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

Mark's Daily Apple

2 Apr

Self-Control: The Ultimate Exercise of Freedom

I’ll admit I’ve come to significantly edit my environment over the years. I work largely from home and have my favorite haunts and destinations as well as a close circle of like-minded family and friends. The nature of my work automatically puts me in touch mostly with those who have similar goals and lifestyles. Even my media is customized (easy to do these days with the way we’re tracked by bots). I never watch television or listen to radio that has commercials. Without thinking too much about it, my environment is for the most part very Primally oriented.

When I’m out and about, however, it can feel a little like culture shock. A few weeks ago I went to a movie and made the mistake (actually accident) of getting there early. I was one of the few without tubs, packages and cups in hand, and I watched as ads for soda and candy flashed again and again. In my boredom, I noticed a curious pattern. Every time there was a shot of cola flowing, everyone with a soda drank. Every time there was an image of a person eating, everyone with food ate. The themes of joy, celebration and indulgence were all the same, and one soda ad actually stated, “Choose happiness.” It’s speculation, of course, but I wonder how many of this people felt emotional affirmation around their “choice” to buy all the junk food they did.

Keep reading…

1 Apr

25 Ways to Improve Your Insulin Sensitivity

Insulin does a lot of important things for us. It pulls glucose from the blood and fritters it away into our cells to be burned for energy or stored as glycogen. It prevents hyperglycemic toxicity to neurons, pancreatic cells, the arterial walls and the generation of excessive levels of reactive oxygen species. It even promotes muscle protein synthesis and helps augment muscular hypertrophy, especially following resistance training. Clearly, we need insulin. Without it, we’d die, as type 1 diabetics readily do without an exogenous source.

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31 Mar

Why Some Like It Hot

We’ve explored the health benefits of cold (water) exposure. What about heat?

I decided to explore the health benefits of acute heat exposure in the form of saunas, baths, and steam rooms for one main reason: the sauna is a near-universal human tradition, and I’m always curious about those. Indigenous peoples of North America had the sweat lodge, those of Central America the temazcal. The Romans had the thermae, which they picked up and refined from the Greeks. Other famous traditions include Finnish saunas, Russian banyas, Turkish hammams, Japanese sentó (or the natural spring-fed onsen), and the Korean jjimjilbang. Are all these many billions of people across time and space sitting in heated rooms for the heck of it?

Keep reading…

30 Mar

Dear Mark: A New Whole Grain Study, Advice for a Teen, Broken Leg Sprints, and The 3 Mules

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got four questions and four answers. First up, there’s a new whole grain study, and some people are claiming it demonstrates that low-carb diets will lead to early mortality. Does it do anything of the sort, or is this yet another flawed observational paper? Next, a teen on top of his diet game who hopes he’s doing it right writes in with a list of questions. I answer them. Next, what can a person recovering from a broken leg do in the way of sprinting? Or should she just focus on recovery? Finally, a wild and free man is roaming California with three pack mules, flouting convention and leading a nomadic existence. Police are occasionally called and media attention is often attracted. What are my thoughts?

Let’s go:

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29 Mar

Weekend Link Love – Edition 341

Weekend Link LoveResearch of the Week

Older really can mean wiser, depending on which cognitive ability you’re studying.

Bad sleep kills sexual desire in women. Extra sleep makes sex more likely and increases genital arousal.

Too much homework is an independent predictor of obesity in children.

Vitamin D seems to keep low-grade prostate cancer from getting too aggressive.

A brisk walk can curb snack cravings and reduce stress-eating.

Keep reading…

© 2015 Mark's Daily Apple

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