We think of building healthy behaviors or increasing productivity as a matter of willpower. We seek knowledge and goal setting skills to make the desired change. With determination and discipline, we may succeed, at least for days or even months—but more than often, we fall off course. The common assumption is that our day-to-day decisions are conscious choices. But our ability to make informed decisions that control our behavior is fundamentally limited. Psychology and neuroscience suggest that most of our actions are borne out of habit—they are reflexive, instinctive, and occur outside the awareness of our conscious mind. And if we pit one against the other, our thinking minds are no match for our automatic habits.
Named by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, the concept of “flow” has existed for thousands of years in different forms. When you are in the flow, you are fully immersed and energized by what you are doing. In sports, performing at that point where natural skills and peak performance align is called “being in the zone.” And in ancient Chinese philosophy, when your body is in harmony between opposing Yin and Yang forces, you have an optimal flow of the vital energy called “Qi.”
The weight that you gain this holiday season is likely to remain until the summer months, or beyond, according to a recent letter published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Across three different countries, researchers found that while up to half of holiday weight gain is lost shortly after the holidays, half remains for months later.
Fall is here. That means it’s pumpkin season! Time for pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, and pumpkin everything. This season’s most popular food also happens to be packed with nutrients. Yes, the versatile pumpkin has so many health benefits that it can be considered a superfood.
Here are 5 main health benefits of adding pumpkin to your recipes this holiday season.
- Good for weight loss
The time-honored tradition of family meals has been a family cornerstone for generations. Eating meals at home may also be one of the most effective yet decreasingly utilized ways to help your kids get better grades in school and be less likely to drink alcohol or smoke.
Time and money. Both are common reasons people eat out. But contrary to common perception, convenient fast food meals can be more expensive than home cooked meals. And small improvements such as picking more nutritious options among breads, cereals, and packaged foods at the grocery store do not on average cost more.
For decades, the progressive damage to brain cells and the connections between them that occurs in Alzheimer’s disease has been associated with abnormalities in two brain proteins: clumps of the protein fragment beta-amyloid into plaques and twisted strands of the protein tau into tangles. Over the past decade, scientists have been getting closer to a better understanding of why the brain develops these hallmark changes. Among the contributing causes, as reviewed in a recently released online article May 2016 in the journal Physiology & Behavior is accumulating evidence that Alzheimer’s disease is a metabolic disease—a disease of how the brain responds to insulin, utilizes glucose, and metabolizes energy. Alzheimer’s disease may be a form of diabetes of the brain.
What is the ideal age for retirement? While 65 is the traditional retirement age, nearly a third of non-retired Americans predict they will retire after age 67, the current minimum age for receiving full Social Security retirement benefits. A 2014 Gallup poll found that the average age at which Americans expect to retire has been increasing over the last two decades.
Deciding when to retire is one of life’s major decisions. A myriad of factors—including finances, family, health, and culture—shape that decision. A recent study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggests one more thing to consider: how retirement affects your longevity.
“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made.”
Since Robert Browning penned this famous line over a century ago, his words have become the modern day reality in many parts of the world. In a recently released documentary, “Ikaria: The island where people live forever,” Business Insider Films traveled to this remote ancient island, where one in three residents live to 90, to discover their longevity promoting habits. Here is what they learned—and why their lessons will require a shift in thinking in many parts of our lives:
As a women approaching menopause, you may endure many changes in your body, such as drenching night sweats, mood irritability, and difficulty sleeping.Perhaps the most challenging, however, is the hormonally driven change in your body shape and lean body composition.
With the start of menstrual irregularity, your ovaries progressively make less estrogen and progesterone. In contrast, the amount of androgens, including testosterone, they make is less affected.
The drop in estrogen and the higher relative proportion of testosterone gradually morph your body from being curvy at the hips to being fuller at the waist—until you eventually lose your waistline.
Although short term stress can be advantageous, chronic stress can have the opposite effect. Our bodies are hard wired with a flight-or-flight response to give us a survival advantage. In pre-historic days, that helped us fight or escape from predators. Unlike the acute stress of facing a predator, modern stress is chronic, such as from conflicts at work or at home– and can overload our stress response. In this video, done with the amazing TED-Ed team, you can see how chronic stress can affect your heart, your waistline, and your longevity–and what you can do about it!