Wellness Wednesday – Six Secrets to a Long Life from Ancestral Greek Islanders

Greek Island SantoriniIn the Next Avenue article Secrets From the Island Where People Forget to Die, author Laine Bergeson writes about the remarkable longevity of the residents of the Greek island of Ikaria:

“On the Greek island of Ikaria, people forget to die.

For the most part, they also forget to get sick – the island’s many nonagenarians experience relatively little cancer, cardiovascular disease or dementia.

This small island in the north Aegean Sea has been the subject of much study by researchers across the world. Every outsider wonders: What is the secret to a long and healthy life?

In her cookbook Ikaria: Lessons on Food, Life, and Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die, ancestral Ikarian and part-time resident of the island, Diane Kochilas, offers an insider’s perspective on why this far-flung Greek community lives so long and so well.”

Here are some of Kochilas’ longevity tips:

1. Eat locally, seasonally and sparingly. The octagenarians, nonagenarians and centenarians I spoke with on Ikaria all described the eating habits of their early years — years of dire poverty, dearth and isolation — not so much in terms of what they ate but of how little they ate, because there simply wasn’t that much food.

Meat was rare, for some as rare as two to three times a year on the big holidays. For others who may have had animals (mainly chickens), they could afford to slaughter a few times a month. Fish was accessible if one fished; gardens were carved into terraces along Ikaria’s steep slopes and watered sparingly.

The 100-year-olds ate what they found in nature, from snails to mushrooms to wild greens, as well as what their gardens provided. There was and is still virtually no processed food on the island, except in some restaurants.

2. Live deliberately and don’t rush. The pace with which people move on Ikaria (including my own family!) never ceases to amaze me: slow, deliberate, unhurried, but with enough time to observe and live in every moment.

3. Enjoy sleep. We sleep so much when we are on Ikaria. It’s a godsend. I don’t know if it’s the atmosphere or the clean air, but I can sleep there totally soundly for 10 hours, even with daylight pouring into the room. Ikarians nap. All older Greeks nap.

4. Let things go. The Greeks say, ‘Don’t hold the bad in.’ There is so much truth and wisdom in that. Ikaria is a place where people tend to be easygoing, forgiving and unstressed. It’s also a place where the local culture allows for a very liberal interpretation of what it means to be uninhibited. The panygyria, local feasts of wine and dancing that are usually in celebration of a saint’s name day, are the place to witness how we let loose and enjoy it. Dancing has a lot to do with it. So does the strength of the local wine.

Read the rest of the tips: Secrets From the Island Where People Forget to Die.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Wellness Wednesday: 12 Tips for Baby Boomers to Achieve Optimal Health

Baby Boomer Couple on BicyclesIn the article 12 Tips for Baby Boomers to Achieve Optimal Health, author Rebecca Forstadt-Olkowski suggests that as we age, we all need to be “self-preserving.”

Here are some tips that can help:

Drink water as your main source of hydration. Sip it throughout the day. Fresh spring water is best, but if it’s not available, filter it using an inexpensive pitcher with a filter. If you’re worried about acidity, squeeze a little lemon or lime into it. It will alkalize your water and you won’t have to spend a fortune on a fancy water machine.

Always keep your body moving. There’s no need to go to extremes when it comes to exercise, especially if you’re over 50. A knee or hip replacement from running too hard isn’t something you want to deal with. Walking’ is the best exercise for most people. People who live to 100 or more have stayed active and in motion most of their lives. Swimming is easy on the bones and good for those who have difficulty walking. If you’re sensitive to chlorine, swim in salt water instead. Too much chlorine can be toxic. Stretching is essential for flexibility and strength training will keep your bones strong. You can add exercise to your life without having to join a gym. Gardening, house cleaning, walking the dog, dancing, and other routine activities are all good forms of exercise. The main thing is to stay off your duff as much as possible. If you work in front of a computer all day, get up every 20 minutes to move. Sitting for long periods of time can be hazardous to your health. The same goes for flying long distances in a plane. Try to book an aisle seat and move around the cabin as often as possible. If your feet start to swell after flying, see a doctor immediately to make sure you don’t have a pulmonary embolism.

