The National Institutes of Health’s music and health initiative is exploring the effects of music on maintaining a healthy body and mind. The NIH News in Health blog offers the following ways to add music to your life:

— Listen to music during the day, such as on your way to work or during exercise.

— Sing and dance when doing chores or cooking meals.

— Play an instrument. Consider taking music lessons or joining friends to make music.

— Attend concerts, plays and community music activities in your area.

— Encourage your kids to listen to music, sing, play an instrument, or participate in school music programs.

— Ask your doctor if music therapy is right for you. Consider working with a board-certified music therapist to improve your health.


Tips for building healthy habits

Making healthy choices can make you feel better and live longer, according to a recent post from the National Institutes of Health’s News in Health blog.

The post offered the following tips to help you build healthy habits.

1. Plan. Identify unhealthy patterns and triggers. Set realistic goals and write down needed steps.

2. Change your surroundings. Find ways to make healthier choices easy choices. Remove temptations.

3. Ask for support. Find friends, family, co-workers, neighbors or groups for support.

4. Fill your time with healthy activities. Try exercise, a hobby or spending time with family and friends.

5. Track your progress. Record how things are going to help you stay focused.

6. Think about future benefits to stay on track.

7. Reward yourself. Give yourself a healthy reward for a small goal or milestone, like a massage or personal time.

8. Be patient. Improvement takes time and setbacks happen. Focus on progress, not perfection.


Stay healthy this summer with these 5 tips

With these tips from the CDC, you can enjoy the summer while protecting your health:

— Stay up to date on cancer screening tests and use SPF to protect your skin whenever you’re outdoors.

— Despite the longer days of summer, make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep. Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep each night.

— While driving, avoid doing any other activity that takes your attention away from the road.

— Only take prescription medicine as directed by a health-care provider.

— Adults should do at least 2 hours and 30 minutes each week of aerobic physical activity that requires moderate effort. If you don’t have time to do it all at once, fit in at least 10 minutes of exercise on lunch breaks or in the evening.


Foods for healthy eyes

According to WebMD, these foods are most beneficial to your sight:

— Spinach: Spinach contains lutein, which has been linked to a reduced risk of cataract surgery.

— Oysters: Oysters are loaded with zinc, which helps produce melanin, a pigment that protects the eyes.

— Green tea: “Green tea is a rich source for a variety of flavonoids,” says David Katz, MD, MPH. “This family of antioxidants helps protect the retina from the damage of solar radiation.”

— Walnuts: Walnuts help maintain vascular health like blood flow and lipid levels, which is critical to how the eyes function.

— Pumpkin: Lutein and zeaxanthin are important nutrients for preventing age-related eye diseases. Pumpkin is a great source of both.

— Salmon: Fatty acids found in salmon help lower the risk of macular degeneration, and its nutrients protect against glaucoma and dry eye.

— Brandpoint