8 HealtHy eating By Lea Stening, Dietitian If we want to enjoy the company of friends and family as we get older, then it is important that we look after their health, as well as our own, as we age. We can do this by not only serving them less alcohol and more healthy foods at our parties and gatherings this Christmas, but also by giving those we love gifts that promote better health. Tips for healthier giving FooD giFtS Instead of always giving boxes of chocolates, shortbread, cakes or truffles that can be very high in saturated fat and energy, why not try something new this year? While lowering cholesterol levels, and reducing weight and the risk of diabetes usually comes down to how much of these foods we have, the following ideas may certainly head you and your friends in a healthier direction: • Halve the number of mini Christmas mince pies you usually give, bundle them up in cellophane and bulk up the parcel with cherries. • Turkish delight or licorice • Dried fruits or combination of dried fruits, nuts and seeds (unsalted) • A basket of fresh seasonal fruit • A basket of cherries • A mixed basket of anti pasta foods such as jars of sun-dried tomatoes, gherkins, pickled onions, tinned oysters, salmon, fruit paste and fruit logs • If you want a cheese theme, choose feta, Camembert or Brie, but you could also add a variety of hummus or pestos. • Try a seafood basket such as canned oysters, mussels, tuna, salmon, crabmeat and shrimps, complete with a lemon or two. • Bottles of avocado or olive oil – you can get these now spiked with flavours such as orange, lemon and lime. Here’S TO a HeaLTHIer happy Christmas • A variety of mustards, onion marmalades, pickles or relish to accompany meat or vegetable dishes • A variety of herbal teas or a selection of coffee beans • Replace the crisps with toasts, pumpernickel bread or whole wheat crackers. • A selection of tomato sauces or oil-based dressings FitneSS iDeaS To encourage people to get fitter you could give the following: • A gym membership or membership to a sports club • A basket containing a drink bottle, gym towel, pedometer, sports toiletries e.g. deodorant, sunscreen or flowing soap • Sports gear e.g. rackets, balls, hula hoops, swing ball, golf balls, golf towels, roller blades, swimming goggles, knee or elbow protectors etc. • Sports clothing, sun hats and sun visors, beach bags and towels, vouchers for sports shops • Lessons for golf, tennis, squash, horse riding, cycling, swimming, coaching in athletics, rugby or netball. PamPering treatS Busy people often need to just re-connect with their bodies, to value the bits that still work and to de-stress and look after their mental health. Gift ideas could include: • Facials, pedicures, massages, nail treatments, spa treatments • Baskets of skincare products • Vouchers to their favourite hairdresser • Magazine subscriptions and coffee vouchers • Dinner for two and a night away • Service vouchers so they can save time and energy; they might cover jobs such as babysitting, house and car cleaning, dry cleaning, lawn and garden maintenance. giFtS to heLP the LeSS Fortunate If your family or friends feel fortunate this Christmas and would like to give a gift that benefits the less fortunate you might also like to donate to Oxfam. In this way your generosity can benefit the health and lives of others in developing countries. Here are some examples of what your donation can give to those less fortunate: • A pair of chickens $15 • A goat $47 • Clean water for 25 people $45 • Food hamper $28 • Christmas honey bees $21 • A pig $40 • Build a toilet $50 • Solar energy $58 Visit www.oxfam.org.nz for more details. Also don’t forget the City Mission this Christmas. Their food bank works hard to give Christmas dinner to the needy and food parcels to those less fortunate not only at Christmas but all year round. 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health 9 Parkinson’s is a condition that affects more than 13,000 New Zealand. One per cent of Kiwi adults over the age of 60 have the disease, but it can affect anyone of any age. However, while there are no known cures, and drugs treat only some of the issues, exercise and movement have been shown to significantly improve the lives of those who have Parkinson’s, ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie says. “What’s important is that exercise needs intensity and also a cognitive function – engaging the mind and the body – to have the best effects. So, things such as dancing, or workouts with certain types of agility components, can be the most effective,” Mr Beddie says. “People with Parkinson’s should get good advice, work with their doctor or physio, and then an exercise professional that has specialist training. Starting exercise early after diagnosis is key for the best outcomes. “Parkinson’s is a progressive, neurological disease, with no cure. Symptoms and progression can be managed, as exercise helps,” he says. Regular exercise can improve lives for people with Parkinson’s “Even 20 minutes a day of gentle exercise can help people. Exercise increases the body’s response to dopamine cells in the brain, thus slowing the progression of the disease in some people, and helping to manage the symptoms in others.” Symptoms of Parkinson’s include lack of balance, tremors, stiffness or rigidity, and slowness of movement known as bradykinesia. “Balance exercises assist with reducing falls,” Mr Beddie says. “People with Parkinson’s are at greater risk of falls. Exercise activities such as walking or dancing are steps in the right direction for people living with Parkinson’s disease.” Note: There is no cure but there is a range of treatments for Parkinson’s diesease. Scientists and researchers agree patients benefit from physical therapy. While Parkinson’s itself is not considered fatal, people can die from complications of the disease. Pensioners amazed by new hearing aids Hearing aids have historically been something most people have avoided for as long as possible. On average, a person experiencing hearing difficulties will delay seeking help in this regard for over seven years. Imagine enduring any other medical complaint for so long! In New Zealand, one in six people have some degree of hearing difficulty. Over the age of 60, more than half the population are living with a significant hearing reduction. As the main first sign of this is a drop in speech clarity, it can easily be blamed on other people not speaking properly, the TV sound being unclear, or just too much social noise causing the problem. A leading Danish hearing aid manufacturer has just launched a brand-new range of instruments that are amazing pensioners with hearing difficulties around the world. These incredibly discreet devices are so comfortable, you can forget you are wearing them. Hear Again, the newly opened hearing clinic at The Hub, Hornby, have been fitting these devices to their many very satisfied clients with huge success. Nick D. aged 78, describes his experience. “I was reluctant to have my hearing tested as I really didn’t want to get hearing aids,” he says. “It was only when my granddaughter said she was concerned that I was missing out on family fun that I thought I should check it out. We have a big family and when they all get together, it becomes too noisy for me. I just take myself off into another room.” Nick had a FREE hearing check at Hear Again, which confirmed he had a reduction in his hearing causing social noise to be a problem for him. After being provided with a pair of the new hearing aids he cannot believe the difference. “It’s just like I’ve got my ears back again. Nobody can see I’ve got the hearing aids in and they feel so comfortable, I forget they are there!” says Nick, “I can hear so clearly now, the kids can’t get away with anything! The whole family are so pleased!” Neil Hardisty, NZAS Audiometrist, sees results like these every day at Hear Again. Neil has been expertly overcoming hearing difficulties for residents of Christchurch since moving here from the UK in 2009. He is frequently praised for his limitless patience, wonderful caring nature and ability to solve problems other clinicians have deemed impossible. Neil is never satisfied until you are. His expertise coupled with this very latest technology makes for a winning combination. Hear Again offer FREE no-obligation initial hearing assessments. If you, or any of your loved ones have noticed any difficulties with your hearing, this can be quickly and painlessly checked for you at The Hub, 418 Main South Road, Hornby. If you already have hearing aids from any manufacturer, we will give them a FREE 5 star service for you to ensure they are in tip-top condition. Call 03 974 1658. We look forward to delighting you with our service and help you to rejoin the conversation.