Act Your Shoe Size Not Your Age

So we’ve all heard the analogy “act your age… not your shoe size” right?  Well this trio stands that analogy on it’s head with their rendition of Billy Jean by Michael Jackson.  Who says you can’t have fun once in a while eh?  This troupe of Seal Beach dancing seniors brings down the house.  Enjoy!

Speaking of dancing, did you know dancing is a great form of exercise whether you’re in your 20’s or in your 80’s?  WebMD says that dancing can be one avenue to better health.  That’s right, dancing can help you burn excess calories, work your muscles, strengthen your core and make you feel great!  See you out on the town.

How Much Water To Drink Daily?

water glass How Much Water To Drink Daily?Ran across an interesting tidbit while pursuing Facebook this morning.  A little piece on the importance of water to your heart health seemed important enough to pass along, and we encourage you to share with friends and family.  The Mayo Clinic says that water is a principal component in the human body, and is vitally necessary for normal bodily functions.  We set out to help answer a basic question for you; How much water to drink daily?

“Every day you lose water through your breath, perspiration, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming beverages and foods that contain water.” – The MayoClinic.org

How much water do you need daily?

Evidence is mixed on this and there is no hard data to support a set number of glasses per person.  We’re all different sizes, shapes and have different needs depending on our human state.  The general rule of thumb is that you should drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water per day (at least).  Interestingly some agencies claim that total fluid intake (water and other fluids) should exceed 3 liters for men and 2.2 liters for women.  That’s a lot of fluid… Are you getting enough?  How efficiently are your bodily organs functioning if you’re not taking in the fluids that your body requires? (I know these are tough questions.)

“The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of total beverages a day.” – The MayoClinic.org

Did you know that drinking water at a certain time maximizes its effectiveness on the body?  Here are some interesting stats about the benefits of drinking water during your day and/or evening:

Best times to drink water

  • 2 Glasses of water after waking up – helps activate internal organs
  • 1 Glass of water 30 minutes before a meal – helps digestion
  • 1 Glass of water before taking a bath – helps lower blood pressure
  • 1 Glass of water before going to bed – avoids stroke or heart attack.  (There is no evidence to support this theory circulating online – though intuitively we believe it could be important for overall health.) Additionally water at bed time can prevent night time leg cramps. When your leg muscles cramp up, many times they are seeking hydration.

If you’re looking for some tips on how to motivate yourself to better hydration, HealthDigezt.com published a nice article entitled 10 Easy Ways to Drink More Water Daily.  2 of my favorites are #5 Replacing soda, juice and coffee with water (even though I’m a big-time water drinker, I still need my coffee), and #8 Hydrate when you exercise (always).  The benefits of hydrating with water throughout your day (and into your evening) cannot be overstated.  Do yourself a favor… Drink a glass of water today!  Check that… Drink at least 8 glasses of water today!

Photo: Flickr/Carol VanHook

Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging

Since the snake-oil days of  the wild wild west, self-proclaimed health experts have been hawking advice and “products” on an unsuspecting and somewhat gullible public.  The difference between then and now (besides the coon-skin hats) is that today we have the tools and resources to help snuff these folks out.  There still any number of snake-oil salesmen around but they’re pretty well disguised these days.  You’ll know one if they’re touting the latest “fad” diet like The Sleeping Beauty Diet Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging, the Grape Fruit Diet, or the Baby Food Diet (yes this is a real diet).  You’ll also know one if their approach is extreme and/or one dimensional.  We believe healthy aging isn’t just about one thing… It’s about taking care of, and being aware of our physical AND our mental being.

Besides wacky diets and bad advice online, there are some great resources out there to help us age-with-grace and in good health (both mentally and physically). We’ll pass along a few ideas in the coming weeks, but this week we’re focused on our favorite books about healthy aging. If you’ve read any of these, be sure and give us a review or an opinion in the comments section.  In addition, if you have any recommendations on books our readers should be aware of, please let us know!

Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging

1.   Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging51J7G1h6yyL. SL110  Top 5 Books On Healthy AgingAcclaimed best seller Dr. Andrew Weil provides sensible advice to aging adults in an oldie-but-a-goodie titled; Healthy Aging: A Lifelong Guide to Your Well-Being Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging. In the 2007 version (a good one), Dr. Weil’s advice combines traditional and non-traditional medical advice to help us age in good health.  Highlights include advice on eating right, nutrition and the anti-inflammatory diet, exercising right, and a solid background on the aging process in general terms.  “Weil wants us to be sensible about growing old… He argues that we should not fight aging.  There’s no winning that war.  Instead, we should concentrate on aging well.”   (The Washington Post)

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2.  Aging Wisely: Strategies for Baby Boomers and Seniors Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging is Dr. Robert Levine’s book about aging that includes both mind and body in it’s approach.  Dr. Levine is the former chief of neurology at Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut and a retired clinical professor at Yale University.  Dr. Levine believes that we are responsible and need to be in control of our own lives.  Interwoven is the element that maintaining a positive attitude allows us to age well.  Dr. Levine reminds his readers that aside from illnesses and random events, healthy aging is up to us.  “Dr. Robert Levine’s book provides a prescription for aging wisely and with dignity. Brimming with anecdotes, and written in an interesting and clear manner, it’s good medicine for those of us who want to make the rest of our lives the best of our lives.”  (Jan Cullinane, best-selling author of The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement)

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3.  Although the title says otherwise, there are many things in this top book on healthy aging that applies to both sexes.  A Man’s Guide to Healthy Aging: Stay Smart, Strong, and Active Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging.  Authors Edward Thompson Jr. and Lenard Kaye examine “what’s next” after middle age, and offer a man’s perspective on healthy aging.  In this book the authors focus on mind and body approaches to healthy again, with a strong bend toward mental health and the role it plays in men as they grow older.  “Covers almost everything you need to know, but might be afraid to ask, about keeping fit mentally, physically, socially, intellectually and sexually through the decades.”  (Wall Street Journal)

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4.  The Gift of Years: Growing Older Gracefully Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging is a book about embracing the aging process and taking it in.  Author Joan Chittister is a Benedictine Sister of Erie, PA and has written over 50 books (many of them receiving accolades and awards).  Chittister herself on writing The Gift of Years; “The thing most wrong about this book is that I may be too young to write it.  I am, after all, only seventy.”  This quote alone offers the self awareness and perspective worthy of consideration for our top 5 books on healthy aging.  Among other things the book contains 40 or so essays on subjects like adjustment, sadness, regret and success.  The author also offers advice on allowing yourself to become active in ones golden years and using that time to connect with yourself and with others.  “Perhaps you have to be in the second half of life to know how truthfully and helpfully Joan Chittister speaks.  We live in a first-half-of-life culture, which makes this wisdom all the more necessary—and all the more wonderful.”  (Richard Rohr, author, The Naked Now)

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5.  New York Times best selling author Michael Gurian (author of The Wonder Boys) takes us on a journey along newly defined dimensions for our second half of life.  The Wonder of Aging: A New Approach to Embracing Life After Fifty Top 5 Books On Healthy Aging divides our second act into 3 stages;  The Age of Transformation (from our late forties to around sixty), The Age of Distinction (from sixty to seventy-five), and The Age of Completion (the final stage of our journey).  His philosophy is to emphatically embrace life after 50 and he inspires his readers to go out and get it (what ever their “it” is).   Author Michael Gurian is described as a philosopher, a family therapist, a corporate consultant, and a bestselling author of over twenty books. “The Wonder of Aging is a very important book.  It is filled with practical tips, solid science and stories that will inspire and motivate you.  With 11,000 people turning 60 every day, we can no longer avoid talking about aging… So we might as well embrace it with wonder.”  (Daniel G. Amen, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Use Your Brain to Change Your Age)

Affiliate links provided by Amazon

Top Websites For Medical Information And Advice

There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to medical advice.  Recently, MarketingCharts.com put together a nice analysis of the top websites for medical information and advice.  They interpreted data from Experian Marketing Services which audited U.S. household desktop and personal computer Hitwise visits from 5 million internet visitors.  The data is very interesting noting that WebMD has almost 3 times the traffic of its nearest competitor Drugs.com.  Admittedly, there were a couple sites on here I’d never visited, but are nice nonetheless.  Sites like Everyday Health and HealthGuru are great if you haven’t visited, and they provide a lot of great information and advice.

experian desktop health information sites Top Websites For Medical Information And Advice

It would be interesting to see if the chart changes at all when taking into account mobile (phone, tablet, etc.) visitors, but I’m guessing the trend stays aligned for the most part.  Also, there are a number of folks that use a good ole fashion search engine to lead them directly to what they’re looking for.  This is likely the case given that less than 40% of web traffic comes from humans.  (The rest comes from good and bad bots according to a number of sources out there.)  What websites do you use for medical information and advice?  Do you have a favorite or a top 3?  Let us know in the comments below!

