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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Retirement and your health

By P.J. Skerrett, M.D.




What the Harvard School of Public Health found about those who have taken the plunge


JewishWorldReview.com | For many people, retirement is a key reward for decades of daily work--a time to relax, explore, and have fun unburdened by the daily grind. For others, though, it's a frustrating period marked by declining health and increasing limitations.


For years, researchers have been trying to figure out whether the act of retiring, or retirement itself, is good for your health, bad for it, or neutral.


A new salvo comes from researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. They looked at rates of heart attack and stroke among men and women in the ongoing U.S. Health and Retirement Study. Among 5,422 individuals in the study, those who had retired were 40 percent more likely to have had a heart attack or stroke than those who were still working. The increase was more pronounced during the first year after retirement, and leveled off after that.


The results, reported in the journal Social Science and Medicine, are in line with earlier studies that have shown that retirement is associated with a decline in health. But others have shown that retirement is associated with improvements in health, while some have shown it has little effect on health.

TRANSITION CAN BE TOUGH
"Our results suggest we may need to look at retirement as a process rather than an event," said lead study author J. Robin Moon, now a senior health policy advisor to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.



In their paper, Moon and her colleagues described retirement as a "life course transition involving environmental changes that reshape health behaviors, social interactions, and psychosocial stresses" that also bring shifts in identity and preferences. In other words, moving from work to no work comes with a boatload of other changes.


These changes may be why retirement is ranked 10th on the list of life's 43 most stressful events. Some people smoothly make the transition into a successful retirement. Others don't.


For four decades, Dr. George E. Vaillant, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, and numerous colleagues talked with hundreds of men and women taking part in the Study of Adult Development . Initially focused on early development, the study now encompasses issues of aging, like retirement.


When researchers asked study participants 80 and older what actions made retirement enjoyable, healthy, and rewarding, four key elements emerged:


1. Forge a new social network. You don't just retire from a job; you retire from daily contact with friends and colleagues. Establishing a new social network is good for both your mental and physical health.


2. Play. Activities such as golf, bridge, ballroom dancing, traveling, and more can help you let go a bit while establishing new friendships and reinforcing old ones.


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3. Be creative. Activating your creative side can help keep your brain healthy. Creativity can take many forms, from painting to gardening to teaching a child noun declensions in Latin. Tapping into creativity may also help you discover new parts of yourself.


4. Keep learning. Like being creative, ongoing learning keeps the mind active and the brain healthy. There are many ways to keep learning, from taking up a new language to starting--or returning to--a musical instrument you love, or exploring a subject that fascinates you.

INDIVIDUAL EFFECTS
Understanding how retirement affects a large group of people is interesting, but doesn't necessarily have anything to do with how it will affect you.


If you've had a stressful, unrewarding, or tiring job, retirement may come as a relief. For you, not working may be associated with better health. People who loved their work and structured their lives around it may see retirement in a different light, especially if they had to retire because of a company age policy.


An individual who has a good relationship with his or her spouse or partner is more likely to do well in retirement than someone with an unhappy home life for whom work often offered an escape hatch.


People with hobbies, passions, volunteer opportunities, and the like generally have little trouble redistributing their "extra" time after they retire. Those who did little besides work may find filling time more of a challenge.


And then there's health. People who retire because they don't feel well, have had a heart attack or stroke, or have been diagnosed with cancer, diabetes, or another chronic condition may not enjoy retirement as much as those who enter it in the pink of health.


Are you retired, or planning to be soon? Think about the elements of a successful retirement.


(P.J. Skerrett, M.D., is editor of the Harvard Health blog and managing editor for digital publishing at Harvard Health Publications.)

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