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12 Small Ways To Keep Active During The Day

This month on The Hub, we’ve been looking at the importance of staying active as you age and the various ways you can keep up your physical activity. This is a daily necessity and therefore you have to be conscious of putting in that extra effort everyday to keep moving for the sake of your health. And this doesn’t require as much life-altering changes as you might think. Small little things you add to your daily routine can really add to those benefits of remaining active. So change how your day for the better with these small ways to keep yourself moving.

Make the most of your time.

One of the biggest excuses you hear from people about why that have difficulty remaining active is that they just can’t find the time. Look here, we’re all busy. I’m sure you have a lot on your plate and it can indeed be stressful, but if you can’t find the time to get out for a walk, then there’s some things on the schedule that have to go. There is time to be found everyday to get even a little bit of exercise. Whether it’s first thing in the morning, at night before bed or maybe multi-tasking, you can squeeze in some physical activity.

Take the stairs.

This would be a great example of finding those small ways to remain active without reworking your whole schedule. It’s just about finding those opportunities where you might normally be inactive and pursue the more active choice. Every time you press the button for the elevator, ask yourself; do I need to do this, or can I take the stairs?

Stop looking for the easiest path.

Similarly to taking the stairs, there are ways in your daily routine that allow you to choose between the easy path or the path that keeps you active. As much as you can, avoid the easy way, even in the smallest of circumstances. Park farther from the door, take the long way around, move more than you have to whenever you can.

Go for a lunch walk.

Lunch is important but there’s no reason you can’t enjoy a much-deserved break and remain active. A lunchtime walk is a great walk to build-up your energy for the afternoon, collect your thoughts, and it can even be very relaxing during the hectic work day.

Get a dog.

No, you should not get a dog just to keep yourself active. You should get a dog because they are lovable, adorable, fun companions. It’s just an added bonus that they are a great motivator to stay active more often. Go for a walk by yourself and you get a sense of accomplishment. Take your dog for a walk and you get that same accomplishment but also have some great company who will be extremely grateful for taking them out with you.

Hit the gym on the way home.

Going to the gym is a real drag. It’s just not for everyone’s tastes, but it can be a very easy way to get some regular exercise. There are some who can remain active without a gym membership and more power to them. But for the rest of us, making the gym part of our routine is key to making it stick. Force yourself to stop by on your way home from work. It will be a struggle at first but soon will become a fulfilling way to end the day.

Limit your screen time.

We live in a world in which it is very easy to spend a large chunk of your day staring at a screen. We sit in front of a computer at work. We go home and watch TV to relax for the night. Then we get in bed and read our phones or tablets until we fall asleep. It’s just not healthy. Try to time out you screen time and set a daily maximum for yourself.

Keep it tidy.

Though you might not notice it, a messy environment makes you mentally unmotivated to get active. Whether it’s your workspace, your kitchen or living room at home – keeping it clean will help you get in the right frame of mind to get up and get moving. As a bonus, if you do a little tidying every now and then, that chore in itself keeps you active.

Get out.

Needless to say, you work hard during the day and you certainly deserve to relax as well. But try to avoid sitting on the coach all night once the workday is done. Such inactivity can become a habit that is very difficult to shake off. Instead try to motivate yourself to get out every once in a while. join some after work activity, go get groceries, take a walk. Anything that keeps you from staying inside all day is a benefit.

Go for a personal best.

What’s a better motivator than competition? And who better to compete against than yourself? Keep striving and pushing yourself to do better than you did yesterday. Make a game of it. Track your steps and then try again and again to beat your best.

Be social.

It doesn’t all have to be about you going for long walks by yourself. You can still remain active while maintaining a social life. In fact, staying social is a great way to keep active. Meet up with friends after work and do something together. It gets you out of the house and moving while having some fun.

Have fun.

Think exercise is boring? Then it’s up to you to change that. There are plenty of ways to inject a little fun into your daily exercise. Along with being more social, form a walking club so you and your friends can get out and spend some time together. Join an amateur sports league. Listen to podcasts or audiobooks while out for walks. Boredom isn’t an excuse for laziness.

