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Aging: Future Possibilities, Fulfilling Life, Brain Health

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Empowerment
Aging: Future Possibilities, Fulfilling Life, Brain Health
Longevity is an accomplishment. Continuing to live a fulfilling, active lifestyle as we age is fundamental to our emotional, mental and physical well-being.
The decline in physical ability and mental acuity as we age are realities of the aging process. And, in the case of dementia, the cognitive decline* can be even more precipitous and pronounced. But can we engage in activities that promote physical, mental and emotional well-being, help us continue to live a purposeful and fulfilling life, as well as stave off or lessen the effects of decline. The answer is a resounding, YES!!
Furthermore, remaining active and engaged in our advancing years is an important legacy to future generations about the meaning of future possibilities.
1. GET UP AND GET MOVING: Regular exercise that elevates your heart rate increases the flow of blood to the body and the brain, sometimes referred to as breaking a sweat, has beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system. Studies throughout the years have found there is a link between increased physical activity and reducing the risk of cognitive decline. This can include a regular schedule of walking, running, swimming, or another form of exercise of your choice. Even a slow but steady exercise for extended periods, like gardening, has proven to be helpful. Maybe this is the ideal time to commit or recommit to your fitness goals.
You can also find a new passion or explore an old one.
A 2017 article in Frontiers of Human Neuroscience reported that older people who routinely partake in physical exercise can reverse the signs of aging in the brain, but that dancing had the most significant effect.
The results were reported as a result of a study which compared people whoparticipated in dancing and endurance training. The lead author of the study, Dr.Kathrin Rehfeld, concluded that dancing is a “powerful tool to set new challenges for body and mind, especially in older age.”[1]
2. GET HEARTY: Taking care of your heart should be a priority. The same risk factors that we know causes cardiovascular disease and stroke, namely obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes, can also be risk factors for cognitive decline.Therefore, adjust your lifestyle in accordance for a healthy heart and you may be helping your brain at the same time.
3. FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Eating a diet lower in fat and higher in vegetables and fruit may help to reduce the risk of cognitive decline. This is not as evidenced based as other areas, however, people who live in countries eating what is known as the Mediterranean diet, and many other people who have adopted it around the world, as well as another version known as the Mediterranean-DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), are said to experience a reduced risk of cognitive decline.
4. GET BOOK SMART: When the brain is actively engaged in learning it is not only merely keeping it more healthy and vibrant, it could reduce the risk of decline. There are many adult education classes suited to almost any area of interest. They are offered at local colleges, high schools, community centers, libraries or even online. This also helps staying socially engaged by connecting with others who have similar interests.
5. GET REST: As we get older, it is not always easy to get an uninterrupted night’s sleep. However, one should still try to get enough sleep so they feel rested. Lack of sufficient sleep can result in memory and thinking problems.
6. “DON’T WORRY, BE HAPPY”: The words in the song convey an important message. There are studies that draw a direct connection between
depression and cognitive decline. It is important to be able to recognize if you are experiencing depression, anxiety or other mental health issues. If you are aware of having these issues, know you are not alone. Speak with your physician or seek treatment through other avenues. If a friend or family member recognizes that you are having these symptoms and opens up a discussion, it means the symptoms are significant. Appreciate the fact that they are concerned and are doing you a great favor!
7. GET FRIENDLY: The importance of staying connected with others cannot be overstated, whether it be family, old friends or making new ones. Finding activities in your community that you enjoy will help you stay socially engaged. A few examples: Always loved photography? Consider joining a photography club, Hiking or nature? There are many groups that offer nature programs. Walking? There are even mall walking groups, Singing? Join a choir, Teaching? Consider tutoring young people at an after-school program. Planting or flowers? Consider a local florist, botanical garden, greenhouse. Consider joining a book or cooking club or starting one of your own.
Volunteering is another way to remain engaged in your local community. it is also a way to give back while simultaneously achieving a sense of joy and gratification. A few examples of places to volunteer include:
· Libraries
. Political parties
· Hospitals; Nursing Homes
· Animal shelters
· Food banks
· Day care centers
· Places of worship: churches, temples, mosques
· Cultural groups
· Non-profits organizations
Consider seeking out an organization that is close to your heart. e.g., Diabetes Association, Cancer Agency, Alzheimer’s, AARP. Many websites list volunteer positions and provide training as needed. Opportunities to get involved are endless and many organizations offer info and sign-up forms online.
If one cannot get out as often as they would like or is possible, online activities is another a way to connect with others. This can reduce a feeling of isolation which can be tremendously beneficial. Connecting with family, friends, and online groups help to provide a sense of community. Social networking sites like Facebook help people stay active and engaged. online are other ways that seniors are keeping themselves active and engaged.
8. QUIT SMOKING: There is ample evidence that smoking increases a person’s risk of decline in physical well-being and cognitive function. The earlier one quits smoking the sooner the risk is reduced to the same level as a person who has not smoked.
9. PROTECT YOUR HEAD, LITERALLY: Brain injury can raise your risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Protect yourself against falls, always wear your seat belt while driving and use a helmet if bicycle riding or participating in a contact sport.
10.BRAIN TEASERS: It’s important to keep your brain active. Learn new games or play your favorite ones: jeopardy, bridge, dominoes, backgammon, scrabble, chess, bridge. Work on puzzles: from crossword or jigsaw. Join clubs that highlight these activities. Learn to do something new in which you were always interested: a new language, playing an instrument. There are groups or clubs for many of these which would also keep you socially engaged.
10.BRAIN TEASERS: It’s important to keep your brain active. Learn new games or play your favorite ones: jeopardy, bridge, dominoes, backgammon, scrabble, chess, bridge. Work on puzzles: from crossword or jigsaw. Join clubs that highlight these activities. Learn to do something new in which you were always interested: a new language, playing an instrument. There are groups or clubs for many of these which would also keep you socially engaged.
If just beginning to consider these areas, it may be unrealistic to think of adopting all of these habits at once. Pursue those that feel the most likely to be accomplished from an interest, scheduling or availability point of view. Participating in these activities should be enjoyable and fun. If they are effortful and seem like work, it will defeat the purpose.
ENJOY!!!!!
*Cognition – Cognition is a mental process which includes thinking, knowing, remembering, reasoning, judging and problem solving.
[1]“Dancing Can Reverse the Signs of Aging in the Brain”. Frontiers of Human Neuroscience August 25, 2017.https://medicalxpress.com/news/2017-08-reverse-aging-brain.html

