Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Energetic at 89, Expert Credits Proper Posture

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Energetic at 89, Expert Credits Proper Posture

Article excerpt

I've been corresponding by email recently with Helen Fleder, an admirable 89-year-old Sarasotan, former dancer and posture expert who wrote the book on "Proper Form."

Five years ago she was featured in a Health+Fitness article that made me sit up and pay attention when I read it. Now, she reports, she is "still well and energetic," caring for her husband full- time, "and living in a retirement home where I see almost all the residents bent over as they walk with their walkers!"

I asked Helen how she maintained sufficient energy to be a 24- hour-a-day caregiver. Here is her reply:

"Daily posture does influence our energy level. When slouching, our ribcage narrows, our intake of oxygen is limited, blood circulation is compromised and we fatigue more easily. You rarely see someone with poor posture who is energetic!

"Maybe that's why I believe an uplifted posture to be the ultimate miracle exercise! Watching TV, texting or working at the computer encourages a slouching posture -- and as we form habits, habits form us!"

EVOLVING MEDICARE

Medicare Advantage plans -- those private insurance alternatives to traditional Part B, which covers doctor and outpatient bills -- took off like a rocket in certain parts of the country in recent years. These plans can offer extra amenities, such as health club membership, and many older Americans have responded to marketing campaigns that sell their potential savings.

But the private plans control costs by limiting patients to a network of providers that agree on certain reimbursement levels, and that made many Sarasota health care providers slow to accept them. There are now signs that the popularity of Medicare Advantage -- and more sophisticated bargaining processes between insurers and hospital networks -- are increasing the acceptance of more plans in Southwest Florida. …

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