Hotel and airline elite status extensions stretching into 2023 — Full list of extensions and promos
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. We’ve seen a lot of airlines and hotel chains adjust their loyalty programs in the last year and a half. Nearly every major program announced elite status extensions in 2020. However, some are taking things a step further by also reducing the qualification …We’ve seen a lot of airlines and hotel chains adjust their loyalty programs in the last year and a half. Nearly every major program announced elite status extensions in 2020. However, some are taking things a step further by also reducing the qualification requirements for 2021 — and even extending into 2022 and 2023.
It isn't easy being a professional athlete. Not only are the physical demands greater than most people could handle, athletes also face intense psychological pressure during competition. © Provided by Eat This, Not That! Beautiful female tennis player serving
This is something 18-year-old British tennis player Emma Raducanu wrote about on social media following her retirement from Wimbledon. Though the young player had been doing well in the tournament, she began having difficulty regulating her breathing and heart rate during a match, which she later chalked up to "the accumulation of the excitement and the buzz."
Is hotel elite status worth it anymore?
Once a sought-after achievement for travelers both frequent and occasional, most hotel elite status levels no longer have that same super-exclusive allure. It is easier to come by hotel elite status than ever before thanks both to numerous hotel credit cards that offer it as a perk, and the fact that many hotel brands have …It is easier to come by hotel elite status than ever before thanks both to numerous hotel credit cards that offer it as a perk, and the fact that many hotel brands have slashed qualification requirements during the pandemic.
She isn't the first athlete to experience the physical effects of stress, with English soccer player Marcus Rashford revealing he'd also had a similar experience in the past.
There are many reasons why stress can cause such powerful bodily reactions. But with training, this response can be changed so that a person reacts positively under pressure.
Performance stress is almost unavoidable. But there are many different factors that dictate just how our minds and bodies respond to stressful events.
Typically, stress is the result of an exchange between two factors: demands and resources. A person might feel stressed about an event if they feel the demands on them are greater than they can handle. So for an athlete, demands include the high level of physical and mental effort required to succeed, their levels of uncertainty about the event or their chance of succeeding, and any potential dangers to their health (such as injury) or their self-esteem.
Letting Ourselves Go, Even Now That We’re in Public Again
In this personal essay, one writer reflects on how gaining weight during the Covid pandemic reminded her to accept herself even more. The body I live in now is different from the body I had when the pandemic began. My hips and butt have widened. My belly unfurls in waves. My arms are thicker. In a rare move for them, even my breasts have expanded. The body I live in has, at times, made me frown in the mirror, but mostly we’ve been all right. I’ve embraced sweatpants and shirts that feel good against my skin. I’ve abandoned anything form-fitting in favor of comfort.
Resources, on the other hand, are a person's ability to cope with these demands. These include factors such as confidence levels, how much control they believe they have over the situation's outcome, and whether they're looking forward to the event or not.
Each new demand or change in circumstances affects whether a person responds positively or negatively to stress. Typically the more resources a person feels they have in handling the situation, the more positive their stress response. This positive stress response is known as a challenge state.
But should the person feel there are too many demands placed on them, the more likely they are to experience a negative stress response – known as a threat state. Research shows that challenge states lead to good performance, while threat states lead to poorer performance.
Gallery: Secret Side Effects of Having a Set Bedtime, Say Experts (ETNT Mind+Body)
The Best Hotel Credit Cards for Automatic Elite Status
Get precious perks without staying night after night.This article has been updated with new information since its original publish date.
Secret Side Effects of Having a Set Bedtime, Say Experts
Here's something we can all agree on (hopefully): Personal hygiene is important. (Especially in the age of an ongoing pandemic.) No one wants to look like they don't take care of themselves. Curiously, though, while pretty much everyone knows to prioritize hygiene when it comes to showers, teeth brushing, and skin care, the subject of sleep hygiene is woefully neglected.
What exactly is sleep hygiene? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "sleep hygiene" is nothing more than practicing good sleep habits consistently. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine tells us that sculpting and maintaining a healthy sleep hygiene routine can improve overall sleep quality, decrease nighttime awakenings, and reduce the amount of time it takes to fall asleep.
