By Kathy Meyer
Important Things You Should Know About a Migraine
Are there recurring pains that come to your head which is first moderate then becomes severe in the long run? Do the pain in your head is throbbing or pulsing? Does the pain often occur on one side of your head occur? Are you feeling weak or nausea? Are you experiencing sensitivity to sound or light? If all of your answer or most of the questions, the answer is yes. Probably, you might have a migraine.
There are many factors that a migraine develops. It may be the result of abnormal activity that your brain works. It can affect your nerves communication and the chemicals and the blood vessels in your mind. Sometimes, because genetic reasons, it can trigger someone’s migraine. There are chances that a person’s headache activates when they encounter. If a person is not able to know how a migraine becomes active, there is a high risk of being attacked to this severe headache.
A Migraine Triggers Most During:
1. Diet practices. Some beverages contribute most in migraine attack – alcohol and caffeine. Other specific foods also that includes chocolate, peanut, cheese, citrus fruits, and foods that contain additive tyramine. If the person has irregular meal time and particular circumstances of getting dehydrated migraine triggers.
2. Emotional triggers. Since emotions are connected to psychological being of a person, once he may feel stress, depressed, anxious, excited, and even shock, it can activate his migraine.
3. Environment. Since one of the symptoms of having migraine its sensitivity to light, you expect that once there are flickering screens, strong smells, second-hand smoke, or even loud noises in the environment, it can cause your migraine to attack. Aside from that, if temperature changes, you are closed to a stuffy room, or having bright lights in the surroundings that annoy your eyes, can also make a migraine start.
4. Hormonal changes. Most cases this happens to girls during their menstruation. It is because whenever girls have their monthly periods, their hormone level changes.
5. Medication. Due to other conditions which you have felt before, you might have specific drugs that include sleeping pills, hormone replacement therapy (HRT) drugs, or combined contraceptive pill. All of these may trigger a migraine.
6. Physical causes. Your body’s low blood sugar or jet lag can be a cause. If you are tired and does not have enough sleep, your shoulder or neck tensions, you have poor posture, or physical overexertion can trigger a migraine.
Despite these possible causes to trigger your migraine, you can fight whenever it attacks if you have prepared yourself for treatments. If you have consulted your doctor, it is much better so that he can help you manage it. However, if you were not able to talk to your doctor, some treatments can help you make your migraine less painful.
The treatment plan should depend on certain factors your age, type of your migraine, number of attacks, other health conditions, any severe symptoms of attacks. The treatment focuses on giving relief to the signs and preventing severe additional migraine attacks. The procedure may be a combination of the following:
1. Self-care remedies for a migraine
2. Adjustments in lifestyle like stress management and avoiding activities that trigger a migraine
3. Engaging in exercises, relaxation techniques, and biofeedback
4. Prescription migraine medication that you take as soon as headache starts which may include Axert drug.
5. Hormone therapy could help women who mostly experience the attack of severe headache during the menstruation cycle.
7. Alternative care
8. You can lie down in a quiet and dark room. Make sure to rest your eyes.
9. Massage scalp or temples
10. You can place a cold cloth over the forehead or behind the neck.
11. You need to drink plenty of water.
It is worth knowing the important things that cause your migraine. At the same time, with an underlying treatment, it could have. Most of the time, when a headache occurs, and it becomes severe, people rely most on medicine that could help them ease the pain.
So to lessen the burden of rattling whenever migraine attacks, it is suggested that you need to bring with you always medicine that will help you the most. Thus, it is timely and relevant to grab one of the offered discounts by Pharma Quotes for cases like you. To avail the promo, grab and secure an Axert Coupon as soon as possible. With this, you will always be ready with or without migraine attack.
By Guest Nicole SG
1. Practice gratitude.
Sounds simple, but the act of practicing gratitude helps put an end to anxious thoughts by forcing your brain to focus on the positive. Anxiety can often make you feel cut off from the world around you, and cultivating gratitude actively fights against that feeling. Plus, it works: Studies have shown that practicing gratitude daily positively affects mental health, reducing anxiety and stress and even making you a bit happier.
2. Start each day with intention.
Whether you're meditating, stating affirmations, or setting a daily intention, this short and sweet practice has one goal: to stop thoughts that lead to anxiety dead in their tracks.
Here are some suggestions:
Whatever I do today, it's enough. And so am I. I have the power to make changes. I decide how my story is told. Today, I choose joy. 3. Get CBD involved.
Ever heard of the endocannabinoid system? It's a network of cannabinoid receptors in the cells of our nervous system, immune system, digestive system, and many of the body's major organs. These receptors interact with the natural cannabinoid-like chemicals our bodies produce—and yes, the cannabinoid content from the cannabis plant—to help our systems keep calm and carry on under stress.
4. Move a little.
Walk, run, burpee, cat/cow—do whatever your body likes to do, and make it a habit: Research proves over and over that exercise can help your brain cope with stress because physically active people have lower rates of anxiety than more sedentary people.
5. Get your internal dialogue on paper.
Keeping a bedside journal or thought diary is another useful way to manage stress and anxiety. Writing can be a healing practice, especially if you find it a bit difficult to talk about your anxious thoughts or are facing a new challenge or big decision that's causing overwhelm. Jotting down your thoughts on paper can give you clarity and a heightened view of your internal dialogue and release pent-up feelings and negative thoughts.
By Guest Nicole
Want medical care without quickly draining your fortune? Try Singapore or Hong Kong as your healthy havens.
The U.S. will cost you the most for treatment, both in absolute terms and relative to average incomes, while life expectancy of Americans -- about 79 years -- was exceeded by more than 25 countries and territories, according to an annual Bloomberg analysisÂ in almost 200 economies.
A health-efficiency index was then created to rank those with average lifespans of at least 70 years, GDP per-capita exceeding $5,000 and a minimum population of 5 million.
Americans arenÂ’t getting their medical moneyÂ’s worth, according to each of the categories.
By Guest Nicole
Being widowed, divorced or never married increases the risk of heart disease.
Being married may reduce the risk of heart disease and cardiovascular death, a review of studies has found.
Researchers pooled data on more than two million participants in 34 studies carried out in the United States, Britain, Japan, Russia, Sweden, Spain, Greece and eight other countries.
They found that compared with married people, those who were unmarried — whether never married, widowed or divorced — were 42 percent more likely to have some form of cardiovascular disease and 16 percent more likely to have coronary heart disease. The unmarried also had a 43 percent increased likelihood of coronary heart disease death and a 55 percent increased risk for death from stroke. Stroke risk was increased for the unmarried and divorced, but not for the widowed.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/29/well/marriage-heart-married-divorced-single.html?rref=collection/sectioncollection/well
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
Working out the muscles on one side of our bodies can keep the muscles on the other side fit, even if we do not move them at all.
By Gretchen Reynolds
May 16, 2018
If you sprain an ankle or break a wrist this summer and cannot use one of your limbs, the muscles there will weaken and shrink — unless you exercise those same muscles in your other limb.
