Tag Archives: health

Are you dried up inside? How Retirees can stay healthy.

The question really is- are you Dehydrated?

It could happen to any of us, but it is especially dangerous for the very young or very old.

Those of us who are retired,are in that at risk category.

Should we panic?

Definitely not!

In order to stay healthy, we need to just educate ourselves to the signs, and symptoms of Dehydration, and know how to prevent it.

Dehydration occurs when we lose more fluid than we take in during vigorous exercise, or when there is Diarrhea, fever, or vomiting.

We need to be alert to replacing liquids during hot weather,also.

Symptoms include dry mouth,thirst, decreased urine output, headache, dizziness, and constipation.

Note that the color of your urine may also indicate dehydration. If the urine is clear, that is usually a good sign that the individual is hydrated.

If symptoms progress there may be little or no urine, very dry mouth, sunken eyes, decreased Blood Pressure,rapid heart beat, increased breathing, fever, and delirium.

Nothing to take lightly!

According to the Mayo clinic, thirst is not always a good indicator of dehydration.

Monitoring your liquid intake is crucial. Drinking liquids prior to and during exercise is a good practice.

If you suspect dehydration, drink a sports drink such as Gatorade, or Powerade, to replace the electrolytes lost.

Call 911 if symptoms are severe.

Always contact your health care professional if there is any concern regarding Dehydration.

Have you ever been diagnosed with Dehydration? Please share your story with us.


Vegetables for health? Why they are a must for a healthy retirement.

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Do you still remember your mother’s words- “eat your vegetables”? I believe that most of us still remember those words. Unfortunately, most of us hated those words when we heard them!


We now know that mother was right. Vegetables are good for us! They are an important part of a healthy diet.

They are also a must for a healthy retirement. No doubt about that!

Why are they so necessary for your good health?

Let’s review some key facts.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), they are an important source of vital nutrients which your body needs to function effectively.

Most vegetables are low in fat and calories, and are important sources of Potassium, Fiber, Folate, and vitamins A and C.

Potassium helps to maintain healthy heart function, and blood pressure.

Dietary fiber helps to lower Cholesterol, and preserves regular bowel function.

Folate helps in the production of red blood cells, and Vitamin A nourishes your eyes, encourages healthy skin, and decreases the likelihood of infections.

Vitamin C also helps in the healing process, and promotes healthy teeth and gums.

Vegetables will be your ally should you decide to lose weight. They are low in calories.

Experts believe that vegetables also help to prevent some chronic diseases, and even some cancers.

Impressive isn’t it!


You probably know which foods are vegetables, and which are not. However, let me refresh your memory about just a few.

The list includes sweet potatoes, white potatoes, beet greens, soybeans, Lima beans, kidney beans, spinach, corn,lentils, zucchini, and cauliflower.

Let’s not forget lettuce, broccoli, rhubarb, Swiss chard, squash, turnips, garlic, onions, collard greens, and mushrooms.

This is just a few of a seemingly endless list!


*Do shop for those in season to get the best quality and flavor.

*Don’t cook them over high heat…heat breaks down the key components, and the nutrients may be lost.

*Do wash them thoroughly, and brush them before cooking, and eating.This is crucial to get rid of pesticides, and any residual dirt or pests.

* Do choose firm, crispy vegetables without wilted or loose leaves.

* Don’t buy more than you can store, and use within a safe time period.

* Do not refrigerate potatoes.

* Do store canned vegetables in a cool dry place.


Yes, some vegetables are good sources of protein.They include Shiitake mushrooms( dried), lentil, beans, soy, green cauliflower, and kale.

However, unlike meat, they do not have vitamin B-12 which is necessary for health.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, there are at least 10,000 types of protein in your body.

Your body breaks down the protein that you ingest into a substance called amino acids.

Lack of protein can lead to growth failure, weak immune,heart and respiratory systems.

There is an ongoing debate about vegetable protein, versus animal protein.This would be a good topic to discuss with your doctor, or health professional should you decide to follow a vegetarian diet.

My personal preference is to have protein from both animal and vegetable sources…with more of the vegetable kind, because vegetables have lower amounts of saturated fat, and sodium.


I have come to love vegetables over the years. This is great because I eat them several times each day.

One of my favorite ways to eat vegetables, is to roast several of them together in the oven. I encourage you to try roasting potatoes, onions, garlic, and zucchini with just a little oil, salt and black pepper. They are delicious!

Have you tried carrots with curry? Or asparagus cooked with lite butter?

Another favorite of mine is a salad of lettuce, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, with just a touch of salad dressing.You may add boiled eggs, cheese, or anything else you like!


The USDA recommends that women 31 -50 years old, eat 2.5 cups of vegetables daily. Women 51 plus years old need 2 cups.

