Who’s happier and how does it affect your health

Happiness and health have been anecdotally linked for quite a while now–‘laughter is the best medicine’ has become a cliché for a reason–but relatively new research has been backing up what many people have instinctively assumed all along: that happiness and health really are connected, and that one’s level of happiness really can impact the level of one’s health.


A special Christmas tip

Kissing under the mistletoe comes from a custom found only in England. A large bough of mistletoe would be picked to form the center of a huge garland to be hung in a room or hall. Any young woman who stood beneath the garland (or kissing bough) would expect to receive a kiss. It would bring her luck and ensure her of marriage. She also had the right to pluck a berry from the mistletoe for every kiss she received. Once the sprig had no more berries, it was no longer lucky to kiss under it.

Doing this can have a profound impact on your health

Spending an extra hour sitting a day (for 13, rather than 12, hours) is linked to a 50 per cent greater risk of being disabled. And this was regardless of whether the participants also did moderate exercise, according to the U.S. study published in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health. You might assume that knee osteoarthritis is more likely in people who put their bodies through tough exercise routines. But experts say there is also a link with sitting too much.

Should you exercise when sick?

Each year approximately 5-20% of U.S. residents get the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized for flu-related complications. Most people who get the flu feel much better within one or two weeks. Most healthy adults can infect others one day before symptoms develop and five to seven days after symptoms appear. What are common complications from the seasonal flu? Some people, especially young children and people with weakened immune systems, might be contagious longer.

5 ways to power up your brain in the morning

Plasticity, is believed to underlie the brain’s capacity to control behavior, including learning and memory. Plasticity occurs when neurons are stimulated by events, or information, from the environment. However, sleep and sleep loss modify the expression of several genes and gene products that may be important for synaptic plasticity. Certain forms of long-term potentiation, a neural process associated with the laying down of learning and memory, can be elicited in sleep, suggesting synaptic connections are strengthened while you sleep.