People who speak more than one language significantly reduce the likelihood of dementia in old age. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t mastered the grammar or spelling of a second language, either (or a first language, for that matter). Simply speaking a second language keeps the brain’s frontal lobe in great shape well into old age. Now, donde esta este estudio? Aqui.
Congrats to Junior Apple, Tracy L., on winning last week’s contest! Apples were asked to share how they got through the holidays the healthy way. Tracy not only had the regular temptations of the holidays, but was on her honeymoon cruise! She told us how she actually managed to lose weight on her trip. Good work, Tracy! We’re sending you a free supply of our favorite healthy chocolate weight-management shake, Responsibly Slim. Congrats to our four runners-up, too.
“I was married Thanksgiving weekend. During our honeymoon, we spent time in Rome before boarding a cruise ship for a 17-day Mediterranean/ Transatlantic cruise ending in New Orleans. We indulged in local cuisine all along the way, and actually lost weight during our trip mostly by choosing walking tours as our excursions. We spent nine very active days site-seeing in our ports. While onboard we chose a wide variety of foods including steaks, lobster, shrimp, fish, frog legs, snails, rabbit, pheasant, burgers, pizza, lots of fresh salads and fresh fruit, cheesecake, pastries, and an occasional fruity drink. We tried to sample new and interesting things while making healthful choices most of the time. Our ship had 18 decks, with our cabin on deck 8. Even as our travel planning was just beginning, we planned to use the stairs, and for 17 days we did. We climbed up 5 flights to the breakfast buffet, and down three flights for dinner, as well as for other activities during the day. Stairs were usually faster than elevators and better for our health! We had heard that average weight gain during a cruise is one pound per day. Even with delicious food available 24 hours a day, we were determined to keep it in perspective. We had a wonderful time, enjoyed a five-course dinner every night, and don’t feel like we missed a thing. The only extra pounds we brought home were in our luggage.”
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Maybe it’s only Monday morning traffic, but I’m noticing people become just a little more aggressive behind the shield of their cars. It’s as if driving in a car grants us sudden power and anonymity – and a license to be rude. Road rage concerns me, not only because of the safety issues, but because it’s a sign to me that people aren’t venting their bottled-up anger properly. It’s not a good thing when anger is the instinctive reaction as soon as there’s no perceived threat or social expectation.
My thought? It’s just so much easier to let things go. It really does feel better to forgive, shrug it off, and laugh. Cars don’t make us anonymous – just the opposite – they make our true character transparent. Do your part to help people simmer down when they’re on the road – let’s set an example. Feeling generosity to others is an important part of being healthy. (And so is venting frustration properly – exercise, meditation, prayer, talking with friends, and “chill out” time are all ways to stay emotionally healthy.)
Mark’s Weekly Health Challenge to you:
Every day this week, either get yourself outside or to the gym. No excuses (sky falling? Okay). Working out every day, all the time, isn’t totally necessary, but it certainly is good for you – and you’ll feel amazing come the weekend. Commit to at least 30 minutes every day this week.
There’s a lot of advice about exercise floating around out there. Everyone knows they need to work out, yet most of us don’t (well, everyone except you, dear Apples – right?). The big problem is motivation.
Let’s face it: we just don’t feel like it.
- We know we need to.
- Once we get going, we usually like it (or at least, it’s not a totally miserable experience).
- We always feel better afterwards.
- We sleep better that night.
- We feel really confident and light-hearted for the rest of the day.
- We love that good soreness the next morning.
And yet…we still refuse to exercise habitually.
Things that are officially easier than forming an exercise habit:
- House-training a puppy.
- Cleaning the outside of the windows on the second floor. With a broken squeegee.
- Spending the weekend with your mother-in-law. Alone. In a motel.
- Changing a flat tire in your best suit.
- Spreading cold butter on bread.
- Getting a real person when you call customer service.
- Peace in the Middle East.
If you aren’t going to exercise, you aren’t going to exercise – end of story. If you really want to get fit this year, or simply fitter, there’s one surefire way to do it: stop thinking about it and don’t wait until you feel like it. Nike is right: just do it. A lot of exercise advice focuses on convincing you that you need to work out. But please, you’re smart – you already know that much. And you know exercise is good for you. So, if you’re serious about finding motivation, here are 5 guaranteed motivation tips:
1. Click here to see what will happen to you if you do not work out.
2. Click here to see what can happen to you if you do work out.
3. Instead of swearing you’ll exercise or promising to stick to a workout regimen, commit to health the easy way: just commit to putting on your sneakers. Really and truly, that is 90% of the battle. Don’t think about working out; only think about putting on your shoes. Do that, and it’s instantly easier to start the workout. Even if you only do 10 minutes, at least you did something! We promise this works. So commit to shoes.
4. Ask us for encouragement. We are completely wrapped up in the thought of helping you get fit and healthy this year!
5. Don’t overestimate yourself. People set hugely unrealistic goals. We think we could all look like Cindy Crawford if we felt like it. We work out a few times, nothing happens, and…we’re back to lifestyle circa 2006. If you’re not really habituated to working out, it is harder than you think. That’s okay. It’s actually healthy to accept that. Set smaller, more realistic goals. And we mean small. 10 sit-ups a day. 5 push-ups. A jog to the end of the block and back. A walk to the store. Get used to simply moving every day – and do this for at least a few weeks before you try anything new.
It’s kind of annoying to start slow and small, because we naturally want big results and we naturally overestimate our abilities and commitment. Hey, holding too much stock in our capabilities is a huge blessing for the most part – it’s actually built into our DNA! But be aware of this tendency. You really do need to be gentle and patient with yourself. You really do need to go slow. And you really will get better results if you start small.
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