I would like to consider myself a healthy individual with good eating & exercise habits. A habit I also include in my daily routine is taking a multivitamin. Since I was in elementary school, I heard how important it is to “take your vitamins”. In 2010, over 110 million Americans spent over 28 billion dollars on supplements & multivitamins. However, is taking a multivitamin as beneficial as we think it is?
It is a habit that millions of Americans are committed to every day. In fact, some people claim that they need coffee to function on a daily basis. I even quote one of my friends on social network saying “don’t consider me useful to society until I have coffee.” Personally, I do not find myself needing coffee to function daily. However, there are people who drink up to 6 or more cups of coffee today. That makes you ask, “Is drinking coffee good or bad for your health?”
“I will just study the night before and i’ll be fine.” Being a busy college student, I am 100 percent guilty of cramming for an exam. Sitting at my laptop from night time up until the time of the exam the next day. At times it has worked for me, and other times, not so well. It made me wonder, is there a science behind whether or not cramming for an exam is actually affective. A new research conducted at UCLA sums up to answer in a few words, “don’t bother.”
I am by no means a gym rat. I do try to make it a point of emphasis to make it to the gym 5 to 6 times a week. However, if I have something more important to take care of, I am willing to sacrifice my fitness time. Many people believe that spending countless hours in the gym is the key to being healthy. Is that actually as healthy as people think it is? New studies reviled that too much time in the gym can be just as unhealthy as not working out at all.
Once the weekend hits, there is absolutely nothing better than sleeping your days away after a busy week. It can’t be that bad right? I’m sure we have all been told that sleep is very important for our health and well being. According to the article on CNN.com , the average human being sleep 33% of their life. The question that arises now, “exactly how much sleep is too much sleep?”
As college students, we find ourselves busy with trying to get school work done & keep up with our social lives, all while trying to maintain a healthy sleep & exercise routine. Sounds impossible, right? Sometimes you will find yourself picking & choosing which to do on a daily basis. However, there is a simple thing you could be doing daily that has substantial health benefits – walking. Yes, walking is one of the most effective exercises.
Today as I was walking back class I overheard a conversation between a girl and her mother on the phone. The girl was whining that her mother had decided to buy her a new computer for school, instead of an iPad for Christmas. This led me to realize what many Americans have already realized: we’ve really lost the true meaning of Christmas.
The original reason Christians celebrated Christmas was because of the birth of Jesus Christ, whom they believe to be the savior. After Jesus’s birth the wise men brought gifts to the manger where Jesus was born. You’re probably wondering a fat, jolly man in a red suit came into the equation? Well, the legend of Saint Nicholas states that Saint Nicholas was a very rich and giving man who knew of a poor family with three daughters who could not afford to get married, so Saint Nicholas secretly dropped a bag of gold down their chimney. Then there is also the story that some countries in Europe and Scandivia originally celebrated Christmas around the time of the winter solstice (darkest point of the year) to bring some light into the darkness. These are three really different explanations for celebrating Christmas neither of which anyone really seems to remember anymore. Somehow the magic of Jesus’s birth, the kindness of Saint Nicholas, and the light on the darkest day of the year have morphed into a holiday that revolves around arguments over how nice the gift you get is. Christmas has truly become entirely about materialism.
Some people might say why is materialism around Christmas really relevant, the sad part is that the materialism displayed at Christmas seems to be perpetuating all aspects of our society. Today people put more value on the money they make and not enjoying their job, what you wear is more important than what you think, and money can buy anything or anyone. I suspect gained our greediness and materialism right around the time we fogged up the meaning of Christmas. While stopping the materialism around Christmas may not stop the materialism we see all over society, Christmas definitely contributes to the materialism we see everywhere today.
Most people believe that stuffed animals are only for children but I completely disagree to be honest. Luckily for me, thanks to 35% of British adults, I’m not alone. Studies show that 35% of adults in Britain still sleep with a teddy bear for the purposes for de-stressing while they sleep! In their efforts to re-unite past customers with their lost teddy bears, a hotel chain, Travelodge, noticed that many of the teddy bears they were returning belonged to adults and not small children! After making this funny observation, they surveyed about 6,000 adults to find out what their reasons were behind still using a stuffed animal. Their findings were also just as funny.
