Fabulous @ 50

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After a tough life, Dianna Bowes creates an empire of empowerment for women

Fab@50Growing and learning from life’s challenges is something we all strive to accomplish. But for Edmonton native Dianna Bowes, she didn’t just learn and grown from life’s many curveballs, instead she took out a proverbial Louisville Slugger and became an All-Star.

After enduring a lifetime of heartache, health challenges that included a spinal tumor, divorce and more, she decided one day to take that negative energy and look at what she could offer the world instead.

“I wish I could say I was inspired by positive things, but the truth is I have learned more from the negatives in the world and in people than the rainbows. When my marriage ended, I dove into a personal development course that rocked my world and made sense of everything I had gone through and shifted my belief system about myself and the world around me. I realized that I had some valuable gifts and I wanted to support other women to find theirs,” says Dianna.

That new belief system, and lessons learned from her grandmother, inspired her to recognize what 40-something and 50-something baby boomer women were missing: the opportunity to connect, have fun, learn and be inspired. No longer satisfied with the limited networking options available, Bowes decided to create Fabulous @50, a community network dedicated to helping women from all walks of life rediscover their passion… whatever that may be.

“Women in mid-age in today’s society are in a great place. We are wiser, wealthier and healthier and have more opportunities than in any other time. This is a time to grasp that freedom and start to fulfill the dreams we may have put on hold for later,” says Dianna.

“In any situation, we can choose to be better or bitter”

Not content with just creating a new network for women, Dianna also created a trade show called the Fabulous @50 Experience and Martini Party, featuring entertainment, inspirational speakers and even shopping. She also began publishing Be Fabulous magazine in Edmonton to give baby boomer women even more empowering information.

Thanks to all her great work in the community, Dianna was awarded the 2011 YWCA Women of Distinction Turning Point Award. “Winning this award was very surreal for me. I was not a great student, never went to university or did anything extraordinary, so to be nominated and win this award really made me feel that I was on the right track,” says Dianna.

With plans now to expand the Fabulous @50 brand across Canada and the U.S. over the next two years, the future seems even brighter for Dianna, despite her tough past.

“I believe there is a gift in everything, good or what we think of as bad. In any situation, we can choose to be better or bitter, and I guess you know what I choose. Always growing…” 

To find out more about Fabulous @50, visit fabulousat50.com

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How and why your diet should change after 50

Fab@50_1Turning 50 is the perfect milestone for making positive changes. I have seen it many times over with my clients. It is as if there is an internal switch that opens the mind to possibilities. There is a crystal clear realization that this life is not a dress rehearsal. 

What would you like to do, see or achieve for the rest of your life? Perhaps there are places in the world where you would like to travel. Maybe you would like to go back to school or run a marathon or learn how to dance. Whatever your goals, your key to accomplishment is your health. Without it you will not be able to do or enjoy much of anything. The fastest and most effective route to good health is your diet.

Do we need to change our diets after 50 years of age? We all have room for improvement in this area at any age, but there are some specific bodily changes that occur around mid-life that we can address and improve with the right foods.

Hormonal changes may cause an increase in body fat and a decrease in metabolism. As bleak as this may sound, it is not a pill that you must swallow. Instead, see it as an opportunity to introduce some fun new flavor to your life! Forget about going on a diet. At 50 you are much too smart for that. The best way to get your body working optimally for you is to add in what it needs to function like the miraculous machine that it is.

Bones may become less dense, energy may wane, your constitution may be inconsistent and memory may be trying to play some funny tricks. All of these things are within your power to correct. Your most powerful tool is your mind. Make your mind up to be the master of your experience.

Your biggest impact on your health and happiness is your lifestyle. Embrace 50 or older as an opportunity, a good excuse to become just a little more, just a little better.

you are what you eat 2

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Specific exercises for 50+ help to build core strength and more

The biggest lie fed to North Americans is that we need to be young to be happy, fit, beautiful, wanted, useful and fun. We are inundated with not-so-subtle messages everywhere we turn. Why, as a culture, we decided this was okay and even remotely true is beyond comprehension. In my experience, the exact opposite is true. 

As we age, we become more comfortable in our skin. We make smarter choices, bring experience to the boardroom table, know how to laugh at ourselves and learn what is truly important to lead enriched lives. Many people turn 50 and decide that is it too late to change. It is never, ever too late. When it comes to fitness and exercise, 50 and beyond are the years that we must change. We must embrace ourselves and train our bodies to carry us happily through the second half of our lives.

We know that cardio activity is integral for increasing heart function, decreasing fat and lowering cholesterol. These reasons are all well and good, of course, but there is a much more compelling reason for you to get off your posterior and quicken your pulse: it feels great! It feels like new love, hope, joy, and invincibility. Cardio activity quickly releases endorphins into your system that have an immediate blissful effect. It will calm anxiety, soothe stress and can even alleviate depression. If that were not enough, cardio activity regulates hormones.

