Health Highlight

Your Weekly Wellness Update

Safety Tip

Passwords are the first line of defense against cyber crime like identify theft and fraud, which is why it is crucial to pick strong passwords. Moreover, if you can pick different passwords for each of your important accounts and update your passwords regularly, odds are you will keep your information secure. Choosing so many different passwords seems tedious but think about it - choosing the same password for each of your online accounts is like using the same key to lock your home, car and office – if someone gains access to one, all of them are compromised.

Some helpful tips when choosing a password are:

1. Figure out a password only known to you

2. Your password should be long enough to be secure

3. Complicated enough that it's hard to guess - even by someone who knows you well

4. Easy for you to type accurately

For more tips on how to make your password more secure, click here!

Having trouble choosing a password? Try this free strong random password generator!

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Fitness Focus

Personally, I gain weight VERY easily and I used to struggle with losing weight all the time, but about three years ago I decided to use that to my advantage and I began lifting weights.

As I began to research the effects of weight-lifting, I found the benefits go beyond toning your body and increasing strength. Most adults lose between five and seven pounds of muscle every decade. The trend continues as lean body mass decreases by approximately 15% from the ages of 30-80.

Lifting weights is especially important for women, as we rapidly lose bone density as we age and after women reach 30, muscle density decreases and intramuscular fat increases. Many women are concerned they will bulk up if the lift weights but in order for a woman to develop "bodybuilder" muscles, she would need to exceed the recommended amount of strength training, take hormones and focusing intensely on increasing muscle mass - all things the average person probably won't do.

Weight lifting, or any resistance training, also increases your metabolic rate which can aid in burning fat and maintaining a healthy weight, creates non-bulky muscles that have stronger, thicker fibers that enhance endurance, improves muscle coordination and requires an upsurge in brain usage. Weight-lifting not your favorite type of exercise? Other forms of resistance training include working with resistance bands, heavy gardening, carrying heavy loads and/or doing calisthenics that use body weight for resistance.

One key thing to keep in mind is form. Without the correct form you risk injury and don't maximize your physical gains.

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Money Matters

Nearly half of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck and no wonder with the increased cost of living and the wage stagnation over the past few years. However, you may have a small fortune already.

Look in that basement, that attic, that storage closet. I am willing to bet the farm that there are at least 4 items in your house right now you haven't used in the past year that you could sell. I know, you keep thinking you'll use them someday. The reality is that if you haven't used it already, you won't. So why keep it? Sell it! Free up that money for paying off credit card debt, add it to your emergency fund or invest it because the further you are from financial drain the closer you are to financial independence. (For my purposes, I define financial independence as having enough money to choose whether-or-not you want to work).

For more tips on how to escape the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, click here!

DIY Spotlight

I live in a very lovely but very old apartment that is incredibly drafty. The draft not only makes the apartment uncomfortably cold but it increases my energy use and thus my power bill. Over the holiday break, I made door snakes and they have SIGNIFICANTLY decreased the draft and helped drop my energy bill by $20. Annually, that's a savings of $240! Happy DIY-ing!
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Scientific data shows that self-criticism makes us weaker in the face of failure, more emotional, and less likely to assimilate lessons from our missteps. Studies find there is a far better alternative to self-criticism: self-compassion.

Self-compassion involves three core components:

  1. Self-Kindness. Meaning, we are gentle and understanding with ourselves rather than harshly critical and judgmental
  2. Recognition of our common humanity, feeling connected with others in the experience of life rather than feeling isolated and alienated
  3. Mindfulness, or that we hold our experience in balanced awareness rather than ignoring our pain or exaggerating it.

When we practice self-compassion, we become more successful in the long run as self-compassion fosters resilience, and resilience decreases stress and increases productivity. To find out if you treat yourself with self-compassion try one of these self-compassion exercises! For more information see "The Scientific Benefits of Self-Compassion" and for more tips click here!

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