Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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Month: October 2007

Microsoft HealthVault: Empowering People to Lead Healthy Lives?

If you’ve read Mark’s Deconstructing Healthcare in America: A Modest Proposal or one of our other healthcare rants you know Mark’s Daily Apple has a lot to say about America’s ailing and defunct healthcare system. Huge improvements are needed, so we are thrilled to see anything that nominally resembles a step in the right direction.

Last week Microsoft launched the beta version of their new health records portal, HealthVault. Could HealthVault be the long awaited 21st century introduction to electronic health records that the medical establishment has been in dire need of for years? It is too early to tell, but it does look intriguing.

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Is Having a Job Bad for Your Health?

Is it time to move to the Bahamas? A new study finds that the risk of a repeat heart attack increases if you’re in a stressful job (stop the presses!). This reinforces an earlier study which concluded that job stress is a major risk factor for cardiac events.

From the study:

“A job was defined as stressful if it combined high psychological demands (heavy workload, intense intellectual activity and important time constraints) and little control over decision-making, including a lack of autonomy, creativity and opportunities to use or develop skills.”

What’s your definition of stress? It isn’t typically realistic to completely eliminate stress, but we all have different response levels to stress and therefore, different needs for coping with it.

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Another Nail in the Low Fat Coffin

A prescient excerpt from the Times – it’s what we’ve been saying all along:

“In the case of fatty foods, that confident voice belonged to Ancel Keys, a prominent diet researcher a half-century ago (the K-rations in World War II were said to be named after him). He became convinced in the 1950s that Americans were suffering from a new epidemic of heart disease because they were eating more fat than their ancestors.

There were two glaring problems with this theory, as Mr. Taubes, a correspondent for Science magazine, explains in his book. First, it wasn’t clear that traditional diets were especially lean. Nineteenth-century Americans consumed huge amounts of meat; the percentage of fat in the diet of ancient hunter-gatherers, according to the best estimate today, was as high or higher than the ratio in the modern Western diet.

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Pimp Your Brain: 8 Simple Tricks to Improve Cognition, Memory, and Alertness

1. Just Use It

Did you know over 30% of high school graduates and over 40% of college graduates never read another book in their lives? If you want to keep your brain sharp, you have to keep those neurons firing. A good goal if you aren’t in the reading habit is one book per month. After a few months, see if you can step it up to one book per week. Television is passive while reading is active. I don’t have television anymore, and this helps me achieve my aim of reading 2 or 3 books weekly. (Though some books take a lot longer than others!) Developing the reading habit is difficult at first because it takes work. But, like physical exercise for your body, that’s how you know it is actually benefiting your brain. You don’t have to crawl in agony through Ulysses (seriously, take my word for it, you don’t); non-fiction and history are great choices, as well.

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The Single Best Stretch

If you happen to read the L.A. Times as I do, you may have caught their visual guide to a variation of one of the most beneficial stretches you can do, regardless of your fitness level: the wide-legged squat. I vlogged about this last week, so check out my quick beach sprint video to see how to do it. This very natural stretch is practiced all over the world by many cultures. For those who sit in front of a computer all day, it is really essential to eliminate tightness and tension. It’s the perfect way to stretch the legs, knees, glutes, back and more. And it just feels great, too. Try it out now.

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9 Natural Cold and Flu Remedies (plus one)

A couple of you have emailed me about natural cold and flu treatments since we published the post earlier this week about cold medications possibly being harmful for children. Convenient timing: WebMD has a handy list that caught my eye. There are some smart tips which I’ll touch on briefly here. I’d also like for you all to please add in any relevant tips you happen to recommend. And while I’m at it, before we all head out for the weekend I want to thank you for being such a terrific group. Your diverse and thoughtful comments, criticisms, and links add value to every single post at our ever-growing health community. And your emails really do make my day. While I can’t always respond, I do read every single one. So, thank you.

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