Add Aerobics and You’ll Deter Aging

Yoga, Pilates, and strength training are all beneficial forms of exercise; however, a new study points out that good old aerobics can delay the aging process.

Jump On It!

With each decade, it seems that a new version of physical movement becomes all the rage. And with that, comes a deluge of media hype purporting the exercise’s superior advantage over others. Now we’ve got hybrids of ballet and yoga, swimming and Pilates, and strength training in circuits. And they’re all great!

Alternately, as research has recently reported, endurance training not only strengthens your heart but also blocks DNA from wear and tear. Jogging, cycling, and jumping rope have returned as your good friends. Aerobic exercise may very well slow down our aging process.

The Scientific Stuff

We have chromosomes. Packed inside each chromosome is DNA.

Our cells continuously divide and reproduce. To live a long, healthy life, we need to keep our cellular structure intact and active.

One thing that assists in protecting DNA is a thing called a telomere. A telomere is a cap that safeguards each strand of our DNA. As we age, the telomeres shorten, leaving portions of our DNA strands at risk. This causes deterioration to our cells. Eventually, cells become so weak they no longer can divide and reproduce. That’s, unfortunately, when we die.

So, let’s keep the telomeres long so they can keep protecting, and we can live longer!

The Aerobics Element

A recent study out of Belgium discovered that aerobics stimulates telomeres to grow in length. Blood samples and muscle biopsies were taken from participants in the study. Their task was endurance training. They began with 45 minutes cycling on a stationary bike. The researchers found increased levels of a particular enzyme. That enzyme prompts telomeres to lengthen.

Experimentation

The scientific truth points to—aerobics help telomeres grow. Some scientists, however, believe that some people are simply born with longer telomeres than others. That places them (if they live healthily) in a natural position to live longer based on their genetic predisposition.

A CEO of a fresh biotech firm believes in gene therapy. The company has experimented with lengthening telomeres in mice, and it’s been successful. The CEO places so much trust in gene therapy and her company’s experimentation that she, herself, has received doses. In the fall of 2015, she received “a dose of viruses containing genetic material to produce telomerase.” Telomerase is the protein that lengthens telomeres. She is the first (and only, so far) human patient to test the dose.

So for the time being, if we want to protect our cells, instead of gene therapy, we can exercise! Sweatin’ to the Oldies, Jazzercise, and other trusty forms of endurance training may come back into vogue. If those aren’t your style, what type of aerobic fun will you choose?

For more articles on exercise, health, and long life check out www.GetThrive.com

Is Work/Life Balance Even Possible?

How do we find the perfect work/life balance?   This is a question we have all asked ourselves but many of us don’t sit down and plan the solution?  If you are an entrepreneur, this is an essential undertaking to keep your family, sanity, and productivity all in check.  How do we manage and achieve it all?  Following some essential steps, it’s possible to navigate a business in a positive direction, while keeping life organized and in a state of equilibrium.

 

TIME MANAGEMENT IS KEY

Managing a business may seem as simple as a business plan, achievable goals, and deadlines, but what happens when there is an entire team to manage?  Tracked communication is a great way to open up conversations amongst a group, in a time efficient manner.  Examples of websites which accomplish this include:  www.asana.com , www.trello.com  www.monday.com.  They help specifically project manage either an individual or a team by documenting workload, schedules, and assignments.   Using a tool like these sites allows the team to visualize their work day each morning, so attainable results are achieved by the end of the day.

Staff also now have the advantage of viewing their personal goals and timeframes, while also interacting with the other team members.  Many of these websites have a free version or trial, which makes it easy to explore.  The following points, will not only help in the work place, but with life in general too:

  • Invest in a project management app/website and populate it with weekly/monthly team targets
  • Set realistic daily deadlines, with accomplished tasks ticked off from the previous day. There’s a motivational satisfaction when jobs are crossed off and the team will see results.
  • Management should not overstretch their staff. There are only so many hours in a day.
  • False promises should not be made to clients.
  • Smaller tasks should be outsourced. A Website like peopleperhour.com  is a convenient resource.
  • If a deadline looming, switching off email for a period of time can help prevent distractions.
  • Get away from the desk. If high speed wifi is available, almost anywhere can become an office, where work can be accomplished while sipping that latte.

