How To Take Care of Your Heart After Menopause

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness

February is Healthy Heart Month and this week is Valentine’s Day, so I thought I would wear red and remind you to take care of your heart. This is especially important for women our age. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), heart disease and stroke kill 1 in 3 women – more than all cancers combined. The good news is that 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented with education and lifestyle changes.

Go Red ™ For Women
For more than a decade Go Red™ For Women, the AHA’s national movement to end heart disease and stroke among women, has fought for equal health opportunity for women. They wear red during February, share stories of survival and advocate for more research and swifter action for women’s heart and brain health. They’re focused on changing the culture to make it easier for women and their families to live healthier lives.

Penn Medicine MD Shares Tips For A Healthy Heart
This year to learn more about women and heart disease I reached out to the experts at Penn Medicine – Heart & Vascular Center. Nazanin Moghbeli, MD, MPH, clinical assistant professor of medicine and associate director of women’s cardiovascular program at Penn Medicine, provided an excellent overview for post 50 women and I’m pleased to pass it on:

Penn Medicine - Heart & Vascular Center; Dr. Nazanin Moghbeli; heart health for women; care for your heart after menopause

Dr. Nazanin Moghbeli is clinical assistant professor of medicine and associate director of women’s cardiovascular program at Penn Medicine.

It is no secret that heart disease risk factors increase as you age. When a woman reaches menopause, her body goes through a number of changes and research shows that heart attack and heart disease risk spikes during and after this time. A decline in estrogen is thought to be a major factor for why women have a greater risk of developing heart disease once they are post-menopausal.

It’s not that menopause causes heart disease, says Dr. Moghbeli,

Menopause causes “several things to change in a woman’s physiology, and some of those changes can lead to heart disease,” Dr. Moghbeli explains. “The lipid profile of women actually starts to change, so that cholesterol starts to go up. And higher cholesterol can put you at higher risk for heart disease,” she says. “That happens pretty immediately after menopause.”

At the same time, blood pressure also begins to rise.”The blood pressure is not directly related to menopause. It’s kind of related to the aging process,” Dr. Moghbeli says. “But those two factors—the blood pressure and the cholesterol rising—can increase the risk of heart disease.”

HOW DO YOU REDUCE HEART DISEASE RISK IN THE TIME SURROUNDING MENOPAUSE?

How To Reduce Heart Disease; women and heart disease; heart disease after menopause

During menopause and post-menopause, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of developing a heart condition, including: Continue reading

So Much To Explore and Do In St. Pete’s Vibrant Downtown

life after 50, boomer travel, over 50As a former New Yorker, I love exploring new cities whenever I travel. That’s why I so enjoyed my first visit to St. Petersburg, Florida. St. Pete has the best of both worlds – the beautiful beaches on the Gulf Coast and St. Pete’s vibrant downtown that’s filled with great restaurants, shops and cultural destinations. If I ever decide to spend my life after 50 winters in a warmer climate, I could definitely see myself residing in St. Pete, or a Florida city nearby.

downtown St. Pete, Florida; Bodega Cuban Sandwiches; Local Market; Dali Museum; Florida

A sampling of downtown St. Pete.

The downtown area is very close to Pass-a-Grille, where my boyfriend L and I stayed at the Inn on the Beach. (Did you read my first post about all the things to do in Pass-a-Grille? If not click here.) By car, it’s only about a 20 minute ride. We found parking to be inexpensive —  it cost only $5 to park in the garage on Saturday. You can also grab a trolley from Pass-a-Grille to downtown which takes about 45 minutes.

Inn on the Beach Pass-A-Grille; Pass-A-Grille; St. Pete Beaches; life after 50; Florida; St Pete, Florida; Pass-A-Grille, St. Pete

The Inn on the Beach in Pass-A-Grille, St Pete, Florida.

A Best-ever Cuban Sandwich
One of our first stops for dinner was Bodega on Central Avenue, suggested by a member of the @VSPC Tourism team. The corridor is filled with a diverse selection of hip and cool small businesses run by entrepreneurs. Bodega was voted “Best of the Bay” for their Cuban sandwich, which is exactly what I ordered.

 

Bodega SignsIt was OMG, OMG, OMG, the best Cuban sandwich I’ve ever eaten. L ordered a roasted pork platter with plaintains, which was so, so good too. Bodega is known for their freshly made juices, a trend that I found all over Venice Beach, California last November as well. We sampled two different varieties with ingredients like ginger, turmeric, carrots and apples. I would recommend sharing a sandwich and juice if you go – it was way too much food for L and me to consume for dinner.

Bodega Cuban Sandwich; St. Pete's Vibrant Downtown; Florida

Best-ever Cuban Sandwich.

 

Bodega Pork and Plaintain platter; Bodega; St. Pete's vibrant downtown

Delicious pork and plantains.

 

To Market, To Market
On Saturday we headed back downtown to experience St. Pete’s Saturday Morning Market, held every Saturday, October – May from 9 am – 2 pm. It is the largest fresh market in the Southeast US. There’s food, crafts, and music. It’s so much fun. Continue reading

Let The Countdown To 60 Begin!

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomersHappy New Year!

January 2017 marks the 10th year since I started blogging. A decade has passed since I typed my first blog post capturing my countdown to my 50th birthday. Times have changed but one thing remains constant — boomer women continue to do amazing things.

Some may say that as women age we become more invisible. I say that we’ve only just begun to shine. While we may not be celebrating a female boomer in the White House in 2017, we are a very large community of strong women, estimated at 38.44 million in the USA. As Girlpower Marketing CEO Linda Landers says, “Today’s 50-plus females are the healthiest, wealthiest, most active and influential generation of women in history.”

Arianna Huffington; The Huffington Post

Meeting Arianna Huffington and becoming a contributor to The Huffington Post was a blogging highlight in 2013.

My Countdown To 50
I began blogging in 2007 as an easy way to capture my thoughts and feelings as a boomer woman approaching her momentous 50th year. Little did I know that my countdown to 50 would turn out to be one of the most extraordinary years of my life. Halfway through the year, my husband M took ill. During almost seven months while he was in the hospital, my blog posts became my outlet to share the overwhelming fears that engulfed me as my husband began to drift away. My community of readers became my salvation. I couldn’t wait to get home from the hospital each night to read your emails and comments. Your support made all the difference in helping me survive during that tumultuous time.

ayearto50.blogspot.com; boomer women; post 50

From “Loneliness to Loveliness”
My husband M passed away shortly before our 24th anniversary and two weeks shy of my 50th birthday. I was a widow at 49, The loneliness was deeply felt and I wasn’t sure how I was going to lift myself up.  Continue reading

Women Who Inspired Me in 2016

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers

I thought I’d finish off my last blog post for 2016 by honoring some of the talented speakers from the 2016 Pennsylvania Conference For Women. I’d like to share a few quotes that resonated with me from that day. Maybe they will prompt you to think or act differently in 2017.

#PENNWOMEN, Pennsylvania Conference For Women 2016

Nearly 9000 women attended the 13th annual conference in October. The theme was “The Power of Us: Amplify Your Voice.” It was before the historic election when our first female candidate, Hillary Clinton, was on the ballot for president of the United States. It’s interesting thinking about these quotes now — after the November results. To me, these women’s words are even more powerful and the theme more important. Maybe that’s why I signed up for the Women’s March on Washington on January 21st.

Anita Hill Inspired Me
“You are here to be part of a movement that will help all of us move forward together,” civil rights pioneer Anita Hill said. “There are direct business costs related to harassment,” Anita said, noting the need to end ongoing harassment against women in the workplace, 25 years after she testified during the 1991 confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. “Time, energy and resources are diverted from work into litigation and court. So ending harassment is everybody’s business.”

Anita Hill, attorney and author; #PENNWOMEN

Anita turned 60 in July and is now a professor of law at Brandeis University. She said that despite the harsh treatment she received when she testified against Thomas, she will “continue to stand up and speak out” around equal education and employment protections for women. Quoting lawmaker and former presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm, Anita said, “I was, am, and will always be a catalyst for change.”

Continue reading

A Gift Book To Inspire and Celebrate Retirement

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenAs a blogger, many books pass my desk for review. One that caught my eye this season is Hello Someday by Kobi Yamada and John Christianson. It’s a gift book to inspire and celebrate retirement. It’s from Compendium, one of my favorite publishers of motivational gifts and journals. (Note: Read to end for Rafflecopter giveaway.)

I retired from my full-time career in my mid-fifties and wish I had this book to guide me. According to the publishers at Compendium, “In the next 15 years, more than 20% of the U.S. population will be over the age of 65.” That means a lot of baby boomers may be retiring. However, just because you are retiring doesn’t mean you can’t pursue other passions.

That’s where Hello Someday comes in. It offers an optimistic attitude about retirement with questions and activities to get you thinking about and designing the next chapter of your life.

Hello Someday; Compendium; NYNOW; retirement; holiday gifts

“Hello Someday” makes a great gift for a future retiree.

I enjoyed this book so much that I asked if I could interview one of the authors. I wanted to know more from those who created Hello Someday. Co-author John Christianson shared his thoughts: Continue reading

Learning How To Browse and Binge In A Great Big TV World

I’m pleased to be working with Comcast on this sponsored post. All opinions are my own. 

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenI remember when I was growing up in the Bronx, NY, and my family used to watch TV shows on a small black and white (and eventually color) television. Back in the 1960s there were primarily three networks ABC, CBS, and NBC. My dad would watch the evening news and then we would watch variety shows with hosts like Dean Martin, Carol Burnett, and Ed Sullivan. (The cute mouse puppet Topo Gigio was my favorite guest.)


(Note: If you cannot see the video of Topo Gigio on The Ed Sullivan Show, click here.)

Rarely would there be an evening where we would watch with ease. There was no remote so either I or my sister would get up off the couch to change the station. Oftentimes the picture would start flipping – yes, just flipping around. My mom would adjust the antenna atop the television, moving it in one direction or another to see if she could stop the flip. Or she might wrap the antenna in aluminum foil to improve connectivity. Sometimes it worked, other times it proved futile.

A Great Big TV World
Wow-o-wow has life changed since I was a kid. Now there are hundreds of networks, multiple streaming services, and content can be viewed on computers, tablets and mobile phones.  Plus with my Comcast X1 Xfinity subscription, for which I pay a hefty price, I can: Continue reading

Janes Wellness Gowns Cover With Comfort For The Medical Journey

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness“My note is to tell you about Janes Wellness Gowns, something wonderful, that offers women over 50 comfort, style, and dignity when they need it most,” wrote Sharon Linder, the founder of GetJanes.

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I thought I would take Sharon up on her offer to showcase her social entrepreneurial efforts that help women during their medical journey. (And offer a giveaway for a Janes, see below!)

It’s also an approrpriate time to remind you, dear reader, to make your appointment (if you haven’t had one) for your yearly mammogram. Boomer women are often caregivers to others, yet when it comes to nurturing themselves – they tend to let it fall to the bottom of the list. Am I right? Admit it! Last week, I wrote about getting a bone density scan to help take care of your bone health. That’s important too.

GetJanes; Janes Wellness Gowns; Sharon Linder; life after 50; boomer women

Female entrepreneur Sharon Linder created Janes Wellness Gowns.

I like to feature female entrepreneurs like Sharon who are doing interesting things during their life after 50. I interviewed Sharon to find out more about why she created GetJanes. Here’s what she said: Continue reading

Help Prevent Osteoporosis: “Love Your Bones: Protect Your Future”

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer wellness“Did you have your bone density scan?” asked Dr. S during my annual gynecological examination earlier this year. “Yep, I had my last scan in February 2015 and it indicated that I had osteopenia, a lesser degree of bone loss, which may lead to osteoporosis.”

“Okay,” said Dr. S, “No medication is indicated at this time.” Dr. S recommended that I get a DXA scan every two years to check my bone health.

I felt relieved but wanted to know more about how I could help prevent osteoporosis, a chronic disease of the bones, during my life after 50. That’s why when Hologic, Inc., a leading global healthcare and diagnostics company with a focus on women’s consumer health, asked if I would participate in their sponsored campaign, I said “yes.”

The Statistics Are Startling
According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, approximately one in two women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis. Furthermore, estrogen, a hormone in women that protects bones, decreases sharply when women reach menopause, which can cause bone loss. (Isn’t it enough that I have sleepless nights due to my lack of estrogen, now my bones are less protected too!)

osteoporosis; National Osteoporosis Foundation; World Osteoporosis Day

In addition, figures from a recent Harris Poll, Omnibus Survey on Osteoporosis (April 7-11,2016) reveal 71 percent of Americans say they are aware of the effects that osteoporosis can have on their health, yet only 52 percent report taking any steps to prevent it.

Wow-o-wow! These are startling statistics. And the sad part is that many women (and men too) can help prevent this disease by following some simple tips.

Celebrate World Osteoporosis Day
While World Osteoporosis Day 2016 is October 20th, and National Osteoporosis Month is in May, it’s the theme of this year’s campaign that is especially important. It calls for individuals to “Love Your Bones: Protect Your Future.” Continue reading

Your Post 50 Feet Will Love These Comfortable Shoes

life after 50, baby boomer women, boomer womenIt was around the time I reached my late 40s that I started having issues with shoes. Before then, I couldn’t wait for Lord & Taylor to have their fall sale. Each year, I would race to the store to pick out three pairs so I could get 30% off. Sometimes I would buy more than three. My closet racks were filled with shoes.

As I approached my early 50s, finding shoes to fit proved more difficult. I went from heels to ballet flats. In the winter I wore Uggs for casual wear and high black leather boots when I was going to the office.

When I retired from my full-time job I started doing lots of yoga without shoes or socks.

comfortable shoes; SAS shoes; San Antonio Shoemakers; post 50 feet; boomer women

I have flat feet from aging and going barefoot so much during my life after 50.

