Persevere if you want to Improve your Health, Improve your Mind

This entry is part 17 in the series Improve Your Life, Improve Your Mind

The A to Z  challenge was a crazy month,

For the month of April we experienced a never-ending cycle of blogging, reading and commenting on other blogs, and researching for the next post.  I think we were all glad when the month drew to a close. 

My theme for the challenge was “Improve your life, Improve your mind.” And I truly believe the topics need to be put out there one more time. Nowhere is this topic more relevant than when you’re facing a huge challenge in your life like retirement, marital problems, health problems in your family, and especially cancer!

For that reason, it’s my intention to revisit each of the posts and invite folk who didn’t read them at the time to visit them now. And if you did read them before, if you were reading at the speed I did during the month, chances are you will find new thoughts to encourage you.

Please comment and share on social media.

Although the key purpose of Rise and Soar  is to inspire and encourage those in the cancer valley, whether as patients, survivors, caregivers, family or friends, this series applies to everyone. If you are interested in making the most out of your bodies and protecting your minds from the potential harm of aging, you need what they have to offer. So read on!

My life is full of unfinished projects.

How about you? Getting started is the fun bit.

I love to get started. But then I get distracted onto another equally fun challenge, and I forget about the previous one. More commonly, I don’t forget. I always plan to get back to it, but there just isn’t time to keep juggling all the balls I have in the air!

Yet, if we’re going to improve our lives and our health, we need to persevere! And that’s where we need to persevere. Persevere in eating well. Persevere with exercise. Persevere with positive attitudes. And persevere with thinking right! read more

Learn Something New to Improve your Life, Improve your Mind. #atoz

This entry is part 13 in the series Improve Your Life, Improve Your Mind

I always thought to improve my life and improve my mind sounded like a lot of work, and not at all fun! Then I started following this theme, and I got more and more enthusiastic. It can be a lot of fun!

By nature, I love to learn. Understand, this was not a trait when it came to school books and homework! This is a much more recent trait. But I love to face a challenge and master it. read more

Inflammation, Immunity and Infection and how they affect your life and your mind. #atoz

This entry is part 10 in the series Improve Your Life, Improve Your Mind


This post was originally written for the A to Z Blogging Challenge (April 10 2018). 

I plan to post one “letter” a week only, and will commence with those who saw the least amount of attention during April. For this week, I invite you to explore with me the topic, Immunity, Infection and Inflammation.


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Hearing Loss ~ Ways to Improve your Life, Improve your Mind. #AtoZ

This entry is part 9 in the series Improve Your Life, Improve Your Mind

I have a next door neighbor who insists he has no hearing problem, yet every now and then I overhear him saying in a loud voice to his mother, “Hey? What did you say? You need to speak up!”

As we get older, all too often we start saying, “What did you say?” Yet we don’t like to admit we have a hearing problem. Somehow there seems to be a stigma attached to hearing loss. How silly, when there’s a rough estimate that around 60% of people over 60 have some kind of hearing loss!

How to tell you have a hearing problem

  • If you’re aware people aren’t speaking clearly,
  • or you’re having problems following a conversation when several people are talking
  • or other family members (or neighbors!) keep complaining the TV is too loud,

consider this. Just maybe, it’s your hearing! Get your hearing checked.

My grandmother of eighty was forever complaining that “no one ever tells me anything!” . . . Until she learned she was almost completely deaf and needed a hearing aid. (One that used to whistle and crackle regularly!)

In favor of hearing aids:

Hearing aids are tiny and unobtrusive now. They’re no longer the crackly whistly types like my granny used.

Problems caused by hearing loss:

  • The obvious disadvantage is your social life that will suffer. 
  • Hearing loss left untreated also links to health issues like heart disease, dementia and depression.

A few tips to improve or protect your hearing:

  • Avoid ultra-loud music!
    • We live on a street frequented by taxis which drive down our road at all times of the day or night. Do you know that sometimes we feel the vibration of the beat of their music before we see the taxi?
    • We also often have students walking past outside our fence with their earphones in their ears. Wait for it! Sometimes we can HEAR their music from where we sit on our veranda. This is crazy. In another few years we’re going to have a generation of deaf people.
  • Avoid Cotton Buds
    • Your ears are built to clean themselves. If they get too waxed up, they might need a professional clean. But do not use ear buds! It’s impossible to tell how far you’re pushing, and you could cause severe damage.
  • Use Ear Plugs
    • To protect your hearing from noisy work places, rowdy concerts, even the lawnmower and certainly your electric drill!
  • Stay away from loud noises like loudspeakers or anything that makes your ears ring.
  • Keep Your Ears Dry
    • Too much moisture may allow bacteria to cause infections which can impact your hearing.
  • Report Tinnitus to the doctor and get it checked out.
    • This is a constant ringing in the ears. As the noise gets louder, we become deafer and deafer!
    • It can be caused by stress or anxiety so try and keep calm.
    • Try meditation, going for walks, get your blood pumping through various activities. Who would have thought that could help your hearing?

