Despite the hyperbolic title Scientists recommend 20-minute daily walk to avoid premature death, The Guardian has a good summary on the study that looked at 334,161 European men and women over a mean follow-up time of 12.4 years, and comments from Study leader Prof Ulf Ekelund. 20 minutes is a common time period when it comes to recommendations for better health, from the suggestion to stand up for 2 minutes every 20 minutes for those who are sedentary much of the day, to exercising your eyes by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds for every 20 minutes you spend reading a book or computer screen. If you're looking for some mental well-being from a cleaner home, Apartment Therapy has a plan for cleaning your house in 20 minutes a day for 30 days. For something more strenuous, there are a number of 20 minute workouts, from Men's Fitness, Fitness Magazine, Shape, and Military.com.
"If you sit down more than 11 hours a day, one study suggests, you’re 40 percent more likely to die in the next three years than I am. I’m standing up. I’ve been standing up all day. I’ll be standing up all month, in fact, without a break. I expect at the end of that month I’ll be sore but triumphant, glowing with smug enlightenment..."
Using the results of a study of 4,260 adults, the Cardiac Exercise Research Group (CERG) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) has developed an online fitness calculator which outputs your 'fitness age'. If the results alarm you, they've also provided a 7-week fitness program.
291 diseases and injuries + 67 risk factors + 1,160 non-fatal complications = 650 million estimates of how we age, sicken, and die
As humans live longer, what ails us isn't necessarily what kills us: five data visualizations of how we age, sicken, and die. Causes of death by age, sex, region, and year. Heat map of leading causes and risks by region. Changes in leading causes and risks between 1990 and 2010. Healthy years lost to disability vs. life expectancy in 1990 and 2010. Uncertainties of causes and risks. From the team for the massive Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010. [more inside]
Cargo bikes, long a mainstay in the Netherlands and emerging as an automotive alternative in the U.S. (via bike-friendly Portland), come in many flavors: Longtails, longjohns, cycle trucks, porteurs, trikes and the traditional Dutch bakfiet. Will a cargo bike transform your life?
Sitting is hazardous to your health. "The research, published in separate medical journals this month, adds to a growing scientific consensus that the more time someone spends sitting, especially in front of the television, the shorter and less robust his or her life may be." [more inside]
Swole.me is a completely free automated diet planner that creates meals according to your goal calorie intake and how many meals you’d like to eat per day. [more inside]
Fitocracy is a social game that harnesses the power of feedback loops to promote fitness. [more inside]
Olga Kotelko is 91, and she has probably set more athletic world records—and will continue to set more—than most of us will in our lives. We all age, but she is aging differently. Scientists are trying to figure out why...but she is just trying to find someone who can keep up.
The Bar-Barians. The Calisthenics Kingz (and their Kiwi First Lady). Hannibal & Barilla. [more inside]
Health Month is a game, currently in beta, that takes a "choose-your-own-adventure" approach to motivating you to improve your health. [more inside]
Pellagra is an awful disease. Its symptoms are the four D's -- diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia, and death, unpleasant by anyone's standards. Caused by a deficiency in niacin, pellagra is uncommon in developed nations thanks to the fortification of bread products with niacin. But could excess niacin be causing the rapid rise in type II diabetes? [more inside]
Running is actually good for your knees, if you haven't suffered knee injuries in the past. [D]espite entrenched mythology to the contrary, runners don’t seem prone to degenerating knees. An important 2008 study, this one from Stanford University, followed middle-aged, longtime distance runners (not necessarily marathoners) for nearly 20 years, beginning in 1984, when most were in their 50s or 60s. At that time, 6.7 percent of the runners had creaky, mildly arthritic knees, while none of an age-matched control group did. After 20 years, however, the runners’ knees were healthier; only 20 percent showed arthritic changes, versus 32 percent of the control group’s knees. Barely 2 percent of the runners’ knees were severely arthritic, while almost 10 percent of the control group’s were.
Mistress Krista says: Only YOU can stop gym dorkery! Stumptuous, one of AskMe's favourite fitness sites, has both a spiffy new design and a bunch of new content (Why your excuses are crap; Lies in the gym; Things you should not lift if you want to look like Madonna). Beginners will find plenty of smart and blunt information about eating, starting and refining a training program, avoiding and recovering from injuries, and developing a home gym one way or another. But Stumptuous has also extended its domain to YouTube. Part of the original Dork to Diva web series on correct technique is now up at YT (deadlifts; biceps curl) thanks to the support of The Prevention of Gym Idiocy Society (Ladies' Auxiliary), but you can also find some more unorthodox exercise ideas.
"At Stanford University two sales representatives from Nike were watching the athletics team practise. Part of their job was to gather feedback from the company's sponsored runners about which shoes they preferred. Unfortunately, it was proving difficult that day as the runners all seemed to prefer... nothing" - from Christopher McDougall's forthcoming book "Born to Run" which looks at the story the growth of the $20 billion running shoe industry. Starting form Bill Bowerman's Cortez in 1972 onwards runners have seen a steady flow of innovations to improve performance and reduce injury rates. Only it would appear they may not work. By way of contrast the book includes coverage of the Mexican Tarahumara tribe who run ultramarathons with shoes made from car tyres on their feet.
Cleaning hotel rooms is a strenuous business. However, when Alia Crum and Ellen Langer talked to 84 maids, most were under the impression that they did not get enough exercise. Furthermore, when they were measured for tests such as BMI and blood pressure, their results were typical of couch potatoes. The researchers let half the group in on the knowledge that they were getting more than enough of a daily workout and kept the rest in the dark. After a month results showed the former group were healthier on every single one of the objective health measurements tested - despite claiming to have been doing no more exercise or to have changed their diet. The study raises the possibility that mindset alone can influence our metabolism. Christopher Shea in the New York Times and Ben Goldacre in The Guardian have articles discussing the original paper.
“What is fitness?”(large PDF) is an essay by the leaders of the CrossFit movement. The ideal they propose is an athlete who is “equal parts gymnast, Olympic weightlifter, and multi-modal sprinter or ‘sprintathlete.’ Develop the capacity of a novice 800-meter track athlete, gymnast, and weightlifter and you’ll be fitter than any world-class runner, gymnast, or weightlifter.”
Pole dancing? It's the new Yoga. Just ask the people behind PoleTricks 101: "Women all around the country are finding out that pole dancing is a sexy way to entertain your man (or men!) Not only that, it's good exercise and just plain fun. PoleTricks 101 is dedicated to bring you the training, the equipment, and the satisfaction of dancing with the sexiest of all props... the pole!" Just $549.00... [via linkdump]
Couch potato lifestyle is worse for your health than smoking Poor diet and lack of exercise cause more illness than smoking, new figures show. The lifestyle of couch potatoes has overtaken smoking as the major cause of ill-health in EU countries for the first time, the World Health Organisation says. Great, now reading Metafilter is bad for me.
Uncle Sam Sez: Sheesh! Get Some Exercise!! A new National Center for Health Statistics survey shows that only seven out of 10 Americans get enough exercise every week. About four in 10 get practically no exercise whatsoever. How much do you exercise, and if so, are you one the three in 10 who do so enough? Is the report full of it? Should I go swimming now, or in an hour? Ride the bike there or take the car? Isn't driving a car to a nearby gym kinda stupid? But I digress. (Pauses, gets his bearings.) Isn't this pathetic?