Woman working out in a gym.

Change How You Think – Make Working Out a Habit

You think about heading to the gym and working out. You may even plan out your exercise routine or when you are going to hit the gym. But somehow, those plans seem to fall by the wayside when it comes time for you to actually get moving. It doesn’t help that you have friends or know gym-goers that show up without fail every single day. Even more frustrating is that these fitness junkies actually like the process of exercise and look forward to this part of their day. While you mentally curse them for their dedication, you probably also wish that you could be more disciplined and more excited about your own exercise and now you can. A recent study published in the Health Psychology journal suggests that there really is a difference between those who consistently exercise and those that struggle with merely making time to head outside or to your gym, but don’t lose hope yet. Just because there is a difference between you and faithful gym-goers doesn’t mean that you can’t become one of the latter. The study suggests that you can learn to make exercise an essential part of your day.

What Sets Regular Exercisers Apart
The answer to what makes regular exercises different is frustratingly simple and you have probably heard it before. Those that workout without fail do not dread exercise and they don’t think of exercise as a chore that has to be done. It’s that difficult and that simple. Rather than thinking about exercise as one more thing that you have to cram into the day, consistent exercisers get active almost automatically; it is just a part of their daily routine. Those that exercise regularly receive cues, either internal or external, that signal it is time to get up and move. Some may respond to external sources, like the alarm going off in the morning, while others respond to an internal cue “I’m stressed from work and home obligations, it’s time to relieve some stress at the gym.”

In the study, the researchers referred to this tendency as the “instigation habit.” The researchers set out to find out whether the instigation habit would be indicative of people being able to stick to an exercise regime, and they definitely proved their hypothesis. In fact, the instigation habit was the only predictor that people would stick with exercise and that the more time spent exercising (for example going from the first month to the third), the stronger the instigation habit became. Why? Because it seems that exercisers with a high instigation habit do not think only of the work that awaits them when it’s time to exercise. They associate exercise and gym time with specific parts of their day; they hear their alarm in the morning and know it’s time to lace up the gym shoes. It isn’t only the exercise that the consistent gym-goers think of, they think of the entire experience of exercise, including that awesome post-workout high, as a habit they have cultivated, not as a chore that they have to cross off their to-do list.

Why it Matters
It seems like a great excuse (“I don’t intrinsically have a strong instigation habit so I shouldn’t even bother”), but it’s actually the reverse. If you weren’t blessed with a high instigation habit, it takes a bit more work on your part, but you absolutely can strengthen it. Beginning an exercise routine after a long break in physical activity (or a lifetime or inactivity) is by no means an easy task, but stick with it. The longer that you make regular exercise a part of your routine, the more you condition your mind to think of exercise as an essential part of your day.

The temptation to hit the snooze button or drive past the gym after a super long day at work is definitely great, but sticking to your exercise routine in the beginning makes it easier to make working out a lifelong habit. Physical activity is incredibly important for a healthy life and right now, it may not be your favorite thing to do. But if you can shift your thinking from “I hate this chore” to “oh, my alarm is going off, time to hit the gym,” you will be able to make exercise an essential part of your day, and your body will thank you.

Women having dinner

Our Favorite Night Out Ideas

There’s no escaping it: sometimes you just need a night out. Whether it is with your girlfriends or your significant other, a night out can be a great way to help reduce stress and increase happiness. Nothing is worse than making time for friends or your husband then having to face the question – what do you want to do? Grabbing dinner and heading to a movie are definitely fun ways to spend an evening, but that can get old. Keep your nights out, no matter who you’re headed out with, fresh and fun with a few of our favorite night out ideas.

Comedy Club
Part bar and all entertainment, your local comedy club is sure to be a blast. Comedy clubs are a great way to discover local talent, or to see one of your favorite comedians perform an awesome stand-up set. Plus, it gives you something to talk, and laugh, about on the ride home.

Woman sipping coffee and reading a book.

Coffee (or tea) and Books
Especially fun for bibliophiles, consider making your night out a completely relaxing, leisurely experience. Head to your favorite place for java (local or chain) and try a drink you’ve never had before. Your local bookstore is a great place to end the night, perusing the shelves and talking about one another’s interests. Bonus, most Barnes and Nobles have a Starbucks directly inside so you can maximize your relaxation by not worrying about running all over town.

