Last week, I thought I was pulling a fast one on you guys by “just” providing 7 interesting things I had read that week rather than a “real” 7 Tips Sunday post. But several of you seemed to really enjoy it, and fortunately for you, I tend to read a LOT of health-and-fitness-related articles each week, so … here’s another one for you! This week was full of great articles, and I really had fun pulling together this post on a variety of topics. (picture source)
- Why exercising in very cold weather may lead to injury: This Huffington Post article shares the importance of a warm-up when you’re exercising in cold weather. I found it really interesting that your sensory mechanisms are slowed down so you may not realize you’re injured as quickly. Luckily, they say that you’ll be fine if you just bundle up, so check out my guide on how to dress for cold weather exercise!
- How your brain reacts to sugar: I’ve talked about sugar several times (see my post on 7 ways added sugars sneak into our diets for one example). But here is a 5 minute TED-Ed talk (via Huffington Post) that explains how your brain reacts to sugar … a fun way to understand some of the (very basic and generalized but still informative) mechanisms.
- Packaged food companies cut out 6.4 trillion calories: 16 major food companies have reduced the total calories in foods they produce, resulting in a drop of about 78 calories per day for the average person (who likely consumes a lot of packaged foods). Whether this is driven by companies’ health initiatives or consumers’ demands for healthier food options, I think this is an amazing win for everyone! “Companies like these with a higher percentage of sales coming from ‘better for you’ products show strong growth, higher profits and better corporate reputations,” says the NY Times article … I hope the companies are making note that health makes business sense, too! (Here’s a second article that lists the 16 companies, and shares that 36% of all packaged food calories come from these 16 players!)
- What would happen if men and women switched roles at the gym: Please know that I post this solely for fun. We can all laugh at ourselves, and I do not support serious gender stereotyping or anything that makes people feel bad about themselves. But if you can watch it light-heartedly, this video is pretty hilarious!
- How the Mediterranean diet could increase happiness: Although I do not believe that any single diet is a perfect solution for everyone, the Mediterranean diet’s focus on vegetables, healthy fats, whole grains, fruits, beans, and lean protein is by far one of the best out there, in my opinion. I’m not sure I would go so far as believing that everyone who follows the Mediterranean diet will automatically have a life full of unicorns and rainbows, but this study does go to show that diet really does affect so many aspects of life, and that eating any diet full of whole foods will make you feel better than a diet full of fast food and processed food. (picture source)
- How making small changes can lead to success: More talk (from the NY Times) about why New Year’s Resolutions don’t tend to stick, with suggestions on small changes to make your health promises to yourself more likely to succeed. (Hey … I think I said something like that :))
- Top 37 things you may regret later in life: Powerful reminders to step back and enjoy the important things in life. Worth a read if you’re feeling stressed or if life tends to pass you by too quickly. (picture source)
- Bonuses: Two follow ups on the benefits of magnesium (my initial post on supplements is here), a follow-up with even more health benefits of coffee, a follow-up on cravings (and what cravings for specific foods may mean … not 100% sure I buy into this, but interesting to read), and a funny article with signs that you’re Type A (is it sad that I relate to almost all of them?!).
As always, let me know what you think about these posts … would you rather have more links and less commentary? Should I supplement this kind of post on another day and stick to my 7 Tips/ 7 Things Sunday posts? Or just play it by ear based on what I think will be most interesting that week?
And lastly … I have to wish a huge congratulations to our friend Enoch, who just met his goal of qualifying for the Olympic Trials this morning with a mind-blowing half marathon time of 1:03:54. You are amazing, Enoch! Enoch’s wife, Angela, is such an amazing supporter, so congratulations to her, too! Also of note … the women’s half marathon winner, Serena Burla, is a cancer survivor and once had almost half of her hamstring muscle removed. What an inspiration!
So tell me in the comments … Which article is most interesting to you? What’s the most interesting thing you read this week? Any interesting stories to share from the weekend?