by National Geographic
by National Geographic
We all know that exercise is important for us. Walking, something most of us can do, makes us healthier, happier, and some even claim walking makes us smarter. Unsurprisingly, we all believe that more is better.
We’ve all heard the claim that we should walk at least 10,000 steps a day. But there’s nothing special about the 10,000 steps number. Like many other claims, it is not based on science and was started as part of a marketing campaign to sell us something. Unfortunately, like many other health claims, it became. So the 10,000 steps deception continues to be used to sell apps, smartphones, etc.
Setting a target of 10,000 steps and having difficulty reaching that number can have a negative effect and demotivate people to exercise at all. Why bother if you can’t reach it, right? One study showed that benefits plateaued after 7,500 steps a day.
Instead we should all do what we can to stay healthy. Our bodies were made for moving. Not for sitting all day. And over time, with patience and perseverance, the more we do, the more we will be able to do.
Training to run a marathon (42.2 km or 26.2 miles) takes months of training, slowly increasing weekly mileage over time. I’ve trained and ran several marathons. It’s not easy getting out the door sometimes. And it takes time before you are properly ready to run that distance.
The same goes for improving our health by walking. Start with what you can. Get out the door. Go for a walk around the block. Then do it again the next day. The more you do, the more you will be able to do over time.
If it’s not enjoyable, we are less likely to keep it up. So change routes. Take the dog. Change the time of the day. Listen to a podcast. Invite friends to join you. Take a hike in the woods. Listen to the birds. Stop and talk to your neighbours. Whatever you do, have fun with it. It’s not a race.
Read this BBC article to find out more.
The favour of despicable men can only be gained by despicable means.
Take care in who you surround yourself with and who you are trying to impress.
U.S. News and World Report has released it’s annual Best Country Rankings.
The overall rankings are made up of nine subrankings:
These are the top 10 overall:
1. 🇨🇭 Switzerland – Overall score 10.0
2. 🇯🇵 Japan – 9.8
3. 🇨🇦 Canada – 9.7
4. 🇩🇪 Germany – 9.6
5. 🇬🇧 United Kingdom – 9.4
6. 🇸🇪 Sweden – 9.3
7. 🇦🇺 Australia – 9.3
8. 🇺🇸 United States – 9.2
9. 🇳🇴 Norway – 8.8
10. 🇫🇷 France – 8.7
11. 🇳🇱 Netherlands – 8.5
12. 🇳🇿 New Zealand – 8.3
13. 🇩🇰 Denmark – 8.2
14. 🇫🇮 Finland – 8.1
15. 🇸🇬 Singapore – 7.7
Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital have found that higher levels of daily physical activity may protect against cognitive decline and brain tissue loss in adults who are believed to be at greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The best results were found among the research participants who took more than 8,900 steps per day.
Traci Pedersen, writing in PsychCentral:
“One of the most striking findings from our study was that greater physical activity not only appeared to have positive effects on slowing cognitive decline, but also on slowing the rate of brain tissue loss over time in normal people who had high levels of amyloid plaque in the brain,” said Jasmeer Chhatwal, M.D., Ph.D. of the MGH Department of Neurology, and corresponding author of the study.
The results suggest that physical activity might reduce b-amyloid (Ab)-related cortical thinning and preserve gray matter structure in regions of the brain that have been associated with episodic memory loss and Alzheimer’s-related neurodegeneration.
The underlying processes of Alzheimer’s disease can begin decades before clinical symptoms appear and is characterized by early accumulation of b-amyloid protein.
The new study is among the first to demonstrate the protective effects of physical activity and vascular risk management in the preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease, while there is an opportunity to intervene prior to the onset of substantial neuronal loss and clinical impairment.
“Because there are currently no disease-modifying therapies for Alzheimer’s disease, there is a critical need to identify potential risk-altering factors that might delay progression of the disease,” Chhatwal said.
The new research published in the journal JAMA Neurology.
It’s never too late to start exercising. Even if you already have have a serious chronic condition.
