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Fear of Falling and Keeping Your Balance


Balance Exercises You Can Do At Home

Fear of falling and keeping your balance is a huge concern for many seniors and people over 50, along with families and caregivers. Balance exercises directly impact this risk and can be a key to preventing falls. Balance exercises can give you confidence while walking, standing, etc.

David Jack and Silver Sneakers present this guide to balance exercises you can do at home:

Watch more exercise videos from The Silver Sneakers YouTube Channel.

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Recumbent Bike Exercise for Cardio That’s “Easy on the Knees”

Limit Pressure on Your Knees, Ankles, Feet and Low Back

Recumbent bike exercise is one of the best and safest ways to do “cardio” training, limiting pressure on knees, ankles, feet and low back. For some, it’s the single best cardio approach, for others a perfect change of pace.

David Jack and Silver Sneakers present this guide to recumbent biking:

Watch more exercise videos from The Silver Sneakers YouTube Channel.

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Bring Back House Calls

House Calls Can Save Money and Increase the Quality of Care

As Dr. Jauhar so clearly shows in this New York Times article (and I wholeheartedly agree), revival of the house call would bring enormous benefits to the health care system, and improve care for those who need this service.

One clear benefit is preventing readmission to the hospital, an increasingly common problem that costs Medicare more than $17 billion a year. On a person-to-person level, doctors seeing patients where they live brings so many vital features to life, and can improve the quality of care significantly. 

McKinney Texas initiated a house call program involving local firemen/paramedics working with a team of doctors that has proven to reduce 911 calls, ER visits and hospital admissions up to 65 percent. House call-based programs improve health care communication, timeliness and quality of care, as well as save money – an excellent example of the public’s money saved through improved access and care vs. money saved by taking away coverage from vulnerable populations, as some politicians have recommended.

Mainstreet Clinic provides house calls to those people and families for whom in-office visits are difficult, impractical, or disruptive to the patient. The price is $150/month and includes regular visits (every 8 weeks at a minimum) as well as anytime the situation dictates, for example, upon return home after a hospitalization.

Call the clinic for more details: 580-248-9966.

Posted in: Community Health Policy, Health Blog, Your Health

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Home Exercises for Hip Strength and Stability

Hip Strength and Stability for People 50+

Hip strength and stability is the core issue for seniors in safe and secure standing, transferring and walking, either unaided or with assistive devices like a cane or walker.

David Jack and Silver Sneakers present these seven exercises you can do at home or at the YMCA.

Watch more exercise videos from The Silver Sneakers YouTube Channel.

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Beginner’s Guide to Treadmill Walking Exercise

All-Season Walking at the YMCA

Walking is the simplest, most natural exercise and walking is available to most of us. Oklahoma summers and volatile weather often discourage outside walking, and for other reasons too, the YMCA treadmill stands out as a key activity to achieve and maintain fitness.

Watch more exercise videos from The Silver Sneakers YouTube Channel.

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Shoulder Exercises You Can Do at Home

Healthy Exercise for People 50+

Shoulders are a real trouble spot for people 50+. Here is a quick video from Silver Sneakers clearly showing shoulder exercises you can do at home to strengthen supporting muscles and help keep your shoulders strong, flexible and less prone to injury.

Watch more exercise videos from The Silver Sneakers YouTube Channel.

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National Influenza Vaccination Week December 4-10

U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Announces National Influenza Vaccination Week December 4-10

It’s not too late: Get your flu vaccine today!

This winter, when you see signs reading “Get Your Flu Vaccine,” you might ask “Isn’t it too late to get vaccinated?” No, it’s not too late! The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that flu vaccinations continue throughout the flu season, which begins in autumn and continues into spring. That’s why the CDC designates this as National Influenza Vaccination Week.

“The sooner you get vaccinated the more likely you are to be protected against the virus when flu activity picks up in our community,” said Dr. Brian Birdwell at MainStreet Clinic.

National Influenza Vaccination Week

According to the CDC, flu season peaks most often between December and March, but activity can occur as late as May. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for defensive antibodies to develop, so it’s best to get vaccinated early.

For millions of people every season, the flu means a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, fatigue, and miserable days spent in bed. Millions of people get sick, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized, and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu each year.

Some people are at a higher risk for serious flu-related complications that can lead to hospitalization and even death, such as

  • pregnant women,
  • children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old,
  • those 65 and older, and
  • those with chronic health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.

The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against seasonal flu viruses. This season, CDC recommends the use of injectable flu vaccines (flu shots) and not the nasal spray flu vaccine. The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) is not recommended for use this season because of concerns about effectiveness.

Flu vaccines are offered by many providers, such as your family doctor, some pharmacies, community health centers, as well as employers and schools.

MainStreet Clinic Members will receive their flu shot as a free benefit of membership. And employers who subscribe to Care First Benefits through MainStreet Clinic may request to have employee flu shots given at their workplace.

For more information about the flu and the benefits of flu vaccination, ask your health care provider or contact the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at or 1-800-CDC-INFO.

