Before going further, I would like to thank all readers.
This site began only recently but it has already a good variety of articles on nutrition, exercise, mental health, rest & recovery and more. There are >5500 followers from over 50 countries. More importantly, a special thank you to those who take the extra step to comment. Every comment makes it worthwhile, and gives me more reason to care. My long term goal is to create a solid community around the art of healthy and happy living. I now see a clear way to achieve this both online and offline. So again, thanks for being there! I’ll make sure to make it a worthwhile journey 🙂
What is the ideal diet? What types of exercise should you do? What should you undertake to prevent mental disease? Those are common questions asked by millions of blogs and even more people every day, worldwide.
Unlike mathematics, there is no single answer. Delving into scientific studies such as those aggregated on pubmed help to separate the good from the bad. You type a keyword such as “diabetes” and it will show papers studying diabetes. However, this is not easy:
Health studies are published for scientists. Readability is low and challenging for those without relevant education
The vast majority of health studies are behind a “pay-wall”
There are different types of trial designs, from meta-analysis, double-blind randomized trials, cohort studies etc. Furthermore, the number of subjects vary wildly between studies, as well as age, weight range, athleticism of subjects, or study length. It takes a good eye to know which study has a better design and which ones are relevant to your case.
Studies on the same subject can use different metrics or biomarkers, making direct comparisons difficult
Studies on the same subject and with the same methodology can have conflicting results
Health studies, especially in nutrition, can be funded by corporations and have bias.
All these contribute to confusion. Media and bloggers then interpret findings to their likings, further increasing confusion.
In a previous post, resting heart rate was shown to reflect physical and mental condition. A low resting heart rate correlates with good health compared to a high resting heart rate.
It becomes complex when you consider age. Older people have lower resting heart rate. And individuals with the same age, nutrition and overall fitness level can have vastly different heart rates. For instance, my maximum heart rate when running is around 172bpm while a friend has 200bpm, with the same heart rate sensor. It does not mean however that I am more or less fit than others.
I like a lot the idea of this goal. During the day, I would already imagine my legs powering me forward, the wind flowing, and the constant battle against the watch. I was already eager on sharing my success everywhere.
Recently, it started snowing. Sidewalks become a sliding game, shoes become soggy and fingers are frozen. And what was once beautiful green trails become cold, dark and snow paths like above. Result: I loose half of my speed!
Even though healthcare is free in Canada, I haven’t taken any antibiotics or any over the counter medicine in the past ten years. No aspirin, Tylenol, Vicks, Advil. Nada.
It’s not because I reject the healthcare system. If I get bitten by a dog or a snake, I will gladly get my anti rabies or anti venomous shot. If I get pneumonia, I won’t say no to a dose of antibiotics, to the contrary. In fact, if you get sick, I highly recommend you to consult your doctor and follow their prescription.
First is including exercise in your daily routine. I have already mentioned commuting as exercise. Blue Zones populations take it a step further. Ikarians in Greece and Okinawans do not buy vegetables but care for a garden instead. Sardinians are sheepherders, waking up early to cater for their animals and walk great distances. In these areas, there is also no concept of retirement, so elders still continue to have their healthy dose of exercise.
Burnout manifests itself with underperformance, mood disturbance, reduced motivation, stomach problems, as well as fatigue, anxiety and depression.
It is seen in serious athletes training with high volumes and intensity with little recovery aka overtraining. It’s also experienced by various workers going through chronic life stresses and monotony: stressful job, divorce, kids, bills, nerve-wracking projects, little sense of self-worth etc.
What seemed like an easy task previously requires enormous efforts. Often, there’s psychological breakdown.
Recognizing burnout lets you stay away from injuries or pass the tipping point. This can mean extended years enjoying your work, exercise and family. A well-balanced person wants to recognize early symptoms, which lead to the question:
Did you ever had challenging situations where you felt being personally attacked but couldn’t respond back?
Or maybe that everyone was conspiring against you?
I’ve had several. Sometimes you can defuse or go past the attack. In others times, I could not do anything because the attack came from a boss or a client. The situation becomes a crisis for me when there are other people around. There’s feeling of shame, anger, and then thoughts of violence or revenge come to mind.