OutcomeReference updates !

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Last week was the first in two months I didn’t update the site daily.

I missed it because of a hard 23km run in freezing weather Friday and also because I invested a lot of time OutcomeReference. And it was definitively worth it!

OutcomeReference grew from a simple conversation to now a major application referencing 130 health studies and 320 health effects. Check it out

There were also major work done to improve how health effects were visualized.

For example, if you are a runner, and want to see how you can improve running performance, all factors are listed on this page. It is possible to sort factors on their efficacy or performance, or sort through factors.

Another way to use the site is if you are looking for information about a nutrient. For example, if you have questions about coffee, go on this page. It will show all digestive, performance effects and also showcase recent studies on caffeine.

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Effects of Caffeine

While this is just the beginning, I’m quite satisfied with what the site offers so far. It makes OutcomeReference a perfect companion site for DailyHealthPoints and gives unique insights you can’t get from anywhere else on the Internet.

Here is the complete list of updates:

  • Added a logo
  • Added a Facebook page
  • Added site chat to get more info
  • Added Evidence (“Needs more research”, “Low evidence”, “High evidence”
  • Added publication study date, and showcases new studies
  • Added three times more studies and health effects
  • Added timing to causes
  • Added categories for causes and outcomes
  • Tables are sortable. Click on table header
  • Added icons and colors for improved design

If you have comments, reviews, feedback, please add them below. Thanks to Zara ♥ who has provided great comments (which will be added to the site in the next update)

The Art of Relaxation

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I first encountered the paradox of relaxation in years of martial arts training:

The more relaxed you are, the faster you will be

If I come to a kung-fu class tensed, I would inevitably get my ass kicked @#$$!

However, if I am relaxed, I am able to have a higher reaction time, discern attacks and be able counter-attack with speed.

This is counter-intuitive. Instinctively, our muscles and body tense when face to danger. Why should we learn to be relaxed instead?

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OutcomeReference.com : Linking Nutrition, Exercise and life choices to Health Outcomes

 

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.

Because of these issues, I have developed a reference portal OutcomeReference

OutcomeReference is a FREE, easy-to-use reference website aiming to show clearly the outcome of your health choices. 

Continue reading “OutcomeReference.com : Linking Nutrition, Exercise and life choices to Health Outcomes”

Managing Your Physical Condition with Heart Rate Variability

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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.

Continue reading “Managing Your Physical Condition with Heart Rate Variability”

Exercise on the go with Azumio Fitness apps

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Fitness apps aim to bring the gym experience anywhere: your bedroom, hotel room, or in a park. Choose a workout, listen to the cues, and then follow the video.

I’ve been using six fitness apps from California developer Azumio for over a year. Do they fulfill their promise?

Continue reading “Exercise on the go with Azumio Fitness apps”

Accepting Imperfection

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One of my training goal is to be able to run 5 km in less than 20 minutes before the end of 2016.

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!

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Tiger Balm To the Rescue !

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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.

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Set a Goal before Any Training

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A good goal : Finishing a marathon
How do you ensure you get enough exercise, every week?

I see two ways to achieve this.

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.

Continue reading “Set a Goal before Any Training”

The Free Radical Theory of Aging

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The picture above shows iron rust. Oxygen reacts with steel, in a process called oxidation. It gives a grey and red color, and soon, steel disintegrate. The process can be accelerated with air or water moisture.

Oxidation can also been seen in food, turning rancid cooking oils or transforming nice apples into sad brown food. This process of oxidation creates free radicals.

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How To Recognize Burnout

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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:

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