Laugh For The Health Of It – Humor And Heart Health

A good sense of humor may help protect you against a heart attack, according to recent discoveries by cardiologists at the University of Maryland Medical Center. The study suggests that laughter may help prevent heart disease by improving blood vessel tone.

Laughter stimulates the circulation and helps your blood vessels function better by acting on the endothelium, the protective lining of the vessels, causing them to open and increase blood flow. Laughter may also help prevent cholesterol build-up in the coronary arteries that leads to a heart attack because it reduces stress. [1] In other words, a good laugh is good for your heart.

Research also found that people with heart disease were less likely to recognize humor or use it to ease tense situations. For the most part they laughed less, even in positive situations and they showed more anger. There have not been any negative effects observed that correspond with laughter. [2]

  “Looking at life through the lens of humor is good for your health”.  – L. E.

Looking at life through the lens of humor is good for the health - Linda Eichberg

“We know that exercising, not smoking and eating foods low in saturated fat will reduce the risk of heart disease. Perhaps regular, hearty laughter should be added to the list.” – Dr. Micheal Miller, Univ. of Maryland School of Medicine.

 

Invite Laughter Into Your Life

Make a date with laughter, daily. Read something funny or watch a funny video or television show. Researchers have found the even the anticipation of experiencing laughter created feel good hormones that boost the immune system.[3]

Dean-Martin-Three-Stooges-

Dean Martin and The Three Stooges in “4 for Texas”

When I was a kid, I looked forward to laughing with “The Three Stooges.” Today, my daughter watches a modern version of their TV show. God bless her, she likes me to watch it with her. “Impractical Jokers” is pretty outrageous. It’s sort of like the ‘naughty’ Four Stooges meet Candid Camera. I sometimes complain that watching their crazy pranks will, “rot my brain” but, as Lindsay is quick to point out, I am usually laughing the loudest! We both enjoy watching reruns of “King of Queens” on a Saturday morning. Great bonding time!

Actually, humor is good for the brain. A study by John Hopkins University found humor improves test score results. [4]

American Heart Health Month

This is American Heart Health Month. Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S but it doesn’t have to be.

Diet and Exercise

With the help of nutrition experts from The Cleveland Clinic and the American Dietetic Association, here is a list of the top 25, “best of the best” heart-healthy foods. These 25 foods are loaded with heart-healthy nutrients that help protect your heart and blood vessels. [5]

Top 25 Heart-Healthy Foods

The benefits of diet and exercise for the heart are well documented. Researchers from the University of South Carolina found that adult men, who had little physical activity throughout the day, had a 64 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease compared with men who were living a more active lifestyle. My friend, Christl, reduced her cholesterol by 100 points in one month through diet and exercise.

Facts also support the idea that, “yoga can help reduce such cardiovascular risks as insulin resistance, high blood pressure and blood vessel inflammation.” For the 2.7 million Americans diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, “yoga may be especially helpful.” [6] Since I teach yoga, this is very good to hear.

Laughing Yoga

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Yoga comes naturally to my nephew, Dylan

Did you ever hear of laughing yoga? Laughing yoga and laughter clubs are where people get together to laugh without using jokes. It’s coached laughing. They laugh for the health of it! [7] Babies laugh and do yoga before they can walk or speak. It comes to them naturally. They laugh without having to get the joke. We were created to laugh!

Be a Friend

Togetherness strengthens heart health. A University of New York at Oswego investigation found that blood pressure dropped when one spent time with a spouse or partner. Engaging with other people does seem to help the heart, so what could be more awesome for the heart than sharing unconditional love and taking a yoga class together?

Yoga Instructors - Maria Lauren and Linda Eichberg  (Alberici Sisters)

Sisters, Maria Lauren and Linda Eichberg demonstrate Yoga – Side Angle Pose

“A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body;
    jealousy is like cancer in the bones.” – Proverbs 14:30 (NLT)

 

Recall Funny Moments

Dean Martin

Looking at this photo of my former boss, Dean Martin, I can’t help but smile. Dean spent the latter part of his TV career celebrating comedy in The Dean Martin Comedy Hour and the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. Dean was smart; he got paid to laugh. Being one of his “Golddiggers” during that time, I guess I did too. What a blessing!

