Archive | December 2016


“There’s no scientific evidence to prove that we’re biologically predisposed to weight gain in the colder months. Unless you’re a bear, that is.  We do know that in [hibernating] animals there will be seasonal changes in hunger hormones, but there really is nothing to suggest that that’s true in people.”

Dr. Yoni Freedhoff (medical director of the Bariatric Institute in Ottawa and winner of the 2011 Best Health Blog Awards for his blog.)


“The winter months can be brutal for some people’s fitness routines and it gets a lot easier to get out and exercise when the winter months are warmer.”

Bradley Cardinal, PhD, an exercise physiologist at Oregon State University.

Ways you can create a winter wellness plan that works for you!

A woman walks her dog along a lane after a snowfall in Elham, south east England February 11, 2013. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor (BRITAIN - Tags: ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY ANIMALS)


                                                   ARROWHEAD0125c2 -- Duluth Todd McFadden (left) and an unidentified competitor ride side by side during the 2012 Arrowhead 135 ultramarathon. Todd McFadden photoBike Riding


Although winter comes as no surprise to us; we should look at methods that would create a plan of wellness during the season and here are some suggestions that might work for you.

1. Bring out the crock pot! Emphasis slow cooked, warm, moist meals this season. Soups are a perfect match for the cold, dry days.

2. We gravitate toward richer foods in the winter for good reason — we need to stay warm, lubricated and healthy.  Allow yourself to indulge in high quality dairy, nuts and seeds, dried fruits, organic meats, and healthy fats — you can feel satisfied without jumping on the sugar train.

3. With the increase in heavier foods, be sure to increase spices and foods that help keep digestion lively. Many of these foods and spices have the added benefit of boosting your immune system because they are antibacterial. Try adding dark leafy greens, berries, garlic, onions, ginger, cumin, oregano, and cinnamon to your recipes whenever you can.

4. Pay attention if your skin feels tighter these days; you may need to switch to a hardier your days more special and when you need a little extra pampering.

5.) Create work out fun for yourself by doing the work out with your friends, significant other or even just yourself with distractions to avoid thinking about the cold by listening to music or listening to tapes for studying or just for furthering your knowledge.  Listen to the internet or tunes while you exercise.  As your work out goes on you won’t feel so cold and have distracted yourself from the thought of feeling like you want to stay inside the house and do nothing.  Those who say I couldn’t do that than do work out inside your home with just sit ups to even doing exercise programs on the TV that you buy on DVD’s or those TV shows for work out that are even free.   For those you can go out but not able to work outside in the cold weather an good exercise in just walking in a mall is better than nothing (good cardiac exercise).  Than there is the other option that is more expensive like buying exercise equipment for in the home.  Types of examples would be a tread mill where you do walking right in place or riding on a stationary bike or buying a stationary exercise machine that fits you.  Some of these machines can run easily under 100 dollars (even 50) but go up to over one thousand dollars it all depends on what you want to loose, how fast you want to lose it and how you want to go about it financially.  Another aspect is considering is it to lose your weight or just maintain the weight you are and this you can figure out after a little investigating.

Happy Holidays all my readers but be careful this week with the weather in the 40’s-50’s this past Saturday and Sunday and then winter temps freezing coming back throughout the night and early morning and now 40’s down to 30’s…so don’t get sick; dress appropriately!!

Quote for Thursday

Only as you do know yourself can your brain serve you as a sharp and efficient tool. Know your own failings, passions, and prejudices so you can separate them from what you see.

Bernard Baruch  (August 19, 1870 – June 20, 1965 was an American financier , stock investor , philanthropist)

Quote for Wednesday

“No matter what your brain status or age, there is much we can do to significantly improve brain functions and slow brain aging.”

Dr. Larry McCleary   (Former Acting Chief, Pediatric Neurosurgery, Denver Children’s Hospital Author of The Brain Trust Program)



First let us look at the functions the brain has in its operations:


Memory is probably the easiest of the cognitive domains to understand. Memory is the process through which new information about our world is encoded, stored and later retrieved by our brain cells. The ability to remember new facts and new ways of doing things is not only key to our ability to maintain independent lives, our memories are what individualizes each and everyone of us. Our personal memories of past experiences and of family and friends are valuable treasures. Sadly, these treasures are often lost or become tarnished as we age and in tragic cases, with the onset of dementia. For this reason alone, it is necessary that we continue to exercise and activate the neural networks that form our memories. It is also important that we continue to find new strategies and tools to help us form new memories.


We live in a world of instant communication and sometimes the demands of work and family can become unbearable and seemingly never-ending. When we become mentally fatigued or over burdened we can lose our ability to prioritize, our ability to identify important information and our ability to stay on task. At home, at the office and at school, we are constantly pulled in multiple directions at the same time and losing focus and concentration can result in us failing to meet our obligations. In addition to providing our brains with the rest and relaxation it needs to operate at its best, it is also important that we engage in brain exercises that can improve our ‘mental endurance’, focus and concentration.

