Want a Healthy Aging Cure with no Side Effects? Try Meditation!

Senior woman healthy aging

My 60th year has been the busiest of my life. Before it’s over, I will have moved twice, put the heat to a back-burner passion, refreshed important friendships, picked up a new musical instrument and increased my income by improving my habits.

It didn’t start off to be a year of self-improvement, but when I decided I wanted to live to be 100, I knew it was time to get busy. I think a lot of us make important decisions and go through changes on big birthdays.

I credit one new habit with having the best influence on me this year. I’ve started meditating. Here’s how it all came about for me.

Stress Attacks from the Inside Out

If selling a home of 26 years wasn’t enough, we had already started building another home and moved to a third location where we would live during construction. Perhaps most taxing: I am the realtor, and the most demanding client ever is my husband. After 90 days on the market, he was stressing us both out.

A much younger, very with-it realtor found our buyer. She sensed my stress. “You should try meditation,” she said. Sure, I thought to myself. There’s not enough time in a day as it is.

A few days later, I end up in the doctor’s office with a miserable rash on my right arm and down my right side. I fear it’s shingles.

That same morning, I’m packing to go out-of-state for a family wedding. More problematic than hiding this rash in my new sleeveless dress, is that shingles is a no-no around my pregnant niece and the adorable young children I can’t wait to see in person rather than on Instagram.

It wasn’t shingles, though I learned stress can aggravate the shingles virus. My doctor diagnosed my ugly, itchy skin as a stress reaction. She prescribed Prednisone and suggested meditation. “Meditate any way you want,” she said. “Just learn to calm your mind.”

Meditation Cures Many Ills

More than 3,000 scientific studies have proven the benefits of meditation. It lowers blood pressure, reduces anxiety, wards off depression and boosts immunity.

Some research shows meditating improves cellular structure and cures disease, speeds healing and fights some cancers. New research on aging suggests meditation helps lengthen telomeres, those protective caps on our chromosomes, which may add years to life.

Simply put, meditation is a dose of good medicine with no negative side effects, something we don’t hear about very often. Plus, it’s free.

Anyone Can Meditate Any Way, Anywhere

There are no rules about meditating, and here’s how I go about it.

I meditate first thing every morning for just 10 minutes. While some people find music distracting, I listen to classical music if I’m inside or just the sounds of nature if I’m outside. I sit in a straight back chair and set a countdown timer. I close my eyes and start with 4-7-8 breathing popularized by Dr. Andrew Weil.

After concentrating on my breath, I spend a couple minutes on gratitude. Then I move on to awe, feeling deeply that the universe is so big and mysterious, yet I’m an important piece of the puzzle.

I may ponder how perfectly the solar system works so there’s life here on Earth. I may contemplate the human body, a miracle computer like none other. The subject matter for awe is endless, and I almost always get tingles during this part of my meditation.

When my timer goes off, I smile, stretch and try to carry all that with me for the day.

The Benefits are Subtle Yet Substantial

I’m frustrated when I talk to friends about meditating and they say, “I don’t sit still that long” or “I just can’t get into it.” A year ago, I was a skeptic too. Now I’m a believer that meditation makes a difference and hope it’s adding years to my life. It has become a treat, not a chore at all.

I still rush to get everything done, but sometimes I feel like I’m floating through the stressful parts of the day. I’m much more likely to hold my tongue and keep a negative thought to myself. I may just slough it off, like less-than-positive thoughts aren’t part of me at all.

My cholesterol has dropped about 40 points to under 200 for the first time ever. Could that be related to meditation? It’ hard to say because I’ve made other lifestyle changes, too. I’m willing to bet meditating plays at least a small part. But I’m not taking any chances. I’m sticking with it, and I am a cheerleader for everyone who gives it a try… any way you want.

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Source: CareTips

Manifest Your Wellbeing with the Power of Pink

Senior woman well-being

In the heyday of my interior design career, I noticed that many mature women surrounded themselves with pink. Consultations took me into the homes of women in their 60’s and 70’s who lived alone.

I could have wagered a bet, sight unseen, that I would find significant traces of that delicate hue lurking in their decor. Attempts to steer them into other color palettes almost never succeeded. Nor did they want magenta or fuchsia. They wanted soft, fleshy, little-girl pink.

I was curious, but not curious enough, to delve into the psychology behind that fascinating inclination. I took note and learned how to be creative within those limited parameters.

Now, I myself am in that shadowy period of time between old-ish and just plain old and – you guessed it – I’ve lost my aversion to pink. Although I refuse to decorate my home in that color, I’m drawn to fabrics, clothing and accessories in various shades of blush.

On a recent shopping spree, I barely noticed anything that wasn’t some rendition of rose. When I realized what I was doing, I remembered those design days. Why, at this stage of life, had my preferences changed?

