17 Jan

Links for a Sunday Morning

Who’s driving high abortion rates? It’s the religious right – Guardian

The religious conservatives who oppose these measures have blood on their hands. They are responsible for high abortion rates; they are responsible for the injury and death of women. And they have the flaming cheek to talk about the sanctity of life.

The Norwegian secret to enjoying winter – Fast Company

If you truly want to be happy during winter, though, this is the wrong approach to the season. Changing your mindset can do more than distracting yourself from the weather.

Why the British tell better children’s stories – The Atlantic

In pagan myth it’s the young who possess the qualities needed to confront evil. Further, each side has opposing views of naughtiness and children: Pagan babies are born innocent; Christian children are born in sin and need correcting.

Oak Labs, With $4.1M In Seed, Launches A Smart Fitting Room Mirror – Tech Crunch

Each item in the Oak Labs mirror comes with its own stylist recommendations that include other items in the store, with Oak Labs hoping you’ll buy more when you’re in control of your own shopping experience.

Why do Americans work so much? – The Atlantic

American inequality means that the gains of increasing productivity are not widely shared. In other words, most Americans are too poor to work less.

Do you do the ironing or do you take out the bins? It may be time to gender-swap your chores – Guardian

Even among feminist friends and forward-thinking families, it’s fascinating to see how our insistence on gender equality in every other area of life sometimes falters before the stubborn persistence of gendered chores.

America’s Based Fitness Divide – CityLab

At the end of the day, fitness is consistently tied up with our affluence, jobs, education, and class position—all of which are partially contingent on where we live. With the success of fit cities comes the unfortunate reality that these cities reflect yet another gripping image of our country’s great divide along economic and class lines.

100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness – Greatist

When trying to determine the most powerful innovators in this space, we looked at several quantifiable factors for each candidate: social reach, research they’ve contributed to, professional certifications and degrees they’ve attained, trends they’ve set, products they’ve created, and media coverage, among other things.

60% of women in Silicon Valley say they’ve been sexually harassed – Fast Company

One respondent reports that a male partner once said of a female employee, “We don’t have to worry about her bonus or promotion because she just got married. So she’ll probably have a baby and quit soon.” Another said her direct supervisor told her that a having a second child would be “career-limiting.”

This is your brain on nature – National Geographic

When we slow down, stop the busywork, and take in beautiful natural surroundings, not only do we feel restored, but our mental performance improves too.
Nature works primarily by lowering stress. Measurements of stress hormones, respiration, heart rate, and sweating suggest that short doses of nature—or even pictures of the natural world—can calm people down and sharpen their performance.

All of the Reasons Why Tom and Gisele’s Diet Is Actually the Worst, Revealed – Cosmopolitan

It’s borderline impressive how someone can cram so much non-scientifically based information, fear-mongering of healthy foods, and just plain old bullshit into one neatly tied, organically wrapped package.

36 Hours in Quebec City – NY Times

Over the last few years, a gradual revival has spread from one outlying neighborhood to the next, ushering in a wave of new boutiques, bars, bistros and more. But can hip and historic coexist? Quebec’s capital, now alive with cultural and culinary enticements for all demographics, says, mais oui!

12 Jan

The Biomechanics of Safe Walking on Ice & Snow

Winter Walk

Being like absolutely no one else in my neighbourhood and taking a walk this evening. Walk through the snow is the cool opportunity to check your gait pattern by looking back at your footprints. Do your feet turn out? Pigeon toe? How long is your stride?
Walking on ice is a good opportunity to break your neck . . . err, I mean, to analyse how your gait changes when you’re on a slippery surface. Gripping toes, shifting your weight forward instead of back, and lifting at the knees rather than pushing the ground away with the hamstrings are all ways that you compensate for the decreased coefficient of kinetic friction. Pretty cool, eh?

Fun fact: if you have shoes with little traction and keep your weight back in your rear leg when walking on icy surfaces, you will fall. I proved it this morning.

Think of yourself as a front wheel drive where the foot out front ‘pulls’ you forward instead of the rear foot ‘pushing’ forward. Place your whole foot down at once and walk with a wider stance.

The Canada Safety Council has tips for winter walking because: of course they do.

Monkey Bars in the Winter

While you’re at it, winter means not fighting children for the monkey bars. Head to the park, grab a hold, and swing!  Monkey bars are my fave because they’re fun. Also hanging is a natural movement that humans have mostly lost the ability to do. It takes grip strength (especially when you do it with mittens!) and shoulder strength just to hang, let alone to swing and pull yourself up. It helps you open the intercostal muscles for better oxygen intake. Win-Win and fun-fun!

