Meet Mark

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...

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Category: Stress Management

The Best Kind of Health Insurance

I’m not interested in talking about Supreme Court decisions, the Affordable Health Care Act or for-profit versus non-profit business models. No, today I have something else in mind. It’s a perspective on health insurance that gets almost no attention at all despite the high costs and even higher stakes.

Let’s look at an actual definition first. From Wikipedia: “Health insurance is insurance against the risk of incurring medical expenses among individuals.” And can those darn expenses ever get expensive… Just as budget experts and lifestyle minimalists advise that the best price is no price when that’s an option, I’d argue the same principle applies here. The cheapest health bill is no bill. And what if our daily choices could help make this possible?

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Dear Mark: Sugar for Stress Relief, and Weight Loss Releasing Toxins

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering two questions. First, a new study out is one of the first (and maybe only) to show that acute sugar consumption can reduce the normal cortisol increase we experience in times of stress. Interesting stuff, eh? Find out whether I think this is a good thing, a potentially useful “hack”, or, given our collective tendency to overthink things and embroil ourselves in stress stews, a recipe for disaster. Next, we’ve all heard that weight loss releases stored toxins and environmental pollutants into our bodies, but is there any science that actually shows this is happening in people losing weight? And if we are releasing toxins by losing body fat, does that mean keeping the weight on is actually healthier? Find out down below.

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Your 21-Day Challenge Questions Answered

As promised, today’s edition of Dear Mark is all about the 21-Day Challenge. Last week, you asked me a ton of questions. Today, I’m trying to answer as many of them as I can.

We’ve got questions about posture, weight loss, dairy, probiotics, alcohol, and much more. Hopefully, you find today’s post useful.

I’ll answer some more next week, so stay tuned for that. Now let’s get to it!

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Dear Mark: Unraveling a Stress Ball, Fiber for Plant-Hating Tot, Offal with Grains, and Exercising with a Cold

For today’s Dear Mark, we’ve got a four-parter. First up is one from a woman in her mid-30s trying to recover from a three-year bout of chronic stress — and all the metabolic fallout that entails. Are there any supplements to help with her situation? Second, what do you feed a picky kid who hates vegetables, hates fruit with peels, and needs more prebiotic fiber? I give a quick list of ideas for getting things moving again. Third, are traditional foods like haggis and liver pâté worth eating if they contain non-Primal ingredients you’d usually avoid? Are the nutrients found in offal really that important? And finally, I help a reader figure out whether she should be exercising while sick.

Let’s go:

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Are Video Games Good or Bad for Us?

Non-gamers tend to take a dim view of video games and their fans, assuming they’re all a bunch of sweaty man-children clutching liter bottles of Mountain Dew between Cheeto-dusted fingers and screaming racist obscenities that diffuse, muffled, through thick neckbeard thatches into their headsets at online opponents. And a few weeks ago, even I referenced the stereotypical World of Warcraft addict’s set-up of pee bottles and poop buckets. But the latest statistics indicate that the popular stereotype isn’t very representative of most gamers. In fact, if you’re an American, you’re more likely to be a gamer than not:

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How to Increase Your Heart Rate Variability

Last week, I introduced the concept of heart rate variability – the variation of heart beat to beat intervals. Far from the metronome we might assume it to be, the healthiest heart beat follows a fractal pattern, with varying lengths of time separating each pulse. A higher heart rate variability (HRV) suggests a relaxed, low-stress physiological milieu, while a lower HRV indicates a need for recovery, rest, and sleep. That’s why athletes use HRV monitoring to plan their workouts and rest periods, PR attempts and deload weeks: it eliminates the guesswork. Even if you’re not an athlete, the HRV is a strong diagnostic biomarker for general health and resiliency. Today, we’ll be exploring 16 ways to increase it.

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