Health/wellbeing

HOW CAN SENIORS BE FIT?

FITNESS HAS NO AGE

It can be difficult to stay active as our bodies slow down, but there are a lot of good ways to keep active.

Just because you are a senior does not mean that your options for fitness are any different than a younger person.

If you are just beginning it is very important to get a doctor’s clearance before starting.

As humans we are designed to move and if we do not, we become unfit to do all the things we need to do.

STRENGTH AND RESISTANCE TRAINING

Seniors have issues with a loss of muscle mass namely sarcopenia, as well as a loss of bone density namely osteopenia.

Both of these can be prevented by engaging in resistance and strength traning.

One could very well injure himself, so be mindful, perform slow and controlled movements. Better still engage the services of a personal trainer.

WALK WALK AND WALK MORE

Making it a point of walking as much as possible, instead of driving. Walking can be very relaxing and stimulating.

Walk your neighbours dog or your dogs. Walk to the supermarket if is about 10 minutes away. It might seem a little but it does help.

Taking the stairs instead of the elevator has been one of my grandparents best practices for as long as i can remember.

SWIMMING

Swimming is probably the best excercise of all in my humble opionion. Water aerobics are great, it is low impact so achy joints and muscles are not compromised.

30 minutes time frame of continous swimming 3 times a week is ideal for a senior.

The water also provides a slight massage and resistance that can help repair your muscles. Classes are available at local gyms.

JOIN A DANCE STUDIO

Research has found that dancing improves strength and muscle functions in seniors, as well as increasing balance and flexibility, leading to a better stability and fewer injuries.

Dancing is another great activity to keep you in good shape. It provides the much needed social contact a lot of seniors lack, which is a bonus.

TRY GARDENING

Gardening isn’t just about making your house look appealing. Although a little appeal never hurts.

Gardening is a great way to get all the strength excercises you need. It is also beneficial as you get to spend time with nature.

Caring for plants does enormous wonders for our own wellbeing, and just interacting with flora can improve mood as well as mental health.

OFFER TO VOLUNTEER

Volunteering helps seniors avoid isolation and depression. It promotes physical activities as well as good for mental health.

Offer to volunteer at your local library, baby-sit your grandchildren, help serve food at homeless shelters, mentor youths, fundraising etc. It will definately keep you young and fresh.

HEALTHY DIETS (YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT!)

Healthy diets is the best compliment of an active lifestyle. Food fuels the body. Without proper nutrition we are left feeling drained and too tired to workout.

When healthy eating habits is adopted we obtain most of our nutrients required naturally.

TAKE SUPPLEMENTS

Food supplements are concentrated sources of nutrients taken as a dietary top-up.

Supplements contain higher amounts of nutrients that you will not normally find in food.

Take supplements especially if you’re not meeting your dietary needs.

Motherhood

EPIDURAL SHOULD YOU GET IT? (Childbirth/Painkillers) – My experience

WHAT IS EPIDUARL?

An epidural is an injection in the back to stop you from feeling pain in part of your body. Epidurals can be used during childbirth, including caesareans, during certain types of surgery and after certain types of surgery.

Epidurals are given by a specialist doctor called an anaesthetist. You’re usually conscious or awake during an epidural.

HOW EPIDURALS ARE GIVEN

  • A drip will be placed in your arm so you be given fluids while you are being given an epidural.
  • You will be asked to sit down and lean forward, or lie on your side with your knees drawn.
  • You will be given an injection of local anaesthetic to numb the area or skin where the epidural is being inserted.
  • A needle is then removed, leaving just a catheter in your back.
  • You may feel discomfort when the epidural needle is positioned and the catheter is inserted.

The epidural can be inserted at different levels of your back depending on the area of the body that requires pain relief.

The pain relief drugs is given through the catheter and these take about 20-30 minutes to take full effect.

Your chest, tummy and legs may feel numb while the epidural is being used, and your legs may not feel as strong as normal. While the catheter remains in your back, it can be used to top up your pain relief drugs manually or using an automatic pump.

MY STORY

labour did not start as early as expected, so my doctor scheduled me for an inducation. I was forty two weeks pregnant.

