1. You are exposed to natural light
According to a study at the University of Colorado, exposing yourself to natural light will reset and tune up your body’s clock.
If you want your sleepless nights to end, you should consider sleeping outside away from technology.
2. Your melatonin levels change.
This study suggests that the artificial light from your smartphone or computer can cut your melatonin levels, which affects the quality of your sleep.
That’s why we should try to sleep outdoors as much as we possibly can.
3. Your immunity levels increase.
A study in Japan showed that spending around 2 hours in the forest daily has a lot of benefits for us. Benefits such as — lower blood pressure, low concentration of cortisol, lower pulse rates, as well as higher levels of white blood cells.
The Japanese describe this as forest-bathing, which means that when we spend time in forests the chemical the trees give off also protects us.
Furthermore, even a one-night outdoor sleep can boost our immune activity for at least a week!
4. Your brain and bodily functions improve.
Our brain uses a lot of oxygen for it to work the way it is supposed to and so do our muscles. It’s no secret that the better oxygen we breathe in, the better it is for us.
So, sleeping outside isn’t just a relaxing and technology-free experience, but it will also be good for both our body and our brain!
5. Your stress levels go down.
Yes, this is a big one! With the way we live our lives, there’s a good chance most of us are very stressed.
A study shows that even looking at a picture of a tree will reduce your stress, and looking at an actual tree will be even more beneficial to our mental health. Not only that, but the sounds of the outdoors also calm us down and have relaxing qualities.
So if you don’t mind the occasional animal sounds, we are sure you will find sleeping outside one of the most relaxing things you’ve done in a while!
6. There is no more stale air to breathe in.
According to studies, If you work in an office or spend a lot of your time in a place with AC and no proper ventilation, then your CO2 levels are most likely high, which clouds your brain, makes you less productive, and gives you headaches and breathing problems.
Are you struggling with a work project that’s due soon? Take a nap outside to get rid of all that stale air in your brain!
1. Sitting with a straight back
Many mothers tell their kids, “Keep your back straight!” while they’re sitting down. But as it turns out, sitting straight in a chair is not the best idea. Studies show that that most comfortable position that we instinctively take when we lean back in the chair and slide down a bit, is the healthiest position. When we sit at this 135° angle, the spine, the muscles, and the tendons don’t take on a lot of tension.
And when a person sits with a straight back for a long time, they can experience intervertebral disc displacement. This is why experts recommend that children sit in a relaxed position with some kind of a support under their lower back.
2. Using a backpack instead of a bag
You have probably heard that when you carry a backpack on your back, it is better than a bag hanging on just one of your shoulders. But as it turns out, it’s not that simple. In order to really make sure that a backpack does no harm to your back, it should have an orthopedic back and be at least 2 inches higher than your waist. Otherwise, carrying a backpack is actually harmful.
Carrying a backpack in the wrong way can be a reason for backaches and the development of scoliosis and kyphosis in school students. So experts don’t recommend putting a lot of extra weight inside the backpack and that we need to be sure that it stays in the right position on the back.
3. Using hand sanitizer often
Using antibacterial gels and wipes actually makes the defensive mechanisms of our body and skin weaker and may be a reason for a weakened immune system.
Triclosan, that is contained in hand sanitizers, increases the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics and may be a factor in the development of so-called super-bacteria. Besides, these gels not only kill the bad bacteria — they kill all the flora on the hands, so again, the body’s protection becomes weaker. There have been cases where these products had an instant bad effect on children: they caused skin irritation and poisoning. So, if you can use water and soap, choose to wash your hands instead.
4. Brushing their teeth after every meal and using mouthwash
Brushing your teeth after every meal is not a good idea because if you use toothpaste too often, it disrupts the right acid balance in the mouth and destroys the tooth enamel. Saliva is supposed to play a natural role in cleaning the mouth and supporting the balance. The same goes for mouthwashes which have a negative effect on the mucous membranes in the mouth, especially in children.
What you should do, however, is teach children to use floss that truly helps to keep the mouth clean and doesn’t just freshen the breath.
5. Drinking milk
Milk is very much associated with childhood and it is considered to be a product that restores the lack of calcium in the body. However, studies show the exact opposite of that. Casein, the protein contained in milk, increases the acidity in the stomach and in order to decrease it, the body needs to search for minerals, including calcium. And if you have a lack of calcium, you have a risk of developing osteoporosis. Some studies even point out that casein can be carcinogenic.
By the age of 10-11, children stop developing the ferment that dissolves casein, so teenagers and adults don’t benefit from drinking milk. Nutritionists actually recommend to avoid drinking milk.
6. Being busy with the “right” activities and not procrastinating
Children should be busy. Keeping them busy helps them develop and makes them stronger. But if their schedule is too tight and they have a lot of additional activities aside from school, this could lead to chronic stress. And stress causes hormonal changes that can lead to a weak immune system, digestion problems, and other health issues.
And there is nothing bad about procrastinating, boredom is the state that is necessary for the right development of a child’s psyche, it allows the brain to “reload.”
7. Cutting nails very short
It is believed that keeping nails short means keeping hands clean. However, skin experts say that there is a huge chance to infect the area under the nail if it is cut too short. Besides, if a nail is too short, the fingertips will grow bigger and the nails may grow inside the skin.
So, when cutting nails for your children, leave a small white edge, keep the lines straight when cutting, and watch to make sure they don’t get ingrown.
1. V-sit crunches
V-sit crunches improve the strength of your core muscles and contribute to better coordination and balance.
You don’t have to go all the way down to the floor between the reps. Just try to lower your body as much as possible, but don’t touch the floor.
2. Donkey kicks
Donkey kicks are the perfect exercise to round your glutes and tone your legs.
You can use additional weights to make this exercise more challenging.
3. Bridge exercise
The bridge exercise mostly targets your glutes and also engages your lower back muscles.
You can change the position of your hands or try single leg bridges to work all parts of your muscles.
The plank exercise engages your whole body, especially your abs and lower back muscles, and helps improve your posture.
If you can’t maintain the proper body position, don’t get on your forearms — just stay in the upper push-up position.
5. Side lying leg lifts
The side lying leg lifts tone the outer part of your thighs and engage the glutes, making them more lifted.
Don’t arch your back and maintain proper posture during this exercise.
6. Shoulder stand
The shoulder stand exercise helps improve your balance and works your abs and back muscles.
The shoulder stand is a great exercise to use to relax and relieve anxiety, so it’s better to perform it at the end of your workout.
Bonus: Try this pose to relax after a workout.
This is a modification of the Happy Baby pose. It provides a gentle stretch to your lower body and helps relieve fatigue, calming you down after an intense workout.
“The man’s flu”
The Oxford and the Cambridge dictionaries define the term “flu” as a disease similar to a cold, that’s not serious, but that could be stronger if the person who suffers from it is a man. It’s because of this definition that this research emerged, to provide a more precise explanation for whether this is true and why it could happen.
Mice and the immune system
Mice have been the subject of study in this matter because they serve as good human models for medical research. In this study, the rodent’s immune systems were analyzed, taking into account their gender, age, and reactions against the flu. Scientists concluded that female mice have a stronger immune system than male mice due to the female hormone estradiol.
The immunosuppressive effect on men
There’s a difference between men and women when it comes to their immune systems. This research reveals that men experience worse problems when they suffer from respiratory diseases. The fact is, men’s testosterone has an immunosuppressive effect that can affect the proper performance of flu vaccines, making men more likely to be hospitalized.
So, do men really exaggerate when they have the flu?
The role hormones play in our immune system is one of the main focuses of this research. In women, estradiol acts as an immunoprotective agent, which is why they’re less prone to have the flu or catch a cold.
Meanwhile, testosterone in men acts as an immunosuppressant, making them more likely to have the flu and suffer from it at a different, higher degree than women.
For these reasons, it’s safe to say that the meaning of the term published by those 2 dictionaries is correct. Men suffer more from the flu than women. And perhaps, because of this, the belief was born that men exaggerate their symptoms when they’re sick.
