Playing Childhood Games Keeps You Young!

Posted on Sun, Sep 18, 2016

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As the Baby Boomers start hitting their 65th birthdays, we’re all realizing that we don’t want to simply age in place.  We want our lives to be full, exciting, energetic, and fun.  According to our friends at AARP Magazine, we’re never too old for recess and playing games can keep us young.  In fact, many studies indicate that playing isn’t just an enjoyable activity but also a good strategy to stay healthy.  Of course, before you run out to play, you might want to check with your physician to make sure you’re up for the challenge. 

So here are a few childhood games that we should resurrect. 

Jigsaw Puzzles

Putting together jigsaw puzzles decreases anxiety, stress and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Keeping the brain active with this type of hobby lowers beta-amyloid protein levels. This protein interferes with neuron function, contributing to the development of Alzheimer’s.

Chess

This old and famous “science game” helps create the neural connections we need throughout our lifetime so that we can think faster and more efficiently. It reduces the likelihood of having dementia and combats memory loss and depression. It’s also an excellent therapy after having a stroke.  

Board Games

Whether they involve strategy or are games of chance, board games are more than just entertainment; they also help people to stay focused and exercise their memory. In addition, they keep the mind sharp and, since they require several players, promote communication skills. 

Riddles

Solving riddles and word puzzles is good for cognition and oral expression. Remembering questions and thinking of answers help both grownups and kids to exercise their brains. Riddles and word puzzles also stimulate conversation, which is a good tool to fight depression at any age. 

Blindman’s Bluff

Games involving sensory stimulation help cognitive performance and foster an improved, faster motor response after perception of a stimulus. Exercising our senses (such as touch) ensures a better quality of life should we at any time lose another of our senses (such as sight or hearing).  

Jump Rope

This is undeniably a fun activity at any age and particularly great for heart health. In fact, it’s considered one of the best cardiovascular exercises. It is excellent for losing weight and staying in shape, since doing it burns a lot of calories and tones muscles.

Outdoor Games

Playing outdoors combats stress and can be the best medicine, since it increases the body’s defenses by releasing endorphins — known as “joy hormones.” So don’t be afraid of looking silly — whenever you have the chance to go to a park, get on a swing, fly a kite or play baseball.

Family Fun, Too

Kid’s games are great for the whole family.  Engaging “kids” of all ages can create a great time for everyone. 

Dean and Draper

We hope you found good ideas and some inspiration for your family in this blog.  We welcome your call with your insurance questions and will quickly find you the answers you need for your situation.  Contact us.

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: Aging Well, Staying Fit

Watermelon - Things You Don’t Know

Posted on Sun, Jul 31, 2016

Fotolia_86283949_XS-1.jpgOne of my favorite summer treats is watermelon.  Little did I know that watermelon is not only a great cool treat, it’s also “nutrient-dense” or loaded with stuff that’s good for you.

In her article in AARP Magazine, 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Watermelon, author Candy Sagon reveals her list of things we all need to know about the summer’s favorite melon.

Here is the amazing thing about watermelons: They are 92 percent water, which is why we want to dive face first into a cold, juicy slice on hot summer days. But that’s not the only reason to gorge on this delicious fruit. Here are six surprising things you may not have known about summer’s favorite melon.

It’s a fruit! No, it’s a vegetable!

Most of us consider watermelon a fruit, because it’s sweet and juicy; it also has seeds — the botanical definition of a fruit. But watermelon is also a vegetable, from the same family that includes cucumbers and squash. So which is it? Oklahoma thinks it knows. In 2007, watermelon was officially declared the state vegetable — probably because the state fruit was already taken.

The redder the better

Fully ripe, deeply red watermelons are the ones you want. That deep color signifies the most lycopene, an antioxidant and the bright red pigment that gives red fruits and vegetables their rosy color. Seedless watermelons also tend to have more lycopene than the seeded variety, say scientists with the government’s Agricultural Research Service. Research suggests that lycopene may help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. A recent Finnish study found that men with the greatest level of lycopene in their blood had a 55 percent lower risk of stroke.

Beyoncé believes in it

Beyoncé recently announced that she was investing in WTRMLN WTR, a company that turns surplus watermelons into cold-pressed watermelon juice. The entertainer, who has invested in other wellness-oriented companies, called watermelon juice “the future of clean, natural hydration.” Somehow she forgot to mention that it also helps reduce muscle soreness after exercise, according to a 2013 Spanish study.

