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Summertime and the Living is Easy

George Gershwin had a way with words and there are no words more recognizable than the title of this blog . . . at least to those of us who are over 60 or someone who has listened to one of the more than 25,000 recordings that have been made of that song. But the real question remains, is the living really easier in the summer?

For those who have weathered a long winter of shoveling snow or driving on slick streets, summertime is a welcome relief. For all of us it’s a time to enjoy the warm weather and the promise of a vacation, especially given many of us have been robbed of our vacations over the last two years. It’s a time to come out from the shadow of the pandemic and begin to again live our lives unencumbered by a virus.

So, what do we do this summer to make the living easy? One thing you might think about is trying some new recipes. As we found ourselves eating at home more often due to the pandemic, we may have found that we got tired of the same old things. Some of us may have tried out the new cooking appliance, the air fryer. I’ve found it’s a great way to fry food without the mess of hot oil and it’s much healthier. If any of the eight air fryer meals below look interesting, you can get the recipes by clicking here.          

  • Breakfast
  • Hard “Boiled” Eggs
  • Roasted Tomatoes
  • Crispy Tofu
  • Roasted Fish
  • Snack Chips
  • Leftovers
  • Desserts

You also might have found some new ways to stay physically fit. Pickleball has caught on with the older crowd. The increasingly popular paddle sport, which has similarities to tennis and ping pong, has attracted 4.8 million U.S. players of all ages and fitness levels, according to the 2022 Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) report on pickleball. It doesn’t require an excess of running but keeps the participants moving and, most importantly, it gives us a reason to get out and get some exercise. I have friends who play almost every day, they all say it beats trying to force yourself to go to the gym and workout. Older adults are especially drawn to the fun sport: The SFIA report notes that among the 1.4 million “core” participants — defined as those who play at least eight times a year — 60 percent are 55 or older and more than 33.7 percent are 65 or older. Older people enjoy this sport because:

  • The court is small enough that you don’t need to move much to hit the ball, especially if you’re playing doubles.
  • The game encourages players to socialize.
  • There’s less of the frustration factor that accompanies sports like golf.
  • It’s designed to be carefree and fun.
  • It’s inexpensive.

The great thing about this sport is it’s readily accessible. You can input your zip code on the USA Pickleball Association website to find out where to play near you. 

Finally, it seems we’ve found a sport, besides golf, that older people can play, and it no doubt is better exercise than riding around in a golf cart. You’re hearing this from a guy who loves to play golf but is going to give pickleball a try this summer.

Volunteering is another activity that you might find very rewarding. Helping someone else gets us out of looking inward at our own problems and allows us to focus on others. There is nothing more satisfying than giving of your time and skills to help someone else. Below are five non-profits that accept and need volunteers. Just click on their name to find out more about their organization.

I hope you can find something new and exciting to challenge yourself this summer and you do it while also keeping yourself healthy and safe. I’ve written past blogs about taking care of your skin and your eyes and your joints as you venture outdoors this summer. Do a quick search of my blogs if you need some good guidance in these areas. One little hint, you might take some time to do a little training before you venture out on your vacation. I just spent a week walking around and touring Boston and I found out pretty quickly that I wasn’t as ready for that much walking as I thought.

Finally, while we’re looking forward to this summer it’s not too early to start looking at Medicare open enrollment coming up this year. I’ve been working hard these last few months to catch up on the preventative screenings and checkups that I put off because of COVID-19 (don’t you hate the preparation required for the colonoscopy). Keep track of any health changes that have occurred this year so you can make an informed decision as you review your insurance coverage. Especially keep track of any new prescription medication you may now be taking.

Above all, get out this summer and try something new, and also try to get that George Gershwin song out of your head. I haven’t succeeded yet.

Best, Thair

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Make sure your summer is full of fun with these tips!

On June 2, the Wall Street Journal highlighted some interesting new research that found seniors who engage in fun, social activities are happier and less likely to develop dementia later on in life.  Similarly, at every age, staying active and interacting with others are two essential components for good health. With that in mind, I’ve provided a few fun and healthy ways for you to stay active with your friends and family this summer!

The heat of July and August can be oppressive, but early morning and late evening are excellent times to be outside, if the midday sun is just too much. But no matter what time you go outside, Tip Number 1 is “Don’t forget the sunscreen!”

Any outside activity is great when you like doing it – especially if you are doing it with others. So Tip Number 2 is “Either go someplace where people are doing an activity you want to do, or invite people to join you when you are doing something you enjoy.” Whether your pleasure is taking a walk, planting a garden, playing golf, or floating down a lazy river, it’s more fun when you can share.

Many of us, as we have aged, have moved away from the neighborhoods we lived in for decades. This puts the burden on us to make new friends and identify places to go for fun and recreation. It may not be easy but it really is important.  Churches, senior centers, community recreation facilities, libraries, and your local newspaper all contain dozens of resources about places to go, things to do, and people wanting to do them. Tip Number 3 is “Do your homework and find things to do that interest you.”

If outside activities are not your thing, there still are lots of things you can do inside (in the air conditioning!) that are fun and will keep you moving. So, Tip Number 4 is “Don’t limit yourself about where you look for something to do.”  One of the most fun things I’ve done recently was to go bowling with my grandkids. I don’t think I’ve been bowling in more than a decade. Surely, no one was more surprised than I was when I bowled a strike! Moreover, I jumped up and down in excitement so many times that I’m sure that counts as some of my daily exercise!

Remember, whether you enjoy swimming, playing yard games, golfing, bowling, or playing tennis, these sort of activities can actually improve all facets of your life.  I hope you will try your hand at some new activity this summer.  Be sure to let us know how you plan to get active and enjoy yourself this summer on Facebook and Twitter!