10 Jan

Links for a Sunday Morning

Teeny house, big lie: Why so many proponents of the tiny-house movement have decided to upsize – Globe and Mail

Haven’t we learned anything from futuristic sci-fi movies? Cramming people into boxes stacked on top of each other, thus turning space into a currency, is just asking for Matt Damon to lead a rebellion.

The incredible thing we all do during conversations – The Atlantic

On average, each turn lasts for around 2 seconds, and the typical gap between them is just 200 milliseconds—barely enough time to utter a syllable. That figure is nigh-universal. It exists across cultures, with only slight variations. It’s even there in sign-language conversations.

‘It’s a miracle no one has died yet’: The Biggest Loser returns, despite critics’ warnings – The Guardian

“In my season there was a woman named Heather who was made to look like a combative, lazy bitch. But in actuality, she had a torn calf muscle and had developed bursitis in both knees. When she refused to run, they edited it to make her look lazy.”

Giving birth can be as hard on your body as running a marathon – Vox

If an athlete sustained a similar injury in the field, she’d be in an MRI machine in an instant. We have this thing where we tell women, ‘Well, you’re six weeks postpartum, and now we don’t need to see you — you’ll be fine.’ But not all women feel fine after six weeks nor are ready to go back to work, and they aren’t crazy.

Why you should never do leg extensions – Stack

During Leg Extensions, the resistance is located at the shins, just above the feet. This causes shearing forces on the knees, which means the force is experienced horizontally across the joint. Your body does not like this. In most serious injuries, there’s some form of horizontal force—whether from a collision or momentum—that causes the injury. In the case of the Leg Extension, the ACL is the primary concern.

This Inspiring Video Proves Any Woman of Any Size Can Do Yoga – Cosmopolitan

If there’s one thing to take away from this woman, it’s that your weight says approximately N-O-T-H-I-N-G about what your body can do. Which is a perfectly good reason to throw your own body hang-ups out the window no matter what kind of shape you’re in.

Don’t Fall for the Common Habits Myth that Stops People from Making Successful Change. – Gretchen Rubin

We won’t make ourselves more creative and productive and healthy by copying other people’s habits, even the habits of geniuses; we must know our own nature, and what habits serve us best.

A Healthy Diet’s Main Ingredients? Best Guesses – NY Times

There is a conspicuous American tendency to cling to a favored diet as the gateway to good health, keeping weight down, staving off cancers and banishing heart attacks. A consequence is an abundance of regimens — vegan, gluten-free, Paleolithic, fruitarian and many more — each promoted by its adherents as the one true path. But nutrition experts, including those in this Retro Report, caution that life is complex, and that we are more than what we eat.

An argument for less intense exercise – Hufifngton Post

I don’t see commercials or magazine articles or complicated self help books about “taking a walk every day.” Because it’s free, and anyone can do it, it doesn’t seem as exciting of a goal for many people, and companies certainly aren’t spending money making it seem sexy.

03 Jan

Links for a Sunday Morning

Is Your Trainer Wrong? – Men’s Health

Is it safe to deep squat? Exercise on an empty stomach? And is the kipping pull-up amazing or amazingly horrible? 

Why it took 10 years to charge Bill Cosby – Macleans

It would take another eight years before the discrediting of Cosby—a slow trajectory from “America’s Dad” to “America’s Rapist,” in the words of the New York Daily News—began. That dates to October 2014, when stand-up comedian Hannibal Buress called Cosby out (“You rape women, Bill Cosby”) in a video that went viral and prompted even more women to come forward.

Addicted to Distraction – NY Times

The net is designed to be an interruption system, a machine geared to dividing attention. We willingly accept the loss of concentration and focus, the division of our attention and the fragmentation of our thoughts, in return for the wealth of compelling or at least diverting information we receive.

In Defense of Food and the Rise of ‘Healthy-ish’ – The Atlantic

The key to health, books and websites and dietitians and former presidents reveal, is a process of elimination. It’s going without. The problem with giving things up, though, is that inevitably it creates a void in one’s diet that only Reese’s pieces and a family-sized wheel of brie can fill.

The Most Searched Workout by State – Vox

Americans are always looking to improve their fitness. But a peek at what workouts people in each state were uniquely searching for on Google this year suggests an incredible diversity in the potential paths to better health.

Canada Rental Rates Infographic – Huffington Post

While Vancouver is often recognized as Canada’s most expensive city in which to buy real estate, that isn’t always the case for renting. The average monthly rental rate for a one-bedroom apartment there is $1,079, while in Toronto, it’s $1,103.

50 Body Acceptance New Year’s Resolutions (That Don’t Involve Dieting!) – Everyday Feminism

Most people – and especially most women’s – new year’s resolutions center on dieting and weight loss as the key to happiness.