FUNCTIONAL FOODS, RAW AND HOME COOKED DIETS BY DR JULIE MAYER

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Health & Wellness
FUNCTIONAL FOODS, RAW AND HOME COOKED DIETS BY DR JULIE MAYER

Hello all you pet lovers…..
I am Dr Julie Mayer.   I am a Holistic Veterinarian.   I am certified in veterinary acupuncture, veterinary chiropractic, and animal rehabilitation.  You can find out more about me at www.integrativeveterinarian.com.  
I am an adjunct professor at Midwestern University Veterinary Medicine College and I have assisted teaching pre-med students at Arizona State University.   As a veterinarian I am a teacher as well as a doctor.  My desire is to reach out to the public and talk about many aspects of our companion pets’ health and well being.  I want to discuss how to raise and care for companion pets as naturally and holistically as you can.  
You see, VoiceAmerica reached out to me to Host an Internet Radio Show because they found out what I do for the pet community and my more Holistic approach to veterinary medicine and general husbandry.  I volunteered immediately.  This is what I love to do….make sure that pet owners have the opportunity to explore all options of health care  and to know what is the latest information on pet health and pet happenings.  I am creating an internet radio show to be just like an encyclopedia of information for the pet owner.  In addition, I want this show to be interactive and allow the audience to call in, write in (via Face Book and Twitter, etc) their questions and concerns.  I will also have guests on the show to share their wealth of knowledge.  
I am very dedicated to my profession and to the animal lovers.  I am sincere and want to be able to help as many pet owners as I can.  
I am inviting you to an opportunity to advertise on this show/station or to be a Sponsor.  Commercials will be played during the episodes and each episode will go to an archive on iTunes, etc.  Which means the advertisement lives on and every time a listener plays an archive the commercials/advertisements will be heard!  I can forward the Media Pack and the information that you will need.  Please consider this opportunity to show your support for natural pet care and to take this opportunity to showcase your product!    Many thanks in advance.      

Dr  Julie  Mayer

Middle Living-The Only Way to Live

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Variety
Middle Living-The Only Way to Live

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Creating value, now that is something we as Americans know a thing or two about!

Say what you want about financial markets and creative manipulation of dollars and equity, or the collective elitism of certain areas of our country in regard to technology (see Silicon Valley), we Americans are really good at creating value. Keep this in mind moving forward, especially anyone who is thinking about a career change (can you hear me boomers?) young and old alike we have tremendous upside. And I mean in a really huge, positive way!

