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Chronic Pain...
By Carol LeBeau
2/15/2012 9:19:57 AM


–FULL BIO
 

Bill Walton is a pretty tough guy. His numerous NBA records rank him among the best in the history of professional basketball. But even a world-class athlete has his limits. 

Lying face down on his kitchen floor…the only position in which the basketball great could find relief from his excruciating pain…the affable Bill Walton admitted to an newspaper reporter his searing back pain was so severe, he’d thought about ending his life. That was several years ago. Fortunately, Walton eventually received treatment that alleviated his suffering. Today, his spirit renewed, Walton flashes his million-dollar smile all over town at the many community and charitable events he supports. 

If you’ve never experienced chronic pain, it may be difficult to understand Walton’s extreme reaction. But it probably comes as no surprise to those of you who know the agony of pain that never ends.  Fact is, an emotional reaction to ongoing pain is normal. Because our bodies and minds are inextricably linked, emotions and pain can also go hand in hand. 

Medical professionals…understandably…focus their attention and treatments on the medical factors that cause pain. However, this focus can miss emotional issues that can increase the amount of pain a person feels. 

What’s needed, according to Dr. Peter Sidlauskas with Palomar Health is recognition of these emotional factors in the evaluation of a person in pain.  Treatment can then be designed to treat these issues. “In doing so, says Dr. Sidlauskas, the vicious cycle of chronic pain can be recognized and broken. 

The most common emotional reactions to chronic pain include:

  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Frustration
  • Anxiety
  • Tension
  • Irritability

It is very common for these feelings to actually aggravate pain. It’s not your fault. It’s the miserable cycle of pain causing emotional reactions, which in turn, increases the pain.  

The good news? That “cycle” can be broken. The ActivCentre for Spine Care at Palomar Health offers comprehensive evaluation and treatment for chronic pain that’s brought relief to many, like Bill Walton, who had lost hope.  

It can happen to anyone.  I know. Complications from foot surgery several years ago left me in non-stop pain for months.  The knife-like nerve pain wouldn’t let up….robbing me of my motivation and joy.  Fortunately, I got help and today my foot pain is tolerable and life is good. Don’t let chronic pain take away your joy.  

Call the ActivCentre at Palomar Health for help or a referral at 858.613.6252.

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.

Denise
By Carol LeBeau
1/2/2012 3:14:11 PM


–FULL BIO
 

If your New Year’s resolution is to finally and forever lose weight, I’ve got some encouraging news for you.  You can do it.  There are many effective diet plans from which to choose, but I’d like to highlight one through the eyes of my sister, Denise.

I am so proud of my “little” sis.  Since last March, Denise has lost a whopping 63 pounds and she’s still losing!  Denise had a run of bad luck several years ago and my formerly tall, slender, beautiful sister found herself with a serious weight problem.

While recovering from multiple back surgeries, she became less active, more isolated and depressed.   She turned to food for comfort.  As she got bigger, she bought bigger clothes and told herself she was “hiding” her growing girth.

“I tried to lose the weight on my own, recalls Denise, “even ordering diet pills from those stupid TV commercials.”

One day, late last March, Denise responded to a not-so-stupid TV commercial featuring actress Jennifer Hudson talking about her weight loss success on Weight Watchers.  “When Jennifer stood proudly and proclaimed, ‘I believe,’” it was like a light bulb went off,” Denise told me.  “I’d decided I’d had it and then I prayed for God’s help.” 

Denise’s “help” came in the form of the Weight Watchers’ “Points Plus” plan.   It doesn’t make you eat foods you don’t like or ban the ones you love.  That was a game changer for Denise.  “The point system really works.  It’s awesome!  It all just ‘clicked.’”

Despite a few setbacks along the way, including another back surgery, Denise stuck with the plan and with help from Weight Watchers group meetings and on-line programs; she slowly and healthfully dropped one to two pounds a week.  After nine months, she looks and feels great and has made the Weight Watchers way a permanent part of her life.

“I don’t need huge portions anymore,” says Denise.  “My husband and I now split a steak and fill the rest of our plates with “zero points” fruits and vegetables.

My now svelte and sassy sister attributes her weight loss success to God, self-determination and the weekly Weight Watchers meetings.  “They kept me going,” she says, “And my Weight Watchers leader, Margaret, was a constant source of encouragement, motivation and fun!”