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5 Ways To Boost Your Creativity

As we discussed last week on The Hub, the ability to be creative exists in all people. Where some have more trouble than others is how effective they are at connecting with their own creative side. Even for those who generally see themselves as creative people, you can often hit a lull in which finding that creative inspiration seems like the hardest thing in the world. But in such cases, you don’t simply give up and wait until your creative juices start flowing again. Whether it’s for you work or just personal pursuits, you want to learn how to control your creativity so you can call upon when necessary. Just like a superpower.

There are very effective ways you can boost your creativity that we’ll explore and have you back to creating in no time.

Collaborate.

Regardless of what the pursuit is at hand, collaboration is always helpful in connecting to your creative side. Sometimes, the reason we hit a wall like that is just because we don’t have someone to use as a sounding board. Explaining your thought process to someone else can really help to fill in those holes that are preventing you from moving forward. Likewise, when your ideas just don’t seem to be mashing together, all it takes is someone with a outside perspective to look at the situation and identify the right path to take. And of course, at the center of all good collaboration is the sharing of ideas. Taking two half-formed ideas together can really have great results.

Pursue a passion.

Again, regardless of what it is you’re working on, you just want to find those ways to open up the creative part of the mind. For me, one of the most effective methods for this is dedicating a little time to a passion. For instance, if I’m struggling with writing about a certain subject, I’ll step away from that for a moment and write about someone I love. Be it movies, hockey, music – I just focus on something that I enjoy. After a few minutes doing that, my mind is clear and ready to tackle a new subject. When we are pursuing our passions, it puts our mind in a place where creativity comes naturally. Giving a little time to let that out can then transfer to your other work.

Get away from it all.

Now this is a piece of advice that sounds great but you’re probably thinking, “Sure, I would do that anytime if it were possible”. But I’m not saying you have to leave work and fishing every time your creativity is lacking. What I am suggesting is escape your own thoughts and your own distractions right there in the moment. Sometimes, creative thinking means letting your mind wander and almost let the ideas come to you rather than seeking them out yourself. When I have too many thoughts going through my head to allow that to happen, I’ll often put on my headphones, listen to some music and just take a moment to clear my head. Some people find that going for a short walk helps them, others do meditation. Whatever technique works for you, just take some time to be alone with your thoughts and those thoughts.

Be terrible.

Do you realise how much trial and error goes into creative creation? It is rarely, if ever, accomplished in the first attempt. When attempting such work, some people get too consumed with getting it right, when they really should be concerned with just getting it out. Again, when I hit a bit of writing roadblocks and the good ideas just aren’t coming, I’ll often pursue some of the bad ideas. I know they aren’t going to work, I know I’ll have to do it over again, but at least I’m doing something. It’s almost like getting all the bad ideas out of your system leaves nothing but good ideas left. Working through what doesn’t work will ultimately help you find what does work.

Find inspiration.

Finally, a lot of creativity comes from finding inspiration in other creative sources. If you feel stuck, look to other artists for some help. Watch a movie, read a book, listen to a record – even if you think it doesn’t have any connection to your own work, again, it’s about putting your mind in the right place where those more creative ideas can flourish.

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4 Ways To Keep Your Bones Strong

Among the health concerns facing boomers as they age is the strength of their bones. Conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis threaten your bones’ strength which can be a terribly uncomfortable situation. Such medical conditions can seriously affect one’s mobility if severe enough. If you are concerned about how you might be able to prevent these types of conditions or want to know how to strengthen your bones, consult you doctor. In the meantime, here are a few methods to keep in mind.

Get educated.

Before going forward with anything, it is important to become as knowledgeable about these conditions as possible so you know what you are dealing with. You might have a vague idea about what these conditions are and their causes, but it’s best to ask your doctor so that you can see the full picture. Also ask your doctor about your risks for these conditions. Some people are more susceptible to issues with their bones than others, for example, women tend to suffer from osteoperosis more often than men. Knowing your risks can help you to better work at preventing them. finally, your family history is also a big factor in these cases. Looking into recent family medical history and telling your doctor will help become even more informed and gain a better understanding of how to proceed.

