotic will arm your body with the tools it needs to effectively fight harmful bacteria!
      • Omega 3: These are important for heart health, regulating cholesterol levels, and brain health and development. Fish oil supplementation  are the best way to obtain adequate omega 3's. Be sure to choose a fish oil that is a low mercury source of fish. You can also increase your consumption of fish such as sardines, anchovies, krill, and salmon to for dietary omega 3s!

Please let us know if you have any questions or would like to learn more!

These tips are based on our research and our general recommendations; however, recommendations may vary due to different conditions. Please consult your doctor for personalized tips specific to you. 


Sources:

  • Palmer College of Chiropractic curriculum
  • Nutritionfacts.org - Dr. Michael Greger
  • ucsfhealth.org
  • nof.org
  • mayoclinic.org
  • Sari King- Young Living Oils

 

Emily Brown