When it became personal, my interest level spiked. A Google search brought me to an article about the psychology of color. It asked a simple question:

How Does Pink Make You Feel?

The ‘aha’ moment came with a woman’s answer: “Although green used to be my favorite color, pink has the strongest and deepest emotional influence to me. The color pink to me has a deeply joyful vibe to it. Like being “home.”

She continues, “A familiar friendly place deep within everyone’s heart where there are no worries, you are never lonely, you have everything in life that you ever wanted. You are loved and accepted by everyone. You feel as if you’ll never get old. Anyone you’ve missed or lost in life, you are able to meet once again and rejoice.”

I read it once, then twice, then again, isolating the words: joyful, friendly, no worries, never lonely, loved, accepted, forever young, no losses, a feeling like being home. Isn’t that what everyone longs for? If a color could manifest such wellbeing for one person, maybe it worked in similar ways for others.

Another woman wrote that since she no longer has to compromise with her husband, she surrounds herself in pink. Her words were even more revealing. “Pink makes me think of springtime flowers and all things fresh and new. It seems like a really inspiring color. If I could, I would paint my room all pink so that I could always feel that sense of inspiration and renewal.”

The Ultimate Rebellion

If she could – why couldn’t she? Was pink the ultimate rebellion against all the inhibitions, restraints, and compromises of a lifetime of pleasing others? Was it the indulgence in self-pleasure that only seems possible after the work’s all done?

Looking back, I see those elder clients sitting serene on their cushy pink sofas and Queen Anne chairs. I remember feeling mild nausea and now I’m thinking about that, too. Was I jealous of their freedom?

I was still bound by self-imposed obligations to others. Did I long to break the chains and become what their pink homes signified? Or did I just detest pink, and if so, why was that?

I read on and more clues appeared: “Feminine, attractive, vibrant… bright pink or paler, no matter what age, makes me feel flirty…” Jill Cleggett

“Hot pink is vivacious and joyous. I think that hot pink embodies who I try to be as a person: full of life and character… More muted pinks represent youth and innocence, while loud forms of pink exude sexiness and boldness… Pink is my euphoria.” DrEbz

Pink is Our Euphoria

Did she say, “Pink is my euphoria?” At the time I hated pink I was about as far from euphoria as Earth is from Neptune. I didn’t feel sexy, vivacious, flirty or joyous. Everything in my life was a compromise.

In fact, it wasn’t even my life. I was living another’s dream. No wonder I avoided that happy color like it were death. It represented what I wanted but didn’t have.

Perhaps pink is the reward. Once we have identified our goals, are moving toward who we are meant to be, are using the talents we were born with, and have learned to love ourselves – even the shadows within – we finally deserve pink. It’s a bold statement of self-affirmation. Until then, lesser colors will do.

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Source: CareTips

Out with the Old! 5 Things Every Woman Should Throw Away This Spring (and 5 Things to Keep)

Yes, your cabinets or closets may need a good purging. But spring is also good time to throw away some things that don’t require a trip to Goodwill.

I know you’re chomping at the bit to dig through your cupboards. But how about sorting through your clutter within, too? Do some spring-cleaning for the soul and make room for more of what you want to keep, more of who you truly are.

To get you started, here are 5 things worth tossing out.

Shed the “Shoulds”

How should you be spending your time? Should you attend that neighborhood party?

Should is an authoritative word that gets its orders from society or our pre-programmed notions about how we’re supposed to behave or respond.

Observe when you use it. Give it the old heave-ho when you can.

Nix the Need to Please

Our need to please asks us to make automatic responses like “Sure!” that might cause a churning in our gut.

We disregard what we know is best for us, what we really want. Remember, you can please some of the people some of the time, but you’re the one in charge of pleasing YOU. And spring is a good time to take charge.

Jettison Any Guilt

Guilt is a draining emotion that we feel when we act on what we want then second-guess ourselves.

If this is a hard one to let go of, start in small situations with low stakes. Maybe you’re asked to babysit the grandkids but really want to take that guided tour of the museum.

Practice putting your need to please at the bottom of the list and your desire at the top. Settle into the good feeling you have about your choice. Release any guilt. (Then go to the museum.)

Pitch Perfection

Bottom line, whatever it is that you’re striving to make or look perfect, no one notices but you. If they notice, they probably don’t care. If they care, so what?

Let it go. Life is unique because of imperfections. And so are you.

Release the Unwanted

Anything you don’t want, including the stuff in your cupboards, can go. It’s beneficial to toss out actual things. Making physical space creates room in our hearts and spirits, too.

But the unwanted can also include people who bring us down, activities we’ve grown tired of, or even the hairstyle we’ve worn for years.