Arcade
Get a little silly and engage in some friendly competition when you head to your local arcade. The great thing about arcades now is that you don’t have to hit up the mall and share space with a bunch of teenagers (unless you want to) anymore. Now, there are tons of establishments that feature a wide range of arcade games and activities while serving your alcoholic beverages and perfect arcade food, like pizza and nachos.

Cheese and wine in a winery

Tour a Brewery/Winery
Chances are you live near a brewery, or a local microbrewery, that conducts tours for the public. Often, after the tour, you are treated to a complimentary beer. If beer isn’t your thing, or if you just aren’t in the mood for it, visit a local winery. Sometimes, we get so stuck in drinking our favorite go-to wines that we totally forget to be adventurous and try new things. Taking a sip of local flavor is a fun way to enjoy the company of your best friends or your spouse.

Dance Lessons
When you want to let go and have fun with those around you, look into local dance courses. For couples, a ballroom class might be a fun way to connect with each other while sharing a new experience. If you’re heading out with the girls, try to find a local hip hop or jazz class to really get moving.

Your nights out, no matter who you go out with, are meant to be a way of touching base with those you care about and having some fun. Sharing new experiences and activities is a great way to spend an evening, and you’ll have plenty to talk about the next day. A little creativity, and a willing mindset, is all you need to create the perfect nights out.

Couple on a date

Why Date Night is So Important

Married couples, or those in long-term relationships, tend to settle into a comfortable rhythm. Your typical Friday night might be relaxing together after a stressful week with a full Netflix queue and a glass of wine or a beer. Don’t get us wrong, sometimes that is exactly what you need and is a fun way to spend time together. However, if this is all you do when it comes to “dating” as a couple, things are likely to get boring and stale. Often, we feel that making time for a date night, especially if children are involved in the relationship, is a luxury that we can’t afford whether it’s financially or when it comes to sparing time. Resveralife wants you to think of date night as a necessity, not a luxury. Making time for each other isn’t just fun, it actually strengthens your relationship.

Reconnecting
With demanding work schedules, social obligations and caring for kids, it’s easy to coast through each day without really taking the time to be with your partner. When you set aside a specific time for a date night, you are being intentional about spending time with your loved one as a couple. You don’t have to plan a fancy five-course dinner date, unless that’s what you want, to be able to really reconnect with your significant other. Take a picnic to the park, learn how to cook a new dish by taking a cooking class together or simply grab a drink together. The activity that you choose for your date night is less about the activity and more about the mindset you approach it with. Find something that you will both look forward to doing and approach it with the mindset that you are doing something together, as a couple, not just as roommates or parents. This helps remind you reconnect with one another in a way that is far more intimate than rehashing your day at the dinner table.

Romancing
Along with reconnecting with each other, it is important to keep the romance alive in a relationship. This can be hard to do after an exhausting day at work or running necessary errands on a weekend. Scheduling a date night gives you the chance to make each other feel special and wanted. A date night helps remind you of the time you spent together when you were first getting to know each other which can lead to bringing back some of the excitement and romance of your courtship. To make a date night even more romantic or special, dress up a bit. You don’t have to go all out, unless you want to, but taking a bit of time to primp signifies that this evening is different than just heading out for a quick bite to eat; it’s about being together as a couple and creating a closer, more romantic feeling between the two of you.

Relaxing
You spend your days constantly moving from one responsibility or task to the next. You are in a neverending state of doing. When you make time for a date night, you are choosing to stop “doing” for a bit and just spend some time “being.” A date night does not come with a to-do list and it should have only one real objective: to spend time being a couple. Taking the time to really listen to one another or really talk, not just in passing, gives you both an opportunity to feel heard, cared about and more relaxed.

It’s true, scheduling a date night can be difficult, but it really is important to your relationship. A special night that consists only of the two of you helps remind you why you fell in love with the other person in the first place. Ideally, you would have a date night every week, but we know that isn’t always a realistic possibility. Start by scheduling at least one date night a month to invest some time into each other and your relationship.

Girls night out

Girl's Nights – What They Really Do for Mental Health

You are busy, it’s as simple as that. Career obligations, social calendars and personal commitments are all vying for your attention and it can become overwhelming quickly. One way to fight back against the constant demands is to set aside time where you focus on you and what you need:  to relax and have a bit of fun. However, saying you need to take time for yourself and actually doing it are completely different. You may feel that you don’t have time to just go out with the girls for a fun night, or you may feel guilty leaving your significant other and/or children behind. It’s time you stop feeling guilty about making time for yourself with your girls. Not only do you finally get time to just enjoy yourself, you are also engaging in an activity that has some pretty awesome mental health benefits.

