Who said “laughter is the best medicine” first? The best I could find was that it comes from the Bible – Proverbs 17:22 – “A joyful heart is good medicine …” Also, Henry Ward Beecher said, “Mirth is God’s best medicine.”
In any event, it’s good for you as it says below.
Lord knows, he’s right.
Maybe I will do more of the Fitness Funnies now that I know this.
Regular readers have read here more times than I can mention that 60 percent of us are overweight and of those half are outright obese. We really are a nation of bad eaters and under-exercisers.
Here’s how that comes about, generally speaking: The average American will add about a pound of weight each year starting from age 25. So, from 25 to 65 years old, the average person adds 35 pounds. However, there is more to the story than just that. UNLESS the average person is physically active, he is losing about a further half pound of bone and muscle mass each year, too. So, our body fat increases 1.5 pounds each year from 25 to 60 years old.
I have owned my Apple watch just under a month now. For the record, I am a big fan of Apple. I bought my first Apple II+ back in 1979 and upgraded to a Fat Mac in 1984. I bought the stock when it became available and I have continued to update my home Apple computer (both on my desktop and laptop) ever since.
This is the band that I have. It is called Milanese and is totally adjustable to fit my skinny wrist.
Because I am 75 years old, there is a certain ‘old man resistance’ to new stuff in me these days. Nonetheless, I have taken to my Apple Watch like a duck to water. Despite my enjoyment, I can not say that I have mastered all its intricacies yet by any means. Like a good relationship, it keeps unfolding in the most delightful ways.
The Activity App is the one of the keys keeping me healthy. I will write some aspects, but, to really learn about it, click the link to go through the guided tour. The link has info on 20 aspects of the Apple Watch. For this post, please scroll down to the Activity one (with the three concentric circles) and Click on “Watch the Guided Tour.” Apple created the tour and demonstrates actual usage of the App beautifully.
To begin using the app, the Watch screen prompted me to fill in a brief form with sex, age, weight and height. Now my watch knows me.
Next I had to indicate my personal activity level. This is what I estimate my activity calorie expenditure for the day to be. The watch then suggested a goal for me which you can accept or adjust it to a level I prefer.
I can track my activity through the day by tapping the icon or actually put an icon on my Watch face and track it from there.
There are three rings on the Activity app. The Movement one, in red, shows active calories toward my daily goal. BTW, these are calories which I burn as I move throughout the day. It does not include resting calories from lack of movement, like just sitting. The Centers for Disease Control reports that 78 percent of us are not meeting our basic activity requirements.
The Exercise ring, in green, shows how many minutes of exercise I have done toward a goal of 30 minutes per day. This tracks movement, not just health club stuff. Playing with your kids or dancing counts on the Activity app.
Finally, the Stand ring, in blue, shows how many times out of twelve hours that I have stood for at least a minute. If you aren’t aware of the dangers of prolonged sitting, please check out my Page – Do you know the Dangers of too much sitting? I have to confess that I am blown away by the fact that the Watch reminds me when I have been sitting too long. Many people are not even aware that prolonged sitting is bad.
The Stand reminder, by the way, is shown on the Watch screen and is accompanied by a little nudge on my wrist called a haptic. The Watch has sensors and other mechanisms on the part that touches your skin. That is where the haptic originates. It feels like someone gently poking your wrist.
In sum, the ActivityApp alone gives me the feeling that I am being watched over by a gentle and friendly robot that cares about me. Okay, I have a vivid imagination. Nonetheless, I have enjoyed being reminded to stand and also viewing my activity through the day as well as at day’s end. I have a better consciousness of my daily activity progress as a result. Every Monday, the Watch notifies me of the previous week’s results and I have the option of tweaking my daily move goal for the coming week.
I called this post How My Apple Watch Keeps Me Healthy, but of course, I am the one keeping me healthy by my commitment to good health. I think if you are a person less committed than I am, the Watch will be even more effective for you because it continually reminds you about your need to move. I would love to hear from readers who are also experiencing owning the Watch.
The next time I will continue this by going into the Workout App which gives me wonderful coverage and assistance on my bike riding. Of course, it also covers walking, running, indoor and out, elliptical, rower and more. So it is excellent for specific exercises compared with the Activity App which is more general movement.
