I recently came across this outrage from the most authoritative diabetes organization in the country:
Yo! Sara here. We’re going to take out these overblown urban legends of health faster than a cheese plate. Hang on!
1. Do roller coasters get your heart pumping hard enough for a heart attack?
In a recent study, researchers found that it’s entirely possible for a roller coaster to get your heart pumping over 200 beats a minute. In fact, fully half of us experience irregular heart rhythms after hopping on the thrill ride du jour. And the fastest pumps happen in the big climb to the top. Despite these stats, the incidence of actual heart attacks is incredibly low: in 10 years of millions of coaster rides, there were only 29 deaths, and only 7 of these were because of cardiac events. A preexisting heart condition increases your risk, of course. Translation: the roller coaster of love is probably far more brutal on your heart than any new offering from Six Flags.
(Thanks to editor Emily at Slate for the HT!)
Just about everyone who is internet-savvy is familiar with Google Maps. What you may not know is that the Google Maps code is open source; meaning anyone can use the code to create new online applications. Some of these “mashups” are relevant to health and fitness.
My favorite is a simple tool that combines the functionality of Google Maps with a pedometer. It allows you to determine the precise distance you have covered while on foot.
Double-click on the map to set a starting location, and then double-click again to set your final destination. Gmaps Pedometer will calculate the distance for you. Gmaps Pedometer doesn’t restrict you to just two points, either. Keep double-clicking for multiple legs of a trip and the application will keep a running total.
Unnatural Acts: a Primal Approach to Jet Lag
One of the coolest things about being a 21st century “evolved” human is that we can travel to just about anywhere on this planet within a very short period of time and experience different cultures. All but our most recent relatives lived their entire lives never straying more than a hundred miles from their birthplace, yet we routinely hop on a jet, fly across the country or halfway around the world for a few days of travel and then return to our caves just as easily as playing a round of golf (or in my case, even more easily than golfing).
It’s so wrong, I don’t even know where to start…
Sara caught this outrageous story via the Fevered Mutterings blog: possibly the most overzealous case of parent coaching I’ve heard of (and I’ve seen plenty). The guy “encouraged” his eight-year-old daughter to run over 2,200 miles in two months. To do it, the BBC reports that the tiny girl had to rise at 2:30 a.m. and log 40 miles per daily stint – that’s a lot longer than a marathon for this 46-pound youngster. The purpose of decimating the healthy development of a prepubescent child? To raise publicity in the hopes of getting her into the Olympics…in 2016. The father claims that the girl simply loves running, although that’s not what the mother says (they split over the issue).
This one’s not just for all you low-carbers! Here’s a quick guide to the best and worst fruits according to their sugar content and nutritional value. If you enjoy sweets and find yourself relying (or perhaps suffering) on Splenda and mockalate far too often, enjoy a sensible selection of fruit instead.