Natural Ways To Reduce Stress And Get Healthy

Techniques To Get Control Of Stress

If you’re worried about the physical effects of stress on your body, these are two great ways to get the stress in your life back under control. The more you can bring your stress level down, the healthier you will be and better you will feel. Ready to get started? Try one of the two A’s today!


Believe it or not, you can simply avoid a lot of stress. Plan ahead, rearrange your surroundings and reap the benefits of a lighter load.

  • Take control of your surroundings. Is the traffic insane? Leave early for work or take the longer, less traveled route. Hate waiting in line at the corporate cafeteria? Pack your lunch and eat at your desk.
  • Avoid people who bother you. If you have a co-worker who causes your jaw to tense, put physical distance between the two of you. Sit far away at meetings or walk around his or her cubicle, even if it requires some extra steps.
  • Learn to say no. You have a lot of responsibilities and demands on your time. At a certain point, you cross the line between being charitable and being foolish. Turn down the neighborhood sports league. Pass on coaching T-ball. Those around you will appreciate more time with a relaxed you. And you’ll have time to enjoy them, too.
  • Ditch part of your list. Label your to-do list with A’s, B’s and C’s, according to importance. On hectic days, scratch the C’s from your list.

However, some problems can’t be avoided. For those situations, try another technique.


One of the most helpful things you can do during times of stress is to take inventory, then attempt to change your situation for the better.

  • Respectfully ask others to change their behavior. And be willing to do the same. Small problems often create larger ones if they aren’t resolved. If you’re tired of being the butt of your wife’s jokes at parties, ask her to leave you out of the comedy routine. In return, be willing to enjoy her other jokes and thank her for humoring you.
  • Communicate your feelings openly. Remember to use “I” statements, as in, “I feel frustrated by shorter deadlines and a heavier workload. Is there something we can do to balance things out?”
  • Manage your time better. Lump together similar tasks — group your phone calls, car errands and computer-related tasks. The reward of increased efficiency will be extra time.
  • State limits in advance. Instead of stewing over a colleague’s nonstop chatter, politely start the conversation with, “I’ve got only five minutes to cover this.”

– via

Conquer Daily Stress With These Ideas

The ideas above are great for trying to alter the situations or relationships that add undue stress to your life. But what if you can change the stressors? Then you can add in some healthy coping mechanisms that help you better deal with stress and anxiety.

Exercise Programmes

It should come as no surprise that exercise is a fundamental way of reducing stress levels. Most of us can understand that it works, but not so many of us could explain why. Essentially, a good amount of exercise does 2 things:

  • Distracts from stressful events
  • Protects the heart by lowering blood pressure

In order to fully maximise an exercise regime and keep it interesting (thus reducing the potential of the participant becoming bored), a variety of different pursuits should be followed.

For people who do little exercise, any exercise programme should start slowly and build upwards, as doing more exercise than you are physically capable of can be dangerous.

There are many different types of exercise that can be utilised to reduce stress. Swimming is relaxing and ideal for people who are pregnant or suffering mobility problems, as the feeling of weightlessness reduce pressure on the body.

Exercise classes such as aerobics or pilates bring a social aspect to the regime. And running (or brisk walking) is free and also reduces stress.

Eat More Healthily and Sleep More

This is another lifestyle change that may sound obvious but has actually been shown in studies to be very beneficial. People who skip breakfast or lunch are known to be more at risk of stress, as stress levels can be higher when feeling hungry or worn down.

Having even a small breakfast in the morning, with small healthy snacks to graze on throughout the day, can boost energy, improve concentration and reduce stress.

Getting a good night’s sleep is an important way of reducing stress on a daily basis, as feeling tired and worn out increases aggravation leading to higher stress levels and at an extreme level can cause stress-induced insomnia.

As obvious as it sounds, many people simply do not get enough sleep, and many studies have shown a direct link between lengths of resting time and the body’s ability to fight stress. Going to bed a little earlier at the same time may require some discipline at first, but this can be an easy way to reduce stress levels.
– via

How do you handle the stress in your life?

Is Stress Dangerous To Your Health?

