Quick Hits

A new survey by Accenture finds that 54% of consumers plan to do their shopping online this year, while 46% will still go to stores to fulfill their gift needs.  52% of people are less likely to shop on Black Friday, while 50% probably won’t shop on Thanksgiving Day and 42% will skip Cyber Monday.  64% of people don’t plan to shop on Black Friday because they don’t want to compete with crowds searching for bargains.

Source: Accenture 

By now most of us know that we should be getting eight hours of sleep each night, but in reality, a lot of us are barely reaching that goal.

"Human beings are the only species that deliberately deprive themselves of sleep for no apparent gain," sleep scientist Matthew Walker, author of the book “Why We Sleep,” tells NPR. "Many people walk through their lives in an underslept state, not realizing it."

Walker is the director of the Center for Human Sleep Science at the University of California, Berkeley and he offers some tips and facts for those who just can’t seem to get the sleep they should be getting.

They include: 

  • You can’t make up for sleep – No matter how much you wish you could make up for the sleep you miss during the week by sleeping longer over the weekend, the body simply doesn’t work that way. He notes, “the brain has no capacity to get back that lost sleep that you've been lumbering it with during the week in terms of a debt.” 
  • Let teenagers sleep on weekends – Parents really shouldn’t force kids out of bed on the weekends. Walker says they are sleeping late because their biology is telling them they need it. Plus, it probably means they are trying to sleep off a debt from early school start times, which he says needs to be changed. 
  • You don’t need less sleep as you age – While the total amount of sleep people get decreases with age, that doesn’t actually mean they need less sleep. Instead it just means our brains aren’t capable generating more sleep. And it’s not just the quantity of sleep that goes down as we age, it’s also the quality, since when we’re older sleep becomes more fragmented, thanks to bathroom trips, pain and more. 
  • Using sleeping pills won’t really give you a good night’s sleep – Walker says sleeping pills, like Ambien, don’t produce naturalistic sleep, only sedation, and sedation isn’t really sleep. Taking them won’t help you get the restorative natural benefits of sleep.
  • The affects of caffeine – As we all know caffeine will affect a person’s ability to sleep. Even if you’re one of those people who says your sleep isn’t affected by caffeine, it really is, because it keeps you from getting the deep sleep that you really need, which means you’ll wake up feeling unrefreshed in the morning, which you'll drinking drink more coffee the next day, and it becomes a vicious cycle.
  • The affects of alcohol – Like sleeping pills, alcohol will serve as a sedative so you’re being knocked out, not actually getting a naturalistic sleep. It also tends to fragment your sleep, which will have you waking up several times, even though you may not remember it.

Source: NPR

We want to get the most out of our workouts, but which one is the best for us? In a new health report called “Starting to Exercise,” I-Min Lee, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, recommends these forms of exercise. And running doesn’t even make the list!

  1. Swimming - Authors of the report say “you might call swimming the perfect workout” and that’s because it works every muscle in your body while raising your heart rate. And since you do it in the water, it doesn’t strain your body.
  2. Tai chi - This Chinese martial art combines deep breathing, relaxation and flowing movements and research shows tai chi can “help to reduce stress, improve posture, balance and general mobility, and increase muscle strength in the legs.”
  3. Strength training - This includes lifting weights, using resistance bands, climbing stairs, Pilates, yoga, and body resistance exercises like squats and sit ups. These help slow down the rate of bone and muscle loss, help posture and flexibility as well.
  4. Walking - It’s easy to do, works your lower body muscles, gets your heart rate up, and lowers stress, too. Plus, it’s low-impact, so it’s great for exercise newbies. The Harvard team recommends beginners start with 10 to 15 minute walks and build up to 30 to 60 minute hikes.
  5. Kegel exercises - Surprised to see this on the list? These pelvic floor exercises made the cut because they help with stress urinary incontinence, something no one wants to deal with.

Source: Cosmopolitan UK

They say breakfast is the most important meal, but lunch is a pretty big deal, too. Eat the right thing and you’ll feel full and have energy until dinner, choose wrong and you’re cranky, tired, and hungry before your afternoon coffee break. So what you eat for lunch is the key - these are some foods you should avoid and what you should swap them for instead.

White bread - A sandwich can be healthy, but not on white bread. It doesn’t have much fiber and has a high glycemic index, so it’ll cause your blood sugar to spike and you’ll feel the afternoon slump harder. Whole grain bread is more nutritious and filling and it’s better for your heart.

Mayonnaise - Just one tablespoon of it adds almost 100 calories without many nutrients. You’re better off with a spread like guacamole, pesto, or hummus that has vitamins, minerals, more fiber, as well as more flavor and fewer calories.

Granola bars - We think of them as healthy, but they’re high in sugar and don’t always have a lot of fiber or protein to keep you full, so you get that awful crash later. Look for one with whole ingredients - like seeds and nuts - that has less than 10 grams of sugar. Or better yet, swap it for some nuts and a piece of fruit.

Flavored yogurt - We’re talking about the ones with lots of added sugar. Did you know some of the fruit-on-the-bottom ones have more sugar than a can of soda? Yogurt is a healthy snack when you use plain Greek yogurt sweetened with berries and a drizzle of honey, throw in some walnuts and you’re good to go.

Mixed greens with just chicken - Lettuce and chicken alone won’t leave you feeling full for long. You need some fat and fiber for that, so add avocado, chickpeas or beans and you’ll feel satisfied and have energy for the afternoon.

Source: Women's Health

Chipotle is bringing back their Halloween "Boorito" promotion, in which anyone who dresses up in a costume on Halloween can get a $3 burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos from 3:00 pm until closing.  The chain adds that “determination of whether a 'costume' qualifies for the offer is at the sole discretion of Chipotle restaurant personnel.”  Customers also have until October 31st to text BOORITO for a chance to win free burritos for a year.

Source: Chipotle

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