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

Mark's Daily Apple

23 Mar

It’s My Neighbors Fault I’m Fat

Basketball CourtA study appearing in a recent issue of the journal Urban Studies suggests that the neighborhood a person resides in can motivate – or discourage – their likelihood of exercising or remaining physically active.

For the study, researchers from The Ohio State University, the University of Chicago and the University of Utah reviewed data from the Metropolitan Chicago Information Center Metro Survey, the 1990 U.S. Census, and the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods Survey to determine the level of exercise of 8,782 residents of 373 neighborhoods in Chicago.

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22 Mar

Gym Class Chronicles

High school gym class. It’s the stuff of comic nostalgia and adolescent nightmares. (Anybody watch The Wonder Years?) The gym teacher personalities, the locker room air, the laps, the team picking, the annoying whistle. Maybe you were one of the jocks, automatic buddy of the instructor, who got away with doing very little because it was your season and you already worked hard. Or maybe you were among those who just tried to stay under the radar and do just enough so gym wouldn’t ruin your gradepoint. Or perhaps you were truly an earnest participant, athlete or not, who found gym a refreshing break from textbook lectures and worksheets.

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21 Mar

Meditation Contemplation

Meditation isn’t something we normally cover here at MDA, but we’re always looking for easy, safe and affordable ways to enhance total health. With that in mind, a meta-analysis out of the University of Kentucky caught our attention recently and got us pondering the meditation question.

The meta-analysis evaluated nine randomized, controlled trials using Transcendental Meditation as a primary intervention for hypertensive patients. The practice of Transcendental Meditation was associated with approximate reductions of 4.7 mm systolic blood pressure and 3.2 mm diastolic blood pressure. The study’s lead author, Dr. James W. Anderson, professor of medicine at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, said that blood pressure reductions of this magnitude would be expected to be accompanied by significant reductions in risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease—without drug side effects.

via Science Daily

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20 Mar

Caffeine Talk

Got your morning (or afternoon) joe in hand? For many readers, this would be a yes. Even if you said no, it might just be because you’ve joined ranks with the tea crowd. And, while cultural practice (a mug on the work desk being as American as apple pie) and taste are undoubtedly big draws, for many of us it all boils down to that rousing, invigorating, motivating little substance: caffeine.

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20 Mar

Smart Fuel: Swiss Chard

It might be called Swiss chard, but would you believe that it doesn’t even hail from Switzerland? In fact, Swiss chard got its name from a Swiss botanist named Koch who in the 19th century, named the vegetable in honor of his homeland (even though it originally hails from the Mediterranean region).

Available year round, Swiss chard is related to belongs to the same family as kale, mustard greens, beets and spinach, a fact that is reflected in its taste, with the bitter side reminiscent of its beet roots (see what we did there?) and the slightly salty taste unmistakably a characteristic of the spinach.

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