7 10-Minute Energy Boosts

Oatmeal in a bamboo bowl with strawberry and rhubarb sauce on a napkin of burlap, spoon, milk in glass jug, rhubarb against the dark boards on top

  • Start your day with a good breakfast.  Eating a donut or other sugary breakfast will let you down, not pick you up. Instead, enjoy cereal that is high in fiber in the morning. Because we digest fiber more slowly, your energy will last longer. Be sure to add protein as well; a breakfast that’s high in simple carbohydrates may give you a quick boost, but your energy will crash quickly.
  • Drink up that water. Regular hydration keeps your energy going, while dehydration drains you, lessens your ability to concentrate and may even affect your mood negatively. If you find the taste of water boring, add some lime or lemon juice for a little unsweetened flavor boost. (Signs of dehydration
  • Sit at a desk all day? Slouching over that computer? Get rid of that neck and back strain by sitting up straight, along with  getting up to stretch your body, at least once an hour. (Ergonomics

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  • Even better than stretching? Get in a 10-minute walk a few times during your day at the office. If you can, go outside: Walking in the fresh air will enhance your vitality even more than walking inside. 
  • Exercise is a great energizer. This doesn’t have to be a thirty minute exercise routine. Simply adding more physical activity into your day will energize you and help your burn calories. Try things like parking farther away from the mall, using the stairs, taking your dog for short walks, and standing up while on the phone. 
  • Find a way to get a good belly laugh during your day! This is no joke. There is so much research these days that supports the health benefits of laughing. Laughing will help relieve stress in your day, which in turn will energize you. 

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©2016 Bea Boomers Wellness

Menopausin’? 7 Ways to Cool Down those Hot Flashes

c165459_sI don’t think I ever heard the word “menopause” cross my mother’s lips.  Nope, for her it was the dreaded change of life or simply the change.  For years I connected these terms with the idea of eventually losing my marbles and sprouting hair on my chin.  Heck, according to my mom and aunts, some women went through the change and never came out of it!  (Now that I think about it, I always wondered where Aunt Betty disappeared to).

Nowadays, we’re much more sophisticated about our terminology, and thanks to Google, better educated about this period (no pun intended) of our lives.

Despite my earlier fears about menopause, for me it didn’t turn out to be that bad in terms of physical discomfort.  My biggest annoyance (and from what I hear from other ladies as well) were those times when I was walking around at work or at the mall, my temperature a comfortable 98.6 – when suddenly my body made a visit to the desert, at high noon on a 102 degree day.  What the . . . ??? 

Yep, hot flashes (and their evil buddy, night sweats) were what drove me crazy throughout menopause.  If you’re suffering from them as well, you may want to take a look at some cooling down options: 

  • Craving Thai or Szechuan food?  STOP!  Do not go there. High-fat and high-sugar diets can make hot flash symptoms worse; ditto caffeine and alcohol.
  • Instead, try the Mediterranean Diet as described in this article from the Eating Well website.   This way of eating can also help fight off that lousy weight gain that leads to meno-pots (don’t you love being a woman?) 
  • Research has also shown that adding soy foods to a diet can help, because they contain isoflavones.  Try soybeans, edamame, tofu, or roasted soy nuts. 
  • Try ground flaxseed (available in grocery stores), which may help fight against hot flashes (they’re also good for our heart health; containing fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids, and lignan) You can add the seeds to smoothies, juice, or oatmeal.*
  • Stress has been linked to hot flashes (jeez, what hasn’t stress been linked to?), so take steps to relieve daily stressors before they build up may help.  Meditation, deep breathing techniques, getting regular exercise, and keeping a journal to vent about bad stuff are a few ways to do this. Or invite your hot-flash-suffering friends over for a kick menopause in the butt party 
  • Medical treatment involves low-dose hormone therapy used only for the short-term.  You can read more about medical options in this article from the My Health Alberta website. 
  • Looking for some natural supplement options? Take a look at Dr. Andrew Weil’s suggestion in this article.  (You should talk to your doctor prior to taking supplements) 

Source: 

*Beck, LeslieWhat foods should I eat to help manage my hot flashes? 

Want to have some fun with your fellow menopausers?  Menopause the Musical is a must-see

For Further Reading:

 

 

Advice from the Blue Zones: Avoid the Sitting Disease

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Bea Boomer’s Vital Aging Project – Day 65– 6/8/15

Yes, I know I’ve talked about the sitting disease before, but it bears repeating! 

