All posts filed under: Health

A woman seen from behind is running in a park.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on runners around the world

You prob­a­bly have expe­ri­enced it your­self, or you may have read head­lines like this one: «Run­ning is enjoy­ing a boom because of the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic». And yes, it’s true. Gyms were closed. Spin class­es and boot camps had been can­celed. Peo­ple were stuck at home for most of the day for a long time. So run­ning has seen a boom dur­ing the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic. But what about the over­all sta­tis­tics? Did peo­ple run more dur­ing the pandemic?

Woman eating french fries.

The Palatability Theory

There are clear and unan­i­mous fig­ures that obe­si­ty has increased over time, espe­cial­ly in rich nations like the Unit­ed States. On aver­age peo­ple today weigh more and have high­er body fat per­cent­ages than their recent ances­tors at sim­i­lar ages. But why is that the case? One wide­spread assump­tion is the palata­bil­i­ty the­o­ry. It posits that the pri­ma­ry cause is an increase in reward sig­nals in the mod­ern envi­ron­ment from processed food, medi­at­ed by the moti­va­tion sys­tem in the brain, caus­ing us to overeat.

People sitting in a coffee bar.

Protective Effects against Asthma

I was just hav­ing my first cup of cof­fee in the morn­ing, when an arti­cle on sprudge.com popped up in my feed read­er. As an asth­mat­ic and cof­fee enthu­si­ast it nat­u­ral­ly caught my atten­tion. It reports about a study by med­ical pro­fes­sion­als from Korea’s Hal­lym Uni­ver­si­ty, Hanyang Uni­ver­si­ty, and Kang­dong Sacred Heart Hos­pi­tal, with research find­ing that mod­er­ate cof­fee con­sump­tion can low­er the fre­quen­cy of symp­toms asso­ci­at­ed with asthma.