Archive for category Health and fitness

35 ways to make 2016 a terrific year

  1. Hang out with people who make you laugh.
  2. Try to do something active every day.
  3. Experience other cultures through travel, books/magazines, events, etc.
  4. Spend less than you earn.
  5. Go to bed earlier.
  6. Get outdoors more.
  7. Volunteer.
  8. Talk with a senior citizen.
  9. Eat a cleaner diet.
  10. Find stress management activities.
  11. Say hello to strangers.
  12. Unplug frequently.
  13. Spend more time with family and friends
  14. Do something outside your comfort zone.
  15. Leave the car and walk or bike to the store.
  16. Listen to music from your youth.
  17. Let people off the hook when they make a mistake.
  18. Take photos of things in nature.
  19. Stretch.
  20. Say “yes” more than “no.”
  21. But learn how to say “no” when you feel overwhelmed.
  22. Clean out the clutter.
  23. Make new friends.
  24. Connect with old friends.
  25. Watch an old movie.
  26. Honor your commitments.
  27. Do your taxes earlier.
  28. Ramp up your retirement savings.
  29. Take all of the vacation time you’ve earned.
  30. Pat yourself on the back once in a while.
  31. Replace television time with a hobby.
  32. Take a class.
  33. Tackle that home project that’s been hanging over your head.
  34. Live knowing that every day could be your last.
  35. Tell your loved ones how you feel.

Your turn. What ideas do you have to make 2016 a great year?

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7 ways that sports make a difference

What’s happening to professional athletes? Long gone are the days when stars like the late Yankee Joe DiMaggio protected his reputation like security guards at the U.S. Mint.

The sports world has always had its share of problem players, although the numbers seem to be increasing, particularly in the NFL, which has seen dozens of players arrested during the off-season.

Nevertheless, sports play an important role in our society, and we should focus on the benefits, not the bad apples.

All together now
It sounds cliché, but playing a sport really does teach kids what it means to be a team player, something that will serve them well in their work careers.

Where are you going?
Competitive sports are all about setting team and individual goals — making the team, hitting .300, placing at regionals, winning the league championship, etc. — and working toward those targets.

See you tomorrow
It takes discipline to run, swim laps, or practice putting every day. And the more you practice, the better you become — teaching athletes that hard work pays off.

Good sports
More than ever, amateur sports are teaching kids to win gracefully and lose with dignity. They’ll all face a life full of successes and failures, and the lessons they learn on the sports field will teach them how to deal with each.

Character building
While the news is full of examples of athletes behaving badly, you’ll also see positive stories:

  • Players who visit hospitalized children
  • Athletes volunteering in the community
  • Coaches giving a kid with a disability a chance to play in a real game

Good coaches teach more than sports skills; they teach life lessons.

Howdy, neighbor
Following a local teams builds a sense of community. Whether it’s a Friday night football game or a Tuesday afternoon field hockey match, a sporting event is a great opportunity to meet new people and connect with friends.

Lifelong friends
Joining a team gives kids, particularly shy ones, a chance to make friends. Wearing the same uniform immediately offers something in common, and sharing  a goal (see above) builds bonds.

Your turn. What did you learn by playing a sport?

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Fight the flu: tips to stay healthy

 This year’s strain of influenza has proven to be much harsher than any we’ve seen in years. It’s highly contagious and packs a wallop when you catch it. Symptoms range from body aches and chills, to fever and cough.

You can reduce the odds of catching this nasty bug by taking a few precautions, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):  

Get a flu shot
It’s not too late, and this year’s vaccine is a good match for the virus that’s circulating. The shot takes 10-14 days for full effectiveness, but your resistance will build up gradually during that period.

Wash your hands — a lot
Washing your hands with good old soap and water or a sanitizing gel is one of the best things you can do to prevent the spread of germs. Germs lurk on surfaces such as door knobs and table tops, so it’s especially critical to wash before eating.

Don’t touch your face
Touching your face — particularly your eyes, nose, or mouth —risks transporting germs from your hands to inside your body. That’s good for the bugs, but bad for you.

Stay hydrated
Air in homes and offices is generally drier during winter months. Drink lots of liquids, especially water, to keep your body well hydrated.

Catch some shuteye
The body needs sleep, and most of us don’t get enough. Lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, your first defense against sickness.

Minimize contact
If you can, avoid contact with sick people (or wear a mask). If you’re especially concerned, staying out of crowded places, such as malls or movie theaters, can help reduce your exposure.

If you still become ill, call your primary care provider. If it appears you have influenza (as opposed to a stomach bug that’s also circulating), he or she may prescribe an antiviral to help you recover more quickly.

For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/flu

 

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