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Wed, Feb 27 12:00pm · Eat Smart in Charter House

Eat smart


Trying to implement healthier eating habits can be overwhelming. The onslaught of commercials promoting supplements and attempting to read food labels can be confusing. What should you do? Eat whole foods and be mindful of portion sizes. Whole foods are as close to their natural form as possible. They contain the micronutrients your body needs for good health. Whole foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, provide dietary fiber which can help prevent health issues such as Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Expert Insight

“Being mindful about what you eat is one of the most beneficial lifestyle choices you can make as you live with a chronic condition. Focus on making a few changes to the amount, type and frequency of the food you eat. Make subtle changes one at a time, even if it is just to cut your dessert in half or to opt for a healthier alternative. The key is to start somewhere rather than or trying to do too many things at once. Then practice it until it becomes a habit. Focus on having a mindset that this is what I am doing for my health.” – Maria Collazo-Clavell, M.D., Professor of Medicine in the Department Internal Medicine and Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Take Action Now

  • Snack Smart. Keep vegetables washed and cut in your refrigerator for quick snacks. Keep fruit in a bowl in your kitchen so that you’ll remember to eat it.
  • Choose vegetables. Focus on recipes that have vegetables or fruits as the main ingredients, such as vegetable stir-fry or fresh fruit mixed into salads.
  • Explore seasonings. Salt isn’t your only option. Brighten flavors with freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice. Use balsamic or wine vinegars. Add some heat with fresh hot peppers or red pepper flakes.
  • Plan Your Plate. Pick up a free copy of the Mayo Clinic Patient Education pamphlet Eat Well: Use The Plate Method from the Patient Education Center, Siebens building, subway level.

Check out this Mayo Clinic Connect thread to share healthy eating tips and recipes and learn what others have found helpful in their healthy eating journey!

Tue, Jan 1 10:00am · Move More in Charter House

Strategy 1 - Move More


Start off your New Year with movement! Most people think of planned exercise as their sole focus for their fitness regimen. The word “exercise” is often thought of as working out in a gym or taking a formal class. Others focus on walking 10,000 steps per day. Yet physical activity does not have to be limited to traditional exercise. Any physical activity that gets you up and moving is important to improving your health. This type of activity has a clever acronym: NEAT. This term was coined at Mayo Clinic, and stands for non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). This includes activities like housecleaning, gardening, playing with grandkids, and washing your car.

Expert Insight

“There is no magic bullet to healthy aging, but research shows there is a multi-factorial process impacting how well you will age. One critical element to evaluate in your lifestyle is your activity level. Physical activity increases your chances of living well. When combined with a good diet, you will do even better as you age. Engaging in physical activity improves your brain function for memory and executive function. It is important to sit less and move more. You need to do more than just walk 10 minutes. Even if you have orthopedic conditions or other medical challenges, you can find opportunities to add movement into your day. Ideally you should move about at least once an hour. If you ever needed a reason to increase your level of physical activity, here it is: those who engage in a lot of physical activity decrease their risk of dementia.” – Warren G. Thompson, M.D., Internal Medicine specialist and Chair of the Residency Accreditation Committee, Division of Preventive, Occupational and Aerospace Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Take Action Now

  • Train smart. Partner with a fitness professional at your local fitness center to help you engage in proper techniques.
  • Track your movement. Use a pedometer or an activity monitor (Fitbit, Gruve, etc.) to track your total daily movement. Some folks find this helpful in reaching their daily goals.
  • Try a video. To help you get started, get a free copy of the Mayo Clinic Patient Education videos Mindful Movements: Gentle Yoga and Gentle Movements Tai Chi Qigong.


What is your favorite form of physical activity? Is there an activity you would like to incorporate in 2019?

Dec 14, 2018 · Parkside Art Gallery in Charter House

Join us for the exhibit opening of Legacy by local artists Teaki Garcia and Simon Huelsbeck.  Enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres along with live music by pianist Marilyn Carriere.  The gallery talk will be at 5:15pm.  This event is free and open to the public!

Dec 1, 2018 · Stay Connected in Charter House

connecte (2)

Especially around the holidays, we think more and more about being connected with friends and family.  But did you know that staying connected to the world around you is vital for healthy aging? Being socially connected enhances your quality of life by providing avenues for meaning and purpose.

