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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Research studies demonstrated people who followed the DASH diet lowered their blood pressure within two weeks. Make the change gradually, adding fruits and vegetables to your lunch and dinner and incorporating more whole grains in your meals. For even better results, pair the DASH diet with other positive lifestyle changes such as exercising daily and not smoking. As always, be sure to check with your primary care physician before starting any new diet.

Have you heard of the DASH diet? DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It is an eating plan based on research studies sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI). These studies showed DASH lowers high blood pressure and improves levels of cholesterol, thus reducing your risk of developing heart disease. The DASH diet is also in line with dietary recommendations to prevent osteoporosis, cancer, stroke and diabetes.


The DASH eating plan emphasizes eating vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Whole grains have more fiber and nutrients than refined grains. The DASH diet also encourages eating fat-free or low-fat dairy products, as well as fish, poultry, beans, nuts and vegetable oils. These foods are rich in nutrients that help lower blood pressure, such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.


The DASH diet strives to achieve a healthy balance by limiting total fat to less than 30 percent of daily calories from fat, with a focus on the healthier monounsaturated fats. Sugar-sweetened beverages and snack foods are also limited. The diet plan calls for a certain number of servings daily from various food groups. The number of servings you require may vary, depending on how many calories you need per day.


These tips can help make following the DASH diet easier:

DASH DIET - WORKS FOR PEOPLE WITH HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE