When Life is a Raging Dumpster Fire, Lead With Your Ass

Source https://www.niashanks.com/life-raging-dumpster-fire/

when life is a raging dumpster fire, lead with your ass

Would you rather listen to this article? Use the player below or download on iTunes.
Advice is overrated. And often unwelcome.

Wisdom gained from personal experience, in my opinion, is much more valuable. That’s why I love the following excerpt — it reveals a pragmatic approach to how a woman puts out the raging dumpster fires that life hurls in her path:

“Change doesn’t happen in my life by listening to the shit in my head. Change in my life is led by my ass. If my ass goes to the gym and gets it done, my life gets just a teeny bit better. Maybe I won’t even notice. But if my ass keeps going, one day I turn around, and my body is strong, and I’m just a little happier. This is also how I got out of the dumpster fire phase in my life. I put my ass in new places, and avoided the people, places and things that were terrible for me.” (This insight comes courtesy of Dr. Mary — a strong, wise, witty woman who has crushed both Beautiful Badass Courses.)

Lead with your ass.

It’s a simple message, but it’s a powerful message. A message that can be applied to health and fitness, but also life itself, and the many challenges that come with being a human living on this planet.

I particularly love the focus it puts on action and not always giving in to the nonsense that can pulse through our brains. Action triumphs over mental resistance.

Every single one of us has moments when our brains seem to be working against us instead of helping us achieve our goals, or at the very least fails to prod us to do the things that are good for us. I’m no exception, and I’d like to share a couple conversations between my brain, and ass.

My brain: “Nia, I don’t feel like working out today. Let’s try to do the least amount of activity possible, sit on the couch with a gigantic tub of ice cream, and dig in with a jumbo-sized serving spoon for maximum ice cream to mouth efficiency.”

My ass: “Hey, Nia. Don’t listen to your brain today — she’s a bit cranky. Let me take the lead. Let’s just get a workout started, and once you get going, you know you’ll crush it. At the very least, you’ll feel better afterward.”

Leading with my ass, in this case, will be the productive option.

Here’s another delightful scenario.

My brain: “Nia, you can’t do this. It’s too challenging. What if you fail? What will people think of you? You really shouldn’t do this because you can’t know for sure how it’ll turn out.”

My ass: “Shut up, brain. If this is important, then all you can do is put in your best effort. Let’s get to work. Let’s take action. Let’s get the first few steps behind us and build momentum, and then the brain will get on board, too.”

Ass — 2. Brain — 0.

Sometimes my brain leads me in the right direction. Sometimes, she’s an uncooperative tyrant who would rather dive face first in a kiddie pool of fire ants than do something productive.

Moral of the story: if your brain isn’t cooperating with your objectives, put your ass in charge and do something.

The post When Life is a Raging Dumpster Fire, Lead With Your Ass appeared first on Nia Shanks.

Source https://www.niashanks.com/life-raging-dumpster-fire/

when life is a raging dumpster fire, lead with your ass

Would you rather listen to this article? Use the player below or download on iTunes.
Advice is overrated. And often unwelcome.

Wisdom gained from personal experience, in my opinion, is much more valuable. That’s why I love the following excerpt — it reveals a pragmatic approach to how a woman puts out the raging dumpster fires that life hurls in her path:

“Change doesn’t happen in my life by listening to the shit in my head. Change in my life is led by my ass. If my ass goes to the gym and gets it done, my life gets just a teeny bit better. Maybe I won’t even notice. But if my ass keeps going, one day I turn around, and my body is strong, and I’m just a little happier. This is also how I got out of the dumpster fire phase in my life. I put my ass in new places, and avoided the people, places and things that were terrible for me.” (This insight comes courtesy of Dr. Mary — a strong, wise, witty woman who has crushed both Beautiful Badass Courses.)

Lead with your ass.

It’s a simple message, but it’s a powerful message. A message that can be applied to health and fitness, but also life itself, and the many challenges that come with being a human living on this planet.

I particularly love the focus it puts on action and not always giving in to the nonsense that can pulse through our brains. Action triumphs over mental resistance.

Every single one of us has moments when our brains seem to be working against us instead of helping us achieve our goals, or at the very least fails to prod us to do the things that are good for us. I’m no exception, and I’d like to share a couple conversations between my brain, and ass.

My brain: “Nia, I don’t feel like working out today. Let’s try to do the least amount of activity possible, sit on the couch with a gigantic tub of ice cream, and dig in with a jumbo-sized serving spoon for maximum ice cream to mouth efficiency.”

My ass: “Hey, Nia. Don’t listen to your brain today — she’s a bit cranky. Let me take the lead. Let’s just get a workout started, and once you get going, you know you’ll crush it. At the very least, you’ll feel better afterward.”

Leading with my ass, in this case, will be the productive option.

Here’s another delightful scenario.

My brain: “Nia, you can’t do this. It’s too challenging. What if you fail? What will people think of you? You really shouldn’t do this because you can’t know for sure how it’ll turn out.”

My ass: “Shut up, brain. If this is important, then all you can do is put in your best effort. Let’s get to work. Let’s take action. Let’s get the first few steps behind us and build momentum, and then the brain will get on board, too.”

Ass — 2. Brain — 0.

Sometimes my brain leads me in the right direction. Sometimes, she’s an uncooperative tyrant who would rather dive face first in a kiddie pool of fire ants than do something productive.

Moral of the story: if your brain isn’t cooperating with your objectives, put your ass in charge and do something.

The post When Life is a Raging Dumpster Fire, Lead With Your Ass appeared first on Nia Shanks.

Principles for responsible international investment in food and agriculture

Source https://www.foodpolitics.com/2018/11/principles-for-responsible-international-investment-in-food-and-agriculture/

The Committee on World Food Security of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization has a report out on this topic, well worth pondering.

 

Sustainability, respect, safety, health, transparency, accountability—all good ideas.  The trick is to put them into practice.

Source https://www.foodpolitics.com/2018/11/principles-for-responsible-international-investment-in-food-and-agriculture/

The Committee on World Food Security of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization has a report out on this topic, well worth pondering.

 

Sustainability, respect, safety, health, transparency, accountability—all good ideas.  The trick is to put them into practice.

One Simple Hack to Stop Screwing Yourself Over

Source https://www.niashanks.com/one-simple-hack-stop-screwing/

one simple hack to stop screwing yourself over

Would you rather listen to this article? Use the player below or download on iTunes.
The One Simple Hack part of the title either piqued your interest, or triggered your potential-bullshit alarm. Simply writing it induced a bit of nausea for me since most “hacks” are overused, regurgitated phrases filled with empty promises. Or they’re just stupid. This simple hack, I’m relieved to say, is neither.

When it comes to fat loss, or practically anything pertaining to body transforming, most proposed “hacks” are complete rubbish. They make promises like “fix trouble spots fast” or “build your dream body in only 30 days.” You’re tempted with tales of secret methods and shortcuts used by the pros. While these hacks sound incredible, they typically fall short in delivery.

But there is one simple hack that does work. One simple hack to stop screwing yourself over and, thereby, allowing you to achieve your goals: “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging,” declares the wisdom of what’s known as The Law of Holes.

Put another, less polite, way — don’t make things worse, ya dummy.

Sound advice we typically don’t follow. I don’t know about you, but I have, on more occasions than I’d like to admit, not only continued digging once I’ve found myself in a hole, but start digging faster and with a larger shovel.

How many times have you “found yourself in a hole” but kept shoveling away, thereby digging yourself progressively deeper?

If I was a betting woman, I’d double-down and say you’ve experienced at least one of the following scenarios. Let’s see how I do …

The “I’ll Start Over Monday” Hole Digger

You skipped today’s workout because you just didn’t feel like doing it. Rather than going home to eat a nourishing, protein-rich, minimally processed meal, you rationalized: It’s Friday, it’s been a long week, I already screwed up by skipping my workout, so I’m going to grab a burger, fries, and large shake on the way home (digging deeper). You proceed to spend the weekend eating whatever you want and not working out and vow to start over Monday because, I mean, who “gets back on track” on a Saturday or Sunday? (Digging even deeper — I guess that would be deeper-er.)

The “My Workout Sucked, Now I’m Pissed” Hole Digger

You enter the gym feeling great, ready to crush your workout. Things go bad starting with the warm-up — the weights feel heavier than usual, your form doesn’t feel smooth, and everything feels terrible. In short, the workout sucked. Appalled at your inability to improve your performance (digging deeper*) you stomp out of the gym and soothe your throbbing disgust with a brownie the size of your face (digging even deeper).

*How is being appalled at yourself digging the hole deeper? Responding emotionally to a bad workout, or a not-so-great food choice, is the first step to making less than ideal choices going forward. If you shrug off a bad workout as nothing more than a bad workout, you can put the event behind you, move forward and focus on what you can do that’s in your best interest. (E.g., My workout sucked, and that’s okay because it’s inevitable. I’ll go home, have a good meal, and take it easy the rest of the evening.)

The “I Ate a Cupcake, So I’m Gonna Eat 14 More” Hole Digger

You breezed through your new diet the past couple weeks, but your resolve to avoid “bad foods” was tested by your favorite cupcakes someone brought to work. You rationalize: I’ve been good for so long, I deserve to be bad. Immediately after eating it, you’re struck with guilt. You proceed to eat two more cupcakes (digging deeper). Since you really screwed up, it’s time to dig even deeper, but a mere shovel won’t suffice. You go full-on excavator mode and continue making less than ideal food choices for every meal until you can “go all in” on the diet once again.

(Note: this is why you shouldn’t label foods “good” or “bad” — and why that diet didn’t work for you.)

How’d I do? Could you identify with at least one — or all three — of those scenarios? I can, because I’ve experienced each one, multiple times.

To be clear, I’m not saying that missing a workout, having a terrible workout, or eating a cupcake is bad. The problem is that we interpret these instances as something bad, or a “screw up.” Then we compound the negative experience with not-so-great choices going forward.

Skipping a workout won’t help you reach your strength goals, but it’s not detrimental either; it happens. Eating a humongous cupcake won’t help your fat loss efforts if it puts you in a caloric surplus, but it’s a single event that won’t have an immediate effect. Skipping a workout and eating a cupcake aren’t moral judgements — these things don’t make you a bad person (just like performing a workout and not eating a cupcake don’t make you a good person). The next logical step isn’t to skip another workout or devour four more cupcakes, because that would dig you in a hole.

If you skip a workout, perform the next one as soon as possible. If you eat a cupcake or overindulge, have a nourishing, real food meal next time you eat. These events don’t need to be a catalyst to frustration, guilt, or making less than ideal choices for a long period.

Just. Stop. Digging.

