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L.J. Rohan

L.J. Rohan

Gerontologist

A Plan for 2020

We postmenopausal women gain doubly from making regular exercise part of our lives. Regular exercise keeps our muscles strong and boosts our production of testosterone, which we lose at menopause. Testosterone is the hormone that builds and maintains muscle, as well as stoking the fire of romance and intimacy. Exercise also gives our adrenal glands a boost toward producing more estrogen—the site from which we get most of our estrogen in postmenopause. Talk about yet another bushel basket of benefits from sweating for forty-five minutes most every day. This is very good news!

After fifty-five we lose what I call our “protective armor of hormones.” Then, our adrenal glands and specific places in our brain must take over the job once done by our ovaries. But, it is an imperfect transition, as many of us loudly agree. Now, research reveals that exercise helps our adrenals make more estrogen which help keeps our telomeres long. This action allows our brains to fire on all fronts and our memory banks to stay as crisp as a cracker. It also bumps up the level of estrogen circulating in our bodies which gives us a greater sense of well-being, helps us feel less irritable and more balanced, and contributes to our sexual comfort and desire. Additionally, with a gaggle of other hormones, like serotonin and dopamine, regular exercise doubles the dose of perks to our brain’s other receptive centers—pleasure, happiness, and contentment. We get all of this by habitually hitting the dance floor, swinging to the Latin beat in Zumba class, or mastering our serve on the tennis court. I find this information very encouraging.

Now that we are surrounded by winter, with the shortest day of the year just behind us, let’s get up and out and back on track once the holidays are over. We can start the New Year with the knowledge that lacing up those tennies, or slipping on our dance pumps are the first steps toward revving up our bodies and minds to meet the New Year and the new decade– ready to rumble. Look out world, here we come!

Until next time…Be Vibrant!

A Plan for 2020

Recently, I heard a great idea for starting out the New Year and the new decade. It got me thinking about how I could mark this milestone in our evolution. I love, as do many of us, to clearly designate a beginning (and sometimes an ending) to a phase of our life journey, or the life journey of our loved ones. It makes for bite-sized, manageable chunks we can understand and file away in our brains, or in the cabinet. The calendar makes for convenient segmenting in this regard, and the year 2020 seems especially auspicious, being the sequential year of the century, and the beginning of a new decade. (Some folks argue that technically the decade starts in 2021, but I am going by the feeling we have that a new decade is dawning in a few weeks.)

Here is the idea: my friend plans to walk one mile each hour from 12:00 noon on December 31, 2019 through 12:00 pm midnight on December 31, 2019. She will finish in the wee hours of 2020, and welcome in the New Year and the decade, just as it begins. It will take her about seventeen minutes to walk each mile. I think this is a winning triple-play to bring in the New Year—combining exercise, a personal commitment to oneself, and being fully present for those twelve hours. Following through with this suggestion gets the New Year off to a positive start with three great choices we can make to help us be more vibrant. What could be better? I offer this idea now so that you can make plans to work it seamlessly into your holiday.

Do you have something special planned to bring in the New Year and the new decade? I would love to hear from you. Please share your yearly ritual, or what you are planning for this new chapter in your life!

Until next time…Be Vibrant!