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Fun Activities for Seniors in the Summer

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Are you looking forward to the warm months ahead? Since most areas throughout North America have shaken the cold air - minus the odd day here and there - you can start planning your summer activities!
It’s nice to stay active and involved in your surroundings in different ways according to what season it is. Here are some great ideas to get you started this summer:

  • Gardening
  • Daily strolls or ‘power’ walks
  • Mini golf (or regular golf, if you feel up to the challenge)
  • Picnics with good friends
  • A shared ice cream cone with a loved one
  • Outdoor concerts (see what your local community might be offering this summer)
  • Tai Chi (try it in the park to breathe the fresh air and improve your agility!)

Exercise…For the Brain!

Sunday, April 19th, 2009

Forget about your body for a moment, and think about fitness for your brain!  Researchers have begun to take notice of the fact that baby boomers and even younger people in their thirties are beginning to worry about the health state of their brains!  Memory loss and a general slowing down of brain function have become legitimate concerns.

But don’t fret, there is good news!  According to research, there are initiatives you can take to maintain a strong mental edge and solid memory retention.  Although these strategies cannot necessarily prevent such diseases as Alzheimer’s or dementia, they can serve to preserve memory longer, and lessen confusion of the mind.

Many researches think it is not far fetched to assume that one day we will be hiring cognitive trainers for our minds – not just fitness trainers for our bodies.

In the meantime, we can follow these three simple steps below to maintain a healthy mind and keep it as sharp as possible, for as long as possible.

Unplanned Physical Activity

Keeping physically active through planned and premeditated activity is one thing, but apparently spontaneous-style physical activity proves to relate to brain fitness.  For example, engage in gardening, dancing, or cleaning to keep a mentally healthy brain.

Regular Brain Challenges

Challenge your mind on a regular basis.  Do crossword puzzles, photo hunts and word searches.  Visit your local museum or science centre.  Go to concerts, seminars and tradeshows.  New material for your brain is always beneficial to preserve effective cognitive functioning.

Keep up Social Activities

It has been said that those who are highly involved in social activities, keep sharp, mentally fit and of sound mind for longer than those who tend to drift from their social settings and withdraw from society.  Try to stay involved in active communities, social settings and various activities.

Although none of the recommendations above can guarantee that you will not experience memory loss, in combination with lifestyle changes and possible medication, the process can be slowed and the likelihood greatly reduced.  Plus, you never know, you may just have some fun in the meantime!

A Positive Outlook for Retirement

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

There is no doubt that if we allow them, news and media outlets will have us living in fear, anxiety and a general apprehension about the future.  It isn’t necessarily their fault – terrifying and horrible news sells!  No one wants to hear about the small and wonderful things happening in our local communities – these stories are far too boring.  Where’s the drama?  Where’s the heat?

Still among the top ‘negative’ news stories today, is the plummeting economy.  Sure, there is recent talk of the ending recession, but unemployment is high, people have lost a ton of money, and older adults’ pre and post retirement dreams have been crushed!

But wait!  Okay, so perhaps things didn’t go exactly as you had planned – but money isn’t always the answer to happiness.  Far too often, we allow this printed paper to rule our thoughts, and in many cases, even our overall state of happiness.

“If only I had more money, I’d be a whole lot happier.”
“I’m sick of working.  I wish I had enough money to retire.”
“Without lots of money, I can’t live my retirement the way I want to.”
“If only this recession hadn’t happened, then I’d be retired by now.”

Do any of these phrases sound familiar?  Good.  Now wipe them from your vocabulary – and your thoughts!  Too much concentration on money will leave little time for you to maximize your happiness in three other major areas:  in your personal health, through your family and friends, and from yourself.  By finding reasons to be happy in or because of these three aspects of your life, you’ll be able to enjoy a much happier retirement.

Research performed recently by Harvard students confirms the contagiousness of happiness.  If you are happy, you will naturally attract more happiness into your life, you will naturally find yourself spending more time with happy and positive people, and you will be more comfortable spending time by yourself in a peaceful and serene state of mind.

If you find yourself in a financial bind that you can’t do much about given the current state of our economy, then simply come to terms with the fact that your finances are unstable, unpredictable and hold an uncertain future.  Accept this as fact, and you will find more time to enjoy all of the other good things in your life.

Although finances will bring you stability in your retirement, it is your state of mind and personal well being which generates the success you will need to accomplish that stability.  It’s never too late to change your frame of mind, take control of your negative thoughts and live a happier life – before and after retirement.

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