Get Checked Out

Here’s a quick three-minute hearing test by the same people who make and service my husband’s hearing aids.
It must be good! I did the test and it assured me I had very good hearing.

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Genetics ~ A Death Sentence or a Wake-up Call? #AtoZ

This entry is part 8 in the series Improve Your Life, Improve Your Mind


My father-in-law knew he would die when he reached 74. His father had died at 74, and so had his father before him. Dad died at 94, and only because he fell and broke his hip! People know they will go blind because one of their parents went blind and the disease was hereditary. Others know they have a strong likelihood of Alzheimer’s in their future because several of their previous generation had Alzheimer’s, or Parkinson’s for the same reason.   

So what is the answer? Are genes a death sentence? Or should they be a wake-up call? Watch this very short clip of two women on an active railway bridge in Ohio, 80 feet in the air. And then we’ll reconsider the question.

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Fitbit Helps to Improve your Life, Improve your Mind. #atoz

This entry is part 7 in the series Improve Your Life, Improve Your Mind

Yesterday, we saw the importance of regular exercise if we want to improve our lives and our minds. 

If you’re anything like me, you don’t find it easy to make exercise part of your routine.

We need to select a time, or preferably more than one time in the day when we’ll be able to do exercise, and then stick to it. This is where I always failed, as I couldn’t afford the time I thought I required.

Enter the fitbit!

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Exercise to Improve your Life and your Mind

This entry is part 6 in the series Improve Your Life, Improve Your Mind


My Exercise Regime

A few months ago, I considered myself as well-exercised. Thanks to the persistent training of our little Jack Russell terrier, we knew that 5 pm meant a brisk walk down to the beach! But then she got old, and my left knee had to be replaced, and we both agreed a short stroll round the blog was all the exercise we needed.

Zoe died, but the discipline of exercise continued. (She had trained us well.)

Then enter the fitbit which we’ll look at tomorrow. And I discovered I did nothing like enough exercise. If I wanted to improve my health, my mind, and my all round life, I needed to increase my exercise regime drastically.  read more

Dopamine – Do you Drip or do you Drown?

This entry is part 5 in the series Improve Your Life, Improve Your Mind

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Welcome to the next post in the theme for the A to Z Blogging theme, Improve your Life, Improve your Mind.

Today we’re looking at a topic that I knew nothing about a couple of weeks ago! 

Dopamine. Do you Drip or do you Drown?

Part of the brain’s information highway includes chemical messengers,  called neurotransmitters. These have different functions that affect the brain and the body. I recently learned that Dopamine is one of the principle “feel good” neurotransmitters. Dopamine improves our motivation and helps us to focus. read more

Care for and Love your Body and Brain!

This entry is part 4 in the series Improve Your Life, Improve Your Mind

Hello everyone!

Welcome to the next post in the theme for the A to Z Blogging theme, Improve your Life, Improve your Mind.

C is for Care for and Love your Body and your Brain!

Doesn’t this sound a strange thing to suggest? Many of us were brought up to not love ourselves lest we be regarded as boastful. Often we heard (or used) the expression, “He so loves himself!” meaning it in the most derogatory fashion. 

And yet, if we don’t love ourselves and appreciate our bodies and minds, we will not care for them properly, and one day we’ll find ourselves in a whole heap of trouble, physically and mentally, because we failed to do so.

And that’s what this series is all about. During the month of April, we will be looking at different ways we can care better for our bodies and our brains! Some of the suggestions are obvious. Many we already know but we’ve disregarded them. Others may even surprise us. 

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A to Z Blogging Challenge ~ 2018. Theme Reveal: Improve Your Life!

This entry is part 1 in the series Improve Your Life, Improve Your Mind

Click on the link to sign up!

Welcome to the Theme Reveal, 2018.

Yayy! It’s that time of the year again. And I want to assure you this year is going to be a fascinating and encouraging theme for all those of you who want to make the most of your life!

Throughout the month of April, I will be sharing with you 26 posts—one for each letter of the alphabet, which also equates to every day of the month except for Sundays which we get off for good behavior! (But wait! The 1st April is a Sunday, so that day there will be a post.)

The good thing is I am NOT going to be writing about cancer. (In case you noticed Rise and Soar is a website especially geared to encourage and inspire those in the cancer valley.)

The other good thing is all these posts will be super-helpful to help improve your life, no matter what challenges you face (including cancer!)  read more