Smelly foods and eating less!

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Did you know that in general, the stronger a food’s aroma, the less of it we’ll eat? And experts say that’s true whether the food’s sweet, spicy or savory. That’s because, when food has a strong odor, we think it has more calories – so we tend to eat more moderately. That’s why adding a dash of strong spices to hot food can help you lose weight.

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What’s the best way to stick with a regular exercise routine?

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You need to develop so-called “instigation habits” – that prompt you to work out. That’s according to Dr. Alison Phillips, psychology professor at Iowa State University. So what is an “instigation habit?

It’s something that not only reminds you to go work out – it makes working out a no brainer. For example:

Make driving past the gym on your way home from work part of your new commute.

Or, make your workout clothes your new pajamas – so when you wake up, you’re already dressed for exercise

Or put your gym shoes so they’re blocking the front door. So you can’t open it without touching them.

Dr. Phillips’ research suggests it can take at least a month of repeated behavior to develop this so-called instigation habit that’s impossible to ignore.

But once you repeat the same behaviors day after day, she found that having an instigation cue that prompts people to automatically go to the gym works to increase exercise frequency.

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This is how germs are spread!

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We know that coughing and sneezing spreads germs. Now, researchers say, so do singing, whistling and laughing!

Virologists at Singapore’s National University Hospital say singing produces an even stronger, “more penetrating plume of infection” than coughing. How do they know? Because the researchers used a gigantic mirror and high-speed camera to watch the splatter of saliva… and they figured out exactly how far those flu droplets flew when someone was singing!

So what’s the point of this research? Researchers can apply it to how far apart hospital beds need to be to prevent airborne infection. But for us, we should steer clear of strangers who are whistling on their way to work – and maybe avoid close contact with singers on karaoke night! Keep a minimum distance of 20 feet… and know that viral droplets can stay suspended in the air for up to 10 minutes.

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Are you lacking Vitamin D?

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Here’s a quick do-it-yourself way to tell if YOU might need more Vitamin D… It’s from nutritionist Karen Langston, from the National Association of Nutrition Professionals: Press your fingers against your sternum – AKA your breastbone… or press on your shinbone. If it’s painful, you might be low on “D”. Why would it hurt? Because we need D for strong bones!
So if you try the sternum test and it hurts, talk to your doctor about taking a supplement.

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The health risks of ROAD RAGE!

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When you’re driving, and someone makes a bone-headed move, honks, or cuts you off – do you turn into the Hulk and get road rage?

Well, you might want to practice forgiveness and take deep breaths, instead. Researchers at Australia’s University of The Sunshine Coast put study participants into driving simulators that measured heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety levels – and had them encounter a variety of drivers… from polite and considerate ones, to aggressive and distracted ones.

The result: when participants drove alongside rude, aggressive drivers – who cut them off, tailgated and honked – their blood pressure spiked. They also became more aggressive and distracted, had more near-crashes with other cars and pedestrians.

They were also more likely to miss a turn, and drive off the road.

And research from MIT shows the stress of road rage can last for your entire commuteand beyond. And that kind of chronic stress boosts blood pressure – and raises your risk of heart disease within 6 years. So forgive bad driversfor your heart’s sake.

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Tai Chi does more than reduce stress…

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It also helps arthritis! According to Arthritis.org, it reduces pain and inflammation. And all you need is to practice tai chi twice a week. In a study, those who did tai chi twice a week for 2 months had less pain and stiffness, more energy, better balance and an improved sense of wellbeing.

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After-school programs are good for your kids!

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If your kid is in any kind of after-school program, like a sports team or a drama clubgood newsThey’ll live longer. That’s according to the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. They found that people who have strong social ties early in life have positive mental and physical changes that make them healthier adults. And that can result in 5 extra years of life!

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Why are you gaining weight?

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It may be because you live on a busy, noisy street! According to the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine, regular exposure to traffic noise makes us nearly 30% more likely to be overweight. And the risk is even higher if you’re not just hearing cars – but also planes overhead, trains, or road construction.
Because the noise raises our stress levels. And you know that the more cortisol that’s coursing through us, the more we tend to eat, and the more calories we store as fat.
So what can you do if you live in busy, noisy area? The researchers recommend drowning it out with soothing background music – or a white noise machine… or wearing noise-canceling headphones when you’re eating or need to focus.

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Mobile devices are messing with your kid’s sleep!

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You know the blue light our phones and iPads give off messes with our melatonin levels. But the effect is even worse for kids and teenagers. Typically, a few hours before bed, our pineal gland, which is a pea-size organ in the brain, starts releasing melatonin. That reduces our alertness and makes sleep more inviting. But if enough blue light hits the eye, the gland can stop releasing melatonin. And 68% of teens have an electronic device in their bedroom all night long. But teen brains are even more sensitive to blue light than adults.

According to researchers at Brown University, regular exposure to electronic devices at night reduces the sleep hormone melatonin in adults by about 20%. But in tweens and teens, melatonin is suppressed by 40%! Twice as much. And even when teens are exposed to just one-tenth as much blue light as adults, they suppressed much more melatonin than adults exposed to full-strength blue light. So make sure your kids aren’t turning in with their electronic devices… Because researchers at Brown University believe it will really wreck their sleep.

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Are you poop-shy?

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Time to get a little personal about bathroom behavior… and this is important.

So, here’s the scenario… You go to the restroom at work – and all the stalls are occupied but one. You turn around and head back to your desk because there’s no way you’re going number 2 in a crowded bathroom right?
So, is it a problem to “hold it”? Internist Dr. Keri Peterson says it’s not a great idea. If you feel the urge to go and ignore it, it can cause chronic constipation and that can lead to other more serious problems. Let’s just leave it at that. So what can you do if you’re, how should we say it… poop-shy?

Dr. Peterson recommends exercising in the morning. That usually will move things along in your intestine so you go to the bathroom before work. Also, make sure your dinner has plenty of fiber. It’ll not only help you sleep better – but you will likely wake up with the urge to go.

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