Oscar’s Track: Fit for life

Community Columnist

“There is a fountain of youth. Millions have discovered it — the secret to feeling better and living longer. It’s called staying active. Finding a program that works for you and sticking with it can pay big dividends. Regular exercise can prevent or delay diabetes and heart trouble. It can also reduce arthritis pain, anxiety and depression. It can help older people stay independent.”

This excerpt is quoted from the website of the National Institutes of Health: National Institute on Aging (nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/exerciseforseniors)

It is a fact most of us already know. Exercise can help older people feel better and enjoy life more, even those who think they are too old or too out of shape.

Did you know that many health insurance plans are now providing benefits for exercise and fitness activities?

That’s not out of the goodness of their hearts. It’s because healthy people have fewer medical problems and fewer insurance claims. SilverSneakers (silversneakers.com) and Silver&Fit (SilverandFit.com) are two examples of these benefit programs. You can check with your insurance provider to see if your healthcare plan includes fitness activity benefits. Participating gyms and fitness centers can also help you with your insurance benefits.

The gym here at Back On Track is an approved facility.

In my practice, I believe in taking a holistic approach to my patients’ health and fitness. More than just a buzzword, holistic fitness integrates many disciplines to help people become and stay mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically fit.

Holistic fitness includes activities like tai chi, yoga and pilates. These and other practices such as meditation and spiritual or religious contemplation give you time to disconnect from stress which often manifests as disease.

Mindful eating increases energy, helps manage many conditions including high blood pressure and diabetes, and leads to improved overall health. I tell my patients that getting healthy isn’t only about the physical exercise; it’s also about lifestyle changes that encourage positive thinking and happiness.

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