Senior Active Living - Fall 2022

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FALL 2022

TALKING TO YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT DRIVING IS IT TIME FOR A HEARING AID? AFTER KNEE REPLACEMENT, WHAT NEXT?

, r e i h t l a He Life LE A D A

MORE ENJOYA BLE

A publication of the

FALL

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contents Fall 2022

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, r e i h t l a e H Life LEAD A

MORE ENJOYABLE

6

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR GARDEN FOR

Winter

5. FEATURE Is it Time for a Hearing Aid? 8. NUTRITION Foods That Aid Digestion 10. RECIPE Tagliatelle With Pumpkin Sauce 11. DISCOVER Safely Storing Leftovers 12. RECIPE Apple Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread 13. RECIPE Butternut Squash Cakes

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16. WELLNESS After Knee Replacement, What Next? 17. FEATURE Talking to Your Friends About Driving 18. RELATIONSHIPS The Benefits of Friends for Seniors 20. TRAVEL Tight Travel-How to See the Sights Without Breaking the Bank 22. EXERCISE Morning and Evening Stretches to Begin and End Your Day


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executive publishers Hal G. Fox & Suzanne Polk Fox

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contributing writers Amber Arevalos Alison Braidwood Wanjiru Ciira Patricia Gyrl Juliane Morris Nellie Palmer Chloe Rose

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The information contained in Active Seniors is intended for educational purposes only. A reader should never substitute information contained in Active Seniors for the advice of a health care professional. Jumpstart Publishing, LLC and publishers of Active Seniors, do not endorse or promote any of the products or services described in the pages of Active Seniors and the publishers do not verify the accuracy of any claims made in the editorial or advertisements contained in Active Seniors. Readers should not use the information in Active Seniors for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem or for prescription of any medication or other treatment. Readers should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or have or suspect they have a health problem. V4

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FEATURE

IS IT TIME FOR A

Hearing Aid?

to depression and cognitive decline. When you address your hearing health you can be more confident and relaxed about your communication abilities.

If you’re curious if hearing aids may be useful to you or someone you love, explore some of these next questions together. A few “yes” responses to some of these questions mean it is a promising idea to consider how incorporating hearing aids into your life can help you.

1. Does it seem like people are

mumbling or whispering when others can hear them without trouble?

2. Do you ask people to repeat

themselves so you can try to hear them again?

By Juliane Morris

O

ur senses of sound, sight, touch, smell and taste allow us to interpret and respond to the stimuli around us. We rely more on sight and sound than the others. As our bodies age our sensory input receptors usually begin to show signs of diminishing ability to receive, assess and understand some stimuli as clearly as our younger days. This can be frustrating, and make it difficult or less pleasant to engage with and respond to the world around us. Did you know that more people suffer from hearing loss than people

who have cancer, diabetes or vision issues? Studies have revealed that of the number of people who could benefit from using a hearing aid, only one in five people actually choose to use a hearing aid. Hearing aids improve quality of life for most users. A hearing aid is a small electronic device worn in or behind the ear and which makes some sounds louder, yet is designed to help in both quiet and noisy environments. Hearing aids can bring more pleasure to life, and also help keep us safe from risks and threats that surface when we cannot hear well. Hearing loss creates a general loss of situational awareness, and can lead to isolation, disconnect and even injury. Hearing loss also impacts mental health and can contribute

For more information visit the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders https://www.nidcd.nih.gov/ health/hearing-aids.

3. Do you find social gatherings unpleasant and isolating because you cannot understand what people are saying?

4. A re music, radio, television less enjoyable because of hearing issues?

5. Do others say the volume of a device is playing too loudly?

6. Have you missed hearing

notifications like an alarm, kitchen timer, doorbell ring or traffic sounds when walking or driving?

