By Amber Hensley
The differences between women and men are not only well-documented, but frequently at the heart of jokes, anecdotes, and good-natured (and not so good-natured) ribbing. Experts have discovered that there are actually differences in the way women’s and men’s brains are structured and in the way they react to events and stimuli. So the next time your wife, boyfriend, or parent starts telling you how you should have done something differently, then refer back to these big differences between men’s and women’s brains.
- Human relationships. Women tend to communicate more effectively than men, focusing on how to create a solution that works for the group, talking through issues, and utilizes non-verbal cues such as tone, emotion, and empathy whereas men tend to be more task-oriented, less talkative, and more isolated. Men have a more difficult time understanding emotions that are not explicitly verbalized, while women tend to intuit emotions and emotional cues. These differences explain why men and women sometimes have difficulty communicating and why men-to-men friendships look different from friendships among women.
- Left brain vs. both hemispheres. Men tend to process better in the left hemisphere of the brain while women tend to process equally well between the two hemispheres. This difference explains why men are generally stronger with left-brain activities and approach problem-solving from a task-oriented perspective while women typically solve problems more creatively and are more aware of feelings while communicating.
- Mathematical abilities. An area of the brain called the inferior-parietal lobule (IPL) is typically significantly larger in men, especially on the left side, than in women. This section of the brain is thought to control mental mathematical ability, and probably explains why men frequently perform higher in mathematical tasks than do women. Interestingly, this is the same area of Einstein’s brain that was discovered to be abnormally large. The IPL also processes sensory information, and the larger right side in women allows them to focus on, "specific stimuli, such as a baby crying in the night."
- Reaction to stress. Men tend to have a "fight or flight" response to stress situations while women seem to approach these situations with a "tend and befriend" strategy. Psychologist Shelley E. Taylor coined the phrase "tend and befriend" after recognizing that during times of stress women take care of themselves and their children (tending) and form strong group bonds (befriending). The reason for these different reactions to stress is rooted in hormones. The hormone oxytocin is released during stress in everyone. However, estrogen tends to enhance oxytocin resulting in calming and nurturing feelings whereas testosterone, which men produce in high levels during stress, reduces the effects of oxytocin.
- Language. Two sections of the brain responsible for language were found to be larger in women than in men, indicating one reason that women typically excel in language-based subjects and in language-associated thinking. Additionally, men typically only process language in their dominant hemisphere, whereas women process language in both hemispheres. This difference offers a bit of protection in case of a stroke. Women may be able to recover more fully from a stroke affecting the language areas in the brain while men may not have this same advantage.
- Emotions. Women typically have a larger deep limbic system than men, which allows them to be more in touch with their feelings and better able to express them, which promotes bonding with others. Because of this ability to connect, more women serve as caregivers for children. The down side to this larger deep limbic system is that it also opens women up to depression, especially during times of hormonal shifts such as after childbirth or during a woman’s menstrual cycle.
- Brain size. Typically, men’s brains are 11-12% bigger than women’s brains. This size difference has absolutely nothing to do with intelligence, but is explained by the difference in physical size between men and women. Men need more neurons to control their greater muscle mass and larger body size, thus generally have a larger brain.
- Pain. Men and women perceive pain differently. In studies, women require more morphine than men to reach the same level of pain reduction. Women are also more likely to vocalize their pain and to seek treatment for their pain than are men. The area of the brain that is activated during pain is the amygdala, and researchers have discovered that in men, the right amygdala is activated and in women, the left amygdala is activated. The right amygdala has more connections with areas of the brain that control external functions while the right amygdala has more connections with internal functions. This difference probably explains why women perceive pain more intensely than do men.
- Spatial ability. Men typically have stronger spatial abilities, or being able to mentally represent a shape and its dynamics, whereas women typically struggle in this area. Medical experts have discovered that women have a thicker parietal region of the brain, which hinders the ability to mentally rotate objects–an aspect of spatial ability. Research has shown this ability in babies as young as 5 months old, negating any ideas that these abilities were strengthened by environmental influences.
- Susceptibility to disorders. Because of the way men and women use the two hemispheres of the brain differently, there are some disorders that men and women are susceptible to in different ways. Men are more apt to have dyslexia or other language problems. If women have dyslexia, they are more likely to compensate for it. Women, on the other hand, are more susceptible to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. While handedness is not a disorder, these brain tendencies also explain why more men are left-handed than are women. Men are also more likely to be diagnosed with autism, ADHD, and Tourette’s Syndrome.
By Amber Hensley
Just about everyone would like to keep their brain sharp no matter what their age, so take the advice of many researchers who say that some games work to stave off dementia, strengthen critical thinking skills, and promote brain health. The following games range from online games meant specifically to nurture brain health to puzzles to video games to board and card games. No matter what your interests or level of tech-savvy, there are games here that will help you keep your brain in the best shape.
Online Brain Sharpeners
These online games are developed for improving your brain fitness.
- ThirdAge Games. Brain fitness is the object of these games featured on this site.
- BrainCurls. Find jigsaw puzzles, memory games, and games that sharpen your observation skills here.
- Sharp Brains Brain Teasers and Games. These 50 brain teasers and games are meant for keeping your brain fit and young.
- Grandparent Games. Meant to keep grandparents and their grandchildren connected through shared online games, you can help keep you brain young while connecting with family.
- Braingle. This popular site offers fun brain activities that include brain teasers, riddles, trivia, and brain exercises.
- Fit Brains. If you want brain games designed by scientists specifically for promoting brain health, then give these a try.
- Games ~ Grandma Faith’s Website. These family-friendly games are meant for both young and old and offer plenty of ways to keep your brain working.
- Brain Bashers. The video games here are meant to sharpen your mental acuity while providing entertainment.
- Strategy Games. Keep your brain young with these seven strategy games.
- AARP.org Games. Chess, puzzles, card games, and multiplayer games are offered here to help aging brains stay sharp.
- Games for the Brain. Games like Mastermind, chess, and Sudoku presented here offer you a great way to challenge your brain.
- HAPPYneuron. Try the fun games and activities here to keep your brain young.
- BrainTraining 101. Find an assortment of different types of challenging brain games here.
- Freedom Years Games. Designed especially for seniors, these games include jigsaw puzzles, a memory game, and Sudoku.
Puzzles and Word Games
From crossword puzzles to logic puzzles to sudoku to word games, these puzzles and games will help you get your think on.
- LA Times Daily Crossword. The interactive, online version of this popular crossword puzzle also offers a printable version to take on the go.
- WebCrosswords.com. Similar in format to the LA Times puzzles, these daily puzzles provide more crosswords to keep your brain fit.
- Classic New York Times Crossword Puzzle. Get a daily puzzle free or sign up for a membership to have access to the archives for these super-challenging puzzles.
- Free Online Word Search Puzzles. Word search puzzles can help keep you brain young, and you can find plenty at this site.
- The Letterbox Game. Compete against the computer to make as many three and four-letter words as possible from the words given.
- Web Sudoku. Sudoku has been shown to help keep the brain sharp. Find plenty of games here with varying degrees of difficulty.
- Online Sudoku. Get more online Sudoku here where you can choose difficulty, save your game, reload, get hints, and check how you are doing.
- A Game A Day. This site offers a different word game every day.
- Puzzability Sampler. Try interactive and non-interactive versions of classic games like Hangman, Acrostic, and Slider here.
- The Word Playground. The word games at this website are all original and offer you a different type of online game opportunity.
- Thinks.com Jigsaw Puzzles. Working these online jigsaw puzzles can help sharpen your brain.
- Logic Puzzles. These free logic puzzles offer a solving grid and timer and help keep your brain young with these challenging logic puzzles.
- Instant Online Crossword Puzzle Maker. If you enjoy crossword puzzles, you should give this a try to both work your brain and create unique crossword puzzles you can share with others.
- Wordplays.com. Word games such as Boggler, anagrams, word jumble, and word morph are available on this site.
- word games. Get a good selection of several different types of word games here.
- PlayWithYourMind.com. The original word games at this site offers plenty to give your brain a workout.
- Merriam-Webster Online Word Games. Play classic games or choose the game of the day at the home of this popular online dictionary.
Scientists have shown that playing video games helps improve seniors’ mental performance, so no matter your age, give these video games a try to see if it helps keep your brain young.
- Brain Age. Available on Nintendo DS, this game is excellent for sharpening the brain, and has specifically shown positive results in studies among seniors.
- Flash Focus. This DS game for adults works to strengthen your ability to focus and also helps memory.
- Civilization. This strategy game allows players to build civilizations from the Stone Age into the Space Age and is a great way to use all that history knowledge you may be storing in your brain.
- Metal of Honor. This battle game is one where only the bad guys get killed and the person playing the game sharpens the mind, improves visual learning, and strengthens eye-hand coordination.
- Age of Empires. This complex strategy game will certainly give your brain a workout and help keep it young.
- The Legend of Zelda. Combining action and adventure with puzzle-solving and role-playing, this game will keep your brain working while you are entertained.
- Super Mario Brothers. One of the most popular video games, Super Mario Brothers challenges players with plenty of activities in an attempt to save the princess. New Super Mario Bros. is also available for the DS.
