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Friday MineFit TidBit: What Keeps Our Brains Alive and Active?

Posted By Darrell Smith, Friday, April 28, 2017
Happy Friday!

Today we will talk a little bit about Neuroplasticity...also known as brain plasticity or what keeps our mind ACTIVE both in daily work tasks and also for the long term. It collectively describes lasting change to the brain throughout an individual's life course. Many aspects of the brain can be altered (or are "plastic") even into adulthood. The interesting part about this concept is that it is in contrast with the previous scientific consensus that the brain develops during a early childhood and then remains relatively unchanged. Turns out, the truth is we can always get “smarter” and more sharpened.  

Workplace Translation: You can stay smart, sharp, and alert. Here are the Top 5 Tips for Keeping Your Brain Alive:

1. Do not focus on more than one thing at a time - this means finishing one task first, then moving to the next, no matter how large or small.  If you have a daunting project, try to set soft timelines on when you are going to task-shift focus and do another activity that is perhaps less mentally taxing.

2. Practice decent eating habits - don’t wait to eat. Consume something small in the morning hours, make sure that you drink fluid, and be mindful of having one to two servings of fruit per day.  It’s great brain food.  

3. Learn something new every day - whether it be reading an article, a great MineFit post from our archive, a new recipe, or anything that appeals to you, teaching new neurons to fire will guarantee plasticity in the brain.

4. Check in with your body every hour - a posture check: shoulders, legs, neck, feet, etc, helps send efferent neurons to your muscles and activate the motor areas of the brain.

5. Practice memory games - we have two types of memory: episodic and semantic - and we store memory in so many ways.  Unlock your memory storage by practicing brain games focusing on objects, speed, or simply “back-tracking” your own week to see how much you can recall.  

Have a wonderful weekend, and take a look at this link for more.  

Your MineFit Head Coach,
Monica 
 

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Senate Confirms Alex Acosta for Secretary of Labor

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, April 28, 2017

Yesterday, the Senate confirmed Alex Acosta to be the Secretary of Labor by a vote of 60-38. The vote garnered support from 9 Democrats, marking a strong difference from the partisan nature of many of the other Cabinet confirmation votes. With the confirmation of Alex Acosta settled, there remains only one more Cabinet-level nominee awaiting a vote from the full Senate, President Trump's pick for trade representative, Robert E. Lighthizer. The Trump Administration still has hundreds of important positions to fill within the agencies, but Acosta's confirmation will hopefully create some more clarity on what leadership for OSHA and MSHA will look like.  

President Trump nominated Alex Acosta for the role of Secretary of Labor after his initial nominee Andy Puzder withdrew from consideration after considerable opposition from labor groups and consumer advocates. Acosta served on the National Labor Relations Board from 2002-2003 in addition to working as Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division and the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.  Secretary Acosta's past experiences stand him in good stead to understand and manage the portfolio of outstanding and future labor issues. 

Tags:  administration  confirmation  labor  Secretary of Labor  senate 

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Happy Friday! Today we will play some Plane Games.

Posted By Darrell Smith, Friday, April 21, 2017

Happy Friday! Today we will play some Plane Games.  Have fun on your flight to the IMA-NA Workshop!  

Don’t get stiff muscles and joints on your plane ride. Perform these simple stretches and “activators” to help your legs stay limber and your body keep loose during your seated flight.  

(1) pull your foot underneath you for a quad (thigh) stretch, and press your laces to the floor 30 seconds each side.
(2) sit at the front edge of your seat and reach your hands down straight by your sides. Lengthen your trunk and spine, and keep your head up tall for an active posture sitting for 4 breaths - 3 seconds each breath.
(3) perform single leg toe taps alternating legs 20 times, lifting one foot away from the floor then the other foot. As a finale, try to keep your toes pointed and lift both feet up in the air for 10 seconds while holding your arm rests.  

Your MineFit Head Coach, 
Monica 


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IMA-NA Submits Testimony to the Record on Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Hearing

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, April 21, 2017

Last week, IMA-NA and other members of the Minerals Science and Information Coalition (MSIC or Coalition) submitted written testimony to the record about the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee's (ENR) hearing: to examine the United States’ increasing dependence on foreign sources of minerals and opportunities to rebuild and improve the supply chain in the United States. The Coalition, made up of minerals and materials interest groups, was established to push for increased investment in minerals science, particularly as it relates to federal funding for the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Minerals Information Center (NMIC) and Minerals Resources Program (MRP). Thus far in the new Congress there have been a House and Senate hearing focused on the importance of a domestic mineral supply chain. MSIC's testimony applauded the Senate ENR Committee for exploring the U.S.'s supply chain, the current pressures on domestic production, growing reliance on imports, and the importance of minerals to every aspect of modern society.  The Coalition additionally, offered support for the reintroduction of last sessions American Mineral Security Act, S.883. If the two hearings are any indication the 115th Congress is beginning to express an interest in better understanding the mining industry, which is reminder of the importance in MA-NA members telling their story. 

 If you'd like to read the testimony it is attached.  