Let me tell you how much I love Time magazine, from the science tips to the feature articles, the political takes, health and science to the satire, Time rocks! From Rana Foroohar, “Frenemies: A Trade Story”, Fareed Zakaria, “The Saudis Are Upset? Tough!” to the hilarity of Joel Stein, they all just get it completely done. However my newest favorite, this week anyway, is hands down Times Asian correspondent Michael Schuman and his article, “China Makes Everything. Why Can’t it Create Anything?”

I would like to say “way to go Mike!”

I have been sharing my views on baby boomers and the need to ‘transition’ into their collective 2nd or 3rd or maybe 4th career for almost three years now on my radio talk show “Boomers Rock”. Quality of life boomer style is all about staying integrated and engaged, employed and connected, mentoring and giving back, it is a mindset that lends itself to helping our collective society, young and old, build and rebuild. This is what we as Americans are really good at, teamwork!

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As my new favorite Mike writes about the economy, “the U.S. growing at a sluggish 2.5% and Europe doing even worse, all eyes are on China as the worlds growth engine”, the coffee is brewing and I can hear that knocking of opportunity, boomers listen up. China has its issues, and the global economy is still pretty flat, but this newest of terms, ‘reshoring’ is growing, and it is this plus other positives that make me excited.

“Reshoring is the practice of bringing outsourced personnel and services back to the location from which they were originally offshored.”

I like to think of this period in time as the ‘game on’ phase of economic growth, the opportunity for mentoring and giving back, which leads to improving our knowledge base is a massive occasion in the 21st century. As Mike wrote in the above mentioned Time article, “a recent KPMG (one of the largest professional services companies in the world) report, 37% of the technology executives surveyed believed that the U.S. holds the most promise for producing disruptive technologies over the next four years”.

Americans create and think critically, that is what it takes to drive innovation!

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I like to say through adversity grows opportunity, in the flattened globe bringing home jobs is such an upbeat movement that wasting this chance to set up our society for say the next fifty years appears to be within our reach. The re-tipping point, the point where the pendulum has swung back and forth twice is now upon us, and it is time to get excited and get involved in the solution. Baby Boomers now is not the time to think the dreaded R word (retirement), it is as I say on the talk show “walk into the ReFirement zone”. Time to pick up our game!

Skills that demand education, culture change that demands teamwork, disruptive technologies that demand critical thinking and the cojones to make it happen, now driving the engine of opportunity is clearly here. The Chinese are good at copying, their students are good at test taking, and their population numbers are massive, but the cheap labor days in China are over, and they are afraid of failure, it’s in their DNA not to rock the boat. Frankly if you cannot dream the big vision, see the next great innovation, or invent the next technology then you can never lead.

We are leaders, and we need to step up our game because the entire world needs us to continue to be disruptive and find alternative ways to accomplish the impossible.

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Tom Matt is the host of the daily radio talk show “Boomers Rock”, heard on WGHN 1370 AM Saturday mornings at 9:00 in Grand Haven, Michigan. And syndicated on the Internet here at VoiceAmerica, and heard on the Spartan Sports network SSN/247.

This is where he brings experts in to discuss all issues that enhance our quality of life. He welcomes comments and feedback, on his site Boomers Rock , please join our family and change the world!

 

Workout burnout

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Variety
Workout burnout

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So we have been making strides and efforts to get off the couch and put down the Lays potato chips, the tv remote and halleluiah our mindset toward fitness and exercise is improving. We all are very aware of the consequences of not moving more, (you see I have decided in an effort to drive home the mindset of QOL, quality of life, movement is our synonym for exercise) and with this new found energy we are making progress, fantastic.

However our new energy can lead to the dreaded INJURY, our new found exuberance has put us on the DL (disabled list) and dang it we lose our mojo. In other words workout burnout, please allow me to share a story, and perhaps we can together avoid this momentum killer.

In my own quest to lose the fifty I had acquired through my 40’s, the movement (workouts) I had been doing was adequate, and hey everyone starts somewhere. Every couch potato in the world starts at the bottom of the mountain, this one included. And let me preface this whole piece by stating that the limited and somewhat adequate workouts were enough to help me in 2008 when I had a serious illness to recover from.

After that epiphany, which is actually the first chapter in my book “The 200% Solution”, the workout efforts seriously got kicked into high gear, and that is where things started to get hairy and overuse, and workout burnout raised its ugly head.

