One of the biggest silver linings to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is the acceleration of access to online learning. With the entire world forced indoors, universities, community colleges and internet-startups alike all had to adapt and construct new methods of e-learning.
Here are a few of our favorite online learning sites for older adults:
There are thousands of classes to broaden your horizons on Senior Planet. They have designed courses specifically in mind for those over the age of 60, focused on five impact areas: social engagement, financial security, health and wellness, civic engagement and advocacy, and creativity. The best part? Live classes are free for anyone to enroll!
This online community connects users with others to learn new skills and unlock new life experiences. Their content is focused on adults over the age of 55, now reaching four million learners in over 160 countries. Classes range from fitness to healthcare, drawing, foreign language, cooking, music, business and more. They offer a free plan with limited access, or for $19.99 per month you can have access to their entire library and over 500 live interactive classes every week!
Full Sail University
Are you a tech-savvy person, interested in the world of entertainment, videography, media, gaming, visual arts and communications? Check out Full Sail University. Full Sail focuses on creating real-world industry experience and creative problem solving with online degree programs. It’s easy to fit in your course schedule because they offer 24/7 flexibility with your e-learning plan.
One Day University
Founded on the belief that “every day you learn something new is a good day,” One Day University has established a unique angle in the online learning space. They have gathered a group of the most thoughtful and entertaining professors from the country’s most prestigious universities and asked them to provide their single most fascinating lecture. You can listen to live-streamed talks with these professors, access hundreds of these “best-selected lectures” and participate in small group discussions with peers. There is a free limited-trial, but you will eventually have to pay $8.99 per month for access.
Whether you are looking for a certificate, a bachelor’s degree, or even a doctorate, Academic Earth has the lessons to get you on your path to more knowledge. They’ve been around since 2009, offering free online college courses from the world’s top universities. Explore more than 60 complete courses in art, business, engineering, humanities, medicine, science, math and more!
If you are just looking to dip your toe in the water with e-learning, YouTube is a good choice. You can also explore thousands of the free apps available for download to your phone, like Duolingo, PictureThis and Brainly.
Did you know that new surveys over the last couple of years show that the 'ability to cope' improves with age?
Because of the pandemic this last year has certainly been a challenge to our mental health. However, there is a consoling truth: that age and emotional well-being tend to increase together, as a rule, even as mental acuity and physical health taper off!
People aged 50 and over score consistently higher (and more positively) on a wide variety of daily emotions. The older crowd tend to have more positive emotions in a given day rather than negative emotions. This is independent of income or education in national studies.
Dr. Laura Carstensen led a research team that studied the reality of prolonged stress. Older people have been at a much higher risk both of getting sick and dying of Covid-19 than younger people.
“This was, from the beginning, a threat to older people that they simply could not avoid — and, crucially, it was prolonged stress,” said Dr. Laura Carstensen, a psychologist at Stanford University’s Center on Longevity.
In April, after the potential scope of the pandemic was apparent, the team recruited a representative sample of some 1,000 adults, aged 18 to 76, living across the country. The participants answered surveys with detailed questions about their emotions over the previous week, including 16 positive states, like relaxed or amused, and 13 negative ones, like guilt or anger.
“Younger people were doing far worse emotionally than older people were,” Dr. Carstensen said. “This was April, the most anxiety-producing month, it was novel, cases went from nothing to 60,000, there was lots of attention and fear surrounding all this — and yet we see the same pattern as in other studies, with older people reporting less distress.”
In a similar study, psychologists at the University of British Columbia exhaustively surveyed some 800 adults of all ages in the first couple of months of the pandemic — and found the same thing.
A "take away" from these studies indicate: Older age was associated with less concern about the threat of Covid-19, better emotional well-being, and more daily positive events.
Also, after middle age, people become more aware of a narrowing time horizon and, consciously or not, begin to gravitate toward daily activities that are more inherently pleasing than self-improving. Source...New York Times
You might enjoy this recent post: Aging in Place
Depression. I abhorred it! Depression is described by this author as a mood infirmity, from perdition, that instigates a tenacious sensation of bleakness, despondency, obscuritas, felo-de-se, and causes you to quail in tears. Medical professionals call it a major depressive disorder or clinical depression-A Rose by any other name… It affects your entire life. No avenue of existence is immune to [its] effects. It infiltrates how we feel, think, and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical issues. And it needs to be exorcised and exercised.
