This past week I had the pleasure of spending a day at the beach. I'm typically not someone that enjoys being at the beach but this time I took time to focus on how relaxing it was to escape from the daily stress that my job and circumstances tend to bring. When I looked around at the others that were at the beach, I noticed that all were happy to be there and it was evident that the beach had a positive affect on all that embraced what it had to offer. I decided to do some research as to whether or not the beach itself and the ocean water that crashed on the shore offered any real health benefits. What I found was compelling evidence that it's truly a place to refresh and destress. I will list the top five benefits of going to a beach below. Comment and let me know your favorite beach to visit!
1. It's an excellent source of Vitamin D.
2. Sea water has high levels of potassium, magnesium and iodine.
3. The combination of sea salt and sand helps exfoliate the skin which promotes new skin cell production.
4. Salt water is naturally an antibacterial and antifungal so it fights any skin infections you might have.
5. The calming sound of the waves crashing and overall atmosphere of the beach causes many to "cast their cares" resulting in several case studies where anxiety and depression were reported to be dramatically reduced while at the beach.
Children's music workshop dedicates a page on their site to the importance of music and how it affects our brains and overall health. According to the article, music can have the following affects on those who listen.
1. A clear impact on making the listener happy.
2. Proof that it enhances a runners performance when they listen to music during their runs.
3. Reduces stress by decreasing the amount of cortisol in the body.
4. Improves quality of sleep which aids in reducing depression.
5. Relaxes patients before and after surgery.
Today I had the pleasure of reading several articles on the benefits of laughter. We tend to get so caught up in the stress of every day life whether that's due to our jobs, finances or even health concerns. But what if one of the strongest "medicines" available is found in laughter and taking the time to find joy in the moments that take place around us? Many of us take daily pills or supplements to enhance our overall health and outlook on life but up until today I never truly grasped the importance of laughter. When we laugh our brain releases endorphins which are the key to us "feeling good" and they automatically start combating stress, depression and anxiety. I remember when I was younger and in a bad mood, I had a teacher tell me to look in the mirror and fake laugh because at some point I will realize how ridiculous I seem and it will turn into a genuine laugh. I didn't want the teacher to know that I did in fact take their advice and to be honest it worked as I stood there looking in the mirror laughing at what was happening. So whether it's spending time with your family at a Rio Rancho hospice facility, listening to comedy at one of our Albuquerque assisted living sites or fake laughing in the mirror as I did when I was younger, make an attempt today to genuinely laugh!
Yoga has been the focal point of many case studies with proven results of reducing stress by decreasing the amount of cortisol in the body. The same results were found when multiple women who stated they suffered from anxiety did yoga for an extended period of time. The results were the same with all participants stating their anxiety levels decreased as a result of routine yoga sessions. Other benefits that have been noted by those that participate in regular yoga will be listed below. Comment and let us know your favorite yoga pose and how you've benefited from routine sessions!
Potential Reduction in Inflammation
Potential to Improve Heart Health
Could Reduce Chronic Pain
Promotes Sleep Quality
Could Help Improve Breathing
May Relieve Migraines
When it comes to our digestive system, probiotics play a crucial role in our overall gut health. Many illnesses and ailments can be treated by focusing on improving gut health and introducing more good bacteria to our bodies. Kefir is made by adding Kefir grains to milk where the grains bacteria turn the lactose into lactic acid giving the Kefir a sour taste similar to what is found in yogurt. Rich in Phosphorus, Vitamin B12, Riboflavin, Magnesium, Protein and Calcium, Kefir supplies many much needed nutrients and vitamins that our bodies need to function as they should. With up to 61 different types of microorganisms, it is hard to find a better probiotic alternative. Kefir is also a good option for those that are lactose intolerant since the lactose is converted to lactic acid by the grains and easier for our bodies to break down and digest. There are some studies that credit Kefir as a good natural treatment of asthma, auto-immune diseases, osteoporosis, allergies and any gut related ailments. Share your favorite Kefir recipes and tips below!
There have been hundreds of clinical studies on the health benefits of raspberries. This power fruit is low in calories yet packs a decent amount of fiber. The amount of vitamins, anti-oxidants and minerals in a single berry surpasses what is found in many other fruits. Several studies have implied that raspberries can potentially help protect against obesity, cancer, diabetes and arthritis. There are several different ways that raspberries can be consumed. You can add them to your morning yogurt, make a smoothie, top a salad or even make a raspberry sauce to be used with fish or poultry. So cool off this summer with a nice glass of raspberry lemonade and enjoy the many health benefits raspberries offer!