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It’s the age-old debate – bath or shower? Who doesn’t love a nice, hot soak in the tub to unwind? Or how about those steamy, relaxing showers? But which one is healthier? And why? 

First, we focus on the shower. Besides being timesaving and more efficient, here are some other benefits of taking a shower.

  • Reduces tension and improves circulation.
  • Gets rid of headaches and helps with sore muscles.
  • Massages your skin as the water falls.
  • Great for cleaning the body. 

Now for the cons of taking a shower. 

  • You must stand (most likely).
  • Relies on water pressure.
  • Your bathroom becomes a steam room. 

And now let’s take a look at the benefits of taking a bath.

  • Helps treat skin conditions like eczema.
  • Can improve sleep.
  • Good for muscle and joint protection and relief.
  • Helps regulate blood pressure.
  • May improve breathing.

And the cons of taking a bath.

  • Might not be clean (or as clean as a shower).
  • Can affect the body’s pH levels.
  • Strips the body of natural oils. 

So, who is the winner? Either way it comes down to hygiene. Both baths and showers have pros and cons, so it often comes down to a matter of preference and time.  As long as you are getting yourself clean, you are doing good for your body.

Happy Washing!

We have all heard that “laughter is the best medicine”, right? But have you ever wondered what that saying means? Sure, people laugh during good and happy times, but sometimes you will notice that even to get through tough or tragic times, people start to laugh. 

So, what are the benefits of laughing? Laughter helps you to:

 

  • Reduce negative emotions – feelings of stress, anxiety, anger, and sadness don’t feel as intense when you are laughing.
  • Relax and discharge negative energy – stress is reduced by the action of laughing and pushed away from the body.
  • Change how you think and feel about a situation – laughing can help you see the situation in a different light and feel less overwhelmed about that situation.
  • Give you the power to cope – as your perspective changes about a situation, you might find that you are better able to distance yourself from a situation. In doing so, you may find yourself stronger and able to take on challenges.
  • Become closer to those around you – because laughter is contagious, once you find the humor amongst the darkness, it is likely that others will, too. That’s why “sharing a joke” is a great way to bond as well.
  • Feel physically healthier – some of the physical benefits of laughing are a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure and better sleep.

 So, laugh as if your life depended on it… because it helps!

Since many parents are spending more time at home with their children (thanks, pandemic) and lots of gyms and fitness centers remain closed, we need to find different ways to get those workouts in at home… with our children.

Here are some of the best ways to include your kids in your workouts, keep them busy, and have fun as a family, too.

  • Walking – it seems simple enough but getting out in the fresh air and logging some miles around the neighborhood may be just what you and your family need to help break up the daily monotony and workout at the same time.
  • Dance it out – nothing is more fun than cranking up the music, kicking off your shoes and having a good old fashioned dance party with your kids. Teach your kids all of your favorite moves and be prepared to learn some of their favorites, too.
  • Plank competition – who doesn’t love a little friendly competition? Especially when it’s a healthy competition. Set a timer, start planking and the last person planking wins!
  • Yoga – nothing is more relaxing than spending some time getting centered and going through the yoga motions. Kids and adults alike can both do yoga, and you can always modify the positions as necessary.
  • Hopscotch – this childhood classic never gets old. Get outside, draw your squares, grab a rock and get down to business. You will have so much fun hopping with your kids that you will forget that you are working out.

 You can pretty much make any activity an at-home workout for you and your kids. Creativity is key and make sure to have some fun.

  • Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene and vitamin C.
  • The nutrients in sweet potatoes are also anti-inflammatory, which means that besides being great tasting, sweet potatoes can help reduce the severity of conditions like asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • In addition, sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6.

Recipe: Golden Sweet Potato Brownies 

1 cup butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

4 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 cups peeled and finely shredded sweet potatoes

1 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Fold in the shredded yam. Spread the batter evenly in the greased baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Mix together the confectioners' sugar, butter and milk until smooth. Spread over the brownies while they are still warm.

Recipe: Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Fries 

6 sweet potatoes cut into French fries

2 tablespoons canola oil

3 tablespoons taco seasoning mix

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a plastic bag, combine the sweet potatoes, canola oil, taco seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Close and shake the bag until the fries are evenly coated. Spread the fries out in a single layer on two large baking sheets.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until crispy and brown on one side. Turn the fries over using a spatula, and cook for another 30 minutes, or until they are all crispy on the outside and tender inside. Thinner fries may not take as long.

With more people traveling lately by car, experts advise that there are a few ways to help avoid falling asleep while driving.

  • Avoid driving between midnight and 6 a.m., when possible. Our human clock is set for sleeping during these hours.
  • If you have a long commute, make sure you get adequate sleep.
  • Avoid alcohol – even small amounts can cause sleepiness and impairment.
  • If you take medications that cause drowsiness, it’s best not to drive at all. Carpool or use a driving service like Uber.
  • Drink beverages that contain caffeine to improve alertness.