“Why not go out on a limb?
That is where the fruit is.”
Cheshire dog up a tree by Judy
Cheshire dog up a tree by Judy
Daniel Pink* (born in 1964 and he’s NOT a seenager) says our ability to think changes throughout the day, consequently we function better, smarter and even more creative at various times. Research suggests these effects can be as large as 20%.
Generally, we have a peak, a slowdown and a rebound during the day.
One in 5 people is a night owl, then the order is reversed–rebound, slowdown, peak.
When is best time to exercise? Depends on your goals-here is Pink’s guide:
Take short breaks-this helps keep you able to focus, especially when you move during the breaks. Taking a 5 minute walk every hour will increase your energy, focus and mood, lessening afternoon fatigue. It’s better than one 30 min. walk. Researchers at Stanford found motivation, concentration and creativity went up with short walking breaks.
(Frankly, I’m not sure about any of this. Peggy told me this is how we evolved – pick some food from a plant, walk a bit, pick more food . . . I tried this and gained 10 pounds which depressed me and now I’m going to bed to sleep at 3 pm when my slowdown starts.)
Pink says social breaks are the best as they increase mood and decrease stress. The best breaks may be ones in nature, people feel happier and more rested.
Wall Street Journal article Feb. 16, 2018,
*“How to be Healthier, Happier and More Productive: It’s All in the Timing” by Daniel H. Pink
“When we’re put under pressure, our brains can suddenly process information much faster – but only in certain situations, says neuroscientist Tali Sharot.”
Some of the most important decisions you will make in your lifetime will occur while you feel stressed and anxious.
Do we become better or worse at processing and using information under such circumstances?
“My colleague Neil Garrett, now at the Princeton Neuroscience Institute in New Jersey, and I ventured from the safety of our lab to fire stations in the state of Colorado to investigate how the mind operates under high stress.”
“Firefighters’ workdays vary quite a bit. Some days are pretty relaxed; they’ll spend part of their time washing the truck, cleaning equipment, cooking meals and reading. Other days can be hectic, with numerous life-threatening incidents to attend to; they’ll enter burning homes to rescue trapped residents, and assist with medical emergencies. These ups and downs presented the perfect setting for an experiment on how people’s ability to use information changes when they feel under pressure.”
“This is how we arrived at these results. We asked the firefighters to estimate their likelihood of experiencing 40 different aversive events in their life, such as being involved in a car accident or becoming a victim of card fraud. We then gave them either good news (we told them that their likelihood of experiencing these events was lower than they’d thought) or bad news (that it was higher) and asked them to provide new estimates.”
“Cortisol levels spiked, their heart rates went up and, lo and behold, they suddenly became better at processing unrelated, yet alarming, information”
“Research has shown that people are normally quite optimistic – they will ignore the bad news and embrace the good. This is what happened when the firefighters were relaxed; but when they were under stress, a different pattern emerged. Under these conditions, they became hyper-vigilant to any bad news we gave them, even when it had nothing to do with their job (such as learning that the likelihood of card fraud was higher than they’d thought), and altered their beliefs in response. In contrast, stress didn’t change how they responded to good news (such as learning that the likelihood of card fraud was lower than they’d thought).”
“Back in our lab, we observed the same pattern in undergraduates who were told they had to give a surprise public speech, which would be judged by a panel, recorded and posted online. Sure enough, their cortisol levels spiked, their heart rates went up and, lo and behold, they suddenly became better at processing unrelated, yet alarming, information about rates of disease and violence.”
This article was originally published at Aeon and has been republished under Creative Commons and is edited for space.
A new study, released by UCL, found that people experience heightened physiological reactions, with stronger heart and brain responses, when listening to audiobooks as opposed to viewing screen adaptations of the same works. This is the first time any research has been done looking at whether changing the way a story is delivered changes its emotional impact on us.
In the year plus long study, ” . . . a collaboration with Audible, scientists tested scenes from eight blockbusters and bestsellers – A Game Of Thrones, The Girl On The Train, Pride And Prejudice, The Silence Of The Lambs, Great Expectations, The Da Vinci Code, The Hound Of The Baskervilles, and Alien. They tracked the conscious responses of 103 participants aged 18 – 67 to the audio and video clips through a variety of surveys, while measuring heart rate and electrodermal activity with Empatica E4 biometric sensors – two physiological signals that can reveal cognitive processing and sub-conscious emotional arousal in the brain.”
“Highlights of the UCL study include:
I hate to say “I told you so” but I told you so – Walking is good for you. It’s my preferred form of exercise. Peggy and judy have found lots of studies on the benefits of walking. They asked me to promote it since I’m an expert walker:
Walking (preferably with me)
Walking on a treadmill gives you the most benefit if you vary the speed and incline so that your heart rate is raised and lowered. Sort of like walking up and down hills, going fast some times, slow some times. Setting a high incline makes you use more energy to walk, and you can get a good cardiovascular workout without as much strain on your knees (For those of us who have 4 knees that’s important)
Interval training is a way to get the most from a workout. So whether you are outside on a trail or inside on a treadmill here’s how to do intervals. Start with a warm up warm up 5 minutes, then do an incline or speed for 3 minutes a few minutes, then back to level then 1 minute level at a walk, and repeat for about 20 minutes total. (I do interval training with Judy – I run, stop, raise my leg, run some more, stop, sniff, saunter, stop, raise my leg, run, stop, sniff, trot . . .)
Find an online calculator for your target heart rate zone, or use this:
For vigorous exercise, use 70 to 85 percent of your heart rate reserve or HHR
Here is Mayo Clinics formula:
For example, I’m 6 dogs years old.
Multiply that by 0.7, then add my resting heart rate,
Multiply my heart rate reserve (HHR) by 85% so 82×0.85=69.7 then add resting heart rate so 69.7+65=134.7 which is the high end of my target heart rate or training zone . . .
Freddie Parker Westerfield, CDWE
Canine Dog Walking Expert
There are a whole host of diseases from auto-immune to arthritis that are increasingly being linked to inflammation. And there is more and more in the news about the cognitive benefits of turmeric on Alzheimer patients and the anti-inflamatory effects of ginger and cinnamon.
Here’s a beverage I drink with those spices. It’s quite good.
(Dr Sanjay Gupta drinks this every evening as a tea for calming.)
1 cup almond milk – either vanilla or chocolate
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1 tsp honey to drizzle over top (No need for honey if using chocolate)
Heat the almond milk in microwave. Stir in spices. Drizzle honey on top. (You can add a packet of Stevia to the mix if you like your drinks sweet)
I buy bulk turmeric, cinnamon and ginger in the market and mix up a batch to have on hand.
With the mixture I add 1-3/4 tsp of mixed spices to one cup of almond milk.
Michael Greger M.D. and NutritionFacts.org.