“The hawk is back.” That’s what we Chicagoans say when temperatures turn cold here. I woke up to 25F degrees the other morning with a big wind. But if you want to ride your bike, you deal with it. By the way, when temps fall to sub zero, the expression here is, “The hawk is back … and he brought his whole damn family.”
So, winter seems to have come early to Chicago.
Whether you ride a bike or not, I think you will find some useful info here.
From the Toronto Star
The Wall Street Journal
a while back had a cleverly written item on Your Outdoor Sports Survival Guide
, by Jason Gay. He aptly describes “the maniacal joy of Survival Season,” and observes “Nobody looks suave playing sports in the freezing cold. If you are doing it correctly, you look a little unhinged and suspicious. Are you going to play golf…or rob the Bank of Alaska?”
Don’t forget to set your clock back tonight before you go to sleep.
Daylight Saving Time officially ends at 2:00 am this Sunday. In theory, “falling back” means an extra hour of sleep this weekend.
Winston Churchill once described Daylight Saving Time like this: “An extra yawn one morning in the springtime, an extra snooze one night in the autumn… We borrow an hour one night in April; we pay it back with golden interest five months later.”
That’s an overly optimistic view. In reality, many people don’t, or can’t, take advantage of this weekend’s extra hour of sleep. And the resulting shift in the body’s daily sleep-wake cycle can disrupt sleep for several days, according to Anthony Komaroff,M.D., Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist this one.
According to a recent British study published in the journal Scientific Reports, spending at least two hours a week outside may be good for one’s health. Nearly 20,000 English people were asked how many hours they spent in natural environments like parks, forests, and beaches in the last seven days; whether they considered their health to be good or poor; and if they felt their well-being was high or low. Those reporting nature contact of at least two hours per week were significantly more likely to report ‘good’ health and ‘high’ well-being compared to those reporting zero. (No additional benefit was seen from spending over 3.5 to 5 hours in nature.)
I shot this on a bike ride earlier this week. I love the reflections of the lights on Lake Michigan
While this association was seen even in people who did not meet current physical activity guidelines, the authors were unable to fully untangle time spent outside from time spent being active. It is possible that healthier, happier people are simply more likely to spend more time in nature or live in areas with more open space, but the association was seen even for those with long-term illness or disability. In this study, even people who needed to travel outside of their neighborhoods to reach a park or other natural area benefited from regularly spending time in nature.
As regular readers know, I am a nature lover. Here are a couple of my posts on being outside:
Urban greenspace boosts mental health
Tips on enjoying the outdoors safely
Benefits of exercising outdoors
I think part of living a long and healthy life includes a good amount of humor. At least that certainly is true in my case. Here is a study on various aspects of humor in different situations.
Researchers report humor can be good in certain situation, but its effectiveness depends on your end goals.
Why do humorous dating profiles get more right swipes? Can being funny help solve problems? Is laughter really the best medicine?
Humor and the “good life” seem to go hand-in-hand. Funny people seem to move effortlessly through the world. Business articles and gurus prescribe humor as a key to effective workplace performance. The website for the African country of Eritrea even describes humor as “a tremendous resource for surmounting problems, enhancing your relationships, and supporting both physical and emotional health.”
Humor appreciation does not always improve utilitarian outcomes, such as decision-making or health.
“Humor, Comedy and Consumer Behavior,” a paper by Caleb Warren, assistant professor of marketing in the UA Eller College of Management; Adam Barsky of the University of Melbourne; and A. Peter McGraw of the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business, looks beyond advertising to highlight how and when humor helps people reach their goals. Continue reading
On the off chance that you work for a firm that gives out edible gifts in the Christmas season, I am rerunning this post I wrote on lobster tail after I was given a gift of lobster tails some time ago. I hope you have been one of the lucky ones. Lobster is healthy as well as delicious.
Health Secrets of a SuperAger
I love the taste of lobster tail, but since I live in the Midwest the cost of flying them in has always added to their already relatively high price to put them almost out of reach of my purse strings. My personal economics has not favored eating a lot of lobster tail except on birthdays, anniversaries, etc. That is to say, once or twice a year. However, I recently got lucky and was gifted with some frozen lobster tails (thank you, Harrah’s Horseshoe Casino!). As I looked forward to preparing them I also wondered just how much food value lobster tails have.