Examine your list of things just asking to be released. Then set them free.

So, now that you have more heart-space, what’s worth keeping this spring? See if these 5 things resonate.

Preserve the Word “No”

It’s easier to say “No” if it’s accompanied by “Thank you,” or, “This won’t work for me.” It’s also a complete sentence.

Save Time for Self-Care

Fill your days with rest, movement, and a little pampering. Include some solitude as well as the companionship of people who nourish you.

Hang onto Continuous Learning

Follow your curiosity and pursue what stimulates you. There’s so much still to explore!

Make Room for Service to Others

However we do it, helping other people ignites our sense of purpose and gives us avenues for sharing our gifts.

Maintain Some Soulful Practices

Whether it’s through meditation, prayer, or a creative endeavor that causes us to lose track of time, when we follow a track that nurtures us from the inside out, we increase our Peace and expand our Joy.

And who doesn’t want more of that this spring?

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Source: CareTips

5 Reasons Why Boomers Want to Work in Retirement

Work-in-Retirement

If I asked you to provide some reasons as to why many Boomers want to continue working in retirement, the most frequent answer would be, “for the money.” I don’t doubt that is the main motive, but I would like to further unpack the issue of Boomers choosing not to stop working.

What Does a Job Give Us?

Let’s begin by looking at what a job or employment adds to our lives.

Certainty, Predictability, and Stability

The income provides financial security, but the work hours and annual leave cycle add a structure and predictability that holds our lives together.

Constant Challenge to Our Capabilities

The best jobs challenge us, keep us on the boundaries of our comfort zone and furnish opportunities for learning. Jobs that allow for a measure of creativity will offer fertile soil for adventure, learning, and stimulation.

Identity and Social Standing

We have a work identity that informs the world around us who we are, by informing them about what we do, what we know, and our status.

Work Culture

The work setting often creates a set of norms and a jargon; together these form a culture to which we belong. With a good leader at the helm, we are made to feel that we are part of a whole that is moving towards a common goal.

Personal Growth

Work provides plenty of opportunities to grow and contribute to the world around us. Whether it involves going on courses, or simply learning on the job, many firms create a safe environment for us to learn and therefore to grow. We can then use what we have learned, to give back to the community around us.

Retirement Takes the Carpet Out from Under Our Feet

When we come up for retirement, literally overnight, all of the above are ripped out from under our feet, like the proverbial carpet. There is no predictability, stability, and security in endless unstructured weeks going forward.

We need to go out in search of stimulation and challenge, as well as a sense of belonging. Our identity is no longer written on the door of the office; we are suddenly simply a pensioner or retiree.

We have a whole new jargon of retirement to learn and, if we have come into retirement suddenly, we may be unprepared for this new culture. And, where will we find opportunities to grow and contribute?

Thus, many decide that continuing to work is the easiest way to restore the balance. And why not, if you have a decade or two of healthy living before you are too old and frail? So how do we set about ‘working’ in retirement?

Some Will Continue to Work at What They Know and Do Best

For many, fear of losing the above-mentioned freedoms and rights is sufficient incentive to continue working at what they know and do best.

They will look for contract work in the field they have recently left or even try to get an extension or a part-time contract in the firm from which they are retiring.

Some may go to another player in the industry in search of a contract. After all, they have valuable skills to offer, fine-tuned over many years.

Others May Break Out as Entrepreneurs

For others, their job may have become boring, they may have reached the top of the ladder or they feel they have little more to offer.

This is where many decide to step out and become entrepreneurs, working for themselves, at something that really ignites their passion or unleashes a previously stifled desire. This may involve a clean break or simply repackage of skills they already have.

For more information on the unfolding of the entrepreneur in retirement, please refer to my previous blogs on Sixty and Me.

Some Become Mentors or Volunteers

Yet others, for whom money is not the priority, may offer their time as mentors or volunteers. At the end of a 40-year career, most of us have much to offer that will assist the younger generations. We can show them why they don’t have to reinvent the wheel.

The need to contribute seems to become stronger as we age. Maybe it is because we feel more pressured to leave our mark on this life, but I find that many women over 60 demonstrate a deep desire to make a difference and give back to the community around them.

Besides the Balance, Work Adds Meaning and Purpose to Our Longer Lives

In addition to the above, medical science has estimated that many of us will enjoy an extended number of years based on leading a healthy life.

If my genes are anything to go by, I stand a good chance of living into my 90s. As it happens, I have a strong desire to make those years meaningful for both myself and those around me, which is why I intend ‘working’ for as long as I possibly can.

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Source: CareTips

Exercise for Over 60 Women: It’s Better if You Hate it!

Exercise for Over 60 Women

I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that some people were more “cut out” for exercise than others. At school there were those who loved Physical Education lessons and those who dreaded them.

