Of Mind and Matter

Women Over Fifty—5 Teasers for Your Brain

Posted on September 19, 2008. Filed under: Of Mind and Matter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

In a recent post, I talked about cross-training your brain. Following up on that theme, I thought it might be fun to tease your little gray cells a bit. Here are five riddles that ought to challenge your synapses to fire with stimulation. So take a gander, give them your best, and then scroll down to see the answers.

1. A murderer is condemned to death. He has to choose between three rooms. The first is full of raging fires. The second is full of assassins with loaded guns. The third is full of lions that haven’t eaten in 3 years. Which room is safest for him? 

2. A woman shoots her husband. Then she holds him under water for over 5 minutes. Finally, she hangs him. 5 minutes later they both go out together and enjoy a wonderful dinner together. How can this be? 

 3. What is black when you buy it, red when you use it, and gray when you throw it away? 

 4. Can you name three consecutive days without using the words Wednesday, Friday, or Sunday? 

 5. This is an unusual paragraph. I’m curious as to just how quickly you can find out what is so unusual about it. It looks so ordinary and plain that you would think nothing was wrong with it. In fact, nothing is wrong with it! It is highly unusual though. Study it and think about it, but you still may not find anything odd. But if you work at it a bit, you might find out. Try to do so without any coaching! 








1. The third room. Lions that haven’t eaten in three years are dead. That one was easy, right? 

2. The woman was a photographer. She shot a picture of her husband, 

developed it, and hung it up to dry (shot; held under water; and hung). 

3. Charcoal, as it is used in barbecuing. 

4. Sure you can name three consecutive days– yesterday, today, and tomorrow! 

5. The letter e, which is the most common letter used in the English language, does not appear even once in the paragraph.

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Women Over Fifty—Cross-Train Your Brain!

Posted on September 12, 2008. Filed under: Of Mind and Matter, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Unfortunately, like the rest of our body, our brain can get a bit flabby with age. Yep, there’s no denying it—going gray doesn’t necessarily help the little gray cells. But the good news is that we can do something about it!

Just like lifting weights on a regular basis is good for muscle tone, routinely lifting mental weights is good for toning up your gray matter. Mental tasks that require focus and concentration are thought to stimulate and even generate new connections between brain cells. The more complex this web like activity, the sharper and more alert you’ll be.

And, just like exercise physiologists suggest you cross-train your body so that certain muscles don’t become over used while others are ignored, brain specialists recommend the same idea. Even mentally stimulating activities that don’t stretch your abilities and knowledge aren’t all that helpful because they’ll consistently exercise only a certain part of your brain. In order to maximize your potential, you need to vary your mental workouts.

So, try some new things. Even simple activities like putting together a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle, memorizing the words to a song, or brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand will tickle the synapses and make them very happy campers. Variety is the spice of life and an array of games and activities that require you to focus and learn new skills will certainly spice up your brainpower!

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Women Over 50—Mental-pause: It’s All In Your Mind

Posted on August 29, 2008. Filed under: Of Mind and Matter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I had the great good fortune to be a guest blogger over at Great Adaptations, a site that’s dedicated to getting SMARTER! It’s the place where brain health meets imagination. 

I invite you to take a look and check out other posts on Suzanna’s fascinating exploration of our little gray cells. She got lots of tips to keep our dendrites happy, snappy, and firing like wildfire!

She also writes the boomer column for the San Francisco Examiner so stop by there, too, and catch up on all things boomer.  

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Women Over Fifty—Our New Heroine

Posted on August 16, 2008. Filed under: Of Mind and Matter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

I know, I know—I do it, too! I get all fired up, decide to change my life, and commit to exercising every day. I’m going to finally say goodbye to my muffin top, tighten my posterior, and get rid of those extra fifteen pounds that seem to stick like glue.

Then, somehow, I get busy, or start a new project, or we go away for a couple of days. Whatever the excuse du jour, I get off track and return to my ways as a sedentary, senior coach spud. The muffin top remains and so do the fifteen pounds.

But, I’ve got some new inspiration: Dara Torres. She’s the American swimmer who, at 41, just became the oldest Olympic swimming medalist. I’m sure you’ve seen her ripped body and awesome abs. Although her physical presence is amazing, I’m more inspired by her spirit.

Torres has not let age or anything else stand in her way. She focused on her dream, worked hard for it, and came out a winner. And, she’s only in her early forties. Wait ‘till she hits fifty and really becomes feisty!

She’s inspiring women all across the country and I’m going to use her to inspire me, too. I’ll envision my head pasted on top her body—like the tabloids do with the heads of celebrities. And, just like the law of attraction and the promise of The Secret, I’m certain I can manifest this new look for myself.  

Well, maybe not exactly. At any rate I’ll go back to huffing and puffing and pumping iron. Got to run—I’m headed for the hiking trail!

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Women Over Fifty—Suiting Up or Sitting This Summer Out?

Posted on August 11, 2008. Filed under: Of Mind and Matter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This is the year I’ve decided to forgo the yearly challenge of stuffing myself into a swimsuit. No, I didn’t pose for the third photo in my recent post, “My Bottom Line,” but I certainly could have.

Never having been a vixen-like vision in beachwear, I struggled for years to find a suit constructed from industrial strength spandex that could squeeze and mold my flesh into the sought after hourglass form. But the years have broadened my bottom and gravity has been pulling especially hard as of late. Even with the mighty force of the super-spandex, I’m waging a losing battle. So, until puckers become alluring and the envy of one and all, I’m no longer showing mine off.

That said, I’ve come across a few photos of men who aren’t quite looking like the super studs they were in their youth. However, I don’t see any cosmetic companies going after them to “stop the aging process.”

The media bombards us constantly with celebrations of female youth and beauty while pushing a myriad of anti-aging products on us midlife gals. Their message is clear: only unlined faces are attractive, anyone over a size four is hopelessly lost in folds of fat, and aging is undesirable to say the least.

So, what’s a gal with a few pounds and puckers to do? Until I find an answer, I think I’ll sit this summer out. Besides, relaxing in the shade with a good book is just fine by me!

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