Your Healthy Aging Checklist

Many of us talk about doing things to age in a healthy way but as another year continues to pass us by, how have we stacked up to our once fervent resolutions? September is National Healthy Aging Month - let’s take the time to ‘recharge’ as we enter the final season of the year!  Ask yourself…and be honest…have you done the following to help yourself age in a healthy way?

1. Have I seen my doctor for an annual physical exam?


An annual visit to your physician is an excellent preventive strategy and also serves to establish or reinforce a patient- physician relationship. Get the following to help detect and correct potential problems:

  • physical exam
  • weight check
  • blood pressure measurement
  • blood tests: glucose, thyroid, lipids, vitamin D and B12

2. Have I made a solid effort to shed those ‘extra’ pounds?

Lean body mass helps us age well. By having less fat and more lean muscle, our bodies can function more efficiently allowing us to look, feel, and function better.

3. Have I cut back on unnecessary calories – particularly empty non-nutritious carbs and processed foods? Or Have I incorporated healthy vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins in my diet?

Foods are our fuel. A diet filled with vegetables, grains, lean protein, fruits, and nuts is much more nutritious than consuming the alternative: sugar, fat, processed foods.  These are filled with empty calories as opposed to healthy nutrients which provide our bodies with the necessary ingredients to function at an optimal level.

4. Have I undertaken strategies to regulate ‘bad’ stress?

All of us have experienced ‘stress’ whether at work, school or in our personal lives. We can experience many different effects of stress including:

  • chest or stomach discomfort
  • rapid heart rate
  • inability to sleep
  • lack of concentration
  • feelings of depression
  • change in appetite (eating too much or too little and the wrong foods)

The effects of stress, if not corrected, can lead to more serious health concerns.

5. Have I taken a good look at any gaps in my nutrition and explored supplementation to help?

Everyone is looking for the ‘secret supplements to fight aging’. My answer to this is to understand the word ‘supplement’ which is something added to complete or enhance. There is no supplement in the world to substitute for a healthy  lifestyle. But in today’s demanding world, it is difficult to be consistent in doing the essentials of eating properly, exercising, getting proper sleep, managing stress, and avoiding things we know are bad for us like excess alcohol or tobacco. It is also important to take care of our skin and be well groomed. When we fall short in any of these essential patterns, ‘supplements’ are recommended to ‘add’ to what we are missing. It’s just like math!

For myself, I take the following supplements daily:

I vary my other supplements depending on changes in my daily routine and ‘supplement’ as necessary. Other supplements I always keep on hand are GNC probiotics, alpha lipoic acid, resveratrol, melatonin just to mention a few. I also stay informed and modify my supplements based on the latest research.

6. Have I taken the time to cultivate good personal social and community relationships?

Social interaction is essential for good health. The benefits derived from stable and loving personal relationships in addition to broader family, social, and community networks are well documented. From a scientific perspective, beneficial neurotransmitters have been shown to be secreted in laughter, loving and meditation. A peaceful state of mind tends to displace negative influences and promote overall well being.

So I encourage cultivating this approach to life in addition to all of the above to LIVE WELL!


This entry was posted in #RespectYourself, Aging Well, Live Well, Medical Advisory Board, Uncategorized on by .

About Dr. Frank Costa

Areas of Expertise: Men’s Health, Overall Wellness, Anti-aging, Hormone Balance and Sexual Health

Dr. Frank J. Costa is a clinical associate professor and attending physician at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Department of Urology. Currently, Dr. Costa is also the medical director and chief of surgery of the Urology Institute of Pittsburgh—one of the largest urologic referral centers in Western Pennsylvania.

Dr. Costa graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh. He completed his medical school training at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine with honors in surgery and urology and went on to complete both an internship and residency in general surgery and a residency in urologic surgery serving as chief resident at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Dr. Costa has participated in several clinical research trials involving men’s health and a wide range of urologic topics including benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate), prostate cancer, testosterone deficiency, erectile dysfunction and incontinence. Dr. Costa is board certified in both urology and anti-aging medicine, in which he has successfully completed fellowship training. Considered a pioneer and visionary, Dr. Costa founded the current UPMC Monroeville Surgery Center in 1992, which was acquired by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in 1996, where he served as chief of surgery and medical director. He has affiliations with several hospitals and holds memberships in several professional scientific societies, which include the American Urological Association and Association of Clinical Urologists.

Dr. Costa has presented numerous scientific papers and has published several articles in professional journals and lay press. His awards include “Medical Professional of the Year” as well as repeated selection in Guide to America’s Top Physicians, “Top Doctor” by U.S. News and World Report and Castle Connelly Top Doctors.. His directed health initiatives have reached over 25 million households in over 15 national magazine forums including Oprah, Men’s Health, Women’s Health, and Men’s Journal, to mention a few. He has regularly appeared on local, national, and international television interviews, web and radio programs to discuss men’s health and topics of urologic interest. He has conducted surgical workshops to train surgeons on advanced urologic surgical techniques both nationally and internationally and has produced several instructional videos. He continues to lecture nationally and internationally on topics related to men’s health in addition to maintaining a very busy clinical practice where patients travel from all over the world to seek his care. Dr. Costa is a much sought after consultant and is involved in developing outpatient ambulatory medical facilities to continue his mission of delivering efficient, affordable, and exemplary health care to patients in today’s complex health care environment.