During hockey practice my friend and I played in back positions on opposite sides so we could stand and chat – jumping over the ball if it came our way. Why would anyone want to run the risk of being hit with a wooden stick!

Out of Sync

How many of you, like me, have been to aerobic classes and found yourself out of sync with everybody else, at least one or two moves behind?

In my defense, over the years, I have tried all types of exercise. Every time I’ve ended up with one joint or another swollen and painful. I jokingly told the world that I was allergic to exercise.

It’s only been in recent years that I have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease that affects my joints, muscles and tendons.

When I found out I thought – great I don’t need to exercise; it’s not good for me. Then I read an article about a study at Glasgow University that shows that exercise really is better for you if you don’t take to it easily.

The Genetic Explanation

It seems it’s all to do with our genes. Science is finding more and more evidence that we can be genetically predisposed to certain diseases. For example, Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy because she found she had a high risk of developing breast cancer.

It’s also well known that if there is a family history of bowel cancer, eating a healthy fibre full diet can help to prevent it developing. There are countless other examples of this kind of thing, and most of us accept it as a fact that our genes play a big part in our overall health.

If we accept this fact, then it is not so difficult to believe that genetics applies to exercise as well. It seems that some people are born with a genetic predisposition to be fit or strong, and they gain some of the benefits – lower risk of mortality and heart disease – whether they exercise or not. Lucky devils.

This means that rest of us need to gird our loins and do some sort of exercise, because we are the ones who get most benefit from it. I have taken this news to heart and am embarking on a gradual journey to physical fitness, one tiny step at a time. I have found in the past that if I threw myself into exercise I ended up in pain and then stopped.

Exercise for Over 60 Women: Choosing the Right Activity

I thought hard about which form of exercise would suit me. When I was younger I was a good swimmer and enjoyed it. However, as I got older I found the palaver of travelling to the pool, getting wet, smelling of chlorine, etc. wasn’t for me. But now I’m retired so I can come home and have a long relaxing bath.

Consequently, for the past four weeks I’ve been to an aqua aerobics class. I explained my limitations to the instructor and only do what is comfortably within my limits. I’ve met a great set of “old” women, just like me – one of them I used to teach with and we haven’t seen each other for a decade or so. It’s been such fun to catch up.

Already I can feel the benefits – my legs ache less as I climb the stairs and I have more movement in my frozen shoulder. Sometimes I can actually do up my own bra!

Next week I’ll introduce the Sixty and Me Chair Yoga into my regime and then gradually move on to a Gentle Yoga DVD. I might even start having a little dance around the lounge to some uplifting music. That and walking the dog a few times a week should be just what the doctor ordered!

The key is not to be too hard on your self: only do as much as is comfortable. Don’t give up!

None of us knows for sure what our genetic heritage is, and we can’t easily control our outside environment. We can work on our internal environment. This means a healthy diet and exercise that feels right for you. If we can do this, our bodies can work to their optimum potential.

Food for Thought

When I was a young girl an old lady lived next door to my grandma. She hardly ever left the house and lived on fags and Guinness. She lived to 91 – quite a feat in the 1960s! She obviously had a very strong constitution. Have I followed her example? No – not on my life – I don’t have her genes!

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Source: CareTips

The Secret to Longevity is in Your Hands!

Wow You Won’t Believe This Longevity Secret

It’s no secret that the women in our community want to live long, vibrant and full lives. But, is there really a way to influence how long you live?

In a recent interview with Margaret, author and blogger Suzi Grant shares her secret to living longer… starting with her morning routine.

Meditation is Key to Healthy Aging

Many of us are most productive during the morning hours. However, getting up early isn’t enough. You need to start the day with the right kind of mindset. Suzi advises that this can be achieved by waking up early in the morning, taking a cup of organic coffee and meditating.

Spare about 10 minutes for meditation as soon as you wake up. It clears your mind and increases your productivity for the rest of the day. You can even use phone apps that are specifically designed to guide you in meditation.

An Exercise a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Longevity is heavily dependent on how active we are. Many women over 60 may not have the energy for vigorous exercises. Yoga, on the other hand, is easy to do and just as fulfilling.

Suzi proposes doing the 5 Tibetan Exercises, which are a sequence of yoga exercises designed to strengthen your core and give your body new energy.

It may be difficult when starting these exercises. However, once your body gets used to the exercise regime, you can build the sequence to 20-25 exercises a day.

Don’t Forget Nutrition

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Nutritionists say, “Whether you are vegan or not, you need to start your day with protein.” To ensure healthy aging, create a habit of taking a protein-heavy smoothie for breakfast. You could make one from hemp protein, green seaweed, greens in powder form, bee pollen and maca for energy.

