There are a handful of ways to maintain strong and healthy bones. Weight bearing exercise is one of them. You could also consider reducing the stress in your life. (Cortisol is a bone-depleting hormone released in response to stress.) Another step you can take is to make a point to eat bone-building foods.
We’re talking about eating foods that are rich in minerals and vitamins, especially vitamin D and calcium. While eating well is easy to talk about, it’s not always so easy to follow through on. Try the following tips to help you get more bone building foods into your diet and help keep your bones strong and healthy.
1. Know Your Food Sources and the RDA – Do you know what foods contain calcium and vitamin D? And do you know how much you’re supposed to get on a daily basis? This is the first step. The RDA for calcium is 1000 milligrams per day until age 50. After 50 you want to get 1200 milligrams. The RDA for vitamin D is 600 IU before age 70 and 800 IU after age 70.
Fortified orange juice and non-dairy products are good sources of vitamin D and calcium. Additionally, dairy products are good sources. Dark leafy greens, beans, cold water fish, and many seeds and nuts are also good sources of vitamin D and calcium.
2. Assess Your Intake – Once you’ve identified your food sources of calcium and vitamin D, take a look at the foods you regularly eat. Are they on that list? Are you already getting enough of both? If not, how much more do you need to consume each day?
3. Plan and Prepare – Once you know you need to boost your intake, you can begin to make changes. Identify food sources that you enjoy that are rich in the necessary bone building nutrients. For example, you may only need a few more milligrams of calcium each day and decide that spinach is an efficient source. Add it to your weekly shopping list and begin identifying tasty spinach recipes. (Try a spinach, pear and celery smoothie - choose a ripe conference pear for the best taste!)
4. Make it Easy – Breakfast is one of the easiest meals to bulk up on calcium and vitamin D. For example, a bowl of fortified cereal with milk and a glass of juice may be all you need to consume for the day. Some fortified cereals have 100% of your RDA for both calcium and vitamin D.
5. At Every Meal – Change the way you eat. Add some nutrient-dense foods to your snacks and meals. For example, a handful of nuts as a snack or sprinkled on your salad can help you reach your goals. Enjoy a yogurt for dessert and eat dark leafy greens at least once a day.
Simple changes to your daily eating habits can make a huge difference in your bone health. Supplementation may be necessary if you can’t get your nutrients from food, however, natural is always best and your bone health is especially important to your wellbeing as you get older.
If, like me, you're stuck in the middle of a northern hemisphere winter, it can be difficult to find things to be cheerful about, can't it?
I live on a hill and, as I write this, the wind is howling round my house and the rain is lashing at the windows. The forecast for the week ahead is for more of the same. We have, at least, another month of winter ahead of us and, even though the mornings are a little lighter, it'll be weeks yet before we're not leaving the house in the dark every morning and returning in the dark in the evening.
When the weather's keeping us all tucked up in our homes, retirees can sometimes start to feel quite isolated. Which means that it's really important to take care of your emotional health - at least until spring comes around and starts to make us all feel better again!
Your emotional health is directly connected to your physical health. Stress weakens your immune system. It also causes inflammation which leads to deadly diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Depression impacts your immune system as well - as does anger, overwhelm, and frustration.
The good news, however, is that you can take steps to improve your emotional health and strengthen your physical health at the same time. Try some of these on for size...
1. Do Something Joyful – Take time every day to do something that makes you smile. Getting out in nature is good for both the mind and body so take advantage of any breaks in the weather. Visit with friends, go for a bike ride, dance, or grab the opportunity to get out for a walk. Try to find something to laugh at. Laughter has been shown to improve health and immunity.
2. Find a Purpose – You don’t need to make huge changes to your life to find your purpose. Helping others, spending time on activities that make you feel useful and relevant, and getting involved in your community all help a person feel important and help improve emotional health.
3. Good Self-Care – Good self-care means paying attention to your body. Know when your body is telling you that you need more sleep, need nutritional food, or need to take time away from whatever's stressing you out and unwind.
4. Exercise – Exercise provides just as many mental and emotional benefits as it does physical benefits. Find an exercise program that you enjoy. Exercise shouldn’t feel like a chore but, rather, something fun that you’re doing for your mind and body. And, even if the weather's keeping you stuck indoors, there's still plenty you can do to keep exercising. (Check out sharecare.com (formerly Real Age) for ideas!)
5. Set Aside Downtime – Give yourself permission to sit and daydream, contemplate the world, journal, meditate or just explore your senses. Downtime is an important part of maintaining a healthy mind and body. It allows your brain to rejuvenate and it helps you find and maintain balance in your life.
Each one of these steps is important to lifelong health and wellbeing. They’ll help you feel more grounded, calm, and focused. Your emotional and mental health have a direct impact on your physical health - which is why it's especially important to pay attention to them at this time of year!
Did you know that recent studies have shown that almost half of all grandparents in the U.S. live more than 200 miles away from their grandkids? The world may seem smaller in a day and age of technology and instant messaging, but it can feel extremely big when you ache to see your kids and grandkids, and they're just too far away.
However, fortunately, technology presents quite a few options for keeping in touch with far-away grandkids. Here are eight things grandparents can do to connect with out-of-town grandchildren.
Skype can open up whole new worlds for grandparents. You don't have to have webcams for this, although, if you do, it opens up the possibility of video chat. All you need are two computers with high-speed Internet connections. In fact, you can even do Skype with some phones that have Internet access, too. Camera phones allow for video chat.
2. Google Hangouts
Google Hangouts is a lot like Skype. You can chat from your desktop or laptop computer, and it has video options - as long as you have the hardware. Also like Skype, you simply download Google Hangouts from the internet.