7. Are you feeling less confident and connected with people because you cannot reliably converse with them?


GARDENING

HOW TO PREPARE YOUR GARDEN FOR

Winter By Alison Braidwood

When summer nights start to draw in and a promise of autumn cools the air, the master gardener’s thoughts turn to preparing the flowerbeds for winter. Meanwhile, the rest of us (who are not master gardeners) feel tired at the mere thought of winterizing our gardens, fail to formulate any sort of coherent plan, and end up doing a bit of panicky deadheading before giving up. This adds a certain frisson of danger to the first buds of spring, as you can’t really be sure what’s about to emerge from the earth. Milkweed and dandelions, anyone? But winterizing a garden doesn’t have to be painful. Just follow a few simple steps and you’ll be looking forward to your garden’s spring offerings. Really.

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Divide & Conquer The first hint of fall is a good time to divide your perennials. They like it, and you’ll double or triple your plants without paying out any extra money. Some gardeners cut back their perennials; others prefer to leave them. Remember that birds and other wildlife will appreciate any berries and seeds left on the plants.

Plant Some bulbs, perennials and shrubs are ideal for planting in the fall. Make sure you plant them well before the first frost, so that they have time to establish roots. At the same time you can remove any perennial bulbs that aren’t hardy and won’t survive the winter. Dry them out and store them in a cool, dry place indoors.


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Take an hour or so to really look at your garden. If there’s anything in there you’re not fond of, take this opportunity to yank it up. A bit of willful destruction will satisfy some of your more primal gardening urges, and you’ll have the virtuous feeling that you’re doing something useful. Rip out all your tired-looking annuals and vegetable plants and add them to your compost. Then turn the soil over with a rototiller or spade. Get rid of dead leaves on shrubs (but don’t prune them–that’s best left until spring). Give your garden a general weeding and get rid of dead leaves on the ground. Don’t like the look of that sad sack plant under the tree? Yank it up and plant it somewhere else. Be decisive and ruthless with under performing vegetation.

Depending on how harsh your winters are, you may want to wrap your evergreen shrubs in burlap or old blankets to protect them from wind and extreme cold. You can also wrap up containers or bring them indoors.

Add Compost & Mulch The fall is a good time to test your soil. If it’s nutrient deficient, add manure or compost. This will give the soil a chance to regenerate before spring. Adding mulch (leaves, bark or pine needles) to your perennial beds protects the plants’ roots from extreme temperature variance in the soil over winter. Wait until after the first frost, and then spread a layer of mulch (between 2-6 inches) around the feet of less hardy plants. Follow these pre-winter gardening tips and you’ll have less to do in spring. Even if you have to trick yourself into doing these fall chores, the results will be worth it. Come spring, you’ll thank yourself for your winterizing endeavors.

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NUTRITION

FOODS THAT AID

Digestion By Amber Arevalos

Digestion is crucial to our overall health. As we age, our bodily functions start to slow down, and we might even incur several digestion issues such as constipation, diverticulosis, polyps, GERD, and IBS. There are various ways to keep our gut intact, and one, in particular, is by consuming digestionpromoting foods.

Some of the more common foods we consume that may help with your digestion are pineapple, apples, beans, broccoli and bananas. These are simple healthy foods we often associate with health. Pineapple is delicious and supports our gut by providing digestive enzymes such as bromelain. This enzyme assists in the breakdown of proteins in food and eases the digestive process, which can help reduce bloating and prevent gas buildup. Andrew Akhaphong, M.S., RD, LD states that apples contain a fiber called pectin, which is very subtle on the gut compared to others like chicory root or inulin,

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which may cause excessive bloating or abdominal discomfort in those with existing digestive conditions. Pectin has also been associated with helping to protect the lining of the gut and may help with nutrient absorption. Leafy greens are packed with nutrients that help with digestion. Research done by Johns Hopkins Medicine shows that leafy greens contain high amounts of folate, vitamin C, vitamin K and Vitamin A. This study also found that leafy greens contain a specific type of sugar that helps fuel the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Leafy greens also provide an insoluble fiber that aids in the digestion process. Some more adventurous options are fermented foods such as sauerkraut, yogurts, kefir and other probiotic products. These products contain live bacteria that help digest foods and keep the gut healthy. These probiotic foods may ease symptoms of bloating, stomach pain, diarrheas, and constipation.

