STAYING FIT AND HEALTHY DURING THE HOLIDAYS

With the holidays coming up, the highlight for many people during this season is gathering with family and friends and enjoying favorite holiday treats. Here are some tips that will help you enjoy your holidays to the fullest while not increasing your waistline.

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MAKING AND KEEPING NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Only 8 percent of individuals achieved their resolutions in 2016, according to Statistic Brain. This is likely due to most people having unrealistic expectations about the speed, ease and consequences of the resolutions they make. People attempting self-change rarely succeed the first time; most need five or six attempts, according to a paper published in American Psychologist by Janet Polivy and Peter Herman. The authors suggest false hope syndrome is the cause for failure.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY OPTIONS

The holidays are a wonderful time to gather with family and friends to celebrate. These celebrations often consist of many delicious treats and hardy meals. You can still maintain a healthy diet with a little thought and planning in advance. Research from a recent Web-based survey found 18 percent of people feel they cannot eat healthily during the holidays because they don’t want to miss out on their favorite foods. You can still eat the foods you enjoy this season, just in moderation.

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handed people with dyslexia show a pattern of symmetry (right equals left) or asymmetry in the other direction (right larger than left). Functional magnetic resonance imaging shows a different distribution of metabolic activation in dyslexic brains, specifically a failure of the left-hemisphere rear-brain systems to function properly during reading and a greater activation in the lower frontal areas of the brain.


Another form of dyslexia, alexia, is caused by a stroke or brain trauma. Alexia can cause difficulty focusing or the inability to read small words or it can cause larger issues, such as making all words look like gibberish. Also known as “word blindness,” alexia is commonly accompanied with expressive aphasia, the inability to speak in sentences, and agraphia, the inability to write.


Although dyslexia is a lifelong condition, most people can learn to read and write well with proper help and training. Early identification and treatment are vital for helping those with dyslexia achieve success in school and life. Multisensory, structured language approaches based on a systematic, explicit method involving hearing, seeing and touching at the same time help overcome the learning challenges of dyslexia.


Daniel Britton, a London-based graphic designer diagnosed with dyslexia while in grad school, created a font called Dyslexia so non-sufferers can experience the condition. It can be seen at http://danielbritton.info/dyslexia.  

More than 3 million people in the United States have dyslexia, according to the Mayo Clinic. Dyslexia is a cluster of symptoms that results in a language-based learning disability that most notably affects reading. Dyslexia impacts individuals throughout their lives, but that impact can change at different stages in a person’s life.


The core difficulty in dyslexia is with word recognition and reading fluency, spelling and writing. Most people with dyslexia also have problems identifying separate speech sounds within a word and learning how letters represent those sounds. Other issues include slow or inaccurate reading, mixing up similar words, substituting one small-sight word for another and difficulty fully comprehending what others mean when they speak, says the Learning Disabilities Association of America. Some struggle with more complex language skills, such as grammar and writing essays.


Dyslexia is considered to be neurobiological and genetic. Researchers have identified chromosomes 3, 6 and 15 as potentially related to dyslexia and language impairment. People with dyslexia have structural and functional brain differences. Two areas of the brain are important to reading: the left temporaparietal cortex, which is used to process spoken language, and the occipitotemporal cortex, which is part of the visual processing center. In a dyslexic brain, both cortexes are

DYSLEXIA MANIFESTED IN DIFFICULTY WITH READING

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by Angela s. hoover

under-activated. The occipitotemporal cortex recognizes objects from many different angles, regardless of perspective. As one becomes a fluent reader, this area of the brain is trained to recognize letters and words visually. After this training, all words seen and instantly known without thinking about their letters and sounds are called “sight words.” But the brain doesn’t see letters from many different angles as it does objects, which is problematic for letters such as “b” and “d” that the brain wants to recognize as the same object in a different perspective. Everyone has to train their brain to not conflate “b” and “d. ” This is not as easy for a dyslexic brain.


Those with dyslexia have less gray and white matter in the left temporaparietal area. Less gray matter in this region could lead to problems processing the sound structure of language (phonological awareness). Having less white matter could lessen the ability of the regions of the brain to communicate with one another efficiency.


Differences also appear in hemispherical asymmetry. Most brains of right-handed non-dyslexic individuals are asymmetrical. In contrast, researchers found right-