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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Protect your face from the sun. A lot of skin damage comes from the UVA part of the light spectrum, so put on sunscreen that protects against it and UVB light, which causes sunburn. Wear a wide- brimmed hat when you’re outside.


There are other ways, some surgical, to try to stem the tides of time:


Facelifts surgically remove excess tissue and lifts sagging skin in the lower part of the face.


Moisturizers soothe dry skin and may make wrinkles less noticeable. Facial moisturizers contain water to make them less greasy, and many have substances such as glycerin that may help bind water to the skin.


Botulinum toxin (Botox) injections are used to treat lines on the forehead and between the brows. They work by partially immobilizing the muscles that create these lines so the skin smoothes out, although some deep lines may not go away.


Dermal fillers treat lines created by lost collagen and fat. After Botox injections, dermal filler injections are the most common cosmetic procedure performed in the United States.


Lasers can be used to home in on certain pigments: brown if the goal is to get rid of freckles and liver spots; red if the target is broken capillaries. Lasers are also used for wholesale resurfacing of facial skin. The uppermost layers are stripped away, and with them wrinkles from sun damage and scars from acne.


REFERENCES


Age affects every part of the body, even the skin. Changes in the face are most visible. Some people celebrate their age and appearance for what they are, but some people want to postpone embracing those changes. Here are some ways to reduce wrinkles and look younger:


Add more omega-3s to your diet to nourish your skin cells. This keeps your skin supple and reduces the appearance of wrinkles. Salmon or other cold- water fishes, flax seeds, wild rice, beans, chia seeds and walnuts are excellent sources of omega-3s.


Include more antioxidants in your diet. Free radicals (unstable molecules that damage our skin, such as pollution and toxins) hate antioxidants. Vitamins A, C and E and beta carotene are all antioxidants. Add blueberries, spinach, kale, walnuts, artichokes, cranberries, beans (red, kidney, pinto), prunes, kiwis, etc. to your diet.


Get your beauty sleep. While you are sleeping, your body renews and detoxifies itself. It releases a hormone called human growth hormone, which is responsible for the healthy growth of all tissue, including your skin. If you don’t get enough sleep, your body will release another hormone, cortisol, which slows down growth and renewal of cells, resulting in drier, wrinkled skin.


Avoid stress. Stress can thin and weaken your skin and is closely

TAKE STEPS TO MINIMIZE WRINKLES AND PROMOTE YOUNGER-LOOKING SKIN

associated with the early appearance of wrinkles and premature aging. Some easy ways to de-stress include doing simple breathing exercises, practicing yoga, settling down with a good book or listening to music while sipping a cup of herbal tea. This gives your body some time to relax and reload. Excessive, exaggerated facial expressions such as frowns and scowls could worsen or deepen wrinkles.


Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water. Hydrated skin looks better, is toned and wrinkles are less visible. Green and white tea contain catechins and epicatechins, antioxidants that stop the enzymatic reactions that break down collagen and elastin, which are important for wrinkle-free skin.


Don’t smoke. Research shows if you smoke, you are about five times more prone to forming wrinkles on your face compared to a non-smoker. Nicotine destroys collagen. And when you smoke, you tend to squint and purse your lips – behavior that encourages the formation of wrinkles over time.


Don’t overdo when washing your face, especially if you use harsh soaps, which wash away your natural oil protection and dry your skin.

HARLEENA SINGH

Harleena Singh is a professional freelance writer and blogger who has a keen interest in health and wellness. She can be approached through her blog (www.aha-now.com) and Web site, www.harleenasingh.com. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

more articles by harleena singh