In New York we are starting to see the weather turning cold and the days growing shorter. It becomes the time to get out the coats and scarves, but that is not the only thing to redo in your daily routine. There also becomes the struggle with how to stay healthy with less time to workout and more people on crowded streets and subways with contagious coughs and colds all around you. Even more of a concern is for our older parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents as they fight to stay fit.
Like many Baby Boomers, award-winning entertainer and music icon Patti LaBelle takes steps to stay healthy, including exercising and eating right. Yet, despite being a health-conscious Boomer, LaBelle knows there are diseases that can take her out of her routine: such as pneumococcal pneumonia, a potentially serious bacterial lung disease.
We recently talked to the singer and asked her how we encourage healthy living, as well as have awareness for loved ones to stay away from sickness. LaBelle and Pfizer Inc have launched the incredibly helpful All About Your Boom campaign to bring about public awareness and empowerment to adults 65 and older to get a new attitude about the risks of pneumococcal pneumonia and the importance of staying up-to-date on the CDC-recommended vaccinations.
With age the immune systems naturally weaken. Yet, many Boomers may not believe they’re at risk for pneumococcal pneumonia because they lead energetic lifestyles, feel good and are still booming.
The legendary singer herself knows the importance of gaining the knowledge to stay healthy while at the same time learning that it is just as important to stay active.
“I am 73 and I’m very interested in taking care of my health as all of us are,” stated the icon. “Every performance is an exercise because I am very active on stage.”
Other activities for her include taking walks with her beloved dog and cleaning her home. But, even healthy Boomers are at risk because pneumococcal pneumonia is a potentially serious and, in some cases, life-threatening illness that can strike at any time and can stop Boomers from doing the things they love. Pneumococcal pneumonia can be spread by coughing, and symptoms can develop quickly and may include high fever, excessive sweating, shaking chills, coughing, difficulty breathing, shortness of breath and chest pain. Certain symptoms, such as cough and fatigue, may last for weeks or longer.
“Like many my age, I have a pretty dynamic lifestyle and still feel young at heart. I continue to tour, and enjoy traveling and spending time with my family. I don’t want anything to interfere with doing the things I love,” LaBelle said. “That’s why I talk to my doctor and ensure I am up-to-date with my vaccinations. It’s a simple step that can help protect me from certain illnesses that become a greater risk for Boomers like me.”
Fulfilling that promise to encourage fellow Boomers to explore new passions, LaBelle brought together singers 65 and older to sing one of her classic songs, but Patti and her crew had a surprise for them once they got on stage. To watch the video, and find out more about the campaign and pneumococcal pneumonia, go to AllAboutYourBoom.com.
Photo Courtesy Michael Simon/Startraks
Financial Well-Being Tips for You and Your Family
Finances change when you have kids. There’s a reason that a stereotype exists of adults without children enjoying expensive vacations and disposable income while parents can anticipate spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on children. However, there are also many things you can do to improve your family’s financial knowledge and stability.
Build Emergency Savings
As soon as possible, build emergency savings equivalent to at least six months of basic expenses, even if it takes years and you can only put away a little at a time. Six months of expenses can seem like a lot, but this can also be the single most important thing that you do to ensure you have financial stability. Without this cushion, you can get sideswiped by a single bad event, and at least a few of those bad events, which include needing a car repair, losing a job, or an emergency pet visit, will happen to everyone at some point. With an emergency fund, you don’t have to make bad decisions like putting everything on a high-interest credit card that you then struggle to pay off.
Respect the Retirement
Another bad decision that emergency savings can prevent is raiding your retirement account to pay for things. In fact, you should keep putting money away in the retirement account even when money is tight, particularly when you are young, because it will grow exponentially over the years. You also want to be able to look forward to a secure retirement that doesn’t involve depending on your kids financially.
Think Ahead to College
College can be one of the single biggest expenses that parents face. There’s a reason many of them start saving when their children are still infants. Even if you’re diligently putting money away, however, you might not have the total needed for tuition, books and living expenses. Again, avoid pulling from your retirement savings. Instead, help your child fill out financial aid forms and scholarship applications. You can also help them obtain student loans by cosigning on them. This is necessary for many loans since students are unlikely to have a robust credit history.
