Getting Healthy Shouldn’t Be Expensive: 3 Ways Seniors Can Boost Their Health On A Budget

*guest post by Jason Lewis

Looking at fitness classes, meal delivery services, and other health-related products, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that a healthy lifestyle is unaffordable. But the truth is, living well doesn’t have to cost a lot. If you want to improve your health but are worried about the expense, try these three strategies for staying healthy on a budget.

Avoid Sticker Shock at the Doctor

Out-of-pocket medical bills are disastrous for your budget. Not only is healthcare expensive, but most of the time you don’t know what a procedure costs until you get the bill.

Original Medicare comes with significant cost-sharing requirements. Without supplemental coverage, Medicare beneficiaries spend an average of $5,374 on out-of-pocket medical costs (not including premiums) every year. Seniors with high medical needs and no supplemental coverage spend more than $7,000 on out-of-pocket costs.

Supplemental coverage reduces out-of-pocket costs so your medical spending is more predictable and easier to budget around. Instead of getting hit with a big bill after a hospital visit, you pay premiums for a Medigap or Medicare Advantage plan that reduces your cost-sharing requirements. If you have high medical needs, Medigap is likely the better choice for you. Otherwise, you can see greater savings with a Medicare Advantage plan like those from Humana. Medicare Advantage plans vary by state, so you’ll want to comparison shop and crunch numbers to find the most cost-effective plan for you.

Supplement Your Workout at Home

Staying active saves you thousands in healthcare costs, but if you’re only paying attention to your health while you’re at the gym, you’re not getting the most bang for your buck. Healthy habits at home — especially those focused on your mental health — can exponentially improve the health benefits you see from just working out alone. 

From speeding up physical recovery to making workouts more enjoyable, incorporating self-care into your life boast a slew of benefits. However, many people don’t make it a priority because they erroneously think taking care of themselves means long massages, expensive vacations, or other costly, time-consuming activities. 

Fortunately, that’s not the case. There are plenty of budget-friendly self-care tactics you can incorporate into your daily routine. Whether you have a few minutes or a few hours, daily meditation, a relaxing bath, and an earlier bedtime are just a few examples of how you can prioritize your own well-being without breaking the bank. 

Eat Healthy on a Budget

Are you convinced that eating healthy is too expensive? There’s no question that healthy foods can be costly, but they don’t have to be. If you shop all organic from a high-end grocer and eat out several times a week, a dietary shift could double your grocery bill. But there are plenty of ways to eat well without spending a fortune.

Instead of buying everything organic, stick to the dirty dozen for your organic produce and buy conventional for the rest. You should also eat smaller servings of free-range and grass-fed meat, getting more of your protein from plant sources instead. Rather than buying processed foods that hike up your grocery bill without providing much nutritional value, stick to whole foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and fresh meat and fish. Buying from the bulk section is another great call: When producers don’t have to pay for packaging, those savings are passed along to you. Just pay attention to price, because while most things are cheaper in bulk, some bulk products could be more expensive.

There’s no shortage of products promising better health in exchange for your hard-earned money, but good health doesn’t come from a miracle cure or any other quick-fix solution. If you really want to enjoy your best health, start with the basics: good healthcare, an active lifestyle, and a healthy diet. These simple steps don’t cost a lot and will save you thousands in health problems throughout your senior years.

“Remember “thisisyourbestyear”–taking these steps can help us all.

*This post was written by guest blogger Jason Lewis. Jason is a personal trainer and the primary caretaker of his mom after her surgery. He created StrongWell.org and enjoys curating fitness programs that cater to the needs of people over 65.

Mom. Sister. Friend. Go Red.

Go Red for Women turns 15 this year. It was started to bring awareness among women about the number one killer of women–heart disease* and stroke. The Go Red Movement is about more than wearing the beautiful color of red on the first Friday of February.

It is about women taking control of their own health. Women making the committment to their health. Learning that they can work together with others while helping them with their health concerns.

Fort Worth’s/Tarrant County’s Go Red Luncheon will be held on Friday, February 15, 2019 at 10 am at the Omni Hotel in downtown Fort Worth. While there you can gather information on heart disease, learn how to prepare heart healthy meals, have your blood pressure checked, hear from an outstanding speaker and more.

The funds raised will help to build awareness and support research and education initiatives.

There is still have time to purchase tickets to this years Fort Worth Go Red Luncheon.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

This year’s theme for Fort Worth’s Go Red Luncheon is:

Mother. Sister. Friend.