Your willpower is powerful. If you have a strong will to live you’ll have a better chance of making it to a healthy old age. What you think about, you bring about. Train your mind to visualize positive outcomes, rather than dwell on the negative. It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you truly believe you can.”

Read the rest of the tips at: 12 Tips for Baby Boomers to Achieve Optimal Health.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Wellness Wednesday: I Decided To Finally Get In Shape In My 50s – Here’s How I Did It

Baby Boomer Woman ExercisingIn the Prevention article I Decided To Finally Get In Shape In My 50s—Here’s How I Did It, Lisa Klitz tells author K. Aleisha Fetters why she decided to get fit in her 50s:

“As women, so much of what we do revolves around taking care of others. We strive to keep our kids healthy, our bosses happy, and our homes running like well-oiled machines. It wasn’t until I retired three years ago, at the age of 50, that I realized that in all of that craziness, I had missed out on one essential thing: taking care of myself.”

Here are some of the things Lisa learned as she got in better shape:

One benefit of getting started with exercise in my 50s is that every accomplishment of mine was a first. There was no comparing my run times to those from my 20s, 30s, or 40s. Every workout was a personal best, which was extremely encouraging and has kept me motivated.

Don’t be afraid of a fitness challenge when you are ready. However, a few months later in October 2016, my local Orangetheory held a six-week fitness challenge that involved going to three classes per week—which to me, seemed like a lot! My instructor encouraged me to go for it and reminded me that even if I had to work at less than 100% during each class, I’d be working more and getting greater benefits than I would by sticking with my one weekly class. The challenge also put a focus on fueling right and emphasized eating whole, unprocessed foods. Truth be told, I had never really worked to eliminate processed foods from my diet before. As a crazy-busy working mom, they had long been a staple in my eating routine. I decided eating healthier and working out more could only help me, so I took a leap of faith and signed up for the challenge. Six weeks later, I had lost an entire inch off of my hips and felt my body changing even more than it had before. I was carrying muscle in places I didn’t even know you could have muscle, and I had a perky butt for the first time in my life!”

Read more: I Decided To Finally Get In Shape In My 50s—Here’s How I Did It.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Wellness Wednesday – Healthy Snack Suggestions

Group of fresh fruits and vegetablesIn the National Institute on Aging article Serving and Portion Sizes: How Much Should I Eat?, NIH suggests that snacks are okay, as long as they are smart food choices. Here are some examples:

“If you want an afternoon pick-me-up or after-dinner snack, have a piece of fruit, or spread peanut butter or low-fat cream cheese on whole wheat toast.

Don’t forget to include snacks in your daily food count. For example, one tablespoon of peanut butter spread on a slice of whole wheat toast counts toward the grains group and the protein foods group. Some ideas for healthy snacking include:

– Have an ounce of cheese with some whole-grain crackers, a container of low-fat or fat-free yogurt, or some low-fat popcorn.

– Put fruit instead of candy in the bowl on your coffee table.

– Keep a container of cleaned, raw vegetables in the fridge.

– If you want some chips or nuts, don’t eat from the bag. Count out a serving, and put the bag away.

Read more suggestions: Serving and Portion Sizes: How Much Should I Eat?.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Wellness Wednesday: How to Start Exercising At 50 or Over

Baby Boomer Couple on Bicycles

In the article Baby Boomer Fitness: How to Start Exercising At 50 or Over, the authors suggest that if you’re over age fifty, now is the time to start getting regular aerobic exercise and maintaining a balanced diet. Here are some tips on how to start exercising at 50 or over.

Before Beginning an Exercise Regimen. If you’re a baby boomer trying to get fit after age 50, it is important to know your current level of health. Always consult your doctor prior to beginning any exercise routine. Your doctor will make sure you are cleared for unsupervised exercise, or recommend supervised exercise, such as cardiac rehabilitation.

Recommendations for Exercise After 50. The CDC recommends 150 minutes of aerobic activity, along with two 30-minute strength training sessions per week. The intensity of cardio should be challenging, but tolerable. You may want to grade the intensity of a workout on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being incredibly difficult. Aim for exercise somewhere in the 4-8 range. If you are just starting out, start with a less difficult routine and work up to more challenging exercise. Include extended warm-up and cool-down sets both before and after your workout. This will better prevent injury to sensitive muscles and ligaments.