In Sardinia, Italy, walking is a regular part of people’s lives.  In Okinawa, most people are not only avid walkers, but gardeners as well.  In the Nicoya Peninsula, people take pleasure in physical labor throughout their lives.  In the Greek Island of Ikaria, even the elderly walk, bicycle, or work daily in their gardens.  These are some of the “blue zones” of the world, where people regularly live to be 100+, as well as avoiding age-related illnesses and dementia.  These people are natural movers.  Their living environment encourages this regular physical activity.

What a stark contrast to our sedentary lifestyles in most of the United States!  The “sitting disease” is alive and well here; too much sitting causes obesity, along with higher risks for heart attacks, diabetes and other chronic illnesses, (all of which can lead to an earlier death).

Additionally, according to research discussed in this article from Medical News Today, exercise alone may not be able to counteract the effects of the sitting disease.  Along with a regular exercise routine, we also need to get up off our butts, stand up and walk around periodically. All it takes is from one to three minutes of standing up and moving around every 30 minutes.  Check out this Harvard Health article to find out more about the sitting disease, along with related posts about exercise and fitness.  

Take a stand against the sitting disease at the Just Stand website! 

4 Ways to Combat Sitting Disease 

©Bea Boomers Wellness 2015

How to Fight Belly Fat

Bea Boomer’s Wellness Project – Day 27 – 3/4/15

Want to fight that muffin top?  While some excess weight around the abdoment may not be dangerous, visceral (or deep) fat surrounds our internal organs and causes a higher risk of metabolic syndrome, which can lead to diabetes.  Other dangers of visceral fat include heart disease and stroke.  

And here’s a surprising fact from WebMD:  even thin people can have deep fat deposits, particularly if they don’t get enough exercise.*

How to fight back:

  • Eat high fiber foodsNatural sources of fiber include:  apples with the skin, pears with the skin, black beans (and of course, other varieties as well), popcorn, barley, whole wheat bread, etc.  (Just be sure to add fiber to your diet gradually and drink plenty of water to go with it).  
  • Avoid processed and “white foods,” along with bad fats.  
  • Get that cardio exercise – Start a moderate aerobic workout plan, such as 30 minutes of brisk walking 5 or more days each week.  If you’re already active, or want faster results, jog or do other types of vigorous exercises.  
  • Strength train – Experts point out that aerobic exercise is not enough to fight belly fat.   Strength training helps build muscle, and that can boost your metabolism and help you burn off more fat.  
  • Find ways to get a good night’s sleep – Lack of sleep has been linked to abdominal fat gain
  • Finally, learn to manage stress. Studies have shown that uncontrolled stress can also lead to additional belly fat, along with 
  • Studies have shown that high levels of uncontrolled stress can also lead to more belly fat as well as a higher risk of metabolic syndrome.

This slideshow from Everyday Health talks about ways that menopausal women can fight belly fat.

For Further Reading: 

Is there “One Trick” to Losing Belly Fat? (Sorry, but the answer is “No”)

The Truth about Belly Fat

How and Why To Lose Belly Fat

Source:

* Collins, S. The Truth About Belly Fat. WebMD. Reviewed March 20, 2014

Long Term Benefits of Aerobic Exercise

Bea Boomer’s Wellness Project – Day 14 – 2/4/15

In Bea’s previous post, she talked about the short term benefits of aerobic exercise.

The long term benefits of this form of exercise are just as important, and affect our longevity in several ways.

  • Aerobic exercise, along with other fitness options, are a boon for our brain health.  Who in the heck wants their brain cells to rust as they age?  Bea sure doesn’t.  A recent study published in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience documented the effects of exercise on memory and other cognitive functions.  This is only one study, of course; but there are plenty more out there in Googleland that provide additional evidence of the power of aerobic activity on our brains.  
  • Aerobic exercise helps us fight off age-related disease and conditions that make aging not-so-fun! There’s a great deal of scientific evidence linking aerobic exericise to the prevention of heart diseases, certain cancers, Type II diabetes, and stroke. 
  • Aerobic exercise can helps us increase our endurance, flexibility and balance, all of which help fight off frailty as we age.  

