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The Happiest Retirees Have Learned This Lesson

March 21st, 2017 paulr Posted in Life Style No Comments »

The happiest retirees have learned this lessonThe happiest retirees have learned this lesson. It is all about finding the right balance in life. It is also about doing things that are interesting and challenging to you that you enjoy. Too much of any one particular activity and it becomes boring. Doing something different every day helps us all enjoy life more and look forward to the activities we are following in the days ahead. Actually this approach applies to all of us whether we are retired, in the middle of our careers or just beginning. Lead a well balanced life to maintain a satisfied career and lifestyle. The following are the main categories that all of us should pay attention to.

The Happiest Retirees Have Learned This Lesson

Find the right balance among the following to lead a happy life.

Share and mentor – whether it is your kids, colleagues or grand children, helping someone succeed always feels good.

Recreation – relaxation and exercise provides with fun and enjoyment. Recreation also helps to keep us fit if your recreation includes sports activities.

Heath – it really does not matter how much money you have. If you do not have your health life can get pretty tedious. Live a healthy lifestyle, eat right, moderate drinking, exercise and treat your body well.

Financial – pay attention to finances. If you will not have enough money to live the lifestyle you would like, retirement could get frustrating. Pay attention to this item well before retirement and match your lifestyle to your income and savings levels.

Travel and learn – experiencing other cultures, enjoying different foods and viewing new experiences helps us all to enjoy the world and learn. Keep an open mind and enjoy what different cultures bring to the world.

Relationships – one of the most important is to enjoy and maintain relationships with family, friends and colleagues. When you need help there is always someone to call on for help.

Work – should really only occupy 1/3 of the day. You need 1/3 for sleeping and 1/3 for doing all of the other things we have been discussing. When work expands beyond 8 hours a day, something has to suffer

Family and Social – maintaining a great social life means you are having fun and lots of laughs. It is well know that a good laugh helps the body to stay healthy and maintain your sense of well being.

For more life style ideas and suggestions, click here.

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Retirement and the Aging Brain

May 21st, 2016 paulr Posted in Life Style No Comments »

Retirement and the Aging BrainOn this website and many others, we talk about nutrition and staying fit during retirement as we get older. This post is going to focus more on keeping our brains fit as we age to enhance our quality of life and allow us to enjoy it. Retirement and the aging brain is not something we typically think about. Let’s face it, you can lose mobility or have some other debilitating health issue, but the last thing we want is to lose brain functionality as we age. If we cannot think clearly and converse easily with other people, than aging can be a very boring place to be. So what are some of the things you can do to focus on the brain and keep it in top shape?

Retirement and the Aging Brain

We lose cognitive function over time as we age and it is important to slow this down. Here is a list of areas you can consider to keep the brain fit in no particular order:

  • Maintain social networks to exercise your brain
  • Challenge yourself on a regular basis cognitively
  • Learn new things every day or week
  • Practice memory exercises, push yourself out of your comfort zone
  • Play games, new hobbies, etc
  • Retirement is stressful, find hobbies, find value in what you do
  • Stay fit, exercise at least 30 minutes a day
  • Consume healthy food to feed your brain
  • Focus on proper meals with a healthy dose of vitamins
  • Don’t smoke, it decreases the efficiency of the brain
  • Manage alcohol consumption
  • Push yourself outside of your comfort zone

For more life style ideas and suggestions, click here.

 

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Are More Consumers Adopting Wellness Lifestyle Diets

February 7th, 2016 paulr Posted in Life Style No Comments »

Are More Consumers Adopting Wellness Lifestyle DietsThe diet industry is huge. Diet plans, diet medications, diet foods and even diet operations are all part of the industry that almost all consumers focus on at some time in their lives. More and more we suspect that consumers adopting wellness lifestyle diets are giving up on the diet plans and all of the other stuff. They are simply tired of these fad diets, the yoyo weight gains and losses and the pressure tactics of many in the market place. There is a new approach that many consumers are simply adopting on their own.

Are More Consumers Adopting Wellness Lifestyle Diets

Instead of following a fad diet of some kind, they are focusing more on a balanced diet to maintain their weight levels. They are focused on turning to exercise and combining better food consumption to maintain weight levels. For many it means they can give up the starvation diets, the diets that can actually harm their bodies.

Instead they focus on managing their total food intake, their total calories, their vitamins and minerals. They walk every day to attain at least 10,000 steps. Which is defined as the average number of steps you should walk every day.

Many people also want to enjoy their lives. Which means enjoying the many kinds of foods that are available in our society. They are beginning to realize that moderation of food intake and focus on quality food is a better approach.  Foods that do not contribute to weight gain is better for them over the long term as well as their life style.

Personally, I like this change. It means I can enjoy the occasional desert, the pasta dish etc. All I have to do is enjoy a small piece rather than a large portion. Which I should not be eating in the first place. What do you think? Do you like this new weight management trend?

For more life style posts, click here.

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Live Long and Healthy

December 21st, 2013 paulr Posted in Life Style No Comments »

Live Long and HealthyCanadians, based on a report from their statistics arm of the government were expected to have a life expectancy of 79 years for men and 83 years for women. This data came from a report developed in 2007 to 2009.  They are further forecasting that by 2031, the average man will live to 82 and women will live to 86. Not only is the gap narrowing  a bit, both sexes are living longer as our health generally improves. Their health care gets better as well. Does this mean we are just kept alive longer. Do we also get to enjoy those extra years as well?  The ability to live long and healthy depends on many issues.

The key to living longer is not just in how many years you live but also experiencing a better quality of life as well. No one wants to be in a wheel chair for the last 10 years of their life and they do not want to be so forgetful, that they are really not living a normal life. While none of us can predict what will happen to us, there are some things we can do to improve the odds and maybe our quality of life as we get older.

