Most mornings I sit down with my coffee and my computer to join Margaret Manning on her Sixty and Me morning show. Margaret covers the day’s news and always has useful tips for making the most of post-retirement. Her website is a repository of practical ideas for those of us wanting to deal creatively with aging.
I’m pleased to be a guest blogger on Sixty and Me. Just type in my name on the site to see my articles on listening, on how to respond when a friend tells you she was sexually abused in childhood, on the loss of energy we experience as we age and on how I’ve been learning to make new friends in my new city of Kingston.
Picture what I see in the morning on my computer screen as I sit down to watch. Margaret is sipping her mug of coffee. Her long blond/grey hair and makeup are just right for an older face. She has a slight English accent from her early life in the U.K. These days she lives in Switzerland.
Here’s what she had to say in a recent post about improving memory. Coffee is good for memory. That’s a scientific fact, she says, taking another sip from her mug. She then proceeds to tell us about other things that actually do help with aging memory.
The scientifically proven list
Squeezing Stress Balls
Caffeine: Some years ago I joined the five-session weekly workshop for the normal aging brain at Baycrest Hospital in Toronto. Baycrest, a centre for research as well as treatment of older people, makes clear it teaches nothing that is not proven. Believe me, as a coffee drinker, I was delighted to learn that coffee would help my memory.
Physical Exercise: Your brain can’t function at its best without sufficient blood flow. Give your brain the oxygen it needs by doing whatever it takes to get you breathing deeply. If your physical condition is challenged by walking around your neighbourhood, then that’s your exercise of choice. It’s important to recognize your limitations while gently pushing those limits. Maybe vigorous walking, jogging, swimming, climbing hills or cycling is right for you. You need to be the judge.
Stress Balls: Margaret explains that you take 2 stress balls, one in either hand, alternately squeezing left and right. As a retired EMDR practitioner, this makes sense to me. I know about the effectiveness of alternately stimulating the two hemispheres of the brain. Left, right, left, right, left, right. We need to remember our brains can change for the better as well as for the worse. I intend to go out and buy myself a couple of those balls.
Omega Three: The Mayo Clinic informs us that there is strong evidence for the use of omega 3 fatty acids in reducing heart disease, high blood pressure and rheumatoid arthritis. Fish oil and salmon are rich sources.
The media bombards us with claims to improve the lives of our aging population. It’s good to have a list of some that are proven to be effective.
In my next blog post I’ll tell you about Margaret Manning’s views on Five Signs of Aging We Don’t Want to Admit.
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