HEALTHMATTERS

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National Napping Day

Feeling a little sleepy after the clock change to Daylight Saving Time? Then you might want to celebrate the little-known National Napping Day on Monday, March 11.

Dreamed up by Boston University Professor William Anthony in 1999, the unofficial holiday celebrates the health benefits of catching up on quality sleep. In many cultures, mid-afternoon naps are common, and, scientifically, naps have been proven to be good for you. They improve your mood and reportedly make you more productive. They’re also free and not fattening.

We might caution, however, your boss might not approve of sleeping on the job. But, then again, she might need a nap, too.

Mood booster

Naps aren’t the only way to improve your mood, fight depression and ward off anxiety. Regular exercise is an excellent elixir for boosting self esteem. It also has been shown to reduce stress and improve sleep. Exercising causes your body to release endorphins, chemicals that reduce your perception of pain and triggers positive feelings.

In addition to giving you those good vibrations, exercise strengthens your heart, increases energy levels, lowers blood pressure and improves your muscle strength and tone.

Exercising with others provides the added benefit of social interaction and a support group to keep you moving in the right direction.

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