Your Best You! At 55, 65, 75+

One of the best things about living in the Wellings is a community of like-minded people that see aging as an opportunity to continue to thrive towards our best selves. Your healthiest body at any age is something that we feel strongly about. Here are a few science-backed ideas to keep in mind:

Follow a heart-healthy diet. This means fewer processed foods and more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and nuts.

Increase your physical activity. Aim for 30 minutes a day and work out most days of the week.

Take steps to combat stress. For example, try meditation, breathing exercises, or walks in nature to help put your mind in a centered, relaxed state.

Ask your doctor about vitamin D. New research is looking at whether vitamin D supplementation can reduce the risk of heart disease. Vitamin D has also been linked to increases in happiness. 

Keep moving. Keep finding ways to get exercise regularly. You can tailor your workouts to meet your health conditions or needs. You want to include cardio and also weight training in your process.

I want you also to maintain your social ties. This is the heart of what makes a living at The Wellings epic. Make sure you stay connected to friends and family. Isolation is very dangerous for our health. Set up a video call or online chat group if you can’t see friends in person. Try signing up for activities or classes to meet more people in your community.

Have a great day, and continue to thrive!

Staying Hydrated For Health

Did you know as we age, the risk of dehydration generally increases. The body’s ability to conserve water reduces, and the sense of thirst often diminishes. Medications or medical conditions may also affect an individual’s ability to retain fluids.
 
As the temperature rises in the summer, so does our need to ensure we are sufficiently consuming the fluids we need. If you’re thirsty, you’re already mildly dehydrated. Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, including water, juice, and soups. Plus, water doesn’t have to come from a glass. Try to eat fruits and vegetables high in water, such as apples, cucumbers, grapes, and watermelon. 
 
How do you plan to stay hydrated? 
 
Click here to watch the video from Nurse Dawson.
Click here for more information from the Government of Canada about water intake.

Beware Of Fraud Targeting Seniors

This month we raise our awareness about scams in the senior community.

As we age, our social circle usually becomes smaller and the reasons for it are varied.  It leaves seniors, and many of us for that matter, in the dark about the various scams out there just because we are interacting less. Since the start of the pandemic, I have limited my exposure to the news as so much of it was negative. Couple that with less face-to-face social interaction means missing some of the warnings about recent scams.  This is relevant to all of us, and I imagine most of us have been taken for something at some point in our lives, whether online, over the phone or in person.

Scams have become so realistic in nature, that it’s very difficult to determine what’s real and what isn’t.

This month’s blog, given to us by Marci Perreault, a partner in KenMar Financial, is a reminder to keep up to date with what’s happening around us. If you suspect you may be the target of a scam report it to the police, and if you hear of one that’s circulating, make sure everyone in your circle knows about it.
We need to be vigilant about this.

Click here from more information from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP): A senior’s guidebook for security and safety. One of the topics includes fraud and scams.

Beware of Fraud Targeting Seniors

By: Marci Perreault, a partner in KenMar Financial

A person claiming to be a lawyer phones a targeted senior with an urgent request. Their grandchild crossed the border and got into legal trouble. They need $5,000 to avoid jail and said please don’t tell mom or dad. The grandparent scam is an old one that’s now making a resurgence across Canada. And there are a dozen or more other common scams, each one victimizing a senior for hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Widespread Scams

In a telephone scam, a supposed Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) official asks for  the person’s social insurance number (SIN) and bank account details to deposit  COVID-19 benefits. 

A fraudster professing to be a contractor rings the doorbell. They noticed the  senior needs a roof, chimney or other home repair. Just pay upfront for the  supplies—no labour charge until the job is done. 

Scams involving computer messages come in many forms, some asking for  personal information from what appears to be an official source, such as Canada  Post, and others claiming the computer is infected with a virus that can be  eliminated for a fee. 

Warn your loved ones

If you have a senior parent or other seniors in your life who could be susceptible  to fraud, you may want to talk to them about fraudulent scams. Ideally, ask them  to contact you if they’re approached with any demand or offer they didn’t  request—whether it’s online, through the mail, over the phone or at the door.  And remind them not to give out any personal or financial information.

