A boomer is defined by anyone born between 1946 and 1964.
Today, the oldest boomer is 63; the youngest 45
Six steps in six days to win the battle over ‘Boomeritis’
If you are one of the 27 million Americans who suffer with joint pain from osteoarthritis (OA), you are not alone.
Eighty-four percent of OA sufferers report joint pain as an intrusive part of their daily lives, which prevents them from participating in activities including yard work, driving and household chores. Additionally, over half haven’t been able to participate in sports as much as they’d like, according to a new independent study funded by Elations, a fruit-flavored glucosamine and chondroitin drink.
These daily experiences of aches and pains can be attributed to “Boomeritis”, an increase of joint aches, pains, injuries and ailments experienced by older active adults as they reach their 40s, 50s and beyond. The term Boomeritis was coined in 1999 by Dr. Nicholas A. DiNubile, an orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
“This year marks the 10-year anniversary of Boomeritis, and it’s time to take action,” says Andrea Metcalf, nationally recognized baby boomer fitness expert and trainer. “Overcoming OA and battling the effects of Boomeritis means making the effort to exercise, supplement and practice small steps daily to help your body slow down the deterioration of joint and bone strength that naturally comes with aging.”
To win the battle over Boomeritis, Metcalf recommends
Practice anti-inflammatory living. Reduce joint inflammation and discomfort by eating a diet that includes lean proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables and highly absorbable glucosamine and chondroitin supplements such as Elations. When taken daily it can help relieve joint discomfort in just six days. Learn more at www.elations.com.
Do two yoga poses. Tree pose and downward dog really help balance your body. Yoga in general helps calm the body. The tree pose (standing on one leg, place left foot on the inside of the right leg with hands in a prayer position at chest) helps strengthen the lower body and core while the downward dog (hands on ground, out in front with hips high and heels down) helps stretch the hamstrings and lower back.
Get moving. Try to move your body at least 10 minutes after each meal or three times a day. Everyone needs regular exercise, which helps keep your muscles toned and joints flexible.
Stretch on all fours. The “pointer” is a move done on hands and knees involving one arm reaching forward and the opposite leg reaching back. Hold for at least four counts and repeat on the other side. This move helps strengthen the core and the back for better posture.
Get your five-a-day. Make sure you are getting your five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. They contain essential vitamins, minerals and fiber that may help protect you from chronic diseases and help you maintain your weight. Go to www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov for helpful tips on how you can get your daily servings.
Get at least six hours of sleep per night. Proper rest and recovery aids the body’s ability to rebuild and rejuvenate. Studies have shown that adults who sleep six to seven hours a night live longer.
Courtesy of ARA Content
Now and then
By Ed. Lange
Okay, I admit it. Generally speaking, the world is a better place than it was in, oh, let’s say 1956 – 10 years after the start of the post-World War II Baby Boom. Technology, medicine, civil rights, communications and a host of other developments have improved life in innumerable ways. Overall, those past 53 years have improved the quality of life. Overall, but not entirely by any means.
It can be entertaining to think about some of the modern marvels we take for granted today that were only speculative ideas or even science fiction in the mid-fifties. Equally astonishing is how, in some instances, some of these marvels went from non-existent to near-necessities in less than 50 years. Talk about “Future Shock!” Wow!
Personal computers have got to be the world’s Number One life-changer, and the word among scientists is, “We ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.” Nobody on Planet Earth had a personal computer in 1956 (not until 1975, in fact), but today there are more than one billion of them. And it’s pretty well known that kids today hold more computer power in the palm of their hands than Apollo 11 had for its landing on the moon. Ancillary to this, of course, was no email, no IM, no eBay, no Facebook, etc.
Cell Phones are the most popular electronic device in the world with more than two-and-a-half billion in service in 2009 – and rapidly increasing. The first cell phone call was made in 1973 on a phone that weighed nearly two pounds. Ten years later, Motorola introduced a cell phone that weighed only one pound and cost $3,500. In 1956, phones were black with rotary dials and there wasn’t even a cordless one in existence. In fact, when my wife and I were married in 1969, we had a party line (ask someone old what that is). Today, there are more cell phones in use worldwide than landlines. (I can’t help but think about Dick Tracy and his two-way wrist radio.)
Telephone Answering Machines didn’t become commonplace until the 80s. Back in the old days, someone actually had to be home to answer the phone; screening calls was impossible, so you had to take your chances on who might be calling, and businesses had real live human beings answer their calls. (If you can imagine such a thing.)
Television. Yes, we had television “way back then”. Actually, in 1948 there were a whopping 350,000 of them in American homes, but only one in ten Americans had ever seen a television. In only 10 years, by 1957, televisions had found their way into 41 million American homes. And remember, every one of them used vacuum tubes, because transistors, integrated circuits and silicon chips were still in the future.
VCR, DVR, DVD, CDs, etc. are everywhere now, but the first VCR for home use didn’t exist until the early 70s – and cost thousands of dollars. Today, VCRs go begging for purchasers who have overwhelmingly shifted from videotapes and vinyl records to DVDs, CDs and MP3 players. The digital tsunami has struck and stuck. Don’t even talk to me about video games.
Microwave Ovens were introduced originally as “Radaranges” since their development sprung from radar research at Raytheon. The first commercially successful countertop oven was produced by Amana – a subsidiary of Raytheon – in 1967. Prior to that, all cooking had to be done over crude log fires or gas or electric ranges and ovens.
Lasers are used extensively in manufacturing, surgery, science, communication and weapons. But the optical laser didn’t exist until 1960. In fewer than 50 years, this incredibly versatile technology has gone from Einsteinian theory to daily reality in a wide array of practical applications from cutting tempered steel to fragile eyeballs.
Space travel, satellites and GPS were nothing but science fiction when I was in elementary school. The year was 1956 and the space race between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. was about to take off. Mankind had not put anything into earth orbit. The Russians launched dogs 60 miles into space and our nation was stunned when their 23-inch Sputnik achieved Earth orbit before we did – even though we had more expatriate German rocket scientists. Today, there are more than 800 actively functioning satellites in orbit, and we’ve sent men to the moon. When I was a kid, no one had ever left earth’s atmosphere. But at least Pluto still deserved to be a planet.
In 1956, instead of using GPS, people would stop at gas stations for free road maps, none of which displayed the Interstate Highway System, because the act creating it had passed only that year.
Capital Region Living Magazine is undoubtedly typeset on computer using digital images. In 1956, almost all printed material was composed in molten lead on linotype machines, and each page of type was assembled by hand in metal racks.
Because things don’t disappear completely when something new comes along, e.g. horse drawn buggies still exist even though cars have replaced them; obsolete objects from the 1950s are still around, even if only in museums. It isn’t the “things” we have lost from times gone by, but some precious attitudes and lifestyles.
The milkman who stopped at your door. Gas station attendants who pumped your gas, washed your windshield and checked your oil. Friendly neighborhoods where kids could play safely without arranged “play dates”. Little corner stores. Speaking to your teachers with “Yes, sir” and “Yes, ma’am.” Pride in being an unhypenated American and pledging allegiance to the flag. Sunday drives in the country. Family board games. Nuclear families and having children within wedlock. Unsullied heroes. Honor. Duty. Dignity. Personal responsibility. Respect.
A freelance writer, three of Ed. Lange’s plays were finalists for national Audie Awards, in 2000, ’05, and ’07, and one of the three won.
A matter of choice
By Leonard Perlmutter
Question No. 1: If you came to a fork in the road and were certain that one direction would lead you to your intended destination while the other would get you mugged with a high chance of losing your life, which would you take?
Answer: Assuming you understood that question, your choice would be simple.
Question No. 2: With the Federal government reporting that 53 percent of all disease is caused by lifestyle choices, do you pay close attention to the choices you make, examine your habits and consider practicing meditation and yoga because they’ve been clinically proven to reduce the risk of illness?
Answer: You bet!
That’s exactly what increasing numbers of baby boomers are doing. Baby boomers are the most educated American generation ever, and over the past few years they’ve learned from their own personal experience that physical, mental and emotional health can be the consequence of discrimination and willpower. On this issue, boomers agree with the government findings: good health can be a matter of choice, and sound decisions concerning beneficial nutrition, daily exercise and healthy breathing habits become possible when individuals practice meditation and yoga.