Funny how avoid this advice so naturally with things pertaining to health and fitness, but not in other areas of life. You don’t ding your car with the grocery cart and then take a sledgehammer to the windshield. You don’t stub your toe on the coffee table and then willingly head-butt the fridge. You don’t accidentally drop your dinner roll at a restaurant and then dump the bowl of soup on your head.

But when we “go off” our eating plan and overindulge? We use that as a valid reason to continue eating poorly for the rest of the day, or weekend. If we skip a workout because we were exhausted from a long day at work, we skip the remainder of the workouts for the entire week (and usual combine that with less than ideal foods choices, too). This is yet another uncomfortable truth about health and fitness.

Next time you find yourself in, or about to enter, a hole — recall this simple hack and don’t screw yourself over. Best of all, this is the simplest hack ever because it requires you to do absolutely nothing.

We don’t always need to be more disciplined or motivated, or even apologetic when we get off track or willingly make less than ideal choices. We just need to stop digging.

Did you enjoy what you just read? Then make sure you never miss a thing — sign up below to join the newsletter. You’ll receive the Beautiful Badass Mini Course as a gift.

The post One Simple Hack to Stop Screwing Yourself Over appeared first on Nia Shanks.

Source https://www.niashanks.com/one-simple-hack-stop-screwing/

one simple hack to stop screwing yourself over

Would you rather listen to this article? Use the player below or download on iTunes.
The One Simple Hack part of the title either piqued your interest, or triggered your potential-bullshit alarm. Simply writing it induced a bit of nausea for me since most “hacks” are overused, regurgitated phrases filled with empty promises. Or they’re just stupid. This simple hack, I’m relieved to say, is neither.

When it comes to fat loss, or practically anything pertaining to body transforming, most proposed “hacks” are complete rubbish. They make promises like “fix trouble spots fast” or “build your dream body in only 30 days.” You’re tempted with tales of secret methods and shortcuts used by the pros. While these hacks sound incredible, they typically fall short in delivery.

But there is one simple hack that does work. One simple hack to stop screwing yourself over and, thereby, allowing you to achieve your goals: “If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging,” declares the wisdom of what’s known as The Law of Holes.

Put another, less polite, way — don’t make things worse, ya dummy.

Sound advice we typically don’t follow. I don’t know about you, but I have, on more occasions than I’d like to admit, not only continued digging once I’ve found myself in a hole, but start digging faster and with a larger shovel.

How many times have you “found yourself in a hole” but kept shoveling away, thereby digging yourself progressively deeper?

If I was a betting woman, I’d double-down and say you’ve experienced at least one of the following scenarios. Let’s see how I do …

The “I’ll Start Over Monday” Hole Digger

You skipped today’s workout because you just didn’t feel like doing it. Rather than going home to eat a nourishing, protein-rich, minimally processed meal, you rationalized: It’s Friday, it’s been a long week, I already screwed up by skipping my workout, so I’m going to grab a burger, fries, and large shake on the way home (digging deeper). You proceed to spend the weekend eating whatever you want and not working out and vow to start over Monday because, I mean, who “gets back on track” on a Saturday or Sunday? (Digging even deeper — I guess that would be deeper-er.)

The “My Workout Sucked, Now I’m Pissed” Hole Digger

You enter the gym feeling great, ready to crush your workout. Things go bad starting with the warm-up — the weights feel heavier than usual, your form doesn’t feel smooth, and everything feels terrible. In short, the workout sucked. Appalled at your inability to improve your performance (digging deeper*) you stomp out of the gym and soothe your throbbing disgust with a brownie the size of your face (digging even deeper).

*How is being appalled at yourself digging the hole deeper? Responding emotionally to a bad workout, or a not-so-great food choice, is the first step to making less than ideal choices going forward. If you shrug off a bad workout as nothing more than a bad workout, you can put the event behind you, move forward and focus on what you can do that’s in your best interest. (E.g., My workout sucked, and that’s okay because it’s inevitable. I’ll go home, have a good meal, and take it easy the rest of the evening.)

The “I Ate a Cupcake, So I’m Gonna Eat 14 More” Hole Digger

You breezed through your new diet the past couple weeks, but your resolve to avoid “bad foods” was tested by your favorite cupcakes someone brought to work. You rationalize: I’ve been good for so long, I deserve to be bad. Immediately after eating it, you’re struck with guilt. You proceed to eat two more cupcakes (digging deeper). Since you really screwed up, it’s time to dig even deeper, but a mere shovel won’t suffice. You go full-on excavator mode and continue making less than ideal food choices for every meal until you can “go all in” on the diet once again.

(Note: this is why you shouldn’t label foods “good” or “bad” — and why that diet didn’t work for you.)

How’d I do? Could you identify with at least one — or all three — of those scenarios? I can, because I’ve experienced each one, multiple times.

To be clear, I’m not saying that missing a workout, having a terrible workout, or eating a cupcake is bad. The problem is that we interpret these instances as something bad, or a “screw up.” Then we compound the negative experience with not-so-great choices going forward.

Skipping a workout won’t help you reach your strength goals, but it’s not detrimental either; it happens. Eating a humongous cupcake won’t help your fat loss efforts if it puts you in a caloric surplus, but it’s a single event that won’t have an immediate effect. Skipping a workout and eating a cupcake aren’t moral judgements — these things don’t make you a bad person (just like performing a workout and not eating a cupcake don’t make you a good person). The next logical step isn’t to skip another workout or devour four more cupcakes, because that would dig you in a hole.

If you skip a workout, perform the next one as soon as possible. If you eat a cupcake or overindulge, have a nourishing, real food meal next time you eat. These events don’t need to be a catalyst to frustration, guilt, or making less than ideal choices for a long period.

Just. Stop. Digging.

Funny how avoid this advice so naturally with things pertaining to health and fitness, but not in other areas of life. You don’t ding your car with the grocery cart and then take a sledgehammer to the windshield. You don’t stub your toe on the coffee table and then willingly head-butt the fridge. You don’t accidentally drop your dinner roll at a restaurant and then dump the bowl of soup on your head.

But when we “go off” our eating plan and overindulge? We use that as a valid reason to continue eating poorly for the rest of the day, or weekend. If we skip a workout because we were exhausted from a long day at work, we skip the remainder of the workouts for the entire week (and usual combine that with less than ideal foods choices, too). This is yet another uncomfortable truth about health and fitness.

Next time you find yourself in, or about to enter, a hole — recall this simple hack and don’t screw yourself over. Best of all, this is the simplest hack ever because it requires you to do absolutely nothing.

We don’t always need to be more disciplined or motivated, or even apologetic when we get off track or willingly make less than ideal choices. We just need to stop digging.

Did you enjoy what you just read? Then make sure you never miss a thing — sign up below to join the newsletter. You’ll receive the Beautiful Badass Mini Course as a gift.

The post One Simple Hack to Stop Screwing Yourself Over appeared first on Nia Shanks.

Heartburn Sucks—and These 11 Foods Make It Way Worse

Source https://greatist.com/eat/foods-that-cause-heartburn?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https–greatistcom–

The acidic taste in your throat. The fiery feeling in your chest. The chronic cough and difficulty swallowing. If you’re part of the 40 percent of Americans who suffer from regular heartburn, you know it feels pretty terrible.

The good (or bad) news is that about 95 percent of sufferers can trace their symptoms back to a particular food, meaning, with a little detective work, you can figure out what to eat and what to avoid. We’ve gone ahead and done some of the grunt work for you. Try to build a burn-free meal by avoiding these common foods that cause heartburn.

Foods That Cause Heartburn

1. Onions

Ah yes, we know that painful, stinky onion burp from hell all too well. Onions, while nutritious, contain a fermentable fiber called fructooligosaccharides, which may relax the lower esophageal sphincter and increase reflux.

One study compared people’s symptoms after consuming a burger with raw onions compared to one without and found that the onion-eaters had significantly more heartburn. Can’t imagine a burger without onions? We hear you. Just make sure to cook them well to break down those tough-on-the-gut fibers.

2. Booze

Yah, you saw that one coming. Much the same way a stiff drink relaxes you enough to help you kill it on the dancefloor, alcohol also relaxes that sphincter, triggering heartburn in the process.

While findings in this area are controversial and varied, many studies have found that drinking in excess may increase the risk of reflux, especially since excessive alcohol intake can directly damage the esophageal and gastric mucosal lining. It’s not surprising, then, that in a survey of heartburn sufferers, as many as 67 percent of respondents felt that booze was to blame. Guess it’s time to volunteer to be the DD!

3. Peppermint

Wait, wha? Isn’t peppermint a cooling herb? Peppermint is thought to reduce lower esophageal sphincter tension, which makes it easier for stomach acids to creep up. One study found that eight percent of heartburn patients reported complaints after consuming peppermint, and a large systematic review reported heartburn as one of the major side effects of peppermint consumption. Maybe stick to chamomile next time.

4. Chocolate

I know you didn’t want to see this on the list. Here’s the deal. Chocolate contains both caffeine and theobromine, both of which can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax and allow stomach acid to escape. One study also found that in comparison to a simple sugar solution, chocolate significantly increased heartburn symptoms within just an hour of indulging. Vanilla macaroons are in your future.

5. Salty Snacks

The research on salt and reflux is not really working in our favor. One study found that people who ate salted foods three times or more each week increased their risk of heartburn by up to 50 percent!

Another study found that risk of acid reflux increased as much as 70 percent in people who added salt to their food, suggesting that we could really stand to take the salt shaker off the table. Our suggestion? Skip the sodium and flavor your meals liberally with fresh herbs and spices instead.

6. Fatty Meats

Keto dieters, take note! Fat stimulates the release of the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK), which has been shown to relax the lower esophageal sphincter and cause reflux. It can also delay gastric emptying as fat is digested and absorbed slower than other foods, increasing the likelihood that stomach acids get up in our business.

One study looked at a wide range of dietary considerations and found that cholesterol, saturated animal fats, as well as fat, in general, were some of the most likely perceived culprits of reflux symptoms. Try working in a few extra meatless meals each week and choosing leaner cuts of meat, whenever possible.

7. Full-Fat Dairy

Like the richer cuts of meat, whole milk products (including cream, butter, and our beloved cheese) have become a notorious cause of heartburn. Interestingly, low-fat dairy doesn’t seem to have the same effect, so reach for non-fat or low-fat options if you find it bothers you.

8. Coffee

That morning joe doesn’t usually play so nicely with heartburn sufferers. While coffee may help perk you up, it actually may do the opposite to our esophageal functions, relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter and increasing the risk of reflux.

