In today's health & fitness digest:
- Suffering from chronic lower back pain? Double your recovery with these tools.
- Being short (men) and overweight (women) has a real impact on your salary.
- Sodium supplements have no impact on nausea & vomiting during ultra-endurance events.
- Why I'm going to start Tai Chi and you should too.
Suffering from chronic lower back pain? Double your recovery with these tools
I was hoping that the results of this new study would be positive, but I had my doubts... I wasn't disappointed.
This new large-scale and very well designed study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) compared 3 treatments for lower back pain:
- Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR).
- Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).
- Usual treatment (physio, exercise, etc).
Results after 26 weeks: all patients saw improvements, but at different rates:
- MBSR: 43.6%.
- CBT: 44.9%.
- Usual: 26.6%.
Do you see that? Both Mindfulness stress reduction AND Cognitive Behaviour Therapy resulted in almost DOUBLE the improvements vs. usual treatment!
Of course I'm not advocating saying goodbye to your physio, but adding mindfulness and CBT practices to your normal treatments should have a significant positive impact (among numerous other health and lifestyle benefits).
Being short (men) and overweight (women) has a real impact on your salary
This is unfortunate indeed, but true. A new study published in the British Medical Journal reveals that your height and weight has a REAL impact on your salary! The main conclusions were as follows:
- Height has a major impact, weight less of an issue.
- Weight does not have much of an impact on men's social status either.
- Height does have an impact on academic, social & career achievements.
- Weight is the major factor: a higher BMI is linked to lower "pay".
- Height less of an issue for women.
Of course, we can't control our height, but we certainly can do something about our health & weight.
Being fit is not just appearances: it indicates to people that you are mentally strong, disciplined, and dedicated - all qualities are willing to pay extra $ for in the workplace.
Yes there are exceptions to all these rules, and I can think of dozens as I'm writing this. But the reason they come to mind is "because they are exceptions".
Sodium supplements have no impact on nausea & vomiting during ultra-endurance events
I've talked in the past about research clearly showing that sodium supplements do not prevent cramps or impact race performance in ultra endurance events (ironman triathlons, ultra-marathons, etc).
From a logical perspective, think about it for a second: if "low sodium causes cramps", why does it cause a cramp "only in your left hamstring?". Shouldn't a "low sodium-induced cramp cause cramps in every muscle that's working??".
Some take sodium supplements to "prevent nausea and vomiting". This new research on ultra-marathon runners reveals that supplementing with sodium did not impact weight or nausea symptoms in an ultra-marathon event.
HOWEVER: some people "swear" by sodium supplementation: there is a "placebo (psychological)" effect of sodium supplementation: the slight taste of salt does have an impact, which is why sipping on pickle juice seems to be a magic remedy for cramps & nausea halfway through the marathon in an ironman.
Why I'm going to start Tai Chi and you should too
I've never really given Tai Chi much thought. I dabbled with the idea for months, but never got around to it. I figured that my fitness regime combined with my mindfulness practice would result in the same benefits.
However, a new large study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine revealed something powerful: the practice of Tai Chi improves physical abilities / performance as well as symptoms of patients suffering from chronic conditions, including: cancer, osteoarthritis, heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
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NOTE: I've just put the final touches on my Supplement Guide. I've done a ton of research and came up with a short, printable, easy-to-follow guide to supplements. It will talk about which to take daily, which to take for special situations (e.g. sickness, pregnancy, fitness, etc) and more. If you want to get notified when it gets published, please drop me your email (top right of page).