Boomers Participate in Senior Games

Boomers Participate in Senior Games

This week I was a participant in the North Fulton Golden Games, a collaborative effort by 5 local cities that provides a month-long series of Olympic-style events and activities (shot put, discus, one-half and one mile walk, one-mile run, tennis, golf, and bowling) for adults age 50 and older.

Participants compete in track and field events, pickleball, tennis tournament, golf tournament, Bocce ball competition, ball room dancing, swimming and more. I came in first in the one-half mile walk in my age group and enjoyed several other activities. Our senior center helped with sign up and even transportation.

There is a state competition and in my state it is the Georgia Golden Olympics which is scheduled for September 17-20, 2014 in Warner Robins, GA. Every state has a similar event and here a senior games list by state. All this feeds into the National Senior Games Association which will have the 2015 National Senior Games in Bloomington/Minneapolis/St. Paul in July 3-16, 2015 in which they are expecting 12,000 athletes ages 50 and up from all over the county.

Here are some photos from our local senior games.

senior games torch ceremony
senior games torch ceremony

 

discus throw at golden games
discus throw

 

shot put at senior games
shot put

 

mile walk at senior games
mile walk
toss event
Toss event
football toss at senior games
football toss – good throw!
brisbee throw event for seniors
frisbee throw
seniors horseshoe event
horseshoe
crowd at senior games
crowd at senior games

National Senior Games will be in Minnesota July 3-16, 2015.

See post about my visit to the Georgia Golden Olympics



Baby Boomers Health: 12 Tips for Old Guys

Health tips for age 50+ guys. Do these things and the rest of your life can be great. You can live like your fifties until your eighties and beyond. Don’t do these things and the relentless tides of aging will sweep over you and make you weak and sick and kill you early.

It all started when I needed a DVD for my Netflix queue. Despite the title, I selected a recommended movie titled “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” by Joe Cross which turned out to be an inspiring film that chronicles Joe’s personal mission to regain his health while traveling across America, juicer in tow, and inspiring others to do the same. It featured the benefits of eating better and getting a reboot by juicing. I gave it a try.

About the same time my friend David recommend a book by the title “Younger Next Year” with the sub-title Live Strong, Fit, and Sexy – Until You’re 80 and Beyond. It sounded like a book for women. I was wrong, it is a book for old guys and a very good one. It features the value of exercise as you age and gives you a plan and what to expect.

I had not set out to loose weight. I have been 203 lbs on my last three annual physicals and to be honest I thought the days of loosing weight were over. But the DVD and the book helped me loose 27 lbs in the last 60 days. Plus I have joined the fitness center in my neighborhood and workout 6 times a week. So by following this free advice it is working for me. So what are the health tips for old guys from these two sources that are proven to work. I will just list them the best I can remember from using them.

Health Tips for Old Guys

1. Cut down on the meat eaten. Fish and chicken are good. Consume more fruits and vegetables. Quit eating crap!

2. Try juicing and drink at least one green drink a day. I happen to live next to a Whole Foods with a juice bar and go there for a green drink every day. Or get a blender and prepare yourself.

3. Rather than 3 large meals try small meals with at least two snacks in between. I do snack at 9:45am and 2:45pm but your schedule may vary. I love a hand full on mixed nuts and cranberries and a piece of fruit for a snack.

4. Watch your portion size, especially with meats.

5. Exercise for 45 minutes a day six days a week for the rest of your life. Two days do strength training and 4 days of cardio. Vary your work outs.

6. Get a heart monitor, join a gym and get a personal trainer.

7. Simply your life and spend less than you make.

8. Shave every day and get regular haircuts.

9. Get some up to date clothes to keep your wardrobe up to date.

10. Be positive and don’t get too negative.

11. Care

12. Stay active and involved with people. Socialization is important and many ways to do that like meetups, clubs, hobbies, senior centers, volunteer and others. Get a project.

Read the book and see the movie for a better explanation and motivation. This works. Why not try it.

Do these things and the rest of your life can be great. You can live like your fifties until your eighties and beyond.

Don’t do these things and the relentless tides of aging will sweep over you and make you weak and sick and kill you early.



Health Care Tips for Baby Boomers

This article list some tips that any Baby Boomer might want to think about which could save you time, money and stress in health care.

Many of us Boomers go along in our day to day routines in a nonchalant way.  Then when something out of the ordinary happens we wonder why there is so much stress.  Some things could have been prevented or taken care of more easily if only we had been more knowledgeable or prepared before being confronted with a situation.  I will list some things that any Boomer might want to think about which could save you time, money and stress in health care.

  1. If you usually just see one physician, that physician knows the medications that you are taking.  There are times though that we are referred to a specialist or end up in the emergency room unexpectedly.  Therefore, have a list of all your medications written down with the dosages and times that you take the medication.  The note area in your cell phone is a good place to put this if you normally carry your cell phone with you.
  2. Some medications are dosages of 25 mg. and some may be . 025mg. The small period is very important in order to ensure the proper dosage is given.  Always check this on your prescriptions for accuracy.  There are medications that this could mean a life or death situations.  Rule of thumb;  Check for periods and always even double check after your pharmacist or health care provider.
  3. Know the names of the medications that you take and why you take them.
  4. After having a prescription filled always check the bottle label.  Make sure it is the correct medication and the correct dosage before taking it.  Just the other day I found that one of my medications said 1/2 per day when in fact it was suppose to say 1/2 taken 2 x per day.
  5. When it is near a holiday, week end, or vacation, make sure that you have enough medications to last until your physician is back in the office.  Also pick your prescription up early in the day when possible in case your doctor needs to be called.  Some pharmacies close early also.
  6. Know how your insurance covers.  Know the difference from in network and out of network.  This can save you money.
  7. When going to the emergency room most providers will collect your insurance copay at the time of service.  A lot of insurance companies will wave that co pay if you are admitted from the emergency room into the hospital.  For me, I found it easier to get my copay back if this has been collected in error right at that time if at all possible.  Later down the line it takes more time when you may need that money to pay for something else.
  8. When going to a health care facility to be registered for out patient or in patient services, know what an advanced directive is prior to that process.  If you have an advanced directive then take it with you.  If you do not and feel you need one, then it will save time to get that prior to the day you are registered.  This normally requires a notary and can save a lot of time depending on how the facility takes care of such manners.
  9. If your service requires a co pay or out of pocket payment then have your credit card, check book or cash with you.
  10. If you are a single person it is always good to have a friend or relative that knows where your important papers are kept before an emergency happens.
  11. If you have allergies to ANYTHING know what they are.  This might save your life.
  12. If being admitted into a hospital, it is good to know simple medical terminology such as, what is a clear liquid diet or a full liquid diet.  You can then check your own meal tray for accuracy.
  13. When one is ill, it is difficult to remember names of important people, their titles, or departments that they may work with on your case.  Things go very fast.  Do not hesitate if you need to write them down or ask more than once a name or question.  It is your right.  You are the patient.
  14. Yes, I know most of us have our telephone numbers in our cell phones.  Do you have a written list?  What if there is an emergency and your phone looses its charge.
  15. Last but Not Least!  Remember, when a person is ill, we are not always our best self.  It is easy to be cranky, forgetful and lack patience.  That is expected.  When possible though remember to show your appreciation and say thank you.  Then on the other hand if your treatment is not as it should be then speak up, question things, ask for clarification and above all remember you deserve respect and your dignity at ALL TIMES!

Good luck on your next health care visit.  It is important for all of us Boomers to help each other.



Eye Strain And Ways To Deal With It

Eye strain is uncomfortable but we must continue to look for ways to continue to learn, relax, work, and play without allowing eye stain to deter us from doing the things that we need to do. As wise boomers, we will find the ways to deal with eye stain and any other obstacles that we need to overcome!

Some people suffer from eye strain.  Eye strain is defined as anything that causes discomfort while viewing something.  Your eyes become fatigued due to over use of eye muscles.  One can develop eye strain from reading, using computers, and driving.  My job requires that I  drive during the night shift which is a defiant source of eye strain.  As one ages our eye sight appears to not be as good as it use to be, therefore it is important to use every resource possible to take care of our eyes.

We must go for our periodic eye exams which may require that we wear glasses or contact lens.    Eye glasses are available with glare proof coating and tint.  There are many types of lubricants and eyes drops on the market that will help to ease the discomfort.  An eye specialist can recommend what is best for each individual.  Also there are computer screen devices that can be used to decrease glare.  Sunglasses are very helpful during the daylight hours.