- Guild Wars. This online role-playing game offers rich graphics and the ability to connect players with others socially as well as sharpen the brain.
- Rise of Nations. Used in a study to measure mental skills with video game playing, this game showed improvement in working memory, reasoning, switching between tasks, and–to a lesser degree–short term memory and the ability to recognize rotating objects.
- Arx Fatalis. Eye-hand coordination and "stimulates the brain, beyond belief" are two of the reasons one woman gives for enjoying this role-playing game.
Wii fitness games have become incredibly popular among the senior set due to the ability to participate in sporting events with low impact on the body and the benefits to keeping mental acuity in top form. Whether you are young or old, give these Wii games a try to keep your mind from aging.
- Wii Bowling. Virtual bowling tournaments are all the rage in senior centers, and it seems that Wii bowling is the most popular of the Wii games among seniors.
- Wii Tournaments. Many retirement communities are hosting Wii tournaments for their residents as a way to keep their minds and bodies fit.
- Wii Play. With games like table tennis, billiards, and shooting range, you can participate in plenty of fun activities that will keep your brain working.
- Wii Golf. Wii Golf is an excellent way to enjoy the mental aspect of the game with a low impact on the body or when you don’t have time to go out for a real game.
- Tiger Woods’ PGA Tour 09. Another golfing opportunity with the Wii, this popular game provides mental challenges for golfers of any ability.
- Boxing. Sparring through the Wii helps keep both body and mind physically fit and also provides opportunities to simulate the sport for those a little past their boxing prime.
- Mario Kart Wii. Race go-karts or motorbikes around one of 16 tracks or participate in plenty of diversions like slowing down your opponent or playing in a battle arena.
- The Price is Right. Fans of The Price is Right can gather friends or play on their own while enjoying many favorites from the show including a chance to spin the Big Wheel.
- Link’s Crossbow Training. Buy the Wii Zapper and you get Link’s Crossbow Training, included–a popular shooting game.
- Tennis. Enjoy the mental challenge of the game of tennis without the sore muscles and bursitis that come with the real deal.
- Wii Hooked!. Practice fishing on your own to improve your skills or switch to tournament mode and compete with friends.
Board, Card, and Strategy Games
Not only will these games help keep your brain young with the various abilities they strengthen, but they also promote social interaction, which is also known to help keep the aging brain young.
- Scrabble. This popular word game is famous for it’s brain-boosting abilities.
- Mahjong. An ancient Chinese game, Mahjong strengthens memory and logic skills.
- Dominos. This seemingly simple game actually provides an excellent opportunity to practice your strategy skills and can be quite competitive.
- Checkers. Known as draughts in most other countries, this simple game allows anyone of any age to compete while using strategy to try to win.
- Gin Rummy. Problem-solving skills get a workout with this popular card game that is easy to learn but will always leave you room to grow.
- Chess. Chess helps develop problem-solving, logic, and strategy skills and is known for both its educational value and boost to intelligence.
- Bridge. Find a bridge club or round up several friends who would like to learn to play this game that is considered to be the ultimate in card games.
- Backgammon. Grab a friend and sit down to this fun game that helps protect against brain deterioration.
- Spades. This card game was invented in the US and has gained more world-wide recognition with its availability online in recent years.
- Hearts. Easy enough for the whole extended family to play, Hearts is also great for memory and strategy.
- Euchre. This card game is about battling wits, so learn to play and keep your brain working.
- Parcheesi. A great game for players of all ages, Parcheesi helps strengthen problem-solving skills.
- Chinese Checkers. Despite its name, this fun and simple game is derived from an old German game and helps build problem-solving, logic, and sequencing skills.
Classic Games Online
Whether your friends are too busy when you are available for the real deal or if you just prefer playing online, you can take advantage of these online versions of classic games.
- Free Online Backgammon Game. Try free online backgammon here. Click "Help" for instructions if you don’t know how to play.
- Free Online Mahjong Games. Whether you are a beginner or a master player, this site has a huge number of mahjong games to choose from.
- ChessHere.com. Find others with whom you can play chess online and compete in real time or by correspondence.
- Simon Says. Amazingly similar to the old hand-held game, this online version will strengthen your memory skills.
- Truantduck.com Chinese Checkers. Play this classic game against the computer to practice your strategy and logic.
- Internet Scrabble Club. Play live online Scrabble here where you can select your level, play in other languages, and find online playing partners.
- Tetris. This classic game will sharpen both eye-hand coordination and quick, logical thinking.
- Online Checkers. Strengthen your strategy skills while trying to beat the computer in this online checkers game.
- Bridge Base Online. Players of all levels can play bridge online with this virtual community of bridge players.
- Breakout. This classic game requires you to keep the ball in play until it breaks all the blocks at the top.
- Solitaire. Try one of the many versions of Solitaire offered here to keep your brain working smoothly.
Other Fun and Brain-Stimulating Online Games
While these games aren’t specifically designed to promote brain health, they will help develop certain skills such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and strategy.
- Bookworm. This online word game can help sharpen the brain while exercising those language art skills.
- FreeRice. Test yourself in several categories including English, Chemistry, Geography, Art, Math, and foreign languages to keep your brain sharp with the added benefit of helping feed the hungry, too.
- Diner Dash. This popular online game has you serving diners. Make sure everyone gets seated, orders, and gets their food without getting angry.
- Legends of Elveron. Try this fantasy game that is heavy on the strategy and doesn’t require any downloads.
- Oregon Trail. Download this favorite to practice the challenges of life on the Oregon Trail.
- Text Twist 2. This fun and challenging game pushes your memory to solve this word game.
- Pharaoh’s Secret. This puzzle game helps fend off brain aging with the strategy and speed you develop while playing.
- Bejeweled 2. Use logical thinking and problem-solving to figure out how to put rows of three, four, and five jewels in this simple, yet challenging game.
- Wheel of Fortune Online. Practice your word power while playing this "spin-off" of the popular TV show.
- Zuma. Combine eye-hand coordination with problem-solving skills and you’ve got Zuma.
- Jewel Quest II. Match jewels in this game that promotes problem-solving against the background of an adventure story.
Fun Things to Do to Keep Your Brain Sharp
While not games in the traditional sense, these fun activities will definitely get your brain working and help keep it young.
- Surf the Internet. Scientists have shown that middle-aged and older adults who surf the Internet show brain activity that was once only attributed to younger brains, so keep your brain young by surfing the Internet.
- Juggle. Juggling requires you to use your less dominant hand, therefore stimulating your brain in ways it typically does not work.
- Practice using your memory. Make a list and try to recall it an hour later or draw a map of a new route you have taken to give your brain a memory workout that will help keep it strong.
- Aromatherapy. Aromatherapy provides a sensory opportunity that stimulates your brain, and when combined with other activities, works your brain in ways that keep it from falling dormant.
- Eat with chopsticks. Learn to use chopsticks and you will provide your brain with stimulation–and learn a new skill.
- Study a foreign language. Many studies show learning a new language provides your brain the opportunity to make new neural connections, which keeps it young and working well.
- Journal. Write down your thoughts, create a poem, or express yourself however you like in a personal journal to help keep your brain thinking and young.
- Read. Reading, especially when it is new material, helps keep your mind sharp.
- Doodle. NPR explains how doodling helps the brain stay focused when you are engaged in mundane activities. Try doodling to keep your brain active.
- Write down dreams. Write down your dreams as soon as you wake up in the morning to help remember your dreams. Examining your dreams can open you up to introspection and give you insight to how your brain is working while you sleep.
- Music. Listening to music uses both the right and left brain, and has shown to increase self esteem along with brain strength.
- Switch hands. Doing regular activities in a different way keeps your brain working and active. Try using your less dominant hand for simple tasks like eating, brushing your teeth, or writing keep your brain young.
- Laugh. Laughing stimulates five different parts of your brain, so laugh often to help keep your brain from aging.
The benefits of exercise go beyond maintaining a trim physique. Experts agree that a fit lifestyle that also incorporates healthy eating clears your focus, boosts energy, and helps you deal with stress in a more balanced, positive way. And if you can sneak in extra exercises while you’re at work, you’ll be much better equipped to deal with all the negativity and chaos that’s thrown your way. Here are 100 tips and tricks to stay fit at work.
At Your Desk
These guides and tips will show you that working out at your desk is possible.
- 60-second aerobics: Read this guide to learn how just 60 consecutive seconds of exercise can help.
- Office Workout: Learn the wrist and forearm stretch, lower back stretch and more.
- Exercise while stuck at your desk: Learn about deskercise and desktop yoga here.
- Stretching Exercises at Your Desk: 12 Simple Tips: Sit on an exercise ball or stand up without putting pressure on your hands.
- Workouts for desk jockeys: Say goodbye to "binge computing" and take breaks to work out at your desk.
- Isometric exercises you can do at your desk: Learn the wall push-off, chair leg extension and overhead press here.
- My Daily Yoga: Learn warm ups, RSI yoga and everyday yoga exercises you can do at your desk.
- Do toe-touches: Do toe-touches throughout the day to prep you for an evening workout.
- How to Exercise While Sitting at Your Computer: Learn the types of equipment you can stash in your desk for impromptu workouts.
