Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Benefits of Giving

Thank you to Our Guest Blogger for January, a Seniorly Contributor

The benefits of giving are numerous. It has been scientifically proven to decrease depression, improve longevity, and foster social connections that can lead to better quality of life. No matter how little you have to give, even a few dollars can make a huge difference in the lives of people in need. Discover the top ways that volunteering can benefit you and others:

Improving Mood
One of the major ways that giving impacts your mood is by fostering gratitude in your life. In fact, “Barbara Fredrickson, a pioneering happiness researcher, suggests that cultivating gratitude in everyday life is one of the keys to increasing personal happiness.” In her book Positivity, she writes that “When you express your gratitude in words or actions, you not only boost your own positivity but [other people’s] as well.” So it’s really no wonder that you feel better and more motivated after volunteering. The energy you put out into the world is reciprocated, leaving you feeling refreshed and grateful for all of the wonderful things you have.

Improving Health
Giving has also been proven to increase your overall quality of life. According to good sources, A wide range of research has linked different forms of generosity to better health, even among the sick and elderly.” This season, consider making volunteering a family event, and get grandparents and grandchildren involved in activities that make a difference. Volunteering may help aging relatives remain healthier for longer. A 1999 study led by Doug Oman of the University of California, Berkeley, found that elderly people who volunteered for two or more organizations were 44 percent less likely to die over a five-year period than were non-volunteers.” If longevity isn’t a great reason to volunteer this season, I don’t know what is! Get out there and give back to the community in some tangible way.

Social Connections
Last but not least, giving has been proven to foster social connections that are beneficial to all parties involved. Whether you are serving food at a local soup kitchen or cleaning up a park with fellow volunteers, These exchanges promote a sense of trust and cooperation that strengthens our ties to others—and research has shown that having positive social interactions is central to good mental and physical health.” Elderly isolation can be a major concern, and volunteering can relieve this by sparking friendships that help elders feel more socially connected.
What’s more, giving can improve our opinions of others and coincidentally make us feel better about ourselves. “When we give to others, we don’t only make them feel closer to us; we also feel closer to them.” Writer Sonja Lyubomirsky writes in her book The How of Happiness, “Being kind and generous leads you to perceive others more positively and more charitably.” This creates a positive feedback loop, in which the volunteering community supports one another and perceives everyone in their best light.
So take some time to give back to your community. Chances are, it will not only spread love to those in need, but also improve your overall quality of life and lead to better health down the road.

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Sunday, January 3, 2016

In With the New...Off With the Old!

  • Happy New Year! For many of us, kicking off 2016 means dealing with what
    we picked up in 2015, like those extra pounds!
    By our age, we've all tried crazy fad diets that don't work, or we wouldn't be
    back in this same boat! While there are no “quick fixes”, the best rule of
    thumb to shed those extra pounds safely and permanently comes down to
    common sense.
    First, always check with your doctor before starting any diet, especially if
    you have a health condition. A check-up to make sure your weight gain does
    not have underlying medical issues too, like a hormone imbalance, is
    important and helpful!
    Aside from a check-up and counting calories, here are a few simple tips that
    can add up to big losses!
    1) Don't finish what's on your plate. Whatever you leave on your plate will
    not follow you to the scale.
    2) Don't eat late. The more hours between your last snack and bedtime, the
    3) Substitute your side dishes. Trade something like tomatoes for those
    buttered potatoes. You'll still be satisfied and you'll save unnecessary
    4) Cut back on sugar and cutout soda completely!
    You'll also need to increase your physical activity, yes… exercise. Don’t dread
    it! It can and should be fun.
    1) Exercise with a partner! Neighbors, friends, or your significant other make
    exercising more fun. My favorite exercise partners are my grandchildren.
    When your partners are 2 and 5, it means hula hoops, jump rope, dancing,
    chasing or being chased by them. Children make wonderful partners because
    they're always anxious to participate. Remember though, there's a big age
    difference, just because they can do something, doesn't mean we can or
    should. Proceed with caution!
    2) Walking is a great exercise! Increase the distance each day and you’ll be
    burning extra calories in no time! Note: when your body gets used to a
    routine it doesn't burn as efficiently, so every three weeks change your
  • pattern or direction to keep your body and mind guessing! Sports like tennis,
    golf or swimming are great too.
    3) Stretch, it’s important! Starting each morning with gentle stretching will
    keep you limber and help to avoid injury, especially before exercise. Be
    mindful of surgeries or joint and back issues.
    4) Sex....Partner and good health permitting, sex is great exercise! It's good
    for your health and great for your relationship.
    A few minor adjustments and before you know it you'll find yourself starting
    2016 with a great body and a lifestyle you can actually maintain! Look
    better, feel better!
    Next month’s column will focus on favorite beauty tips. If you have one you
    would be willing to share, I would love to hear from you!
    Please contact me at or