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Breathing: did you know it’s the Fountain of Youth?

breathingHow is your breathing? Did you know good breathing may be a key to the Fountain of Youth?

It doesn’t take particularly great psychic powers to guess that you might be sitting in a chair as you read this, and it’s likely that you’re slouching or perhaps leaning in over the desk.

And it’s also a good bet you’re breathing shallowly.

And all that is not so good for your health!

Sitting up straight and doing deep, slow breathing is one of the healthiest things you can do, yet few people do it!

In fact, most people need lessons in how to breathe correctly!

Children breathe fully and naturally until about the age of seven.  That’s when they start to take on stress and awareness of what adults are doing and they lose their natural ability for healthy breathing.

How fruit flies proved Dr. Oz wrong about organic produce

organic produceDr. Mehmet Oz caused quite a stir with his December 2012 Time Magazine cover story on conventional versus organic produce.

In “Give (Frozen) Peas a Chance – and Carrots Too,” he shocked many organic food fans, myself included, by saying organic food is no healthier than the frozen conventional vegetables in the supermarket.

Oz said, “nutritionally speaking, there is little difference between the farmer’s- market bounty and the humble brick from the freezer case.”

Nutritionally, he was right.  But in terms of overall health, he was wrong.  Why?  Because he didn’t look at the right studies.

We can always pray

we can always prayA devastating typhoon in the Philippines has left tens of thousands dead, injured or homeless.

Current U.N. and Philippine government estimates indicate over 9 million people are affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan [Yolanda] across the country.

620,000 have been displaced from their homes and communities. Many thousands are without food, water, shelter or electricity and have been for days.

The feelings of grief and helplessness on the part of those of us who read about this tragedy are palpable.  The world is mobilizing to send humanitarian aid; the U.S. Navy is sending aircraft carriers equipped for disaster relief.

What can we do?

Actually, we can pray.  And we can donate money to reputable relief organizations. 

What’s the latest miracle drug? Sleep!

sleepSleep gets short shrift in our society.  Health advocates promote the importance of diet and exercise, but sleep is seldom mentioned.

Yet it’s the third leg of the health tripod.

We spend over one-third [36%] of our lives doing it. So if you’re 90 years old, you’ve spent 32 years asleep.  Sobering, isn’t it?

The latest research shows that sleep is a bit of a miracle drug and we should all be taking it more seriously.

I’ll admit that I have spent a fair amount of time in my life fantasizing about how much more I could get done if I had more waking hours.  I’ve even written posts on how to be more productive.

But no less a power player than Arianna Huffington, in her TED talk, sang the praises of getting enough sleep.  That’s a position she moved to after fainting from exhaustion, hitting her head on her desk, and breaking her cheekbone requiring five stitches on her right eye. That would make me a convert, too.

Getting enough sleep improves your life in so many ways that it could be considered a key to success, in spite of Margaret Thatcher saying sleep is for wimps and Thomas Edison’s proclamation that it’s a criminal waste of time.

Here’s why Thatcher and Edison were both wrong about sleep

The brain doesn’t shut down when we sleep.  In fact, some areas of the brain are more active during sleep than when awake. While part of us is getting much needed rest, another part is learning and processing.

Need more hours in a day? Here’s how to get them

more hours in the dayIf you’re like me, you often think, “oh, if only there were more hours in a day, or another day in the week, then I could get it all done.”

Even if there were, I probably wouldn’t get it all done.

We don’t really need more time, we need to make better use of the time we have.

The trick is not to get more done.  The trick is to decide what you really need/want to be doing and eliminate the rest.

Successful people know how to focus their time and energy.  Being productive relies on the ability to distinguish between tasks that move you closer to your goals and tasks that don’t.

Every time you’re about to take on another task, ask yourself:  is this the best use of my time?  How will this move me towards my goals?

The $25,000 productivity tip

In researching productivity for this post, I came across an amazing true story on how to be more productive.

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