Got 10 Minutes or More? Take a (brisk) Walk for your Good Health

Bea Boomer’s Vital Aging Project – Day 38– 3/30/15

 

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Did you know that April , 2015 is the 9th annual National Walking Day? This awareness day is an initiative from the American Heart Association

Walking is a great exercise to start in the springtime. The air is fresh and clean, tulips and daffodils peek out from neighborhood lawns, dog and Canadian geese poop are no longer hidden by the snow. . . (Yikes!  Sorry, that’s one of the not so nice things about walking in the early spring – just watch where yer walkin’) 

According to physician Joan Dorn, who’s the Chief of the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) physical activity and health branch, walking is one of the best ways to add physical activity to your life. * And Bea thinks so too!  

What can walking do for you?  Take a look at these benefits:

  • Brisk walking (3-4 miles per hour) for an hour every day can cut a high-risk adult’s risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 60%.
  • Brisk walking can improve your heart health.  Walking 30 – 60 minutes a day, for five days a week, can cut your risk of heart disease by 40%.** It can also help protect you from high blood pressure and strokes. 
  • Walking can boost mood, decrease disability rates for seniors, reduce high blood pressure, relieve osteoporosis and arthritis and back pain.
  • Walking regularly can help protect your brain, staving off memory loss.
  • Walking helps you keep fit and burn fat – but remember to challenge yourself; the same routine day in and day out will eventually cause weight loss to plateau. You need to increase intensity and shake up your routine. 

Walking is also one of the easiest exercise programs to start.  Why?  Well, walking is inexpensive; all you need is a good pair of walking shoes.  It doesn’t cause grief to your knees or feet.  In good weather, you can walk outside and get fresh air and sunshine at the same time.  When it’s raining or snowing, try power walking DVDs (Leslie Sansone, a popular fitness expert, has a wide variety of DVDs, check her out on Amazon.)

Move it or lose it, that’s my theory.  We have two legs and one posterior.  If we were meant to sit all the time, we’d have two butts and one leg! Now how weird would that be?

What if you can’t walk? Chair Exercises and Limited Mobility Fitness 

Sources:

*USA Weekend, Sep 21-23, 2012. The Power of Walking (Kelly Bothum)

 **Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.  Walking is Good for your Heart.

 

 

Quote for the Week: March 29, 2015

IMG_0004_NEWPhoto by Camille Goscicki

Do not follow where the path may lead.  Go, instead, where there is no path, and leave a trail. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

 

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882) American essayist, poet, philisopher 

For more of Emerson’s quotes, go to:  Proverbia.net

Shake it Up for Vital Aging

It’s no longer the wellness project – It’s Bea Boomer’s Vital Aging Project – Day 37 – 3/27/15

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Bea’s Buzz for Friday

Bea has seen several of those YouTube videos, with a variety of everyday people lip synching to Taylor Swift’s song, Shake it Off.  

While enjoying the version sung by two country boys (one of the best ones, in Bea’s opinion), she had a smashing idea!  Bea decided to rewrite the song’s lyrics to reflect what vital aging is all about.  Bea’s contemplating a YouTube performance – but she may need voice lessons first!

So here it is, Bea Boomer’s song:  Shake it up! 

I got wrinkles on my face – got grayin’ in my hair

That’s what the mirror says, mmm hmm – That’s what the mirror says, mmm hmm

I stay in too much – got cobwebs in my brain

Now that’s no way to age, mmm hmm – no that’s no way to age, mmm hmm

But I had it with this pace – yea, I gotta make a change

And that’s what it’s about, mmm hmm – yea, that’s what its about, mmm hmm

‘Cause the birthdays gonna come, come, come, come, come and birthdays gonna go, go, go, go, go 

Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake – I shake it up, I shake it up

‘Cause the birthdays gonna come, come, come, come, come and birthdays gonna go, go, go, go, go 

Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake – I shake it up, I shake it up

Won’t let agin’ get me down, I’ll just kick it in the butt

And that’s what it’s about, mmm, hmm – yea, that’s what its about, mmm, hmm

I’ll never miss a chance, keep steppin’ up my game

And that’s the way to age, mmm, hmm – yea, that’s the way to age, mmm hmm

I keep on learnin’ – can’t stop, won’t stop growin’ 

It’s like I got this power in my mind, sayin’ it’s gonna be just fine

‘Cause the birthdays gonna come, come, come, come, come and birthdays gonna go, go, go, go, go 

Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake – I shake it up, I shake it up 

‘Cause the birthdays gonna come, come, come, come, come and birthdays gonna go, go, go, go, go 

Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake – I shake it up, I shake it up  

