The researchers from University of California, led by Dr Elissa Epel, have found that if you are constantly stressed out, your cells will age faster, you will be at higher risk of age related diseases earlier in life - put simply, you will get old faster and more likely die earlier. If the findings are confirmed, they could provide the first explanation on a cellular level for the well-documented association between psychological stress and increased risk of physical disease, as well as the common perception that unrelenting emotional pressure accelerates the aging process.
“There is this deeply held belief that stress leads to premature aging. But there is no hard evidence for how this might happen,” said Epel. “This is the first time that psychological stress has been linked to a cellular indicator of aging in healthy people.”
How to reduce stress?
- Don't take life too seriously. Not everything will work out perfectly, you may not get everything that you wish, and not every day will be a beautiful day. Accept these realities of life and enjoy what you have.
- Stop worrying. It doesn't help. Do what you have to do and give it your best, but stop worrying. Deal with the consequences and move on.
- Either deal with it or accept it. If there is something that is making you stressed out, act now. Do what needs to be done. If you don't feel like doing anything, then just accept the reality and learn to live with it.
- Have some fun. Yes, laugh as much as you can. Throw a party at your home. Or just invite a few friends to watch a movie or play games. Or do a potluck with friends. Go for a long drive or just go window shopping in the mall. Take a hike in the woods. In other words, there are many simple tricks to de-stress by having some fun.
- Don't be alone. Loneliness is really bad. You don't have to be in a relationship if you don't want to but there is nothing wrong with having friends. Develop a large network of friends by proactively approaching them and suggesting things that you can do together. And keep the diversity. So have friends that you can hike with or to go shopping with or to eat out with or to cook together with or to just watch a movie with. And then have about two or three really close friends that can come by when you want them to. If you are there for them, they will be there for you.
Monday, November 29, 2004
- Remember while The Swan is a so-called reality program, in reality, it is not real. This program, like all other reality programs, is choreographed for each and every second. It is indeed true that the contestants are average Janes, but that is where the reality ends.
- The Swan approach costs tens of thousands of dollars and is, therefore, beyond the means of most Americans.
- There is too much emphasis on plastic surgery. Several plastic surgeons actually think that in order to create an illusion of perfection and to create the dramatic effects, the producers of the program do too many procedures. While this may produce remarkable short-term results, as everyone knows, the more surgery you have, higher the chances of complications later on in life.
So what is an optimum approach to turn yourself into a Swan?
- Think long-term and set goals that can be as ambitious as you want to be, but break them down into realistic steps. For instance, it is unrealistic to plan to lose 100 lbs in four weeks but if you set a goal of 5 lbs each month you can lose 100 lbs in a year and a half. Sounds too long? It is, but it is better to lose it all in 20 months at a pace that you can do it and enjoy it than to lose less than what you wanted and give up after three months.
- Plastic surgery has its place in a makeover, but towards the very end. When you have achieved your desired weight, you will see that some parts of the body need finishing touches. Let the plastic surgeon take the extra skin out and give you the lifts that you will need.
- Remember beauty is not just external. It is what is inside you that makes it all happen. Find out what is wrong inside your head. Are you depressed? Do you have low self esteem? Do you lack a loving relationship? Before you can be truly beautiful, you will need to deal with deeper emotional issues as well. Work with a personal life coach or a counselor or even a mentor or a friend so that you can cleanse your soul and move on.
- Make structural changes in your life. Change your daily routine. Incorporate a healthy diet. Dress tastefully and stylishly. Give your very best to your relationship (if you have one) or get active to find one.
Sunday, November 28, 2004
XM radio uses satellite technology for personal use
MyFi™, the first personal, portable XM2GO is a satellite radio that delivers XM's Ultimate PlayList™ anytime, anywhere - at home, at work, in the car and now, on the go.
The hand-held MyFi gives users the personal freedom to enjoy XM Radio's Ultimate PlayList of more than 130 digital XM channels in two ways: a "live" listening mode and a time-shifting "memory" mode. The MyFi's live mode enables users to listen live to all of XM's 68 commercial-free music channels, plus premier news, sports, talk (Howard Stern, Bob Edwards, etc.), traffic and weather channels. MyFi's memory mode - called "My XM" -- allows users to store five hours or more of XM's outstanding content with the press of a button, even when the unit is not in use.
