Focus 50 Plus 2016

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Fo cus cus

plus 5500 plus 2016 2016

A Guide for Mature Adults

A Publication of Country Peddler


Interesting Articles You Won’t Want To Miss

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SNACK FOODS That Promote

BETTER SLEEP According to the National Sleep Foundation, changes in sleep patterns are a part of the aging process. Many people experience difficulty falling asleep and then staying asleep as they age, and that difficulty can make men and women over 50 feel more tired during the day. But even though difficulty sleeping may be a part of aging, that does not mean men and women over 50 cannot take steps to improve their sleeping patterns. For example, certain snack foods may help to improve quality of sleep, especially when these foods replace less healthy snacking options. While men and women over 50 should always consult with their physicians before making any changes to their diets, the AARP notes that the following are a handful of snack foods that promote better sleep. • Almonds: Magnesium is a mineral with muscle-relaxing properties, and almonds contain enough magnesium to help men and women get a better night’s sleep. A small amount of almonds before bed might be enough to make falling and staying asleep easier. • Bananas: Much like almonds, bananas provide a substantial amount of magnesium. Bananas also contain the amino acid tryptophan, which many people associate with Thanksgiving turkey. While tryptophan might be most often associated with the sleepiness people feel after eating a holiday meal, it also has been linked to better sleep quality, so a banana shortly before bed might be just what you need to fall and stay asleep. • Cheese and crackers: One more traditional snack may just help you get a better night’s sleep. Cheese and crackers contain tryptophan and carbohydrates, which can induce a better night’s sleep and help you fall asleep sooner. • Cherries: Cherries contain the sleep hormone melatonin, and the AARP notes that recent studies indicated that participants who drank tart cherry juice on a daily basis fell asleep more quickly and slept longer and better than participants who did not. • Hummus: The primary ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, which are loaded with tryptophan, folate and vitamin B6. Folate has proven especially beneficial to older men and women who need help regulating their sleep patterns, while vitamin B6 helps the body regulate its clock. • Peanut butter: Peanut butter is another snacking item loaded with tryptophan. Spread some peanut butter on a carbohydrate, whether it’s a slice of toast or some crackers, before going to bed, and you may enjoy a better, longer sleep. • Walnuts: Like cherries, walnuts contain melatonin, which can contribute to a longer, more restful night’s sleep. Walnuts also can help regulate stress, which is a leading cause of sleeping difficulty.

Many men and women experience difficulty sleeping as they age. But the right foods may just help combat such problems and help men and women get a more adequate night’s sleep. 4


Adam! Here’s another one of those lists that will only make you feel like you’re getting way too hold. Which celebrities are turning 50 in 2016? Among the biggest names are Adam Sandler, Cindy Crawford, and Gordon Ramsay, to name only three. This list includes actors, athletes, models, and more turning 50 years old in 2016. Doesn’t it feel like yesterday when you were laughing along to your Billy Madison VHS? It really is crazy how time flies. Anyway, these famous people were all born in 1966, and they’re all turning 50 in 2016. If you haven’t turned 50 already, don’t worry: your time will come soon enough. • Hollywood funnyman Adam Sandler will turn 50 in 2016, which is pretty crazy considering it seems like Happy Gilmore just came out yesterday. He’s been making some questionable movies over the last 10 years, but we still love him anyway. • One of fiercest boxing champions of all time, Iron Mike Tyson, turns 50 in June, 2016. He’s really mellowed out since his days of biting ears, so here’s to 50 more champ. • Both an acclaimed actress and international sex symbol, Halle Berry will celebrate the big 5-0 in August, 2016. Some of her best roles include Monsters Ball and her portrayal of Storm in XMen. • The hot-headed chef who will berate you one minute and shower you with love the next, Gordon Ramsay, is finally turning 50 years old in 2016. If you bake him a cake, you better make sure it’s perfect. • Known for her acting talent and insanely nice figure, Salma Hayek is turning 50 in September, 2016. If this is what all women look like at 50, then the world is a pretty awesome place. • He’ll forever be known as Ross from Friends, and it’s hard to believe that the show has been off the air for almost 12 years now. David Schwimmer turns 50 in November, but he honestly looks great for his age. • One of the most famous models of all time, Cindy Crawford, turns 50 years old in 2016. Seems like just yesterday she was in her ‘30s and was the most talked about woman on the planet. • You know him as Jack Bauer from the hit show 24, but Kiefer Sutherland turns 24 + 26 in 2016. • Remember when Bill Goldberg went on that undefeated streak in the WCW, jack hammering and spearing his way through everyone that stood in his way? You never watched wrestling? All you need to know is that Goldberg is a very famous pro wrestler, and he’s turning 50 years old in 2016. • He will forever be known as the comedian who did 7 minutes on Hot Pockets, but Jim Gaffigan is seriously an epically funny guy. He turns 50 in July.





