Waking up day after day to dark cloudy skies, can impact not only your mood, but also your movement. At a time when it becomes even more important to get up and get moving, it can take more effort. The reasons however, to put your best foot forward and get mobile, are really worth your time and consideration.
Why? Well, let’s look at a few simple facts.
Did you know that…?
Research has proven that when you sit up straight in your chair, it boosts your confidence!
Standing up, stretching your arms up to the sky and taking a deep breath, decreases stress and anxiety, increases your pain tolerance and your feelings of power.
Individuals who exercise for 30 minutes are much better equipped to overcome sadness and regulate difficult emotions.
Just 5 minutes at a park or on a nature trail (whether the sky is gray or not!) enhances your mental health and can put a smile on your face.
Making the choice to get outside, walk, swing your arms, pull your shoulders back, and put a spring in your step, decreases stress hormones, increases immunities, lowers bad cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, and raises good cholesterol!
So now that you know how much movement can help you feel good, put down your phone or walk away from your computer or tablet. Get up and move your body!
Don’t let those gray sky blues bring you down. Let movement improve your mood!
Share with us, how did movement help you?
To help you get moving healthfully, here are 6 great tips on how to choose athletic shoes that best support outside walking or running this season.
#1 INSPECT YOUR SHOES
Just because you haven’t been able to use your athletic shoes outside for many months, doesn’t mean your shoes are still supporting you properly. Is the back of the sole worn out? Is there still a cushion of support or is it worn down? Knowing when to replace your shoes is important, especially if you are a runner.
#2 DON’T BE CHEAP WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR MOBILITY
Though it’s great to find a nice pair of athletic shoes for a low price, being cheap when it comes to your feet isn’t wise. The fact is a good quality walking or running shoe can be pricey – but then, again, so can healthcare when you’ve injured yourself. Pay attention to the difference between a well-made shoe and a shoe that is expensive just because it is fashionable or endorsed by a celebrity.
#3 WHEN SHOE SHOPPING, WEAR (OR BRING) YOUR OWN SOCKS
Those nylon things at the shoe store might protect your foot from someone else’s germs – but they certainly don’t give you a chance to learn how the shoe fits when you are wearing your own socks. And, if you use an orthotic, bring this too, since the shoes need to fit with the orthotic inside.
#4 DON’T GO SHOE SHOPPING IN THE MORNING
Given that our feet swell throughout the day, it isn’t a good idea to shop for shoes early in the day. When you go later in the day, your feet will be at their largest and give you the best possibility of finding the right fit.
#5 ONE PAIR OF SHOES DOESN’T FIT EVERY OUTDOOR ACTIVITY
When you run, your foot contacts and wear patterns are different than when you walk. Shoes for walking tend to be stiff while shoes for running tend to be more flexible. Whatever type of activity you are doing, be aware of the difference and purchase shoes that will give you the best support for each type of activity.
#6 COMFORT IS A BIG DEAL
As we’ve looked over the studies, especially in connection with helping runners, we’ve found that the best shoes for your feet boils down to one thing: comfort. While your shoes need to be supportive, your foot also needs to be able to move within reason and restricting motion can cause problems too.
While we know that these tips can be helpful, if you don’t feel comfortable figuring out what is best for you, go to a reputable shoe store and ask for professional help – your body will thank you later!
We all have skips in our memory from time to time — misplacing our keys, forgetting an event or appointment, or failing to remember the name of an acquaintance. But as we age, particularly as we reach and pass the age of 65, it is easy to wonder if such small lapses in our memory can be signs of something more serious, like Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia.
The good news is that most of us won’t develop such serious diseases, the tough news is that some memory loss is common as we age — the American Psychological Association says that both our “episodic memory,” which remembers the small things in our daily lives, as well as our long-term memory, which stretches back to childhood, often declines as we grow older.
That being said, recent studies point to a variety of ways that we can reduce age-related memory loss and improve how our brain works from day to day. Here are 6 excellent tips from the Mayo Clinic and the American Psychological Association:
Stay mentally active.
Mental activity can keep your brain in better shape, and this can be done in a variety of ways. You can do mind games, like crossword puzzles, or computer training games designed to improve mental acuity. You can learn how to speak a new language or play an instrument. Even volunteering at the local school or library can help you keep your brain active.
Participating in social activities can help to reduce depression, which can contribute to memory problems. In addition, being social has been shown to improve longevity of life and overall health.
Train your brain.
When you learn new things, try using mnemonics, acronyms and associations to help remember them. Mnemonics use words to remember a sequence. Acronyms simply use the first letter of every word. And associations create a visual link to a name or location, like picturing a night sky when wanting to remember, Eve, the new nurse’s name.
A lack of sleep can create cognitive problems and it is always in your best interest to seek help if you have frequent problems with this important activity.
Eat a balanced diet.
Studies have shown that people who eat more fish, fruits and vegetables (also known as the Mediterranean diet) have lower risks of heart disease and diabetes, as well as healthier brains. In addition, diets heavy in omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon and other fish, have been shown to improve the networking in your brain.
Be physically active.
There are many reasons to exercise — physical activity can reduce the risk of a variety of diseases, and it makes you feel better both physically and mentally. In addition, however, it has been shown to provide a variety of mental benefits, including improving memory, increasing cognition in older patients, and reducing brain shrinkage. A physical therapist can help you identify exercise activities that are a match for your fitness level and physical condition.