According to Suzi, a nutrient-rich smoothie should be sufficient for most women over 60. Even if you are fasting or following a strict 5:2 diet, the nutrition from a protein heavy smoothie should comfortably serve you until the evening.

Sleep and Rest Are Keys to a Longer Life

Want to boost your longevity? Check your sleeping habits. The average human requires about 8 hours of sleep every day. It rejuvenates the body by giving it enough rest to cope with the next day’s responsibilities.

At 60, you may not have the same energy you once had. This makes your rest time even more important.

If you’re feeling tired during the day or just had a bad night’s sleep, take a 10-minute (no more than half-hour) siesta to rejuvenate. Suzi says, “You do not need to have an actual siesta, just resting with closed eyes for 10 minutes will usually do the trick.”

Additionally, stay on top of your sleeping schedule by monitoring your caffeine intake. Avoid taking coffee or any other caffeine-heavy beverage past noon.

As Margaret points out, aging beautifully has nothing to do with the way you look on the outside… It’s about how you feel inside.

Once you take control of your meditation, exercise, sleep, and nutrition, you put yourself on a more solid foundation. And, when you feel grounded, you have a better chance of living a long and happy life!

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Source: CareTips

Keep Active in Your 60s to Stay a Step Ahead of Diabetes (And Don’t Forget Nutrition Too!)

Keep-Active-in-Your-60s-to-Stay-a-Step-Ahead-of-Diabetes

I recently read a sobering statistic. Nearly 50 percent of boomers are prediabetic. This means that we have blood sugar levels that are above normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed with full-blown type 2 diabetes.

What is equally concerning is that many of us who are prediabetic have no idea that we are. So we probably aren’t making the lifestyle changes that we need to make to help delay or even prevent our prediabetes from progressing to diabetes.

One way to help better manage our blood glucose levels is to be physically active. I always knew that being active is important for our general health. But I really had no clue how dangerous being inactive – even for a short period of time – could be for those of us who may be prediabetic.

For example, there is current research which shows that being inactive for just two weeks can trigger diabetic symptoms in overweight, older adults who were already at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. These symptoms included reduced strength, increased insulin resistance, and loss of muscle mass.

To make this news worse, an abrupt drop in activity levels – which could happen if you were sick at home or hospitalized for a while – elevated blood sugar levels and sped up the onset of diabetes.

In addition, you may not fully recover even after returning to normal activity levels for two weeks. So not only does inactivity exacerbate pre-diabetes, you may never return to being as healthy as you were before.

Now this definitely got my attention – as it should yours.

How Does Physical Activity Help Keep Diabetes at Bay?

A long time, even perhaps decades, before you show symptoms of glucose intolerance (a more medical term for prediabetes), you will first develop increased insulin resistance.

When this happens, your cells don’t take in and use insulin as efficiently as they are supposed to. As a result, your blood glucose levels may start to “creep up” until you are diagnosed as prediabetic.

Activity can decrease your body’s resistance to insulin so that the insulin you have works better with your cells. This results in lower levels of glucose in your blood, and “your numbers” will improve. This is because your muscles need and use glucose more than your other organs.

When you exercise, or increase your activity level in any way, your muscles first use the glucose they have stored for energy and then take some glucose from your blood for the rest.

This helps reduce the amount of glucose circulation in your body, your glucose levels come down, and your body more readily maintains an optimal level of glucose in your blood.

Some Good Activities to Consider

If you aren’t someone who is used to being active, here are some suggestions that will help get you on the right path.

Walking

If the idea of exercise is not all that appealing to you, the great thing is that any activity that gets you moving is good. Since I really enjoy hiking with my dogs, I mention walking a lot in my blogs – it’s fun.

It gets me outdoors, and only 30 minutes a day makes a big difference in my health and mental outlook. But you can really do any physical activity that you enjoy. The secret is doing it consistently throughout the week.

While walking at any time is great, taking the time to do it for just 10 minutes after a meal – rather than “bundling” all your walking into one longer walk – also has many benefits when it comes to helping you manage your glucose levels. Yes, the timing matters!

Blood glucose levels were much lower when study participants walked for just 10 minutes after each meal, vs. walking 30-minutes on a single daily occasion. So, if you have trouble remembering to walk, try setting an alarm on your phone or find a walking buddy.

Yoga

Another activity you may also want to consider adding to your routine is yoga. There is a wealth of credible evidence to suggest that yoga may prevent the development of diabetes in high risk individuals.

Resistance Training

Never forget resistance training (otherwise known as lifting weights). First off, if you´re worried about putting on too much muscle and looking like a bodybuilder, I can tell you that isn’t going to happen. You may gain some muscle tone, but that is about it.

