Why are Squirrels always Digging?

Lenny Variano   
Nov 29

Every so often a new study is conducted on squirrels.
It is usually done in Central Park where there is an
extremely high concentration of these little creatures.
The study not only involves their number and color
but also their habits. It seems that there is a great deal
of thought that goes into their daily activities. They are
masters in the art of deception. Squirrels will actually
plant a fake nut which could be a rock if they feel they
are being watched by another squirrel. They also engage
in what is called ”spacial chunking”. That is they arrange
the planting of their nuts according to size, type of nut
and even according to their nutritional value. They are
able to record all these facts by rubbing each nut on their
cheeks to let off their scent. These little guys plant in
patterns they are able to follow throughout the winter to
make sure they meet all their dietary needs.

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Music makes the world go round…

Lenny Variano   
Nov 15

Every culture has developed their own special sound of music. Music has been a part of our lives ever since the dawn of civilization. Why is this so and what if any are the benefits of making music a part of our every day life? Studies at Cornell University show that music in the workplace increases productivity by encouraging group cooperation resulting in more positive decisions. Music can lower the stress hormone cortisol which has the same benefits as message therapy. Listening to a favorite piece of music enhances a physician’s accuracy during surgery. It has also been shown to have a positive affect on a patient’s recovery time. Upbeat music can result in an increase in creativity according to a study done in the Netherlands. It is often referred to as “a type of legal performance-enhancing drug” because it has been shown to motivate runners, bikers and endurance athletes. Listening to their favorite power song gave them that extra boost to continue and reach their goals. The National Sleep foundation has found that listening to soft music before bedtime will lead to falling asleep faster, waking up less during the night and waking up more relaxed in the morning. Research is now showing that music helps the body release the antibody immunoglobulin-A which helps in combating viruses and bacteria. It can reduce the sensation of pain in those suffering from fibromyalgia and can increase the comfort level of patients going through cancer therapy. Music can revive memories in patients who have shown little signs of awareness to previous attempts of stimulation such as those suffering from Alzheimer’s. So put on some tunes when you awake, or are cooking or just want to lie back and close your eyes for a few minutes. It will give your body, especially your heart, a shot of revitalization.

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Resistance Training and Depression…

Lenny Variano   
Nov 15

New research is showing that lifting weights may have an effect on lifting a person’s mood. It has already been established that exercise can reduce symptoms of depression but until recently most of this evidence had to do with studies based on the effects of aerobic exercise. In 2017 research on the positive effects of resistance training on anxiety were published in JAMA Psychiatry but that particular research did not address the effects on depression. These researchers decided to reevaluate 200 previous studies to see if they could determine if indeed weight training eased symptoms of depression. What they found was all subjects had a decrease in depression no matter how severe the symptoms were. It did not matter how often they weight-trained, whether it was 2 times or 5 times a week. What mattered was consistency. The reduction on levels of depression seemed to occur no matter what age the subject was. The results did not suggest that resistance training was better then aerobics or medication but it showed that there is also another avenue to explore when someone suffers from depression.

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Be a Collector…

Lenny Variano   
Nov 09

It is great to learn a few recipes that are quick
and easy that you can lean on weekly. However,
this can become mundane and eventually lead
to boredom in attempting to keep eating healthy.
Whenever you are browsing through reading
material whether it be magazines, newspapers
or the internet start making a file of recipes that
you feel will be easy as well as nutritious. When
you have a little extra time pull one out and
attempt it. Eventually it will become part of
your repertoire. There are so many variations
and different ways of preparing certain foods.
Creating a file of menus that seem intriguing is
a good way to take advantage of all of these options.

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