- Standing Abdominal Exercises: Try out these exercises so that you don’t get messy or caught in an embarrassing position lying on the floor.
Sneak in these work outs during super quick breaks.
- Go to the coffee shop next door for a break: Walk across the street or next door instead of heading the two steps to your office lounge.
- Offer to run extra errands: Become a gopher on your breaks to burn more calories running all over the building.
- Volunteer for field projects: Get out of the office altogether and volunteer for in-the-field projects that require you to move more.
- Use the bathroom on another floor: Walk up or downstairs to find a bathroom that’s farther away.
- Tune out for a minute: Looking away from your computer and focusing on something besides work does wonders for your mental health, too.
- Take micro-breaks every 30 minutes: Take a 30- to 60-second micro-break every 30 minutes for an ergonomic workout.
- Stretch: Use at least part of your break to stretch your neck, arms, legs and back.
- Take a 10-minute walk: Walk briskly for 10 minutes to help your mood and energy.
- Pick up the package deliveries: Make sure you don’t hurt your back while doing so, but offer to pick up packages and carry them upstairs.
- Ergonomic Microbreaks: Here you can learn all about ergonomic microbreaks and how they help.
These videos demonstrate office-friendly work outs, toning exercises and stretches.
- 15-Minute Desk Workout: This workout requires a sturdy wall and a sturdy chair with no wheels.
- How to do Office Yoga: Spine Stretch Exercise: Practice yoga while getting a great spine stretch.
- Desk Workout: This mini desk workout is just over 3 minutes long.
- Office Workout Routine: Sarah from Diet.com shares toning exercises that help you stay tight at work.
- Tricep Dip: The tricep dip tones arms and only requires a simple chair.
- Butt Exercises: These 3 exercises are incredibly simple and can be done anywhere.
- Thigh Stretch Exercise: This yoga-inspired thigh stretch will keep you loose at work.
- Seated Stretches: Learn how to stretch safely and effectively.
- How to get an office workout: Workout at work without looking like a weirdo.
- The Office Workout – Made Fit TV: Jennifer from Made Fit TV demonstrates exercises that you can do inside your office.
- Irene Estry Office Workout: This humorous British video features a workout guru who visits a production office to share her secrets.
- A Quick 10 Minute Office Workout: You’ll need some equipment for this workout, but it’ll get the job done in only 10 minutes.
- Office Workout: Elizabeth with FitFiend.com demonstrates stress-relieving exercises.
- The Ultimate Office Workout: This young office worker demonstrates exercises that can be done with a clipboard, files, a stapler, stamp and coat rack.
These tips will help you discover ways of fitting in gym time during your work day.
- Wake up just 20 extra minutes early: Come in to work 20 minutes early so that you can extend your lunch break or take off work before the gym rush starts.
- Bring your gym clothes with you: If you already have a gym bag with you, you might as well go during your break or after work.
- Eat right all day: Choose energy-boosting foods that will prevent you from feeling sluggish and gross as the day wears on.
- Go during lunch: Eat lunch at your desk and use your hour off for a quick gym workout
- Pick a low-intensity workout: If you’re afraid to sweat a lot before going back to work, choose a low-intensity workout instead.
- GymLocator.com: This site helps you find gyms closest to a particular location, letting you exercise longer per break.
- Office gym: Before paying for a membership, check to see if your office building has a gym that you can use.
- Swim: Swimming is an excellent way to exercise and relieve stress, so find a local pool to use at lunch.
- Box: You can find punching bags at all gyms and workout centers, and it’s also a great way to relieve stress from work.
- Haggle your benefits: If you have an unorthodox boss, find out if he or she would be willing to set up some sort of benefits plan that includes a gym membership.
Teams and Partners
You might be more effective at sticking to an exercise plan at work if you have others to cheer you on.
- Organize the office Olympics: Remember when Jim on The Office organized a mini-Olympics? When your boss is out, make up fun games that also keep everyone moving.
- Bring in a professional: Find out if you can ask a medical professional or workout coach to come in to your office once a week to lead stretches or simple Pilates.
- Organize a fit lunch group: Get officemates to join you for a walk around the park or even the building during your lunch break.
- Play musical chairs: It’s incredibly dorky, but a spontaneous round of musical chairs will give you a surprising work out.
Keep this exercise equipment near by so that it’s even easier to mix up your work out.
- Treadmill: If you can afford it and get clearance for it, bring a treadmill into your office to use when you’re reviewing files or watching the news.
- Dumbbells: Keep a set of dumbbells in your office so that you can do reps whenever you’ve got a free 5 minutes.
- Gym-Ball Chair: The Design Blog features a gym-ball chair that helps with your workout but still offers back support.
- Resistance bands: Resistance bands can be neatly tucked away in your desk and are versatile tools for all types of exercises.
- Floor Mat: If you want to do any stretching or exercises on the floor, get a mat so that you don’t attract fluff or bits of paper to your suit.
- Jump rope: Like resistance bands, a jump rope can be stored very easily in your desk and offers a fun way to work out at work.
- Step: Get an aerobics step to add power to your lunges and squats.
- iPod: Tune out your work surroundings for a few minutes while you work out by turning on your iPod.
Changes of Habit
Stop buying junk food, taking the elevator and letting your work day affect your mood and you’ll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle.
- Walk to the water cooler: Fill up your water bottle from the water cooler instead of reaching for a new bottle every time.
- Take the stairs: It’s an oldie but goodie recommendation: take the stairs to flex your muscles, get your heart rate up, and burn calories.
- Change your mood: Stop thinking of your office as just a place to work: consider it your own personal gym, too.
- Get creative: Just like the guy in the Ultimate Office Work Out Video, start searching for everyday office supplies that can double as workout equipment.
- Avoid the vending machine: Pack healthy snacks that fuel your intention to exercise and live healthy.
- Stay positive throughout the day: Don’t let the negativity of your regular work day be an excuse to avoid working out.
- Learn to say no: If fitting in a micro-break at work seems impossible, start saying no to unnecessary favors that co-workers want you to do.
- Consider office workouts from a holistic perspective: Taking quick breaks isn’t just about losing weight: they’ll help you avoid injury, make you a more energetic, effective worker, and preserve mental health, too.
Use these social sites for extra motivation, health advice, immediate exercise tracking and advice on how to sneak in workouts at the office.
- SparkPeople: Chat with other fitness geeks, trainers and coaches to learn about tricky ways to sneak in exercise.
- Daily Burn: This popular social site helps you track workouts even when you’re at work.
- FitLink: This community features groups, workout ideas, routes to try and more.
- MyPipeline: Watch exercise videos and then do them at your desk.
- Fitizens: Look up new exercises to try and meet other workout fiends here.
- My Fit Tribe: My Fit Tribe is a fun goal-tracking site for social fitness enthusiasts.
- Traineo: Easily record your office workouts and eating habits here.
- Walker Tracker: Track your steps throughout the day using this site. Chances are, you’ll forget by the time you get home.
- Wellsphere: Wellsphere is a community site for healthy living, working out and healthy eating. Get support, recommendations and more.
- FitConnect: This site encourages you to brag about your fitness progress. Get ideas for new workouts, meet friends and find inspiration.
Let these workout guides motivate and train you even while you’re at work.
- No Time to Work Out?: This plan encourages eating right and doing specific exercises that maximize your allotted time frame.
- Finally: An Exercise for Lazy, Horny Workaholics: Jezebel’s found this crazy video featuring the Hawaii Chair – Hula Workout.
- Workout in traffic: This exercise helps you strengthen your core while you sit in the car.
- Sneaking in exercise: This guide recommends parking further away, walking to do your errands and keeping walking shoes on hand, just in case.
- No Equipment Travel Workout: This workout plan is designed to get you fit anywhere.
- Sitting Yoga: This site has 19 yoga workouts you can do in a seated position.
- Exercise in the Airport, on the Plane, and in a Hotel Room!: If you travel a lot for work, in can be hard to sneak in a workout. Let this guide show you how to do it.
- Exercise at Work: Campbell’s has lots of tips for fitting in extra exercise.
- Simple Exercises That Can be Done Even at Work: Learn all about deskercise here.
- How to Exercise at Work: 6 Exercises to Keep You Fit: Here you’ll find plans to work on your butt, abs and more.
These alerts will signify break time so you never forget to stretch.
- Exercise Minder: Download this tool for free to get occasional reminders to stop and work out.
- Workrave: Workrave is a Windows and Linux program that helps prevent Repetitive Strain Injury by sending you alerts to take "micro-pauses."
- Break Reminder: This very simple Windows tool also reminds you to take breaks to relax your wrists, neck and more.
When you let negativity take over and decide working out at the office just isn’t practical, read these articles.
- People who exercise on work days are happier, suffer less stress and are more productive: If your boss grumbles about you trying to fit a workout in during lunch, show him or her this article.
- Exercise ‘must be tough to work’: This BBC news article reveals a report that exercise isn’t supposed to be easy. Read it to get an extra adrenaline rush even when you’re tired or grumpy.
By keeping your energy up at work, you’ll be more inclined to sneak in a quick work out or two.
- Brush your teeth: Brush your teeth after lunch with mint toothpaste for an instant way to feel more awake and confident.
- Don’t forget carbs: Eat complex carbohydrates as well as fiber-rich fruits and vegetables to give yourself an energy boost that lasts and promote good digestion.
- Power nap: Doze in your car or in the break room if you can get a few extra minutes to gear up your energy.
- Engage in small talk: Chat with a client for an extra few seconds to boost energy and use your mind in a more fulfilling way.
- Pay attention to your sleep schedule: Make sure you’re sleeping on a regular sleep schedule and doing what you can to sleep the right way.
When all else fails, these no-frills exercises will keep you moving and upbeat at work.
- March in place: Close the blinds and march in place all over your office to increase blood flow.
- Jumping jacks: Do sets of jumping jacks throughout the day.
- Lunges and squats: Lunge around your office or cubicle for a simple toning exercise that really works you out.
- Leg lifts: Sit in your chair and do leg lifts to improve circulation, too.
- Dumbbell curls: Make sure you’re doing arm curls the correct, safe way.
- Crunches: Crunches effectively tighten abs and don’t make you sweat too much.
Most people are in a constant pursuit to improve their lives. Changing your habits, outlook, and everyday living can go a long way to making your life more like you want it to be. Here, we’ll take a look at 100 ways to make your life better.
These are some of the more general ways you can improve your life.
- Be proactive: Plan ahead to nip problems before they even start.
- Cut down on your impact: Reduce the level of waste that you bring into the world.
- Wake up earlier: Get more time out of your day by waking up earlier.
- Smile: Feel better about yourself and get a more positive outlook by putting a smile on your face.
- Accept failure: Know that you won’t succeed all of the time-but focus on your successes.
- Realize you can’t always get what you want: Learn to accept downfalls and work with them.
- Plan ahead: Planning can help you be prepared for fitness, health, happiness, and more.
- Accept that you can’t control everything: You can’t stop the rain, strikes, or control other people-learn to work with what you’ve got.
- Realize that every second is precious: Live every day like it’s your last, because someday it just might be.
Medical professionals agree that these healthy habits will improve your quality of life.
- Eat a morning breakfast daily: Studies show that overall, daily breakfast eaters tend to be more healthy than others, so embrace this habit every day.
- Get physical activity: Make sure you have regular exercise in order to ensure long term health.
- Boost your energy: Make an effort to boost your energy naturally.
- Make your workouts more intense: Do more intense workouts to get better benefits than a relaxed session.
- Get outside: Get more physical activity, fresh air, and space to breathe by spending more time outside.
- Get a good night’s rest: Sleep seven to ten hours every night to avoid the pitfalls of not getting enough sleep.
- Eat fish twice a week: By eating fish twice a week, you’ll increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart.
- Take a walk every day: Get your legs moving to reduce your chance of premature death.
- Stop smoking: Improve your health, finances, appearance, and quality of life by putting out your cigarettes.
- Eat healthy snacks: Eat fruits or vegetables as a snack to boost your good health.
- Stay hydrated: Allow your organs to work properly and keep your joints healthy by drinking enough water.
- Practice good dental hygiene: Researchers have reported that bacteria from dental plaque can enter your bloodstream and cause an array of problems, including heart disease and diabetes.
- Eat dairy: Get your calcium to make sure you have strong bones, teeth, and even lose weight while maintaining muscle.
- Eat more slowly: Improve your digestion and health by eating your food slower.
- Drink tea: Tea can improve your memory, prevent cavities, cancer, and heart disease.
- Protect your skin: Stay out of the sun and avoid overexposure to reduce skin damage.
Career & Finance
You can improve your career and finance through these habits and actions.
- Cut down your debt: Improve your finances by ridding yourself of the debt you have to pay off.
- Leave your work behind: Let your work stay where it needs to be-work.
- Practice collaboration: Work with others, asking for help and offering it where needed.
- Diversify: Ensure that you have multiple sources of income to give yourself security.
- Keep an emergency fund: Build an emergency fund to give yourself a financial safety net.
- Don’t be a jerk: Play well with others to improve your career and get more done.
- Write better: Improve your writing skills to communicate more effectively.
- Step up your resume: Improve your resume to give yourself career options.
- Save for retirement: Improve your future life by putting money aside for your retirement.
- Practice frugality: Save money and live more simply by being frugal.
- Join professional groups: Network and improve your career by joining a professional association.
- Go into business for yourself: Start your own business to improve your career and quality of life.
Make your social life better by following these tips.
- Join a club: Take part in a club, such as a book club or cooking club to get social connections and meet new people.
- Throw a party: Invite others over for a party and spend some time with people you care about.
- Let friends come and go: Realize that not all of your friends will stay with you, but some may come back eventually.
- Find a friend: Carefully nurture and grow your friendships for comfort, self esteem, and companionship.
- Be friendly with everyone: Spread a positive attitude and make others feel good, and you’ll feel better in return.
- Volunteer: Feed your soul, do some good, and be a part of your community by offering yourself as a volunteer.
- Realize not everyone will love you: Accept the fact that you’re not for everyone.
Give your technology habits and life a boost with these tips.
- Telecommute remotely: Use remote control computing software to use your office PC from wherever you’re working.
- Learn keyboard shortcuts: Make your work faster and more streamlined by using keyboard shortcuts.
- Use automatic hard drive backups: Give yourself peace of mind and back up your data without even thinking about it.
- Use a smaller device instead of a laptop: On your next trip, replace your laptop with an iPod or a thumb drive that will allow you to access your documents without having to lug a machine around.
These habits will help you be happier in life.
- Live in the moment: Plan for the future, but enjoy what’s currently happening.
- Make social connections: Experts agree that communal activities are good for your physical and mental health.
- Celebrate yourself: Embrace who you are by being happy and comfortable with yourself.
- Stop being a perfectionist: Learn to let go of obsessive perfection, and you’ll be much more satisfied with life.
- Stay positive: Keep an optimistic outlook to feel better about your life.
- Find a hobby: Find a relaxing, enjoyable activity to live healthier and be happier.
- Give up a little sleep: When it’s worth it, give up on your sleep to have some fun and enjoy life.
- Be satisfied with what you have: Someone else will always have more-so don’t compete, but appreciate what you have.
- Enhance your self confidence: Work to improve your view of yourself.
- Spend time with a child: Spend a little time with a child to get a look at their unique perspective on the world.
- Avoid taking things too personally: Don’t make the mistake of thinking everything is about you.
- Quit nagging: Stop the cycle of nagging and give your relationships a break.
- Practice being optimistic: Keep a positive mindset to have better things in your life.
Follow these tips to preserve your mental health.
- Avoid jumping to conclusions: Don’t take action on your assumptions-make sure you’re right before moving forward.
- Read the classics: Improve your mind by reading classic books.
- Don’t always trust your emotions: Just having a feeling doesn’t mean something is true.
- Let go of worry: Reduce your anxiety by letting go of worry and letting the future come.
- Cut down on technology: Don’t let your devices run your life-unplug every now ant then.
- Think every day: Whether you’re meditating or just exploring your thoughts, take some time to think daily.
- Let little things go: Don’t let minor irritations get to you-just let them go.
- Learn a new language: Learn how to speak a new language to stimulate your mind and open up more possibilities for yourself.
- Step out of your comfort zone: Break your routine and do something bold-talk to a new person or be spontaneous.
- Accept your imperfections: Acknowledge your needs for improvement, and aim to work on them.
- Spend time doing what you love: Whether it means starting a career you love, or just adopting a hobby, commit to doing what makes you happy.
- Learn something new: Expand your knowledge by making it a point to always be learning something new.
- Let go of the past: Don’t let what’s happened in the past dictate your future.
- Minimize dramatics: Avoid making mountains out of molehills-it will only increase your anxiety.
- Dream big: Be ambitious, and take definite steps to achieve your goals.
- Spend time debating: Learn new ideas and get mental stimulation by debating with someone else.
- Stop overgeneralizing: Don’t let a single event determine a lasting trend.
- Let go of your made up rules: Often your own personal "oughts" and shoulds" can hold you back.
These habits will help improve your satisfaction in life.
- Remind yourself of progress: Let your completed to do lists linger so you can remember all that you’ve done.
- Set goals: Give yourself something to shoot for and achieve by setting goals.
- Give thanks: Take time to be thankful of the gifts in your life.
- Recognize your talent: Find out what your talent or gift is, and do everything you can to nurture it.
These habits will help you stay more productive.
- Keep a clean inbox: Empty your email inbox so you’ll have a clean slate to work with.
- Check in only once a day: Check email, social media sites, and other distractions only once per day.
- Don’t let setbacks get you down: You can’t win all the time-but don’t let your failures get in the way of moving forward.
- Stop multitasking: Take on one task at a time to be more productive and effective.
These mind hacks will help you improve your life.
- Focus: You can remember everything if you consider everything as vital.
- Use catchphrases: Keep ideas active, like "fake it til you feel it."
- Sleep on it: Make better decisions and solve problems by sleeping on them before you take action.
- Make use of the Internet: Sharpen your brain by using the Internet often.
- Be active: Take notes, think, and read to keep your mind active.