Why Your Mental Health Matters
With the long list of things to do each day come people that depend on your. Your boss depends on quality work, your kids depend on you for a healthy meal and your significant other depends on you for support. It seems counterintuitive to say that you need to take time for yourself when you have so many people relying on you each day but in reality it’s incredibly important and beneficial. Without taking time to take care of yourself, how are you going to effectively take care of those who make up the important parts of your life?

The Office of Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services very plainly states the benefits of giving yourself some time saying, “[g]ood mental health helps you enjoy life and cope with problems. Just as you take care of your body by eating right and exercising, you can do things to protect your mental health.”

How a Girls Night Out Helps
Spending some time with your girls can:

  • Boost your happiness and reduce your stress
  • Encourage you to avoid or change unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as lack of exercise or excessive drinking
  • Improve your self-worth and confidence
  • Help you cope with traumas, such as serious illness, divorce, the death of a loved one or job loss
  • Increase your sense of purpose and belonging

Spending a night out with the girls decreases feelings of depression, stress and anxiety, increase beneficial hormones and can also give your immune system a boost. Research suggests that socializing with people of your gender plays a role in improving mental health. The reason is as yet unknown but there is a theory that bonding occurs due to biological hormone differences between genders and because you may find it easier to relate to the life experiences of members of your gender.

We know it may be difficult to schedule time with friends or that you might feel guilty about doing so, but you shouldn’t. Hanging out with your girls not only gives you a bit of time to relax, it also does provide serious mental (and physical) health benefits. Take care of yourself so you can take care of the people and things that are most important to you.

Red wine poured in a glass

Artificial Intelligence and Wine

The technology we use changes daily as major discoveries continue to be made. One area of technology that is rapidly making advancements is artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence refers to two things:  the intelligence that is displayed by computers or machines and the academic field dedicated to creating computers and software that is capable of intelligent behavior. Some of the goals in artificial intelligence research are the ability to reason, plan, learn and manipulate objects. A few days ago, the renowned U.K. wine publication Harpers Wine and Spirit, published an article that brings the world of fine wine and artificial intelligence together.

A study at University College, London studied the ability of artificial intelligence to predict wine industry trends against human ability to make the same predictions. It seems that not only can artificial intelligence be used to predict trends, but it is far more accurate. In fact, the study found that artificial intelligence was 98% more accurate in determining fluctuations in the price of fine wines than humans were. In order to be able to predict fluctuations in prices of fine wine, those conducting the study used machine-learning technologies. These technologies allow the computer to identify what pieces of data are the most important when it comes to analyzing changes in the pricing of fine wines. The software tested 100 wines used in the study and these wines were selected using the Liv-ex 100 wine index.

Professor John Shawe-Taylor is the so-director for the University College, London Center for Computational Statistics and Machine Learning. Professor Shawe-Taylor is also the head of the university’s Computer Science department. As a study co-author, Professor Shawe-Taylor says, “Machine learning involves developing algorithms that automatically learn from new data without human intervention. We’ve created intelligent software that searches the data for useful information which is then extracted and used, in this case for predicting the values of wines. Since we first started working on machine learning at UCL, our methods have been used in a wide variety of industries, particularly medical and financial, but this is the first time we have entered the world of fine wine.”

The University College, London study partnered with Invinio, a company founded by UCL alumnus, Dr. Tristan Fletcher. Invinio is a quantitative wine asset management consulting firm. University College, London graduate, Michelle Yeo, lead the research along with Invinio. She was pleased with the results of the study saying, “We’re pleased we were able to develop models applicable to fine wines and we hope our findings give the industry confidence to start adopting machine learning methods as a tool for investment decisions.”

Ultimately, the study authors hope that this advancement in artificial intelligence will benefit wine investors. Using this technology, investors will be able to make more informed decisions regarding their wine portfolios. Additionally, the study authors are hopeful that those who do not invest in wine will be more interested in investing due to the information in this study. For now, Invinio and UCL will continue to work together to provide investors with information. Eventually, the study authors would like to expand this technology into other asset categories, such as classic cars.

