In my quest to be a better runner, I find all kinds of interesting information about general health and fitness. I’m going to start sharing links to this information here on my blog in hopes that someone who reads it will decide to make better lifestyle choices.
My most recent and favorite discovery is the Science2Health podcast. Former medical doctor, Dr. Monte Ladner, produces this podcast where he discusses peer-reviewed studies on a variety of topics. He used to record the Fitness Rocks podcast but got complaints when he started to discuss non-health related and “controversial” topics like evolution and global warming [insert eye roll here]. He is very unbiased and just discusses the studies so I don’t understand how anyone but the most sciencephobic could have a problem with his content, but there you have it. I love hearing about the studies and the actual assumptions you can make from them instead of the sound bites on the news where the content and reliability of the study is not discussed. In other words, he expects you not to be an idiot who needs everything dumbed down to a 5th grade level.
While getting ready for work this morning, I listened to a few episodes of Science2Health, and the first one was very interesting. It was based on a study where the percentage of people who followed a healthy lifestyle in 1988 (15%) were compared to those following a healthy lifestyle in 2006 (8%). This is important because following these five healthy habits decreases your risk of chronic disease by 80-90% and your risk of cancer by 30-40%. These are the factors they considered to be important to a healthy lifestyle (paraphrased from the show transcript):
- Don’t smoke.
- Drink moderately if you drink. (One a day for women and two for men).
- Eat no less than 5 servings of fruit and veggies daily.
- Exercise 5 times a week for 30 minutes.
- Not overweight – This is the most interesting/horrifying one to me. They had to accept people into the study group who were slightly overweight to have enough people for a good sample size. There weren’t enough people who are actually at a healthy weight in the United States to perform the study.
I won’t repeat the whole podcast here because you should really listen to Dr. Ladner’s interview with the principal investigator on the study. I also don’t want to steal his content because he obviously works very hard on it, but I wanted to give you a little teaser of the kind of information you’ll find there. If you go to the Science2Health website, there is a full transcript with links to the study if you want to see for yourself.
If you have any podcasts about health or fitness that you enjoy, I’d love to hear about them in the comments.