Loss of Libido

Hello Diana I’ve been in a loving relationship with my partner for over 10 years. I’ve always thought we were well suited but recently I seem to lack the desire to have sex. We both have challenging jobs and have to juggle our family and work. Any advice please?
Charlotte Jackson…Eastbourne

Takmeomeo (CC0), Pixabay

Loss of libido (sex drive) is a common problem which affects up to one in five men, and even more women, of all ages at some point in their life. Often it’s linked to job stress, or declining hormones, relationship issues, pregnancy and breast feeding. When loss of libido is unexpected and lasts for a long time, or keeps returning it is very upsetting for both partners.

Be honest and ask yourself are you both happy in your relationship or do you have doubts or worries about your partner that may account for a lack of sexual desire? Maybe sex is painful for you, or does your partner have problems with erectile dysfunction or ejaculation problems?

Feeling constantly tired, stressed, exhausted or anxious from juggling work and home life, can lead some people to drink alcohol in excess, or take drugs. Both can reduce sex drive, relationship difficulties and dealing with depression will affect sexual desire and libido. A drop in hormone levels at the time of menopause or hysterectomy may be the cause of the problem.

Make an appointment to see you’re GP, especially if your diminished sex drive distresses you or affects your relationship, and discuss possible underlying causes and recommended medical or psychological treatments.

Perspiration

Do you have any tips for minimising perspiration now the summer’s here? I often feel overheated although I try to stay cool. The more self-conscious I become the worse it is, but it’s hard to train myself to forget about it. Sandra Marsh, Chorley

KlausHausmann (CC0), Pixabay

Normal sweating or perspiration affects most of us. Usually it occurs in the armpits, palms of hands, soles of feet, face, chest and groin. Although sweating doesn’t pose a serious health risk it can be distressing and embarrassing, but excessive sweating can be challenging and it may take a while to find a treatment right for you. A powerful antiperspirant is the first way to combat unpleasant and smelly perspiration. But lifestyle changes such as wearing loose and light clothes can help and wearing black or white clothes helps to minimise the signs of sweating. Avoid triggers, such as alcohol and spicy foods, that could make your sweating worse.

If you sweat excessively and it’s started to interfere with your everyday daily life you may have Hyperhidrosis. Do you avoid physical contact such as shaking hands or dancing close to your partner? Are you forever, showering and having to change your clothes?

 

 

If everyday jobs such as holding tools, grasping the driving wheel or sticky hands using the computer key board worries you, perhaps it’s time to talk to your GP to establish the cause and get medical treatment. Also tell the GP if you are having night sweats, because it might be a sign of something more serious.

Young at Heart

Social Fitness  & Exploring New Horizons

“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it”
W.H.Murray – The Scottish Himalayan Expedition

Over the past year whilst researching for this book, I have spoken to many of my contemporaries about the plans they have for the rest of their lives. Did they see their older age as a time of retirement and well-earned rest, or did they view it as a time of opportunity and challenge? As the Millennium drew nearer I sensed from their responses that the traditional image of ageing was being shaken off, and was being replaced by a far more encouraging picture. I discovered that most of my friends were feeling very positive about growing older, particularly my women friends. I enquired further as to what they wanted to achieve in their final years. Many women friends had a practical approach to the future, which they perceived with a positive mental attitude. They were realistic about their limitations and many were busy making preparations as to how best to enjoy the rest of their lives. Most were determined not to waste the predicted extra years of longevity, which they all viewed as a bonus. This optimistic approach appears to be keeping many older folk young at heart.

Speaking personally I find that being involved with younger people helps me to have a youthful outlook on life. I try to listen to my offspring, their children and their friends, in order to keep an open mind and to avoid getting too set in my ways. I sense that it pays to keep up to date with current trends, fashions and attitudes in order to understand the aspirations and frustrations of youth. It enables us to help youngsters sort out their problems, although we don’t necessarily have to agree with them!

 

Notice how older men and women who have regular contact with young people have a more relaxed and accommodating way about them when dealing with youngsters. Many of these people are teachers or organisers who are active in their social life, running youth clubs or sport or hobby orientated events. They appear to be more satisfied and fulfilled in their own lives than other older folk, many of whom have become bigoted and disillusioned with the antics of a some of today’s youth. Taking a broader well-informed overview of life creates a healthier mental attitude. Surely it’s better to live for the day, to take an interest in current affairs and to be generous in your opinions. When dealing with youngsters, it can go a long way to bridging that generation gap. Young people have a lot to learn from the experience and wisdom of older people, and many are prepared to respect their seniors, so long as they are not bigoted, opinionated and dismissive of youth!