Is this some kind of an iPod then? Well, sort of, except that you never need to worry about running out of memory or deleting old songs. You always have so many choices that you can literally listen to your favorites all the time.
How to buy a satellite radio?
How to buy satellite television?
Friday, November 26, 2004
What you need to watch out for, though, is smartly managing your personal finances. While the credit card companies may be advertising aggressively why you should charge everything to your card (to collect airline miles, for instance), at the end of it all, you will need to pay the bills (Related article: How to avoid bankruptcy?). Here are a few simple tips for personal finance during the holidays:
- Set a reasonable budget, preferably based on the savings that you have so that you do not have to borrow to shop (it is OK to charge it to your credit card if you collect miles or points).
- Do not try to impress anyone. Buy what you can afford. At the end of the holidays when you have no debts to pay, you will be in great mood and start the new year with a smile.
- Shop online and do some price comparison. The reasons are strong in favor of online shopping. Since online stores do not have retail stores or sales staff and can have their warehouse in remote locations, their cost of doing business is low. In most cases, the savings are simply passed on to their customers for competitive reasons.
- Take advantage of bulk discounts, free shipping, etc.
- Be careful shopping in malls. The actual sales do not begin until after the new year. Any sales prior to that is just a way to bring customers in to the store and make them spend their money. In other words, a ripoff. If you want to get some bargains for yourself, wait till January 1 to shop in a mall. At that time, online shops will have even bigger discounts.
- The best things in life, as they say, are free (or quite inexpensive). Entertain friends and family at home rather than in expensive restaurants. Make greeting cards and gifts by hand at home. If possible, travel after January 1.
Recommended links: MYNIPPON lifestyle channel
Monday, November 22, 2004
That is when it is helpful to rely on someone else to do the work for you. That is exactly what MYNIPPON has done. We have essentially put together our top ten gifts. If you look at our selection, you can basically find a gift for almost everyone. If not, contact MYNIPPON and we will be happy to make suggestions.
Top ten gift ideas from MYNIPPON
Research conducted by MYNIPPON shows that people would rather get no gift than get an inappropriate gift. Yes, that is how mean we have become in today's fast-paced society. So when one receives that 17th red tie or 9th pair of gloves, we find it to be a hassle to bring it back to the store. (Related: Valentines day gift)
So what to do when you don't know what gift to give?
- Gift certificates: They come in all denominations and you can buy these from American Express (or a similar institution) so that they can be used at hundreds of locations. It is now possible to order gift checks online so that you don't even have to worry about sending them securely. Someone else takes care of it.
- Wine: Unless the recipient does not drink alcohol, wine is an ideal gift. No one can argue about a bottle of wine.
- Personal care product (not perfumes): For instance, body lotions, bath salts/soaps, etc. are great gifts for both men and women. We all will be happy to use them.
- Special gifts: This requires some thinking but what we are talking about here are gifts that are too special and somewhat unconventional. For instance, a family member who will do great with teeth whitening but does not have the resources to do it, or a person who has not taken a vacation for years, or a highly stressed out person who could use a day of beauty at a spa. So think hard what can make a big difference in someone's life and select the special gift. No matter how rich the person, sometimes they do not even realize what they are missing. So when you send them a gift certificate to go to the spa, they will appreciate the thought even though they could have done it themselves.
Other gift ideas
For those who are new to wireless home networking, a kit will contain a router that connects to the DSL or cable modem. This router will then divide the incoming signal into several (typically four wired connections) and also send a very powerful wireless signal. Most laptop computers already come with a built-in networking card and these will detect a wireless signal automatically. Otherwise the recipient can buy a card online for about $30 (or even less on eBay).
What to watch out for when buying a WI-FI wireless home networking kit?
- Buy the kit rather than individual components unless you are a master of technology. Buying a kit means that all parts will talk to each other without any problem and the recipient will have no trouble installing it.