Eat the right food.

Almost every time we discuss healthy living on this site, the topic of what you are eating comes up. That’s not just us being lazy, there is very good reason for its repetition. Your diet is exceedingly impactful on your everyday health condition. If you eat bad food your health will be bad, if you eat good food it will be good. It might not a quite that simple but it’s close. And when it comes to building and maintaining strong bones, once again your diet plays a big role. There are certain types of foods that foods that by introducing into your diet can greatly improve the health of your bones. Protein is one example as your bones are half protein themselves. Fruits and vegetables always make appearances on lists like these and this list will be no different. Specifically, those containing Vitamin C and Potassium will be beneficial. Calcium and magnesium are some of the biggest contributors to strong bones and if you can pack your diet with them, you’ll be heading in the right direction.

Avoid the bad habits.

Of course, it’s not just the healthy foods that are added to your diet that are of concern, it’s also those unhealthy foods that need to be removed from your diet. Sugary foods should be cut way back or excised entirely. Sugar robs your body of some of those extremely valuable components like calcium, thus weakening your bones. Studies have also shown that too much consumption of alcohol can negatively affect the strength of your bones. While the occasion drink is fine for most people, ask your doctor if you should be cutting back for the sake of your bones. And while I hope not too many of you are still smoking at your age, it is one habit you’ll need to end now if you want to maintain the health of your bones. Ask your doctor about aides to help kick the habit for good.

Exercise.

Just as with your diet, regular and stimulating exercise will go a long way with just about any health issue you encounter. Building stamina for your bones can help strengthen them, keep them strong and help to avoid any injuries that might occur. Studies show that half an hour of moderate exercise on a daily basis can be extremely beneficial. This could include going for a jog, a hike, doing aerobics or a number of other cardio related workouts. If you are concerned about your ability to perform such exercises, consult your doctor.

For more health and wellness content and everything else in the world of boomers, sign up with BoomersPlus for FREE. Go to www.boomersplus.com or email us at info@boomersplus.com to learn more.

 

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5 Last-Minute Ways To Enjoy Summer

As Labour Day weekend approaches, we must get ready to bid a sad farewell to the summer vacation days for another year. Canadians know all too well how quickly these days can go by before the temperature begins to drop and the snow begins to fall. However, that does not mean you can’t still make the most of what’s left of the summer. Even with only a few days left, there is still plenty of fun to be had. Here are a few last-minute ideas for enjoying the rest of summer.

One last swim.

The window for being able to enjoy a nice refreshing outdoor swim is extremely small in this country. Go too early in the summer, it’s too cold. Wait too long, it’s too cold. So while you might have missed that ideal time to enjoy a swim at the beach, it’s worth getting a little chilly just to enjoy it one last time before the end of the season. Yes, indoor pools are available to avid swimmers all year round but they pale in comparison to the feeling of swimming in a natural body of water. And it doesn’t even need to be a beach. A good swim in a lake, pond or river can be just as pleasant.

Read a page-turner.

There’s no better time of year than summer to sit down with a really good book that just pulls you in. on those warm, relaxing days off that you very much deserve, it’s such fun to spend the afternoon enthralled with some great literature. While there might not be enough summer days left to get through a challenging tome, there’s plenty of time to get obsessed with an addictive page-turner you just can’t put down. Add one more book to you summer reading list and end your vacation reading on a high note.

Road trip.

Summer travelling can be great fun no matter where you are going and how you are getting there, but there’s something extra special about the summer road trip. The days are longer and the weather cooperates for the most part, making for the most ideal driving conditions and beautiful scenery to enjoy. And because it’s a relatively inexpensive way to travel, you can surely sneak in one more adventure on the open road. Go for a week or even just a day trip, whichever way you choose it will surely be a memorable summer send-off.

Outdoor movie.

The summer season is a big time for movies, but with only a few precious hours of summer time left, many people don’t want to spend a few hours in a dark movie theatre. So why not enjoy some great cinema and the great outdoors all at the same time? The outdoor movie trend is at its peak right now, with many cities and towns offering residence big screen fun outside. Have a look to see if there’s any happening around you in these last days of summer. Or better yet, seek out a drive-in movie theatre for a quick nostalgia trip.