What Steps Should We Take to Live Long and Healthy

There are a number of steps that we can all take to try to improve the odds that we will live long and also have a healthy life with a decent level of quality as well. There are no guarantees, but by following these steps or suggestions we can at least improve the odds. Here they are:

  • Do not smoke, this is a well known health issue. Strokes, heart attacks and general declining health
  • Review your blood pressure, cholesterol level, weight and waist circumference regularly. Take action if they are out of line
  • If you need to lose weight, aim for 5% to 10% to improve your numbers and get down to your proper BMI level.
  • Belt size should be less than 88 cm for women and 102 cm for men
  • Eat 7 to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. they have a lot less calories and are healthy for you as well
  • Walk 10,000 steps every day, they can be added up easily if you focus on walking when you can ride or take the elevator
  • Wear a pedometer to monitor your steps
  • Take time to relax, to laugh a bit and socialize with family and friends
  • Limit your alcohol content to 2 servings per day
  • Understand your family heart history and monitor. Take precautions if there is a history of health issues
  • Eliminate salt from your diet as much as possible to help control your blood pressure

Improve Your Health

All of these items will help to improve your health and to maintain your health. If you can stay healthy well into your older years you will have an excellent chance of not only hitting the average age for men and for women, there is a good chance that you will also have a good quality of life as well. You will be able to enjoy the grandchildren, travel, play or even work if that is what you want to do much later in life than you might have been able to otherwise. The main thing is to be able to enjoy our health and have a good quality of life.

Eat healthy and look after yourself to live long and stay healthy! For more information about how to live long and healthy, click here.

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Live to be 100 Years Old

January 7th, 2012 paulr Posted in Life Style 2 Comments »

Live to be 100 Years OldIn the U.S., and around the world people are living longer than ever before. There are now  about 80,000 centenarians in the US alone, which makes it one of the fastest growing segments of the population. This means about 1 in 6,000 people are will live to be 100 years old. Live to be 100 years old is actually not such a difficult thing any more. More people are doing it. We just came back from a party for a centenarian. She looked great and needed a wheel chair, but she made it.

There must be something that we can  learn from those who have survived a century or more? Many people are trying to figure this out and studying these people who have made it to 100. It is important to remember too that not only do you want to live long, you also want to have an enjoyable lifestyle at 100 as well. So what have the experts learned so far?

The New England Centenarian study published some information, not too long ago which we have summarized in the following. Note that as more information is learned, the ideas expressed here may change and be updated.

Genes play a critical and complex role in conferring exceptional longevity.

Lifestyle and our attitudes towards our bodies can help our genes or hurt them when it comes to living well into our 80’s, 90’s and even to 100!

  • Almost no centenarians are obese. Obesity contributes to the biggest diseases in our country, like diabetes and heart disease.
  • Smoking history is rare.
  • Centenarians are better able to handle stress than the majority of people.
  • 85% of centenarians are women and 15% are men.
  • At least 50% of centenarians have first-degree relatives and/or grandparents who also achieve very old age. Again those Genes!

Live to be 100 Years Old – Keep on moving

Scientists in California found that people over 50 that exercised over 5 hours per week lived longer and functioned better physically and cognitively. They tracked participants who ran as aerobic activity over 20 years to find that they all had “less heart disease, cancer, neurological diseases, and infections.” In other words, “Aerobic exercise keeps the immune system young.” So, if you aren’t moving you are decreasing your lifespan.

Make every calorie count

The standard American diet is very high in calories, typically 2,000 to 3,000 calories. Additionally, the high calories aren’t packed with vital nutrients, but instead sugar and fat.

  • Eating a healthy diet doesn’t only mean decreasing your calories, but getting the most nutrition per calorie. The most nutritious foods include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
  • Anti-oxidants: very simply put, an antioxidant is something that prevents or slows down oxidization. In much the same way as oxidation creates rust, causing a breakdown on the surface of an old car, oxidation inside the body causes a breakdown of cells. For instance, cholesterol in our bodies is not necessarily harmful until it becomes oxidized, which then causes it to start clinging to our blood vessels, which can then lead to clogging of our arteries. Antioxidants can help to prevent this. They can also provide other benefits to your skin and hair. Antioxidant vitamins include vitamins A, C and E. The most inexpensive way to get lots of anti-oxidants is to eat grapes or berries.
  • Fish Oil: contains Omega 3s. The typical American diet is missing the great benefits of Omega 3s which are found in high concentrations in fish. Omega-3 fatty acids slow the rate of damage to your genes. And, fish oils have many other protective anti-aging benefits such as decreasing bad cholesterol.
  • Vitamin D: The lack of vitamin D can cause inadequate absorption of calcium, resulting in broken or brittle bones. As we age, deficiency in Vitamin D is common. The reason for this is because we make most of our Vitamin D from the sun. Most older individuals aren’t getting outside for long enough periods on a daily basis to make an adequate amount. Also, our skin (where the Vitamin D is synthesized), gets less efficient at making Vitamin D altogether as we get older.

Aging is about attitude

If you respect your body, and have a positive optimistic outlook on life, you will tend to look after yourself more, eat the right foods, exercise and your years lived will be extended.

It is never to late to make changes to lifestyle.

As we grow older, it really is about quality of life. We want to be able to do many of the things we have always done and enjoy our families and grand children. We do not want to be constrained because we are over weight, or have heart problems or lung problems. Our bodies are really quite fantastic and can recover from many things, so why not give it some help now and focus on improving your life style now! For more information about life style and Live to be 100 Years Old, click here.