- Write things down: Make things more concrete by putting them down on paper.
The Little Things
The little things count-make them better with these habits.
- Make it easier to find your keys: Make your trip out the door just a bit easier by finding a handy key spot.
- Get your laundry wrangled: Stop letting laundry take over your life.
- Cut down on TV: Reduce your TV exposure or even eliminate it to get out there and enjoy life more.
- Make your wallet slimmer: Cut down on your back breaking wallet.
- Create a landing strip: Put together a special place for your mail, work bags, and other accessories when you get home.
- Keep a tidy desk: Avoid lost items, and keep everything you need close at hand with a tidy desk.
- Reduce your cable clutter: Get your computer cables wrangled and clean up the birds’ nest behind your computer.
By Kimberly Peterson
Twitter has quickly become a go-to source for people to find breaking news and information, often eclipsing traditional media outlets. And while Twitter is sometimes vulnerable to hype, there are authoritative members who use Twitter to broadcast accurate information to educate the public on how to respond to natural disasters, health emergencies and more. These Twitter feeds, for example, are set on sharing the need-to-know information about the swine flu.
Follow these government feeds for official alerts and updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and other agencies.
- @PublicHealth: Follow the APHA feed to learn about threat levels, safety tips and more regarding the swine flu.
- @CDCemergency: The emergency response branch of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is all over the swine flu breaking news stories.
- @USAgov: Follow @USAgov to get breaking government news and announcements.
- @Healthcare411: This feed comes from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
- @GetReady: The APHA’s GetReady feed is devoted to publicizing stories and alerts regarding health emergency preparedness, health hazards, pandemics, and more.
- @CDC_eHealth: This CDC feed shares tips for healthy living amid public health emergencies and widespread outbreaks, like swine flu.
These news sources, including New York Times, BBC and NBC Nightly News clear up any rumors or false alerts through their feeds.
- @DailyMeHealth: This health news site sponsors a Twitter feed that is currently covering every story and update relating to swine flu.
- @whonews: The World Health Organization publicizes its news, alerts, meetings and more on this Twitter feed.
- @nytimeshealth: The New York Times shares swine flu news updates, but it also brings insight to how swine flu affects the medical industry, economy, politics, and more.
- @bbchealth: Find out how swine flu is progressing around the rest of the world.
- @Veratect: This emergency management organization is using its Twitter feed for the sole purpose of updating the public on swine flu.
- @LATimeshealth: The LA Times covers all things swine flu-related, including swine flu scams, food safety rumors, threat levels, and more.
- @cbshealth: Learn about travel advisories, threat levels, warnings against stockpiling, and more.
- @msnbc_health: MSNBC’s Health feed posts lots of news stories about swine flu, including research updates, rumors, school closings, and more.
- @MexicoCityNews: Find out how Mexico City is dealing with its swine flu outbreak here.
- @USATODAYhealth: USA Today posts news stories about swine flu alerts, and the outbreak’s effect on travel, the economy, and more.
- @healthTF: TwitFix’s health news stream is consistently updated with swine flu news.
- @mySA: Follow the San Antonio Express-News on Twitter, for updates from one of the U.S. epicenters of swine flu.
- @nbcnightlynews: The NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams tweets about the top stories of the day, answers questions about swine flu, and posts videos and commentary about the worldwide outbreak.
- @cnnbrk: CNN’s breaking news feed currently covers swine flu news stories, public health updates and more.
- @TelegraphNews: Get updates on international and European swine flu stories here.
Find out what doctors, hospitals and other medical agencies are saying about swine flu.
- @RedCross: The Red Cross is on Twitter, submitting frequent updates about travel advisories, tips for avoiding swine flu, and more.
- @sanjayguptaCNN: CNN’s popular medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta manages his own Twitter feed here, and is trying to keep the buzz about swine flu accurate and responsible.
- @mayoclinic: The Mayo Clinic is fielding questions about swine flu through their Twitter feed.
- @birdflu: The Health News Blog’s bird flu feed is currently covering everything related to swine flu.
By Kathleen Baker
Most people know that eating healthily, getting exercise, and not smoking are excellent ways to help prevent heart disease but many may not be aware of the smaller ways they may be doing damage to their hearts every day. The following list contains 25 things that can potentially do damage to your heart, helping you stay educated, aware and ulimately keeping your heart in better shape so you can live a long and healthy life.
- Sitting in traffic. A German study reports that sitting in traffic can contribute to heart attacks, especially if you are already at risk for heart problems. No matter if you are driving, riding public transportation, or pedaling your bike, if you sit in traffic, your chances of having a heart attack within the one hour after your commute raises your risk by three times the rate of those not sitting in traffic.
- Staying in a bad marriage. Especially for women, staying in a bad marriage has shown to increase risks for heart disease. Getting a divorce also increases risks, so professionals recommend finding a good quality counselor who can teach communication skills as well as ways to manage stress and depression.
- Living near a lot of road traffic noise. A study in Stockholm examined heart attack patients and where they lived, attributing for other factors such as increased risk of pollution or reduced risk due to hearing impairment. The study showed that patients living in residential areas with noise above 50 decibels were 40% more likely to have a heart attack.
- Not taking care of your teeth. Bacteria can enter your bloodstream from your gums, then damage the blood vessels and heart. Regular brushing, flossing, and visits to your dentist can help prevent cardiac problems, such as heart attacks, before they start.
- Living alone. Danish researchers found that both men and women living alone suffered twice the number of heart problems as those who were living with partners or roommates. Of the 5% of women living alone, they contributed to one-third of the female deaths due to acute coronary syndrome. Among the men, 8% were living alone and contributed to two-thirds of the male deaths.
- Getting too little or too much sleep. Whether because of insomnia or sleep apnea, if you are spending restless nights of little sleep, then you are potentially hurting your heart. Research indicates that getting less than six hours of quality sleep a night, or even getting too much sleep, increases your risk of coronary artery disease.
- Being grumpy. While grumpy old men may make for humorous movies, the reality is that negativity, especially in men, can lead to an increase in coronary heart disease. A researcher at Duke University who helped work on the study recommends that men work on dealing with anger, hostility, depression, and anxiety to help prevent health concerns.
- Depression. Studies show that depression can increase the risk of heart failure for patients without heart disease as well as for patients with a blockage of coronary arteries. Depression has already been shown to affect the immune system, so it is wise to seek professional help if you experience depression.
- Not worrying about "normal" blood pressure. Dr. Arthur Agatston instructs patients who are in the high-normal blood pressure range and have other heart risks that they must still work to get their blood pressure lower. People with risks such as diabetes, high cholesterol, or being overweight can’t rest comfortably with blood pressure that may be near the high-normal range as they could still be at risk of a heart attack.
- Not knowing the facts. As the old saying goes, knowledge is power. If you don’t know the lifestyle and genetic contributors to diseases that can lead to heart problems, you open yourself up for trouble. Learn about heart attack risks, high cholesterol, and diabetes to better understand how to prevent problems in the future.
- Using artificial sweeteners. Eating something sweet sends a signal to your body to get ready to burn calories and also helps trigger feelings of fullness. Artificial sweeteners have been shown to reduce these natural triggers, thereby allowing your body to both create more fat and overeat. If you are using artificial sweeteners to lose weight for the health of your heart, then perhaps you should switch to a natural sweetener such as honey, unprocessed or less processed sugar, or agave sweetener.
- Using pain relievers. Vioxx was in all the news several years ago when it was discovered that it may have contributed to heart attacks and strokes. Other pain relievers may pose risks to your heart as well. Many question the safety of Celebrex, available by prescription only, and research has shown that acetaminophen usage in women, especially if used more than 21 days a month or in smokers, carry increased risks for the heart.
- Relying on a supposed heart-healthy diet that isn’t. With so many claims of heart-healthy diets, it can be easy to fall victim to false advertising. According to a study that examined over 50 years of research, the only diets shown conclusively to reduce the risk for heart disease are those that are vegetable-rich, include nuts rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, and Mediterranean-style diets. Western diets with processed meats, refined grains and high-fat dairy as well as high-glycemic index foods and foods high in trans-fatty acids actually promote heart disease.
- Shoveling snow. People with a history of heart disease or risk factors for it should not shovel snow. The heavy work in a cold environment can put too much stress on the heart, especially if you are not accustomed to getting much exercise.
- Taking extremely hot or cold showers or saunas after exercising. The extreme temperature change after working out can put too much stress on your heart. If you are already at risk for a heart attack, this practice is downright unsafe.
- Not speaking up when talking with your doctor. Many people don’t tell their doctor everything they should when they come in for a visit. The reasons can vary from being embarrassed to not feeling comfortable with the doctor to just not knowing something was important. Be sure to give your doctor the full picture so he or she will be able to help you keep your heart healthy. If you don’t feel comfortable with your doctor, then maybe it’s time to find a new physician.
- Living with chronic anxiety. The Journal of the American College of Cardiology reports that for those at risk for heart problems, the chances of heart attack and death increase significantly if they are living with chronic anxiety. Learn how to manage the stress in your life and seek professional help if you find you can’t reduce your stress and anxiety alone.