How To Manage Full Days Like A Boss

I am what you might call a reluctant gardener. I love flowers but the work required to get them going in springtime sometimes feels like house work to me. I do the work reluctantly; knowing that down the road there will be a great reward. I think of the garden beds as Mother Nature’s works of art and I light up when I see her creations over the summer months. To help with weed management and to highlight the flowers, I like to put black mulch around the plants, to serve as a background.

I went to the garden centre early this spring, to get several bags of mulch and planned to get it into the gardens before too many weeds popped up. I got started early in the morning before the black flies were up and after emptying seven bags of the stuff I ran out of gas. I decided to stop and after a big glass of water, I had an epiphany. What was the rush? Why did I feel disappointed that I hadn’t finished the job?

I think it’s built in, this conditioned thought that we should have the job done yesterday, that we’re behind in our work so we must push harder, we need to go faster. Sure there was a time in my life when I would have pressed on and exhausted myself to feel that fleeting victory of having completed the task. But I’m not that person anymore: that was then; this is now.

A few days later I got up again before the mosquitoes and got the rest of the mulch down in the garden. I realized that it didn’t matter to anybody else how or when I got the task done; it only mattered to me and from that experience, I’m learning to ease up on myself and manage tasks in a way that doesn’t overwhelm me.

We are all just a little too hard on ourselves don’t you think? We’ve seen others doing the extraordinary and we naturally think we’re falling short but we’re all different and we should pace ourselves accordingly. Remember that you are important and you matter; your health and happiness are important and they matter too.

We all have some days that are busier than others and learning to handle them well is more about managing our energy than it is about managing our time. I’ve learned over the years that lists are my friend. Rather than go to the grocery store, trying to remember what I need, it’s much easier to write a list. This way I’m focused and with the odd impulse purchase I’m in and out without the feeling that I may have forgotten something, even though I do that too from time to time.

Perhaps you have company coming to stay or guests coming for dinner. Make a list of the tasks you know have to be taken care of and divide that list into manageable pieces, so you don’t feel overwhelmed. This way, you’re managing your energy and the event instead of the event managing you and your precious energy…especially in the middle of the night. It’s all on the list, you can go back to sleep.

I’m full of energy early in the day, so I like to make sure I do some of the things on my list early to celebrate getting them done and to allow for rest or other activities that bring me joy. Getting up early may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I do recommend tending to your to do list early in the day, when you have the energy to take care of it.

Give yourself a break. Make sure that while you’re attending to your to do list you pause now and then for a cup of tea or a glass of water and while you’re pausing, why not cross out the items on your to do list as you get them done. We’ll call it our done list. I’m all about celebration so make sure to give yourself a pat on the pack as you go through the list because you’re getting it done like a boss. You’re a boss who manages their energy well and appreciates good work. Good for you!

Be open to receiving support when you have a lot on the go. People are waiting to help us out; all we have to do is ask. It takes nothing away from us when we receive help; in fact it makes the person helping out feel good. So don’t be so proud that you can’t receive support when you need it. We are wired to be helpful, so feel comfortable and appreciate the kindness.

The last tip I want to offer is that it’s okay to say no when you have a lot going on. It’s responsible energy management to know when you have to put your needs ahead of doing favours for others. When someone asks you for something and you feel enthusiastic right away, go ahead but if you’re hesitant either politely decline or tell the person you’ll check the calendar and get back to them. This way, you’re creating space to consider carefully whether their request is something you have the energy for or want to participate in.

You can be sure that from time to time life will throw us curveballs and nobody wants to feel that their life is out of control. When things get hectic, being prepared by having a few healthy habits handy will make it easier for you to navigate and will support you in your quest to live well.

Tips for managing busy days:

– Make a To Do list and break it up into manageable pieces.

– Start working on your To Do list early in the day or well ahead of your event, so you don’t feel pressured.

– Take breaks and cross tasks off of the To Do list as you address them.

– Be willing to ask for and receive support. Many hands make for light work.

