Newsletter 9/14/22 – Lifestyle; Healthy Habits

12 Habits of Super-Healthy People

Have Breakfast

1/12

It’s important for a bunch of reasons. It jump-starts your metabolism and stops you from overeating later. Plus, studies show that adults who have a healthy breakfast do better at work, and kids who eat a morning meal score higher on tests. If a big plateful first thing isn’t for you, keep it light with a granola bar or a piece of fruit. Just don’t skip it.

Plan Your Meals

2/12

It’ll help you save time and money in the long run. Block out some time, then sit down and consider your goals and needs. Do you want to lose weight? Cut back on sugar, fat, or carbs? Add protein or vitamins? Meal prep keeps you in control. You know what you’re eating and when. A bonus: It’ll be that much easier to skip those doughnuts in the breakroom at work.

Drink Plenty of Water…

READ MORE


Five healthy habits net more healthy years

Are healthy habits worth cultivating? A recent study suggests healthy habits may help people tack on years of life and sidestep serious illnesses, such as diabetes and cancer. After all, if you’re going to gain an extra decade of life on this earth, you want to enjoy it!

What did this research focus on?

Researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health looked at data from more than 73,000 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) who were followed for 34 years, and more than 38,000 men enrolled in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) who were followed for 28 years.

In a previous study using the same data, these researchers found that five low-risk lifestyle habits are critical for a longer life expectancy. The more of these habits people had, the longer they lived… READ MORE


Meditation to Boost Health and Well-Being

Practicing mindfulness and meditation may help you manage stress and high blood pressure, sleep better, feel more balanced and connected, and even lower your risk of heart disease.

Meditation and mindfulness are practices — often using breathing, quiet contemplation, or sustained focus on something, such as an image, phrase, or sound — that help you let go of stress and feel more calm and peaceful. Think of it as a mini-vacation from the stress in your life! Stress is your body’s natural alarm system. It releases a hormone called adrenaline that makes your breathing speed up and your heart rate and blood pressure rise. It kicks us into action, which can be a good thing when we’re faced with a real danger or need to perform.

But that “fight or flight” response can take a toll on your body when it goes on too long or is a regular occurrence. Mindfulness meditation provides a method for handling stress more healthily.

Meditation can improve well-being and quality of life.

Recent studies have offered promising results about the impact of meditation in reducing blood pressure. There is also evidence that it can help people manage insomnia, depression, and anxiety… READ MORE


10 Important Reasons to Start Making Time for Silence, Rest and Solitude

Practice becoming an observer of your thoughts. The human will is strengthened whenever we choose not to respond to every actionable thought.

It’s amazing how tuned out we become to the motor of the air-conditioner and refrigerator — the sudden silence is a startling reprieve. Likewise, we become numb to the buzz of our technology-saturated world.

Smartphone users check their device every 6.5 minutes, which works out to around 150 times a day. Silence is replaced with a cacophony of communication, and solitude is replaced with social media.

Indeed they’re an endangered species: silence and solitude; yet great revelations and benefits are found in them. Here are ten:

1. Bypassing Burnout
Too often, our culture assigns self-worth to productivity. Whether it’s asking what your country can do for you, or what you can do for your country, the question remains — what can be done? It’s a one-way ticket to burnout… READ MORE


Nutrition, Health, and Lifestyle: Issues and Insights

 

 

 

 

 

 

Separate fact from fiction and fads as you learn about core nutrition concepts and how to evaluate not only personal food choices and overall dietary patterns; ns but nutrition-related content in the media and advertising. Such topics include fundamentals of a healthful eating pattern, nutrition labeling, dietary supplements, fortified and “super” foods, plant-based nutrition, and nutrition and fitness. The course will also include an overview of nutrition fundamentals as they relate to human health.

During this course, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Analyze and evaluate your food and beverage intake using a recommended online or cell phone app nutrient database.
  • Research a dietary supplement of your choosing using credible informational websites as well as evidence-based medical literature.
  • Personally examine the concept of energy balance through the determination of your calorie needs, intake, and expenditure.