Woman testing blood samples

Is Young Blood the Fountain of Youth

Very few people are excited about growing old and the aging process. Sure, we want to think we will live long, healthy and fulfilled lives but unfortunately that is rarely the case among the elderly. Diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis and neurological degenerative disease like Alzheimer’s. So many products or ingredients have been labeled as “the fountain of youth,” and some of these truly are beneficial to age-related illnesses. For instance, resveratrol has been shown to increase the rate of apoptosis (the process of cancer cells destructing themselves) in addition to providing the benefits of following a calorie-restricted diet. Aging goes far beyond wrinkles and age spots, and scientists are focusing specifically on whether the blood of the young may be beneficial in slowing or reversing the aging process.

The Research
Research on the elderly and the diseases that occur in old age has generally focused on a specific disease or condition: cancer research, Alzheimer’s research, cancer research, etc…However, each of these diseases are often impacted by the aging process, so scientists at Stanford University decided to tackle solutions for aging in general. It may come as a surprise the study of young blood and elderly patients actually started in the 1600s. In 1615, Andreas Labavius initially wanted to connect the arteries of a young man with the arteries of an old man. The German doctor and alchemist had a very hopeful view of the procedure saying, “[t]he hot and spirituous blood of the young man will pour into the old one as if it were from a fountain of youth, and all his weakness will be dispelled.” This account is featured in Sally Rudmann’s Textbook of Bloodbanking and Transfusion Medicine, though there is no record that this procedure actually happened. Research has continued on and off since the 1600s, but the manner in which the tests and experiments are done has changed drastically.

Some of the most recent research focuses on the proteins found in the blood and which of these proteins specifically benefits the blood of the elderly. Several proteins have been isolated and have been shown to have promising results, though scientists continue research and studies to learn more about this topic. Using mice, scientists have been able to show that the brains of old mice started growing new brain cells after receiving the blood of young mice. However, research is ongoing and it is believed that it will not be merely blood plasma that provides the positive results seen in these mice. In addition to the proteins found in blood, scientists believe a number of antibodies to neutralize the effect of aging in old blood.

The Implications
Though research has been promising and exciting thus far, there are some serious concerns. While it is legal to donate blood plasma in the United States, the notion that simply giving blood could potentially protect against the undesirable effects of aging makes the blood donations from young people likely to skyrocket. Blood Plasma Donation Centers are a legal way for individuals to donate blood, however, the fear is that this research could lead to a black market blood problem. Organs are already being harvested and sold illegally, so many fear that this would happen with blood as well.

Ultimately, the science is extraordinary and fascinating, though far from being used as a medically viable option. There may be, in the future, a way to stop the aging process, at the present the best you can do is be proactive. A lifestyle that includes a nutritious diet, exercise and keeping your mind active may also help you slow the aging process. Also, supplements with ingredients shown to have an impact on problems such as heart disease and cancer are worth taking a look at to help shield you from old age. Our Resveratrol supplement is a high-quality product that does contain anti-aging benefits. Stay as healthy as possible by taking an active role in your own health today.

Red wine and antipasto.

Resveralife Live Well: Our Favorite Wine Pairings

When it comes to pairing food with wine, many people feel completely and utterly intimidated. However, you don’t have to worry about doing something “right” or “wrong” when it comes to pairing foods with wines. The number one rule when it comes to food and wine pairings is to pair what you like. If you are looking for a little guidance, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite wine pairings.

Champagne and caviar.

Champagne and Caviar
Yes it may sound a bit snobby, but there is a reason that champagne and caviar have been paired together since ancient Russian Czars paired these two together. Champagne can pair easily with almost any dish because it has a lower alcohol content, bubbly texture and a refreshing, not overpowering, acidity. Caviar by itself can be an acquired taste as it is salty, oily and has an entirely unique texture. But when put together, Champagne is absolutely perfect for caviar because the acidity of the Champagne helps dissolve any weird, overwhelming fishy tastes. This crisp, refreshing pairing is a truly classic food and wine pairing.

Sauternes and Foie Gras.

Sauternes and Foie Gras
Another classic food and wine pairing is a rich Sauternes and foie gras. Sauternes is produced in the Sauternes region of France using the Semillion and Sauvignon Blanc grapes. The result is an impressively sweet wine with flavors and notes of peaches, apricots and honey. The sweetness of this wine is a result of the “noble mold,” Botrytis. Botrytis does not occur everywhere in the world, as it is produced when moisture meets the sun at the precisely correct time to create the perfect mold. Foie gras is a delicacy made from livers of ducks or geese. The result is a remarkably rich dish that requires a rich wine to meet its own richness. The sweetness of a good Sauternes cut through the rich foie gras to create an impeccable pairing. It is important to note that Sauternes can be quite a bit more expensive than other wine varieties because of the rareness of Botrytis.