- As we always say, buy the latest technology, which can be somewhat more expensive but it also means that it will be of use to the recipient for a while.
- Do some research before buying so that you can pick the kit that will work for the recipient's home. For instance, you can get away with an inexpensive kit if the recipient lives in a one-bedroom home but will need to buy something more powerful if s/he lives in a two/three floor home.
Other gift ideas
That is why digital cameras make as excellent gifts for literally anyone. Yes, some models are so easy to use that even grandma can use it. What if she does not know how to download them on a computer and do all the neat things that one can do with digital photographs? Nothing to worry. Almost all photo stores will now accept your digital cameras and produce traditional pictures if you want. There are other simple alternatives for you to watch digital photos on your television or special viewers that you can even put by the side of Grandma's bedside table.
What to watch out for while buying a digital camera?
- Who is the recipient? Is it a gadget-crazy teenager or grandma? Or is it a photography enthusiast? That will determine what kind of resolution you will need and how much you will need to spend.
- You don't have to buy any extra accessories. Just stick to what you will get with the camera. That will be fine for Grandma and if your teenage nephew wants to attach all the funky accessories that he wants to, let him find those himself on eBay.
- Buy something that is "new." Remember these things get obsolete pretty soon so if you buy a model that is already six months old, in another few months it will be sold as an antique item on eBay. While new models are somewhat more expensive, the recipient is more likely to use it for a couple of months and think about you.
- While many stores carry digital cameras, stores are best for doing research, if at all you want to get out of the house to shop. The best way to buy is to look for deals online. There are dozens of online stores that sell digital cameras at discount prices.
Other gift ideas
Photo courtesy: Mary Vogt
What you will have to watch out for is how the cell phone is going to fit into the complex world of agreements, coverage, monthly charges, etc. Since phones bought from one company do not work for another provider, what you might want to give is at least one year of lowest level service as well. Most cell phone companies will take care of transferring the number.
What to watch out for when giving a cell phone as a gift?
- When picking the phone, take a look at the recipient's current cell phone to find out the preference: looks, features, size, etc. How does s/he use it? Is s/he on the phone all day or is an occasional user? Will s/he use text messaging or not?
- When picking a plan, the main considerations are how heavy a user the recipient is and what the penalties are if the person decides to terminate the agreement before.
- Find out the return policies of the phone company so if s/he does not like the phone or the plan, s/he can at least exchange it for what s/he likes.
- Ignore the salespeople if you commit the big mistake of buying in a store. Spend some time researching the choices online and then place the order. The sales staff at cell phone kiosks in the mall have no time in explaining the fine points, want to close the sale as soon as possible, and typically work on commission and never take the time to learn about the product.
Other gift ideas
Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Gift chocolates to a woman
According to Italian researchers, women who eat chocolate regularly had the highest levels of desire and satisfaction from physical intimacy. "Women who have a daily intake of chocolate showed higher levels of desire than women who did not have this habit," the study found. Dr Andrea Salonia, author of the study - funded by a university, not by the confectionery industry - said women who had a low libido could become more amorous after eating chocolate. "Chocolate is not like a food, it's like a drug," she continues. Women who suffer mood swings as a result of their menstrual cycle may also suffer a dip in their desire. Dr. Salonia believes that eating chocolate may improve their desire. (Related: How to spice it up in bedroom)
How to give a chocolate gift?
- It is not the amount that matters; it is the quality. So buy only the highest quality chocolate. You can also print photos on chocolate now.
- There are low-calorie versions of chocolates available if she is on a diet.
- Chocolate does not always have to be eaten in its sweet form. Chocolates can be used in drinks and Mexican/Latin cuisine has many dishes made from chocolate.
- Dark chocolate is always better.
Recommended links: How to seduce women?
Monday, November 15, 2004
Having said that, it is important for women to realize that they might have to wear something just to please their partner, particularly if it is a gift. As Alice writes to us, "I have never been a big fan of thongs but I have a big collection of them because Thomas keeps buying those for me. I wear them whenever I know he is likely to see me; on other occasions, I wear what I like - boy shorts."
Byron writes, "I've been going out with Renee, 26, for a couple of years. A couple of times in the past I have bought her lingerie - both times, my gift included a g-string. Trouble is, she hardly ever wears them! When she does, she says it is to get rid of lines across her back. We went to a wedding last weekend and she wore a g-string voluntarily - to my delight! But I wish she didn't think along such practical lines. I wish she'd wear them more often. Her body is perfectly shaped for them, but she says she doesn't much like them. Anyone else encountered similar reluctance among girls to wear thongs and g-strings?"
Our research has shown that many women do not like thongs. Others cannot wear for a variety of reasons. (Related article: Do only bad girls wear thongs?) So if you are in the same situation as Byron, don't get too frustrated and just let her wear what she likes. Our message to the girls: There is nothing bad about wearing a thong and if your partner likes to see you in one, give it a try. You will learn to like them; as many women have found out.
Recommended article: T-backs are back
Sunday, November 14, 2004
If you are a woman reading this: Don't send a gift to a man this Thanksgiving even if that seems like a reasonable idea. Wait till Christmas.
Why sending gifts is a good idea?
- It creates more value. You must be wondering why we would use such a technical expression. OK, let us be simple. In other words, you get more for what you spend. You probably know that a woman goes nuts when you give her $10 flowers than when you spend $50 on a meal or a $100 on that scarf. The same thing applies to a gift on Thanksgiving. It carries way too much sentimental value even if all you do is to send spa gift certificate for $25.
- You can say a lot without saying anything. If you end up sending to the wrong person (one who is not interested in you, but you are interested in her) or you send it a bit earlier than expected, well then, it was just a Thanksgiving gift. And if the timing is right, you might just help her make up her mind that you are the one because you care for her.
What is an appropriate way to select and send a gift for Thanksgiving?
- A lot will depend on the person you are sending the gift to and how much you know about her. So try to find out as much as you can about her and then pick the gift. If you don't know enough and can't find out more either, stick to neutral gifts, e.g., a daily organizer or wine bottle opener or a box of handmade, gourmet chocolates, cookies, baskets of gourmet foods or personal care products.
- If you know, for instance, that she likes books by a specific writer or is a fan of certain band, then the choice is easy.
- You absolutely must send the gift by a third party even if someone you know could deliver it to her. There is no greater feeling than to receive a Fedex package with a gift inside. Even more importantly, send it to her work address if you can. That is why online shopping for gifts is a great idea.
- Once you have sent the gift, be prepared. You will definitely get a response even if it is not as warm a response as you wanted. So no reason to get disappointed.
Photo courtesy: Jane Sawyer
Friday, November 12, 2004
So why do we like Ryan Starr's style?
- It is for everyone. When you see other celebrities, you wonder if you can ever dress like one of them. With Ryan, you feel that you could imagine dressing like her.
- We are also big fans of women wearing ties.
- There is no better way to put together an attract outfit than to use creative neck accessories. (Related article: Jewelry accessories)
- Finally, the attitude. While Ryan knows that she is not just the next-door girl, her attitude is of someone who is confident without being arrogant.
Photo courtesy: Yahoo
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Now because they work 24X7X365 and basically do not require any intervention from us, we rarely pay attention to them. At least one can listen to the heartbeat; but the brain - we don't even realize sometimes that it is there. But you have to take as much care of the brain as you would of your face or hands or any other part of the body. Here are some tips to keep your memory and brain healthy for a long time:
- Food: Brain loves to feed on some good stuff, like amino and fatty acids. See if you can eat foods rich in them, for instance, leafy vegetables, fish (particularly salmon), and nuts. If you can find some good supplements containing Omega 3 fatty acids, try to include them in your diet.
- Drink: Yes, we are not talking alcohol. Water is great. As much as you can. In fact, you should keep the consumption of alcohol to a minimal level.
- Exercise: Now brain does not get any exercise when you actually workout but when you do, blood flows faster in your body and you breathe harder taking in more oxygen and eliminating waste. That is good for the brain and its capacity for memory.
- Clean lifestyle: Stay away from polluted parts. And also stay away from all the bad stuff like drugs and smoking. Definitely not a great way to keep your memory sharp. (Related: Dangers of excessive drinking and smoking)
- Attitude and spirit: Stay happy and relaxed, no matter what. The more you try to stress yourself out the more you destroy your brain and that means loss of brain cells and memory.
- Challenge the brain: Since brain has more processing power than even the fastest computer on the planet, it hates to sit idle (though we know that it likes short spells of relaxation music or naps). In other words, use it. Crossword puzzles are great, particularly if you are cramped in a tiny seat on a plane. Video games are great to push the brain and test its limits. In any case, keep learning new stuff, like scuba diving or a foreign language.
Monday, November 08, 2004
You would be surprised to know that people in the richest country in the world are becoming less healthy as we have better and more information about health (disseminated more frequently through television and Internet) and drugs to cure more diseases (though fewer people have access to them due to rising number of people without healthcare). What a shame! Why don't we declare a health emergency?
The United Health Foundation board reports that during the 2000s, health in the United States has improved by an annual rate of only 0.2 percent each year – 1/8 the rate experienced during the 1990s. This report reveals that the prevalence of obesity – defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30.0 or higher – has increased by 97.0 percent since 1990, and now affects 22.8 percent of the total population of the United States. Obesity is known to contribute to a variety of diseases like diabestes and cancer, preventable healthcare costs and diminished workplace productivity. (If you do not know what your BMI is, please use the BMI calculator)
The bottom three states in this year’s report are Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Alabama and Mississippi have the greatest prevalence of obesity, with over 28 percent of the population being obese. Clearly there is a correlation here between poverty and obesity. Sounds ironical, but that is the way it is in America.
“During the last four years, the data clearly indicate that we as a nation still have a lot more work to do in improving risk factors that result in disease. This year’s report specifically highlights the prevalence of obesity, the infant mortality rate – which has experienced its first increase in 40 years – and access to essential health services as priorities for action,” explained Dr. William McGuire, chairman of the United Health Foundation board. “If we are to succeed in combating the obesity epidemic, individuals need to make responsible choices, communities need to mobilize resources, and effective public policies need to be enacted that promote appropriate childhood nutrition and encourage physical activity,” added Dr. Reed Tuckson, vice president for United Health Foundation.
So what can we do to protect our health?
Actually, it is not rocket science and we should already know this but let us review them one more time:
- Eat in accordance with your lifestyle. Barely enough to keep you going.
- Exercise regularly. Remember exercise is not just going to the gym. So if you can not afford going to the gym because you don't have money or time, you can still exercise: walk when you can instead of using the phone, use the stairs when possible, do things yourself rather than asking others, and there are lots of ways in which you can exercise and have fun (bellydancing, karate, yoga, etc.). Related article: Lose weight and have fun
- Sleep well. 8 hours will be great. Related article: Sleep and good health
- Drink plenty of water.
- It is OK to snack but how about a fruit instead? (Related article: Easy snacks for a healthy diet)
- Throw out junk food from you home and from your diet. A trip to a fast food restaurant is fine when you are driving long distance and it is the only choice to eat in a hurry in a rest area, but there is simply no excuse to eat a 2,000 calorie meal as a matter of habit. And by the way, toys are pretty cheap these days in Wal-Mart. You don't have to bring the kids to a fast food restaurant for the sake of toys. If the kids still insist, it is OK to pay for the toys without the food.
Recommended articles: Lose weight easily
Thursday, November 04, 2004
Adultery by a man is heartbreaking for a woman because she starts to doubt herself. She starts to think that there was something wrong with her or her relationship that her boyfriend had no choice but to cheat. But that is not always the case. In fact that is rarely the case. Some men just are adulterous by nature and it has very little to do with their current relationship. In fact they continue to love deeply their spouse or girlfriend while committing adultery at the same time. In their minds, it is just a diversion or a way to satisfy either their needs or their curiosity or they just like to have it with more than one woman.
Here are few suggestions on dealing with a cheating boyfriend or a husband?
- Do not doubt yourself or destroy your self-esteem.
- Do not just end the relationship if you have been with him for so long and he is otherwise a wonderful man.