Watching some of his old video clips still make me chuckle. Humor was a big part of Dean’s charm, on and off the set. My sister, Maria and I spent almost two decades working with him. Oh, the stories we can tell!

Beyond Our Wildest Dreams, Dean Martin, Rat Pack book

If you are interested in Dean Martin, The Golddiggers, Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima, The Rat Pack or the legends of 1970’s television and Las Vegas, you will find our book BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS, interesting and entertaining. 

BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS contains over 350 photos.

Entertainers and musicians across a wide spectrum of the industry have contributed to the stories in this book.

“It is an inside look at show business told in a very real way.”

 http://www.beyondourwildestdreams.com/ for more info.

To read reviews and purchase on Amazon 

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1463564570/?tag=beyondourwild-20

Laughter is good medicine. Wishing you lot’s of laughter and a heart full of love,

Linda Alberici Eichberg

Guard your heart

“When my heart whispered, “Seek God,” my whole being replied, ‘I’m seeking him!'” – Psalm: 27:8 (MSG)

 

Refrences:

1) University Of Maryland School Of Medicine Study Shows Laughter Helps Blood Vessels Function Better http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050309111444.htm

2) Laughter Good For Heart | University of Maryland Medical Center
http://umm.edu/news-and-events/news-releases/2000/laughter-is-good-for-your-heart-according-to-a-new-ummc-study

3) Laughing for the health of it http://www.bhg.com/health-family/mind-body-spirit/stress-relief/laughing-for-the-health-of-it/

4) A randomized trial of humor effects on test anxiety and test performance -RONALD A. BERK and JOY NANDA http://www.ronberk.com/articles/2006_randomized.pdf

5) 25 Top Heart Healthy Foods http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/25-top-heart-healthy-foods

6) Heart Healthy Habits Now http://abcnews.go.com/Health/heart-healthy-habits-now/story?id=22554990

7) Laughing to the Future: Hugh McClellland at TedXPenticton – http://youtu.be/28ZSsH3UFWM

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal medical advice. All content is copyrighted and may not be used without written permission. 

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Enriching Your Life With Super Food

January is a time for cleansing and renewal for some people. It’s also a time for second chances and receiving fresh grace for the year ahead.

Some of my fitness clients are dieting to lose their extra holiday weight. When it comes to diet and nutrition, instead on focusing on what they have to give up, I encourage them to focus on what they can and should have.

Focus On The Positive

Even I need to be reminded of that. Every once in a while, I’ll start telling my daughter, Lindsay, what foods are not good for her. That’s when she’ll gently remind me, “Mom, the stress of worrying about what is not good for me is sometimes worse than actually eating what is not good for me.”

Good advice; focus on the good, what we can do to best nourish our body. Focusing on the good stuff will automatically push out the bad. Looking good and being healthy is an inside job too, body, mind and spirit in harmony.

MY FAVORITE SUPERFOODS

Superfoods earned their name because of their ability to promote good health, add to our longevity and quality of life and stave off disease.

Green Vegetables and Green Juice

Their are a wide variety a green vegetables in the superfood category. One of the most important benefits of eating raw, fresh greens is chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the ‘blood of the plant’. It changes sunlight into the energy that makes plants grow. Greens give the same life-giving energy to us. Chlorophyll resembles the molecules of our red blood cells. All green plants contain chlorophyll; the darker the green, the more chlorophyll.

Wheat grass juice contains 70% chlorophyll. Known for it’s healing properties, it is enzyme-rich and has 17 of the amino acids.

Greens are ideal for aiding in weight loss because they are low in calories a high in nutrition. Fresh pressed green vegetable juices have a powerful detoxification effect on the body. [1]

Linda-Eichberg-fitness-and-nutrition

My special juice blend: Kale, Celery, Spinach, Cucumber, Parsley and Ginger

Chia Seeds

Rich in vitamins and minerals, this super seed also contains more calcium than milk and has equal amounts of omega-3’s as wild salmon. It has an appetite-suppressing quality, because it’s loaded with fiber, 10 grams in 2 tablespoons, helping you to feel full. Chia seeds are also rich in antioxidants that help protect the body from free radicals.

