Tips for Great Posture at Any Age

posture

Did you know that your posture directly affects your overall health? The good news is that with practice and attention, it is possible to sufficiently improve your posture.  There are so many benefits that come from maintaining a good posture at any stage of your life.  Here are just a few:

  • Keeps you in balance – Good posture will keep your sense of balance in check and help reduce the incidence of vertigo and falls.
  • Maintain strong bones – Maintaining good posture is an excellent way to prevent and control the symptoms of osteoporosis.
  • Lowers risk of heart disease – When your posture is properly aligned your circulation improves, helping to keep your heart healthy and reducing the risk of heart attacks and stroke.
  • Prevents depression – Improved circulation positively affects mood, and by promoting better communication with the neurotransmitters of our brains, it might even prevent memory loss.
  • Improves digestion – Maintaining good posture, particularly while eating, has been shown to improve digestion.

While it is normal for posture to gradually decline over time, there are some easy everyday tricks you can practice to keep yourself standing tall:

  1. Stand with your back against a wall so that your heels, bum, shoulders, and back of your head all make contact with the wall.  The weight should be evenly distributed between your two feet and should also feel evenly centered between the toes and heels.  Don’t forget to roll your shoulders back so they line up directly over your pelvis.  Keep your chin up and your head held high, your ear lobes should be in line with your shoulders.  Hold for 1-3 minutes daily.
  2. In a standing or sitting position, practice flexing your core muscles.  You should feel your torso get longer and your belly button move in toward your spine.  You can do this easy core strengthening exercise whenever you want, whether in line at the grocery store or watching your favorite TV program.
  3. Move around!  Any time you catch yourself standing, sitting, or lying in the same position for too long without moving, remind yourself to keep things flowing.  Stand up and walk around, twist gently from side to side, or bring your arms up overhead.  Continual movement is the key to preventing bad posture!
  4. Practice good posture while you eat.  Good posture is crucial to maintaining healthy digestion.  Pay special attention to how you are sitting.  The weight should be distributed evenly into your two feet as they rest squarely on the floor.  Don’t cross your legs or ankles.  Let the weight of your hips fall into the back of your thighs and allow your pelvis to tilt tightly forward.  Remember to keep those core muscles lightly engaged and sit tall and straight.

Don’t let bad posture sneak up on you.  A little bit of practice goes a long way!

Yoga to Feel Great at Any Age

senior-yoga

One of the greatest things about yoga is that it is accessible to everyone, young or old.  Here are some amazing benefits of getting your stretch on:

  1. Prevents disease:  Yoga does more than make you limber; it can help ward off diseases and chronic health problems.  By increasing circulation and keeping joints mobile, yoga has been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and arthritis, just to name a few.  Yoga is also designed to massage your major organs and keep your body healthy, happy, and performing at its best.
  2. Stress management – While all types of yoga are helpful for stress reduction, restorative yoga is a particularly appealing option to help alleviate anxiety and recalibrate the nervous system.  This type of yoga is especially beneficial if you suffer from chronic fatigue or depression. And if you have a hard time getting motivated, the idea of relaxing in super comfortable supported positions might just be what you need to get you to that local class.
  3. Push your limits – There is nothing more rewarding than achieving something you never thought possible.  However, it is important to work within your physical capacity.  If you suffer from mobility issues, try a studio that teaches Iyengar yoga.  This is a type of yoga developed to be particularly accessible and safe, and the instructors are trained to integrate a variety of props to make sure that you find the right modification that works for you.  One of the best things about yoga is it is non-competitive and allows you to move at your own pace, so take your teacher’s advice and listen to your body to find out what kind of practice is right for you.
  4. Nourish your mind – Yoga is a holistic practice, which means that it treats the mind and body as two sides of the same coin.  Therefore, yoga is just as much mind training as it is body training.  As such, you can take the mindfulness you learn on your mat into your everyday life, and reap the countless rewards of being more present and aware.
  5. You can take yoga anywhere – One of the greatest things about yoga is that it is adaptable.  Whether your goal is physical fitness, strength, flexibility, or relaxation, there are different types of yoga for whatever your heart desires.  And if you don’t want to shell out for a yoga membership or feel uncomfortable in a group setting, try a youtube video in the comfort and privacy of your own home.  Private instruction can be another great way to refine and tailor your personal practice.

