Wednesday, December 19, 2018

How Good Posture Can Make You Happier

Have you noticed that you slump or hunch over when you’re feeling down and do just the opposite – stand up straight and tall – when you’re feeling good? Studies show that your mind (or mood) influences your body (posture) and vice versa – your body language influences your confidence and energy. Once you realize this, you can make it work to your advantage. Here’s what you should know:  How good posture looks and feels, and what you can do to improve yours this New Year. • Go to a site such as and search for “tips to maintain good posture.” • Exercise (stretching, walking, running, yoga) to improve your mobility and flexibility. Get away from “couch slouching.” • Watch Amy Cuddy’s popular 2012 TED Talk. Just search for “Amy Cuddy Ted Talk” on She explains how doing certain “power poses” every day will actually change your hormone levels and relieve stress.  The benefits of avoiding “computer hunch.” Sitting at a computer or looking down at a phone causes a natural slump and ultimately fatigue. If you learn to sit properly, move your eyes away from the screen and take breaks from the computer and phone, you’re bound to clear your mind, and feel refreshed and more energetic.  “Fake it ‘til you make it” might just work. It sounds funny, but even if you’re not in a good mood, try adjusting your posture, holding your head up and projecting confidence. People will react to you accordingly, sending positive feelings to your brain.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Become Smarter With Your Money in the New Year

Are you smart when it comes to money? Since many of us would say “probably not,” here are some basic bad money habits and good ones you should adopt to replace them in the New Year. Bad: Using the same credit card for years. Good: Get a new card with terms and rewards that are appropriate to your life style. Use the credit card tool on a site like to choose the best card to meet your needs. Bad: Not tracking your spending. Good: Make a budget and have a plan. Track your spending and be prepared for major purchases that may lie ahead. Check out sites like,, and the free app Debts Monitor. Bad: Doing everything manually. Good: Take advantage of technology by setting up automatic payments tied to your credit card for bills that can be paid online. You’ll avoid late payments that can lower your credit score. Bad: Not investing your money. Good: Invest in yourself now by contributing to your employer’s 401(k) program, and putting money into a mutual fund or trading account. Consider talking to a financial advisor who can help you make investment decisions. It might be a good time to consider investing in real estate if it works for your portfolio! Bad: Going it alone. Good: Hang out with successful people. Their good habits can rub off on you!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Causes and Cures of Pain

From aching joints to general fatigue, sometimes we’re plagued by symptoms, but we don’t know what the medical problem could be at the root of our pain. Here are a few health issues that could be causing your problems, and a few “quick tips” that may help. 1. Backaches – An old mattress can cause back pain, but you may want to have your doctor check your vitamin D levels – a deficiency can cause back and joint pain. A daily supplement can help if that’s the culprit. Weakened vertebrae, muscle fatigue, and back spasms may be eased with daily stretching, yoga, and hot and cold therapy applied via heating pads and ice packs (see your doctor for help with how to use this correctly). 2. Aching joints – Pain sensitivity is particularly acute for women who have gone through menopause. If you eat tomatoes, eggplant, potatoes, dairy, and/or gluten, keep a food diary to see if food sensitivity is a culprit of your pain. 3. Lethargy and fatigue – Remaining alert and awake ensures you’re working at your highest levels of productivity. If you’re also suffering from sensitivity to cold and unexplained weight gain, hypothyroidism could be to blame. Of course, poor sleep could be at fault; get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise every day to increase levels of deep sleep. 4. Foot pain – Though gout affects joints throughout the body, the most common place for this painful condition to occur is the base of the big toe. Pain concentrated in the heel or arch of the foot may result from plantar fasciitis. Ditch the high heels and tight-fitting shoes, and lose excess weight to help decrease pain. Alcohol and stress can increase gout flare-ups. For a more comprehensive list of possible hidden causes and cures of pain, try this online tool: