Forest Bathing For Health

What???  Getting naked in the woods?  Ummmm, no!   For many seniors, that would be frightening in of itself…..although………..I’ve seen some really good lookin’ senior men but I digress.  No bathtubs required either.

Do you ever get stressed?  I know, you’re retired, what’s there to stress about right?  I have a list if anyone needs ideas.  However, I’m sure most of us, at times, still have something that we stress about.  If not, you’re either dead (go ahead check your vitals) or not really of this world.

So what am I talking about here?  I’m talking about spending time in nature.  It can be as simple as a walk in a tree lined park or preferably walking in the woods.  It costs nothing to do and the benefits are countless.   In Japan, it is actually a form of medicine.

In 1982 Japan introduced a program called Shinrin-Yoku which means spending time around trees.  This is a brief You Tube video .   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUfbMIGcxkM

that explains Shinrin-Yoku.  Don’t fall asleep watching the video.  It’s very calming.  There is even a coalition you can join to promote this practice if you’re interested.

This doesn’t mean that you’re walking or hiking through the woods with your head set on.  Not only is that dangerous these days with all the weirdos out there, it’s not the point of this whole process.  Instead, be in the moment.  Pay attention to how your body responds to the environment.  Listen to the birds and observe everything around you.  The environment doesn’t judge you.  It doesn’t care how much money you earn, what you look like, what your gender or race is.  You can just LET GO and feel the freedom to just BE!

Forest Bathing

Me Forest Bathing

We are bombarded by technology today between the TV, cell phones, IPads, computers, fitbits and everything else.  Many people don’t even read real books.  They use a Kindle.  I understand there are benefits to that but where does it end?

Many times people don’t even talk to each other directly.  How many times have you emailed someone instead of visiting?  I admit I’m guilty of this.  I’ve seen people text each other from within the same house though!  How bad is that???  I have another article I’ll share about the “blue screen”

Sometimes we need to step AWAY from all this and get back in nature to relax and unwind.  You don’t need a lot of time to reap t benefits.  Start with 5 minutes if you have to.  It’s not wasted time.  It’s an investment in your well being which will only improve your day.

So, what ARE some of the benefits?  This is a compilation of several articles that I’ve read and just some of the top benefits.

  1. Reduce stress
  2. Increase Vit D (which most of us have a deficit of)
  3. Improve mood by decreasing depression and anxiety
  4. Immune boosting (via compounds released by many evergreen trees)
  5. Reduced blood pressure
  6. Improve sleep
  7. Increase energy

I don’t know about you, but I think the Japanese have it right.  Instead of reaching for a pill, this looks like good medicine.  I can tell you from experience that I DO feel better when I get out into the woods for a short walk.  I usually do about 3 miles but you don’t even have to do that.  I sleep SO much better too.  It just gives my brain a rest and allows my body to absorb some of the earth’s energy.  I love that it’s free too.

Give it a try and let me know what you think.  I’d love to hear from you.

Comments Please

~Debbi

Founder of Not Your Mamas Senior

Seniors Texting Code

Who says us baby boomers do not like technology? In our lifetime, technology has made huge strides and we have come to depend on it. Many of us have smart phones. I hate being tied to a land line. A cell phone allows us to go about our daily routine yet not miss a call (even from those telemarketers). We are able to connect with our families and friends effortlessly. For talented folks, we can power walk, talk and perhaps even chew gum at the same time.

Cell phones have made us feel more secure about walking, biking or doing whatever we enjoy. If we feel threatened, fall or just simply feel like we need assistance, we can get help with a push of a button.

We talk, we take (and send) pictures, we use Google maps to figure out where we are (I have NO sense of direction) AND we text. Text messages are typically short. Thank God for that because I have fat fingers and it takes me forever to text anything. I’m not sure how young people do it. Yet, have you heard many of them speak? I have seen them text each other from across a table!  Frightful!

Always texting

In any case, people often use abbreviations such as:

AFK – Away From Keyboard
BRB – Be Right Back
IMO – In My Opinion
LOL – Laughing Out Loud.
NOYB – None Of Your Business
TIA – Thank You In Advance
TMI – Too Much Information
WTH – What The Hell (or Heck if you do not swear)

However, us seniors have our own language. Kind of like a secret code that many young people cannot understand.  Such as:

ATD- At the Doctors
BFF – Best Friend Fell (or Funeral in some cases)
BTW- Bring the Wheelchair
BYOT – Bring Your Own Teeth
CBM- Covered by Medicare
CGU – Can’t Get Up
CRS – Can’t Remember Stuff (or S***)
CUATSC- See You at the Senior Center
DWI- Driving While Incontinent
FWIW – Forgot Where I Was
FYI – Found Your Insulin (and you thought it was For Your Information)
GGLKI – Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking In (not sure why you would share this)
GGPBL- Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low
GHA – Got Heartburn Again
HGBM – Had Good Bowel Movement (TMI if you ask me……)
LMDO- Laughing My Dentures Out
LOL- Living on Lipitor
LWO – Lawrence Welk’s On
OMSG – Oh My! Sorry, Gas
ROFL ACGU – Roll On Floor Laughing And Can’t Get Up
TTYL – Talk To You Louder (senior version of Talk To You Later)
TMV – Took My Viagra
TOT- Texting On Toilet (again, TMI…)
WAITT – Who Am I Talking To?
WMD – Where’s My Depends?
WTFA – Wet The Furniture Again
WTP – Where’s The Prunes?
WWNO – Walker Wheels Need Oil

Really?