According to a fascinating new study, working out the muscles on one side of our bodies can keep the muscles on the other side strong and fit, even if we do not move them at all. The finding has implications for injury recovery and also underscores how capable and confounding our bodies can be.
Many of us — or a family member — will at some point break a bone, tear a ligament or experience a neurological problem such as a stroke that makes it impossible to move an arm or leg normally.
When that limb is immobilized, its muscles will atrophy, losing size and strength, a process that begins within days or even hours of an injury.
There have been hints, though, that exercising one limb can affect the other. In past studies, when someone pedals a bike with one leg or lifts weights with one arm, muscles in the other limb often contract, a development known as mirroring.
But in most of those experiments, the unused limb was not completely immobilized with a cast and scientists did not focus on specific muscles, making it difficult to know whether exercising certain muscles in one limb affects all muscles in the other or only some.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/16/well/move/exercise-sports-injury-arm-leg-broken-strain-sprain.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fhealth&action=click&contentCollection=health&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=2&pgtype=sectionfront
By Guest Nicole
April 19, 2018
University of Colorado at Boulder
Older adults who take an antioxidant that specifically targets mitochondria see age-related changes in blood vessels reverse by the equivalent of 15 to 20 years within six weeks, a new study shows.
Older adults who take a novel antioxidant that specifically targets cellular powerhouses, or mitochondria, see age-related vascular changes reverse by the equivalent of 15 to 20 years within six weeks, according to new University of Colorado Boulder research.
The study, published this week in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting pharmaceutical-grade nutritional supplements, or nutraceuticals, could play an important role in preventing heart disease-the nation's No. 1 killer. It also resurrects the notion that oral antioxidants, which have been broadly dismissed as ineffective in recent years, could reap measurable health benefits if properly targeted, the authors say.
"This is the first clinical trial to assess the impact of a mitochondrial-specific antioxidant on vascular function in humans," said lead author Matthew Rossman, a postdoctoral researcher in the department of integrative physiology. "It suggests that therapies like this may hold real promise for reducing the risk of age-related cardiovascular disease."
Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180419141523.htm
Whether sustained or sporadic, exercise offers same reductions in premature death risk Moderate-to-vigorous workouts reduce mortality, even in short bursts under 10 minutesBy Guest Nicole
For decades, Americans have been inundated with a confusing barrage of messages about how best to counteract the health risks of sedentary lifestyles: walk 10,000 steps a day; do a seven-minute workout from a phone app; flip heavy tires in an arduous boot camp class.
It turns out that any and all of those tactics -- even when done in short bursts throughout the day -- could work to reduce Americans' risk of disease and death, according to research appearing in the Journal of the American Heart Association.
"For about 30 years, guidelines have suggested that moderate-to-vigorous activity could provide health benefits, but only if you sustained the activity for 10 minutes or more," said study author and distinguished professor William E. Kraus, M.D., of the Duke University School of Medicine. "That flies in the face of public health recommendations, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and parking farther from your destination. Those don't take 10 minutes, so why were they recommended?"
Kraus's study found that even brief trips up and down stairs would count toward accumulated exercise minutes and reducing health risks so long as the intensity reaches a moderate or vigorous level. Moderate exertion was defined as brisk walking at a pace that makes it hard to carry a conversation. Boosting that pace to a jog would be vigorous exercise for most people, he said.
The study findings are good news for most Americans, Kraus said, because they typically get their moderate or vigorous exercise in short bouts, and accumulating 30 minutes per day may be more convenient than setting a half-hour block.
Current guidelines, issued in 2008 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week, ideally spread out over several days, Kraus said. Updated guidelines are expected to be released later this year.
Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180322103242.htm
By Guest Nicole
Are standing desks really doing us any good?
That question has divided workplaces since sitting started going out of fashion about five years ago. Our sedentary lifestyles wereÂ killingÂ us, so standing, the thinking went, was the logicalÂ antidote.Â Sitting too long has been associated with diabetes, hypertension, some forms of cancer, anxiety and a generally greater probability ofÂ early death. However, a few years and hundreds of studies later, the naysayers beganÂ arguingÂ that the benefits of standing had been exaggerated.Â
Â“What is the real answer?Â” askedÂ Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic. Â“How many calories would someone burn in standing or sitting up?Â” A new study may provide the most definitive answer to date, at least as far as losing weight is concerned.Â Standing does, in fact, burn calories, researchers found, just not that many: about 54 calories for a six-hour day of standing.
Read more:Â https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-01/do-standing-desks-really-help-you-lose-weight
By Guest Nicole
The potentially harmful effects of loneliness and social isolation on health and longevity, especially among older adults, are well established. For example, in 2013 I reported on research finding that loneliness can impair healthÂ by raising levels of stress hormones and inflammation, which in turn can increase the risk of heart disease, arthritis, Type 2 diabetes, dementia and even suicide attempts.
Among older people who reported they felt left out, isolated or lacked companionship, the ability to perform daily activities like bathing, grooming and preparing meals declined and deathsÂ increased over a six-year study periodÂ relative to people who reported none of these feelings. Writing for The New York TimesÂ’s department The Upshot last December, Dr. Dhruv Khullar, a physician and researcher at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, cited evidence for disrupted sleep, abnormal immune responses and accelerated cognitive decline among socially isolated individuals, which he called Â“a growing epidemic.Â”
By Guest Nicole
August 2, 2017
Florida Atlantic University
Restricting how much you eat without starving has been shown to robustly extend lifespan in more than 20 species of animals including primates. How this works is still unclear. A new study shows that it's not just what or how much you eat that matters. Smelling food in addition to consuming calories could influence the aging process. And, what's 'eating' you or more specifically your cells may provide clues to healthy aging.
Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170802092008.htm
By Guest Nicole
July 17, 2017
A new review indicates that subjective well-being -- factors such as life satisfaction and enjoyment of life -- can influence physical health.
A new review indicates that subjective well-being -- factors such as life satisfaction and enjoyment of life -- can influence physical health. The review's investigators also examine why this is so and conditions where it is most likely to occur.
Read more: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/07/170717100550.htm
By Guest Nicole
Although the rising pandemic of obesity has received major attention in many countries, the effects of this attention on trends and the disease burden of obesity remain uncertain.
Read more: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1614362?query=featured_home&
By Guest Nicole
Mindfulness and Anxiety.pdf
By Guest Nicole
Obesity and weight problems are on the rise across the world, according to a new study. In fact, more than 2 billion adults and children (or more than 30 percent of the world’s population) suffered from health problems stemming from being overweight or obese in 2015, and more people than ever are dying because of weight-related problems, the study found.
Published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the study analyzed data from 195 countries between 1980 and 2015, collected as part of the Global Burden of Disease study (which looked at the health loss of more than 300 diseases and injuries). Scientists from the University of Washington found that more than 107 million children and 603 million adults worldwide were obese as of 2015, and even more are technically overweight. And in the U.S. alone, 79 million adults were technically obese in 2015, as compared to 57 million adults in China (which has four times as many people as the U.S.), the Associated Press notes. The U.S. also has the highest number of overweight or obese young adults or children.
Read more: http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2017/06/obesity-overweight-global-population-study.html
By Guest Nicole
At some point or another, you’ve probably seen someone reference research which suggests that having a good sense of humor is linked to better health outcomes. Sometimes, this is referenced as more or less a fact — we know this to be true. And sometimes, the point is stretched yet further: therefore, actively working to have a sense of humor can help you stay healthy.
But when you look at some of this research, things are actually not quite so simple. In a post published today on BPS Research Digest, Christian Jarrett nicely explains the limitations of some of the health-humor studies and deftly unpacks why they don’t say what they seem to.
The research in question this time around is an article consisting of a series of studies published in Personality and Social Psychological Bulletin.
Let’s let Jarrett explain two of the studies’ setups:
Heidi Fritz at Clarkson University and her colleagues began by conducting a diary study with 21 women and 1 man diagnosed with the chronic pain condition Fibromyalgia Syndrome. The participants first completed baseline questionnaires about their physical health, psychological state, their tendency to see the funny side of things (for example, they were asked whether they would typically experience mirth in situations such as a waiter spilling a drink over them), how much socialising and support they’d had with friends and relatives recently, and how much they tended to reappraise challenges, such as looking for the positives in a difficult situation. Then the participants spent the next four days completing diary entries several times each day about their physical and emotional state.
A second study involved just over 100 undergrad students answering questions about their psychological and emotional state, their tendency to find things funny and make jokes, and they also recalled a previous distressing event and how much it continued to affect them.
As Jarrett explains, the results suggested that, overall, those with better senses of humor were more likely to handle certain types of stressors, as well as the lingering effects of trauma. But: “[T]he obvious problem with these first two studies is that it might simply be that the less distressed participants were better able to experience humour, rather than their inclination for humour reducing their stress levels or, in the case of the first study, their physical symptoms.” This is a potential problem with basically all correlational research, of course, and it’s why it’s frustrating to see so many people extract “X causes Y!” takeaways from studies that are a bit more complicated.
What’s interesting about this particular article is that, as Jarrett explains, a third study was designed to test the causality question — that is, whether a sense of humor causes better health and more resilience — but “it failed, statistically, to establish that a stronger inclination for humour at baseline was directly associated with less distress at follow-up.”
So what we’re left with are some ambiguous correlations — interesting in their own right and worth probing forward. Which is fine! That’s science. But science is complicated, and the stories we tell should about it should reflect that.
By Guest Nicole
Running may be the single most effective exercise to increase life expectancy, according to a new review and analysis of past research about exercise and premature death. The new study found that, compared to nonrunners, runners tended to live about three additional years, even if they run slowly or sporadically and smoke, drink or are overweight. No other form of exercise that researchers looked at showed comparable impacts on life span.
The findings come as a follow-up to a study done three years ago, in which a group of distinguished exercise scientists scrutinized data from a large trove of medical and fitness tests conducted at the Cooper Institute in Dallas. That analysis found that as little as five minutes of daily running was associated with prolonged life spans.
After that study was released, the researchers were inundated with queries from fellow scientists and the general public, says Duck-chul Lee, a professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University and a co-author of the study. Some people asked if other activities, such as walking, were likely to be as beneficial as running for reducing mortality risks.
High-mileage runners wondered if they could be doing too much, and if at some undefined number of miles or hours, running might become counterproductive and even contribute to premature mortality,
And a few people questioned whether running really added materially to people’s life spans. Could it be, they asked rather peevishly, that if in order to reduce your risk of dying by a year, you had to spend the equivalent of a year’s worth of time on the trails or track, producing no discernible net gain?
So for the new study, which was published last month in Progress in Cardiovascular Disease, Dr. Lee and his colleagues set out to address those and related issues by reanalyzing data from the Cooper Institute and also examining results from a number of other large-scale recent studies looking into the associations between exercise and mortality.
Over all, this new review reinforced the findings of the earlier research, the scientists determined. Cumulatively, the data indicated that running, whatever someone’s pace or mileage, dropped a person’s risk of premature death by almost 40 percent, a benefit that held true even when the researchers controlled for smoking, drinking and a history of health problems such as hypertension or obesity.
Using those numbers, the scientists then determined that if every nonrunner who had been part of the reviewed studies took up the sport, there would have been 16 percent fewer deaths over all, and 25 percent fewer fatal heart attacks. (One caveat: the participants in those studies were mostly white and middle class.)
Perhaps most interesting, the researchers calculated that, hour for hour, running statistically returns more time to people’s lives than it consumes. Figuring two hours per week of training, since that was the average reported by runners in the Cooper Institute study, the researchers estimated that a typical runner would spend less than six months actually running over the course of almost 40 years, but could expect an increase in life expectancy of 3.2 years, for a net gain of about 2.8 years.
In concrete terms, an hour of running statistically lengthens life expectancy by seven hours, the researchers report.
Of course, these additions “are not infinite,” Dr. Lee says. Running does not make people immortal. The gains in life expectancy are capped at around three extra years, he says, however much people run.
The good news is that prolonged running does not seem to become counterproductive for longevity, he continues, according to the data he and his colleagues reviewed. Improvements in life expectancy generally plateaued at about four hours of running per week, Dr. Lee says. But they did not decline.
Meanwhile, other kinds of exercise also reliably benefited life expectancy, the researchers found, but not to the same degree as running. Walking, cycling and other activities, even if they required the same exertion as running, typically dropped the risk of premature death by about 12 percent. (To make my own biases clear, I run but I also love cycling and I walk my dogs every day.)
Why running should be so uniquely potent against early mortality remains uncertain, Dr. Lee says. But it is likely, he says, that it combats many of the common risk factors for early death, including high blood pressure and extra body fat, especially around the middle.
It also raises aerobic fitness, he says, and high aerobic fitness is one of the best-known indicators of an individual’s long-term health.
Of course, the findings in this new review are associational, meaning that they prove that people who run tend also to be people who live longer, but not that running directly causes the increases in longevity. Runners typically also lead healthy lives, Dr. Lee says, and their lifestyles may be playing an outsize role in mortality.
But even taking that possibility into consideration, he says, the data suggest that running could add years to our lives.
By Guest Nicole
“Look on the sunny side of life.”
“Turn your face toward the sun, and the shadows will fall behind you.”
“Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.”
“See the glass as half-full, not half-empty.”
Researchers are finding that thoughts like these, the hallmarks of people sometimes called “cockeyed optimists,” can do far more than raise one’s spirits. They may actually improve health and extend life.
There is no longer any doubt that what happens in the brain influences what happens in the body. When facing a health crisis, actively cultivating positive emotions can boost the immune system and counter depression. Studies have shown an indisputable link between having a positive outlook and health benefits like lower blood pressure, less heart disease, better weight control and healthier blood sugar levels.
