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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
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
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 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
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 were killing us, so standing, the thinking went, was the logical antidote. Sitting too long has been associated with diabetes, hypertension, some forms of cancer, anxiety and a generally greater probability of early death. However, a few years and hundreds of studies later, the naysayers began arguing that the benefits of standing had been exaggerated.
“What is the real answer?” asked Francisco Lopez-Jimenez, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic. “How many calories would someone burn in standing or sitting up?” A new study may provide the most definitive answer to date, at least as far as losing weight is concerned. Standing does, in fact, burn calories, researchers found, just not that many: about 54 calories for a six-hour day of standing.
Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-01/do-standing-desks-really-help-you-lose-weight
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 health 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 deaths increased over a six-year study period relative to people who reported none of these feelings. Writing for The New York Times’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 “a growing epidemic.”
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
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
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&
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
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.
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.
“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.
Continue reading the main story
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
A disturbing new report from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and MergerWatch, “Health Care Denied,” finds that 1 in 6 hospitals in the U.S. are operated in accordance with Catholic religious rules, known as the Ethical and Religious Directives (ERDs).
While perhaps best known for prohibiting abortion, the restrictions go far beyond that, and impact more than reproductive health.
For women, the impact can be deadly.
Abortions are prohibited even if the fetus has no chance of survival and the mother’s life is in danger. Savita Halappanavar died of sepsis in Ireland because her physicians would neither terminate her doomed pregnancy to save her life, nor transfer her to a facility that would care of her. Tamesha Means was luckier. She survived. Despite starting to miscarry at 18 weeks gestation, she says thatMercy Health in Muskegon, Michigan, sent her home, denying her appropriate care and putting her life at risk. There are similar, less well-known cases here, detailed in the ACLU report. Not providing emergency care is a violation of the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) requirement for hospitals that receive Medicare funding—and Catholic health systems receive billions in taxpayer dollars.
In “Growth of Catholic Hospitals and Health Systems: 2016 update to ‘Miscarriage of Medicine’,” MergerWatch reports disturbing growth in Catholic-dictated health care. Between 2001 to 2016:
“–the number of acute care hospitals that are Catholic owned or affiliated grew by 22 percent, while the overall number of acute care hospitals dropped by 6 percent.”
– There are now five states (Alaska, Iowa, Washington, Wisconsin and South Dakota), where more than 40 percent of acute care beds are in hospitals operating under Catholic health restrictions
–In another five states (Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, Oregon and Kentucky), between 30 and 39 percent of the acute care beds are in facilities that are Catholic owned or affiliated “
Physicians at Catholic hospitals have to agree to abide by the ERDs as a condition of obtaining privileges. Depending in part on the whim of the local Bishop, this could include gag rules prohibiting counseling a patient or referring a patient to a place that would provide necessary services.
In Washington state, data shows that 40% of all hospital beds are in a Catholic hospital. There is no other option for care in entire regions. This is especially true in rural regions, and it is frightening when the only access to health care is dictated by someone else religious doctrine, rather than medical science.
For example, San Juan Island developed an affiliation with PeaceHealth, a Catholic health system. Now women on the island can’t get necessary reproductive care, a problem on other islands as well. There has been little detail available as to what compromises to patient care and autonomy the University of Washington made when it, too, affiliated with PeaceHealth. Washington’s Swedish Medical Center stopped doing abortions and closed its hospice after making a similar affiliation.
While these reports focused on restricted access to reproductive care, the Catholic directives also may interfere with end-of-life decision-making. Living wills may not be honored if they conflict with the ERDs—but you are likely not to know that before a crisis. Washington state, like Oregon, has a Death With Dignity lawwhich allows “terminally ill adults to request and self-administer lethal medications prescribed by a physician.” But staff may be prohibited from speaking about Death With Dignity options, or from referring patients to organizations that can help provide that option.
I know about these restrictions intimately, in part because I opposed a merger here in Western Maryland between the secular Memorial Hospital and Sacred Heart Hospital, owned by Daughters of Charity.* Part of the plan was to move women’s health to the Catholic facility—which would have meant that women who wanted to have a tubal ligation at the time of delivery would have had to travel a minimum of 1.5 hours over mountain roads to have their baby and surgery. For a safe abortion, I had to refer an indigent patient to Baltimore, three hours away, with no public transportation available. The end of life policy was changed to state “Living wills will not be honored if in conflict with hospital policy”—but no one could tell me what that meant. As in Washington and elsewhere, affiliations or mergers are done behind closed doors and with little to no discussion with the affected community. Patients are often not aware of the restrictions on their care. In fact, despite looking carefully at one hospital’s website, I was unaware that my prospective employer was a Catholic-affiliated hospital until my privileges application asked me to agree to abide by the ERDs. Certainly there was no notice to patients, either, a far more critical issue.
The refusal to do tubal ligations during childbirth also means that a mother with a new baby has to have a second, unnecessary surgery and anesthetic risk, as well as the added recovery times, stresses, and expense. Women often don’t have the option to go to another hospital. Sometimes they are limited by distance, or insurance restricts their choices. Leaving your home town to deliver your baby at an unfamiliar, distant secular hospital is prohibitively expensive, stressful, and burdensome.