1. Get cold.
Experts recommend keeping your bedroom temperature around 18°C (64.4°F) at night to boost your metabolism. Studies have shown that a cooler environment activates the beige fat cells, which are responsible for thermoregulation. When you sleep in a cold room or sleep naked, your body starts burning more energy to maintain heat. This is why you may find yourself skinnier in the morning.
2. Sip some grape juice.
Grape juice helps to burn calories thanks to a special substance called resveratrol. It converts bad white fat into beige fat. When you sleep, your body uses beige fat to keep you warm. Thus, having a cup of grape juice before you go to bed will force you to get rid of excess grease instead of storing it. Go for fresh juices to avoid unnecessary sugar intake.
3. Go to bed and wake up at the same time.
An unregulated sleep schedule is linked to excessive weight gain, studies say. Normally it’s the hormone melatonin that tells us when to go to bed. It also helps activate beige fat cells that help to burn calories.
If your regime is inconsistent, you interfere with melatonin production and deprive yourself of quality sleep. As a result, you might feel weary in the morning and crave high-calorie snacks to boost your energy. If you want to avoid this, go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
4. Hide your gadgets at night.
An unstable routine is not the only thing that disturbs melatonin production. Excessive light from our gadgets is another reason we can’t sleep properly. It has been proven that blue light from our smartphones delays melatonin production. Therefore, it takes you longer to fall asleep and you wake up tired.
Try to avoid gadgets for 2 hours before you go to bed and put their screens into night mode. Replace a tablet with a paper book, and you will soon feel the melatonin calling you to sleep.
5. Have a protein snack.
There’s nothing wrong with snacking before you go to bed if you do it right. Go for foods that are rich in protein, like Greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, lean turkey, or peanut butter. They will increase your metabolic rate and help your muscles grow.
6. Do resistance training.
Physical exercise is the best way to shake off the stress and boost your metabolism before you go to bed. Both cardio and aerobic workouts have been proven to be efficient, however resistance training is the one that helps you to burn fat.
Swimming or weight lifting might be the best late night solution. They don’t get you too worked up but at the same time stimulate calorie burn, which will last even after you fall asleep.
7. Drink herbal tea.
Certain types of tea can help you lose weight at night. And no, we’re not talking about dubious diet teas, which promise you magical results in one night. Natural herbal teas can actually improve your health in different ways and even make you more fit. Cinnamon combats inflammation and prevents bloating in the morning. Peppermint reduces appetite and helps you to avoid snacking. And chamomile improves digestion and relaxes your nerves.
1. Tennis and other team sports for greater life expectancy
A recent study carried out by researchers from The Copenhagen City Heart Study showed that people who practice team sports can expect greater life longevity than those who prefer to go solo. Experts claim that the companionship and social interaction improve your mental health and increase your adherence to the exercise.
Regular physical activity improves your cognitive skills, such as good memory and focus, when you’re older. Among the most efficient sports are tennis, badminton, and football.
2. Callanetics for efficient weight loss
In 1989, Sarah Ferguson drew our attention to callanetics when she slimmed down remarkably in less than a week of using the static exercises. Callanetics engage every single muscle in the body through small pulse movements, causing the fat cells to burn.
Pulsed crunches and side bends, long arms sit-ups, and planks are the most common callanetics exercises for rock hard abs and lean thighs. Callanetics can be performed at any age, throughout all your life to guarantee your body won’t let you down when you grow old.
3. Running for low cholesterol and a healthy heart
Studies have shown that running helps to significantly lower cholesterol levels in your body. Excess cholesterol in the blood is the main reason for cardiovascular disease. Running stimulates the production of high-density lipoprotein cells which help to keep the right balance of cholesterol in the blood. In addition, running exercises your heart, making it bigger and stronger with every beat. This can prevent your body from developing heart disease and therefore, help it live longer.
4. Anti-gravity yoga for a healthy spine
This branch of yoga perfectly represents the famous saying, “a healthy mind in a healthy body”. It helps to decompress your spine and remove tension generated by hours sitting in the office. All thanks to the upside positions performed within an elastic hammock.
By stretching your spine, you provide more nutrients to the intervertebral discs and keep them healthy. This means you are less likely to suffer from back pain in the future. The meditative nature of yoga itself helps to relax your mind and release stress. But don’t miss the fun part: we don’t usually have the chance to hang upside down in the air like Spider-Man, do we?
5. Swimming for healthy lungs
Despite being a low-impact exercise, swimming is considered a quality cardio workout which improves your cardiovascular health and strengthens your muscular frame. The greatest advantage of swimming, though, lies in its ability to increase lung capacity. As a result, we receive more oxygen which is important for proper brain work and focus. Bigger lungs also mean you can handle more physical pressure and not get tired too quickly.
6. Stretching for stronger muscles
Stretching is necessary to keep our muscles strong and healthy. Flexible muscles are more prepared for physical activity and are able to perform a full range of motion in our joints. This becomes critical when we reach a certain age. Old people face limitations of their mobility, and stretching is a way to avoid them.
It also prevents our body from possible injury or trauma. Long muscles are less likely to be hurt by unexpected movement.
You will learn new things quicker.
If you don’t get enough sleep, it has an effect on how well you can concentrate on new skills and remember new things. Scientists found that we process new information while sleeping. In other words, your mind and body are better in the morning after you’ve had a proper rest, than before you hit the pillow the night before. And this applies to any new skills, from university studying to playing a new sport.
You will be more aware.
When you get enough rest regularly, your concentration, focus, and problem-solving skills are functioning at their optimal levels. You can think more clearly and make decisions quicker.
You will control your weight easier.
This study has shown that while we are sleeping, we generate a hormone called leptin, that tells our body that we’re full and that we don’t need any more food. When we don’t get enough rest, it gets out of balance and we start getting food cravings.
Your health will improve.
Scientists found that getting enough sleep will not only reduce our level of stress, but also prevent the risk of getting high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Sleep deprivation may also lead to all sorts of heart-related issues.
You may prevent the development of diabetes.
Research has found that sleep makes a big difference in regulating blood sugar and sensitivity to insulin and as a result, preventing type 2 diabetes. It seems that the “deep” stage of sleep is especially critical for this and if you shorten your sleeping time, you are very likely to skip that important part.
You will recover from the cold quicker.
Do you feel sleepy when you are sick? Well, apparently there’s a reason for this. Studies have proven that our body goes into sleep mode to recover. This sleep mode is when our immune system is the most effective for fighting off bacteria.
Your skin will look better.
Our skin is a very good indicator of our general health and well-being. You may be able to masque it, but you can’t really fool it. Our skin is our biggest organ and it gets constant exposure to the weather, UV light, dust, and sun, and when we sleep, our skin repairs itself.
You’ll be a safer driver.
We have all driven, at least once, while being very tired. And while often it seems that we don’t have a choice, we need to start making this choice a priority. This study showed that drivers who lacked enough sleep, performed more like alcohol-affected drivers.
Your balance will improve.
When you get enough sleep, your coordination and balance get better, preventing you from all kinds of physical injuries and accidents.
Hand dryers do spread several types of germs.
Hand dryers gained popularity for being easy to use. And the pronounced eco-friendliness of these devices also added some bonus points to their side. But the idea that they might actually be germ cannons sparked a war of opinions. To find out if it’s true or not, researchers at the University of Connecticut and Quinnipiac University exposed several Petri dishes to restroom air under different conditions and then checked them in the laboratory.
The results showed that the Petri dishes left inside bathrooms for 2 minutes with the hand dryers off had about one bacterial colony. But turning a hand dryer on for 30 seconds changed the situation with the other plates. Those samples had as many as 18–60 colonies of germs.
Further investigation revealed that the biggest part of bacteria comes from the bathroom air. And mostly there are shoe, skin, and gut germs in there. Skin bacteria was found on surfaces that are usually touched by hands (for example, faucets or door handles), shoe bacteria was found on the floor, and fecal bacteria was found on the flushing handles and the toilet seats.
The toilet plume adds to the problem.
