About Jason Lewis

Jason Lewis is a personal trainer, and in 2002 he became the primary caretaker for his mother after her surgery. During this time he realized there is a special need for trainers that can assist the seniors in our community. Jason worked with his mother’s doctor, as well as other personal trainers, to create programs that are considerate to the special health needs of those over the age of 65.

Thrifty Tips for Losing Weight so You Can Enjoy Better Health

Culturally, when we talk about losing weight, we usually do so with an eye toward how we look. However, reducing the amount of fat on your body also offers a number of other benefits, like better sleep quality and better general health. If it’s time for you to shed some excess weight, here’s how to do it without going through too much work or too much expense.   Work in a Workout Chances are, you’re well aware that one of the keys to weight loss can be exercising. Many people don’t exercise though because they think of it as something they don’t enjoy. They see it as too much work, too much discomfort, or just plain ineffective. Yet, Live Science notes that even short workouts can be effective in your weight-loss program — and you can do something you enjoy! If traditional options like jogging, cycling, or yoga don’t appeal to you, think about martial arts, volleyball, or indoor climbing. There are plenty of ways to get your workout in without investing in a costly gym membership; for example, put on a playlist and work on your dance moves, do some yard work for exercise, or download some free fitness apps that coach you on good choices and workout routines. To keep yourself comfortable, you should always dress appropriately for whatever activity you choose. For instance, for most sports, you’ll want supportive, good-fitting athletic shoes, stretchy outer clothing, and appropriate undergarments. If you need to invest in some new pieces, you don’t need to spend a bundle there, either. Retailers like Old Navy offer activewear, you can shop online for their sales, and you can even pick up an Old Navy coupon or promo code to help you save even more money on your purchases.   Examine Eating Habits The other obvious key to dropping unwanted pounds and inches is consuming fewer calories. Keep in mind, however, that we aren’t suggesting you should eat less food; that’s not the same thing as consuming fewer calories. In fact, if you play your cards right, you might even be able to eat more on your weight-loss journey — or eat less and feel satisfied. As Woman’s Day explains, there are some foods that work as appetite suppressants. Eggs, beans, avocados, and Greek yogurt are just a few foods that make you feel full, so you’ll need less food to be satisfied. There are several reasons for this. Foods with the right types of fat, protein, and/or fiber are the key, and with some foods, like avocados, you get more than one of those magical nutritional components. Since they are more nutrition-dense and lower calorie than unhealthier options like processed or fast food, you can often consume larger quantities. Another way to produce that fantastic full feeling is with soups. By making soups with healthy sources of fat, protein, and fiber, you get the whole package, all in your bowl. On top of that, soups are ultra-convenient. You [...]

2020-04-02T12:26:34-07:00 By |

What Are Some of the Biggest Stressors Seniors Face Regarding Health and Aging?

We all have stressors at each stage of life. For young adults, it might be wondering how to deal with the bad eating habits we formed as teens that finally catch up to us. For adults, it could be dealing with stress at work and at home that culminates in a lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and a constant state of stress. Seniors have stressors too. Sure, you’re retired and have freedom, but you also deal with your fair share of worries.   Being Unable to Sleep At the end of the day, you’re excited to crawl into bed and relax, but once you get there you find that you can’t fall asleep. U.S.News explains there are several remedies that might help such as switching to a healthier lifestyle (i.e. exercising, drinking less coffee, quitting smoking), resisting the urge to sleep in the recliner, using the bedroom for sleep only, and making your room more conducive to sleep by darkening the room and blocking out noise. Chronic back pain is a common sleep culprit for seniors as well, and an older mattress can contribute to discomfort. A new mattress is a logical solution, and as you shop around, a brand and model built for your sleep style should be at the forefront of your decision. You want something that provides proper alignment throughout the night. For example, the Purple mattress is best for side sleepers, Loom & Leaf has a nice cradling effect, and the WinkBed is best for those needing extra spinal support. Don’t be scared to try one of these bed-in-a-box options either; most companies offer great return policies and free shipping.   Not Getting the Right Nutrition Your body changes as you age, and according to Everyday Health, that includes your nutritional needs. You need to add extra calcium to protect bone health, more protein to keep your energy up, and boost roughage for a healthy gut. How can you accomplish this? Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables and the other half with whole grains and protein. To make eating healthy a little more fun, consider starting your own garden. Doing so provides a nutritional boost and low impact exercise. Additionally, vitamin D from the sun promotes bone health by increasing calcium absorption, and it has been shown to lower your risk for certain age-related diseases such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. You can make gardening easier by using raised or vertical beds, minimizing bending. Of course, even with back- and joint-friendly solutions, gardening isn’t for everyone. If you’d prefer the grocery store or the farmer’s market, make a shopping list so you aren’t tempted to stray too far.   Loss of Independence One of the most difficult aspects of getting older is the loss of independence that may or may not come with it. Some of us have no issue at all other than moving a little slower, while some have mobility and/or mental health [...]

2020-03-02T18:09:58-08:00 By |

Senior Wellness: How Preventive Care and Technology Can Help Keep You Healthy

Age is the primary risk factor for cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and a variety of other illnesses. However, just because you are getting older doesn't mean you can't take steps to stay as healthy as possible. With preventive care, technology, and healthy habits, you can increase longevity, improve immunity, and lower the risks of contracting a number of diseases.   Preventive Care As you age, annual physicals and preventive screenings become more and more important. You need to catch cancer and other diseases early for the best chances of recovery. When it's time to renew your health insurance, compare Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage plans to figure out the best choice for you. The Medicare Open Enrollment period runs from October 15 through December 7 each year. During this time period, you can switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan (and vice versa). You can also change from one Medicare Advantage plan to another, as well as add or switch your Medicare Part D plan (prescription drug coverage). Medicare Advantage plans are legally required to cover everything covered by Original Medicare, plus many offer other benefits such as dental, hearing, and vision care, as well as prescription drug coverage, wellness programs, and gym memberships. Compare the premiums, copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles of various plans, as well as the list of benefits, to determine which plan will meet your needs.   Daily Exercise Exercise is vital for people of all ages since it can benefit your blood pressure, sleep habits, and all other areas of life. One way to track your physical activity level is by using smartphone apps. If you'd like to upgrade your current phone, look for a new phone that has the capacity to run a variety of apps. The Samsung Galaxy S10 is a top choice with its high processing speed, durable Gorilla Glass, and super quick wireless charging capability. If you are more of an Apple fan, then check out the new iPhone 11 Pro Max, which has an amazing triple camera system and fingerprint-resistant glass. In addition to having a great smartphone, you should also look into getting an unlimited data plan so you can use your new phone as much as you’d like. Some of our favorite exercise apps for seniors include: Johnson & Johnson's 7 Minute Workout - This app is great if you are on a time crunch and want to get in a quick but effective Runkeeper - This app tracks your speed, distance, and routes with GPS, whether you are hiking, biking, or training for a marathon. Instant Heart Rate - This app allows you to monitor your heart rate accurately and easily by putting the tip of your finger on the camera lens.   Healthy Eating Exercise isn’t enough to stay healthy. You also need to eat well. According to reports by the World Health Organization (WHO), a majority of the diseases that older people suffer from are the result [...]

2019-11-07T16:35:53-08:00 By |

Exercise and Falls: How Working Out Can Save a Senior’s Life

Falls are Deadly for Seniors While heart disease is the number one killer in the world, falls are the leading cause of death and injury for older adults in the United States. When a senior falls, they risk lacerations, bone fractures, and head traumas. Once they have a serious injury like that, it doesn’t take long for other health issues to snowball and leave lasting damage on the person’s body. Even if the fall doesn’t take their life, it can lead to mobility issues and continued care needs that can significantly impact a senior’s mental health. The best course of action is to do whatever is possible to prevent falls for older adults. Vertigo from medications can often play a roll, so always review your medicine’s side effects, and have your doctor replace ones that cause dizziness or drowsiness. Evaluate your environment. It may behoove you to remove trip hazards like rugs, ottomans, and coffee tables in rooms with a lot of traffic. Open up curtains and let more natural light in, and consider adding more lamps and lights to rooms without windows. Seniors should have their vision tested at least once a year and report to their optometrists if they find their eyesight growing weaker or often experience blurry vision. Dress comfortably and choose shoes that are supportive and provide good friction.   Exercise as Fall Prevention One fall prevention method that often gets overlooked is regular exercise. Many people assume that because the body is less mobile than when it was young, they can’t participate in sports or work out at the gym. The truth is, exercise has a whole slew of benefits for seniors. Working out regularly helps reduce the risk of developing certain diseases. Combined with a healthy diet,  it is a great way to control weight. Exercise is also really beneficial for mental health. It relieves stress and reduces anxiety. When you exercise, your brain also gets a surge of feel-good neurotransmitters that promote feelings of positivity. Working out can also help prevent overall cognitive decline -- something seniors can really benefit from. When it comes to exercises for seniors, it’s important not to push the limits too much. The best exercises are low impact for a reduced risk of injury. Keeping the workouts indoors is also a good idea. While there are benefits to exercising outdoors, when limiting oneself to the indoors, seniors have easier and quicker access to medical help if needed.   Cardio Exercises for Seniors Cardio exercises improve respiration, heart health, and immunity. An easy cardio workout for seniors to pick up is swimming. Swimming is gentle on the joints and very soothing. It doesn’t have to be done at any certain speed, and most seniors have access to a pool within their community. You can also use cardio equipment like treadmills, stationary bikes, or elliptical trainers that allow you to control the intensity of your workout while tracking progress.   Balance Exercises for Seniors Balance [...]

2019-08-06T17:41:08-07:00 By |

How to Make Healthy Habits Stick

You cut out sugar one month, only to find yourself snacking on donuts the next. You decide to work out every morning, which then becomes every other morning, then once a week and then finally not at all. You plan on meditating for 20 minutes, but your boss keeps calling, so you settle for ten. That turns into a few moments of deep breathing every once in a while. Does this—or something like it—sound familiar? If the answer is yes, you’re in good company. When it comes to making New Year’s resolutions, 80 percent of them fail by February. Why is it so hard to stick to our great healthy expectations? We know it’s good for us and in our best interests, but we struggle to make these healthy habits stick. One of the most effective ways to start and sustain healthy habits is to add them into your existing routine, instead of making drastic and dramatic changes. This is especially powerful for busy people with packed calendars, such as working parents, focused college students, driven professionals, jet set travelers and social butterflies. It’s hard to keep these changes going if they halt or impede your lifestyle. That’s why, when trying to make healthy habits stick, you should explore:   15-minute activities that can be squeezed into any schedule. You may have to wake up a little earlier or multitask on a few projects to carve out the time, but 15 minutes a day for some deep breathing, quick cardio or relaxing self-care is easier to sustain than trying to block out an hour or more. Plus, if you miss your 15-minute cardio session in the morning, it’s not like your whole exercise plan for the day is ruined. You can squeeze it in during lunch or at night.   Planning ahead for vacations and other routine disruptions that might tempt you to skip a run or eat pizza every night. Stay at a vacation rental instead of a hotel, so you have access to a full kitchen where you can prepare healthy meals. Unlike hotels, these types of homes are often in neighborhoods, making it easier to take a jog or brisk walk before you get the day started. Even if you are planning a staycation, a vacation rental can help you escape the daily grind and see the city like you never have before. Turnkey notes that you can choose a neighborhood that’s close to attractions and activities you want to see and do, whether you want to stay by the beach in Malibu, dine in Koreatown, or explore another L.A. neighborhood.   Meal prep recipes that give you access to wholesome, healthy foods when you’re in a hurry. All too often, we pull into the drive-thru because we’re behind in our schedule. Devote a rainy afternoon to chopping, dicing, roasting, baking and storing meals and snacks that only require a quick reheat to enjoy. You can get the whole family involved by [...]

2019-06-11T17:15:30-07:00 By |

The 5 Best Simple Self-Care Habits for Your Mental Health

When you think of self-care, you may think of yoga and similar practices that help heal your body. Self-care, however, can also help heal your mind. In fact, the most basic self-care practices you can start all play a role in managing your mental health. From eating healthy foods for your mind to finding ways to relieve tension,  here are five self-care steps that provide some serious mental health benefits.   Establish Better Eating Habits We all know that the food we eat has a huge impact on our bodies. What many people do not realize, however, is how much food can also affect our mental health. Just like your body, your brain needs fuel to function. Cleaner, more natural diets, like the Mediterranean Diet, can lead to lower levels of depression and anxiety, according to research. But, to take better care of your brain, you just need to be sure to feed it with whole, healthy foods. Using a meal or grocery delivery service in your local area is the perfect way to fuel your brain—even when your schedule is busy. These options also tend to offer low-calorie meals and snacks, making eating right that much easier. And many of these services are inexpensive; meals can cost as little as $7.99.   Don’t Feel Bad About Saying “No” One of the most effective forms of self-care can also be the hardest: saying “no.” In many circumstances, your mental health may depend on you being able to say this little word. We tend to allow our lives to be driven by commitment, but too much can leave you overstressed. Saving space for activities you truly value is not selfish; it’s self-care in its most basic form. Often, the hardest people to say “no” to are friends and family members. We all have that friend who tends to ask too much or a relative who seems to always need cash. Learning how to say “no” to family and friends, without burning bridges, can go a long way in helping you manage your mental health.   Master Your Sleep Routine Sleep is another important self-care step that too many adults tend to overlook. The  relationship between sleep and mental illness is cyclical. If you are sleep deprived, you are putting yourself at risk for developing some serious mental health issues. On the other hand, if you are dealing with mental health issues already, like anxiety or depression, you may find it difficult to get to sleep at all. Your brain needs rest to function properly, so make sure you use self-care tips that will enhance your sleep. Pick up a book before bedtime to calm anxiety or spend some time in the sun during the day to boost serotonin levels.   Minimize Your Stress Mental health and stress go hand-in-hand, and a lot of stress can come from our jobs.  One study even found that stressed out workers tend to have higher instances of mental health issues. [...]