Women who have been raped and need emergency contraception will also not be able to receive appropriate medical care at a Catholic facility—which again increasingly is likely to be their only option. In fact, the ACLU, along with the California Medical Association (CMA) filed suit against Dignity Health in California, “alleging that the health systems violated a federal law requiring hospitals to provide emergency care and discriminated against women.” The CMA appropriately objected to the religious restrictions, noting that prohibiting tubal ligation forces “substandard care” on women and interferes with a doctor-patient relationship. They also assert that the restrictions violate a California legal doctrine that bars corporate interference with medical decisions.
As Lois Uttley, director of MergerWatch observed, “As more and more acute care beds are in Catholic owned or operated hospitals, patients and even entire communities are losing access to health services that are not allowed by religious directives. The problem is particularly acute in the five states where 40% or more of the acute care beds are Catholic operated, and in the 46 geographic regions where a Catholic facility is the sole community hospital.”
Health care decisions should be that—made between a patient and his or her physician, and not subject to anyone else’s religious beliefs. The rise in Catholic health systems hurts patients, particularly as patients are often unaware of the restrictions until they find themselves in urgent need of care. Hospitals must be required to clearly state what services they provide or deny. In my opinion, taxpayer monies should not be used to discriminate against patients nor given to facilities that deny appropriate and necessary medical care.
As the ACLU-MergerWatch report concludes, “Religious freedom in America means that we all have a right to our religious beliefs. But it does not give us the right to use our religion to discriminate against and impose those beliefs on others who do not share them—especially when doing so comes at the expense of women’s health and lives.”
*Disclaimer: MergerWatch provided counsel to those of us opposing the takeover of our secular community hospital and the imposition of the restrictive Catholic directives on care in this isolated region.
Living the dream: But you'll have to wait till you're 47
The average Briton is at their healthiest at the age of 30, wealthiest at 47, has the best sex at 32 - but is ultimately the happiest when they turn 39, according to a new study.
Researchers who carried out a detailed investigation into the key milestone years of life, also found we are most body confident when we are 31 - but doing the best in our careers at the age of 38.
Other major moments in our lives include being the most content in our relationshipat the age of 40 and earning our dream salary two years later at 42, according to the study of Britons.
But when asked whether the average Brit would like to live forever, should science ever advance to such an extent, only one in four (23%) said they would.
The research, which was carried out among almost 2,000 adults of both sexes, found that after years of burning the candle at both ends, the penny finally drops at the age of 30 when we start to take care of ourselves and are officially feeling our healthiest.
Starting out: University lays the foundation for a happy life, say experts
Wealth however, takes more time to achieve, with the typical Brit expecting to have to wait until they reach 47 before they reach the pinnacle of the earning power.
And true happiness is set to arrive at the age of 39 when we are likely to own our own home , be settled with our soul mate, and be enjoying our chosen career.
The study also discovered we are most likely to enjoy 'playing the field' at the age of 24 with the average woman saying she make the most of being young, free and single at the age of 23, while for men that crept up to 25.
Playing the field: We enjoy our freedom in our 20s
And according to the data, finding a soul mate occurs just months before we are able to enjoy the best sex of our lives as we approach our 33rd birthday.
Psychologist Donna Dawson said: "Interestingly, the research reveals that most of the high points in our lives occur in our thirties.
Read more: How does your love life compare to these three couples?
"This is because we have laid a foundation beforehand: in our twenties, we leave university, start a job, try a few relationships out for size, make plenty of mistakes and learn from them and work out what we really want from life.
"By the age of 30, we are physically in our prime, still advancing our careers and more sure of what we want. This, in turn, brings self-confidence and general contentment.
Milestones: Owning a home is one of the steps to happiness
"However it is not surprising that 'immortality' is not something universally desired: if we can't stay at the ideal age of '38', then we still have to deal with the ageing process and the health and financial issues that come with it.
"There is also the inherent contradiction in human nature itself: the experience of the 'first best' in anything is so good because it is a milestone that can't be equalled in intensity or specialness by being 'repeated', no matter how long you live."
The study also found overall that a reassuring 84% of the population are current either very happy or mostly happy, with only 16 percent of those polled - or around one in six - are unhappy.
When asked about the possibility of there being an afterlife, 67% said they believed there was, while 33% didn't.
Soulmates: Hopefully we find the right person by our mid-30s
The research was carried out to mark Monday's Blu-ray and DVD release of The Last Witch Hunter, starring Vin Diesel , whose character Kaulder is cursed with immortality.
A spokesperson for The Last Witch Hunter said: "Life has many highs and lows with milestones dotted along the way and it's interesting to see that the study has shown that most people are happiest when they reach the age of 39.
"However if they were given the chance to live forever, like Vin Diesels' character Kaulder in The Last Witch Hunter, very few people would take up the offer, realising that it would be a curse rather than gift."
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