Hands down the most awesome benefit of yoga is how fantastic it makes you feel.   Yoga is a gentle and safe way to take care of your mind and body, so don’t wait to check out many options for senior yoga that the San Diego area has to offer!

Manage Your Meds

medications

Keeping track of medications can seem like a difficult task, especially if you take a number of them. It is important to work with both your doctor and pharmacist to make sure that you are taking the right medications in the right amounts. It is common for seniors to be over-prescribed extra medications or ineffective medications or higher doses than needed. So if you feel like your medications aren’t doing what they should be doing, get proactive and make sure what you are taking is doing the job.  These simple tips will help you work together with your San Diego area senior care services to make the most of your medication regimen.

Here are some tips for getting proactive to make sure what you are taking is working for you.

  1. Maintain a regular doctor and pharmacist:  Try to stick to a few primary health care providers to avoid accidental over-prescription.  However, do seek a second opinion if you feel uncertain about a medication schedule your regular doctor has provided you with.
  2. Keep a medication journal: Keep a detailed log of your medications by tracking the names, dosages, symptoms to be treated, contradictions, and side effects. Make a practice of reviewing and updating your journal once a week. While this seems like a lot of work, keeping a journal is an invaluable tool to help you stay on top of your medication needs.
  3. Sort:  Once a week take the time to sort out your medications using a pill organizer.  Carefully review the labels and keep any medications that you are to use as needed aside and carefully and clearly labeled.  While this might seem like a cumbersome activity, keeping your medications organized not only ultimately saves time, but helps to prevent dangerous mishaps like taking the wrong pill or mixing the wrong medications together.
  4. Involve family and friends:  If you feel overwhelmed by the task of tracking your own meds, don’t be afraid to ask family and friends to help you out. It is also important to share your medication information and the location of your medication journal with a loved one in case of an emergency.
  5. Schedule an annual medication review with your health provider:  At least once a year, take the time for a comprehensive review of your medication regimen with your primary care physician.  Be sure to bring along your medication journal so you can discuss the relative effectiveness of each medication you are taking, in addition to any residual symptoms or side effects you might be experiencing.  Remember to be completely honest about your lifestyle choices and don’t be afraid to ask questions when you feel uncertain. This will only help your health providers make the best choices to serve you.

Aging Like a Pro: Tips for Happy Aging

seniors-singing

There are so many advantages that come with age.  You have the wisdom of experience, and you know how to live.  Here are some helpful tips to help you apply that hard-earned knowledge and confidence to make every day the best that it can be.

Cultivate an Optimistic Attitude – When you find yourself getting down, try changing your perspective and focus instead on gratitude for what you do have.  For example, forget the stereotypes and wear those wrinkles with pride.  They tell the story of your life and you have earned them!

Share Your Story – Don’t assume that your grandchild won’t care to hear that favorite memory of meeting the love of your life at the San Diego Zoo.  Positive reminiscence is not only a great way to share those important moments, but it instills a sense of pride in one’s accomplishments.  So don’t be afraid to show off the life you have lived and the lessons you have learned!

Out with the Old – Life is too short to live with those things that aren’t serving you anymore.  There is no better time than the present to apply the discretion your wisdom has earned you.  Now that you have lived your career and fulfilled your obligations, it is the ideal time to get rid of all of the junk in your life that you no longer need and focus your energy on what is really important to you.

It’s Never too Late to Learn – Whoever said that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks has obviously never been old.  Use the power of wisdom you have garnered to reflect on your life and truly follow your heart.  Now is the time to do what makes you happy.

Socialize and Exercise – Regular socialization and physical activity are crucial to human happiness.  So rather than hiding behind the TV all day, go make a new friend, take a walk in the park, and get out.  Take a risk and challenge yourself; there is no better time than the present.

Breathe – If you are feeling depleted, take a moment to center yourself by bringing your attention completely to your breath.  Your breath has always been there; it is the essence of you and it is timeless.  Remember that life is too short to fear the passing of time, so enjoy every moment!

Aging, just like any other phase of life, is an adventure.  Be sure to live it as such.  Remember, you are never going to know yourself better than you do in your golden years.  Now go get what you want and live your life the way you want to live it!