Best Beach Towns In America For Retirement

Looking forward to retiring in the same community you slaved away in for 40+ years?  If not, you may be dreaming of life in a cozy beach community where the idea of fresh air, fresh fish, and fresh adventures await!  If that’s the case, here’s a list of the best beach towns in America for retirement.  Enjoy your golden active years near the many relaxing beach communities we have right here in our own backyard.

Best Beach Towns In America For Retirement

#1 Manzanita (Oregon)Manzanita1 Best Beach Towns In America For Retirement

This sleepy little community boasts a wonderful mix of full timers and part time residents.  With 7 miles of sandy beaches, Manzanita offers lots of room to run, walk, surf, or chill out.  The Oregon Coast Visitors Association maintains that “Manzanita possesses the third most photographed scenery in Oregon”.  Add in a local golf course, and a few nice restaurants/pubs and now you’ve got a full plate!  Located just West of Portland (and south of Cannon Beach) Manzanita has less than 1,000 full-time residence and at the time of the 2010 census just 315 households.  If you’re looking for a simple living this qualifies as one of the best beach towns in America for retirement.  Median age in the city is 59.9 years young.  –photos courtesy of jamesonf via Flickr

Manzanita Oregon Best Beach Towns In America For Retirement

 #2 Santa Cruz (California)

santa cruz boardwalk Best Beach Towns In America For Retirement

Santa Cruz is a throw back town.  Having just spent our spring break there this year, we loved every minute of this surfer’s paradise.  Looking for something a little laid back and dog friendly?  You just found it.  Add in a mix of fine dining, and local eateries (where the food is fresh and affordable), you won’t go home hungry.  2011 census pegged Santa Cruz at just over 60,000 residence with 32.1% of the population between the ages of 45 and older.  Median age in Santa Cruz is 29.9 (wikipedia).  Beach dwelling, wine tasting, museums, and a university add to the cultural appeal of Santa Cruz, and it’s a sure draw for those looking for an active retirement.  –photos courtesy of Thomas Hawk & Hudheer G via Flickr

santa cruz beach Best Beach Towns In America For Retirement

#3 Beaufort (South Carolina)

Beaufort dock Best Beach Towns In America For Retirement

Beaufort SC was named Coastal Living Magazine’s Happiest Seaside Town in 2013.  This alone should qualify it as one of the best beach towns in America for retirement!  Beaufort is located on Port Royal Island, in the heart of the Sea Islands.  Water, history and culture surround this area, and it’s about as friendly a town as you’ll ever come across.  “Chartered in 1711, it is the second-oldest city in South Carolina, behind Charleston. The city’s population was 12,361 in the 2010 census.  It is a primary city within the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort Metropolitan Statistical Area.” (Wikipedia)  As of the 2010 census there were just over 12,000 people residing in the city of Beaufort.  A full 30% of the people in Beaufort SC are over the age of 45.  –photos courtesy of scarter392 & Henry de Saussure Copeland via Flickr

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#4 Friday Harbor (San Juan Island WA)

Friday Harbor Best Beach Towns In America For Retirement

Friday Harbor is a gorgeous little island community available only by ferry service (or float plane).  With just over 2,000 residents, it’s not easy to get lost around Friday Harbor.  Census data notes that 44.8% of the city is 45 years old or older.  Lots of things to do on San Juan Island including hiking, biking, fishing, walking, kayaking and sampling the many local eateries and coffee shops around town.  Summertime brings in quite a number of tourists, but everyone is interested in fresh air and the active outdoor culture that abounds here.  –photos courtesy of Chase N. & Mike Kelley via Flickr

friday harbor ferry Best Beach Towns In America For Retirement

#5 Steilacoom (Washington)

