Turn off the TV! Shut down the computer! April 29–May 5 is Screen-Free Week. Screen-Free Week is a national celebration where children, families, schools, and communities spend seven days turning OFF entertainment screen media and turn ON life! It’s a time to unplug and play, read, daydream, create, explore nature, and spend time with family and friends. To learn more, visit the Screen-Free Website.
Getting enough sleep is one of the best ways to refresh your brain and body. Somewhere between 7-9 hours is ideal for adults, but that number really depends on you. Without adequate sleep, you’re at greater risk for obesity, stroke, and breast cancer later in life. Forming good sleep habits will help you wake-up feeling better.
Here are a few tips:
p Set your room temperature to 65°F during sleep time
p Remove TVs, phones, and computers from the room
p Dim the lights an hour before bedtime
p Turn the clock away so you can’t see the time
p Replace saggy pillows and mattresses with comfortable ones
p Cover your windows so the room is dark
Checkout the Blue Zones Bedroom Checklist to learn more
Regardless of your anxiety level, humor is a great way to cope with stress and those not so happy health ailments associated with it. It makes sense. Laughter’s not only a universal language, but it’s also contagious and connects people in a positive way. Research backs up that happy fact further finding that a healthy dose of laughter can lower your blood pressure and stress hormones, boost endorphins (natural painkillers) in your body, and give your immunity an overall lift.
So the next time you’re down in the dumps, remember that laughing is fun and free without adverse side-effects. Oh yeah, and there’s no sense of humor required. Just laugh!
For more helpful advice go to the Blue Zones Project by Healthways link below:
Get Vaccinated: Experts say the single best way to avoid the flu is to get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available in your area. The ideal time to get your flu shot is early fall. But any time during the winter is fine, if you have not already gotten it. The vaccine is engineered to protect against the flu strains health experts believe will be most widespread each season.
Stay Healthy: If you want your immune system to be in good enough shape to fight off the flu and other germs, you need to stay healthy. You need to (1) Eat a balanced diet (2) Exercise at least four days a week and (3) Get seven to nine hours of sleep a night. (4) Quit Smoking: There is evidence that smokers get more flu infections than nonsmokers. When they do get sick, smokers tend to have a more severe infection and have a higher risk of dying from the flu.
Practice Good Hygiene: Wash your hands with warm water and soap every time you shake hands or touch a surface that might be germ-covered. Take extra care to not touch your mouth, eyes, or nose without washing your hands first.
EMPower with Wellness, Your Emotional, Mental, and Physical Wellness Solution – January 2013, edition 44 – Wellness Newsletter.
Please join a FREE workshop on Feb 5th from 4-6 p.m. at Hawkeye Community College OR Feb 9th 2-4 p.m. at UNI, to discover your purpose. Blue Zones Project will be hosting a no cost to you -Purpose Workshop! This is a valuable workshop that generally would cost $20-50 to attend. SPACE IS LIMITED so do not delay. RSVP by clicking http://www.bluezonesproject.com/events?community_selector_community=5 or the flier below.
The Blue Zones Project by Healthways on Why Purpose Matters!
Many residents living in the original Blue Zones® areas share nine healthy lifestyle habits that help them live longer, healthier, happier lives. Out of their suggestions the Blue Zones Project has put together the: "Discover the Habits – Power 9 principals" below is number 3, Down Shift.
Stress leads to chronic inflammation, which is associated with every major age-related disease. Although everyone experiences stress, the world's longest-lived people have routines to shed that stress. Okinawans take a few moments each day to remember their ancestors, Adventists pray, Ikarians take a nap and Sardinians do happy hour.
You, too, can find a stress-relieving strategy that works for you and make it a routine. You'll be able to benefit both physically and emotionally!
Blue Zones Project – By Healthways – http://www.bluezonesproject.com/power9#next – December 19, 2012
Many residents living in the original Blue Zones® areas share nine healthy lifestyle habits that help them live longer, healthier, happier lives. Out of their suggestions the Blue Zones Project has put together the: "Discover the Habits – Power 9 principals" below is number 4, 80% rule.
Power 9, No. 4 – 80% Rule
Marketers tell us we can eat our way to health, but America has been eating its way well beyond health. The 80% Rule is a strategy that focuses on taking things out of everyday diets, instead of putting more things in.
Saying "Hara hachi bu," the 2500-year old Confucian mantra, before meals, reminds Okinawans to stop eating when their stomach is 80% full. This 20% gap between not being hungry and feeling full could be the difference between losing weight or gaining it.
You can also replace your big tableware with 10" plates and tall, skinny glasses, remove any TVs from the kitchen, and remember that people in the Blue Zones® areas eat their smallest meal in the late afternoon or early evening and then don't eat any more the rest of the day.
Blue Zones Project – By Healthways – http://www.bluezonesproject.com/power9#next – December 11, 2012
- Learn how to prepare great-tasting, plant-based recipes to help make healthy food choices irresistible.
- Build strong friendships and set up walking teams.
- Help your town encourage natural movement and friendly interactions by creating and maintaining sidewalks and bike paths.
- Help students become more active – all by making it safe and easy for children to walk to school!
- With Blue Zones Project Purpose Workshops, you can discover your gifts, talents and strengths to lead a more driven, meaningful life.
- Each year, National Night Out brings citizens together to help build positive relationships with law enforcement and learn about crime prevention.
- Grow your own garden and experience the multitude of benefits that come from working with your hands, eating fruits and vegetables and collaborating with neighbors.
- Lead a more meaningful life by donating your time, expertise and effort to help a worthy cause in your community.
Blue Zones Project by Healthways, Activities, Enrich Your Life, http://www.bluezonesproject.com/activities – 11-29-12
Stand up at work. Experts estimate that standing burns 50 percent more calories than sitting so, whenever possible think on your feet on the job. Stand while you are on the phone, eating lunch or schedule a standing meeting, and depending on the type of work you do, consider adding a standing desk to your office.
Fidget while you work. To increase your daily activity, make a point to get up and walk around your office every hour, if possible.
Site: Groups Benefits Designed Corporation, (October 2012, Edition 41) EMPower with Wellness: Your Emotional, Mental and Physical Wellness Solution. Sitting Ourselves to Death? – Excerpts taken from mayclinic.com
1. Move Naturally
Americans burn fewer than 100 calories a day engaged in “exercise”. We can get more physical activity naturally if we live in walkable communities, de-convenience our homes by getting rid of power tools and grow gardens. Walking is the best activity for longevity.
2. Plant Slant
Eat mostly a plant-based diet heavy on beans, nuts and green plants. Eat meat in small portions (the size of a deck of cards) fewer than twice weekly.
3. 80% Rule
Cut 20% of your calories with evidence based practices: eat a big breakfast, eat with your family, and remove the TV from your dining area.
Rady, Amanda, 11Mar2012, Blue zones: Longevity tips and tricks, http://foodfreedomgroup.com/2012/03/11/blue-zones-longevity-tips-and-tricks/, 10/31/12;