Depression. Ay, I knew thee well. I still grieve with [it] from time to time but the frequency and length have exponentially diminished. The once elongated anguishing protracted stretches of torment into the fleeting darkness of time without a finale in sight have been vanquished. Yes, I am free from that bane. But, full disclosure, I do not take medication to keep depression in its murky dank abyss. But how, you may ask? Well, it wasn’t easy, but it is accessible and the only side effects are less body fat, better mood, clearer skin, fit body, lab work…spectacular, nice butt, new wardrobe, etc. What is this miracle cure? Proper nutrition and exercise! I went from not wanting to belong to this mortal coil to loving each day and fell in love with helping others.
Depression ≠ Weakness
An episode of depression can be extensive and more than just a bout of the melancholies. You can't merely "snap out" of it. Some, including myself, have felt shame associated with our affliction. Society must bear most of the blame; depression still isn’t widely accepted as a valid form of illness. Depression has been linked to weakness as well. When the opposite is true. Try going through your day - work, family, friends, commitments, chores, etc. all the while trying to keep your feelings under wraps, that’s toughness!
Treatments A La’ Mode
Depression cuts a devastating path leaving in its wake - high morbidity, disability, and mortality. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 350 million people suffer with depression worldwide. During 2020, depression rose the second largest illness after heart disease, causing a great burden on families, society, and the individuals themselves. There are many modern-day applications that tout ‘real’ therapy and solutions to an innumerable of emotional and mental disorders, just choose 1 for depression or 2 for anxiety and depression. Please, be careful. Currently, drug therapy is the main management of depression, but it is mucked and muddled by side effects, addiction, and astronomical prices. Drug treatment continues to fail, yet this is the main recourse. Until I came along.
Exercise > Depression
I believe proper, consistent exercise and nutrition can cure depression. I am a prime example. I must state that there are cases of clinical depression where medication is warranted, no doubt. But even then, incorporating exercise can only enhance the effects of the medication. This advice seems to be common sense but in today’s sedentary world, physical movement is a second thought. Studies have confirmed, exercise can help alleviate depressive symptoms, with analogous effectiveness to prescription drug treatment and other psychological interventions. Prolonged depression can change the shape of the brain. Often these feelings are so ingrained that it seems impossible to change. The changes in brain plasticity may be a main reason for the sustained depression.
Randomized controlled experiments have shown that aerobic exercise, resistance exercise, and mind‐body exercise can improve depressive symptoms and levels. The intensity and long‐term effect of exercise are now topical research issues. Exercise has been proven to reshape the brain structure of depression patients, activate the function of related brain areas, promote behavioral adaptation changes, and maintain the integrity of hippocampal and white matter volume, thus improving the brain neuroprocessing and delaying cognitive degradation in depression patients. Imagine your brain is like modeling clay, you can shape it anyway you desire within your hands. Your hands in this case will be exercise, nutrition, and positive thinking. These 3 work together to reshape your brain, ridding yourself of the old, depressed brain.
Exercising My Demons
So, what type of exercise is beneficial? Seems like a trick question – as for, all movement is beneficial in some form. For this instance, the answer is a combination of strength and aerobics. Studies have concluded, “The most common physical exercise protocol adopted to reduce the consequences of major depressive disorder in humans was the prescription of aerobic exercise [by a certified trainer]. Physical exercise brings mental health benefits and plays a crucial role in avoiding the development of major depressive disorder”. Numerous studies are underway also including strength training as a part of a healthy lifestyle. Strength training has had a bad repute for being exclusive to the ‘beefy’ crowd. This is utter nonsense. Everyone, especially us in advancing years, will benefit greatly from the addition of strength training.
Where do you go from here? Start by making a commitment to yourself that you will take charge of your life and live the healthiest life you can live. Then seek assistance from professionals. Depression should never be taken lightly. This aliment can be cured, but guidance, patience, fortitude, and consistency are preponderating. Always get clearance from your doctor before starting a workout program and obtain guidance from a certified personal trainer. (preferably me 😉) I have experience with depression and exercise. I have a lifetime of experience with both. Please, contact me if you would like to free yourself from the prison called depression. There is hope.
(Molecular mechanisms of physical exercise on depression in the elderly: a systematic review. (2021) https://doi.org/10.1007/s11033-021-06330-z
Have you had your eyes tested recently? Many of us take our eye health for granted.
What can we do as we age to keep our eyes healthy?