Determined and dug in, Denise insists she’s never going back.  “I’m a whole new person (er, less of a person!)  I feel so much better.  Heck, 9 months ago I was carrying around the equivalent of 12 five-pound bags of sugar!”

My sister’s story is one of many weight loss happy endings.  I share it to encourage anyone struggling with a weight problem to start planning now for your happy ending.  If your resolution for 2013 is to drop some weight for good…choose a healthy diet plan and get started.  You can do it!

A few weight loss tips from Denise:

  1. Remove “can’t” or won’t from your vocabulary.
  2. Be patient.  When weight is lost slowly, you tend to keep it off.
  3. Do this for you!  Be accountable only to yourself.
  4. Pay for your weight loss plan with your own money.  It made me more determined when money is coming from my own pocket.
  5. BELIEVE!

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.

A Slimmer You in 2012
By Carol LeBeau
1/1/2012 3:21:54 PM


–FULL BIO
 
There’s still no magic bullet for losing weight! 

If you’re among the millions of Americans starting the New Year in your “fat” jeans, don’t despair.  It may not be as bad as you think. 

Despite reports to the contrary, most of us did not gain10 pounds over the holidays.  In fact, according to the American Medical Association, the average American gained just a tad over one pound between Thanksgiving and the New Year.  That’s the good news.  

Unfortunately, many of us never lose the accumulated weight. Over the years, those holiday pounds add up – resulting in expanding waistlines and an increased risk of medical problems.  So if you’ve resolved to lose weight and get fit in 2012, good for you. If you’re wondering how to do it, allow me to pass along a little advice from a doctor “friend” of mine, Dr. Dean Edell. 

If you’re not familiar with Dr. Edell, he was a popular syndicated radio talk show host for 30 years.  I was an avid listener of Dr. Edell’s call-in “ask-the-doctor” program back in the 80’s and 90’s. I loved the way he summarized complicated medical material in terms I could understand.  When it came to controversial medical topics, I always found Dr. Edell a refreshing voice of reason. 

I’ll never forget his response to a caller’s question regarding the best diet for losing weight. Listening on my car radio, I eagerly anticipated Dr. Edell’s response.  Would he point to one of the popular diet plans such as Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or Atkins?  Perhaps he knew of a secret diet regimen…a magic bullet that would guarantee immediate weight loss.   

So, what’s the best diet?  Amazingly, Dr. Edell said this,  “Any diet you’re on.” He went on to explain being “on” a diet means you’re aware of and control what you put in your mouth. Every diet includes calorie restriction.  If you take in fewer calories, you’ll lose weight.  It’s that simple. 

So don’t worry about diet plans. Just watch what you’re eating. Start by eliminating “mindless” eating.  Plan ahead what you’re going to eat and you’ll make better choices.  Lean meats, omega-rich fish, whole grains, nuts, fruits, vegetables…good, “real” food!  Come on, you know this!  Cookies, chips, sodas and other processed food items should be special occasion foods only – or what I call, “just a taste” goodies. 

Add these few, easy lifestyle “tweaks” to your game plan and you’ll jump-start your way to a leaner, healthier 2012: 

1. Eat breakfast.  Skipping breakfast can increase your risk for obesity four-fold!  Stoke your “furnace” first thing in the morning and those calories will begin to burn! 

2. Get More Sleep.  If you’re sleep-deprived your metabolism doesn’t function as efficiently.  A good night’s sleep also affects the hormones that control appetite.  (Plus, you just feel better with enough zzzz’s!) 

3. Hydrate. Dehydration can often be mistaken for hunger.  Try to drink two liters of liquid a day. 

4. Keep Moving. Doesn’t have to be anything grand.  Take a walk.  Take the steps.  Play with the kids.  Physical activity (30-60 minutes a day) is key to speeding up your metabolism and burning more calories. 

5. Don’t graze before bed.  People who eat at night gain three and a half more pounds a year, on average, than those who don’t.  

So, there you have it.  No magic wands.  No miracle pills.  For now, most weight control is still based on simple science and the wisdom of Dr. Dean Edell.  

Now, go have a great healthy New Year!

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.

Don't Let the Holidays Get You Down
By Carol LeBeau
12/1/2011 3:00:09 PM


–FULL BIO
 

A newspaper advertisement recently caught my eye….an ad for a local shopping mall.  According to the tag line, that mall was a place “where all your holiday dreams come true.”   

