Puffing Your Way to a Better Brain

by The Sibyls

‘If it’s good for the heart, it’s good for the brain.’ Health advisers are constantly telling us that exercise  is  good  for  the brain. Now researchers in Germany claim to have discovered the reason why. It has everything to do with a vitamin-like chemical called choline.

In  an article titled Get on your bike and ride out dementia risk (Fin Review, July 2017), Jill  Margo  explained  that  there  have  not  been  many  randomised,  control  trails  of  brain metabolism before. Prof Johannes Pantel, Goethe University, Frankfurt, said the small study showed that regular aerobic exercise protects and maintains brain function by keeping the choline levels constant.

Choline maintains brain cell membrane health. Dementia is commonly marked by a sharp rise then crash in choline levels.

So get smart and ‘Puff Puff Puff’ your way to better brain health.

(Note: ‘Banging’ (see above) may also be beneficial to brain health.)

Fall Down 7 times. Get Up 8. Do the Hokey Pokey …

by The Sibyls

Midlife  can  involve many  stresses  including  career  demands,  difficult  teenage children, divorce,  lack of time,  lack of fitness,  parents’   failing  health  and  money  worries  with no simple solutions in sight. But one of the BIGGEST issues of midlife is accepting that you are not always in control. Unexpected things can happen to you despite the best plans.

An article by Tara Parker-Pope in The New York Times this week (How to Build Resilience in Midlife) gives some pointers that could equally apply at any age.

Life, or so it seems, was simple once. Now it is so complex.
Here are some of the ways to build resilience:

  • Practise Optimism
  • Rewrite Your Story
  • Don’t Personalise It
  • Remember Your Comebacks
  • Support Others
  • Take Stress Breaks
  • Go Out of Your Comfort Zone

We, the Sibyls, would add:

  • Seek joy

Joy will not just arrive on your doorstep. You have to seek it. Find out what makes you happy and what makes you laugh. Then do this everyday or, at least, when you can.

Can you guess which generation is Generation Smug?

Sibylesque George Orwell quote When it comes to food we always think we’re smarter than our parents and, as George Orwell noted, wiser than out kids. So which generation is Generation Smug? Yours!!! Sibylesque Milk Carton nutrition 2 photo source: pinterest unattributed

HOME

Book Review: Older and Bolder

Sibylesque Renata Quote

REVIEW by Lorna Ebringer

older and bolder cover

Picture 2  . . . .

.

.

.

.

“Old age is not for the faint hearted” a friend told me. She should know. At 93, distressed by both her appearance and not wanting anyone to see her having to use a walking frame, she now refuses to leave her apartment.But perhaps old age is what you make of it. Renata Singer interviewed 28 women aged between 85 and 100 living in Australia and New York and their stories plus research into the way people choose to live in the last three decades of their lives is the subject matter of her new book.

As a baby boomer and therefore heading for 70 I am well and truly in the zone and thinking about all the issues related to growing old.  When is a good time to retire? How much money do we need to live comfortably possibly for many years? How do we remain well? Where are we to live, should we stay in our home or downsize or move into purpose built accommodation for the elderly? How will we cope with the loss of our loved ones? Sibylesque Terrify Kids All these issues are covered in Renata’s book, informed by research and enlivened by the experiences of the wonderful women that contributed to the project, containing “hot tips” covering each matter, it is a must read for those of us who are thinking about how it will be for us and how we are best to cope. Above all it is an optimistic book, those women who have come before us show us that it is possible to live well and joyfully for all of our lives.

 We, THE SIBYLS, declare Renata Singer an Honorary Sibyl for her dogged research, penetrating insight and spirited presentation of older women today. We also commend her for her efforts in establishing Fitted for Work to help unemployed women get back into the workforce.

Publisher’s link here.

Sibylesque Sibyl Approved Maroon

LORNA EBRINGER

LORNA EBRINGER

Lorna Ebringer’s passions include trekking  in remote areas of Georgia, China and Japan, opera appreciation and rock ‘n roll dancing. Her previous posts were Notable Women: Christine de Pizan and When god had a wife.

Photo Source: Publisher’s Website,pinterest…………….

HOME

These are the best years of your life. What? Middle school? That’s it!

The Sibyls

Radical Age quote

We Sibyls are concerned with the impact negative attitudes to aging have on our health. Toxic stereotypes of ‘the little old lady’ are prevalent in the medical world, At my age doctor John Glen was an astronaut, in the media, If you think you are old guess what? You are aging fast and in our own conversations, Why you should avoid geriatric talk.

Anarchists knitting Club 1

Sometimes, however, we don’t realise just how ingrained these attitudes are in the culture. In this fascinating lecture Sheila Roher, founder of Radical Age Lab, University of Columbia, asks the audience ‘how many of you were told when you were a child or a teenager that these are the best years of your life?’. ‘That’s a terrifiying statement!’ exclaims Roher. ‘Like I peaked at nine … middle school is it?’

Watch the video for some profound philosophical thinking on aging.

You will find more discussion on this topic at Radical Age Movement Blog.

HOME

Can you die from a broken heart? Yes! It could happen to you.

by Kerry Cue

Sibylesque Heart Foundation Quote

More women in Australia die from Heart Disease than cancer. This is also true in the UK and the US. This fact often surprises women. We are so attuned to raising money for breast cancer research, we assume it is the number one killer. This misperception makes a heart attack for us dangerous. We don’t recognise the symptoms. We put symptoms like nausea and chest pain down to something we ate or anxiety.

A recent article by Martha Weinman Lear in The New York Times (The woman’s Heart Attack, 26 Sept 2014) highlighted the difference between male and female heart attacks. Martha, who had a heart attack herself, explains that more men have the classic dramatic chest-clutching ‘Hollywood’ heart attack.

Sibylesque Heart Attack

Most women do not have drama on their side prompting those around them to call an ambulance. The symptoms of a heart disease could simply be fatigue and insomnia. Something that we often assume is NORMAL.

It’s back to the same old message for women’s health. Keep in tune with your own body. Take action when things don’t feel quite right. The life you save may be your own.

HOME

Please Squeeze: Why Pelvic Floor Exercises Count at your age!

by Annie James

Sibylesque Pelvic Floor Joke quote

A bit of essential leg-crossing when there’s no loo nearby? Not too keen on star jumps or sneezing bouts? The resorting to panty-liners to blot the odd leak? These are all signs that your pelvic floor muscles would like some attention, some action.

With age and especially following a vaginal delivery, the cradle of muscles around urethra (urine outlet) become less effective in contracting well and exercises may be all that’s required to make them effective again. The results can be seen quickly and the problem resolved. If you don’t know whether you’re using the correct muscles you can try stopping your urine flow mid-stream. This is not recommended as an exercise but will give you the correct sensation of ‘drawing up’ your pelvic floor and you’ll then be able to do it whenever you want.

Sibylesque  Pelvic Floor Joke

Ideally do it at least 6 times, 2-3 times a day, and try and vary length of hold, and how high you feel you’re lifting. It shouldn’t be obvious to anyone that you’re doing the exercises so make sure you breath normally! I know it seems a lot of exercise for one lot of muscles but if you do them say, once at traffic lights, once lying in bed and once when cleaning teeth or waiting for a coffee, it’s a breeze.

Please note, if you don’t have an idea of how to do the exercise or the problems continue, do see your GP or a specialist Physiotherapist for advice and other treatment.

Believe me, you’ll enjoy a much happier older age if you keep these muscles active; improves enjoyment of sex too!

You will find everything you could ever want to know about incontinence and more if you download this brochure from the Continence Foundation of Australia.

…………………………………………………………………………………………….

Babylonian Sibyl

Babylonian Sibyl

Annie James is an adventurous spirit, who is passionate about women’s health. She has worked as a physiotherapist and also hikes and plays tennis.

Photo source: Social History Archives

HOME

How to postpone aging? Get a grip. Really.

by Kerry Cue

Sibylesque old age quote 2When does old age begin? Well, traditionally turning 65 years of age marked the beginning of old age. But now Warren Sanderson, a professor of social and behavioral sciences at Stony Brook University, offers a different view point. In an article by Judith Graham, (On New Measurements of Aging, New York Times, 16 SEP 2014) he said ‘We should consider people as old when they near the end of their life: when their remaining life expectancy is 15 years or less.’ Compare two 65 year olds. If one has a life expectancy of, say, 5 years, and the other, 25 years then the first, obviously, is much closer to the end of life stage.

What measure places people in the old age category?

Surprisingly, Prof Sanderson’s research shows that the strength of a person’s handgrip is an accurate indicator of different rates of aging. Data has been collected for 50,000 subjects from the USA, Europe, japan and China.

So GET A GRIP.

Sibylesque Long Life Martini

And one more thing, Prof Sanderson is now looking another indicator of old age: THE TIME IT TAKES TO GET OUT OF A CHAIR.

So you need LIFT OFF. Work on it.

You might also enjoy the article on Aging and the Pelvic Floor here.

Photo source: Huffinton Post

HOME

What’s your poison …. Botox, flu shots or designer drugs?

by Kerry Cue

Sibylesque Vaccination quote

We, Baby Boomers, are the last generation that can remember kids who suffered from Diphtheria, Polio and/or Whooping Cough. As kids many of us caught the common childhood diseases including  measles, german measles, mumps and, definitely, Chicken Pox. In Melbourne, in the 1950s, my next door neighbour Roy had TB.  When I was 8 years old, he taught me a skill he picked up in the Sanatorium, namely how to blanket stitch a felt toy.

Sibylesque girliron lung

It is not surprising then that most of us are pro-vaccination. For those in doubt look here. This is a You Tube clip posted by the Mayo Clinic of a baby with Whooping Cough. Parents of a baby afflicted with such a terrible disease as Whooping Cough say they would do anything to help their little baby, but it is too late.

So what vaccinations might be appropriate for our 50+ age group?

Flu shots.

Pneumonia Vaccination especially if you are prone to respiratory diseases.

And, the latest, SHINGLES SHOTS.

Shingles is a very painful condition caused by the Chicken Pox virus that lays dormant in the nerve roots near the spine of anyone who ever had the disease. According to the AMA the ‘risk and severity of the condition increases markedly with age’. The American-made vaccine, Zostavax , has been approved by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) for use by Australians aged 50 years or older. The vaccine has not been added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule yet so a Shingles Shot is expensive (Around $200), but it is a price any shingles sufferer would gladly pay if they could.

Finally, we often get Top Up shots, especially new grandmothers, for the standard vaccinations we had in our youth including measles, mumps and so on. You would need to consult your medical practitioner for further information.

Photo: Unknown Source

HOME

Sense of Purpose

 by Kerry Cue

Living with purpose quotePaula SpanLiving with Purpose, (New York Times, 3 JUN 2014) written by The New Old Age columnist Paula Span (left) is a significant article, which provides both insight and inspiration on the subject of aging well. The conclusion summarised in the article and backed by extensive research, applies equally to all age groups.

A sense of purpose has many health benefits. It contributes to ‘satisfaction and happiness, better physical functioning and even better sleep.’

‘They want to make a contribution’ explained Dr Patricia Boyle, Rush University, Chicago, who conducted a longitudinal study of 1,000 elderly subjects. ‘They want to feel a apart of something that extends beyond themselves.” A sense of purpose can come from mentoring as well as passing on memories and experience to the young.

Sibyls Emblem Red Frescoe

This is, of course, the reason the Sibylesque blog came into being. Why not become a Sibyl? What memories, experience or words of wisdom would you like to pass onto the young, or not so young?

 We, THE SIBYLS, declare Paula Span an Honorary Sibyl for her generosity of spirit in sharing her personal stories, insight and wisdom.

When the Times Comes coverPaula Span is journalist with extensive experience writing for The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and many other publications. She is also the author of When the Times Comes: Families with Aging Parents Share their Struggles and Solutions. You can learn more about Paula at her website.

Photo source: Paula Span’s website.

HOME