Archive for the ‘Health’ Category
UPDATE – This has completed. We wish a big “Thank You” to everyone who participated, and a big “Congratulations” to the winners. The data collected was very helpful for my wife and her project.
Please help my wife with some research for a class project! Read the email from her below. Thanks!
For one of my classes, I am gathering information on exercise habits of families with children for a class project. By qualifying to complete and completing a brief 10-15 minute survey you will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win one of five $50 Amazon.com Gift Certificates.
Your information will only be used by the five students working on the class project; your information will not be sold or used for any purposes outside this research. Please contact us at info@ExerciseSurvey.com with any questions.
Visit www.ExerciseSurvey.com to begin.
To view the rules and regulations regarding the drawing, please visit the following page: DrawingRules
Please pass this along to others who have families who might be interested in participating as well.
Thank you for your help!
This challenge is to prepare a list of 101 things you would like to do in the next 1001 days. You can choose to start the list today or work on your list and start in the next week. This site is the originator of the idea and the rules:
Tasks must be specific (ie. no ambiguity in the wording) with a result that is either measurable or clearly defined. Tasks must also be realistic and stretching (ie. represent some amount of work on your part).
Here are some other people doing this challenge. Have a look at their lists to get some ideas.
I am creating a page to track my goals and I will post different challenges and results as I go. Now, that I am back from my honeymoon in Greece, and my honey is back in school and spending a lot of her time doing schoolwork, I will have some free time to focus on personal development projects (and maybe doing more posts here too).
Also, tomorrow is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. I’m not Jewish, but I figure this is a perfect time for new resolutions. This holiday is not about drinking, but about self-reflection and self-improvement.
For this challenge, we will adopt a fixed sleep schedule. We will give ourselves a mandatory bed time and a mandatory wake up time. Here are the rules:
- As you begin, pick a sleep schedule. You can pick different schedules for different days of the week. Adhere to the schedule that you pick. Remeber that your body might appreciate having the same times each day.
- Be realistic about the number of hours of sleep you need each night.
- Choose bed times for Friday and Saturday night that are consistent with the social life you desire.
- You can’t use the snooze button on your alarm and you can’t stay in bed past your wake up time.
- You can choose how many weeks to do this challenge for. I am trying it for two.
Don’t forget, the easiest way to wake up early is to go to sleep early.
My fiancee has offered the next personal challenge: To eat a total of five servings of fruits and vegatables each day. She is planning on doing this for a whole month, but the challenge is only for two weeks. We are hoping that eating more good food will fill us up and leave less room for junk food. With our wedding rapidly approaching, maybe we will be heathier and fitter for our big day too.
We can still eat chocolate and ice cream. She hasn’t gone completely crazy.
Excuses are the biggest obstacle to adopting and maintaining good habits.
For this reason, these “Do Something Everyday” challenges are easier than a “Do Something Three Times a Week” challenge. The absolute nature of these “Do Something Everyday” challenges apply tremendous positive force to integrate new habits into your life. They are bulletproof to excuses. You can’t say, “Maybe I’ll skip today and do it tomorrow instead.”
There is a flip side to this though. The problem with these “Do Something Everyday” challenges is that every once in a while you will really, really need to skip a day. That skipped day isn’t even that big a problem. The problem is the day after that and the day after that. As soon as the challenge loses it absolute nature, it looses its teeth.
This is like the dieter that has two pieces of chocolate cake, and then says, “Oh well. My diet is ruined. I might as well have a few more pieces.”
Failing one day does not mean that you have failed the challenge. It means that things just got harder and it is up to you to overcome, persist, and prevail.
Before you start a personal challenge, make up sensible rules and even escape clauses. For example, if you are trying to give up caffeine:
- “I can have X units caffeine if I’ve had less than Y hours of sleep” is a sensible rule.
- “I can have X units of caffeine if I am driving and staying awake is a safety concern” is a sensible rule.
- “I can have caffeine if I’ve had a bad day” is the type of bad rule you would make up in the middle of a bad day. Don’t let yourself do this.
So, make your rules first and stick to them. If you miss a day, don’t give up. You haven’t failed. Stay the course and try harder.
One problem I find with my bad habits is that they are often strongly associated with other environmental factors. When I eat dinner on the couch, I always turn on the TV. So, the only hard part of this past week was trying to break that association.
I know lots of people who have quit smoking, and they have the most trouble in the environments that they associate with smoking. Perhaps when they get in the car there is a trigger to light up. You also see this all the time in bars. I bet there are millions of smokers who failed an attempt to quit while they were at a bar, because they associate, too strongly, smoking with bars and drinking.
I completed this challenge and tonight I watched TV for the first time in ten days. I watched a new episode of Mythbusters on Tivo (while eating dinner, of course).
Researchers found that people with gum disease were two-and-a-half times more likely than those with healthy gums to experience a medical “event” related to heart disease.
This challenge is to floss everyday for two weeks. You know you should. You remember all the things that your dentist tells you with every visit. You want to grow old with your teeth. It isn’t hard. It doesn’t take long. So, why not?
Now for the clarification on that “two-and-a-half times more likely to have a heart attack” statistic: Statistics lie. Although there are several theories that could explain a causal link. In truth, many of the risk factors for heart disease and the risk factors for gum disease are the same. When you try to factor out these common risk factors out of the data, there is not enough correlation in these studies’ sample sizes to confirm causality.