But what about those of us that have to drive and use computers to make a living?  At the end of a day or night our eyes are stained.  If we like to read, watch television, or use the computer we are setting ourselves up for even more eye strain.  I have found that driving while it is raining irritates my eyes due to the glare on the streets.  Watching television has become very difficult due to the glare.  Unfortunately eye strain can interfere with many of the activities that we like to do during our relaxation time.  As a boomer, reading, writing, watching television and using the computer are things that I enjoy doing.  As with many other things, I have had to search out alternative methods to continue to enjoy things that I use to do.  Here are a few ways that I deal with eye strain.

  1. Reading is very difficult with eye strain.  There are many audio books at the library.  Amazon.com. has a wide variety of audio books for purchase. While driving one can put the CD in the car Cd player and continue to learn.  I found this very helpful during a heavy rain storm recently.  It was very enlightening to listen to the audio book, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, while continuing my night driving during the storm.
  2. While using the computer, I find it helpful to take breaks away from the screen frequently to relax my eyes.  I can save my material then go back to it for completion.  It is a good time to use the eye drops and lubricants that are available.
  3. When I intend to watch a good movie on television, I find it helpful to wait until I have rested my eyes for a few hours.  Sometimes it helps to put a cold wash cloth across my eyes and just relax them for awhile.
  4. Getting the proper sleep also helps with eye strain.  When using an I pad it is good to increase the writing for easier viewing.
  5. Also there is the age old magnifying glass that is useful for reading fine print.

Eye strain is uncomfortable but we must continue to look for ways to continue to learn, relax, work, and play without allowing eye strain to deter us from doing the things that we need to do.  As wise boomers, we will find the ways to deal with eye strain and any other obstacles that we need to overcome!



Using Boomer Wisdom To Be Healthy

There are four important parts of the human make up to have a healthy life style: Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. In my younger years of life my priority focus was on how I looked on the outside. With age comes that wonderful part of our life called WISDOM and a more balanced approach to healthy living.

There are four important parts of the human make up to have a healthy life style and to improve Boomer health: Physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.  In my younger years of life my priority focus was on how I looked on the outside.  My favorite exercise was walking.  Sometimes I would walk at least 5 miles each day either on a treadmill or in the park.  I was constantly dieting, measuring my waistline and switching from one health club to another.  After years of this I realized that there was more than just looking good on the outside in order to be a whole person.

Boomers Should Maintain a Healthy Balance.

Today it is important for Boomers to maintain a healthy balance.  Meditation deepens one’s self awareness and strengthens self esteem and acceptance.  It empties our minds in order to let the good stuff in.  At night I play meditation Cd’s which help me to relax.  I practice slowing down and deep breathing to deal with stress.

Spiritually nourishes us in a deep place, provides us with a sense of meaning and purpose, and brings us home to ourselves  to be a better person.  I read the Bible daily.  There are many good books out there such as ,The Art of Happiness: a handbook for Living by Dalai Lami and Howard Cutler.  In addition there are audio books, tapes, and spiritual music to sooth one’s soul.  The public library, places of worship and many other sources provide these aids at little or no cost.

When my mood starts to get a little low I find that it helps to be around positive, healthy spiritual people.  Just being outside and enjoying the sunlight helps to lift my spirits. An hour spent in a park  walking, listening to nature, looking at  ducks in the water can be uplifting.  The joy of getting out of myself by helping another person is the biggest reward of all.

Sometimes I use slogans that I have pasted on my wall or counter top.  One is H.A.L.T =  Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.  This is such a simple word but has a large impact on my life.  When I ask myself what have I eaten today, was I angry about something, did I isolate too much, did I get the proper rest I then can see what I need to improve.  I used to keep this posted on my bulletin board in front of my desk when I worked in oncology.  It proved to be my measuring stick for a better healthy balance.

Now that I am entering into my senior years, I am grateful for life’s experiences.  I understand that there is no one quick fix to being healthy.  It does not come in pill form that one swallows then all of life’s problems disappear.  It can not come in one visit to a place of worship or a one time visit to the gym.  It instead takes daily practice and the willingness to live.  When that last day arrives I want to look back and be able to say, “Life was a challenge but I did the best that I could do to contribute to the meaning of my life and the lives of others.”  With age comes that wonderful part of our life called WISDOM.