One report found that about one-quarter of heartburn sufferers found coffee caused them pain. Interestingly, the role in caffeine specifically in this association is largely unclear. While one study found a significant decline in heartburn symptoms with decaffeination, they also found that just adding caffeine to water didn’t cause the ill effects, signaling that there are likely other factors, like acidity, at play.

If you’re trying to wean yourself off, try choosing a low-acidity coffee while going half-caf, slowly shifting the caffeinated: decaf ratio until you’re fully coffee-free.

9. Bubbly Bevvies

Carbonated sodas are not only a common source of caffeine, but they also play a role in reflux by reducing lower esophageal pressure. The result? Lots of burning belches. Classy, we know. One study found that carbonated soda consumptions were one of the worst culprits of heartburn during sleep, and no one likes to be woken up by that! Try cutting back on your soda habit (for more reasons than one) and choosing flat water instead of bubbly.

10. Tomatoes

Bad news for our Italian-food-loving friends. With almost 70 percent of heartburn sufferers citing tomatoes or tomato juice as the cause, it’s not surprising that these antioxidant-rich babies made the list.

While tomato juice is notoriously acidic, one study found that patients experienced reflux symptoms even when the pH of the drink was adjusted to neutral. In other words, there are likely other components of tomato juice that cause the pain. Sad about missing pasta and pizza night? Go for a white pizza and olive oil-based pasta, or whip up a “red sauce” using bell peppers instead.

11. Citrus Juice

It’s starting to look like water might be the only safe drinking choice, right? Anyone who is prone to heartburn and reflux knows how easily a glass of freshly squeezed OJ can ruin an otherwise lovely Sunday brunch.

And is it really a huge surprise? With natural acidity, orange and grapefruit juices are among some of the biggest heartburn offenders, with 67 percent of one survey’s participants citing them as a literal pain. Another study found grapefruit juice to have the worst effect out of all other drinks and juices. If you love your citrus, try watering it down and adding a single shot to a tall glass of water.

Foods That Relieve Heartburn Symptoms

1. Gum

OK, technically not a food (so please, do not swallow a wad), but it seems that gum chewers may be onto something when it comes to heartburn prevention. Research has shown that chewing sugar-free bicarbonate gum can help increase saliva production and clear the esophagus of painful acids. We recommend keeping a pack handy in case any of the offending foods mentioned make it onto your plate (or you just can’t give up your morning cup of joe).

2. Whole-Grain Bread

Yay! Another great reason to eat more carbs! It seems that unlike fatty meats and dairy, high-fiber foods may have a protective role in reducing the risk of reflux. One study found that participants who ate higher fiber bread were twice as likely to relieve their heartburn symptoms than those who ate lower fiber bread.

While the exact rationale for this association is largely unknown, it’s believed that fiber reduces nitrites in the stomach that otherwise play a role in relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter. Here’s a little dietitian tip to help you get your 25-37 grams per day of fiber: When choosing a bread, look for one with at least 4 grams of fiber per serving.

3. Fruits and Vegetables

You know you don’t need another reason to get your fruit and veggie fix, but hey, here it goes. In addition to providing a healthy dose of that reflux-reducing fiber, produce also is rich in vitamins A, C, and E, which have a protective effect against reflux thanks to their antioxidant properties. Just be sure to avoid any of the higher acid veggies like oranges, lemons, citrus, and tomatoes.

Source https://greatist.com/eat/foods-that-cause-heartburn?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=feed_https–greatistcom–

The acidic taste in your throat. The fiery feeling in your chest. The chronic cough and difficulty swallowing. If you’re part of the 40 percent of Americans who suffer from regular heartburn, you know it feels pretty terrible.

The good (or bad) news is that about 95 percent of sufferers can trace their symptoms back to a particular food, meaning, with a little detective work, you can figure out what to eat and what to avoid. We’ve gone ahead and done some of the grunt work for you. Try to build a burn-free meal by avoiding these common foods that cause heartburn.

Foods That Cause Heartburn

1. Onions

Ah yes, we know that painful, stinky onion burp from hell all too well. Onions, while nutritious, contain a fermentable fiber called fructooligosaccharides, which may relax the lower esophageal sphincter and increase reflux.

One study compared people’s symptoms after consuming a burger with raw onions compared to one without and found that the onion-eaters had significantly more heartburn. Can’t imagine a burger without onions? We hear you. Just make sure to cook them well to break down those tough-on-the-gut fibers.

2. Booze

Yah, you saw that one coming. Much the same way a stiff drink relaxes you enough to help you kill it on the dancefloor, alcohol also relaxes that sphincter, triggering heartburn in the process.

While findings in this area are controversial and varied, many studies have found that drinking in excess may increase the risk of reflux, especially since excessive alcohol intake can directly damage the esophageal and gastric mucosal lining. It’s not surprising, then, that in a survey of heartburn sufferers, as many as 67 percent of respondents felt that booze was to blame. Guess it’s time to volunteer to be the DD!

3. Peppermint

Wait, wha? Isn’t peppermint a cooling herb? Peppermint is thought to reduce lower esophageal sphincter tension, which makes it easier for stomach acids to creep up. One study found that eight percent of heartburn patients reported complaints after consuming peppermint, and a large systematic review reported heartburn as one of the major side effects of peppermint consumption. Maybe stick to chamomile next time.

4. Chocolate

I know you didn’t want to see this on the list. Here’s the deal. Chocolate contains both caffeine and theobromine, both of which can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax and allow stomach acid to escape. One study also found that in comparison to a simple sugar solution, chocolate significantly increased heartburn symptoms within just an hour of indulging. Vanilla macaroons are in your future.

5. Salty Snacks

The research on salt and reflux is not really working in our favor. One study found that people who ate salted foods three times or more each week increased their risk of heartburn by up to 50 percent!

Another study found that risk of acid reflux increased as much as 70 percent in people who added salt to their food, suggesting that we could really stand to take the salt shaker off the table. Our suggestion? Skip the sodium and flavor your meals liberally with fresh herbs and spices instead.

6. Fatty Meats

Keto dieters, take note! Fat stimulates the release of the hormone cholecystokinin (CCK), which has been shown to relax the lower esophageal sphincter and cause reflux. It can also delay gastric emptying as fat is digested and absorbed slower than other foods, increasing the likelihood that stomach acids get up in our business.

One study looked at a wide range of dietary considerations and found that cholesterol, saturated animal fats, as well as fat, in general, were some of the most likely perceived culprits of reflux symptoms. Try working in a few extra meatless meals each week and choosing leaner cuts of meat, whenever possible.

7. Full-Fat Dairy

Like the richer cuts of meat, whole milk products (including cream, butter, and our beloved cheese) have become a notorious cause of heartburn. Interestingly, low-fat dairy doesn’t seem to have the same effect, so reach for non-fat or low-fat options if you find it bothers you.

8. Coffee

That morning joe doesn’t usually play so nicely with heartburn sufferers. While coffee may help perk you up, it actually may do the opposite to our esophageal functions, relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter and increasing the risk of reflux.

One report found that about one-quarter of heartburn sufferers found coffee caused them pain. Interestingly, the role in caffeine specifically in this association is largely unclear. While one study found a significant decline in heartburn symptoms with decaffeination, they also found that just adding caffeine to water didn’t cause the ill effects, signaling that there are likely other factors, like acidity, at play.

If you’re trying to wean yourself off, try choosing a low-acidity coffee while going half-caf, slowly shifting the caffeinated: decaf ratio until you’re fully coffee-free.

9. Bubbly Bevvies

Carbonated sodas are not only a common source of caffeine, but they also play a role in reflux by reducing lower esophageal pressure. The result? Lots of burning belches. Classy, we know. One study found that carbonated soda consumptions were one of the worst culprits of heartburn during sleep, and no one likes to be woken up by that! Try cutting back on your soda habit (for more reasons than one) and choosing flat water instead of bubbly.

10. Tomatoes

Bad news for our Italian-food-loving friends. With almost 70 percent of heartburn sufferers citing tomatoes or tomato juice as the cause, it’s not surprising that these antioxidant-rich babies made the list.

While tomato juice is notoriously acidic, one study found that patients experienced reflux symptoms even when the pH of the drink was adjusted to neutral. In other words, there are likely other components of tomato juice that cause the pain. Sad about missing pasta and pizza night? Go for a white pizza and olive oil-based pasta, or whip up a “red sauce” using bell peppers instead.

11. Citrus Juice

It’s starting to look like water might be the only safe drinking choice, right? Anyone who is prone to heartburn and reflux knows how easily a glass of freshly squeezed OJ can ruin an otherwise lovely Sunday brunch.

And is it really a huge surprise? With natural acidity, orange and grapefruit juices are among some of the biggest heartburn offenders, with 67 percent of one survey’s participants citing them as a literal pain. Another study found grapefruit juice to have the worst effect out of all other drinks and juices. If you love your citrus, try watering it down and adding a single shot to a tall glass of water.

Foods That Relieve Heartburn Symptoms

1. Gum

OK, technically not a food (so please, do not swallow a wad), but it seems that gum chewers may be onto something when it comes to heartburn prevention. Research has shown that chewing sugar-free bicarbonate gum can help increase saliva production and clear the esophagus of painful acids. We recommend keeping a pack handy in case any of the offending foods mentioned make it onto your plate (or you just can’t give up your morning cup of joe).

2. Whole-Grain Bread

Yay! Another great reason to eat more carbs! It seems that unlike fatty meats and dairy, high-fiber foods may have a protective role in reducing the risk of reflux. One study found that participants who ate higher fiber bread were twice as likely to relieve their heartburn symptoms than those who ate lower fiber bread.

While the exact rationale for this association is largely unknown, it’s believed that fiber reduces nitrites in the stomach that otherwise play a role in relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter. Here’s a little dietitian tip to help you get your 25-37 grams per day of fiber: When choosing a bread, look for one with at least 4 grams of fiber per serving.

3. Fruits and Vegetables

You know you don’t need another reason to get your fruit and veggie fix, but hey, here it goes. In addition to providing a healthy dose of that reflux-reducing fiber, produce also is rich in vitamins A, C, and E, which have a protective effect against reflux thanks to their antioxidant properties. Just be sure to avoid any of the higher acid veggies like oranges, lemons, citrus, and tomatoes.

Having Poor Vision Can Raise Risk for Falls Among Older Adults

Source http://www.healthinaging.org/blog/having-poor-vision-can-raise-risk-for-falls-among-older-adults/

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society Research Summary

Vision impairment and blindness affect one in 11 Americans age 65 and older. Because our population is aging, the number of older adults with vision problems is predicted to rise. Older adults who have impaired vision may be at risk for decreased independence, poorer well-being, and an increased risk of falls. For example, in any given year, approximately 30 percent of adults over age 65 will fall. Having impaired vision more than doubles this risk.