Bone density becomes an area of concern around 50 and beyond. Proper nutrition and weight bearing exercise will ensure resilient bones well into the future. Weight bearing exercises are just that – exercises that require you to bear your own weight against gravity. Examples include walking, jogging, playing tennis and dancing. Examples of non-weight bearing activates are cycling and swimming.

Sometimes joints can become sore as we age. It is natural to want to rest them so not to stress them. It is a much better idea to work to strengthen your joints. In spite of common belief, exercise does not cause arthritis. In fact, exercise will help reduce the pain in people who suffer with arthritis.

There was a time when people thought that aging inevitably caused a decline in muscle mass and strength. This is not true. Not exercising causes these things. Strength training will build muscle, which keeps us strong and independent, while raising metabolism and decreasing fat stores.

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Advances in science help to increase longevity

We are at one of the most exciting times in history as it relates to health care for the general population.There is a confluence of factors that is going to produce a ‘paradigm’ shift in personal health. This article will look at some of these factors and discuss the relevance to you and your health.

An interesting read, and one of the motivators for my personal journey into alternative approaches to health care is a book by Ray Kurzweil and Dr. Terry Grossman titled Fantastic Voyage. The title is taken from the old movie starring Rachel Welch that presented a futuristic view of health care. The scientist who had discovered the cure for cancer had suffered a stroke. The ‘team’ with Ms. Welch was shrunken down to microscopic size and tasked with travelling to the scientist’s brain to remove the scar tissue that resulted from the stroke and restore his consciousness. 

Fab@50_2Author Ray Kurzweil is a three-time recipient of the Presidential Science Award in the U.S. and a well-known futurist. He was able to most accurately predict the date of genome sequencing, despite great criticism from the science community, who felt he was grossly premature in his projections. Kurzweil understood the results of technology acceleration as it pertains to health care. His premise is that we are at a pivotal point or ‘knee-of-the-curve’ in technology acceleration and will approach the ‘singularity’ in health care about mid-century. The singularity is the point where change is occurring so quickly that we can no longer perceive the future accurately.

Dr. Terry Grossman, a well-known and respected longevity medicine specialist, also added the considerable scientific support to the book. The book is a treat and a concern at the same time. Their view of the future is as troubling as it is hopeful and worth a read.

“We live in a relatively affluent society and the baby boomers are looking for a proactive approach to their health.”

We see the effects of rapid change every day but have not yet seen it happen in health care. That is changing as we speak. We live in a relatively affluent society and the baby boomers are looking for a proactive approach to their health as age starts to interfere with their quality of life. Mainstream medicine is slowly taking notice of the science of longevity.

We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones to pay attention to changes in this area. The future is indeed bright for those of us who will take care of our body’s nutrition, exercise and stress reduction, as these rapid changes take over health care approaches. The Internet now allows each of us access to medical information that was previously only accessible to medical professionals. The trick is to sort the wheat from the chaff as each one of us develops a personalized, preventative health program. Your chosen program should maintain and improve quality of life as we seek to extend life expectancy.

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Testosterone therapy may be part of a personalized, preventative health program

Fab@50_3Our understanding of the basis of disease and factors that promote health is rapidly increasing as a result of the Internet and information technology. As this process continues to accelerate, it raises new questions about the nature of our healthcare system. A more sophisticated and informed public is looking for preventative approaches to their health, rather than the traditional disease treatment model of the past 70 years. Much of present day medical research is based on the disease treatment model, which is out of touch with the preventative mindset of the public. This controversy is evident in the recent debate over testosterone treatment in men.

Testosterone production in men peaks at age 30 and declines by one-to-two percent per year. Low testosterone has been shown to increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes, obesity, severity of cardiovascular disease, all of which can cause mortality. A large meta-analysis that reviewed an extensive number of scientific articles reported on this in 2013. This study was prompted by a large increase in testosterone prescriptions seen in the last five years. As well, declining levels of testosterone are associated with low motivation, depression and low sex drive. Recent evidence seems to suggest that low testosterone levels in men increase the risk of prostate cancer. This is opposite of the prevailing medical opinion as it pertains to testosterone and the risk of prostate cancer.

Testosterone therapy can improve mood and sex drive, increase muscle mass, improve diabetic control and improve exercise capacity in men with low testosterone. However, like many treatments there are risks involved that need to be evaluated. 

In 2014, a New York Times article reported on a study looking at heart disease risk after the start of testosterone therapy. The study showed an increase risk of heart attacks after the start of therapy with testosterone. The risk was highest in men over the age of 65 who had serious medical conditions. What does all this conflicting information mean?

In my opinion, testosterone therapy is reasonable in men under the age of 65 who have no serious medical conditions, symptoms of low testosterone and low free or bioavailable serum testosterone. Therapy must be medically monitored to ensure proper dosage with blood levels and to monitor red blood cell levels which can rise with treatment. I believe that conversion to estrogen must also be monitored to ensure that each patient receives an optimal result for the treatment. As long as these safety considerations are followed the evidence suggests that in well selected men, testosterone therapy may be part of a personalized, preventative health program. 

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