Monthly Archives: November 2015

Health Benefits of Being in Nature

There are now scientific studies that support the health benefits of being in nature. Our hectic schedule of inside activities where air pollution is greater is slowly killing us. Here are nature’s benefits and why we need to be connected:

1. VITAMIN D  “Those who don’t get enough Vitamin D are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis, cancer, and Alzheimer’s(1)” Less conclusive studies show a relationship with heart disease and diabetes. Getting your Vitamin D from natural sources is an improvement over supplements because of better absorption rates.

2. IMPROVED SLEEP  Americans generally don’t get enough sleep. We all have an internal biological clock or a circadian rhythm. This rhythm is set according to our exposure to the sun. Spending too much time inside can change this pattern. Taking a walk in the morning can help re-set your clock.

3. MENTAL HEALTH Studies show that the neurotransmitter serotonin is produced. This involves the regulation of mood, appetite and sleep. It also improves some mental functions like memory and learning. Serotonin can act like an anti-depressant in your body.

4. VISION Going outside protects your vision in two ways. It can prevent and reverse Computer Vision Syndrome. If you work on a computer and watch TV when not working, you are at risk. The common symptoms are double or blurred vision, headaches, eye irritation and neck pain. The second protection is against nearsightedness. Artificial light is proven to cause this change in vision that can be reversed in natural light.

5. FRESH AIR  It’s frightening to know that indoor pollination is far worse than outdoor. Lack of fresh air can led to bronchitis, asthma, lung cancer and heart disease(1). This is especially true if you sleep above your garage. So, remember to open windows daily and add house plants too.

6. GROUNDING   A new concept to some. It refers to skin contact with nature(grass, dirt, sand). This way we absorb earth’s electrons since the planet is more negatively charged than our bodies. The theory is this reduces inflammation while increases energy. So, take off your shoes next time you walk in the park and be a kid again.

7. EXERCISE  This is not a direct effect of fresh air, but a byproduct of going outside. It’s hard to be outside without doing some type of activity. Exercising outside has more benefits than in a gym. Results show people exercise longer and feel better about it when in nature.

I think the best way to take advantage of being out doors is to plan activities. If you already have your walking or exercise routine established, just move it to a greener location if need be. I always have a table and chairs on my backyard or patio because I enjoy el fresco dining. Start by making a list of all the outdoor activities you enjoy(including window shopping) and start incorporating them into you routine. So, if I tell you to Take a Hike, I mean for your health.  L. Johnson of http://www.creativeretirementforwomen.com

(1)Zack, (3-2014) Get Outside! 7 Scientifically-Backed Health Benefits of Being in Nature Retrieved from: http://appalachiantrials.com/scientifically-supported-reasons-get-outside/ on 11-12-2014

Therapist Offers Free Consultation

I am happy to offer free retirement consultation because it is a major life adjustment. Your first lifestyle change is away from work and can take two to three years to get used to. Your second adjustment is ongoing as our bodies continual change with age. The normal aging process changes our eyesight, hearing, taste, physical strength and endurance, hormones, libido, memory, digestion and other system in our bodies. So, expect to go through gradual changes as you age that may require small adjustments.

If you are making a transition from full-time employment to full-time retirement, give yourself time to find your balance. That change is similar to going from 65 mph to 0. Those without a social plan will find it more difficult and longer to adjust. Those without a plan also feel more lost and confused without any direction. This can led to anxiety and depression. So, step one is to write out a detailed social and personal activity plan with as many options as you can think of.

Some people get stuck on this first step because it’s a new exercise and I ask that you do a life review first. Life review is where you look back over your life for all your past interests and life themes(family, artistic, academic, service oriented, etc.). You will look inside yourself to find creative ways to express your personality and your passions. So, a little serious planning at the beginning creates a solid foundation to build upon.

In the process of planning, many doubts and questions naturally arise. That’s when talking to a consultant with over 30 years of therapy experience helps. I’m also in my 7th year of retirement. If dying is on your mind, I’ve worked in hospice and have done bereavement counseling. If you have financial questions, I’ve been a registered rep or stockbroker for 5 years. I was also a life insurance agent and successful real estate investor. If diet and health is an issue, I was an instructor in a weight reduction program. I can enjoy providing free consultation because I get social security and I love working with people–its part of my creative retirement plan to fulfill my passions.

When you purchase the book Creative Retirement for Women, you get automatic access to this program for as long as needed.  You can view some of the questions and answers on the website,  http://www.creativeretirementforwomen.com.  I don’t know of anybody else offering this service. So, let me extend a personal invitation to you because its more than just a book, it’s a supportive relationship for the long term. I hope to speak with you soon.           L. Johnson

Taurine for Health and Longevity

If you’re trying to lose weight and increase your longevity, you know the importance of exercise and diet. But, if your diet is rich in vegetables, you probably have low taurine levels. As we age, Taurine amino acid production by the body also decreases. Why is this a problem? According to Life Extension Magazine(1), it’s needed to  improve heart health, immunity, hearing function, insulin sensitivity and electrolyte balance. In animal studies, it reduced mortality by almost 80%. In humans, the cultures with greatest longevity all have a high intake of taurine. People with high taurine have much lower blood pressure and lower rates of dying form heart disease, the number one cause of death in the United States.

In terms of weight loss, they report a study where just 3 grams per day of taurine for 7 weeks resulted in significant weight loss for those over-weight. They also recorder declines in triglycerides and cholesterol. Taurine promotes glucose tolerance that helps reduce weight. This is especially important for diabetics since taurine helps prevent and even reverse diabetic abnormalities and prevent heart muscle damage(1).

Taurine also protects your vision and hearing. Age related vision loss is common among Americans, but not in all cultures. This amino acid has very high concentrations in the retina which naturally declines with age. Although, many things impact vision, proper levels of taurine help to prevent vision impairment. Americans also tend to have hearing loss with aging. Most of this damage is from inner ear nerve cells due to low calcium flow.  Amazing as it is, taurine restores the calcium flow which restores hearing loss from that source. Related studies also report that ringing in the ears from tinnitus can be stopped.

Additional benefits for athletes have revealed that cyclists can ride longer distances with less fatigue. Taurine apparently helps muscles preform at a higher level for longer periods without risk of injury. It increases “muscle contractility” or the force that muscle fibers use to push and pull. The result is that your muscles are stronger. One of the main cause of muscular fatigue is lactic acid. That stiff feeling the muscles get when you start out too fast. Taurine helps reduce the lactic acid thereby increasing your endurance.

Since the aging body cannot produce enough taurine, other methods must be used. Taurine can be incorporated into your diet, but you would need to eat more meat. One of the foods with the highest content of taurine is fish and shell fish (with mackerel at the top of the list). Chicken, beef and lamb are also a good source of this amino acid especially the organ meat. But, if you are a dedicated vegetarian or vegan, you probably want to consider supplements. Studies tell us that as little as 1.5 grams a day is enough to restore healthy levels. If you are a light meat eater, you may still consider a supplement since it takes a substantial amount of meat to balance your levels. L. Johnson      http://www.creativeretirementforwomen.com

Macleavy, I. The Forgotten Longevity Benefits of Taurine. Life Extension Magazine. 2013 June. Retrieved on 9-28-2015 from: lifeextension.com/magazine/2013/6/The-Forgotten-Longevity-Benefits-of-Taurine/Page-01