All posts by mattlyons22

Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

In order you maintain a healthy lifestyle, you have to balance out two very important things, food intake and exercise. Having only a good diet or only getting adequate exercise isn’t enough to maintain a balanced healthy lifestyle, you need both. So I’ll share some tips for doing so.

First we’ll look at food intake. While every knows they should “eat healthy,” they don’t always know how to. Knowing what kinds of food to eat and things to avoid is key.

To maintain a healthy weight, you typically want a good ratio of carbs, protein, and fat in your diet. It is recommended that 45-65% of your daily calories come from carbohydrates, 10-35% form protein, and 20-35% from fats. This ratio would differ if you are looking to add or lose weight. Many articles will tell you roughly the same things you should be looking for in your diet: https://www.eufic.org/en/healthy-living/article/10-healthy-lifestyle-tips-for-adults

While food intake is one side of the balance beam, exercise is the other. It is important to get adequate exercise if you are aiming to maintain a balanced healthy lifestyle.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/exercise/faq-20057916

Mayo Clinic recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week. They also recommend strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least twice a week. These are the recommendations for the average adult. Many people will need or want to include much more exercise than this in their daily schedule based on their goals.

Giving yourself a great diet and exercise plan will provide you with the best of both worlds. You can’t maintain a healthy lifestyle without focusing on both of these things. It is crucial that you lay out a well thought-out plan for yourself based on your health goals to ensure results.

The Pandemic’s Negative Impact on Mental Health

The overall mental health of plenty of individuals has deteriorated noticeably throughout the pandemic. KFF has an article outlining very alarming statistics in regards to it: https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/the-implications-of-covid-19-for-mental-health-and-substance-use/

4 in 10 adults have reported symptoms of anxiety or depression during the pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, only 1 in 10 did. A poll KFF did found that “many adults are reporting specific negative impacts on their mental health and well-being, such as difficulty sleeping (36%) or eating (32%), increases in alcohol consumption or substance use (12%), and worsening chronic conditions (12%), due to worry and stress over the coronavirus.”

Adults of all age groups have had their mental healthy negatively impacted from the pandemic. Young adults age 18-24 have the most reports of experiencing anxiety or depression during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey conducted by KFF “also found that substance use and suicidal ideation are particularly pronounced for young adults, with 25% reporting they started or increased substance use during the pandemic (compared to 13% of all adults), and 26% reporting serious thoughts of suicide (compared to 11% of all adults). Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, young adults were already at high risk of poor mental health and substance use disorder, yet many did not receive┬átreatment.”

Getting help for mental health problems isn’t easy. Many people keep these issues to themselves, making it sometimes hard for loved ones to even realize that they are struggling inside. I encourage anyone struggling to reach out to someone. There are many resources outside of family members or friends that people can use.

Why Video Games are Beneficial to All Kinds of People

There are many negative stigmas and preexisting opinions people have in regards to video games. Some think they are a waste of time, others believe no good can come from them. I would like to provide some facts that support the idea of video games having positive benefits to all sorts of people.

According to this article, https://www.geico.com/living/home/technology/9-reasons-to-give-video-games-a-try/, video games can have many positive impacts on children and adults. Some of the benefits include:

  • Improved problem-solving skills
  • Stress relief
  • Healthy brain stimulation
  • Improved social skills
  • Mental health benefits

One of the biggest benefits to video games I have found personally is the improvement on my mental health. Video games have always been one of my favorite hobbies since I was a kid and a big reason for that is they provide an escape from the real world. No matter what problems you may have going on in your life, you can sit down and become immersed in a virtual world of a video game for however long you please. Whether it’s for a few minutes or a few hours, having that time where to yourself where you can just relax and enjoy a great game, not worrying about your real world problems, can greatly impact your mental health. https://www.theguardian.com/games/2020/nov/16/video-gaming-can-benefit-mental-health-find-oxford-academics

Video games have also allowed me to connect with people all across the country and globe. If not for video games, I would’ve never come across these people in my lifetime. Thanks to playing video games, I’ve made strong friendships with individuals that I can carry with me for years to come.

Video games have many positive impacts on people that sometimes don’t get talked about enough. I believe the benefits far outweigh the negatives and I’m grateful to have gotten to experience said benefits myself.

