ABCs of Vital Aging: Purpose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last summer, I attended a wellness seminar, “How to be your own Health Hero,” sponsored by Cambridge Consulting Group, a local financial planning/wealth management company. Dr. Partha Nandi, author of the book, Ask Dr. Nandi (which is also the name of his syndicated television show) talked about the importance of being a #healthhero for our own life. 

My ears perked up when he talked about the first step to becoming your own #healthhero.  This most important first step is having a purpose.  I’m a big believer in that concept. Even as a young kid, I wondered why in the heck I’d been born. I couldn’t believe that I was simply put on this earth to just hang around. Continue reading

Book Recommendation: 30 Days to a Better Brain

We’re living longer these days. Yet most of us believe that living longer won’t mean living better. Many of us fear that our brains will suffer the ravages of age, bowing down to Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia. It doesn’t have to be this way. Taking charge of our brain health is one of the most important steps we can take to enjoy quality longevity. Good brain health is within our grasp; we just need to take that first step: a commitment to ourselves to re-vamp our lifestyle.

In his book, Canyon Ranch 30 Days to a Better Brain, Dr. Richard Carmona uses up-to-date research to show us how to go beyond that first step.     Continue reading

Don’t Hibernate – Rejuvenate!

Don't Hibernate - Rejuvenate

For the month of December, I decided to hibernate like a big old bear. Until Christmas time came along, I would come home from work, get on my PJs, and cozy up underneath a blanket. The fitness freak, who for years, exercised every evening after dinner, had become a fitness slacker. **Gasp**

One would think that cozying up for the winter would be just the thing I needed to survive the cold grayness and shortened days of the season. But no. Rather than making me feel great, hibernation just sapped my energy and dragged down my mood. Lazing around all winter has other consequences as well. Continue reading

The Best New Year’s Resolution

 

The best New Year’s resolution you can make for yourself is to make a commitment to take charge of your health and well-being. You can start by being compassionate to the woman you see in the mirror every day. It seems to me that many of us are able to be kind and loving toward others, but forget to give ourselves the same honor. Continue reading

ABCs of Vital Aging: Music

ABCs of Vital Aging: Music

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As a Detroiter, I’ve always leaned toward the Motown sound, along with sixties music and of course, classic rock from the seventies.  But recently, I’ve been wanting to introduce some new music to my brain.  My musical tastes are in a time warp, and I need to shake them up a little!

The old songs I listen to have a way of evoking long-forgotten memories, good times, old friends and loved ones. The song “Isn’t Life Strange,” from Blues album, Seventh Sojourn, always makes me think about my brother, who died unexpectedly in April of 2000. Other songs bring back memories of great (and not so great) times during my angst-ridden teenage years.   

Would you want to live without music? I sure wouldn’t. Imagine a movie without music in the background, developing the mood of that particular scene. Imagine seeing a bride walking down the aisle without hearing that familiar tune that defines a wedding. Not having lullabies to sing your child to sleep, nor songs that make us want to get up and dance with abandon. . . . Life would definitely be strange!

For me, there’s no denying that music is a part of vital aging – just because it brings pleasure to our lives. It makes us want to dance.  Sharing a concert experience with our friends enhances our friendships.

But there’s more to it than that.  There’s also scientific evidence that shows how music enhances our mental health. For example, listening to it can boost our mood (Not that I needed any research to realize that).

According to health experts at Johns Hopkins Medicine, music can keep our brains youthful.  Music engages the brain, lessens anxiety, improve our sleep. Listening to new music may boost our creativity. 

And believe it or not, our brains love when we hear new music!  Read why in this article, The Science behind the Awesome Feeling of Discovering New Music.

 

 

 

 

 

I felt the dopamine in my brain kicking on when, shortly after getting hooked on Alt Nation, I discovered a new song, My Typeby a group called Saint Motel. It made me want to move in a way that vaguely resembles dancing.  I have my daughter to thank for that, since if it wasn’t for her, I’d be listening to the same old, same old tunes! 

For Further Reading:

Your Brain (and Health) on Music  

The Impact of Music Therapy on Mental Health

Music Therapy for Health and Wellness

Your Brain Will Be in Better Shape If You’ve Taken Music Lessons 

©VitalAging4Women 2016-2017

Ted Talk Tuesday: Making Stress your Friend

Kelly McGonigal’s Ted Talk from 2013 is the most unique talk you’ll ever hear about stress!  We’ve all heard that stress kills.  In fact, for many years, she herself relayed that message to people, along with providing stress-coping strategies. Then she adapted her beliefs, after getting some revelations from a long-term study showing that it’s not stress that kills, but rather, how people react to stress. By changing how we face stress in our lives, we can make our lives healthier and happier.  

Check it out, and let me know what you think about Kelly’s point of view on stress and its positive aspects. 

Continue reading

5 Reasons to try Meditation

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5 Reasons to try Meditation

  1. Meditation may help us sleep better. At least 40% of Americans don’t get enough of the quality sleep they need to function well during the day.*  Many of these insomnia sufferers are women. Our insomnia is caused by hormonal changes we face in our lives, such as pregnancy and perimenopause.  
  2. Meditation relieves stress, and can help those of us who suffer from anxiety and depression. 
  3. Meditation provides other mental health benefits:  an increase in happiness, self-acceptance and awareness, concentration, focus and more – as found in the article, The Benefits of Meditation You Never Knew, from the Art of Living website.
  4. Meditation can lower blood pressure, boost the immune system and even increase energy levels, just to name a few physical health benefits.
  5. Meditation may help strengthen our aging brain by slowing down the loss of gray matter, according to UCLA researchers.

Continue reading

Holistic Health for Vital Aging

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Holistic Health for Vital Aging

 

 

 

 

 

The American Holistic Health Association (AHHA) has been around since 1989, and is an impartial, non-profit resource for information about holistic (mind/body) wellness.  

One of the first resources I discovered at AHHA, is the booklet  Wellness from Within: The First Step.  I found it to be a great place to start to learn about AHHA and its core values.    Continue reading

7 Ways Caregivers can Take Care of Themselves

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7 Ways Caregivers can Take Care of Themselves

Every airplane traveler hears the same refrain whenever they take a flight. In case of an emergency, always put on your own oxygen mask before helping another passenger. It’s the same when you’re a caregiver, caring for a loved one with a debilitating condition.  To take care of others, you first need to take care of yourself. Continue reading