“Getting fit” is the most common New Year’s resolution in the USA. That just goes to show how difficult it is to get enough motivation to exercise regularly. If it were easy, millions of us wouldn’t have to make resolutions to achieve it, right?
This Saturday, most of us will be barbequing, lighting sparklers, and then packing up our coolers and camp chairs to go watch the fireworks. It’s a time-tested American tradition on the occasion of our nation’s independence from Britain—and it’s also a complete blast. If you can’t wait till next July to celebrate again, consider traveling abroad to experience another country’s independence day. We can’t promise any red, white, and blue cupcakes, but the experience will be hard to beat. Here are the top 4 countries (besides the US, of course) with the most exciting independence days.
You know how it goes. You leave for vacation with the best of intentions: to visit the hotel gym every morning, to eat healthfully three times a day, and to limit yourself to only one beach cocktail. But the best of intentions do not hold up when you’re confronted by so many new restaurants and the promise of sleeping in.
When we were kids, making friends came naturally: it was as simple as saying “hi” to another kid at the schoolyard. But as we get older, the stresses of life can make our social circles shrink. We move to a new town or city and lose our old friends. We get too busy with work or family obligations to make time for anything else. And as we mature, learn, and grow, our friends are doing the same, and often we grow in two different directions. This often leads to friends drifting apart.
For some of us, just a glimpse of a kitten in a pet store window is enough to pull out the wallet and bring home a new pet. But for those of us who are weighing the pros and cons of adding a cat or dog (or parrot or chinchilla or fish) to our household, it’s smart to consider the health benefits that a pet can bring to us.
We all know we should exercise more. But still we all have excuses for why we don’t. For some of us, that excuse is I’m too busy, I’m too stressed out, or I’m too out of shape. For others, it’s Exercise is boring, or I hate to break a sweat. These excuses keep many of us from enjoying our optimal level of health.
Can we make ourselves happier just by changing the way we think about our lives?
We’ve all read the studies that suggest that we can’t, that our own personal level of happiness is basically set in stone. Lottery winners have been shown to return to their baseline level of happiness within one year of striking it rich, and even paraplegics return to their pre-injury happiness levels within a year of their trauma. So if winning the lottery can’t make someone happier, and suffering a life-altering injury can’t make someone more sad, then what hope do the rest of us have in boosting our day-to-day levels of happiness?
There is perhaps no food as misunderstood and unjustly maligned as the egg. Long blamed as the cause of high blood cholesterol and a trigger for heart disease, the egg fell out of favor in the American diet for decades. Even today many of us hesitate to eat eggs in the morning or even to bake with them.
March is Save Your Vision Month, and it’s a great time to remind ourselves that the health of our eyes doesn’t just depend on genetics or happenstance. There’s actually a lot we can do on a daily basis to lessen the irritation caused by eyestrain and dryness, and even to prevent the onset of vision loss, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and ocular melanoma.
Cherry-blossom watching is a national obsession in Japan, with blossom forecasts given on the evening news along with the weather, and dedicated blossom-watchers following the “bloom line” from south to north throughout the season. Cherry blossoms have deep cultural significance in Japan, and Japanese people have been picnicking and enjoying music and saké beneath them for nearly two millennia. And it’s no wonder why: spending a day beneath these blossoms is a beautiful way to greet a fresh, new spring and to usher in a season of renewal and love.