Food for Thought: Foods to Boost Memory and Focus

Healthy Eating Can Improve Memory

A healthy gut translates to a healthy brain. When we keep our gut healthy, the hormones released can positively affect our memory processing, learning ability, and focus. In addition, a healthy gut helps reduce and control disease-causing inflammation and stress.

With a national increase in gut related disorders like leaky-gut and IBS, it is increasingly important to take care of digestive health to keep our memory strong as we age. Here is a list of some brain friendly foods to help keep your mind sharp.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Toss a high quality EVOO in your fresh salad and enjoy a brain boost, thanks to a super high antioxidant count. Not only does consuming EVOO give you a jump in learning ability and memory, but it might even help reverse the effects of memory loss.

Coconut Oil – Coconut oil contains loads of healthy fat that literally feed our brains cells. Even better, studies have shown that consuming coconut oil might help reduce memory loss and the effects of Alzheimer’s.

Blueberries – Blueberries are one of the best sources of antioxidants in the berry family, and as such, they naturally protect against stress and degeneration of brain tissue. Toss them in a smoothie with a banana and some almond milk and enjoy!

Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate is packed with antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. Aside from warding off heart disease, occasional consumption can help improve blood circulation to your brain to ensure that your mind stays sharp. So don’t be afraid to indulge from time to time. Just make sure the chocolate you choose is high quality and not diluted with milk and sugar. Go for at least 70% cocoa.

Rosemary – Studies have indicated that rosemary might help prevent loss of brain tissue, helping to reduce the risk stroke or Alzheimer’s. Try growing your own fresh rosemary at home—this hearty herb is easy to care for and smells amazing.

Walnuts – Walnuts are the best nut to eat for brain health. They contain particularly high amounts of DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid that has been shown to improve mental performance and even reverse memory loss due to aging. So stock up and nibble on walnuts throughout the day to help maintain that brainpower.

Pumpkin Seeds - These tasty snacks are high in memory enhancing zinc in addition to stress-relieving magnesium.

Oily Fish - Oily fish like salmon, trout, and sardines, to name a few, contain loads of healthy omega-3 fats that not only keep your memory strong but also encourage the release of mood-boosting serotonin.

Remember, you really are what you eat. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is integral to mental well-being, so take care of your body to take care of your mind. It just might help you before you have to go into memory care in National City.

Advice from our Wellness Team: Drink More Water, Your Body Will Thank You!

If you are suffering from fPouring water into a glassatigue, you feel depressed or too stressed, and you are looking for more energy, water could be just the ticket. Did you know that 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated? For 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak it is often mistaken for hunger!

Even mild dehydration can slow down one’s metabolism as much as 3%.  So if you are interested in losing weight and/or controlling your appetite, if you suffer from dry skin, indigestion, backaches, or headaches, drinking more water might be the solution, at least partly. Continue reading

5 Things I Learned Working With Seniors

 

Paradise Village employee, James AllenMy first job working with seniors

 

Next month will mark my one year anniversary of working for Paradise Village, a great retirement community in National City, CA. They offer assisted and independent living along with many amenities including a coffee shop, fine dining, beauty salon, credit union, health clinic, Olympic-length heated pool, library, theater with seating for 200+, and more.

 

I began working at Paradise Village as a contractor, assisting just the employees with on-site tech support. After about one month I transitioned into being a part-time employee and I also began working with seniors (residents, as we refer to them) and their family members, handling IT/tech-related questions.  Overall I’ve had great experiences working with all the residents and staff on campus. Since this was my first job in the senior living industry, I’ve had quite a few learning opportunities. If you are taking care of your elderly parents and need help during the day while you work then enroll them in a elder day care.

 

These are the top five things I learned working with our residents: Continue reading

Another Reason to Add Calcium

To enhance the lives of our residents and employees, our Wellness Team works hard to keep you informed! Here is a Wellness Tip from our Paradise Village Wellness Team:

Wellness through adding calcium to your diet - advice for senior wellness.Did you know that calcium can keep you from storing fat? When your body is low on calcium, it produces a hormone that signals the body to store visceral fat. Meeting your recommended daily calcium needs (that’s 1,000 milligrams for adults) can help reduce levels of this hormone. Continue reading