The popular story of how low-carb diets work goes something like this: Reducing your carbohydrate...
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...Tell Me More
All you runners out there need to sprint on over to Runnersworld.com to take advantage of the numerous free training calculators and coaching tools. This site offers a pace converter and a cool tool that projects your finish times for a number of distances based on your current time for a given distance. It also provides a tool they call SmartCoach that will put together an entire training program for you depending on your level of fitness, what your goals are and how long you have to attain them.
Whether you are training for a full marathon, or are a beginning jogger with aspirations to simply finish a charity 5 K, these useful tools can help you realize your goals.
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
The week’s off to an interesting start! Here’s the latest from the world of health.
1) Bird Flu Gets Real
From those news nuts over at The Lede: Culling has begun in the UK to curtail bird flu . Regardless, nobody should be eating chicken nuggets.
That’s Fit reports that kids are fatter than ever thanks to zero exercise and an abundance of junk food in everything from school cafeterias to Costco’s towering shelves. Is this a surprise?
We can all moan and groan about it, but better to be proactive. Maybe you have kids. Maybe you are a kid. Either way, these steps are non-negotiable when it comes to health:
– Daily exercise of some sort. It can be as basic as walking home from school, mowing the lawn, helping out with household chores, or walking the dog. But exercise is a must. Make it a requirement for TV and computer privileges. Worried about enforcing it? You make them brush their teeth, do their homework and occasionally even bathe. Add this to the list.
– Daily vegetable intake, preferably not fried. Whether you spend an hour on Sundays putting together baggies of veggie snacks, or whether you make them do it for themselves, get veggies into your kids! Kids love junk food. Their taste buds are literally wired for it. It’s probably not realistic to think they aren’t going to eat junk ever, but you can at least keep it out of the house. Always serve a salad for dinner, and keep washed fruit available at all times. Kids don’t mind peas or green beans – even the most finicky kids will eat a bowl of peas. Kids do crave starch, but keep those options green. Avoid the fries, tater tots, chips and other pale starches.
– Lie. Tell them eating healthy will diminish acne, mood swings and body odor. (Actually, it’s not even a lie).
– Enact and enforce a zero-tolerance soda ban. As far as your kids are concerned, soda is Satan.
Kids are gonna do stupid stuff – you can’t watch their every move. But you have more influence than you may think, so use it. This means setting a good example, of course!
Diet toffee? Tea-coffee? Hipster tofu?
No, TOFI stands for something else entirely , and it’s a…big…problem.
4) Enviga’s Going Down!
5) Making Single People Everywhere Feel Really Fabulous
Thanks, Scotsman . No, seriously, thanks. This study is small, merely highlights reasonable correlation (rating your own emotions: not exactly the gold standard of scientific inquiry), and also, it’s totally annoying. It makes sense that the more socially active and fulfilled you are, the healthier you will be. Studies prove that consistently. This is more about finding something sensational to whip up on a Monday. If we were betting bees, we’d lay good money
Several Apples have written in wondering about MBT and other supposed jiggle-reducing shoe brands, so in the interest of truth and avoidance of unattractive footwear, let’s set the record straight. Do anti-cellulite shoes work?
No, no, and no. Here’s a great article that debunks this ridiculous shoe trend. Not only are the numerous health and figure-fix claims about cellulite shoes total baloney, these kicks are expensive and super-ugly.
MBT, the main anti-cellulite shoe maker, even has an African myth of sorts to complete the marketing lure (check out Mark’s post on hoodia for another example of emotional bait).
These sneakers will make you wobble, feel dizzy, and possibly fall (so you can have a big bruise in addition to cellulite). What they will not do is cure cellulite.
Unfortunately, there’s just not really a “cure” for cellulite. It’s genetic, like bone density, skin tone and hair color. Of course, you can lift weights to build bones, fry in a tanning bed, and dye your hair, right? Ah, modern technology. There are things you can do to reduce the appearance of cellulite – but it will never go away with a magic cream or a funky pair of shoes.
