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October 14, 2022

The GAINZZZ of August

I know it's not August. But I just thought of this pun now.

I'm not what you'd call the "classic organized type."

Science: Weight loss may benefit the overweight, but not -- repeat, not -- the lean or underweight.

Whoa. World. Rocked.

Thank You, Science!

Intentionally losing weight can bring long-term health benefits for individuals with obesity, regardless of the method or strategy they use, according to a study of almost 200,000 people. Those who lost more than 4.5kg had less weight gain and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who did not lose weight, but lean individuals did not benefit, with weight loss attempts associated with longer-term weight gain and higher risks of type 2 diabetes. The research is published September 27 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine.
What will these Science Wizards discover next

Here's another one that's going to completely fail to blow any part of your minds.

Social media has become a part of our everyday lives. However, social media usage can create negative mental problems--especially in children.

Countless studies show the negative effects of social media on children. It impacts their mental well-being, self-image and causes feelings of loneliness.

"When you introduce technology to a developing brain. I think it has consequences that we're not even fully aware of yet, but it doesn't look helpful," Director of Psychology Services at East Tennessee Children's Hospital Dr. Janis Neece said.

Twelve different studies found depression correlated with time spent on social media. But it goes beyond social media--excessive screen time also contributes to poor mental health.

A study out of Australia conducted a global analysis of over half a million children from ages 13 to 15.

The study found more than an hour of screen time a day is detrimental contributing to depression, obesity, an unhealthy diet and decreased physical abilities.

This is why experts created the 'Wait Until 8th' campaign encouraging parents to wait until 8th grade to give their kids a smartphone.

"If parents will bond together early on, to talk with each other about, 'Let's all hold out,' and do that as a group so that kids, they don't have that sense of isolation," Neece said.

I wish I'd held out until I was sixty.

Speaking of sixty, here are a couple of articles about maintaining vitality into the Silver Years, or, as Joe Biden calls them, 1984 to 2002.

That's a good joke. It's funny because it's true.

Older adults who keep a routine of being active throughout the day are both happier and do better on cognitive health tests.

Older adults who consistently get up early and remain active throughout the day are happier and perform better on cognitive tests than those with irregular activity patterns, according to a new study led by University of Pittsburgh researchers.

The findings, published online in JAMA Psychiatry, suggest that patterns of activity--not just activity intensity--are important for healthy aging and mental health.

"There's something about getting going early, staying active all day and following the same routine each day that seems to be protecting older adults," said lead author Stephen Smagula, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at Pitt. "What's exciting about these findings is that activity patterns are under voluntary control, which means that making intentional changes to one's daily routine could improve health and wellness."

They tracked the subjects with cellphones and pedometers -- you know, FitBit devices and such.


"Many older adults had robust patterns: They get up before 7 a.m. on average, and they keep going; they stay active for 15 hours or so each day. They also tend to follow the same pattern day in, day out," said Smagula. "Lo and behold, those same adults were happier, less depressed and had better cognitive function than other participants."

Another group comprising 32.6% of participants similarly had consistent daily patterns but the participants were active for an average of just 13.4 hours each day because they rose later in the morning or settled down earlier in the evening. This group had more depression symptoms and poorer cognition than the early risers.

"People often think about activity intensity being important for health, but it might be the duration of activity that matters more," said Smagula. "This is a different way of thinking about activity: You may not need to be sprinting or running a marathon but simply staying engaged with activities throughout the day."

The remaining 29.8% of participants had disrupted activity patterns in which periods of activity were erratic throughout the day and inconsistent across days. These adults had the highest rates of depression and performed worst on cognitive tests.

Speaking of disrupted cycles -- I remember reading, back when I had panic, that it frequently hit people who had just gotten out of a highly-structured environment, like school or any kind of regular job, to enter a more chaotic schedule. Actors get panic a lot.

Structure is good for the mind, and chaos is bad for it.

This article mentions zeitgebers, which I talked about having helped me reset my own circadian clock:

Time cues, called "zeitgebers," which help set the body's internal clock, can also assist in creating a stable routine. These include sunlight, exercise and eating. Pets, who often demand meals and walks at the same time each day, can be important social zeitgebers.

"Most people are aware of the importance of good sleep and exercise, but I think what's missing from this picture is the daily (circadian) pattern of activity," said Smagula. "Having something to wake up for each morning and having a full day that you find purposeful and rewarding might be what's important for us sleeping well at night and aging well."

Mark Rippetoe and Instapundit are always talking up the benefits of strength training for longevity. The Science (TM) confirms this.

New research into weight lifting has revealed two insights: that the practice is able to strengthen the connections between nerves and muscles, and that this strengthening can still happen in the later years of our lives.

We actually start losing muscle mass before the age of 40, caused in part by a reduction in muscle fibers that happens as motor neurons -- cells in the brain and spinal cord that tell our bodies to move -- break down.

Mark Rippetoe's book Starting Strength really hammers home that strength is not a muscular phenomenon, but a neuromuscular phenomenon: It's not just the muscles that have to be embiggened. The nervous system must also be trained to actually deliver a more forceful signal to the muscles to tell them to exert more force (and in doing so, get embiggened).

So this is saying that muscular decline happens first because of the neuro- part of the neuromuscular system? It's the neurons that aren't firing as hard and properly innervating the muscles?

This decline can't be stopped, but the new study shows that it can be slowed down significantly. According to the study's results, weight training makes the connections between nerves and muscles stronger, protecting the motor neurons in the spinal cord -- essential for a well-functioning body.

"Previously, researchers have been unable to prove that weight training can strengthen the connection between the motor neurons and the muscles. Our study is the first to present findings suggesting that this is indeed the case," says exercise physiologist Casper Søndenbroe from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

The first "o" in Søndenbroe is that struck-through Norse o. I can't be bothered to look up the html code so I'll write it as a zero.


From twinges in the back to pain in the knees, the indication is that weight training can slow down some of this breakdown between muscles and the nervous system, without actually reversing it. The researchers suggest that starting earlier in life can build up 'reserves' that the body can fall back on.

"The study shows that even though you begin late in life, you can still make a difference," says Søndenbroe.

"Of course, the sooner you start, the better, but it is never too late -- even if you are 65 or 70 years old. Your body can still benefit from heavy weight training."

Although this study was done in men, this applies to women, too: for example, older women, who are more prone to osteoporosis, benefit from resistance training just as much as men do.

If there's a plus side to this, Rippetoe also points out that the neuro- side of the neuromuscular chain can be built up much faster than the -muscular part. Which will then stop (or slow down) age-related muscle loss.


People getting ready for National Novel Writing Month?

By the way, I've watched like fifteen videos on bullet journaling and I still don't get it. So-- you're just basically making lists, right?

Some inspirational videos:

digg this
posted by Ace at 04:14 PM

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