Picnic.

Of course, not all of us have the luxury of taking any real time off before the end of summer. For many, the vacation days are all spent up, or maybe there right in the busy months for their job. However, there are still those small ways you can enjoy the remainder of summer, like a nice picnic. Even if it’s just over a lunch break from work, find a nice park, make a nice meal and enjoy the outdoors in a quiet relaxing way for just a little while. While the colder months have a lot of great things to offer, we all miss the summer once its gone.

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5 Ways To Inspire Creativity In The Workplace

Creativity is a concept that is not embraced enough in the workplace. In fact, in far too many workplaces, such a thing is dissuaded more than it is encouraged. The problem is that too many people at the management level see creativity as a way for employees to veer too far off the proven path of success and allows for too much of the unknown or unproven to occur.

However, creativity as it relates to work is a mindset that is beneficial to any company no matter the type of work they do. For problem solving, group work and countless more reasons, managers should try to inspire creativity among their employees whenever possible. Here’s how you can do just that.

Set up collaborations.

People get used to working on their own. Some people like it more and even thrive more from solo work. But that doesn’t mean they can’t benefit from the occasional collaborations. Some people feel more intimidated to try the more creative approaches on their own. When you set up your employees to work in a collaborative way, they begin sharing ideas more openly, they can improve of each other’s brainstorming concepts, and they can find a creative chemistry that just clicks. Allow for more opportunities for this kind of group work within the workplace and see what benefits come from it.

Embrace new ideas.

The tried-and-true way can be safe, certainly, but it can also be stifling. When you get too used to doing things one way, you become blinded to better and easier ways of working. Embracing creativity means letting your employees feel as though they can suggest ways of changing things up. Too often people feel that new approaches are not being looked for, nor are they welcome. Embracing new ideas will help your workforce realise they can have their own input when appropriate.

Support creativity – even when it doesn’t work.

Supporting creativity does not just mean saying yes when a good creative move comes up, it also means supporting the idea of creativity. The concept of creativity is built upon a sort of unknown way of approaching things. Maybe it will work, maybe it won’t, and as you’ll find out, it can often not work. But for creativity to thrive in a workplace, people need to learn not to fear those moments of failure. Don’t dismiss those bad ideas out right. Discuss them with the people who bring them up, learn more about their approach and give helpful feedback. They will learn what works and what doesn’t while still feeling like they can give it another shot further down the road.

Be flexible.

A large part of inspiring creativity in the workplace means allowing some of the established rules to be bent somewhat. As a manager or boss, you’ll know what is necessity to maintain an effective workplace, and which things can be mixed up a bit. For instance, the 9-to-5 way of working is starting to become a bit of an out-dated concept. Creativity can occur outside the regular office hours and allowing your employees to embrace that fact could lead to great benefits. Likewise, the office is not always a necessary workspace. Working remotely can lead to a lot more productivity. These might seem like risks but they can payoff in big ways.

Brainstorm together.

Much like how collaboration opens up the possibility of new ideas to come forward, doing group brainstorming sessions can help bring out the ideas that would otherwise remain unsaid. Brainstorming is a great, no-pressure situation where everyone can throw out ideas, concepts, questions without having to worry about how it will be taken. They can be under-developed ideas, spontaneous or otherwise imperfect, but in the group setting it allows people to just throw it all out there and see what sticks. You’d be surprised how often this can yield some truly great ideas.

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6 Perfect Father’s Day Activities For The Whole Family

Father’s Day is right around the corner which means if you don’t have your present for your papa already squared away, it’s time to really start thinking about it. While a traditional gift like a good book or a new tie can be great, Father’s Day is the perfect time to celebrate with the whole family. So if you’re looking for the perfect family outing for this Father’s Day, here are a few sure-fire suggestions everyone will enjoy.