No, the Warriors 2016 Finals Loss Was Not the Biggest Choke of the Decade

This article, https://bluemanhoop.com/2019/12/24/golden-state-warriors-3-1-blunder-was-worst-choke-of-the-decade/, discusses why the Golden State Warriors’ 2016 NBA Finals loss was the worst choke of the decade. The article mainly states that in 2016 the Warriors had it all. They were clicking on all cylinders and were destined to repeat as champions. This is all true, but then the article makes it seem like Stephen Curry simply didn’t play up to his unanimous MVP level in the Finals and therefore the Warriors choked away their 3-1 lead. This article has some clear biases in it, as it paints out the Cavs leading a historic comeback solely due to their play and the Warriors not playing up to par.

The article fails to paint the whole picture. Stephen Curry went down with a brutal MCL sprain in the first round of the 2016 playoffs, leaving the Warriors without their superstar player for over two weeks. He was able to make a return, but clearly didn’t look like himself. One of the biggest strengths to Curry’s game is his off ball movement and his shotmaking off the dribble. Both of these were drastically limited due to him playing at much less than full strength. While this was very obvious in the Western Conference Finals vs the OKC Thunder, the Warriors still managed to overcome a 3-1 deficit and advance to the NBA Finals. A combination of fatigue and excellent defense from the Cavaliers led to Stephen Curry being much less effective after taking a 3-1 lead over Cleveland. Facing constant double teams and rough house defense led to the Warriors having to lean on other players to step up in the last 3 games, which clearly didn’t end up working out. Harrison Barnes was often left wide open for the Warriors and shot an inexcusably poor 5/32 FG over the final three games of the finals. They also lost their starting center Andrew Bogut to injury for the last two games and their star forward Draymond Green to suspension in Game 5.

All these factors led to the Warriors losing the Finals after going up 3-1. While this was definitely a choke job, I don’t consider it to be the biggest of the decade due to all the circumstances surrounding it.

Women’s Safety When Exercising Outdoors

Getting exercise is crucial for anyone who wants to stay healthy and live a healthy lifestyle. Many people enjoy running. Not everyone has access to or the want to run on a treadmill indoors, so many take to outdoor running/jogging for their exercise. The downside to this is that it isn’t always safe for people, especially women, to go out alone for a run, especially at night. Women are more likely than men to be harassed, stalked, or even sexually assaulted or murdered on any given night they go for a run. This is why many are discouraged from doing so. Many will only go if they have someone with them and/or are taking a very public route during broad daylight.

Women’s Running has an article with many statistics regarding women’s safety while running: https://www.womensrunning.com/health/statistics-runner-safety-stay-safer/

Some alarming statistics from the article include

  • 34% of women feel afraid exercising outdoors alone
  • 37% feel threatened sometimes.
  • 60% curtail outdoor activity or limit to only daytime
  • 50% feel more anxious when hearing about violent crime in the area
  • Over 90% feel at least a little bit safer when outdoors with other people

Women should always be prepared for the worst if they choose to exercise outdoors by themselves, especially if at night. This article provides insight into how they can take steps to be safer when doing so: https://www.verywellfit.com/tips-for-running-alone-2911825

The article states that women should

  • Trust their instincts
  • Inform others of their route and expected time being gone
  • Vary familiar routes
  • Carry ID and phone
  • Be visible and loud
  • Listen to surroundings
  • Run with their pet if they have one
  • Learn self-defense

While it isn’t fair that women should have to worry so much about being in danger while exercising alone outdoors, they need to know how to be as safe as possible and protect themselves. Knowing the basics of how to stay safe outdoors can help reduce any preexisting fears and make running alone more enjoyable.

COVID-19 Vaccine and Its Effects on Pregnant Women

Many people are scared to get vaccinated. Many reasons are listed by those unsure of whether they should get the vaccine or not. One of the more popular concerns are by women who are pregnant or will one day want to have kids. Due to scientists and health officials obviously not being able to know all of the long term effects from the different COVID-19 vaccinations, there are reasonable concerns to be had.

The CDC provides some insight to these concerns on their website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html

The CDC states that it is in fact safe for pregnant women and those who will be one day, to receive the vaccine. “There is currently no evidence that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta. In addition, there is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any vaccine.”