Friday, June 05, 2009

Aping Laughter

Laughter is a serious subject. Really.

In fact, this article shows us that laughter is kind of like language. It is one of the traits uniquely shared by we advanced primates (chimps, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans).

And ... I'm just thinking here ... if the ability to let out a good solid belly laugh is correlated to our advanced intellects, then I think we need to exercise our sense of humor just as as much as we do our minds.

Many people are serious about adding "brain-aerobics". I'm sure that's fine, but don't get too worked up over it. Be sure to keep a sense of humor about your little mental gymnastics!!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Walking Running

This is a great article by Tara Parker Pope of the NYTimes.

I love the fact that this very sane technique ... actually works!!

In some ways, it is a great metaphor for us all. Doing more does not always lead to doing more -- in running, in working, in living.

Would love to get your thoughts.

Monday, June 01, 2009

The Pros Have Got Your Back


Follow the pros. They know what they're doing.

The next time you move your household, or even just clean out the basement -- as silly as it may seem for those guys who think they're invincible and no harm will ever come to them -- take the advice of people who lift boxes for a living.

In
fact, a new study included 20 men who carried a load on a treadmill. The researchers measured the strain on their shoulders, neck, back, abdomen and forearms.

1)
Carrying loads on your back rather than against the abdomen seems to reduce effort and lower the risk of injury.
2) Using assistive load carriage devices (like a dolly) can improve grip and lessen the strain on the back and forearms.

"We found that professional movers often carry loads against their backs, mainly because they found it to be more practical and less painful. However, more research is needed with professional movers or warehouse workers to see if the back carry technique reduces the risk of back injury without increasing the risks of other injuries," study co-author Joan M. Stevenson, said in an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) news release.

She and her colleagues found that movers who use the back carry technique feel
they lift more safely, reduce their risk of tripping, and are less likely to suffer back pain.

"
This technique may be very important when it comes to injury prevention, whether it is on a professional mover or just a college student moving to an apartment. We know that some people do not have the shoulder flexibility or grip strength to perform this technique, so an assistive lifting device can be valuable," Stevenson said.

Just remember:
Once you have messed up your back ... you have messed up your back. And the easiest thing in the world is to believe that a strain will never happen to you ... right before it happens to you!! So, don't be silly, lift with your legs. Plus, take it from the pros and, if you can, carry your loads against your back rather than your belly.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health have more about avoiding back pain.
(SOURCE: American College of Sports Medicine, news release, May 27, 2009)

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