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Laughter is the

Best Medicine Whether a person is experiencing physical illness or just feeling a little glum - a giggle, a chuckle or an all-out belly laugh can always brighten spirits and sometimes seems to have an effect on the body as well. In fact, many people subscribe to the belief that “laughter is the best medicine,” and in some cases, it appears this may be true. Take a look at how laughter can affect various areas of the human body. - Generating an increase in blood flow and improved blood vessel function, laughter may help protect individuals from heart attack and other cardiovascular troubles. Laughter is also said to reduce cortisol (a stress hormone) and epinephrine, a hormone that plays a key role in heart failure and hypertension. - It has been found that the convulsions experienced with laughter help to circulate lymph fluid throughout the body. Through this process, waste products are removed from organs and tissues, and the immune system is enhanced. - Studies show that laughter may improve creativity, alertness and memory. One explanation for this is that humor stimulates both hemispheres of the brain, involving the entire organ. A study at Johns Hopkins University Medical School showed that the addition of humor during classroom instruction led to higher test scores. - A study on diabetes looked at the effects of laughter on blood sugar levels. Diabetic participants were fed a meal and then asked to attend a tedious lecture. The next day, the group consumed the same meal followed with a funny movie. Measurements showed significantly lower blood sugar levels after watching the movie than attending the lecture. - It has been found that laughter can enhance quality of life in breast cancer survivors possibly through the release of endorphins, neurotransmitters that block pain and bring feelings of pleasure.

Laughter therapy has been found to be effective in increasing the quality of life and resilience in breast cancer survivors, but there was no significant difference in depression levels and immune response. One breast cancer survivor, Linda Ellerbee has said, “A good time to laugh is any time you can.” Through its boost to the immune system and the production of pleasure-inducing endorphins, laughter is an effective way to make a body feel both psychologically and physically better. While it is difficult to measure the exact effects of laughter on physical illness, most people would agree that laughter is good for the soul. • Check out your local comedy club • Watch funny movies. • Listen to humorous books on disc on your way to and from work. • Spend time around small children; they say and do the funniest things. 8


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Yet, your body might think otherwise, sending you messages in the forms of aches pains that you didn’t have to include improved battle during your earlier adult years. brainpower and a reduced risk Those aches and pains shouldn’t be of diabetes and osteoporosis. telling you to stop exercising altogether. SPICE IT UP Staying fit and active is important for Variety is key to a successful fitness your overall health. Now that you’re plan. Regularly switching up your older, you may have to apply some new workout is beneficial to both your body thinking to how you keep fit. and your mind. When you do the same Here are some tips to consider when workout over and over, you run the risk of working out. overusing your joints. Your body also gets START OFF RIGHT used to a certain routine, and you will Hydrate before you work out. This is eventually stop making progress. especially important because your body Changing up your exercise program doesn’t conserve water as well as it used also keeps you interested in exercise. to when you were younger . When you feel like you’re getting into an As you age, you should be especially exercise rut, try some new classes like careful and warm up before starting the Zumba or yoga. more vigorous portion of your workout. KNOW WHEN TO SAY WHEN Warming up makes a workout easier on Maybe you’re motivated to start a your joints, and it helps prevent injuries. vigorous fitness program, Remember to This can be something as simple as give your body rest and allow your walking for five to seven minutes to get muscles and joints ample time for the blood flowing to your muscles. recovery. Muscles need time to recover FLEX YOUR MUSCLES after vigorous workouts and joints need You should do strength training at least time to rest after a tough cardio workout. once a week to help combat muscle loss. That doesn’t mean you should stop As you age, you start losing muscle moving! It’s good to get some form of mass. And you lose muscle mass even activity every day, even if it’s simply more quickly once you hit 50. In fact, walking around the block or incorporating you can lose about a half pound of a stretching routine. muscle mass every year. Strength Allowing your body to properly recover training will combat this loss and can will lower your risk of injury and let you even help you add muscle. Strong maintain an overall more active lifestyle. muscles are important because they By listening to your body’s needs, you’ll improve your mobility, which is a be on your way to a healthier, longer life. Always check with your doctor before massive weapon against preventing falls. beginning a new type of workout. Side benefits of strength training 10