Physical Signs Of Stress

Nearly everyone has some form of stress in their day to day life, but did you know that the emotional stress can start to take a physical toll? The list below are just a few of the most common symptoms associated with stress, and they can go anywhere from short-lived to long term.

Tension headaches

There’s a good chance your headache is due to stress — especially if you’re a woman. Tension headaches are the most common form of headaches, with 30% to 80% of adults occasionally suffering from them, and women are twice as likely to get them. Usually caused by tense muscles in the neck and scalp, tension headaches interrupt your day with mild to moderate pain or pressure around the forehead or back of the head and neck.

Chest pain

We’re willing to bet you’ve experienced this one and didn’t even associate it with stress. (Although chest pain can indicate much more serious conditions, so if you suffer from frequent chest pain, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor.) The link between stress and chest pain has doctors stumped, but research has supported the theory that the two are related.

According to Science Daily, more than 20,000 people went to the hospital in 2006 reporting chest pain that was not caused by heart disease or other conditions. One study found that men are more likely than women to experience it when faced with life or work stress, and women are more likely than men to suffer from it when dealing with anxiety and depression.

Aches & pains

A hectic life or stressful event can take a toll on your muscles, with pain normally manifesting in the neck, shoulders and lower back. Experts aren’t sure why this happens but hypothesize it has something to do with the connection between stress and tense muscles or with brain chemicals. A March 2012 study found that stress is actually associated with the body losing its ability to regulate the inflammatory response, which could be related to stress pains.

Teeth damage & jaw pain

Stress doesn’t always disappear when we sleep, and it can manifest at night in the form of teeth grinding, which can leave you with fractured, loosened or lost teeth if you do it often enough. Chronic grinding can also wear teeth down to stumps, according to WebMD.

And just in case you don’t get tension headaches, jaw-clenching and teeth-grinding can also result in headaches or jaw pain. Between 5% and 12% of people experience facial pain frequently caused by teeth grinding.

“People who are worst affected by grinding are Type A personalities: ambitious people and perfectionists, who usually work in business,” Sharif Khan, a cosmetic and implant dental specialist, told the Guardian.
If grinding is a problem for you — you probably won’t know until a significant other or dentist mentions it — you might need a night guard to protect your teeth.
– via

Stress And Illness

So if you can experience these things in the short term, what can happen to your body if the stress lasts? To keep yourself healthy, it’s vital to keep your stress levels under control. The side effects below are a great reason why – long term stress can take a toll on your nervous system, immune system, heart, and more.

Heart Problems

Over the long term, people who react more to stress have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. This risk particularly is linked to people who tend to be excessively competitive, impatient, hostile, and move and talk quickly. Of these characteristics, hostility is often pinpointed as the most significant.

The common stress response of eating comfort foods, with their accompanying fat and salt, is not beneficial to the heart either.

High Blood Pressure

Known as hypertension, this is a very common chronic disease which usually has no obvious symptoms. But it raises your risk of stroke, heart failure, kidney failure and heart attack.

Stress increases blood pressure in the short term, so chronic stress may contribute to a permanently raised blood pressure. If you have a family history of hypertension and heart problems, make sure you have regular checkups with your doctor, and try to follow his advice.


Continued stimulation of muscles through prolonged stress can lead to muscular pain such as backache. Together with our sedentary lifestyles and bad posture, this makes back, shoulder and neck ache extremely widespread.

Stress also is thought to aggravate underlying painful conditions such as herniated discs, fibromyalgia and repetitive strain injury (RSI). Furthermore, most migraine sufferers say that stress contributes to their headaches, which can last for days.
– via Psych

Do you struggle with high levels of stress? What physical symptoms have you noticed when your stress gets out of control?

Learning to Retire Happy

Retirement in Stages

Going through a major life change like retirement can feel like a whirlwind experience. But like any big transition, it goes more smoothly when you’re prepared! Here are just a few stages you can anticipate when going into retirement, and how to plan for each!

Pre-retirement – Planning Time

During the working years, retirement can appear to be both an oncoming burden and a distant paradise. Workers know that this stage of their lives is coming, and do everything they can to save for it, but often give little thought to what they will actually do once they reach the goal – the current demands that are placed upon them leave them little time to ponder this issue.

The Big Day – Smiles, Handshakes, Farewells

By far the shortest stage in the retirement process is the actual cessation of employment itself. This is often marked by some sort of dinner, party or other celebration, and has become a rite of passage for many, especially for those with distinguished careers.

Honeymoon Phase – I’m Free!

Of course, honeymoons follow more than just weddings. Once the retirement celebrations are over, a period often follows where retirees get to do all the things that they wanted to do once they stopped working, such as travel, indulge in hobbies, visit relatives and so forth. This phase has no set time frame and will vary depending upon how much honeymoon activity the retiree has planned.

Disenchantment – So this is it?

After looking forward to this stage for so long, many retirees must deal with a feeling of letdown, similar to that of newlyweds who must get down to the business of living once the honeymoon is over. Retirement isn’t a permanent vacation after all; it also can bring lowliness, boredom, feelings of uselessness and disillusionment.

Reorientation – Building a New Identity

Fortunately, the letdown phase of retirement doesn’t last forever. Just as married couples eventually learn how to live together, retirees begin to familiarize themselves with the landscape of their new circumstances and navigate their lives accordingly. This is easily the most difficult stage in the emotional retirement process and will take both time and conscious effort to accomplish.

Routine – Moving On

Finally, a new daily schedule is created, new marital ground rules for time together versus time alone are established, and a new identity has been at least partially created. Eventually, the new landscape becomes familiar territory, and retirees can enjoy the last phase of their lives with a new sense of purpose.
– via Investopedia

A Successful Retirement Is A Happy Retirement!

If you want to retire happy, you’ve got to plan for more than just the financial side of retirement. So much emphasis is put on money to retire, but retirement is an entire phase of life like any other, with many aspects to consider for a balanced life. Here are just a few of the things you’ll want to think through!

Freedom to do whatever you want.

Retirement is the long-awaited chapter in life where you are finally able to do what you really want. There is no more nine-to-five job, struggling to save or fighting to climb the corporate ladder. Retirement is a time to vacation, explore new things and try whatever strikes your fancy. You get complete control of your day and how you spend your time. This freedom to relax or stay busy is what makes retirement most satisfying.

Do something that matters.

Retirement presents an opportunity to focus on what matters to you personally. Rather than living for a paycheck, you can concentrate your energy on things you feel passionate about. For some people this means volunteering for a worthy cause, while others may share their career knowledge with small companies struggling to make it. Maybe you want to document your family history for future generations, injecting your personal insight and sense of humor throughout. If it matters to you, it matters. And as a retiree, you are able to do something about it.

Challenge yourself.

If you want to get better at something, you need to work at it. Retirement is no different. Whether trying your hand at a new puzzle to keep your mind sharp or walking an additional mile to keep your heart fit, facing new challenges helps you stay engaged with living. Throwing something new into the mix just might make the day more memorable. Just because you have not done it before does not mean you cannot take a shot now. You may even surprise yourself with what you are capable of.
– via US News & World Report

What are you planning for your retirement?

Eat Your Way To Lower Cholesterol!

Can A Tasty Dinner Lower Cholesterol?

If you want to lower cholesterol, there’s a lot you can do to naturally get your cholesterol in a healthy range. Eating these heart-healthy foods can lower cholesterol naturally – and they each have a ton of other health benefits, too!

Photo by pidjoe/Getty Images

Red wine

Scientists are giving us yet another reason to drink to our health. It turns out that high-fiber Tempranillo red grapes, used to make red wine like Rioja, may actually have a significant effect on cholesterol levels. A study conducted by the department of metabolism and nutrition at Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain found that when individuals consumed the same grape supplement found in red wine, their LDL levels decreased by 9%. In addition, those who had high cholesterol going into the study saw a 12% drop in LDL.