Good for prostate protection

Chow down on watermelon, guys — it can help with prostate health and erectile dysfunction, thanks to phytonutrients like lycopene and citrulline. Lycopene — also found in other red fruits and vegetables — plays a role in protecting against prostate cancer. And citrulline, according to a recent study published in the journal Urology, can help with mild to moderate erectile dysfunction by improving blood flow.

Eat it with a little fat

Watermelon is a rich source of vitamin A, in the form of beta-carotene, which is important for vision, healthy skin, teeth and gums. Vitamin A is fat-soluble, meaning it needs to be consumed with some fat to help the body absorb it. Try making a simple summery salad of watermelon, crumbled feta cheese, minced fresh mint and a lime dressing to get the most nutrients.

Kidney disease? Don’t go overboard

Watermelon is a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps maintain a normal blood pressure and helps muscles and nerve function properly. That’s great for most of us, but those diagnosed with hyperkalemia — too much potassium in the blood — or who have kidney disease and are at risk for the condition, probably should not eat more than a cup of watermelon a day, say kidney experts.

Heading for the Grocery

Enough talking about watermelons.  I’m headed for the grocery.  Wonder if they have some already chilled…

Dean and Draper

Now that you’ve had your watermelon, we welcome your call about your insurance.  We are here to answer your questions, give you solid information, and provide you with choices.

Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  Contact Us.

 

The recommendation(s), advice and contents of this material are provided for informational purposes only and do not purport to address every possible legal obligation, hazard, code violation, loss potential or exception to good practice. Dean & Draper Insurance Agency specifically disclaims any warranty or representation that acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein will make any premises, property or operation safe or in compliance with any law or regulation. Under no circumstances should this material or your acceptance of any recommendations or advice contained herein be construed as establishing the existence or availability of any insurance coverage with Dean & Draper Insurance Agency. By providing this information to you, Dean & Draper Insurance Agency does not assume (and specifically disclaims) any duty, undertaking or responsibility to you.  The decision to accept or implement any recommendation(s) or advice contained in this material must be made by you.

 

©2016 Dean & Draper Insurance Agency All Rights Reserved.

Topics: Health Tips, Staying Fit, getting healthy

Tips for Staying Cool in the Texas Heat

Posted on Sun, Aug 09, 2015

Fotolia_27936337_XSWith the temperatures in Texas rising above 100 for multiple days in a row, beating the heat has become serious business.  Heat-related deaths and illness are preventable and yet in 2014 more than 15 Texans died from heat related causes. 

Heat-related illness is the result of a person’s body’s inability to properly cool itself.  In high humidity areas the Gulf Coast, the body’s usual cooling method – sweating – sometimes isn’t enough causing the body temperature rise rapidly.  Very high body temperatures can damage the brain or other vital organs.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer some great tips for staying cool in our Texas heat.  We’ve listed some of the information from the CDC’s Extreme Heat Prevention Guide below. 

Tips for Staying Cool

Drink Plenty of Fluids

During hot weather you will need to increase your fluid intake, regardless of your activity level. Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink. During heavy exercise in a hot environment, drink two to four glasses (16-32 ounces) of cool fluids each hour.

Warning: If your doctor generally limits the amount of fluid you drink or has you on water pills, ask how much you should drink while the weather is hot.

Don't drink liquids that contain alcohol, or large amounts of sugar—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.

Wear Sunscreen

Sunburn affects your body's ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids. It also causes pain and damages the skin. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) along with sunglasses, and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say "broad spectrum" or "UVA/UVB protection" on their labels) 30 minutes prior to going out. Continue to reapply it according to the package directions.

Monitor High-Risk Individuals

Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others.

  • Infants and young children are sensitive to the effects of high temperatures and rely on others to regulate their environments and provide adequate liquids.
  • People 65 years of age or older may not compensate for heat stress efficiently and are less likely to sense and respond to change in temperature.
  • Overweight people may be prone to heat sickness because of their tendency to retain more body heat.
  • Those who overexert during work or exercise may become dehydrated and susceptible to heat sickness.
  • People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressure, or who take certain medications, such as for depression, insomnia, or poor circulation, may be affected by extreme heat.

Do Not Leave Children or Pets in Cars

Even in cool temperatures, cars can heat up to dangerous temperatures very quickly. Even with the windows cracked open, interior temperatures can rise almost 20 degrees Fahrenheit within the first 10 minutes. Anyone left inside is at risk for serious heat-related illnesses. Children who are left unattended in parked cars are at greatest risk for heat stroke, and possibly death. When traveling with children, remember to do the following:

  • Never leave infants, children or pets in a parked car, even if the windows are cracked open.
  • To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front with the driver.
  • When leaving your car, check to be sure everyone is out of the car. Do not overlook any children who have fallen asleep in the car.

Next week: Recognizing the Signs and Treating Heat Related Illness

Taking Care of You and Yours

At Dean and Draper we are serious about providing you with the right insurance for you, your family, and you business.  We always welcome your calls and questions.

Dean & Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  ContactUs.

Topics: Safety, Health Tips, Staying Fit, Health Alert - Staying Cool

Get Fit Right at Your Desk - Stay Healthy & Reduce Stress

Posted on Sun, Feb 01, 2015

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Today is February 1st.  Just four short weeks ago you made your New Year’s Resolutions.  How is it going with your resolutions to exercise more and reduce stress?  We thought that right about now would be a good time to offer you some alternatives to hitting the gym. 

In her article “Deskercise! 33 Smart Ways to Exercise at Work,” Emily Milam offers creative ideas to both work and exercise at the same time.  We’ve selected the 6 exercises we could easily imagine doing at our desks.  For all of the 33 exercises and the complete article, click here. 

The Silent Seat Squeeze: Believe it or not, some exercises can be kept under wraps, and this isometric glutes exercise is one of them. To start toning, simply squeeze the buttocks, hold for 5-10 seconds, and release. Repeat until the agenda wraps up or the glutes tire. The results will be uplifting in more ways than one.

The Seated Leg Raiser: When pay raises are nowhere to be seen, consider the leg raise. (Bonus: they’re hardly noticeable underneath the desk!) While seated, straighten one or both legs and hold in place for five or more seconds. Then lower the leg(s) back to the ground without letting the feet touch the floor. Repeat (alternating legs if raising them separately) for 15 reps. Underwhelmed? Loop a purse or briefcase strap over the ankle for added weight, or for more of an abs workout, add a crunch.

The Stapler Curl: Trusty staplers are always guarded closely, especially the red ones. Seated or standing, take the stapler in one hand with the palm facing upwards. Starting at the thighs, bend the elbow and curl the arm up towards the chest, just like a regular dumbbell biceps curl. Pause momentarily and then lower the stapler back down. Continue for 12-15 reps, then switch. Don’t have a weighty stapler? Try using a filled water bottle or a heavy change purse (the vending machine can wait!).

The Nape Shaper: It’s time to tone that neck! For the first isometric neck strengthening trick, put your head in your hands as if exasperated by the workday (you may already be in this position), and press your palms into your forehead as if trying to push the head backward. Resist the motion by engaging the neck muscles. Next, clasp the hands behind the back of the head and try to push the head backward, resisting the motion with your hands. Hold each exercise for 5 seconds. Slowly release, rest, and repeat 5 times each.

The Desk Chair Swivel: Lucky enough to have a fun swivel chair? Use its twirl to your advantage with this oblique abs fix. Sitting upright and with the feet hovering over the floor, hold the edge of your desk with your fingers and thumb. Next, use the core to swivel the chair from side to side. Swish back and forth for 15 rounds.

The Fab Abs Squeeze: Another silent exercise, this one can be covertly executed when walking down the hall or seated during a call. Simply take a deep breath and tighten the abdominal muscles, bringing them in towards the spine as you exhale. Stay squeezed for 5-10 seconds and release. Repeat for 12-15 reps.

The “Crunch Time” Crunch: The deadlines are looming, as are hopes for a six-pack by summer. While most jobs don’t condone in-office boozing, you can get the other six-pack with some seated isometric crunches. With both elbows on the thighs, try to curl the chest in towards the legs while resisting the movement with the arms. Hold for 10 seconds, release, and repeat times 10.

We really like our customers and want to keep you healthy and happy.  Hopefully these ideas for exercising while you work will inspire you to move more, build muscles, and reduce stress.

Dean & Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients.  Contact us.

Topics: Health Tips, personal wellness, Staying Fit, Desk Exercise