Cooking at Home: A Taste of Wellness

Cooking at home can be a great way to monitor exactly what you are eating. It can also be fun! You can experiment with flavors, prefect an old family favorite, or just make up something of your own. There are health benefits to cooking at home as well. You can turn cooking at home into a family activity that will help promote bonding. 

And Then There Was Fire

According to anthropologist Richard Wrangham, early cooking most likely consisted of throwing meat into a fire. Even after we progressed beyond that particular method, cooking still looked a lot different than what we think of today. Families had to keep a fire burning at all times because if it went out, there was a chance they wouldn’t get it going again. Mesopotamia, according to Did You Know Homes, brought a major advancement to cooking; caring for plants and animals. This would help increase the variety of foods eaten and also the availability of food. However, the lower classes still did not eat nearly as well as the wealthy. 

Become a Healthier You

Cooking at home increases your awareness of what you are eating. People that cook at home more often consume fewer calories even when they do decide to eat out, according to Harvard Health Publishing. An article published by Johns Hopkins corroborates that information and goes on to add that unhealthy eating habits can lead to heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Learning to cook meals at home is a big first step to living a much happier and healthier life.  

The Basics

When it comes to cooking you don’t have to jump into anything fancy. Start with the basics and move on from there. The Spruce Eats has a wonderful A-Z guide for cooking terms that can help you get started, and Morsel by Plated has a guide to basic cooking methods. The most important thing to remember about cooking is to have fun with it. Everyone learns at a different pace, and everyone has different tastes. If jumping right in makes you nervous, you can look for cooking classes in your area that can help you get started. You can even invite a friend over to enjoy a glass of wine (or a beer) while you learn to cook together. 

Swimming for Exercise, Competition, and Fun!

Not only does Michael Phelps have more Olympic medals than any other swimmer, but he is also the most decorated Olympian, period. With a combination of 23 golds, 3 silvers, and 2 bronze, no one is anywhere near reaching him in any sport.

Swimming’s start in the Olympic Games came in 1896 with the freestyle or the breaststroke. Prior to its appearance in competition, swimming was an act learned for man’s survival.

First Man Learned to Walk, Then Swim

Men swimming is something depicted in cave paintings dating back some 9,000 years ago. Clay tablets dating back 7,000 years reveal similar images, and Egyptian hieroglyphics show men swimming 4,500 years ago. Man needed to learn to swim to survive including being able to cross rivers, to fish for food, and to escape rising waters from flooding.

Competitive Swimming

It was the National Swimming Society of Great Britain formed in the 1830s, which began the modern-day form of swimming competitions toward the end of the 19th century. Only involved men. Clad in woolen suits from their knees to their elbows, these athletic men raced against each other using an older form of the breaststroke, in newly-created indoor pools.

The backstroke was added to the Olympics in 1904. Women’s swimming events began in 1912, and today men and women athletes have close to identical competitions. The only exception is the freestyle distance event, which for women measures 800 meters and for men 1,500 meters.

The top swimmers in the world come from the US. Before Phelps, Mark Spitz earned 11 Olympic medals including nine golds. Jenny Thompson is the most decorated woman with 12 total medals, 8 of which are gold.

All in all, US swimmers have earned a total of 462 swimming title competitions blowing the others out of the water, according to the World Atlas. Germany, earlier as East and West, and then Unified combined comes in second with 145 titles, and China right behind that at 140.

Who Goes to the Pool?

In the past half-century or so, backyard pools became popular throughout the US. They are commonly found in apartment, townhouse, or condominium complexes. Many high schools around the country have pools and swim teams. And, those pools are often open during the summer months as public pools for community use, when kids and families go out to play and cool off.

Swimming is attractive to many as a form of low-impact exercise. Pools can be found in many local gyms, often with specific times for specific usages such as lap swimming, or low-impact aerobics.

Whether you are looking for a way to entertain the kids, a sport for the growing athlete, a new form of exercise, or a place to float a raft while sipping a margarita, check out the nearest pool to you, which may actually be in your own backyard.