WELLNESS AROUND THE WEB
We’ve got good news and bad news. The first vaccines have finally made their way to all 50 states this week. While it will take months for them to finally reach the general public —Massachusetts’ vaccines will not be available to the public until April — this provides hope for a sense of normalcy when the warm weather returns in 2021. However, the bad news is that warm weather is a mere fever dream right now, for a snowstorm is due to hit the Merrimack Valley tonight. While we hunker down in our houses, turn to this week’s Wellness Wednesday for ways to stay active and optimistic indoors, unique healthy eating and drinking tips (wine included) and stories that will brighten your snowy day.
Staying Active with your Smartphone
Many of us spent most of this year adjusting to remote work and our activity levels have subsequently suffered. As the cold weather, settles across the Merrimack Valley, it becomes even harder to find motivation to move throughout the day. Luckily, your smartphone is here to help. Apple announced the App Store Best of 2020 winners in early December, and Wakeout was crowned iPhone app of the year. Wakeout is the perfect app for busy people, as it offers quick workouts designed for a variety of places—from your bedroom to the office to an airplane. Looking for a brief break from computer work? Wakeout boasts a catalog of hundreds of active breaks and thousands of exclusive movements. A monthly subscription to Wakeout costs $4.99 while a yearly one is $34.99, and with each subscription one can add anywhere from five to ten people. For more information on Wakeout, read Brenda Stolyar’s review here.
Water & Wine
Over half of the body is made up of water, and research has consistently shown that we all need more of it. Beyond the obvious hydration purposes of water, a new study has found that drinking six glasses of water daily are not only more energetic, but more optimistic as well. Moreover, those who are more hydrated are less likely to wake up tired during the week, and therefore more successful at work. Plain water too bland for your liking? Make sure it’s cold. The study also found that more Americans preferred ice water over room temperature water. Or try my family’s favorite: sparkling water, which is just as hydrating as regular water and far less sugary than soda.
After you’ve had all that water, we encourage you to relax with glass of wine and a cheese platter. And you don’t have to feel guilty thanks to a study from Iowa State University, which found that the pairing of cheese and wine improves cognitive health as one gets older. Specifically, researchers concluded that cheese “provides the most protection against age-related cognitive issues” while a daily dose of alcohol, particularly red wine, contributes to healthy cognitive function. Cheers!
Animals as Relief
While physical distancing is a great way to help stop the spread of COVID-19, limited interactions can take a toll on your mental health, especially as the brisk weather moves in. If you can’t hug others, hug your pets closer. A recent study led by Dr. Janette Young of the University of South Australia found that touching pets “provided [participants with] comfort, relaxation, and familiarity.” The study notes the importance of physical touch, and how this is not only beneficial to humans, but to our pets as well. It doesn’t need to be a dog or a cat either, as the article notes that “participants mentioned birds, sheep, horses, and even reptiles as pets who reciprocate touch.”
As the snowstorm rages tonight, distract yourself with some good news and family bonding:
Hooray for polar bears! The U.S court of appeals rejected an offshore oil drilling project in the arctic. Environmental groups and conservationists consider this “a victory for Alaska’s imperiled polar bears that are threatened by oil and gas development…”
Stuck inside and sick of shoveling? Try making one — or two, or all — of these seven delicious dessert recipes from Tasty. Have the family help and make it a bonding experience!