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DOWNEY - Last Friday's fourth annual Rancho Women's Health Conference was a feast of wonderful healthy aging ideas for women in the community presented by outstanding clinicians from Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center.
In addition to the presentations, the attendees that packed the Rio Hondo Event Center enjoyed meditation, yoga and Zumba to touch their mind, body and spirit.
The conference was presented by the Rancho Research Institute and chaired by renowned Rancho Chair of Medicine Yaga Szlachic, MD. She was ably assisted by Madonna Cavagnaro. Sponsors of the event included Primary Critical Care Medical Group, Rancho Wellness Center and Rio Hondo Event Center.
Some of the highlights included:
*Dr. Stefan Bughi, presenting on "Re-setting the Biological Clock: Influence on Health and Aging":
"Insomnia is a manifestation of stress, and two-thirds of all women have issues with sleeping," he reported.
"Research shows 7-8 hours of sleep per night is ideal for most people. If you are getting substantially less or more, that is generally not good," Dr. Bughi said.
He also said resetting your biological clock is important. "To re-set your biological clock, make sure you are getting a 10 minute sunbath daily between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., he said.
"Pay attention to your personal Circadian rhythms," he added. "People have productive time that comes in 90 to 120-minute intervals all day long and when that interval is complete, it is then best to take a 20 minute break from intense work or focus.
"Ignoring this and powering through all day long can lead to hypertension, stroke, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome," he said.
*Dr. Sylvia Shaw, presenting on "Aging Gracefully and Healthfully":
"Bone health is very important for your overall health, and most people don't realize that age 25 is their peak bone age," she said. "To maintain bone heatlh, great food sources of calcium are Kale, almonds, broccoli and salmon."
Dr. Shaw pointing out that it is important to floss your teeth and gums daily."It will make you look better, smell better, be healthier and live longer," she said. "A frightening array of debris and bacteria hides between your teeth and along your gum lines. Using dental floss is the simplest and most effective way to protect yourself."
She also told the audience about the critical role water plays in overall heatlh. "You should be drinking one ounce of water daily for every two pounds of weight," Dr. Shaw said. "So if you weigh 100 lbs. you should be drinking 50 ounces of water a day. This will help you flush the toxins out and improves the efficiency of your digestive system."
Dr. Shaw also said working your muscles is very important to maintaining good health. "You should be walking 150 minutes a week or dancing or participating in Zumba," she said. To encourage walking, Dr. Shaw gave out pedometers to the participants.
*Dr. Susan Shaw, presenting on "Stroke in Women":
Dr. Shaw pointed out a number of key facts about stroke in women. "More women than men have strokes each year, with women having 425,000 as compared with 370,000 for men." Dr. Shaw explained that a key reason for this is that stoke risk doubles every 10 years after age 55 and that women now live longer than men.
"Stroke kills twice as many American women as breast cancer each year," she said. "In addition, women suffer greater disability after stroke then men."
Dr. Shaw offered seven tips for reducing the incidence of stroke:
1. Keep blood pressure, diabetes, and cholesterol controlled.
2. If you smoke or use illicit drugs, stop.
3. If you take oral contraceptives and smoke, stop smoking.
4. If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation by consuming no more than one drink per day.
5. Include exercise in your daily routine, with 30 minutes of moderate exercise five times per week recommended.
6. Keep a lower sodium (salt) and lower fat diet
7. Do not take aspirin unless physician-advised
*Vidya Venkatesh, C.A.S., P.K.S., presenting on "Ayurvedic Principles for Healthy Aging":
Her wide-ranging presentation included a prescription for a healthy approach to aging, which included the following tips:
* Focus on maintaining good health to enjoy life rather than being fixated on youth
* Make peace with growing older
* Aging is inevitable, so you don't want to be against it, you want to go with it.
* Find a path that brings balance to the body, mind, and spirit and sees aging as life's reward
She also presented seven anti-aging tips for the audience to apply to their lives:
1. Drink enough water to remove toxins, thereby preventing degeneration
2. Practice deep breathing that fills the entire capacity of the lungs for 5-10 minutes each day; proper breathing maintains the system
3. Exercise appropriately for your replenishment: too much exercise depletes your system; too little exercise causes the accumulation of toxins
4. Practice yoga to relax the body and mind and increase flexibility.
5. Minimize stress levels by readily accepting whatever happens
6. Using natural products and avoid synthetics; the body assimilates and absorbs other natural products
7. Practice meditation to bring the focus inward and allow the body to realign and stay calm
The audience also enjoyed a quote from legendary actress Sophia Loren: "There is a Fountain of Youth. It is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of the people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age."
"We were very pleased to bring the women of our community a day of focus on our mind, body and spirit so that we can all stop and think about ways we may age more healthfully and happily," Dr. Szlachcic said. "We thank all our presenters as well as our yoga, meditation and Zumba instructors for making this a very meaningful and enjoyable day for all those who attended."
"We are so thankful to all the wonderful women throughout the community who have given us so much useful feedback and many creative suggestions to make next year's conference even better," she said. "We'll see you again next October at Rio Hondo Event Center with our Fifth Annual Rancho Women's Health Conference!"
Published: Oct. 24, 2013 - Volume 12 - Issue 28