Men 31-50 years old need 3 cups daily, while men 50 plus need 2.5 cups daily.

These recommendations are only for those whose activity level is average ( less than 30 minutes of exercise daily). If you are more active you are allowed to eat larger amounts.

Are you a vegetable lover? Please share your thoughts, recipes, or comments.



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Retirement is a goal that most people hope to achieve someday. Many give it little serious thought when they are young, and in good health. It is something to think about occasionally, but no real plan is generally developed.

Current estimates say that approximately 10,000 people retire daily in the United States of America. Many have never developed a workable plan for their financial needs upon retirement.

A healthy retirement is given even less thought! Some may feel that a healthy retirement is not even possible.

Are you among those for whom a healthy retirement seems unattainable? Do you feel that focusing on today’s problems is enough to consider?

If so, let me encourage you to reconsider.

It is very possible to have a solid plan to enjoy a healthy retirement. That does not mean that you may never be ill, but it will increase the likelihood that you will be as healthy as you can possibly be.

Medical science has proven that many illnesses can be prevented, or their effects lessened. The list includes High Blood pressure, Heart Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, Shingles, Hepatitis B, Influenza, and Pneumococcal diseases.

In many cases, these disorders are linked to lifestyle issues. Yes, family history plays an important part in predicting the future of our health, however,it does not always guarantee that we will suffer with the same illnesses as others in our family.

You can fight back if you know your family history, and how these diseases can be prevented !

So, what can you do to be healthy in body and mind during retirement? Here are seven must do’s to help you win the battle:

1.Evaluate your current health.

This will mean a visit to your physician to get a complete physical examination. You will also need to have a frank discussion with your health professional about any test results that may be negative. Ask what the results mean, and how you improve the outcome for the future.

For some this may be scary to find out what is. However, ignorance is not bliss in healthcare. Knowledge is power, as the saying goes. If you know what is true, you can then take appropriate action.

2.Be determined to make your health a priority.

As with everything else in life, what we focus on, is what we tend to cultivate, and nurture. Things that we ignore tend to slip our attention, over time. So, if we want to have a healthy retirement, we need to focus on this, and give it our full attention.

Spend at least five minutes each day reflecting on your health. What is your goal, and what did you do to reach this goal? For example, exercising for 20 minutes each day may be your goal. Did you achieve this, or did you not? If you did, give yourself a pat on the back for your dedication. If you did not, determine what went wrong, and how you can fix this in the future.

3.Write down what you hope your health will be when you retire.

Be very specific. It is a powerful fact, that when you put your goals in writing, you increase the opportunity for them to become a reality. Instead of writing, “ I want to be healthy when I retire- write instead, “ I want to weigh 150 pounds (or whatever is right for you)”.

Do you have a target for your activity level? For example-do you want to travel?

Put your answers in writing, and refer to them frequently.

4.Read more about health issues from reputable sources.

Unfortunately, not everything we read is necessarily true. It is therefore important to investigate your source of information. Enlist the help of your health professional, in locating a trusted resource. Check out the credentials of this source, and their experience with the subject being discussed.

Several well known universities, hospitals, and clinics publish health related topics online. An example is The Mayo Clinic,WebMD,or JohnsHopkinsMedicine.

5.Decide to begin your healthy lifestyle today.

It is so easy to make plans but never accomplish them. If you do not begin now, procrastination may block you from reaching your goal.

Take control of your future, and keep the promises that you make to yourself.

Make a step today, and another tomorrow. Nothing ventured nothing gained, should be your motto. You could begin today, for example, by making a phone call to your doctor to schedule an appointment for a checkup (see #1).

Your future begins today.

6.Seek the support of a trusted friend, family member, health professional, or spiritual leader.

Ask that individual to hold you accountable for the changes that you are determined to make toward a healthy retirement. Meet with them on a regular basis, e.g. monthly.

Review your progress toward your goal. Let them know what you want to accomplish, and what they can do to help you.

Let them know that you need them to ask you pointed questions about your progress, or lack thereof.

Be sure to choose someone who can be firm, but kind in helping to motivate you toward your goal. You may even choose to meet with friends who are also looking forward to a healthy retirement.

The key here is someone who can give you honest feedback, not just what you may want them to say.

7.Be kind to yourself, but be realistic.

You will meet challenges, setbacks, and roadblocks along the way. You are making a long term commitment to a healthier lifestyle.

The key ingredient is to not give up.

Each step that you make, however small, will be important in getting you to your goal.

Sure, you may have illnesses along the way, however, you will be doing what you can to influence your future health.

You are increasing the likelihood that future illnesses, and conditions may not be as severe as they could be.

It is also possible to bypass some illnesses altogether!

A healthy retirement is possible for more of us than we think. If we improve our lifestyle today, we are helping to preserve our health in the future.

