The Practice of Geriatrics- Six Tips to a Healthy Lifestyle

The Practice of Geriatrics- Six Tips to a Healthy Lifestyle

Geriatric Specialist, Dr. Kevin Carlson

Geriatric Specialist, Dr. Kevin Carlson

Three hundred doctors are fellowship trained in geriatrics each year in the United States, a small number in light of the rapidly aging population. Board-certified geriatricians are internists or family practitioners who complete at least one year of geriatric fellowship training and pass the American Board of Medicine Geriatrics exam.

Internist and geriatrician, Kevin Carlson, M.D., doesn’t define her practice solely by age. “I view a geriatric patient as a person with complex medical issues. As we age there is tremendous diversity in the medical problems we face. I care for many younger adult patients who are more complicated than many of my healthy, older patients.” Chronic disease is a common defining issue of geriatric practice. Many patients live longer with multiple medical problems, including hypertension, diabetes, chronic kidney disease and arthritis.

The practice of geriatrics is demanding, yet rewarding. Dr. Carlson says, “I truly enjoy  the generation of people that were our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. They have such amazing lives and their experiences and stories of resilience inspire me. They’ve lived during the great depression, immigrated from hardship, fought in our war efforts, and lived life before television!”

What suggestions does a geriatrician give for aging gracefully? “Take an active role in your own health. Inform yourself of healthy lifestyle choices and incorporate them into your routine,” Dr. Carlson advises.

 

Dr. Carlson’s six tips to a healthy lifestyle:

    1. Eat the right food in moderation (fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, wild fish, grass-fed beef, poultry, pork, low-fat dairy and healthy fats, including olive and coconut oil)
    2. Avoid or limit the wrong food (processed foods or drinks with corn syrup, fructose or sugar substitutes and partially hydrogenated vegetable oils)
    3.  Get a variety of exercise (include aerobic, resistance, stretching and balance for at least 40 minutes three times a week)
    4. Sleep eight hours per night on a regular schedule
    5. Stay involved with family, friends and your community
    6. Always learn something new to keep the brain active

 

Research has proven that the above recommendations are sound medical advice for healthy aging and positive outcomes. Dr. Carlson adds, “If everyone knew these things 20 years ago and applied them to themselves, we would have a much healthier America today.”

 


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