I love my attitude – don’t care what people say

And that’s the way to be, mmm hmm – yea, that’s the way to be, mmm hmm

I’m steppin’ up my game – get more power every day

And that’s what they don’t know, mmm hmm – yea, that’s what they don’t know, mmm hmm 

‘Cause the birthdays gonna come, come, come, come, come and birthdays gonna go, go, go, go, go 

Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake – I shake it up, I shake it up 

‘Cause the birthdays gonna come, come, come, come, come and birthdays gonna go, go, go, go, go 

Baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake – I shake it up, I shake it up

Shake it up, shake it up

I, I, I, shake it up – I shake it up

I, I, I shake it up – I shake it up

I, I, I, shake it up – I shake it up

©Bea Boomers Wellness 2009-2015

Letting Go of Stuff Day

Bea Boomer’s Wellness Project – Day 36 – 3/25/15

According to the Gone-ta-pott website, the 4th week of March is National Clutter Awareness Week, and March 25th is Letting Go of Stuff day. (Looking for fun and weird holidays, many of which you didn’t even know existed? Look no further than Gone-ta-pott.) 

Bea is going to celebrate this holiday by de-cluttering her home office. (This may take more than a day, however). She’s a big believer in clearing out the clutter – a few years ago, she actually wrote a song about how clutter was driving her crazy!   Her house is relatively organized, but her office?  Not so much. 

Her computer desk and the area surrounding it are filled with manila folders, half-read books about health and wellness, research notes, scraps of paper with ideas scribbled on them (that’s what happens when you get an idea in the middle of the night and have to write it down somewhere!)  There’s a table in this room, covered with more books, papers that haven’t been filed in her filing cabinet, magazines, photos to be scanned . . . . oh yea, there are also cobwebs.  Bea only notices those when her hubby points them out.  

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It drives her crazy and clutters her mind – and with a cluttered mind, she can’t get anything accomplished.  It also seems like the older she gets, the more she wants to simplify her life – she notices that there’s a lot of stuff in her house that she doesn’t even use! 

Decluttering for vital aging?  Yes m’am. “They” say (the experts, that is) that organizing your space can also help your mood and your mental health.  Take a look at this article for some tips on how to declutter not only your personal space, but your mind as well.  (Life Organizers is a pretty cool site:  it provides a ton of organizing advice, tips, checklists, etc.  

 Some scientists state that clutter can negatively affect focus and concentration.

On the other hand, some argue that people with messy workspaces may simply be more creative than their neater neighbors.  

What about you?  Do you like to surround yourself with stuff, or do you prefer to de-clutter? 

 

 

Bea’s Aging Philosophy

Bea Boomer’s Wellness Project – Day 35 – 3/23/15

I have a simple philosophy about aging:  

  • Do the best you can with what you have.
  • Be pro-active to maintain both your emotional, mental, and physical health.
  • Take responsibility for yourself.
  • Oh yea – have fun with it! 

Captureaa(Created at mywebface.com)

For me, the key is “growing old,” not simply “getting old.”  Like my oldest sister, who is 75, I call myself “age empowered.”   I hope to always feel this way. 

Now I know darn well that no matter how proactive I am about my health and wellness, there will be things that come up that will scare the hell out of me.  But I also believe that over the years, I’ve learned to become resilient.  I’ll do my best to bounce back from life’s curve-balls.

What about you?  What’s your attitude toward aging? 

Further reading about Aging and Attitude

Book: “Attitude is Everything. 10 Life-Changing Steps to Turning Attitude into Action.” (Keith Harrell)

This article describes 10 “thought distortions” that lead to negativity and provides some strategies that lead to positive thinking:  Positive Thinking for Healthy Aging

According to the American Psychological Association, people with a healthy attitude toward life just may live longer:  A Healthy Mind, a Longer Life

A person’s beliefs about aging (that is, whether or not they believe in those negative stereotypes) can affect both their physical and mental health: Older People Become What They Think

Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength. (Betty Friedan)

 

©Bea Boomers Wellness 2009-2015

Good News for Friday!

Bea Boomer’s Vital Aging Project – Day 34 – 3/20/15

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Bea’s Buzz for Friday:

Don’t know about you, but Bea gets tired of seeing bad news on television or on the Internet.  She has a tendency to yell at politicians when she sees them on the tv screen, causing her blood pressure to rise dangerously. She gets angry when she sees people being victimized by thugs and scammers.  She cries when she sees children getting killed by bullets being shot into their homes. 

So this week, in honor of spring springing, she decided to look for some good news – and guess what?  She found it.  

From the AARP Bulletin (March 2015) – Great news relating to Bea’s previous post about protecting your vision

  • New technologies, such as telescopic implants, for macular degeneration.  Contact lenses containing eye medication for glaucoma sufferers.  Injection therapy to help those of us with the wet form of macular degeneration.  