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Excess Weight Increases Risk of Death

April 7th, 2011 paulr Posted in Life Style No Comments »

Excess Weight Increases Risk of DeathDid you know that your risk of death rises steadily with every overweight pound you gain? This was confirmed on  a huge study funded by the National Institutes of Health . There are lots of reasons for death rates or probability for death rates to increase. We have all heard about smokers and that they tend to die about 5 years earlier on average than every one else who does not smoke. Being over weight can have the same effect or perhaps even more so. This is a serious result, yet people do not listen! Excess Weight Increases Risk of Death and over 50% of our population is overweight.

Excess Weight Increases Risk of Death – Body Mass Index

Even if you don’t smoke and are in otherwise good health, your risk of death goes up 31% with every 5-point increase in BMI, a measure of body mass based on weight and height.  The normal range BMI is 22.5 to 24.9. The neat thing about BMI is that it accounts for height and if you are taller and carrying more weight, then your BMI is not going to be as high as you might expect.

Just being a little bit overweight increases death risk.

  • A BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 increased death risk by 13%
  • A BMI of 30.0 to 34.9 increased death risk by 44%
  • BMI of 35.0 to 39.9 increased death risk by 88%
  • A BMI of 40.0 to 49.9 increased death risk by 251%

Those figures above are for women who do not smoke and who have no underlying disease. Men will have similar percentages. These numbers are really scary and if this does not kick start you into losing weight nothing will! Being overweight can cause all kinds of problems which may trigger mortality. Heart attacks and stroke, asthma, diabetes, liver issues and infections are just some of the problems that people who are overweight must contend with.

Excess Weight Increases Risk of Death – Shorter Life Span

It is possible that other diseases unrelated to being over weight could have an impact. However there just seems to be too much correlation based on various studies to not pay attention to some of these figures. Excess Weight Increases Risk of Death is a proven fact.

Most people have heard that smokers can expect a shortened life span due to long term smoking and second hand smoke. Now people who are considered obese can expect a shortened life span as well compared to people who have a BMI that is below 24.9. Some studies indicate that the impact can be as much as 4 years although this is only a guideline. For some people they may reduce their life span by much more than 4 years while others not so much. Either way it is a good reason to get in shape and lose weight.

What Is a Healthy BMI?

A person with a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered to be at a healthy weight. A person with a BMI of 25-29.9 is considered to be overweight. A BMI over 30 is considered obese. A BMI of 40 or above indicates that a person is morbidly obese. This can increases a person’s risk of death from any cause by 50% to 150%.

What does a BMI of 24.9 mean in terms of height and weight? Well if you are 5 feet 7 inches tall and weight 190 pounds you have a BMI of 29.8 which is considered overweight and just on the edge of being obese, which starts at a BMI of 30. Someone who is 6 foot 6 inches and weighs 190 pounds would only have a BMI of approximately 25.5, where as someone who is only 5 feet and 190 pounds is off the charts or greater than 37 in BMI terms.

You can look all of these terms and BMI indexes up on the internet and we encourage everyone to take a moment to consider what their BMI is and what they can do about it in terms of losing weight.

One word of caution. If you are an athlete and have lots of muscle with low body fat, BMI may give you an erroneous indication, since muscle weighs more than fat. Also if you are an older person with lean muscle mass and more fat, you might show a lower BMI when really you are overweight.

Waist Circumference is Another Indicator

If you have a higher BMI and your waste size is larger than 35 inches you are at risk.This is a greater indicator of being at higher risk of heart disease and also diabetes. Men tend to store much of their excess fat around the waist. So this becomes a good indicator of how much you are at risk especially if your BMI is also high.

Imagine if you could extend your life by 4 or 6 years and be able to see your daughter married, perhaps hold your grand kids or do some of the things you always dreamed about in retirement. You can do all of these things or at least increase the probability that you will be able to if you lose weight and get your BMI and waist circumference in line with more normal levels for your height. Don’t wait, get a plan together and get started now!

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Is Occasional High Blood Pressure Risky

June 7th, 2010 paulr Posted in Life Style 1 Comment »

Many people suffer from High Blood Pressure and take medication to control their pressure. Yet they still have episodes where their blood pressure goes through the roof.  The question is occasional high pressure risky. You may not even realize that you have high blood pressure. So have your blood pressure checked on a regular basis.

The following is an excerpt from WEBMD sheds some light on the issue. But does not conclude with solid advice for someone suffering from this condition.  The message the reader got from this article was that you should be aggressive about treating occasional high blood pressure. Even if it is under control at all other times. Talk to your doctor about this issue if you are one of these people who suffers from occasional high  pressure.

The article follows:

Is Occasional High Pressure Risky

Study Finds Episodes of High Blood Pressure, Often Ignored, Boost Stroke Risk

By Kathleen Doheny, WebMD Health News

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin, MD

March 11, 2010 — Occasional high blood pressure readings are often dismissed as nothing to worry about, but a new study suggests this episodic high pressure is a strong predictor of strokes.

”We have shown that it is variations in people’s blood pressure rather than the average level that predicts stroke most powerfully,” says study lead author Peter Rothwell, MD, professor of clinical neurology at the Stroke Prevention Research Unit, John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, England.

The study, published in The Lancet, followed more than 2,000 patients who had a transient ischemic attack or TIA, a ”mini-stroke” predictive of a larger stroke. They validated the results with results from three other studies, in finding the link between occasional high blood pressure and stroke risk.

The researchers focused on the systolic blood pressure reading, the top number in the measurement, reflecting the pressure when the heart contracts while pumping blood. Normal blood pressure readings are below 120/80 millimeters of mercury, or mmHg.

How much variability predicts stroke risk? ”One certainly sees an increased risk of stroke when the systolic blood pressure fluctuates 40 mmHg or more (say between 120 mmHg and 160 mmHg) even when mean [or average] blood pressure is very well controlled,” Rothwell tells WebMD in an email interview.

