How to Best Enjoy Your Retirement

Retirement is something that most of us will enjoy at some point in our golden years. However, to make the most of it, retirement does require a certain degree of planning. That includes finances, but there are many articles out there about that aspect, so it will be beyond the scope of this posting.

Keep Busy

You have probably heard about someone who was 100% dedicated to their job and lost their identity upon heading into retirement. In some cases, these people may have even died prematurely.

Never underestimate the importance of a sense of purpose in life. Without that, we are simply going through the motions. You might be thinking, “Well, fine, but I’m retiring. What purpose could I still have?” There are plenty of ways to have a sense of purpose in our retirement years by serving others. Many volunteer opportunities likely exist in your area; choose one that speaks to your interests and the type of people you wish to be dealing with. You can also consider a part-time job, though once again, make sure it something that is of interest and not just a chore.


Did you not have much time to go where you wished back in your working days? Well, here is your chance to visit all of those wonderful spots you have dreamed about for years.

Make New Friends

Get out there any meet new people by trying new things, attending events, etc. Don’t spend your golden years in front of the TV; experience the fun and fulfillment that comes from sharing quality time with good people.

Don’t Stress Out

Problems come in different forms at different stages of life; your senior years won’t be any different. However, stress can be harder on mind and body when you are older. Remember that you have conquered adversity throughout your life and this stage will be no different.


Signs That You May Be Experiencing Depression



It is normal to be sad on the occasion, but it is not healthy you find yourself in this state day after day. However, millions of people do find themselves in the grip of sadness and when this is a common part of your life, it is known as depression.

Have you been feeling quite down lately? You might have depression. If you exhibit any of the following signs, make an appointment with a therapist to talk about your situation.

Loss of Interest

Do you have hobbies or other pursuits that usually bring you joy in life, but they are of less and less interest to you?

Loss of Energy

Are you normally a person with a lot of get up and go, but lately, you have been feeling tired and unmotivated? Are you sleeping more or suffering a loss of energy from an inability to get a good night’s sleep?

Extreme Anger

Do you find yourself getting mad over things that would normally not bother you? Or are you getting excessively angry over situations that would usually only cause mild annoyance?

Worry and Anxiety

It is normal to have some degree of worry and anxiety in our lives, but do you find yourself constantly getting worried about what could happen in the future? Do you obsess over past mistakes?

Relying on Distractions

There is nothing wrong with having an occasional drink, but excessive amounts of alcohol are signs of a problem or an attempt to avoid coping with one. Drug use can also indicate a desperate need to escape from reality.

Do not feel ashamed if you have identified any of the above behaviors as something you are currently doing. There should never be any shame associated with mental health challenges and don’t forget that you are not alone in this struggle. Good luck!


Is Coffee Actually Good for You?

Coffee is something everyone talks about and seemingly everyone drinks. Every time I pass by a Tim Horton’s with a line out the door, I wished I owned that location. Many people rely on coffee with the same degree that they need water and food. There was a period when I drank 6-7 cups per day and could hardly get out of bed without one. It became such a monkey on my back, that I eventually quit. I’ve backslid a little, but try to have no more than one caffeinated drink per day.

We all know that caffeine has negative affects upon sleep and is also not good for your heart. However, there are periodic articles stating that, no, caffeine is actually beneficial for the human body. The latest tells of two studies that claim people who drink coffee 2-4 times a day have an 18% lower risk of death than those who did not indulge. The studies were conducted using diverse populations, which can lend credence to the validity of the results thanks to divergent diets and lifestyles. Among the reasons cited for this good health are lower instances of inflammation, healthier lipid profiles, and better glucose control.

It can be very difficult to know what to believe when we hear such studies. I am tempted to give them the benefit of the doubt, but while a plethora of studies yield more information, they also mean more contradictory results. There are also studies where the results have been manipulated to favour interested parties or the people conducting the tests are not above board.

The best answer is to decide what works best for you and monitor how you feel. If you think you would like to try the 2-4 cups of coffee strategy, go for it, but if the added caffeine results in you sitting awake at night, it’s not worth the trade-off for something not proven beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Weight Loss in Middle Age

We all know (all too well) how important fitness is at any stage in life. Excess weight can put a real strain on your heart and make you more susceptible to all manner of diseases, including cancer.

However, the ease with which one can lose weight changes at different stages in life. When you are young, the body has more energy and you can bounce back faster from any injuries or illness. As we age, our muscle density decreases and we feel stiffer and tire out faster.

Life can be more difficult when you are older, but letting your fitness decline will just make things worse. That said, there is no reason you cannot make adjustments to your physical fitness plan in order to reflect the changes your body undergoes with age.

First off, talk to you doctor. The two of you can discuss your fitness and weight loss goals. It is important to include your physician because they will have a good idea of what is suitable for you at this stage in life, based on your current physical state.

At this part of your life, the key is to lose fat. Don’t worry so much about what your scale says. You need to maintain your muscle, so doing so will make it seem like you are gaining weight.

In addition to exercise, be sure to drink plenty of water. Yes, water is important for maintaining proper bodily function, but it can also help you lose weight. As we age, the body has a more difficult time telling the difference between thirst and hunger. Thus, some people end up eating more than they should and that leads to weight gain.

Finally, make sure you have enough lean protein in your diet. Protein is an important component for both muscle growth and repair.

Starting a Hydroponics Garden Indoors

Growing your own food is a satisfying and cost-effective way to eat healthier. But what if you don’t have space for a garden outdoors? An indoor hydroponic garden could be the answer.

Hydroponics is a method of growing plants in an aquatic-based environment instead of in soil. Though the idea of hydroponics has been around for centuries, it has caught on in the past few years as an alternative for gardeners who lack the outdoor space or resources for a traditional garden.

In the old days, hydroponics was the exclusive realm of scientists and horticulturalists. In response to recent trends towards sustainability, companies specializing in hydroponics like Indoor Farmer’s hydroponics shop have sprouted up all over. This allows ordinary people to enter the hydroponics hobby.

Here’s what you need to start a hydroponics garden indoors.

Grow Tray

The grow tray is the structure that holds your plants, growing medium, and reservoir. There are many do it yourself options for building a grow tray, but you can also purchase it from Indoor Farmer’s hydroponics shop or another hydroponics supplier.


To ensure your indoor garden gets enough light, you’ll want to invest in a good set of grow-lights. A full lighting set-up will include LED bulbs or fluorescent tubes, digital ballasts, reflectors, and hangers. Many hydroponic gardeners also used automated timers and lighting controls to make sure the plants get the right amount of light each day.

If you don’t have the time to plan out and select each of these parts, there are many starter kits available as well. Indoor farmer’s hydroponics shop has complete lighting fixtures as well as individual components.


All plants need air and water. To supply your garden with both, you will need an air pump, along with air stones and airline tubing. This also allows you to control and maintain your garden’s nutrient reservoir.

The size and model of pump you need will depend on the size of your garden. Larger gardens will likely require more than one pump. Check out this guide for help selecting a pump for your indoor hydroponics garden.


Unlike traditional gardens, a hydroponics garden indoors does not use soil. Instead, you’ll need a medium or substrate that supports water absorption and drainage. Most beginners start with a substrate of coconut coir or lightweight expanded clay aggregate (LECA.)


Like other gardens, hydroponic gardens do best when you supply the plants with nutrients. There are specialized nutrient solutions designed for hydroponics. You will add this solution to your water reservoir.


The reservoir is the container that holds your nutrient solution and air pump. Make sure you choose a container that holds enough water to support your system.

Reach Your Highest Level Of Health To Reap The Benefits

Hey, Thomas here at The 7th Level.  A little about me.. I’m a personal trainer/nutritionist who started this blog to enhance your diet and exercise experiences.  Whether you feel you’re not at the highest optimal health level or you want to lose some weight, I’ll be here to coach you along the way.


Health should be the most important aspect of your life.  Without good health, you won’t be able to work, play or do much of anything.  It surprises me how little work people put into their own well-being.  People often take advantage of what they have in terms of their health.  However, it can turn around quickly when you least expect it.  That’s why keeping a proper healthy lifestyle is so important.

I’ll be here to guide you through exercise, diets, and much more.  It’s totally fair to be bored when working out or even bored of your meals.  I want to make sure when you’re exercising or eating healthy that you view it as a positive action you enjoy.  Being healthy should be incorporated into your lifestyle the way you want.  That means delicious meals, fun exercises, and the right information.  You can easily turn your life around by putting your health at number one priority.