An induction or inducing labour is where, a midwife starts labour artificially using membrane sweep, pessary or hormone drip.

Note my midwife had already given me three membrane sweeps which did not amount to nothing.

Membrane sweep is a drug-free way of bringing on labour. The midwife or doctor inserts his/her finger into your vagina, with the aim of stretching the neck of the womb to bring on labour.

The reason the membrane sweep apparently did not work was because my cervix was too prosterior.

A prosterior cervix means that your cervix is angled toward back, rather than pointing toward the front of your body.

God knows how much I wanted my baby out. Honey! I was done with being pregnant. Who doesn’t anyway? After all pregnancy is almost like, a year of pure misery. Well at least it was for me.

I looked like i had been run over by a tractor. My nose and lips looked gigantic, i am not exaggerating. I had start waddling like a penquin hahaha!.

I was weak and irritated throughout “phew” thank God it is over and done with. Don’t get me wrong I love my daughter to bits. I just did not enjoy the pregnancy period.

Finally contractions started getting stronger and stronger gas and air was not doing nothing for me, eventhough i was “High” as a mule from the gas and air.

I finally requested for an epidural as i was 3cm dilated, and on the verge of loosing my mind. I was convinced i was going to die from pain hehe!. Sad huh? but true.

The doctor (anaesthetist) managed to get everything in place. Note it took six attempts for the anaesthetist to get the needle in, because i could not stay still, due to painful contractions.

PROS OF EPIDURAL

  • Epidural provides relief from pain and exhaustion especially if labour is not progressing fast enough.
  • Helps you stay alert as you are no longer focusing on the pain.
  • Can be given anytime during labour.

CONS OF EPIDURAL

  • You may have some side effects (example feeling sick).
  • Constant back pain even after 2 years of childbirth, it may not be the case for you.
  • Trouble urinating, therefore catheter may be inserted to allow urine to drain away.
  • Blood pressure will fall a little.

IN SUMMARY

In summary know what you want. Temporal relief or constant back pain after two years of childbirth (in my case).

Inspirations

HOW TO BOUNCE BACK FROM A SETBACK-Broken crayons still colour!

“The down fall of man is not the end of his life”

Life has dealt with each one of us one way or the other. Life is hard man!. But the most imoportant aspect of the set-back is how we pick ourselves up and dust up quickly.

I truly believe it is not how hard we fall, but how quickly we rise up. Life will make a victim out of you if you let it.

Early last year i was confronted with the issue of having to stay in a toxic relationship or let go. It took me months to decide as i was griped with fear. Fear of the unknown, i was not sure if i could survive on my own with a year old baby.

I am glad i took that bold step, i am glad i chose me. Truly it has proven to be the best decison i ever made. I am in a better mental space at the moment, than i was in that toxic relationship.

You could be going through a divorce, maybe you lost a loved one, filed for bankruptcy, battling a major illness, rape, abuse, the loss of a business whatever it is that life has dealt you with. I am here to tell you that, this too shall pass. No condition is permanent.

Would it not be wonderful if life comes with a manual?. I wish! but if wishes were horses beggers will be riding them everywhere.

You can not go into your future dressed in your past. You can not go into your future carrying the burdens of yesterday. Let it go!

BROKEN CRAYON STILL COLOUR

It does not matter how bruised, broken or damaged you are. Broken crayons still colour, so far as there is life there is hope.

The only place without hope is the cemetary. There is vast number of people that have gone through major crisis but managed to rise above it.

Those people were not born with extraordinary powers or abilities. They are just average human beings, just like you and I. They chose to rise above their circumstances and do extraordinary things.

Stephan Hawking battled with an early onset slow progressing form of motor neuron disease, also known as “ALS” for 50 years. He had every reason to give up on life.

Stephan went on to achieve commercial success with several works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general.

You are no different from Mr Hawkings. You have your own special skills, and talents hidden on the inside of you. Truth of the matter is, no one can do things, the way you do them. You are special and unique, never believe otherwise.

USE POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS

Affirmations are positve statements that can help you overcome negative thoughts. In other words proclaming positive statements you want to see in your life.