I am a great believer in the idea that one picture is worth a thousand words. When it comes to infographics, I think that power is multiplied. I hope you can find some enlightenment in the following infographic. Vitamins are crucial to our good health. The more you know about them, the better.
Standing tall doesn’t just make you look better, it optimizes your health, too. Other studies have found good posture elevates testosterone and serotonin in the body, and also reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Good posture has even been linked to personality traits such as tolerance for risk-taking.
Humans were designed to stand upright. And yet in this modern world, too many of us spend our days with our heads slumped over for a simple reason: we’re staring at the tiny screen of a smartphone.
People spend an average of 2 to 4 hours each day with their neck bent at this unnatural angle while shooting off emails or texts. That’s 700 to 1,400 hours a year. The success of social media is has led to an epidemic of bad smartphone posture.
The average adult head weighs 10 to 12 pounds when it’s in the upright or neutral position. However, because of that pesky thing called physics — gravitational pull — the cranium becomes heavier the more you bend your neck. Several times heavier, according to research from Dr. Kenneth Hansraj, chief of spine surgery at New York Spine Surgery and Rehabilitation Medicine, which will be published in…
Grown without chemicals and loaded with nutrition, these 11 foods will keep you (and the planet) healthy for life.
By Rodale News Thu, Mar 08 2012
WHOLE FOODS: Full of nutrition and easy on the planet.
J.I. Rodale, the man who founded Rodale Publishing, launched the organic farming movement in America. A strong believer in the power of food to heal, he knew long before organic went mainstream that producing the healthiest food meant growing it in the healthiest soil — soil enriched naturally with organic matter, not synthetic, petroleum-based fertilizers that can rob it of vital nutrients and minerals. In a 1947 issue of Rodale’s first magazine, Organic Gardening, J.I. Rodale outlined “The Rodale Diet,” a simple recommendation of easily accessible healthy foods, grown without the use of toxic chemicals that, if followed 20 to 30 percent of the time would “give disease a smart punch in the solar…
Staying in shape physically is only half of the equation, and as people live longer and longer with the progression of medical technology, it’s time mankind took a serious look at how to improve brain health. It’s important to learn how to treat your brain properly, especially since it is the key to making sure the rest of the body is in working order.
Walking is one of the best habits you can have. It burns calories and benefits the health of your brain as well.
According to neuroscientist Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of The Biology of Belief, 95% of your life is dictated by the subconscious mind. This is the part of your brain that runs a large portion of your life on autopilot enabling you to do many tasks without thinking about them, everything from tying your shoes to driving a car.
When you do something often enough, it becomes a habit. Habits are activities you do effortlessly with minimal thought on your part. You can appreciate the power of a habit when you try to stop a bad one. It’s tough!
27th August 2014 By Deane Alban Contributing Writer for Wake Up World
What do you want to do when you retire? The most common answers to this question are to spend time with friends and family, travel, volunteer, exercise (finally!), learn new things, live abroad, and write a book.  But you won’t be able to do these things later if you don’t take care of your body and your brain now.
If you’re like most people, you’ve tried to change, but you find it really, really hard (as in “impossible”). You’ve made the resolutions and set the goals. When you’ve failed, you’ve tried even harder, but making change stick has still eluded you.
Let’s take a look at why the usual ways of making lifestyle changes often fail. Then I’ll give you some super-easy but counter-intuitive tips to create new, healthy habits.
“These new results are critically important to our understanding of how alcohol affects heart disease. Contrary to what earlier reports have shown, it now appears that any exposure to alcohol has a negative impact upon heart health,” says co-lead author Michael Holmes, MD, PhD, research assistant professor in the department of Transplant Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Reducing the amount of alcoholic beverages consumed, even for light-to-moderate drinkers, may improve cardiovascular health, including a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, lower body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure, according to a new multi-center study published in The BMJ and co-led by the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The latest findings call into question previous studies which suggest that consuming light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol (0.6-0.8 fluid ounces/day) may have a protective effect on cardiovascular health.