Here are 5 Simple Steps to take:
1. Get tested at least annually! Diseases of the eye can be spotted and then referred to a specialist. Pay attention to symptoms like blurred vision, light flashes, eye pain, swelling or irritation near the eye or eyelid.
2. Wear Sun Glasses. Protect your eyes from bright sunlight and its UV rays. UV extended exposure increase the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.
3. Quit smoking! Your risks are increased for cataracts, optic nerve damage and macular degeneration.
4. Eat the right foods and nutrients. Omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins E and C have been shown in studies to reduce the risk of eye diseases.
5. Use safety glasses or protective goggles when participating in work tasks and various sports activities. Shield your eyes to protect them!
Another concern in our present-day world is the relation of technology and eye health.
As we continually rely on technology, we increasingly have incidents of eyestrain. How can we protect our eyes in this digital age?
Make sure you blink frequently when working on the computer. On average, we blink about 18 times per minute. However, when we stare at a screen this slows the blink rate. Not blinking enough will lead to itchy, dry and burning eyes.
Here are a few additional ways to protect yourself from eyestrain:
Other contributing factors to developing eyestrain include devices with small print held at non-ergonomic angles too far from the eyes. Also, the blue light emitted from digital screens can cause eye strain and keep you awake at night!
People who wear glasses or contacts are also susceptible to eye strain. Their prescriptions might not be ideal for mid-range viewing of electronics. Source...
Maintain Good Eye Health As You Age!
The holidays aren’t that far behind us and many of us are still “celebrating” going into the month of March. Spring is upon us my friends! According to climatologist, Spring is the season of the year between winter and summer. During such time temperatures progressively rise. In the Northern Hemisphere, Spring is ranging within the vernal equinox (day and night are equivalent in time). Typically, March 21, to the summer solstice (longest day), June 21. But I am not a climatologist, although I do agree with their definition. Spring to Stevie and myself means a rebirth, new life breathed into cold dormant bodies. Spring is a time to renew oneself, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Revitalize Rejuvenate Recharge
Replenishing, Reconditioning, or renew whichever moniker you choose the importance is just the same. During the holidays and winter months we tend to become lax in our diet and exercise routines. It is difficult to leave behind the celebrating and overindulging; after all it was enjoyable. But now you feel…not so good. You really can’t place it. You endure digestive stress, uncontrollable food cravings (usually sugar), and poor sleep. Your sluggish, experiencing a low mood and dwindling energy. Your drive has stalled, and the scale has not. Your joints ache and your hormones are swinging like a pendulum. Now that its all spelled out like that…you probably feel horrible. Well good news! It’s never too late to clean up!
Let Nature Be the Guide
We at Khronology Fitness & Nutrition believe in going with the flow of nature. Nature itself is being renewed and riding itself of the old and impurities. Animals come out of hibernation and purge their bodies of waste, clean themselves and start to replenish and regrow. The trees begin to sprout leaves through crusted cloaked buddings. Seedlings sprout and eggs hatch, growth, birth, rebirth.
Choosing the Right Detox
There are many diverse kinds of cleanses to choose from. Often people will take on a detox they found online without paying regard to the validity in which it was created. Not all detoxes are created equal. Be careful. It is best to follow qualified, certified individuals. A few examples of detoxes are a Liver detox and Juice detox. A liver detox consists of ridding yourself of anything that the liver would need to process, (mostly contaminates, adulterates, and chemicals), giving it a sort of rest and extra time to cleanse itself. A liver detox can be very powerful. A fact most don’t know is we carry and hold on to anger and negative emotions in our liver. So, cleansing yourself of negativity will also aid in cleansing the liver. The time length for the liver detox depends upon the person and their condition. But it will usually last anywhere from 1-4 weeks. A juice cleanse supplies the body with necessary nutrients to aid in the cleanse while giving the digestive tract a rest from solid foods. The most common length for a juice cleanse is 2-3 days. But this depends on the person’s current health and experience with detoxing. These are just two of a myriad of examples of cleanses. The best thing to do is contact a professional and have them guide you through the cleanse.
Get It Done
So, should we all do a detox? Most certainly. A detox will benefit everyone. In the modern world we are faced with toxins in our everyday life, through the air, water, and our food. This builds up over time and will eventually cause greater health issues. So now is the time, a start of a new season. Let’s get together and cleanse ourselves and get ready for warm sunny days.