Here is what I found out. The USDA puts the nutritional breakdown as follows: Serving size: four ounce tail (113.4 grams) Calories 105, Fat 1.1 grams no saturated or trans fats, Cholesterol none, Sodium 340 mg, Carbohydrates 1 gram and protein 22.7 grams. You need protein to build…
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I thought this survey of Fitbit users a good place to start. I have never used a Fitbit, but I love my Apple Watch and recommend using a wearable to help you focus on your health daily. I like that 79% said their Fitbit tracker helped them to reach their daily step goal. Check it out.
Couldn’t resist a chance to run this picture of a bike – parked and ready to ride.
As you can see on my Apple Watch face the top ring shows how many calories I have burned, the yellow ring how many minutes I exercised and the green ring how many times I have stood up from sitting. The rings fill in throughout the day as I complete my exercise.
I hope you and your loved ones have your best year ever in 2019!
More good step by step info on living a healthy and happy life.
To read more on the value of exercise, check out my Page – Important facts about your brain (and exercise benefits)
For more on how good sleep is for the body, check out – How important is a good night’s sleep?
Our Better Health
When asked the question: “Do you take care of yourself?” most of us will answer yes — we’d even think, “What kind of question is this? Of course I care about myself.”
When asked, “In what ways do you take care of yourself?” — well, that’s where the tricky part begins.
What is self-care?
Self-care is any activity that we deliberately do in order to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health. Although it’s a simple idea in theory, it’s something we very often overlook. Good self-care is key to improved mood and reduced anxiety. It’s also keep to a good relationship with oneself and others.
What isn’t self-care?
Knowing what self-care is not might be even more important. It is not something that we force ourselves to do, or something we don’t enjoy doing. As Agnes Wainman defined, self-care is “something that refuels us, rather than takes…
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This has some wonderful ideas in it. Once we refocus our minds on the positive goal of living healthy, we never need to look back at the old losing weight situation. It will no longer exist.
All About Healthy Choices
As of 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults, 18 years and older, were overweight. Over 42 million children under the age of 5 were overweight or obese. With an expanding population in quantity AND SIZE, it should not be surprising the weight loss business has skyrocketed. The various industries participating in addressing this growing epidemic includes:
The food industry
The exercise industry
The lifestyle coaching industry
The health care industry
I can tell you from personal experience as a physician that successful, LONG TERM healthy weight loss is best achieved by those people focusing on pursuing a healthy BALANCEDLIFESTYLE rather than focusing simply on weight loss. People need to understand that being overweight is a SYMPTOM of an underlying problem. It is the RESULT of a PROCESS that includes hormonal factors, behavioral factors, lifestyle factors and emotional factors. As everyone knows, treating symptoms doesn’t address the ROOT CAUSES
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A landmark study led by University of Sydney has found that people become more active, sleep better and reduce their sitting time when they retire.
Published in the Journal of Preventative Medicine, the study followed the lifestyle behaviors of 25,000 older Australians including physical activity, diet, sedentary behavior, alcohol use and sleep patterns.
“Our research revealed that retirement was associated with positive lifestyle changes,” said lead researcher Dr Melody Ding, Senior Research Fellow at the University’s School of Public Health.
“Compared with people who were still working, retirees had increased physically activity levels, reduced sitting time, were less likely to smoke, and had healthier sleep patterns.
“A major life change like retirement creates a great window of opportunity to make positive lifestyle changes – it’s a chance to get rid of bad routines and engineer new, healthier behaviors.” she said.
The data revealed that retirees:
• Increased physical activity by 93 minutes a week
• Decreased sedentary time by 67 minutes per day
• Increased sleep by 11 minutes per day
• 50 per cent of female smokers stopped smoking Continue reading
Easter comes at a time when the weather is mellowing and more folks think about getting outside and enjoying the air. Maybe slimming down. The whole idea of Easter is rejuvenation, right? Spring; new life. Well, biking is the coolest way I know to get outside and feel reborn.
I hope you will enjoy these images and ideas as much as I do.
I just love that little poster. The Earth sends a lil extra luv to those on bicycles… It says so right there.
What’s not to like?
Most years I ride my bike farther than I drive my car. That’s something you might be able to do …
Isn’t it interesting that Minneapolis is one of the top cities for biking in the country?
It’s a good day for a ride …
Happy Easter, bunny!