Episode 18 Hearing, Health and the Holidays with Special Guest Lisa Harris

The Transcript

Dale Johnson: Happy holidays. Dale Johnson this morning on KFOR FM 103.3 12:40 AM. By my side, Dr. Sandra Miller from Complete Hearing. Complete-hearing.com is the place to go because you will no doubt want more information after hearing our conversation today. Happy holidays, Dr. Miller.

Dr. Miller: Thank you. 11 days until Christmas.

Dale Johnson: We probably not only us here in the studio but out there listening have been to a couple of parties, maybe an office party, maybe a neighborhood party, relatives. You’ve had friends over for an evening or whatever. And we’re going to talk about that a little bit. The change in routine that we get into for this time of year. We’re eating differently, we’re sleeping differently, we’re putting ourselves in different company or getting a little rattled sometimes.

Dr. Miller: Absolutely.

Dale Johnson: Our routines are different. So we’re going to talk about that and how it impacts you physically and what that has to do with hearing and balance. Joining a conversation we heard from Lisa last week, Lisa Harris from California on the phone with us this morning, registered dietician, fitness professional, international bestselling author and speaker. So much more than that, but she’s back today to continue this conversation. Lisa, thank you very much and happy holiday out there in California.

Lisa Harris: Thank you. And it is great to be back. Thank you.

Dr. Miller: Well, I’m so excited because I think about this time a year and I had my patients say to me a couple of weeks ago, “Thanksgiving is my favorite time because there’s no pressure. We’re just going to eat and get together.” However, when we get into the Christmas season, there’s lots of pressure to have lots of parties and go lots of places, and there’s lots of expectations on gifts. And so it becomes a stressful time of year I think for a lot of people. And it should be a joyful time as well, but sometimes it can be very stressful. So a lot of our patients will tell us, “Yeah, I have to go here,” or, “We’re traveling,” or, “I’m having the whole entire family over.” And that just puts a little angst on things. And so I thought today would be a great time to just talk about the change in routine and what that means.

Dr. Miller: And then Lisa, just definitely incorporating some of the things I think in regards to health and fitness.

Dr. Miller: When it comes to the hearing side of this, we talk a lot with our patients about making sure when we get around the dinner table, who am I going to talk to? Where should I sit? Making sure when we’re going to have a good conversation that we’re getting away from the noise. We’re not having all of our communication in the kitchen where everybody is rumbling around and talking and dishes are clanging. If you can get yourself into more of a quieter room, if you want to have a more personal conversation and having people understand it’s important that they’re directing conversation to you in a smaller group setting. Because when it gets noisy, we often find our patients may want to withdrawal. So we talk a lot about this time of year communications strategies and how to best facilitate that in that environment and of course eating good food.

Dale Johnson: Lisa, would it be fair to say that this time of year, because we are distracted, we tend to think of others more so than ourselves?

Lisa Harris: I would say yes, especially if you’re a mom. I think moms tend take on a lot of the holiday planning and whatnot. Yes, definitely.

Dale Johnson: The reason I say that is because that comes into fitness. It comes into nutrition. It comes into diet. What am I going to fix for people who are coming over? I don’t have time to go to the gym. I don’t have time to jump onto the treadmill. So it’s thinking of others instead of yourself and there’s a consequence to that.

Dr. Miller: There’s so a consequence, and I think this time too a year, we just eat things we don’t typically eat. We eat more than we would typically want to eat and then we’re also not taking care of ourselves in terms of hydration. This might be a season where people tend to maybe have an eggnog or they have maybe an alcoholic drink where they’re not used to having that, so it’s a dehydrating factor. So, Lisa, maybe you can talk a little bit about that today.

Lisa Harris: Yes. I think that’s important because a lot of my older clients, sometimes they have to cancel on me because they’ve ended up in the hospital with dehydration, and so I do spend a lot of time working with them, trying to figure out how to get more water, how much water, and when to drink it. And it’s just so important. We know that as we age, our bodies just don’t work as well so we have a tendency to become more dehydrated more easily. In fact, I was looking the other day, dehydration is responsible for one in 10 hospitalizations.

Dr. Miller: That is unbelievable.

Lisa Harris: So it can be very, very serious. Lead to lots of problems. And what I like to have my clients do, the people I work with is not to really track how much they drank, but to have a water bottle with them where they know how many ounces that is. And maybe a 24 ounce bottle and their goal is maybe to refill that twice during the day.

Dr. Miller: Isn’t it something, I find my patients don’t even… This water concept to them is not anything they’ve ever thought about or do. And so when they think, “Yeah, I don’t drink very much water,” because it’s not really been… I think they haven’t been brought up that way so much. And so this water concept to them, I find they go, “Yeah, I should probably do that.” And I’d also kind of piggyback on what you said in terms of they’re not drinking as much and then think about, typically as we’re elderly, we’re taking more medications. And so the medication impact in terms of it processing through all the organs and what’s happening with that. And when you’re dehydrated, some of those medications can actually become very toxic to you.

Lisa Harris: Yes. And an older person can become seriously hydrated very quickly without really knowing what’s going on. And so really it’s being preempting that problem, trying to keep that water consumption throughout the day.

Dr. Miller: Can you tell me a little bit about maybe some symptoms that you would see for dehydration? Maybe that’s something that our family members could be watching for this season.

Lisa Harris: Certainly somebody is starting to feel a little bit lazy, maybe a little bit confused. I’m trying to think of some others. I don’t see it very often because by the time I get to them, there’s-

Dr. Miller: There’s already been a fall.