For older adults, falls are a major cause of illness and death. Even having a fear of falling is a challenge that can limit activity and worsen quality of life and independence as you age.

However, we don’t have much information on how often visually impaired older adults experience a fall, and we have even less information about what happens to them after a fall. A team of researchers suggested that we need this information in order to understand the scope of the problem and create ways to prevent falls in visually impaired older adults.

To learn more, the research team examined information from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS). They published their study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Their goal was to provide up-to-date information on the frequency of falls. The team also wanted to learn more about the fear of falling and how it might limit activity among older adults who have vision impairments.

Participants in the study were considered visually impaired if they had trouble recognizing someone across the street and/or reading newspaper print, even when using corrective lenses.

Falls were defined as “any fall, slip, or trip” that involved losing balance and landing on the floor or ground or at a lower level. Participants were asked if they had any fall in the past month and if they fell more than once in the past 12 months. Fear of falling was determined by asking participants if they had worried about falling down in the last month. An additional question asked whether worrying about falling ever caused participants to limit their activities.

The researchers also asked about the number of chronic conditions the participants had, including heart attack, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, lung disease, stroke, and cancer.

The researchers concluded that falls, fear of falling, and limiting activity were considerably more common among older adults who were visually impaired.

About 50 percent of people who said they had trouble seeing were afraid of falling and as a result, limited their activity. More than one in four older adults with vision problems had recurrent falls in the year before they were surveyed.

The researchers said their study suggested that taking steps to prevent falls for older adults with vision problems was important and could limit the harmful consequences of falls for older adults. What’s more, helping older adults prevent falls might also slow declines in well-being, quality of life, and independence associated with a fear of falling.

The researchers noted that vision impairment can be treated or even avoided in many cases, and they speculated that doing so might be a strategy to decrease falls and fall-related problems for some older adults with vision problems.

“We need more information about falls and the fear of falling in older adults with vision problems. This will help us design public health and clinical interventions to address some of the key consequences of vision loss for older adults,” said study co-author Joshua R. Ehrlich, MD, MPH.

This summary is from “Prevalence of Falls and Fall-Related Outcomes in Older Adults with Self-Reported Vision Impairment.” It appears online ahead of print in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study authors are Joshua R. Ehrlich, MD, MPH; Shirin E. Hassan, BAppSc (Optom), PhD; and Brian C. Stagg, MD, MS.

Source http://www.healthinaging.org/blog/having-poor-vision-can-raise-risk-for-falls-among-older-adults/

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society Research Summary

Vision impairment and blindness affect one in 11 Americans age 65 and older. Because our population is aging, the number of older adults with vision problems is predicted to rise. Older adults who have impaired vision may be at risk for decreased independence, poorer well-being, and an increased risk of falls. For example, in any given year, approximately 30 percent of adults over age 65 will fall. Having impaired vision more than doubles this risk.

For older adults, falls are a major cause of illness and death. Even having a fear of falling is a challenge that can limit activity and worsen quality of life and independence as you age.

However, we don’t have much information on how often visually impaired older adults experience a fall, and we have even less information about what happens to them after a fall. A team of researchers suggested that we need this information in order to understand the scope of the problem and create ways to prevent falls in visually impaired older adults.

To learn more, the research team examined information from the National Health and Aging Trends Study (NHATS). They published their study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Their goal was to provide up-to-date information on the frequency of falls. The team also wanted to learn more about the fear of falling and how it might limit activity among older adults who have vision impairments.

Participants in the study were considered visually impaired if they had trouble recognizing someone across the street and/or reading newspaper print, even when using corrective lenses.

Falls were defined as “any fall, slip, or trip” that involved losing balance and landing on the floor or ground or at a lower level. Participants were asked if they had any fall in the past month and if they fell more than once in the past 12 months. Fear of falling was determined by asking participants if they had worried about falling down in the last month. An additional question asked whether worrying about falling ever caused participants to limit their activities.

The researchers also asked about the number of chronic conditions the participants had, including heart attack, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes, lung disease, stroke, and cancer.

The researchers concluded that falls, fear of falling, and limiting activity were considerably more common among older adults who were visually impaired.

About 50 percent of people who said they had trouble seeing were afraid of falling and as a result, limited their activity. More than one in four older adults with vision problems had recurrent falls in the year before they were surveyed.

The researchers said their study suggested that taking steps to prevent falls for older adults with vision problems was important and could limit the harmful consequences of falls for older adults. What’s more, helping older adults prevent falls might also slow declines in well-being, quality of life, and independence associated with a fear of falling.

The researchers noted that vision impairment can be treated or even avoided in many cases, and they speculated that doing so might be a strategy to decrease falls and fall-related problems for some older adults with vision problems.

“We need more information about falls and the fear of falling in older adults with vision problems. This will help us design public health and clinical interventions to address some of the key consequences of vision loss for older adults,” said study co-author Joshua R. Ehrlich, MD, MPH.

This summary is from “Prevalence of Falls and Fall-Related Outcomes in Older Adults with Self-Reported Vision Impairment.” It appears online ahead of print in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study authors are Joshua R. Ehrlich, MD, MPH; Shirin E. Hassan, BAppSc (Optom), PhD; and Brian C. Stagg, MD, MS.

Leave A Legacy and Live it Now!

Source https://changingaging.org/disrupting-ageism/leave-a-legacy-and-live-it-now/

How do you want to be remembered? And for what? A Legacy of Choices Every day we are confronted with choices. What are some of yours? To: Determine a life of continuing incline or accept that it’s mostly downhill from here? Welcome change or feel more comfortable with the status quo? Embrace your authenticity or […]

The post Leave A Legacy and Live it Now! appeared first on ChangingAging.

Source https://changingaging.org/disrupting-ageism/leave-a-legacy-and-live-it-now/

How do you want to be remembered? And for what? A Legacy of Choices Every day we are confronted with choices. What are some of yours? To: Determine a life of continuing incline or accept that it’s mostly downhill from here? Welcome change or feel more comfortable with the status quo? Embrace your authenticity or […]

The post Leave A Legacy and Live it Now! appeared first on ChangingAging.

23 Tips to Make Fitness a Miserable, Soul-Sucking Endeavor!

Source https://www.niashanks.com/23-tips-hate-way-fitness/

23 tips to hate your way to fitness

Would you prefer to listen to this article? Use the player below, or you can listen to it on iTunes.

When I was a kid and my Dad asked how much peanut butter I wanted on my sandwich, the answer was always, “A lot!” The first bite would cling to the roof of my mouth thanks to the thick smear of roasted, peanutty goodness. I’d take a quick sip of cold milk to wash it down, then go in for the next tasty mouthful.

This article is like that delicious sandwich—only instead of peanut butter, there’s a hefty filling of sarcasm so thick that globs drip off the back as you sink your teeth into the first bite. (Enjoy, and perhaps keep a glass of milk nearby to help it go down.)

Cue the overly enthusiastic infomercial voice:

Disliking your body has never been easier! Follow one, or all, of these twenty-three simple fitness tips, and you’ll be sure to fight against your body for the remainder of your life while experiencing chronic dissatisfaction along the way.

1. Ping-pong endlessly between the extremes of doing it all or doing nothing.

Flexibility, enjoyment, and moderation are for fools. We know it’s about going all in, or not even trying until you can go all in. If it seems like lunacy, ignore your feelings. Being a slave to your regimen is the only way to make fitness worthwhile.

Say, for example, that your “blast the fat away” workout program has you visiting the gym four times per week. But your work schedule has unexpectedly become chaotic, making that gym routine impossible. During this busy time, you could still go to the gym twice per week. But what’s the point? If you can’t do exactly what your program requires, you might as well not do a thing. Instead of getting in workouts where you can, you’re better off just sitting on the couch until things calm down enough for you to start over and “go all in.” (At least until chaos ensues once more—then you’re back to doing jack squat).

Say you “slip up” on your diet and eat a freshly baked, ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookie. Yep, that’s a screw-up—you just blew your entire diet with a single tasty treat. Eating that single cookie is a fully valid reason to eat seventeen more, and then follow it up with more less-than-ideal food choices, until you’re ready to eat “perfectly” once more.

Either you’re going to abstain from every treat and never miss a workout, or you should just quit and not do a damn thing until you can go “all in.” When it comes to health and fitness, it’s perfection, or nothing.

2. Your happiness and self-worth are directly proportional to your weight, body fat percentage, body shape, and ability to achieve specific outcomes.

It doesn’t matter that it’s the twenty-first century—you’re a woman, and that means how you look is still the most important thing about you. Happiness and self-worth are limited by arbitrary factors like the number on the scale or the sculpted perfection of your backside. Regardless of whether you’re a good person, wife, mother, friend, sister, employee, business owner, or any other role you fulfill, if you don’t look a certain way or attain the “proper” body weight, your effort and accomplishments are all for nothing.

3. Forget about building a body for yourself. What matters most is building a body for the sake of impressing other people.

Can you believe some people use fitness to build a body that serves them; a body that feels good to occupy? Fitness isn’t about what you want or think about your body. It’s about what other people think about your body.

Closely monitor the number of “Likes” you’ve received for your latest perfectly posed, optimally lit, flaw-concealing filtered selfie. This, after all, is why you eat well and work out: for the approval and admiration of other people. If a bunch of horny teenage boys follow your posts and request “more skin!” then be sure to indulge their cravings. Never under-value the acceptance and approval of total strangers.

Likewise, if someone makes a negative, cruel remark about your body, you should definitely give a damn. Remember, other people’s opinions about your body matter—the good but especially the bad. Absorb their remarks—let them seep into your bones and penetrate your soul—and keep striving for ways to please them, particularly those who feel it’s their duty to share negative opinions.

Remember, both those who Like and Dislike your photos are doing you a favor. I mean, how else would you know how to feel about your body unless these people were kind enough to divulge their valuable opinion? Like clay in an artist’s hands, so should your body be to the opinions of friends, family, and strangers alike.

So what if you’re internally miserable? You can overcompensate by chronically seeking external validation from others.

4. When you reach a goal, don’t be satisfied with your accomplishment—you can always be leaner, smaller, stronger, prettier, perkier.

No time to celebrate what you achieved—as soon as you hit a fitness milestone, move on to the next goal. So what if you performed your first unassisted chin-up, or deadlifted one-and-a-half times your body weight, or looked in the mirror and saw muscle definition for the first time ever? There’s no time to celebrate these accomplishments or to savor your hard-earned victories. Look to the next goal that will really take your body or strength to the next level.