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Even when faced with an incurable illness, positive feelings and thoughts can greatly improve one’s quality of life. Dr. Wendy Schlessel Harpham, a Dallas-based author of several books for people facing cancer, including “Happiness in a Storm,” was a practicing internist when she learned she had non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system, 27 years ago. During the next 15 years of treatments for eight relapses of her cancer, she set the stage for happiness and hope, she says, by such measures as surrounding herself with people who lift her spirits, keeping a daily gratitude journal, doing something good for someone else, and watching funny, uplifting movies. Her cancer has been in remission now for 12 years.
“Fostering positive emotions helped make my life the best it could be,” Dr. Harpham said. “They made the tough times easier, even though they didn’t make any difference in my cancer cells.”
While Dr. Harpham may have a natural disposition to see the hopeful side of life even when the outlook is bleak, new research is demonstrating that people can learn skills that help them experience more positive emotions when faced with the severe stress of a life-threatening illness.
Judith T. Moskowitz, a professor of medical social sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, developed a set of eight skills to help foster positive emotions. In earlier research at the University of California, San Francisco, she and colleagues found that people with new diagnoses of H.I.V. infection who practiced these skills carried a lower load of the virus, were more likely to take their medication correctly, and were less likely to need antidepressants to help them cope with their illness.
The researchers studied 159 people who had recently learned they had H.I.V. and randomly assigned them to either a five-session positive emotions training course or five sessions of general support. Fifteen months past their H.I.V. diagnosis, those trained in the eight skills maintained higher levels of positive feelings and fewer negative thoughts related to their infection.
An important goal of the training is to help people feel happy, calm and satisfied in the midst of a health crisis. Improvements in their health and longevity are a bonus. Each participant is encouraged to learn at least three of the eight skills and practice one or more each day. The eight skills are:
■ Recognize a positive event each day.
■ Savor that event and log it in a journal or tell someone about it.
■ Start a daily gratitude journal.
■ List a personal strength and note how you used it.
■ Set an attainable goal and note your progress.
■ Report a relatively minor stress and list ways to reappraise the event positively.
■ Recognize and practice small acts of kindness daily.
■ Practice mindfulness, focusing on the here and now rather than the past or future.
Dr. Moskowitz said she was inspired by observations that people with AIDS, Type 2 diabetes and other chronic illnesses lived longer if they demonstrated positive emotions. She explained, “The next step was to see if teaching people skills that foster positive emotions can have an impact on how well they cope with stress and their physical health down the line.”
She listed as the goals improving patients’ quality of life, enhancing adherence to medication, fostering healthy behaviors, and building personal resources that result in increased social support and broader attention to the good things in life.
Gregg De Meza, a 56-year-old architect in San Francisco who learned he was infected with H.I.V. four years ago, told me that learning “positivity” skills turned his life around. He said he felt “stupid and careless” about becoming infected and had initially kept his diagnosis a secret.
“When I entered the study, I felt like my entire world was completely unraveling,” he said. “The training reminded me to rely on my social network, and I decided to be honest with my friends. I realized that to show your real strength is to show your weakness. No pun intended, it made me more positive, more compassionate, and I’m now healthier than I’ve ever been.”
In another study among 49 patients with Type 2 diabetes, an online version of the positive emotions skills training course was effective in enhancing positivity and reducing negative emotions and feelings of stress. Prior studies showed that, for people with diabetes, positive feelings were associated with better control of blood sugar, an increase in physical activity and healthy eating, less use of tobacco and a lower risk of dying.
In a pilot study of 39 women with advanced breast cancer, Dr. Moskowitz said an online version of the skills training decreased depression among them. The same was true with caregivers of dementia patients.
“None of this is rocket science,” Dr. Moskowitz said. “I’m just putting these skills together and testing them in a scientific fashion.”
In a related study of more than 4,000 people 50 and older published last year in the Journal of Gerontology, Becca Levy and Avni Bavishi at the Yale School of Public Health demonstrated that having a positive view of aging can have a beneficial influence on health outcomes and longevity. Dr. Levy said two possible mechanisms account for the findings. Psychologically, a positive view can enhance belief in one’s abilities, decrease perceived stress and foster healthful behaviors. Physiologically, people with positive views of aging had lower levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of stress-related inflammation associated with heart disease and other illnesses, even after accounting for possible influences like age, health status, sex, race and education than those with a negative outlook. They also lived significantly longer.
By Guest Nicole
We've all felt the sting of being let down, frustrated, unfulfilled, or not quite good enough in our lives and relationships. I have been guilty of having unrealistic expectations of others, wanting them to shower me with compliments, approval, and validation, sometimes even trying to control situations or outcomes in an attempt to get what I thought would make me feel good. It was a painful, exhausting way to live.
Studies show that basing our self-worth on external factors is actually harmful to our mental health. One study at the University of Michigan found that college students who base their self-worth on external sources (including academic performance, appearance, and approval from others) reported more stress, anger, academic problems, and relationship conflicts. They also had higher levels of alcohol and drug use, as well as more symptoms of eating disorders. The same study found that students who based their self-worth on internal sources not only felt better, but also received higher grades and were less likely to use drugs and alcohol or to develop eating disorders.
Through the consistent practices of self-compassion and meditation, I've discovered a few perspective shifts that have transformed my sense of self-worth. I've found that when I base my self-worth on who I am and my inherent value as a human being rather than what others think or how much I achieve, my confidence soars and my inner critic quiets.
1. Develop self-sufficiency.
For the majority of my life, I got my self-worth from the outside world—someone else's approval or validation dictated how I felt about myself. What a setup that is! I've learned that when we place our worth outside of ourselves (career, money, material possessions, relationship, appearance), we can never have enough or be enough.
Being independent from someone else's thoughts of me (both positive and negative), and instead trusting in God/Spirit/Universe for my value, I have become more self-sufficient and as a result, experience more peace, freedom, and material success.
Sure, compliments are very nice to hear, but my mood and mental and physical health and worth are no longer dependent on another's approval of me. As long as we are basing our worth on another's opinion of us or how people choose to treat us, we will never be able to live up to our full potential and experience true joy.
2. Let people off the hook.
Instead of looking to others for validation to make us feel worthy or enough, how about reframing to the notion that nobody owes us anything?
When we are truly anchored in our own self-love and get our self-worth from the unique qualities that make us one-of-a-kind, we become self-sufficient. We don't need to go to our partners, friends, work, food, alcohol, or social media for a quick ego boost. We can turn inward and look to a higher power for our value, knowing we are enough simply because we are alive.
3. Accept that people can't give you what they don't have.
I've looked to significant others, bosses, parents, or friends to tell me something to make me feel better or treat me a certain way so I could feel valued, respected, and loved. But if a client simply doesn't have any more money in their budget to pay me, they can't give it to me, and perhaps the solution is to find an opportunity where the compensation matches the value, skills, and experience I bring to the table. Maybe our partner isn't respecting us because he or she lacks self-respect. If a customer service representative is frustrating us because they can't help us with our request, maybe that person hasn't been properly trained and is simply doing the best they can.