Aerobic Exercise After 50. While 150 minutes of aerobic exercise per week may sound like a lot, it’s actually just 20 minutes of activity per day! Walking is a great way to get your daily exercise in. It’s easy on joints and bones, which is especially important to consider as you age. It’s also one of the most convenient forms of exercise; no equipment is necessary, apart from a good pair of shoes and your own two legs. If walking doesn’t appeal to you, swimming, cardio machines, like a recumbent bike, and interval training are all great alternatives. You might also find opportunities to workout in your own backyard. Just make sure you are cleared by your doctor before beginning any routine.”

Read more ideas here: Baby Boomer Fitness: How to Start Exercising At 50 or Over.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Wellness Wednesday: 10 Simple Fall Prevention Exercises Seniors Can Do at Home [Video]

Seniors Using Exercise Bands to Work OutMore than 1 in 4 older adults falls each year. Falls often cause serious injuries that result in significant loss of independence and mobility.

Regularly doing fall prevention exercises reduces fall risk by specifically strengthening key muscles and joints to improve balance.

In the Daily Caring free video 10 Simple Fall Prevention Exercises Seniors Can Do at Home, two physical therapists teach older adults how to do 10 simple fall prevention exercises. You can easily do these at home – no equipment is needed.

See the video here: 10 Simple Fall Prevention Exercises Seniors Can Do at Home.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Wellness Wednesday: Baby Boomer Wellness Tips You May Not Have Considered

Baby Boomer Couple in CityIn the article Top 5 Baby Boomer Wellness Tips, author Heather Vuchinich writes about how baby boomers are creating new ways to stay well:

“By modeling a ‘take charge’ attitude, boomers are demonstrating that there are new ways to age and grow older and creating models for future generations. It’s no surprise that this epic generation is revolutionizing our collective approach to the “golden years” and also sinking the majority of the monies spent on wellness in this decade.
Here are 5 tips to adapt in order to adopt the baby boomer mentality:

1. Try something new
Rather than stick with your same old vacation spot, why not choose a destination that is new and unfamiliar? Follow the boomer lead and plan a wellness vacation that includes a one-stop-shop at a wellness resorts.

2. Face your fears head on
Afraid of getting old and sick? Learn how to prevent illness now, instead of waiting until it’s too late. Take a workshop in healthy aging or preventative healthcare. It’s easier to confront difficult issues when you face them head on.

3. Explore the unknown
As we age it can become easy to believe we’ve seen and done it all. Boomers know that there is always something new to learn. Expand your world and investigate the unknown by asking questions and meeting new people. Boomers interest in overseas travel and volunteer work “vacations” (the concept of giving back) stimulates brain cells and keeps aging brains alert and active.”

Read more tips at: Top 5 Baby Boomer Wellness Tips.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Wellness Wednesday – Serving and Portion Sizes: How Much Should I Eat?

Group of fresh fruits and vegetablesIn the National Institute on Aging article Serving and Portion Sizes: How Much Should I Eat?, emphasizes the importance of eating a variety of foods from each food group that will help you get the nutrients you need. What about portion and serving sizes? Here is an explanation:

“The word ‘serving’ can have different meanings depending on how it is used. A Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension Plan serving is how much of each food you should eat to meet the plan’s daily recommendation. (Learn more about serving sizes on the Nutrition Facts label.)

The term ‘portion’ means how much of a single food is actually on your dish—a portion size can vary from meal to meal. For example, one restaurant might serve larger portions than another.”

EXAMPLES OF PORTION SIZES

One cup cooked vegetables, salad, baked potato = baseball

1 to 1½ ounces cheese = four dice

Three ounces of meat or poultry = palm of hand

Read the rest: Serving and Portion Sizes: How Much Should I Eat?.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Wellness Wednesday – How to Use Exercise As Medicine

Baby Boomer Couple on BicyclesIn the article Exercise As Medicine, author Jennifer Van Pelt, MA recommends fitness programs to boomers for their preventive qualities against disease, as well as socialization opportunities:

“According to U.S. Census data, there are currently more than 78 million baby boomers, and 58 million will still be alive in 2030. Such numbers indicate that current trends in older adult fitness driven by boomers will continue to evolve. While the size of the boomer population contributes to older adult fitness trends, recently published studies reporting the health and cost benefits of regular exercise for older adults are also spurring the development of new programs by care providers and reimbursement for exercise activities offered by insurance companies. And new technologies are providing new options to make older adult exercise both fun and functional.