The pillars of a winning sleep hygiene routine include regular exercise, avoiding alcohol and caffeine in the hours just before bed, leaving your smartphone out of the bedroom, and ensuring your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet when it's finally time for some shut-eye. Additionally, another major aspect of sleep hygiene is sticking to a consistent bedtime each night.
Current airline elite status match and challenge options you should know about
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. We’re all looking for an avenue to make air travel more comfortable and affordable. Benefits like upgrades, lounge access, early boarding, free seat selection and waived baggage fees are universally desirable but only applicable to the small percentage of flyers who hold elite status — …We’re all looking for an avenue to make air travel more comfortable and affordable. Benefits like upgrades, lounge access, early boarding, free seat selection and waived baggage fees are universally desirable but only applicable to the small percentage of flyers who hold elite status — or the right credit card.
"As part of your natural sleep-wake cycle, your brain starts winding down for sleep a few hours before bedtime. You can use your bedtime routine to make that process more effective. First, decide on your bed- and wake-up times, and stick to them every day. Following a consistent sleep routine helps train your brain to naturally feel tired when it's bedtime," write the Sleep Foundation's Danielle Pacheco and Heather Wright, MD.
Besides the sleep benefits a set bedtime can provide, hopping in the sack each night at the same time also offers some more surprising benefits for your well-being. Read on to learn more about the secret side effects of going to bed at the same time every night. And for more sleep intel, don't miss: Nighttime Habits That Ruin Your Sleep, According to Science.
Read the full story at Eat This, Not That!
1. A healthy heart rate
If your sleep patterns and bedtimes are all over the place, you may be giving your heart some serious extra work. A study released in Nature surveyed a group of 500 college students on their sleep schedules, and discovered that going to bed just 30 minutes later than usual was associated with an increased resting heart rate the next day. Going to bed more than 30 minutes earlier than usual also had an effect on heart rate, albeit to a lesser degree.
American completely revamps how you earn elite status with new ‘Loyalty Points’
Paging all American Airlines flyers: The carrier is completely overhauling its elite-status program. Rebuilt from the ground up, American’s AAdvantage loyalty program is bidding farewell to its various elite-qualifying metrics in favor of a new currency, Loyalty Points. To quell your doubts, this isn’t a heartbreaking change that makes elite status totally unachievable. But, if …Rebuilt from the ground up, American’s AAdvantage loyalty program is bidding farewell to its various elite-qualifying metrics in favor of a new currency, Loyalty Points.
"We already know an increase in resting heart rate means an increased risk to cardiovascular health," said lead study author Nitesh Chawla, the Frank M. Freimann professor of Computer Science and Engineering at Notre Dame, said in a press release. "Through our study, we found that even if you get seven hours of sleep a night, if you're not going to bed at the same time each night, not only does your resting heart rate increase while you sleep, it carries over into the next day." Want to learn about other ways to support heart health? Be sure to check out Heart Disease Risks You Didn't Know About, Say Doctors.
2. Lower risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome
A regular bedtime is good for other aspects of your heart health. Another study released in Scientific Reports surveyed close to 2,000 older adults on their sleep habits and found that people who usually go to bed and wake at the same time had lower blood sugar, healthier blood pressure, and a lower risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke over a 10-year period compared to irregular sleepers.
Another study, published in Diabetes Care, found that for each hour variation in time to bed, people saw their risk of metabolic syndrome increase by 27%. (For reference, "metabolic syndrome" is a bit of a blanket term that can refer to multiple co-occurring conditions like excess fat around the waist and low levels of good cholesterol. It's considered to be a predictor of heart disease, diabetes, and other health issues.)
"Many previous studies have shown the link between insufficient sleep and higher risk of obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic disorders," study author Tianyi Huang, Sc.D., said in a press release. "Our research shows that, even after considering the amount of sleep a person gets and other lifestyle factors, every one-hour night-to-night difference in the time to bed or the duration of a night's sleep multiplies the adverse metabolic effect." Read more: This Nighttime Habit Dramatically Increases Your Chance of Diabetes.
