Tech Tools for Managing Your Health When You Have Diabetes

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Please check out this informative and excellent article by Karen Weeks of Elderwellness.net which has great tips for managing your overall health if you have diabetes.

Managing diabetes is a full-time job that can interfere with your life in more ways than one. But this common disease doesn’t have to rob you of a healthy, active lifestyle. Adopting healthy habits is essential for managing diabetes, preventing complications, and giving you better control over your life—and you don’t have to spend a fortune to do it! If you’re looking for new ways to improve your health, check out the tips below presented by Stacey Naito.

Get Moving to Lose Weight

Weight loss is a crucial element of any diabetes management plan. Carrying excess weight can increase insulin resistance and make it harder for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar. However, a recent trial reported by Medical News Today found that losing weight may reverse the effects of early type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, aerobic exercise is a very effective weight-loss tool! Also see if you can find ways to keep moving at the office. Many of us are sedentary at work, so see how often you can take the stairs or stand during a meeting.

Fitness trackers are affordable, user-friendly devices that can help you get moving and shed those pounds safely. There are several models to choose from with different features to meet a variety of health and fitness needs. For example, some fitness trackers include heart rate monitors, while others are capable of tracking your sleep stages. Take a look at your options from stores like Dicks Sporting Goods, Academy, or Walmart. 

Lastly, don’t hesitate to add some music to the mix! Sometimes, listening to music—or even a podcast—can provide you with the motivation you need to push through your exercise routine. You can invest in a speaker to add some quality to your tunes, as well as a stand that can keep your phone upright if you’re using it to watch something as you work out. Do what works best for you. Find what motivates you and work it into your routine.

Eat Clean

Adopting a nutritious diet is another effective way to lose weight and keep diabetes under control. EatingWell recommends developing a low-calorie, nutrient-packed meal plan full of complex carbohydrates, fresh veggies, healthy fats, and lean protein. There are many free apps out there that can help you develop healthy meal plans on any budget. For example, Mealime is great for finding personalized recipes and generating shopping lists. Similarly, Meal Planner Pro offers budget-friendly meal planning for people with a variety of conditions, including diabetes.

Keep Your Blood Pressure Under Control

Many complications can arise if you don’t keep your blood pressure in check. Unfortunately, high blood pressure is exceedingly common in people with diabetes, since this disease causes damage to the arteries. Alarmingly, constant high blood pressure can lead to everything from kidney failure to a heart attack. Keeping your blood pressure down might lessen your chances of peripheral vascular disease and stroke. The good news here is that blood pressure monitors are affordable and easy to use. Take a reading often, and contact your doctor if your numbers are consistently high.

Learn About Your Body

You can also try free and low-cost apps to learn how different foods affect your body. Use diabetes apps and food trackers to log what you eat and when, so you can learn how different foods affect your blood sugar levels. With these apps, you’ll be able to monitor long-term trends and identify the foods and activities that make you feel your best.

Your doctor can be a great resource for diabetes-related information and questions. And if getting to the doctor’s office is a challenge, you can try finding online doctors. Once you’ve found a great fit, you can do video appointments and pick up prescribed medications at your convenience, and most accept a variety of insurance options.

Manage Stress

Did you know that stress can worsen your diabetes? Stress increases blood sugar levels, raises blood pressure, increases insulin resistance, impairs sleep, and promotes emotional eating. If you’re struggling with stress, use mindfulness apps like Headspace and Pacifica to calm your mind and learn how to manage anxiety throughout your day. Other apps, like Relax Melodies and Calm, use gentle music and sounds to promote relaxation—these are great if you have trouble sleeping! Most of these apps include free versions and offer affordable subscription options to unlock more features.

Living with diabetes can be tough, to say the least. Fortunately, a variety of low-cost apps and tech devices can make it easier to adopt healthy habits and enjoy the life you want. Use all of the tools at your disposal for guidance and motivation, so you don’t have to face diabetes alone.

Dr. Stacey Naito is passionate about feeling and looking good. Her blog is full of helpful resources on eating well, getting active, and living your best life.

