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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Measures of Stress, Aging and Listening to Your Body

In yesterday’s blog, the Internal Stress Index was presented.  The results are as follows:
18-26= A.O.K.
27-36=Look inside, something’s not right
37-54= Seek help for answers marked *

 On my  recent blogs, I presented an  External Stress Index and an Internal Stress Index  found in Drs. Klatz and Goldman’s “Stopping the Clock .” these two measures allow the reader to self evaluate  both internal and external issues.  It is clear that when there is too much distress, health problems follow.  And if there are too many issues going on, it is very difficult to lead a healthy and productive lifestyle.
As far as the external stress index, one can see significant life events and the values presented.  By no means are all external events presented.  Also, one might argue with the weighted values.  However, what is clear is that when negative things happen in our life distress affects the aging process.  Remember, distress refers to any situation whether it is physical, emotional or both, that requires any bodily response change from equilibrium or homeostasis.
   Today, my sister Beverly provides the example.  When talking about, one of her recent ski vacations, Beverly talked about being tense while skiing.  She indicated that when she did a difficult run, she tensed and her legs tired. Instead of going to the cause (tenseness), she treated the symptom tiredness.  She told me she now does inclines on the treadmill and that helps increase her leg strength.
 Beverly enjoys being outdoors, in the mountains and skiing, which is a good thing.  However, she is also putting herself in a negative stress situation as her legs speak to her by tiring.
  Pay attention to your activities and evaluate both the positive and the negative associated with them.  If the negative, in the activity, outweighs the positive, then a potential problem exists.  In other words, listen to your body as you perform your activities.  Your body and feelings reveal the truth.  One has to know how to listen to one’s body and label correctly the feeling.  Often our feelings are distorted by our thinking process.  That is where the defense mechanisms, like rationalization come in to play. 
Beverly received a lesson with a ski instructor.  The instructor took her on intermediate runs and said   “Follow me.”  Bev said,” I had fun, and the instructor even threw a snowball at me. “Her dilemma consists of “being competitive, and thinking she would is a wimp if she did not do the long difficult run vs. having fun and enjoying skiing.”  Hopefully, she will figure out what is best for her.  If not, she is likely to continue being unhappy, fearful of injury and might even wind up injured.
Matt Fitzgerald, in his book “Run, the Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel” said the following: “When I am running well, I am happy.  And when I am happy I run well.” Beverly, substitute the word” ski” for the word”run” and evaluate the result. Then decide what is best for you.


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