May Recommend: LifeGoesStrong

 

 

Recently, while aimlessly wandering around the internet, I  stumbled upon the LifeGoesStrong website, which is actually a network of sites aimed at those of us in the 45-65 age group.  A boomer goldmine!

 

I love finding sites I can relate to and that provide the kind of stuff I want to read!
Sections within this site include:

  • TechGoesStrong – Provides personal tech experts for those of us who are un-techy.  (Ok, that last word isn’t in the dictionary, I just made it up)
  • StyleGoesStrong – Who doesn’t want to look good?  The style experts help us do that, with fashion and beauty advice.
  • FamilyGoesStrong – Baby boomers today may be raising kids, becoming grandparents, and taking care of their elders. The family experts share knowledge to help readers improve their family relationships.
  • HealthGoesStrong – My personal favorite, because healthy aging and wellness are a couple of my top priorities. These experts can help with midlife questions readers may have, as well as provide information about diet, nutrition  and exercise.
  • HomeGoesStrong – Experts who talk about dining, entertainment, home improvement, home safety, pet safety, and much more.
  • PlayGoesStrong – What do you do in your spare time?  These experts talk about travel, hobbies, books, music, volunteering, heck, even what to watch on television!  They help readers have fun and relax.
  • WorkGoesStrong – Are you still doing the nine-to-five every day, like I am?  (Retirement seems so. far. away.) Get career advice, find out how to cope in an office, get some ideas for a second career after retirement.

What I like about LifeGoesStrong:

  1. Clean and crisp homepage.
  2. Easy to read font
  3. Simple navigation through the site (though I did find it to be slow to change pages at times)
  4. The advertisements aren’t intrusive
  5. The “What We’re Reading” Links in each section

On the homepage you’ll find: The most current article links are shown at the top of the page; scroll down to see a section-by-section choice of articles.  At the bottom of the page, even more choices of articles, with relevant photos to pique a reader’s interest.
My favorite articles so far:

Join the LifeGoesStrong online community to share comments,  win free prizes, and sign up for newsletters geared to your interests.

 

Quote of the Day:

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly. (Buddha)

How to Recognize a Stroke

High Blood Pressure and Strokes

Since May is High Blood Pressure Awareness Month, it’s not surprising that this month is also National Stroke Awareness Month, since high blood pressure is a primary risk factor for strokes.

My mom suffered from “mini-strokes,” or transient ischemic attacks (TIA) as she aged, due to her hypertenstion.

Several years ago, my brother-in-law suffered from a hemorrhagic stroke, again, due to high blood pressure.  He was fortunate enough to have an employee who recognized stroke symptoms and acted quickly to get help.  That quick action helped my brother-in-law survive, though recovery wasn’t easy.
Would you recognize stroke symptoms?

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke describes them as:

Sudden:

  • Numbness or weakness of the face, arm, or leg (particularly on one side of the body)
  • Confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination
  • Severe headache with no known cause

Want to learn more?

How to Identify a Stroke (S-T-R)

National Stroke Association

 

 

More Outdoor Fitness Fun

Bicycling is just one exercise option for the great outdoors.

Walking is another good choice, especially if you have a park with walking trails in your community.  I enjoy walking because I know it’s good for my bones, as well as my heart health.  If you want to “step up” your walking workout, try walking poles, as described at the Mayo Clinic website.   They’re great for giving your upper body a workout.

If you’re brave, you may want to try roller blading, but believe me, you’ll want to wear protective gear, including a helmet. Take it from me, falling while on roller blades is not a pleasant experience. (Maybe I should have learned to stop first!)
Does your family go camping?  Hiking trails are a good way to get your fitness in when you’re vacationing, and you can get your kids or grandkids involved, too.  Hiking is great for body and mind.  Playing Frisbee, badminton, or other outdoor games is good for the whole family.  Or try canoeing, which is good for your upper body and core.

Other ideas include:

  • Jogging or running on an outdoor track
  • Swimming at your community’s pool
  • Tennis
  • Golf (Walk the course!)

For Further Reading:

  1. Health Benefits to Exercising Outdoors
  2. Exercising Outdoors Makes You Happier
  3. Don’t Become A Victim Exercising Outdoors

Bicycling: A Great Outdoor Exercise

 

 

I’m certain that in some areas of the country, spring has actually sprung.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen to be in my home state, Michigan, where was a rainy and chilly April, and May hasn’t promised any better weather so far. And we’re already at the middle of May!
But for those of you who are enjoying spring, it’s a good time to take your workout outside. (Which I also plan on doing, once our weather cooperates!)  One great way to do that is to ride a bike!  In my community, we’re lucky to have a bike trail that winds its way through several cities, if one is inclined to ride for miles. There’s also a very awesome park that’s a  20-minute bike ride away from my house, and it has several miles of trails through the woods.

My fellow blogger Barrie Davenport recently wrote a post about the joys of riding a bike. She also pointed out a few of the health benefits of bicycling, and has a list of  “must have” bike accessories.

And of course, it’s important to think about bike safety when you ride. I found that out the hard way when I was a teen riding my 10-speed!

 

For Further Reading:

More Health Benefits of Cycling

 

5 Tips For Losing Five Pounds

Trying to lose those five pounds you put on over the holidays?

Follow these tips and your body will thank you!

(1) Become more mindful of what you eat by writing down what you eat on a daily basis. WebMD shows you how to make a diet diary work for you.

(2) Step up your exercise/activity level – Strive for 30 minutes of high intensity exercise, five days a week.  High intensity exercise, as opposed to exercising at a moderate pace, will help you lose body fat.

(3) Eat lots of veggies, fruit and beans!  Fiber is great to help you lose weight.  Other healthy diet tips can be found here.

(4) Eating mini-meals more often can help keep hunger at bay, and can help you lose weight. Check out this WebMD video to hear about how this works.

(5) Cut out soda, frappucinos, and other high-calorie beverages!
Please, feel free to comment and let me know if you have any weight loss tips!

 

 

 

Sleep, Sweet Sleep!

 

Sleepless Nights

Why is it that some nights I sleep like a rock and other nights I’m tossing and turning all night? Last night, for some reason, I woke up after just a few hours of sleep and my mind started racing about stuff that I couldn’t do anything about at that moment!  I finally fell asleep just before 5 a.m. and 20 minutes later, my husband’s alarm went off.

Needless to say, I yawned all day at work.

I remember those days when I was a teenager and nothing seemed “cooler” than trying to pull an “all-nighter” with my friends. What happened to those days?  Now, in my fifties, I yearn for a good sleep.  And if I don’t sleep well for several days in a row, well, I’m just a bit CRANKY!

Better Sleep Month

So, May is Better Sleep Month. The question is, how in the heck do we get better sleep?  Insomnia and lack of good quality sleep is a common problem.  At work, I hear people complaining about it all the time.  And we definitely need it.  WebMD talks about why we need it in its article 9 Reasons to Sleep More.

 

(Don’t try this at work!)

An Answer Appears (Maybe)

Fortunately, I  subscribe to WebMD’s health and wellness newsletters. I was reading my emails this evening and there it was, the answer to my sleepn problem, in the form of a slideshow titled: 20 Tips for Better Sleep.

Unfortunately, there are a few tips I probably won’t succeed at: For example, I’m supposed to go to sleep and get up at the same time every day, even on week-ends. Now I know that will never happen. Week-ends are for sleeping in!

Also, the bed is off-limits for pets. Now I’m pretty certain the our dog Desi would never stand for that – his spot is at my feet, or in the case of a thunderstorm, by my head, shaking like a leaf (Jeez, it’s no wonder I can’t get any sleep)!

Sleep Help

Though a good night’s sleep may be a lost cause for me, there may be hope for you, if you read a little further:

For example, you can check out BBC’s Human Body and Mind section to find some extensive information sleep and how to improve it, including:

  • Your personal sleep profile
  • Sleep problems and sleep advice
  • Why we sleep
  • What’s your daily rhythm, and more fun stuff.

There’s also advice from eHow Health, which talks about how taking certain vitamins can help your sleep, and also how to improve your sleep in 10 easy steps.

Finally, the National Sleep Foundation wants to let us know just how important sleep is to our health and well-being!

How do you sleep?  Got any advice for us tossers and turners?

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Keep People Moving: Fight MS

A Little Help From Her Family (and Friends)

Yesterday, I took a walk with a woman who doesn’t take walking for granted.  She has MS, or Multiple Sclerosis, and she’s been battling it for five years.  We were walkers for the Troy, Michigan Walk for MS 2011. These walks are held in many other locations throughout the country as well.

I was one member of her team, a group of family and friends who support her and want to do their part to rid the world of MS.

I only recently became acquainted with Rici, as she is known by her family. All I know about her is that she’s the wife of a co-worker, a mom of two nice kids (a boy and a girl) and a friendly person who seems to have a positive outlook, despite having MS. She’s strong, her husband says, and doesn’t let this disease get the best of her. I like that in a person, don’t you?

When I heard about her fight, via an email at work,  talking about the upcoming MS walk, I figured it wouldn’t hurt me to get off my butt and give her, and the National MS Society, a little help.

What is MS?

MS, as you may or may not know, is an autoimmune disease – the body attacks it own cells, mistakenly believing they are poisons.  In the case of MS, the body attacks myelin, the protective substance that covers the nerves.  Wikipedia points out that this attack by the body “affects the ability of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord to communicate with each other.”  If the cells can’t communicate, the body can’t function properly.  The nerves themselves can be irrevocably damaged, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The extent of the nerve damage, and which nerves are affected, can vary for each person affected by MS.

Symptoms

The disease can cause a wide variety of symptoms, and varying degrees of those symptoms, depending how much nerve damage a person has suffered.  The Mayo Clinic also points out that MS. in its early stages, may be hard to diagnose, since its symptoms may go into remission for periods of time.

There are symptoms that affect the muscles, such as numbness, problems with balance and walking, tremors, weakness, and paralysis. People with MS can suffer with bowel and bladder problems. They may suffer from double vision, blindness, and other eye problems.  This is just a short list of how people can be affected by MS. You can read about other things that they may have to deal with at this article by PubMed Health.

Wanna Help?

If you’re interested in helping my friend, Rici, and the 400,000 (source: National Multiple Sclerosis Society) Americans who suffer from MS, check out the National Multiple Sclerosis Society website. The MS Society helps further research, advocates for change through legislation, and, of course, provides support to MS sufferers and their families.

Do you like to walk?  Find out about an MS Walk event in your area at Walk MS.
Other ways to get involved, such as Bike MS,  can be found here.

 

For Further Reading: