Restoring Joy After Loss – Caregiver Smile Summit
In this session of the Caregiver Smile Summit we will discuss Restoring Joy After Loss – 8 Life Changing Strategies to Function with Joy in the Midst of Grief, Stress and Chaos.
A Certified Reflexologist & Instructor and an Intuitive Energy Healer and Medium, Joy sees first-hand the impact emotional pain and grief has on her clients. She authored Restore Joy After Loss: Life Changing Strategies to Function with Joy in the Midst of Grief, Stress and Chaosthat incorporates 10 easy to apply mindset and “heart-set” strategies on how to be calm, centered, compassionate and productive at work and home. She will help listeners understand the connection between thoughts, emotions, and physical fatigue in caregivers and demonstrate a complementary medicine protocol that helps to reduce pain, anxiety, agitation, discomfort, and chronic illness symptoms as well as encourage self-care.
Caregiver Stress – There’s an App for That! – Caregiver Smile Summit
In this session of the Caregiver Smile Summit, we talk to Dr. Ellie Izzo, inventor of SentBeat.
Sentbeat is an interactive digital application for the immediate relief from emotional upset, anger and anxiety. Often time, caregivers, caught up in emotional moments, can risk breakdowns if they do not take a breath to reflect and then respond. Sentbeat can help. It assists anyone experiencing any level of emotional stress: by messaging an emotionally connected and exact coping insight that will encourage a pause and a re-thinking; by opening an enlarged scope of appropriate responses; and by guiding one to an emotionally intelligent state, leading to better choices.
Just Calm Down – Mindfulness Training to Build Strength and Confidence – Caregiver Smile Summit
In this session of the Caregiver Smile Summit, we talk to Jane Fouts. As caregivers we are sometimes over the top with anxiety and exhaustion, which doesn’t help much does it? Janet will teach us some short “micro practices” that can help calm our mind and body and lend strength and confidence in difficult situations. Janet is a mindfulness coach. Her journey as a caregiver inspired the transition from a well-respected social media marketer and CEO to mindfulness coaching after discovering the value of mindfulness and emotional intelligence in rescuing her from depression and anxiety. She shares her learnings in her book “When Life Hits the Fan, A Mindful Guide to Caring for Ourselves While Caring for Others” now available on Amazon.
Our Friday Song of the Week – The Way You Look Tonight
Exercise May Improve Thinking Skills in People as Young as 20
Regular aerobic exercise such as walking, cycling or climbing stairs may improve thinking skills not only in older people but in young people as well, according to a study published in the online issue of Neurology. The study also found that the positive effect may increase as people age.
The specific set of skills that improved with exercise is called executive function. Executive function is a person’s ability to regulate their own behavior, pay attention, organize and achieve goals.
“As people age, there can be a decline in thinking skills, however our study shows that getting regular exercise may help slow or even prevent such decline,” said study author Yaakov Stern, PhD, of Columbia University in New York, and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “We found that all participants who exercised not only showed improvements in executive function but also increased the thickness in an area of the outer layer of their brain.”
The study involved 132 people between the ages of 20 and 67 who did not smoke or have dementia but who also did not exercise at the start of the study and were determined to have below average fitness levels. Participants were randomly assigned to six months of either aerobic exercise or stretching and toning four times a week. The two groups were equally balanced for age, sex, education as well as memory and thinking skills at the start of the study.
All participants either exercised or stretched and toned at a fitness center and checked in weekly with coaches monitoring their progress. They all wore heart rate monitors as well. Participants’ thinking and memory skills were evaluated at the start of the study as well as at three months and at the end of the six-month study.
Participants in the exercise group chose from aerobic activities including walking on a treadmill, cycling on a stationary bike or using an elliptical machine. They ramped up their activity during the first month, then during the remainder of the six-month study they trained at 75 percent of their maximum heart rate. People in the stretching and toning group did exercises to promote flexibility and core strength.
Researchers measured participants’ aerobic capacity using a cycling machine called an ergometer that estimates exercise intensity. Participants also had MRI brain scans at the start and end of the study.
Researchers found that aerobic exercise increased thinking skills. From the beginning of the study to the end, those who did aerobic exercise improved their overall scores on executive function tests by 0.50 points, which was a statistically significant difference from those who did stretching and toning, who improved by 0.25 points. At age 40, the improvement in thinking skills was 0.228 standard deviation units higher in those who exercised compared to those who did stretching and toning and at age 60, it was 0.596 standard deviation units higher.
“Since a difference of 0.5 standard deviations is equivalent to 20 years of age-related difference in performance on these tests, the people who exercised were testing as if they were about 10 years younger at age 40 and about 20 years younger at age 60,” Stern said.
He added, “Since thinking skills at the start of the study were poorer for participants who were older, our findings suggest that aerobic exercise is more likely to improve age-related declines in thinking skills rather than improve performance in those without a decline.”
Researchers also found an increase in the thickness of the outer layer of the brain in the left frontal area in all those who exercised, suggesting that aerobic exercise contributes to brain fitness at all ages.
“Our research confirms that exercise can be beneficial to adults of any age,” said Stern.