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The Mighty Mitochondria

April 14th, 2009

Do you remember way back in high school Biology when we learned that mitochondria were nicknamed the “powerhouses of the cell”? We may have memorized that for a quiz or test, but this organelle is vital to our health, and is thought to play a vital role in aging. Mitochondria turn food into energy through a series of complex chemical reactions. And, although we learned that DNA is found in the nucleus of the cell, mitochondria have their own DNA, which is passed from the mother to the child. There are somewhere between several to 2,000 mitochondria per cell (some types of body cells don’t... Read More

Drinking Wine: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

March 12th, 2009

Friend or foe? Pleasure or poison? There has been a lot of discussion about wine over the past decade or so, and today\’s column will take a look at how this “nectar of the gods” affects adults over 50. Studies are based upon “moderate” consumption of wine, defined as no more than one drink per day for women, and two drinks per day for men. A drink is defined as five ounces of wine. The Good (assuming wine isn\’t contraindicated because of medications, disease – including alcoholism – or for other reasons): • Lowers blood sugar • Improves heart health • Improves... Read More

It Really Can Help Keep the Doctor Away

February 13th, 2009

We all know the expression “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This is one adage with a lot of truth to it, and keeping the doctor away is something we Boomers certainly want to do. So, here are a dozen reasons to bite into that juicy McIntosh, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Winesap, etc.: 1. Lower cholesterol (pectin, a soluble fiber) 2. Lower blood pressure (quercetin, a flavanoid) 3. Boost the immune system (quercetin) 4. Prevent metabolic system (whole apple products including juice and applesauce) 5. Fight cancer (antioxidants) 6. Increase bone density (due to a flavanoid called phloridzin,... Read More

Three Questions You Must Ask Yourself before Retiring

January 13th, 2009

Are you among the almost million Boomers approaching retirement? Are you wondering how to ensure a successful retirement or wondering if you should retire? Before making this transition, be sure you can say “yes” to these three questions: Do I Have Enough? Have I Had Enough? Do I Have Enough To Do? DO YOU HAVE ENOUGH? From the many books, articles, surveys, and TV and radio reports, there is no doubt this is a question on most peoples’ minds. With the possibility of spending 30 or more years in retirement, it’s imperative that your money lasts as long as you do. More to the point, you... Read More

If it Sounds too Good to be True…

November 12th, 2008

We\’re familiar with the saying, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is” (too good to be true). Well, what if you\’re looking for free land? Is this possible in the United States? The surprising answer is yes! Today, I\’m going to share with you a site that describes how you can get free land in exchange for residency: www.KansasFreeLand.com. What\’s the deal here? As the site explains, “The ‘free land\’ program was designed as a means of fighting declining populations and out-migration of local folks to larger cities. Free land can be had in exchange... Read More

Theory vs. Reality

October 14th, 2008

An AARP study, in conjunction with Roper Public Affairs and Media, found some important, interesting, and (frankly) scary contrasts in what women reported compared to their actual situations. The survey, “Looking at Act II of Women\’s Lives: Thriving and Striving from 45 On” interviewed women from 45 to 90 years old, with an emphasis on money, health, and housing. Let\’s take a look at several of their findings in the area of finances and health: Theory: 62% of women said they “know what to do to save part of their monthly income.” Reality: 41% actually save part of their... Read More

My New Addiction

September 12th, 2008

Looking for a new activity? Consider tennis! I\’ve only been playing for about five years (I\’m 54), and I\’m addicted! Why tennis? Assuming you are good to go (get the okay from your doctor before you start), there are quite a few physical as well as psychological reasons for playing this “sport for a lifetime.” Decreases your risk of death. Harvard University School of Public Health\’s Dr. Ralph Paffernbarger\’s study of more than 10,000 Harvard alumnae demonstrated that those who played tennis at least three hours a week cut their risk of death from heart disease... Read More

Seven Boomer Bytes

August 12th, 2008

In their “Third Quarterly Boomer Report” (April 2008), AARP and Focalyst detailed a number of fascinating facts and insights about this age group. A few of these nuggets: 1. “71 percent of Boomer women believe that they look and feel younger than most people their age.” 2. “44% of Boomers and Matures might buy more technology products if they were easier to use.” 3. “Over 19 million consumers ages 43+ have goals to continue their education.” 4. “73% of Boomers and Matures read local newspapers – the most frequently used media among this demographic.” 5. “Only 1 in... Read More

What is Cohousing?

July 16th, 2008

Does the following description appeal to you? “Cohousing is a type of collaborative housing in which residents actively participate in the design and operation of their own neighborhoods. Cohousing residents are consciously committed to living as a community. The physical design encourages both social contact and individual space. Private homes contain all the features of conventional homes, but residents also have access to extensive common facilities such as open space, courtyards, a playground and a common house.” This quote, from www.cohousing.org, reflects a lifestyle choice in the United... Read More

Ready or Not: Is Your Community Prepared for an Aging Population?

June 16th, 2008

Worldwide, “the number of older persons has tripled over the last 50 years; it will more than triple again over the next 50 years,” according to the United Nations. In the United States, people over 65 already represent more than 12% of the population; this percentage will increase to 20% by 2030, according to the Administration on Aging. Below are more than a dozen suggestions that communities can implement (some already have) to be better equipped for a mature population: 1. Age-appropriate fitness and recreation centers 2. Walking trails and benches throughout community 3. Free shuttle... Read More