Active Care In-Home Services
Staying At Home Is Your Choice
 We believe In Home Care can help cultivate a Positive Attitude

Aging Well and Living Longer 

Recent studies of centurions who are healthy and independent have revealed that it is possible not only to live long but well. This phenomenon is attributed to lifestyle habits that promote healthy aging, which include 
1) a positive attitude, 
2) staying socially connected, 
3) being productive and maintaining control over one’s life, 
4) a healthy diet and exercise regime, and 
5) maintaining memory. 

We will describe in this website each lifestyle habit more fully. Unless healthy behaviors start becoming the norm for more Americans, too many baby boomers will suffer from premature disability, chronic illness and premature death. 

Active Care In-Home Senior Services
850 A Shasta Ave. 
Morro Bay Ca. 93442
fax 805-772-7149

Breathing For Your Potential 

Ninety Nine percent of the global population do not use their respiratory system to one hundred percent of its’ capacity and/or potential. The daily trials that we experience cause drops and spikes in our breathing patterns, which in turn lowers or raises our blood pressure, etc. The process is long, drawn out, and can literally have diverse negative effects upon every organ and system within our body. These are some truly frightening facts. However, through the art and exercise of Yoga, we can actually retrain our bodies and minds to breath as they were originally intended, before the cruelties of everyday life sat in. 

In the process of Yoga breathing, do not expect immediate results. It is a process of teaching our subconscious to act differently than it does at the moment. The subconscious can be a very stubborn aspect and you must be patient with it. 

Savasana is the first basic yoga pose to learn. It will help teach you how to relax your entire body with full complete breaths. First begin by lying on your back, if you need a pillow under you knees to take the pressure off your lower back, please make yourself as comfortable as possible. Next start your four way breathing. Four way breathing is filling both lungs and both sides of your diaphragm (four sections) completely. When you inhale imagine the air coursing through your whole body head to toe, relaxing further into meditation as the air leave every muscle. Picture the oxygen as a white light cleansing your entire body, bit by bit. When you exhale image the air discolored, like toxins exiting your body leaving you full of light and feeling relaxed.

To practice the art of yoga breathing, remain flat on your back. Now, breath in, deeply, allowing your stomach to rise first, then your chest. Now, do the same series of events in reverse. Breath out the air, first allowing your chest to sink and then your stomach. 

One way to make this process simpler to remember is to think of your body as a bottle and your breath as water. You are filling your body as you would the body. The lower part fills first, then the upper. In exhalation, if you siphoned the water from the body the upper part would empty before the lower. This is a perfect example of the order of events.

Continue this process for 21 breaths. Then, open your eyes and get up slowly if your are not lite headed. As you rise, you will notice what seems like intensity in your senses. Colors seem brighter, more intense. Sounds are clearer, more noticeable. The effect is the same on all your senses. There are medical reasons for this sudden intensifying of your senses, but they are too diverse to list here. The sensation will begin to ebb after a few minutes. Nevertheless, it is truly an awesome sensation.

In the long run, this practice could save your life. Do not, however, let it end here. Study into the art of Yoga. There are numerous forms of Yoga that can be practiced to enhance your life experience on a physical, emotional, and spiritual level. There are several forms of Yoga breathing that will also enhance particular areas of your life. Give them all a try.

Silver Age Yoga
Benefits of practicing Yoga 

Yoga utilizes a combination of:

•breathing (expanding the lung's capacity to handle an increased amount of oxygen intake) to rejuvenate, repair and create new cells; 
•meditation (calming the mind, releasing stress and anxiety); 
•physical posturing (asana's), designed to strengthen the musculo-skeletal structure, to increase bone density by doing weight-bearing exercises (to prevent osteoporosis); lubricate joints (reducing arthritis); 
•alignment (or re-alignment) balances of the body's skeletal structure; 
•stimulation of the endocrine system which promotes the increase of beneficial hormonal activities. 

There are many great resources on Senior Yoga Below is one or two I found interesting though we do not endorse any.