Soothing Sounds You Can Customize

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Check out this interesting website I found, which enables you to customize soothing sounds which you can use as a nice background or “white-noise” experience:

https://asoftmurmur.com/

The dashboard for A Soft Murmur, which is available as an app for both iOS and Android, allows you to adjust the volume or omit different nature or soothing sounds: waves, rain, wind, thunder, fire, birds, crickets, singing bowl, white noise, or coffee shop. For example, combining rain and thunder sounds will mimic a thunder storm. If you choose to upgrade to their premium plan, you can then access 13 more sounds, and have access to any new sounds as they are added to the app.

Simple Yet Effective Self-Care Tips for Entrepreneurs — And Why It’s So Important You Make Time for Them

Check out this very informative article by Jason Lewis, targeted towards entrepreneurs to help them learn how to practice self-care.

Jason Lewis is a personal trainer, who specializes in helping senior citizens stay fit and healthy. He is also the primary caretaker of his mom after her surgery. He created StrongWell.org and enjoys curating fitness programs that cater to the needs of people over 65.

Most entrepreneurs are of the notion that they have to clock an inhuman number of hours each week to obtain some semblance of success. This is the only explanation for the fact that 33% of small business owners put in an average of 50 hours per week and another 25% clock 60 or more. Yet, while many of the world’s most successful business owners agree that a nine-to-five workweek just won’t cut it, most also concede that self-care is an integral component of long-term success. If you have plans to make it big in your industry, take time out of your busy schedule to treat yourself.

The Case for Self-Care

According to Psychology Today, self-care is a key driver of leadership and workplace success. Below are a few benefits of self-care that back this assertion:

  • The most effective self-care activities, which include eating healthy, working out, getting enough sleep, and spending quality time with the people you love, are all known workplace performance enhancers.
  • Self-care keeps you from working more, which actually helps your productivity. Research shows that working more than 50 hours a week produces zero productivity gain.
  • Self-care activities boost your creativity and confidence and decrease your stress and anxiety.
  • Self-care prevents career-crippling crises from occurring.

Now that you understand the importance of self-care, explore ways you can incorporate it into your schedule for the most impact.

Get Plenty of ZZs

Successful people may burn the midnight oil or wake up at the crack of dawn, but rest assured, they sleep. According to a CNBC report, some of the most successful people — including Jeff Bezos, Tobias Lutke, Bill Gates, and Lebron James — get seven to eight hours of sleep per night. So, wake up or go to bed at whatever time you want, but be sure you clock your eight hours.

Hit the Gym

Exercise is important regardless of how you choose to make a living. However, if you won’t rest until you find success as an entrepreneur, then get moving. Per one survey, 76% of some of the most incredibly successful business leaders workout for at least 30 minutes each day. Research shows that exercise releases brain chemicals that improve memory, boost concentration and increase mental awareness.

Exercise does not have to be your typical weightlifting and running routine. Richard Branson plays tennis and kitesurfs. Jessica Alba does yoga and Krav Maga. Oprah averages at least 10,000 steps per day.

Remember to Breathe

Though relaxation seems like the opposite of productivity, you need to take a breather if you want to have more energy to put toward your business. Relaxation techniques will vary for everyone, but a few of the more effective ones include listening to music, writing, walking, and simply breathing. It also doesn’t hurt to say no to tasks that add a lot of stress and little benefit to your life.

Another way to relieve stress is by choosing to structure your business as an LLC. An LLC comes with numerous tax advantages, limited personal liability, minimal amounts of paperwork, and ample flexibility. They are easy to form on your own or via an online formation service — call the Zen Business phone number for assistance.

Find Ways to Save Time

As an entrepreneur, you may feel like you have to do it all, but know that you really don’t. In fact, by outsourcing menial but still important tasks, you can save time, money, and energy — all of which you can put toward the growth of your startup.

Self-care is crucial to your success as an entrepreneur. Start showing yourself some compassion today by doing any of the above. Reach out to Stacey for the fitness and nutrition guidance you need to be your best self

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Chronic Back Pain: How to Sleep Through It

Check out this great article by Karen Weeks on getting a good night’s sleep while battling chronic back pain.  Karen has more great content on her website, https://elderwellness.net/

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One of the comforts of going to sleep at the end of the day is the privilege of leaving behind your worries for eight hours. However, if you’re living with chronic back pain, that worry sticks around in addition to the fact that you won’t be able to fall asleep right away, compounding your problems. Getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult if you’re suffering from back pain, but there are ways to make it happen. Dr. Stacey Naito presents tips for learning to love falling asleep while living with chronic back pain.