Syllabus

Week One: Just What is a Healthy Diet? A Balancing Act

Week Two: Nutrition Labeling: Facts, Claims, and Challenges

Week Three: Dietary Supplements: Evaluating the Evidence

Week Four: Functional and “Super” Foods: Their Role in Optimal Nutrition

Week Five: Plant-based Nutrition: Controversies and Considerations

Week Six: Nutrition and Fitness: Facts, Food, and Fuel

Week Seven:  Food Allergies and Intolerances:  Separating Fact from Fiction

READ MORE

Meditation to Boost Health and Well-Being

Practicing mindfulness and meditation may help you manage stress and high blood pressure, sleep better, feel more balanced and connected, and even lower your risk of heart disease.

Meditation and mindfulness are practices — often using breathing, quiet contemplation, or sustained focus on something, such as an image, phrase, or sound — that help you let go of stress and feel more calm and peaceful. Think of it as a mini-vacation from the stress in your life! Stress is your body’s natural alarm system. It releases a hormone called adrenaline that makes your breathing speed up and your heart rate and blood pressure rise. It kicks us into action, which can be a good thing when we’re faced with a real danger or need to perform.

But that “fight or flight” response can take a toll on your body when it goes on too long or is a regular occurrence. Mindfulness meditation provides a method for handling stress more healthily.

Meditation can improve well-being and quality of life.

Recent studies have offered promising results about the impact of meditation in reducing blood pressure. There is also evidence that it can help people manage insomnia, depression, and anxiety.

Some research suggests that meditation physically changes the brain and could help:

      • increase the ability to process information
      • slow the cognitive effects of aging
      • reduce inflammation
      • support the immune system
      • reduce symptoms of menopause
      • control the brain’s response to pain
      • improve sleep

More research is needed, but it’s clear that meditation’s effects on the body and brain are a no-brainer!

Find the method that works for you.

There are many different types of meditation, including:

      • compassion (metta or loving-kindness),
      • insight (Vipassana),
      • mantra, mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR),
      • relaxation,
      • Transcendental,
      • Zen, and others.

It could be as simple as sitting quietly and focusing on your breath. When your mind wanders (and it will!), gently bring it back to the breath again. Gradually increase the amount of time you’re able to stay focused. If you’re not sure how to get started, look for online classes on meditation, get recommendations from friends, or research different types that interest you.

Transcendental meditation is a technique that allows your mind to focus inward, staying alert to other thoughts or sensations without allowing them to interfere. It’s typically done seated with your eyes closed for 20 minutes, twice a day. Mindfulness meditation may use an object of focus, such as the ringing of a bell, chanting, touching beads, or gazing at an image. Prayer can also be a form of mediation.

Not all meditation is done sitting down with your legs crossed and eyes closed. Moving meditation forms include qi gong, Tai Chi, and yoga.

The bottom line.

      • While meditation can help you manage stress, sleep well and feel better, it shouldn’t replace lifestyle changes like eating healthiermanaging your weight and getting regular physical activity. It’s also not a substitute for medication or medical treatment your doctor may have prescribed.
      • Try different types of meditation to find what works for you, and make it a regular part of your healthy lifestyle.

Source: heart.org ~ By: American Heart Association ~ Image: Canva Pro

Five healthy habits net more healthy years

Are healthy habits worth cultivating? A recent study suggests healthy habits may help people tack on years of life and sidestep serious illnesses, such as diabetes and cancer. After all, if you’re going to gain an extra decade of life on this earth, you want to enjoy it!

12 Habits of Super-Healthy People

Have Breakfast

1/12

It’s important for a bunch of reasons. It jump-starts your metabolism and stops you from overeating later. Plus, studies show that adults who have a healthy breakfast do better at work, and kids who eat a morning meal score higher on tests. If a big plateful first thing isn’t for you, keep it light with a granola bar or a piece of fruit. Just don’t skip it.

Plan Your Meals

2/12

It’ll help you save time and money in the long run. Block out some time, then sit down and consider your goals and needs. Do you want to lose weight? Cut back on sugar, fat, or carbs? Add protein or vitamins? Meal prep keeps you in control. You know what you’re eating and when. A bonus: It’ll be that much easier to skip those doughnuts in the breakroom at work.

Drink Plenty of Water

3/12

It can do so many good things for you. Staying hydrated is at the top of the list, but it may also help you lose weight. Another reason to go for H2O? Sugary drinks are linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes. If you aren’t a fan of plain water, add flavor with slices of orange, lemon, lime, watermelon, or cucumber.

