IN YOUR DAILY DOSE: today is research from the fruit fly that may demonstrate why being socially isolated may trigger health conditions.
MAKING CHANGES: It may be difficult to come out of your shell, but it’s well worth the effort.
FACT OR FICTION: It changed from brown fish sauce to red vegetable sauce that once was proposed to take the place of a vegetable on the school lunch plate.
In The News
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found when they isolated fruit flies, the flies didn’t sleep as well or as long that lead to cellular stress and activated a defense mechanism.
Past research has linked social isolation with a wide range of health conditions and a shortened lifespan. In an effort to reduce the effect on the aging population of the U.S., representatives from the Gerontological Society of America urged the Senate to support programs that would help the elderly stay connected in their communities, calling social isolation a “silent killer that places people at a higher risk for a variety of poor health outcomes.”
Daily Health Tip
Your list of stress reduction strategies below will also help you reduce your social isolationism.
Staying physically healthy and incorporating stress reduction techniques may help to reduce your stress level and your blood pressure.
- Get 8 hours of sleep a night. When exhausted, your brain does not function as well. You will have more problems with focus and with the ability to think through problems. In fact, when tired, your brain functions as if you have been drinking alcohol with reduced reaction time and processing speed.
- Get 20 to 30 minutes of sunshine each day. Sun is a great way for your body to manufacture vitamin D, but it also affects your brain and your mood. If you can’t get outside, use a light bulb in the house designed for people with seasonal affective disorder. All of us benefit by being in the sun!
- Exercise every day. Whether you are walking after lunch and dinner or working out for an hour at the gym, get some exercise. Your digestive system works better, your arteries will be healthier and your mood better too.
- Drink enough water to stay hydrated. Your urine should be light straw color. If it’s darker then you aren’t drinking enough and if it’s lighter you are drinking too much.
- Find what works best for your stress reduction. Some people practice yoga, others just exercise and others find that prayer helps to relieve their stress of everyday living. However you choose to manage stress, it’s important that YOU manage stress and not that the stress in your life manages you.
There are several different stress reducing activities you may have tried but the following three are our favorites as they are supported by research and they work, whether you believe they will or not. In other words, there is no placebo effect with these strategies - when you practice them consistently and correctly you WILL enjoy the benefits. And one of the nicest benefits is stress reduction.
Don’t just read these - actually DO THEM.
- Exercise - you may not want to hit the gym and sweat to the oldies, but you can go for a 30 minute walk after dinner each night. The combination of being outdoors in the sun and exercise has a calming effect on your nervous system. If being outside is out of the question, try an indoor bike, exercise ball, mini-trampoline or any other activity that raises your heart rate. You aren’t training for the Olympics, you’re just moving.
- Emotional Freedom Techniques - this is a bit like acupressure, using specific areas of your body to interrupt energy pathways. This is NOT some new age nonsense, but is based on 1,000s of years of Traditional Chinese Medicine. It helps reduce stress and anxiety and can even help improve your motivation. It’s easy to learn, can be done at home or even in public and takes just minutes. You can learn more about it here: http://eft.mercola.com/
- Yoga - that’s right - yoga. It can be a simple form that isn’t very physically taxing or you can try a Hot Yoga class done in a room heated to near 110 degrees Fahrenheit. Research demonstrates that yoga has a significant number of positive benefits to your health, well above reducing stress and anxiety. Just 12 minutes a day may reduce your potential for osteoporosis, reduce stress, depression, anxiety and improve your cardiovascular health. Simple, easy and 12 minutes a day - do you have an extra 12 minutes each day to reduce your stress?
Even though I think about having a family, I am careful to choose my timing wisely. My focus is on ensuring I am able to be a good parent. I take the time to put necessary things in place so life is comfortable for my children when the time comes to have them.
Fact or Fiction?
Ketchup Didn’t Originate in America
Ketchup was originally developed in the US as a tomato based sauce. In fact, it was first a brown, fish-based sauce from China. The British likely found ketchup in Southeast Asia and tried to replicate it in their country. Using tomatoes to make ketchup made the product last longer - up to one year on the shelf. After commercial ketchup was developed, manufactured and sold, homemade ketchup no longer tasted as good. This might be because the commercial product is laced with sugar, tailored to meet our desire for sweets. Another fun fact in ketchup history is that President Ronald Reagan once tried to get schools to consider ketchup a vegetable in order to make the lunch programs more flexible!
Have a wonderful day!
Your Healthy Life America Team