 

LIFE BALANCE

Trying to please everyone can be mentally and physically exhausting.  Set limits and don’t be afraid to say no.  It is proven that a work-life balance leads to higher levels of productivity.  It is possible to achieve results without compromising happiness:

  • Carve out time everyday for friends or family, no matter how hectic life is. Happiness at home will project positively on to work place performance.
  • All work and no play can lead to stress and a severe case of dull person syndrome. Switch off the phone and partake in activities like exercise or hobbies.
  • Weekly/monthly responsibilities at home should be shared, if possible, so they do not creep into work hours.
  • Take time to be healthy. Eat right, sleep 6-8 hours, aim for some sort of activity each day, even if it’s just a walk.

We are all trying to succeed within a small space of time, and how we manage that time shapes our success and happiness.  Self discipline and organization are tools that can help achieve that.  LIVE TO WORK is so yesterday, the future is WORK TO LIVE.  There may be a few hiccups along the way but with determination and focus work-life balance can be accomplished.

 

To learn more about work-life balance, check out GetThrive.com

 

References

www.asana.com

www.trello.com

www.monday.com

www.peopleperhour.com

 

 

Meditation Can Enhance Your Professional Life

There is no arguing that meditation practice garners positive effects. Most people are happy to express how their personal life and health have benefitted. But what many don’t know is that meditation can actually enhance your professional life as well!

 

Meditation Actualization

There isn’t an exact figure on how many people across the globe meditate. A consensus revealed that more than 18 million American adults practiced (that was back in 2012.) Today, certainly more people in the U.S. have considered meditation, especially since the National Institutes of Health suggests that stress affects over 75 million people each day.

Some experts estimate, considering countries that subscribe to Eastern traditional practices, there may be over 250 million people in the world who participate in daily meditation.

 

Your Life on Meditation

It’s no secret that the practice of meditation can benefit your life in many different ways and areas. And that’s not to say that you have to meditate everyday, or for a particular period of time each time. Proof of its advantages has been experienced by those who meditate 10-20 minutes every few days or so. (Additionally, those who practice longer each session, more frequently, and for many, many years reap even more benefits.)

Here are the most recognized results of even a casual meditation program:

 

  • Stress reduction
  • Improved sleep patterns
  • Boosted immune system
  • Increased patience and empathy
  • Clearer thinking
  • Better decision-making ability
  • Boosted creativity

 

A Professional-Life Enhancement

If your job and career matter to you, it makes sense that you want to perform at your peak. There are several key factors, which can enhance your productivity in the workplace (even if you work from home.) These aspects are important for professional success and can be made easier through the practice of meditation.

 

1) Fewer sick days. Meditating helps boost your immune system because it reduces stress. Studies have shown a decrease in the amygdala from meditation practice. (The amygdala is the fight or flight part of the brain.)

Change in that section of the brain is linked to a reduction in stress levels. Stress can create headaches, inflammation throughout the body, changes in gut microbiota, and fatigue. Reduction of the effects will keep you healthier and working more days, productively.

 

2) Better relationships with co-workers. A study out of Harvard University explained that those who meditated showed a thickening (a growth) in particular parts of the brain. One of them was the temporo parietal junction—an area associated with empathy and compassion. Trust and collaboration are essential for successful working relationships. It appears that meditation can help our people skills.

 

3) Improved decision-making. Another area of the brain that recharges from meditation is the left hippocampus. Emotional regulation is guided in that center of the brain, which can help us to make choices made from experience and cognition rather than just emotion. Learning ability is also boosted, which can help with future decision-making as well.

 

4) Creativity is boosted. Meditation allows the brain to rest—to switch off—but then switch back on again. Once it’s invigorated, it has the ability to think more freely. Without constriction, creativity is invited to flow. Improvement in attention to detail is another bonus.

