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The Basics of Good Health Is the Subject of New E-Book–Eat, Move, Think: Living Healthy

Eat, Move, Think: Living Healthy

While many of us strive to live healthy lives, the task can be daunting and the information overwhelming. Should we be more concerned with our diet or with keeping our weight down? How important is exercise? What kinds of diseases should we really be worried about? In this eBook, “Eat, Move, Think: Living Healthy,” we’ve [...]

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Food Matters

Coffee on the run

Feb 2 photo iStock_000023054784Small

Recently I’ve talked with several long distance runners —­­ think half-marathon or marathon — and have been surprised to hear how many down a mug of coffee before they race. After all, doesn’t coffee cause dehydration, something runners would like to avoid? A PLOS ONE study published in early January suggests the answer is no, [...]

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Food Matters

Biased But Necessary: Single Case Studies

Like a kid who skips the copyright information that precede iPad games, I go straight to the clinical cases in the New England Journal of Medicine whenever I get my hands on a copy. Recently I browsed through a bunch of cases in the online archives. In 1823, the journal called these vignettes “hospital reports.” [...]

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Guest Blog

For Diabetics, Healthy Habits Trump Medicine

syringe sticking up from a pile of granulated fine sugar

Against the backdrop of a government shutdown precipitated by healthcare issues and the rollout of the insurance exchanges mandated by the Affordable Care Act, a conference called Diabetes + Innovation 2013 took place in Washington, D.C. earlier this month. The gathering, organized by The Joslin Diabetes Center at Harvard Medical School, focused on prevention and [...]

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Guest Blog

Can sitting too much kill you?

We all know that physical activity is important for good health—regardless of your age, gender or body weight, living an active lifestyle can improve your quality of life and dramatically reduce your risk of death and disease. But even if you are meeting current physical activity guidelines by exercising for one hour per day (something [...]

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Observations

Why Do You Exercise?

  Exercise has always been something of an afterthought for me. Books, not sports, were my passion growing up. But I’ve also always enjoyed travel, exploring both cities and natural wonders. And it’s become increasingly clear to me that if I want to continue doing so, I need to stay in good physical shape. The [...]

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Observations

Some Barefoot Runners Tip Orthodoxy Back on Heels

barefoot running rear foot strike

Barefoot, five-finger, super-minimal, zero-drop. Whatever joggers embrace as the approach-du-jour for improving form, most of these trends stem from one physiological principal: people who grow up running sans footwear—the way our ancestors did for hundreds of thousands of years—run by landing on their fore- or mid-foot. A new study finds, however, that not all habitually [...]

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Observations

Early Childhood Obesity Rates Might Be Slowing Nationwide

early childhood obesity decrease

About one in three children in the U.S. are now overweight, and since the 1980s the number of children who are obese has more than tripled. But a new study of 26.7 million young children from low-income families shows that in this group of kids, the tidal wave of obesity might finally be receding. Being [...]

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Observations

Dana Vollmer’s Butterfly Stroke Features Dolphinlike Moves [Video]

U.S. swimmer Dana Vollmer’s record-setting performance in London in the 100-meter butterfly is sure to be a model for aspiring Olympians. Vollmer’s edge in butterfly competition comes from her uncanny ability to closely mimic the underwater undulation and kick of nature’s greatest swimmer—the dolphin. The 24-year-old Syracuse, N.Y., native worked with a team of motion-capture [...]

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Observations

Statins Are Linked with Fatigue

statins fatigue energy exertion

Cholesterol-lowering statins have been credited with preventing countless heart attacks among at-risk adults. More than 20 million U.S. adults now take statins daily, making them some of the top-selling drugs of all time. Recent research, however, has indicated that they might sometimes contribute to cognitive problems, such as confusion and memory loss. And new findings [...]

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Observations

Ultra Marathons Might Be Ultra Bad for Your Heart

extreme endurance exercise heart

If getting some exercise is good for you and getting lots is even better, then hours upon hours of intense exercise must be best, right? Perhaps not. Many people feel obligated to hit the gym or the trail every now and then to help keep off the extra pounds. But people who run ultra marathons [...]

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Observations

U.S. Cancer Rates Could Be Cut in Half Today Based on What’s Already Known

doctor writing

More than half a million people died from cancer in the U.S. in 2011. We have many astounding advances in medicine to thank for that number not being higher. But that grim figure could also be a lot lower even without a breakthrough drug for breast or lung cancer. In fact, more than 280,000 of [...]

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Observations

Risk of Heart Disease Underestimated, Researchers Say

Heart disease is the leading killer in the U.S., and more than 27 million Americans currently have a cardiac condition. But what is your risk of developing heart disease at some point in your entire life? It might be a lot higher than you think, according to a new paper published online Wednesday in The [...]

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Observations

How Exercise Might Help Our Cells Help Us

In addition to helping us get fit, exercise seems to play a disproportionate role in fending off chronic diseases, such as diabetes. A new study suggests how activity on the cellular level might be keeping us healthy when we get activity on the macro level. The process in question is autophagy, a series of actions [...]

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Observations

Newly Discovered Hormone Boosts Effects of Exercise, Could Help Fend Off Diabetes

Hormones aren’t just for sex—they help control everything from the times when we feel hungry to the timing of our heart beats. Dozens have been described, but there is now a new one on the scene. It might help explain some of the health benefits of exercise and point the way to preventing obesity and [...]

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The Scicurious Brain

Exercise to sleep? Or sleep to exercise?

sleeping kitty

It’s something we feel we’ve always known: if you can’t sleep, you need to exercise more. Wear yourself out, make yourself good and tired, you’ll sleep like a baby! So when I started having trouble sleeping, I just figured I needed to work out more. Of course, it kind of figures that often, you have [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Do Music Lessons Make You Smarter?

Practice makes progress, if not perfection, for most things in life. Generally, practicing a skill—be it basketball, chess or the tuba—mostly makes you better at whatever it was you practiced. Even related areas do not benefit much. Doing intensive basketball drills does not usually make a person particularly good at football. Chess experts are not [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

The Education of Character: Jumping Jacks for the Mind [Video]

One of the hardest aspects of school for young children is in some ways the simplest: sitting still. Recess is the time worn antidote to such restlessness. But regular physical exercise is also generally important to academic performance—and not just for young students. It can help boost various types of cognition in kids into the [...]

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Streams of Consciousness

Success in 7 Short Steps

girl writing in journal

People who succeed in their jobs and in life are typically blessed with a special blend of four qualities: efficacy (self-confidence), resilience, hope and optimism. This mental confection, which scientists call psychological capital, reflects our capacity to overcome obstacles and push ourselves to pursue our ambitions. Not surprisingly, having lots of it is linked to [...]

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