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From the moment young men and women first walk into the office for their first day as a working professional until the day they officially retire, the notion of planning for retirement is never far from their minds. But when the day arrives, some retirees wonder what to do next. Some retirees know exactly how they will spend their days when they no longer have to work, while others who decide to play it by ear may find themselves battling boredom. For those among the latter group, it’s important to understand that many retirees find themselves bored once they no longer have to focus on a career. Jobs keep men and women busy and provide a sense of purpose in their lives, so it’s understandable that retirees feel bored once those jobs are no longer a part of their lives. But just because you no longer have a job to go to every day does not mean life cannot be as fulfilling or even more fulfilling than it was when you were still working. You just need to find something to avoid succumbing to retirement boredom. Though it might seem odd to start working right after you retire, a part-time job can provide the type of structure you have grown accustomed to without all of the responsibility that comes with a full-time career. Part-time jobs can range from consultancy work that makes use of your professional experience to something entirely different like landscape maintenance at a nearby golf course that gets you out of the house and enjoying the warmer seasons. Whichever you choose, make sure it’s something you find fun and interesting. Working professionals often say they wish they had time to pursue a hobby. Now that you are retired, you have all the time in the world to do just that. Whether it’s perfecting your golf game, writing that novel, learning to cook like a gourmet chef or whatever else you might have always wanted to do, retirement is a great time to do it.


If retirement boredom has started to negatively affect your mood, one way to conquer your boredom and improve your mood at the same time is to start exercising. Exercise is a natural mood enhancer. When the body exercises, it releases chemicals known as endorphins, which trigger positive feelings in the body. In addition, regular exercise has been shown to reduce stress, boost self-esteem and improve sleep. Working out at a gym also is a great way to meet fellow retirees in your community, and the energy you have after exercising may give you the boost you need to pursue other hobbies. If a part-time job is not up your alley, then consider volunteering in your community. Volunteers are always in demand, and volunteering with a local charity can provide a sense of purpose and provide opportunities to meet like-minded fellow retirees, all while helping to quell your boredom.

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Home Design Tips for Baby Boomers There are about 76.4 million Baby Boomers in the US, according to the Population Reference Bureau. As this population ages, it will become important that features on their houses promote safety, are easy-to-maintain, and last a long time. Whether building from the ground up or remodeling a current home, take “agingin-place” into consideration every step of the way. Here are some great projects to consider with strong payback.

A Better Basement

When building a new home, choose your foundation carefully. Not only is an uninsulated basement a major source of heat loss, but it’s throwing away potential space that can enhance your life. A “liveable basement” can be designated as a “grandkid zone,” an at-home office or crafting workshop. You can use a pre-cast insulated concrete foundation system, such as those from Superior Walls, to create an energy-efficient damp-proof basement. This foundation will help reduce utility bills for long-term savings. Reinforced concrete walls create a permanent barrier against water, and pre-engineered access for wiring or plumbing features are a key element to whatever vision you have for this subterranean space.

First Floor Privacy

Many seniors opt to spend more of their time at home on the easy-to-navigate ground floor. But don’t compromise privacy in pursuit of accessibility. Privacy windows can alleviate concerns you have about neighbors seeing you go about your business. For example, those from Hy-Lite are offered in numerous styles and designs, including opaque decorative glass, acrylic block and true glass block windows. Silkscreen glass designs can complement the overall style of the home. From your master suite to your bathroom to the main rooms of your home, avoid prying eyes with this crucial component of stylish first floor living.

Safe, Comfortable Bathrooms

As mobility and coordination decline, slips and falls can make bathrooms a hazardous place. Think of the years ahead by seeking out bathroom features that are ADA compliant. “Taller toilets that are easier to rise from, pedestal sinks that allow wheelchairs and walkers access, and walk-in tubs that promote easy entries and exits, are all bathroom features people may need as they age,” says Jean Dimeo, a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. With many high-design fixtures and fittings available, a safe bathroom does not need to be just a utilitarian one. A walk-in tub, pedestal sink, and raised-height toilet are key bathroom safety features.

By upgrading key home features during construction and remodeling efforts, aging-in-place is not only possible, it can be preferable. 14

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The 25 Best Songs of the

Boomer Generation Writer Alan J. Paul has put together a list of memories and, for baby boomers, good vibrations. He calls it “The 25 Best Songs Of My Generation.” He worked on “The 25 Best” for the over a year, but the list remains fluid for the simple reason that he keeps remembering other songs he’s loved over the years and has to make adjustments. He purposely decided to limit the list to only one song per artist or group, since it would have been overrun by the likes of the Beatles, the Stones, Billy Joel, and a generous handful of others. His other caveats were that there had to be a certain level of musical sophistication to the selections, and he tried not to include one-hit-wonders (though there have been several that he’s liked, in spite of himself). It is only as he’s gotten older that he’s come to realize the extent to which music has shaped, enriched, described, and defined his existence. This, then, is the soundtrack of his life, to this point in time. What would yours be? 1. Satisfaction (The Rolling Stones) 2. Like a Rolling Stone (Bob Dylan) 3. Eleanor Rigby (The Beatles) 4. Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin) 5. God Only Knows (The Beach Boys) 6. Imagine (John Lennon) 7. Baba O’Riley (The Who) 8. Billie Jean (Michael Jackson) 9. Hotel California (The Eagles) 10. Suite Judy Blue Eyes (Crosby, Stills and Nash) 11. Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry) 12. Born to Run (Bruce Springsteen) 13. Can’t Find My Way Home (Blind Faith) 14. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (Elton John) 15. Light My Fire (The Doors) 16. Cowgirl in the Sand (Neil Young) 17. Scenes from an Italian Restaurant (Billy Joel) 18. Fire and Rain (James Taylor) 19. You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling (The Righteous Brothers) 20. Can’t Stop Believing (Journey) 21. Respect (Aretha Franklin) 22. American Pie (Don McLean) 23. The Prayer (Andrea Bocelli & Celine Dion) 24. Follow (Richie Havens) 25. Turn, Turn, Turn (The Byrds)


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These 5 Foods Speed Up the Aging Process Products that claim to slow the aging process draw in big money. To really keep lines and wrinkles at bay, trade anti-aging creams for nutritious foods that keep the body youthful inside and out. As some foods help slow the clock, others hasten the aging process by triggering inflammation and oxidative stress. If you’re looking to keep a fresh face and a spring in your step you may want to steer clear of these five foods. 1. SUGARY FOODS. Kind of goes without saying, but we will. Sugar is found in products from canned soups and bread to cereal and peanut butter; it’s not surprising that Americans consume an average of 22 teaspoons of sugar daily. One of the leading foods that causes aging, sugar triggers the production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs), compounds that destroy collagen and elastin. These important proteins keep skin soft and supple. 2. HIGH-GLYCEMIC GRAINS. Refined grains that lack fiber metabolize quickly, convert to sugar, and promote the production of AGEs. By destroying collagen Helpful Tips for Selecting and elastin, AGEs reduce elasticity in the Foods for Healthy Aging skin and create lines, age spots, and wrinkles. Examples of high glycemic grain Hey listen, we are all aging but products include white rice, bread and you can decide if you’re going to do pasta, rice cakes, flour tortillas, and it better than others. Here are a few corn chips. tips on how to do it better: 3. RED MEAT. Red meat is chock full of saturated fat, an ingredient which causes the brain to age more quickly, according to research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Examining nearly 6,200 women over the age of 65, those who reported the highest consumption of saturated fat showed the worst performance on cognitive tests. 4. DAIRY PRODUCTS. Like red meat, many dairy products like whole milk, eggs, and cheese are also full of saturated fat. What’s more, many dairy cows are treated with growth hormones and antibiotics, offering even more reasons to avoid milk – whole or fat-free. Studies show that these harmful compounds trigger inflammation and affect insulin, both of which contribute to aging. 5. FRIED FOODS. Yes, give up that beloved fried chicken. Fried foods offer a double whammy when it comes to early aging. They are full of saturated fat, which affects the brain, and according to research, foods cooked with high heat contain more skindamaging AGEs.


1. Read grocery labels for sugar and sources of hidden sugar like corn syrups, honey, molasses, and any ingredients ending with the suffix “-ose.” 2. Eat whole grains and brown rice in place of refined grains, and choose grass-fed beef due to lower levels of saturated fat and healthy oleic acid. 3. Replace cow’s milk with almond or coconut milk. 4. Trade frying, grilling, and hightemperature frying for healthier cooking methods like steaming, stewing, poaching, braising, and blanching.

Maintaining Independence As We Age (NAPS)—For most older adults, the ability to live independently is associated with the ability to

drive. That’s one reason the prospect of eventually “giving up the keys” can be a frightening one. The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (N4A) developed a brochure called “Before You Give Up the Keys: Create a Roadmap for Transportation Independence” that may lessen those fears by empowering older adults to evaluate their mobility needs, identify the transportation options in their community and develop a plan customized to their unique circumstances. A too-familiar scenario is that older adults wait until they’re involved in some sort of emergency, like a traffic accident, before they really think about their driving ability and the other transportation options available to them in their community. N4A’s goal is to shed light on a critical issue that will likely affect most families with an older loved one who may need to limit or eliminate their driving, to provide a catalyst for discussion, and hopefully, action. The N4A represents America’s national network of 623 Area Agencies on Aging (AAAs). It helps older adults and people with disabilities live with dignity and choices in their homes and communities for as long as possible. This is a major issue for older adults because when they lack access to transportation, they can’t get to the doctor, the grocery store or see friends and family as much, which means their overall well-being is likely to suffer. To that end, it created the Eldercare Locator. This serves as an essential, trusted gateway to help older adults, caregivers and health professionals navigate the maze of aging programs and services, as well as to assist them in identifying and accessing the resources that match their needs best. The National Call Center can be reached at 800-677-1116 or 19

