Lifestyle & health

Get-movingGet moving!
Studies have found that any time you get up and move, you’re improving your chances for good health. A new study led by NIH’s Dr. Steven Moore found that even a low level of physical activity—equivalent to about 10 minutes a day of walking—was associated with a gain of almost 2 years in life expectancy. High levels of activity—equivalent to about 45 minutes a day of walking—were associated with a gain of 4 years or more,” says Moore.

The bottom line is, look for opportunities to be active throughout your day. Get moving as much as you can!

meditateMeditate
In a control group Harvard researchers found that after two months of practising relaxation methods every day, their bodies began to change: the genes that help fight inflammation, kill diseased cells and protect the body from cancer all began to switch on.”
More encouraging still, the benefits of the relaxation effect were found to increase with regular practice: the more people practised relaxation methods such as meditation or deep breathing, the greater their chances of remaining free of arthritis and joint pain with stronger immunity, healthier hormone levels and lower blood pressure

Nobel Prize winner Elizabeth Blackburn found that only 12 minutes of daily yoga meditation for eight weeks improved stress-induced aging.

GiveGive
Unselfish love can enhance health.
According to a 2006 study published in the International Journal of Psychophysiology, people who gave social support to others had lower blood pressure than people who didn’t. The same study also found that people who gave their time to help others through community and organizational involvement had greater self-esteem, less depression and lower stress levels than those who didn’t.
In a 2006 study, researchers from the National Institutes of Health studied the functional MRIs of subjects who gave to various charities. They found that giving stimulates the mesolimbic pathway, which is the reward center in the brain, releasing endorphins and creating what is known as the “helper’s high.”

crosswordLearn something new
Our brain needs exercise to keep healthy! As we age our brain cells die and synapses weaken. To prevent or slow this down we need to stimulate our brain with new activities such as taking a new route to work, brush your teeth with the other hand, do crossword puzzles. Difficult activities are better for you, as they will create a greater need for new neural pathways.

sing-in-a-choirSing in a choir
A recent Swedish study found that when members of a choir sing together, their heart rates tend to synchronize and beat as one. This synchronicity can produce a sense of calm that is similar to the effects of yoga.
All types of singing have positive psychological effects. The act of singing releases endorphins, the brain’s “feel good” chemicals but of all types of singing, it’s choral singing that seems to have the most dramatic effects on people’s lives.

danceDance
According to a report from out the “New England Journal of Medicine” dancing frequently reduced risk of dementia with 76%.

 

 plan-for-a-holidayPlan a trip
Planning a vacation can improve our happiness. A study published in the journal “Applied Research in Quality of Life” showed that the largest boost in happiness comes from the simple act of planning a vacation. In the study, the effect of vacation anticipation boosted happiness for eight weeks.

outdoorsSpend time outdoors
When we breathe in fresh air, the body sends oxygen through the blood and allows the lungs to work at full capacity. High oxygen levels in the body also help improve cleansing of  the lungs, improves heart rate, blood pressure and concentration. Every system in your body benefits!

LaughLaugh
Laughter decreases stress hormones, relaxes the body, boosts immunity, relaxes muscles, triggers the release of endorphins and makes you feel good for up to 45 minutes after.

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