And when you attain that goal, same thing—don’t stop to celebrate. Immediately look for the next thing to make you a better woman. (Hint: it usually involves fixing a flaw, whittling away some other part of your body, or getting a muscle to “pop” just a bit more.)

Yes, always working toward the next training goal or new body part to improve means you’ll be chronically dissatisfied with your body and performance. But so be it. This is just part of what it means to be a woman. You can never be satisfied with your body. You must always chase the elusive state of perfection.

5. Always take health advice from celebrities.

My doctor may have a medical degree, along with years of experience practicing and studying research and medicine, but Gwyneth Paltrow says I should steam my genitalia and stick egg-shaped rocks up in there. I mean, surely GP knows exactly what she’s talking about and can be trusted despite her lack of formal medical education when it comes to all things vagina.

eggs are food

An innocent Easter egg hunt or nourishing breakfast may pop into your mind when you see eggs, but the company Goop saw a shape that a piece of jade could be molded into, and then decided women should insert them in their vaginas.

Wealthy, perfect-looking celebrities must certainly know what they’re talking about when it comes to health, fitness, and what to insert in one’s nether regions. Despite some of their products costing hundreds of dollars, not to mention being refuted by scientific data, gynecologists, and prestigious medical groups, we know we can trust them. After all, they are willing to share information that medical professionals refuse to tell us; they clearly have our best interest at heart.

6. Always be dieting.

This one’s easy. You’re a woman, so you’re obligated to a lifestyle of dieting. You can’t simply eatyou must watch what you eat. Even if what you’re doing is “working”—properly fueling your workouts and producing the body composition changes you desire —you should always scan magazines, books, and headlines for the latest tips, tricks, and secrets to help you diet more successfully. Scrutinize every bite of food by the criteria of whether it’ll help you lose body fat.

7. Don’t conclude a workout until you’re exhausted.

The closer you are to puking your guts out, the better. If you’re not fatigued, sweating profusely, or waddling to the designated barf bucket after every workout, then you wasted your damn time. Completing a workout feeling accomplished, strong, and even energized? That’s a devastating waste of effort. So what if you improved your performance, set a new personal record, or feel amazing? The only thing that matters is working yourself into a sweaty, depleted heap. That’s how you know you did enough.

Moving your body shouldn’t be enjoyable, serve a greater purpose beyond aesthetics, or be its own reward. It’s punishment for having fat on your body, and for eating food.

8. Each passing year, dread your increasing age.

It doesn’t matter that age is a normal chronology of every living creature, a byproduct of not dying. You’re a woman, and that means you should feel terrible about that increasing number. Lie about it, hide it, or jokingly say it’s your twenty-ninth birthday with each passing year. Heaven forbid you see your age as a number that reveals your experience, knowledge, and longevity.

9. Spend heaps of your hard-earned money on supplements.

You know a pill is mandatory for success if the trainer at the gym swears by its magical power. Isn’t it lucky for you that he just happens to sell them? The fact that he makes a hefty commission off those supplements can’t be influencing his recommendation in the slightest.

Who cares if the pricey supplements have zero proof to back up their hyperbolic claims? Surely someone who received a personal training certification online last weekend knows what he’s talking about. I mean, just look at his biceps!

Disregard the fact that the few supplements scientifically proven to be effective are quite cheap (e.g., creatine monohydrate). What reason could a health company have to lie to you? Or, for that matter, use Photoshopped before-and-after pictures to peddle an unregulated product? If anything, the fact that those magical fat burners are so expensive is proof that they will produce the incredible results they promise.

10. Embrace the magical power of detoxes and cleanses, because your liver and kidneys clearly aren’t doing their job fast enough.

Have no fear! You can eat and drink with reckless abandon all you want, because the next glassful of the magical detoxifying elixir will flush it all away. Down the hatch!

Why would you simply want to eat mostly real, minimally processed foods, get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated, and be physically active, when you can slurp down a cayenne pepper/apple cider vinegar/maple syrup/leprechaun fart cocktail that has zero research to back up its claims of flushing harmful toxins from your body while healing every imaginable disease…and melting stubborn body fat?

And for extra measure, let’s not forget the vagina-gourd cleanse! Someone on Facebook said you should stick one up there to “cleanse and refresh your yoni.” So what if your vagina cleanses itself? So what if a cucumber is covered in fungi that can damage your vaginal lining and put you at increased risk of disease? All your friends are chatting away on Facebook about how magical and life changing and rejuvenating these cleanses are; you don’t want to be left out, and anyway, Facebook is the best place to get advice about what to do with your vagina, and vegetables.

cucumbers are for eating only

Salad? No, thank you. This is for my vagina. I saw a meme on Facebook, so, I know this is legit and trustworthy, even though dozens of doctors are speaking out against this.

11. Don’t concern yourself with silly goals like being a woman of integrity and action. Your value is definitely not about your personality or character. (See #2.)

As a woman, the only goal you should strive toward is making sure your body is as close to perfect as possible. It’s about the superficial, not the substantive. Yeah, so what if we already covered this one? It bears repeating because how you look still matters more than who you are or what you do. Don’t expect this cultural mindset to change, and definitely don’t speak up against it. It will always be this way, so get used to it.

12. Actively label parts of your body as “flaws.”

You’re a woman, which means you’re not entitled to love your body. You have lots of flaws that you must loathe and try to fix (or, at the very least, conceal) despite the cost, time commitment, lack of effectiveness and potential side effects of gimmicky products designed to address them.

When not working to fix your flaws, you must bemoan them, publicly and privately. That cellulite on your thighs? Those stretch marks? Be ashamed of that. So what if it’s completely natural and something millions of other women have? We should all be deeply ashamed of our flaws and search for ways to fix them. Lucky for us, there are plenty of marketers willing to share their secret vanishing creams, invasive procedures, and special diets to help us improve.

And if by some chance you do love your body, like only a raging narcissist would, then you better find some part of it to enhance or improve. How dare you think it’s possible to be satisfied with your body?

13. Ask for permission to enjoy your favorite foods.

If you’re on a date, order a skimpy salad, lest you look as though you enjoy eating. Appearances are important, and it should look like your preferred foods resemble the eating habits of a rabbit. Instead, give every indication that you subsist on tepid water and salad. If you must, you can eat a real meal once you’re safely home alone, where no one can see you.

14. For goodness’ sake, when you break the previous rule—because you will—and eat something substantial, make sure you’ve earned the right to do so.

You better have performed a grueling, fat-torching workout earlier in the day. If you didn’t earn that food, then by golly you’d better work it off as soon as possible. You can’t just have a cookie because you want a cookie. You must earn that cookie ahead of time, and then burn it off later, chanting the “you ate it, now negate it” motto as you climb onto the stair-master.

15. Constantly compare your body to other women.

Fitness professionals. Celebrities. Award-winning athletes. Instagram models who take fifty-seven different photos before they get the perfect one to post for all the world to see. These should absolutely be your measuring stick for success. And definitely listen to women who spout motivational phrases like, “I have twelve kids, two full-time jobs, and a perfectly sculpted six-pack. What’s your excuse?”

We can’t be trusted to decide for ourselves what’s important to us, so we must always compare ourselves to every woman we admire. Feeling super shitty about yourself is the surest way to get motivated.

16. Always follow the pack, even if it makes you miserable.

What you enjoy doesn’t matter. If everyone you know is suddenly competing in powerlifting, you need to work out that way too. Yes, even if you hate it. If everyone is doing metabolic workouts that leave you dry-heaving into your gym bag on the car ride home, but you’d prefer to just pull some heavy deadlifts, tough tater-tots. If everyone is chanting about how boring cardio is, but running a few miles is your favorite way to wind down after work, you’d be advised not to do it. (Don’t let anyone catch you doing it, anyway.)

There’s nothing more rewarding than casting your desires to the side and blindly following others without any consideration of whether you even like that activity.

17. Make sure to complicate your approach to health and fitness as much as possible.

If you don’t rely on hardware, spreadsheets, and fancy apps to keep your health and fitness habits on track, you can be sure you’re doing it wrong.

Eating real food most of the time, getting plenty of protein, making sleep a priority, and managing stress? Right—as though something as complex as health and fitness could be minimized to those simple basics.

18. Turn the way you eat and work out into a cult-like identity.

You don’t “just” eat and work out a certain way—those activities define you. They’re not part of your life; they are your life. Make sure everyone knows that you define yourself by your diet and workout style.

Disregard the poor souls who use eating well and working out as a tool to enhance their life, instead of revolving their life around the one-true way that you’ve discovered. It’s a given that the food you put in your mouth and the workouts you perform increase your moral superiority over all others who don’t follow the same approach. If someone doesn’t adopt your exact health and fitness philosophy, they must be shunned.

19. Always strive to obtain the latest “it” body part.

Back dimples. A thigh gap. Ab cracks. Voluptuous curves. Whatever pops up next as the most desirable trait to flaunt, you’d better do your best to attain it. After all, if there’s one thing we know about beauty, it’s that beauty is defined by a single physical trait. Doesn’t matter that women come in various shapes and sizes and have different preferences. Do your best to cram your body into the one-size-fits-all mold.

20. Remember, the only goal you can have is fat loss.

You’re a woman, and that means the only health and fitness goal you can have is losing fat, dropping a few pant sizes, or whittling away parts of your body. Sure, choosing to focus on making the weight on the barbell go up instead of the number on the scale go down is fun and empowering, but fat loss is all that matters. Every action in the kitchen and gym must be made with this critical fact in mind.

cookies are awesome

21. Embrace dichotomous food labels.

“Good” and “bad” foods are a strong way to start. “Clean” and “dirty” are acceptable, too. But hell, don’t stop there! Select some “forbidden” foods to avoid at all costs, so that when you do slip up and eat them, you can be riddled with guilt and shame!

Food isn’t just food. It’s a value system for measuring our self-worth. Never lose sight of the fact that what we eat has the power to make us superior, or inferior.

22. When you overindulge or miss a workout, self-flagellation is the only appropriate response.

Remember what we addressed earlier regarding perfection? Well, when you fall short of perfection, you must beat yourself up. (Self-compassion is overrated.) When you make less-than-ideal food choices or miss a workout, make sure you tell yourself repeatedly how much you suck, how hard you failed, and how you’ll never be able to stick with a program. Really go the extra step to reinforce the belief that you’ll never be good enough—this negative self-talk has always worked for you and everyone else who has done it.

Nothing and no one is perfect, but despite that fact, we must still demand absolute perfection from ourselves at all costs and respond harshly when we fail.

23. Never be sarcastic in the way you talk about health and fitness.

It’s a lazy way of expressing your opinions and experiences. Not to mention appalling, unhelpful, and very unladylike.

