Monday, November 4, 11:30 a.m. Hidden Crises, creative Cures. What is happening to the healthcare system and how we can improve it. We’ll examine the root cause of the impending meltdown of the healthcare system and what we as individuals can do about it. Escondido Senior Center, 210 E. Park Ave., Escondido. Sponsored by OASIS. To register see their web site at http://www.oasisnet.org
Wednesday, November 13, 1:00 p.m. The True Mediterranean diet. It’s not what you’ll find at your local pizza parlor but it’s a key to a long and healthy life. Point Loma Library, 3701 Voltaire St., San Diego. Sponsored by OASIS. To register see their web site at http://www.oasisnet.org
In the news
From the San Diego Union-Tribune: Can a single pill keep you healthy to 100?
He was no scientist but Ponce de Leon was the poster child for the Fountain of Youth and that’s still a goal for much of humanity. The latest entry is a pill called RTB101 and it works by boosting the immune system. In the few trials on humans so far it improved the response to the flu vaccine and reduced the incidence of colds, bronchitis, influenza and pneumonia.
Unfortunately, infections are far less common as causes of death than heart disease and cancer. A major driver of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes is obesity, which also is a major factor in cancer, osteoporosis and numerous other lifestyle-destroying conditions. The latest survey on obesity shows that it affects more than 35 percent of the population and in some regions it is more than 40 percent!
Don’t hold your breath until RTB101 comes to your local pharmacy. While you’re waiting, you can boost your immune system by shedding a few pounds, adding more protein to your diet and getting more vitamin D. And be sure to protect yourself from infection by keeping your immunizations up to date: influenza, shingles and pneumonia.
Avoid the annoyances of aging; another cause of decreased energy
Poor circulation contributes to decreased energy for a couple of reasons. When muscles lie dormant for more than a few days the blood vessels that supply them lie dormant too. After all, they have nothing to do. When we become active, increasing the rate and the intensity of the heartbeat, the increase in blood flow causes those vessels to open up to provide more oxygen and thus more energy to muscles. That also removes accumulated waste products. It all adds up to more energy.
Regular physical activity that pushes the heart to send more blood flowing has a long-range affect too: it keeps blood vessels flexible so that in times of stress, those vessels can accommodate increased blood delivery, more nutrients and more oxygen. Your heart and brain will really appreciate that! The result is a greatly reduced risk of heart attack and stroke.
When you begin an exercise program you’ll notice an increased energy level in just a few days, certainly by the end of the second week. Be careful, however, to start slowly if you haven’t been active for a long while. Your first walk should be no more than 15 or 20 minutes; gradually work up to a brisk pace for at least an hour. At the gym, begin with the lowest weights on the machines or free weights in order to avoid the next day’s muscle soreness.