Following these seven steps will propel you to a healthy future, and a healthy retirement.



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We all have busy lives. This is a fast paced world in which we live. Even in retirement there is much to be done!

Think about this for a moment. Is your car, van, or truck getting more attention than you give your own body, mind and spirit?

I have been pondering this question during the last few days, because of a conversation that I had with one of my neighbors. He told me that he had not visited the doctor in 25 years.

I was shocked!

He then said that he was forced to go recently because he had some scary symptoms.He rushed to the doctor for help.

Of course, I was very empathetic toward him when he described the serious condition that he had.

He told me that his truck had been in the shop for repairs, and that he had paid a large sum of money to have it repaired.

He also shared that he had the truck for over fifteen years.

I thought to myself that his truck must have received on time maintenance, and much of his attention, to have lasted for this length of time.

In my mind, I complemented him for such diligence!

However, I felt that he had not made a wise decision in ignoring his own health.

I reflected on the cars that I have owned throughout the years.
I am sure that I did not shower them with such love and attention!

I can recall my son telling me, that in order to work well,my cars would need maintenance at regular intervals. He said that without scheduled oil changes, they would not last as long as they could.

I must confess, that as far as I was concerned, if the engine started when I put they key in the ignition, then all was well!

I had the hardest time remembering about those oil changes!

I am happy to say that things got better over the years, as I became more educated.

Today, I am happy to report that I am generally on time for regular maintenance, including oil changes!!

What brought about this important switch?

Well, I learned some basic facts about how engines work, and what contributes to their longevity.


Just as you maintain your car, you also need to maintain your body.

Getting regularly scheduled health checks is one of the keys to a healthy retirement!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention( CDC), encourages us to schedule health checkups as one method of taking charge of our health. They state that when problems are identified early, there is a better chance for treatment, and a cure, if one is available.


I think that many of us procrastinate due to lack of knowledge.

I also believe, that we would schedule our medical appointments if we realized that an early diagnosis could lead to a better outcome.

I did not maintain my cars because I did not understand the relevance of oil changes, and how my car would function in the future.

On the other hand, there is so much information available about healthcare that I wonder whether there are other reasons why we hesitate?


Could it be that we are afraid to know?

I can honestly say, that in the past, I have been guilty of waiting too long to schedule a medical appointment.

Thankfully, I am much more diligent which my medical check ups.

Today, I practice what I preach. I believe that I am much better at seeking medical advice in a timely manner.

In fact, since I retired, I see at least one of my health care providers every three months.

Let me caution,that each individual needs to set up their own schedule with their healthcare provider.


Each year I have a complete physical exam which includes an EKG ( electrocardiogram)- to check how my heart is functioning.

The physical exam also includes blood work. Included is a check for cholesterol, and blood sugar levels, among other things.

I also receive a PAP test ( Papanicolaou)- to check for cervical cancer, and a Mammogram-to check for breast cancer.

My yearly schedule also includes the flu vaccine.

I do have Blood Pressure checks done at each visit, and I also do my own checks at home. I encourage everyone to buy a Blood Pressure machine for your home.

In addition, I get periodic Bone density tests to rule out Osteoporosis or thin, brittle bones.

Dental checkups are a must. We now know that the health of our teeth affects our entire bodies.

Vision testing should be on the list for all retirees. Glaucoma is a disorder that has no symptoms yet if untreated can lead to blindness.

Hearing tests are highly recommended.

Colon cancer screening should be on your list ( discuss with your doctor).

HIV testing and Hepatitis C screening is recommended at least once in adulthood.

These are the routine tests that I receive each year. As I mentioned earlier, each person needs to be tested according to their own health status, and their doctor’s recommendation.


Personally, I do not think it is, because as was stated earlier, we lavish many hours and much attention on our cars, boats, trucks, and other equipment.

Sometimes we neglect our most treasured gift-our God given health.

Only you can decide whether you prefer to wait ( as my neighbor did) for 25 years to check on your health.

I hope that you will not wait.

Your health is one of your most valuable assets.

Do you agree or disagree? Please share your comments.


Is laughter really the best medicine for retirees?

Have you had a good laugh today? Since biblical times,man has realized that laughter is a good thing. Proverbs 17:22 says “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones”

Studies done through the years tell us that humor and the act of laughing have a positive impact on our immune system.According to Enid Schwartz ” the following effects have been documented: increases in natural killer T cell activity…decreases in the body’s production of cortisol”. High levels of Cortisol decreases the bodies ability to fight off diseases.

Norman Cousins ( 1979) shared that humor and laughter helped him to control his pain as he recovered from Ankylosing Spondylitis – a very painful disorder.He said that 10 minutes of belly laughter took his pain away for about 2 hours each time.