- Too many calcium supplements. It is not uncommon for post-menopausal women to take calcium supplements to help prevent against brittle bones. However, research published in the British Medical Journal shows that women taking higher levels of calcium supplements experienced greater heart problems.
- Feeling discrimination. Rush University Medical Center in Chicago has shown that black women who reported more feelings of being discriminated against had higher incidents of coronary artery calcification. With the many types of discrimination so widely prevalent in society, including ageism, sexism, homophobia, and racial discrimination, this study should give people reason to reconsider their relationships.
- Drinking soft drinks. Boston University School of Medicine released a report based on their research that indicates one soda a day, diet or regular, can contribute to many health problems which contribute to heart disease. Medical professionals recommend reducing soda intake and keeping in mind that moderation is often the best way to go.
- Drinking energy drinks. Energy drinks contain large amounts of caffeine and other natural stimulants that can raise blood pressure and heart rate. Even in healthy young people, two energy drinks a day have shown to raise blood pressure and heart rate by 10%. If you are at risk for heart problems, then you should avoid drinking energy drinks.
- Having a bad boss. A study done by Swedish researchers discovered that those working for four or more years under bosses that are "inconsiderate, opaque, uncommunicative, and poor advocates" have a 60% higher risk of heart attack or other heart condition. By contrast, those who work under bosses that demonstrate positive management styles are 40% less likely to experience heart problems.
- Having a low thyroid. Some researchers have discovered that having a low thyroid, but not low enough to qualify for the conventional diagnosis of hypothyroidism, can tax the body enough to put you at risk for coronary artery disease. This disorder can affect men and women, but is more common in women, especially as they age.
- Breathing in particulate matter. Just about everyone has heard that smoking is bad for your heart, but now research indicates that breathing polluted air full of particulate matter is not only bad for your lungs, but your heart as well. Experts recommend staying indoors when pollution is high and avoiding exercising in areas of high traffic.
- Lifting heavy weights. While weight lifting is definitely a healthy exercise as well as a popular one, but research has shown that lifting heavy weights raises blood pressure and can result in a serious risk for a torn aorta. Before you start a weight training program, visit your doctor to discover if you may be at risk. If you already participate in a weight training program, learn how to reduce your risk while still enjoying your activities.
By Kathleen Baker
If you wonder what that room in your house with the stove and refrigerator is meant for or if you often eat fast food or pre-packaged food that can be cooked quickly when you get home from work, then check out these 100 videos from YouTube. From nutritious meal ideas to help losing weight to meal planning and calorie counting to nutrition information to food safety, the following awesome videos will have you working in a much healthier kitchen today.
These videos focus on nutritious and easy breakfasts that will start your day the right way.
- Smoothie. Learn how to make a delicious and healthy breakfast smoothie with this video.
- Start your day off with a good breakfast. Students, lose the vending machine and learn how eat a healthy breakfast.
- Healthy Breakfast Food Recipes – Nutrition by Natalie. Find out how to make five easy breakfast dishes that will provide a great start to your day.
- The Gregory Mantell Show — Quick, Nutritious Breakfast. Learn to make easy and fast breakfasts from Muscle Gourmet Dave Nathan.
- Breakfast: fast, easy and nutritious. Dr. Roegallo teaches how to make fresh-squeezed orange juice quickly for a morning boost.
- "HOW TO FIX A FAST BREAKFAST" BY VIDEO FITNESS COACH. This fitness coach not only teaches how to make a fast breakfast, but also how to use strawberries that may not have worked for other dishes.
- Healthy, Quick and Easy Recipes: Brown Rice Breakfast. This breakfast is super healthy and fits almost any diet.
- Bethenny’s Healthy Brunch Recipe: Leftovers Frittata. Bethenny Frankel teaches how to use leftovers to create an easy and healthy breakfast or brunch.
- Worlds Best French Toast Recipe. With all the healthy ingredients used in this dish, you can enjoy your French toast with no guilt.
- Healthy, Quick and Easy Recipes: Greek Yogurt Breakfast. Find out how you can use Greek yogurt to create a super-fast and nutritious breakfast.
Your dinner doesn’t have to come from a box. Watch these videos to learn healthy ways to cook hearty entrees.
- John Richardson "In the Kitchen". Watch John teach you how to make a simple and healthy main dish of Mahi Mahi.
- SoGood.TV: Turkey Chili – The Master Recipe. Find out how to make a great chili that is healthy as well as delicious.
- Kid Healthy Lunch Recipe w/ Bethenny Frankel. Turkey burgers are on the menu today when discussing healthy lunch alternatives that kids will enjoy.
- Pure and Simple: Miso Salmon. This great entree is very nutritious and doesn’t take a lot of work to make.
- Healthy Cook: Grilled Chicken and Fresh Fruit Salsa. Chicken on the grill with fresh fruit on the side…it doesn’t get much healthier or tastier than this.
- Heart Healthy Chicken Wraps. This heart-healthy meal is also easy and delicious.
- Italian Wedding Soup. This hearty, traditional Italian soup made with escarole includes ground turkey-meatballs.
- Healthy Mediterranean diet recipe with Italian Pasta. This recipe includes spaghetti, tomatoes, and eggplant for a healthy Italian meal.
- Chef’s Diet Video Recipe #100. Learn how to make Island Peppered Shrimp with Mango Salsa with this video.
- Wegmans Singapore Noodles with Shrimp. This Asian-style entree is super fast and healthy.
If you need lunch, a side dish, or a simple and quick snack, then try these healthy dishes.
- Exotic Tabbouleh Salad. Learn how to make this healthy salad that works as a side dish or a light lunch.
- SoGood.TV: Shrimp and Avocado Salad. Not only can you learn how to make this delicious dish, you also learn about the health benefits of the ingredients.
- Chicken Salad-Stuffed Avocado Video Recipe. Watch how to make this healthy chicken salad from scratch.
- Bethenny Bakes: Fresh and Easy Arugula Salad. This salad is made with spicy arugula and can be used as a side or main dish.
- BEST HUMMUS RECIPE!!! MUST SEE HUMMUS RECIPE. Learn how to make an authentic hummus with this video.
- Garlic Broccoli Video Recipe. This simple dish adds a bit of pizzazz to ordinary broccoli.
- Pure and Simple: Raspberry Lavender Lemonade. This healthy and organic twist on classic lemonade will quench your thirst as well as taste great.
- 350 calorie meal – nutritious & easy to make. This easy dish includes plenty of vegetables, tuna for protein, a touch of pasta, and Parmesan cheese.
- Healthy, Quick and Easy Lunches w/ Bethenny Frankel. Learn to make two healthy lunch salads, pesto chicken salad and tuna caper salad.
- COOKING: Scoop-It-Up Tuna. Learn how to make this fast and healthy meal for lunch.
Vegetarian, Vegan, and Raw Diets
Eating a vegetarian, vegan, or raw diet can be a very healthy way to go. These videos offer recipes and information on all three types of diets.
- Victoria’s Secret Kitchen: Eggplant Frittata Episode. Get a secret family recipe from this 83-year old cook who shows you how to make a delicious, egg-free frittata.
- How To Make a Veggie Burger. Chef John Burke teaches you how to make a veggie burger from scratch that is not only healthy, but tastes great.
- Vegetarian Recipes: Lentil Walnut Veggie Burgers. Here’s another version of a home-made veggie burger that is much more healthy than the store-bought version.
- Aloo Gobi Recipe by Manjula, Indian Vegetarian Food. Learn to make a delicious vegetarian Indian recipe that you can serve with bread or make as a sandwich.
- Bhindi Masala – Spicy Okra Recipe by Manjula, Indian Vegetarian. You will have no problems making and enjoying this traditional vegetarian Indian dish after watching this video.
- Why I go Raw Vegan. Leah talks about why she makes the decision to eat raw vegan the first week of every month.
- Ani Phyo’s Raw Food Kitchen: Spanish Breakfast Scramble. Find out how to make a delicious, healthy raw breakfast meal with this video.
- Ani Phyo’s Raw Food Kitchen: Kreamy Avocado Soup. Ani shows how to make an easy raw soup with avocados and other simple ingredients including lime juice, cayenne, and rosemary.
- Raw Kale Avocado Salad #87. Renegade Health hosts share their delicious salad in this video.
- Beyond Chemicals – David Wolfe. David talks about why a raw diet is a beneficial way to eat.
The following videos offer healthy ways to lose weight and include tips, stories from others who have lost weight, and recipes.
- Diet Tips – Lose Weight. Get a video overview of the information available at Diet-And-Nutrition.net.
- Weight Loss Journey – Weight Watchers. Tana shares her goals as she begins the Weight Watchers program.
- Weight Loss Journey #2. The second installment shares a 9 lb. loss and more.
- Weight Watchers – Weight Loss Journey #3. Tana got her 10% charm and shares her progress as well as a technique for keeping water intake high on this update.
- Weight Loss Journey #4. Discussing the plateau she’s hit, Tana keeps followers updated despite her stumbling block.
- How to Lose 40 Lbs of Belly Fat. Watch this video that introduces the changes necessary for losing stubborn belly fat.
- Diet Recipes to Lose Weight. Add this chicken dish to your diet to help lose weight.
