January 23, 2010

Silver Sneakers

Yes, folks....I turned 65 in January and I jumped for joy when my Medicare Card arrived in my mailbox! Well, I'm not thrilled to be older but I certainly suffered for 8 years without health insurance due to existing conditions. I'm blessed with two friends that are nurses that helped me through some health issues along the way. It was very costly for my doctor visits when it became absolutely necessary to warrant an appointment. Being a woman, it is mandatory for the pap tests and mammogram.......more $$$ for my checkbook which could barely cover these expenses and I had to make sacrifices in other areas for my budget to handle these bills. So YES! I love having health insurance.

shooting scaleI got so hyped up to join Silver Sneakers to get my old body back into shape. I walked into the classroom and felt like I was the youngest person in the class. To my surprise, I could NOT keep up with the 80 year olds! I was huffing and puffing and sweating my brains out. But I made a commitment to myself to go three days a week and later anxious to join the Zumba class which I'm sure most have you heard about as it is all the rage these days. It is a fast pace form of Latin dancing that surely gives you a boost of Cardio. I love Ballroom dancing so I hope being a former ballroom dancer that this will help me keep up in the class. LOL I'll let you know how I do.

HippoOh my, my first day in a Silver Sneakers Class at another gym, this elderly gentleman fell off the big ball he was sitting on for balance and weights in his hand....his head banged on the floor and I freaked out. Why would they give an 80 year old a large ball to sit on and placed on slippery hardwood floors? The next instruction was to slide your tush down on the ball and that is when this poor guy crashed. He was fine but it was scary for me to watch. I got a yoga mat that was stacked high against the wall and told the guy perhaps the mat on the floor under the large ball may prevent the ball from sliding.

I, on the other hand was smart and skipped that part of that class altogether. Damn, if I fall off of that big exercising ball! I'm trying to get back into shape not break bones or split my head open!  Of course, every gym makes you sign a disclaimer that they are not responsible for your injuries.

Decided to try a different gym and luck was with me to find a fabulous instructor.  Only four classes under my belt so far and I already lost 3 lbs.  That is good for me!  WhoooHoooooooooo!

Everyone in my class remembered my name and greeted me with such kindness. The Instructor's name is "September". She is a hoot...whenever we are lifting weights she yells out "Oh yeah.... Baby, Baby" when the arms are started to hurt. She sings and jokes around with everyone and calls out their names. I really like her. She gets you motivated. And, my favorite Sinatra songs are blaring from her boom box! When September starts counting she will start backwards and yells out 8, 7, 6, 5, 4 3, then a member in our class takes over and says: twooooooooooooooooo and 1. September's personality and great sense of humor makes that hour go by quickly and worth it.

hydrantWe do a lot of weights while sitting in a chair and a lot of kicks with our legs while standing up.....one particular kick....the Instructor yelled out...."pretend you are a dog and bend you leg at the knee and lift up to the side to a count of eight. Don't let the words "Silver Sneakers" fool you. These people are devoted to their exercise and take it very seriously which in turn provides them with a better quality of life.

Well, my goal is important. I want to receive all the benefits from increasing flexibility and improving my balance. Just try standing on one foot....how long can you do it? This class also provides great stretching techniques. I definitely went home feeling very sore. God Bless our older generation, these people take their exercising seriously and they have stamina. By my third class, I was able to keep up and they all cheered for me!  They are too funny.

Being flexible allows me fuller movement and reduced pain in my joints so that it is easier to perform my daily activities. I highly recommend Silver Sneakers for you Seniors out there. Go put that younger crowd to shame!

YogaI plan on adding a Yoga/Meditation class too, perhaps in a couple of weeks.

The best part is that it is helping me sleep a little better.  WhooooHooooooooooo!

January 16, 2010


Many people experience an off night where they can't obtain restful sleep. My Chronic Insomnia has plagued me for many years and is now getting worse. I experience a chronic difficulty either falling or staying asleep long enough to meet the body's needs for sleep. This lack of quality sleep leaves me with impaired functioning each day and keeps me from carrying out normal tasks.

Most adults require approximately eight hours of sleep but the best indicator is how you feel. If you awaken feeling tired, it is likely that you are not getting enough sleep. Insomnia can leave you feeling exhausted, irritable and struggling to concentrate............ugh!

People who are emotionally upset or anxious often find that they frequently awaken at night or have trouble falling asleep. It's difficult to relax when your mind is 'racing' and you can't seem to stop worrying about various aspects of your life.