 

5) Working memory is enhanced. In the same Harvard study as mentioned previously, it was found that those who meditated had more grey matter in the frontal cortex of the brain. That area is associated with memory and cognition and can help you to be on the ball in a moment’s notice.

 

Meditation as a Part of Your Life

Again, there is no formula or specific amount of meditation time required to reap its benefits. Different teachers, studies, or pundits may suggest various practices, but, truly, it is a personal endeavor. However, now understanding that meditating can enhance your professional life, you may be more inclined to offer it more attention.

Regardless, meditation can be practiced anywhere, anytime, and for any length. If you desire to participate, whatever time you have or you make will be advantageous to your personal and professional life. Best of wishes in your endeavor to improve your physical, mental, and emotional health!

 

 

 

 

Sources:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/inspired-life/wp/2015/05/26/harvard-neuroscientist-meditation-not-only-reduces-stress-it-literally-changes-your-brain/?utm_term=.5f8d5a26d72c

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/you-illuminated/201204/brain-scans-show-how-meditation-improves-mental-focus

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6763007

https://www.mdanderson.org/publications/focused-on-health/december-2014/how-stress-affects-cancer-risk.html.html

https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2017/09/22/five-reasons-why-meditation-will-improve-your-career/#c1346662189b

https://nccih.nih.gov/research/statistics/NHIS/2012/mind-body/meditation

 

How a Pet Can Optimize Your Health and Decrease Medical Bills

Growing up, we had pets, but they weren’t the profound family members that since, in adulthood, I’ve learned them to become. We had some goldfish (probably won at the county fair) that either jumped out of the bowl in the night and met their life-without-water fate or passed from murky-water illness.

My dad also brought home a puppy one Christmas, but she was never properly trained, had anger issues, and bit my sister and I so often that she was sent to a “farm” one day while we were at school.

It wasn’t until years later, while living alone, it occurred to me that I could have a pet—an animal of my choice that I would be responsible for and love unconditionally.

I adopted a kitten (with encouragement from a co-worker who, not ironically, had six cats), and Frederick the Feline became my partner, increasing my household number of residents to two. Frederick brought me great joy (and hopefully vice versa) on a daily basis.

It wasn’t until my boyfriend at the time abruptly ended our five-year relationship, that I realized Frederick literally saved my life. My pet helped me through one of the most disconcerting and difficult emotional times I had experienced to that point.

It’s tough for me to wrap my brain around the thought that there are many people (even “experts”) who do not subscribe to the theory that pets provide an emotional or physical benefit to humans.

There is, however, a plethora of research that points to improved state of mind and physical health, and even saves on health care costs by being a pet owner. One such example is from The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) released research in April 2013. They identified seven key areas in which human health is positively impacted by animals: allergy and asthma immunity among children, Alzheimer’s, autism, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dogs Rock! Dogs, in particular, have been found to decrease physical and mental decline in owners. Regularly walking your dog makes you less likely to become obese. You are also more apt to be social—whether by talking with your pooch or other dog-walkers/owners.

Research has shown that dogs, as pets, have: decreased stress levels along with depression incidences, lowered blood pressure, and increased serotonin levels from playing—overall, creating a calmer human. Side note: A person with a dog who has suffered from a heart attack is far more likely to be alive one year later than a person without a canine companion.

Not to make it seem like dogs are the “best” pet (because all creatures are fabulous), but another argument pro-pup is that kids find console with their dogs. “When children are asked who they talk to when they get upset, a lot of times their first answer is their pet,” reported Dr. James Griffin. And Dr. Oz points out that exposure to a pet during infancy may mean less chance of developing asthma or eczema later in life.

For the elderly set, research shows that Alzheimer patients have less anxiety and unexpected outbursts when an animal is in their presence; this even includes fish. Watching fish glide through water creates a calming effect. This pet-induced tranquility has been known to also lower blood pressure (in people of all ages, by the way).