Also, if you believe that women “our age” don’t do resistance training, I ask you to rethink that and keep an open mind!

But back to your health. Resistance exercise is important for increasing muscle strength and helping keep muscle mass, both of which help maintain glucose levels.

Nutrition Is Another Part of the Equation

Of course, all the walking, weight lifting, and other exercising in the world won’t amount to much when it comes to managing prediabetes or diabetes if you’re not eating right.

In fact, there are those who believe that when it comes to diabetes, diet is probably more important than exercise. And, given that being overweight is the single highest risk factor, they may be right.

While you already know much of this, it does bear repeating. Eating healthily and ensuring that you are nutritionally balanced is key to avoiding diabetes.

For example, the first thing you can commit to do is avoid processed sugars. Identify foods high in lactic acid or acetic acid, like vinegar, which can regulate glucose production and absorption.

There are also nutrients which may help with normal insulin function like magnesium, chromium, and fiber. Foods with these nutrients include pistachios, bananas (ripe and green), eggs, and green peppers.

Finally, it may also be a good idea to avoid the use of open-flame and/or high-temperature cooking, including grilling, barbecuing, broiling and roasting, to cook meat because this may increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

By combining healthy eating with exercise, you will have the formula for helping to delay or prevent prediabetes from progressing to diabetes.

The post Keep Active in Your 60s to Stay a Step Ahead of Diabetes (And Don’t Forget Nutrition Too!) appeared first on Sixty And Me.

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Source: CareTips

Why Life Over 60 Works Better Without Clutter

Life-Over-60-Downsizing-Clutter

How would you feel if a relative or friend died, leaving a house full of clutter behind them, and it fell to you to sort it all out?

Unfortunately, this situation is very common. I often meet people who have toiled for months, or even years, disposing of someone else’s stuff.

Therefore, I was very cheered to hear recently that this is much less likely to happen in Sweden, where sorting out your stuff before you die is something that over 65s are expected to take responsibility for and do themselves.

They even have a name for it. It’s called dostadning, which literally means “death cleaning.” It’s about letting go of anything you no longer need and putting your affairs in order so you are ready to make a clean, guilt-free exit, without leaving a burden to anyone else.

When to Begin

Personally, I think leaving it until you’re 65 to take control of your home and your life is way too late. None of us know when we’re going to die, or how, and if you happen to become terminally ill, sorting through your possessions will probably be the last thing you feel like doing.

I believe it’s better to do it whatever age you are, and enjoy the benefits of living clutter-free for your entire life, not just the end stage.

It’s never too late to begin, and I’m happy to report that if you’ve reached the age where there is more of your life behind you than there is before you, the process can be easier. This is because you are clutter clearing with a definite purpose in mind.

Here are some ways that clutter clearing can impact your life in a positive way.

It Gives a Completely New Lease of Life

A woman I once worked with, who was in her 80s and in good health, had resolved to put her 3-storey house in order because she couldn’t bear the thought of her children walking into it after her death and seeing all her mess.

Every room was overflowing with clutter, and she had felt paralyzed for years to deal with any of it. However, she was determined to do it for them, and that kept her going, week after week, until the job was done.

The lovely thing was that she lived another 10 years, and regaining control of her home gave her a completely new lease of life. After clearing all her clutter, she felt free to do many things she’d always wanted to do.

Far from being over, she told me that she felt her life had just begun. She painted and travelled, and best of all, she often had her adult children come to stay because now she had guest rooms that were clear of clutter and available for them to use.

The Natural Thing to Do as You Get Older

We come into this world with nothing, and we can’t take anything with us when we die. At the beginning of life, there is no attachment to physical items at all. Psychologists have discovered this doesn’t start until a baby is 8-12 months old, and it gradually gathers momentum from then on.

The reverse process is supposed to happen in the decades before death, as our engagement with the physical world recedes. Putting our affairs in order brings peace of mind and goes hand in hand with disposing of things we no longer need.

Throughout life, everything works better if you only keep around you the things you love and use. This is because the stagnant energies that accumulate around clutter always cause a jam of some kind. When you clear out the old, it makes room for the new.

Living clutter-free is especially important in our senior years. It’s a complete myth that people feel comforted by having all their things around them. A few treasured items are good, but most people feel stifled by having so many things they no longer use.

There’s also the frustration that comes because of their reduced ability to clear the clutter since they are no longer as fit as they once were. It is much, much easier to sort through your things and let them go while you’re still fit and well.

Don’t Delay – Start Today

Here are four ways you can begin…

Give away, donate or sell anything you haven’t used in ages and are pretty sure you will never use again. Surround yourself with the things that represent who you are and what you want to do at this time of your life.

Make a will. Or if you already have one, make sure it’s up-to-date.