Occasional High Pressure and Stroke Risk: Study Details

Rothwell and his colleagues evaluated data from 2,435 patients who had been enrolled in the UK-TIA aspirin trial. Which assigned patients with a recent TIA or ischemic stroke to take aspirin or a placebo. Rothwell’s team evaluated only the 2,006 patients from this study who had TIAs but no strokes, to avoid compromising the results due to the effect of a recent stroke on blood pressure.

Blood pressure in these patients was measured once at every four-month follow-up visit during the study, which ran from 1979 to 1985.

The results from this study were validated by Rothwell’s team with results from three other large studies, each involving more than 2,000 patients.

Occasional High Pressure Predicts Stroke

Patients with the most variation in their systolic pressure over seven clinic visits were found six times more likely to have a stroke, Rothwell found.

The highest pressure readings were also associated with higher stroke risk. Those with the highest readings over the seven visits were 15 times more likely to have a stroke during the follow-up period.

Not all the patients were being treated for hypertension, Rothwell tells WebMD. “Variability was predictive of stroke in both groups,” he says, treated and untreated. “Some had stable hypertension, some had episodic hypertension and some had stable normal pressure. The episodic hypertension group had the highest risk of stroke.”

In one of the studies, variability in blood pressure also predicted the risk of heart attacks.

Blood Pressure Study Findings: Implications

The new research isn’t the first to evaluate the risks of episodic high blood pressure, Rothwell notes. Although some variability in pressure is normal, the new research, he says, should inspire a change in thinking.

“I think that the risk associations, and other evidence, are sufficiently strong for us to stop reassuring patients with variable pressure that they don’t have hypertension and don’t need treatment,. Which is what current guidelines argue if their [average] blood pressure is OK,” Rothwell says. ” We should be concerned about episodic hypertension in patients. Especially those who are not on treatment and about residual variability in patients who are already on treatment.”

Some variability is normal, he tells WebMD. How much depends on age (typically increasing with age) and gender, with women more likely to have more variability. African-American people, too, tend to have more variability, he says. And other factors, such as the stiffness of the arteries, can affect the amount of variability, he says.

For patients who have high pressure and take their pressure at home to monitor it, Rothwell offers this advice based on his findings. “I think that they should consult their doctor if the systolic pressure is variable. Particularly if they find that it is sometimes 150 mmHg or higher.

Blood Pressure Study: Second Opinion

The suspected link between episodes of high pressure and stroke risk is not new, says Patrick Lyden, MD. He is chair of neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and a 30-year stroke researcher who reviewed the new research for WebMD.

But the new findings, he says, are ”the most important demonstration … that the attacks of high pressure really are bad for you.” So yes occasional high pressure is risky.

Lyden says he is aggressive about treating high pressure in his patients. Whether the pressure is up some time or all the time. But not all physicians are as aggressive, he suspects. “I would say there is a widespread practice on both continents (UK and here) that occasional high pressure is ignored.”

“This data teaches us how foolish that is,” he says.

“This is still a hypothesis,” Lyden tells WebMD. But “I think he’s showing us it’s critically important to pay attention to this.”

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Can Belly Fat Cause Strokes

May 21st, 2010 paulr Posted in Life Style 4 Comments »

Reducing Belly FatCan belly fat cause strokes? The answer is yes,  a higher number of people with belly fat or the rubber tire around the waist will experience a stroke prematurely. This situation affects both women and men, which is a surprising data point, since previously it was thought that women did not succumb to strokes at the same level as men do. That tell-tale sign of a large belly is a quite reminder that you have increased the odds that you could have a stroke in the near future.

The following are excerpts from an article written by Charlene Laino and reviewed by Louise Chang, MD at WebMD Health News. We will continue our portion of this post after the article from Charlene Laino.

Belly Fat Cause Strokes

Quote ” Feb. 25, 2010 (San Antonio) — The midlife gender gap in stroke rates continues to widen, with women aged 45 to 54 now three times more likely than men in that age group to report having had a stroke.

Several years ago, the same researchers reported that between 1999 and 2004, women aged 45 to 54 were more than twice as likely as their male counterparts to have had a stroke.

The findings created a stir in the medical community as middle-aged women before menopause have long been thought to be protected against heart disease.

So what’s driving this disturbing trend? Then, like now, tummy fat appears to be to blame, says Amytis Towfighi, MD, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

In the current analysis, stroke risk factors were worse in men than in women — all, that is, except weight gain around the waist, she says.

“Our hypothesis is abdominal obesity increases the risk of other risk factors — diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol. Together, they drive up the risk of stroke,” Towfighi tells WebMD.

The study was presented at the American Stroke Association’s (ASA) International Stroke Conference.

Middle-Aged Stroke Gap Real

The new analysis was conducted to determine if the gender gap observed in the earlier study was a real phenomenon or a fluke, Towfighi says. So she and colleagues analyzed data on 2,136 men and women aged 35 to 64 who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey done from 2005 to 2006.

It was real, Towfighi says. Nearly 3% of women in that age group reported having suffered a stroke, compared with only 1% of men.

The disparity appeared to be driven mainly by differences in the 45 to 54 age group, where women had 3.12 times the odds of having a stroke compared to men, she says.

Seeking to find out why, the researchers then looked at a host of factors that can affect risk, including smoking, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

“We found that in general, men were more likely to have conventional cardiovascular risk factors,” Towfighi says.

But 62% of women suffered from abdominal obesity vs. 50% of men. In women, abdominal obesity is defined as a waist circumference of 35 inches or more; in men, it’s 40 inches or more.