Contact Brian Birdwell, MD and MainStreet Clinic at or 580 248-9966.

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MainStreet Clinic Celebrates National Health Education Week

Chronic Diseases in Oklahoma Are Common, Costly, and Can Be Reduced Through Exercise, Good Nutrition and Access to Health Care

Health Education Week Prevent Chronic Diseases

LAWTON, OK – During the week of October 17-21, MainStreet Clinic joins the Society for Public Health Education to promote National Health Education Week to raise public awareness of the importance of

  • exercise and physical activity,
  • good nutrition and
  • access to health care

in the prevention of chronic diseases.

Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, lung disease and diabetes, can be very costly, disabling and deteriorate the quality of life, especially when undiagnosed or untreated.

According to the Oklahoma State Department of Public Health: “Chronic disease is the most common and costly of all health problems. A person’s risk of developing a chronic disease can be greatly reduced by avoiding tobacco, being physically active and eating well. However, individual behavior is not enough. Access to affordable health care saves lives, reduces disability, prevents hospitalizations and lowers medical costs.”

Today, more than half of adults aged 18 years or older did not meet recommendations for aerobic exercise or physical activity. More than one-third of adolescents and 38 percent of adults said they ate fruit less than once a day, while 38 percent of adolescents and 23 percent of adults said they ate vegetables less than once a day.

According to the Oklahoma Hospital Association, more than one in six or 17 percent of Oklahomans are uninsured and Oklahoma ranks seventh highest in the nation in percent of uninsured.

“Access to affordable primary care should not be a barrier to Oklahomans with limited or no health insurance. MainStreet Clinic membership is open to everyone with or without health insurance,” said Dr. Brian Birdwell.

MainStreet Clinic supports and collaborates with community non-profits including the Lawton Food Bank and the Lawton Family YMCA to promote consumer health education along with prevention and treatment of chronic diseases. And through a unique program named Care First Employee Benefits, MainStreet Clinic works with employers to offer clinic membership through employer group health plans.

About National Health Education Week

National Health Education Week ( is recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and sponsored by the Society of Public Health Education, a non-profit professional organization founded in 1950 to provide leadership to the profession of health education and to promote health and wellness in the community. National Health Education Week is celebrated annually during the third week of October and focuses national attention on public health issues, provides public education, and improves consumer understanding of health education’s role in promoting public health.

The Chronic Disease Service of the Oklahoma State Department of Health can be reached at 405 271-4072 or 1000 NE 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117. The Chronic Disease in Oklahoma Data Book is available at

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Senior Citizen Fitness Day at Lawton Family YMCA May 25

LAWTON — MainStreet Clinic joins the Lawton Family YMCA in celebrating National Senior Health & Fitness Day® on May 25, 2016. Lawton area seniors are invited to the YMCA next Wednesday morning for an introduction to the Silver Sneakers Fitness program, an insurance benefit included in many health and retirement plans that provides a gym membership, usually at no additional cost.

Senior Health Fitness Day 2016

Schedule for May 25 Silver Sneakers event:

9:15 – Senior exercise hour featuring light workout for YMCA guests (optional)
10:00 to 10:30 – Gathering and refreshments
10:30 – Introduction and YMCA Tour

Please RSVP at MainStreet Clinic, 580 248-9966.

Participants are encouraged to check their eligibility before May 25 at the Healthways Silver Sneakers website:

We will be glad to help you check your Silver Sneakers eligibility at the Clinic before the event (please call before you stop by the Clinic).

NOTE: Eligibility to receive a Silver Sneakers gym membership as an insurance benefit from a Medicare supplement or advantage plan is under the control of the insurer; neither MainStreet Clinic nor the YMCA has any influence over their decision.

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Recipe of the Week – Kickin’ Collard Greens

Low-Carb, Low-Cal and Unexpectedly Delicious

Recipe of the Week – Kickin’ Collard Greens

Submitted by Ken Adams and found on All Recipes

“If you like greens you will love this recipe. The bacon and onions give them a wonderful flavor. Add more red pepper for a little more spice,” he posted on All Recipes.

This dish will knock your socks off! Not only for those who like greens, also for those who think they don’t. Be prepared to have a new favorite food. Delicious, layered, savory; inexpensive, low-carb and low-cal. In our test kitchen, we added an extra clove of garlic, more like 2-3 pinches of red pepper flakes (gives a wonderful kick); we used chicken stock instead of broth, and added an extra slice of bacon.

Collard greens are excellent sources of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, calcium and manganese, and moderate sources of riboflavin and folate.

Ingredients for Kickin’ Collard Greens

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 (or 4) slices bacon

1 large onion, chopped

2 (or 3) cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

3 cups chicken broth (or chicken stock)

2 (or 3) pinches red pepper flakes

1 pound fresh collard greens, cut into 2-inch pieces


Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add bacon, and cook until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, crumble and return to the pan. Add onion, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, and cook until just fragrant. Add collard greens, and fry until they start to wilt.

Pour in chicken broth, and season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until greens are tender.


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