One of our favorite magazines is a weekly called "The Week," which gives a summary of the important events and happenings during the previous week. Our daughter and son-in-law give us a subscription each year.

In the last edition for 2009, "The Week" listed some of the things that health professionals said are good for us. I thought my readers would enjoy hearing them.

1. Googling: An hour a day spent searching the Internet can improve your brainpower. There's a lot of stuff out there and some of it can challenge and stimulate you.

2. Doodling: Research has shown that people who doodle with a pencil during a lecture retain 30% more of the lecture than people who just sit there.

3. Feeling Down: Supposedly, being sad sharpens your attention and makes you less gullible.

4. Looking Up: Women classified as optimists were 14% more likely to survive longer than their negative-thinking counterparts.

5. Swearing: Increases your tolerance for pain. By using foul language, you raise your aggression level, which is known to numb people to physical discomfort.

6. Grunting: Brings more muscle fibers into play, generating additional force. (Think Serena Williams)

7. Recessions: Helps us all live a little longer because we have a tendency to eat and drink less, sleep more, and suffer fewer accidents.

8. Having a Sister: Increases your odds of being happy and well adjusted. Sisters appear to encourage more open communication and cohesion in families.

And, just so we balance the scales, here are the 8 things the health professionals tell us to avoid:

1. Positive Thinking: Can make depressed people feel worse.

2. Canned Soup: Contains Bisphenol A, a chemical additive known to cause reproductive and hormone problems and to raise the risk of diabetes.

3. Not Venting Your Spleen: If you keep your feelings pent up, you are far more likely to suffer a heart attack.

4. Beach Sand: Fecal bacteria from sewage and run-off are more prevalent in sand near the waterline. Best to use a hand sanitizer after playing in the sand.

5. Divorce: People who are divorced, separated, or widowed tend to ignore their health, exercise less, sleep poorly, and avoid the doctor.

6. Fruit Juice: This is just as fattening as sugary soda. High doses of fructose raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes.

7. Multitasking: It's a waste of time. You have weaker memories, are more distractible, and are slower to switch activities.

8. Being Elected President: Will age you quickly – roughly twice as fast as a non-President. Your decisions have global weight; you're always on call, and under constant guard.

Whether or not you agree with these two lists, it certainly gives us something to think about during the New Year 2010.