‘There are many trends occurring in older adult fitness; however, probably the most significant one is the repackaging of exercise as a disease solution,’ says Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging (ICAA). Viewing exercise as medicine, as a tool to not only manage but also to prevent the health issues elders face, is becoming a commonplace way to promote regular exercise. The ICAA believes health plans will continue to pay for prevention because the fear of rising healthcare costs has forced health insurance companies to investigate the dollar value of exercise for prevention.

‘Many eyes opened when HealthPartners Research Foundation announced their study that showed adults aged 50-plus years who started exercising just 90 minutes a week saved, on average, $2,200 per year in medical costs,’ Milner says. According to Tricia Grayson, director of communications for Healthways’ SilverSneakers Fitness Program, Medicare claims costs in this study for SilverSneakers members were 30% lower than for nonparticipants.

Another study recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that Medicare recipients who participated for two years in the SilverSneakers health club exercise program had significantly lower healthcare costs overall, and older adults who visited health clubs at least twice per week had $1,252 less in healthcare costs than those who visited less than once per week. Combining those cost savings with baby boomers’ knowledge of the benefits of physical activity, health insurers take notice, Milner says.

In another nationwide study of more than 9,000 SilverSneakers members, 41% of members with diabetes reported having improved health after one or more years of participation and 46% reported improved body weight. High-risk sedentary behavior was reduced by 59% with SilverSneakers participation, Grayson notes.”

Read the rest: Exercise As Medicine.

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582

Wellness Wednesday – From Baby Boomers to Senior Boomers: 10 Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit

Baby Boomer Couple on BicyclesIn the article From Baby Boomers to Senior Boomers: 10 Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit, 65-year-old Arthur Hayward, MD, a geriatrician and the clinical lead physician for elder care with Kaiser Permanente’s Care Management Institute suggests that baby boomers and senior boomers “become activists in promoting healthful behaviors.” Dr. Hayward recommends 10 easy tips to help baby boomers live long and thrive:

1. Quit smoking. Take this critical step to improve your health and combat aging. Smoking kills by causing cancer, strokes and heart failure. Smoking leads to erectile dysfunction in men due to atherosclerosis and to excessive wrinkling by attacking skin elasticity. Many resources are available to help you quit.

2. Keep active. Do something to keep fit each day — something you enjoy that maintains strength, balance, flexibility, and promotes cardiovascular health. Physical activity helps you stay at a healthy weight, prevent or control illness, sleep better, reduce stress, avoid falls, and look and feel better too.

3. Eat well. Combined with physical activity, eating nutritious foods in the right amounts can help keep you healthy. Many illnesses — such as heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis — can be prevented or controlled with dietary changes and exercise. Calcium and vitamin D supplements can help women prevent osteoporosis.

4. Maintain a healthy weight. Extra weight increases your risk for heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Use our BMI (body mass index) calculator to find out what you should weigh for your height. Get to your healthy weight and stay there by eating right and keeping active. Replace sugary drinks with water. Water is calorie free!

5. Prevent falls. We become vulnerable to falls as we age. Prevent falls and injury by removing loose carpet or throw rugs. Keep paths clear of electrical cords and clutter, and use night-lights in hallways and bathrooms. Did you know that people who walk barefoot fall more frequently? Wear shoes with good support to reduce the risk of falling.”

Read more at: From Baby Boomers to Senior Boomers: 10 Tips to Keep You Healthy and Fit

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DAYNA WILSON: As a real estate agent I have been working with homebuyers and sellers throughout the East Bay communities of Layfayette, Moraga, Orinda and Walnut Creek since 2009. As a Certified Senior Housing Professional (CSHP) , I have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages to the importance of universal design. I can tap into my network and put you in touch with my team of qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs, organizers and other experts. I have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

Call me today to talk about your real estate concerns. I’m here to listen: 925.788.6582