Determined to stay young…

Living life out loud for a great many mature people is all about doing their very best to stay ‘forever young’.

Eating healthy, staying fit are all the rage among folks approaching retirement, as is use of cosmetic surgery, botox and medical hair transplants for men and women alike.

For many of us born between 1946 and 1964 (so-called Baby Boomers), we expect scientific advancements and genetic research to help us out and maybe enable a great life past 100. We aren’t afraid to find a pill cure for every health and fitness issue that challenges our mobility and ability to live life to the fullest, from Viagra to vitamin pills.

Regular exercise apparently is highly valuable. Research by the University of Florida showed that a well-designed program combining aerobic, strength, balance and flexibility exercises could make a difference in maintaining mobility functions.

The study’s findings revealed a common concern. When asked what they were most afraid of, most of the respondents didn’t put cancer or other age-related diseases on their list – top was loss of independence.

Now, if all I have to do to stay out of the nursing home is to stay as fit as possible by walking, running, swimming, then I am totally hooked!

So here’s a business idea for all you fit folks over 40 looking for something new to do. Why not start offering fitness or wellness programs targeted at older adults? Today’s population of older adults is so large, I am sure anyone serving the health and well-being needs of the older adult will do extremely well.

So on with the trainers and out on that track, boys and girls. Shake that lethargy off and get with the action…

Rock on, Wanobians. Live long, live well, play a lot.


Dance, read and play more …

Were you aware that after the age of 60 the brain starts shrinking fairly dramatically, losing between half-a-percent to one percent of its volume every year?
While some of my friends may say that I’ve been suffering that kind of wastage since my teens, I found it fascinating to read recently that you can slow the brain-drain by increasing your mental and physical exercise.

According to John Ratey, author of a book published in January called ‘Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain’, “exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain”.

And as a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, John if anyone should know.

John Ratey believes that by getting and keeping your body in shape, you mind will follow along. He bases his belief on the fact that because we evolved as physical hunter-gatherers our bodies and minds need regular exercise in our sedentary world to avoid growing flabby.

The American psychiatrist claims all form of exercise, especially aerobic but even walking, improves cognitive performance, reduces feelings of stress and can even diminish addictions and the consequences of hormonal changes of women.

Apparently, our brains need to be challenged to learn. By optimising the brain through giving it constant and challenging mental and physical exercise, we can gain the key to a longer, healthier life.

So, get with the action folks. Keep your mind agile by keeping your body in shape. Everything helps apparently – dancing, reading, playing board games, having sex or playing a musical instrument.

Rock on, Wanobians. Live long, live well, play a lot.


Women and men … are different

Wow! It seems that men and women have different attitudes to life!

That startlingly obvious conclusion  (for some anyway) was reached by the HSBC bank after a survey carried out for their The Future of Retirement Report.  Mmm, no wonder banks seem to be having problems nowadays….
However, before I come across as being overtly cynical, the survey did reveal some interesting data.
For example, the HSBC survey of 21,000 people aged between 40 – 79 years in 21 countries found that women and men have different expectations and behaviours, but when it comes to talking about ‘old age’, overall regional and country differences are of greater significance than gender differences. Overall, it seems women and men from the same country tend to reflect a local cultural bias, thinking and acting similarly.
The HSBC report looked at such issues as when people expect to retire, how many were obliged to retire earlier than wished and why. For the most part, men wanted to work on longer than women, although in the US and Brazil the opposite was true with more women than men saying they wanted to work for as long as possible.
This latter is certainly being borne out by Madonna, who is celebrating her 50 years on the the planet by continuing to live life ‘out loud’.
Like many other who saw her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (along with John Mellencamp, Leonard Cohen, the Dave Clark Five and the Ventures) , I was just bowled over by her energy.
And what a hoot to see Iggy & The Stooges’ perform a rendition of Madonna’s “Burning Up” and “Ray Of Light” as well as Iggy’s use of suggestive tongue movements and a few gratuitous lines from “Like A Virgin” to serenade Madonna.
Rock on, Wanobians….travel safe, have fun.

Is a nap good for you?

Bad news seems to be floating around right now, and it’s not just about credit crunches.

Some new research has shown that taking a nap during the day may ‘increase the risk of a stroke’.

The southern Europeans have long dealt with mid-day heat by taking a siesta, but researchers at Columbia University, New York, say their research indicates people who fall asleep inadvertently during the day could be at higher risk of suffering a stroke.

Involving just over 2,000 men and women aged 40 or over and with no history of a stroke, the study looked at how often people dozed off during such activities as watching television, reading a newspaper or talking to friends.

Those who engaged in ‘some dozing (44 percent of those questioned) were 2.6 times more likely to have a stroke compared to those who did not nod off.

The nine percent who said they were prone to significant inadvertent dozing were 4.5 times more likely to have suffered a stroke, according to the survey.

But for folks who need to have a daily snooze dose, there is some good news out there. Another study by a Dr Olaf Lahl from Germany’s Dusseldorf University seems to indicate that napping for 10 minutes at a time may reduce drowsiness  by refreshing the brain. He asked students to play a game of solitaire for an hour and then recall a list of words. Those who took a 5-minute nap before starting the experiment recalled far more words than those who stayed awake.

So there you are, more confusing research from the wonderful world of science to ponder on.

Frankly, I don’t know how you feel about this kind of research, but I personally find it all a bit tiring – it’s enough to make you want to doz… zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Hope this all helps, folks. Live long, live well.