As it turns out, about 25% of the male respondents will take their teddy bears with them while they’re away on business (or vacation like this guy). It’s comforting for them, even reminds them of home and plus, ” …a cuddle helps them to nod off.” Fifty- one percent of British adults still have a teddy bear from their childhood and the study also found that the average teddy bear is 27 years old! One in ten single men admitted to hiding their stuffed animals when their girlfriends come over and about 14% of married men hide theirs when friends and family come over!
Among other pro- adult teddy bear loving responses that responsdents gave, it’s easy to see that in Great Britain at least, adults having teddy bears is quite acceptable! It’s quite refreshing that this study was able to test Britons’ level of tolerance towards adults with teddies. However, to take the study even further, it would have been awesome to see them expand on their statement that people use their bears to de-stress while they sleep. Testing stress levels of adults of varying ages who still sleep with stuffed animals and comparing them to the stress levels of adults of the same age would be an interesting start to finding out if there really is a true benefit to hanging on to your stuffed animal later in your life. Or is it all just imagined and a stuffed animal doesn’t really do much else but provide something soft for us share our bed with? Also, it would be interesting to compare Britons’ level of tolerance towards adults with stuffed animals to that of Americans’! I get the feeling that in America, the number of men who carry their stuffed animals away on vacation or business would be much lower than 25%. How much of a difference can be expected when we compare stuffed animal tolerance across cultures?
Many of you have most likely seen Luminosity commercials or heard about it’s efficacy. It claims to train your brain using the power of neuroscience and neuroplasticity! How scientific sounding is that?! But are they just using buzzwords or is this legit?
Still sounds pretty convincing. Start their training and they’ll give you an insight into how they will train your brain to be better and smarter.
Graph with a picture of a brain. Can’t go wrong there. Science!
The real question is, does it really work? Go to www.luminosity.com and look at their portion of the science behind it. They claim to have published many papers and given many talks on the project. But that’s from the website itself, of course they’re not going to say it’s a scam. Well a third party study was done on these brain games and Dr. Shelli Kessler has led a study at Stanford to try and prove whether or not these do work.
Her experimental group played the Luminosity game four times a week for 12 weeks. The results before and after the 12 weeks showed they improved on “word finding, executive functioning, and processing speed” over a control group. However this study had flaws, as it depended on self-report for a few measures.
Two more studies gave conflicting results. Professor Susan Jaeggi led a study that showed positive results of brain training game, while a Georgia tech study found no such effect on it’s participants. There is new research coming out that says that playing video games in one area can improve cognition in that area. But for how long? Do you have to constantly play these games to maintain that level of cognition? And are the Luminosity games the best ones for your brain? These questions are still being debated by scientists right now.
I did the free trial myself and this is what Luminosity claimed it could do for me:
But what do those numbers MEAN?! I’ll be 92% better at spotting birds and remembering tiles (two games the trails had me do)? Or will I score better on my completely unrelated biology test? I don’t know about other people that see these ads but it really does seem like a sensationalist scam.
I do not think there is one person in this class that has not eaten a stale chip. I know I will look in the cabinet, reach in for a snack, grab a chip bag down, and when I bite in the chip has a stale taste I’m wicked disappointed. The word stale has been in my vocabulary for as long as I can remember; I have just accepted it, but truly I have no idea why chips go stale in the air and not in the bag that they are in. There is air in the bag isn’t there?
Well the answer is: Nitrogen. The article I said pointed out that if you think of feeling a chip bag, you think of it feeling inflated, similarly to a balloon. This is because chip bags are actually not filled with air but nitrogen gas! The nitrogen gas is actually what keeps the chips from going stale. Oxygen cannot do the trick because it is very reactive and when it is combined with other molecules it can cause chemical reactions. Nitrogen is the opposite being very stable and unreactive. When a food reacts with oxygen it is said to oxidize quickly and these nitrogen atmospheres can prevent that from happening. Something that should be mentioned though is that air is not just oxygen but actually 78% nitrogen gas! So don’t worry opening those chips, nitrogen gas is all around us.