- Diet Tips: Why You Are Not Going to Lose Weight. This fun top five list offers real reasons why you may be having a difficult time losing weight.
- Easy Diet Tips For Cutting Calories – Trainer in the Kitchen. Learn ways to cut calories without sacrificing foods that you love.
- Healthy Diet Tips: Foods to Avoid for Weight Loss. Take this advice to stop eating foods that work against you when you are losing weight and getting healthier.
Learning about Nutrition
You can only be healthy if you understand the basics in nutrition. Watch these videos to learn all about nutrition.
- Menu Makeover – Earn Your Blackbelt in the Kitchen!. Watch this introduction to the telecourse that helps you learn what to consider when making healthy choices.
- NUTRITION ADVICE: Eat More Whole Grains. Learn from dietician Liz Weiss how to choose healthy bread as well as how to incorporate more whole grains into your diet.
- NUTRITION ADVICE: Food Rules. Learn about setting realistic food rules for kids from Liz Weiss.
- NUTRITION ADVICE: Top Antioxidant Foods. Learn about the top 20 antioxidant foods you should incorporate into your diet.
- NUTRITION ADVICE: Seafood Smarts. Liz Weiss discusses how to incorporate healthy seafood into your diet.
- NUTRITION ADVICE: Snacking. Learn healthy ways to snack for both kids and adults with this video.
- NUTRITION ADVICE: Cooking Oils. With so many oils from which to choose, this video helps educate you on healthy oils that cook well.
- Whole Grains: What the heck are they anyway?. The Kitchen Vixen shares her knowledge of whole grains while donned in smart spectacles and a sexy halter top.
- Registered Dietician teaches how to read the Nutrition Facts Label. Teresa Terlikoski shares her knowledge to help viewers make smart decisions when it comes to purchasing food from the grocery store.
- RD: Your Link to Nutrition and Health. Learn what Registered Dieticians do and how they can help you make smart food choices.
Having a healthy kitchen is more than just eating well, it is also about safe food purchasing, handling, cooking, and storage.
- ConsumerAffairs.com – Food Safety. Learn why food safety issues are becoming more prevalent in recent years.
- Food Safety. Tailgaters get a two-minute lesson on keeping food safe when getting together before the game.
- Basic Food Safety Course – Part 1 Introduction. Get the basics in food safety with this video that is designed especially for restaurateurs.
- Better Food Safety. Discover a new type of edible food film that extends the life of the food and is also environmentally-friendly.
- Food Safety. Learn how to shop smart to purchase food that is not going to make you sick.
- Food Safety in the Supply Chain. This video explores the safety of the food supply chain in American through an examination of U.S. National School Lunch Program.
- Katie Couric’s Notebook: Food Safety (CBS News). See what Katie Couric says about the safety of food in America.
- Food hygiene. Learn how to keep your kitchen clean and safe to protect yourself and your family from dangerous illnesses.
- Foodborne Illness (Part 1). Get the definition of foodborne illness, find out what types of illnesses you can get from food, and how to prevent these illnesses.
- How Safe is Your Food?. Dr. Mike Magee discusses health politics and food safety in light of recent food-related illness outbreaks.
Menu Planning and Calorie Counting
Find out how to successfully plan meals and count calories so that you are not relying on your old, unhealthy eating habits.
- MyPyramid Menu Planner, Dr. Brian Wansink (USDA). Learn about food choices and planning a healthy menu from this physician.
- What’s your diet?. Identify what type of diet you have and discover what type you want to have…and how to get there.
- Meal Planning. Especially targeted to busy moms, this video offers suggestions for incorporating the whole family in planning healthy meals.
- Simple Meal Plans for a Bachelor : Bachelor Meal Plans: Basic Meal Planning. Applicable not just for bachelors, but for any single person, this meal plan make the most of a single rotisserie chicken for three easy and healthy meals.
- How to Have a Healthy Diet with a Busy Schedule : How to Develop a Healthy Eating Plan. Find out how to make a healthy eating plan no matter your time constraints.
- How to keep your calorie intake in check. Learn the importance of keeping a food diary to help monitor calorie intake.
- How the Body Works: Daily Calorie Requirements. Discover how many calories you consume doing typical activities every day.
- Dr JoAnn Wilson discussing calorie counting. Find out how to start counting calories and why you should do so.
- 171. Counting Calories for Weight Loss – Take Responsibility. This video instructs you to count calories in the same manner that Weight Watchers counts points.
- Diet & Nutrition : How to Count Calories. Get instructions on easy ways to count calories in order to maintain a consistent level each day.
Healing with Foods
From controlling diabetes to food sensitivities to eating to improve overall health, the following videos discuss ways to heal yourself through food.
- Food Expert B. Smith to Provide Health Menu Makeovers. Learn how to make changes to manage your diet when diagnosed with diabetes.
- Controlling Type 2 Diabetes with Diet. Find out how to adjust your diet to control and improve your Type 2 diabetes.
- Is Your Food Making You Sick?. This video discusses diet and food sensitivities so you can learn to identify potential food problems.
- Truth About Ketchup, Nutrition by Natalie, Worst Foods Ever. Discover the history and surprising facts about this popular condiment that may have you re-thinking how you eat your burger.
- The overwhelming evidence of the healing power of food…. Dr. Mark Hyman discusses the healing power of food.
- Himalayan Crystal Salt the Single Most Important Foundation Food to the Human Health and Diet. Find out how to use high quality salt, water, and organic foods, and other tips to improve health through food.
- Fasting for Healing, Detoxing, and Candidiasis. Learn how to cleanse your body and eat more balanced meals in order to heal your body.
- Food as Medicine- Cooking with Vaidya. Based on the Ayurvedic style of eating, this video describes how you can eat the best food for healing your body.
- Food as Medicine: Powerful New Drug is at the End of a Fork. Watch this video to learn how food can prevent, treat, and reverse chronic illnesses.
- Jerry Brunetti "Food as Medicine" – Low fat is not Good Fat. Discussing cholesterol and fats, Jerry Brunetti describes how to eat for life.
Foods and Exercise
If fitness is important to you, then you will enjoy watching these videos that explore the relationship between eating and exercising.
- Nutrition in 3 steps for athletes. Find out what type of nutrition athletes need in order to keep their body working at top performance.
- Carbohydrate for Exercise. Learn about what types of carbohydrates are the best to eat in conjunction with exercising.
- Michael Phelps – What an Olympian Eats. While most won’t eat this way, it is interesting to learn about Michael Phelps’ 8,000-12,000 calorie-a-day regimen.
- Michael Phelps Challenge. To truly understand what 12,000 calories-a-day means, watch this video where one man gives it a try.
- Healthy Breakfast. Learn how to make a healthy, quick breakfast that will help you build muscle or burn fat.
- Mini Post Workout Meals. These healthy meals feature plenty of carbs and protein and will enhance your workout.
- Nutrition Tips – Timing Meals Around Workouts. Find out the best time to eat when it comes to timing around workouts.
- Muscle Building Nutrition – Part 1A. Learn how to eat healthily while building muscle and burning fat with this presentation from Lee Hayward.
- Muscle Building Nutrition Program – Part 2. Lee Hayward continues his presentation here with ideas on ways to build healthy eating plans into busy schedules.
- 5 Minute Perfect Zone Diet Meal. Try this fast meal for breakfast or any time you need a quick snack or meal on the go that works well your fitness program.
As Michael Pollan says, we should "eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." This is a good general rule to live and eat by, but there are so many more nuggets of wisdom you can use. Here we’ll take a look at 100 rules that can help you keep a healthy, doctor-approved diet.
Follow these rules to keep variety in your diet.
- Eat your colors: In order to get as many different phytochemicals as possible, you’ll need to eat different colored vegetables and other foods.
- Variety is the spice of life: Mix things up, and be sure to eat a lot of different foods so that you can get a variety of nutrients from your diet.
- Eat from different cultures: Eat Mediterranean, Italian, Chinese, and more.
- Three food rule: Every time you eat, have a single portion from three different food groups, one of them protein.
- Try it, you’ll like it: Take a small taste to find out how you really feel about a food without lots of pressure.
- Love herbs and spices: You can add flavor without sugar or salt by using herbs and spices.
These rules will help you when you’re out food shopping.
- Shop for health: Remember that if you buy it, you’re going to end up eating it.
- Stop off at a farmer’s market or fruit stand: Even if you don’t have specific purchases in mind, shopping in a healthy food environment can make you more focused on eating what you should.
- Plan ahead: Go to the grocery store armed with a game plan to get the most healthy food for your money.
- Shop the perimeter of your supermarket: Fresh food is on the outside, manufactured food tends to be toward the middle.
- Make a realistic food budget: Get smart about the money you spend on food.
What to eat
Learn which foods and food groups to stick with in these rules.
- Eat your greens: Greens and vegetables will help give you the health that you need.
- Enjoy oily fish: Fish like salmon and mackerel are full of excellent omega-3 fatty acids.
- Drink your milk: Give yourself the milk you need, and your kids two to three servings of dairy per day.
- Eat wild foods: Berries, fish, and other food you can find in nature is often good for you. Just be sure to research and make sure what you’ve found is safe to eat.