Chia’s positive health effects include boosting energy, stabilizing blood sugar, aiding digestion, and lowering cholesterolChia-copyright-Linda-Eichberg-The-Gratitude-Life

Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 18 percent of the DRI for calcium, 35 percent for phosphorus, 24 percent for magnesium and about 50 percent for manganese. These nutrients prevent hypertension and help you maintain a healthy weight, and they are important for energy metabolism. [2]

Tumeric

Tumeric has been used for hundreds of years as a healing agent. This antioxidant, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory spice gives curry its distinctive color. It is a medicinal herb used in ayurveda  and it contains curcumin. Curcumin and Tumeric are not one and the same. Curcumin is extracted from Tumeric and is much more potent for fighting disease. Recently, turmeric has gained the recognition of the scientific community for its potential for lowering cholesterol, reducing blood sugar and relieving arthritis. [3]

Curcumin has been very promising in treating Alzheimer’s patients. Further studies have found curcumin to suppress inflammation and reduce plaque and oxidative damage in the brains of mice. [4]

tumeric-the-gratitude-life-linda-eichberg

The tumeric root resembles the ginger root but has a more golden color. Tumeric can be found in powder, pills or liquid form.The fresh root can be pressed into juices.

Tumeric is a staple of Indian cuisine. Try cooking with the powder; you can sprinkle it on top of soups, vegetables or protein. It’s great in deviled eggs.

More Superfoods

In addition to Green Vegetables, Chia Seeds and Tumeric, I also like these other foods for their super nutrition: Wild Salmon, Sardines, Cacao, Maca/Green Tea [5], Red Bell Pepper, Beets, Sweet Potato, Pumpkin Seeds, Black BeansAvocadoRaw Ikaria Honey [6], Raw Nuts and Berries, especially Blueberries. You usually can’t go wrong eating fresh, organic, GMO free fruits and vegetables.

God said, “Look, I have given you all the plants that have grain for seeds and all the trees whose fruits have seeds in them. They will be food for you. – Genesis 1:29 (NCV)

LET’S MOVE

Wishing Michelle Obama a happy, healthy birthday. She celebrated her 50th last week. We share a mutual message to women to be healthy. About keeping herself fit, Michelle says, “I don’t obsess about what I eat, but I do make sure that I’m eating vegetables and fruit.” Obama added, “And as everyone knows, I do exercise.” She practices yoga and includes, weight bearing and cardio exercises in her fitness routine. When Mrs. Obama was asked whether she has peaked at 50, she said she’s always felt that her life is “ever-evolving” and she doesn’t have the right to “just sit on my talents or blessings.” [7]

Michelle-Obama-Let's-Move

One way the first lady puts her talents and blessings to work is by flexing her ‘muscles’ in her, “Let’s Move” campaign to reduce childhood obesity rates through the combination of exercise and healthier eating. [8]

ENRICHING YOUR SOUL

This month is Nation Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Compassion First’s 2014 Dollar for Dollar January Match Challenge will match your donation dollar for dollar, Jan. 1 – Feb. 1, 2014. Your donation will provide hope and solutions for victims of child sexual trafficking. Join me in this wonderful opportunity to multiply your giving.

When I was thinking about the Compassion First challenge, a song came to my mind. It was a worship song called “Awaken.” It was an amazing God-incidence that when I was looking up the lyrics for the song this week, I came across several articles about why Natalie Grant wrote the song.

Natalie-Grant-The-Gratitude-LifeI always liked the song because of its message but I never knew it was written after a life-changing trip to India where she was exposed to the plight of women and children oppressed by sex slavery. Finding out more about the millions of women and children around the world abused by sex trafficking, Natalie realized the desperate need for quality aftercare for survivors. With that passion to make a difference, Natalie founded The Home Foundation to support aftercare programs around the world. [9]

I hope God will awaken your heart to do whatever you can to grow awareness and seek solutions for human trafficking and child sexual slavery. – Blessings, Linda

Awaken-The-Gratitude-Life-photo-copyright-Linda-Eichberg

To join the dollar 4 dollar campaign go to – http://www.compassionfirst.org/ . Click on the Donate button and choose your donation Event – 2014 Dollar 4 Dollar. Thank you!

