Archive for ‘Health & Fitness’

Evening Walk – Evening Sky #MFRWauthor #Mindfulness

Much of the year we take our daily walk in the daylight or early twilight. But southern Nevada June temps have driven us to wait until after nine in the evening – and even then sometimes it’s still over ninety degrees.

The upside? Getting reacquainted with the night sky. Our RV resort has an irregular shape, so as we walk its one-mile perimeter, we can take in the 360 degrees of the night sky from a range of viewing angles.

20150421 waxing crescent and venusTo the west as we begin our walk, Venus, Jupiter and Leo’s largest star, Regulus, hang suspended like brilliant spangles on the strand of a necklace. I can’t remember seeing Venus look so large or so bright, but it turns out this happens every eight years or so, a combination of when it is closest to earth, and when its angle to the sun illuminates the greatest portion of its surface, from earth’s point of view. Watch your night sky the next two or three nights to see the waxing crescent moon in the vicinity of this stunning necklace. Here’s a photo I took at dusk in April in southern Arizona, waxing crescent and Venus.

Our next turn takes us facing south. Arcturus is nearly overhead – but we’ve learned we can always find it in any season by following where the handle of the big dipper points. Dropping toward the horizon from there, we find Virgo’s largest star, Spica.

As we turn east, the Summer Triangle of Vega, Deneb and Altair (in Lyra, Cygnet and Aquila, or the Lyre, the Swan, and the Eagle) is just starting to rise. When we first bought our telescope and began to study the night sky, this landmark – or perhaps skymark – formed the anchor of our summer sky. In that season it sits directly overhead in the evening, is visible from dusk to dawn, and is a roadmap to the Milky Way.

And finally the north, with the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Cassiopeia, and the North Star, probably the most familiar part of the sky, Why? Because our night sky circulates around the North Star, and these constellations never set, though this week, here, Cassiopeia is lost in the haze close to the mountains on the northern horizon.

This doesn’t always happen, but last night as we gazed north, I suddenly experienced the sensation of being wrapped in splendor and flooded with gratitude.

 

Day One #MFRWAuthor #Stayfit

Anyone who works at staying fit knows the syndrome – life is never static, and keeping healthy turns out to involve an endless series of starting over.

Today, it’s Day One after a fun three days at The Golden Nugget and The Fremont Street Experience in Las Vegas (well, no end of exercise, between all the dancing and the walking), and also Day One of changing up our timing.

Palo-Duro-Adriana-300x200Summer has arrived. Mimosa sweetness fills the air and the heat is intense. Ten AM bike rides are no longer an option – we’ve got to get up early and ride before breakfast to have a comfortable cruising temperature. It’s only 9:30 as I write this and already 87 degrees – we took our ride (ten minutes, to ease back into the routine) at 7:30, when it was only in the high seventies. This afternoon, instead of walking, we’ll hit the pool around 3 PM. (pic above is Palo Duro Canyon, TX, November, 2012).

Today is the first day of the rest of our lives…

 

Brain Fear? What to eat! #MFRWAuthor

Brain Fear?

Yup, big time. With Alzheimer’s and dementia only one generation away up my family tree, I chase everything that comes across my newsfeeds about caring for my brain.

Here’s the latest, from AARP – six foods that support brain health, and my status:

Legumes, for B-complex vitamins, help protect against brain shrinkage – So-so .We definitely need to add in more, though the humus we enjoy daily at least contributes some

Citrus, for vitamin C antioxidents – Check! An orange a day.

Almonds, for vitamin E, healthy blood vessels – Check! This is my go-to snack. I nearly always have some handy – my only concern is eating too many!

Fish, for Omega 3s – Um, not often enough. Will work on this.

Spinach – flavenoids that slow amyloid plaque build-up — Ooops. I’ve been focusing on romaine for our salads, partly because it keeps so well. It turns up on many other lists of foods that help the brain, but doesn’t necessarily affect amyloid plaque. Will have to add spinach back in. Though in my defense I’ll add that when we eat out, a spinach salad is often my choice – especially the Panera Spinach Power salad.

coffeeCoffee, three cups daily have slowed cognitive decline compared to impaired adults not drinking siginificant coffee. – Check, and hooray! For decades health professionals have succeeded in making me feel somewhat guilty for my coffee addiction, so I’m excited to be justified. Plus, I know single cases neither prove or disprove aggregate research, but my father was a daily coffee drinker and my mother wasn’t, and her decline greatly exceeded his in onset and severity. I’ll drink to the difference!

My score? Excellent on three out of six, marginal on two, and pretty much zero on the spinach front. Got my marching orders – how about you?

 
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