Falling Off the Wagon

Some people mistakenly assume that because I give wellness workshops and lead exercise classes that I am always behaving in healthy ways. It just isn’t so. Like many others, I have my good days and my not-so-good ones. I strive to do most things right but every now and then, I slip up. If I am mindful of what I’m doing, …

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Stand Up for Better Health

Last week in one of my wellness classes, we had a physical therapist come in to demonstrate some techniques for getting up from a fall. Before she left, she had volunteers sit in a chair, cross their arms over their chest, and then stand. The challenge was to sit, stand fully, and sit back down as many times as possible in …

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Staying Mentally Fit

A survey of AARP members shows that 87% of people 50 and older are very concerned about keeping their mental abilities. If that includes you, there’s hope. First, a recent study shows that the overall number of cases of dementia (including Alzheimer’s) in the 65-plus population dropped from 11.9% in 2000 to 8.8% in 2012. Second, there are things you can …

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A Time to Rest, a Time to Run

It’s a natural response after you’ve been hurt to take time to heal. But too much of a good thing can be bad for you. Whether it’s a knee injury or a lost job, there’s a time to rest and a time to push on. On the rare occasion that I come down with the flu, I like spending a few days …

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Get a Grip!

Did you know that your hand grip strength is an indicator of future disability? Flipping through a journal of gerontology, I found an article describing an interesting experiment. Many studies show that how a person thinks or feels about age actually impacts their health. This study was unusual in that it had mostly female participants. And the results were encouraging. The …

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No Place Like Home

A family member recently made the shift from working in cold Indiana to retiring in sunny Nevada. A lot of people move to a warmer climate when they retire. After years of shoveling snow they look forward to enjoying better weather year ‘round. Each of us deserves to find the living environment that best suits us—now and in the future. As …

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It’s Not Always about Age

Too often I hear people say things like “It hurts, but what can I expect at my age?” Friends may complain that they can no longer walk or dance or hike or whatever as much or as fast as they used to, and they assume it has to do with getting older. But that’s not always the case. Not long ago, …

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Blue Mood

It can be scary to grow old when you have depression. Being susceptible to sudden bouts of sadness or hopelessness is hard enough at any age. But when they occur alongside deteriorating health and concerns about an uncertain future, the combination can be crippling. Research shows that in general, older adults are happier than young adults. The lifelong prevalence of good …

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Brain Games

Preserving cognitive capability is something I am very interested in. I would like to avoid mental decline or delay it for as long as possible. A number of things have been found to help keep the brain fit, including being engaged in challenging and stimulating activities on a regular basis. That’s how I ended up with a group of fascinating women …

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Avoid Alzheimer’s?

In clearing out my DVR queue recently, I ran across a PBS program that featured psychiatrist Daniel Amen, the author of Change Your Brain, Change Your Life. He was giving a presentation on how to improve memory and decrease the risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Amen described how each of us can affect our brain health in positive ways to …

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