Take an Exercise Break

4/12

Don’t just grab another cup of coffee — get up and move. Do some deep lunges or stretches. It’s great for your body and mind. Just 30 minutes of walking five times a week may help keep the blues at bay. And if you can’t do those minutes all at once, short bursts help, too.

Go Offline

5/12

Checking your email and social media a lot? Sure, your friends’ and family’s latest updates are just a click away, but do you really need to see pictures of your cousin’s latest meal? Let it wait until morning. Set a time to log off and put the phone down. When you cut back on screen time, it frees you to do other things. Take a walk, read a book, or help your cousin chop veggies for their next great dinner.

Learn Something New

6/12

New skills help keep your brain healthy. Sign up for a dance class or a creative writing workshop. Better yet, master a new language. The mental work it takes can slow the signs of aging and may even delay the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

Don’t Smoke

7/12

If you light up, quit. It’s a big move toward better health. Your body repairs itself quickly. As soon as 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your heart rate and blood pressure drop. Why wait? Kick the habit, today. Your doctor will be happy to help you get started.

Sleep Well

8/12

There are almost too many benefits to list. A good night’s sleep keeps you in a better mood, sharpens memory and focus, and helps you learn new things. In the long term, it lowers your risk of heart disease and helps you keep trim. Aim to get 7 to 9 hours a night. For the best rest, do it on schedule — turning in and waking up at about the same times every day.

Train Your Muscles

9/12

Strength training helps your body trade fat for muscle mass. That means you’ll burn more calories even when you’re being a couch potato. But these workouts can also help you slim down, strengthen your heart, and build up your bones. Do strength-training exercises — like push-ups, lunges, and weight lifting — at least twice a week.

Head Outdoors

10/12

A few minutes in the sunshine raises vitamin D levels, and that’s good for your bones, your heart, and your mood. Plus, being outside means you’re more likely to move your body instead of parking it in front of the TV or computer. Choose nature over city streets, if you can. One study found that people who strolled in urban green spaces were calmer than people who walked in built-up areas.

Keep Your Balance

11/12

If you’re young and active, good balance will help you avoid injuries. If you’re older, it will keep you active longer and lower the chances you’ll fall and break a bone. No matter your age, good balance means better muscle tone, a healthier heart, and greater confidence. Yoga and tai chi are great ways to work on it, but just about anything that keeps you moving, even walking, can help.

Be Mindful

Be Mindful

12/12

It can mean meditating or simply stopping to smell the roses. However you do it, studies show mindfulness slashes stress, relieves pain, and improves your mood. And scientists are beginning to understand how. One study found that 8 weeks of regular meditation can change parts of your brain related to emotions, learning, and memory. Even washing dishes can be good for your brain, as long as you do it mindfully.

Source: webmd.com ~ By: Melinda Ratini, DO, MS ~ Image: Canva Pro

10 Important Reasons to Start Making Time for Silence, Rest and Solitude

Practice becoming an observer of your thoughts. The human will is strengthened whenever we choose not to respond to every actionable thought.

It’s amazing how tuned out we become to the motor of the air-conditioner and refrigerator — the sudden silence is a startling reprieve. Likewise, we become numb to the buzz of our technology-saturated world.

Smartphone users check their device every 6.5 minutes, which works out to around 150 times a day. Silence is replaced with a cacophony of communication, and solitude is replaced with social media.

Indeed they’re an endangered species: silence and solitude; yet great revelations and benefits are found in them. Here are ten:

1. Bypassing Burnout
Too often, our culture assigns self-worth to productivity. Whether it’s asking what your country can do for you, or what you can do for your country, the question remains — what can be done? It’s a one-way ticket to burnout.

Solitude allows for a break from the tyranny of productivity. And rather than being in opposition, doing nothing helps with doing much. Promega is a company with on-the-job “third spaces” where employees can take solitude breaks and meditate in natural light. The health benefits have resulted in improved productivity levels for the company. And will do the same for us.

2. Heightened Sensitivity 
For many, attempting ten days of silence would be akin to walking on water. Vipassana silent retreats are exactly that; participants are instructed to refrain from reading, writing, or eye contact.