Really?! Will the mall heal my sister’s chronic pain? Repair my friend’s broken marriage? Pay off the mortgage? Give me a trip to the Great Barrier Reef? (Never hurts to dream BIG!) Of course not! And that holiday ad is just one of countless examples of the unrealistic media messages and promises that can set us up for disappointment and pain during the holidays. 

It’s no wonder millions of Americans suffer from depression during the holiday season.  While the holidays can be a time full of joy, cheer, parties and family gatherings - for many of us, it’s a time of loneliness, family strife, reflection on past failures and anxiety about an uncertain future.  

Stress, fatigue, over-commercialization, financial constraints, inability to be with family and friends (or the dread of being with other family and friends!) are just some of the factors that turn holiday bliss into the holiday “blues.” 

The demands of shopping, parties, family events and house-guests can cause tension that results in headaches, excessive drinking, over-eating and difficulty sleeping.  It’s crazy-making!   

I used to love Christmas! Decorating the tree. Arranging the figures of Jesus, Mary and the shepherds in the crèche and finding just the right gifts for my family and close friends. It’s the rest of the holiday madness that wore me out and stole my holiday peace and joy. 

So I made some changes.  I make gift-giving simple…send Christmas cards every-other-year and buy my holiday turkey already cooked at Whole Foods! I no longer decorate every corner of my home. The tree, the crèche and a wreath on the front door are sufficient. I keep shopping, parties and bounteous buffets to a minimum -and make time for exercise, sleep, church events and volunteering. 

It’s still tough sometimes. I get overwhelmed by all the holiday hoopla. I long for the Hallmark card family that will never be. But I take control where I can. And so can you. 

If you’re bothered by the “blues” as the holidays approach, here’s a list of ways to cope from Mental Health America - one of the best resources I know when it comes to issues of mental health. Check it out. All your holiday dreams may not come true…but you may just be able to relax in reality and enjoy the reason for the season! 

Coping With Stress and Depression During the Holidays:

  • Keep expectations manageable. Try to set realistic goals for yourself. Pace yourself. Organize your time. Make a list and prioritize the important activities.
  • Be realistic about what you can and cannot do. Don’t put the entire focus on just one day (i.e., Thanksgiving Day.) Remember it’s a “season,” and activities can be spread out to lessen stress and increase enjoyment.
  • It’s ok to feel sad or lonely. You don’t have to ignore feelings just because it’s the holiday season.
  • Leave “yesteryear” in the past and look toward the future. Life brings changes. Don’t set yourself up by comparing today with the “good ole days.”
  • Do something for someone else. Try volunteering some of your time to help others.
  • Enjoy activities that are free.  Take a drive to look at holiday decorations, go window-shopping or make a snowman with children. (Try making an angel in the sand if you live near the beach!)
  • Be aware that excessive drinking will only increase feelings of depression.
  • Try something new. Celebrate the holidays in a new way.
  • Spend time with supportive and caring people (avoid toxic family members and friends.)  Reach out and make new friends or contact someone you haven’t heard from in awhile.
  • Save time for yourself! Recharge your batteries (Go for a walk. Watch a funny movie.)
  • Let others share in the responsibility of planning activities.

Finally, if you need help, get it! I’ve been there. With the correct diagnosis and treatment, you CAN feel better. 

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.

Is Sitting the New Smoking? It's Time to Take a Stand!
By Carol LeBeau
11/1/2011 2:53:02 PM


–FULL BIO
 

Have you heard? When it comes to your health, sitting may be the new smoking! While the analogy may seem far-fetched, many scientists and medical experts are convinced prolonged sitting is bad for your health.

Perhaps we should know this intuitively. After a long road trip or plane flight, doesn’t it feel good to get up and stretch? Now there’s solid science that proves it’s more than a feeling. A leading science and sports association recently released the results of a study that found time spent on our backsides is linked to higher rates of death and disease.

Think about it. Even if we carve out time for exercise and leisure time activities, we still sit for long stretches working at a desk, sitting in class, riding in a car, working at a computer, watching TV or playing video games. Sadly, all that fanny time may be killing us.

Long bouts on our bums can cause serious physiological responses related to chronic disease and a shortened life span. The University of Queensland found that people who stood up frequently had lower levels of C-reactive protein (a marker for blood fat). They also had smaller waistlines. And, in a crucial finding, it was the frequency of standing, not the duration, that counted.

