World Kindness Day

Did you wonder how the Paris attacks could actually create a stronger “World Kindness Day?” True human kindness was shown, at its best, in the days following the attack as witnessed by many of us in the numerous media stories. Tweets, during the attacks, showed how ‘kindness spreads faster than hate.’ Tributes were laid to victims of the Paris attacks at the foot of the Monument a La Republique, in many cases by strangers for strangers.

Dr. Stephen Post, author of Why Good Things Happen to Good People: How to Live a Longer, Happier, Healthier Life by the Simple Act of Giving, discusses kindness in his lectures across the globe.
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February Is Heart Month: Share the Love for the Heart-Brain Connection

February is American Heart Month, and it’s a great time to once again focus our thoughts on what is without doubt the brain’s favorite valentine, the heart.

Why does heart health matter so much to our intellectual wellness? The relationship between cardiovascular function and our brain health is well established. Numerous studies have shown over and again that the same factors known to impact cardiac health, such as physical activity, weight and stress, also play a significant role in determining dementia risk. The robustness of this relationship is strong and clear, and many of us know that what is good for our heart is good for our brain as well.
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Brain Diet Fads: Fact, Fiction or Fashion?

What You Should Know to “Eat Smart” Now

Dr. Green expert on brain health and diet

When it comes to brain health, it seems nothing is more confusing than advice about what we eat and drink. The media’s obsessional reporting of every new finding on brain diet and memory (no matter how small or obscure the study) merely reflects our own anxieties about how the food on our table may literally turn the tables on our long-term vitality. Strident statements and specific instructions are increasingly made. Yet as a recent editorial in the Neurobiology of Aging journal states, “(s)o far, no nutritional intervention has been proved to be effective in reducing the risk or severity of Alzheimer’s or any dementia.”

 

While some may feel that there is little risk in making such brain diet recommendations regardless, this is not truly the case.
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Employees As Caregivers – Employers Take Note

November is National Family Caregiver Month. Where do you expect to find family caregivers? In hospitals, nursing homes and seniors communities, right? Looking after their aging loved ones with an illness or disability? Absolutely.

But guess where else you’ll find the nearly 70 million caregivers in America? In the workplace – in our large corporations and in our small businesses, in cubicles answering phones and in corner offices chairing meetings, on assembly lines handling merchandise and in cars en route to servicing clients.

There are 30 million households providing care for a family member, and that number is expected to double in the next 25 years as our population continues to age.
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Breast Cancer Is Not A Pink Ribbon – Darryle Pollack on Huffington Post

In a recent Huffington Post article, Darryle Pollack paid tribute to Barbie Ritzco who signed up to be a Marine, to be on the front lines fighting America’s battles, not on the front lines fighting breast cancer. In February 2011, she was diagnosed with Stage IIIB Breast Cancer, four months after being deployed to Afghanistan.

On September 26, 2014, cancer swallowed up Barbie Ritzco at age 39, cutting short a remarkable life. Her loss has hit hard. It’s hard to accept that even for the toughest and worthiest warriors, battle metaphors don’t quite fit the truths of cancer.

Barbie taught other truths of cancer along the way.
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Boost Your Brain Health

Here are the top 10 things everyone should know about improving brain health- they might just surprise you!

1. Take a Walk. Getting off the couch and onto your feet is the best thing you can do for your brain! Studies have shown that regular aerobic exercise (the kind where you can keep up but can’t keep up a conversation) boosts daily intellectual performance and significantly lowers the risk for dementia. Even walking at a vigorous pace at least 30 minutes a day 5-6 times a week will do the trick.

2. Lose that Spare Tire. Studies have shown that maintaining a healthy weight with a low ratio of “belly fat” can significantly lower the risk for a memory disorder.
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Brain Science from Dr. Cynthia Green

The focus on this month’s brain science report, from Dr. Cynthia Green, features the benefits of keeping busy, both at work and online:

BRAIN SCIENCE: Your Brain @ Work: Challenging Work May Reduce Dementia Risk
German researchers conducting a review of the literature found that a work environment that offers a rich intellectual experience, engagement with others, work with data as well as a high degree of job control may lower risk for dementia later in life. A systematic review of the literature resulted in 17 studies qualifying for inclusion in their analysis. Their findings, published in Occupational and Environmental Medicine,suggest that our work environment may play a protective role in brain health.
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Dr. Travis Stork “Addicted To Sugar Quiz”

The Doctor's Diet Dr. Travis Stork
Dr. Travis says he is not sure if it’s because of genetics or just the way we’re raised, but it definitely seems that some people are more likely to become addicted to sugar than others. How do you rate? Are you someone who wakes up in a sweat after dreaming of chocolate cream pie? Are you immune to sugar-can you easily say “no thanks” to candy, cookies, and desserts? Or are you, like most people, somewhere in the middle? Take this quiz to find out where you stand. Select the answer that most closely fits each questions.
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Technology and Healthcare Join Forces to Promote Prevention & Wellness

It’s not unlikely to find someone in our office marching in place so that he/she can gain a few steps over another person in the office who has held the most steps in a week – for 10 weeks in a row!  In case you aren’t familiar with Fitbit, it is “a wireless activity tracker that makes every step you take a step toward better fitness”-a quote taken right from the box it is shipped in.

It seems technology and healthcare are continuing to deliver monitoring devices to assist individuals in controlling the prevention of disease and increasing the wellness community.
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Improving Health & Well-Being in the Workforce

Earlier this year I attended an event on Health & Wellness called “360 Degrees of Healthy,” where Dr. Travis Stork was keynoting and I was introduced to another presenter David Hoke from Walmart. David has spent the last 20+ years focusing on measurably improving the health and well-being of the workforce and its impact on business performance. With his permission, I have included my top 5 take-aways from his speech, believing it would be helpful to others looking to create an atmosphere of wellness in their organizations:

~ Well-being is bigger than physical health

~ Build a movement – don’t offer a program

~ People follow people – not information

~ Trust + Authentic + Relevant = Results

~ Health is contagious

And to cap off his presentation he said: “Healthcare is NOT the answer, Healthy Living is!” Kudos, to David Hoke, and others who are tackling the wellness and prevention model for our communities.
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