Okay, then—that’s enough sarcasm for one article.

It’s Time for a Change

Undoubtedly when you read the title of this article, you wondered, “Why would anyone want to hate their body?” No one starts eating well and working out with the goal of disliking their body, or themselves.

So here’s the better question:

Why does much of the health and fitness world cause us to dislike our bodies?

Perhaps more importantly, why do we put up with it?

We shouldn’t. And if you have been, you can choose to stop. You can choose to take a different health and fitness path. Instead of a path defined by obsessive eating and exercise habits that dominates your life and makes you feel terrible about yourself, you can choose an empowering, enjoyable, sustainable approach that makes you feel great from the first day you start. You can choose a path that truly makes you happy as well as healthy.

lift like a girlIf you’ve had it up to HERE with the nonsense that permeates the health and fitness world, and want a plan that’s sustainable, enjoyable, and empowering, then grab a copy of my new book Lift Like a Girl. Packed with practical advice on everything from boosting nutrition to combating negative mindset, the book offers step-by-step instructions for starting and building a transformative strength-training practice.

Click here to grab the paperback version.

Click here to grab the Kindle version.

“I wish I had this book years ago.” –C.

The post 23 Tips to Make Fitness a Miserable, Soul-Sucking Endeavor! appeared first on Nia Shanks.

Source https://www.niashanks.com/23-tips-hate-way-fitness/

23 tips to hate your way to fitness

Would you prefer to listen to this article? Use the player below, or you can listen to it on iTunes.

When I was a kid and my Dad asked how much peanut butter I wanted on my sandwich, the answer was always, “A lot!” The first bite would cling to the roof of my mouth thanks to the thick smear of roasted, peanutty goodness. I’d take a quick sip of cold milk to wash it down, then go in for the next tasty mouthful.

This article is like that delicious sandwich—only instead of peanut butter, there’s a hefty filling of sarcasm so thick that globs drip off the back as you sink your teeth into the first bite. (Enjoy, and perhaps keep a glass of milk nearby to help it go down.)

Cue the overly enthusiastic infomercial voice:

Disliking your body has never been easier! Follow one, or all, of these twenty-three simple fitness tips, and you’ll be sure to fight against your body for the remainder of your life while experiencing chronic dissatisfaction along the way.

1. Ping-pong endlessly between the extremes of doing it all or doing nothing.

Flexibility, enjoyment, and moderation are for fools. We know it’s about going all in, or not even trying until you can go all in. If it seems like lunacy, ignore your feelings. Being a slave to your regimen is the only way to make fitness worthwhile.

Say, for example, that your “blast the fat away” workout program has you visiting the gym four times per week. But your work schedule has unexpectedly become chaotic, making that gym routine impossible. During this busy time, you could still go to the gym twice per week. But what’s the point? If you can’t do exactly what your program requires, you might as well not do a thing. Instead of getting in workouts where you can, you’re better off just sitting on the couch until things calm down enough for you to start over and “go all in.” (At least until chaos ensues once more—then you’re back to doing jack squat).

Say you “slip up” on your diet and eat a freshly baked, ooey-gooey chocolate chip cookie. Yep, that’s a screw-up—you just blew your entire diet with a single tasty treat. Eating that single cookie is a fully valid reason to eat seventeen more, and then follow it up with more less-than-ideal food choices, until you’re ready to eat “perfectly” once more.

Either you’re going to abstain from every treat and never miss a workout, or you should just quit and not do a damn thing until you can go “all in.” When it comes to health and fitness, it’s perfection, or nothing.

2. Your happiness and self-worth are directly proportional to your weight, body fat percentage, body shape, and ability to achieve specific outcomes.

It doesn’t matter that it’s the twenty-first century—you’re a woman, and that means how you look is still the most important thing about you. Happiness and self-worth are limited by arbitrary factors like the number on the scale or the sculpted perfection of your backside. Regardless of whether you’re a good person, wife, mother, friend, sister, employee, business owner, or any other role you fulfill, if you don’t look a certain way or attain the “proper” body weight, your effort and accomplishments are all for nothing.

3. Forget about building a body for yourself. What matters most is building a body for the sake of impressing other people.

Can you believe some people use fitness to build a body that serves them; a body that feels good to occupy? Fitness isn’t about what you want or think about your body. It’s about what other people think about your body.

Closely monitor the number of “Likes” you’ve received for your latest perfectly posed, optimally lit, flaw-concealing filtered selfie. This, after all, is why you eat well and work out: for the approval and admiration of other people. If a bunch of horny teenage boys follow your posts and request “more skin!” then be sure to indulge their cravings. Never under-value the acceptance and approval of total strangers.

Likewise, if someone makes a negative, cruel remark about your body, you should definitely give a damn. Remember, other people’s opinions about your body matter—the good but especially the bad. Absorb their remarks—let them seep into your bones and penetrate your soul—and keep striving for ways to please them, particularly those who feel it’s their duty to share negative opinions.

Remember, both those who Like and Dislike your photos are doing you a favor. I mean, how else would you know how to feel about your body unless these people were kind enough to divulge their valuable opinion? Like clay in an artist’s hands, so should your body be to the opinions of friends, family, and strangers alike.

So what if you’re internally miserable? You can overcompensate by chronically seeking external validation from others.

4. When you reach a goal, don’t be satisfied with your accomplishment—you can always be leaner, smaller, stronger, prettier, perkier.

No time to celebrate what you achieved—as soon as you hit a fitness milestone, move on to the next goal. So what if you performed your first unassisted chin-up, or deadlifted one-and-a-half times your body weight, or looked in the mirror and saw muscle definition for the first time ever? There’s no time to celebrate these accomplishments or to savor your hard-earned victories. Look to the next goal that will really take your body or strength to the next level.

And when you attain that goal, same thing—don’t stop to celebrate. Immediately look for the next thing to make you a better woman. (Hint: it usually involves fixing a flaw, whittling away some other part of your body, or getting a muscle to “pop” just a bit more.)

Yes, always working toward the next training goal or new body part to improve means you’ll be chronically dissatisfied with your body and performance. But so be it. This is just part of what it means to be a woman. You can never be satisfied with your body. You must always chase the elusive state of perfection.

5. Always take health advice from celebrities.

My doctor may have a medical degree, along with years of experience practicing and studying research and medicine, but Gwyneth Paltrow says I should steam my genitalia and stick egg-shaped rocks up in there. I mean, surely GP knows exactly what she’s talking about and can be trusted despite her lack of formal medical education when it comes to all things vagina.

eggs are food

An innocent Easter egg hunt or nourishing breakfast may pop into your mind when you see eggs, but the company Goop saw a shape that a piece of jade could be molded into, and then decided women should insert them in their vaginas.

Wealthy, perfect-looking celebrities must certainly know what they’re talking about when it comes to health, fitness, and what to insert in one’s nether regions. Despite some of their products costing hundreds of dollars, not to mention being refuted by scientific data, gynecologists, and prestigious medical groups, we know we can trust them. After all, they are willing to share information that medical professionals refuse to tell us; they clearly have our best interest at heart.

6. Always be dieting.

This one’s easy. You’re a woman, so you’re obligated to a lifestyle of dieting. You can’t simply eatyou must watch what you eat. Even if what you’re doing is “working”—properly fueling your workouts and producing the body composition changes you desire —you should always scan magazines, books, and headlines for the latest tips, tricks, and secrets to help you diet more successfully. Scrutinize every bite of food by the criteria of whether it’ll help you lose body fat.

7. Don’t conclude a workout until you’re exhausted.

The closer you are to puking your guts out, the better. If you’re not fatigued, sweating profusely, or waddling to the designated barf bucket after every workout, then you wasted your damn time. Completing a workout feeling accomplished, strong, and even energized? That’s a devastating waste of effort. So what if you improved your performance, set a new personal record, or feel amazing? The only thing that matters is working yourself into a sweaty, depleted heap. That’s how you know you did enough.

Moving your body shouldn’t be enjoyable, serve a greater purpose beyond aesthetics, or be its own reward. It’s punishment for having fat on your body, and for eating food.

8. Each passing year, dread your increasing age.

It doesn’t matter that age is a normal chronology of every living creature, a byproduct of not dying. You’re a woman, and that means you should feel terrible about that increasing number. Lie about it, hide it, or jokingly say it’s your twenty-ninth birthday with each passing year. Heaven forbid you see your age as a number that reveals your experience, knowledge, and longevity.

9. Spend heaps of your hard-earned money on supplements.

You know a pill is mandatory for success if the trainer at the gym swears by its magical power. Isn’t it lucky for you that he just happens to sell them? The fact that he makes a hefty commission off those supplements can’t be influencing his recommendation in the slightest.

Who cares if the pricey supplements have zero proof to back up their hyperbolic claims? Surely someone who received a personal training certification online last weekend knows what he’s talking about. I mean, just look at his biceps!

Disregard the fact that the few supplements scientifically proven to be effective are quite cheap (e.g., creatine monohydrate). What reason could a health company have to lie to you? Or, for that matter, use Photoshopped before-and-after pictures to peddle an unregulated product? If anything, the fact that those magical fat burners are so expensive is proof that they will produce the incredible results they promise.

10. Embrace the magical power of detoxes and cleanses, because your liver and kidneys clearly aren’t doing their job fast enough.

Have no fear! You can eat and drink with reckless abandon all you want, because the next glassful of the magical detoxifying elixir will flush it all away. Down the hatch!

Why would you simply want to eat mostly real, minimally processed foods, get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated, and be physically active, when you can slurp down a cayenne pepper/apple cider vinegar/maple syrup/leprechaun fart cocktail that has zero research to back up its claims of flushing harmful toxins from your body while healing every imaginable disease…and melting stubborn body fat?

And for extra measure, let’s not forget the vagina-gourd cleanse! Someone on Facebook said you should stick one up there to “cleanse and refresh your yoni.” So what if your vagina cleanses itself? So what if a cucumber is covered in fungi that can damage your vaginal lining and put you at increased risk of disease? All your friends are chatting away on Facebook about how magical and life changing and rejuvenating these cleanses are; you don’t want to be left out, and anyway, Facebook is the best place to get advice about what to do with your vagina, and vegetables.

cucumbers are for eating only

Salad? No, thank you. This is for my vagina. I saw a meme on Facebook, so, I know this is legit and trustworthy, even though dozens of doctors are speaking out against this.

11. Don’t concern yourself with silly goals like being a woman of integrity and action. Your value is definitely not about your personality or character. (See #2.)