From the Good News Network:

Inspiration from the Philly.com website:

  • Centenarian Frieda Lefeber has her first solo art exhibition at Rosemont College in Pennsylvania.  She started taking art courses there in her 70s, and published her autobiography at age 88!  Read more about Ms. Lefeber and her philosophy about life in this article

And hey, the official start to spring is simply great news!  Life is good today.  

©Bea Boomers Wellness 2009-2015

 

Brain Awareness Week (March 16 – 22)

 

Bea Boomer’s Wellness Project – Day 33 – 3/18/15

I recently saw the movie, Still Alice. In the movie, Julianne Moore plays Alice, a woman who struggles with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease. In her case, it was familial; she carried the gene for AD. This neurological disease has also been linked to diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, along with other modifiable risk factors.  In a recent bulletin, the AARP pointed out that the cases and costs of AD continue to rise, with no end in sight.*

Since then, I’ve been thinking about my brain.  Or should I say, I’ve been thinking about my brain’s health. I’ve written posts about the aging brain in years past. In my blog, past articles  have taken a lighthearted approach. But in truth, losing my brain functions is one of those things I do take seriously, and is the thing I fear most about aging

Which brings me to Brain Awareness Week, a worldwide initiative which was started by the Dana Foundation 20 years ago. This foundation provides information about the brain to the public, and also helps advance brain health research in a variety of ways. This provides us with the opportunity to learn about the strides that scientists are making to protect our brain health. Brain Awareness Week is just the start; according to the Scientific American website, the Dana Foundation continues brain awareness activities year-round. 

How to get involved with Brain Awareness Week: Check out the Society for Neuroscience Brain Awareness Campaign.  

I’ve recently joined to become an advocate of Alzheimer’s research – please join me.  We can make a difference! You can become a chamption at ActionAlz

You can follow the Alzheimer’s Association on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/actionalz

I’ve found some interesting reading about the brain: 

  • This article from The Human Memory website, describes the three major parts of the brain. This website has some interesting reading and includes articles about the different types of memory, memory disorders, types of memory, etc. 
  • The Amen Clinic talks about super foods for the brain.
  • Brain Healthy Recipes from BrainHQ at the Posit Science website

Source: 

*Reid, T.R. Where’s the War on Alzheimer’s? AARP Bulletin.  January – February 2015.  

©Bea Boomers Wellness 2009-2015

What I’ve Learned from Loneliness

 

Young woman walking in lake

Bea Boomer’s Wellness Project – Day 32 – 3/16/15

I do believe that friendship and other social relationships lead to vital aging; however, I’m one of those people who also needs some alone time. I learned about what it was like to be lonely as a child. However, in the long run, I also learned about the blessings of alone time. 

I was a solitary kid. It’s not that I didn’t have any friends – I was simply shy and introverted. I kept to myself more often than not.  I don’t remember having friends at my house when I was in elementary school.  My family situation was often stressful. My dad was an alcoholic, and that, along with other dynamics, didn’t make my house a welcoming place.    

I walked or rode my bike to our local library by myself – the library was my haven.  Losing myself in books was a relief and a pleasure. I also wrote a lot of stories and plays; I had quite an imagination in those days. 

As I got older, I broke out of my shell and developed typical teenaged friendships, and also met my two forever friends. Yet there were still times I felt achingly alone – never feeling like I quite “fit in.”   

I’m not looking for sympathy.  It’s what my life was.  While at the time, I didn’t find anything redeeming about loneliness, I realize now that it certainly didn’t scar me for life. Instead, it taught me some things: 

  • I don’t mind being silent at times.  I don’t always need to fill up space with words.  Sometimes it’s better just to listen. 
  • I learned how to be self-reliant.
  • I learned that there’s nothing wrong with eating alone at a restaurant.  
  • I’ve sometimes been lonelier in a group of people than I was being by myself.
  • I hate talking on the phone.  Get to the point and hang up, that’s my motto.  (Really?  That’s a lesson from loneliness?  Maybe not.  Could just be my old introverted self raising her head).  

Way back in 2011, I  wrote a post listing the five benefits I got out of solitude. This hasn’t changed over the years.   Because I’m  more at peace with myself than I’ve ever been, alone time has become more important than ever.  

What about you?  Do you enjoy solitude?  What benefits do you get from that time alone? 

 For additional reading: 

Bella DePaulo (Social Scientist, Blogger, Author and more) provides many links that lead to articles describing what experts have to say about solitude in her article titled. What’s Great about Solitude: Here’s What we Know 

I also enjoyed this article from the Greatist website, which talks about the Joy of Missing Out. 

Language… has created the word ‘loneliness’ to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word ‘solitude’ to express the glory of being alone. (Paul Tillich)