Texting has really become an issue. Kids think nothing of texting while they are driving and WE (the responsible seniors) need to watch out for them. Really?  You can not wait to tell what you did previous night (or whatever).  I have seen it over and over as I pass a young person on the road because they are driving erratically. This has contributed to many accidents. Having said this, most of us do NOT text and drive. For me, I am either focused on my GPS, trying to remember where I was going next or watching for inattentive drivers.

So, get out there, enjoy life, take those pictures and keep the list of texting codes close so you don’t have to type all those letters!

Comments please.

~Debbi

Founder of Not Your Mama’s Senior (NYMS) LOL

 

Pickleball

Pickle what? I know. I said the same thing.

I’ve always enjoyed racquet sports. I learned badminton as a child. Loved it and became VERY good even if I say so myself. I progressed to tennis and actually bought my first tennis racquet with green stamps that my parents let me collect. Now, THAT takes you back doesn’t it? Lol Any kid reading this now is saying “WHAT?!?!”

Tennis can be trying. Well, at least for me. I’m just under 5’ and my ex is 6’2”. Oh, I got a workout and I’m sure we were a entertaining to those watching. However, I always thought the whole thing took some upper body strength which I don’t have. I still play (with a kids racquet) periodically but not often.

However, I saw a new game that folks were playing that looked like a combo of badminton and tennis, I was intrigued. Pickleball is played with a paddle and a plastic ball with holes. It looks like a wiffle ball. It’s actually a combination of badminton, tennis and ping pong. The paddle is larger than a ping pong paddle and pretty light. Of course, the balls are very light.

In the photo is my bag and paddle.  Note:  Do not choose red.  If you want to match, it’s really hard to find a red sports bra.  LOL.  I purchased my stuff from: http://www.pickleballcentral.com/ because they had better prices than my local sporting goods store.

Pickleball Equipment

It can be played indoors or out although the outdoor balls are a little more durable since they are consistently hitting concrete. As with the other games, it, can be played single or doubles. Doubles does seem to be the most common. Personally, I LIKE doubles but I’m not used to it and have a tendency to hog the court.

So, how did this all come about? It was invented back in 1965, on Bainbridge Island (not far from Seattle, Washington). Supposedly three dads – Joes Pritchard, Bill Bell and Barney McCallum created it to entertain their kids in the summer.

No pickles are used in the game and it seems like a very odd name. I was originally taught that it was named after Pritchard’s cocker spaniel named Pickles. He would chase the ball and run off with it and hide in the bushes.

Later I heard that Pritchard’s wife started calling it pickleball because the combination of different sports reminded her of the pickle boat in crew where oarsmen were chosen from the leftovers of other boats. Which story is correct, I don’t know. I kind of like the dog one myself.

A pickleball court looks like a tennis court pretty much. The net height is also much like tennis rather than badminton. There is a 7 foot non volley zone in front of the net. It is referred to as the “kitchen” . I’m not sure where that term came from but I try to avoid it as much as I do my real kitchen. Volleying is prohibited within this “kitchen” to avoid spiking (unlike tennis).

To start the game, the serve must be made underhand (kind of like bowling). Paddle contact with the ball must be below the server’s waist. The serve is initiated behind the baseline (like tennis) and is made diagonally cross court and must land within the opposite diagonal court. After that, you continue to play, serve and score points. Points are scored only by the serving team. Games are normally played to 11 points. Obviously, there are more explicit rules to follow but this gives you a quick overview of the game if it is something you have never heard of.

If you don’t become too competitive, pickleball can be very social and that is good for your mood and depression.  It’s pretty low impact so it’s not too bad on your joints.  It’s not as hard on you as jogging.  I know I have a bad knee and one hip replaced.  It certainly will help you burn calories and if you don’t gorge on junk food afterwards, you can lose weight if that is something you’d like to do. I know I sleep better the nights that I play.

It has become quite popular and parks are now building courts specifically for pickleball. I know the retirement communities around me each have their own teams. It is something that can be played by anyone at any age and I am sure it will continue to spread until it is popular everywhere. Who knows – you might be the first to bring it to your area.

Let me know if you try it and your thoughts.

 

Not Your Mamas Senior

~Debbi