I've learned that the people who have cheated us, hurt us, or done us wrong cannot necessarily make amends—either they are unwilling or unable. Waiting for and expecting others to apologize, make it up to us, or even admit they were wrong implies a belief that their actions can make us feel whole again. But when we are dependent on others to make us happy or behave a certain way, we will always be disappointed on some level.
The good news is if we put our faith in our own understanding, we will never be let down. The universe is self-organizing and self-correcting.
4. It's not about keeping everyone happy; it's about fulfilling your life's purpose.
As long as we are doing our best, honoring ourselves and our purpose, we will feel less and less inclined to seek the approval of others. Instead of feeling offended when people fail to acknowledge us, what if we could see it as an opportunity to expand and grow? What if we embraced the fact that we are being prepared to take our lives to the next level and start fulfilling our mission?
The less I depend on people to validate me, the stronger my emotional muscles become, and in turn, the stronger my sense of self-worth. I have accomplished more both personally and professionally in less time and need fewer compliments to keep me going simply because of my faith in myself and in the Universe. Focusing on the special characteristics that make me ME is much easier and more rewarding than waiting for someone to say or do something that will make me feel good for only a matter of minutes before I need my next "fix."
Our lives truly become more full when we turn our attention inward to the miracle that we are, release expectations, and stay detached from outcomes and other people's opinions. Try it out for yourself, and let me know how it goes!
By Guest Nicole
1. Bad stress
What, you ask, is bad stress? Stress that causes an ongoing and damaging adrenaline response in the body, accompanied by high cortisol, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and immune, tissue, and blood vessel damage. In other words, bad things that make you sick.
Not all stress is bad. Good stress, for example, includes situations that are invigorating, challenging, and leave you stronger. An example would be a new job that is pushing you to the limits of your abilities and creativity and has your heart pumping, accompanied by a prevailing sense that you are going to get this done. Or the stress of training for a triathlon or learning a new sport, with your efforts rewarded by your gradual improvement.
How can you tell the difference? Bad stress is stress that leaves you more terrified than stimulated, feeling hopeless and a victim of your circumstances, such as a verbally or physically abusive relationship with a partner or a boss. Good stress leaves you feeling challenged. Bad stress leaves you fearing for your life or your livelihood. Notice which you might be feeling in your life and in the situations you find yourself in.
Can you sometimes turn bad stress into good stress? Sure. For example, when you are afraid you may fail at a task set for you at work, take a moment and breathe. Find the calm within you. Get the help or inspiration you may need from colleagues or friends. And turn that task into a challenge. What does not kill you only makes you stronger (thank you Nietzsche and Kanye).
2. Unconscious eating
Unconscious eating includes the automatic hand dip into the candy bowl or popcorn bowl. It also includes all categories of eating that are not due to actual hunger. If you find yourself looking into the freezer in search of ice cream because it's finals week and you're pulling an all-nighter, or because your girlfriend just dumped you, or because you're under the influence, this is unconscious eating. You're not actually hungry; you're upset or anxious or under the influence.
In general, you want to be aware of what you're putting into your body. Almost all processed food is harmful to our bodies. As is all fast food. And packaged food. And we can pretty much blame packaged, processed and "fast food" for being the primary cause of all chronic diseases in the United States. Seriously. Heart disease, stroke, cancer, arthritis, and autoimmune disease are just a few of the issues made worse by processed and packaged foods.
Be a conscious eater. If you're paying any attention to whether you're actually hungry, and to what your body truly wants to eat, you are far less likely to reach for the Cheetos.
3. Skipping sleep
Lack of sleep causes weight gain, which can then cause diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and exacerbate arthritis. This weight gain is related to the fact that lack of sleep reduces our natural appetite suppressant (leptin) and increases our appetite driver (ghrelin). Lack of sleep also exacerbates anxiety, depression, fatigue, irritability, and reduces concentration and productivity. Want to be healthy and successful? Sleep until you're feeling well-rested.
4. Not brushing and flossing
Periodontal disease from not flossing, brushing, and seeing the dentist regularly almost doubles the risk of heart disease because unhealthy gums allow bacteria and plaque to enter the bloodstream and increase inflammation. Isn't that crazy? Periodontal disease may also increase the risk of dementia. And the loss of teeth from poor dental care contributes to a less healthy diet—exacerbating all chronic health issues.
Turns out that increased hours of sitting are associated with higher rates of high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity, independent of any other risk factors. Scary stuff. Almost enough to get you off the couch. Sitting also increases your risk of dying from any cause.
So no matter what kind of work you do, get off your ass and find a new position to do it in. Stand at your desk, stroll during meetings, limit your time in the car. And when you're home? Try to find something else to do besides sit. Exercise bike and Netflix anyone?
If you can avoid most of these triggers most of the time, you will be well on your way to a healthier, happier, and longer life!
By Guest Nicole
Sabrina here and I'm going to share some insights that will change all of your relationships for the better, especially your relationships with men. It comes down to one major realizations and that is: no one can ever make you feel a certain way. Allow me to elaborate.
Let's say you have two girls who are equally attractive, equally smart, equally successful and so on. The only difference is that one is supremely confident and the other is extremely insecure. Now let's say these girls date the same guy. And let's say the guy makes the exact same comment to each girl, maybe he says something about her not being the hottest girl he's ever dated or something stupid like that. In this scenario, the confident girl will laugh it off. She will instantly recognize that he's trying to get a rise out of her and she won't give him the satisfaction of a response. Instead, she'll brush it off and will start to reconsider whether she wants to be dating someone so pathetic.
The insecure girl, however, will crumble and start to doubt everything about herself.
She'll stalk his Facebook profile endlessly trying to search for ex-girlfriends to figure out what they have that she doesn't. She may start acting passive aggressive towards the guy in an attempt to get compliments, affection, and apologies out of him. She'll start putting an insane amount of effort into her appearance in an attempt to win him over and prove how hot she is. She will whine to her girlfriends about how “ugly" and "insecure" he made her feel.
Now how can the same comment affect two people so differently? He said the same thing, shouldn't it have had the same impact? No, because the impact of an insult is in direct proportion to your sense of self.
If you feel amazing about yourself, nothing anyone else says will change your mind. If you stand on shaky ground, you will get knocked down time and time again.
I, like the majority of women, suffer from the occasional body image issues (this is something I actively work on, as we all should, and I am nowhere near as vulnerable to this kind of thing as I was in my younger years).
Several years back, I was at a boyfriend's place eating a yummy cake I had baked. We were sitting on the couch watching a movie and when I leaned over to cut myself a second slice, he pinched a layer of my flesh and jokingly said, "You sure you want that second piece?" Suffice to say I was furious and had to summon all the restraint I had not to take the cake and slam it in his smug face. Instead, I stormed out of the apartment, waited a few minutes for him to come out and comfort me, and when he did, proceeded to lash out at him for making me feel fat. He apologized profusely, of course, but my anger took weeks to subside.
And during that time, I was constantly analyzing my body and complaining about it. I would also make a big show about how little I was eating in front of the guy in some twisted attempt to make him feel bad and get him to apologize again and tell me how thin and beautiful I am.