One study found that a woman’s risk of developing metabolic syndrome increased 26% for every extra hour of sitting. Long periods of sitting in an upright position can also strain your back, causing chronic pain. Blood clots are another risk of being inactive.

Standing more often throughout the day can improve circulation, muscle tone and vitality. It can also help keep blood flowing freely to your head, and that’s good for keeping your brain sharp.

Bottom line … too much bottom time is bad for your health. More and more studies are coming to the same conclusion: when you sit, your body pretty much stops working. So consider spending more of your day upright:

  • Take more short breaks to stand and stretch (or walk). How ‘bout setting a timer?
  • Hold meetings standing up. (You’ll save lots of time on this one!)
  • Stand up when talking on the phone. (This really works for me and studies show you’ll be perceived as having a better attitude to boot!).
  • Consider a standing desk, or just raise your old one.
  • Set up your office so things aren’t within arm’s reach.
  • Read standing up. Studies show you’ll actually remember more!

Want more motivation? Standing for just two hours during an average workday can burn an extra 280 calories.

Folks, we have to intentionally move. Our daily activities no longer require it. So, bottoms up! Let’s all get up off our duffs. (If you’ll please excuse me, I have to return a phone call. I think I’ll do it standing up!)

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.

The Health Benefits of Walking
By Carol LeBeau
10/1/2011 3:15:49 PM


–FULL BIO
 

There’s an easy way to get and stay healthy. Almost anyone can do it. It fits into just about any schedule. And, best of all, it can be done alone or with a friend. It’s inexpensive, versatile and the health benefits are almost too numerous to count.

It’s walking.

Boring, right? That’s what I thought. Heck, for decades, I was a runner. I thought walking was for wimps! No more. Following a frustrating foot injury and a couple of surgeries, running was no longer an option. So I started walking – and I haven’t stopped! It’s a great workout, it’s fun, and I’m no longer on injured reserve!

Like millions of walkers (see my interview with San Diego Mayor and walking fan Jerry Sanders in the “BE” section of my blog), I’m singing the praises of this simple, yet effective way to better health and well-being. Whatever your level of fitness, there’s a way to walk that will work for you.

If you’re just getting started, walking is a gentle, low-impact exercise that can ease you into a higher level of fitness and health. If you’re ready for more, bump up your pace and throw in a few hills and you’ve got yourself a challenge.

Walking, like other exercise, can help you achieve a number of health goals:

• Lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol)
• Raise high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (“good” cholesterol)
• Lower your blood pressure
• Reduce risk of or manage type 2 diabetes
• Manage weight
• Improve mood
• Stay strong and fit

Walking is aerobic exercise. It can help you take off weight and keep it off. Moderate walking burns nearly 270 calories an hour. Take it up a notch and you can burn an additional 100 calories an hour. Add music and you’ll be in the “zone” before you know it!

Plus, walking is fun! I never get bored ‘cause I change it up. Different distance. Different venue. The beach. The bay. The lake. The neighborhood. The possibilities are endless.

Even Oprah’s on board. “I’ve been through every diet under the sun,” says the talk show queen. “And I can tell you that getting up, getting out and walking is always the first goal.”

So, what’s your goal? Why not lace up your shoes and take a walk – today

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.

Living with Prostate Cancer
By Carol LeBeau
8/14/2011 4:33:47 PM


–FULL BIO
 

When my brother, sister and I decided to get together this summer, it wasn’t for an exotic vacation in Europe or Hawaii. Instead, we took our spouses and children to a monumental celebration in, of all places, Davenport, Iowa! The family reunion, of sorts, was for the purpose of honoring and celebrating our dad’s 85th birthday.

It was a wonderful time of porch-sitting, pork-eating and gift-giving to the father who taught us so much about life, and loving life. Bucket lists? Our dad invented them. Trekking in the Himalayas, scuba diving off Grand Cayman Island, bicycling cross-country – he’s done it all. When he finishes one list, he just starts another.

But at age 70, when Dad got his cancer diagnosis, we all worried his current bucket list wouldn’t be completed. It was prostate cancer. He had two choices. Surgery or an option known as “watchful waiting.”

Hoping to avoid the possible side affects of prostate surgery, Dad chose the latter and 15 years later, the “waiting” continues to pay off. What a joy to watch Dad blow out the candles on his strawberry-rhubarb birthday pie – looking forward to number 86!

While men continue to make that delicate decision today, new studies are providing more clarity to make the choice a little easier.