In health care today, there is an ongoing effort to add humor as a way to help patients and families cope more successfully with their healthcare challenges. This is true even with life threatening diseases such as cancer. Health care personnel are being taught to find appropriate ways to encourage patients to decrease their stress through laughter.

Why is it that children laugh more easily that adults? While children laugh about 400 times daily, adults are less spontaneous in their ability to laugh.

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Is it that we become so caught up with the stress of life that we no longer feel the need to laugh?

Could it be that we don’t realize the enormous benefits of laughing at ourselves, or at some of the challenges of life?

Someone said..laugh and the world laughs with you.

One of the joys of my retirement is the time that I spend with my two grand children.They certainly spice up my life with the funny and unpredictable things that they say and do. For them,every day is a joyful day, especially when they play together!

They find such joy out of life! They run, and jump and play, and just put their whole heart into whatever they do.

My personal feeling is, that we should take a page out of their book during our retirement years.

While we might not be as carefree as a small child, we can however look for more enjoyment out of life!

Granted life has some serious challenges, and somber moments, yet if we celebrate the smallest achievement,and find joy in our daily blessings, we might be able to laugh more.

Experts tell us that cheerful people are better able to successfully manage their healthcare. For example, they may take their medications as prescribed while unhappy people tend to do the opposite.

It is also said that happy people tend to live longer, more satisfying lives.

It is also a fact that humor tends to bond people together.Have you ever found yourself smiling just because someone else was smiling?

Even if you make yourself smile,it is still affects your emotions and puts you in a happy mood.

As with anything else in life there are cautions to consider. Laughter can be inappropriate in certain settings such as – laughing at someone else’s expense, or using laughter to belittle someone, or the use of hurtful ethnic jokes, and sarcastic humor.

In summary, we can all benefit from using laughter in our daily lives.This is especially true for those of us in our retirement years. Since laughter has a positive impact on our health, and it is free,let us use it liberally.

Do you have any comments on the impact of laughter in your life? If so, please share it.



Hello again:

Isn’t it annoying when you have trouble sleeping? Roughly 30 percent of adults in the USA experience some type of sleep problem. There are numerous types of sleep disorders that could be leading you to have less than desirable sleep, which in turn will lead to poor health.

Let me name just a few:
1. Insomnia
2. Obstructive Sleep Apnea
3. Narcolepsy


This is one of the most common sleep disorders for a retiree to experience.If you have ever experienced it you will remember the trouble you had falling asleep,or staying asleep.You know the tossing and turning, watching the clock, staring at the ceiling, counting sheep or trying any other method that you think may work.

Insomnia may be acute i.e. of short duration, or chronic lasting over a longer period of time- typically 3 or more nights per week.

What is the cause of Insomnia? It could stem from medications ( many retirees take several medications that could be the culprit); or a change in location ( e.g. you are travelling and in a strange hotel bed); or you could be anxious about an unresolved issue; or perhaps your internal clock ( circadian rhythm) is out of sync.

If Insomnia continues you could have chronic fatigue, irritability, poor concentration, and mood changes.


This is another sleep problem that according to the Mayo clinic, is a potentially serious sleep disorder. Breathing stops and starts while the person is asleep.The tongue blocks the airway and cuts off breathing temporarily.I believe most of us know someone who snores loudly then suddenly the sound stops, and you wait anxiously to hear them take another breath.Quite scary!

The individual will feel tired, and lackluster the next day even after a full night’s sleep.


Reportedly there are approximately 100,000 Americans who suffer from this dangerous disorder. The individual will fall asleep almost instantly no matter where they are! This is truly dangerous because it could be that they are operating equipment, or driving a car.

According to the National Institutes of health “Narcolepsy is a chronic brain disorder that involves poor control of sleep wake cycles.” These “sleep attacks” usually last a few seconds or a few minutes.

Narcolepsy is a worldwide problem affecting both men and women alike.It is a lifelong condition that is generally under diagnosed.

While I was in the work world, I did observe a few people who had this condition. I recall one individual who tended to sleep at her desk, and in meetings.Thankfully her supervisor had the wisdom to recommend that she should see her doctor.This led to a happy ending because she was diagnosed and treated quickly.


Sleep disorders can be of short duration or can be a chronic problem. They stem from a number of causes, including brain dysfunction, medications or sleep pattern disturbances.

Whatever the cause, they can result in the individual feeling tired, irritable, with poor concentration,or other symptoms.

If you or someone you know have experienced any of these symptoms, it is very important to see your doctor asap. Sleep is such an important part of our lives, that a refreshing night’s sleep can energize the whole body. On the contrary, poor sleep can leave us feeling worn and torn.

Please share your experiences about any sleep related problems, and any solutions that helped you to overcome them.

Have a good night’s rest!