Looking back, the only reason his words had such an impact is because I was already insecure in that area. Rather than accepting that this was my own insecurity, I blamed him for making me feel that way. (FYI- I'm not condoning what he did because it was pretty immature, I'm just using this example to illustrate a larger point.)
If that same thing happened to me today, I probably would have laughed and called him a jerk and said, “Yes, in fact I am having a second slice. I may even have a third," and that would be that. No arguing, no crying, no guilting, no resenting, none of the usual relationship killers.
I like my body as it is, so why should I allow anyone to make me feel otherwise? The choice is up to me and I choose to formulate my own opinions of who I am and how I look, rather than relying on outsiders to determine these things for me.
Another person's approval has no ability to affect your mood unless you think what he/she says is valid. If someone makes a comment and you have a reaction, it's because you already felt that way about yourself.
When you can truly internalize this, you will realize that there is no use harboring anger and resentment towards someone for making you upset or insecure.
When you allow your insecurities to dominate, you will be on high alert for anything that validates these feelings. Being constantly on the lookout for disapproval will guarantee you find it everywhere. If you go into the world expecting to be rejected, then you will see rejection everywhere and in everything.
You'll interpret your boyfriend being distracted by something as him losing interest and not finding you attractive. You'll believe the grumpy man working at the bodega thinks you're a fat big because you bought a tub of ice cream. You'll think your boss is mad at you and thinks you're incompetent because he/she didn't smile at you that day. You get the point.
When you really think about it, it's kind of funny that people react so strongly to criticism. I mean think about it, why should it ever affect you?
If someone says something disapproving, then whatever! They might have a point, but who cares? No one is perfect, we all have faults and the best we can do is either accept them or work on improving them. And if what they say isn't true, then seriously, who cares? You know it isn't true!
The lesson here is to build a firm foundation for your sense of self to rest on. When you do this, no one will make you feel anything. We are all works in progress, each and every one of us. If you can accept that and be kind to yourself, your quality of life (not to mention, the quality of your relationships), will significantly improve.
Lots of love,
A New Mode
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
It all starts at home. A great day begins with an amazing morning. With constant distractions and the daily pressure of responsibilities, it’s important to start your morning right to get your mind and body prepared for your daily routine. These 11 tips will bring out the best of your morning, day, week, and life.
1. Wake Up Earlier. We often wake up as late as possible, but losing precious time in the morning puts pressure on our bodies and minds. Throughout the day, our time feels tight when it doesn’t have to feel that way. By waking up early, you can give your body and mind time to unwind and set your routine at an even pace.
2. Drink a Glass of Water as Soon as You Wake Up. Your body essentially shuts down while you’re sleeping. Drinking water will help you get ready to start running. This will also help to rehydrate you and allow for an easier digestive flow throughout the day.
3. Avoid Technology for The First Hour. It’s tempting to wake up and check your email and social media timeline, but all of those things will still be there an hour from when you wake. You won’t miss out on much, and you’ll start your day on your own terms. How often do you wake up in a great mood, and then check your email or messages only to receive a message that disrupts your mood first thing in the morning. Hold off and take control of your emotions at the start of the day.
4. Think of Something You’re Grateful For. The choice is yours. Wake up and find something you’re appreciative of. Your bed, family or even a cup of coffee. The more things you find, the more positive energy you bring to your day.
5. Sunlight, Fresh Air, and A Deep Breath. Even if it’s cloudy, open your blinds and let natural light in. This will awaken your senses and add positive sensory to start your day. Next, open a window, or if you have direct access to a door that leads outside, open your front door and fill your lungs with fresh air. Oxygen provides energy to heal and grow the brain.
6. Move Your Body/Exercise. No matter what you’re doing for the rest of the day, your body will be active if you begin your day with movement. There are various morning workouts you can do that are convenient and quick. If you don’t want to work out, you can also do stretchesto help loosen your muscles and joints.
7. Eat a Healthy Breakfast. A healthy breakfast is your initial fuel for the day. Avoid quick fixes such as cereal, fruit juices, or donuts. Take the time to invest in a healthy breakfast that will have your body feeling energized until lunch time.
8. Say Positive Affirmations. Self-appreciation is important. Find different things you enjoy about yourself and say them out loud to yourself while looking in the mirror. Face yourself and speak positive truths.
9. Plan. Work day or off day, planning ahead allows you to be productive, and to fit in as much as you want throughout the day. Spread out your day so that you know what to expect and avoid feeling rushed. Commit to your plan as much as you can, but allow room for the random disruptions that life can occasionally bring.
10. Leave Yesterday Behind. A new day is a fresh start to life. Yesterday’s arguments, frustrations, and negative thoughts don’t belong in your new day.
11. Read. Start your day with some positive thoughts. Whether it’s the news, quotes, or a novel you love, literature helps stimulate your brain and your imagination.
By Guest Nicole
By Guest Nicole
It’s been close to 3 years since I separated and later on, divorced from my husband.
We were only officially married for 1 year and half but unofficially together for 7 years. He was my best friend. I looked up to him and secretly felt I could not keep up to his ability to be successful.
Three years ago, l lost sight of everything meaningful in my life, and spiraled into self- sabotage and rebellion. When we broke up, I took it upon myself to change as a person, because I thought that was partly the reason my marriage had deteriorated. What I came to realize is it was the marriage with myself that I never allowed to heal properly. Before we can love someone wholeheartedly, we need to love and accept ourselves first.
Year one taught me survival through various avenues of meditations, traveling, one-on-one coaching, researching topics of interest (self-help), and continuous self-introspective writing. Year two opened the doors towards discovering who I am, my true self and layers of my mind that contributed to my years of “unconscious” living (along with the help of therapy.) Year three helped me accept that I am already in the place I need to be and learning to accept myself as I am as well as being more compassionate with myself. It is also more of a “free” year, where I am living day by day and just being with myself not doing anything in particular as previous years – I am actively watching myself “just being me.” (As weird as that sounds!) I am very clear about the mistakes I made back then.
Marriage is when two imperfect souls can accept each other just as they are and grow as persons and as a unit simultaneously. Marriage is compromise, love, empathy, understanding, strength, vulnerability and maturity amongst the obstacles and difficulties thrown at us by the universe.
Divorce is just another new beginning to look at yourself and reflect on what went wrong.
It’s an opportunity to learn about yourself and to appreciate your previous partner as another teacher in your life (once you move past the anger phase, because you do experience it – and it’s totally normal!)
I learned more about me, then I did after any other difficult time period of my life.
It was hard for me in the first few months, as I am a sensitive individual. Time went so slow, my loved ones spent hours calling me, inviting me over for dinner, and sharing countless words of wisdom. I felt I was experiencing an outer body experience.
Surprisingly, work became more interesting because I drowned myself to avoid feeling pain. I often woke up earlier and fell asleep earlier than usual. I started experiencing anxiety attacks and I started praying frequently again. This only reaffirmed my desire to create change for myself. I am eternally grateful for the spiritual coach who guided me during this time and opened up doorways for my self-improvement (my healing).
