Have a laugh, avoid flu, go out for lunch

- October 28, 2008

Laughter yoga involves breathing and movement exercises and a lot of laughs.

Laughter can make you feel better. In 1995, Dr. Madan Kataria discovered the physical and psychological benefits of "laughter yoga" on his patients. After their sessions, his patients appeared happier, healthier, and more productive.

While there is no evidence linking laughter with actual illness treatment, laughter puts people in optimistic frames of mind to deal with different challenges in life.

We could all use a boost for our health, so give it a try. Laughter yoga involves a series of breathing and movement exercises to improve your health and well being without relying on jokes or humor. It is just like any other aerobic exercise that increases oxygen inhalation and stimulates heart and blood circulation. This technique has gained popularity world over where people get together irrespective of age, gender, race or ethnicity to make themselves and others happy.

Dr. Kataria trains the laughter yoga leaders that teach in local clubs. Find a club in your area to try this unique treatment to stay positive and happy and healthy.

For more information, visit www.laughter-yoga.ca

Keep the flu bugs away

One way to avoid getting the flu is to get the vaccine.

As winter is fast approaching, we all know we are at risk of getting this year’s strain of the flu. However, there are a few simple prevention strategies to help you avoid the ever dreaded Influenza (Flu):

  • Avoid close contact with people suffering from the flu.
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Get the flu vaccine
  • If you get the flu, stay home.

Flu viruses are very contagious and are spread by coughing, sneezing or hand shaking. Frequent hand washing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of flu and many other communicable diseases. In many cases people get the virus by touching their eyes or mouth with their hands, which get contaminated by touching door knobs or taps in a public washroom or simply by shaking hands with a person sick with flu. Wash and scrub your hands with soap and warm water for at least 10to 15 seconds, rinse and dry.

Getting a flu vaccine in the fall will prevent some but not all strains of flu. Flu viruses undergo mutation and change each year so you must be vaccinated every year. There are several different strains of the flu, and while the vaccine can’t cover all,  it is still a wise precaution.
For information on Flu Clinics 2008 at Dalhousie University you can call Coleen McJannet in Human Resources at 494-1134 or e-mail at coleen.mcjannet@dal.ca.

Give yourself a break

This famous photo shows workmen eating lunch on the 69th floor of the GE Building during the construction of Rockefeller Center It was taken in 1932 by fearless photographer Charles C. Ebbets.

If you find yourself becoming tired after lunch, it might be because you ate lunch at your desk.

Research has shown that staying at your desk for lunch slows you down, decreasing your effectiveness, concentration and productivity. Taking a minimum half hour break to stretch, walk or go to the gym will energize you and allow you to tackle the rest of the day. 

Lunch is also a good time to socialize and chat with people around you. Get to know your co-workers better or arrange a lunch date with a friend. You may even get some errands done and free up some time in the evening. If you prefer quiet time, you can take a moment to read a book, magazine or newspaper. 

But don’t forget to eat. Taking a break isn’t complete unless you eat a nutritious meal and replenish your energy. Whatever you do, make sure you take the time to re-energize your mind, body and spirit.

The Nova Scotia Government advocates its employees take a lunch break away from their desks. Check out: Take Back the Lunch Break       


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