Mental Attitude: Over-Planning Can Spoil Leisure Time.
Too much planning makes leisure time seem like work. A review of thirteen studies found that people enjoyed their leisure activities less when they over-scheduled. Study co-author Dr. Selin Malkoc adds, “People associate schedules with work. We want our leisure time to be free-flowing… Anything that limits and constrains our leisure chips away at the enjoyment.”
Journal of Marketing Research, December 2016
Health Alert: Alcohol Abuse Elevates Heart Risks.
Alcohol abuse is defined as the consumption of alcoholic beverages to excess, either on individual occasions or as a regular practice. An analysis of medical records on close to 15 million Californians revealed that alcohol abusers are twice as likely to have atrial fibrillation, 1.4 times more likely to have a heart attack, and 2.3 times more likely to have congestive heart failure than individuals without history of alcohol abuse. Lead researcher Dr. Gregory Marcus notes, “We were somewhat surprised to find those diagnosed with some form of alcohol abuse were at significantly higher risk of a heart attack… We hope this data will temper the enthusiasm for drinking in excess and will avoid any justification for excessive drinking because people think it will be good for their heart. These data pretty clearly prove the opposite.”
Journal of the American College of Cardiology, January 2017
Diet: Common Antioxidant May Protect Against Liver Disease.
An antioxidant found in breast milk and foods like kiwi, soy, and celery may protect against nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in one’s offspring. Researchers found that when researchers gave pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) to obese mice during and shortly after pregnancy, it protected their offspring from developing the symptoms of liver fat and damage that lead to NAFLD—a condition that increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and liver cancer in early adulthood. NAFLD is the most common form of liver disease in the world, affecting 20-30% of all adults in the United States and over 60% of those who are obese. Lead author Dr. Karen Jonscher adds, “Perhaps supplementing the diet of obese pregnant mothers with PQQ, which has proven safe in several human studies, will be a therapeutic target worthy of more study in the battle to reduce the risk of NAFLD in babies.”
The FASEB Journal, December 2016
Exercise: Exercise Protects the Brain.
After following 6,104 seniors for over a decade, researchers report that participants who performed the best on an initial treadmill test were 8% less likely to develop dementia than the other participants.
Mayo Clinic Proceedings, January 2017
Chiropractic: Obesity Increases Risk of Chronic Pain.
In the United States, 25 million adults experience daily chronic pain. In this study, researchers analyzed a sample of 6,079 middle-aged women and found that obese individuals were 2.06 times more likely to experienced chronic pain than those who fell within the normal weight range.
Gynecological Endocrinology, January 2017
Wellness/Prevention: Sleep Soundly When Traveling.
It can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep while traveling due noise, activity, or a bright room. To improve your sleep while traveling, the National Sleep Foundation recommends: using an eye mask to help block out light, bringing a travel-sized pillow and your own blanket; using a pair of ear plugs; and using some lavender-scented hand cream to help you sleep.
National Sleep Foundation, January 2017