Smart Walking for Seniors

Once again there is good news about walking as an exercise,  which could be especially good for us seniors.  The newest information I read about this exercise is too good not to share.  That’s right.

For those of you who find it difficult to get exercise, ten minutes of mild exercise can benefit the brain by creating new cells and improve memory. This is certainly worth trying instead of being sedentary.  The exercise does not have to be intense either.  Are you feeling better about my news already?  I thought you would.  Although some of the tests referred to in the article were done on animals, it turns out that past studies also have shown that people with a larger, healthier hippocampus (essential for memory creation and storage) exercise regularly.

Not convinced?  Another study was conducted again by scientist on college students. This time the exercise was done for 10 minutes on bicycles at a gentle pace. It was very easy, according to the article. The students were given computerized memory test immediately after slow pedaling.  Then the students were given the same sequence on the bikes for 10 minutes; however, the testing took place inside an MRI machine, where their brains could be scanned.
Continue reading “Smart Walking for Seniors”

The Aspirin Question

Just when we thought we had the right information about taking aspirin,  a new study comes out to create confusion.  Even though I have had heart surgery, I must admit I do not take aspirin.  As a matter of fact, I only took it immediately after my open heart surgery 23 years ago.  My surgery   was not because of a heart attack. I stopped taking aspirin because of an allergic reaction one time, and I never took it again.  Now, it turns out that I am on the right side of what is healthy for my age.  Below is a summary of my findings, which I hope helps clear up a few things for you. Please use the source links for more detailed information.

♥ If you are 70 and older, there is no benefit at all to taking an aspirin a day, unless you have had a heart attack; have a stent; had a bypass surgery; suffer from angina, or had a stroke.
♥ The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that those in their 50s with a 10 percent higher risk because they have high blood pressure/high cholesterol, should continue to take aspirin.  The same is true for people in their 60s.
♥ Aspirin can cause bleeding, which can be dangerous. Find out from your doctor whether there are benefits for you. Continue reading “The Aspirin Question”

Arthritis Seasons & Remedies

I have shared with some of you in the past that I am an aromatherapy enthusiast, and recently acquired my certification. So, I am delighted to tell you that  I read lavender and rice warmed in the microwave can relieve some arthritis pain.   That’s right !  Why don’t you try it?

Put the dried lavender and rice in a pair of clean gloves or socks. Warm them in the microwave. After warming the items,  wear them to relieve the pain.  Not only will you feel better, but lavender, is known to have other therapeutic values like calming the nervous system; initiating deep relaxation, and emotional balance, to  name a few.

Those of us who are challenged with arthritic pain sometimes have flare-ups during rainy seasons and cold weather.  I for one feel that kind of pain more in my neck and shoulder.  Specifically during these periods, we want to pay attention to what we are eating.  Foods that help with inflammation and can be added to our diet are, for example: tomatoes;  ginger; olive oil; almonds; walnuts; raisins; fatty fish like albacore tuna; farmed salmon; mussels; and, anchovies.  Foods that we want to eat less of are, for example:  Red meat; french fries; pasta; candy; and soda.  You pretty much know whether you are eating too much of these items.

Read more about remedies at these sources:

https://www.3rdactmagazine.com

https://www.webmd.com

Taking a Time-Out from Exercise

I have to admit when I look at someone sitting in a hammock I immediately relax.  It’s a symbol for  instant gratification, reading a book, or daydreaming. It does not remind me of taking that 30 minute walk that I promised to do.  A few days ago, I listened to an orator who suggested that the 30 minute walk I take every day is an act of “selflove”. That’s right.  He said, it takes a lot of ‘selflove’ to exercise, when you really want to do something else. Many of us would not think about it that way.  Do you?

Let’s talk about what happens when you take a ‘time-out’ from exercise both for seniors and younger adults. I’m not referring to a day or two.  That might be OK, but if you do that for a few weeks, the consequences become much more pervasive.  Here are some of the benefits that exercising on a regular basis provides us with: works against Type 2 diabetes; heightened blood sugar; protects against heart disease; lowers “bad” (LDL) cholesterol.  As seniors, we are often reminded of these points by our doctors.  For younger people, it’s easier to reverse these issues.
I try to get close to 10,000 steps a day. This includes a 30 minute walk, which is about 4,000 steps.   During the course of the rest of the day, I try to get 6,000 more steps or close to it by moving every chance I get.
Continue reading “Taking a Time-Out from Exercise”

Stepping Seniors Formula for Best Walking

I am happy to report that finally there is a formula that can help us calculate our “brisk” walking exercise to give us the best health benefits!

Brisk” walking can now be calculated with a simple formula of  100 steps per minute!   For seniors it’s a good way to have in mind a way to calculate if our walking exercise will be beneficial.  For those of us 60 years of age or older, we may need to add more steps to this formula to satisfy the requirement, but this is a good start. And, of course, we can now go beyond 100 steps.  Presently, the federal guidelines advises 30 minutes of brisk walking.  That translates into 3,000 steps at the pace of 100 steps-per-minute. For those of you who want a more challenging exercise, you can try 130 steps per minute.

The study was conducted  by Catrine Tudor Locke, a professor of Kinesiology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.  You can read about the study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.  It turns out that walking is the most common form of exercise.  So, feel free to continue to use your feet to do just that.