Refrences:

1) http://hippocratesinst.org/nutrition/wheatgrass-is

2) http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/top-10-health-benefits-chia-seeds-6962.html

3) http://blog.doctoroz.com/oz-experts/turmeric-golden-spice-better-healt

4) http://www.alzheimers.net/2013-07-29/turmeric-and-alzheimers/ – http://www.jneurosci.org/content/21/21/8370.full

5) Share Tea, Save Lives – http://www.compassiontea.com/

6) Ikaria honey from “The Island of Longevity” – http://www.ikariahoney.com/

7) http://atlantablackstar.com/2014/01/15/as-50th-birthday-approaches-michelle-obama-does-not-rule-out-botox-takes-up-yoga/

8) http://www.letsmove.gov/

9) http://abolitioninternational.org/

All materials contained within this blog are copyrighted and may not be used without expressed written permission. This is a personal blog, expressing my personal opinion. Please seek professional medical help for any health conditions you may have.

Keeping Your Split

I love my work as a fitness instructor! I have the opportunity to teach wonderful woman of all ages in my job at Total Woman Gym. Although I am beginning my senior years, being a dancer in my youth, I am very grateful to have retained most of my flexibility and core strength.

About two years ago I challenged the women in my Yoga and Pilates classes to try and do a split. I heard a few giggles and groans when I went into my split for the class. I know they were saying to themselves, “Ha ha ha, you’re funny Linda; that’s not going to happen.” I’m happy to say, a couple of adventurous ladies did try it.

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I continued the challenge every other week or so (I didn’t want to scare away the new people). Now I have several ladies in my classes, from their 20’s to their 60’s, doing splits. Many are only a few inches away. They kept coming to class and they kept trying. Class by class, inch by inch, and then one day, they had it, a full split!!

Together, my sister and I enjoy giving ‘infotainment’ talks on fitness and woman’s empowerment. Maria is also a fitness trainer and she is a lifestyle educator at Kaiser Permanente. We both have a passion for helping women be the best they can be in body. mind and spirit.

Alberici-Sisters-Maria-Lauren-Linda-Eichberg

ALBERICI SISTERS Maria & Linda talk YOU GOT THE POWER – Be Positive, Be Fit

During a recent wellness forum and fitness demo, Maria and I talked about “keeping our split.” I have to say, when we simultaneously demonstrated our splits for the women, they were surprised and really perked up! In addition to speaking on exercise, gratitude and positive thinking are key talking points for us as well as the value of eating fresh whole foods.

Iron Sharpens Iron [1]

Maria and I influence other instructors as well. My gal pal, Colleen Kincaid Jackson, who is a fitness and water aerobics instructor came home from one of our presentations with a fresh vision for herself. She told me, “I warned my students, they are ‘in for it’, now that I have the goal of recovering my split!” Colleen is equally inspiring to me as she exudes the inner beauty that comes with a close walk with Jesus. She and her husband, Randy, have poured out a good portion of their lives into their ministry in “Young Life”. [2]

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Linda Eichberg and Colleen Jackson

Colleen, Maria and I met up again last month at a national reunion of the Dean Martin Show. We were all singers and dancers on that show in the “Golddiggers” group. So many of the cast and crew showed up for the reunion. It was a blast!

Photo: Colleen, Maria and I back in the day as Dean Martin Golddiggers

The Golddiggers - 1973, from left to right: Patti Pivarnik Gribow, Linda Alberici Eichberg, Robin Hoctor-Horneff, Maria Lauren. Colleen Kincaid Jackson, Deborah Pratt, Susan Buckner, Lee Nolting

THE GOLDDIGGERS – 1973, from left to right: Patti Pivarnik Gribow, Linda Alberici Eichberg, Robin Hoctor-Horneff, Maria Lauren, Colleen Kincaid Jackson, Deborah Pratt, Susan Buckner & Lee Nolting

Some of Dean’s celebrity guest stars from the television show also made an appearance at the event. I had the pleasure of sharing some TV memories with Florence Henderson. You might remember her best as the mom from The Brady Bunch TV series. She has a lovely spirit. I enjoyed talking with her.