– Feel comfortable saying no when you have a full plate. It’s okay to put your needs first.

10 Mantras to Begin Your Day Right

A mantra is traditionally a short sound, word, or phrase spoken in Sanskrit and used for meditation. It is repeated to help keep our mind and body focused on the present moment. And since ancient times, mantras have been considered sacred and calming sounds, which is why you’ll often hear the most common “om” used to wind down the end of a yoga class.

However, in our modern era, the term “mantra” has been co-opted to include self-affirming statements that give us the strength and confidence to face the world. But the underlying goal remains the same: it’s a way to focus our intentions and calm our minds. So, rather than focusing on traditional Sanskrit mantras, we’ll look at some daily phrases to say in the morning and keep repeating them throughout the day. If you keep these simple mantras in mind, they could help you achieve success and happiness:

“My mind is brilliant. My body is in good condition. My spirit is at ease.”

“I carve my path and walk it with joy.”

“I’m going to have a good day because it’s my choice.”

“I hold the key to better health through better eating and exercise.”

“Good health is a practice, and I have patience.”

“I listen to my body and give it what it requires.”

“Every cell in my body is alive and beautiful.”

“My potential is limitless, and I choose where to direct my energy.”

“I will speak with confidence and assurance.”

“My devotion to myself is unbreakable.”

Although these mantras are divided into three categories (body, mind, and spirit), they are all related to the power of your mind. Because your heart and body could not progress without controlled thinking and optimistic belief, it is our choice to think and feel positive, and our lives will soon follow. So remember to keep repeating whichever phrase you choose — and don’t be surprised if you notice a significant difference.

Food And Habits To Boost Your Brain Health And End Inflammation

Andrew Weil, M.D., is a world-renowned leader and pioneer in integrative medicine, which incorporates body, mind, and spirit.

After a medical internship at Mt. Zion Hospital in San Francisco, he worked at the NIMH for a year and wrote The Natural Mind. As a Fellow of the Institute of Current World Affairs, Dr. Weil traveled to North and South America and Africa to research medication use in different cultures, medicinal plants, and alternative disease treatments. From 1971 until 1984, he studied medicinal and psychotropic plants at the Harvard Botanical Museum.

Dr. Weil is the founder and director of the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. He also holds the Lovell-Jones Endowed Chair in Integrative Rheumatology and is a Clinical Professor of Medicine and Public Health. The Center is developing a comprehensive integrative medicine program. Through its fellowship, the Center currently trains doctors and nurse practitioners worldwide.

Dr. Weil is a well-known authority on healthy living, healthy aging, and the future of medicine and health care. Prevention magazine publishes Dr. Weil’s monthly piece. In addition, Dr. Weil is an international specialist in medicinal plants, alternative medicine, and medical education reform.

In this episode, Dr. Weil covers foods and habits that boost mental and physical health. Learn about inflammatory disorders, how to cure and avoid them, and the origin of most medical problems. This episode is essential.

Dr. Andrew Weil explains how to boost brain function, reduce inflammation, and live longer. Click here to watch the video. 

Exercising In The Summer: What The Wellers Need To Know

For those who live at the Wellings, exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. But it can be dangerous or even impossible to exercise outdoors during the sweltering summer months. It would be simple to move the workout indoors. However, one of the summer’s joys is that outside generally feels better. To your luck, if you’re careful and aware of the dangers, you can safely work out outside.

Here are a few outdoor exercises that you can do this summer:

Walking/Hiking
Take a walk whenever you can; it’s one of the simplest ways to get fit. You can also walk for long distances and stay cool even in the heat of the summer. However, hiking might be for you if you’re looking for more strenuous activity. You can experience the wild side of nature while you are protected from the sun by trees. Don’t forget to bring a lot of water with you on this trip.

Golf
Do you know golfing is a low-impact, high-intensity way to improve your strength and flexibility? During the summer months, golfing can be a great way to exercise. Even though you’ll spend a lot of time outside, there are usually shady spots on the course, and golf carts are readily available at most clubs. In addition, golf is an excellent way to meet new people and socialize.

