6 Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

  Thanksgiving is just around the corner! It is a day meant for celebration and spending time with loved ones. But for some, it can be stressful finding balance between their health goals and the abundance of food that often accompanies the day. So here are six tips for a healthy Thanksgiving.    1. Stay hydrated Sometimes when we feel hungry, our bodies are actually craving water. Therefore, ensuring we are properly hydrated throughout the day will help us be more attuned to our bodies’ natural … [Read more...]

Blue Light has a Dark Side

  Although it is environmentally friendly, blue light can affect your sleep and potentially cause disease. Until the advent of artificial lighting, the sun was the major source of lighting, and people spent their evenings in (relative) darkness. Now, in much of the world, evenings are illuminated, and we take our easy access to all those lumens pretty much for granted.   But we may be paying a price for basking in all that light. At night, light throws the body's biological clock—the circadian … [Read more...]

Cutting Down the Noise

  When one spends time in nature, it can be surprising how quiet the world can be and just how much noise we’ve grown accustomed to in our day-to-day lives. But what we may not understand is that some noises can be more than a nuisance and can actually be harmful to health.   An article published in the journal Environmental Research reported that noisy environments—like living next to a highway—can increase the risk of severe stroke by 30%. This is due (at least partially) to noise … [Read more...]

Benefits of Sleep: Sleep Deeply, Live Longer

  If you woke up this morning feeling less than well rested, you’re not alone. No one is sure exactly how many of us spend our nights tossing and turning, but scientists estimate that somewhere between 10 percent to 34 percent of Americans suffer from insomnia. Our national lack of sleep amounts to big business for pharmaceutical companies, which spent more than $329 million in 2005 advertising prescription sleep aids (and it's getting worse). And those efforts have a big payoff — Americans … [Read more...]

Risk Factors for Developing Neck Pain

  It’s estimated that about 1 in 6 American adults experience neck pain in a given three-month time frame. Neck pain is a major cause of work absenteeism, work-related injury, and reduced quality of life. While some risk factors for neck pain may be unavoidable, many are not.   A systematic review completed by a team of authors from the Department of Orthopedics at Duke University concluded that work requiring sustained and/or awkward postures was the most important physical risk factor for neck … [Read more...]

The Relationship of the Hip, Low Back, and Knee

  The hip is a very unique joint. The depth of the socket, the strength of the muscles and ligaments surrounding it, and the way it functions in weight bearing activities is unlike any other joint in the body.   The hip joint is a synovial joint, meaning it moves freely. It is a ball-and-socket joint that is made up of the femoral head (the “ball”) and the acetabulum (the “socket”). The ball is largely contained within the cup or socket, though there are genetic and cultural differences with … [Read more...]

Healthy Grilling

  Willing as many of us are to make some changes in our eating habits in order to improve our health, along comes summer grilling, and all bets are off: In this country, cooking out means hot dogs, hamburgers and steaks.   But the people who worry about the amount of fat in our diets would prefer that we choose something else to cook outdoors. To tell the truth, they'd just as soon we cut back on charcoal grilling, period. As the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says in its brochure … [Read more...]

Poor Seated Posture and Low Back Pain

  We’ve all been told—especially as children—to stop slouching and to stand or sit up straight. As it happens, this is great advice to keep the spine healthy and reduce the risk for a painful low back condition. A landmark 1981 study calculated the amount of pressure placed on the intervertebral disks in the lower back in various positions. A neutral standing position places about 100 pounds per square inch (lbs/in2) of pressure on the disk in the low back and laying supine (facing up) cuts the … [Read more...]

Home Composting Made Easy

  A compost pile can magically transformation your kitchen scraps into rich, black soil for your garden. If you follow this standard set of directions for making compost, you can dump your garbage together and stand back. It's almost impossible to fail!   How to Compost The compost pile or "heap"—a mixture of decayed vegetable matter sometimes combined with manure—is an invaluable, yet inexpensive, device for providing the gardener with top-grade soil. Through the work of harmless bacteria, raw … [Read more...]

How To Grill Any Vegetable

  This guide serves as both a tool for grilling almost any kind of vegetable and as a template for a gorgeous (and tasty) vegetable tray for any summer cookout.   How Do I Prepare Vegetables for the Grill? The more surface area you give your vegetables for grill marks, the more flavor you’re going to get. This also makes them easier to move around the grill. Here’s how to prepare them: Bell peppers: Seed and quarter. Onions: Peel and quarter through the root. Yellow squash, zucchini, and … [Read more...]