Florence Henderson with Linda Eichberg

Florence Henderson with Linda Eichberg

This occasion brought together all the different generations of Dean Martin’s Golddiggers groups. It was great to reconnect with the ladies I performed with for so many years and have the opportunity to meet other woman who shared the “Golddiggers” name. The highlight of the “Gold Event” was when we all came together for some singing and dancing!

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THE GOLDDIGGERS of the Dean Martin Show – 1968 to 1991 at the 2013 “Gold Event” Reunion

“Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold.”… as in “Golddiggers.” 

I have great appreciation for everyone who put this reunion together. There is something to be said for being with and working with friends who have known you for so long and know the good and the not so good about you. True love to be sure!

“If power doesn’t mean that you have the opportunity to work with the people that you love , then you haven’t really got any.” – Frank Sinatra

Working on the Dean Martin Show and touring with the Rat Pack, was an amazing time in our lives. Check out our book, BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS. It’s a fun read that will transport you back to that glamorous time!

~ All the best, Linda

Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS by The Alberici Sisters, is available at Amazon.com and BarnesNoble.com.

 

References:

1) “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

2) Young Life – http://www.younglife.org/us

 

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal medical advice. This blog does not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employers. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. All content is copyrighted. Photo credit is given when know but some photos of unknown origin may appear on this blog. Please contact me if you have additional information about photo credits.

Grateful LIFE

“Practice gratitude often! GRATITUDE is the gateway to positive emotions.” – Linda Alberici Eichberg

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I always feel good when I see this photo of myself, with two of my sisters, taken at a family reunion. It reminds me of so many things I am grateful for: love of family, the sunrise, the beach, health & music (My brothers & sisters sang together on the beach that morning).

Positive Life

Doctors and scientists have found that our brain grows best when it is positive, additionally, a positive mind leads to better health. Practicing gratitude is a simple way to achieve the good feelings we need to stay positive, healthy and happy. Reflecting on the people and things I am thankful for, always lifts my mood. I sometimes think, “If I would wake up tomorrow with only the things I am thankful for today, what would I have”? When I think that way, my whole day feels abundant and blessed.

Thinking positive brings out the best in a person but life can deliver some surprising blows. You may be reading this and your heart is broken or you are in a situation where life is very painful and you don’t feel you have much or anything to be grateful for. Maybe the resentment or hurt you are carrying is the burning fire that keeps you going. Eventually, habitual negative or un-spiritual thoughts and feelings will take their toll on your health and overall wellness and it can lead you into a downward spiral. Positive emotion and energy leads you into an upward spiral. A study on gratitude found that participants in the “Gratitude Condition” were happier and were inclined to do more exercise. Exercise continues the upward spiral because it also leads to better health and has many physical, mood enhancing and psychological benefits.*

“Good habits are as addictive as bad habits, and a lot more rewarding.” – Harvey Mackay

Rewarding Life

When I have moments of sadness or disappointment that distract me from the joy God wants me to have, I am thankful I can turn to my faith. My greatest source of gratitude is Jesus. He is my Helper, Friend, Lord, Savior and Healer. With him, all things are made new. Each day has hope and purpose. I can renew my mind and fill my heart through Christ’s un-surpassing love and power.

If you have hit rock bottom, Jesus is the rock at the bottom. The light of God’s love found in Jesus can conquer the darkness. He abundantly loves and values you. He paid the ultimate price to be with you for eternity. Eternal joy is yours for the asking, if you believe in your heart.

~ Many blessings, Linda Alberici Eichberg

“For God so love the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

References:
Counting Blessings Versus Burdens: An Experimental Investigation of Gratitude and Subjective Well Being in Daily Life – Robert A. Emmons, University of California, Davis and Michael E. McCullough, University of Miami – Journal of Personality and Social Psychology Copyright 2003 by the American Psychological Association, Inc. 2003, Vol. 84, No. 2, 377–389
Positivity – Dr. Barbara L. Fredrickson, Ph.D.
Exercise and Depression – Harvard Medical School, Harvard Health Publications
Understanding Depression – Harvard Medical School, Harvard Health Publications

*Moments of sadness are a part of life but depression is different. It is more than a passing feeling and has tremendous staying power. If you are deeply depressed or you are having suicidal thoughts, please contact a mental health professional.