Introducing Bea Boomer’s Wellness Project for 2015!

Bea recently read in the newspaper that we’re living longer than ever. Sounds great, right? The problem is, we’re not living better. All the advances by medical science we have these days, and those of us born during the baby boomer years face more disability and chronic illness than ever.

Gen X, it doesn’t have to be that way for you ~ take charge of your aging, throw out those old stereotypes, and get ready for quality longevity! Generation X women, ranging in age from 35 to 50 in 2015, are at a prime time in their lives to take actions that will impact their everyday wellness  in positive ways.  This everyday wellness can lead to a healthier and more enjoyable aging process.

Often, all this involves is making simple choices that can be easily integrated into our lifestyles.  We just need to love and respect ourselves enough to take that first step.

Visit Bea on January 1, 2015, when she embarks on her 2015 wellness project.  Then, beginning on January 5th, come on back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each month for Bea’s health and wellness tips for Generation X women – covering the physical, mental, emotional and social aspects of healthy aging. Why fear aging, when we can change aging?

Silhouette of a girl jumping over sunset

7 Keys to Age Empowerment

So here’s the question of the day:

Are you simply getting older, or are you growing older?

The key is in the word growing.

Think about it this way:  You can be a “Senior Citizen,” or you can be what my 74 year old sister chooses to be: “Age Empowered.”

Baby boomers, we have a choice to make every day.  As of 2014, we range from the age of 50 to 68.  We can’t turn back the clock and return to our twenties or thirties, and do we really want to?  I know I don’t.  I don’t want to be young again.  I DO want to remain healthy and happy as I continue this journey into “old age.”

We can all do that by having an age empowered attitude:

  • Never stop learningFrom continuing your education, no matter what your age, to playing brain games, to fearlessly trying new technologies; we can keep our brain cells active and strong. 
  • Open your mind to other possibilities. Let’s face it, we all tend to get judgmental, and set in our thought patterns, especially as we age.  Seeing things in black and white, however, is limiting; it keeps us from opening our minds to other people’s points of view.  We can learn from each other!
  • Stay physically active. Exercise is such a powerful life enhancer. We don’t have to be marathon runners (though many of us boomers ARE), we don’t have to be body builders or world-class athletes.  But we can, and should, take care of this body and brain we’ve been given – this gift of life – and do our best to ward off those age-related diseases, protect our minds, and keep ourselves from getting frail and weak. 
  • Stay connected to others. Loneliness and depression can come with aging, if we keep ourselves isolated from others.  Stay socially connected through your church community, your local senior center, a volunteer group, a walking or running club, a quilting club . . . .
  • Accept the changes that come with age.  The Help Guide website has a wide variety of articles that talk about the basics of healthy agingHelp Guide is a great resource for people of all ages.
  • Stop and smell the stinking roses, would ya?  This is even more important over the age of 50, because you just don’t know when your time will be up on this earth.  Enjoy those grandkids, learn to forgive, continue to make great memories with family and friends.  Take time to go outside, breathe in that fresh air, and thank God (or whomever your higher power is) for this gift of life you’ve been given. 
  • Find the humor in life. Laughter is an absolute necessity in our lives.  Laugh at yourself, laugh with others – you’ll relieve stress and worries, and you’ll remain healthier.

For further reading:

National Center for Creative Aging

Older People Become What They Think

 

 

 

 

 

Extra Holiday Poundage? Bah, Humbug!

You’ve probably heard that we Americans gain around 5 to 7 pounds around the holidays. With a pound being equal to 3,500 calories, that’s the equivalent of eating 17,500 and 24,500 extra calories between Turkey Day and Christmas! Seems hard to believe, doesn’t it? Now, I don’t know if people actually gain THAT much (more recent studies suggest that we only gain a pound or two) but if you want to avoid any extra poundage, Bea Boomer has a few suggestions:

  • Do NOT eat cookie dough while making those holiday goodies.
  • DO jog in place while watching “Christmas Vacation” or Bea’s persona favorite, “Elf.” (When Buddy is doing his dance in the mail room, why not join him in your living room?)
  • Do  avoid the four food groups favored by the North Pole elves: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.