The word meditation is related to the root word for “medical” or “medicate”. It implies a sense of attending to or paying attention to something. In meditation, you sit quietly and ask the mind to let go of its everyday tendencies to think, analyze, remember, solve problems and focus on past events or on expectations of the future. Meditation helps the mind to slow down its rapid series of thoughts and feelings, and to replace that mental activity with an inner awareness and attention. As a consequence of this quiet, effortless, one-pointed focus of attention, the body and mind both become rejuvenated. Through daily meditation, stress, fear, depression, fatigue, high blood pressure and addictions are all diminished.
In cultures and societies all over the world, people are educated in the skills needed to function and survive in that culture–how to talk, think, work and investigate the objects and experiences of the external world. We learn science, technology and business practices in order to succeed in the world, but no one teaches us to understand or attend to those habit patterns that motivate actions that cause disease. Instead, we merely learn to assimilate the goals, fashions and values of our society, without really examining and knowing ourselves first, within and without. This leaves us ignorant of our own inner intuitive wisdom. It leaves us dependent on the advice and suggestions of others.
But personal health is not the only area in our lives affected by poor lifestyle choices. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, American business and industry lose over $300 billion dollars annually due to the devastating effects of stress in the workplace. Worse, none of the widely-used programs to combat stress are doing the job. So healthcare costs, loss of productivity and morale problems continue to escalate-especially during the current economic recession.
According to the American Institute of Stress, research indicates that meditation is the most effective solution to the problem of job stress and the only program shown to significantly and reliably develop creativity and intelligence while increasing productivity.
The take-home message from all this is simple: You are the architect of your life and you can determine your own destiny.
For women and men of all ages, a daily meditation practice can cut health costs dramatically by boosting the immune system, facilitate clarity of thought, help focus attention, increase energy and productivity, enhance problem solving capabilities and strengthen and heal relationships. As part of a complete daily wellness program, meditation can improve mental, emotional and physical well-being and give individuals the necessary skills to become active partners with their physicians in maintaining optimal health and vitality at a fraction of the current cost.
Leonard Perlmutter is a philosopher, educator and founder of The American Meditation Institute for Yoga Science and Philosophy in Averill Park. He is the author of the award-winning book The Heart and Science of Yoga: A Blueprint for Peace, Happiness and Freedom from Fear.
Which style is right for you?
By Judith Torel
According to a recent International Dance and Exercise Association (IDEA) survey, yoga is one of the fastest growing fitness trends in 2009. An ancient Hindu spiritual practice, yoga means “to yolk”. It is a beautiful and refined method for achieving union with our true nature or spiritual essence and for gaining understanding of the nature of life and the universe.
In the yoga system, there are different paths. There is Jnana-Mantra or Raja, which is the path of the mind and involves meditation and scriptural study; Bhakti, which is the path of the heart and involves chanting and worship rituals; and Hatha or Karma, which is the path of the body and involves physical exercises and breathing practices.
Hatha is the path of yoga that has taken root in America and is increasing in popularity. There are many types of Hatha yoga and each is very different in the manner in which the physical postures or asanas are conducted. How do you know which may be right for you?
Kripalu Yoga is inspired by the interpretation of ancient practices through Sri Kripalvananda and was founded by Armit Desai in the later part of the 20th century. It is taught at the Kripalu Yoga Center in Lenox, Massachusetts. Because the founding center is so close to the Capital Region, this style of yoga has been very popular in our area.
The basic principle underlying Kripalu Yoga is that it can initiate a gradual process of physical healing, psychological growth and spiritual awakening. When taking this class, expect to practice meditation, breath work and an inward focus for spiritual attunements while practicing the asanas poses.
Also known as the “gentle yoga”, you will not work up a sweat in class. The focus is on the interplay of body, mind and energy within each position and each position is approached with loving kindness and compassion. The body is used as a vehicle for assessing spirit and has profound effects on the mind and emotions, as well as the physical body. By fully experiencing and objectively observing the physical body in asanas, a yogi also is able to experience the thoughts and emotions that go with the experience of the positions. Through this practice, energy blockages on all levels begin to dissolve, energy is allowed to increase in flow and healing can happen on all levels.
Founded by BKS Iyengar in the later mid-20th century, this form of Hatha Yoga employs a focus of precision in body alignment and facilitates this with the use of props such as blocks, straps and blankets. The emphasis on correct body alignment allows the student to participate with minimal risk of injury or pain so this type of yoga is known for its therapeutic aspects. If you are experiencing specific joint and muscle pains, this type of yoga, through the extremely refined application of correct alignment of the skeletal system, is often a way out of the pain of chronic misalignments in everyday life movement.
The alignment focus is enhanced through equally precise methods of the sequencing of the asanas, combined with the timing of each pose. Unlike other forms of yoga, Iyengar is not a vinyasa or flowing style. Expect to hold positions for considerable lengths of time as the practitioner works on the precise position allowing for therapeutic re-alignment and physical re-correction and healing.
Although Iyengar Yoga has a profound emphasis on the physical positioning, it is still yoga; therefore expect to practice pranayama or breathing work, as well as an integration of the deep meditation while practicing asanas.
Vinyasa literally means “breath-synchronized movement”. In vinyasa-style classes, expect the asanas to be a form of fluid movement that flows from one posture to the next on the wave of the breath. There is a broad range of Vinyasa style yoga.
Anusara Yoga is a vinyasa-style yoga originated by John Friend in the later 20th century. Anusara means to “open one’s heart to grace”. This type of yoga is based on three guiding principles: an extremely intricate and beautiful interaction of loops and spirals of energy within the body which leads to ideal body alignment; a focus on joy, bliss and beauty in the poses and in life in general; and the facilitation of community and inter-relationship of all things.
Anusara Yoga is equally based in the physical and the spiritual realms and each class opens with an invocation chant to affirm the sacredness in all things and the desire to be in harmony with Shiva, the Universal Oneness. Each Anusara class is based on a theme, such as grace or joy, and that theme is highlighted throughout the asanas for that class. There is no specific required order to the asanas in Anusara, but there are approximately 200 postures that are used within this style and they include all the types such as: standing poses, forward bends, back bends, twists, arm balances, inversions and restoratives. Expect a gradual increase in intensity of poses in the class as the body warms up and is able to move through fuller ranges of motion. Expect to leave class feeling physically challenged and with a spiritual renewal of joy and bliss for everyday living.
Jivamukti Yoga was founded in 1984 by David Life and Sharon Gannon of New York City. It is a combination of the influences of ashtanga yoga principles of Shri K. Pattabhi Jois and other spiritual teachings, with an emphasis on how to apply the yogic philosophy to everyday living in contemporary society.
This style of yoga is a vinyasa practice, and like Anusara, each class has a specific theme. Expect to experience chanting, darma talk or philosophical speaking by the instructor, meditation, pranayama techniques and the use of theme music along with the asanas in class. The postures are those expected in most yoga classes and will most likely include many challenging positions.
Bikram and Hot Yoga
Bikram is a vinyasa style of yoga founded by Bikram Choudhury. His method is a base of 26 poses and two pranayama sequences which are each performed two times in a 90-minute class. It is conducted in a room heated to a temperature of 95-100 degrees Fahrenheit in order to facilitate sweating and the removal of toxins. In order for a class to be called Bikram, this specific sequencing of postures is required.
Hot vinyasa is a yoga class that follows the flow style of yoga and is done in a heated room, but doesn’t follow the specific protocols of Bikram yoga. There are many hot vinyasa classes within the Capital Region and each may teach from a different philosophical and physical base, so it is necessary to inquire as to the orientation of the teacher. Do not expect all hot vinyasa classes to be Bikram because most are not unless specifically designated.
This type of yoga is generally credited to have been founded by two teachers – Beryl Bender Birch in New York City and Bryan Kest in Los Angeles – who did not collaborate, but simultaneously invented this very athletic and fitness-based yoga style in the late 20th century.
This is a vinyasa-style of yoga that follows the philosophical underpinnings of Ashtanga (classic eight-fold path to enlightenment), but is geared specifically to contemporary Americans who are looking for a more strictly physical fitness practice. Power Yoga incorporates the typical asanas expected in yoga classes, but doesn’t follow a set series so each class and each instructor will teach a different sequence each class. The emphasis is on strength and flexibility and the workout is known for its vigorousness. Power yoga is credited with the current popularity of yoga in fitness centers as practitioners started to see it as a way to get a good workout. Expect to sweat and develop muscular strength with minimal emphasis (if any) on chanting or other spiritual elements of yoga.