Yoga Before Bed

Practicing yoga before you head to bed for the night can help stretch your sore muscles and give you a better chance of falling asleep right away. The ancient practice has numerous health benefits, and research has shown that practicing yoga regularly may even reduce the need for pain medication. There are many different poses you can do that are beneficial for back pain. Doing a few poses before bed will help strengthen your muscles and improve your posture, leading to less pressure on your back in your day-to-day life, resulting in less overall back pain.

Utilize Your Smartphone

Technology is there to help you in most areas of your life, including your sleep. There are a number of different apps available aimed at helping you sleep better at night. Sleep Cycle is an alarm clock app that monitors where you are in your sleep cycle each night and wakes you at an optimal time within your preferred time frame so you feel the most refreshed. White Noise allows you to play soothing sounds from your phone to help you either drown out outside noises or add sound to a too-quiet room. Calm is a leading meditation app for beginners, allowing you to try out the art of meditation in order to calm down your mind at night.

 

Note that some of these apps stay running throughout the night in order to monitor your sleep or to keep you from waking up sporadically. Make sure that your smartphone has enough battery life! You’ll also want to ensure that your home internet connection is running smoothly. Fast and reliable internet service will give you the freedom to run any of these apps overnight without worrying about being disconnected. 

Improve on Your Sleeping Position

We all have preferences when it comes to our sleep positions. Thankfully, there are different ways to improve your preferred sleeping position to help lower your back pain. For side-sleepers, add a pillow between your legs and pull your knees a little toward your chest to stretch out your lower back. If you prefer sleeping on your stomach, place a pillow under your pelvis and forgo the pillow under your head (or switch to a flatter one). For those who like sleeping on your back, place a pillow beneath your knees to add a slight curve to your spine.

 

Whatever the cause of your back pain, know that it doesn’t have to sentence you to a lifetime of insomnia. Chronic back pain can impact your daily life in a number of different ways, but don’t let it control how much sleep you get at night. Lack of sleep impacts your life even more, causing you to become disoriented, unfocused, and unable to finish your day’s tasks. Use these tips to sleep easier at night and reduce your chronic back pain one night at a time.

Hippi CBD Teas Review


 

DISCLAIMER:  This is a sponsored post.  I was asked by the brand to provide an unbiased review of their products in exchange for free product.

I love the idea of being able to sip a mug of tea which has all the relaxing, mellow goodness of CBD.  As it turns out, Hippi CBD Tea took the time to test teas from around the globe, different types and concentrations of CBD to develop proprietary blends and formulations which are flavorful and effective.

Hippi Teas contain a water-soluble form of CBD which allows the CBD to bond to the tea leaves, then release as the tea is steeping.  In addition, the CBD which they use is about 90% bio-available, and the effects kick in after about five minutes, which is faster than oil or gummies.  These teas are THC-free, so you needn’t worry about getting high from these teas.

Each pyramid sachet contains 10 mg of CBD, which is equivalent to 25 mg of CBD oil.  A key step either during steeping, or after allowing the sachet to steep for 3 to 5 minutes, is to stir the tea to help release any CBD from the tea leaves.  Once you stir the tea, it’s ready to drink.

Mellow CBD Herbal Tea and Daydreamer CBD Black Tea

The first variety of Hippi CBD Tea I decided to try was Daydreamer.  I absolutely loved the packaging, with the VW bus and hippie colors and flowers.  I have always loved black tea for its robust flavor, and I can definitely recognize the quality of the tea leaves which are used in Daydreamer. What’s especially cool is that Daydreamer is the first Black CBD Tea on the market, and can be consumed either hot or iced.  I actually started out with a hot mug of Daydreamer, then as it cooled down, I added ice and enjoyed the iced version.  It’s just what you would expect from a high quality black tea, with the added benefits from CBD.