Cats, as pets, tend to be low maintenance, which also relieves stress from caregivers. Expressing love and feeling love and empathy are positive states of being. Nourish your well being by opening your heart to a pet (…and other humans.)

 

 

Make Your Bucket List Before You Kick the Bucket

A Bucket List- Everyone has one. It’s that “list of things to do before we die” that make up our bucket lists. In fact, many believe that actively living according to one’s bucket list can help to embrace life.

Embrace Life- They say that whenever a door closes, somewhere a window opens. This is great advice by which to live. And often, dramatic downturns or pitfalls in our lives lead to the birth of our bucket lists. It is through perseverance, hard work, and strength that get us through the tough times and teach us to live each day to the fullest.

Carpe Diem-  A bucket list can help us do just that. It can help us to focus on doing those fun, positive things and reach powerful milestones that make our lives that much more fulfilling. Fulfill your list-before you kick the bucket.

Nine Brilliant Ways To View Life

Maria Popova is a blogger, reader, thinker, and modern-day philosopher. She was born in Bulgaria and came to America to attend the University of Pennsylvania as a communications major. To support herself through college, she literally worked four different jobs simultaneously.

To stir creativity, she began composing short, weekly emails, which served up as intellectual brain food. Her writing evoked curiosity and deep thought, and the original seven people to whom she emailed have expanded into over a million.

In October of 2015, Popova’s site www.BrainPickings.com turned nine years old. Her curiosity and intellectual exploration has lead to, essentially, her discoveries of what it means to live a meaningful life. On the anniversary of the 9th year, she shares nine of the most important things she’s learned…

1. Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind: As she describes (accurately), “It’s enormously disorienting to simply say, ‘I don’t know.’ …It’s infinitely more rewarding to understand than to be right—even if that means changing your mind about a topic, an ideology, or, above all, yourself.”

2. Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone: Ultimately, Popova explains, those things, “don’t make it thrilling to get up in the morning and gratifying to go to sleep at night—and, in fact, they can often distract and detract from the things that do offer those deeper rewards.”

3. Be generous: elebrate others with your kind words. “Always remember there is a human being on the other end of every exchange.”

4. Build pockets of stillness into your life: “Meditate. Go for walks. Ride your bike going nowhere in particular.  Without this essential stage of unconscious processing, the entire flow of the creative process is broken.…Most importantly, sleep.”

5. When people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them: “You are the only custodian of your own integrity.”

6. Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity.

7. “Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time”: This is borrowed from the wise and wonderful Debbie Millman.

8. Seek out what magnifies your spirit: “Who are the people, ideas, and books that magnify your spirit? Find them, hold on to them, and visit them often.”

9. Don’t be afraid to be an idealist: “As E.B. White explained, ‘The role of the writer is to lift people up, not lower them down.’ Supply creates its own demand. Only by consistently supplying it can we hope to increase the demand for the substantive over the superficial—in our individual lives and in the collective dream called culture.”

Sometimes reading, contemplating, and formulating our own thoughts/opinions can be incredibly fulfilling. Popova must feel awfully satisfied. She certainly inspires, which is what she has humbly set out to do.

Optimistic Attitude Equals Longer, Healthier Life

Sometimes it seems that the crankiest, most pessimistic people stick around the longest. But according to numerous scientific studies, that’s just not true. Those with an optimistic attitude recover from illness and surgery more quickly and live longer, healthier lives.

Years Worth of Positive Proof

Studies have been conducted in the US and Europe on the link between optimism and longevity for decades. In mostly every occurrence, a positive outlook predicts better overall health and life span. Individuals displaying pessimistic attitudes, across the board, have had higher rates of death than their positive-thinking counterparts.

One study, begun around 1965, examined over 7,000 personality tests; students entering the University of North Carolina at that time were given a comprehensive questionnaire, which ultimately determined their level of optimism and pessimism. Over the following 40 years, the study analyzed any deaths, their cause, and results from the personality test. Final Tally: the pessimists had an over 40% higher rate of mortality than the optimists.