Towfighi notes that the absolute risk of a middle-aged woman having had a stroke is still quite low. Only about a three-in-100 risk. ” End of Quote.

Can Belly Fat Cause Strokes

So armed with this information, we now know that both men and women are susceptible to strokes. Especially if they are carrying extra weight around their middle. This may not be a surprise to some people who look at the world from a common sense perspective. Many people who feel they are mildly overweight, they may feel that this is new information. They may be a little scared. Since no one wants to have a stroke and suffer some of the side effects from a stroke.

Side effects of strokes can include, partial  paralysis, lack of coordination, loss of speech, total paralysis and of course death. Sounds pretty scary because it is scary.

Another article we recently read suggested that if you walk at a brisk rate of speed a minimum of 2 hours a week you can cut the risk of a stroke by over 30%.  Brisk walking a couple of times a week also will strengthen your heart, your lungs and your overall health. You might even lose weight if you also manage your calorie intake. All you need to do is go for a brisk walk a couple of times a week.

It cannot be that hard to do. Get out there after supper and walk around the block a few time. Or walk down to the mall, walk up the stairs at work instead of taking the elevator etc. You can do it. And by the way that belly fat that we told you about that could cause a stroke, will start to melt away which is another excellent benefit.

We hope that this post helps a few people. If you would like to add your comments please do. We appreciate your thoughts and support.

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Lower Your Stress by Making life Simple

May 14th, 2010 paulr Posted in Life Style No Comments »

Lower Your StressAre you feeling stressed out these days? There are a hundred things to do every day and you just cannot seem to keep up with them or even complete some before other items are added. The need to lower your stress is real. Some stress is good to keep us motivated, however when we go over the top, a lot of things suffer leading to even more issues to deal with. One area that suffers is diet, we go for fast food, we eat poorly and we probably gain weight and before we know it we are on the weight gain spiral and cannot seem to get away from it. Once you gain weight there are other health issues that come into play.

There are many other health issues that start to play a factor. High blood pressure, diabetes , high cholesterol and on and on. Do you think that simplifying your life would lead to an overall better life experience and allow you to focus on the things that count? We think so and have prepared an initial  list that you can draw on to begin simplifying your life.

Lower Your Stress to Live Longer

Simplicity. How can we make things simpler, more streamlined, or more efficient?

Reducing complexity in my life has reduced stress, increased free time, and top priorities are actually top priorities. When we simplify as much as we can we are better able to slow down and enjoy each moment as opposed to rushing through it. We can focus on the items that are important such as eating properly and managing our diet. This leads to even more control over our other health issues. Believe me if you do not have health issues now, you will have soon if you do not take control of your life and manage your stress.

Here are a few ways you can simplify the various aspects of your life:

1. Turn off your cell phone at least part of the day, if you cannot do it the entire day.

2. Process email only twice a day and do not do this before you go to bed, since you will lie awake thinking about some of the email.

3. Go to bed early, at least at a reasonable time and try to get sufficient sleep.

4. Get rid of (or at least reduce) commitments that you do out of obligation.

5. Create a weekly meal plan, including preparing meals that you can heat up during the week. Not only is there less work, you will eat much better as well.

6. Automate your finances. Have bills paid automatically. Have your employer deposit your pay check.

7. Purge as much unneeded clutter as possible. Throw out anything that you have not used in 12 months.

8. Keep your paper shredder on top of your recycling bin. Shred anything that has your name and address on it to avoid identity theft

9. Add items you want to a wish list as you think of them. Later you can prioritize these items.

10. Get a label maker or write labels out by hand.

Organize Everything

11. Set your clothes out for the next day the night before.

12. Make your lunch for the next day the night before.

13. Make time to catch up with an old friend and set a time in your schedule.

14. Just say no to things that are not important or things that cause you stress.

15. Ask for experiences not things for your birthday and Christmas this year.

16. Tell the truth. It is so liberating, even if you sugar coat it a bit

17. Keep your list of addresses and phone numbers up to date and in one place. If you must update your cell phone or computer once a month. Set a time to do this.

18. Get a handle on your debt and consolidate debt so that you have fewer payments to make.

19.Be organized and use a system that works for you.

20. Place a bag for garbage in your car. Clean your car once a week.

Keep Track of Things

21. Carry a notebook, recorder or use your smart phone to keep notes where ever you go.

22. Unsubscribe from emails, newsletters or RSS feeds that don’t provide value anymore.

23.Apologize as soon as you can, preferably immediately  when you realize you’ve done wrong.

24. We never know what is going to happen to us in the next day let alone the next hour, enjoy the present moment as much as you can.

25. Take time to really enjoy the little things in life.

26.If you must watch TV, watch things that make you happy or are enjoyable. Avoid the news late at night, it is too depressing.

27. Get outside and enjoy the fresh air, go for walks, bike.

28. Routines are good for many people, while for others the lack of routine is good. Create morning, daytime, and evening routines that meet your needs. Low stress.

29. When you need help, ask for help around the house, the yard or even the office.

30. Spend time at home as much as possible (eat, date nights, entertain etc.).

Avoid Perfectionism

31. Avoid other people’s issues, don’t get caught up in other people’s problems.

32. For the perfectionists among us, relax your need to be perfect and if you cannot do this, select items that need to perfect and let the others go.

33. Develop an eating plan with an exercise plan that creates an energy deficit if you want to lose weight. Eat healthy foods.

34.  Share responsibilities with your spouse , family  members or friends.

35. Reduce your wardrobe to a few versatile items.

36. Try to be positive and look at the up side of things.

37. Compliment yourself and focus on the positive things you have accomplished.

38. Completely finish old tasks before taking on new ones.

39. Every new item you purchase get rid of at least one or if you can set two free.

40. Enjoy the life you have and the things you have.

41. Reduce what you carry with you in your purse or wallet.

42. If you are a multi-tasker and this is causing you stress, try to focus on one thing at a time.

43. Each time you start something new, ask yourself if you really need to do this? does it cause stress? does it add value to your life.

