Continuing with our theme of the month, May is Older Americans month. According to the official website of Older Americans Month, from the Administration on Aging (http://www.olderamericansmonth.aoa.gov/),
this year’s theme is “Never Too Old to Play.” As the body ages, certain tasks may become more difficult or even dangerous – free running, for example – but the act of playing can help keep you healthy longer. It’s all about finding an activity that works for and with you. This is easier than ever now-a-days.
- Try something like Wii Bowling for a fun group activity that gets you moving without being overly strenuous.
- Charades is another easy, indoor option. A fun scavenger hunt can get people interacting, playing, and moving outdoors, too.
- For a more sedate option, why not try a game like Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit. As bonus, games that make you think can help fight symptoms of aging, even reducing risk of Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Other great multi-generational options including park activities like kite flying and bocce ball; crafts like scrapbooking, quilting, or painting; musical options like dancing (old- or new-fashioned) or singing; and more active options like yoga or tai chi. Have fun and remember you are “never too old to play.”
May is high blood pressure awareness month, and on this blog I have touched on stress more than once. Stress and high blood pressure are closely linked, and high BP can be harmful to your health. Today we’ll discuss the basics of what one’s blood pressure is, what that means for one’s health, and some basic
rules of thumb to avoid developing high blood pressure.
Your blood pressure is exactly what it sounds like – the amount of pressure acting upon your arteries and veins by your heart as it pumps your blood. High blood pressure [Arterial Hypertension] is a risk because it places strain on the walls of your arteries and veins and can contribute to a wide variety of ills, anything from migraines to heart attacks. High blood pressure is also a factor that increases your risk of stroke later in life.
Stress is something I’ve talked about on this blog from time to time, and is generally a terrible thing for your body. Today’s high stress, hurly-burly lifestyle means that a great many Americans are more stressed than is healthy for them, and your blood pressure is one of the first things that gets worse
as you become more stressed. So try to relax! Some great activities to lower high blood pressure are:
- If you smoke, stop! Smokers generally have a much higher BP than non-smokers, and it can also cause cancer.
- Limit your sodium and alcohol intake! Having a diet rich in salt can – you guessed it – raise your BP.
- Really, relax. Take a moment for yourself during your day, grab a book, or go for a walk outside when the weather is nice…
- Maintain a healthy weight/lifestyle. Small changes in your day-to-day activities can improve your blood pressure as well as your overall health.