I had been working on many different things on my to-do list the first time I tried Daydreamer, plus had some distressing news that morning and was on edge.  In addition, I was feeling sluggish because I hadn’t slept well the previous night, so it was nice to get a bit of a pick-me-up from the 75 mg of caffeine.  My nerves were frazzled, yet I honestly did notice after a few minutes of drinking Daydreamer Tea that I felt much calmer, and was able to power through my tasks without that gnawing feeling of anxiety which threatened to throw a wrench in my busy day.  Daydreamer made that much of a difference, instilling a sense of calm while keeping my mind sharp and on task.

A couple of nights later, I tried Mellow CBD Herbal Tea, which is a lovely combination of organic burdock, organic orange peel, organic licorice, organic cinnamon, and water-soluble CBD.  Ordinarily, I avoid all things licorice, because I can’t stand the smell or taste, but this tea was so well-balanced that I didn’t even notice it.  The aroma of this tea kind of reminds me of Good Earth Organic Original Sweet & Spicy Tea, which I have always loved, but which can be a bit sweet.  Mellow CBD Herbal Tea is the perfect blend of earthy, spicy, citrusy, and sweet, delivering a delectable flavor which is incredibly soothing.

I drank Mellow about 20 minutes before bed, and for the first time in a long time, I pretty much fell asleep the instant my head hit the pillow.  And while my eyes usually pop open at 6 am (a full hour before I like to wake up), with Mellow CBD Herbal Tea on board, I didn’t wake up until 7 am.  Now that’s worth the price of admission!

Since trying both Daydreamer and Mellow, I have enjoyed incorporating them into my daily regimen.  I reach for Daydreamer on the days when my energy is low, but need to get through a hectic day.  Daydreamer has been perfect for me, especially since I developed a sensitivity to caffeine a couple of months ago. Suddenly, I wasn’t able to drink even a half cup of brewed coffee without getting severe jitters.  What’s so strange to me is that I couldn’t tolerate even 45 mg of caffeine from a half cup of brewed coffee, but I don’t get the jitters at all from the 75 mg of caffeine from Daydreamer.  Add to that the CBD to erase the edginess I can feel while juggling tasks, and I am set.

Mellow has been a game changer for me with respect to how well I sleep.  I have noticed on the nights I don’t drink the tea that I revert back to my old habit of waking up at 6 am, while the nights with Mellow on board reward me with a deep, restful sleep which envelops me until I need to wake up at 7 am.  I might need to stock up on this wonderful tea!

Since I am a fan of both teas, I strongly recommend buying the two-pack, which includes a 14 count box of Daydreamer CBD Black Tea, and a 14 count box of Mellow caffeine-free herbal tea. What’s also nice is that you save some money by purchasing the two-pack as opposed to purchasing the two separately.

One last wonderful point about Hippi CBD Teas is that its co-founder Stephen Walker served in the USMC.  Because of this, Hippi is committed to supporting U.S. military veterans, so much so that you can designate 10% of your purchase to be donated to the Semper Fi & America’s Fund.  Simply use code USMC at checkout.

6 Interesting Benefits of Yoga for Seniors

Photo credit: Rawpixel

 

By Karen Weeks

Karen Weeks – Elderwellness.net

karen@elderwellness.net

Yoga can be practiced by anyone at any point in their life. Participation in yoga has nearly doubled in just a couple of years as people have realized the powerful health benefits that it provides. If you’re a senior who is considering getting started in yoga, here are some benefits you may enjoy from your practice.

 

  1. Better dental health

 

There is a well-defined link between mental health problems, like stress and depression, and poor dental health. When you’re stressed out, your immune system is weakened and your gums are more prone to bacterial invasion. Antidepressants can also dry out your mouth, which can make it harder to wash food away from your teeth and gums. If you tend to grind your teeth when you’re stressed out, you can also have problems with your jaw. 

 

Yoga is an excellent activity to help relax you. You learn better breathing patterns as well as how to soothe your mind and body. These are good stress-reducing activities that have long-term effects. Despite yoga’s benefits for oral health, you should still find a dentist to visit if you have problems with tooth or jaw pain.