Consider adding some or all of the foods mentioned above to your diet plan. To help prevent many of the digestive issues most people face when over the age of 50 follow these tips. Check your medications, as some medications can cause digestive problems; exercise regularly, drink plenty of fluids and eat foods that

benefit digestive health. No one likes that uncomfortable bloating feeling or sitting on the toilet for hours just trying to pass a bowel movement. Take care of your digestive system as it is the primary system that breaks down and absorbs nutrients that give us energy, immunity, repair, and growth abilities.


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RECIPE

TAGLIATELLE WITH PUMPKIN SAUCE By Nellie Palmer

INGREDIENTS • 8 ounces Tagliatelle pasta or flat egg noodles • 3 tbsp unsalted butter–divided • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour • 2 cloves minced garlic • 2 cups nonfat milk • 1 cup pure pumpkin puree • 2 cups diced pumpkin

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• 3 ounces cream cheese • 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves • 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt • 1/4 tsp white pepper • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg • Pinch ground cayenne pepper • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta to al denté, according to package instructions. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water, drain pasta and set aside.  Dice a pumpkin so that you have at least three to four cups of diced pumpkin.  In a large pot of salted water, boil pumpkin until tender.  Divide the diced pumpkin by removing two cups. Blend the rest for your puree.  Melt two tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot and sizzling, add diced pumpkin and "saute" until edges are slightly brown and golden. Remove the diced pumpkin and set aside.  Put remaining tablespoon of butter into the same pan. Add the flour, then whisk constantly until it turns a golden color and smells nutty. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Slowly pour in the milk a few splashes at a time, whisking constantly to smooth any clumps. Increase the heat to medium high, then let cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce bubbles and thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, then stir in the pumpkin, cream cheese, half of the chopped sage leaves, salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne. Continue whisking until the cream cheese melts and you have a smooth, rich sauce. Taste and add additional salt and pepper as desired.  Add the cooked pasta to the pan and gently toss to combine. Thin the pasta with a bit of the reserved pasta water as needed if it seems too thick or sticky. Serve immediately, topped with Parmesan and the remaining sage.


DISCOVER

Safely

STORING LEFTOVERS

S

By Juliane Morris

ometimes leftovers taste even better enjoyed at home rather than at the restaurant or food truck if you were pleasantly distracted by the conversation and setting. But how quickly do you need to refrigerate the “doggie bag” box or container, and how long do leftovers last? Foodborne illness as it relates to food storage can be prevented if you follow these food storage best practices.

Cool Leftovers Quickly Refrigerate (or freeze) your perishable leftovers right away, absolutely no longer than two hours away from the cooked source when served, if the temperatures are in the 70°Fs indoors or out, and no more than one hour if the air temperature is above 90°F. This includes meat, poultry, seafood and dairy dishes but also for dishes with eggs and produce.

Give Leftovers Room Give your newly arriving leftovers a good amount of space in the fridge or freezer so that the cool air can circulate around the container. An even better food safety practice is to transfer your leftovers from the leftover packaging to an airtight container using the smallest size to contain the leftovers for the longest shelf life. If your leftovers are abundant, split them into portion sizes in separate containers to help them cool more quickly. Leftovers in the fridge should be finished or thrown out before three days have passed. Freezer leftovers should be finished or tossed before two weeks have passed. Be Prepared for Leftovers If you think you will have leftovers, bring some frozen ice packs and an insulated food storage bag to keep in the car to keep your “doggie bag” leftovers safe until you return home. If you don’t need the ice packs, just pop them back in the freezer for next time.