Write those affirmations on a sticky note and stick them where you will see them regularly eg. your bathroom mirror, on your bedroom walls, fridge etc.

The more you see them (affirmations) and the more you declare them. You will notice those negative thoughts are changing into positives ones. It works like magic try it.

Examples of positive affirmations are:

I am powerful.
I am intelligent.
I am unique.
I can do whatever i set my mind to.
I am a finisher.
I am wealthy.
I am the best at what i do.
I am a giver.
I am an overcomer.
I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

IN SUMMARY

Do not spend too much energy and time on the things you can not control. We can not have control over everything and that is alright.

Focus on what you can control, by deciding to try again. Start that business all over again, go back to school, learn a trade. Put things in place, set goals and achieve the hell out of them!

In consistency lies the power “just don’t quit”!, and remember you can do all things if you believe.

Relationships

HOW NOT TO MARRY WRONG- Mistakes are expensive!

”We must learn from other peoples mistakes, we can not live life long enough to make them all ourselves”

Marrying wrong or choosing the wrong partner will cost you uneccessary pain and stress, avoid it at all cost if you can.

Dad is nineteen (19) years older than mom, so i grew up with the notion that older men are better at marriage than younger men due to experience and maturity. Hmmm how ideologies are formed is truly a wonder.

Oh how I loved the relationship between mom and dad. It was just perfect. A match made in heaven I would describe it.

They just understood eachother, like ”two peas in pod”. Mom’s fovarite phrase was ”if possible i will love to marry dad in my next life”. Lovely huh?

I never saw those two fight or argue. I later found out they actually do but never in our presence (the children). How cool is that?

Due to that i grew up not wanting anything to do with guys my age. How sad!, but it is what it is. This confirms that we are truly shaped by our environment whether good or bad. I just thought the older the better, how naïve I was.

Truth is i could not wait to be married, as i thought marriage was a fairytale. Could it be i was watching too many telenovela’s or the relationship i saw between mom and dad?

BE VIGILANT PEOPLE CAN BE FUNNY

Be vigilant people are not always what they seem to be. Most people pretend a lot, their true colours come out later whether good or bad. Dont we all?

Well! well! in 2016 I enrolled at college to study access to health, as I wanted to go university to study nursing. A few months into the course, a cousin of mine introduced a man to me.

He seemed really kind and thoughtful. He was eight years older than I was, so I decided to date him. He would do little things I really appreciated, i stupidly thought he was the one! silly huh?. “Love is blind”.

During the relationship i got pregnant. Just so you know i am Ghanaian from Ghana West Africa, therefore getting pregnant out of wedlock is kind of a no! no!, especially with the kind of tribe and family i come from.

We got married due to that and that was the worst mistake i ever made. The mental, financial, and emotional torture i went through during the time the relationship lasted is a story for another time.

THE COST OF MARRYING WRONG

Uneccessary pain: The emotional pain when a relationship goes wrong is enormous and stressful, especially if there was high hopes and expectations for the relationship, and if a lot was invested into that relationship. Investments could be time, money, emotions etc.

Single parent: The pain of having to raise a child alone is very overwelming, draining and requires all of you.

Abuse emotional, physical abuse etc: The emotional, physical torture you will go through will cost you to lose yourself, such as your confidence, self-esteem etc.

Lack: marrying wrong will cost lack in your life, especially if are left alone to fend for your child or children all by yourself. Raising a child is not a one man’s business.

Uneccessary delay in achievements or life in general: Marrying wrong will cost you to loose time. Like the way i dropped out of college, because i could not cope with pregnancy related illnessess, work and school assisgments.

WHAT TO DO BEFORE YOU SAY I DO

Marry your friend: Marry someone you’ve known for a while. Such relationships is more safe because you know their character, finances, career, emotional intelligence etc. it is hard to be deceived that way.

Never compromise: Marry someone that ticks most of your list. Note i did not say all, i said most. Truth of the matter is you do not have it all together to be honest.

Be careful about reccommendations: Honey! you know yourself, you know what tickles you, do not let well-wishers match you with someone they think will be perfect for you. Look before you leap, get to know them for yourself and not based on what a loved one said. One of the greatest mistakes i made. Avoid it!