Steilacoom sunset Best Beach Towns In America For Retirement

Located 45 miles SW of Seattle, Steilacoom (pronounced “still-a-come”)seems to move in slow motion and that’s just how the 6,000 or so full-time locals love it.  The 4th of July celebration brings in over 18,000 visitors, and all come for good eats, good conversation, and fireworks over Sunnyside Beach.  This Puget Sound community boasts a median age of 45.4 (as of the 2010 census) and 39.3% of folks are 45 years of age or older.  –photos courtesy of L-M-E & camknows via Flickr

Steilacoom festival Best Beach Towns In America For Retirement

Healthy Diet For MS Patients Lowers Risk

canstockphoto2521088 150x150 Healthy Diet For MS Patients Lowers RiskI first learned about Dr. Terry Wahls this morning on my favorite radio station, Kink.fm.  The morning host had just finished her book and was remarking about this woman who had cured her multiple sclerosis (MS), discarded her wheelchair, and had done it all with food, not drugs.  In addition, she went on to say that a new study has been released that directly links the amount of  fruits and vegetables in a person’s diet to lifespan.

Eating at least seven portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day was linked to a 42% lower risk of death from all causes.  This strongly suggests the importance of the healthy diet for MS patients.

Yes, you read that right- seven portions, not the usual five we have heard about for the last several years.  As a self-proclaimed food-nut myself, I was very interested to read about Dr. Wahls and her health transformation from changing how and what she ate.

You can read about the Seven Fruits and Vegetables Study here.  Another interesting note from the study is that canned fruits and vegetables seemed to increase the risk of death by 17%!  Yikes!  Not surprisingly, the amount of sugar, especially in canned fruits seems to be to blame.

It may seem unrealistic (and can be expensive) to increase fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, but our takeaway is that some is better than none, at any age.  If you are getting  three servings,  try increasing it to four, then, five, and eventually up to seven.  I find that making a smoothie first thing in the morning helps me knock 2-3 servings out.  Here are some great recipe ideas for smoothies that I found helpful when I was just getting started.

Have you found easy ways to increase your fruit and vegetable consumption?  We want to hear about it!  Comment below!

Top 10 Quotes About Growing Old

4 folks on the beach Top 10 Quotes About Growing OldFound a great quote about growing old this morning so I decided to scour the interwebs for a top 10 list.  Add your favorites to the list below!

Top 10 Quotes About Growing Old

  1. “Too many people, when they get old, think that they have to live by the calendar.” John Glenn
  2. “I have reached an age when, if someone tells me to wear socks, I don’t have to.” Albert Einstein
  3. “Do not try to live forever, you will not succeed.” George Bernard Shaw
  4. “None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.” Henry David Thoreau
  5. “Youth is when you’re allowed to stay up late on New Year’s Eve. Middle age is when you’re forced to.” Bill Vaughan
  6. “The man who views the world at fifty the same as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.” Muhammad Ali
  7. “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Mark Twain
  8. “Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.” Author Unknown
  9. “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?” Satchel Paige
  10. “You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.” Michael Pritchard

There are so many more out there that should be on the list of top 10 quotes about growing old!  What’s your favorite?  My mother always used to say “Growing old is just a state of mind…” and it’s so true!  (Not sure where that one originated but I certainly like it.)

Photo: Natasha Hirtzel via Flicker

wrinkles Mark Twain Top 10 Quotes About Growing Old

Photo Of Elderly Couple In Same Place Each Season Until The Inevitable

Purportedly, journalist Ken Griffiths of The Sunday Times took a photo of an elderly couple in the same place (outside their home), each season for 12 consecutive years.  There are many theories surrounding this series of photos.  Some say it’s Ken Griffiths’ parents and he chronicled their love for one another through their final 12 seasons together.  Others merely note the acclaimed photographer and journalist took the photos of some would be friends to be originally published in 1973.  The results no matter which way you cut it are amazing, and they are making their way around the web for all to ponder.

“When you’re young you prefer the vulgar months, the fullness of the seasons. As you grow older you learn to like the in-between times, the months that can’t make up their minds. Perhaps it’s a way of admitting that things can’t ever bear the same certainty again.”
― Julian Barnes, Flaubert’s Parrot

There is something magical about each season anew.  Each bring with it inevitable change, glory and even decay.  Spring brings with it eternal hope and each season unveils a new chapter.  The same holds true in our lives, and I love to think about the parallels between our mother earth… and each of us that share her for a brief moment in time.

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KenGriffiths2b Photo Of Elderly Couple In Same Place Each Season Until The Inevitable

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KenGriffiths4 Photo Of Elderly Couple In Same Place Each Season Until The Inevitable

KenGriffiths5 Photo Of Elderly Couple In Same Place Each Season Until The Inevitable

KenGriffiths6 Photo Of Elderly Couple In Same Place Each Season Until The Inevitable

KenGriffiths7 Photo Of Elderly Couple In Same Place Each Season Until The Inevitable

KenGriffiths8 Photo Of Elderly Couple In Same Place Each Season Until The Inevitable

KenGriffiths9 Photo Of Elderly Couple In Same Place Each Season Until The Inevitable

KenGriffiths10 Photo Of Elderly Couple In Same Place Each Season Until The Inevitable

KenGriffiths11 Photo Of Elderly Couple In Same Place Each Season Until The Inevitable

KenGriffiths12 Photo Of Elderly Couple In Same Place Each Season Until The Inevitable

February is American Heart Month

sleep and heart health 150x150 February is American Heart MonthFebruary is American Heart Month and I just celebrated by taking a brisk walk.  It’s important to show some love to your heart since Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the number one killer for men and women in the U.S. and is a leading cause of disability.  CVDs including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure can be prevented by healthy habits like diet and exercise and not smoking.  The CDC offers some great tips to improving heart health, check out their website for expanded information- remember each step in the right direction is a step closer to a healthy heart!

1. Work with your health care team- make sure you are seeing your doctor at least once a year for regular check-ups.  Even if you are feeling great, they can check for things that may otherwise go unnoticed (like diabetes and high blood pressure).

2. Check your blood pressure and cholesterol- I have to keep reminding my kids that the blood pressure machines at the drug store aren’t toys to play on while we wait!  High blood pressure typically has no symptoms, so check it regularly.  A blood test for cholesterol is recommended every five years.

3. Eat a healthy diet and keep a healthy weight- An apple a day….  Adults should be eating 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, foods low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium and high in fiber.  If you need help planning meals, selecting the right foods, physical activity ideas and exercise trackers, ChooseMyPlate.gov is a terrific resource.

4. Exercise.  Often.- You don’t have to run out and join a gym.  It’s easy to get your blood moving doing daily activities like taking the stairs, raking the yard, or parking at the far end of the parking lot.  The Surgeon General recommends that adults should have at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.  That’s less than 25 minutes per day to show some love to your heart.

5. Don’t smoke and limit alcohol-  If you smoke, quit.  Talk to your doctor about strategies and medications that can help you with the addiction.   Alcohol overuse can increase blood pressure.  Men should limit alcohol intake to two drinks per day and women to one.

6. Manage diabetes and take your heart medication- Work closely with your health care team to ensure your diabetes is being managed the best way possible.  If you are taking heart related medications, make sure you are taking the right dose and follow directions for the medication correctly.  If you are having any side-effects or concerns about the medication, bring this to the attention of your health care team right away.

If these recommendations seem overwhelming, take it one step at a time.  Ask friends and family to support you and share your goals with them.   For more inspiration, check out these Hearty Healthy Pins.

Tinney Davidson: Making a Difference One Wave at a Time

canstockphoto15610798 150x150 Tinney Davidson: Making a Difference One Wave at a TimeIt’s not hard to find inspiration on the web, a few minutes spent on youtube or facebook is all it usually takes to make us tear up.  The waterworks get turned on when we see inspiration and seniors in the same story.  This delightful video has it all- smiles, humor, sweetness, and tears. Tinney Davidson is a widow who has impacted kids in a big way, with a small wave. This year, the kids decided they would show her how much her small daily act meant to them.  If this doesn’t melt your heart, you should probably see a doctor.  And speaking of your heart, did you know that February is American Heart Month?