If you have any special items you wish to give to others, list them in your will or, if you no longer use them yourself, gift them to the person right now.

State clearly in your will what you want to have happen with all your digital assets. Appoint a digital executor and set up access to your online accounts and passwords through a secure route such as LastPass Emergency Access.

Lighten your load. Death is as natural as birth, and the more prepared for it you are, the more you can enjoy life to the full now.

The post Why Life Over 60 Works Better Without Clutter appeared first on Sixty And Me.

The post Why Life Over 60 Works Better Without Clutter appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

6 Powerful Supplements for Women Over 60 (# 5 Will Surprise You!)

Supplements-for-Women-Over-60

While diet should always come first, there are some supplements for women over 60 that provide additional benefits that can be difficult to obtain from food alone – especially if you are eating less to lose weight, if you have a reduced appetite or are avoiding certain foods due to intolerances.

Vitamin K2 Helps Protect Your Arteries

Most of the vitamin K obtained from food is the plant version, vitamin K1, which is found in cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce and other dark green leaves.

Less than 10% of our vitamin K intake is in the form of vitamin K2, which is found in the liver, egg yolk, meats and fermented foods such as live yoghurt, cheese and natto.

While your liver uses vitamin K1 to make clotting proteins, other tissues – such as the bones and arteries – prefer the vitamin K2 form. In the circulation, vitamin K2 activates proteins that transport calcium away from the arteries.

In the bones, vitamin K2 activates proteins which bind calcium. So, as well as protecting against osteoporosis, vitamin K2 helps to guard against unwanted calcification of the artery walls.

While your tissues can convert some vitamin K1 to vitamin K2, your liver hoards vitamin K1 when it is in short supply. Thus a supplement is a great idea for people in later life. I’ve certainly started taking it.

Vitamin D3 for Immunity and Mood

While vitamin D is best known for its role in calcium absorption to maintain strong bones, it is also vital for immunity and for regulating the mood. Deficiency can cause headache, loss of appetite, mental fatigue, low mood and irritability.

Average dietary intakes of vitamin D are just 3mcg per day, yet we need at least 10 mcg per day to avoid reduced immunity during winter months.

Older people need higher doses of vitamin D than when we were in our youth, both because we absorb it less effectively from our food, and because we make as much as four-fold less in our skin on exposure to sunlight.

I usually suggest a dose of 25mcg to 50mcg of vitamin D per day for those over the age of 50. If in doubt, a blood test can assess your vitamin D status and show you how much you need.

One US study found that a dose of 100mcg per day was needed to secure optimum blood levels in all women over the age of 75 years, for example. Look for supplements providing vitamin D3 which is more effective in maintaining vitamin D status than the plant form, vitamin D2.

Ubiquinol for Energy

Ubiquinol is a form of coenzyme Q10 – a vitamin-like substance that is needed to process oxygen and generate energy in the cells, especially heart muscle cells.

Coenzyme Q10 supplements are available in two main forms: an active, reduced form called ubiquinol, and a ‘spent,’ oxidised form known as ubiquinone. Before it can act, ubiquinone must be converted into ubiquinol and, as you get older, this conversion becomes less efficient.

Ubiquinol is therefore considered the better form for those over the age of 50. Ubiquinol is especially helpful if you feel lacking in energy, and if you are taking a statin drug which blocks the production of both cholesterol and coenzyme Q10 in the body.

Cells that are lacking in coenzyme Q10 don’t function as well, and deficiency has been linked with heart failure and with statin-related muscle aches and pains.

Royal Jelly for Hormone Balance

Royal jelly provides powerful antioxidants and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. It is one of the best sources of vitamin B5, which helps to combat fatigue and insomnia and to maintain healthy skin, hair and digestion.

Studies show that Royal Jelly has estrogen-like effects, and also stimulates the production of collagen in the skin. It’s, therefore, not surprising that Royal Jelly is a popular supplement to promote general well-being.

Many women notice that taking Royal Jelly increases vitality and improves the complexion, nail strength and hair glossiness.

Sea Buckthorn Oil to Overcome Dryness

Sea buckthorn oil is an emerging ‘secret’ oil for older women. It is rich in a wide range of omega-oils, including the relatively rare omega-7s which moisturize the hair and skin and reduce dryness.

Sea buckthorn oil helps to increase the lubricating qualities of tears. The oral supplements help to relieve dry eyes, redness and burning. Its main use is in overcoming female intimate dryness which is a common problem after menopause.

Sea buckthorn oil has also been claimed to improve the flexibility of arterial walls and to have beneficial effects on cholesterol balance.

Turmeric for Anti-Inflammatory Benefits May Be One of the Best Natural Supplements for Women Over 60

Turmeric spice is used in Ayurvedic medicine to improve many of the niggling aches and pains associated with age and to support liver function and immunity.