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  Capitol Hill  education  minerals science  MRP  msic  NMIC  outreach  testimony 

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Canada Consultation Document on Asbestos

Posted By Mark Ellis, Friday, April 21, 2017

Today the Government of Canada published a Consultation Document regarding its proposed regulatory approach to prohibit asbestos and asbestos-containing products.  The Consultation Document can be accessed through the following link:  http://www.ec.gc.ca/lcpe-cepa/default.asp?lang=En&n=A5520893-1.  Comments on the Consultation Document must be received on or before June 4, 2017.  Environment and Climate Change Canada will hold two Webinars on its proposed regulatory approach, one in English on May 10 and one in French on May 11.  A registration form for the Webinars is attached.  IMA-NA filed comments with Environment and Climate Change Canada on its Notice of Intent to Develop Regulations Respecting Asbestos. The comments-in-chief are attached.


 Attached Files:

Tags:  asbestos  Canada  Environment and Climate Change Canada 

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Monday Move: Know Your Shoulder

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, April 17, 2017

Happy Monday!  

Let’s all take a deep breath. On your exhale, think about where your shoulders are. How close are they to your ears? Do they feel pinched together? Try to draw them a few inches further away from (1) your ears and (2) each other. This is called shoulder retraction and depression. Improper rotator cuff tracking (aka shoulders not being in their sockets) leads to chronic shoulder pain  - and is a contributor to acute injury when reaching for objects on the job.  

Prevent Shoulder Impingement by knowing where your shoulders are by performing a few simple stretches every day.  

(1) Chest opener, wide wingspan - this will help open the pectoral muscles, which can pull the shoulders forward and impinge them
(2) Head tipping, ear to shoulder - this stretches the upper trapezius muscle, which often becomes overactive and contributes to weak shoulders 
(3) Side bending, one arm overhead - this helps create length in the latissimus dorsi, the longest back muscle and an important mover when going overhead

Health and Safety Drill Tip: When performing warmups, always cue workers to roll shoulders backward and downward. You don’t want your shoulder to roll forward when doing the warm up activity.  



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Friday MineFit TidBit: Happy Food

Posted By Darrell Smith, Friday, April 14, 2017
Sugar doesn't only affect your waistline, it can change your mood. Processed foods and sugars lead to cognitive decline and poor mood, in relation to consuming "happy" real food. 

Please enjoy this link and make one of these mood-boosting foods this weekend. 

From your MineFit Coach,
Monica 

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MineFit Monday Move: Introducing MineFit Q2 Focus -- "The Big Three": Injury Avoidance For All Ages

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, April 10, 2017

We are pleased to announce the beginning of a new season and a fresh method to help combat both acute and chronic injury for the Big Three: Shoulder, Lower Back, and Foot/Ankle.  

During this quarter, we will focus on: (1) presenting tips and tricks to help identify risk of potential injury, (2) providing treatments for joint stress and strain, and (3) explaining methods to prevent any acute injury.  

...The “oopsy” improper lift, the step down that you didn’t anticipate, and that reach that might have tweaked it just a little too far are all easily preventable when implementing the advice from the Monday Moves and Friday TidBits. NEW this quarter: our first VIDEO series of exercises for interactive ways to treat and prevent the Big Three.  

Stay tuned and be well!

Your MineFit Head Coach,
Monica 

The photos below illustrate (1) a chest opener to prevent shoulder impingement, (2) a drawing knee to chest to help with referred lower back pain, and (3) a single leg balance with ankle roll to prevent foot/ankle injury.

 


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Friday MineFit TidBit: I can't remember

Posted By Darrell Smith, Friday, April 7, 2017

Today’s Friday TidBit is…shoot, I forgot! Why?  Because I just walked into another room! Focus and attention are of paramount importance in this industry, and a marker of mental fortitude for everyone. A fascinating phenomenon - The Doorway Effect -  is illustrated in the study link below, having to do with our sudden memory lapses upon walking into another room and forgetting why we arrived there. You are not alone (nor are you losing your marbles) when you can’t recall the thing you forgot after you just thought of it. So, what’s the point?  There are natural human errors in everyday life, and these equate to errors while on the job - BUT, to minimize preventable memory loss and sharpen your skills that can certainly be honed, take the 30-second test in the picture below.  Get your timer out, set it for 30 seconds, and stare at the objects.  Then, close your eyes for 10 seconds and make sure the test is not in sight.  Say, or write, how many objects you recall.  


Click here to review the study.

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First Friday Ask IMA - Tomorrow Afternoon

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, April 6, 2017

Please join us for April's First Friday's Ask IMA tomorrow, at 1:00pm EST. IMA-NA staff will update members on ongoing lobbying efforts to maintain the percentage depletion allowance in the tax code, as well as reviewing other legislative, regulatory, and executive actions that are of interest to the industry. We'll also discuss the impact of the March Fly-in and give a preview of the rapidly approaching Technology Workshop.

 

Click Here to Register.

Tags:  first friday  member outreach  outreach 

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