A Visit To The Podiatrist
“I used to be able to walk all over New York City, from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park and now my feet hurt after a short distance,” I told the podiatrist during my appointment last winter. “You have flat feet,” said Dr. L. “Your arches can flatten out as you age, especially if you are going barefoot all the time. You need more supportive shoes.” He also recommended orthotics.

The Hunt For Comfortable Cold Weather Shoes
I bought Dr. Scholl’s orthotic inserts which worked well in my sneakers. But I couldn’t find comfortable shoes. That’s when I turned to SAS also know as San Antonio Shoemakers. I went to the shoe store in town where I used to take my kids when they were toddlers. Unlike many department stores, the saleswoman measured my feet and brought out several pairs of shoes. I felt like Goldilocks.

“This pair is too tight,” I said about the first shoes I tried on.
“This pair is too lose,” I said about the second.
“I have narrow heels. My foot is slipping out of this pair,” I said about the third.
“The arch is too high in this shoe,” I said about the fourth.

San Antonio Shoemakers; SAS shoes; SAS Freetime shoes; boomer fashions; flat feet; comfortable shoes

I wore my SAS Freetime shoes with jeans to the NY NOW Show in NYC this winter.

Finally after trying on about 15 different shoes, the saleswoman brought out a pair of SAS shoes — the Freetime style, with a removable, cushioned foot bed and a soft sole for shock absorption. I have to admit that they weren’t the most glamorous shoes I ever owned but my feet felt like they were walking on a cloud. I wore them all winter with jeans, leggings, even tights and a skirt and was able to walk all over NYC on multiple occasions. My feet were so happy and my boyfriend L said I looked cool in my Freetime black Nubuck shoes, like a fashionable hipster.

Not Just Your Nana’s and Papa’s Shoes
As the weather warmed up, I had a new dilemma. I couldn’t  wear my Freetime black Nubuck shoes during the summer months. Oh no, oh no, oh no – not another search for shoes!

Then I saw an ad on Facebook. It featured a new stylish collection of SAS shoes. Could it be possible that the same company that inspired an ardent customer-base of elderly nanas and papas was now targeting boomer women? I was so excited.

I quickly contacted the marketing team and told them I would love to learn more about their 40th anniversary line. The nice marketing manager offered to send a pair of their casual shoes to me in collaboration for a blog post.* (Did I say I love being a blogger? I do! I do!)

San Antonio Shoemakers; SAS Breezy shoes; SAS Breezy Periwinkle shoes; boomer fashions; comfortable shoes; flat feet

I wore my Breezy shoes to the shore.

I picked out the Breezy casual with genuine moccasin construction in trendy Periwinkle. I liked that these shoes had side perforations to vent heat, and a foam foot bed topped with striped microfiber for all-day comfort. I bought a size 8 so I could add my orthotics. Continue reading

Why I’m Voting For Replens™ in the 2016 Election

life after 50, over 50, retirement, baby boomer women, baby boomers

Sit down. We have to talk. There’s a crisis that’s about to happen in the coming years that none of the presidential candidates are talking about. It’s bigger than global warming. It’s “so huge” that it may cause emotional upheaval in this country due to the enormity of the population that is currently — and is going to be — impacted by this unfortunate feminine physical condition.

What am I talking about? Can you guess?

The Trends Tell The Story
I’ll give you some hints. It has to do with post 50 women. Just listen to these stats. These facts are from The National Association of Baby Boomer Women:

By 2030, 54% of the 78 million American Boomers will be women.
By 2030, there will be 71.5 million Americans age 65 or older, more than double the number currently within that demographic. And more than half of them will be women. We’re a mammoth population that is growing. And you know what physical changes happen during our post 50 years?

Can you guess what I’m talking about now?

Okay, let me give you some additional clues:
It happens during menopause, or sometimes when you are peri-or-post.
It’s part of the changes that occur during our midlife years, especially with the decrease in estrogen in our body.
You may even be experiencing it now and don’t know what to do.

Still trying to figure it out?

Okay, I’m going to tell you. It’s vaginal dryness. No wonder none of the candidates are taking on this issue. There is nothing to debate. (Although you would think Hillary would be aware of the importance of solving this problem and have a Town Hall on the subject. It might make her more relatable.) 

vaginal dryness; Replens; post 50 women; baby boomer women

Boomer women have been a force for change since the 60s, so we can talk openly about this subject and others. There’s no need to live in what feels like a desert of dryness. My friends at the Replens™ brand know the repercussions and have figured out solutions. They clearly see what’s ahead with the increasing population of post 50 women. They want us to be happy and well moisturized for our second act. They asked me to share their news with you so I thought I’d tackle the topic head on.

Continue reading