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Monthly Archives: January 2015

New Years resolutions for the brain.

Gavin LeSueur - January 26, 2015

The following list is 50 inspiring New Years resolutions and nearly none of them have to do with an obvious preventative health benefit but in reality all of them do. A healthy mind, a healthy life.
1. take time to go for a walk.

2. Assign your kids regular chores, and make them follow through!
3. Read for pleasure.
4. Think a little slower and take in your surroundings.
5. Smile to at least one person every day.
6. Opt for the stairs a few times every week.
7. Do not turn on the TV every second day.
8. Take up a new hobby.
9. Cook dinner more often.
10. Stop pressing “snooze.”
11. Do one new thing every single week. It doesn’t have to be major.
12. Get out of your comfort zone and explore more.
13. Make the iPad the exception, not the habit, for nighttime entertainment.
14. Make a meal for any friend or neighbor when they’re sick or stuck at home.
15. Give more away—even if it’s something you want for yourself.
16. Keep teaching your kids to have gratitude, and lead by example.
17. Practice an instrument more (or take up a new one).
18. Stop using your phone as a crutch. People-watch, instead.
19. Be more of a team player.
20. Live more minimalistically.
21. Try your best to stay in the moment and enjoy that sweet (but potentially stressful) hour between arriving home from work and putting the baby to sleep.
22. Step up your morning game. Wake up early enough to have a leisurely breakfast and enjoy a cup of coffee.
23. Post more unfiltered and realistic images on your social feeds.
24. Say “no” sometimes.
25. Finally donate unworn clothing to people who could use it.
26. Learn how to cook more of your favorite foods—no more take-out!
27. Become a smart grocery shopper (we’re talking lists and pantry inventory before you go).
28. Run a few miles every day.
29. Plan to visit extended family regularly.
30. Take fewer cars and cabs. Use your legs.
31. Spend one-on-one quality time with your friends every single week.
32. Talk to people on the phone more often.
33. Stop tying your 7-year-old’s shoes. They must tie themselves!
34. Go to the movies alone, or go to a restaurant alone, just to prove you can handle the “me time.”
35. Plan at least one weekend day-trip every month.
36. Have “date night” at least once a week.
37. Go on a blind date.
38. Get those piles of photos into scrapbooks.
39. Save money and make coffee at home.
40. Start using SPF every single day. Even in the winter.
41. Be less argumentative.
42. Strive to stand up for yourself more often.
43. Tackle three DIY projects you’ve pinned in the last three months.
44. Meditate for five minutes every day.
45. Opt for tea instead of coffee.
46. Stop drinking soda.
47. Make an effort to respond to emails quickly so they don’t fall through the cracks.
48. Learn how to make basic, easy things you normally buy, because homemade tastes better—and it’s better for you! Start with hummus, guacamole, marinara sauce, or a great vinaigrette dressing.
49. Stop beating yourself up over mistakes. Learn from them, and move on.
50. Resolve to work ahead. Buy birthday presents earlier, fill out school forms the day they arrive, and stop waiting until the last second.

Just thinking about headaches gives me one!

Gavin LeSueur - January 15, 2015

Headaches are among the most common health problems worldwide — the World Health Organization estimates that up to 4 percent of all adults are affected by an aching head on 15 or more days every month. And when a headache strikes, especially a migraine headache, you might be out of commission for several hours or even days.

While there are many effective headache treatments, headache prevention is the place to begin. Even if you can’t stop every headache from happening, some simple changes can help you avoid at least a few.

Headache Prevention: What You Can Control

There are headache triggers you can control, and those you can’t. Some triggers in the latter category are the weather and, if you’re female, the hormonal fluctuations that occur with menstruation, ovulation, and menopause.
The following are common triggers for headaches and migraines, and many are within your control:
Stress
Drinking alcohol, and red wine in particular
Sensory overload — exposure to lights that are too bright, sounds that are too loud, or smells that are overpowering
Dehydration — not drinking enough water
Too much sleep or not enough sleep
Exercising too rigorously
Hormonal changes
Not eating frequently enough
Smoking
Straining your eyes reading or sitting at a computer
A difference in your caffeine intake — just skipping your morning cup for one day can cause a caffeine-withdrawal headache

Food additives or naturally-occurring substances, including nitrates in processed meats, MSG in fast food and Chinese food, tyramine found in certain aged cheeses and soy-based foods, and the artificial sweetener aspartame.

Practicing these easy steps will help you avoid many common headache triggers:

  • Maintain good posture, and move around during the day. Make sure your neck isn’t remaining stiff and that you’re moving it around if you’re doing desk work. Also, take your eyes away from the computer every so often to avoid eyestrain.
  • Stay consistent. Keep a regular schedule, and don’t greatly vary your diet or your waking, sleeping, and exercise routines.
  • Get an appropriate amount of sleep. Either too much or too little shuteye can leave your head pounding, so make sure you get a steady eight hours each night.
  • Stick to a healthy diet and exercise regimen. Healthy foods and regular exercise help ward off headaches. Never skip meals, and have a small, healthy snack between meals so that you don’t get too hungry.
  • Drink water. Dehydration can lead to headache, so drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Manage stress. Stress can build up and cause your head to pound, so find ways to deal with it. Take up a hobby, exercise, try yoga, and do some deep breathing when you feel stress creeping in.

Headache prevention is less painful than dealing with a headache. Persistent headaches need investigation and if you have odd symptoms associated see your Doctor.

 

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