No doubt, surgery to remove an early-stage prostate tumor does reduce the risk of metastases and death in patients compared with watchful waiting. But, here’s what probably spared my Dad. According to the recent results of a New England Journal of Medicine study, the benefits of surgery apply only to men under the age of 65. Dad got his diagnosis at 70, making him a perfect candidate to watchfully wait. As it turns out, most tumors found in older men grow slowly and those men will eventually die of causes unrelated to prostate cancer.

At a recent Palomar Health “Dine With the Docs” event, prominent north county Urologist Dr. Paul Neustein explained, “with watchful waiting (also known as expectant management), doctors actively and carefully monitor the patient for signs the cancer has worsened, treating symptoms of the disease when they occur.” This treatment strategy can help some patients avoid surgery to remove the prostate and related lymph nodes (radical prostatectomy) along with negative side affects including incontinence and impotence.

While researchers are encouraged, doctors warn that these recent study results should be interpreted with caution. Much more research is needed to definitively determine the benefits of watchful waiting.

I’m no doctor, but am encouraged by any option that can postpone or eliminate the need for major surgery. As for Dad? In a few months, he’ll be checking in with the doctor who’s been keeping a watchful eye on him for years, just to make sure nothing’s changed. What’s most important is the next item on his bucket list. A trip to Dubai! (I’m not kidding!) But it’s really no big deal. For Dad, it’s just another “trip of a lifetime!”

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.

Alaskan Adventure
By Carol LeBeau
6/24/2011 4:52:59 PM


–FULL BIO
 

Tom and I returned from a wedding in May. And you say, “big deal,” right? Well, THIS wedding was a big deal … and the celebration continued for an entire week … aboard a cruise liner bound for Alaska!

We’d been looking forward to Adrienne and Jeff’s wedding for months. Adrienne’s Dad is Tom’s cousin. Growing up together in West Virginia, Rob and Tom were more than cousins – they were best friends. And the marriage of Rob’s oldest daughter was reason to celebrate. Little did we know, the nuptials would be part of the trip of a lifetime!

There’s nothing ordinary about Jeff and Adrienne, so few were surprised when the adventuresome couple chose an extraordinary venue as the stage for their wedding ceremony. From across the country, 38 friends and family members traveled to Seattle to board the Sapphire Princess for a seven-day cruise along Alaska’s Inland Passage.

The next morning, as we cruised along the coast of Vancouver Island en-route to Alaska, Adrienne and Jeff were pronounced man and wife by the ship’s Captain. From the bow of the 16th deck, the wedding party and guests enjoyed a million dollar view … including a small pod of whales that appeared just in time to share in the celebration.

Following a festive champagne reception, fabulous food and a few rounds on the dance floor… instead of a post-party letdown … THIS week-long party was just getting started!

Between elegant four-course meals each night, we enjoyed fascinating ports of call, including Alaska’s “First City,” Ketchikan, and the capital city of Juneau. There we took a ride aboard the Mt. Roberts Tramway and got a breathtaking view of the Mendenhall Glacier.

My favorite stop was Skagway, a charming little town known to thousands of hopeful gold-rushers back in the 1890’s as the “gateway to the gold fields.” The community has retained the flavor of the era with its quaint, historically accurate storefronts on all its boutiques, restaurants and bars.

The next leg of our tour took us through the scenic Juan de Fuca Strait, ending in the harbor of Victoria, British Columbia. Following a brief visit in the picturesque city, we boarded the Sapphire Princess one last time for the final stretch of our voyage.

Dinner that final night was elegant, as usual, but even the signature baked Alaska was bittersweet as we said good-bye to all the family and friends with whom we’d sojourned to witness the marriage of Adrienne and Jeff… and the majesty of our 49th state.

We headed back to our home states – West Virginia, Tennessee, Virginia, Indiana, Florida and California – to check our e-mail and Facebook pages for the photos that would remind us of our wild and wonderful adventure together. What a trip! What a wedding!

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.

Swing "Fore" Fitness
By Carol LeBeau
6/22/2011 4:48:58 PM


–FULL BIO
 

Are you looking for a way to lose weight that won’t keep you stuck in a sweaty gym or taking the same walk around your neighborhood? Would you like to add a little weight training to your cardio workout? Does adding natural vitamin D to your diet, better sleep to your nighttime and making new friends interest you?