With Fewer Bedroom Distractions,

BABY BOOMERS GETTING GOOD SLEEP We wrap up our look at the sleep habits of four key consumer groups by looking at that most famous of demographic groups: The Baby Boomers. This big and widely studied group has provided the buying power that has fueled the mattress industry for years. And poll data from the National Sleep Foundation indicates that the Boomers have learned how to get a good night of sleep. Age sometimes brings its rewards. Fewer Baby Boomers say they are getting an inadequate amount of sleep on weekdays than Gen Z and Gen X consumers, and fewer Boomers report waking up un-refreshed than consumers in the Gen Z, Gen Y and Gen X groups. Still, 55% of the Boomers say they wake up un-refreshed, and, yes, that means they may be in the market for a better bed. As we’ve noted previously, this NSF data provides fascinating sleep snapshots of key consumer groups. Savvy retail sales associates can share this data with their customers to show them that consumers of different ages have different sleep lives. And consumers are always interested to see how they compare to other consumers in their age groups. The Baby Boomers are far less likely to be texting in that hour before they try to go to sleep. Just 5% of the Boomers say they text in that hour, compared to 56% of Gen Z consumers, 42% of Gen Y consumers and 15% of Gen X consumers. 20


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5 Tips For Looking Fierce And Fabulous After 50

People often say 50 is the new 30, but as you pass this milestone, you might be tempted to ditch fashion altogether. Some women throw out their stylish wardrobes in favor of “age appropriate” wear, but should you lose your sense of style just because of your age? While it’s crucial to reassess your wardrobe because of the physical changes that come with age, it doesn’t mean you cannot look fierce and fabulous over 50. Simple and classic pieces will become your wardrobe staple as these are lasting and versatile. It’s also a time to pay careful attention to quality and fit – frumpy clothing makes you look older and clingy clothes are simply not appropriate.

Here Are Some Tips To Look Stylish Over 50 1. Choose the right colors. Turning 50 is not an excuse to exchange your colorful wardrobe for dull and uninspiring apparel. Choose the right colors for your skin tone and you’ll look younger and healthier. If you change your hair color – this includes highlights and lowlights- reevaluate your palette to find your ideal color. 2. Pay attention to the style and fit. Schedule a professional fitting to determine your size for your garments and underwear. Tailored clothing and well-fitting underwear are essential at this age. Instead of hiding your unflattering areas behind baggy clothing, choose pieces that will emphasize your strong points and minimize the unflattering ones. 3. Mix and match your pieces. There’s been a dramatic shift in what’s considered appropriate office wear in the last decade. From tailored suits to feminine dresses and jeans, office looks are as varied as the people working there. Separates have replaced full suits, which is advantageous because you can mix and match your outfits. 4. Remember that you can wear jeans at any age. Jeans are acceptable at any age, but one of the biggest pitfalls of over 50s women is the unflattering mom jeans. A pair of well-made jeans pays for itself over and over again. Try on different shapes and sizes to find age-appropriate jeans that flatter your figure. 5. Hair and makeup are also important. Your clothing says a lot but it’s your hair and makeup that give away or hide your age. The haircut that worked for you years ago might not be suitable in your 50s. Bangs, layers, angles, highlights, lowlights are just some changes you can add to soften your face and draw eyes away from unwanted facial lines. Gray hair does not automatically make you look older so don’t immediately reach for the hair color if you see some gray emerging. Many women these days are more than comfortable with the natural aging process. Multiple layers of foundation and blush do not hide your age. In fact, you’ll look much older if you weigh down your face with too much makeup. Keep your makeup routine simple: accentuate your eyes, apply natural blush to your cheeks, and use a pale lipstick to highlight your lips.

• • • • • • • • •

When you enter your 50s, it’s a different world of fashion altogether. However, building a fashionable wardrobe can be fun if you experiment with different looks. Take a cue from other fashionable over 50s women and celebrities, and you’ll soon develop a unique style of your own. 22

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