Let’s now concentrate on the positivity of growing older, and here I believe that women are faster in learning how to control the march of time than most men are. For example women take more care of their physical appearance by looking after their general health, and their hair and skin. Women today are well informed and encouraged by books and specialist magazines. Many seek advice from health and beauty consultants. From advertisements and advertorials, older women have been made aware that with a little help from skin care and beauty products, and by making slight changes in their diet and exercise, they can effectively delay some of the visible signs of ageing. However, an increasing number of women are resorting to plastic surgery, which they see as the most positive method of superficially holding back the years. Many others less fortunate would love to be able to afford it, while others won’t admit to wanting it. Many women just cringe at the thought of cosmetic surgery and rely on nature being kind to them!

With this dramatic change in the attitude to ageing, the thought of “retiring” becomes more attractive. Retiring from work, and retiring from the traditional concept of ageing, leaves us free from the constraints that have bound and gagged previous generations, particularly women. With no written criteria or acceptance of being old, we now have the unique opportunity to break with traditions and re-write the rules! It’s exciting, and we must grasp the unique opportunity presented to us. If we have good health and adequate financial provision, we could find to our pleasant surprise, that the world is our oyster.

Over the past few years the words used to describe older people have changed too – for the better. Today words such as “retired”, or “mature” or “older person” are commonly used, whereas in my youth any person over 60 years of age was described as an “old age pensioner” or ” a senior citizen”. The changes are encouraging, but for me the most amusing label is one I heard at a celebration of older people in Gloucester Cathedral, when an elderly gentleman described himself as being “chronologically advantaged.” To date this is still my favourite – or do you have a better one?

Now dear reader, in the sincere hope that you have benefited from the advice given in previous chapters, this could be the moment to take control of the rest of your life. Remember “It’s never too late to be what you might have been”
George Eliot

The 50 plus group is fast becoming a group to be reckoned with both socially, economically and socially. As a group it’s numbers are increasing rapidly. It’s group members are healthier, more active and involved in society than previous generations, and have a disposable income estimated at £155 billion pounds a year. Far from sitting down taking life easy, women (and men) in this group are likely to be on the move. Many are off to seek adventures abroad, others are going back to university to improve their education, whilst others are contemplating setting up a new business venture.

Thoughts

Charity work
There could be something far more interesting and rewarding. Even though I exist on my pension I manage toand live within my means and my voluntary work gives me a sense of pride that I am putting something back into society.

Redundancy
You have a responsibility to yourself and your family to look after yourself. Who wants to be a burden to others?
Families can try to be supportive but early on I decided to take a conscientious effort to look after myself as best I can
What’s wrong with spoiling yourself a little? Why not have an aromatherapy, massage etc
Redundancy is devastating I felt numbness and incredulity and an initial sense of isolation – it affected my self esteem

I hadn’t expected it, I was so shocked. I felt disappointed and cheated.

Going from two wages to one is very hard for any family. Redundancy can put a strain on any family but if you have been together a long time it may be easier to understand each other and work the problems out. Not being a person who can sit still, the idea of sitting around the house for hours on end is horific. Having worked conscientiously for 30 years or more the thought of signing on for unemployment benefit horrified me
One of our biggest worries is whether or not we will have enough money to survive. The only person who can rebuild your ego is you. There is still a huge bias against older people when it comes to employment.

It seems grossly unfair that the Government spends billions of pounds helping young people find employment and only a fraction to assit older people who really do need help to find another job. These people are desperate to work, they have family and commitments and yet employers shun them. Younger bosses should be discouraged from shunning older job seekers. They need to realize they are turning away experience and knowledge, both valuable assets. Maybe it’s time for the Government to bring in legislation to outlaw age disrimination by employers.

Education

From Saga
Local Education Authorities cater for every need from
DM TO EXPAND ON THE FOLLOWING;

 Wonderful new found freedom
 Own boss
 New opportunities
 New friends
 New interests
 Hobbies
 Time to travel
 Further Education
 Computer skills
 Charity work
 Maybe it’s time to search for your inner self
 Time to explore religions of the world and to take comfort from you new discoveries
 Religion and Faith
 Courage
 Activities addresses etc
Many of your new found activities could benefit your health as well as providing you with social contact which can help lift your spirits. Let’s look in more detail at how some of these activities will improve your strenght,stamina and suppleness and help you retain your physical independence. For example:

WALKING
Strength        **
Stamina         **
Suppleness   *

For further information contact;
?The Ramblers Assn,
1-5 Wandsworth Road,
London SW8 2XX
Tel 0171 582 6878

SWIMMING
Strength        ***
Stamina         ***
Suppleness   **

For further information contact;
?The Amateur Swimming Assn,
Harold Fern House,
Derby Square,
Loughborough,
Leicestershire
LE11 OAL
Tel 01509 230 431

EXERCISE TO MUSIC
Strength          ***
Stamina           ***
Suppleness     ***

For further information contact;
Fitness Industry Training
YMCA
112 Great Russell Street
London WC1B 3NQ
020 7343 1850

CYCLING
Strength        ***
Stamina         ***
Suppleness   **

For further information contact
The Bicycle Assn
Starley House,
Eaton Road,
Coventry,
CV1 2FH
A5 SAE please,
Tel 01203 553 838

BADMINTON
Stamina         ***
Strength        ***
Suppleness   ***

For further information contact
?The Badminton Assn of England,
National Badminton Centre.,
Bradwell Road,
Loughton Lodge,
Milton Keynes,
Bucks MK8 9LA.
Tel 01908 568 822

TENNIS
Stamina           ***
Strength          ***
Suppleness     ***

For further information contact
?The Lawn Tennis Assn
The Queens Club
Barons Court
West Kensington
London W14 9EG
Tel
0171 381 7000

SQUASH
Strength        ***
Stamina         ***
Suppleness   ***

For further information contact
?Veteran Squash Raquet Club of GB
Summertrees
26 Leatherhead Road
Leatherhead
Surrey KT22 8TL
Tel 01442 232 222

GARDENING
Strength        **
Stamina         **
Suppleness   *

DANCING
Strength        ***
Stamina         ***
Suppleness   **

PERSONAL TRAINING
Strength       ***
Stamina         ***
Suppleness   ***

A personal trainer can encourage you to look after your body and motivate you to be more active in the privacy of your own home. The National Register of Personal Trainers (NRPT) has over 1,000 teachers on their list and refer enquiries to fully qualified and insured Personal Fitness Trainers throughout the country. After an initial assessment a plan of action is drawn up and varies greatly from person to person. Dependending on physique, ability, and personal requirements. The advantage of having a personal trainer is the total flexibility, they will fit into your timetable and come to your home. You can have the programme tailored to your level of fitness and physical abilities, go at your own pace, and under supervision you can confidently build up your level of fitness.

For further information contact
The National Register of Personal Trainers
Thornton House
Thornton Road
London SW19 4NG
Tel 020 8944 6688
USEFUL NAMES AND ADDRESSES

The Open University
POBox 200
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
MK7 6YZ
01908 653 231

University of the Third Age (U3A)
26 Harrison Street
London WC1H 8JG
020 7692 5440

Learning Direct
Department of Education and Employment
Freephone 0800 100 900
http://www.learndirect.co.uk

Local Education Authority
Contact your Local Adult Education College

Workers Educational Association
National Office
Temple House
17 Victoria Park Square
London E2 9PB
020 8983 1515

National Institute for Adult Continuing Education
Learner of the Year
Older and Bolder
0116 204 4258

Feeling good is about having a positive attitude to life. We should never look back and dwell on our failures or have regrets We must always look forward with optimism. It’s never too late to ajust your lifestyle. You’re never too old to change your habits – or to help yourself to better health. Take good care of your body and your looks. Be more active and eat a well blanced diet. Be aware of your finances. Nuture your relationships, love and respect your family and friends. Continue to listen and learn, and always keep an open mind. Enjoy the rest of your life!

“We can’t beat Old Father Time… no – but some women drive a mighty close bargain with him”

Your chance to buy your own copy of Diana Moran’s Easifit DVD

Your chance to buy your own copy of Diana Moran’s Easifit DVD – Ease into Fitness with the Green Goddess – at the special price of only £6.99. Go to buy here >

This is Easifit – Ease back into fitness, whatever your age! simple exercises specially designed for those later on in life; who haven’t exercised in a while or just can’t do the type of exercise they used to

BBC Breakfast’s Diana Moran has produced a revolutionary fitness program, entitled ‘EasiFit with Diana Moran’. It consists of simple exercises specially designed for those later on in life; who haven’t exercised in a while or just can’t do the type of exercise they used to. The additional facial exercises bring together fitness and beauty, ensuring glowing results.