Let’s keep moving seniors

Read details ⇒ Source: https://www.nytimes.com/section/well/move

 

 

Are Fish Oil Supplements Doing the Right Thing?

On your recent visit to the doctor, did you have a conversation about those Fish Oil supplements you’ve been taking to help with the cholesterol issues you have?  No?  Well, neither did I.  It pays to actually keep up with the latest news on this health stuff.  It is true that eating fish has health benefits. However, until recently,  it was thought that fish based supplements are also a good thing to take for this.

  • In the future,  you may want to think about who is coming to dinner with you.
  • Supplements for cholesterol issues usually  contain Omega-3 fatty acids (polyunsaturated oils). Omega-3 fatty acids are also available by eating fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel.
  • It is suggested that people who eat these types of fish two or more times a week may have fewer issues with heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular deaths.
  • Some of the benefits of eating fatty fish 2 or 3 times a week are: lower heart rate and blood pressure; and improved function of blood vessels, for example.

Now it turns out that those studies, which were done 15 years ago, and reported that fish oils/fish eaters, could lower the risk of heart disease,  may not be the only studies to consider. It may be some other factors/characteristics; for example, eating less meat, healthier lifestyles etc., could be contributory factors as well.
Continue reading “Are Fish Oil Supplements Doing the Right Thing?”

Tips for Home Alone Seniors

Have you ever heard that Aging is not for Sissies’ ? Well, some people make fun of this saying, but on a more serious note, living alone as a senior and aging can be difficult, which is why it is good to know some of the ways seniors can take precautions to protect themselves.  Here is a list of things that we seniors should take note of:

Safety Precautions for home alone seniors:
– Remove clutter.
– Remove tripping hazards (electrical cords, throw rugs).
– Use the grab bars in the shower (or install if you don’t have them).
– Prepare an emergency kit: flashlight, batteries, matches, candles. Put it in a place that is easy to remember.
– Keep track of your keys (put them in the same place every time you come in the door).  Don’t put your name and address on your key chain.
– If the doorbell rings call out,   ‘I’ll get it’,  which will alert the person ringing the bell that you are not alone.
– If you are expecting a service person like cable, or other repairman, have someone keep you company while the service is being handled.
– Have a list of friends that you speak with at least once a week.  You can set up a ‘buddy system’ with each other on specific days to touch base. Continue reading “Tips for Home Alone Seniors”

Tweaking Your Workout Activity

I realize that many of us are not  revved up about getting to a 30 minute exercise class, or walking continuously for 30 minutes.  In addition, many seniors do not have the extra income required to spend  on a health club membership.

I was encouraged by a  recent study, which finds that continuous activity is not a requirement to attain the benefits of exercise.  That is to say, you do not have to workout 30 minutes at a time to gain the health benefits! You can actually accumulate those 30 minutes of activity 10 minutes at a time.

The latest studies, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association are summarized below:
Movement strongly influenced longevity. Men and women who exercised fewer than 20 minutes a day, were at the highest risk of premature death.  Those who moved more often, especially if they were active in a day, cut their mortality risk in half”. Continue reading “Tweaking Your Workout Activity”

Senior Citizen Fitness

I know that we have covered this topic over, and over again.  However, no matter where I search for information about senior citizen fitness, the list below is repeated. Below are just a few benefits :)…

Regular exercise improves the following:

  • Immune Function. A healthy, strong body fights off infection and sickness more easily and more quickly. Rather than sapping energy reserves entirely, recovery from an illness will take less of a toll on the body if the person exercises regularly.
  • Cardio-Respiratory and Cardiovascular Function. Frequent physical activity lowers the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. If the elderly person has hypertension, exercise will help lower their blood pressure.
  • Bone Density and Risk of Osteoporosis. Exercise protects against loss in bone mass. Better bone density will reduce the risk of osteoporosis, lower the risk of falling and prevent broken bones. Post-menopausal women can lose as much as 2 percent bone mass each year, and men also lose bone mass as they age. Research done at Tufts University shows that strength training can dramatically reduce this loss, help restore bones, and contribute to better balance and less fractures. Source: https://www.agingcare.com/Articles/Exercise-benefits-for-the-Elderly-95383.htm

Continue reading “Senior Citizen Fitness”

Memory Protection for Seniors

As we age, memory loss is quite frustrating. For example, recalling names, details of incidents we just experienced, or giving directions to someone.  In addition to remembering our next appointment without checking the calendar to make sure.

I’ve often wondered how one can recognize dementia as opposed to memory loss.  Normal memory loss and dementia are not the same.  Dementia can impact your ability to take care of yourself.  If you are consistently forgetting where you put things time after time, could it be a sign of dementia? How concerned should we be? How can we discern the differences? What steps can we take to keep our brains and memory in good condition?

  • Recent statistics are that  by 2025, the number of people age 65 and older with Alzheimer’s disease is estimated to reach 7.1 million – a 40 percent increase from the 5.1 million age 65 and older affected in 2015.  Source: www.alz.org/facts/overview.asp

Normal forgetfulness:  Occasionally forgetting where you left things that you use regularly, such as glasses or keys.  Forgetting names of acquaintances or blocking one memory with a similar one, such as calling a grandson by your son’s name.  Occasionally forgetting an appointment or walking into a room and forgetting why you entered.  ♦ Not quite being able to retrieve information you have “on the tip of your tongue.”   Continue reading “Memory Protection for Seniors”