New and Noteworthy: What I Read This Week—Edition 182

Research of the Week

Jordanians had domesticated olives at least 7000 years ago.

Lager may promote healthier gut biomes.

What do we know about the risks of zoonotic diseases and different livestock husbandry systems? Not enough, not yet.

If you want kids to get enough iodine—and you do want that, trust me—their intake of fish, meat, eggs, and dairy are the most crucial to get right.

Neanderthal genes concerning metabolism and immune function persist in some humans.

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How to Evolve Your Fitness Goals Over Time

Today my pal Brad from will discuss how you can evolve your fitness goals to age gracefully, preserve health, and pursue peak performance with passion throughout life.  An Athlete Through the Years It feels as though I’ve had two distinct and disparate athletic careers in my lifetime. Many years ago I was an endurance athlete. It started with distance running in high school (mile and 2-mile in track and 3-mile cross country course) and progressed into a nine-year career as a professional triathlete. I competed primarily at the standard Olympic Games distance of 1.5-kilometer (0.9-mile) swim, 40-kilometer (24.8-mile) bike, and 10-kilometer (6.2-mile run). This event takes under two hours. I particularly enjoyed the occasional “sprint” event around half the aforementioned distances. I also competed at long and ultra-distance. I was 5th in the World Long Distance Championships in France in ’88 (~6 hour race) and I still hold the USA age 24&under record at Hawaii Ironman (~9 hour race) from ’89. Inside the triathlon bubble, we’d distinguish between a short course specialist with more “speed” and a long course specialist with more endurance. Technically, any triathlon, even a so-called sprint race, is an extreme endurance event from a physiological perspective. Endurance training guru Dr. Phil Maffetone cites exercise physiology research that 98% of the energy for two-hour competition comes from the aerobic system. Amazingly, even the mile run is predominantly aerobic, and the cutoff point for an all-out performance that’s half aerobic and half anaerobic is an effort of just one-minute, fifteen seconds! Long retired from the professional circuit (27 years!), I’ve become more focused on a broader approach to fitness and pursuing competitive goals that are brief and explosive in nature. In 2018 at age 53, I broke the Guinness World Record in Speedgolf for the fastest single hole of golf ever played (must be minimum length of 500 yards), an all-out sprint (while golfing!) that took 1 minute, 38 seconds. After many years of recreational high jumping, I finally got on the board in 2020 with an official jump that was #1 ranked in the USA Masters Track&Field age 55-59 division. I’m recently over 5’1” (1.54m) at age 57 and will continue to raise the bar in my best attempt to age gracefully. My obsession with high jumping is strange in that the sport’s objective takes around four seconds—a three second approach and one second from takeoff to landing (okay, Barshim might be in the air a bit longer than that.) That’s a pretty dramatic difference from racing triathlon for hours! I’m clearly less genetically adapted for high jumping than I was for endurance, but the important thing is I have a tremendous passion for the event and for personal improvement regardless of my genetic predispositions. When I achieve a good clearance over the bar in an empty high school stadium, I scream with delight like it’s the Olympic finals. In the most every important way, my satisfaction of success from this later-in-life folly is just as … Continue reading “How to Evolve Your Fitness Goals Over Time”

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Black Seed Oil Benefits: The Healthy Seed Oil

Black seed oil is the perfect example of a medicinal whole food. It’s the cold pressed oil of the black cumin seed nigella sativa, which grows widely across Southern Europe, Western Asia and South Asia, North Africa, and the Middle East. In the majority of those regions, black seed oil has extensive traditional use as a medicine or “cure-all.”

In ancient Egypt, the black cumin seed was a primary first-line medicine against an entire host of maladies. When archaeologists unearthed King Tut’s tomb, they found traces of black seed and black seed oil—ostensibly placed there to protect him as he made his way to the underworld. The Prophet Muhammad was reported to have said that “the black seed can heal every disease, except death.” For thousands of years, Indian Ayurvedic medicine prescribed black seed oil to treat hypertension, high blood sugar, eczema, asthma, and general diseases of inflammation.

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Consequences of a Sedentary Lifestyle

Most people probably assume that the problem with a sedentary lifestyle is that you aren’t moving. (Yes, I see the tautology there.) Every minute, every hour, spent sitting at your desk or lounging on the couch is time you aren’t walking, lifting heavy things, or sprinting. That’s part of the problem with being sedentary, to be sure, and I’ll touch on that in this post. There’s more to it than that, though.

Sedentary behavior is defined as waking activities that generate less than 1.5 METs—sitting and lying down, basically. Experts recognize that even controlling for how much exercise a person gets, sedentary behavior per se is bad for physical and mental health. In other words, even if you hit the gym and walk the dog regularly, being sedentary is harmful.

Sedentary behavior isn’t just the absence of movement; it is the presence of something more insidious.

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Ask a Health Coach: Intuitive Eating vs. Primal Eating

Hey folks, Board-Certified Health Coach Chloe Maleski is here to answer your questions about intuitive eating. Wondering what intuitive eating is and whether it’s Primal? We’re here with guidance and support! Have a question you’d like to ask our health coaches? Leave it below in the comments or over in the Mark’s Daily Apple Facebook group.
Janice asked:
“I’m thinking about doing an intuitive eating program. What’s better? That or Primal? Can I do both? I’m confused!”
First, you’re not alone, Janice! It’s easy to be confused by the many approaches to diet and eating out there—many of which offer contradictory advice.

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Backpacking Essentials: Gear, Skills, and More

Continuing the celebration of National Get Outdoors Month, today we’re covering some essential backpacking gear, skills, and preparations that will help ensure you return from your adventure happy, healthy, and in one piece.

Preparing for a backpacking trip can be intimidating—there’s so much to think about! What will you eat? How much water do you need? What animals might you encounter? Should you go into your local REI and grab one of everything, or can you get away with just a shower curtain for shelter and a change of clothes like the famed Appalachian Trail hiker Grandma Gatewood?

Really, all these questions boil down to: What might kill you out in nature, and how can you successfully avoid those things?

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