Right now, at Khronology Fitness & Nutrition we are offering a spring cleanse special. Plea drop by our website and take a peek. Take control of your health and let’s get clean!
Since many parts of the country are still in the grip of winter, this is a great time for body-weight exercise 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
Would you like to do something today or this evening besides watching TV? There are plenty of options for all budgets and situations. You might spend a small amount of time or choose an activity that is very time consuming.
We have also included "Tips for Getting Away from the TV Habit" in case you need a few ways to remind yourself of your new plan!
Here's your list of "Things to do Instead of Watching TV"
1. Read a Book
2. Write Something
3. Go for an Evening Walk
4. Get Fit
5. Create Art
6. Make an Elaborate Dinner
7. Learn a New Skill or Language
8. Spend Quality Time with Your Family
9. Call a Friend
10. Deal with Those Annoying Chores
11. Spruce Up or Redecorate a Room in Your House
12. Expand Your Horizons
13. Join a Club
14. Make Plans for the Future
15. Work Towards Your Goals
You will find an explanation for each of the above items as well as "Tips for Getting Away from the TV Habit" here...
Just that quickly my life changed. My mother suffered a minor stroke and a subsequent pulmonary embolus. She was hospitalized twice and was also battling the beginnings of dementia. My mom had always been so independent, even to the point of joining my friends and me for an occasional Happy Hour (pre-COVID 19). However now, she really needed my help. Her memory wasn't that good anymore, and while she wasn't incapacitated she did need assistance with keeping track of medications, doctor appointments and light housekeeping.
Of course, at the time my mom became ill, my corporate job was busier than ever. I often found myself working long hours, albeit at home, to stay on top of things while also trying to keep an eye on mom Any life I had outside of work and my mom seemed to disappear. Burnout was on the horizon.
Juggling care giving and full-time work are not uncommon. According to researchers, in 2014 there were an estimated 23.9 million caregivers that also had outside jobs. So how do you find a balance between caregiving and having a full-time job? Here are some things I learned:
Get organized. That means organize your life so you can be effective at both caregiving and your job. I started my mornings an hour earlier than usual. This way I was able to get in some early morning meditation, breakfast and get a jump on my paperwork before I was flooded with emails and phone calls. I also set up a calendar for my mom, so she could easily keep track of her doctor appointments. The family invested in a 30-day pillbox, with an alarm that made it easier for my mom to know which pills to take and when.
Reach out for help. Though my sisters lived on the opposite coast, they came out to help care for my mom. While a full-time nurse wasn't necessary, we were able to have a nurse come in twice a week to check on my mom and her medications. The home health nurse was covered by Medicare. This assistance from others was invaluable. I was able to regroup and spend time on things that needed my attention at home.
Make time for yourself, even if you only have 30 minutes to spare, spend it on you. The "me time" can be used to relax, meditate, spend time with friends or just take a long bath. You also need to take care of your health. Get in some exercise like a nice walk and eat well. If you start to feel ill, make time to get medical attention. You can't be of assistance to a loved one if you are not healthy.
Talk to others who might be in the same situation. Reach out to peers who have also taken care of an ill or aging loved one. Not only are these people be a source of wisdom and encouragement, but they will help you feel you are not alone.
Juggling care giving and full-time work is never easy. But if you have a plan, doing both is possible.
Leslie Smith is a lifestyle strategist for women over 50. For more from Leslie check out her blog at [http://www.reinventinggrandma.com]
Article Source: https://EzineArticles.com/expert/Leslie_C_Smith/228387
For more Healthy Living: How to Boost Your Sleep Quality as You Grow Older
Want to keep your heart healthy? Finally! We’ve been looking for a valid reason to justify the afternoon nap and now we have it. This is especially helpful for the Over 50 population.
Researchers at the European Society of Cardiology conference in London stated that that an hour or more nap has important health benefits. It can cut blood pressure and lower the chance of a heart attack or stroke. It also contributes to people taking fewer blood pressure medications. What a great way to keep your heart healthy!
Lead researcher, Dr Manolis Kallistratos, a cardiologist at Asklepieion Voula General Hospital in Athens, Greece, said, “Two influential UK prime ministers were supporters of the midday nap. Winston Churchill said that we must sleep some time between lunch and dinner while Margaret Thatcher didn’t want to be disturbed around 3pm. According to our study, they were right because midday naps seem to lower blood pressure levels. They may also probably decrease the number of required anti-hypertensive medications.”
