There’s something about being outside on a bright sunny day that just makes people feel good. We tend to feel more energized, we don’t get sick as much, and we might even smile a little bit more. Research is showing that a nice sunny day may do even more for our health, especially when it comes to preventing age-related diseases – all because of a compound we call Vitamin D.
Most people would agree that nothing really beats a great night of restful sleep. Most cells in your body would also agree that they appreciate a good night’s rest. However, there are certain types of cells that cannot stand it when you get a full night of great sleep – and those are cancer cells.
We know that sleep is important for feeling rested and energetic during the day, improving mood, immunity, work performance, heart health, cognition – more things than can possibly be imagined. But would you believe that the quality and amount of sleep you get could actually change the way your body responds to certain medications? In fact, as in the case of the breast cancer drug tamoxifen, it could be the difference in treatment success or failure.
Anybody that has traveled by airplane on multiple occasions has likely experienced an exceptionally long line at the security checkpoint. These lines can be frustrating, but we tolerate the inconvenience because we know it is a necessary process to maintain safety and security. Take a moment to consider the fact that your brain actually has its own biological security screening. Your brain restricts the types of chemical compounds that are able to move from your blood stream into your brain to help protect it.
Find a “squishy” object like a stress ball, an orange, or even a clean rolled up sock. As you read this, firmly squeeze the object rhythmically in your hand about once every second (60 beats per minute). By the end of the article, you will likely notice a slight burning and increasing weakness in your hand and forearm as your muscles begin to fatigue. Now imagine your hand is your heart, and consider how hard your heart is working every day of your life. If you had a constant heart rate of 75 beats per minute (average for adults) and you lived to be 80 years old, your heart will have beat more than 3.1 BILLION times, pumping roughly 1.5 gallons of blood through approximately 60,000 miles of blood vessels that make up your circulatory system. Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?
When you wake up at night in a dark room, you can usually see a fair amount – at least enough to navigate to a light switch – because your eyes have had time to the darkness. But when you move from a well lit room to a dark room, you find that it is impossible to see anything. Suddenly a misplaced shoe or the corner of a table can become an extremely dangerous (and painful) obstacle! It’s moments like these that can really help us to appreciate just how much we rely on our vision. People that have been blind or had poor vision for their entire lives have had time to learn how to adapt – much like the person waking in a dark room. But when those who have spent a lifetime with sight are challenged with a loss of vision, it is like the person stepping from the well-lit room into the darkness