Wonderful winter aerobic exercise option:

 

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For further reading:

Here’s what the CDC has to say about physical activity:  Physical Activity and Health 

Short Term Aerobic Exercise Helps you Stay Mentally Sharp 

Bea’s Wellness Beat: Running 

80 Percent of American Adults don’t get Recommended Exercise 

 

Short Term Benefits of Aerobic Exercise

Bea Boomer’s Wellness Project – Day 13 – 2/2/15

Short term benefits of aerobic exercise:

  • Aerobic exercise boosts our aging metabolism. Once we hit our thirties, ladies, our metabolism starts to slow down by 2 to 5 percent each decade.* This sucks, right?  It’s bad enough that a man’s metabolism is faster than ours, because they have more muscle than we do.  How to fight back?  Do aerobic exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes every stinking day.  Your metabolism will be pleased.
  • Aerobic exercise helps energize us.  Feeling sleepy after lunch?  Dozing at your desk?  Take a brisk walk for 15 minutes (outside, if possible) and you’ll perk up.  In Bea’s opinion, it’s better than a 5-hour energy drink.

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  • Aerobic exercise helps boost our mood.  Bea knows this for a fact – she’s a S.A.D. sufferer, and aerobics in front of her television truly helps her break down the blues.  Those “feel good” endorphins start their happy dance when she exercises.
  • Aerobic exercise helps us sleep better.  Those of us over the big 4-0 know that insomnia tends to creep up on us as we start going through perimenopause. Arrrghhh, those changing hormones!  Aerobic exercise is great for insomnia, as long as it’s not done too close to bedtime (our body temperature needs to cool down to a certain point to fall asleep easily)*
  • Aerobic exercise helps us fight off the flu and colds by boosting our immune system. 
  • Aerobic exercise helps ease menstrual cramps.
  • Aerobic exercise boosts our libido and sexual performance. Is your significant other tired of hearing you have a headache?  Exercise together out of bed and you may just be happier in bed.  You can read more about this lovely benefit in the article, The Top 3 Ways Exercise Boosts your Sex Drive.

 

Source:

* VanTine, Julia, & Doherty, Bridget. Growing Younger – Breakthrough Age-Defying Secrets. Rodale Press.

How to Fight Back against S.A.D.

Bea’s Wellness Project – Day 2 – 1/7/15

 

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Bea gets S.A.D. every year. It usually starts early in November, when the days dim their lights sooner, and nights seem endless.  The summer sun becomes a distant memory.  S.A.D., of course, is Seasonal Affective Disorder, and many of us are affected by it during these dreary winter months.

This year, however, instead of wallowing in her misery, Bea has made a serious effort to combat this winter depression. This effort lifted her spirits and made a big difference in her outlook.

Do you battle S.A.D. during the winter months? Here’s how Bea fights back:

  • Walking outside whenever possible to breathe in the fresh air. Even just 10 minutes can be invigorating.
  •  When it’s just too cold out there, she does aerobic exercise or strength training with fitness DVDs in her living room.
  • Drinking water regularly to fight off lethargy and avoiding sugary foods and simple carbs.
  • Being productive really helps her feel better – cleaning the house can be satisfying. De-cluttering her home office space is another activity that, believe it or not, enhances her serenity.
  • Starting a long-overdue project for those dark winter nights.
  • Making an effort to be social: calling a friend on the phone, planning a night out with the “girls.” This year, she joined an online book club; then went to the movies with some of her new reading buddies.
  • Bea needs a good night’s sleep to stave off depression, and this has become more difficult as she’s aged. To help enhance her sleep quality, she gets off the computer at least an hour before bedtime. She’ll get comfy on an easy chair, put on her earphones and listen to meditation music while reading a good book. This helps her unwind from her day.

If these ideas don’t work for you, check out some additional tips from health experts:

How to Cope with Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal Affective Disorder – Definition

6 Depression Traps to Avoid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bea’s 3 Favorite Strength Training DVDs

 

 

 

Bea loves strength training and finds it does great things for both her body and mind.  Heck, what’s not to love about an exercise that strengthens your bones, builds muscle and ramps up your metabolism?

Here are a few of her current favorite DVDs:

  • Star Trainers –  5 fitness experts, 5 twenty minute weight workouts.  The routines are easy to follow. The workouts may be short, but they definitely make you sweat.

 

  • Denise Austin 3-Week Boot Camp – 2 twenty minute workouts and a bonus 6 minute “ab fat blaster.” After all these years, Denise’s voice still annoys Bea. But once she learned the routine, she just muted the audio!

 

  •  Chris Freytag’s Walk and Sculpt – a combination of cardio and strength training. Bea enjoys interval training and Chris makes her work! Ahh, but it feels so good when it’s over.  (This routine is from her Walking Cardio Shape Up Max DVD)

 

All three of these DVDs are available at Amazon.

Hey readers!  Bea’s always on the lookout for new strength training DVDs.  Got any suggestions?

 

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