Its active ingredient is curcumin, an antioxidant that stimulates liver metabolism and bile production, to lower cholesterol levels and improve digestion. Turmeric also blocks the production of inflammatory chemicals (e.g., TNF-alpha) to reduce muscle and joint pains.

Supplements are absorbed best if they provide turmeric in a water-soluble nanomicelle form or combined with a black pepper extract called piperine. I’ve found turmeric helpful for knee pain.

The post 6 Powerful Supplements for Women Over 60 (# 5 Will Surprise You!) appeared first on Sixty And Me.

The post 6 Powerful Supplements for Women Over 60 (# 5 Will Surprise You!) appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

How to Feel Like a Millionaire in Your Own Home: Luxe Looks on a Budget

how-to-feel-like-a-millionaire

I was going to title this piece, “How to Decorate Like a Millionaire,” but of course, there’s no one way a millionaire decorates! Look through the upscale shelter mags and I bet you’ll comment on the questionable taste in some of the most expensive homes featured.

As you know, you don’t need a lot of money to live a millionaire lifestyle. That’s because – and it’s my mantra! – good taste has nothing to do with money.

Decorating for a Luxe Look

To start, decorating is not a language we all speak. That’s because decorating is not something we do all the time. We buy clothes and shoes, so we have the experience of trial and error. How painful is it to donate an expensive dress that we never wore once? Very.

Making a mistake on a couch? Ouch!

So here’s the story. My house is on the market and I’m downsizing. A new adventure beckons. I want a small but beautifully luxurious space to reflect my new, carefree lifestyle. Easy, “minimal but sensual” living. Having a home I love honors my life.

Meet Style Maven, Jo Tutton

I called my stylish friend, Jo Tutton, for some tips on how to create luxe looks on a budget. Based in Edinburgh, Scotland, Jo is a renowned design expert. We’ve never met in person, but I’ve been following her style for years. Her homes are comfortable and luxurious. She’s down to earth, unfussy, lots of fun and lives with great panache.

Her advice was so spot on, that I asked her if I could share her words with you. We are lucky she said yes! So… take it away Jo!

Jo Tutton’s Luxe Looks on a Budget

“First of all, take a good look around your house. What do you love? What don’t you love? Next, what’s the look you want? If you don’t know exactly, try starting a Pinterest page to collect images of things and spaces you respond to. You need to develop your eye and define your style.”

She continued… “Use a neutral color palette. Not only will your home look elegant and sophisticated, you’re less likely to tire of your color scheme. When and if you feel you need a change, you can just update accessories.”

Neutrals, Accents and Accessories

“Dark accents are dramatic and soothing. For example, try painting your doors black for a super luxe look. Decorating is in the details. For instance, if you have narrow baseboards, see if you can trim them to wider. This will immediately give your room an upscale look. Additionally, floor to ceiling curtains will instantly give a luxe glam feel.”

I thought this was a great tip. It never occurred to me!

“Spend the most that you can afford on your sofa, dining table, chairs and bed. Again, buy neutrals or classic pieces that are not trendy. Leave the trendy for accessories to mix it up. Have fun with layering textured throws and cushions.”

“Pillows can be the accessory that adds trend or color/pattern accents. Don’t buy ready-made shop pillows. Instead, buy designer remnant fabrics… Fabric or design shops always [have] yardage left over from another client. Luxe fabrics such as velvets, linens, wools. You can have them made up into pillows… no smaller than 22 inches, and overstuff them with a large insert of 24 inches. Plump cushions are more luxurious than thin cushions.”

“Edit your home! Keep only pieces that you truly love. Less is definitely more. I personally love antique brass, glass and mirrors for an uber chic, expensive look. Display beautiful books, candles and a few well-chosen accessories on your coffee/side tables.”

“Fresh flowers are always a luxurious touch. Don’t buy multi blossomed bouquets, rather, single flower bouquets. You don’t need to go to a fancy florist, you can pick wisely from your local supermarket. The big trend today among London’s top florists is side of the road foraging, believe it or not.”

“You have to consider your lighting very carefully. Great lighting can elevate a room and change the mood at night. Use lots of lamps in key areas. Try different combinations and placements.”

“When it comes to floors, use neutral for carpets and/or wood floors. You’ll never tire of them and can just switch up the area rugs for a change.”

The most important tip she gave me? “Have fun! Loving your home is more important now than ever before. If you haven’t made your home a nest that you positively adore, now’s the time!”

The post How to Feel Like a Millionaire in Your Own Home: Luxe Looks on a Budget appeared first on Sixty And Me.

The post How to Feel Like a Millionaire in Your Own Home: Luxe Looks on a Budget appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

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