If you’re really in angst come bikini season, these things can help:
– My personal theory: lay off the sugar, processed foods and trans fat, and make real fat your friend. Fat does not cause cellulite, but eating weird, unhealthy and processed foods does do weird things to our cells. I’m not saying sugar causes cellulite, but it certainly doesn’t help, either. Enough with the fat-free dairy, ladies (which just has sugar in place of fat). Sugar stores itself as fat and expands existing fat cells. Aha!
– The appearance of cellulite can be reduced if you have good, lean muscle tone and less flabby fat. So yes, you need to work out once in a while. Plenty of muscle tissue on that booty of yours will help “smooth” the external layer of skin and fat cells a little bit. Men don’t tend to have cellulite because they have more lean muscle mass, and their fat cells tend to be smaller and more flexible. So, reducing your overall body fat and increasing muscle mass will help in your quest to be as smooth as a baby’s behind.
– Increase circulation. This is where those creams and gels come in. Most of them “work” by temporarily stimulating circulation to fat cells that go so long without seeing so much as a blood platelet, they wouldn’t know what to do if one stopped by. (Okay, my doctor friends are rolling their eyes right now, but you get the idea.) If you can increase your circulation – often a problem with women (cold feet, anyone?) – you can potentially help nourish and smooth those outer cells a bit more. But no amount of cardio is going to totally eliminate cellulite.
Two things to remember:
1) If you’re reasonably fit and healthy, just revel in that figure.
The Top 10 Ways to Beat Stress…this week!
Thanks to all Apples who participated in last week’s how-to-beat-stress contest. Our winner, junior Apple Sandra W., had some excellent suggestions we’re adding to today’s 10 (and a free month’s supply of all-natural stress-busting Proloftin is on the way, Sandra!).
Thanks to the rest of you for the additional good tips! Here they are:
10. Choose your friends wisely.
This is possibly the most important thing you can do to manage stress in your life. It’s often overlooked, too. Choosing your relationships from a proactive, positive mindset is critical to your well-being. We all have people who “drain” us or bring negative situations or thoughts into our lives. And sometimes it’s hard to admit this – and even harder to take action. As much as you can, let these people go. Sometimes it’s not immediately possible to weed them all out, but over time, work to surround yourself with good, kind people who offer you true love, true support, and true reciprocity. Life’s too short to short-change yourself in the joy department. Really.
9. Get exercise – and get grounded.
Daily exercise regulates the delicate balance of hormones in your body. It’s the best way to relieve stress, tension and anxiety – plus it’s great for your body. Even better, exercise that literally gets you grounded (walking, hiking, or running) gives you an additional mental boost. Exercise doesn’t have to be lengthy or intense. A daily walk is the most natural and effective workout for both your mind and your body.
8. Listen to uplifting music.
Sound is very important. Think about the sounds you encounter and surround yourself with every day – and take steps to limit stressful sounds and noises like traffic, yelling, negative television news, and jarring music. Listen to music that makes you happy.
Swimming is a wonderful stress-reliever, and it’s gentle on your joints, too.
Stretching loosens muscle tension, releases nerve “kinks”, massages your internal organs, helps flush toxins and just makes you feel great! Try to stretch gently for a few minutes every day. Hint: never stretch until it hurts.
5. Surround yourself with pleasant objects and belongings.
We’re not talking about expensive items or materialistic pursuits. But surrounding yourself with personal mementos, cherished objects and pleasant things to touch and look at – both at home and at work – does wonders for your sense of well-being. These things needn’t be pricey, just special to you. The same goes for clutter and objects you don’t like – toss them out and make room for things that make you happy.
4. Pray or meditate.
Calm yourself and renew your spirits with 5 to 20 minutes daily spent in quiet introspection. Whether you prefer to think through your day, think about your loved ones, or think about nothing at all, meditative activities literally reset brain waves and restore a sense of peace and serenity. Don’t
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
News for the men, news for the women, news for the kidlets…
1) First there was cellulite cream…now this?
This week in quackery : was it the metrosexual trend that got men worrying about things like body wash and, now, testosterone cream? We’re not complaining about the body wash, but who needs one more unhealthy, questionable miracle cure on the market?
Testosterone does diminish with age. But supplementing with hormones is a dicey proposition that we don’t recommend unless there’s a medical need. A better way to keep those hormones pumping naturally (make that several ways):
– Pump some iron, guys!
