After I ran my first (and last) marathon last year, my legs were stone-stiff. Like, I got to the finish line, started walking, collected my congratulatory medal, heat blanket, protein shake, gel packs, apples, and crackers, and by the time I was walking toward the party section of Grant Park (like I wanted to fucking party), I was waddling. There are short steps you have to walk down on the path that they set out for us, and I could barely bend my legs to get down them. I had to sort of hop. I did, somehow, get back to my charity tent, where my boyfriend was waiting for me, and onto the train, back to my friend’s apartment where my mom was waiting for me, out to a diner for waffles and eggs. But I couldn’t eat much, and I was moving at a quarter-pace. I spent the next two days feeling hot and nauseous and tired and very, very, very sore.
So just imagine how Tim Durbin feels after running seven marathons on seven continents in seven days! Keep reading »
If you’re trying to lose weight, exercise more, or stop smoking, you should try doing it with your bae. (Just don’t do actual couples exercises like these please.) According to a new study in JAMA Internal Medicine, couples who build new good habits as a team are more likely to reach their health goals and more likely to keep their habits over the course of years: 70 percent of the couples in the study who went to the gym together were still doing so at least once a week, compared to about 25 percent of the study participants who went to the gym alone, and smokers who quit together had a 50 percent chance of quitting for good compared to only 8 percent of the single smokers. Keep reading »
I’ve been seeing psychiatrists — doctors whose purpose is primarily to examine and diagnose an emotional disorder or condition, then prescribe a plan of treatment, whether therapeutic or pharmaceutical — on and off for over half my life. The ratio of good to mediocre to bad experiences I’ve had with psychiatrists is roughly equal — the best psychiatrist I ever had listened to me when I disputed my diagnosis and insisted that I really didn’t want to take medications. He brainstormed with me about how to treat not a diagnosis, which is broad and can border on stereotyping a patient, but rather the actual, specific emotional experiences that I was having. He suggested a therapist in his practice who specialized in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and it was a godsend. It is a nigh-perfect treatment for me and has had significant positive effects that have served as a better long-term solution than medication. Keep reading »
It’s taken me a while to formulate an opinion on CrossFit, but I talked it out today, so I think I’m ready to dip my toe into some controversial waters and speak about a fitness routine/lifestyle/whatever that is related to the fitness routine/lifestyle/whatever that I do — barbell lifting — but in which I have never participated, personally.
There’s a reason that I have never participated in CrossFit, personally, and it’s that it strikes me as rhetorically and physically dangerous. Rhetorically, because there’s a quit-whining attitude and physically because that attitude is sometimes applied even to real injuries that really shouldn’t be ignored. I have permanent injuries in my forearms as well as not permanent but persistent and sometimes fickle injuries in my neck and back that I have to accommodate in my workout routine, and I don’t trust a CrossFit coach who paid $1000 for a two-day weekend certification course to understand how to accommodate those so that I can still write for a living without my hands being in a prohibitive amount of pain. Keep reading »
I have clearly been underestimating bodyweight exercise, because this homeless man, Jacques, has been doing simple bodyweight exercises on the streets of Paris and complimenting it with a diet designed to increase muscle mass — bought with the money passing Parisians give him — and he is a homeless Adonis. Good lord. Keep reading »
U.S. News had a panel of health experts — including doctors and professors from Johns Hopkins, Harvard, and the University of Chicago — look at popular diets and rank their quality in terms of short-term and long-term weight loss, easiness to follow, nutrition, safety, and benefits for diabetes and heart health. The overall winner? The DASH diet, which is designed to lower blood pressure by putting an emphasis on vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy, and whole grains. In other words, it’s a diet that relies on common sense about nutrition, not that anyone really eats according to common sense. Keep reading »