Here are my tips to work on healing from your heartache while improving yourself and loving yourself:
1. Don’t lock yourself up indoors.
When we feel down, we feel lifeless, we are walking zombies and we do not want to get out of bed. My godfather told me, “When you feel sad: get up, grab your purse, open the door, and hear it slam. Then, come straight over to our house. No matter how many times. Get up and get out.” You have no idea, how much I have listened to this. Once you are out, you won’t suddenly feel thrilled but after 2hours of engaging with others, laughing or in-depth conversations of moral support, you will feel better.
2. Set intentions and be compassionate with yourself.
If you have no other options, because we tend to close up, then set an intention to be compassionate with yourself. For example, I have very few intimate friends, so I did often stay at home, in bed with the lights off. But, I knew I couldn’t stay there forever. I set a realistic intention to give myself a minimum of 3 days at home. Day 3 came and I would get up to go out or do an activity such as writing, visiting loved ones, going for a walk or seeing a movie.
3. Allow yourself to feel.
Do not avoid it. If you need to talk to someone (you trust) for hours to get things off your chest, do so. We are creatures of service; another person will listen to you and help you feel relaxed. If you don’t have someone, I recommend writing down every thought going through your mind. If you suddenly feel the need to cry or laugh, don’t hold it back. Feel it, watch it, and release it – whatever feeling it is, will go away on its own. Don’t avoid thinking or feeling by working overtime or going out every chance you get as an escape. In the long run, this will bring more harm because pain gets buried and will resurface when a new relationship or situation comes around.
4. Get help from a professional outsider: a coach or therapist.
I met a wonderful life coach through a mutual friend. She guided me in every session, hearing me out, giving exercises, written homework assignments and insight. Sometimes we need another’s eye and expertise to comprehend what we are going through and provide you tools to move forward. There were so many topics and tools I would have never thought of without her. She opened my mind to study myself and be understanding that this new life experience would allow me to reach my goals of healing, true love and self-acceptance.
5. Take a seminar or a class.
When you find yourself as a student again engaging in adding skills to yourself professionally and/or as a hobby – you are left with an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment, giddiness and success. It will make you feel so much better and you will begin to notice you forget about your sadness because you are doing something loving such as an exercise dance class, meet up group, meditation or yoga seminar.
6. Don’t do rebound relationships.
I have done these in the past, though I didn’t do it after my divorce from my last partner. I have found that you are still in a tender phase and you need to work on those feelings of hurt, discomfort and loss. Sometimes, we think we are ready and what we really need is to meet new people and be friends first. If the right partner comes along, you will know it. Don’t rush, take your time.
7. Don’t stay in contact with your ex/exes.
My last ex found it annoying I stayed friends with previous exes. He use to say, “Exes can’t be friends.” I use to debate this all the time. I found it brought me more harm than good, even affecting my marriage. Growing up as an only child with little or no family, we tend to make our friends our family. I couldn’t let go of certain relationships because I was scared to be alone. In past relationships, I had keep my exes as friends but by doing so I only kept it as “yellow” light just in case the flame would revive. In order to move on, we need to keep a distance. Otherwise, we are prolonging pain or in some cases, engaging in relationships with no ties – where there is always one person that gets attached and gets hurt. No matter how much we love or loved that person, we need to let go and accept the one relationship worth keeping is the one with ourselves.
8. Do pray or meditate.
Religion and spirituality continue to be the most contributing part of this healing and self-transformation equation. If you belong to a particular religion, prayer is universal – give it to God. If you are not part of any religion, being spiritual is another tool. Spirituality isn’t all about a religion. It is also about belief in yourself, your inner center, the universe and the stars. I went to free meditation seminars on Sundays during year one and even pulled up some good mediattions and mantras from YouTube. Meditation frees you to – give it to the universe. For me, giving myself to God and the universe through prayer and meditation allowed me to feel peace again, especially in those sad or anxious moments during and after my divorce.
Although most people know that hot dogs airen’t exactly health food, but few know that they are downright deadlyBy JAMMY
The Biggest Cancer Causing Food Ever (Your Kids Unfortunately Love It)
Photo credit: bigstock.com
"...you know that there are certain foods strongly linked to cancer; foods containing aspartame, refined sugar, trans-fats, and GMO’s. However, did you know that there is one particular food that has been so strongly linked to cancer, that the American Institute for Cancer Research has recommended that people cut their consumption to zero?"
Full article: http://naturalon.com/the-biggest-cancer-causing-food-ever-your-kids-unfortunately-love-it/view-all/#ixzz4MOyjhcIQ
By Guest Nicole
WASHINGTON — Having a happy spouse may be related to better health, at least among middle-aged and older adults, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association.
In a nationally representative study of 1,981 middle-aged heterosexual couples, researchers found that people with happy spouses were much more likely to report better health over time. This occurred above and beyond the person’s own happiness, according to the study, published in the APA journal Health Psychology®.
“This finding significantly broadens assumptions about the relationship between happiness and health, suggesting a unique social link,” said William Chopik, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University and principal investigator of the study. “Simply having a happy partner may enhance health as much as striving to be happy oneself.”
Previous research suggests happy people are generally healthy people, but Chopik wanted to take it one step further by exploring the health effects of interpersonal relationships. He said there are at least three potential reasons why having a happy partner might enhance a person’s health, irrespective of one’s own happiness:
Happy partners likely provide stronger social support, such as caretaking, as compared to unhappy partners who are more likely to be focused on their own stressors. Happy partners may get unhappy people involved with activities and environments that promote good health, such as maintaining regular sleep cycles, eating nutritious food and exercising. Being with a happy partner should make a person’s life easier even if not explicitly happier. “Simply knowing that one’s partner is satisfied with his or her individual circumstances may temper a person’s need to seek self-destructive outlets, such as drinking or drugs, and may more generally offer contentment in ways that afford health benefits down the road,” Chopik said.
The study examined the survey information of couples age 50 to 94, including happiness, self-rated health and physical activity over a six-year period. The results showed no difference between husbands and wives in the study. Eighty-four percent were white, 8 percent were African-American, and 6 percent were Hispanic. Participants answered questions about their health, including level of physical impairment, chronic illnesses and level of physical activity, as well as any concerns they had regarding their spouse’s health. Participants rated their own happiness and life satisfaction.
Article: “Happy You, Healthy Me? Having a Happy Partner is Independently Associated with Better Health in Oneself,” by William J. Chopik, PhD, Michigan State University, and Ed O’Brien, PhD, University of Chicago. Health Psychology, published online Sept. 19, 2016.
William Chopik may be reached at (517) 355-6645 or via email.
The American Psychological Association, in Washington, D.C., is the largest scientific and professional organization representing psychology in the United States. APA's membership includes more than 117,500 researchers, educators, clinicians, consultants and students. Through its divisions in 54 subfields of psychology and affiliations with 60 state, territorial and Canadian provincial associations, APA works to advance the creation, communication and application of psychological knowledge to benefit society and improve people's lives.