If you have other ideas about how to lower your stress, we would love to have your comments.

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Smoke Filled Casinos

April 28th, 2010 paulr Posted in Life Style No Comments »

Smoke Filled CasinosThis post is about smoke filled casinos,  the amount of smoke, second hand smoke and chemicals from deodorizer being sprayed in US casinos. It may seem like a funny post to a diet information blog, however I am really on a roll here against situations that cause a lot of hardship and expense to otherwise healthy people. Most people do moot even give it a seconds thought, but if these chemicals bother you, then you really are much more aware.

I recently experienced a severe case of bronchitis brought on by a combination of a short cold, being in a smoked filled casino and deodorizer used heavily to combat the smell of second hand smoke. Some people may ask, why didn’t you just leave. The answer is I did , but not before this combination had done its number on my body and I was able to figure out the connection.

Once we left this contaminated environment, I immediately began to improve, but why should I have to deal with this. I have the same rights as everyone else?

The Situation In Casinos – Smoke Filled Casinos

I am sure this is not true but it seems that 80% of people who go to a casino smoke. Whenever they hit a small jackpot, they light up in celebration , take a drink and away they go again. Some ignorant folks even smoke cigars in these confined spaces. The result is a filthy ( ashes everywhere), smoky air filled environment that would turn anyone off.

The casinos compensate by increasing the air flow in some and adding deodorizer of various kinds in the  casino main area. The problem is that this bad air finds its way through and into just about everything. Your clothes, the slot machines you touch, the hallways, and yes even that non smoking room that you ordered.

The result is the casinos spray deodorizer everywhere to try to compensate for the over powering smell. When you walk into some of the really bad ones, it is like a foul smell of a corpse that has been decomposing for months.

Why Don’t the Casinos Do Something?

The answer is a combination of fear and money. Obviously the smoking patrons bring in a lot of money to the casino, they are good customers and the casinos do not want to risk losing them to other casinos. This is the fear part. Losing a casino patron means they are not spending money in their slot machines or at their tables, they are not eating in their restaurants and they are not staying in their rooms.

Although there is a big revenue income from smoking patrons, there is a downside to this situation as well for the casinos. Everything smells, there is nicotine on everything and there are all of those ashes which end up on the floor or on the machines. It all has to be cleaned and at a huge cost. In addition electronics do not like bad air and they do not like sticky nicotine building up on components. Slot machines in smoking casinos require a lot more maintenance than in non smoking casinos.

So far the casinos have been unwilling to take the risk of losing their smoking customers and saving millions of dollars in cleaning fee’s by banning smoking in casinos. This is a huge fear they have in a very competitive business!

What Will it Take to Get them To Change

First of all one casino or one casino chain is not going to make this change on their own. The world is just too competitive and they are unwilling to take the risk of losing so much business by banning smoking.

A state like Nevada might be willing to legislate the change, however the state is very dependent on revenues from gambling and probably is unwilling to do anything to rock the boat. After all almost every state has casinos running now and all of these other states would be more than happy to take some of the business from Las Vegas.

I really think that if the federal government mandated all casinos to eliminate smoking in the casinos, the casino owners would quietly embrace the notion and support such a bill. The reason would be that there still is a level playing field and everyone must play by the same rules.

Canada Did It – Got Rid of Smoke Filled Casinos

The casinos in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec are all non smoking casinos AND they are packed. Sure there might have been a temporary drop in business. However the gamblers could not stay away. Once they found out that the smokers were still welcome under certain conditions they flocked back. Maintenance costs are way down and the air is clean and breathable in these casinos.

The Canadian casinos made 3 fundamental changes which allowed a compromise and yet meet more customer needs. First they banned smoking in the casinos which made the non smokers happy. Now more of them come to the casino for their evenings entertainment.

Secondly , the Canadian casinos created smoking rooms for the smokers to go to to grab a quick puff or two. This means taking a break from the slot machine. But at least they are in the building and spending money as usual.

Third and I think this was the most important part. The casinos support the reservation of a slot machine. Or a seat at a table for a short amount of time. If you are a smoker and need a brake for a quick smoke, you can reserve your slot machine. Off you go to grab that quick smoke. Most people are only gone for a minute or two. Then they are right back to their slot machine gambling once more.

Everyone is happy. Sure the casino might experience a slightly lower throughput of money per machine, due to the seat reservation system, however with more players in the casino their over all throughput is actually up! Maybe it will happen in the US some day!

Comments are welcome.

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Deodorizor Spraying in Hotel Rooms

April 14th, 2010 paulr Posted in Life Style 4 Comments »

Allergy Season is HereThis post is not really about diets, instead it is about a pet peeve of mine. I happened to be allergic to a lot of things. I also suffer from chronic bronchitis. So I am very aware of various environmental and non-environmental agents in the air that might affect my breathing ability. This particular post is about Deodorizor Spraying in Hotel Rooms after they have been cleaned. This is to add air freshener to the air and supposedly make them smell nice.

If you have ever had to struggle to breathe then you will know what I am talking about and just how scary it can be. Even to gain enough air in your lungs to avoid fainting is a pretty scary thing. To have this caused by something in the air that is really not necessary is just plain cruel. This is what Deodorizor Spraying in Hotel Rooms can do to people who have allergies etc.

Many people smoke and some people will smoke in hotel rooms even if they are designated as non smoking rooms. I want to emphasize several points  about this post. First although I do not support smoking at any time, this post is not about smokers. Secondly I think it is rude for people to smoke in hotel rooms when they are designated as non smoking rooms.  However the real issue for me is how the hotels deal with odors they find in the room after a guest has vacated the room.

Deodorizor Spraying in Hotel Rooms Whether it is Needed or Not

Deodorizer is commonly sprayed in every hotel room immediately after the cleaning staff has cleaned the room. It is part of their routine whether the room smells or not or whether a smoker was in the room in or not. The idea is to make it smell nice and fresh and to eliminate or hide any odors that might linger from cleaning or previous guests.

For some people, myself included, the moment I walk into a room that has been sprayed with this deodorizer, I begin to cough and experience shortness of breath. I have discovered that my bronchial tubes react negatively to this chemical and begin to swell, squeezing the air way and making it very difficult to breathe. My last episode also involved recovering from a cold and being in a smoky situation for an hour or two. Basically I was hit with three bad situations at the same time and required a visit to a clinic for a breathing treatment to open up my airways, TWICE.

Serious Issues

This is quite serious for many people. The hotel was helpful as much as they could however it is a large hotel and every room is sprayed routinely.

First of all they moved us to a new room that had not been occupied for sometime and we found this very satisfactory until the next morning. When we left for breakfast, the cleaners went in immediately, cleaned the room and sprayed!

After airing out this room, it was not too bad, however every time we stepped into the hallway, all we could smell is deodorizer from all of the other rooms. Even the main area of the hotel used this stuff to reduce the smell of smoke. In the US , they apparently are afraid to band smoking indoors. They are behind Canada in this regard.

What to Do About Deodorizor Spraying in Hotel Rooms

We have learned to request rooms that have never been smoked in for starters. Secondly we ask if deodorizer has been used or is routinely used. Sometimes you have to be patient while the hotel manager proudly explains that they use this chemical to make their rooms fresh and nice smelling for their guests.

Once he has finished, calmly and politely explain your problems with deodorizer. Then request if the hotel can place a deionizer in the room for an hour to remove all of the chemical from the room.

Most hotels will gladly do this for you, once you explain the problem and it does work.  Sometimes this is better than opening the windows. Since some hotels do not have windows that you can open. Or the environmental issues outside may cause the same issues. The deodorizer really does work.

Why Don’t the Hotels Make Changes?

At first you might think that they do not know about the problem, however this would be incorrect. I spoke to the manager of one hotel to tell him why we were checking out early. He acknowledged that this was a common complaint by many guests. But they had to use the deodorizer to clear the smell of smokers who routinely ignored the non smoking rules.

What it comes down to in the view of the hotel management is that smoking guests carry more economic weight than non-smoking guests. So they will continue to use the deodorizer in their rooms.

Guidelines to Follow

  • Stay in Non Smoking Hotels if you can
  • Stay in non smoking rooms
  • Request that the room be deodorized
  • Ask house keeping to not spray the room if you are staying more than one day
  • Eliminate all other possible irritants – e.g. feather pillows
  • Request a new room if it is too over powering
  • Change  hotels

Most hotel managers will be very helpful. They will do everything they can to assist you. So do not hesitate to ask in a polite respectful way. But at the same time do not take no for an answer. After all it is your life and your health. If you have ever experienced the raw fear of struggling to get a breath, then you will not be afraid to make some of these requests.

Readers who have experienced this problem and have additional comments and ideas about what to do, please add your comments to this post. Deodorizor Spraying in Hotel Rooms can be a big issues for many people.

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Midday Naps Make Us Smarter

April 7th, 2010 paulr Posted in Life Style No Comments »

Sleep ApneaStudy Shows Adults Who Nap Learn Better, Perform Better – Have you ever taken a nap on the weekend after lunch, about mid afternoon? How did you feel afterwards?  Midday Naps Make Us Smarter. Would rejuvenated be the right word?  Studies are now being conducted that prove what many of us have known for years. We have not been able to practice because of time constraints and pressure at work as well as in our everyday life.  It is not usually until we retire, that we have the time to really try out the mid day nap routine. We find out just how great it can be, not only for our well being, but also our intelligence as well.

When we are working and raising a family there is just no time at work during lunch hour to even think about a mid day nap. In fact many people do not even take a full 60 minutes for their lunch. If  they do they are running errands trying to keep up with all of their personal requirements. And who would even think about taking a nap at work around 2 o’clock in the afternoon. That would be grounds for being fired. Yet there is mounting evidence that taking a nap in the early afternoon contributes to increased energy. Also increased intelligence and alertness for people needing to contribute to their company’s success. Midday Naps Make Us Smarter, they just do!

Midday Naps Make Us Smarter – Retired?

What retired people have known for years and newly retired people quickly learn is that they feel so much better after taking a mid day nap. They awake refreshed and ready to take on additional complex tasks after even a 20 minute nap in the afternoon. What can people who are working and often sleep deprived from dealing with the kids and other personal issues do to take advantage of this powerful opportunity?

Long distance drivers, whether they are truckers or vacationers, can also benefit from a nap at critical times during their driving trips.  Stopping for 20 or 30 minutes. Taking a fast nap can make a huge difference in their alertness and ability to drive carefully and safely. Many accidents occur every year from drivers falling asleep behind the wheel. Stop, take a nap and avoid a major accident.

Midday Naps Make Us Smarter – Places you Can Nap

If you drive to work, catching 20 minutes of sleep in your car is an excellent way to grab a nap at lunch time. Just make sure you have an alarm clock with you so that you do not sleep longer than you need.  Grab a conf room for a quick nap. However just make sure that it is reserved and that your secretary is aware. You can use your office for the same purpose as long as you can close the door and the blinds. It is much tougher for those people working in cubicles. You will need to find a quiet secluded place where you can grab 40 winks without being disturbed of thought to be a little kooky. Always have an alarm clock with you. Cell phones are usually great devices for this sort of thing with a built in alarm function.

