Category Archives: Spirituality

Walking meetings increase physical activity and improve bodily health

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Walking

Walking for Health: Is it time to rethink traditional work meetings? Replacing a seated work meeting with a walking meeting can increase workers’ physical activity and lead to positive health effects, according to researchers from the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine. As part of a study, the researchers recruited 17 workers who led weekly meetings. The workers agreed to wear an accelerometer to track their physical activity at work during a three-week period. They also adhered to guidelines for conducting meetings and note-taking while walking. The protocol included following a set route and walking for at least 30 minutes per meeting.

Results showed that, by the third week, participants had increased their moderate-vigorous physical activity to 117 minutes – up from 107 the first week and 114 the second week. Walking meetings and other interventions to increase physical activity are necessary to “counter the negative health effects of sedentary behavior,” Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, the study’s principal investigator and assistant professor of public health sciences, said in a press release.

Brisk walking for as little as 15 minutes per day can increase a person’s life expectancy by up to three years, researchers said. “Walking is known to have tremendous health benefits,” Hannah Kling, lead study author and project director, said in the release. “Having sedentary, white-collar workers consider walking meetings feasible suggests that this intervention has the potential to positively influence the health of many individuals.” The study was published June 23 in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.  –Safety & Health

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Precocious kids becoming vegan over growing awareness of animal cruelty

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Vegan Kids

DIET & HEALTHWhen her parents left her with Grandpa and Grandma for a weekend last October, Morgan Greenfield was an adorable 7-year-old who happily devoured ice cream and pizza. They came home to an avowed chicken-finger-shunning vegan. “Morgan just decided, ‘I’m not eating anything that has to do with animals anymore,’ ” says a gobsmacked Felicia of her vigilant second-grader. “It wasn’t gradual. She was, ‘No, I’m done.’”

In 2009, just 1 percent of the US population classified themselves as vegans and vegetarians. Now 5 percent do, and the trend is trickling down to the sandbox set. Long before they hit puberty, precocious local kids are going vegan of their own volition, influenced by social media and a growing awareness of animal cruelty.

“Young people are tuned in to this issue more than ever,” says longtime vegan Gene Baur, co-founder of Farm Sanctuary, a livestock protection organization in upstate New York. “We’re connected to animals and we’re eating these animals.”

To hear Morgan tell it, her come-to-Jesus moment was one of profound clarity, though she can’t recall if there was something — a TV show, a book or a Facebook post — that inspired it. “Something popped up in my mind that said, ‘Don’t hurt the animals, no dairy or eggs,’ ” says the youngster, who admits she misses M&Ms. Morgan’s parents are struggling to keep up with her new diet, and that of her sister, Danielle, 10, who went vegan a few months after Morgan.

Their mother, Felicia, worked with a vegan coach for six weeks to learn to cook plant-based meals. “I thought, ‘Oh boy, I have to teach her to eat her veggies, and I don’t even know that much about it,’” says the Upper East Side mom, who wasn’t much of a cook and had previously served her kids lunch meats and hot dogs.  –NY Post

Fit For Life

Gifted Children: personality traits to describe precocious children

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Dakota Fanning

“There’s been two people I’ve met that’s amazed me. One was Angelina Jolie, and the other was Dakota Fanning. I’m convinced this child has the soul of a 40 year old person.” -Denzel Washington, discussing his film Man on Fire  

 

Precocious Children“Getting into everything,” “stubborn” and, sometimes, “a pain in the neck” are just a few of the ways precocious children are described. Many personality traits associated with precocious children stem from their advanced language and reasoning abilities. Unfortunately, this makes it that much harder to trick your toddler into believing that his fish “went swimming” down the toilet or that the hair dryer only works when it’s held by an adult. Understanding these personality traits can make it easier to handle those “memorable” situations.

Empathy

When she was 2 years old, your precocious little one sobbed seeing a bird eating a live worm, and by 5 she’s contemplating a vegan lifestyle. A lot of precocious children decide to become vegetarians. Early on in life, they may develop a heightened awareness of the treatment of animals and may decide they want to become vegans or vegetarians. Precocious kids often have a highly developed sense of morality and emotional understanding, notes Linda Silverman, Ph.D., in “Early Signs of Giftedness.” Such children are often described as sensitive and caring by their classmates and peers, even during situations that would leave her peers unfazed.