Insomnia exacerbates the symptoms of depression, making it more difficult to treat.  Then add the serious issue of "SleepsWalking" and eating..........double trouble!  And, did I mention the weight gain?  Oh my, to look in the kitchen sink in the morning and see a bunch of forks and spoons and crumbs.  Yes, I woke up once to see a box of Cherrios next to me in bed!

I have followed all the doctor's suggestions on how to get a good nights sleep. Keeping a sleep diary is supposed to help the doctor to identify the cause and will be able to treat you. Well, so far after 15 plus years........nothing has worked which includes: sleeping pills, melatonin, going to bed at the same time every day including weekends, make sure the bedroom is dark and very cool, avoid caffeine, decongestants, stop smoking (which I quit three years ago) and  limit alcohol before bedtime, exercise more often but not at night time, don't lie in bed worrying about things. Set aside another time just for worrying......for example, spend 30 minutes after dinner writing down what's worrying you and what you can do about it.

Well, that warm glass of milk at bedtime that your grandma insists works, doesn't work for me ....so some doctor is going to have to come up with a better solution for me pretty soon. I have experienced many times not sleeping for 2-3 days in a row...not a wink...not even a short nap.....nothing! People don't understand how severe chronic insomnia is and how it takes over your quality of life.  I used to go to work with no sleep. It was easier when I was younger but that is no longer the case now that I am a senior citizen!

Do a lot of you out there experience chronic insomnia????? If so, do you have a special remedy that works for you, please share. It would be most appreciated.  I'm at my wits end and willing to try almost anything within reason!

Hugs, Rose

January 12, 2010

Cold Snap in Florida!

Here in South Florida, the cold snap shattered a decades-old record!

The freezing temperatures are still lingering on in South Florida, and do you believe it...... with snow flurries spotted around Orlando and a record low set for Miami.  The News showed snow on top of cars and children trying to make snowballs.  Warmer weather  is coming our way this weekend.

Some citrus groves in northern Florida, sustained substantial damage, as temperatures were in the teens in some parts of northern Florida. Citrus trees rarely survive when exposed to temperatures in the mid-20s or below longer than four hours.

Florida's citrus industry is worth $9.3 billion and produces 75 percent of the nation's orange crop.  Well, be ready to see the price of oranges to go up.

Floridians might have had enough of Mother Nature, but she hasn't had enough of Florida!

Look at the ice forming on the trees.  Yikes, I've been living in Florida close to 21 years now and I have never seen this before.

The heat has been on daily.  I've had on several pairs of socks as my feet were freezing!

I had to check my car's manual to see how to turn on the heated seats which I've never used before!   LOL  Wow, it gets nice and toasty.........Didn't think I would never use those features.

I just don't understand one thing????????  I've never felt this cold inside the house living up in New England for most of my life.  Heat is heat....right?  Why would I still feel so cold in the house?  I don't understand it.

Well, I got the opportunity to take out my winter wardrobe that I reserve for my trips up north. 

Stay warm folks!

January 9, 2010

Dr. Oz

If you have not heard of Dr. Oz, you must be living in another planet. I fell in love with this doctor with the many appearances he made on Oprah's show....55 to be exact. I'm in awe of him.

He now has his own TV show and I'm glued to my TV every day at 3:00 PM here in South Florida to watch him. There isn't a medical topic that he can't answer a question to. His education and background is supersized!  His father is also a doctor.

He also has an online site called "realage.com". You can test yourself to see what your "real" age is. I took the test once three years ago and it said I was 78 years old! Since then, I stopped smoking, exercise every day even if it is only for 15-20 minutes and try to eat healthy. The age dropped down to 66. Well, I just turned 65 but I would like my age to drop lower on that test. I need to exercise longer.

Dr. Mehmet Oz is a Turkish/American Cardiothoracic surgeon and an author. He has been on many of Oprah's TV shows and also on Larry King, CNN and other networks.

In the fall of 2009, Oprah's Harpo Productions and Sony Pictures launched a syndicated daily talk show featuring Oz, called The Dr. Oz Show. And I have not missed one show yet. I'm crazy about him and gaining so much knowledge on how to take good care of myself! He talks about things that you would be so embarrassed to ask your doctor and therefore not getting any answers.

He seems to know it all when most doctors just stay in their specialized field and that is it. He is just "Brilliant". Check him out on your TV Listings in your area.  He is on Channel Five here in South Florida.