by Mark Miller 4 min read
A walk in the woods, photo by Mark Miller
Do you want to reduce stress, lower your blood pressure, improve your mood, feel less tired and more alive?Experts say a quick way to do all this is to take a 20-minute walk outside or spend other quality time outdoors.It's called nature therapy.
Research on the topic of the invigorating effects of being outside goes back a ways, but the topic is having a resurgence lately.
Harvard Health Letter's blog has a posting titled Spending Time Outdoors is Good for You.
Another Harvard Health blog states that if you are in a sour mood, spending time outside can be beneficial:
Looking for a simple way to help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and maybe even improve your memory? Take a walk in the woods.
The Harvard blog says being outside has several benefits :
Speed healing from injury or disease. "In one study, people recovering from spinal surgery experienced less pain and stress and took fewer pain medications when they were exposed to natural light. An older study showed that the view out the window (trees vs. a brick wall) helped recovery in the hospital," Harvard says.
As we mentioned, being outside can reduce stress. Business Insider writes that just having a view of the outdoors at work can result in lower stress and more job satisfaction.
Amos Clifford discusses forest therapy or forest bathing.
Business Insider mentions two studies that cite a reduction in stress levels from being outside :
One study found that students sent into the forest for two nights had lower levels of cortisol — a hormone often used as a marker for stress — than those who spent that time in a city.
In another study, researchers found a decrease in both the heart rates and levels of cortisol of participants who spent time in the forest compared to those in the city.
"Stressful states can be relieved by forest therapy," the researchers concluded.
Business Insider says studies have shown a marked mental improvement among those who spend time outside. Depression and anxiety and other mental problems all are eased by spending time in nature.
Couple your outdoor activities with exercise, and you will really find an improvement. Business Insider says:
One study found that walks in the forest were associated with decreased levels of anxiety and bad moods, and another found that outdoor walks could be "useful clinically as a supplement to existing treatments" for major depressive disorder.
"Every green environment improved both self-esteem and mood," found an analysis of 10 earlier studies about so-called "green exercise." That review also indicated that "the mentally ill had one of the greatest self-esteem improvements."
The Business Insider article says other studies have found that nature therapy and being outside results in:
The mints have 40 mg of caffeine, are sugar-free and freshen the breath, plus they contain invigorating B vitamins.
Which brings us to all the other ways that caffeine benefits people. Our Viter Energy Mints blog did a posting titled Evidence piles up that caffeine is good for us.
According to various experts, caffeine:
So combine the outdoors time with caffeine, and maybe you will really have a big effect on your health.
by Mark Miller 3 min read
Erectile dysfunction. In combination, those are two of the ugliest words known to man. But can caffeine help you get it up?
Science hasn't found the definitive answer to this question, but one study concluded that fewer men who consume caffeine have problems performing. The study said:
Caffeine intake reduced the odds of prevalent ED, especially an intake equivalent to approximately 2-3 daily cups of coffee (170-375 mg/day). This reduction was also observed among overweight/obese and hypertensive, but not among diabetic men. Yet, these associations are warranted to be investigated in prospective studies
by Mark Miller 4 min read
Many breastfeeding mothers wonder if it's OK to take caffeine. In fact, many nursing mothers just avoid caffeine in case it would keep their babies fussy, jittery and awake.
The answer is yes, you can take caffeine while breastfeeding, as long as you don't go over about 300 mg a day.
It's an important question because caffeine is in so many products, and taking coffee, tea, or soda is such a common ritual.
And breastfeeding mothers may be tempted to take caffeinated products because they are deprived of sleep by their newborns' odd sleep schedule.
by Mark Miller 5 min read
You might think gum chewing is an activity with little or no benefits besides the pleasure and flavor, but think again. Chewing gum has several benefits.
In addition to freshening your breath, sugar-free gum can help prevent cavities and contribute to overall oral health. But that's just the beginning.