Cultivating A Positive Attitude 

 Recent studies have indicated a correlation between having an optimistic attitude and living longer.
Optimism was linked to longevity in a study conducted by the Mayo Clinic; they also found that pessimists had a risk of death that was 19% greater than that of a person with an  “average” outlook. 

One’s mental viewpoint of external events affects the way they interpret those events, and in turn affects the way they act upon them. In an AARP publication in which Sophia Loren was interviewed on the issue of successful aging, and her own positive out look, she stated: “Good thoughts should be your first approach to the facts. By thinking good you may have a better view of the problem, because thinking good activates your physical resources as well as your mental resources. It activates your lucidity, it helps you see things more clearly”. 
It is true that we cannot avoid stressful events, but if we can examine the situation calmly, then we do have a better chance of identifying options and making sound decisions.
The Dalai Lama writes in his book (written with Michael Cutler) The Art of Happiness that the first step in seeking happiness is learning. We first have to learn how negative emotions and behaviors are harmful to us and how positive emotions are helpful. He also states that it is important to understand the causal relationships to the conditions of happiness and suffering and that we can create and or avoid the circumstances that lead to these conditions. 

The Dalai Lama describes how mental outlook affects the way one sees the world. For instance, hatred, jealousy and anger are harmful, negative states of mind which destroy mental happiness; once you harbor feelings of hatred or negative emotion towards someone or something then other people and events are seen through that hostile lens. This in turn results in fear, loneliness and more anger. On the other hand, mental states which include kindness and compassion tend to foster an environment of communicative openness in which warmth and understanding can develop.
The question for all of us is how to develop and maintain a positive outlook. We can try to stay aware of conditions that will tend to create suffering or those that will result in happiness and make our choices accordingly. Secondly , we can control the way we chose to interpret an event or experience a situation: have we examined different points of view; might there be another interpretation; and have we verified our assumptions? 
Thirdly, do we allow ourselves to experience those events that help us to transcend the everyday, experiencing joy from nature, music, art or prayer. And lastly, do we experience and express gratitude and thankfulness for the life we have. By using this framework we can develop the habits that contribute to sustaining a positive attitude. 

Staying Connected And Productive 

Human beings are not meant to live solitary lives; studies have shown that people who age successfully sustain important bonds with family and friends and are active in their communities. Many have stated that friendship is a key factor in keeping them active and emotionally secure.

 These connections keep them feeling cared for, loved, understood and accepted as a member of a network of mutual obligations. The more often older people participate in social relationships, the better their overall health tends to be. This includes telephone conversations and visits with friends, relatives and neighbors, as well as participation in community or professional organizations. 
The two strongest predictors of well-being are frequency of visits with friends and frequency of attending organizational meetings. It is not surprising that the more meaningful the contribution, the greater the impact on health and well being. 

Maintaining Memory 

Scientists have given us the good news that they have demonstrated that though brain activity typically slows with age, large numbers of nerve cells are not lost. With stimulation, at any age new nerve cells and the connections between them can form to improve brain function. 

To maintain cognitive vitality we know that life-long learning which promotes intellectual stimulation is critical. This means participating in problem-solving activities; it could mean planning a trip or contributing to a community organization or charity. Sleep is an important element of mental fitness; especially the REM type of sleep. There are sleep clinics available at many hospitals to help diagnosis sleep disturbances. (You should be aware that alcohol is not an aid to sleep but actually disrupts sleep.) Emotional stability has an effect on memory, as well. Chronic stress can affect brain function, as does depression, and it is important to seek professional help to treat these conditions. 

We know that those individuals who view aging as a positive experience live on average 7.5 years longer than their peers who with negative viewpoints. Seniors with a negative view of aging show higher levels of stress, which has a highly negative impact on health. People who engage in healthy behaviors such as maintaining friendships and other social relations, who maintain their effectiveness in life organization and planning; maintain physical fitness through healthy eating and moderate exercise, get adequate sleep, and are involved in spiritually uplifting activities, enjoy a greater level of physical and emotional well-being. 

Each breath is precious.