Wellness Wednesday – 10/28/20
WELLNESS AROUND THE WEB
How to Embrace a Coronavirus Winter
After a summer of socially distanced outdoor activities, cold weather acts as a stark reminder that a coronavirus winter is upon us. In a recent article, BlueZones.com discusses the concept of “open-air living” and embracing the outdoors regardless of the forecast.
Friluftsliv is a Norwegian word that illustrates commitment to celebrating time outdoors. And it doesn’t have to be skating or skiing — it’s a long walk outside, a picnic in the backyard, a hike through the woods, a bike commute, daily dog walks, or a drink at an outdoor heated patio.
It’s been shown that spending time outdoors can boost happiness, improve productivity and reduce stress. This winter, don’t let the cold weather keep you from getting out of the house. To help motivate you, BlueZones has shared tips to help promote outdoor time even in the coldest months. Some of the tips include dress to linger (make it as comfortable as possible to be outside), put your winter boots by the door (to remind you to walk daily) and aim for at least 10 minutes of outdoor time a day.
Coffee and Green Tea May Lower Death Risk for Some Adults
Coffee and tea are two of the most consumed beverages on the planet. They are both enjoyed by billions of people for various reasons, and an increasing number of studies suggest they are good for you.
In a recent article, BigThink.com discusses another study attesting to the health benefits of these drinks. A several-year review of the health and dietary habits of nearly 5,000 Type 2 diabetics shows that those who drink more coffee and tea can enjoy a dramatically reduced death rate.
The study found that subjects who drank more than one cup of tea or coffee per day demonstrated lower odds of dying than those who had none. Those who consumed the most tea and coffee, more than four and two cups a day, respectively, enjoyed the most significant reductions in their risk of death. This level of consumption was associated with a 40% lower risk of death.
Most interestingly, the effects of drinking tea and coffee appear to combine to reduce risk even further. Those who reported drinking two or three cups of tea a day and two or more cups of coffee were 51% less likely to die during the study, while those who drank a whopping four or more cups of tea and two or more cups of coffee had a 63% lower risk of death.
This doesn’t mean that you should start swimming in a tub of coffee every day, but a cup or two probably won’t hurt.
Scientists Weigh in on the Great Trekking Pole Debate
Trekking poles elicit mixed feelings. Some love them but others suggest that using poles too much will sap your balance and coordination, thus raising the risk of accidents in situations like crossing ridges that are too narrow for poles.
There have actually been quite a few studies investigating the pros and cons of pole use, and they’re summarized in a new review article by Ashley Hawke and Randall Jensen in Wilderness & Environmental Medicine.
Some of the points may come as a surprise. Data suggest that trekking poles actually help burn more calories. It’s about a 20% calorie bonus thanks to the added demands of using your upper body muscles. Additionally, the use of trekking poles helps take some if the load off your joints and muscles. Poles also help you brake when you’re descending, reducing the eccentric muscle contractions that damage your muscles and leave your legs sore the next day.
L.A.’s Coast Was Once a DDT Dumping Ground
Not far from Santa Catalina Island, UC Santa Barbara scientist David Valentine decoded unusual signals underwater that gave him chills.
The LA Times report that Valentine was supposed to be studying methane seeps that day, but he discovered as many as half a million barrels filled with banned toxic chemicals littered across ocean floor.
Tales of this buried secret bubbling under the sea had haunted Valentine for years: a largely unknown chapter in the most infamous case of environmental destruction off the coast of Los Angeles — one lasting decades, costing tens of millions of dollars, frustrating generations of scientists. The fouling of the ocean was so reckless, some said, it seemed unimaginable.
From 1947 to 1982, the nation’s largest manufacturer of DDT — a pesticide so powerful that it poisoned birds and fish — was based in Los Angeles.
To read more about the history and affects of DDT and its dumping, click here.