The new research reviewed evidence from more than 50 studies that linked drinking habits and cardiovascular health for over 260,000 people. Researchers found that individuals who carry a specific gene which typically leads to lower alcohol consumption over time have, on average, superior cardiovascular health records. Specifically, the results show that individuals who consume 17 percent less alcohol per week have on average a 10 percent reduced risk of…
The bottom line is you can’t expect to pick and choose what you are willing to do to be fit and healthy. Being fit is something you work toward all day long. Decide to strive for the full package – healthy inside and out. Look healthy because you ARE healthy!
Have you heard that saying, “you can stand in the garage, but that doesn’t make you a car? Well the same applies to fitness.
Going to the gym doesn’t make you fit. Even doing an occasional intense workout doesn’t necessarily get you fit either. Your body needs a lot more than just regular gym attendance – it needs a healthy lifestyle. Being fit requires eating for fuel, giving your body the nutrients it needs to grow and repair. It requires discipline. You may need to say “No’ next time you are asked to go out when you know your body desperately needs rest. Your body needs ample fluids for healthy hydration and to help flush toxins. Your body needs good posture to relieve joints and to prevent injury. Sadly, there are a lot of people working hard in the gym to get fit, who are destroying their bodies as soon…
Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise, Ben Franklin. famously said. If that man gets himself outside in the early morning sun, he may also enjoy other substantially healthy benefits.
I was excited to learn that while I am out riding in the early morning sun, I will be enjoying some other very healthy benefits.
Dr. Phyllis Zee and other researchers from Northwestern Memorial’s Feinberg School of Medicine recently published a study showing in effect that morning sunlight makes you healthier.
According to the study “Light exposure can influence sleep and circadian timing, both of which have been shown to influence weight regulation.”
The early morning sun affects hormones that regulate appetite and neurotransmitters that regulate the sleep/wake cycle.
The early morning bright lights also wake us and lift our mood which may prompt us to make healthier decisions through the rest of the day.
The study included 54 people for an entire week. Those who spent more time in early morning sunlight were leaner than the ones who got their light exposure later in the day.
Dr. Zee said that the early morning light has more blue which is a more powerful stimulus for your brain. This compares with the red and orange light that we tend to get later in the afternoon.
In case you didn’t know, blue light is melatonin-suppressant. Melatonin is the hormone that starts to put us to sleep. If it is suppressed, we don’t feel as tired and will not fall asleep very easily.
So get out there and get some of those early morning rays. You will start your day on a positive note and feel better the rest of the day.
On the other end of the time spectrum, I have recently learned that TV screens, iPads and computers emit a lot of blue light. That is why working on your computer just before going to bed can make it more difficult to fall asleep. I wear blue blocker sunglasses when I work on my computer late to keep it from interfering with my falling asleep. They seem to work.
Let me hear that, get me near that Crunchy Granola Suite Drop your shrink and stop your drinkin’ Crunchy granola’s neat ( Neil Diamond )
I agree with Neil about crunchy granola being neat. It has been a part of my diet for more years than I care to remember.
I know ‘Granola Without Grains’ sounds like something left over from April Fool’s Day. But it isn’t. That’s why I was so surprised to discover Paleo Granola by CJK Foods of Chicago, IL.
“Granola,” according to Wikipedia “is a breakfast food and snack food, popular in the Americas, consisting of rolled oats, nuts, honey, and sometimes puffed rice, that is usually baked until crisp. During the baking process the mixture is stirred to maintain a loose, breakfast cereal-type consistency. Dried fruits, such as raisins and dates, are sometimes added.”
So, clearly, grains are an integral part of granola.
I must confess almost total ignorance of the Paleo diet. I just checked the web and the first thing I learned is that they don’t eat grains. They do eat grass-produced meats, fish/seafood, fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, nuts and seeds and healthful oils, like coconut oil. Lots of good eating there. So, the fact that you don’t eat grains explains why the Paleo Granola has no grains in it.
Before going further, I need to tell you that I bought it from my local grocer who had a girl passing out samples. I tried one and was blown away by the taste. A party in my mouth! I went right back and picked up a package. I am now on my third one.
Okay, so what is in Paleo Granola?
The ingredients are Organic almonds, organic sunflower seeds, almond flour, organic cashews, organic walnuts, maple syrup, organic flax seeds, organic coconut oil, organic raisins, vanilla, organic coconut flakes, spices and salt.