He added: “Μidday sleep is a habit that nowadays is almost a privileged due to a nine to five working culture and intense daily routine. However the real question regarding this habit is: is it only a custom or is it also beneficial?”
The findings of the study suggest that midday sleepers have less damage from high blood pressure in their arteries and heart,” according to Dr Kallistratos.
The study showed that midday sleep is associated with lower blood pressure. It also found that longer ‘sleeps’ are even more beneficial. It’s interesting that the midday sleepers had greater dips in blood pressure while sleeping at night. This is associated with better health outcomes.
Patients who slept during the midday were under fewer anti-hypertension medications compared to those who didn’t have their midday nap.
The conclusion was that the midday nap is associated with lower 24 hour blood pressure as well as a fall of BP at night. This results in less damage to the arteries and the heart.
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The longer the midday nap, the lower the systolic BP levels and probably fewer drugs needed to lower BP.”
Of course, there is balance in all things. You should still make daily exercise and healthy eating a priority. But, it’s nice to know we can reward ourselves with some rest on a daily basis!
So, if you can, make naps a priority in your daily schedule, and if you really need an excuse, tell people you are doing it for your health!
Over 50? Indulge in a nap to keep your heart healthy!
Walking and maintaining your balance (not falling down) have conventionally been considered relatively straightforward balance and mobility functions. But for many, growing older means a decrease in balance and mobility, amplified chances of injuries, and a decline in happiness and fulfillment.
Approximately, 35% of adults over age 70 and the majority of adults over age 85 have clinically diagnosable gait abnormalities. Gait abnormalities can lead to mobility limitations, which are associated with loss of independence, substantially reduced quality of life, increased fall risk, hospitalization, and premature death. (1)
What is Balance and Mobility?
Balance is the capability to evenly allocate your weight in such a way that you can remain still or move in any direction without tumbling over. Balance necessitates the cooperation of many muscles, bones, joints, the central nervous system, and inner ear. Creating mobility while keeping balance requires the same cooperation but to a higher degree.
Why the need for balance and mobility training?
A study published in British Journal of Sports Medicine found exercising, including balance and mobility training, reduce falls that lead injuries by 37%, serious injuries by 43%, and broken bones by 61%. (2)
To improve balance and mobility we must indulge in physical activity. Physical activity can include everyday activities such as walking, going up and down stairs, running, bending, lifting, and carrying. It can also include structured exercise like weightlifting, swimming, HIIT class, Balance & Mobility class, and yoga. I recommend both! Once we reach a certain age that doesn’t mean we should stop doing the usual everyday physical activities like, walking, carrying, and taking the stairs. You’ve heard the phrase, “Use it or Lose it”, well that applies here. If you quit taking the stairs soon you won’t be able to take the stairs.
The only way to improve balance and mobility is by strengthening the entire body. Balancing exercises and weight bearing exercises that focus on the muscles of the core, back, legs, and glutes, will greatly improve balance and mobility. Balance and mobility training does not involve high intensity workouts, throwing your body on the floor, or lifting the heaviest weight. It consists of systematic movements that create tension on the muscle, tendon, and nerves, causing them to respond in such a way as to firmly secure you in place. Over time the muscles, tendons, and nerves learn and adapt, improving after each session. Body weight is all that is required, although dumbbells can be used to add resistance.
Adding a balance and mobility session to your workout routine will enhance your training, get you in shape quicker, and ultimately lead to a better quality of life.
Some of the many benefits of balance and mobility training are: it burns more calories by making the body work harder, creates muscular balance in the body, works and tones deep muscles, improves neuromuscular coordination by getting the brain to communicate with the muscles, increased blood flow, teaches your body to use the core for stabilization, and flatten that tummy. Balance and mobility training is excellent for improving poor posture and adding refinement in which you move.
These exercises contribute to better overall energy expenses, maximizing your exercise session, and faster recover from DOMs [Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness]. Basically, balance and mobility training will keep everything working as if the body were much younger. Normal everyday functions that have become difficult will return to their once easy ways.
Wait no further. Schedule a Balance & Mobility session with me and let’s get you walking tall, head held high, feeling good and looking even better!
Will Winsborrow, ACSM-CPT
Khronology Functional Fitness and Nutrition
Personal Training – Group Fitness – Nutrition Counseling – Massage Therapy
Will Winsborrow, ACSM-CPT
Stevie Winsborrow, NDTR, LMT
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