Manage the Sandwich Years
One difficulty parents often face when their kids are still at home is the plight of their own aging parents, who may have health or money problems that take up a lot of resources. Adults caught in this situation are often said to be sandwiched between these two generations who need a great deal from them, often more than they feel able to give. Anticipating this can mean sitting down with your parents to talk about money before money becomes a problem, helping them better manage it if necessary. You may also want to investigate what kind of senior resources are available since there might be some that will provide assistance.
Talk About It
One of the great gifts you can give your children is financial literacy. If you feel like this is something you haven’t mastered yourself, you can learn together. Try to make money a topic of normal conversation and not something that is fraught with stress and other emotions, even if you feel like you don’t have enough of it. Talk with your spouse about it as well, including how your own family approached money and how that colored your feelings toward it. Both spouses should have a basic understanding of the family finances even if one is much more interested in it and better at managing it. With your kids, help them understand money at developmentally appropriate stages. Young kids can help cut out coupons and save their allowance. You could help older kids open a bank account and even manage a credit card with a low limit.
Enhance Your Surroundings at Home To Foster Mindfulness and Neutral Thinking
The world throws a lot of curveballs your way, and you can’t try to control everything that happens in your life. You can control how you react to unexpected or challenging events and conditions. The work that you put into cultivating mindful thinking will equip you to moderate your reactions and regulate your emotions. You can do some of your best work to achieve mindfulness and neutrality in an environment that you can control. Here are a few ways to enhance your living space to enhance mindfulness skills and develop and hone your ability to practice neutrality.
Stimulate Your Brain With Aromatherapy
In striving for mindfulness and neutrality, patterned thought processes can be one of the most difficult obstacles to overcome. People commonly continue to perpetuate negative thought processes even in the absence of any triggering stimuli simply because their brains become hardwired for them. To break cyclical patterns that fuel propensities towards anxiety and other trapping, negative emotions, engage other modes of thought with targeted stimulation.
Aromatherapy is an excellent tool to activate specific parts of your brain using olfactory stimuli. The regions of your brain that process olfactory perceptions are proximate to the parts that govern your emotional state. By introducing stimulation that evokes specific emotions, it is easier to break free from cyclical thoughts and adopt the frame of mind that you want to have.
You can practice aromatherapy by using Young Living Essential Oils in a diffuser. To enhance your sense of calm, soothing aromas such as lavender or chamomile are a perfect choice. To energize your senses and promote focus when you have chores or work at home to take on, citrus-based scents and peppermint could give you a boost. One of the best advantages of using these types of products in a diffuser is that it’s easy to change them, so you can use aromas versatilely and you won’t have to smell the same scent all of the time.
Listen to Healing Frequencies
The music that you listen to can have a strong influence on your emotions and attitude. A lot more than the tempo and theme play a role in these. The frequency of music may be influencing your thought patterns and perceptions.
When you listen to certain frequencies, it may produce a calming or more awakened state of being. In meditative disciplines, sound baths that immerse the body in specific frequencies to bring it into harmony with other energy fields are an important practice. You could utilize this type of meditative aid at home to quell racing thoughts, retake control of your thoughts, and neutralize your perspective.
Get an audio system with speakers that are capable of producing clear, high-quality sound. The sound that comes off of speakers needs to match the frequency of original recordings exactly. Rather than listening to your go-to playlists for relaxing when you want to wind down, switch it up and try music tuned to 432hz or other Solfeggio frequencies geared towards mindfulness and rejuvenation.
Improve the Air Quality in Your Home
Breathing is fundamental to many relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga. If the air quality in your home prevents you from breathing deeply without unwanted odors or allergens, it could impede your ability to relax while also negatively coloring your frame of mind.
In your efforts to keep your home clean and free of clutter to create a calming, comfortable living space, don’t overlook the importance of clean air. Have your home’s HVAC system professionally cleaned on a regular basis to avoid spreading dust and allergens such as mold or pet dander. On some HVAC systems, installing a UV cleaning light can keep the air handler clean.