The Walking Plus Programme

AnnieSpratt (CC0), Pixabay

Walking is wonderful but it will not improve all four aspects of fitness which all begin with the letter S:

  • strength
  • suppleness
  • stamina
  • skill

Strength

The muscles of the lower limbs are obviously strengthened by walking, but it also strengthens the muscles of the lower back which can reduce the probability of back-ache.   To complement the benefits of walking to the lower limbs, it is useful to exercise:

  • the upper limbs with a set of weights; a small set of weights bought from any store or retail warehouse can help strengthen upper limbs and chest muscles.   Try press-ups; people aged 60 should be able to do ten press-ups to start with but every man should aim to do the same number of press-ups as his age;
  • the core muscles of the body, the muscles round the spine and abdomen: lie on your back and raise your legs from the floor; now criss-cross them 60 times. Now roll over on to your tummy, clasp your hands behind your head, and try to lift your head and shoulders off the carpet; do this 20 times.

Nordic walking also provides excellent exercise to the upper body.

 

Suppleness

No one understands what causes stiffness. You might find that your legs are stiff after your first long walk, especially if you do an hour of brisk walking, but it will soon pass. The best way of preventing stiffness is to take exercise more frequently. Neither ‘warming up’ is necessary before starting to take your Vital Steps, nor ‘warming down’ after you have finished. That is one of the many good things about walking as a form of exercise.

Walking helps maintain the suppleness and flexibility of the lower limbs, but because the act of walking rarely stretches the muscles and other soft tissues, it is not particularly good as a means of improving suppleness. For this reason, it is good to supplement your walking with other exercises to improve suppleness.

If you want to improve your health, it could be useful to join an introductory class for Yoga, Alexander Technique or Pilates, or consult a Shiatsu teacher.   Such a course will give you exercises that you can, and should, perform everyday, not just for your legs but for your shoulders, arms and spine.   This requires you to build a five minute routine into your day and, like the change needed to find time for extra walking, is just a matter of time management.   All these will undoubtedly improve your posture.

Stamina

Brisk walking can increase your stamina. When you start your Vital Steps programme, you may find it difficult to do brisk walking for more than 1,000 steps, but as you walk more frequently, your stamina will improve. It is, however, often difficult to measure your improvement. For example, you may feel less breathless, or be able to walk briskly for longer, or feel less breathless after brisk walking, but it may simply be the result of slowing down.   An article in the British Medical Journal called “How fast does the Grim Reaper walk?” came to the conclusion that the optimum walking speed to outpace the old chap is 1.36 mph! (1).

The best way to ensure that you keep walking briskly to maintain and improve your stamina is to walk against the clock. Walk 1,000 steps, and measure the time it has taken. A more practical approach is to walk briskly for a constant distance, for example, between certain bus-stops, or from your home to the bus-stop, and make that your test track. At least once a week, walk the track briskly and measure how long it has taken, preferably to the nearest second. The best equipment for increasing stamina is a flight of stairs or, better, four flights.

Death to lifts or they will be the death of you!

Skill

‘Physical activity programmes can help reduce the risk of falling, and therefore fractures, among older people’

At Least Five a Week – Evidence on the Impact of Physical Activity and its Relationship to Health, Department of Health, 2004

The effects of ageing are to reduce the body’s ability to cope with challenges, and one challenge is lack of exercise.   Similarly, even though you remembered how to ride a bicycle, your ability to regain your balance gets less good as you age unless you keep cycling.   This may not seem relevant to walking because people retain the skill of putting one foot in front of the other.   However, the skills that are lost are those that are more subtle but equally important, such as how to:

  • judge how far to lift your foot to clear the kerb or a bump; or
  • recover your balance if you do stumble, particularly if you cannot see where you are putting your feet.

The more you walk the better are these skills preserved but you should try other forms of exercise.   Dancing is particularly good, any sort, Scottish country, ballroom or ballet, and of course dancing has many social benefits.   For people who enjoy sport and television, try the amazing Wii – the technological development that allows you to play dance, box or compete in many other ways in your living room.

The main objective of this book is to help you change your lifestyle so that you walk more on most days of the week but it is strongly recommended that you complement and supplement the additional walking by taking up, or increasing

  • Pilates or Yoga or the Alexander technique for suppleness
  • Tennis or dancing for skill
  • The use of weights or an exercise band for strength

Increased strength and balance skills are essential in reducing the risk of falling (2)

References

(1) Stanaway FF et al (2011) How Fast Does the Grime Reaper Walk? Brit Med J 343,

(2)Morris M.E. (2012) Preventing Falls in Older People Brit Med J 345;14