Did you know? Jigsaw puzzles help you exercise both the right and left side of the brain. Working a jigsaw puzzle helps keep your brain young!
Your left brain thinks logically and follows sequence while the right brain is creative, intuitive and emotional. When working a jigsaw puzzle, you harness both sides of the brain.
Jigsaw puzzles engage the brain to retain information on shapes and colors in order to choose pieces that will fit together properly.This hunt for pieces requires your brain to memorize what each piece looks like or should look like and what kinds of pieces you are searching for in order to complete the picture. Doing this repeatedly reinforces short-term memory.
This engaging activity:
Interesting facts about jigsaw puzzles!They were first created by an English mapmaker by the name of John Spilsbury in the late 1760’s. He made a puzzle by gluing a map of the world on a piece of wood and cut out the countries. Children would put the pieces together to learn to identify individual countries and their relation to one another. This was much like our puzzles of the United States that we all worked on when we were growing up.
Thus, jigsaw puzzles were originally invented for education instead of entertainment. Jigsaw puzzles are now loved by people of all ages. Jigsaw puzzles became a form of daily amusement and activity for adults in the early 1900’s. However, they were quite expensive ($5 for a 500-piece puzzle in 1908). By the time of the Great Depression in the early 1930’s, they became more reasonable in price. In fact, 10 million puzzles were sold per week during this time in history. This was an escape from the troubles of the Depression years.
1) Canteloupe – One serving has just 46 calories and nearly a day’s worth of vitamins A & C. It’s also a very good source of potassium. Eating it raw or making a fruit salad with a little feta and mint makes a delicious summer lunch.
2) Zucchini – Wow, only 29 calories in one cup and is high in fiber, vitamins A, C and K and also potassium. It also adds bulk and substance to your diet. Zucchini is versatile in that it can be grilled, eaten raw, stuffed, made into chips or used to replace noodles in homemade lasagna.
3) Eggplant – This purple beauty is a good source of vitamins B6 & K as well as being a very good source of fiber. It is also low in calories and contains antioxidants that fight disease. The purple color is a cue that it will benefit the heart and memory. Prepare it sautéed, grilled or cubed in a stir fry or on a sandwich.
4) Blackberries – Blackberries are a good source of potassium and vitamins E, C, K & manganese. They are also loaded with fiber and antioxidants. Other benefits include protecting the heart and lowering blood pressure. They add a nice taste to a glass of ice water or seltzer or add them to salads. Blackberries are popular in baked goods as well.
5) Yellow Summer Squash – This is also known as “crookneck or straightneck” squash. It is rich in fiber, vitamins C, K, and potassium and has very few calories. Prepare it grilled, in a summer soup or be creative and use it as a pizza topping.
A culinary tip: A grilling basket or tray is a very easy way to prepare veggies alongside your main meal on the grill. It makes for easy clean up and no mess in the kitchen!
Let us know which summer super foods are your favorite…Comment Below
Read more here: Super Foods
Eat Plenty of Summer Super Foods for a Healthier Diet!
Has it ever occurred to you how distracted and stressed we have become as a society and how we could live a happier life? We have lost the ability to slow down and appreciate the good things in life. Perhaps we have forgotten how simple it is to embrace the moment, be grateful, and to find happiness no matter our current situation.
A local blogger recently made a list of 101 ways to live a happier life on her blog, and every single one of them resonated with us. They are things many of us already do, and some of them we plan on implementing moving forward. Our hope in sharing the first 25 items of ways to live a happier life is that it will inspire others to choose happiness despite the stress of the world around us!
For the complete list of the ways to live a happier life, Click Here.
For more Healthy Living, Click Here.
What would you add to the list of living a Happier Life?
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.
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!
More Healthy Living: Mood Swings
Over 50? Indulge in a nap to keep your heart healthy!
Would you believe that some foods have more sugar than a candy bar?
First of all, did you know that a Snickers Bar has 27 grams of sugar in it?
Whoa…that’s maybe a “once a year” treat! Let’s not stop there because there are 5 seemingly healthy foods (and we could add 100’s more) that have even more sugar than your favorite candy bar.
Here’s the list:
1) Jamba Juice Banana Berry Smoothie (small) Would you believe…60 grams of sugar—that’s huge! “Make it Light” decreases sugar to 32 grams which is still too many.
2) Power Bar Performance Energy Bar in Citrus Burst – Each bar has 29 grams of sugar and 6 grams of protein…the citrus contributes little nutrition value.
3) Starbucks Greek Yogurt with Honey Parfait – A “sugar bomb” with 30 grams of sugar. Choose something with fruit which should satisfy your sugar cravings.
4) Craisins – Sugar is added since they are naturally tart. There are 29 grams of sugar in 1/4 cup…better not eat too many!
5) Grape Juice – There is nutritional value to grape juice but it contains a whopping 36 grams for 8 ounces.
The bottom line is Read Labels on all food items so you know what you’re buying. Your healthy lifestyle will thank you for it!
Source: Sugary Foods
Related Post: Healthier Banana Bread
Yes, These Foods Have More Sugar Than a Candy Bar!
Oh, those mood swings that seem to be an inevitable part of our lives!
Did you know you can actually control them so the good days are even better and the bad days aren’t so bad after all? Regardless of your age, surroundings or background, you can reduce your mood swings and increase your overall happiness.
Four proven ways to reduce mood swings and increase your happiness:
1) Diet and Mood Swings – What you eat really does make a difference in how you feel each day, especially your overall mood. Eating lots of fresh, organic fruits, vegetables, high-quality grains and lean protein is a good place to start. Your “happiness baseline” will be higher and you can keep on improving. You can also add dark chocolate and stay away from alcohol, nicotine and sugar for even more success in balancing mood swings.