Here is the nutrition breakdown:
Serving size 2 ounces, 57 grams
Total fat 23 grams
Saturated fat 8 grams
No Trans fat
Sodium 16 mg
Dietary fiber 4 grams
Sugar 11 grams
Protein 7 grams
A quick comparison with a regular granola, puts Paleo slightly higher on calories, a lot higher on total fat, due to the nuts and coconut, way down on sodium and higher on fiber and protein. Not a bad tradeoff, I think.
Although I am a big granola fan and have a bowl almost every day. I have found that I like the taste of this Paleo mixture so much that I use it as a snack and sometimes take chunks of it with me for energy breaks when I ride the bike.
While I usually refrain from writing up local products that are not available to readers of an international blog, I did this one because I thought you might enjoy being exposed to the concept of granola sans grains. Also, resourceful readers might even try to make it on their own with a little experimentation. You have all the ingredients.
If anyone does try to make their own, I hope you will share your experience with the blog.
For Neil Diamond fans, here is the best audio version I could find on You Tube:
The piece leads off with, “Coconut oil, which is high in saturated fats, is increasingly being heralded as a healthy oil. Its advocates, including companies that sell it, say it’s nutritious, good for the heart and a fast source of energy. The oil may possibly protect against Alzheimer’s disease, they say.”
“It doesn’t take a lot of exercise to dramatically improve the way you age. Even moderate exercise helps neutralize free radicals, boost your immune system and even grow new brain cells,” according to The Washington Post.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
Adults 18 to 64 should get: 2.5 hours per week of moderate intensity exercise. OR 1.25 hours a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity OR Some combination of the above – equivalent episodes of at least 10 minutes spread throughout the week.
Take a good look at those numbers from the Department. Those aren’t big numbers.
The Washington Post referenced a study “Analyzing data for more than 650,000 people, pooled from six existing studies, and tracking them for an average of 10 years (during which time more than 82,000 deaths were recorded), they found that even a little bit of activity seemed to help people live longer. Compared to no physical activity, just 75 minutes of brisk walking per week was associated with an extra 1.8 years of life expectancy after age 40. Bumping that up to 150 minutes a week – the amount currently recommended by the World Health Organization – was associated with 3.4 years of added longevity; walking briskly for 450 minutes a week or more added up to an extra 4.5 years of life. The relationship between weekly physical activity time and longevity began leveling off at about 300 minutes, the study notes.”
So, with a little bit of regular exercise, you can extend your life, reduce your waistline and bolster your brain power, too. What are you waiting for?
LeBron James is the newest member of the exclusive club that also includes Johnny Football. We see him entering the exclusive gathering. Lucky LeBron – he gets to have McDonald’s newest creation – the Chicken Club Houe Sandwich. So goes the TV commercial.
Maybe not so lucky LeBron.
There are 670 calories in the sammy. That comes to around a third of a normal person’s calorie needs in a single day. But wait. Does anyone go to Mickey D’s and just have a sammy? Probably not. There are drinks and shakes galore that kick up the calorie count. Not to mention fries.
So if you just go for the sandwich, you are a third of the way there on your food for the day, but if you add a soft drink or fries, you will up the ante by several hundred calories and either have to eat less later or go over your calorie budget for the day.
Here is further nutrition info: 36 grams of protein. Not bad. The average adult needs around 55 grams per day, so the Chicken Club does a good job in satisfying your protein quota.
There are 33 grams of fat. That’s kind of high.
Cholesterol, 85 mg, not bad at all.
Fiber, 3 grams. This is a small amount. The average adult needs around 35 to 40 grams to maintain good health.
Carbs, 58 grams, okay.
Sodium, at 1410 mg, is problematic. As I wrote in reviewing the new quarter pounders, “The guidelines issued by the government say that adults should reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2300 mg per day. For those over age 51, or with a medical condition like diabetes or hypertension, salt intake should fall below 1500 mg. The American Heart Association puts the limit at 1500 mg per day for the entire population.”
Too much sodium puts you at risk for high blood pressure and kidney disease.
So, the new Chicken Club House Sandwich is a high calorie concoction with a lot of protein, but too much sodium. Calorie count could also put you over your daily budget.