Lisa Rapaport, writing for Reuters Health »
… researchers assessed activity levels several times over eight years for 14,599 men and women who were between 40 and 80 years old at the outset. After the first eight years, researchers started tracking mortality for another 12.5 years, on average. During that period, there were 3,148 deaths, including 950 from cardiovascular disease and 1,091 from cancer.
The researchers measured both work and leisure-time physical activity in terms of energy expended per kilogram of body weight. Activity increases over time that were equivalent to going from sedentary to meeting the World Health Organization’s recommendation of at least 150 minutes a week of moderate physical activity were associated with a 24% lower risk of death from any cause, a 29% lower risk of cardiovascular death and an 11% lower risk of cancer death compared to those who remained inactive.
“This sends a strong message to all of us, irrespective of what our current life circumstances may be, since it is never too late to build physical activity into your daily routine in order to enjoy a longer healthier life,” said Soren Brage, senior author of the study and a researcher at the University of Cambridge in the UK.
“Everybody benefitted from becoming more active,” Brage said by email. “This was also true for the subgroup of people who already had a serious chronic condition such as heart disease and cancer at baseline.”
Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.
– Anthony Bourdain
These actions have focused outrage and attention on the current U.S. Administration’s callous, racial, and white supremacist agenda.
What shocks me the most is not that these actions are supported by many Americans. The U.S.A. has a long history of problems over race. What shocks me the most is just how deep and wide the support really is.
This is the United States of America today. This is what is happening now. And there is a good chance this will continue for a while as there’s a good chance he will get reelected.
The horrific conditions under which immigrants and especially immigrant children are being held in US detention centers, rightly reminds us of the Nazi concentration camps. Lessons of the past have been forgotten.
What I’ve Learned: If their words don’t match their actions, trust their actions. More important than talk is how one lives their life and how they treat others.
Isaac Chotiner, writing for The New Yorker (paywall):
What most concerns you about what we have read about and seen from these border facilities holding children?
Oh, God, where do I begin? I think—to cut through all of the noise, the politics, the back-and-forth on the details—there are just two core issues that are screaming out. One is the fact that the forced and abrupt separation of children from their parents is a huge psychological trauma and assault. The magnitude of the nature of the crisis for a child’s health and well-being cannot be overstated. Abrupt separation from primary caregivers or parents is a major psychological emergency.
The second issue is the prolonged placement of children in institutional settings. Obviously, the two are linked in this particular situation. From the perspective of what we know about children’s health and well-being, what we know about trauma, abrupt separation is one area where we have a lot of research and a lot of evidence about its consequences. But prolonged institutionalization is a separate area in which we have an equally deep research base and knowledge about how damaging that kind of setting is for kids. We are dealing with two very well-studied, serious assaults on the health and well-being of children.
Working with our hands may be key to maintaining a healthy mood, and may lessen feelings of irritability, apathy, and depression.
Susan Biali Haas M.D. writing in Psychology Today:
First, when we use our hands on a task that doesn’t demand much cognitively, it gives the mind a chance to relax and rest. As a knowledge worker (I’m a doctor, writer, coach, speaker, etc.), I’m constantly using my brain. It’s gotten worse with the advent of the smartphone, as I spend so much of my downtime reading interesting articles. I also love reading novels. My brain rarely catches a break.
Second, when my brain is “offline,” it gives it a chance to work on problems behind the scenes. From a number of essays and articles that I read on this topic, it’s not uncommon for people to have breakthrough ideas while mindlessly working on something with their hands.
Third, working productively with our hands is profoundly pleasurable. There is something primal about this. We are made to be active, and have actively used our hands as part of our daily survival for thousands of years. With the advent of so much technology, many of us move through our days with minimal physical effort. We push a button instead of scrubbing dishes or laundry. Overall, we get far less physical activity than would be optimal for our bodies and minds.
This video was shot in the Arctic Ocean in March 2018.
For 7 days the crew passed through the Barents Sea to Karsky around the Novaya Zemlya archipelago on the nuclear icebreaker Yamal. They witnessed the northern lights, polar bears, watched the ships stuck in the ice being towed, and were very cold.
In the video you can see two Russian icebreakers – “50 Years of Victory” and “Yamal” with a capacity of 75,000 horsepower.