Since many parts of the country are still in the grip of winter, this is a great time for body-weight exercises that you can do in your living room.
Is your gym closed during the only hours you are available to exercise? Enough of the icy roads, bitter temps, and the hassles of getting to the gym.
Body-weight exercises! This is one of the best routines for in-home exercise.
The advantages of body-weight exercises are:
1) Workouts are highly efficient. Since they require no equipment, you spend a minimal amount of time transitioning from one exercise to the next.
2) Your own body provides all the resistance needed to help you get fit by addressing every muscle in your body.
3) You can perform hundreds of exercises in a small space that are adapted to your fitness level.
4) Your core strength is improved as well as your flexibility and balance.
5) In-home body-weight exercise takes care of the issues of inclement weather, time constraints, or boredom from the gym scene…plus it’s free…what a deal!
Just a reminder…if you aren’t using proper form, you can potentially hurt yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a gym or in your own basement. Many people do popular exercises incorrectly, so follow the suggestions in the video for proper form. Enjoy and have a great workout!!
Basic Body-weight Exercises You Can Do Right now: Fitness & Exercise Slideshow
Body-weight Exercise ~ A Great Workout to do at Home!
Related Healthy Living Post: Cycling
We’ve often thought about muscle as a thing that exists separately from intellect—and perhaps that is even oppositional to it, one taking resources from the other. The truth is, our brains and muscles are in constant conversation with each other, sending electrochemical signals back and forth. Thus, our lifelong brain health depends on keeping our muscles moving.
Skeletal muscle is the type of muscle that allows you to move your body around; it is one of the biggest organs in the human body. It is also an endocrine tissue, which means it releases signaling molecules that travel to other parts of your body to tell them to do things. The protein molecules that transmit messages from the skeletal muscle to other tissues—including the brain—are called myokines.
Myokines are released into the bloodstream when your muscles contract, create new cells, or perform other metabolic activities. When they arrive at the brain, they regulate physiological and metabolic responses there, too. As a result, myokines have the ability to affect cognition, mood, and emotional behavior. Exercise further stimulates what scientists call muscle-brain “cross talk,” and these myokine messengers help determine specific beneficial responses in the brain. These can include the formation of new neurons and increased synaptic plasticity, both of which boost learning and memory.
In these ways, strong muscles are essential to healthy brain function.
In young muscle, a small amount of exercise triggers molecular processes that tell the muscle to grow. Muscle fibers sustain damage through strain and stress, and then repair themselves by fusing together and increasing in size and mass. Muscles get stronger by surviving each series of little breakdowns, allowing for regeneration, rejuvenation, regrowth. As we age, the signal sent by exercise becomes much weaker. Though it’s more difficult for older people to gain and maintain muscle mass, it’s still possible to do so, and that maintenance is critical to supporting the brain.
Even moderate exercise can increase metabolism in brain regions important for learning and memory in older adults. And the brain itself has been found to respond to exercise in strikingly physical ways. The hippocampus, a brain structure that plays a major role in learning and memory, shrinks in late adulthood; this can result in an increased risk for dementia. Exercise training can increase the size of the hippocampus, even late in life, protecting against age-related loss and improving spatial memory.
Your mind is in fact an ongoing construction of your brain, your body, and the surrounding world.
Further, there is substantial evidence that certain myokines have sex-differentiated neuroprotective properties. For example, the myokine irisin is influenced by estrogen levels, and postmenopausal women are more susceptible to neurological diseases, which suggests that irisin may also have an important role in protecting neurons against age-related decline.
Studies have shown that even in people with existing brain disease or damage, increased physical activity and motor skills are associated with better cognitive function. People with sarcopenia, or age-related muscle atrophy, are more likely to suffer cognitive decline. Mounting evidence shows that the loss of skeletal muscle mass and function leaves the brain more vulnerable to dysfunction and disease; as a counter to that, exercise improves memory, processing speed, and executive function, especially in older adults. (Exercise also boosts these cognitive abilities in children.)
There’s a robust molecular language being spoken between your muscles and your brain. Exercise helps keep us fluent in that language, even into old age. Source...
Are you or someone you know are a 'solo ager' and want to expand your social circles? Here are suggestions for you...
Your longtime friends know all your best stories, what you'll order when you go out to eat and how you feel about your relatives, current events and exercise preferences. We suggest you make new friends and open up a whole new world — and that's good for you as you age!
"We've all just gone through an unwanted national experiment on social isolation, and there's no better time than the present for increasing your social circle," said Dr. Eric Lenze, a geriatric psychiatrist and psychiatry professor at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
His research, funded by the National Institutes of Health, explores the effects of stress and social isolation on older adults and the benefits of social activities for increasing resilience.
"Older adults who report a higher level of social support have better emotional health, physical health and brain health, plus they have better cognitive functioning over time," Lenze said. "Initially, many older adults proved quite resilient at sheltering in place. But as it went along, it started to take a toll on mental and physical health."
That may be especially true for "solo agers." Some 27% of adults 60 and older in the U.S. live alone, and it's particularly important for these individuals to stay connected. Source...
According to Dr. Lenze, here are ways to ramp up social interactions:
More 'Intentionality' Is Required
Increasing your social interactions requires a deliberative effort.
According to Margit Novack, "Developing friends as an older woman requires more 'intentionality'. When I was raising kids or at work, friendships developed naturally. Now, if I want deeper relationships than acquaintances, I need to create space/opportunity for that to happen."
