Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Boosts for a Fun, Healthier 2013

Experts at the Cleveland Clinic recently shared tips
for happier and healthy living in 2013.
They are still healthy...just a little more fun, too.

Eat more chocolate:  Research has shown eating chocolate can increase
blood flow to the brain, decrease the impact of heart disease and even fight
depression. Eat in moderation, though.  Just 6.7 grams of chocolate a day
or roughly a small square of chocolate two or three times a day are enough
to provide  health benefits.

Dance:  Dancing burns calories, reduces stress,  strengthens muscles and bones
and can improve relationships.  So whether  you're grabbing a partner or dancing
with yourself, shake a leg ~ along with the rest of your body.

Get out of your comfort zone:  Stimulate your brain by trying something new,
such as learning phrases in a foreign language, attempting a puzzle or enrolling
in a class.  Your brain needs exercise too.

Take a mental time out:  We all take sick days when physical illness
strikes, but unchecked  stress and depression also can have negative effects
on  your health, including heart disease and anxiety. 
Use a vacation or personal day when you really need it and do something
you find relaxing.

Drink coffee:  According to the Cleveland Clinic, research has shown drinking
two or  more three 8-ounce cups of coffee daily can reduce the risk of
Parkinson's disease by as much as 40 percent and Alzheimer's disease by up to
20 percent.  Remember, though, moderation is the key...as in chocolate.

Go shoe shopping:  For women, replace high heels with shoes with a thicker
heel that's 2 ¼ inches or less in height.  The Cleveland Clinic also recommends
opting for square-toed shoes rather than pointy-toed versions.  To be certain of a
good fit, try shoes on at the end of the day, when your feet are at their largest.

Laugh:  Research is not definitive on whether “laughter is the best medicine”,
but studies have shown laughter's positive effects on blood flow and sleep,
among other things.  A little more humour in your life can't hurt!

(The foregoing are excerpts from the Akron Beacon Journal)

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I strongly advocate Creativity
as a further...Boost for a Fun, Healthier 2013.
(from the Mother Nature Network)

Want to Boost Your Creativity?
Take a Hike on the Wild Side...study suggests.

Have you ever felt mentally refreshed after a long walk or hike? 
If so, you're not alone.
A team of scientists has proven that getting back to nature ~
and away from all of our ever-present personal electronics ~
helps people perform significantly better on creativity.

It wasn't just short walks that did it, though. 
The scientists followed 56 backpackers who took four-to-six-day-wilderness trips
in Alaska, Maine, Colorado and Washington. The participants all left their
electronic devices behind before leaving on their journeys.

“We show that four days of immersion in nature,
and the corresponding disconnection from multimedia and technology,
increases performance on a creativity, problem solving task by a full 50 percent,”
 the scientists  write in their paper, published Dec. 12th in the journal PLOS One.

A coauthor professor of psychology at the University of Utah,
stated that this study “provides a rationale for trying to understand
what is a healthy way to interact in the world, and that burying yourself
in front of a computer 24/7 may have costs that can be remediated by taking
...a hike in nature.”

Mother Nature Network covered this study last May,
before it had been peer-reviewed for publication. 
Lead author told the Wall Street Journal,

“There's a growing advantage over time to being in nature. 
We think that it peaks after about three days
of really getting away, turning off the cellphone, not hauling the i Pad
and not looking for Internet coverage. 
It's when you have an extended period of time surrounded by
that softly fascinating environment... that you start seeing
all kinds of positive effects in how your mind works.”

The researchers gave the hikers tests that would demonstrate their creativity and
problem-solving abilities.  Out of 56  hikers, 24 of them sat down the morning
before their backpacking trip to take a 10-item creativity test.  The remaining  32
participants took the same test  in the morning of the last day of their hikes ~
an “in the wild”  element that the researchers say is unique to this study. 
The first group  had an average score of  4.14 on the test.  The second group,
which had been hiking, scored an average of 6.08.

It was not designed to determine if the increase in creativity
came from the immersion in nature or the four-day break
from phones and computers, but it does support earlier research
that showed…long hikes can improve concentration.

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"Words of Wisdom"
(from Mike Mattiacci, a Mortgage Broker acquaintance)

Essence of Success and Happiness
Successful are the persons...who have lived well,
laughed often and loved much...
who gained the respect of children...
who leave the world a better place  than they found it...
who have never lacked appreciation for the earth's beauty...
who never fail to look for the best in others
or to give the best of themselves.

Merle Baird-Kerr...written January 20, 2013
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or e-mail...inezkate@gmail.com


  1. Love and doing it all Merle...
    But most important... Invest in Orthotics
    to place in all your shoes.
    You won't believe the difference they
    will make in your life !

    Sherrie the Believer !

  2. Sherrie...you have wonderful "Life Guides"
    and are a great practitioner of them.

    Orthotics...for my shoes! Must try them.