- Focus on whole grains: When eating breads and pastas, make sure what you’re eating is made of whole grains.
- Eat in two food groups-things that move, and things that grow: If it’s not a plant or an animal, don’t eat it.
- Eat food that doesn’t have an ingredient label: Fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods don’t often have ingredient labels.
- Eat food your great grandmother would recognize: If your great grandmother would have no idea what it is you’re about to eat, skip it.
Foods to avoid
These rules will tell you which foods to stay far away from.
- Reduce the amount of meat you eat: You can reduce the meat in your meal by adding beans.
- Don’t eat anything you can’t buy yourself: If you can’t buy the ingredients that go in your food, you shouldn’t eat it.
- If man made it, don’t eat it: Jack Lalanne’s advice is great for avoiding manufactured foods.
- Don’t eat anything with more than five ingredients: Eating foods closer to their natural state ensures that you get more nutrients.
- Avoid food that makes health claims: Everyone already knows real food is healthy-it’s when packages and pushers have to explain what a food can do for you that you need to be worried.
- Don’t eat anything you wouldn’t want to "be": Remember that you are what you eat — do you want to be a fast food burger?
- Don’t eat plastic food: Focus on real food instead.
- Avoid manufactured foods: Anything prepackaged is probably full of too much sugar, salt, and fat.
- Don’t eat any ingredients you can’t pronounce: If you’re eating food that only a chemist recognizes, something is wrong.
- Stay away from food with celebrity endorsements: Food that needs to be endorsed generally isn’t good to eat.
- Eat nothing containing corn syrup: Medical professionals agree that foods containing corn syrup is generally not nutritious.
Eat realistic portions with the help of these healthy food rules.
- Eat on a salad plate: Using a smaller plate will trick your mind into thinking that you’re eating more than you really are.
- Eat until you are four-fifths full: This Japanese saying advises you to stop eating before you’re truly full.
- Fill your plate with 3/4 vegetables: Make vegetables a main focus, rather than a side.
- Your eyes are bigger than your stomach: Don’t allow yourself to take more food than you can comfortably eat.
- Eat a teaspoon at a time: Eat more slowly by only putting a teaspoon of food or less in your mouth at once.
- Practice moderation: Everything is good in moderation.
- Use a salad fork: You’ll take tinier bites and feel more satisfied by using a smaller fork.
- Fill your belly with food, air, and water: The prophet Muhammad recommended a belly with 1/3 food, 1/3 drink, and 1/3 air.
- Balance your plate: Half of your plate should be crunchy vegetables, 1/4 starchy vegetables, and 1/4 protein.
Following these rules will help you improve the quality of the food you eat.
- It’s not food if it comes to you through the window of a car: Don’t count fast food as real food.
- Don’t eat at any restaurant of which there is more than just one: Stick with local, independent establishments to get better quality food.
- Don’t buy food in a gas station: Gas stations are not known for their high quality food.
- If a bug won’t eat it, neither should you: Eat food that is attractive to bugs, just be sure to keep them away from it!
Develop good eating habits by following these food rules developed by experts.
- Eat only at the table: Don’t eat standing up, snack while you prepare food, or eat after your meal is over.
- Eat when you’re hungry: You don’t have to eat at the time deemed as lunch time or dinner time: eat when you’re hungry.
- Read the fine print: Check out the ingredients, nutrition facts, and other small details to learn what you’re really eating.
- The 20 minute rule: Make your food last at least 20 minutes, and even if you can’t wait at least 20 minutes before going back for seconds.
- Eat well 90% of the time: Allow yourself a few vices like dark chocolate and good beer.
- Eat breakfast: A good breakfast is insurance to help you avoid overeating later in the day.
- Savor every bite: Slow down, and enjoy the things that really satisfy you.
- Don’t eat too late: Eating too much before bed can interfere with good sleep habits.
- Avoid eating while reading or watching TV: Be conscious of what you’re eating — eat without distractions.
- Don’t eat in the car: Not only is it dangerous, you’re also likely to not pay good attention to what you’re eating. Eat breakfast like a king: Your body can process large meals better earlier in the day, rather than at night, so don’t be afraid to eat a big breakfast.
- Empty your mouth before filling your fork or spoon: Promote good digestion and slower eating by clearing your mouth before every new bite.
- Don’t eat when you’re bored: Eating when you’re bored can lead to overeating.
- Chew your food: Break down your food by chewing each mouthful 20-25 times.
These rules will help you make your home cooking healthy.
- Keep fruit handy: Leave out a bowl of fruit on your table, counter, or in the refrigerator.
- Put vegetables in your pasta and lasagne: Sneak vegetables into your pasta and lasagne for chunkiness and better nutrition.
- Plan your recipes: Know what you’re going to eat on Thursday night before Thursday night comes around, and you can better govern what you end up eating.
- Grow your own food: Start a vegetable, fruit, and herb garden to eat healthy at home.
- Make fruit accessible: Cut up fruit and refrigerate it so it will be easy to pick up later.
- Prepare salad as your main dish: Make your main dish salad every now and then.
- Freeze your food: Create soups, casseroles, meat, and other freezable foods in bulk, so you’ll always have an easy meal ready to go.
- Get canned, frozen, and dried fruits: In addition to fresh fruit, you can stock up with dried, frozen, and canned fruit that will last longer.
- Stock up on frozen vegetables: Use frozen vegetables that won’t go bad, and are easy to prepare in the mircrowave.
- Use your crockpot: With a crockpot, you’ll be able to fill your dinner full of vegetables and simmer all day.
- Eat a green salad with dinner every night: Get dinner started right by eating a salad packed with vegetables.
- Eat vegetables that are easy to prepare: Get baby carrots, grape tomatoes, and salad greens, so you’re more likely to eat them.
- Make good use of condiments: Parsley, cilantro, mint, mustard, and other condiments are a great way to add flavor and nutrients.
- Make vegetables the main dish: Make stir fry or soup to put veggies first.
Get proper nutrition with the help of these rules.
- A snack is not the same thing as a treat: Remember that even if you’re just snacking, you don’t need to eat junk.
- Get equal amounts fat and protein: Make sure you’re getting enough protein by matching it to fat.
- Eat food that can rot: Avoid eating too many preservatives-eat food that is subject to rotting. Just make sure you eat it before it gets there!
Eat well even away from home by following these rules.
- Pay attention to preparation: Get steamed, grilled, or broiled dishes instead of sauteed or fried ones.
- Take food with you wherever you go: Stash a banana or other portable healthy food, and you won’t be tempted to eat unhealthy food when you’re on the go.
- Spend more: Generally, more expensive restaurants serve food that’s healthier for you, so when you go out, visit a higher quality restaurant.
- Get a doggy bag: Instead of cleaning your plate, bring some food home for later.
- Substitute vegetables: Get extra vegetables instead of rice or potatoes.
- Only make one request: Don’t switch things up so much that you drive the chef and waitstaff crazy.
- Order drinks without added sugars: Get water, milk, or unsweetened tea.
- Visit ethnic restaurants: You can often find excellent food at a great price by visiting Cuban, Greek, Irish and other ethnic restaurants.
- Split your entree: Eat less and save more money by sharing your entree with someone else.
- Ask for whole wheat bread: When you order a sandwich, ask for whole wheat bread.
- Decide on your splurge: Allow yourself the bread basket, cocktails, or dessert, but not all three.
- Order a salad first: Start your meal with a salad full of vegetables, and you’ll better control your portions and nutrition.
- Order your least favorite cocktail: You’ll be less likely to go overboard if you’re drinking something that goes down less easy than your favorite.
These sustainability rules will help you ensure that your food isn’t just good for you-it’s good for the planet and your community.
- Eat locally: Practice a 100 mile diet to get the freshest, most Earth-friendly food.
- Tie off the sack before it’s full: By stopping before you’re full, you’ll make sure that you don’t have a bursting belly.
- Buy in season: Eat food that’s currently being grown in season, and you’ll have fresher, more environmentally in-tune meals.
- Buy organic: Get more nutrients out of your food by buying organic.
- Buy animal products from humane farms: Know that the meat and animal products you’re eating are humane by purchasing them from farms with humane standards.
Stay safe by following these rules.
- Keep non-food items out of the kitchen: Books, backpacks, and shopping bags should stay out of the kitchen.
- Never eat sushi from a convenience store: Convenience stores are not known for their stringent health standards, so avoid eating raw foods from them.
- Wash food surfaces with hot soapy water: You should wash cutting boards, counter tops, dishes, and utensils when preparing food, and in between different food items.
- Keep your food separate: Separate raw, cooked, and ready to eat foods to avoid contamination.
- Use paper towels to clean surfaces: Although it’s wasteful, using a new paper towel to clean surfaces is the easiest way to avoid contamination.
Rules to break
These are rules you’ve probably heard before, but should seriously consider breaking.
- Clean your plate: Eat what you need to, not what’s put in front of you.
- Five second rule: It’s been proven that five seconds is more than enough time for food to become contaminated.
- No snacking: Snacks can be great, especially when they are fruit, vegetables, and other healthy foods.
- No dessert until you finish your vegetables: Don’t use dessert or any other food as a reward or punishment.