As a woman, the only goal you should strive toward is making sure your body is as close to perfect as possible. It’s about the superficial, not the substantive. Yeah, so what if we already covered this one? It bears repeating because how you look still matters more than who you are or what you do. Don’t expect this cultural mindset to change, and definitely don’t speak up against it. It will always be this way, so get used to it.

12. Actively label parts of your body as “flaws.”

You’re a woman, which means you’re not entitled to love your body. You have lots of flaws that you must loathe and try to fix (or, at the very least, conceal) despite the cost, time commitment, lack of effectiveness and potential side effects of gimmicky products designed to address them.

When not working to fix your flaws, you must bemoan them, publicly and privately. That cellulite on your thighs? Those stretch marks? Be ashamed of that. So what if it’s completely natural and something millions of other women have? We should all be deeply ashamed of our flaws and search for ways to fix them. Lucky for us, there are plenty of marketers willing to share their secret vanishing creams, invasive procedures, and special diets to help us improve.

And if by some chance you do love your body, like only a raging narcissist would, then you better find some part of it to enhance or improve. How dare you think it’s possible to be satisfied with your body?

13. Ask for permission to enjoy your favorite foods.

If you’re on a date, order a skimpy salad, lest you look as though you enjoy eating. Appearances are important, and it should look like your preferred foods resemble the eating habits of a rabbit. Instead, give every indication that you subsist on tepid water and salad. If you must, you can eat a real meal once you’re safely home alone, where no one can see you.

14. For goodness’ sake, when you break the previous rule—because you will—and eat something substantial, make sure you’ve earned the right to do so.

You better have performed a grueling, fat-torching workout earlier in the day. If you didn’t earn that food, then by golly you’d better work it off as soon as possible. You can’t just have a cookie because you want a cookie. You must earn that cookie ahead of time, and then burn it off later, chanting the “you ate it, now negate it” motto as you climb onto the stair-master.

15. Constantly compare your body to other women.

Fitness professionals. Celebrities. Award-winning athletes. Instagram models who take fifty-seven different photos before they get the perfect one to post for all the world to see. These should absolutely be your measuring stick for success. And definitely listen to women who spout motivational phrases like, “I have twelve kids, two full-time jobs, and a perfectly sculpted six-pack. What’s your excuse?”

We can’t be trusted to decide for ourselves what’s important to us, so we must always compare ourselves to every woman we admire. Feeling super shitty about yourself is the surest way to get motivated.

16. Always follow the pack, even if it makes you miserable.

What you enjoy doesn’t matter. If everyone you know is suddenly competing in powerlifting, you need to work out that way too. Yes, even if you hate it. If everyone is doing metabolic workouts that leave you dry-heaving into your gym bag on the car ride home, but you’d prefer to just pull some heavy deadlifts, tough tater-tots. If everyone is chanting about how boring cardio is, but running a few miles is your favorite way to wind down after work, you’d be advised not to do it. (Don’t let anyone catch you doing it, anyway.)

There’s nothing more rewarding than casting your desires to the side and blindly following others without any consideration of whether you even like that activity.

17. Make sure to complicate your approach to health and fitness as much as possible.

If you don’t rely on hardware, spreadsheets, and fancy apps to keep your health and fitness habits on track, you can be sure you’re doing it wrong.

Eating real food most of the time, getting plenty of protein, making sleep a priority, and managing stress? Right—as though something as complex as health and fitness could be minimized to those simple basics.

18. Turn the way you eat and work out into a cult-like identity.

You don’t “just” eat and work out a certain way—those activities define you. They’re not part of your life; they are your life. Make sure everyone knows that you define yourself by your diet and workout style.

Disregard the poor souls who use eating well and working out as a tool to enhance their life, instead of revolving their life around the one-true way that you’ve discovered. It’s a given that the food you put in your mouth and the workouts you perform increase your moral superiority over all others who don’t follow the same approach. If someone doesn’t adopt your exact health and fitness philosophy, they must be shunned.

19. Always strive to obtain the latest “it” body part.

Back dimples. A thigh gap. Ab cracks. Voluptuous curves. Whatever pops up next as the most desirable trait to flaunt, you’d better do your best to attain it. After all, if there’s one thing we know about beauty, it’s that beauty is defined by a single physical trait. Doesn’t matter that women come in various shapes and sizes and have different preferences. Do your best to cram your body into the one-size-fits-all mold.

20. Remember, the only goal you can have is fat loss.

You’re a woman, and that means the only health and fitness goal you can have is losing fat, dropping a few pant sizes, or whittling away parts of your body. Sure, choosing to focus on making the weight on the barbell go up instead of the number on the scale go down is fun and empowering, but fat loss is all that matters. Every action in the kitchen and gym must be made with this critical fact in mind.

cookies are awesome

21. Embrace dichotomous food labels.

“Good” and “bad” foods are a strong way to start. “Clean” and “dirty” are acceptable, too. But hell, don’t stop there! Select some “forbidden” foods to avoid at all costs, so that when you do slip up and eat them, you can be riddled with guilt and shame!

Food isn’t just food. It’s a value system for measuring our self-worth. Never lose sight of the fact that what we eat has the power to make us superior, or inferior.

22. When you overindulge or miss a workout, self-flagellation is the only appropriate response.

Remember what we addressed earlier regarding perfection? Well, when you fall short of perfection, you must beat yourself up. (Self-compassion is overrated.) When you make less-than-ideal food choices or miss a workout, make sure you tell yourself repeatedly how much you suck, how hard you failed, and how you’ll never be able to stick with a program. Really go the extra step to reinforce the belief that you’ll never be good enough—this negative self-talk has always worked for you and everyone else who has done it.

Nothing and no one is perfect, but despite that fact, we must still demand absolute perfection from ourselves at all costs and respond harshly when we fail.

23. Never be sarcastic in the way you talk about health and fitness.

It’s a lazy way of expressing your opinions and experiences. Not to mention appalling, unhelpful, and very unladylike.

Okay, then—that’s enough sarcasm for one article.

It’s Time for a Change

Undoubtedly when you read the title of this article, you wondered, “Why would anyone want to hate their body?” No one starts eating well and working out with the goal of disliking their body, or themselves.

So here’s the better question:

Why does much of the health and fitness world cause us to dislike our bodies?

Perhaps more importantly, why do we put up with it?

We shouldn’t. And if you have been, you can choose to stop. You can choose to take a different health and fitness path. Instead of a path defined by obsessive eating and exercise habits that dominates your life and makes you feel terrible about yourself, you can choose an empowering, enjoyable, sustainable approach that makes you feel great from the first day you start. You can choose a path that truly makes you happy as well as healthy.

lift like a girlIf you’ve had it up to HERE with the nonsense that permeates the health and fitness world, and want a plan that’s sustainable, enjoyable, and empowering, then grab a copy of my new book Lift Like a Girl. Packed with practical advice on everything from boosting nutrition to combating negative mindset, the book offers step-by-step instructions for starting and building a transformative strength-training practice.

Click here to grab the paperback version.

Click here to grab the Kindle version.

“I wish I had this book years ago.” –C.

The post 23 Tips to Make Fitness a Miserable, Soul-Sucking Endeavor! appeared first on Nia Shanks.

PTSD in Older Adults

Source https://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/PTSD-in-older-adults/

For most people, feelings of anxiety, fear and worry are perfectly normal reactions to experiencing a traumatic event or injury. Older adults, however, may be at a higher risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a traumatic event, compared to other groups of people in our society.PTSD in Older Adults

Learn more about PTSD in older adults and which treatments are most helpful to seniors experiencing symptoms of this condition.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

It is natural to feel shaken by a tragedy that is broadcast on the news, or the memory of a frightening accident or illness you have experienced; in fact, according to the Sidran Institute of Traumatic Stress Education & Advocacy, approximately “70% of adults in the United States have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives” and experience these common feelings.

Extreme trauma on the other hand, is not as common and can lead to lasting feelings of intense fear, helplessness or horror. Of the 70% of adults who have experienced a traumatic event, it is believed that up to 20% of these people may “go on to develop PTSD” as a result of extreme trauma.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, PTSD is a mental health condition that is triggered by an extremely traumatic event. It is characterized by three main types of symptoms:

  1. Avoidance and emotional numbness of activities, places and people that are reminders of the trauma.
  2. Increased arousal such as being easily angered and irritated, difficulty concentrating or sleeping and feeling jumpy.
  3. Re-experiencing the trauma through intrusive distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks and nightmares.

PTSD is a clinical condition that affects a person’s emotional, mental and physical wellness “for at least one month following a traumatic event” and may not present itself symptomatically until several months or even years later.

PTSD in Older Adults

Seniors may be at a higher risk for developing PTSD following a traumatic event or having symptoms re-emerge later in life, compared to other groups of people in our society. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), “role changes and functional losses could make coping with memories of earlier trauma more challenging” for older adults.

Such stressors could include:

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Decreased sensory abilities
  • Decreased social support
  • Increased health problems
  • Loss of loved ones
  • Other stressors and causes of functional decline
  • Reduced income
  • Retirement

As well, with age comes less opportunity to ‘self-medicate.’  Many people tend to manage post-traumatic stress symptoms with “avoidance-based coping strategies” such as burying themselves in work – strategies that become less available and effective as people age.

Without the access or ability to control symptoms with these unhealthy coping mechanisms, older adults with PTSD often experience a re-emergence or worsening of symptoms.

PTSD in Older Adults Following a Serious Fall

Research suggests that there is more compelling evidence that older people are at higher risk of developing PTSD, specifically as a result of a fairly common occurrence that affects one in three seniors over the age of 65 each year: falling.

A recent study conducted by the department of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York showed that out of 100 seniors over the age of 65 who had experienced a fall resulting in hospital admission, 27% experienced symptoms of PTSD.

This statistic is especially concerning as falls are the leading cause of hospitalization for seniors in the U.S., with over 1.6 million older adults hospitalized each year as the result of a fall.  Arm, hand, hip, pelvis and spine fractures are the most common injuries that occur and can take months to recover from.

The study found that there were several indicators that a senior may be prone to developing PTSD after a fall, including:

  1. Area of injury: Those with injuries to the back or chest were more likely to experience PTSD symptoms.
  2. Circumstances surrounding the fall: Those who had to wait for help to arrive and those who required hospitalization were more likely to experience PTSD symptoms.
  3. Education: Those with less education were more likely to experience PTSD symptoms.
  4. Employment status: Those who are unemployed were more likely to experience PTSD symptoms.
  5. Gender: Woman were more likely to experience PTSD symptoms.

While PTSD can be pervasive if left unaddressed, there are effective treatments including medication and therapy, which can be very helpful to seniors experiencing symptoms of this condition. In particular, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), helps to “modify distorted behaviors, emotions and thoughts” and has proven very effective for people experiencing PTSD.

Have you, a parent or a senior loved one experienced any symptoms of PTSD after a fall? We’d like to hear your experiences and stories in the comments below.

Related Articles:

Source https://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/PTSD-in-older-adults/

For most people, feelings of anxiety, fear and worry are perfectly normal reactions to experiencing a traumatic event or injury. Older adults, however, may be at a higher risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a traumatic event, compared to other groups of people in our society.PTSD in Older Adults

Learn more about PTSD in older adults and which treatments are most helpful to seniors experiencing symptoms of this condition.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

It is natural to feel shaken by a tragedy that is broadcast on the news, or the memory of a frightening accident or illness you have experienced; in fact, according to the Sidran Institute of Traumatic Stress Education & Advocacy, approximately “70% of adults in the United States have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives” and experience these common feelings.

Extreme trauma on the other hand, is not as common and can lead to lasting feelings of intense fear, helplessness or horror. Of the 70% of adults who have experienced a traumatic event, it is believed that up to 20% of these people may “go on to develop PTSD” as a result of extreme trauma.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, PTSD is a mental health condition that is triggered by an extremely traumatic event. It is characterized by three main types of symptoms:

  1. Avoidance and emotional numbness of activities, places and people that are reminders of the trauma.
  2. Increased arousal such as being easily angered and irritated, difficulty concentrating or sleeping and feeling jumpy.
  3. Re-experiencing the trauma through intrusive distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks and nightmares.

PTSD is a clinical condition that affects a person’s emotional, mental and physical wellness “for at least one month following a traumatic event” and may not present itself symptomatically until several months or even years later.

PTSD in Older Adults

Seniors may be at a higher risk for developing PTSD following a traumatic event or having symptoms re-emerge later in life, compared to other groups of people in our society. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), “role changes and functional losses could make coping with memories of earlier trauma more challenging” for older adults.

Such stressors could include:

  • Cognitive impairment
  • Decreased sensory abilities
  • Decreased social support
  • Increased health problems
  • Loss of loved ones
  • Other stressors and causes of functional decline
  • Reduced income
  • Retirement

As well, with age comes less opportunity to ‘self-medicate.’  Many people tend to manage post-traumatic stress symptoms with “avoidance-based coping strategies” such as burying themselves in work – strategies that become less available and effective as people age.

Without the access or ability to control symptoms with these unhealthy coping mechanisms, older adults with PTSD often experience a re-emergence or worsening of symptoms.

PTSD in Older Adults Following a Serious Fall

Research suggests that there is more compelling evidence that older people are at higher risk of developing PTSD, specifically as a result of a fairly common occurrence that affects one in three seniors over the age of 65 each year: falling.

A recent study conducted by the department of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York showed that out of 100 seniors over the age of 65 who had experienced a fall resulting in hospital admission, 27% experienced symptoms of PTSD.

This statistic is especially concerning as falls are the leading cause of hospitalization for seniors in the U.S., with over 1.6 million older adults hospitalized each year as the result of a fall.  Arm, hand, hip, pelvis and spine fractures are the most common injuries that occur and can take months to recover from.

The study found that there were several indicators that a senior may be prone to developing PTSD after a fall, including:

  1. Area of injury: Those with injuries to the back or chest were more likely to experience PTSD symptoms.
  2. Circumstances surrounding the fall: Those who had to wait for help to arrive and those who required hospitalization were more likely to experience PTSD symptoms.
  3. Education: Those with less education were more likely to experience PTSD symptoms.
  4. Employment status: Those who are unemployed were more likely to experience PTSD symptoms.
  5. Gender: Woman were more likely to experience PTSD symptoms.

While PTSD can be pervasive if left unaddressed, there are effective treatments including medication and therapy, which can be very helpful to seniors experiencing symptoms of this condition. In particular, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), helps to “modify distorted behaviors, emotions and thoughts” and has proven very effective for people experiencing PTSD.

Have you, a parent or a senior loved one experienced any symptoms of PTSD after a fall? We’d like to hear your experiences and stories in the comments below.

Related Articles:

Relocation Stress Syndrome: Checklist for Moving Elderly Parents

Source https://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/579952054/0/griswoldhomecare~Relocation-Stress-Syndrome-Checklist-for-Moving-Elderly-Parents/

Elderly woman sitting at home and feeling lonely in the evening

Moving to a new home can be stressful. It’s often a time of uncertainty, with losses of familiarity and parting with friends. Elderly parents who are moved can endure even greater stress. Moving them in the wrong way may even have a traumatic effect and potentially lead to relocation stress syndrome.
Relocation does not have to occur suddenly for the experience to be traumatic, so letting parents know the move is coming will not solve the problem. But there are some simple steps you can take to reduce relocation stress while moving elderly parents.

Watching for Signs of Relocation Stress

Relocation stress syndrome is essentially a psychological failure to adjust to the changes involved with moving. In the days before or after a move, a person with relocation stress may become irritable or combative. They may experience sleeplessness, poor appetite, weight fluctuations, drug-seeking behavior, anxiety, loneliness, and confusion.
Someone suffering from relocation stress syndrome may begin to withdraw or isolate themselves, refuse to take medications, or feel unable to focus.  You may have noticed many of these symptoms mirror the symptoms of dementia, which has the dangerous potential to create a misdiagnosis.

Checklist for Prevention

You can reduce relocation stress by using a simple four-point checklist for moving elderly parents.

  1. Keep your parents involved in the decision making process. If a facility is necessary, come to an agreement about the home you select. This can help maintain a sense of autonomy and dignity.
  2. Help your parents feel warmly welcomed into their new home. Try and recreate their previous environment with photos, a recreation of their previous furniture layout, or similar small touches to make things feel like home.
  3. Encourage them to forge new relationships in their new environment. Becoming involved in community activities can be an excellent means of meeting new people. Nothing makes you feel at home like having a sense of purpose.
  4. Finally, acknowledge their fears and feelings as legitimate. By downplaying their fears or concerns, loved ones may feel marginalized, unheard, or powerless.

Complications with Dementia

Even in the best of circumstances, people tend to have poor insight into their own deficits. The insight we have into our shortcomings can be further impaired with dementia. It’s common for an elderly parent who’s suffering from dementia to firmly believe they’re capable of living independently.
Meanwhile, their short-term memory limitations can prevent them from effectively coping with the change of a move. This is why the risk of suffering from relocation stress syndrome is increased among people with dementia. Almost by definition, they struggle to adapt to new circumstances and may be unable to participate in decision making.

   Download A Free Guide to Understanding Dementia

Managing Relocation Stress

The symptoms of relocation stress syndrome typically subside within 3-6 months. If a loved one begins to experience these types of symptoms, it’s generally a bad idea to respond by moving them again.
Sometimes relocation stress syndrome is depression that’s been misdiagnosed. No matter what you call it, moving can be stressful. But by following this checklist for moving elderly parents, you can help your loved ones greatly minimize relocation stress and its associated risks.

Source https://feeds.feedblitz.com/~/579952054/0/griswoldhomecare~Relocation-Stress-Syndrome-Checklist-for-Moving-Elderly-Parents/

Elderly woman sitting at home and feeling lonely in the evening

Moving to a new home can be stressful. It’s often a time of uncertainty, with losses of familiarity and parting with friends. Elderly parents who are moved can endure even greater stress. Moving them in the wrong way may even have a traumatic effect and potentially lead to relocation stress syndrome.
Relocation does not have to occur suddenly for the experience to be traumatic, so letting parents know the move is coming will not solve the problem. But there are some simple steps you can take to reduce relocation stress while moving elderly parents.

Watching for Signs of Relocation Stress

Relocation stress syndrome is essentially a psychological failure to adjust to the changes involved with moving. In the days before or after a move, a person with relocation stress may become irritable or combative. They may experience sleeplessness, poor appetite, weight fluctuations, drug-seeking behavior, anxiety, loneliness, and confusion.
Someone suffering from relocation stress syndrome may begin to withdraw or isolate themselves, refuse to take medications, or feel unable to focus.  You may have noticed many of these symptoms mirror the symptoms of dementia, which has the dangerous potential to create a misdiagnosis.

Checklist for Prevention

You can reduce relocation stress by using a simple four-point checklist for moving elderly parents.

  1. Keep your parents involved in the decision making process. If a facility is necessary, come to an agreement about the home you select. This can help maintain a sense of autonomy and dignity.
  2. Help your parents feel warmly welcomed into their new home. Try and recreate their previous environment with photos, a recreation of their previous furniture layout, or similar small touches to make things feel like home.
  3. Encourage them to forge new relationships in their new environment. Becoming involved in community activities can be an excellent means of meeting new people. Nothing makes you feel at home like having a sense of purpose.
  4. Finally, acknowledge their fears and feelings as legitimate. By downplaying their fears or concerns, loved ones may feel marginalized, unheard, or powerless.

Complications with Dementia

Even in the best of circumstances, people tend to have poor insight into their own deficits. The insight we have into our shortcomings can be further impaired with dementia. It’s common for an elderly parent who’s suffering from dementia to firmly believe they’re capable of living independently.
Meanwhile, their short-term memory limitations can prevent them from effectively coping with the change of a move. This is why the risk of suffering from relocation stress syndrome is increased among people with dementia. Almost by definition, they struggle to adapt to new circumstances and may be unable to participate in decision making.

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Managing Relocation Stress

The symptoms of relocation stress syndrome typically subside within 3-6 months. If a loved one begins to experience these types of symptoms, it’s generally a bad idea to respond by moving them again.
Sometimes relocation stress syndrome is depression that’s been misdiagnosed. No matter what you call it, moving can be stressful. But by following this checklist for moving elderly parents, you can help your loved ones greatly minimize relocation stress and its associated risks.

Tikkun Olam: Repair the World

Source https://changingaging.org/culture-change/tikkun-olam-repair-the-world/

I recently had the honor of joining a virtual ritual convened by Age Without Borders. We gathered in observance of the 11 souls lost – many of them Elders – in a Pittsburgh synagogue shooting on October 27th.  Our time together was marked by the words of the officiating rabbi. He shared, “You are not […]

The post Tikkun Olam: Repair the World appeared first on ChangingAging.

Source https://changingaging.org/culture-change/tikkun-olam-repair-the-world/

I recently had the honor of joining a virtual ritual convened by Age Without Borders. We gathered in observance of the 11 souls lost – many of them Elders – in a Pittsburgh synagogue shooting on October 27th.  Our time together was marked by the words of the officiating rabbi. He shared, “You are not […]

The post Tikkun Olam: Repair the World appeared first on ChangingAging.