HOBBIES ARE GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Do you have a hobby? Hobbies can give meaning and purpose to your life in retirement. As Robert Putnam points out in his book, Bowling Alone, it’s easy to discount the importance of hobbies and social engagements. Putnam details the widespread decline in civic engagement, from PTA memberships to neighborhood potlucks and bowling leagues. Over a couple of generations, Americans have misplaced the concept of free time.

SPECIAL PLANS FOR YOUR SPECIAL PEOPLE

Lily is a beautiful, active and full of personality toddler who happens to have Down syndrome. Lily’s parents and I have been friends for years and I have the continuing pleasure of watching Lily and her siblings grow up. While Lily is becoming a physical therapy rock star and hitting all her milestones in a timely fashion, her parents have started planning for the future.

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WHY WE ENJOY OUR HOBBIES

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a hobby as “a pursuit outside one’s regular occupation, engaged in especially for relaxation.” Hobbies include anything from playing a musical instrument to gardening, bird watching or sewing. A hobby is a way of focusing on something you enjoy just for the sake of that enjoyment. It may also be a way to clear your mental palette. You could be stressed out by a situation at work or the challenges of raising children and need an escape.

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can affect your concentration. Your brain needs energy in the form of glucose. The best way to provide this energy is through nutritious foods such as whole-grain bread, whole-grain breakfast cereals and fruit or low-fat milk.


The aim is to start your day with a breakfast featuring foods that are low glycemic, nutrient dense and high in dietary fiber. Your meal should also include protein. Some examples of healthy breakfast options include:


Breakfast, the first meal of the day, is also the most important meal of the day. It helps provide an initial boost of energy. Eating breakfast is associated with a reduced risk of becoming overweight or obese and a reduction in the body mass index of children and adolescents. As you age, breakfast becomes even more important for maintaining good health.


Let breakfast rule your life. Keep these strategies in mind as you get ready to start your day.


Rule 1: Eat breakfast daily.

Skipping breakfast can have a negative impact on the rest of your day. You won’t have the energy you need to get going and keep going if you forgo breakfast.


Rule 2: Have a nutrient-dense meal.

There is a difference between energy-dense and nutrient-dense meals. Energy-dense meals are mostly carbohydrate based. Nutrient-dense meals have micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein and fats) and water. This will provide a variety of beneficial properties to your meal.


Rule 3: Remember your vegetables and protein when preparing breakfast.

BREAKFAST RULES

It is important to start your day by nourishing your body with foods from the staples (carbohydrates), protein and vegetable (dietary fiber) groups. Aim to include a variety of items from the different food groups.


Rule 4: Eat within an hour of waking.

This allows your body to change from a fasting to a fed state and reduces risks associated with prolonged fasting.


Here are some more benefits of eating breakfast:



Eating breakfast has been found to improve literacy and cognitive functioning, especially in schoolchildren. When you skip breakfast, you will feel tired, and that

TANYA J. TYLER

Tanya J. Tyler is the Editor of Living Well 60+ Magazine

more articles by tanya J. tyler