Another US study reports the benefits of optimism on, specifically, blood pressure levels. Over 2,500 men and women, aged 65 and older, were tested. Those with the lowest blood pressure, on average, were those with the most positive attitudes.

A 50-year study analyzed the correlation between high optimism and good health. Over 3,000 twin individuals were given personality and general health questionnaires. This research is fascinating because it pointed out that optimism may be linked to a person’s genetic make-up. Nonetheless, the optimists reported excellent mental and physical health decades after their original testing.

New Negative News

A study recently published out of Finland reports the dire results from those with pessimistic outlooks. Specifically, this research focused on participants with (or at high risk of) coronary heart disease. The researchers aimed to analyze links between personality and heart disease (not just physical and behavioral factors.)

After 11 years of observation, those who died from heart disease were significantly more pessimistic than optimistic. This held true for both men and women. The researchers concluded that imbuing a negative attitude provided a substantial risk factor for death from heart disease.

Exploring Various Factors

Optimists tend to lead healthier lifestyles. They build and maintain stronger support systems. University of Miami psychologist Charles S. Carver, PhD, claims optimists are more likely to exercise, and less likely to smoke. Positive-attitude folks tend to have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their blood. All of these factors can certainly reduce the risks associated with heart disease.

A fair question may be: Is optimism a genetic or learned practice? Some studies link positive attitudes with genes. Others show that familial and environmental factors assist in helping an individual to develop an optimistic outlook. And many experts agree that cognitive behavioral therapy may be a tool to increase a person’s level of overall positivity.

Then, it would seem that whether you’re born that way or decide to be that way, optimism is a possibility for anyone. So if optimism correlates to better health, why not choose that path?

 

Is Being an Older Mom a Good Thing?

Society, for centuries, has dictated that young couple meets, gets married, and directly starts a family. Times have changed, especially in the past couple of decades in the US; women are becoming moms later in life. And it turns out it’s a good thing—for mom and baby!

Hey, Old Lady!

One of the most recently discovered perks associated with having a child later in life is longevity. Women who had their first baby after the age of 25 were over 10% more likely to live until 90 years old.

Twenty-six years old is not considered “later in life” to many Americans, but globally, it may be considered old. The study from the Women’s Health Initiative examined data extracted from over 25,000 women. Another discovery from that research showed that women who had two or more children tended to outlive those who had only one.

A different study published a few years back showed even more promising results for “older” moms. That particular researched claimed that women who had children after the age of 33, were two times as likely to live to be in their late 90’s!

The Sweet Spot

Surely having your first child at the age of 44 is going to come with great risk, even with the incredible medical care we have today. Regardless, a study out of Sweden contends that the benefits outweigh the risks for the outcome of the child in cases where the mom is between 35 and 40.

The Millenium Cohort Study out of the United Kingdom also discovered advantages to older parenting. Women who had their first child between the ages of 30 and 39 had offspring who scored higher on intelligence tests than children of first-time mothers in their 20’s.

Perks for the Baby

Women who are older tend to have settled into their careers or at least have completed some form of higher education. Their children are statistically more likely to go to college.

The children are also more likely to read for pleasure and have a larger vocabulary. It could be because the moms have more time to spend with baby. Mom can devote more of herself toward nurturing early education, playtime, and other activities.

Having had more experience on earth—and socializing—older moms often have stronger support networks. They’ve had time to bond and build solid friendships. Additionally, they’re apt to have like-minded friends who’ve also waited to have their first child. Either that or their support group has already had children and can be of help and guidance.

With age, hopefully, our earning capacity increases. Statistics claim that older moms tend to have more expendable income. This works out well for mama and child. Mom can provide feasibly for baby as well as indulge in extracurricular activities.

Of course there are exceptions, but generally, mature women make healthier life choices—especially when they’re pregnant. The best outcome is a fit mom and a child whose outlook in life is positive and healthy. Surely, great moms appear at any age. But if you’re older and are concerned that that’s a detriment, you can ease your concerns… It’s all good!