Take a swing at a golf course and all this could be yours! Seriously, golf is not just for out-of-shape guys making business deals while knocking a little white ball around the links. Not anymore! In fact my fabulously fit husband, Tom, has played for years and loves it! As for me, I’m not really feelin’ the love just yet. I’m just a hacker still working on it … but it’s fun! And it’s an activity Tom and I can enjoy together surrounded by the great outdoors.

All that AND it’s a great workout! I was astounded to discover the number of health benefits that come with a round of golf, including:

  • A challenging cardiovascular workout—Any activity that leaves you slightly short of breath and works up a bit of a sweat is great for your cardiovascular health. Besides lowering harmful cholesterol, a brisk round of golf helps speed up your metabolism, making weight loss easier. My Tom plays San Diego’s Balboa course every Saturday morning and burns upwards of 1,000 calories by carrying his clubs and walking more than four hilly miles.
  • Proper Exercise—Golf is great for your bones! Weight bearing exercise two to three times a week can create long, lean muscle mass, which helps support a strong skeleton. This type of exercise can also help prevent bone degeneration, including osteoporosis. To include weight bearing in your golf game, follow Tom’s lead and carry your clubs. (A great option to release stress on your shoulders is a double-strapped golf bag.)
  • Plenty of Vitamin D—This vitamin is essential for strong bones. It regulates calcium and phosphorous in the blood. Vitamin D also helps regulate the growth of skin cells. While taking supplements and eating foods rich in Vitamin D are helpful, your body can actually make all the Vitamin D it needs just by catching some rays outside. So take a walk around your local links and let your body do its work.
  • Sleep Better—(my personal favorite!) Study after study show regular exercise increases all the positives sleep brings. You’ll fall asleep faster and stay in a deep sleep longer with regular exercise. Playing a round of golf by day will likely increase the quality of your restfulness by night.
  • Find New Friends—Golf is a social game. There’s plenty of time to chat with old friends and get to know new ones. Tom has made lifelong friends of several guys with whom he’s been randomly paired over the years. Making friends increases endorphins, which help mental outlook and an overall feeling of well being.

So grab your clubs and balls … head out to the golf course and enjoy a day in the sun. And if you need an excuse, just tell your boss it’s for your health!

For more on the “goodness of golf,” check out my interview with golf pro and advocate, Tina Mickelson. The sister of PGA superstar, Phil Mickelson, talks more about the benefits of golf, her passion for the game and how women are teeing it up in greater numbers than ever!

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.

Confidence
By Carol LeBeau
6/11/2011 4:30:28 PM


–FULL BIO
 

Carol LeBeau's Health Journal

I’ve heard it said that confidence is belief in yourself… belief that allows you to take action.  I’m not sure I agree with that.  In my life, taking action usually comes first.  Confidence comes later.

For me, confidence often means, “Just Do It!”  Whether riding a bike at age 5, doing a live TV report at 26 or climbing a rock wall at 57… confidence is the reward for taking a chance, trying something new!

Look, I’m no spring chicken.  I’m afraid of heights and not very sure-footed, but with the help of a friend (and a safety harness!) I recently made my way up that rock wall… gaining confidence with each step!  The experience was not only confidence-building, it was exhilarating!  And I almost missed out by not trying!

Whether it’s rock climbing, traveling or learning a foreign language… you’re never too old to do something new.  In fact, shaking up the old routine can be good for your health and may help ward off symptoms of many age-related disorders, especially those that affect the brain. 

To keep your brain healthy, “use it or lose it!”  Start with activities that interest you or give you joy.  How ‘bout….

  • Picking up a long-neglected hobby?
  • Playing with your grandchildren or a favorite pet?
  • Learning something new? (an instrument, a foreign language, a new game)
  • Getting involved in your community? (volunteer or attend a local event.)
  • Taking a class or join a club
  • Going on a weekend trip to a place you’ve never visited
  • Spending time in nature (taking a walk, taking up golf, fishing, enjoying a scenic view)
  • Enjoying the arts (visit a museum, read a classic novel, go to a concert or play)

It’s these types of activities that help keep our brains active and healthy.  To learn more about brain health, from headaches and stroke, to memory loss and Parkinson’s disease, we have a team of neurologists at Palomar Health to address all of your questions.  For a referral to one of our outstanding neurologists, call: 800.628.2880.

So get out of that rut and build YOUR confidence.  There is something wonderful about reaching into the future with excited anticipation.  And those who pursue new adventures throughout life stay younger, think better and laugh louder!

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.