Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Archive for February, 2011

24 Feb

How the News Impacts Your Health (and What You Can Do About It)

newsheadlinesLike everyone, I’ve had ample opportunity in my life to sit in waiting rooms. In the last several, however, I’ve noticed a trend that admittedly gets under my skin: the ubiquity of television news – and the negative events it routinely emphasizes. It’s been part of the airport scene forever now, it seems, but lately I’ve come across it in more restaurants and even in clinic waiting rooms. (Nothing beats watching multiple cycles of the latest grisly murder story as you eat your lunch or are waiting in agony for a doctor, eh?) In some respects, I appreciate having more than the morning paper or the 5 o’clock newscast if there’s a story I’d like to follow. With cable news and the Internet, we can assuredly keep on all the latest – what our go-to media sources choose to report of it anyway– 24/7. More than ever, we can get every detail, every commentary, every image associated with a given story. We can spend an entire day fixated on an event. We can watch a footage segment a hundred times if we please. Do we pay for this need to know, however? Does news exposure – specifically its heavy, menacing, and disturbing stories – have an impact on our personal well-being? What does it mean to have looming tales of death and destruction so frequently playing in our periphery? What happens to the human psyche (and body) when they’re fed a steady diet of unsettling news bulletins?

23 Feb

Is “8 Uninterrupted Hours a Night” Flawed Conventional Wisdom?

sleepcycleConventional Wisdom always gets an eyebrow raise from me. I can’t help it. Eventually, I take an honest look at whatever the experts are saying, but skepticism gets first dibs. I’d call it an instinct if it weren’t learned behavior from years of being burned. For example, I once took to task the most pervasive “truth” around: that everyone needs to drink eight glasses of water a day or risk kidney failure, toxin buildup, bladder cancer, and debilitating constipation. It was pretty easy to do.

But it’s not all BS. Smoking is bad for you, for example. See? I can admit when they’re right!

22 Feb

Who Should (and Shouldn’t) Try Fasting?

choicesLast week, my post on the “Myriad Benefits of Intermittent Fasting” opened up a can of worms. In it I discussed how fasting can have a positive impact on human longevity, blood lipids, diet compliance and neurological health to name just a few of the potential health benefits. Naturally, many readers wondered if they’ve been missing the boat on IFing, and whether they should start skipping breakfast, lunch and dinner ASAP. In fact, who needs food anymore when you have IF! Not so fast.

Fasting can be an effective lifestyle hack, but is it right for everyone?

Not exactly. Not always. In other words, no. Let’s take a closer look.

21 Feb

Male Fertility’s Two-Front War, Plus Sneaky HFCS

spermToday’s edition of Monday Musings is a quick account of two recent studies that highlight actual, literal threats to the fruitfulness and productivity of the human male loin. For years, the average male sperm count has been decreasing, especially in Western industrialized nations, by about 1% to 2% per year. Globally, of course, populations have been increasing, so sperm is successful by playing the numbers game, but we’re worried about the individual. We’re concerned with per capita sperm count. And it’s been dropping.

But why?

21 Feb

WOW: Flip That Log

pbf wow 2

Complete 4 cycles of:

25 Meter Log Flip
25 Meter Backward Log Drag

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