It is also important that we exercise this cognitive domain to find new strategies to overcome specific challenges such as ADD/ADHD. You need to provide your brain with the best and newest brain fitness tools that will improve your concentration and strengthen your mental endurance. Which can be done through games and exercises that will engage your brain and sharpen your focus and teach you new ways to stop wasting time. With stronger concentration skills, improved attention to detail, and sharper focus you can expect to live life with less confusion, less stress and a greater feeling of mental clarity. Strengthening your focus is a surefire way to improve your performance at work or at school.

Word Skills

Language is the highly evolved human skill that enables us to effectively communicate our thoughts and emotions with the rest of the world. Language is what allows us to grow as people, to share ideas with others and to form the social bonds that bring true value and meaning to our lives. And the fabulous fact about our word skills and capacity for language is that we can continue to improve these skills over the course of our lives.

Unfortunately, on the other side of the coin is fact that our spoken and written word skills can degrade over time with out practice. I’m sure we can all remember a time during conversation when we found ourselves dumbfounded and embarrassed as we struggled to find a word stuck on the tip of our tongue. Or maybe we can remember a time when we mis-used or mis-spelled a fancy word in an important email. As we grow, it is important that we continue to expand our vocabulary, improve our language comprehension skills and find new ways to make our words mean more to the people in our lives.

You can do this through fun and effective brain fitness games and tools to help them continue to grow their capacity for language. Improving word-skills with brain fitness games and exercises is a sure fire way to increase your verbal communication confidence and reduce social anxiety.

– Coordination

From the moment we wake up in the morning until we fall asleep at night, we humans are constantly on the move! And for most of us, our ability to make purposeful, timely and accurate movements is often taken for granted as we go about our day. But the truth is that our ability to perform the seemingly infinite number of goal directed movements we make is the result of our brain precisely detecting sensory information from the world around us and integrating it with our internal motivations to accurately execute the appropriate motor commands that tell our muscles how to move.

Unfortunately, as we age, this process becomes more difficult and moving about the world can become more challenging than it once was before. For most of us, our senses tend to dull, our reaction times become a bit slower and seemingly simple motor tasks such as writing, driving our car and moving about to enjoy the things we love to do can become more difficult. For this reason, it is important that we not only exercise our muscles to maintain strength and flexibility to stay mobile, but that we also exercise the areas of our brain that are involved in coordinating our movements.

You need to provide yourself with fun and challenging brain fitness tools that will help  improve your sensory perception, manual dexterity, spatial awareness and precision of movement. By doing you can continue to make the most of your independent lifestyle.

– Critical Thinking

Critical thought can also be referred to as our brain’s ‘executive function’. And as such, we can think of our critical thinking skills, as the analysis tools used by the CEO of our brain.

Critical thinking skills are the tools we use to objectively analyze information, recognize patterns, follow logical rules, strategize, and solve problems. It is also the brain function that provides us with the ability to form the complex chronological and spatial plans we use to navigate our lives. Everyday we use our critical thinking skills to objectively analyze the world we live and thrive as individuals.

Along with Language, higher order critical thinking skills are what separate us humans from the rest of the Animal Kingdom. And anatomically speaking, the parts of our brain that allows us to think critically reside in the most highly evolved parts of our brain, the frontal and temporal lobes of the cortex. Sadly, it is most often our critical thinking skills that decline with age-related dementia. Our critical thinking skills also need to be fostered at an early age and throughout our lives in order for our brains to operate at their best.

Fortunately, research investigating the phenomenon of neuroplasticity has taught us that we can actually change the way our brains are wired. By engaging in intellectually stimulating activities and by taking on cognitive challenges we actually have the ability to strengthen our critical thinking skills and improve our executive function. But if we want to enhance our critical thinking skills globally, it is important that we exercise our executive functions individually and as a whole. For example, it is important to engage in a variety of different brain exercise designed to improve deductive reasoning, logical reasoning, pattern recognition skill, strategic decision-making skill and the efficiency of our brain’s ability to process information.

By taking a ‘whole- body approach’ and incorporating brain fitness into your daily routines you will be making the lifestyle changes needed to sharpen your minds and reduce your risk of dementia.

Since the human brain peaks in size at about age 20 and then starts to shrink, you might think that by age 70 or 80, you’d be lucky to remember your name. The good news is that

memory loss is not inevitable. “There are examples of people who have lived to 123 years of age who died with completely intact memories and no evidence of neuropathology,” said Sam Gandy, MD, PhD, director of the Center for Cognitive Health at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.


“Although seasonal weight gain varies from person to person, there have been surveys that show an average of a five to seven pound gain in weight in winter.”

Lawrence J. Cheskin, MD, founder and director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center


“Severe weather includes strong winds, freezing temperatures, icy road conditions, and heavy rain and/or sleet. These conditions can also result in the lost of heat, power, and communications services. These disruptions can last for many days, so it’s important to be prepared for winter storm conditions ahead of time.”