– For goodness’ sakes, go to bed before midnight once in a while.
– Easy on the beer.
– Overcome vegetable aversion. It’s not like they meow.
– Express yourself. You don’t have to start writing poetry, but find ways to let those feelings out once in a while. Sports count.
– Stick to healthy friendships and relationships as much as humanly possible. It’s good to be responsible and reliable, but don’t overlook the damage that too much stress can do to your body’s regulatory functions. We all age (well, except that guy in sales who thinks he does a great Austin Powers imitation). But stress has a big impact on how you age. Cutting back on stress does a lot more for your mojo than any Rx.
Women, especially young women, are avoiding their annual female exam like the plague. Hey, no one loves it. But five minutes now means prevention of potentially fatal STDs and cancer. Yeah, it’s annoying. And?
To learn about the new vaccine for cervical cancer, check this out . Your insurance should cover it, and if not, it’s pretty inexpensive.
Just leave a note for the kids first. Or not.
Web it out:
For the girls (but we know you’re looking, boys):
The reason for this clickativity: remember that it doesn’t really take a lot of calories to fuel your body, so choose them wisely. A little food goes a long way. Choose the foods that pack the most nutrition. Which definitely does not include a Hershey’s Kiss. Check out the category “Healthy Tastes Great!” at right for simultaneously delicious and nutritious foods.
At any rate, this is cool health news. Remember that good health is a holistic, comprehensive endeavor. Concentrate on improving quality of life at home, at work, and at the dinner table, and you’ll feel great!
This is going to be all over the news in about 20 minutes. That’s because drug merchants (ahem) some people might not want this important news about antidepressants to get out. Though depression varies in magnitude and therefore treatment needs vary, there are many natural, safe ways to help improve brain function, mood, emotional health and overall wellbeing. Tomorrow’s Tuesday 10 will help get you started. Until
The Top 10 Tips for: Getting Fit
Wanna get fit? If you’re just starting out, keep in mind it’s not going to happen overnight…but you can be lookin’ pretty good by next month with these tips. The reason most get-ripped regimens fail is because we simply expect way too much, way too soon. Big changes in your body require big changes in your lifestyle. Period. It took your whole life to be the way you are now, right? It’s going to take more than two days to start making changes to that. But these 10 pointers will get you started – and you’ll notice some very pleasant effects if you stick with them. You’ll be surprised that very few of them have anything to do with lifting so much as a finger. Fitness is many factors coming together – it’s a lot more than just hitting the gym (thank goodness).
1. Cut calories the lazy way.
To shape up, you must reduce your fat so your muscles can start doing their thing. This is actually very, very easy to do: every time you go to put something in your mouth, don’t. No, no, just kidding! You have to eat.
Here’s what to do:
– in restaurants, eat half the plate and get the rest to go. Don’t eat it when you get home – let the dog or the neighbor kid with hollow legs enjoy it.
– immediately run out and get yourself some 7″ plates. Those are now your dinner plates. Preso, portion sizes reduced.
– Don’t eat anything crunchy, creamy, pale or fried. This pretty much takes care of all high-calorie, unhealthy foods. Examples: chips, ranch dressing, bread sticks, chicken nuggets. We know, veggies are crunchy. It’s not an absolute rule. Just a guide.
– Switch all snacks to cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks or broccoli florets. Depending on how much you snack, you’ll save 200 to 600 calories a day doing this.
2. Don’t drink your calories.
A little coffee or tea is one thing. But soda, shakes, iced coffee drinks, juices and energy drinks are overflowing with calories, which you don’t want, right? Don’t waste precious caloric intake on liquids that don’t fill you up.
3. Absolutely no drive-through or delivery food.
McDonald’s likes to run those “Mommy and me” ads that show slender young Mommy eating salad while her ringlet-bedecked tutu-wearing darling is busy dipping apples into some sweet sap. Please. This stuff is generally more marketing than meaningful, so read the ingredients and avoid anything sweet or fried. Best to stick to fresher fare.
4. Move it!
You don’t have to become a gym rat. You don’t have to sign up for the local 10K. But you need to move. Simply put, any movement that is more than you currently do is going to be effective. If you don’t ever work out, walking around the neighborhood for 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week is going to