Tai Chi/Yoga
Tai Chi and Yoga are two low-impact options to consider if you want to improve your flexibility and strength. Both of these workouts emphasize stretching, movement, and controlled breathing. As a bonus, they can be customized to fit a person’s specific athletic abilities. In other words, even if you’re just getting started, you can benefit from this.

Biking
Even though biking is more challenging than walking, you’ll get a better workout and burn more calories. The relief from the heat from riding in the open air is another benefit. Biking to the park for a picnic is an option if you have a bike basket.

Gardening
It’s no secret that gardening can be physically taxing, as anyone who’s done it before will attest. However, gardening can be therapeutic and a healthy hobby. If you’re going to be out for a while, don’t forget to bring extra sunscreen. It’s not just plants that need water! Don’t forget to stay hydrated.

Kayaking
If you’re looking for a fun way to get out on the water, kayaking may be the best option. The upper body gets a good workout while you relax on a boat trip around a local lake. Wear sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun’s rays, as there isn’t much shade in the middle of the lake. A life jacket is an absolute necessity.

Fishing
Consider renting a boat if you want a relaxing day on a lake without having to row yourself there. You might enjoy fishing. You can fish from the sand or take a trip out on the water to find larger fish. In either case, you can take a breather and enjoy the beauty of the natural world. If you catch a fish, reeling it in can be a good workout. However, standing is beneficial to human health.

Swim
Swimming in a pool, on the other hand, is a great way to stay cool and tone your muscles simultaneously. In addition, you’ll get a more challenging workout because the water adds resistance to your regular movements.

If you or someone you know appears to be suffering from heat exhaustion, seek shelter indoors or in a shady location, rest, and hydrate. Drink plenty of water and wear light clothing in the summer. So what are you waiting for? Go out there and have fun.

Don’t Give Up Hope

There are many ways in which life challenges us. The loss of a loved one, a layoff, or a health issue can all impact a person’s life. Positive thinking, on the other hand, can be a valuable ally. Choosing to be positive and thankful has a positive effect on your mind and body.

People who have a more positive attitude on life live longer and are less likely to suffer from heart attacks and depression. According to one study, thinking positively about aging can add 7.5 years to one’s life expectancy. However, after considering factors such as gender, wealth, and overall health, the results are much more striking.

If you have a positive mindset, it may encourage you to exercise and eat healthier. Because you’re feeling better, you’re more likely to remain optimistic and joyful. If you’ve ever heard of a “virtuous circle,” you’ll know what I mean.

Things like low blood pressure and cholesterol have enhanced life spans by roughly four years, but if you view the glass as half-full, it could have a more significant impact.

Optimism is a skill that may be acquired. Time and practice are all that is required.

A few options are as follows:

  • Smile, even if it’s a phony one. It has the potential to alleviate some of the symptoms of stress.
  • Reframe. Instead of focussing on the negative, focus on the positive.
  • A thankfulness diary is a good idea.
  • Do good deeds for the sake of good.
  • Make friends with folks who make you happy.
  • And remember, you can’t change everything.

Finding Purpose at Every Age and Every Stage of Life

We’ve been taught that having purpose in life centers on achieving things like getting good grades in school, finding a life partner, having a family, earning a certain amount of money or attaining status in the business world. Are these markers really what give our lives purpose and meaning and once we’ve achieved these goals, what then? I ask the question because I’ve seen too many people feeling confused once they’ve achieved what they thought would give their life purpose and they’re asking the question, what now?

According to one analysis on the subject of purpose by The New York Times, about 25% of American adults admit to having a clear sense of purpose about what makes their life meaningful, while 40% claim neutrality on the subject, or acknowledge that they don’t feel aligned with a purpose at all.

In my view, having purpose is simply a way of framing our day, so that we look forward to either sharing our gifts with others or being of service in some way. Perhaps it’s that it feels like such a big subject that people shy away because they overthink it. I think we all want to feel that we have meaning in our lives and that may have little or nothing to do with what’s in our bank account or what we do to earn money. It’s about what makes our day worthwhile and that can imply different things at different stages of our lives.