Where the most famous spacecraft finished their missions
Have you ever wondered where the most famous satellites, probes, manned craft and space stations end up once they've served their purpose?
3. Fewer obsessive, intrusive thoughts
An estimated 2.2 million Americans, or a full one percent of the nation's population, live with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Characterized by recurring thoughts and ideas that compel one to perform repetitive actions, OCD can make day-to-day life incredibly challenging. But intrusive thoughts aren't exclusive to OCD. Our minds are always thinking, and sometimes those thoughts aren't exactly pleasant.
Interestingly, a small study published in the journal Sleep found that going to bed later than usual is associated with lower perceived control over unwanted obsessive or intrusive thoughts. Basically, people who went to bed later struggled to reign in obsessive thoughts. It's important to note that the study included both people diagnosed with OCD as well as others who experience intrusive thoughts but do not have OCD.
"We're really interested in how this kind of unusual timing of sleep might affect cognitive functioning," study co-author Jessica Schubert, PhD, said in a press release. "One possibility is impulse control. It might be that something about shifting the timing of your sleep might reduce your ability to control your thoughts and your behaviors, so it might make it more likely that you're going to have a hard time dismissing intrusive thoughts characteristic of obsessions." Read more: This One Mental Health Trick Can Actually Make You Miserable, Say Experts.
So in Raducanu's case, a much larger audience, higher expectations and facing a more skillful opponent, may all have led her to feel there were greater demands being placed on her – but she didn't have the resources to tackle them. This led to her experiencing a threat response.
Consequences of Stress
Our challenge and threat responses essentially influence how our body responds to stressful situations, as both affect the production of adrenaline and cortisol (also known as "stress hormones").
During a challenge state, adrenaline increases the amount of blood pumped from the heart and expands the blood vessels. This is good for the body, as adrenaline allows more energy to be delivered to the muscles and brain. This increase of blood and decrease of pressure in the blood vessels has been consistently related to superior athletic performance in everything from cricket batting, golf putting and soccer penalty taking.
But during a threat state, cortisol inhibits the positive effect of adrenaline, resulting in tighter blood vessels, higher blood pressure, slower psychological responses (such as poorer decision making), and a higher heart rate. In short, a threat state makes people more anxious – they make worse decisions and perform more poorly.
In tennis players, higher levels of cortisol have been associated with more unsuccessful serves, and greater levels of anxiety.
That said, anxiety is also a common experience for athletes when they're under pressure. Anxiety can increase heart rate and perspiration, cause heart palpitations, muscle tremors and shortness of breath, as well as headaches, nausea, stomach pain, weakness and a desire to escape in more severe cases. Anxiety can also reduce concentration and self-control (such as being able to stay calm), and cause overthinking.
How intensely a person experiences anxiety depends on the demands and resources they have. Anxiety may also manifest itself in the form of excitement or nervousness depending on the stress response.
Negative stress responses can be harmful to both physical and mental health – and repeated responses can increase risk of heart disease and depression.
But there are many ways athletes can ensure they respond positively under pressure. Positive stress responses can be promoted by encouraging feelings of confidence and control through the language we and others (such as coaches or parents) use. Psychologists can also help athletes change how they see their physiological responses – such as helping them see a higher heart rate as excitement, rather than nerves.
Psychological skills – such as visualisation – can also help decrease our physiological responses to threat. This may involve creating a mental picture of a time when the athlete performed well, or picturing themselves doing well in the future. This can help create feelings of confidence and control over the stressful event.
Recreating competitive pressure during training can also help athletes learn how to cope with stress. An example of this might be scoring athletes against their peers to create a sense of competition. This would increase the demands players experience compared to a normal training session, while still allowing them to practice coping with stress.
It is therefore possible to learn to have a better reaction to stressful situations. Learning this skill may be just one of the many reasons athletes are able to perform many of the feats they do.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
Everyday Ways You're Shortening Your Life .
There are four everyday habits and factors that can accelerate the aging process. They're easy to avoid. Read on to find out more.