2) Exercise and Mood Swings – Getting a “runner’s high” is the result of prolonged physical activity because it releases mood-enhancing endorphins. This equates to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise two to three times a week which can have a very positive effect on your overall happiness. Exercise also keeps your body healthier and gives you more energy which lessens the risk of going into a slump.
3) Rest and Mood Swings – We can’t emphasize enough the importance of getting a minimum of six or seven hours of sleep a night. Your body must have sleep to repair itself! Rest also encompasses quiet time in the form of meditation, sitting quietly sipping a warm beverage or any other method of quieting the body and mind without distractions. Our addiction to technology is a major contributor to the stress in America today!
4) Happiness Emphasis and Mood Swings – It is possible to elevate your mood by simple daily exercises.
These bonus tips will help you get started on your way to more happiness and less stress in your life:
Since many parts of the country are still in the grip of winter, this is a great time for bodyweight 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.
Bodyweight exercises! This is one of the best routines for in-home exercise.
The advantages of bodyweight 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 bodyweight 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!!
So, what is this ‘Pedal Power of the Baby Boomer’ cycling?
Well, you have probably seen them swooshing down the street or on a bike path, heads down and really getting after it!
They look muscular and sleek and have all the trappings of helmets, reflective clothing, the latest sport’s watch and rain gear.
So it seems that, at least for Baby Boomers, cycling is the new golf!
And, here’s why:
1) Cycling is flexible in that it lacks boundaries – you can basically go anywhere.
2) It has less impact than most other sports.
3) Once you buy your bicycle, it is relatively inexpensive.
4) In many parts of North America it can be done year-round.
5) You can be competitive or non-competitive.
6) You can ride for fitness, charity or convenience (ride to work).
7) You can literally expand your horizons and see new and different places.
We like cycling because it is such a great way to exercise, burn calories and build muscles. And, there is no added burden on the knees as there is with jogging! Also, you can go slow or fast…set your own pace.
Bicycling is a great group activity. There are bike clubs where you can meet new people. Or, better yet, ride with your kids or grandkids. It is a perfect activity for retired Baby Boomers!
If you use bike paths or rural roads, you are relatively riding for pleasure. Go online to find bike paths in your area.
Getting out in the fresh air and enjoying Mother Nature up close is definitely a benefit of riding a bicycle out doors. It is refreshing and peaceful…a special time for reflection and gratitude!
Since most of us rode bikes when we were growing up, there’s not much of a learning curve. See you out on the streets, trails and highways!
Related Post: Healthy Living for Grandparents
Baby Boomers ~ Enjoy the Outdoors by Going Cycling!
Design Your life – Healthy living for Grandparents
Looking into the mirror at your grayed out hair and wrinkled skin, you probably reminisce about those blissful moments when you held your bundle of joy in your arms for the first time. Now, a couple of decades later, your bundle(s) of joy have flown the nest and you are back to thinking about what makes your life worth living. It is just a matter of time before you receive an answer to that question.
Grandkids not only let you relive your life’s greatest moments but also make it much more fun to do so! Somehow looking after grandchildren is a lot more enjoyable and much less demanding affair. But to keep pace with those young and energetic hearts and to maximize your fun quotient, it is necessary to build up your strength and sustain it. Healthy living is not a fad that is meant for the younger generation.
As archaic as it sounds, life definitely starts after 40 and it is in your hands to make it worthwhile. Here are a few pointers for you to become the healthiest and the most involved grandparents ever.
Keep close tabs on your health
The best way to keep your body healthy is to know what you are up against. Keep close tabs on your health by drafting regular check-up plans and sticking to it diligently. Getting screened for ailments that are common after the 50 age mark, everything from diabetes to heart, kidney ailments and cancer, should be in your top priority list every few months. Identifying your problems on time helps greatly with the treatment and its success.
Watch what you put into your mouth
Age transforms the way you and your body look at food. From changes in metabolism to modifications in taste buds, you need to adapt your lifestyle to suit your body and its demands. While minimizing sodium and sugar intake, it is necessary to maximize intake of fruits, vegetables, fibers, lean protein etc, Ensure that you always stay hydrated with water and other fluids. Cooking and eating need not be a lonely affair. Socialize and get more involved with people around you to make it more interesting.
Bring in that zing
Age is all the more reason to stay lively and active. Add some physical and mental activity into your daily routine. Take an hour of your time to invigorate your body through simple workouts like walking, jogging, yoga and fight your heart and bone ailments much more effectively. It is best to consult your physician and health advisor before starting any physical activity. As you age your mental acumen declines and that is not a secret but there are ways to reduce its effect. From books, simple puzzles, crosswords and small games to hobbies that motivate you, spare some time to bring back the zing in your routine.
Get some shut-eye
Sleep issues like insomnia are some of the major causes of physical ailments in older people. Though your sleep patterns might undergo changes as you age, simple practices like transforming your bedroom to look and feel more dark and comfortable, changing your bedtime, taking a bath before bed, avoiding television etc, can significantly boost the chances of getting a good night’s sleep.
You are the one person in this world to know what brings you happiness. Be it long forgotten hobbies or contributing for worthy causes or participating in community development programs, be it socializing and finding new friends and connecting with your family or bonding with pets, pick your source of joy and work on it to peel away any discontent and depression from your life.
By choosing to be healthy and happy you are transforming yourself into fantastic role models for your grandkids to follow. As much as grandchildren would like to hear stories from you, you should remember that the greatest story that you share with them will be that of your life.
For More: Healthy Living Tips for Grandparents
A Neat & Tidy Post: A Less-Cluttered Bedroom
Healthy Living for Grandparents – A Must to Age Well and Enjoy Life!
We 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.
For More Healthy Living: Hep C Testing
Maintain Good Eye Health As You Age!
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