Persistence

Precocious children are often dogged in their pursuit of solving a challenge; like that cell phone back you thought was so securely in place. Their ability to think of alternative solutions combined with the desire to learn means precocious children may spend long periods trying to solve a challenging puzzle or building a difficult block tower. This trait may be misinterpreted as being stubborn, given that a precocious child may become so relentless in his pursuits that he resents interruption for other necessary activities.

Creativity

The creativity of a precocious child doesn’t necessarily end with the recent “mural” she drew on the dining room wall. A precocious child often finds several different ways to reach the same end-point, whether it’s solving a shape puzzle or figuring out how to lasso the cookie tin with a dress sash. Her work habits may appear unconventional or non-conforming, which can make her seem uncooperative or uncontrollable since she’s always figuring out new ways to accomplish a task or access prohibited items.

Curiosity

Curiosity can equate to asking “why” every five minutes or wanting to talk about connections he’s making. For example, a precocious toddler listening to a story about a magic scarf might ask lots of questions about how the magic scarf was made, where it came from and the material, rather than simply accepting that the scarf was magical. One-sentence answers rarely satisfy a precocious child’s curiosity, and it can feel overwhelming to keep up with the barrage of questions. As noted in “Education of Gifted and Talented Children,” by Gary Davis et al., it’s important to stimulate his curiosity by searching for the answer together.  –Our Everyday Life

Making the most of those life experiences

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Cliff

Life ExperiencesThe purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

If you ask anyone what the purpose of life is, you’ll likely receive wildly different responses. The answer to this question is subjective and deeply personal. Different things are important to us throughout the course of our lives. Yet one thing stays with us no matter where we go: our experiences. Finding ways to make the most of our experiences is a challenge that we face every day. As humans we ascribe value to the things we do, and it’s understandable. We like to feel that what we are doing has purpose. It’s important to find fulfillment in our relationships and careers. Cultivate your friendships and find company cultures that fulfill you. It’s from those experiences in life that we learn and grow. In this process of pursuing what we love, we can learn valuable lessons about ourselves and the world around us.

Pursue what you love

There’s a maturity that comes with the experience of pursuing your dreams. Before you can do that, it’s important to take inventory of your priorities. What are you passionate about? What makes you feel alive? Where do your talents thrive? Not everyone values the same things or thinks the same way, and that’s OK.

The number one way to live a life free of regret is to pursue those interests after you’ve identified them. Passion and drive can wither and die without actions supporting them. Your time is precious. It’s common to struggle with feelings of futility of when you don’t make immediate progress. We can’t choose the outcome of our actions, but we can choose everyday to keep pursuing. Every day take an action, no matter how small, to achieve your goals. Write in your blog, do those push-ups, and practice your singing. Build upon your momentum. Each day is a step forward and none of it is wasted.

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Learn from your mistakes

You’ll stumble and you’ll fall, and that’s okay. I’ve taken jobs I shouldn’t have and moved for the wrong reasons. Though that time spent may seem like a waste, I learned a lot from those experiences. It takes time to gain confidence in yourself. It takes time to learn how to stand on your own. Building connections and making friends is a process like anything else. You might fail sometimes, but you’ll learn new ways to achieve your goals in the process.

Guy Kawasaki discusses this in his book, “Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.” He highlights how to pursue your goals, how to project your authentic self, and how to overcome opposition. All of these can be achieved through self-awareness and discovery. His business advice is widely applicable to the many challenges we face in life

If you want to change the world, you need to start by changing yourself. Making mistakes is the surest path to grow and mature as a person. The knowledge you gain will empower you to succeed in the future. Many of my strongest memories come from the times I’ve failed, and those lessons have stayed with me. There is virtue in failure. Time and perspective allows me to see the value of even the most painful situation.

Take care of yourself

Difficult and painful experiences shape our character but can also weigh us down. These frustrations burden and prevent us from moving forward. Much of our progress in life relies on willpower and a healthy emotional state. There is a strong connection between physical and mental health – and for these reasons it’s important to address mental health first. If you’re under immense stress and anxiety, your body and mind both require time to recover. It’s best to rest, recover, and slowly build back up your strength. –Huffington Post