Camping

Having Father’s Day occur in June means that it is an ideal time to enjoy the great outdoors. What better way than to take the whole family on a camping trip? Take away all the screens that usually rule our lives and give the family a chance to spend time together in nature. Instead of sitting around the living room, sit around the campfire. It’s a great escape and a fantastic opportunity to get some quality time with the whole family.

Canoeing

If a camping trip isn’t in the cards, there’s still a lot to enjoy outside that’s not as time-consuming. One great option is a canoe trip. With the free access to Canadian parks across the country, there’s plenty of amazing spots where you can rent a few canoes and the whole family can take a nice relaxing ride down the river. You can go for the amazing natural scenery, or just for the peaceful quiet of it all. It’s not a terribly arduous activity, but if some of your family members aren’t able to paddle, they can sit back and let the others do the work.

Hike

Similarly, if you won’t to take in some nature but would prefer to stay off the water, a good hiking trail is always a safe bet. Depending on how often your family hikes, you can find a nice leisurely trail or you could take on a more challenging route. It’s another great way to stay active but also allows you to enjoy the company of your loved ones. Hiking is always better when it’s done with others and there’s no better people to spend time with than your own family.

Going to the movies

While the outdoors obviously provide a lot of attraction, sometimes it’s nice to just sit inside a dark air-conditioned room and enjoy a good movie. The summer movie season usually makes for the perfect time for the family to find something everyone can enjoy. It might not be the most social setting, but you can all enjoy some popcorn and still spend some quality time with each other.

BBQ

A family dinner is always a nice idea for Father’s Day. But instead of taking the whole family to a restaurant, why not enjoy the comforts of home as well as the fine seasonal weather. A family BBQ isn’t the most extravagant or ambitious of ideas, but there are few people (especially among fathers) who don’t enjoy a good cookout. And besides, with people’s busy lives and hectic schedules, finding time for everyone to get together can be difficult. A family dinner is an easy way to spend time together, and you get to enjoy some good food too!

Golf

Golf is not for everyone, but if you all go in with the attitude that you’re just going to have fun and enjoy the day together, then it can be a grand ol’ time. And don’t worry about who is skilled or experienced with the game, if it’s all for fun the scores don’t really matter.

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8 Ways To Protect Your Heart As Your Age

One of the biggest health concerns that comes with aging is how to keep your heart healthy. A healthy heart is so important and unfortunately, the risks towards your heart grow in number the older you get. Asking you doctor what steps you can take to keep your ticker going strong is the obvious first step, but beyond that, here are a few more tips age well and keep your heart strong.

Be responsible.

No one is responsible for your health beyond yourself. Sure, you have people who are concerned for your health and will do their best to help keep you healthy, but you alone must take responsibility for your health. If you’re on special medication, you need to be diligent about taking it. If your doctor recommends more exercise, it’s your responsibility to fit it into your schedule. If there is stress in your life, it’s your responsibility to fix it. You and you alone must take responsibility.

Understand your own situation.

Wherever you’re getting health advice, one thing to keep in mind is that your situation does not necessarily apply to everyone. These things we’re discussing here are broad examples, but for your own heart, circumstances will be different. Be aware and conscious of your heart health. Family history, past conditions, lifestyle are all factors that can affect your heart and can make your situation unique. Being aware of this means you can better find the treatment that works for you.

Quit those bad habits.

Going back to our first point about being responsible, that includes being able to identify those activities that contribute to poor health health. If you’re going to take this seriously you need to be able to put in the hard work required to kick harmful habits like smoking, excessive drinking and poor diet. You should know by now how bad it is for you and you should be doing everything in your power to put an end to those habits now.

Monitor blood pressure and cholesterol.

Keeping your heart healthy also means keeping an eye on the things that might affect its health. Cholesterol can often be a matter of struggle for older people. Maintaining a healthy diet and taking the proper precautions can help keep it under control. Of course, even if your follow good health tips, age will always be a factor when it comes to blood pressure. Ask your doctor about methods for keeping it at a healthy level.

Exercise properly.

As with just about any health concern, exercise is key. However, don’t just assume you know which exercise will benefit you. As you age, certain workout routines can cause more harm than good to your body. Regular walks, aerobic activities and weight lifting are usually the best options for a healthy heart, but consult your doctor about what’s best for you.

Try meditation.

Some may dismiss meditation, and some may not find it very effective, but regardless of your initial thoughts, the results are impressive. Studies have shown that regular meditation can help reduce tress and therefore reduce blood pressure. Seek out the best methods for beginners and see if it can work for you.

Talk to others.

Talking openly about your health is an important step in staying healthy. For men especially, there seems to be a stigma against discussing such things, even with your loved ones. It’s an unhealthy and outdated stance to take, which needs to be done away with. Being able to talk about health concerns, developments, and questions is not only therapeutic but it helps create a community in which people are more connected with their personal health.

Talk to your doctor often.

As always, before trusting anything you’ve read here, talk to your doctor about the health of your heart. And don’t be afraid to make regular visits and check-ups.

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7 Effective Ways Of Dealing With Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block is something that we all face at some point in our careers. While it’s a struggle most often related to creative writers such as novelists and screenwriters, really anyone charged with writing a significant piece is susceptible to condition. Whether it’s research papers, presentations, or any number of business document, sometimes the words just don’t flow as easily as you’d like.

Here at The Hub, I confess that I sometimes fall victim to the occasional bout of Writer’s Block while putting together articles for you fine people. So how do I cope? How do I overcome? Not to sound braggadocio, but I feel I’ve become something of an expert in this field and I’d be happy to share my secrets with you.

Go for a walk.

This one is my ultimate go to cure. While I work hard to make my office a comfortable and relaxing place to get writing done, sometimes I do get a little stir-crazy. It’s times like that that my writer’s mind hits a roadblock and I’m faced with an empty page. That’s when I know I need some fresh air. I usually only keep it to a short 15-minute walk, nothing too intense. I don’t always come back with brilliant ideas, but I feel refreshed and ready to tackle the mission.

Preform a monotonous task.

When suffering from Writer’s Block, I cannot tell you how important it is to not think. Trying to force new ideas or the perfect sentence becomes frustrating to the point of damaging. Instead, take a break and take on a task that will help to clear your mind. Personally, I hop on my ride-on lawn mower and just let my mind wander. Sometimes taking away the structure is all you need.

Listen to music.

I’ll be honest, this method doesn’t always work for me. You really have to pick the right music. Nothing with too many lyrics or one that you like too much. Try some classical music or something that would make suitable background noise. You might find it to be too much of a distraction but it could also be a great way to keep you relaxed and focused.

Clean your workspace.

A cluttered space makes for a cluttered mind. Not just a cliché but an actually valuable piece of advice. Regardless of if you feel that you’re too busy to keep your workspace tidy, having it overflowing with garbage and papers is not going to help you. Take a break to fix things up and turn the area into a less chaotic environment. It will give you a task and help eliminate some distractions.

Create in other ways.

Taking on another creative task can really help to ignite that part of your brain. It can be a number of things; playing music, painting, drawing. One very method that I’ve heard to be very effective is building with Legos. It might seem silly, but building without any rules or without a plan can encourage free thinking which is what you’ll need to break your case of Writer’s Block.

Have a conversation with yourself.

Again, you may dismiss this as a silly exercise but it’s just the sort of thing that works against the creative stalling. Often with Writer’s Block, to overcome it you really need to get outside of your head. In order to get your message of your writing across to your audience, it needs to be more than just words on the page. Try writing out loud to get a sound for it and the next sentence or idea will likely involve naturally. It may need some cleaning up but it gets you moving in the right direction.

Write anyway.

When someone first gave me this advice for my Writer’s Block, I thought sarcastically, “Oh that’s real helpful”. It does sound like the sort of advice that just sounds good but is really empty. I’m here to tell you that’s not the case. Writer’s Block is not an excuse to stop writing. Nothing is physically preventing you from putting pen to paper or fingers to key board. Yes, the quality might be lacking but that doesn’t matter. Write, write, write. Write without thinking or write on a different subject. Your writer’s mind in a muscle you must exercise even if the final results aren’t perfect.