2019-05-14T11:09:21-07:00 By |

4 Things Seniors and Caregivers Should Know About Yoga and Meditation

Caregivers and seniors are exposed to so much unique stress in their everyday lives. So, it makes sense that you need similarly unique ways to relieve that tension. Yoga and meditation can be the self-care combo that melts away that stress. Here are some reasons and tips for getting your own practice started.   Yoga Benefits Your Gut as Much as Your Mind  For caregivers and seniors, the primary purpose of meditation and yoga practice is improved mental health. If you get started with yoga, however, you may also be boosting your gut. The flow and work you do through yoga practices can actually encourage healthy processes throughout your digestive system, and that regular movement can help those healthy gut bacteria thrive too. As an added benefit, balancing out your microbiome can also help balance out your mood. So yoga really can be good for your body and brain in many different ways. But if you really want to promote a healthy gut and digestive system, adding fermented foods like yogurt is another way to up the ante. Try a refreshing smoothie that includes yogurt for a pre-yoga workout snack or even a healthy breakfast.   A Home Practice Space Can Enhance Your Habits  Ask any seasoned yogi and they will tell you one of the biggest challenges of practicing is actually stepping onto your mat. It’s important to practice regularly to really get yourself into the habit of using yoga and meditation so you can derive the full benefits. One way to encourage your practice is to dedicate a space in your home. All you need for a relaxing space is an area to stretch out and some basic supplies, like a mat, a block and a full-length mirror. Those items won’t take up too much space, but it’s still a good idea to clear away any clutter.  Consider this the perfect opportunity to remove items that are taking up both emotional and physical space. Give yourself time to decide by transferring anything you don’t need to a storage unit (a 5’x10’ unit rents for only $109 a month at Storage Etc-Los Feliz). Whether it’s temporary or long-term, having that extra space can make a difference for your mental well-being.   Morning Meditations May Provide More Benefits  Setting up a dedicated meditation and yoga space is a wonderful first step to encouraging a regular practice. Finding the time to practice, however, can be a challenge for seniors and busy caregivers. One method for making your meditation habit stick is to practice in the morning. By meditating as soon as you wake up, not only are you getting it out of the way, but you’re also setting the tone and mood for the day. If you tend to have a hard time remembering to wake up and meditate, you can also use a handy meditation app to set reminders. The guided meditation that apps like Headspace and Insight timer provide are helpful for caregivers who [...]

2019-03-26T19:25:27-07:00 By |

3 Ways to Prevent Senior Isolation

Social isolation in seniors is a lot more common than we’d like to think. Our families are more spread out than they used to be, and with the life expectancy growing longer and longer, surviving spouses go longer stretches on their own. Not only is isolation impacting a senior’s emotional well-being, but it has physical ramifications, as well. If you or a loved one are dealing with loneliness and isolation, life can start to feel meaningless — but nothing could be further from the truth. Making even one change isn’t easy, but it can have a profoundly positive impact on your life. If you’re looking to take control of your physical and mental health, here are a few ideas to try out today.   Join an Exercise Class for a Better Mood When it comes to social isolation, making fitness a priority benefits mental health in addition to physical health. Working out boosts your production of endorphins, the neurotransmitters that make you feel good and help you manage stress. Plus, joining classes offered by the fitness coverage in your Medicare Advantage plan gives you the chance to work out with other seniors. That means you’re building a community and making friends with people who understand where you are in life. Aetna offers Medicare Advantage plans that cover free gym memberships, along with other areas Medicare misses, like dental and vision.   Take a Walk with a Loving Companion Animal Some seniors hesitate to own a pet, wondering who would care for them if something happened. While that is a valid concern (and one that should be addressed before getting a dog or cat), there are so many benefits to pet ownership that seniors should also consider. First, getting a dog or cat provides you with some loving company, which many doctors say can keep depression and anxiety at bay. The simple act of petting an animal has been shown to lower blood pressure. Plus, playing with your pet and taking them for walks can keep both of you active. On top of that, taking a dog to an off-leash park or to a training class lets you interact with other people who love their pup as much as you do.   Volunteer for a Cause You Believe In Some seniors report that living alone doesn’t just make them feel depressed, but it also makes their lives feel somewhat meaningless. You’ve worked or raised a family (or both), and now that those two major roles are over, it’s hard to know what your purpose is. That’s where volunteering can make a big impact on your physical and mental well-being. Giving back is one of the most cherished purposes we have in life. Knowing someone is relying on your generosity and compassion can be even more meaningful than other roles you’ve held. Not only does volunteering combat social isolation — by getting out into the community to meet and work with new people — but it can [...]

2019-03-07T20:18:06-08:00 By |