SAFETY ON THE GO For specific food storage information at your fingertips or while you’re on the go, download the FoodKeeper app to help you optimize food freshness and quality. Developed by the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service, Cornell University and the Food Marketing Institute, learn about the FoodKeeper app here: https://www.foodsafety.gov/keepfood-safe/foodkeeper-app

APPLIANCE TEMPERATURE TIP Your refrigerator temperature should be at or below 40° F (4° C) and your freezer temperature should be 0° F (-18° C). Appliance thermometers are inexpensive and dependable. While mold is a sign of spoilage, food can cause illness even when food doesn't smell, look or taste spoiled, when caused by pathogenic bacteria. Keeping food properly chilled slows bacteria growth.

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RECIPE

BUTTERNUT SQUASH CAKES

W

By Nellie Palmer

hen you start to see Halloween decorations in the stores, you know it’s time to start looking for fall recipes. This butternut squash cake recipe is perfect for entertaining for Halloween and Thanksgiving. They are easy to make and don’t require a lot of ingredients or prep time. Serve them with a side of dressing made with sour cream and an envelope of ranch dressing mix. Spice it up with a little fresh basil, and you have light sauce ready for dipping. INGREDIENTS • 5 cups grated butternut squash • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten • 2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese • 1 1/2 tbsp minced fresh basil • Coconut oil • Salt • White pepper

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DIRECTIONS  I n a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs by hand, then add the flour, basil, sprinkle of salt and white pepper. Mix until well blended with no lumps. S tir in grated squash and cheese. Fold until well blended.  Add a heaping tablespoon of coconut oil to a pan. Heat until melted. U sing a cookie scoop, scoop squash mixture into your hand and roll into a ball. Flatten balls to about 1/2 inch thick. Use your hands to smooth the sides to create a perfectly round cake. C ook in hot coconut oil on each side for about 2-3 minutes, until golden and cooked through. Drain on paper towels until ready to plate. S erve with the ranch sauce. Garnish sauce with fresh basil.


RECIPE

APPLE CINNAMON Pull Apart Bread By Nellie Palmer

• Two cans Pillsbury biscuits • 1/2 cup butter-divided • 1/4 cup white sugar • 2 tbsp cinnamon • 1 large can apple pie filling • Cooking spray • Bread loaf pan  Spray a bread loaf pan with cooking spray  Open both cans of biscuits. Pull biscuits apart with a sharp knife and quarter each biscuit  Mix the sugar and cinnamon in a bowl  Melt half the butter in a separate bowl  Roll each biscuit quarter into a ball and dip each ball in butter. Roll each ball in sugar mixture  Place a layer of biscuit balls on the bottom of the bread loaf pan. Spoon a layer of apple pie filling over biscuit rolls. Continue to layer dough balls and pie filling leaving a layer of pie filling on top  Bake at 375 for 40 minutes until done

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COVER STORY

LEAD A

Healthier,

Life

MORE ENJOYA BLE

By Wanjiru Ciira


Achieving good health comes in many forms. It's not always the big changes that make a difference in your life. Small tweaks and changes you make to your daily life can translate into better health and more fulfilling life for you. Make the following changes to your life and see the difference they will make:

1. GET ADEQUATE SLEEP

Sleep is important at every stage of your life. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society recommends seven or more hours of sleep for adults aged 18 to 60. Older adults need even more sleep–seven to nine hours.

2. BE PHYSICALLY ACTIVE

BY INCORPORATING IT INTO YOUR LIFE

Walking or cycling whenever you can. Avoid driving when possible. If you have to take public transport, get off a stop or two early and walk the rest of the way. Use the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. Spend more time with your grandchildren and family. Young, energetic folks will keep you active with play dates and picnics at the park! Remember, excessive sitting will wipe out the benefits of exercise. When engaged in activities that require prolonged sitting, get up every hour or so, move around and stretch.

3. EXAMINE BEAUTY

PRODUCT LABELS LIKE YOU DO FOOD LABELS

You insist on organic ingredients for your foods–good for you. Now do the same for everything you apply to your skin. Go for recognizable natural products like olive oil, coconut oil, lavender and so on. Steer clear of parabens, coal tar, formaldehyde and other chemicals.

