Healthy Habits

Healthy Habits

Healthy Habits
Staying healthy doesn't happen by accident. It's the product of healthy habits practiced everyday. This could mean opting for an apple instead of chips with lunch, limiting your TV time, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or setting health goals each month. Healthy living is a choice, and one that's easier to make than you think.

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  • 2 Answers
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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    Moving more is tough, since lots of what you have to do or want to do involves sitting. But breaking up endless time on your bum, even for a few minutes, breaks up the bad body effects. Key enzymes move, blood flows, mind and muscles flex. This is all it takes:
    • Get up and move at least every 30 minutes. Get more water or coffee or a banana or the mail. Cruise the hallways. Pace when you're on the phone. Stand and stretch. (Just standing or even fidgeting helps.)
    • Go ahead, watch your favorite shows. Just don't sit there. Cook, fold laundry, empty the dishwasher, get up and dance to the theme music, ride a stationary bike (replace the couch with one).
    • Is the TV thing that important? You bet. This research also just came in: Staring at the tube for an average of six hours a day (versus none) shortens your life by 5 to 10 years.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    Sleep is one of our most essential needs and yet we treat it in a very cavalier way.  Technology, 24 hour financial markets, travel, all make it difficult to carve out a proper amount of sleep - we always feel like we can do more.  However, once we start depriving ourselves of sleep it has ramifications for our physical and mental health.  And it can take several days to correct the damage wrought by even one "all-nighter".  At the end of the day, human beings are wired to follow circadian rhythms that are largely linked to light/dark (day/night) cycles.  When we violate them - our bodies aren't pleased.  Paying off sleep debt isn't as simple as sleeping an extra hour for every hour given up.   It takes several days to get the body back to proper rhythms and to address the physical and mental fatigue brought upon by disrupted sleep.  Every so often an all nighter may be necessary, but treating sleep as an afterthought is like living on a diet of junk food - not good for your mind or body.  
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    Sitting for long periods of time can harm you in seven ways:
    • Head: Sitting for long periods of time may cause blood clots to form which can travel to the brain and cause a stroke.
    • Neck: Fluid retained in the legs during the day moves to the neck at night and may contribute to sleep apnea. Also, neck muscles can get stressed, leading to pain.
    • Lungs: If you sit most of your day, you may be twice as likely to develop a pulmonary embolism—a blood clot in the lungs.
    • Heart: People who live a sedentary lifestyle are up to twice as likely to develop diabetes and heart disease as those who move frequently.
    • Legs: Fluid can collect in the legs during sitting.
    • Back: Sitting for long periods of time can place a high amount of pressure on the spine. Over time, sitting can result in compression of the spinal disks. Because muscles are tight from pressure, sudden movements can lead to injury.
    • Feet: Sitting for long periods can lead to numbness in the feet caused by poor circulation. It can also cause nerve damage or pressure on nerves when you sit for long periods. 
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  • 1 Answer
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    A , Preventive Medicine, answered
    The practice of the Sabbath, or a day of rest, is part of all major world religions. The Sabbath is not just a story about God needing rest; it is meant to teach us to rest. The Talmud teaches that honoring the Sabbath equalizes rich and poor, gives us time to evaluate our work to see if it is good; and gives us leisure to contemplate the meaning of life.

    When we take time away from work, our work ceases to define us, and artificial measures of status fall away as we see we share common spaces and activities with people from all walks of life. When we take time to contemplate our work and our role in the world, we readjust our internal compasses as we travel the road of an intentional life. And when we stop to explore our role in the big picture, we renew our energy and connection to the Divine. Leisure engages the heart and stretches the soul.
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    A , Psychology, answered
    If you are feeling burned out from work, school, or family responsibilities, take time to re-adjust your priorities. Cast aside things that don't need your immediate attention. Try to delegate more. Call in the cavalry to help get things done and consider saying no more and yes less. Invite sensory and calming experiences like music, touch and rest into your day. Also, bring color and beauty into your world. Buy flowers, look at art, experience nature. Exercise. Get your body moving and breathe, breathe, breathe.
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    A , Neurology, answered
    If you have a cough that you can’t stop, try eating a spoonful of applesauce. Its cool, smooth texture can help soothe your irritated throat. Applesauce now comes in single-serving cups, so you can carry one with you for instant relief.

    However, if your cough persists, food may have gone down into your airway. A cough is your body’s natural protective mechanism for getting rid of foreign material in the airway. The signs of silent aspiration (food particles that go into the airway but you do not feel them) may be respiratory problems, fever, chest noises, and then pneumonia. Consult a doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms.
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    A , Cosmetology, answered
    As we grow older, our bodies start to slow down. Age sets in. But none of us want to admit it. We all want to look our best -- as long as we can. Here are a few simple lifestyle changes that can help you turn back the hands of time -- quickly and easily.
    • Stand up straight. You will appear more confident and look younger.
    • Sleep. Having a good night sleep of seven to eight hours gives your body a chance to rejuvenate itself.
    • Hair color. Coloring your hair to hide the gray is a great way to hide the telltale signs of aging.
    • Hairstyle. Shorter hair eliminates the dry ends, creates a more bouncy look and can improve your overall youthfulness.
    • Makeup. Avoid heavy makeup.
    • Update your glasses. Updating your current frames creates a more current, up-to-date look.
    • Brighter smile. A smile changes your whole face and makes you look more radiant, distracting from areas that show your age.
    • Dress right. As your body changes, so should your wardrobe. Wear outfits that compliment your body and that help hide areas of concern.
    • Update your shoes. Dull, worn and out of date shoes reflect the same on your appearance.
    • Take care of your skin. Proper skin care will help restore that healthy, radiant glow!
    You will be amazed at how fast people notice a difference in your appearance and with all the compliments you will receive.
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    A , Family Medicine, answered
    One way to help avoid getting sick when you fly is sucking on zinc lozenges -- any variety -- but especially ones combined with vitamin C. Zinc oral dissolvable products have been shown to reduce acquisition of respiratory viruses. Unfortunately, simply taking a zinc supplement that you swallow has not been shown to provide equal benefit.
    Should you wear a mask? If either you or your seatmate has a cough, that is reasonable.


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    A , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    Be your own cheerleader. Before you have to take care of anyone else in your day, take care of you first by giving yourself a morning pep talk while you're in front of the mirror. It may seem silly, but saying a few positive affirmations, such as "I'm going to have a fabulous day; I'm full of untapped energy and health, and it's up to me to make great things happen" has hidden benefits. Even if you don't quite believe yourself, it's still effective. Research has shown that over time, a daily rah-rah builds resilience, which can fortify you against stress.
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    Everyone seems to know how boredom feels. In the words of Tolstoy, it is "the desire for desires."

    But while there seems to be a universal understanding that it exists, there's no scientific consensus about what it is.

    It can arise from within, or from external stimuli - making it difficult to pin down its root cause.