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Biking is a Beneficial Pastime for Active Adults

by Carla Griffin on September 19, 2022

An active life is important to ensure health and longevity. For this, the love of the activity, many active adults have taken up biking. Are you a biking enthusiast? Even if you are not, biking is a great way to stay fit and enhance your social life.

Health Benefits of Biking

Health Benefits of Biking

Biking has a number of health benefits. Plus, it is an ideal way to exercise, especially for baby boomers. Bike riding is easier on your joints than many other activities. You burn calories, maintain a healthy weight and build up cardiovascular endurance through biking. If you exercise on a bike, you have the added advantage of doing so outdoors and indoors. However, outdoor biking is better as you get to take in fresh air and sunshine, and also enjoy the view. Imagine, riding your bike on a warm, sunny day and feeling the wind rushing up to your face.

Social Benefits of Biking

Its social appeal also encourages many active adults to take up biking. There are many over 55 communities that feature biking trails. If you live in one such community, you can set “bike dates” with friends and enjoy the ride more. You can get together for group rides, bike-a-thons, scenic tours, and many other community events. Biking is superb for making new friends. Sharing common interests is one of the most salient factors to forming lasting friendships. So, get on that bike and get cracking.

Selecting a Suitable Bike

Whether you are an experienced or amateur rider, when selecting bikes, go for one specially designed for active adults. These bikes are easy to ride, comfortable as they have wider saddles and higher handlebars than standard bikes. This ensures a comfortable and easy time when riding. More and more manufacturers are catering bikes according to the requirements of active, older adults. So you are sure to find a bike that suits your requirements.

Comfortable bikes, designed for you, do not put unnecessary strain on your bodies. The upright position of these bikes won’t give you back pain. Whether you are riding on the mountain or standard road terrain, you are assured of an easy time as these bikes can be fitted with tires that can take on these road conditions.

If you have lost touch with bike riding, it is time you started. The health benefits and social aspects of riding should be sufficient to persuade you to take up riding.

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First-Time Gardener? Here’s How to Prepare for Fall

by Carla Griffin on September 18, 2022

Key takeaways:

  • Demand for gardens and other outdoor spaces for lounging, cooking, and dining has surged since the coronavirus pandemic began.
  • Gardens require constant tending to remain viable, even through less-active winter months.
  • Don’t treat all plants the same. Vegetables, shrubs, and other greenery will need different kinds of maintenance.

Before COVID-19, millions of Americans had never gardened. Now, many have the time at home to plant perennial beds and borders, vegetable and herb patches, and fruit trees to improve their yards’ aesthetics and provide food for their families. They also may construct outdoor spaces for lounging, cooking, dining, and to simply have a place to breathe fresh air.

But unlike many of the rooms in our homes that don’t require frequent attention, gardens need active involvement beyond spring and summer to see them through to the end of the season and over the winter.

As summer winds down, many new to gardening are asking what they should do now. Novices may have encountered problems of overgrown shrubs, half-eaten tomato plants, and hostas with holes caused by rabbits or deer feasted on them. Do homeowners rip out the dead ones or grab their shears to prune? Did they overwater and so now look to install a better irrigation system? Or maybe they are wondering what to do before the season’s over so they still might enjoy fall vegetables, like beets and broccoli, and perennials, such as coreopsis and astilbe.

Here’s what Glassman suggests heading into the fall and winter months.

Deadhead perennials. When perennial flowers have finished blooming, cut off old stalks or stems, which is called “deadheading.” This keeps them healthy and helps them to regenerate more flowers next season, Glassman says. He’ll do this at least once a week with his finished stalks.

 

Fall garden prep

©Michael Glassman

 

Prune and transplant overgrowth. Plants and bushes require different types of trimming—think of it like a fall haircut. For example, a lilac bush should have its old flowers and stems cut to thin out the growth, allowing light into the center of the bush. This will allow it to grow bigger and fuller next season. For a pear tree, thin out crisscrossing branches and carefully shape the tree. Hydrangeas should be heavily cut back to keep them from getting too tall. Overgrown hostas can be transplanted to another part of the yard after they finish blooming, usually during late fall. Glassman says it’s best to call a licensed arborist to safely prune larger trees.

Mulch plants to retain water. Using an organic material, such as wood, bark or straw, homeowners should mulch flower beds and around trees to help them retain water, keep down weeds and prevent the soil from drying out. Mulch also curtails ground temperature fluctuations, which protects plants over the winter, and will give gardens a nice professional look. Many communities offer mulch at a reduced price, or even for free, so check with your municipality’s building department. The best times to mulch are fall and spring.

Set up a drip irrigation system on a timer to water plants. This will help prevent overwatering, which is much more common than underwatering, Glassman says. The system can be hooked up to a soaker hose and uses a timer to regulate watering. A good rule of thumb is to water early in the morning before the sun is high in the sky, causing the water to quickly evaporate. A homeowner should water daily for the first two weeks after planting, then slowly scale back to every other day. At the end of the season, be sure to unplug hoses and other systems so they don’t freeze and burst.

Keep pests away. New gardeners often learn that certain plants and flowers in their gardens extend an invitation to bugs. If you’re seeing partially or completely eaten leaves and stems, you’ve got company. Spray with insecticidal soap or use Neem oil rather than a chemical, which, Glassman says, “defeats the purpose of growing your own healthy vegetables.” Use them early in the morning or after dusk so you do not damage the plants. If you get aphids, consider releasing ladybugs in the morning or evening to prey on them, he suggests.

Deter larger wildlife. To control voles and gophers, dig down into the ground two feet and lay heavy-duty wire mesh, or build a raised planter at least 18 inches high that’s filled with a quality, organic planting mix. This keeps animals from digging up and eating plant roots. A homeowner could also go with vegetables and flowers that are known to be more animal resistant such as rosemary, lavender, thyme, and society garlic.

Order bulbs to be a step ahead for next season. Now is the time to peruse garden centers and online garden retailers for spring bulbs. Homeowners should plant in the fall, before the first frost arrives. Among favorites to consider are allium, tulips, daffodils, anemones, and irises. Many experienced gardeners like the look of a big visual display of the same type of bulb, which requires larger orders. For ideas, look online at the displays in the famous Keukenhof Garden in Holland.

 

Raised planters

©Michael Glassman

 

Try raised planters or horse troughs. Rather than planting directly into the ground, raised “containers” help improve soil drainage—it also means less bending and sore backs. When thinking ahead to next spring, Glassman recommends planters or troughs that are at least 18 inches high to discourage snails and slugs from climbing in. He also suggests cutting one or two drainage holes in the bottom for water to seep out and filling them with a light, organic planting mix. “Be sure to set your vegetable garden where it will get a least five hours of sun each day,” he says. “Add in some nasturtiums or marigolds as a way to gain color and edibles at the same time,” he says.

Remember, there’s no such thing as a black thumb. “Everyone can be successful. It just takes time and patience,” Glassman says. “Don’t be afraid to experiment with different plants—it should be fun, not stressful. A cliché, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a successful garden.”

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Dancing to Stay Healthy… and Young

by Carla Griffin on August 31, 2022

Dancing has been around for generations, and it is certainly known for the fun and excitement that it generates. Today, dancing means much more than this; today, dancing also means looking young and staying healthy. Dancing has many health benefits, and these health benefits can be achieved by doing something you enjoy. Many baby boomers need no introduction to the health benefits of dancing. This could be why they sign up for ballroom dancing, salsa, jazz, and of course, the dancing exercise, Zumba. For those who are not yet aware of the full benefits associated with shaking a leg to a beat, here are factors to push you to the dance floor!

Dancing for Health

Dancing is great for flexibility. Flexibility is a vital part of staying healthy. All your major muscle groups are put in motion when you dance. Most forms of dance require a certain amount of bending and stretching, so you naturally become more flexible when you dance. Your muscles are strengthened when you dance. This is because you force your own muscles to resist your body weight. Dancing is exercise, and exercise increases endurance. Two of the best methods of increasing endurance are ballroom and line dancing on a regular basis. In addition, dancing is good for your heart. As dancing is a form of exercise, you get your heart pumping. This works your heart out and helps melt away plaque and cholesterol that have formed in your arteries. If you want to decrease your blood pressure and strengthen the bones in your hips and legs, as well as increase your mental well-being, sign up for dance classes today.

Dancing for Fun

Dancing is a fun way to stay healthy. No one can resist the sound of salsa or rumba music. Dancing is a social exercise. You need a partner and many other people in the room with you. A dance class is a sure way to increase your social interactions with others and form new friendships. Communication is a necessary element to staying healthy as you age. Many seniors find life lonely once they retire. However, if you join a dance class, you will meet new people, both young and old, and you can get to know them and have fun with them. Besides, you cannot be sad or unhappy when you dance. Dancing releases endorphins and endorphins make you happy. This could be why many dancers are always smiling! Happy dancers feel young.

Dancing to Lose Weight

Dancing is one of the best ways to lose weight. As dance uses many muscles, you burn more calories, which in turn helps you lose weight. However, several types of dancing burn different amounts of calories. Dancing moderately helps burn approximately 120 calories per hour. So, if you want to burn more calories than this, you must consider a more vigorous form of dancing. However, always remember to consult a doctor before any type of dance. Even if you think it is moderate and does not require medical advice, always consider doing so as it is better for your health.

Now that you know about the health benefits of dancing, go, and get your groove on. Shake those hips and booty! Even if you don’t know how to dance, just shaking that wild thing will help you to stay healthy and feel young.

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Easy Summer Gardening Tips for 55+ Seniors

by Carla Griffin on May 25, 2022

Many 55 plus seniors I know love gardening. It is a great stress-reliever and helps keep them active and healthy. Now that summer is here, many of you may want to pay attention to your garden and show it off to your friends and neighbors. You may find that gardening or keeping your lawn can sometimes be a very difficult and tiresome task. However, this does not have to be so. With a little planning and the right tools, you will be able to spend less time working on the garden and more time lounging in your deck chair enjoying the fruits of your labor. Here are a few easy summer gardening tips for you.

Select the Right Tools

This is one of the most important things when you garden. Before you purchase the highest tech tools consider the size of your garden. Do you really need big, heavy machinery? Consider your health as you will be doing the work. Lifting heavy machines can tax your health. Select tools that are comfortable and easy to use.

Consider Low-Maintenance Plants

Sometimes, the plants that look the best require the most maintenance. Some of these plants may need to be looked after carefully during winter and this is sure to keep you spending more time than you should in your garden. So, if you want to spend the least time in your garden, yet you want it to look good, consider low-maintenance plants, such as peonies, coneflowers, and black-eyed-Susans.

Use a Garden Cultivator

These things are excellent for maintaining your garden and will cut your garden time by half. An electric cultivator will speed up the soil-preparing process and make quick work of compost, fertilizer, etc. as well as, eliminate weeds.

Use Containers for a Change of Scene

Planting in pots will save you the time of digging up plants. If you want a change of scene try ceramic pots with holes in the bottom and plant your flowers in them. They are pretty and will let you do some of your trimming and pruning work in the shade, by simply shifting the pots to where you can sit down and work on them.

Recycle the Clippings

Clippings are the remnants of grass and other things that you bag after you mow your lawn. Leaving these clippings adds vital nutrients back into the soil when they decompose. The best news about this is you spend less time and energy bagging the clippings.

Always take a Break

Mowing your lawn and other gardening activities can tax your body. This can stress your muscles and joints. If you feel tired or wrung out, keep your work for another day. Your health is more important than a pretty garden.

If you adhere to these tips, you will not only have a well-kept garden but will spend less time on it and more time enjoying the summer and the fruits of your labors.

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The Perks of Traveling After Retirement

May 19, 2022

Have you ever watched a travel program in a country such as India or Japan, and found yourself amazed that such places exist beyond the comfort of your own hometown? Most of us have yet to visit many of the landmarks within the U.S. let alone the wonders that lie abroad. Many wait until retirement […]

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The Importance of Green Leafy Veggies for a Healthy Life

May 17, 2022

  Most of us tend to underestimate the importance of green leafy vegetables. As children, we battled with parents to skip the greens and as a youth, we chucked the salads and moved over to fried foods. However, when you reach your mid-life, there is no way to turn away from the greens on your […]

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MOVING TIPS

March 30, 2022

What’s in Your Moving Budget? Does the thought of moving overwhelm you? You’re not alone! According to Move.com, over 30 million people in the U.S. move yearly—and unless you do it often, it can be a logistical challenge. Plus, the cost of moving can be very expensive. If your employer is paying for your move, Congratulations! […]

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Can you Afford Retirement?

January 10, 2022

  The most important factor in retirement is money. For some of us, this is a great problem. Can we afford to retire? Do we have enough money saved up to live comfortably for the rest of our lives? Here are some factors you need to consider if you are wondering whether you can afford […]

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New Year’s Resolutions for Active Adults

January 3, 2022

The end of the old year and the dawn of a new… This is when most of us decide to make New Year’s resolutions. What are your New Year’s resolutions? Have you decided to take up something good and give up something bad? If you have not, then this is the best time to do […]

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Winter Safety Tips for Seniors

December 31, 2021

Winter is here, and it promises to be one of the worst. All that ice, snow, and cold temperature make life extremely challenging for all concerned. The challenge is doubled for seniors. Here are some winter safety tips for seniors to adhere to. Avoid Slipping on Ice The roads can be snowy and icy. This […]

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