These days, more of us are eating lunch at our desks – or skipping lunch altogether. And that’s bad for our health. Here’s why – and how to make your lunch hour count – courtesy of occupational health expert Dr. Chris Cunningham:
• We need to take periodic breaks from the stresses of work. That gives our brain and body time to relax, de-stress and to restore our energy reserves. That helps us feel refreshed and refocused for the rest of the workday. Dr. Cunningham says it takes anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour to feel refreshed. But if you skip your midday-break, it’ll take twice that long to unwind at the end of the day.
• Our brains like new experiences. Sitting in the same spot all day bores our brain, which lowers mood and productivity, and hurts our physical health. So, try a change of scene – even if you just walk to the cafeteria, or sit outside under a tree to eat your sandwich. Studies show that ditching personal electronics and being “in the moment” can be a huge relief. And it will help keep your brain from overreacting to stress in the afternoon.
• Desk dining can make you antisocial. Studies show that people with larger social circles tend to live longer, healthier lives. But you can’t make friends at work if you always eat at your desk. So, take a moment to chat in the break room, or join your coworkers for lunch. And take a real break by talking about anything but work.
• Enjoy your food. Slowing down enough to use all your senses can be relaxing all by itself. In a recent study, ER doctors found everything about their job stressful and draining – except lunch. They said a lunch break was tremendously valuable because it was a total change of pace, and helped them feel renewed and relaxed when it was time to clock back in.Continue Reading
If you want a more natural way to treat your spring allergies, one of these alternative remedies could be the fix for you:
- If you’ve got pollen allergies, studies show that vitamin C can lower the levels of histamines in your bloodstream. And histamines are the chemicals produced by an allergic reaction that cause swelling, sneezing, and itching. Your best bet: Get your C from natural sources like oranges, grapefruit, broccoli, and onions. But, start slowly. Experts say that some people with pollen allergies are also allergic to certain types of fresh produce, including apples, bananas, tomatoes, melons and cherries.
- Then, if you’d like a natural remedy for hay fever, try: Butterbur. Several studies have found that supplements that contain butterbur are as effective at reducing nasal congestion as over-the-counter allergy medicines. And side effects are rare.
- The last natural allergy-fighter also gives traditional meds a run for their money: Quercetin. It’s a powerful antioxidant found in foods like onions, apples, berries, and tea. It can reduce allergy symptoms, like the inflammation that causes nasal congestion and eye irritation. Plus, research shows that quercetin helps reduce the immune response to certain allergens, like pollen and ragweed.
Just remember: If you’re taking prescription meds for allergies, talk to your doctor about all the supplements you’re taking - or plan to take. That’s because supplements can interact with prescription drugs in dangerous ways.Continue Reading
When Daylight Saving Time rolls around, does the time change affect your dog? Yes! It can cause stress and anxiety in some dogs. Animal behavior experts say that dogs are creatures of habit. And they’ve got an incredibly accurate internal clock. So, once they know that, say, breakfast is at 7 a.m., they’ll be whining for their food every day at 7 – whether you’re trying to sleep in or not. Dogs are pretty good at syncing their schedules with their human family, but sometimes they need a little help – especially for sudden shifts, like time changes.
Our clocks move forward on Sunday, March 13th. And that means, your dog will suddenly be expecting their meals, walks, and other regular activities an hour later. So, a few days before the time change, start pushing their schedule back 15 minutes every couple of days, until you reach the correct new time. And know this: Dog behavior specialists say that when we get a new puppy, we should vary their scheduled activities half an hour one-way or the other. That way, they’ll be used to living an unpredictable life. And won’t be so stressed and anxious when things change.Continue Reading
The world is about to be a more dangerous place – thanks to Daylight Saving Time! Most of us will make the switch on Sunday the 13th, moving our clocks ahead an hour. But the effects of that change go WAY beyond getting a bit more daylight in the evening. It has a big impact on health and safety! Here are a few facts you should know:
The change is hardest on night owls. Because daylight lasts longer – they may stay up even LATER because their sleep hormone, melatonin, won’t start kicking in until later. And because the sun will rise later, they’ll have a harder time waking up in the dark.
In general, losing an hour of sleep is a lot harder on everyone than gaining an hour in the Fall. It makes people more restless at night and can disrupt sleep patterns for a week, leaving people groggy and more prone to accidents. In fact, car crashes the week after the time change go up 6 percent.
There’s also a spike in heart attacks the first week after we “spring forward.” It’s because we’re sleep deprived and that messes with our immune system, making us more vulnerable. In fact, in Kazakhstan, they abolished Daylight Saving Time because it was a health hazard!