Chardonnay and lobster.

Chardonnay and Lobster
Chardonnay is a rich, buttery wine produced around the world. California Chardonnays feature the aforementioned buttery richness and tropical fruit. The result is a big, rich Chardonnay. Lobster is a bit heavier than most seafood, so it requires a wine that has more weight than other seafood while still complimenting flavors of lobster. Additionally, lobster is most commonly served alongside a large amount of melted butter, which requires a special wine as well. The Chardonnays produced in California are buttery enough to stand up to lobster yet sweet enough to compliment lobster perfectly.

Some basic wine pairing tips are:

  • Generally speaking, wine should match the color of the meat
  • High tannin wines require rich, meaty foods
  • Wines that feature earthy flavors go well with foods that have earthy flavors
  • Salads tend to work well with wines that are high in acidity
  • Dessert wines should be a sweeter wine

As we mentioned before, the perfect pairing for you is a wine and a food that you love. For the most intense flavor combination, take a bite of your food, a sip of your wine and chew together to create entirely new flavors and textures.

Resveralife Live Well: Best Pets For Your Family

Some people think that a family isn’t complete until there is at least one furry member. However, depending on the age of your children or where you live, it may be difficult to decide just what pet is right for your family? To help you decide what pet is perfect for your family, Resveralife did a little bit of digging.

Family playing with their pet dog.

Dogs
You may remember your childhood best friend, the lovable dog that took naps with you and that chased you around the yard. Dogs are really an amazing pet for your whole family. The breed of dog that you choose for your family will largely depend on the ages of your children, your living situation and the personalities in your family. For example, a boxer might not be the best for apartment living, but would be a happy, loyal friend to a family that has some yard space. Small dogs, like a maltese or pomeranian, may be the ideal dog breed for families that are limited on space. Be sure to do research about what your desired dog breed requires and check with shelters or breeders to help ensure that your dog fits seamlessly into your family.

Mother and sun playing with their pet cat.

Cats
Cats are mysterious, independent and moody sometimes, but they are also the perfect snugglers on a rainy day or when you aren’t feeling well. Just as with dogs, the cat your family gets will also depend on several factors. Some of these include the age of your children, the space in which you live and what type of breed you and your family think is best for you. Cats may be great for elementary aged children as they teach some responsibility, feeding and taking care of the cat’s litter box, but are largely not as time intensive as dogs.

Pet gerbils

Gerbils
Gerbils are an excellent pet for nearly any living space. In large part, gerbils are very independent and can spend multiple hours entertaining themselves. They love having time to play and unlike hamsters, gerbils are awake for large portions of the day. If you have young kids, toddler or younger, this might not be the greatest pet. Young children may not have developed strong enough fine motor skills to handle the gerbils and gerbils can be scared by sudden movements or sudden loud noises (which happen frequently with young children).

Little girl playing with her pet fish.

Freshwater Fish
Fish are excellent pets for families looking for a relaxing, calm pet. We’ve specified freshwater fish as good for families because they are significantly less time and labor intensive than their saltwater counterparts. Freshwater fish require minimal time commitment beyond proper feeding and care of the tank. Fish come in a nearly endless supply of species, colors and sizes so you are sure to find some that fit what your family is looking for.

Ultimately, you know your family better than anyone else and know what your children will be able to handle. The addition of a pet to the family creates stronger bonds and extra love for the whole family.

Family watching a movie

Resveralife Live Well: Our Favorite Family Movies

Family movie night can be a great weekly or monthly ritual that brings the entire family together. There are so many children’s movies available, but where are the kids movies that adults will be able to enjoy also. Reseralife rounded up our 10 favorite movies for the whole family.

The Incredibles
This is not your typical superhero and villain movie. Disney and Pixar once again teamed up for a movie that has a bit of something for every member of the family. There are jokes for kids, subtle humor for adults and the movie helps drive home the point that working together as a team (or family) is always a good idea. It also points out that there is no better person to be than the person you are.

