November 18th Great American Smoke-out

I am not one to harp on those who smoke. I know the pleasure and relaxation it brings and I should, I smoked for over over 50 years. I quit, mainly because I got sick and it wasn’t from smoking… or at least not supposedly. Anyway it is hard to quit and like any other addiction, it is even harder to stay a non-smoker. But in the long run it’s worth it and I suggest you at least try. Today was created by the American Cancer Society in 1977 and always falls on the third Thursday of November.

How to celebrate – Stop smoking. Throw yourself a party if you’ve quit. Contribute to the American Cancer Society.

March 5th Multiple Personality Day

You can either try to be funny on a day like this, or very serious, it’s hard to be straight down the middle on the subject. In order not to offend anyone am going to try and be brief. I think to some degree, we all have several personalities we express daily. The difference in being diagnosed with multiple personalities and not is whether you are able to control the voices in your head. Perhaps you should see a doctor if you find yourself waking up in the morning and arguing with yourself.

How to celebrate – How many personalities do you believe you have? Can you see multiple personalities in others around you? Throw a party for yourselves!

August 31st National Trail Mix Day

Cereal, nuts, m&ms, raisins, dried fruit, pretzels, dried vegetables… in fact nearly anything you can think of can be included in your own personal trail mix! The idea behind trail mix is pretty obvious, to provide you with energy as you walk along the great trails of the world. We need to replace some of the calories we burn when we do extended exercise. Since the idea of being on the trail is longer than say even a football game, we need something to sustain us and it has to be easy to carry, easy to eat and quick reacting. It helps if it tastes good too! And to be honest, you don’t have to be on a trail to eat… though that’s good for you too! (Though it might be tough to eat your trail mix through a mask.)

How to celebrate – Buy some trail mix. Make your own trail mix. Go for a walk.

August 29th More Herbs, Less Salt Day

Finally an actual day we can use from the good people at Wellcat.com… More Herbs, Less Salt Day. Most of us add salt, and then more salt, to bring out the flavor of our food. That is not very good for us in so many ways. If we could, and would, learn to use other herbs and spices to bring out that flavor we would all be healthier. I think we learned salt because it was used to keep meat eatable when stored for later use. The meat was very salty but preserved so we learned, as people, to eat that and found anything not served with salt lacking. That was okay for the 1700’s but not so much today. Learn to use other spices and herbs to perk up your food and make eating a healthier choice for you.

how to celebrate – Learn what herbs help spice things up! Plant an herb garden. Use less salt in your diet.

June 17th Eat Your Vegetables Day

It is only appropriate that since yesterday was learning all about fresh vegetables today should be the day we eat those vegetables! We know vegetables are healthier than most of the things we eat and therefore better for us. In fact, the more vegetables we eat at a meal the less of other things we eat and therefore we are eating healthier. Naturally that doesn’t include all the salt, sauces and cheese we add to the vegetables where we pretend we are eating healthier. Many of our tasted are acquired. If our parents didn’t like certain vegetables we won’t like them either. However, as we age our tastes change and we expand those things we eat. So try a few vegetables you never had as a child, who knows… you just might like them.

How to celebrate – Eat your veggies. Prepare more vegetables for your meals. Try vegetables you’ve never tried before.

May 15th National Bike To Work Day

The League of Wheelmen began in 1880. The idea back then was to have an organization that fought the prejudices against those who rode bikes. Over the years it has become the League of American Bicyclists who promote using bikes to help with the environment, health and to slow down life a little so people can enjoy it. There is a Bike Month, Week and today (Bike To Work Day). It always falls on the 3rd Friday of May when, hopefully, the weather is better. Riding your bike to work has it’s challenges but it is worth it, provided work isn’t a 100 miles away.

How to celebrate – Ride your bike to work. If you don’t have a bike, get one! Plan your route to work so it’s safe and you get to enjoy things you might not normally see.

May 12th International Nurse’s Day

I think recent events prove to us all just how much we depend on, and cherish, our health providers. Now I already know there was a nurse’s day this month, in fact there are lot of them throughout the year, but why not? They deserve our respect and thanks for all they do. Remember, they do not often see us at our best and generally do things to us we would rather not have done… but guess what, they would rather not have to do them either! They have been putting their lives on the line for us, risking themselves and their families. The date was selected since it is Florence Nightingale’s birthday, one of the first nurses to serve the world, not just her own backyard.

How to celebrate – Thank any nurse you may know for all they have done. Take a nurse to lunch, if you are allowed to. Help provide for their needs just as they have for yours.

May 6th National Nurses Day

With all the recent concerns we have learned just how valuable our nurses are. We throw around the term hero, using it pretty loosely anymore, but the nursing profession is truly filled with heroes that save lives. The day was created in 1953 by Dorothy Sutherland, an employee of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare in the United States. And though it did not become a national holiday, it has been celebrated ever since then. There are several nurse days, weeks, and celebrations during the year, both National and International, and our health care providers deserve every one of them.

How to celebrate – Thank any nurses you know for their work. Take a nurse to lunch. Give to charities that support nurses.

January 9th National Take The Stairs Day

We all know we should take the stairs instead of the elevators or escalators when we need to reach floors beyond the ground level. It’s much healthier for us and can actually make us happier. (That sort of figures since the healthier we are generally the happier we are.)

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There are all sorts of stairs in the world, even some that lead to nowhere! (The Winchester House in California for example) A person weighing 160 pounds burns 30 calories in 3 minutes when climbing stairs. That doesn’t seem like a lot but every calorie  counts when we are putting in on, and taking it off. So when yo decide to eat that 300 calorie doughnut think that you need to climb the stairs for 100 minutes to take if off!

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There are also some stairs a little more difficult to climb than others. I think it also depends on how fast you go up the stairs as well. If you only go one stair a minute I seriously doubt whether that counts.

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Today was first celebrated on January 6th, 2010. For whatever reason it was then moved to the second Wednesday in January. Oh, and no one claims having created today… go figure. I can envision a day in the future where we have express stairs for those who go quickly and regular stairs for those who may move slower. I will be in the slower lane probably being passed by little old ladies using walkers.

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Well, for what ever reason you want to celebrate today is is a day to take the stairs and get a little workout. As I said earlier, it make you healthier and that will make you happier.

How to celebrate – Take the stairs where ever you are today. If there are no stairs, build some. If you can’t find, or build, stairs find a really big hill.

May 31st National Save Your Hearing Day

What!?! It’s National Save Your Hearing Day? Why yes it is… and it’s my son’s birthday! (No relation to each other but I thought I’d mention it.)

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There’s nothing funny about losing your hearing. Particularly in a world of so much mass communication and audio entertainment. You need to safeguard the gift you have been given. I should know, I spent much of my youth as a musician playing rock and roll and I know my hearing range is limited because of it. In case you wondered, The Who are the loudest band in the world.

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As we age many of our body parts begin to fail, one of the first to go is our hearing. So many people think the elderly are losing their minds when they don’t respond, or respond incorrectly. Hearing aides help but often pick up too much making everything a loud roar. The person seems detached and they are. They tend to be left alone with their thoughts, sometimes not always in their own best interests.

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Hearing, just like smell, touch and sight, is a gift. Abusing it is just plain stupid if you can avoid it. Those cars that pass you on the highway with their radios up so loud that you can clearly hear the music with their windows close, your windows closed and your radio on are simply idiots. They are damaging their hearing on purpose and for very little benefit.

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So take care of the gift you have been given. If you don’t know it now, you will later.

How to celebrate – Get a hearing check. Play music at normal volumes. (This will vary with the person but if your ears are ringing, it’s too loud. Someday that song that you loved to hear playing it so loud will be the first thing you miss when you can’t hear at all) Speak up when you talk, particularly if you are around someone you know is hard of hearing.