Together we can save the lives of women we love.

*Just reported today that over half of all Americans have some form of heart disease.

Check with your local branch of the American Heart Associaton to find tickets to their Go Red Luncheon or to donate.

Things That Make You Go Hmmm

As we grow up, things that happen to us can make us go hmmm and scratch our heads at these new symptoms. Some call it the aging process, others say it’s just Father Time catching up, and most of us just say it’s life.

There are ailments that pop up with symptoms that we have never had before.  What are some of these you might ask?  Well here are just a few.

  • The nerve in your tooth dies–seriously.  Warm liquids seem to make your tooth radiate, but not hurt.  This means that you need a root canal to stop this awful feeling.
  • You have sharp abdominal pain after eating.  You are now diagnosed as being lactose intolerant.  No more cheese, cream based entrees or ice cream.  In other words no milk based products for you.
  • Bloating from eating bread has started.  Not really all bread, but most.
  • Eye floaters start to bother you.  It’s kind of like you are swatting gnats.  They are harmless, but they are very annoying.
  • Heart palpitations which are scary.  Causes could be sugar, caffeine or alcohol.  You think to yourself which one do I have to give up?  I have become a decaf (yuck) coffee drinker, giving up most sugar except on birthdays and weddings (I love wedding cake).  There is no more chocolate for me since it is a double whammy with sugar and caffeine.  But there is a silver lining–wine is okay.

There are many other things that happen to us as we go through life, but I have a sorority sister who always finds the silver lining in things. The one silver lining I see from being lactose intolerant (and I hardly ever ate ice cream anyway), cutting out most sugar, most breads and caffeine is that I am able to control my weight and I can still have wine.

It’s my new normal, and it’s not so bad. We do what we have to do.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”, and cheers!

Does anyone know of a good decaf brand of coffee?

Bringing Healthcare to Thousands

Each year women of a certain age dread the slightly uncomfortable mammogram.  For that small amount of discomfort, we all breathe a sign of relief when the results come back negative, and if they come back questionable, we are grateful that we know that something needs to be done.

In all parts of Tarrant County (the United States) there are thousands of women who do not have insurance that will assist them with payment for this and other annual exams.  Many of these women do not have any symptoms, but when they are seen by a doctor it is often for something that could have been eradicated with early detection.

The Kupferie Health Board of the Texas Health Resources Foundation is sponsoring their annual Puttin’ on the Pink Fashion Show and Luncheon (March 27, 2018).  Proceeds from this fabulous event will benefit mobile health outreach to underserved women in Fort Worth and surrounding communities. Some of the screenings and procedures are:

  • Breast diagnostic procedures
  • Digital diagnostic procedures
  • Cardiovascular risk assessments
  • Colon cancer screening
  • Well-woman exams and cervical cancer screenings

The fashion show is like no other, the beautiful clothes are modeled by professional models and survivors with their stories being told.  Some of the survivors were diagnosed through the screenings and procedures they received from the mobile health outreach.

Tickets and sponsorships are still available.  Just click Puttin’ on the Pink. Through very generous donations, they will raffle off 11 fabulous prices.  To see the items that can be yours click raffle.  You do not need to be present to win, and you are helping a great cause.

This is our third year covering this event.  Last year it was our honor to interview Irene, the beautiful survivor featured in the video below, and to learn more about the mobile health outreach from someone who has used it.  To learn more about the mobile health and the event, take a look at the video.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”. It’s about more than breast cancer, it’s about life–Puttin’ on the Pink.

Puttin’ on the Pink

March 27, 2018

10 am Reception/ 11 am Fashion Luncheon

Fort Worth Convention Center Ballroom

 

 

 

Red Is Your Color

by CY Cooper

Last week, Thursday, March 1st, to be exact, the 2018 Tarrant County Go Red for Women Luncheon took place at the Omni Hotel in downtown Fort Worth, Texas.  The annual event, in conjunction with the American Heart Association drew women, and some men, from all over Tarrant County to come together in their quest to end heart disease and stroke in women. Heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined, and 1 in 3 women die of cardiovascular diseases each year.

The Go Red for Women endeavor began in 2004 and every February/March, women all across the country proudly wear red, telling their stories of survival and raising awareness of heart disease and stroke as the Number 1 killer of women.

This year’s Tarrant County Go Red Luncheon not only raised much needed funds for lifesaving research and awareness, but it also featured keynote speaker, Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to officially enter and run the Boston Marathon.  Switzer told the packed ballroom, it doesn’t matter what age, size, gender or stage of life you may be in.  It’s never too late to make a change for the better for yourself and for others.

Before the luncheon got underway, attendees were treated to a mimosa reception, complimentary health screenings, cooking with heart demonstrations and a silent auction.  During the luncheon all were encouraged to donate to this year’s fundraising effort by opening up their hearts along with their checkbooks.  Members of the Fort Worth Fire Department were present to assist in collecting the donations.

With the tremendous success of this year’s event in their rear view mirror, organizers have begun planning for the 2019 Tarrant County Go Red Luncheon for Women, scheduled for Friday, February 15th at the Omni Hotel.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear” the color red looks good on everyone.

 

National Wear Red Day

February 2, 2018 is national wear “red” day for American Heart Month.

 

On the first Friday of February national wear “red” day is held to draw attention to the fact that the #1 killer of women is heart disease.  This year, 2018 marks the 15th year for this event.

There have been major strides made in the effort to eradicate heart disease in women, but still, 1 in 3 women will die from some form of heart disease and stroke.

The color red was chosen because it stands out.  It has even been stated that red makes a person feel powerful.

The research has shown that women who participate in the events (wearing red) during February do the following:

  • eat healthier diets
  • exercise more
  • insist on medical tests when having symptoms of stroke/heart attack

My best friend since second grade has had to change many things since suffering three heart attacks, the last one being a major one.  Her challenges have made me more aware of my health.  The symptoms of heart attacks for women are different from those for men.  They can be:

  • pain in one or both arms, stomach, back, neck or jaw–which is what my best friend had
  • dizziness
  • fullness in the chest with or without pain

Symptoms of a stroke can be:

  • sudden blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • sudden trouble speaking
  • sudden numbness or weakness especially on one side

So wear something “red” on February 2, and donate to your local American Heart Association to stomp out heart disease and stroke in women.

To learn more about heart disease, stroke and how to donate contact your local heart association, The National American Heart Association  or The Tarrant County Heart Association.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”–Go Red for Women.

 

At The Texas Conference For Women–Women Rock

It is always great to be in the presence of women, especially smart women.  The Texas Conference for Women has so much to see, hear and do that it is hard to decide which way to go. That is why you see me rushing almost running in the halls of the Austin Convention Center with my two bags, comfortable shoes, and phone. I was off to races.

Texas Conference 2 Photo by Getty

I was able to snag two great interviews with two amazing women.  My first interview came as a surprise.  We just struck up a conversation, and I knew women would love to know about her company “iFundWomen”.  Below is the interview that I did with the CEO and founder of “iFundWomen”, Ms. Karen Cahn. For women who are looking for ways to fund their startup, she is the person to know.

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My second interview was with the Emmy award winner, Ms. Gaby Natale.  She is the host of the Emmy award-winning show Super Latina, and now the author of the book El Circulo Virtuoso.  Her story is one that a lot of people can identify with. She is inspirational.  My interview with Gaby is below.

Both women are successful entrepreneurs who have found their passions and turned them into their careers.  As each would tell you it has been a journey that has taken some unexpected turns.  They epitomize the women that attended and participated in the Texas Conference for Women.  This year there were 7,500 women in attendance from all over the United States.

Each of the women had their own schedule to adhere to and knew which sessions they wanted to attend and why.  All of us were able to hear the three keynote speakers, Ms. Anita Hill, Ms. Sheryl Sandberg, and Ms. Viola Davis.  Their presentations were informative and more.  You can see some of Ms. Anita Hill’s talInstagramFacebook Page–thisisyourbestyear, Instagram–thisisyourbestyear and Twitter–@mariciajohns.

If you have never attended this conference, you should think about it for next year.  There is something for everyone from, pitching your product to QVC, working on your Linkedin Page, coping with grief, fitness and much more.

This is one of the highlights of my year, seeing and hearing the speakers and meeting up with other bloggers, photographers, and other media again.  Hope you will take advantage of this great gathering of women.  Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.

To find out more about how to fund your business go to the “iFundWomen” website.

www.ifundwomen.com

If you would like to know about Gaby Natale, and how to contact her for speaking engagements, book signings and more please visit her website.

www.gabynatale.com

Yes Virginia There Is Life After Menopause

If only life was as simple as song lyrics.  You know if it were that easy then everyday would be great, but we all know that the process of life is not easy.  Each phase we go through has its challenges. Don’t jump to conclusions before you know the facts.

