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Health News You Can Use

A Simple Post-Workout Recovery 

Both a dermatologist and physical therapist agree: Post-workout cold showers have benefits for health! 

For one, cold showers tighten the skin and maintain its moisture barrier, making it more vibrant. Cold showers also improve recovery after a workout by sending blood from near the skin to the interior of the body and by increasing levels of the antioxidant glutathione. While exercise boosts endorphins, cold showers extend the effect by stimulating the body with hermetic stress—a low amount of stress that is beneficial for the nervous system; in other words, you’ll feel better! And did I mention that cold water increases white blood cells, boosting the immune system? 

Convinced? Here’s how to do it! Start with a tolerable shower temperature and slowly turn it down to avoid shocking your body. If all you can handle is 5 seconds, great! But try increasing it to 20 or 30 seconds. 

6 Reasons You Should Be Taking a Cold (Not Lukewarm) Shower After a Workout,” Byrdie,, July 30, 2021. 

One Reason to Choose Your Friends Wisely

We all know that who we spend time with affects us. But could it have a greater impact on mental and physical health than we realize? 

Research has shown that people who spend time around those who drink more alcohol, eat unhealthily, or don’t exercise are more likely to adopt similar habits. Our brains are wired to experience a dopamine pleasure response when we receive social approval—often a result of doing things our friends do. 

We associate the need for social approval with the teenage years, but adults are affected by peer influence too. This is why the quality of our friendships is crucial. Do you have a certain habit you want to adopt? Find people with similar goals. Sharing health habits can be a great way to place yourself on the road to success. 

The Power of Peers, NIH News in Health,, Sept. 2021.

Dangers of a Big Belly

Many people focus on the number on the scale. But even those at a healthy weight may have reason for concern if they have excess fat in their bellies. A review by the American Heart Association revealed that the riskiest type of fat is visceral adipose tissue (VAT), which surrounds internal organs and releases inflammatory substances that are linked to chronic disease.

Aside from eating a whole-food, plant-based diet, you can decrease VAT by building lean body mass (muscle). Focus on getting at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week along with some strength training. 

Normal Weight, But Big Belly? That Raises Heart Disease Risk,” Harvard Health Publishing,, August 1, 2021. 

Walnuts Help Lower Cholesterol 

Walnuts, a crunchy and tasty treat high in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, might lower your risk of cardiovascular disease! 

Over 700 older adults participated in a study where 350 of them were asked to eat half a cup of walnuts every day for two years; the rest of the participants served as a control group. The results confirmed that walnuts lower LDL cholesterol levels, but they also revealed something new: Walnuts impact the quality of the LDL particles. Coauthor of the study, Dr. Emilio Ros, commented that “small, dense LDL particles are more often associated with atherosclerosis, the plaque or fatty deposits that build up in arteries.” And these particles were reduced by eating walnuts. 

Despite being high in healthy fats, the walnuts didn’t cause the participants to gain weight either. Sounds like a win-win situation!  

Eating Walnuts Every Day Could Lower Bad Cholesterol in Older Adults,” American Heart Association,, August 30, 2021.