- You do need to have a conversation with him to find out what is on his mind, what he expects from the relationship, and what can both of you do together so that this does not happen again.
- Develop an action plan so that he can end his adulterous relationship(s) and get professional help.
- Agree on a course of action so that if he commits adultery again, you are free to do what you agreed upon without any discussions at all.
Related articles: How to keep your man for life?
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
The Journal is reporting that eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily has been recommended to reduce a person's risk of cardiovascular disease. In the analysis of different groups of fruits and vegetables, consumption of green leafy vegetables showed the strongest inverse association with both cardiovascular disease and major chronic disease—that is, cancer and cardiovascular disease combined.
How to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables in your diet?
- Eat a fruit as a snack. When I go to work, apart from lunch box (which of course, has plenty of vegetables), I also bring a snack to eat when I get somewhat hungry around 3 PM.
- No matter what the menu for a meal is, always include at least one vegetable. If my wife cannot find anything, she will simply boil some broccoli or cauliflower or green beans.
- It is wrong to think that you can not live on a vegetarian diet. Make some vegetarian friends (a lot of Hindus and Buddhists eat only vegetables and have great recipes to share).
- Mix vegetables in your meat dish. For example, add some squash or mushroom or broccoli to your chicken or shrimp dish. Try similar other combinations and you will discover a host of new dishes.
Recommended articles: Suggestions for fruits and vegetable snacks
Photo courtesy: Wouter de Bie
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Olive oil benefits
Surprisingly enough, as we were doing our budget, my wife mentioned that she has seen the prices of olive oil go up during last couple of months even when she buys it at BJ's - a discount club for our area. I suggested that in order to keep our expenses within budget, we might want to cut back on olive oil consumption.
But it seems that we will be reverting to our original consumption levels in order to maintain our healthy lifestyle. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a qualified health claim for monounsaturated fat from olive oil and reduced risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). In the opinion of FDA, there is limited but not conclusive evidence that suggests that consumers may reduce their risk of CHD if they consume monounsaturated fat from olive oil and olive oil-containing foods (about two tablespoons or 23 grams a day) in place of foods high in saturated fat, while at the same time not increasing the total number of calories consumed daily.
How do we use olive oil? Like any other oil. We hardly consume any butter and when we need fat, we just use olive oil. The point to note is that if you use extra virgin olive oil (like we do), use less of it.
Lose weight without a diet
Watch your weight during the holidays
Suffering from obesity
Photo courtesy: Natascha Rausch
How to delay cellulite?
Laura writes, "Cellulite or swellings of veins can be prevented by keeping your skin cool. For example, avoid taking sunbaths, or wearing tight-fitting garments. Things to do are: wear fine and fresh garments, use long skirts even in autumn or a maximum of 20 denier tights. Also expose your legs to fresh air as often as you can. I usually wear long skirts without tights and very rarely do I wear jeans or pants."
Laura is only partly right. If you do everything that she is suggesting you are not likely to delay or eliminate cellulite altogether but following her tips is good for overall skin health. As pointed out in our article on skincare by skin type, exposure to extreme cold or hot temperatures is likely to cause damage to the skin. Therefore, try to avoid, as much as you can, such exposure. We have also pointed out in our article on effective anti-aging products, that sun is the biggest culprit when it comes to damaging the skin and making you look old. So Laura is right about that - stay away from the sun.
Plastic surgery for cellulite
But what to do when you are only 9 years old and have to deal with unwanted hair on the body. Tracey, the mother of this 9-year old writes, "My daughter is concerned with the dark hair showing on her arms and legs. Whilst I appreciate that she is too young for waxing/shaving etc., I was wondering if by rubbing the hairs with fresh lemon would lighten them?"
As pointed out in our article on skincare using natural products like lemon, it is indeed a good idea to use lemon juice to lighten the hair color. However, here are a few tips to remember:
- Lemon can irritate the skin; so if that happens, stop immediately.
- Since your daughter is too young, it is best to keep the frequency of lemon application low.
- If lemon does not do the trick, peroxide is another solution but it is not a natural product and is too strong. We are not recommending it to most of our readers for this very reason but a lot of women use it.