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Canyon Ranch Zwift Ride

March 14th 2022



"I just finished a gravel camp in Southern California with Charlotte and my good friend Jack Nosco. It was an incredible experience and I got to meet Andrew who has actually been on this Canyon Ranch Zwift ride! What a cool experience to connect my virtual life and my IRL. I never imagined that Zwift would connect me in so many to so many incredible people. These are the kinds of experiences that keep us feeling alive and young. Trying new things, being open to new experiences and social bonds are so important to aging well and staying mentally and physically healthy."
- Mari Holden


Live Younger Longer

Full Article Here:

https://www.canyonranch.com/well-stated/post/live-younger-longer/

Your birth certificate gives your date of birth, but does it really say anything significant about you other than when to send a birthday card? Does it indicate how old you feel? It can’t tell people if you swim for an hour every morning or that you play at a local jazz club once a week. Chronological age is based on a number, and there’s nothing you can do to change that. Behavioral age, however, is measured in things you absolutely can control: attitude and activity.

Think of behavioral age as how you decide to play out life. There are people who simply accept their date of birth and abdicate their behavior to that age—and others who do not.

Just remember: It’s your choice.

Your choices help set the parameters for your life moving forward. In fact, lifestyle choices account for about 75 percent of how we age. For instance, you could choose to work around physical limitations or you can limit your level of activity because of them. You can expand your social network or allow it to shrink. You can make plans to experience new things, or stick with the status quo. In the same way that physical activity boosts your energy levels and lifts your spirits, so do mental and social activities—from going back to school to volunteering or working part time.

Here are some choices you can make to stay vibrant at any age.

Live With Optimism

Being optimistic doesn’t mean thinking the glass is full when it’s practically empty.

It means feeling confident that you can fill it back up. For many aging people, that confidence comes naturally. As time passes, we undergo a developmental process that gives us a more positive outlook. We have a perspective on life that we couldn’t have had decades earlier, and that allows us to take stock of what has worked in our lives and what hasn’t. Age has a way of making us realize how we can best spend our time and energies in productive ways.

Dream for the Future

When you’re young, life is all about making plans and looking forward to the next adventure.In order to stay vibrant, you need to continue dreaming about what lies ahead and taking steps to make it happen. Live in the present and stay fully engaged with people and projects in your life.

Keep your calendar full.

Explore new places, or rediscover your own city. Sign up for those guitar lessons or art classes. Involve yourself in whatever you find stimulating to keep the body and brain vital. Make a list of all the things you’ve wanted to do, and see what you can do now.

Build Social Connections

There was probably a time when you had too many people in your life to keep up with. Little by little, those relationships drift away, as marriages end, people move, and friends get sick or die. Aging without a vibrant social life can be lonely and depressing—not to mention boring—so it’s important to replace the relationships that start to disappear and strengthen the ones that remain. This takes initiative on your part, but it makes getting older worthwhile. Knock on a neighbor’s door, join a club, sign up for a charity event, go on a guided group walk.

Find Spirituality

Whether you’re moved by faith or by an outside force such as music or nature, making a spiritual connection can be a source of joy and inspiration. This could mean strengthening your relationship with organized religion, but it certainly doesn’t have to. Spirituality is very personal and can take many forms, all of which have a common bond—connecting with something greater than yourself.

Determining your spiritual personality may help guide you toward a spiritual practice that suits you best and gives you the gifts of ritual and tradition

—powerful elements of aging successfully.

Strive for Purpose

Regardless of age, everyone needs a reason to get out of bed every day. Ask yourself what you hope to accomplish today, this week, this month. What drives you to get up, get to work, get active and get involved? This may change with time (for example, when you retire), but it’s important to have answers to these questions that are meaningful to you. Research says that people who have a purpose live longer and are much less likely to be afflicted with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Change Your Perception of Aging (and of Yourself)

This view affects how you behave in later life and how you actually age. If you think aging people are lousy drivers, you may start to limit your own driving (and other activities), even if you’re still a good drive. combat the negative perceptions or self-doubts about getting older, write down your story—the way it is now, then the way you’d like the story to play out. It’s a powerful tool to have a positive story about your own aging. You can build on your accomplishments, too. If you’re a retired accountant, help a small business with its books. A skilled watercolorist? Teach a class and inspire others. Staying positive, active, and engaged can make later life as joyful and productive as any other stage. It will also keep you more vital, no matter what the date on your driver’s license says.


 


Why Grateful People Live Longer, Happier, & Healthier Lives (And How You Can Too!)



A recent study by the University of Southern California (USC) confirms that people who practice gratitude on a daily basis benefit from: Better sleep, more exercise, reduced symptoms of physical pain, lower levels of inflammation, lower blood pressure, a better sex life, “and a host of other things we associate with better health.” This first study by a neuroscientist to study the effects gratitude has on the brain revealed what people with a gratitude practice have likely known and felt for a while: being grateful feels good. USC scientists discovered links (amongst study participants who practiced gratitude) to higher amounts of the chemical oxytocin, otherwise known as the feel-good hormone. The people in the study who practiced gratitude daily, exhibited less depression and anxiety, connected more deeply with others, were more generous, exercised often, and were less reactive or angry during times of conflict.

So how does this correlate to living longer and healthier lives?

When you sleep well, you are less likely to over-eat, have stronger focus and memory, are less reactive, and have fewer bouts of depression. Those with less inflammation and healthy blood pressure rates, have lower risks for heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune disease. Finally, those who are grateful tend to be happier with their lives.

It just makes sense, doesn’t it?

When you focus on what works, flows, and brings you peace, serenity, and joy in your life — you begin to feel good (for no reason), and start to appreciate what you have. This helps you to be happy independently, and not hinge your happiness on what others do, or don’t do. You become more accepting, less controlling, and even laugh more. Plus, spiritual experts say, when you pay attention to what works in your life, you begin to see, and attract, more positive aspects. But just like an exercise regime, training your mind to be more grateful takes practice.

Expressing Gratitude

It helps to speak out loud.

When we tell someone thank you, or say how much we appreciate certain things that they do for us, it not only makes the people in your life feel good and appreciated, but inspires them to do more.

Start to notice the kind and thoughtful things people do for you:

a coworker who holds the door open for you, a driver who lets you into the lane, a stranger who smiles sweetly at you, the mailman who tells you to have a good day. Little thoughtful gestures, when noticed, amount to many moments that fill you with satisfaction. Instead of noticing those who annoy and aggravate, tell yourself to take note of those who bring positivity into your life, then challenge yourself to tell them, when possible.

Helps Your Body Function Properly

As mentioned earlier (and really can never be overstated the happiness that comes with gratitude is good for us: mind, body, and spirit. A gratitude practice reduces stress and, as a result, every system in your body simply works better. Your immune system is stronger, your sleep patterns are healthier, your digestion is improved, your endocrine system functions smoothly, and your brain is more alert.

Changes Your Brain

Constantly practicing gratitude actually changes the way your brain functions. You’re re-wiring your brain to think in a certain way, and, eventually, you automatically come to appreciate the small blessings in your life that you may have previously taken for granted. It’s like learning any skill: You really have to work at it before it becomes second nature.

Build Your Emotional Resilience

Most of the time, we feel stressed, not because of what has happened to us, but due to our reaction to what has happened, experts say. When you’re going through a difficult time, or experience trauma or loss, you may feel sadness, distress, or anxiety. This is normal and you need to allow your feelings. But those who have steeped themselves in gratitude, have built up a resilience of positive thinking that helps to find ways to cope. Your “filter” — what you’re looking at life through — helps you flow through the life, or get stuck in tangled thoughts. When you have a gratitude practice, even during times of strife, you’ll think and/or write down what you’re still grateful for, such as: I’m grateful for my life.

I’m grateful for my health.

I’m grateful for my loved ones.

I’m grateful for the lessons and the growth.

Without that inner strength that comes from an ongoing practice of gratitude, you might feel more defeated when faced with challenging moments. Plus, grateful people tend to have created more social bonds, and during times of loss, and it’s important to have supportive friends to lean on.

Strengthens Your Relationships

When you tell friends and family how important they are to you, how much their kindness means to you, it’s powerful. They feel that appreciation and are likely to express theirs as well, which strengthens your connection. Continuing to voice that gratefulness can also help when conflict arises. Arguing is a natural part of relationships — we don’t always see things the same way — but when you have a deep, appreciative bond with someone, you often voice your differences with respect and compassion for the other person’s point of view.

Here are expert tips to start your gratitude practice today:

Make Mindful Moments

Take a few moments throughout the day to get in touch with the present moment. This allows you to let go of thoughts of the past or future, and stop being frazzled or distracted. Notice what you see, hear, smell all around you. Pay attention to the wind or the sun on your face as you step outside, the smell of a bakery as you walk past, delight in a child stomping in mud puddles joyfully, look at the smiles on the faces of a couple who are holding hands.

How does this all make you feel?

And then think about what you are thankful for in that very moment. It can be simple things, such as a butterfly that floats past, light filtering down through leaves, or music from a passing car.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Note three things you’re grateful for each day.

Use Your Voice

Tell your friend, “I really appreciate how much you help me.” Call Mom just so she can hear, “Thank you for always listening to me.” Or scratch behind your dog’s ears and tell him, “You’re wonderful.” Express your gratitude through a toast during an anniversary dinner or birthday celebration. Try it at work: Start or end a meeting with words of appreciation.

Say Grace

Whether it’s before a meal or before bed, a prayer — to a higher power, the universe, or whatever you feel spiritually connected with — is a powerful way to show gratitude in a personal way.

Start a Bedtime Ritual

Thinking about what you’re grateful for before you go to sleep can be a comforting habit. Often we toss and turn because our minds won’t turn off — we’re worried about things or thinking about the next day. Taking this time to reflect on and savor the things in your life that really matter to you can put you in a wonderful frame of mind to fall and stay asleep. If you have children, it can be fun to ask them to tell you three things they are thankful for that happened that day. As a parent, it brings you closer, and reminds you to do the same. Another way to relax and melt into gratitude, is to meditate before bed. Place your hands on your heart, take three deep breaths, and ask yourself what made your heart sing that day. Then visualize the float of the butterfly, the smell of coffee, your lover’s kiss, your dog’s fantastic wagging tail. Place yourself back into the vibration of these events, then mentally say thank you to all who brought a little lightness into your day.


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As Always,

Be Kind, Do Fearless

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