A deionizing air purifier is a great addition to any home because these devices neutralize odors in minutes. If certain areas of your home have musty odors due to excessive moisture in the air, running a dehumidifier could address the problem and preserve the quality of the air.
Your home should be a refuge where you can relax and reset your frame of mind. Taking steps to create and maintain a home environment that is conducive to relaxation and mindfulness will enable you to use your downtime meaningfully. A few simple changes in your surroundings can have a profound impact on your day-to-day life.
7 Surprising Ways Online Games Improve Your Cognitive Health
Can you keep your brain healthy while playing online games? You can! Read this article to discover the astonishing cognitive digital gaming.benefits of regular
Are you a gamer? You’re in luck! It turns out that gaming is really good for your cognitive health. Online gaming can sharpen your memory, enhance problem-solving skills, and even improve hand-eye coordination. In this article, we’ll look at seven different ways online games such as Solitaire or poker can keep your brain healthy. So, if you’re a gamer or just curious to learn more, keep reading!
The Astonishing Cognitive Benefits Of Online Games You Might Not Know About
Have you ever caught yourself being so captivated by an online game that you completely lost track of time? If yes, there is no need to worry too much. Recent studies show that digital games can help improve your cognitive abilities. Below are seven amazing benefits of playing online games that you might haven’t heard of.
1. Improving Memory
Digital games can help sharpen your memory and information retention skills. Games that require remembering facts or objects will challenge you to recall certain memories and ideas, helping your brain form stronger connections for enhanced memory retention.
2. Enhancing Problem-Solving Skills
A key element of most online games is problem-solving. Players must think strategically, analyze their environment, and find the best solution to complete a level or task. Being forced to think fast and react quickly enhances your problem-solving skills. Gaming challenges help exercise the brain and make it more efficient at dealing with obstacles and complex puzzles.
The best part? Your improved problem-solving capabilities will be useful both in and out of the game.
3. Improving Hand-Eye Coordination
Online games that depend on precise hand movements can help you improve your hand-eye coordination. By using your mouse or controller during the game, you’ll practice and develop your coordination skills in the process.
You’ll feel the benefits of enhanced hand-eye coordination in real-life scenarios — say when typing or playing sports.
4. Enhancing Multitasking Abilities
Digital gaming is also good for improving your multitasking skills. The fast pace and challenging levels of certain games require you to think quickly and manage different tasks at once. Most games require players to multitask between different tasks such as talking to other players, managing inventory, and more.
Performing several activities simultaneously strengthens the neural pathways in your brain. As a result, you’ll become better at managing multiple tasks daily.
5. Increasing Attention Span
Along with enhanced multitasking skills, playing online games can help you extend your attention span. Games require a great deal of concentration, which means that gamers need to stay alert and focused to succeed.
Over time, your brain will become better at focusing your attention on one particular task — a skill that can be hugely beneficial in the real world. An improved attention span will come in handy when facing long-term projects or studying for a big test at school.
6. Boosting Social Skills
Online gaming can be a great way to develop social skills. Many online games involve interacting with other players and working together as a team to reach common goals. To coordinate with your teammates, you’ll need to learn how to communicate effectively, cooperate with others, and be a good listener.
You’ll also gain extra confidence when it comes to socializing in real-life situations. So, playing with others gives you the chance to practice communication and teamwork, which are essential life skills.
7. Strengthening Cognitive Flexibility
Finally, digital gaming strengthens your cognitive flexibility — the ability to switch between tasks quickly while still using the same thought processes. Online games require you to think on your feet and adjust your strategies based on new information or requirements. As a result, you’ll become way more flexible.
Once you step away from gaming, you will benefit from improved cognitive flexibility in many scenarios — whether it’s a managerial job or raising kids.
Ready To Level Up?
These amazing benefits of online gaming show just how good it can be for your brain. While we’ve covered just seven cognitive benefits, the number of ways online games help your cognitive health can be greater. So, if you’re looking to improve your memory, problem-solving skills, attention span, and more, give online gaming a try. Get out there and start playing!
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