Yoga is a wonderful addition to anyone’s life. There are many different styles and different themes within the variety of yoga styles that are offered in this region. One type of yoga may be the right fit where another may be overwhelming or out of harmony with a person’s personal objectives. It is important to know what each type of yoga involves before attending a class or choosing a practice.
Judy Torel is a USAT coach, personal trainer, nutrition consultant and psychotherapist. Her office is located in Planet Fitness, Loudonville. She can be reached at 469.0815 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Social networking sites 101
By Sabrina Katrayan
Social networking websites are all the rage these days. Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter seem to be all you hear about. While in the past baby boomers have shied away from advancing technology, they are now hanging up their fears and getting more involved. In fact, a recent study from Internet marketing research company, comScore, shows that 45 to 54 year-olds are 36 percent more likely than the average person to visit sites like Twitter.
So what exactly is a social networking site? They’re websites focused on building online communities with people of the same interests or activities either looking to meet other people, stay abreast of job openings or to just stay in touch by emailing, posting comments or instant messaging. And the best thing? They’re completely free! The most popular social networking sites like Facebook or MySpace have different categories like class year, company network or city location to help you find people with similar divisions. Regardless which site you choose, they all require you to create a profile of yourself, which can include a photo, your birth date, city you reside in, hobbies, etc.
Facebook – This site is great for beginners (www.facebook.com). You can create a profile that lets your friends and potential friends know exactly who you are. You can include things like your religion, relationship status, political views, hometown or current city. You can also fill out fun stuff like your favorite TV shows, books, hobbies or a favorite quote. Meet people by connecting to networks like your town or your former college or high school. You can even chat with your new friends like your grandkids do on AOL Instant Message with Facebook Messenger or leave a comment on their wall. Finally, set a status and tell everyone what you’re doing. You can even upload your pictures or receive alerts of profile activity with your cell phone using Facebook Mobile. This is a great way to keep up with family and friends who live far away.
Many businesses are also jumping on the Facebook bandwagon, posting company profiles. It’s a great form of free advertising!
Myspace – If you want to be more creative with your profile, check out www.myspace.com. Chances are your kids and grandkids are on it. You can connect with other people by joining groups of similar interests or organizations. There reason it’s called “MySpace” is because you’re provided with your “space” with an email inbox, blog, photo area, a URL (custom link to your MySpace page) and many other features. Customize your page by looking up pre-made MySpace layouts online. A great one can be found at www.myspaceoryours.net. You can also pick your favorite songs and compile a playlist on your page. Like Facebook, you can also post on walls, but on MySpace you can pick your favorite friends with the “top list” or post bulletins for your friends to read. If you’re a little nervous about joining this social networking site, there’s one specially designed for baby boomers called Eons.com which already has over 800,000 users!
Twitter – The latest in the social networking phenomenon, Twitter is short and sweet and doesn’t require a lot of maintenance – perfect for anyone on the go. Here, you can “tweet” about your day in a simple status update with 140 characters or less. Users have used this website both professionally and socially. All you have to do is keep your “followers” or profile friends in the loop about what you’re doing by updating your status. You can also look up friends using their names or Instant Messenger screen names. Now you can keep up with the latest news headlines or check out the latest special from a store or restaurant. You can also decorate your profile background by changing its theme to your style.
LinkedIn – This is a business networking site and is perfect for conservative, career-oriented baby boomers. Not to mention it’s probably the easiest to use. It allows you to create a compelling profile that stands out to potential employers. You can write a short headline about yourself for contacts to see, including your career accomplishments. Next, you can choose what you want to be contacted about, such as reference requests or career opportunities. You can also connect with people of the same professional interests. Keeping up with your LinkedIn profile should be a once-a-month deal, but here’s some advice: every time you have a job interview with someone, take their business card, look their name up on the site, and add them to your profile so you can keep in touch.
And there you have it, baby boomers, the “big four”, or the most popular social networking sites out there. All of them have their own unique purpose and have changed the way socialization takes place in our world. If you have questions about any of them, you can do a Google search and find how-to videos. And, if you’re concerned about privacy, you can easily adjust your settings by clicking on privacy tabs either on the top or bottom of the pages. Hopefully after this lesson, you will embrace the new era of communication and learn more about your friends and families’ lives quicker than your monthly visits or phone calls!