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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Health Risks of Being Left Handed ,President Obama, and Mindfulness

"None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone."– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Are you right-handed or left-handed?  Or, are you mixed handedness, which means you use different hands for different daily tasks and that you do not have a dominant one.  About 10% of people are left-handed, and about 1% of the population has mixed handedness.  In studying identical twins (they have 100% of the same genes) findings suggest that they do not always share the same handedness which means that genetics do not tell the whole story.  Apparently, environmental factors, while in the womb, play a significant part in the development of handedness, since babies born to older mothers and low birth weight babies are more likely to be lefties.  On average there no significant differences in IQ between righties and lefties.
There is some evidence that lefties are better at divergent thinking, have salaries that on average are about 10% lower than righties, and likely to be a greater risk for developing a number of psychiatric and developmental disorders.  Wouldn’t you just know it, because six of the last 12 US presidents have been lefties including Pres. Obama, and George H. Bush. Thank goodness President Obama has good language skills, divergent thinking, and the absence of ADHD symptoms. Let us hope he is not treated for a psychiatric disorder.  Just kidding!
In a 2008 study, psychology professor Alina Rodriguez found that left or mixed handedness in children was linked to a greater risk of difficulty with language, as well as ADHD symptoms; and knowing that a child that had ADHD symptoms at age 8 helped predict much more accurately, whether or not the child would continue to have symptoms at age 16.
Several studies show that stressful life event such as the death of a loved one or job loss during pregnancy increases the risk of having non right-handed children.  In one study of 834 – mothers and their three-year-old children, researchers found that mothers who reported multiple stressful events during the third trimester of pregnancy and experienced stress were more than three times likely to have a mixed handed child 17% compared with 5%.
Lefties have an advantage in sports such as tennis; fencing in baseball, when up against a right-handed competitor, but not in non-interactive sports such as gymnastics. This information was based on an article in the Wall Street Journal, December 6, 2011.
Today, Secretariat, and I are going to do a “happy “run. He is reading a book on mindfulness and is now able to rate his happiness during his running feats.  I asked him to pay attention to his thoughts and happiness during the second half of his run. I  did a 5 mile loop since I am still concerned about my cold symptoms. I might add that today’s run was not as fast as yesterday’s. However,  I was smiling when we parted. Secretariat started laughing as he headed off to do a longer distance.  I rated my run as a 3 on a three point scale.  He will rate his run also. From Secretariat: I ended up doing 15 miles and I rated my run as 3 also. The rating system is from 1 to 3. 1 being not that enjoyable and 3 being mostly enjoyable.

Another reason to be happy going into the holidays is related to a statistic that I just read.  Within five years of retirement, 60% of NBA players are bankrupt, while 78% of NFL players are either bankrupt or in financial stress within two years. Be happy that you are not a professional basketball or football player.  Happy holidays to you.


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