Here are some tips for better health. I took the first 10 of these from the AARP Bulletin (January-February 2013). Yes, I am old.
1. Be social. Connect with friends and family. People who socialize are less likely to have a decline in cognitive abilities, such as memory and reasoning. I am very introverted and don't get out enough.
2. Have a pet. Apparently even fish count. People with pets, especially those with dogs that must be walked, have healthier hearts and go to the doctor less. I have 40 cows and apparently this doesn't count. Maybe they have to be a little closer to your house.
3. Eat dark chocolate. The chocolate should be 70 percent cacao, and that is pretty bitter. I don't know too many people who actually like their chocolate like that, though I suppose some do. Most folks I know like milk chocolate. I like dark chocolate at about 60 percent, like Hershey's Special Dark chocolate.
4. Drink coffee. This supposed to help with all sorts of chronic illnesses, and protect against cancers, diabetes, and Parkinson's. I do not drink coffee at all. I have probably had only 5 cups of coffee in my entire life.
5. Drink wine or beer. Apparently a glass of alcohol a day is supposed to be good for the heart. I don't drink alcohol, either, being a total tea-totaler. No wonder I'm sick all the time, I am not pickled enough!
6. Have sex. Well. I do this one! LOL. Sex causes your brain to release feel-good chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals kill pain and reduce anxiety. More sex means less depression. Oh honey! Sweetie! Come to mamma!
7. Listen to music. Listening to music improves your health, including heart health. It also helps with sleep, improves mood, and reduces anxiety. Now where are my LPs of Bread and Air Supply?
8. Nap. Taking mid afternoon naps, even as long as an hour and a half, are beneficial. Twenty minute naps are good, too. According to this AARP article, you should drink a cup of coffee and then take a 20-minute nap. When you wake up, the caffeine will kick in and you'll be rarin' to go. Just for the record, I seldom nap. Maybe I should try this. If you need me this afternoon, I'll be sacked out on the sofa.
9. Enjoy nature. Spending time in the woods or the fields or whatever you have close at hand that isn't asphalt helps improve the immune system, boost mood, and give you a sense of well-being. There is a new movement among the eco-folks that involves walking around barefoot in the dirt, something to do with grounding and charging your root chakras or some such. I read about it but I can't stand to have dirt on my feet (my own little issue, I know), so that one isn't for me. But I live on a farm, backed up to the woods. I don't know that I can get more back to nature, except I suppose I should take my shoes off.
10. Stop using antibacterial soaps. Apparently these things are contributing to the rise of drug-resistant bacteria. Many common household products (including air fresheners, furniture polish, and glass cleaners) cause asthma, increasing the risk of developing this condition by 30 to 50 percent. As someone with asthma, I assure you that vinegar and water cleans the windows just as well.
Those are from AARP. These last three are from me:
11. Enjoy your life. Do what you love, love what you do. Don't fret, don't worry, don't weep over lost toys. They are only things.
12. Get enough sleep. If you're having trouble with sleep, investigate all causes. Don't ignore this problem, as it leads to other issues, such as obesity, irritability, depression, listlessness, etc. Learn to control your sleep environment so that you can catch those ZZZs.
13. Keep a journal. Relaxing in today's world is a tough thing to do; finding time to explore your inner soul is important if you want to be more than a little automaton going back and forth to the office. Write about the things you love, the people in your life, the world you enjoy. You will learn what you should be doing and what you shouldn't be doing. You have all the information inside your own head, if you will only take the time to listen.
Thursday Thirteen is played
by lots of people; there is a list here. I've been playing for a
while and this is my 276th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.