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‘You; Time is Imperative– Whether it’s About Relaxation or for Your Health

Healthy Living Photos
Take time out to unwind, exercise and socialize.
(Jupiterimages/Getty Images)

REFOCUSING ON WELLNESS

We’ve all been through a rough couple of years and it’s taken a toll on our mental and physical health. Whatever shape we’re in, we can always improve with the right attitudes and tools, such as meditation and yoga, to shift our minds and bodies into a healthier space.

Swim, shower, repeat

There’s nothing more refreshing on a hot day than a cool shower. Even a quick one (being mindful of the ongoing drought) works wonders on parched bodies and thirsty souls. Especially as we age, our bodies hunger for that sublime liquid, H2O. Be sure to drink lots of it, plus electrolytes for added impact. And what feels more healing than a warm soak? Add a little Epsom salt and feel pressures and pains fade away.

Swimming remains one of the best exercises for seniors. It’s low impact and very forgiving regardless of fitness level. It also improves lung function and can even lower bad cholesterol. Try swim classes at local facilities, such as the YMCA. Most also offer lap swimming. Find your nearest pool and enjoy.

Grow your circle of friends

According to many studies, companionship remains one of the biggest indicators of mental and physical wellbeing. While older adults seemed to handle the pandemic quarantine better than many of their younger counterparts, they also faced more isolation due to a greater potential of getting sick. Now that life feels a little more normal, it’s important to refresh ties with friends and family. Call a friend and go for a swim, stroll or bike ride.

Flower power

It’s in our nature to feel a connection to the outdoors. As our individual worlds shrank in size, we found strength in the tiniest things. Simply walking around the neighborhood and smelling the roses helped rekindle our ties with the world at large. Take advantage of all that natural Southern California has to offer, such as the L.A. Zoo, Santa Monica Mountains and Griffith Park. Visit the 127- acre L.A. County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia or Huntington Gardens in San Marino. Walk along the beach and listen to the soothing sounds of waves crashing upon the shore. The mere sight of the horizon heals overstressed minds while ocean waves release negative ions to increase that feel-good hormone, serotonin.

Get “Appier”

When stress and anxiety invade our world, we fortunately have options. Phone a friend, join an online support group, or download some of the many wellness apps, such as Headspace (headspace. com), the UCLA Mindful App (uclahealth.org/ ucla-mindful), and Ten Percent Happier (tenpercent. com). Most offer a free trial period, so they’re clearly worth a try.

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) also built an online community with events and classes. They offer interactive fitness classes, from chair-based yoga and cardio fitness to dance and Tai Chi, plus webinars on Medicare and much more. Visit local.aarp.org/virtual-community- center to learn more.

Transcend the tedium

Southern California contains myriad meditation centers, such as the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine in the Pacific Palisades, International Buddhist Meditation Center in Koreatown, and the Transcendental Meditation Center in Los Feliz. Meditation feels even more powerful in a group. It’s also a great way to interact with other likeminded souls.

Just get out and move. Or sit at home and have a video chat. Join an online community. Save the whales. Save the earth. Save your sanity right from your own home. Join a group that shares your passion, whether it’s art, yoga, education or the environment. It’s all just a few steps or clicks away.


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