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

Mark's Daily Apple

8 Oct

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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8 Oct

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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5 Oct

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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5 Oct

Hit the Links!

There are some excellent posts we just can’t stop talking about this week. Don’t miss these great reads, everyone. And if you’ve seen something worth yakking about, post a link in the comments!

Are you a flexitarian? The Outback Steakhouse guy should love this. Semi-vegetarians get a cool new name. (And if you haven’t scoped out the Almost Vegetarian blog, scoot!)

Is Stevia safe or not? Diet Blog weighs the evidence. What do you use as a sugar substitute? (Because you better not be eatin’ sugar!)

Keep reading…

4 Oct

Should Pregnant Women Eat Fish?

This is officially the last aquatic health post of the week. However, the issue of pregnancy, mercury contamination and fish consumption is just too important to skip. In an about-face, experts are now recommending (really pretty much begging) that women consume fish during pregnancy. They say that the fat in fish is crucial to proper fetal development and this far outweighs any concerns about possible birth defects due to chemical contamination. 90% of women don’t eat sufficient amounts of fish during pregnancy, and the consequences are severe: impaired cognitive function in babies and depression in mothers. It’s a stand-off between environmental groups and public health advocacy groups, with the FDA just trying to stay afloat as usual.

Keep reading…

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