Conventional wisdom suggests that we'll find new friends by joining a book club or knitting group — or starting one. Others choose to volunteer at a food bank, work on a political campaign or sign up for docent training at a museum or zoo.
"You get a two-fer if you join an exercise or yoga class or a meditation group because you get the physical and mental benefits of the activity plus the socialization," Lenze said. "Going to a dance class is a three-fer, because that's also cognitively stimulating."
When you move to a new city or town, opportunities immediately arise for making new friends. Volunteering for local organizations is an excellent way to learn more about your new community and what it has to offer even if you aren't particularly 'social'.
The Value of Younger Friends
Charlotte Japp makes a case for welcoming younger people into your inner circle. Japp is the founder of CIRKEL, a platform that connects workers ages 20 through 70+. "More and more, we are siloed by age, and there are career and social consequences to that," Japp said. "We all go through very nuanced abstract experiences and it's good to talk to someone who has a different perspective. Life is so enriched by diversity, in every sense."
Find 'New Horizons'
Hart Edmonds, a Presbyterian pastor, appreciates younger adults, "I give thanks for several younger adults as friends as I enter retirement," he wrote. "As a minister, I've been privileged to work with and learn from younger people who I find yearning for mentors and friendship with older adults. Too often our culture segments people by age and stage of life."
Anne Crowley also appreciates her younger friends, "for the energy they have and for reminding me it's important to have hope and keep working to make this world a better place."
Steve Trickler is in his 60s, and he's noticed many people his age are starting to slow down. "Maintaining ties with my younger friends allows me to stay more active," he wrote. "Plus, they are more adventuresome, more willing to try new things, go places. They are more in tune with literature and music — all of which excites me and keeps me enthused. Staying young at heart is about challenging yourself and finding new horizons to excite you and energize you."
Making new friends may help you do just that.
Happy Valentines Day 2023!
This is a special day to send love to those special people in your life.
Enjoy this Valentines Day poem to celebrate this special day.
A Valentine is nothing like
A chocolate or a rose.
For in a week these shall be gone,
But Valentines remain.
If love were always sweet to tongue
Or fragrant to the nose,
Each day would be like Valentine’s,
And we would go insane.
A Valentine just hangs around
Waiting to be kissed
Long after special days have passed
And every days are here.
So one is wise to choose one well
And chocolates to resist.
For in the midst of mania
It’s nice to have one near.
Related Post: Valentine Cupcakes
Enjoy ~ Happy Valentines Day 2023
Short on time this Valentine’s week? These Valentine cupcakes are quick and easy.
Make your favorite cupcake recipe or buy plain cupcakes from the bakery.
Use white frosting and red hot candies to decorate them
You now have a simple, eye-catching Valentine’s Day treat.
We suggest that you use white or, even better, red velvet cupcakes.
These flavors will add a special touch to this special day.
These cupcakes are great for both young and old to craft.
This will keep the little ones occupied for quite some time by frosting and putting on the red candies!
Chocolate or Red Velvet cupcake with vanilla frosting and a delicious strawberry to adorn the top!
Enjoy Valentine’s Day with these Cute and Easy-to-Make Valentine Cupcakes!
Yet, another idea!
Just in time for Valentines Day…clever snack ideas for Valentines Day are easy to make. Add a festive touch to this special day with these snack ideas for Valentines Day that even the kids and grand kids can help make.
1) Easy Marshmallow Valentine Treats
Use strawberry marshmallows, dip them in melted chocolate and sprinkle them with little nonpareils. Decorate them with heart picks. So easy and fun!
Source: Marshmallow Valentine Treats
2) Cupid’s Arrows: candy hearts + pretzel sticks
Source: Cupid’s Arrows
3) Heart Kabobs – Made with strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, watermelon and black olives.
Source: Via Pinterest
4) Valentine Cinnamon Cookie Crunch Popcorn Mix
The "Just Popping" message above is a printable and can also be used on a tin can treat…for complete instructions click below:
Snack Ideas for Valentines Day at Your Fingertips!
Have you checked on these retirement expenses lately? What we’re talking about is the annual cost of a private room in a nursing home or even home health aide services.
The amount for a private room in a nursing home has cracked the six-figure mark ~ $108,408! The amount for home health services averages $26 per hour These amounts are according to Genworth Financial in their 2021 Cost of Care Survey.
This rising cost of care has outpaced inflation. Where you live in the U.S. makes quite a difference. You can calculate the cost of care by state here: Cost of Care
If you are interested in Local Senior Research Guides, this is an excellent resource: Senior Care
Their local senior guides show community demographics, senior housing, long term care choices, healthcare quality ratings as well as other very helpful information.
A growing number of older adults need specialized care. However, there is a shortage of skilled workers — both of which raise care expenses.
Look at these numbers of growth between the years 2020 and 2021:
Why Cost of Care is Increasing
The core driver of increases in the cost of care services remains supply and demand. Every day until 2030, 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 and seven out of ten of them will require long-term care services at some point. The level of care needed by this rapidly aging population has itself increased over the years. The high turnover rate and insufficient supply of professionals to meet this growing demand pre-date the COVID-19 pandemic, but are now amplified as those providing care on the frontline must consider their own risk of exposure against increasing opportunities for competitive salaries in alternative lines of work. Source...
It’s Time to Plan Ahead by Identifying How You would Like to Receive Care:
Planning for your care as you get older is very important and can be daunting. You might want to work with an advisor to lay out a plan of where and how you would like to receive care.
Make sure you select trusted individuals to oversee your medical care decision making. This may include family members as well as other expects in the field of financial planning and medical care.