Here’s a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week. I did some catching up, so it’s a big one! I hope you have some time this weekend 😉
How to Strengthen Bones and Teeth with White Sugar
This theory seems so ridiculous, but I actually sort of believe it. It makes sense, but I’m really not sure what to think of it yet. I love this type of thinking.
Should We Ice Injuries?
I have a recurring back injury that I got from pulling around heavy dough troughs when I worked at Wonder Bread. The first time it happened I was bed-ridden for more than a week until I could finally walk again. It would come back once or twice a year usually after doing something like lifting a mattress or playing basketball (actual examples ;)). I’d go to my doctor, get some pain killers and wait a couple days to feel better. It hasn’t come back for a couple of years now, until last week when all I was doing was sitting down while visiting my grandparents. I felt it pinch, I let out a loud gasp and I headed home before it got too painful. This time was different than others in the past because I immediately got on the foam roller and really dug into it for about 15 minutes and then iced it for another 20. I felt pretty good before bed and the next day, the pain was completely gone. Foam rolling and icing is my new savior!
Video: 6 Biohacks That Will Change Your Life Forever
Dave Asprey condensed his information into a short 25 minute presentation and I condensed it even more. I still highly recommend having a listen.
Take 1000 IU of Vitamin D3 per 25lbs. of body weight, exercise at high intensity for short duration, divide your calories (50-70% healthy fat, up to 20% animal protein, up to 20% vegetables, about 5% fruit or starch), avoid “healthy” foods with anti-nutrients (ie. bananas), learn to control, relax and strengthen muscles, learn to breathe properly by practicing for 10-15 min. per day for at least 40 days (5 sec. in, 5 sec. out), train your heart using emWave, upgrade your head (eat healthy fats, meditate, eeg-based neurofeedback, fix sleep).
Extended sleep reduces pain sensitivity
I wonder in how many applications the results of this study effect our bodies. Being that this is a health and fitness blog, one thing that comes to my mind is the effect sleep has on our pain thresh-hold in the gym. I wonder if getting more sleep can help us push through more, harder reps?
Vitamin D tied to women’s cognitive performance
I recently had bloodwork done to check for nutrient deficiencies and everything came back fine except for slightly low vitamin d levels and high iron levels (more on that later). I actually get a lot of sun regularly, but it seems that’s not enough. I have 24.8 nanograms of Vitamin D per millileter of blood serum (normal is 30-100) while the women in this study had less than 10 ng/mL. Wow! Most people are deficient, so if you don’t already, take a Vitamin D supplement and improve your brain performance! Vitamin D2 is harder for some people to absorb than D3, so keep that in mind when buying a supplement. From the research that I’ve done, the best supplement that I can find for vegans is Vitashine Vegan Vitamin D3.
This massive article starts off by discussing the mechanics of the body’s muscles and joints and how to optimize their position. Then it gets into the exercises we can do to prepare our joints and muscles for the workout ahead. This is great stuff! There’s a printable form and an awesome Q & A section too.
Yoga shown effective for treating chronic neck pain
I’m willing to use any sort of natural remedy, as opposed to taking medication, if at all possible which is why it’s great to learn that a form of yoga, called Iyengar yoga (link to poses from the website of the inventor of Iyengor yoga), has been shown to effectively treat neck and lower back pain. There’s also a great YouTube playlist of asanas as taught in the Iyengar method provided by Senior Iyengar Yoga teacher John Schumacher.
WHFoods: The Latest News About Walnuts
This article suggests buying walnuts whole, with the skin intact, because that’s where 90% of the phenols are contained. I never realized that they came with/without skin. Walnuts also provide many health benefits, including improving cardiovascular health, providing anti-cancer benefits and anti-inflammatory benefits. It only takes one ounce (approximately 7 shelled, or 14 halves) per day to get the benefits of the walnut.
Go ahead and jump: Learning how to properly jump and land can help female athletes avoid serious knee injuries
There’s been up to a 50% decrease in ACL tears in female soccer players who have taken part in a jumping and landing program. The difference between genders is that females tend to land with knees pointing inward while males tend to land with knees outward. I’m not sure what kind of program is being referenced, but I would guess something like plyometric training.
Lithium restores cognitive function in Down syndrome mice
How awesome would it be if there were a potential treatment for down syndrome. I’ve never heard about lithium supplementation before but this doctor recommends 10-20 milligrams (from lithium aspartate or lithium orotate) per day for brain anti-aging and many other health benefits.
How to Front Squat: Everything You Need to Know
I rarely do front squats because I suck at them, but this article has me wanting to include the exercise in my routine. A tip in one of the videos really spoke to one my own problems, which is flexibility. I’ve always used four fingers of each hand when balancing the bar and just like Eric Cressey says in the video, that requires too much flexion of the wrist. Next time I’ll try two fingers instead. There’s a lot of info here, so if you read this you’re sure to find a tip that can help your front squat.
Squat and Deadlift Technique: Why the “Knees Out” Cue Might not be Enough
Another great video from Eric Cressey. I’ve noticed that I’ve been having problems with my knee positioning and this short video is going to help me out a ton.
Heavy Metal Natural Detox
I’m currently suffering many of the symptoms mentioned in this post – fatigue, disrupted sleep, headaches and brain fog. Brain fog was the first thing I noticed, about two months ago. I went to the doctor and they ran some tests; blood tests for nutrient deficiencies and sleep tests to see if I had sleep apnea. As I mentioned above, everything came back mostly fine except the iron test showed my iron was high, so we ran a few more blood tests, this time testing for genetic hemochromatosis, or iron overload. The test came back positive. The treatment is to draw a pint of blood every week until my iron levels go back to normal and then maybe a couple of times per year after that. This seems very similar to the heavy metal exposure issues mentioned in this article from Ben Greenfield. In addition to the recommendations Ben mentions, I plan to make other changes to my diet as well, to try to reduce the amount of phlebotomies I have to get in my lifetime.
Building a Better Front Rack: Shoulder and Trunk Stability Relationship
I’ve never paid much attention to where my elbows are when I’m doing squats until after watching this video. When I did squats this week I realized that I raise my elbows way up behind my back when squatting! I couldn’t believe it. Well, I’ve fixed that thanks to the MobilityWOD folks 🙂
Blueberry Kombucha Smoothie
I’ve been brewing my own kombucha for a couple of months now, but I haven’t used it in a smoothie yet. Now I will 😉
Squat Like A Baby: 7 Reasons this is a Ridiculous Myth
If anyone ever tells you to squat like a baby, point them to this article. Squatting like a baby sounds great doesn’t it, but as we age, our bodies might not be capable anymore.
12 Tips For Sleeping Better Than A Baby
If you’re considering sleep hacking, you’ll appreciate this gold mine of information. There are soooo many cool tips here. To do all of this at once would be pretty damn expensive, but you only need a couple things to get started and you can work up from there. I really want a pair of those sleep headphones.