4. EAT A HEALTHY

BREAKFAST

When you don't eat a healthy breakfast, you are likely to suffer low levels of energy mid-morning. You are then likely to gorge on an unhealthy, sugary snack just to satisfy the hunger pangs. If, for whatever reason, you cannot eat breakfast, carry a healthy snack such as fruit, a smoothie, or oats and eat when you need to replenish your energy. Avoid the temptation to snack on that sugary donut.

5. TAKE AN OMEGA-3

SUPPLEMENT

Studies indicate that omega-3 fatty acids help fight inflammation and improve mood. Low blood levels of omega-3 fats are associated with anxiety and other mood disarrays. Omega-3 fats also help with post-menstrual syndrome (PMS).

Spend more time with your grandchildren and family.

6. DRINK WATER

Stay hydrated. Don't wait for signs of thirst. Drink water throughout the day to boost your metabolism and energy levels. Water suppresses appetite, leading to weight loss. In a study from Patil Medical College and Hospital, Mumbai, India, 50 overweight girls took two cups of water half an hour before breakfast, lunch and dinner. After eight weeks and without making any other dietary changes, the girls lost weight.

7. LAUGH

Watch a comedy show or funny video, read a funny book, or just get together with friends for a fun time. Laughter is indeed good medicine and puts you in a good mood. It also relaxes your muscles, reducing some physical signs of anxiety. You don't have to make big changes to your life to enjoy better health. A tweak here, an alteration there, and an attitude change can make all the difference. At The Legacy, we... CONNECT

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WELLNESS

AFTER KNEE REPLACEMANT,

WHAT NEXT?

H

By Amber Arevalos

aving a knee replacement does not mean you have to limit your activities or life has to slow down. It can mean a new life without the pain your knee has caused. There are multiple ways to prepare for your surgery and aftercare. Simple tasks may be challenging after surgery, and recliners or learning how to maneuver in and out of bed are essential tips— also knowing the importance of moving often and the prevention of blood clots. Eating properly, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol use, resting and exercise as directed by your physician will help your body prepare for the TKR or total knee replacement. Arrange your home to have clear walking paths. Plan to stay in a one-level living space. Prepare your body for the use of possible crutches or a wheelchair. In the months that follow your total knee replacement, it can typically take 3-12 months to recover, depending on your overall health prior to the surgery. Your orthopedic and physical therapist will design a plan to guide you to recovery. Exercises and restrictions throughout the postoperative period will give your new knee the necessary recovery.

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oughout r th s n o ti ic tr s e r Exercises and e period will give your the postoperativ necessary recovery. new knee the Having a comfortable chair after surgery is important since many hours will be spent reclining. Whether you are elevating and icing your knee or performing exercises, choosing the right recliner is vital. There are a variety of recliners to choose from such as electric or a regular recliner. No need to go out and purchase a new one if you already have a standard recliner, but keep in mind you will need to be able to move from the chair to your walker or wheelchair. Electric recliners assist in moving you to transition to the walker with ease, versus a regular recliner may require a little more effort since most recliners do not allow for the

extra tilt and lift position that an electric recliner provides. When the time comes and you feel comfortable enough to sleep in a bed, you will have to learn the proper way of getting out of bed with little to no discomfort. Before your surgery, practice the appropriate way of transitioning from laying to standing to have an idea of the safest way to get out of bed. Your physician may recommend using a support stocking and will require some form of exercising to prevent blood clots. It is important to keep blood moving which means you must keep moving following your doctor's orders.


FEATURE

TALKING TO YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT

DRIVING By Juliane Morris

Answering yes to these considerations may indicate it is time to take steps to protect them, and others. Some solutions to brainstorm together about include: •Eliminate rush hour driving • Refrain from driving longer distances

D

riving a car or other personal vehicle has long-represented personal independence. Driving embodies the notion of being in control of a journey —from driveway to destination, and represents unlimited opportunity, treasured convenience and efficient access to social, work, volunteer and community places and people. But when is it time to stop driving? You face difficult conversations with their friends sometimes, and one of the most challenging topics may be how to talk with friends about giving up driving. It’s an undeniably sensitive topic, where considering the loss of driving can feel like the end of vibrant independence, connection, function and identity. It can be grief worthy. It’s emotional.