The Goonies
This movie is definitely not for your littlest ones, but kids aged 10 or up will enjoy this action/fantasy adventure. The movie has a cult following for a reason: these treasure seeking friends “never say die” and they never give up on each other.

Mrs. Doubtfire
Your kids, and yourself as well, will love the hilarious antics of Robin Williams. Kids will get a glimpse of how a family can come back together, even if the parents are separated.

Steam train on the famous Glenfinnan viaduct, Scotland.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
You don’t have to be an avid Harry Potter fan to appreciate the first movie in the franchise. With a focus on education, accepting who you are, the importance of friends and being brave, Harry Potter is an excellent choice for the entire family.

Remember the Titans
If your family has a love of sports, this is a poignant film that the whole family can enjoy. Denzel Washington plays a high school football coach during the first year of integration in schools. Kids will get a small taste of racial strife in our country’s history and learns the importance of teamwork.

Shrek
Mike Meyers is a Scottish ogre who prefers to live his life in a quiet, isolated way. However, when the king exiles all fairy tale creatures from his kingdom, Shrek is forced to go on an unforgettable, and hilarious, journey with his faithful sidekick, Donkey. The resulting quest is full of laughs for the entire family.

Mary Poppins
Journey back to your childhood with this Disney classic. Julie Andrews plays everyone’s favorite nanny in this feel-good musical.

The Lego Movie
A more recent family favorite is the Lego Movie. Featuring Will Farrell and Chris Pratt, this movie reminds us all that it’s okay to be different.

The Karate Kid
Everybody loves a true underdog story and the Karate Kid is a classic tale of defying the odds. Mr. Miyagi teaches Daniel not just about the sport of karate, but how many of the principles karate is founded on are applicable to everyday life.

Wreck-it Ralph
This 2012 animated movie tells the tale of Wreck-it Ralph who is tired of being outshined by Mr. Fix-it. Ralph is tired of having to be the bad guy in his video game and seeks a way to become the good guy instead. Meeting other video games characters along the way, Ralph discovers that it’s best to be yourself.

These movies range from serious to frivolous fun and every member of your family is sure to find something to love about each film. Grab some blankets, a bowl of popcorn and pop in one of these great family movies.

Family walking on a beach.

Activities For the Whole Fam to Keep Minds Healthy

A healthy family is perhaps the most important thing to you, and many others. Feeding your family a diet that nourishes the body and making time for exercise are two of the largest factors in your family’s health equation. However, you might be neglecting a significant area of health: your brain. Keeping your mind active and healthy improves cognitive function, increases focus and memory and can just be downright fun. We’ve come up with several activities the help stimulate the mind to keep it healthy.

Family on a walk.

Walking
Okay, yes we know we already mentioned exercise is important to your overall health, but walking is also an excellent brain activity. The benefits which can be found from walking include growth of new blood vessels in the brain, reducing inflammation and insulin resistance, and stimulating the release of growth factors – chemicals that are present in the brain and can affect the health of our brain cells. You don’t need to put your family in an exercise boot camp to get these brain benefits; a simple walk around the neighborhood as a family will produce these results.

Family playing a puzzle game.

Puzzles
Gathering your family to work on a puzzle together is a great way to spend quality time together while also keeping your minds healthy. You probably know that your brain is responsible for producing dopamine, but you may not know why that it important. Dopamine is the chemical that is largely responsible for learning and memory. Putting together a jigsaw puzzle with your family releases dopamine. The type of puzzle you use will probably be determined by the ages of your children. Younger children will require less complicated puzzles, so be sure to have some kid-friendly puzzles together as well as challenging puzzles for older children and other adults in your family.

Family playing a board game.

Board Games
In the age of electronics and technology, kids probably get more screen time than time spent with family playing games that really encourage a healthy mind. Board games are a great way to spend time together as a family and to improve your minds. Board games are great especially with children in the elementary school age range because they require learning skills such as taking turns, problem-solving and creative thinking. Some of our favorite family games are Uno, Scrabble and Battleship. Monopoly is a great game that teaches about money and cause and effect, but we recommend not trying this one with a toddler.

While the activities mentioned above are excellent ways to keep your family’s minds active and healthy, many of the things you do every day with your family also help keep the mind active. Listening and talking not only strengthen family bonds, but can help stimulate areas of your brain. You could also work on crosswords as a family, color mandalas together (or each color their own) or listen to classical music during meals. The activities available to keep your family’s minds healthy is limited only by your creativity.

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