Information, Inspiration & Celebration to navigate the new longevity and live easier, smarter & better
Staying hydrated is increasingly important as additional years of life complicate our physiology. Drinking water helps our uninary, brain, muscle and digestive health. It is recommended to drink at least 1 cup of water for every 20 pounds of weight (adjust for climate & exercise). Tips: Keep a glass of water within reach, Drink plenty when exercising; Use a travel bottle in the car; Add flavors, fruit slices or teas for variety; Drink beverages of different temperatures; Make homemade popsicles, smoothies, mild shakes, or electrolyte-charged water; and Eat soups & broths as an appetizer before meals. Check with your medical professionals for information tailored to your specific needs.
Participation has perks! The benefits of social participation include lowering your risk of developing chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer and arthritis PLUS reported reported quality of life improves (Santiti et al, 2020). Moreover, two or more weekly social activities reduce your risk of chronic disease by 22%.
And we understand that social interactions might be awkward especially at first, so let’s make a plan for what we’ll do once things get back to “normal.” TO DO: Join a sports or social club; Volunteer/work for a sense of purpose; Study a new topic or learn something new via a class, book club or lecture series; Get involved with your community; and/or Get involved with a religious or spirtual activity.
“Life is for Participating, not Spectating,” says Katharine Switzer who in 1967 was the first woman to become an official Boston Marathon competitor. At age 74, she continues to push for social change as a celebrated author, speaker and commentator.
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A Morning Walk
“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day,” said Henry David Thoreau, an American natualist, poet & author during the mid 1800’s. His observation is still relevant, with studies showing that sitting longer than 3 hours per day can shorten life expectancy (Katzmarzyk). Seniors ages 65+ average 6.1 hours of sitting per day (YinCao). Watching TV makes things worse with Veerman’s study showing people who watch 6 hours per day had life spans 4.8 years less than non-TV watchers. So giddy-on-up and take that walk! If you need a reminder, maybe a spouse, friend or device (FitBit, Apple, and Garmin) will motivate you. And while walking, let’s contemplate Thoreau’s love of truth, nature and freedom.
An afternoon nap is associated with improved brain function (memory, language, mental agility) concludes a recent study of 60+ year-olds (Cai, et al). Additionally, naps reduce stress and improve feelings of relaxation. Dr. David Neubauer, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine recommends a “power nap” of up to 20 minutes, early in the afternoon (set a timer, so you don’t overnap). An early afternoon nap shouldn’t interfere with your regular sleep schedule of 7.5 to 9 hours of sleep (as recommended by the National Institute of Health).
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Alone versus Lonely
About 30% of people ages 65+ live alone (census.gov) and about 40% experience loneliness (Perissinotto, et al). Taking steps to stimulate and engage include: Start a project~check out the 100dayproject.org where you and many others share experiences of starting a new creative project; Learn~duolingo offers free language courses, Seniorplanet.org offers resources for learning technology, or read a book, research your favorite topic (family tree, photography, meditation or whatever); Exercise~take that walk, stretch with bands, try chair yoga or tai chi (Toronto Rehab has great beginner videos); Connect with friends & family either online or in-person using your local safety protocols; and Reach out to your medical professionals for more information or assistance.
Advance Healthcare Directive
About 75% of us DON’T have an Advance Healthcare Directive or Living Will, yet it is one of the first things asked for when being admitted into the hospital. An Advance Healthcare Directive is simply a way to communicate your values and preferences pertaining to your future medical care. Forms are by state (you can check boxes and fill in the blanks) and need to be signed and notarized. Click here for your state’s form.
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What is the Silver Tsunami?
Led by seniors, baby boomers and those 55+, the Silver Tsunami will be 30% of the US population, or about 98 million people in 2020. We are living longer, staying active, eating healthy, working, volunteering, traveling, exercising, using our iPhones and so much more. And there is no how-to manual on this new type of retirement.
Therefore learning from each other and our curated article recaps, lists, hints and tips based in research reports and articles prepares you to conquer challenges. Topics include Physical and Emotional Health, Money Matters, Work & Volunteer, Interest & Leisure and Organizations, Agencies, Apps & Books.
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Fantastic55 uses research, reports and data from many sources including the MIT Age Lab, Administration on Aging, Milken Institute for the Future of Aging; news sources like The Wall Street Journal, NBC, CNBC, Forbes, PBS and digital sources like TedX Talks, webmd.com, nextavenue.com; and organizations like AARP, National Age in Place Council and popular podcasts.
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