If you don’t close the lid before flushing the toilet when you’re done, you make your own little contribution to the spread of germs. Because every time you flush the toilet, a cloud of poop or urine bacteria is emitted into the room. If the lid is open, all of these germs will settle down on your bags, clothes, and cover the surfaces around the room. So, if you don’t want to add to the problem, the best idea is to close the lid before you flush.
How serious is the issue?
While there is evidence that hand dryers can be blamed for dumping germs on our freshly washed hands, there are still some issues to address, as well as some good news. Most of the microbes that were found during the studies are relatively harmless. They aren’t likely to cause any serious diseases in healthy people, and in some cases they can even bring some positive results, like boosting your immune system.
But there are some groups of people who need to be extra careful. We’re talking about those who have weakened immune systems or who are recovering from severe illnesses. It’s also better to be on guard when you visit hospitals or other healthcare settings since some harmful germs have been reported to be there.
Paper towels are an alternative.
So, you may want to keep in mind that there is a small chance of picking up a serious disease when using air dryers. But if you want to make this chance as low as possible, use paper towels. It seems to be a more hygienic way to dry our hands, according to this report.
Bonus: Here is one more reason to consider paper towels. It looks like some of these hand dryers never get cleaned.
8. Why are their pants flared?
Flared pants were first described in 1813 as a part of a sailors’ uniform. Researchers say that their shape was significant. The trouser leg can be rolled up easily, allowing sailors to wash the deck. What’s more, when a boat approached the shore, sailors could get off, and still keep their pants dry.
Sailors were always at risk of falling in the water, and the shape of pants allowed them to take them off quickly. They even didn’t have to take off their shoes.
Later there was no more need for this uniform and flares became a part of people’s everyday outfits, which became popular and goes out of fashion from time to time.
7. Why are London telephone boxes red?
The first telephone boxes appeared in London in 1920. They were made of concrete, so they were a cream color, and only the door was red.
In 1924, a contest to design a new kiosk was held, and Giles Gilbert Scott won this competition. But his project was altered a little: the cabins were made of iron, not steel, and the color was changed from grey to red to allow people to be able to spot the telephone boxes on the streets.
Later this color became really useful due to London’s fog (including smog from industrial enterprises). So, due to the Great Smog of London of 1952, the city kind of shut down and everything was cancelled since people couldn’t see the stage in theatres or the screen in cinemas. But red telephone boxes were still clearly visible in these conditions.
6. Why are door handles made of brass in public places?
Many people know that silver can disinfect water, but we probably haven’t thought about the reason for this feature.
The thing is, the ions of some metals (silver, mercury, zinc, copper, lead, gold, and some others) possess something called the oligodynamic effect: they have a resistance to mold, viruses, and other microorganisms. This is the reason why door handles that are made of brass (an alloy of copper and zinc) are able to be cleaned really easily and stay free of germs, even in public places.
5. Why are sailors’ shirts striped?
Initially, wearing striped clothes was unacceptable for sailors. Only prisoners, sick people, and women of the night wore this clothing.
In 1858, Napoleon allowed the wearing of striped shirts in the navy. It’s said that stripes help identify a person on a deck and help to find a person if they fall in the water. By the way, the first swimsuits were also striped.
4. Why do soccer referees use red and yellow cards?
In 1966, during a match between Argentina and England, because of a language barrier, Argentine soccer player Antonio Rattin didn’t understand (or didn’t want to understand) German referee Rudolf Kreitlein’s words. Afterward, the player was removed from the field — he had been there for about 9 minutes. The English players couldn’t understand some warnings either, and people couldn’t figure out what was happening on the field.
After this accident, World Cup referee head Ken Aston created a clearer system of penalties and he suggested using red and yellow cards.
3. Where did the pockets on flight jackets’ sleeves come from?
In 1955, the MA-1 jacket was released. It’s a predecessor of modern flight jackets. Initially, they were designed for pilots of heavy bombers.
Designers supplied the jacket with a “service” pocket on the sleeve, that pilots really liked. It was really useful because they could put there their keys or a cigarette pack in there (that’s why the pocket was also called a “cigarette pocket”).