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Movement (exercise) and the neuro- chemicals that are released in our brain during exercise are very powerful, so powerful if you are not careful the desire to fuel the release of these, (endorphins, dopamine, serotonin) can lead to issues. Issues for example described as “avoidable” , can really take a toll on our body, knock us out of commission and put us right back on the couch, dang it!

So lets talk about over training and overuse which lead to workout burn out, or put another way, avoiding becoming a wounded warrior.

The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM, where I hold my certified personal training and fitness nutrition specialist certifications, weight loss specialist and senior fitness specialization) defines overtraining as:
“Excessive frequency, volume, or intensity of training, resulting in fatigue (which is also caused by lack of proper rest and recovery)”

Overuse injuries are similarly defined as:

“ Injury that involve repetitive submaximal loading of a particular musculoskeletal unit, resulting in changes due to fatigue of tendons or inflammation of surrounding tissues.”
In real people speak knock you back to the couch time! And this can really kill our momentum to get back into shape. It’s tough to imagine the goal, get rolling, start making progress and then crash into an injury, that my friends is not a trainers answer to getting into shape.

As I prepped for my first body building show in 2010, I was determined to make a good showing. I set the goal, had the coaching, (Chris Johnson of On Target Living) a great training partner Regie Reider, a 28 year old former college football player and I was not going to let either of them down. Chris and I both competed in the same division, the grand masters which is for men over 50, and so it went, for 16 weeks of double sessions, before and after work workouts, strict whole foods every 2 hours, we were ripped and cut cats by the time the show took place in April. And let me tell you it was great.

The problems started for me right after the completion. Soft tissue, tendons and cartilage need rest, they do not recover as quickly as muscles and when stressed out you have the perfect storm for tendinitis, and I developed the elbow version. It was a nagging issue that did not completely stop me from continuing to exercise, but let me tell you I was very close to having major issues, and that my friends is the classic definition of “workout burnout”. I was very lucky; don’t put yourself into that precarious situation if you can avoid it.

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Do not become the classic gym rat, rolling into the gym and doing the same workout once a day, treadmill, elliptical, gotta stick to my routine because that is my comfort zone. That leads to thoughtless training, overuse, and staleness. It takes the fun right out of your day and puts you right back into the funk (which coincidentally the subject of another chapter in “The 200% Solution”).

Training smarter and having more fun will increase your pace, which can lead to a more efficient compact training session.

Recovery can be our friend, and sleep is our great equalizer. Your efficient workouts can help you become more adaptable in the sleep department. Good sleep takes effort and planning, however the payoff is huge. Your muscle recovery is enhanced, your work efforts are improved and your overall QOL benefits, and that is my friends is the name of our tune.
Ok so now we have an explanation, how about a routine, how do we train smart and avoid workout burnout? I am so glad you asked.

The following is a short list of to-do’s, of using your brain to not over train, check this out-

Why I should train smarter-
• Because you will recover more quickly.
• You may avoid an injury
• You will become more efficient/gaining speed/ increasing endurance
• And you will keep yourself feeling young and energized
• Your confidence will soar

Work out burn out can be avoided by trying these tips, and I have personally used them all at one time or another, they work, are not difficult and can help you meet your goals of enhanced QOL.

• Understand the “Kinetic Chain”, the concept is that every part of your body, including muscles, joints and nerves, must work together to produce movements. Posture, form and pace. It is quality above quantity
• Vary your workouts- Look at your training this way, one hard day followed by two easy days keeps you not only fresh, the routine flexible but gives you recovery time needed to heal.
• Heart rate monitors- I use a Polar, and have for several years now. I believe it keeps me on track and is a good monitoring device
• HIIT training- High intensity interval training, quick hitters between sets, I am a jump rope guy and believe everyone should try it, 30 seconds of lunges, squats or jumping jacks will work just as well
• Cross training-Runners try cycling, lifters try yoga, cardio people try resistance training, varied training can not only prevent the dreaded burnout, but you may become aware of something you like. Like the old saying, “variety is the spice of life”.

So as we move forward into our forward chapters, the “transition years” think about the positives and the possibilities for affirmative growth. We are at a special place in the history of our country, and through personal accountability in regard to our health and wellness we can all make a difference. Keep that in mind as we make strides to slowly improve, small steps, life is a very long and fruitful journey as long as we don’t overdue and move to quickly and expect too much too fast.

Peace, 

A video for inspiration.

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