Expert Insight

“Many people approach aging as if it is a battle to be fought. Those with the best chance of winning this battle are those who remain engaged with others. Connecting with other people provides you with many opportunities to stimulate your brain through conversation and learning and having a sense of purpose. Share meals, play cards, volunteer, or do crafts with others. Enjoy time with your grandchildren or travel to a place you have always wanted to visit. You can still remain active, have a sense of purpose, and enjoy life even if you are moving a little slower.” – Kerry D. Olsen, M.D., Professor of Otolaryngology and Past Medical Director of the Dan Abraham Health Living Center at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Take Action Now

  • Reach out. Call one or two friends you have not seen in a while and catch up. Better yet, go out to lunch or dinner to engage face-to-face.
  • Use technology. Connect with your family and friends virtually via tools like Facebook, Skype, Instagram, blogs or forums like Mayo Clinic Connect.
  • Volunteer. Find a local non-profit that you admire and volunteer with them. Make an effort to get to know one or two others who volunteer with the group too.
  • Try a new wellness class. Challenge yourself to experience a new wellness offering. Find another person you can attend with, or attend on your own to meet new people with similar interests.
  • Plan ahead. Make your transitions easier by giving yourself adequate time to adjust to new goals or changes in your living environment.

Make new social connections in Mayo Clinic Connect Groups. Share your health goals, experiences, ask questions and find support from people like you.

Sep 18, 2018 · Parkside Art Gallery in Charter House

Join us in our Parkside Gallery for the art exhibit opening of local artists Joan McLain and Mary Ayshford. Enjoy this free event located at Charter House with wine, hors d’oeuvres, a gallery talk, and music provide by the Margaret and Susan Shepard Duo.

Sep 1, 2018 · Sleep Well in Charter House

Pic 5 - Sleep Well

Getting a good night’s sleep is often one of life’s most elusive challenge s as we age. Insomnia becomes common because of changes in sleep patterns and health. Whatever your reason for sleep loss, insomnia can affect you both mentally and physically. Finding ways to improve your ability to sleep is as essential to aging well as a healthy diet and regular exercise.

Expert Insight

“Most people sleep less deeply and for a shorter time as they grow older. These are normal changes associated with aging. While there are many medical disorders that can impair your capacity for sleep, there are often things you can control to improve your ability to sleep. If pain or anxiety are disturbing your sleep, your physician may be able to suggest treatment options. Create a quiet environment that maximizes your ability to rest. Focus on relaxing before you go to bed. Set your room temperature to a comfortable level.” – Michael H. Silber, M.B., Ch.B., Professor of Neurology and consultant, Mayo Clinic Center for Sleep Medicine at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Take Action Now

  • Watch what you eat and drink. Avoid large meals and beverages before bed to. Drink less before bedtime so you won’t have to get up to use the bathroom as often.
  • Update your understanding. Pick up a free copy of the Mayo Clinic video on The Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep from the Patient Education Center, Siebens Building, Subway Level.
  • Connect with others. Follow the Sleep Health group on Mayo Clinic Connect. Ask questions, find solutions, and set goals with people like you.

Jul 10, 2018 · Move More in Charter House

Good for you, @alpaca! Several of our residents have found Tai Chi to be a useful, low-impact, full-body exercise.

How often do you walk and garden?

Jul 1, 2018 · Move More in Charter House

People today are tolder couple on a golf courseaking a more proactive approach to managing how their health evolves as they age. This is significant as there is a growing body of evidence on how lifestyle impacts our health over the long term. Much of the deterioration associated with aging can actually be attributed to living a sedentary lifestyle rather than aging itself. Research shows physical activity and exercise is “preventive medicine” as they can prevent or reduce many age-related issues.

Expert Insight

“Over the last decade, evidence has grown faster than iPhone sales that sitting all day is lethal. Furthermore, sedentariness connects to sluggish brain function. The true cost of the sitting disease is even greater than the litany of medical illnesses: Diabetes, heart disease and back pain. Get up, stimulate your mind and activate your body!” – James A. Levin, MD, Ph.D., Professor of Medicine at Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, Arizona and Co-director of Obesity Solutions, a collaboration between Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University.

Take Action Now

  • Incorporate movement into your day. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it, every day. Try walking outside. Clean your home. Take a yoga or tai chi class.
  • Track your movement. Use a pedometer or an activity monitor (Fitbit, Gruve, etc.) to track your total daily movement. Try to increase your daily total to reach your goal.