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Is 10,000 steps the wrong goal?

Minute 1: Vigorous exercise offsets poor sleep

Any health expert will tell you not to sleep on catching enough Z’s every night. It’s more than just pillow talk to say that sleep habits can make or break your health. Some of the research findings are scary enough to keep you up at night. Luckily, there’s a way to combat the downsides of failing to get enough shut eye. Learn how in this new story: “Vigorous exercise can offset poor sleep, according to this study.” Overall, those who sleep poorly are about 50% more likely to die early from conditions like heart attacks or cancer, but your risk can be minimized by reaching certain activity guidelines. High intensity exercises were most helpful, according to the research. If you’ve been looking for a sign to try out HIIT workouts here it is, and we’ve got a guide to get you started: “The Ideal HIIT Conditioning Workout For Runners.” The combo of plyometrics and sprints will have you gasping for air. Trust us, that’s a good thing. Working out to alleviate sleep-related health concerns is great, but if you want to address the root of the problem, read these “8 Tips for How to Get More REM Sleep.” A quick and easy change you can make is to limit the amount of alcohol and caffeine you consume later in the day. #I’llRestWhenI’mDead

Minute 2: Psychedelic therapy shows promise as an anti-depression tool

Psychedelics earned a taboo reputation from recreational misuse in the 1960s and beyond. Unfortunately for those with depression, this stigma has impeded research efforts for decades. Now, things are beginning to change, and early findings indicate that psilocybin offers big potential as a therapeutic tool. Here’s “What we know about psychedelic therapy” so far. One literature review found that 65% of participants across 24 studies reported a reduction in anxiety. This study published by the American Psychological Association listed similarly optimistic findings regarding depression, anxiety and stress levels of participants. You’re probably wondering “How exactly do substances like psilocybin mushrooms work?” There’s no clear answer yet, but a new study done at Yale found an immediate increase in neuron connections. Check out their report in “Psychedelic spurs growth of neural connections lost in depression.” It’s been speculated that the formation of neural pathways allow a patient to approach their problems in a different way. It’s a catalyst for cognitive reframing, a technique commonly used already in a typical therapeutic setting. Read “What is Cognitive Reframing?” to learn more. Approaching your situation with an open mind and fresh perspective is key to working through depression. Of course, whatever method you choose should be done so under the guidance of a mental health professional. If you or someone you know struggles with depression, we encourage you to reach out for help as step 1 of your plan. #ShroomService

Minute 3: 10,000 steps is just too much

If you’ve ever been annoyed by a fitness tracking app or device, nagging you to complete 10,000 steps for the day, we’ve got good news. Feel free to ignore that recommendation, as there’s little scientific evidence behind it. The number was likely chosen by a marketing team, not a fitness expert. To see why less is more, read this: “Forget 10,000 steps - Here’s how much you should actually walk per day, according to science.” Don’t get us wrong, we think walking is fantastic for you. We value efficiency, though. So when we heard 7,000 or 8,000 was all you need to lower mortality and lose weight, it was a welcome adjustment. Looking for a way to track your steps? Check out “The 11 Best Pedometers of 2021.” Most of these will also allow you to track your heart rate, making it easy to fine tune the intensity of your workouts and chart progress over time. Walking and running don’t have to be separate affairs, despite what you may have heard. Switching between the 2 mid-way is totally natural, and Jeff Galloway told us all about the benefits on an episode of the Six Minute Mile Podcast. Give it a listen here. BTW, what is it about popular myths based on the number 10,000? (See: “New Study Destroys Malcolm Gladwell's 10,000 Hour Rule.”) #StepCounterArguments

Minute 4: The mediterranean diet just got greener

It’s well established that the mediterranean diet is one of the healthiest options available, but it could be even better, according to one recent analysis: “What is the green mediterranean diet, and should you try it?” The meal plan tweaks are slight, but they can make a big difference in your health. First, the green version of the diet cuts out all red meat, which has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Instead, fish and chicken make up the main source of animal protein. In addition, the diet calls for a few cups of green tea a day. To see why, read “10 Benefits of Green Tea - Why You Should Drink It Every Day.” The antioxidants and other nutrients in green tea help reduce the risk of several diseases. An average cup contains 28 mg of caffeine, much less than the 100 mg in a typical cup of coffee. Having a few cups of green tea throughout the day gives you smaller energy boosts, rather than the caffeine jolt and crash which coffee can bring. The mediterranean diet might reign supreme among nutritionists, but not everyone will find it works for them. To see some other options, take a look at the U.S. News rankings of “The Best Diets Of 2021.”

Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • To some, living to 100 seems like an unrealistic goal. In some parts of the world, however, it's a fairly common occurrence. Researchers use the term “Blue Zone” to describe these regions, and studying them can tell us a lot about how to live long, happy lives. To learn what sets these places apart from the rest of the world, check out “Is Blue Zone Living The Secret To Happiness?” You can supplement that with New Balance executive Andrew Merle’s appearance on the SMM podcast, where he discusses his own research on blue zones.

  • Don’t worry, if you talk to yourself while you work out, you’re not alone. Self-talk can be a powerful motivational tool, but did you know there’s better and worse ways to phrase it? According to some research done at Bangor University in Wales, whether you talk to yourself in first or second person makes a difference in efficacy. Ask yourself “Are You ‘You’ or ‘I’ When You Talk to Yourself on The Run?” Check out the article to see why ‘You’ is the better choice.

  • Being a top-ranked tennis player for over a decade doesn’t come easily, not even for Novak Djokovic. After watching him defend his title at the 2021 Wimbledon Championships, we wondered how a 34-year-old stays strong and fit over a grueling travel and tournament season. Find out what fuels his championship performances in “Novak Djockovic gives the lowdown on the diet that made him number one.”

  • We just had our feet scanned at a Fleet Feet store yesterday and it was a much more enjoyable and informative experience than the airport scan we’d had a few hours earlier. It only takes about 2 minutes to analyze your feet and your gait using their 3D fit id system of sophisticated cameras and pressure plates. The store then instantly compared that data against 2,000,000 other foot scans to tell us which shoes people bought whose feet matched ours. We saw some old favorites on the list, but also learned of a few surprising choices that may match our feet and gait. As a follow-up Fleet Feet emailed the complete foot scan to us. (Haven’t posted to Instagram yet, but we’re confident it will blow up the interwebs.) Perhaps even more interesting, the scans allow Fleet Feet to produce custom insoles for runners through a partnership with Superfeet. Overall, we walked in with some healthy skepticism about the process, but left believing there is some real science behind this fitting technology. To learn more about the free fit id process, check it out here.

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

Our Six Minute Mile Professional Edition continues to grow in number of subscribers and the quality of the information we produce. Both industry pros and people who just love endurance sports are signing up in big numbers. As we review venture capital investments and M&A related to healthy living, we have written a few times about the huge investor appetite for at-home workout devices like Tonal and Mirror. Apparently one person’s unicorn is also a comedy writer’s punching bag. Check out SNL’s take on the phenomenon below.


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