Memory and learning capabilities are also improved, but harder to document.  The amount of sleep we get both in the evening as well as in what I like to call power naps can help us with memory and also learning new tasks and following instructions.

Nappers Perform Better

The following comments and statements have been contributed by Matthew Walker, PhD. He discusses some of the issues that his study brought to light regarding these two topics.

Nappers performed better than non-nappers on a test, says study researcher Matthew Walker. He is a PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at University of California, Berkeley. He presented his findings this week at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Diego.

The brain’s ability to learn information is not stable across the day. The area of the brain that stores memories may get ”clogged up” as the day goes on. Akin to a full email in-box on your computer, he says.

Napping at midday, when the brain’s ability to learn may have deteriorated may clear the brain’s memory storage area and make room for new information, Walker says.

Nap or No Nap: The Study

Walker and his colleagues gave 39 healthy young adults, average age 21, a difficult learning task. It was intended to tax the brain’s hippocampus. A region that helps store memories based on fact. The test — learning 100 face-name pairs and then matching them up — was given at noon.

Then, at 2 p.m., the nap group was given the chance for a 90-minute siesta. The no-nap group was asked to stay awake.

At 6 p.m., Walker gave them the test again. “People in the group which didn’t nap had a slight reduction of about 10% in their learning capacity during the day. Whereas the people who had a nap in between the first time they tried to learn relative to the second time they tried to learn actually improved their ability to learn by 10%.”

The total time the participants slept during the 90-minute window didn’t matter much in their later performance, Walker found. But the greater the amount of stage 2 non-REM sleep, a lighter form of non-dreaming sleep, the better their performance, he found.

Naps and Learning: Implications

The study results suggest that sleep before learning may be important, too. Just as experts have known that sleep after learning is crucial to solidify information learned, Walker says.

In previous research, Walker and others found that fact-based memories are stored temporarily in the brain’s hippocampus. Then sent to the area known as the prefrontal cortex — which he suspects has more storage space.

”Perhaps what happens is that the hippocampus is actually the short-term way station for memory in the brain”. The hippocampus is good at getting hold of information. But at some point needs to ”download” the information to the pre-frontal cortex, he says.

The nap before learning may help clear out the hippocampus and send the data on to the prefrontal cortex, allowing new information to soak in, Walker says.

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Alternative to Chemo & Radiation

March 14th, 2010 paulr Posted in Life Style 1 Comment »

Alternative to ChemoAlternative to Chemo – Update from John Hopkins  Feb 2010

AFTER YEARS OF TELLING PEOPLE CHEMOTHERAPY IS THE ONLY WAY TO TRY (‘TRY’, BEING THE KEY WORD) TO ELIMINATE CANCER, JOHNS HOPKINS IS FINALLY STARTING TO TELL YOU THERE IS AN ALTERNATIVE WAY.

Maybe we do not need to consider the regimen of Chemo & Radiation as a means to fight cancer. There is an alternative to chemo, Here is the update from John Hopkins.

Alternative to Chemo & Radiation – Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins:

1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size.

2. Cancer cells occur between 6 to more than 10 times in a person’s lifetime.

3 When the person’s immune system is strong the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors.

4. When a person has cancer it indicates the person has multiple nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, environmental, food and lifestyle factors.

Strengthen the Immune System

5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet and including supplements will strengthen the immune system.

6. Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroys rapidly growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract etc, and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs etc.

7. Radiation while destroying cancer cells also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.

8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.

9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications.

10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.

11. An effective way to battle cancer is to starve the cancer cells by not feeding it with the foods it needs to multiply.

Alternative to Chemo – CANCER CELLS FEED ON:

a. Sugar is a cancer-feeder. By cutting off sugar it cuts off one important food supply to the cancer cells. Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc are made with Aspartame and it is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses, but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in color. Better alternative is Bragg’s aminos or sea salt.

b. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastrointestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk cancer cells are being starved.

c. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic and it is best to eat fish, and a little chicken rather than beef or pork.

Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.

d. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juice, whole grains, seeds, nuts and a little fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment.

About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells. To  obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).

Avoid Caffiene

e. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer fighting properties. Water-best to drink purified  water, or filtered, to avoid known toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.

12. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes.  Undigested meat remaining in the intestines becomes putrefied and leads to  more toxic buildup.

13. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body’s killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.

14. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac,  anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs etc.) to enable the bodies own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body’s normal method of disposing of damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.

15. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. As a result a proactive and positive  spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor. Anger, unforgiveness and  bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Above all learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.

16. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.

Alternative to Chemo – Rules – Also these rules will no doubt help as well

1. No plastic containers in micro.

2. No water bottles in freezer.

3. No plastic wrap in microwave.

Johns Hopkins has recently sent this out in its newsletters. Furthermore this information is being circulated at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as well. Dioxin chemicals cause cancer, especially breast cancer. Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies. Also do not freeze your plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxins from the plastic.

Recently, Dr. Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Cast le Hospital, was on a TV program to explain this health hazard. He talked about dioxins and  how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers. This especially applies to foods that contain fat. As a result he said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body.

Use Glass instead

Instead, he recommends using glass, such as Corning Ware, Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen and soups, etc., should be removed from the container and heated in something else. Paper isn’t bad but you don’t know what is in the paper. It’s just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc. He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons.

Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Saran, is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. Hence as the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food.

Cover food with a paper towel instead. This is an article that should be sent to anyone important in your life. Alternative to Chemo is an important issue.

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