As women we tend to go through phases of life every 5 to 10 years or so it seems. Our bodies are constantly changing, and as we age things can change dramatically. There are studies out there that tell you about perimenopause (premenopause).  They explain what to expect once you get into the dreaded menopause.  It’s sort of  like telling a woman what to expect during pregnancy–no two are ever alike.

Then there are the studies that tell you what to expect while you are in menopause.  They even write television scripts about it. Remember Edith Bunker? They tend to forget to tell you again that no two women experience the same things in the same way.  Some people never know they have entered the dreaded menopause zone. They just know they are no longer having periods.  There are no hot flashes, no night sweets, no mood swings, no heart palpitations–they don’t even know they are changing.

My doctor who is male gave me advice when I talked to him about certain symptoms.  At least it was honest advice.  He said no one had ever died from menopause at least to his knowledge.  Life would get better.

Well I am here to tell you it does get better, but not the same.  Some women still experience brain fogginess, you know not remembering directions while driving, but you get there–don’t panic, it’s normal for some.  Reading and rereading is one that many women experience. It makes it hard when you are in a book club.

Weight comes from just thinking about food, and it comes in places that you never had it before.  Don’t fret exercise and a well-balanced diet still can fix this–it just takes more effort and time than before.

Had oily skin when you were a teenager and hated it, don’t worry after menopause dry skin is normal for many women.  Moisturizer becomes their best friend.  There may be a need to switch to all new cosmetics.

The subject of hair is another subject.  Depends on where the hair is or isn’t.  My best advice is to invest in a good magnifying mirror and a pair of tweezers.  Enough about hair that isn’t on the head, but on the face.

Some women even after menopause still have hot flashes.  I know for a fact insomnia can continue on.

There are prescription medications that you can take to help with the symptoms, there are even holistic medications that are available.  It’s up to you and your doctor to decide what course of action that you need to take.  Remember what is good for someone else may not be good for you. Don’t jump into what others do, we are all different.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear” and “yes, there is life after menopause”.  Now jump!  Just look before you leap because no two experiences on this journey of life are the same.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Put On Some Pink For A Great Cause

It’s time to put on your pink and get ready to see some great fashion, participate in great raffles, but most of all get ready to help the women of North Texas get the medical attention they deserve.

“Puttin on the Pink”  is hosted by the Kupferle Health Board of the Texas Health Resources Foundation.  The proceeds from this fashion luncheon helps fund their mobile unit.  This mobile unit is the doctor’s office on wheels that provides much needed service to women who might otherwise not have access to healthcare.

This year’s event is co-chaired by Sharon Crockett and Heather Senter.  These ladies have worked hard to make sure this years event continues the legacy that the volunteers started years ago to raise awareness of the mobile unit so that all women in the North Texas area have the opportunity to get the services they need.

Sharon became involved in the Puttin on the Pink when she learned that her best friend was diagnosed with breast cancer.   She soon realized that almost everyone knew someone who has been affected by some form of cancer.  Realizing that some people don’t know about the medical exam they should take, or they knew but didn’t have resources they needed to attain these services she knew she had to try and make a difference.

At the luncheon many men and women will learn about the services the mobile unit offers–these people will get the information out to many more people.  They will be able to tell that the mobile unit does:

  • Breast Cancer Screening Mammogram
  • Clinical Breast Examination
  • Cervical Cancer Screening
  • Sink Cancer Screening
  • Colon Cancer Screening
  • There is also Prostate Cancer Screening for men

This years’ Puttin on the Pink fashion luncheon will be held at the Fort Worth Convention Center on April 5, starting with a reception at 10:30 with the fashion luncheon at 11:30.

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Put on your Pink for a great cause.

Give The Gift Of Life On Valentine’s Day

February is the month when we get candy, gifts of jewelry and flowers.  All of this is great, heart-health-4but we can get any of these anytime, and if truth be told if we wait until the evening of February 14, we can get them for about half price.

This year whey don’t you and your significant other give each other the gift of life?  February is not only Valentine’s Day, it is American Heart Month /Go Red for Women.  When was the last time either of you had your heart checked?  If it has been a while, here are a few tests to ask your doctor to give you.

  • Waist circumference
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Fasting blood glucose
  • Weight and BMI

Instead of going solo to the doctor for these tests, take your significant other with you, and then accompany them when they have their tests.

The best gifts are not always the most expensive.  They can be the ones that are given from the heart–they can be priceless.

heart-health-2

Remember “thisisyourbestyear”.  Happy Valentine’s Day–give the gift of life.