 

  1. Improved gut health

 

Changing diet and age can reduce the overall diversity of microbes in the gut, and this lack of diversity can make the body less healthy and responsive. Hyperbiotics explains that exercise can boost gut health by improving the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome is the collection of microbes that naturally live in our bodies and help us digest. Yoga is one easy exercise you can start, even if you haven’t exercised in a while. This physical activity will help you achieve a happier gut, which will help you feel happier overall.

 

  1. Healthier joints

 

Yoga can improve flexibility and joint health. When it’s paired with meditation, it can reduce stiffness. Part of this comes from learning proper alignment of the body, as well as learning how to modify poses that can help minimize pain in your body. Meditation helps you develop a greater awareness of the stiffness in your body and work on relaxing whatever might get stiff.

 

  1. Reduced blood pressure

 

Research has suggested that yoga and meditation as a possible way to alleviate mild problems with blood pressure. Yoga can be a light-intensity activity, which is great if you’re a beginner. Physical activity is recommended for people who have high blood pressure, and yoga can be a big part of that. It can also help your stress response which can impact your blood pressure. Yoga is a good combination of getting your heart rate up while also relaxing your body and mind.

 

  1. Better balance

 

Research has demonstrated that yoga can be a powerful way to improve balance and mobility in older populations. This is especially important in arming you against potential falls and bone breaks. Yoga has all sorts of poses that can help you gain strength and balance within yourself, such as “tree pose.” It will also help you improve your core strength, which helps your balance as well.

 

  1. Strong bones

 

A critical part of bone health is getting physical activity. Some activities are better than others when it comes to building and maintaining strong bones. Yoga is one of these activities, as you build greater strength in your muscles and bones, and you can do it all in a low-impact way. However, if you have low bone density, make sure you do alternatives to specific poses or avoid them outright, such as forward folds and spinal twists. Listen to your body, and avoid any pose that feels painful.

 

Where to Do Yoga

 

Now that you’ve learned all about yoga’s benefits, you may be interested in how to get started on your own yoga practice. The beauty of yoga is that it can be practiced in the comfort of your own home. You can access fitness apps on a fitness tracker or other device to learn yoga poses, or refer to YouTube exercise videos that are geared toward seniors. You may also find that during your at-home practice, you’ll want to enhance your yoga routine with additional exercises like stretches, chair exercises, and resistance training. Mixing up your exercises can help you stay motivated and improve workout performance.

 

If you’d prefer to practice yoga outside of the home, you can learn from a professional yoga instructor who can teach you how to do each pose properly. You can check out some yoga studios in your neighborhood; some may even offer classes specially suited for seniors. 

 

An important part of starting your yoga practice is modifying it to fit your individual circumstances. Start slowly, and focus on poses that you’re comfortable with. As long as you’re careful and comfortable with your progress, yoga is worth giving a try in your senior years.

Tips for Seniors Who Want to Burn Body Fat and Get Better Sleep

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Please check out this fantastic article by Karen Weeks of Elderwellness.net on optimizing sleep in older individuals.

By Karen Weeks

karen@elderwellness.net

It’s a well-known fact that we burn calories while we sleep. Therefore, the higher the quality of our sleep, the more fat we will burn throughout the night. But sleep and body fat are even more intertwined than that. Lack of sleep, which is common among seniors, can lead to weight gain, and excess body fat can impede your quality of sleep. It’s a vicious cycle.

If you’re a senior, there are steps you can take to maximize the calories you burn during sleep, and there are also practical things you can do throughout the day that will help you reduce body fat and get better sleep. Here’s what you need to know.

Eat Better

Eating well is a cornerstone of healthy living. And yes, it can even help you sleep more soundly.  If you’re super busy and fast food is a part of your normal routine, consider getting an electric pressure cooker. That way, you can cook fast, healthy meals at home and avoid the consequences of fast food. Before you buy anything, check out reviews of various pressure cookers to compare quality, prices, and ease of use.

It’s also worth considering that there are certain foods you can eat late at night that will give your metabolism a boost, which will help you burn more calories in your sleep. Protein shakes, pistachios, plain yogurt, strawberries, and cheese are just a few examples of healthy late-nightsnacks. Just be sure to keep the portions under control so that your body isn’t working too hard to digest, which can keep you from falling asleep.

