Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Heal Thyself

You don't have to be Superman to heal thyself, according to Julie K. Silver, M.D.

Ms. Silver is a practicing physiatrist, a doctor who combines physical medicine with rehabilitation. She treat people with a variety of serious illnesses and injuries.

She advises that in order to speed up your recovery, avoid infection and help recuperate, you need to focus on diet, sleep and movement.

Get certain vitamins and adequate protein. Eat nuts, seeds and legumes, at least 5 portions of fruits and veggies and a 100% RDA (Recommended Daily Requirement) multi-vitamin.

Because some healing processes require sleep to work effectively, get at least 7 - 8 hours (or more!) each night.

Movement gets the blood working. Exercise heals muscles, bones, tendons and ligaments better and faster. After an illness or injury, slowly increase your activity (with your doctor's permission, of course).

YOU have the power to heal. Go for it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Oats, A Healthy Food Source

Animals ate it. Now we do--to keep healthy.

Oats keep bad cholesterol at bay.

Oat fiber controls blood sugar.

Oats may help reduce heart disease.

It doesn't matter whether it's old-fashioned, instant, or even steel-cut, oats are similarly nutritious.

For more on diet and nutrition, visit 50somethinginfo.com.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Brain Health: What You Can Do

The University of California, Berkeley, puts out a great Wellness Letter.

Lately it featured an article on brain health. This is what I learned to promote good brain health:

1. What helps your cardiovascular system also benefits your brain and protects it from disease.

2. Exercise is a key factor to preserving brain function. Aerobic exercise, in particular, can improve brain activity and produce new brain cells and the connections between them.

3. Anything that exercises your brain is promoting good mental health.

4. Control your blood pressure.

5. Prevent or control your diabetes.

6. Control your weight--especially that bulge around your middle.

7. Lower your cholesterol naturally or with drugs.

8. Increase your good cholesterol.

9. Eat a heart-healthy diet. Alcohol in moderation has been linked to better cognitive functioning.

10. Large doses of vitamin B12 (under a doctor's supervision) may help with memory loss.

1. Treat depression as it may cause severe memory problems.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Putting "Fun" Back Into Photography

Electronics guru Kim Komando shared some of her favorite "special effects" photography sites.

1. Although some features require paid membership Picnik provides tools that mimic certain types of film or paper. You can even insert text bubbles

2. BigHugeLabs offers dozens of tools to do mozaics, posters and puzzles.

3. MorphThing combines 2 faces into one.

4. Put someone into a movie scene or onto a poster or billboard by using FunPhotoBox.

5. Class up your photo with ornate frames. Or cut your photos into various shapes. Put your face onto the body of a weightlifter or model with LoonaPix.

6. Mozaiq does just that--make a mozaic of your photos.

7. Photovisi provides various layouts for a photo collage.

8. You don't need extra lenses (or an SLR camera) to be able to focus on your subject and blur the background. Try TiltShiftMaker.

Thanks, Kim! And for digital camera reviews, visit 50somethinginfo.com.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Job Tips For Anyone Over 50

AARP provides excellent information for the boomer and senior looking for a job--in the United States or elsewhere.

Follow their instructions, for instance, on how to:
Prepare a resume and cover letter that demands attention
Win at interviewing

Apply their job strategies by:
Finding out who hires older workers
Determining the best job search sites and staffing firms
Learning how to network with success

Assess your skills and talents by:
Preparing a short speech that briefly explains your particular expertise

Get help:
From a career coach
From financial tools
By taking classes to update skills

Consider going out on your own:
As a consultant
With your own website
With your own business

That you're not alone

Monday, September 14, 2009

Home Swapping Vacations

Whether or not you have the money for a vacation, you can still take one!

There are a host of websites such as HomeExchange.com and HomeForExchange.com that provide members with a means to swap their own home or condo for another one in a desired location.

This is how it works:

You'd purchase a membership and upload a description with photos of your home and neighborhood.

Then you indicate the places you'd like to visit.

Finally, you wait to be contacted by other interested members.

You can discuss the swap by phone or by mail.

So clean your house, stow your valuables, prepare guides to your area, share house rules and take off for a dream vacation!

Go with peace of mind. Swappers have found that co-members are much more likely to treat the home as if it were their own--than outside agencies.

For more on travel, check out 50somethinginfo.com.

Friday, September 11, 2009

10 Ways to Keep Busy Between Jobs

Allan Hoffman, Job Expert and Monster Tech, wrote an article, “Ten Ways to Keep Busy Between Jobs.”

Why? Because employers want to know how applicants spent their time while they were out of work—they want to see that you were productive with your off-time. Besides bypassing depression, discouragement and hopelessness, job seekers can influence potential bosses by demonstrating continued career involvement.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Volunteer. You give back to a cause and organization while networking with people who may be able to guide you in the right direction.

2. Join a professional organization and take a leadership position.

3. Update your skills by taking classes.

4. Take an internship particularly if you are changing careers.

5. Teach a class.

6. Be an independent consultant. Get business cards and set up a web site.

7. Join a job seekers group to exchange contacts and give support.

8. Build social networks online and offline.

9. Consider opening your own business.

10. Have fun and keep your sense of humor.

For more on employment, visit 50somethinginfo.com.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bone Density

Today was bone-density test day. I'd done the procedure before so I knew that it would be short and painless--hop onto the table and let the scanner do its job.

Being prone to osteoporosis, I was given the prevention riot act by the lab tech.

She commanded the 61-year old me to take 1500 mg daily (500 mg per meal) of calcium, preferably in the form of liquid, chewable or gelcaps (and forgo the humungous calcium tablets I've often purchased at Costco).

Calcium, like exercise helps strengthen bones at any age. It needs to break down in order to be absorbed by the body, she admonished. But it also needs to be accompanied by 400 - 800 I.U. vitamin D3, the only vitamin the body can manufacture from sunlight.

Vitamin D3 deficiency is linked to a surprising number of other health conditions such as depression, back pain, cancer, and macular degeneration. Make sure it is included in some form in your daily intake.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Smile and the Whole World Smiles With You

Laughter is a powerful medicine. It can be infectious. It increases happiness and intimacy. And it can trigger healthy physical changes in the body by strengthening the immune system, boosting energy, diminishing pain and protecting you from the damaging effects of stress.

How can you bring more of it into your life?

1. Smile more

2. Count your blessings

3. Train yourself to seek it out--spend more time with more playful people

4. Look at situations differently and with humor

5. Laugh at yourself

6. Keep things in perspective

7. Don't delay dealing with issues that stress you

8. Watch children and emulate them

For more on laughter and its strong influence over your life, visit 50somethinginfo.com

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Travel in Western Europe: Recommendations

She hasn’t been disappointed yet. I asked a former travel agent what she uses to get recommendations for accommodations and itineraries.

“Without a doubt,” she replied, “I use Karen Brown guides. The hotels, inns and bed and breakfasts aren’t inexpensive but they are always great.” She further explained that Brown doesn't cover every single country.

For Italy, try her exceptional hotels or bed and breakfasts. If you narrow your travel to Tuscany and Umbria, check her guide to the area.

Sample Ireland's gems or the hotels, inns and B&Bs in England, Scotland and Wales.

Similarly, France comes alive in her charming bed and breakfasts or her amazing hotels.

Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Portugal are covered at length.

Finally, don't miss Spain, one of my personal favorite countries.