3. Social Networking
Facebook, Myspace, Pinterest, and other social networks provide a convenient platform for out-of-town grandparents to keep up with their grandkids. This approach may be particularly helpful with grandchildren of pre-teen or teen age.
4. Online Photo Albums
The Internet offers lots of options for storing your photos. Family members can then share the password to their photo album, and grandparents can log in any time to see the latest pictures of their grandkids.
5. Telephone Calls
The telephone may be considered old-fashioned in this day and age, but it's still a perfectly legitimate and, for many grandparents, comfortable means of communication. Try scheduling regular phone calls, maybe once a week, to keep in touch. Grandparents can read selections of stories over the phone to young grandchildren, and older grandkids can have special topics and subjects they talk about with grandparents. Many grandkids like to hear stories about when their parents were kids!
6. Tape Recorders
Another old-fashioned but fun approach is for grandparents to make tapes. Grandparents and parents each need a mini tape recorder, and grandparents and grandchildren can mail audio tapes back and forth and play them on the tape recorders. Usually, all you need is a padded envelope to mail such tapes. Agree to mail them at regular intervals.
7. Online Chat/Instant Messaging
Most email platforms offer instant messaging and chat. If yours doesn't, you can download specific chat software such as Google Chat. Again, all you need is a computer or modern cell phone with Internet access.
It's easy to forget one of the simplest types of technology for staying in touch. Email can accommodate pictures and videos that you can include with the message, too.
The notion of buying less and being happier runs contrary to the more popular concept of 'more (and bigger) is better'. As more and more people become disillusioned with all their 'stuff', the idea that buying less can actually make you happier is beginning to take hold. (And, let's face it, with what's happened to pensions and interest rates over the last few years, some retirees just don't have a choice!)
Here are some suggestions on how you can buy less and be happier:
1. Distinguish between needs and wants. Before making a purchase, ask yourself why you're buying it. How will your life be better with that particular item in your home? Can you afford it? Does it have a practical use?
2. Spend time, not money, with your family and friends. This is the key to being happier with buying less - you will cultivate more meaningful relationships instead of spending money on stuff. Think in terms of relationships, not things. This may require a shift in priorities and, for some, may mean learning to put people ahead of material items. If you accomplish this, life will be much more fulfilling.
3. Learn (or relearn) to refurbish and fix used items, and learn to create and build. Often, these times of creativity can also be times when you come together with friends and family to get a job done. In other words, DIY can help you be happier!
4. Pay cash or write a cheque whenever you buy something. This is a safeguard against debt, which is, of course, one of the biggest robbers of happiness there is. You'll be much happier buying less if you can also look at it as way of incurring less debt.
5. Change your perspective about the role of stuff in your life. Think about the big picture before making purchases - will owning this item make me a better person? If I buy this electronic gizmo, will the world (or even just MY world!) be the better for it?
6. Take time to find out what true happiness means to you. When you're not trying to fill some imagined void with material things, it gives you some breathing room to figure out just what makes you tick. Accumulating stuff is probably not what really makes you happy. Dig deep and learn something about yourself. Keep a journal, meditate, spend time alone...
When you begin to cultivate relationships instead of buying more and more stuff, you might just find that you become much happier.
If you're due to retire in the near future, my free eCourse, The 6 Stages of Retirement, will give you a birds-eye view of the retirement process so you know what to expect. It includes a list of the major pitfalls at every stage of the process and self-coaching questions to help you avoid those pitfalls...
Have you ever thought about starting your own business, but, whilst you were still working, “stuff” just got in your way? If you have that entrepreneurial mindset, you might find that being retired (and the time that's been freed up for you) has now cleared the road to becoming an entrepreneur.
So, do you have the entrepreneurial mindset? Let's see...
Consider these personality traits:
A feeling, whilst you were still working, that there was something 'more' than what you were doing in your job
If you have any or all of these qualities, you could very well be on your way to owning your own retirement business, because it's highly likely that you DO have that entrepreneurial spirit.
How to Clear the Road toward Entrepreneurial Success
Going from the 9 to 5 grind to embracing your entrepreneurial spirit may not be the easiest path, but, once you're done with all that 9 to 5 nonsense, it's something that might start to look more achievable. However, there are several steps you need to take before forging head first into business ownership.
Get clear – Getting clear on what it is you want to achieve is an integral first step. Getting clear is not as simple as coming up with an idea and writing it down, however. Of course, writing down your goals is always a good idea, but even more importantly, you also have to break them down. Being specific is not an option; it's mandatory. You need to have clear, specific goals when it comes to starting a new business.
Create a plan – Once you are clear on what your goal for your new business is, you have to create a plan for success. Write down what your goal is, how you will achieve that goal in smaller steps and then break that list down even further into action steps.
Take action - Next, it's time to take those action steps. And action steps require more than just thinking about taking them! You might need to hire a coach or join a mastermind group to help hold you accountable for taking those actions.
Delegate – If you're starting a new business of your own, don't be afraid to delegate tasks, even if you don't have a business partner or associates yet. Once your business becomes successful, delegating will be a task you will have to learn anyhow, rather than trying to do everything by yourself.
Start now, by allowing family members and friends to help take the load off somewhere else, while you learn all you need to know about your new business endeavour.
Letting go – Sometimes, in order to create something new, we need to let go of something old. In order to clear the path to creating a new business, something else might have to fall by the wayside. Your home may need to be a little cluttered or less clean. You may have to let go of a favorite sport or activity for a while, but it is well worth it in the end.
It may be a difficult road to travel, but having an entrepreneurial mindset is a gift. Once you open it, you'll be happy that you did.
Have you checked out my free eCourse, The 6 Stages of Retirement? It will give you a birds-eye view of the retirement process so you know what to expect and it includes a list of the major pitfalls at every stage of the process and self-coaching questions to help you avoid those pitfalls...