Salmon & fatty fish

Omega-3 fats are one of the natural health wonders of the world and have been shown to ward off heart disease, dementia, and many other diseases. Now these fatty acids can add yet another health benefit to their repertoire: lowering cholesterol. According to research from Loma Linda University, replacing saturated fats with omega-3s like those found in salmon, sardines, and herring can raise good cholesterol as much as 4%.


If you’re looking to lower cholesterol levels, research shows that you should get cracking! In a study published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who noshed on 1.5 ounces of whole walnuts 6 days a week for 1 month lowered their total cholesterol by 5.4% and LDL cholesterol by 9.3%. Almonds and cashews are other good options. However, while nuts are heart healthy, they’re also high in calories, so practice portion control—1.5 ounces is about a shot glass and a half. Use a shot glass to measure out your portion so you can see exactly how it looks.


Beans, beans—they really are good for your heart. Researchers at Arizona State University Polytechnic found that adding ½ cup of beans to soup lowers total cholesterol, including LDL, by up to 8%. The key to this heart-healthy food is its abundance of fiber, which has been shown to slow the rate and amount of absorption of cholesterol in certain foods. Try black, kidney, or pinto beans; each supplies about one-third of your daily fiber needs.
– via Prevention

Before You Need Drugs

If your cholesterol is on the rise, you’ll want to get it back under control naturally before you need to take other measures, like medication. You don’t have to overhaul the life you know to lower cholesterol through your diet – small changes can make a big difference and pay off with major health benefits! Here are just a few tweaks you can make to your diet to lower cholesterol with your food!


Eat more of the better fats

Both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids help lower LDL. Most plant-derived oils, including canola, safflower, sunflower, olive, grapeseed, and peanut oils, contain both. Fatty fish (such as salmon, tuna, trout, herring, and mackerel), seeds, nuts, avocados and soybeans are also great sources.

Go crazy with color

Fruits and vegetables have scads of ingredients that lower cholesterol—including fiber, cholesterol-blocking molecules called sterols and stanols, and eye-appealing pigments. The heart-healthy list spans the color spectrum—leafy greens, yellow squashes, carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, plums, blueberries. As a rule, the richer the hue, the better the food is for you.

Don’t be too refined

Whole grains are another good source of fiber. Instead of refined flour and white rice, try whole-wheat flour and brown or wild rice. Old-fashioned oatmeal is also a good choice, but not the quick-cooking versions, which have had much of the fiber processed out.

And don’t substitute sugar for fat. “It’s one of the worst choices you can make,” McManus warns. Food manufacturers may boost the sugar content of low-fat salad dressings and sauces to add flavor. If you see sugar, corn syrup, or any word ending in “ose” near the top of the list of ingredients, choose a higher-fat version without trans fats instead.

Remember: Calories still count

All fats, whether good or bad, have nine calories per gram—about 100 calories a tablespoon. While you switch to a heart-healthy diet you may need to keep tabs on your calorie intake for a while.
– via Harvard Health

Do you have heart-healthy elements in your diet? What are you doing to lower cholesterol, or keep it low, naturally?

Health Risks Of The American Diet

Portion distortion

There’s no doubt that there’s a crisis of weight and health in the United States. How did we get here – dealing with so much obesity and such poor health among the general public? Many blame it on our eating habits, and the breakdown below will help you understand how out of control portions combined with convenience foods have contributed to the national struggle.

The Western diet is nothing new. The typical American family in the 1950s was more likely than we are to sit down to a meal of pork chops and mashed potatoes than stir-fried tofu and broccoli. So why has the obesity epidemic exploded in the last 20 years? It’s a matter of size. “Twenty years ago, the diet wasn’t as varied as it is today, and people didn’t eat nearly enough fruits and vegetables,” Gollman says. “But the portions were more in line with what people really need.”

From bagel shops to family restaurants to vending machines to movie theater concession stands to the dining room table, our meals and snacks are taking on gargantuan proportions. “Everyone in the food industry decided they had to make portions larger to stay competitive, and people got used to large sizes very quickly,” Nestle says. “Today, normal sizes seem skimpy.”

The hyperinflation of our diet is especially obvious away from home. “Look through the window of any of the big chain restaurants, and you’ll see huge platters of food coming out of the kitchen,” Polk says. One of those platters could easily pack 2,000 calories, enough to last most people all day.

Convenience culture

Despite our national obsession with weight loss, the obesity epidemic continues to be a national health concern. The human craving for fats and sweets will never go away, and it’s getting easier than ever to satisfy those cravings. With 170,000 fast-food restaurants and 3 million soft-drink vending machines spread across the country, huge doses of calories are never far away — especially when those soda machines are sitting right in the middle of public schools.

In 1978, for example, the typical teen-age boy in the United States drank about seven ounces of soda a day, according to Fast Food Nation author Eric Schlosser. Today, he drinks nearly three times that much, getting a whopping 9 percent of his daily calories from soda. Teenage girls are close behind.

Perhaps not surprisingly, studies show that childhood obesity has hit epidemic proportions over the last few decades. The main culprits, according to experts: high-fat foods, sodas, and too little exercise.
– via

Improve Your Eating Habits To Live Longer

Want to start turning this health crisis around? We don’t have to be a product of our environment when it comes to diet and health. You can start taking back control starting today with just a few changes for healthier, better habits.

What changes can I make now in my diet?

Almost everyone can benefit from cutting back on unhealthy fat. If you currently eat a lot of fat, try just one or two of the following changes, or those suggested in our handout on healthier food choices:

  • Rather than frying meat, bake, grill or broil it. Take the skin off before eating chicken or turkey. Eat fish at least once a week.
  • Cut back on extra fat, such as butter or margarine on bread, sour cream on baked potatoes, and salad dressings. Use low-fat or nonfat versions of these condiments.
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables both with your meals and as snacks.
  • When eating away from home, watch out for “hidden” fats (such as those in salad dressing and desserts) and larger portion sizes.
  • Read the nutrition labels on foods before you buy them. If you need help reading the labels, ask your doctor or your dietitian.
  • Drink no- or low-calorie beverages, such as water or unsweetened tea. Sugar-sweetened drinks, such as fruit juice, fruit drinks, regular soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, sweetened or flavored milk and sweetened iced tea can add lots of sugar and calories to your diet. But staying hydrated is important for good health.

Balanced nutrition and regular exercise are good for your health, even if your weight never changes. Try to set goals that you have a good chance of reaching, such as making one of the small diet changes listed above or walking more in your daily life.
– via

What habits are you changing to give yourself a better diet and longer life?

Ready To Lower Cholesterol Naturally?

Out With The Bad, In With The Good to Lower Cholesterol

If you’re looking to lower cholesterol (LDL – the bad one), there’s a lot you can do naturally.

Drugs are necessary for some people, and we’d never suggest that you go against the advice of your doctor.

But if you’re looking to put some good stuff into your body to get the bad cholesterol out, here are a few tips to help you along your way!

Limit your intake of foods full of saturated fats, trans fats, and dietary cholesterol.

Foods with a lot of saturated fat include butter, fatty flesh like red meat, full-fat and low-fat dairy products, palm oil, and coconut oil.

If you see partially hydrogenated fat in the Ingredient List of a food label, that food has trans fats.

Top sources of dietary cholesterol include egg yolks, organ meats, and shellfish.

One type of fat – omega-3 fatty acids – has been shown to protect against heart disease. Good sources are cold-water fish like salmon, mackerel, halibut, trout, herring, and sardines.

To help you translate the above guidelines into daily food planning, here are key guidelines:

Select nonfat dairy foods only, 2 servings daily.

Limit your intake of meat, poultry, and fish to no more than 3.5 to 4 ounces per day.

From the choices below, which are listed from best to poor, try to select almost always from the top.

Best Choice: Omega-3-rich fish, such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and trout. Choose at least 2 times weekly.

If you’re using canned fish, such as canned sardines, select very-low-sodium or no-salt-added varieties.

Good Choice: Most other fish, plus shelled mollusks (clams, oysters, mussels, scallops).

Satisfactory Choices: Crustaceans (shrimp, crab, lobster, crawfish), Poultry (white meat, skinless) Game Meat (bison, venison, elk, ostrich), optimally free-range and grass-fed

Poor Choice: Red meat (beef, pork, lamb, veal, goat). For all red meat choices, select cuts that are under 30% fat. Red meats are the least desirable choice because they not only tend to have the highest proportion of saturated fats, they are also higher in heme iron, which likely raises the risk of type 2 diabetes and colo-rectal cancer. Red meats also alter the gut’s microbiome, which recent research indicates may raise cardiovascular disease risk.
– via

What’s Your Style?

Lifestyle, that is. For many people, it’s small lifestyle choices that add up over time to create an overabundance of bad cholesterol. Thankfully, making a few different choices can help undo the damage and get your cholesterol numbers back in the healthy range. Here are just a few lifestyle choices that can get you lower cholesterol!

Eat heart-healthy foods

Even if you have years of unhealthy eating under your belt, making a few changes in your diet can reduce cholesterol and improve your heart health

Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids don’t affect LDL cholesterol. They have other heart benefits, such as helping to increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or “good”) cholesterol, reducing your triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood, and reducing blood pressure. Some types of fish — such as salmon, mackerel and herring — are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Other good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include walnuts, almonds and ground flaxseeds.

Increase soluble fiber

There are two types of fiber — soluble and insoluble. Both have heart-health benefits, but soluble fiber also helps lower your LDL levels. You can add soluble fiber to your diet by eating oats and oat bran, fruits, beans, lentils, and vegetables.

Add whey protein

Whey protein is one of two proteins in dairy products — the other is casein. Whey protein may account for many of the health benefits attributed to dairy. Studies have shown that whey protein given as a supplement lowers both LDL and total cholesterol. You can find whey protein powders in health food stores and some grocery stores. Follow the package directions for how to use them.

Exercise on most days of the week and increase your physical activity

Exercise can improve cholesterol. Moderate physical activity can help raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol. With your doctor’s OK, work up to at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. Adding physical activity, even in 10-minute intervals several times a day, can help you begin to lose weight.

Just be sure that you can keep up the changes you decide to make.


Taking a brisk daily walk during your lunch hour

Riding your bike to work

Swimming laps

Playing a favorite sport

To stay motivated, find an exercise buddy or join an exercise group. And remember, any activity is helpful. Even taking the stairs instead of the elevator or doing a few situps while watching television can make a difference
– via

Are you trying to lower cholesterol naturally? What have you learned so far?

For A Healthy Heart, Watch Your Weight

Loosing Weight is a Powerful Factor for a Healthy Heart

Heart disease is a major problem in the United States. Most of us want to protect our hearts. There are several factors that can put our hearts at risk, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, etc.

More and more doctors and researchers are coming to the conclusion that the one thing that most people could do that would improve their heart health is to lose weight. Here are two ways that being overweight interferes with a healthy heart.Weight Loss Signpost Showing Fiber Exercise Fruit And Calories

Heart disease

Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is present 10 times more often in obese people compared to those who are not obese. Coronary artery disease is also more prevalent because fatty deposits build up in arteries that supply the heart. Narrowed arteries and reduced blood flow to the heart can cause chest pain (angina) or a heart attack. Blood clots can also form in narrowed arteries and cause a stroke.

Metabolic syndrome

The National Cholesterol Education Program has identified metabolic syndrome as a complex risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Metabolic syndrome consists of six major components: abdominal obesity, elevated blood cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, insulin resistance with or without glucose intolerance, elevation of certain blood components that indicate inflammation, and elevation of certain clotting factors in the blood. In the US, approximately one-third of overweight or obese persons exhibit metabolic syndrome.
– via

Heart Damage without Disease

New research measuring a protein called Troponin T in the blood of overweight people has shown danger for their hearts in the future. Even without the other risk factors of heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, narrowing arteries, there can be damage to the heart muscle if this protein is elevated.

The excerpt below explains how losing weight can protect against this silent heart damage.

Using an ultrasensitive blood test to detect the presence of a protein that heralds heart muscle injury, researchers from Johns Hopkins and elsewhere have found that obese people without overt heart disease experience silent cardiac damage that increases their risk for heart failure down the road.

Obesity is a well-known ‘accomplice’ in the development of heart disease, but our findings suggest it may be a solo player that drives heart failure independently of other risk factors that are often found among those with excess weight,” says lead investigator Chiadi Ndumele, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease.

People who were severely obese—those with a BMI above 35—had more than twice the risk of developing heart failure compared with people of normal weight, the researchers found. That risk rose incrementally with BMI, growing by 32 percent for every five-unit increase in BMI. Thus, a 6-foot, 225-pound man with a BMI of 30 was 32 percent more likely to develop heart failure than a 6-foot, 188-pound man with a BMI of 25. – via The Hub

Does this new information motivate you to lose weight and protect your healthy heart?

Getting Emotionally Prepared For Retirement

Are You Prepared for Retirement Emotionally?

There is much talk about preparing financially for retirement. Some people feel well prepared and others do not, but there is little talk about preparing emotionally. If you haven’t prepared emotionally for what life will be like after you stop going to the office now would be a good time to start thinking about it.

Retirement can be a very happy time of life. There is no doubt that it will also be a transition. If you haven’t thought about that transition the change will likely be more difficult. Here are some things to start you on the path of designing your own retirement!

Photo: Rod Millington for USA TODAY)

Some people may be OK with saying “retiree,” but others will be happier if they strive to define a post-retirement identity that will provide structure to their days and meaning to their lives.

• Your purpose/mission

This is related to your identity. It’s what gets you going in the morning. It’s your passion. It can take some time to sort out, and you may have several different missions or purposes during your golden years, Schlossberg says. You can ask yourself what you wish you had done in your life and turn that into a new focus. “One woman said to me, ‘I help organizations develop mission statements, but I don’t have a mission statement myself.’ ”

• Your relationships

When you leave your work life, you often lose touch with people who were once a part of your everyday life, so you need to develop new relationships, new communities. You might do that by engaging in volunteer activities, going to a health club or even hanging out at Starbucks, Schlossberg says.

This is the perfect time to spend more time with your children and grandchildren. “I love to play in the sand with my grandchildren.”

Your relationship with your spouse or partner may change, because you’ll probably be spending a lot more time together, Schlossberg says. Sometimes too much togetherness causes people to get on each others’ nerves for minor things, so couples may need to negotiate some new ground rules, she says.

Your Time

For the better part of 45 years most people live day in and day out with the feeling that they never have enough time to do the things they need to do. When the discussion comes to things they want to do, many would say those things must be saved for planned vacations.

Fast forward to “day one” of retirement and suddenly they wake up with time, time and more time! It’s all theirs. They can do with it what they want. With all the busyness of the last 45 years so many people haven’t taken the time to think about what to do when they have the time! Here are a few ideas to help you plan.

We spend time daydreaming of what retirement will be like, but you may be surprised to know that many of those nearing retirement fear they are not emotionally prepared.

How am I going to fill up all the extra time I now have?

Going back to our daydreams of what we anticipate retirement to be and our goals to take great vacations or practice our golf swing, those nearing retirement may not fully grasp all of the additional time they’ll have on their hands.

When you think in terms of a 40-plus-hour workweek in addition to commute time, getting ready for work each day, etc., you suddenly have a wealth of available time during retirement.

How do retirees prevent boredom? Many find volunteer projects or charitable endeavors to keep busy. Volunteer work can be very rewarding, and giving back will help fulfill the need to make a difference on a daily or weekly basis.

There are also a percentage of retirees who spend more time exercising or golfing on a regular basis. More than half our clients hope to travel more during retirement, especially if their children or grandchildren are not nearby, so they can spend more time visiting family.

Retirees usually spend more time on hobbies, in general, whether it’s gardening, working on projects around the house or taking on crafts.

There are many that actually go back to work on a part-time basis, not necessarily working in the field they left but instead trying their hand at a second career.
– via CNBC

Have you thought about what you most want to do when you retire? Do you feel emotionally prepared?