When we’re young, we’re in foundation building mode, figuring out how we’re going to shape our lives. It’s followed by raising a family if that’s the choice we make; then helping our children find their way as young adults. This is often where it gets challenging for many people because purpose and meaning take on a different flavor when our nest is empty. That’s the time to get curious again because we have accrued experience, hopefully we’re a little wiser than we were when we were young and we can choose again how we want to shape the next chapter.

“I believe the second half of one’s life is meant to be better than the first half. The first half is finding out how you do it. And the second half is enjoying it.” – Frances Lear

Having purpose is not necessarily connected to our goals; rather it’s how we have ongoing impact on the world around us with our gifts. It’s about knowing our “why” at every stage of life. Our “why” is our calling, our conviction; you could say it’s our mission statement. Knowing what our purpose is at any stage of life gives us stability and a sense of direction. Before you jump to the conclusion that your purpose has to be something grand I’m here to say that having purpose doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to feel right to you. We’re not talking about the purpose of life; we’re talking about your purpose in life which can change, depending on where you are on your life adventure.Your purpose is as unique as you are. Remember we all have distinct talents, experiences, skill sets and interests that fire us up and there are always new ideas to uncover.

Which brings me to connecting with purpose; I’m often asked how we connect with it; is there a formula for finding it? While these are good questions, there are no easy answers. Often we look outside of ourselves, thinking that there must be someone who knows what our purpose is. Could it be an elder, a partner, a teacher or a friend? While feedback about our skills and talents from others can be helpful, in truth we are the only ones who truly know what purpose means to us. So it’s best not to chase it; rather allow it to emerge by asking yourself a few important questions, such as: What are my gifts? What do I stand for? What are my values? The answers to these questions hold clues for us and will help point us in the direction of our purpose.

“When it comes to staying young, a mind-lift beats a face-lift any day.” – Marty Buccella

If your gift is that you’re a good listener or a nurturer, allow those qualities to guide you. If you stand for safety for children, pets or older people, those are clues for you and if family is among your values, you can tease out ways to express your values, your gifts and your principles in your every-day life. You could be the best Grandmother or Grandfather; you could be a fantastic friend who really listens to those you cherish. You could align yourself with an organization that rescues or protects animals, a group that advocates for children or older people. You could do intentional acts of kindness for your neighbours; the possibilities are limitless.

“Do not grow old, no matter how long you live. Never cease to stand like curious children before the great mystery into which we were born.” – Albert Einstein

Be careful around FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real because fear is a trickster; it can convince us to stay small; not to step outside of our comfort zone. However stepping out is the only way we can create space for our purpose to emerge. Remember there’s no one way to get there, just as we are all unique our exploration will be unique as well. Keep in mind too that we are all creative beings regardless of our talents and it is never too late to connect with activities and communities that will make your heart sing.

While you’re investigating your purpose, here are a few tips to help you on your quest:
– Be open hearted and open minded.
– Think about what you’re good at.
– Look for ways to be of service to others.
– Ask people who know you what they think your talents and skills are.

While reshaping our sense of purpose in life can feel challenging please don’t feel pressure to find it; rather let it find you because it’s already in you. The world needs you at every stage of life to share your skills, knowledge and your wisdom. This is ageless living.

Footnote: How are you doing with your intention for 2022?

Honey Dressing, with Jaime Oliver

In this video, we see Jamie Oliver keep it simple and let the ingredients shine. We spend a lot of time thinking about food and flavour but make no mistake, we truly appreciate learning from the experts.

This recipe features honey and as natural or raw honey is more readily available in-store and on-line, the flavour comes together easily.

I love Peace River honey from Canada. It’s a flavour I remember from childhood, and would be perfect in this recipe.

At this time of year, you can sub in maple syrup from your favorite Sugar Shack! Adjust the amount to your own tastebuds.

Enjoy Jamie Oliver’s simple and delicious recipe and why not share it with a friend? Click here to watch the video. 

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