Get a Move on It

Exercise is another thing that can help you lose body fat and get better sleep. Not only that, but it also comes with a number of mental health benefits, such as improved self-confidence and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression.

There are many types of exercise that are safe and beneficial for seniors. Many older adults opt for low-impact movements like swimming, cycling, brisk walking, and using the elliptical. The important thing is that you find something you enjoy and that you do it for at least 30 minutes a day, even if you need to break it into 10- or 15-minute segments.

When you have a solid exercise routine, you will have more energy throughout the day and it will help you feel more tired by bedtime. Morning and afternoon routines tend to work best for improving sleep, as exercising in the evening can make it difficult to fall asleep.

Establish a Killer Bedtime Routine

If you want to get better sleep and burn off more calories, you need a bedtime routine. This can include anything that helps you fall and stay asleep. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day (even on weekends). Also, try a variety of activities that help you wind down and get ready for sleep. Taking a warm bath, listening to soft music, practicing yoga, meditating, and reading a book are all things that can put you in the right frame of mind to drift off.

Make Your Bedroom Dark, Quiet, and Cool

Your bedroom is also important when it comes to healthy sleep, so make sure this space promotes relaxation by keeping it dark and quiet leading up to bedtime and throughout the night.

Keeping the temperature a little cooler can improve sleep as well. Moreover, consider removingthe use of electronic devices (e.g., smartphones, tablets, TVs, etc.) from your bedtime routine, as the blue light emitted from the screens can be a sleep disrupter.

If you want to reduce your body fat and get better sleep, make sure you’re following a healthy diet and exercise routine. Also, create a good bedtime routine and turn your bedroom into a sleep haven. Just because poor sleep is common among seniors doesn’t mean you have to accept it as your fate. Making little changes like these might be all it takes to help you improve your overall health and well-being.

My Just Float Experience

What is Floating – Just Float, The World’s Largest Float Therapy Center

Yesterday I had a pretty remarkable experience, floating for an hour in a room devoid of light and external noise. The 1,000 pounds of Epsom salt which saturated the pleasant, tepid water caused my body to float effortlessly. Since I meditate daily, I welcomed the release that came with being untethered by my senses, gently hovering in a state of incredible relaxation.

For those of you who are wondering what the process is, you shower before entering the chamber to remove oils, lotions and pollutants from your skin and hair. Then you step into the tub which is softly illuminated. Once you lie in the water and adjust to your body’s buoyancy, you can turn off the lights and allow the soothing music to lull you into a state of stillness. The music fades away, leaving your breathing as the only steady sound.

At the end of your session, the music and lights slowly return. You exit the tub and rinse off the salty water.

Forty dollars (intro price) and an hour later, I definitely think the experience was well worth it.

If you are in the Los Angeles area, and you would like to try floating, please click on this link: http://justfloat.com/

Kick A Foot Or Leg Out

Many of you are already aware of the “one leg out” sleeping position, in which one leg is hooked over the covers, while the other leg remains nestled under them. This clever approach to cooling the body down during sleep actually has a scientific basis.
The body prepares for sleep by dropping its core temperature, and in the deepest stages of sleep, body temperature actually dips a couple of degrees below normal. This is part of the natural physiology of slumber. Even some of the pre-bedtime rituals which some people adopt, such as taking a warm bath or drinking a cup of hot herbal tea, cause the body temperature to cool rapidly, priming it for sleep.

When we uncover our feet but keep the rest of our bodies snug under the bedclothes, or we swing one leg over the covers, we enable the blood vessels of the feet to dissipate body heat and keep us cool, which further supports restful sleep. Besides, who enjoys sweating while trying to sleep?

Some scientists even recommend keeping feet uncovered while sleeping at night, especially if you are sleeping next to a partner or pets (those of you who have pets know that they often sleep ON you). Another tip is to keep your bedroom temperature between 60 and 68 degrees, so if you are in the habit of cranking up the heat to keep your home warm and cozy, you might want to drop the thermostat setting at night while you sleep.