Right time: There is time for everything, even the bible says so. Do not feel pressured by age, time or succumb to pressures from family and well-wishers to jump into marriage you are not ready for. Do it at your own time and pace. Remember you are the one going to spend your life in misery not them.

Date their family too: Get involved in his/her family life. Get to know how they treat their family, how passionate he/she is about their family, will determine how they will treat you. What makes you think they will treat you differently when they have no respect for their family?

Red flags: Do not take red flags lightly run for your dear life immediately you spot them. You will save yourself a lot of tears and heartache. Do not ever think a person will change after marriage. Marriage will only amplify their flaws, run!!!.

IN SUMMARY

In summary plan for every aspect of your life. Whether it is relationship, career etc. Plan for it. Plan how you want your life to be. Do not just live life. Great achievers are big time planners. No one just stumbles into great life!. Be intentional in all you do and remember everything is possible to them that believe.

Motherhood

KEGELS – My life saver!

Women cannot deny the fact that childbirth put’s enormous stress on our bodies. I am yet to find anyone who thinks otherwise.

During pregnancy my body went through a lot of changes, such as developing a hole in my tooth, eventhough i took my dental appointments quite seriously. I did not have a hole in my tooth pre-pregnancy but it happened. The joys of motherhood!

The major shocker was the look of my vagina. I could not believe the state of my ”down stairs department”. It looked like a horror movie sorry too much information.

I could not hold my urine long enough. I use to wet myself when i sneeze, laugh too hard or bend over to pick something off the floor.

KEGELS DID THE MAGIC!

Kegel excercise strengthens the pelvic floor muscles which supports the bladder, small intestine, uterus. kegel excercise is also known as pelvic floor training.

Kegel helps control urinary incontinence and other pelvic floor problems such as prolapse, vaginal floor weakness due to childbirth or prolonged labour.

 

HOW TO DO KEGELS

To find the right muscles, you can do that by lying flat on your back. With clean washed hands insert a finger into your vagina. Try squeezing your vaginal walls around your finger. That is the muscles to excercise.

Once you are able to locate those muscles, excersing them can be done sitting, standing or lying down. whichever suits you.

Kegels can be done many times in a day. The more you excercise those muscles the stronger it becomes.

Recommendations

There are a few clinical aids out there on the market to aid you target your pelvic floor accurately. Some come with probes others do not. Whichever does the magic for you is absolutely fine, eventhough some come with additional features. It all depends on how much you are willing to spend.

Tips

  1. To my ladies do not wait until you start bearing children to start kegel excercises.
  2. Start your kegels as soon as you are cleared from your 6 weeks postnatal check-up.
  3. Make kegels an everyday routine.

 

 

 

Food

“THE SAUCE OF LIFE”- SHITO

This versatile black chilli sauce originated from the Ga tribe in Ghana West Africa. It is mostly used to complement foods such as the ever popular waakye, Kenkey with fish, steamed or boiled rice, yams and potatoes etc.

“Shito” meaning chilli or pepper consists of onions, ginger, garlic, shrimps (crustaceans), crushed or powdered peppers, dried fish, herbs and spices as well as salt to taste.

The strength of Shito chilli sauce ranges from mild, hot to extra hot. Depending on your palate and how much hotness you can endure.

Ingredients needed!

1. 5 medium sized red onions

2. 1 large size ginger

3. 70g of shrimps

4. Dried fish 50g (optional)

5. 4 garlic clove6. Cooking oil

7. Spices and salt

 

Quick Shito recipe!

1. Blend onions, ginger, garlic, shrimp and peppers together

2. Heat oil in a pan. The oil can be vegetable, sunflower or better still coconut oil. It doesn’t matter really.

3. Pour the mixture into the oil. Stirring often till the mixture caramelises. Add spices and salt to taste!

The brand “Shito Wura” makes the best and the tastiest homemade chilli sauce here in the United Kingdom. The best part of it all is that, they use organic ingredients which they source from whole foods UK.

To make a purchase, click on the link below to purchase on Ebay. 

 

http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/710-53481-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&pub=5575378759&campid=5338273189&customid=&icep_item=163895857460&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229508&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg&toolid=11111