Lisa Harris: They’re already gone. They’re already gone and in the hospital.

Dr. Miller: Well, I even told my husband this morning, I said… It’s that time of the year in Nebraska where we have our heat on now, not you all. Probably made you and people in California have your heat on right now. I don’t know.

Lisa Harris: Yes, my heat is going right now.

Dr. Miller: And what is the temperature in California right now?

Lisa Harris: I think it’s about 61. We have thin skin compared to you folks, I can tell you that.

Dr. Miller: All of us in Nebraska are chuckling a little bit right now. I just think we-

Lisa Harris: Of course.

Dr. Miller: We have the heat on, and the first thing I said to him this morning was, “It’s so dry in here.” I said, “Do you have the humidifier on in the house?” And I think to myself, “Well that’s just a whole nother drying agent that goes along with the fact that we don’t hydrate ourselves well enough and now we have the heat going.”

Dale Johnson:
You made a statement, Lisa, that I want to circle back on to. You said when to drink water. Are there prime times to drink water?

Lisa Harris: No, but let me tell you the reason I say that. We talked last week about falls and aware people are most likely, when people are most likely to fall. That’s at night. People are most likely to get injured at night. And so a lot of my people don’t want to drink at night because they don’t want to have to get up and use the restroom. So what I try to do is to have them get their water in and get most of it consumed by dinner time so that it’s all processed and out of their system before they go to bed.

Dr. Miller: That’s awesome. Can you talk a little bit about…. Well, with the holidays, we tend to be sitting a lot and so maybe talking about movement a little bit and what that means in terms of fitness and health for those of us and obviously the elderly that you work with, what does that mean to get up and move?

Lisa Harris: Our bodies are built for movement. I mean, if you look back evolutionary wise, we’re built for movement. And when we sit too long, we’re just telling our bodies to get ready and shut down and die. So many things happened when you said. So when you are sedentary for a long time and you get up and start moving, here’s the good news. Within 90 seconds, we start a cascade of reactions in the body. We start pushing blood sugar out of the blood into cells to be used. So if somebody has prediabetes and diabetes, you get that blood sugar level down. We start pushing blood fats out of the blood to be start used for energy. It is so important to get up. I try to tell my people once an hour, stand up and walk for a couple of minutes. In fact, the American Diabetes Association has a formal recommendation that they put out, I believe for the first-time last year that every American adult with diabetes stand every 30 minutes and get up and move for a couple of minutes. It’s that important.

Dale Johnson: Are baby boomers any more stubborn than anybody else or do they resist fitness? Do they resist suggestion? Do they resist some of the things we’ve been talking about?

Lisa Harris:
Baby boomers come to me with different goals compared to an older adults. Sometimes they’re motivated by what they see in their parents and those people are very open to making changes. I think most people that go to a trainer or go to a dietician and nutritionist are ready to make changes. In fact, I find the ones that are recommended by a doctor or an older person and have maybe a son or daughter recommends, those are the ones that are most resistant to change.

Dr. Miller: Because somebody told them to go do it.

Lisa Harris: Absolutely.

Dr. Miller: I love what you said about when we see our parents aging and the baby boomers who are like, “I don’t want to be in this situation,” whether it’s heart disease, stroke, diabetes. And you see your parent in that situation, it prompts you to say, “I want to live a healthier life, and can I live that healthier life?”

Lisa Harris: Right. And one of the major fears that baby boomers have is Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Miller: Absolutely.

Lisa Harris: That’s a huge one. And I have a gentleman in my exercise class who has dementia and everybody in the class is noticing the way he talks. He actually fell one time. He’s the only person that’s ever fallen in my class. And yes, we see that and we absolutely want to stay in good health. As I said, as independence as long as possible.

Dale Johnson: Tough for people to reach out to you since you’re in California. So spend just a few seconds talking about how people can access your teaching styles and your experience through books and blogs and the likely, Lisa.

Lisa Harris: Thank you. Yes, I have a weekly blogs and that you can go to Building Your Enduring… That’s the book. You can go to enduringfitnessforyou.com/blogs and that’s weekly. And also people can sign up for a weekly blog that automatically goes to them. There is a spot on the website where they could do that. In the book, I have a book that’s called Building Your Enduring Fitness. It is a compilation of all those blogs over the last four or five years and that’s available at buildingyourenduringfitness.com. And I would be happy to send a signed copy to any of your listeners that go through that way. In addition, there is a book that I coauthored last year which is called Empowering You, Transforming Lives. This is perfect for your listeners who love to get up in the morning and read a little bit of inspiration. These are daily inspirations. That book is available on Amazon, but again, if somebody wants a signed copy, please go to the website, which again was enduringfitnessforyou.com and there’s a way to contact Lisa and then we can arrange for that book to go out.

Dr. Miller: That’s fantastic. We’re going to provide these links for you as well onto our website and make sure you follow us on the Facebook page, and we’ll be putting a feature on there with Lisa as well.

Dale Johnson: Lisa Harris joining.

Lisa Harris: Happy holidays.

Dale Johnson: By the way, you can always go to complete-hearing.com. You can hear this conversation. You can hear last week’s conversation with Lisa, and you can hear all the conversations from every Saturday morning that Dr. Miller and I sit down for The Conversation Starts Here.

Dale Johnson: Again, happy holidays, Dr. Miller.

Dr. Miller: Same to you.

Dale Johnson: Thanks everybody for joining us on The Conversation Starts Here.