7 Interesting Things I Read This Week (Take 2!)

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. 7 Interesting Things I Read This Week(picture source)

  1. 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!
  2. 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. Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 7.57.54 AM
  3. 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!)
  4. 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! Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 8.17.31 AM
  5. 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. Screen Shot 2014-01-19 at 8.40.15 AM(picture source)
  6. 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 :))
  7. 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. sunrise(picture source)
  8. 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?

enoch(picture source)

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?

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Comments

  1. says

    #3) Excellent video. And to add, the more refined the sugar, the more drug like it is to your brain. I can always tell when the kids have had sugar–they start going bonkers. Sugar is a very interesting topic. You should read up on the biochemical pathway the body has to use to process fructose (a 5 carbon sugar rather than 6) and why HF corn syrup might be of the devil after all…

    #4) I’m sure it’s the skeptic in me, but I can think of oodles of reasons why those calories have decreased and food corporations acting in our best interest as guardians of our health is >nowhere< on the list.

    Happy Sunday Megan!

    PS: I've moved my blog, come check out the new digs! :-)
    Robert recently posted…Clothing for the Budget RunnerMy Profile

  2. says

    Haha I love the gym stereotypes! :)

    Love all of these especially the one about making small changes. That is my focus is making one small change each week that will help me become stronger and a better runner. Last week was to work on strength training and it worked! Feeling good about a new week :)
    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted…Weekly Recap: 1/13 – 1/19My Profile

  3. says

    That article about injuries in cold weather is really interesting! I just wrote about how my foot has been bothering my recently, and I am wondering if the cold had anything to do with it. I do always warm up inside before I go out in the cold, and I run slow for a couple miles to warm up before doing anything hard, but maybe I haven’t been warming up my calves enough. The part about not noticing a twinge is interesting too! I was feeling a little foot pain during the day at work but not while running- maybe it was because it was cold out? Who knows…I mean I need to blame something for the pain so I might as well blame the cold and try to make sure my muscles are warm enough from now on!
    Lisa @ Running out of Wine recently posted…Raleigh Marathon Training Week 4 (and a minor setback)My Profile

    • says

      Good for you for warming up inside before you go out in the cold. I’m always sure to take it very easy the first few miles, but I’m not good at warming up inside first. Sorry you’ve been feeling some foot twinges. Do you have a tennis ball or golf ball to roll it over? That often helps me, depending on where the pain is!

  4. says

    Ah the Mediterranean diet has to be my favorite. I’m pretty sure in a past life I was living on tiny Greek island and all I did was eat things with olive oil and drank wine all day. I’d also like to think some greek god was fanning me and feeding me grapes all day as well. A girl can dream. :) I’m reading a personal finance book…not exactly mind blowing. lol!

  5. says

    Wow! What an amazing time… big congrats to Enoch! I am a big fan of you sharing articles so thank you :) I’m also a big fan of the Mediterranean diet! You know I am opposed to diet labels but that one problem sums up mine (and yours too I think). Definitely checking out the video on how our brains are on sugar. Hope you’ve had a great Sunday! (ps.. I ran 3.5 miles on the treadmill today, nearly pain free!!! So happy)
    Amy @ The Little Honey Bee recently posted…Weekly Meal & Workout Plan: January 19-25, 2014My Profile

    • says

      Yep, you’re right! I definitely wouldn’t say I “follow the Mediterranean diet,” but I sure do like my veggies, healthy fats, lean proteins, whole grains, and fruits! And they allow wine, so … what more could you ask for? :) I am SO, SO happy you are back at running and taking it slowly. I just know you’ll come back even stronger (with the Crossfitting yore re-starting and all the cross-training you’ve been doing!). Patience is tough, but worth it!

    • says

      Thanks for sharing, NZ Muse! I am jealous of the time you spent in the Mediterranean!! I’ve spent a few days in Greece and feel like I could survive easily off of Greek food forever.

  6. says

    I love them – and honestly think that fewer links and more of your own thoughts is what I prefer. If I just wanted links to those things, they are all available at Greatist, Buzzfeed, HuffPo or other sites. I am hear for YOUR voice. :)

    I love the 37 things. Way back when I was made a manager (i.e. not really asked) and put on a path … as it was I had an hour commute each way, and I wanted to focus on my kids. Getting back to pure technical cost me $ through the years, but I could never have replaced those hours and weekend I got with my kids.

    I also like the sugar one, like Robert mentioned above. There is so much to learn about this stuff – and how artificial sweeteners REALLY mess with out brains and our ‘dopamine reward system’.

    Loads of great links!
    Michael Anderson recently posted…Saturday Quickie – My All-Time Favorite Workout SongMy Profile

  7. says

    Awesome articles and videos – haha there are some other fabulous gym stereotype videos floating around :P I’ve read great things about the Mediterranean diet over the past few years and have to agree that it sound like the best diet (or lifestyle) – non-restrictive, focusing on whole foods, healthy and hearty.
    Allison @ Life’s a Bowl recently posted…Two Words Tuesday: In Other NewsMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks, Allison! I get a kick out of gym stereotypes, because sometimes they’re so true that they’re funny :). And yes – healthy, hearty, whole foods, and no restriction is just my style!

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