Healthy Living: Happiness in the water

Research published in the journal of Environmental Psychology finds 'blue spaces' like rivers, lakes or the ocean can help our minds move into a meditative state lowering stress levels, heart rates and in the end... make you happier.  Think about it, many of us are willing to pay more for a view of the water, whether it's a hotel room or a home.  So there must be a reason for it.  Researchers also say people who sleep close to nature get a better night's rest.

We have more proof that healthy habits are not just good for our body, but also for our minds.  A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found people who regularly worked out, ate a balanced diet, didn't smoke and limited their alcohol consumption were 32% less likely to develop Alzheimer's.  That also goes for people who have a higher genetic risk for the disease.  Healthy living was identified as getting at least two and a half hours of exercise a week and eating a Mediterranean based diet.

Finally, a word to the wise if you've got little kids in your life.  Health experts say there is a right way to clean their toys.  For plastic toys, hot, soapy water is best.  If it's 100% plastic, try the dishwasher.  Distilled white vinegar and water with a cloth are good for wooden toys and anything soft, including blankets can usually tolerate a gentle run through the washing machine.  Experts recommend giving toys a good scrub at least once a week to avoid the spread of bacteria.