•Avoid highway driving Driving competency isn’t about age; it’s about ability and risk. When someone notices certain things, it’s a suitable time for a discussion, ideally together, to explore these questions gently but concretely, such as: • Are familiar driving routes now confusing, or is the driver getting lost on familiar routes? • Has the driver received a warning or ticket for a driving violation when the driver wasn’t aware of committing the violation? • Have there been any recent nearmiss incidents or accidents recently where the driver was at fault? • Has the driver been advised to limit or stop driving due to a reason related to health, medical or prescription issues? • Do road signs, street markings and traffic lights seem overwhelming to the driver? • Does the driver either speed up or drive too slowly without reason?

• Drive only during the daytime TALKING TIPS 1. Know who should broach the subject, selecting a trusted influencer to help lead discussion. 2. Be prepared, with information, examples, and solutions, aiming for some agreed outcomes or next step plans. 3. Be sensitive, using empathy and compassion, protecting dignity, and validating in advance why it is a difficult subject. 4. Use “I” not “you” phrases, which are less likely to trigger defensiveness. 5. Feature alternatives, to offer realistic solutions that provide encouragement rather than discouragement. Discuss public transportation, Ride Share, hired rides/caregivers/drivers. 6. Allow time and space to process what you’ve shared, before expecting buy-in and decisions. 7. Enlist the help of a healthcare professional, if the conversation isn’t going anywhere. FALL

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RELATIONSHIPS

s d n e i Fr The Benefits of

F

riendship is truly priceless. It not only makes you feel good, but it offers a variety of other benefits, including positively impacting your health. No matter what your age, friends can help improve your overall quality of life. However, as you age, they may become even more important. Here are three specific benefits of having friends that seniors can enjoy.

Friends Offer Support

As you age, it's natural to go through some challenging experiences. Whether it's the loss of friends and relatives, health challenges, finding your "new normal" as you reach retirement, or other big life events, friends can be a steady support system to help seniors navigate change. Many individuals don't want to feel alone, and friends help prevent that.

Friends Encourage Activity and Adventure

When you're alone, it can be easy to fall into bad habits, be less active,

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for Seniors By Chloe Rose

and spend more time at home on the couch or in bed. Friends can help get you on your feet. Whether it's playing cards, going for walks by the lake, or traveling on a fun vacation together, with the right companions around, you're more likely to get up, get movfostering positive friendships. Not only are your ing, and live a healthy, friends helping you live a better life, but you're active lifestyle. doing the same for them.

Friends Boost Your Health

Yes, friends make you smile and laugh. They offer hugs, support, and a listening ear. You may not realize that they can positively impact your physical health. Some studies have even found that older individuals who valued friendships function better, reduce their risk of illness, experience less cognitive decline, and extend their lifespan. Focusing on health improvements can greatly enhance quality of life for seniors. With the right tools and strategies, you can improve your quality of life and enjoy every minute of it. One way to do this is by

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TRAVEL

-Tight TravelHow To See The Sights Without Breaking The Bank

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By Patricia Gyrl

othing’s more fun than throwing cares to the wind and going all out on an extravagant vacation! But who can afford it? In this time of rising gas prices and economic uncertainty, times are tight, and no doubt about it–traveling is expensive. Hotels, transportation and food are all costly obstacles to vacationing on the cheap. So what about those on a tight budget? Is it possible to travel frugally? Yes! Here are some tips for saving money while seeing the sights. MEALS Ordering water instead of sodas or alcoholic beverages can reduce a meal bill by 50% or more. Skip dessert (or split one) and save even more. Many appetizers are large enough to qualify as entrees but cheaper; consider ordering one as your meal. Light eaters, consider sharing a meal. Most meals are far larger than the daily recommended allowance anyhow. When booking your hotel, ask for a microwave and fridge in your room or for access to one. Dinner leftovers can be eaten the next day and save on meals out. And finally, select hotels with continental breakfasts or consider bringing along bagels, fruit and granola bars for an easy breakfast on the cheap.