By Guest Nicole
Perpetual youth is a whimsical notion suited to screen writers and 16th century Spanish explorers but a career requirement for Laird Hamilton.
In the ocean as many as five hours most days, the inventor of tow-in big-wave surfing, modern-day stand-up paddleboarding and hydrofoil surfing uses a unique diet and training regimen to maintain a chiseled fitness that astonishingly belies his 51 years.
Here, the father of three explains why he hasn’t had a drop of alcohol in a decade, heartily devours fat, hangs upside-down with regularity, pals around with an 83-year-old for inspiration -- and keeps searching for the Next Big Thing.
1. Forget age. Just keep driving the car: I take better care of myself today not as an accommodation to age but to maintain continual high levels of performance and just to feel good. I have a friend, Don Wildman, who’s 83 years old — and the guy’s an absolute stud who works out with weights, mountain bikes, paddles, surfs every day. Don’s a living example of what it’s like when you just keep driving the car.
I think what happens is that we decide we’re old and we just stop, and everything stops working. There’s so much stigma and weirdness around being older. Don and I were watching a tennis match and the announcer was saying, “He’s 34 years old!” Get over it — and keep moving. Don’t wait until you have a health scare or collapse. Get off your [butt] and feel better now.
2. Take care of everyday priorities: The stuff you do every day — your sheets and towels, the food you put in your body — these are your priorities. Not a fancy car or fancy clothes or fancy watches. For instance, I used to drink red wine every day — nothing like a good Bordeaux — but haven’t had a sip of wine or beer in nine years and have no desire to. I realized that sugar is not good for your body and that alcohol is one of the biggest culprits.
The fact is that alcohol doesn’t taste good anyway. The reason people drink is to have some sort of sensation, right? So if you’re not into that sensation, it’s a waste of time. It’s a discipline thing too. My mom once said to me, ‘If you can’t be true to yourself, you can’t be true to anyone else.’ As proof to myself that I had the willpower, I don’t do it. Bottom line: If you want your rocket to fly, you put rocket fuel in it. I want to be able to do certain things at a certain level. I like the way I feel. On a daily basis, I feel better not drinking.
3. Be a fat-burning monster: I don’t eat energy bars when I’m out on the water all day. In fact, I don’t need to eat anything. My body runs off its body fat. That’s because I’m Paleo. I consume hardly any refined sugar (only if it’s in a salad dressing), a few raw dairy products and almost no wheat or grains. I eat plants and animals. I actually grew up that way in Hawaii. [Paleo researcher-kineseologist] Paul Chek taught me that your body has enough fat on it to run for days ... and that sugar fouls up your machinery. So after I cut alcohol, I began eliminating sugar and sugary fruit. I refined it over the last two years listening to [Primal lifestyle guru] Mark Sisson and other Paleo people.
If you’re eating right, a triathlete can go for hours and hours on a couple tablespoons of almond butter and your own body fat. But if you eat refined carbs, your blood sugar spikes up and down and you’re sucking down gel packs to get it back up. I love espresso. … You could give me five shots of espresso, a quarter stick of butter, a quarter stick of coconut oil and other fat, and I’ll drink that. I could go for five or six hours and not even be hungry at the end. Because I’m burning fat.
4. But don’t be a zealot: I have a saying: 'Everything in moderation, including moderation.' I make it achievable, not stressful for me and people around me. I’ll use a little coconut sugar. … I’ve got friends who have to stick [to a particular diet] at all times, and the stress of that almost overrides the quality of the way you eat. My eating is not such a hassle that I can’t go anywhere.
5. Golf-ball your bare feet: I grew up barefoot in Hawaii and didn’t give a thought to walking on gravel, but I’d notice some people who’d been in shoes their whole life couldn’t even cross the driveway. The feet are loaded with nerve endings and are the key to balance — and I’m in the balance business. In fact, we all are.
I also believe the Earth is charged with an electrical frequency that matches your nervous system and immune system. So the bare feet allow us to absorb that energy and is a critical part of your wellness. Having them trapped in a boot, toes squeezed together, affects your whole system. To restore dexterity and balance after I’ve been in shoes too long, usually at my home in Malibu, I warm up a couple days a week by standing with one foot on a golf ball. I roll it around, poke it, put weight into tender spots. It’s amazing how your system will be stimulated through working your feet.
6. Watch your back: I’ve had back issues and injuries over the years. When your back goes out, you’re out of commission. I give it relief with stretching and inversion, and strengthen it with core work and stand-up paddle boarding. Someone once said, ‘If you did 20 minutes of headstands a day, you probably wouldn’t age.’ Gravity is always pulling us down, and inversion fights it. I do it on a teeter board or on an upside-down hammock, not gravity boots, which don’t allow your legs to relax and decompress.
Since your power comes out of your core, which supports the back, you have to fix tight psoases and weak abdominals. I do planks and rotational exercises with medicine balls and kettle bells on a Swiss ball. Any natural pick-lift-twist-drop movement pattern, like picking something off the ground and putting it on a shelf, builds core stability. The best one of all? Stand-up paddleboarding. It flexes the back and the stabilizers — and cured me.
7. Do the water workout from hell: To me, swimming laps in a pool is like punishment — being in a cage. Out of my disdain for lap swimming, I developed what in my opinion is the greatest exercise routine you can possibly do: a bouncing, no-impact, high-intensity strength and cardio workout that is a cross between swimming and weightlifting.
Holding small waterproof dumbbells in your hands, jump into a fairly deep 10- to 12-foot-deep pool and sink to the bottom. Then jump up as hard as you can to pierce the surface and gulp some air. As the weights pull you back, blow it out. Get in a rhythm; exhale as you fall, inhale [after] you blast up. The exercise blasts your legs, which consume five times the oxygen as your arms. It‘ll make you a better, stronger swimmer without having to swim laps.
8. Be innovative in all aspects of life: Coming up with new ideas keeps me young and excited. [Hamilton and Wildman invented theGolfBoard, a kind of skateboard for golfers that won the PGA’s New Product of the Year award in 2014. He also has lines of stand-up paddleboards, superfoods, and clothing and fitness wear.] I think traveling to unique places gives you an opportunity to be active.
9. Get role models: It’s monkey see, monkey do. It’s hard to be the monkey that doesn’t see. We all need an example, a road map, to tell us what’s possible, a Jack LaLanne. Am I going to fret that I’m old and washed-up when I’m mountain biking and paddling alongside Wildman, who’s 83? He lives, wears and eats a youthful lifestyle. And, by the way, who does Wildman use as his role model, since all his friends are dead? Me! So get younger buddies too!
When your friends get older and say, “I want to go play some bridge, you say, ‘I don’t think so — I want to go jump off the bridge.’”
10. Make it fun: Having as much fun as humanly possible is one of the keys to staying young, so find fun, physical activities you love. I forget about the time when I’m out there on a [stand-up paddleboard]. Activities are better than the gym because you’re not looking at the clock.
You’ll do more reps in nature than you’ll ever do in the gym. You’ll go for hours and hours. And you’ll be thinking healthy thoughts -- not about how old you are.
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