This month’s article written by one of our Retirees’ Health Benefit Reps
FELLOW AND FUTURE MEMBERS MAY 1, 2017
Finally, the Clinic has become a reality. The South East Clinic was opened on May 1st. for our Fire and Police Retirees and their Dependents.
We encourage all our members to visit the new clinic. Make an appointment to get your physical. It doesn’t have to be a one year physical. You can have more physical exams if you think you need them.
During my physical exam one item that I found very helpful was an explanation of the vitamins I was taking. Doctor J, as he is known, explained to me that all I needed was one fish oil soft gel, one a day multivitamin and one baby aspirin per day. This is a far cry from the ten different vitamins I was taking. I caution you though not to stop taking your vitamins until you talk to a doctor.
Let’s remember that the Clinic is not a walk in emergency service. If you want a physical exam be sure to call the Clinic to set up an appointment. If you have an ailment that needs the attention of a doctor call the Clinic and see when is the earliest opportunity you can see a doctor. In case you need a doctor right away you may have to go to an emergency clinic or a hospital. I have called the Clinic several times asking to see a doctor right away for an illness and have been told to come in the same day at a particular hour or the next day at the latest.
The Claims Form that is sent to each member has to be in the file of the member if benefits are to be paid. Remember, when you sign the Claims Form you are attesting to the fullness and correctness of the information on the form. There have been instants where the information is not correct or has been omitted. This has led to substantial amounts of money that the member has become responsible for.
If you don’t know the answer to a question on the form you can call the Health Fund office and talk to a staff member. They will be glad to answer your questions and help fill in the correct answers in the Claims Form.
On another subject let’s ask the following question;
What is a good exercise plan for a middle-aged person who is out of shape and doesn't like exercise? The answer is, "Physiologically and logistically, walking is the easiest and simplest form of exercise. This is according to Dr. Michael Joyner, a physiologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Thirty minutes a day of moderately vigorous physical activity most days is really the sweet spot in terms of time versus benefit. "Moderately vigorous" means a pace at which you can talk to a companion but you're puffing too much to sing. All you need are some comfortable sneakers and they don't have to be new or expensive.
The kicker, my dear members, especially for the ones that don't like exercise, is that the thirty minutes do not have to be finished in one chunk. According to Dr. Joyner, for certain groups of people, it's more effective to walk for 10 minutes briskly three times a day than if they walked briskly once a day for half an hour. It has also been found that a good brisk walk just before lunch or dinner causes your body to digest the food faster and more efficiently.
A little strength training is also a key. It prevents frailty as we get older. You can use weights, elastic bands or even your own body as in: push-ups and squats in your living room. You can start with one push-up if that's all you can do. The next day you might be able to do two. Remember the motto: "never do less today than you did yesterday."
Studies have shown arthritic knee pain showed a 23% reduction after following a three-day-a-week strength training for eight weeks. I can personally attest to the advantages of knee strengthening exercise. I was advised to get a knee replacement about five years ago. I started concentrating on doing leg exercises with weights. Most of my knee pain is gone and I still do my long distance walks seven days a week.
An increase of motion and flexibility was also noted by strength training. Another advantage of strength training is that it burns calories, even when at rest.
As we age, women will lose up to 59% of their bone tissue in their lifetime, especially within 10 years after menopause. At age 65 or 70 men start losing bone mass at the same rate as women. Exercise with weights can help slow that loss and increase bone density.
We as retirees should not expect physical exercises to build muscles and take away all our pains overnight. This is something we should do for the rest of our lives. You will not see results in one week. You have to determine to do your exercise seven days a week. If you miss one day, the second day will be a lot easier to miss and then the third. You'll be back where you started before you know it.
Please believe me when I tell you that if you keep doing your exercise you will reach a point where your body will not let you miss one day of your daily exercises. Good luck and be sure to start today.