So, why is it so difficult to adjust to a one-hour time change? Because when you get up before the sun, your brain doesn’t get its cue to stop making the sleep hormone melatonin, and you end up feeling groggy all day. But you can make the adjustment a little easier. Try this: On Saturday the 9th of March, go to bed 30 minutes early. And get up 30 minutes earlier on Sunday and go outside. Even if it’s cloudy or rainy, your body will re-set its internal clock. It’ll make the transition to Monday much easier, when you need to get up an hour earlier.Continue Reading
What’s the most important thing you can do during your next check-up? Ask your doctor questions. That’s because doctors usually only spend 10 minutes with each patient, and mostly on the physical exam. So, here are 4 potentially lifesaving questions to ask at your next check-up:
First: What’s my BMI? BMI stands for “body mass index” and it’s a measure that tells you how appropriate your weight is for your height. Your BMI also reveals whether or not you’re at increased risk for everything from diabetes to heart disease.
Another question to ask: Should I get the shingles vaccine? A lot of people assume that shots are only for kids. But there are dozens of vaccines that adults should get, like for shingles, Hepatitis B, and tetanus. And if you don't ask, your doctor could forget to review what you’ve had and what you need.
The next question to ask your doctor: Is there anything in my family history I should be concerned about? Knowing which health issues you’re at a high risk of developing, like cancer or heart disease, makes it much easier to spot symptoms and prevent those problems. Plus, getting treated earlier could be a lifesaver.
And the final question to ask your doctor: What’s one lifestyle habit should I change? This is an opportunity for your doctor to tell you exactly what your big issue is, and for you to focus on improving that one bad habit. Like you need to sleep more, stop eating junk food, or control your stress levels.
Couples fight more about money than anything else. So it’s no wonder some couples hide their money issues. For example:
15% of married people have a bank account that they keep hidden from their partner. And 1-in-10 people say they’ve lied to their partner about how much they earn. And another 10% lie about how much they spend. Experts say a lot of couples hide money because they want to spend without being accountable to their spouse. And people lie about what they spend to avoid arguments. But it’s going to come out at some point, and 30% of people surveyed said they felt that hiding purchases or bank accounts was financial infidelity, and they considered that as harmful as having an affair.
Here’s another money truth, which shows just how powerful a motivator it is: A lot of people admit, they would marry someone for their money. To be exact, more than half of all men and women say they’d marry someone they were only “slightly attracted to,” as long as the person had money. Psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo says this makes sense because a lot of people think having more money means they’ll have more security. But over time, Dr. Lombardo says money will not make up for deep flaws in a relationship and a lack of love.
Another money issue couples have: Their happiness is influenced by how much money they make. A Cornell University study found that, in general, husbands who earn more money than their wives are more satisfied in their relationship than men who earn the same, or less, than their partners. But when women are the primary breadwinner, they tend to be less satisfied with their relationship. Researchers say this comes from our deep-rooted idea of “traditional” gender roles.
But know this: You’ve gotta get to the heart of your money issues and talk about them. Because a study at Utah State University found that couples who disagree about financial matters once a week are 30% more likely to divorce.Continue Reading
Should you worry if your dog is going gray?
For most OLDER dogs, the answer is “no.” Because just like humans, it’s perfectly normal for dogs to go gray as they age. But according to a study in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, it’s a different story for dogs 4 years old or YOUNGER… Because premature graying often signals some serious doggy problems!
In the study, researchers found that the top predictors for gray hair in younger pets are stress and impulsivity - which refers to their ability to control their emotions in unfamiliar situations.
For example: Does your dog shed an unusual amount of hair when they visit the vet? Are they hyperactive during walks? Do loud noises freak them out? And do they scratch, chew or hide whenever a stranger walks by?
Researchers say these behaviors trigger the release of stress hormones, which can reduce the amount of pigment in a dog’s hair follicles, and cause hair to turn gray… especially around their muzzle and face.
With an older dog, that’s no big deal… But if it’s happening to your dog before age 4, it means they’re experiencing an unusual amount of stress. And researchers say that’s true regardless of a dog’s breed, size, and spay or neuter status.
The fix? Veterinarian Dr. Camille King says the most obvious way to de-stress your pet is to enroll them in a training program, that teaches them to socialize with other animals and people. Then, for specific issues like biting, scratching and chewing, talk to your vet about starting a behavior modification program, to help get their fear under control. And the earlier you start, the better.Continue Reading
Guys, what's the one thing your girlfriend or wife doesn't want to be called? According to a new study, it's "Babe!" Researchers had hundreds of female volunteers complete a survey that asked them to rank the top pet names they love and hate. The result? "Babe" was voted the number one most hated pet name.
It's followed by:
- Baby girl
- Sweet cheeks
- Sexy pants
Meanwhile, guys, take note - the top pet names women like to be called are:
Ladies, what do you like to be called? Is there one name you can't stand?Continue Reading