One hundred scientists went on a retreat for research and noted that shutting off the faculty of speech heightens awareness in other areas. Beginning with breathing, that focus and sensitivity are then transferred to sights, sounds, sensations, thoughts, intentions, and emotions.

3. Dissolving Tomorrow’s Troubles 
Alan Watts argues that our frustration and anxiety are rooted in being disconnected — living in the future, which is but an illusion.

Silence brings our awareness back to the present — where concrete happiness is experienced. Watts makes the distinction between our basic and ingenious consciousness; the latter makes predictions based on our memories, which seem so real to the mind that we’re caught in a hypothetical abstraction. It plans out our lives with abstract happiness, but abstract happiness is a very real disappointment.

The future falls short of what the present can deliver. Silence and solitude pull us out and immerse us back in the present.

4. Improves Memory
Combining solitude with a walk in nature causes brain growth in the hippocampus region, resulting in better memory.

Evolutionists explain that being in nature sparks our spatial memory as it did when our ancestors went hunting — remembering where the food and predators were was essential for survival. Taking a walk alone gives the brain uninterrupted focus and helps with memory consolidation.

5. Strengthens Intention and Action
Psychologist Kelly McGonigal says during silence, the mind is best able to cultivate a form of mindful intention that later motivates us to take action.

Intentional silence puts us in a state of mental reflection and disengages our intellectual mind. At that point McGonigal says to ask yourself three questions:

      • “If anything were possible, what would I welcome or create in my life?”
      • “When I’m feeling most courageous and inspired, what do I want to offer the world?”
      • “When I’m honest about how I suffer, what do I want to make peace with?”

Removing that critical mind allows the imagination and positive emotions to build a subconscious intention and add fuel to our goals. McGonigal explains, “When you approach the practice of figuring this stuff out in that way, you start to get images and memories and ideas that are different than if you tried to answer those questions intellectually.”

6. Increases Self-Awareness
The visceral reaction of cussing at a loved one or over-disciplining our children often comes with regret. It happens when we’re completely governed by actions, and absent of reasonable thought.

In silence, we make room for self-awareness to be in control of our actions, rather than under their control. The break from external voices puts us in tune with our inner voices — and it’s those inner voices that drive our actions. Awareness leads to control.

Practice becoming an observer of your thoughts. The human will is strengthened whenever we choose not to respond to every actionable thought.

7. Grow Your Brain
The brain is the most complex and powerful organ, and like muscles, benefits from rest. UCLA research showed that regular times set aside to disengage, sit in silence, and mentally rest, improve the “folding” of the cortex and boost our ability to process information.

Carving out as little as 10 minutes to sit in your car and visualize peaceful scenery (rainforest, snow-falling, beach) will thicken grey matter in your brain.

8. “A-Ha” Moments
The creative process includes a crucial stage called incubation, where all the ideas we’ve been exposed to get to meet, mingle, marinate — then produce a eureka or “A-ha” moment. The secret to incubation? Nothing. Literally; disengage from the work at hand, and take a rest. It’s also the elixir for mental blocks.

What’s typically seen as useless daydreaming is now being seen as an essential experience. Professor Jonathan Schooler from UC Santa Barbara says, “Daydreaming and boredom seem to be a source for incubation and creative discovery in the brain.”

9. Mastering Discomfort
Just when you’ve found a quiet place to sit alone and reflect, an itch will beckon to be scratched. But many meditation teachers will encourage you to refrain, and breathe into the experience until it passes. Along with bringing your mind back from distracting thoughts and to your breathing, these practices during silence and solitude work to build greater self-discipline.

10. Emotional Cleansing
Our fight/flight mechanism causes us to flee not only from physical difficulties but also emotional difficulties. Ignoring and burying negative emotions, however, only causes them to manifest in stress, anxiety, anger, and insomnia.

Strategies to release emotional turbulence include sitting in silence and thinking in detail about what triggered the negative emotion. The key is to do so as an observer — stepping outside of yourself as if you’re reporting for a newspaper. It’s a visualization technique used by psychotherapists to detach a person from their emotions, which allows you to process an experience objectively and rationally.

Source: huffpost.com ~ By: Thai Nguyen ~ Image: Canva Pro

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