LODGING Use websites such as hotels. com and Priceline which compete for your business. Find good prices on the internet and then phone the hotels directly and ask if that’s the best they can do. Often hotels will upgrade your room or offer unadvertised discounts when pressed. Select hotels which allow easy access to public transportation, free parking and free shuttle service to local attractions, and consider hotels with lower ratings if all you’re going to do is sleep there (just pack your own pillows). Also, consider alternative arrangements such as house swapping, couch surfing (where, yes, you sleep on someone’s couch), or hostels. These options save you a bundle in exchange for a bit of privacy. TRANSPORTATION When gas prices are high, stay home! Consider traveling locally

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by choosing the nearest hot spot. Odds are you’ve overlooked some amazing attractions within a day’s drive. Travel by train or bus can be an inexpensive option and allow you to relax and enjoy the view. If you must fly, plan ahead–frequent flyer miles and no-frills air carriers like Southwest Airlines might yield cheap tickets (just be prepared to meet restrictions such as flying midweek only). For the especially laid-back, taking a bump is often a great choice. Airlines will offer ticket vouchers or other amenities such as free meals, a hotel room, phone calls or ground transportation if you give up your seat on overbooked flights. Do this on the way home if you aren’t rushed and have ticket vouchers for your next trip! And finally, travel during the off-peak season when rates are slashed in half.

ATTRACTIONS Planning ahead is key here. First, search for museums and attractions with free or low-price admission. You’ll be surprised at the many inexpensive options in most cities. Also, many museums offer free admission days–plan your itinerary around those dates. Large cities often offer City Pass (citypass.com) which allows you to pay one price to see several major attractions in that city. It saves you nearly half the cost of visiting the most popular attractions.

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Visitors Bureaus and interstate rest stops are filled with brochures containing coupons. Snag a bunch of those. Save on expensive guided tours by snagging a copy of their itinerary (and maps) and using public transportation to see those sights on your own. Nationally-sponsored attractions like state parks are usually free. Finally, avoid the hot tourist spots and opt for attractions off the beaten path. You’ll get a better glimpse at authentic local culture, save some money, and avoid crowds.

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EXERCISE

MORNING & EVENING STRETCHES To Begin & End Your Day By Juliane Morris

Stretching Tips • Warm up your body by walking around for about 10 minutes before you begin stretching. • With each stretch exercise, move slowly and take a deep breath then exhale slowly as you stretch, taking care not to hold your breath but to breath deeply with a natural rhythm. • Stretch to the point of tension, and not to the point of pain. • Hold each stretch for a bit to allow your muscle and tendons to work together to relax.

Neck Stretch 1. Bring your chin gently toward your chest, engaging your core for support and relaxing your neck and shoulders. Hold for 10 seconds. 2. From chin toward chest position, tilt your head to one side, ear toward shoulder, bringing the hand of the side your ear is tipping to the top of your head for added stretch. Hold for 10 seconds. Return to center, chin toward chest position, then bring head gently upright. Repeat for the other side.

Shoulder & Arm Stretch 1. Hold a kitchen or bathroom hand towel in one hand over your head, draping the towel down your back. 2. Grab the other end of the towel with the other hand. Gently pull the towel downward to engage a stretch. Hold for 10 seconds. Then pull upward to stretch the other way, holding also for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

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Consider what you do with the first and last 30 minutes of your day. Gentle stretching is one of the best daily activities to include in each day’s start and finish, especially if it seems like you may be slowing down as the world around is speeding up. When you take time to mindfully stretch, your muscles and tendons work together to keep your range of motion maximized. Try these gentle stretches to help with your overall strength and flexibility, aiding in tension relaxation and pain reduction, increasing circulation and improving balance, coordination and posture.


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