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Meditation, Menopause, and Memory

Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA

Longevity, Memory, and Mood Benefits of Meditation

Rancho la Puerta flowers and statuesKymberly: Anyone else find menopause a little stressful? In the award winning category of  “Stating the Obvious,” menopause stress can contribute to memory loss and weight gain. As in, “I sure don’t remember gaining those 30 pounds. What the heck??!!”

The “No Exercise Plan” to Live Longer, Leaner, and Kinder

So who wants a solution to reduce menopause symptoms, decrease stress, minimize weight gain, improve memory, and even boost longevity? Those who know what a high energy, chatty, loquacious, interactive mover and groover I am will be surprised to hear the answer coming from me. (Or not, as you already saw this post’s title. Menopause might make us forgetful, but not stoopid.) Anyway… turns out Meditation can turn back the hands of time and pounds. Additionally meditation has even been proven to make us nicer, kinder, more compassionate people. (Hear that hubster? I’m not menopot moody. I’m meditation deprived).

Just a few daily minutes of meditation can calm us, reduce stress, and slow our heart rate. Sounds a lot like the benefits of exercise, right? But without moving! Meditation may also reverse the effects of aging on the brain. It thickens the prefrontal cortex, the area of brain that helps with planning and attention. For people with memory loss, meditation helps increase memory via more blood flow to brain. But wait, there’s more! Meditation also decreases our body’s stress hormones, heals our wounds faster, and lowers our blood pressure.

Which twin has the longer telomeres? Not telling!

Which twin has the longer telomeres? Not telling!

Longer Telomeres = Longer Life; Tell It Telomeres!

Factor in recent studies that show meditation increases telomere length, and you have your longevity, happier life bonus plan! In the DNA world, telomeres are the little plastic pieces on the end of our chromosome shoelaces. The longer your telomeres, the longer your life span. Short telomeres accelerate aging and correlate to a shorter life. People who meditate daily for at least four years have longer telomeres than those who do not meditate. For ten added quality years of life, be the first to enter the word in the comments for that plastic shoelace piece without having to google it. Hint: It starts with an “a.”

I’ll take an order to go please of a young, long-living brain garnished with my years of experience. Since I have big plans to be around four years from now, I might as well get on that telomere lengthening program.

Meditation Room at Rancho la Puerta

Meditation Room at Rancho la Puerta

Meditation Options: From Silent to Guided

When I was recently at Rancho la Puerta Fitness Resort, I decided to attend three meditation classes. Loved them! Not only did I stay still and quiet for record time (ok, half an hour for each), but also I have stuck with meditation since coming home. More on that later in this post. Remember to keep reading!

The sessions were totally different from each other: one was a guided visualization that the instructor talked us through from start to finish. Another was a silent meditation with the instructor giving directions and suggestions at the start, then setting a timer that lulled us back at the end. The third had verbal guidance that segued into soft music and nature sounds. All three meditations left me revved, calmed, and focused enough to learn more. One thing the Ranch teachers stressed — perhaps better to say “emphasized” — is that meditation comes in many forms and styles. Pick one or a few approaches that resonate with you, as there is no right or wrong way. We reap the active aging benefits regardless, in as short as seven hours in some cases.

Support Your New Habit with Meditation Apps

Meditation app

Rest and Relax App

Beginner's Meditation App

Beginner’s Meditation App

10 Minute Meditation App

Meditate Now App

Since I am a total meditation beginner I asked one teacher whether having phone apps would help. Cha Ching Ohmmm! That got a resounding thumbs up, heart rates down as a good idea! As soon as I crossed the border back into the U.S. (also known as “covered rate plan for my cell phone”), I downloaded “Relax and Rest,” “Meditate Now,” and “Beginners Meditation.” All are free. So far my favorite is “Relax and Rest” as it offers verbal guidance. My mind wanders less when I have a voice calling me back from my mental to do lists, thoughts of the past and future, and sleep’s siren call. Try them if you are wanting to reap meditation benefits and have a smart phone. Heck, you may end up with a youthful, sleek, brainy phone once you download these apps!

I am on Day 6 of meditation, with some sessions lasting 5 minutes, others hitting an ambitious 13! So far I have noticed a bit more ability to focus and my creativity has been on the upswing. I thought of this post title after yesterday’s session, for one thing! Now to be nicer to my sister. Might need those four years of meditative practice first. snarfle snark

Alexandra relaxing at Rancho la Puerta

Alexandra looking memorable if not meditative

Alexandra: I was going to meditate, but I forgot. Maybe next time.

Use meditation to help you remember to:

A) Hire us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call (805) 403-4338 or email info@funandfit.org.

B) Subscribe to our YouTube channel and blog.

C) Follow us on google +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter:  AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit and Instagram: KymberlyFunFit and AlexandraFunFit.

 

About Fun and Fit

Get practical exercise advice, your fitness questions answered, and cutting edge health edu-tainment that is accessible and doable from long time fitness experts, Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA. We have taught on land, sea, and airwaves for 3 decades on 4 continents. From writing to speaking, emceeing to hosting a radio show, reviewing products to teaching classes, we believe that little steps turn into big paths. Move a little more than the day before. FitFluential Ambassadors and award-winners both online and off.

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8 Responses to Meditation, Menopause, and Memory

  1. Elaine November 12, 2013 at 6:15 am #

    That would be aglet. What’s my prize, again?

  2. Nicki Anderson November 12, 2013 at 7:01 am #

    I really love this. I KNOW the importance of meditation, but get involved in my day much too quickly. Thanks for the apps, I’m going to get started. Just like people who say they don’t have time for exercise, I may think I don’t have time to meditate, but I need to make the time. Great one….again. :-)
    Nicki Anderson recently posted..All healthy fats step forward- not so fast trans fatMy Profile

  3. KymberlyFunFit November 12, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

    If it weren’t for the apps, I would put off the meditation for sure. With my phone by my bedside I start the apps before I get out of bed. Download those babies and think Ommmm Sweet Ommmm. Hug kiss for your comments
    KymberlyFunFit recently posted..Aquasana Water Filter System Review & GiveawayMy Profile

  4. Pati R November 12, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

    Nice post and good luck on your meditation practice! I was remembering the Ranch and what a good time I had there.
    Pati R recently posted..Living Now Giveaway: Allergy-Friendly Grains & FloursMy Profile

  5. Brianne November 13, 2013 at 6:30 am #

    The fitness resort you went to sounds/looks incredible! And great idea about the meditation apps. Pinning this article to my “aging gracefully” board!
    Brianne recently posted..paleos and vegans unite: it’s baking day!My Profile

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