Looking for more practical options?

  • Sign up at a fitness center. There’s a Planet Fitness on many a corner, and it’s cheap! Then actually get up off the couch, go to the gym and work out.
  • Can’t afford a gym due to crazy holiday spending? When it’s mild out, take the dog for a walk or go for a jog with a friend. Do cardio workouts in front of your television; there are plenty of fitness DVDs available at Amazon.com. Do some strength training to speed up your metabolism.
  • Fill your fridge with healthy fruits and veggies, cut up and ready to eat.  Add more fiber to your diet by eating whole wheat cereals or oatmeal.  Switch from white bread to whole wheat. Ditto with pastas.
  • Drink lots of good old water to stay hydrated and ward off hunger pangs. Cold water may boost our metabolism.
  • Avoid drinking your calories: limit your intake of alcoholic drinks, eggnog and soda.
  • Finally, don’t go to a holiday party hungry. Eat a healthy breakfast and lunch to avoid eating too many of those yummy goodies at the Christmas buffet.

Here’s the bottom line: If you want to avoid looking like Santa Claus, you’ve got to take action! In fact, the Big Guy himself just may want to think about trying some of these tips. Those Christmas cookies he munches on all night are probably a nightmare for those reindeer, on that trip back to the North Pole!

 

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How to Stay Healthy this Holiday Season

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The holiday season is quickly approaching. Unfortunately, the holidays are often  accompanied by the dreaded coughing, sniffling, and sneezing cold and flu season. You might figure that since you’ve gotten your flu shot, you’re safe from those annoying symptoms.

But wait!  A flu shot just might not be enough. There’s so much more you can do to avoid buying all that extra Kleenex, scarfing down your favorite cold and flu medication, and above all, stop the flu IN ITS TRACKS!

You need to take action to build up your immune system. It can be done,  and Bea’s can give you some tips to do just that:

First, eat a healthier diet.   That means getting plenty of antioxidants – found in foods that do not resemble fast-food burgers or snacks like Hostess cupcakes. No surprises here: you can get immune boosting antioxidants by eating plenty of fruits and veggies. Brightly colored fruits and vegetables have higher concentrations of these antioxidants.  Eat more berries, for example: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cranberries, just to name a few.  Add leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts to your meals.  If you love peppers, eat all varieties, yellow, green, orange and red.

The best way to eat your veggies is raw or lightly steamed, in order to keep the antioxidant advantage intact. And seriously, we need a minimum of 5 servings every day – ideally, we should be eating 9 servings. (Heck, why have one vegetable with lunch or dinner when you could have two or three?)

Secondly, take time each day to get some exercise! If the weather’s not too vile, take a brisk walk outside.   If the snow’s too deep, exercise inside, or join an inexpensive gym such as Planet Fitness. All it takes is 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day to boost our immunities. Exercise also has additional benefits. It helps reduce stress, which in turn boosts both physical and emotional health.

Next, take time to fight off STRESS!  The holidays can lead to stress overload, and chronic stress is bad for our immune system.  Find time to relax, get a massage, meditate, just say “No” to over-demanding people, don’t watch the nightly news! You can find out about more stress relievers here.

Other healthy tips include: cooking with canola or olive oil, eating Greek low-fat yogurt, enjoying some hot, steamy chicken soup (good for your soul, as well); as well as washing your hands frequently and getting a good night’s sleep.

By taking these simple actions, you can avoid having to spend the Christmas holidays sick in bed! Unless, of course, you WANT to steer clear of your relatives; in that case, ignore all my advice)

For further reading:
20 Surprising Ways to Prevent Colds and Flu

Influenza Prevention