Preparing for the winter!

preparing-for-the-winter4   preparing-for-the-winter

Although winter comes as no surprise, many of us are not ready for its arrival. If you are prepared for the hazards of winter, you will be more likely to stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall.

Many people prefer to remain indoors in the winter, but staying inside is no guarantee of safety. Take these steps to keep your home safe and warm during the winter months.

  • Winterize your home.
    • Install weather stripping, insulation, and storm windows.
    • Insulate water lines that run along exterior walls.
    • Clean out gutters and repair roof leaks.
  • Check your heating systems.
    • Have your heating system serviced professionally to make sure that it is clean, working properly and ventilated to the outside.
    • Inspect and clean fireplaces and chimneys.
    • Install a smoke detector. Test batteries monthly.
    • Have a safe alternate heating source and alternate fuels available.
    • Prevent carbon monoxide (CO) emergencies.
      • Install a CO detector to alert you of the presence of the deadly, odorless, colorless gas. Check batteries regularly.
      • Learn symptoms of CO poisoning: headaches, nausea, and disorientation.

Get your car ready for cold weather use before winter arrives.

  • Service the radiator and maintain antifreeze level; check tire tread or, if necessary, replace tires with all-weather or snow tires
  • Keep gas tank full to avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.
  • Use a wintertime formula in your windshield washer.
  • Prepare a winter emergency kit to keep in your car in case you become stranded. Include
    • blankets;
    • food and water;
    • booster cables, flares, tire pump, and a bag of sand or cat litter (for traction);
    • compass and maps;
    • flashlight, battery-powered radio, and extra batteries;
    • first-aid kit; and
    • plastic bags (for sanitation).
    • Be prepared for weather-related emergencies, including power outages.
  • Stock food that needs no cooking or refrigeration and water stored in clean containers.
  • Keep an up-to-date emergency kit, including:
    • Battery-operated devices, such as a flashlight, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio, and lamps;
    • extra batteries;
    • first-aid kit and extra medicine;
    • baby items; and
    • cat litter or sand for icy walkways.
    • Many people spend time outdoors in the winter working, traveling, or enjoying winter sports. Outdoor activities can expose you to several safety hazards, but you can take these steps to prepare for them:
  • Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: layers of light, warm clothing; mittens; hats; scarves; and waterproof boots.
  • Sprinkle cat litter or sand on icy patches.
  • Learn safety precautions to follow when outdoors.
    • Be aware of the wind chill factor.
    • Work slowly when doing outside chores.
    • Take a buddy and an emergency kit when you are participating in outdoor recreation.
    • Carry a cell phone.
  • Protect your family from carbon monoxide.
    • Keep grills, camp stoves, and generators out of the house, basement and garage.
    • Locate generators at least 20 feet from the house.
    • Leave your home immediately if the CO detector sounds, and call 911.

When planning travel, be aware of current and forecast weather conditions.

  • Avoid traveling when the weather service has issued advisories.
  • If you must travel, inform a friend or relative of your proposed route and expected time of arrival.
  • Follow these safety rules if you become stranded in your car.
    • Stay with your car unless safety is no more than 100 yards away, but continue to move arms and legs.
    • Stay visible by putting bright cloth on the antenna, turning on the inside overhead light (when engine is running), and raising the hood when snow stops falling.
    • Run the engine and heater only 10 minutes every hour.
    • Keep a downwind window open.
    • Make sure the tailpipe is not blocked.

Above all, be prepared to check on family and neighbors who are especially at risk from cold weather hazards: young children, older adults, and the chronically ill. If you have pets, bring them inside. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate, warm shelter and unfrozen water to drink.

No one can stop the onset of winter. However, if you follow these suggestions, you will be ready for it when it comes.

Also regarding health lets look at what most people do in the WINTER as opposed to the SUMMER (hot weather):

Winter weight gain isn’t just an urban myth. Research has shown that most of us could gain around a pound (half a kilo) during the winter months. That may not sound like much, but over the course of a decade, it can add up.

“There’s good evidence that people put on weight over the winter,” says dietitian Sian Porter. “The more overweight you are, the more you tend to put on. And the most worrying aspect of this seasonal weight gain is that the pounds tend to stay on. People don’t seem to lose the extra weight.”

The three main reasons that people put on weight in the winter are lack of physical activity, comfort eating and over-indulging at Christmas.

Cold weather and shorter days make it harder to exercise outdoors, so it’s easy not to do any exercise over winter. If you’re not outside as much, there’s more time and temptation to reach into the kitchen cupboard for high-calorie sweet snacks, such as biscuits and cakes.

Then of course there are the festivities that surround Christmas.  What used to be a couple of days of parties and over-eating now seems, for some, to be six weeks of over-doing it. .

So what’s the solution? Learn tomorrow four simple ways to avoid winter weight gain.


“With the close link between hearing health and overall wellness, we must raise awareness about how to effectively prevent, diagnose and treat hearing loss,”says David Smriga, M.A., president of AuDNet, Inc.

David Smriga, M.A., president of AuDNet, Inc.