2. Why do trench coats have shoulder tabs?
The trench coat appeared in 1901 as an alternative to soldiers’ heavy overcoats. So some details had a practical use.
Thus, the storm flap on the chest was designed to protect a soldier’s shoulder from the rubbing of the strap of a rifle.
Modern trench coats often have shoulder tabs. Initially, their function was to keep the cartridge bag strap from sliding down and to prevent scuff marks. As a rifle was carried on one and the same shoulder, there was usually only one shoulder tab.
1. Why there are holes in men’s shoes?
The brogue, a style of shoe that is perforated, was first used by Irish and Scottish cattlemen in the 17th century. They worked on marshland, so they made small holes in their shoes so that they could get dry faster.
Later, those perforations became decorative, and brogue shoes became popular among noble people. By the way, these shoes were worn on the countryside and considered informal. Thanks to Edward VII, people started wearing brogues everywhere. The King liked to wear them while playing golf and spending time in the city.
Why don’t men fasten their suit’s bottom button?
Suits didn’t appear until the second part of the 19th century. At the end of the 19th century, men started wearing informal suits while horseback riding or spending time in the countryside. It was comfier for them to have the lower button unfastened.
It’s also said that this feature turned into a tradition thanks to British King Edward VII. He was a fashion icon and made unfastened lower buttons, tweed hats, black ties — instead of white ones, brogues, and other things really popular.
Why do we call daytime TV series “soap operas”?
When soap operas appeared, there was no such thing as TVs in every house, but everyone had a radio. So there were audio series about love, and housewives loved to listen to them while doing their household duties.
There were commercial breaks, which advertised the products of Procter & Gamble, Colgate-Palmolive, and other soap manufacturers. Later, certain series were tightly associated with cleaning products, and in the 30s, the American press invented the term “soap opera.” In 1940, the amount of these audio series made up about 90% of all daily broadcasted programming.
1. It prevents vision issues.
Celery is very high in vitamin A and this vitamin plays a critical role in vision. It protects the eye surface from bacteria and viruses. Vitamin A also helps to prevent the development of age-related vision issues like cataracts.
2. It reduces the risk of cancer.
Celery contains luteolin and researchers found that this element weakens cancer cells and makes them more susceptible to treatment. Celery has been used in Chinese medicine as an anti-cancerous agent for a long time.
3. It neutralizes acidic food.
Celery is high in elements like iron, magnesium, and sodium which give celery juice its strong alkalizing properties. In other words, it can neutralize acidic foods thereby helping us maintain a healthy pH balance in our body. Consuming too much acidic food can cause all sorts of health issues like bone deterioration, kidney stones, and liver and heart problems. And because lots of food we eat every day are acidic, adding celery juice into your daily routine can stop some of those issues from building up.
4. It regulates fluid balance.
Celery is very high in potassium and this mineral plays a significant role in many processes in our body. Scientists believe that potassium is the third most important mineral for our bodies to function well. We are made of about 60% water and 40% of this water is found inside your cells, while the remaining is outside the cells, in your spinal fluid, blood, and between your cells. This level of water inside and outside your cells is critical and affected by the concentration of electrolytes. Potassium dissolves in water and behaves in our system like a positively-charged electrolyte, regulating the level of water inside the cells.
5. It prevents type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 Diabetes is becoming a serious health issue for the modern world. It’s estimated that by 2030, more than 400 million people around the world will suffer from this disease. Celery is one of the natural ways to prevent it from happening. It contains a lot of vitamin K and a study has proven that vitamin K improves our sensitivity to insulin.
6. It’s high in folate.
Folate is one of the B-group vitamins and it’s an essential element for red and white blood cells in the bone marrow, it also plays an important role in turning carbohydrates into energy, breaking down protein, and producing DNA. Just one cup of celery juice contains 145 micrograms of folate which is over 36% of the recommended intake for men and women, and 29% for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Bonus: Grow your own celery.
Growing your own celery is easier than most of the people think. When you buy a bunch and chop the bottom off, but don’t toss it to the trash. Put it in water and in a few days you will notice new shoots coming out from its center. Then plant it and wait until it’s fully grown. And then just do it again.