Great links for the weekend!

I’m off for the weekend, spending four days in Yorkshire doing very little except for nice meals, day-trips to places a small circular walks.  No epic marathon walks for 8 hours each day.  By the time you read this I will have already spent a day enjoying the long weekend (and hoping that someone has recorded the Royal Wedding which has given me this bonus fourth day to my bank holiday weekend).  I’m hoping for sunshine…

For anyone who isn’t going away for a long weekend of relaxation, I’ve got a bumper issue of links.  There was just far too much of interest for me to filter it effectively.

  • I often start with something depressing or a health warning of some sort, but this week I’m kicking off with something that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.  An article from the Guardian about a 91 year old bodybuilder who started bodybuilding at the age of 85 because he became worried about old age.  Huge thanks to Krista Scott-Dixon for bringing it to my attention.
  • I have to confess that Chris and I are using shop-bought mayonnaise at the moment.  Mayo may be quick to make but with everything going on in our lives we are finding ways to shortcut even the most menial of chores and the quantity of mayo we consume and the quality of the mayo we buy (we go for one with as little “dodgy” oil as possible and only “real” whole food ingredients other than the vegetable oil) make this one of our lesser health-risk areas and a time-savers we are sticking with for now.  That said, I’d like to move to homemade mayo once everything else calms down in life and I will be bearing in mind the excellent advice from Mark Sisson on the balance of oils and butter to get the perfect flavour when I do so.
  • Another one to go with the homemade mayo will be homemade jerky, when I find the time.  I don’t buy jerky because shop-bought jerky generally tastes horrid (they seem to add all sorts of extra things and a huge amount of sugar which makes it taste really sweet) but would like to try some of my own where I am in control of the flavourings.  I’ll definitely be getting some recipe ideas from Paleo Plan or Heather.
  • I wrote about incontinence last year, concluding that it is most likely caused (for me) by gluteal weakness.  Something which surprised me (although I’m guessing it’s not relevant to me, thanks to my diet choices) was the idea that wheat could cause incontinence.
  • Time for some light relief in the form of some Rules for Being Human.  I can’t understand how I’ve not come across these before!
  • Back to the serious stuff and Julianne has highlighted a study connecting stress, poor sleep and depression with reduced success on a weight loss diet.  It’s something most of us knew, but sometimes you need a study to convince a few people.  I have been wondering actually whether the marked increase of pot bellies at work (both in the office and in the wider business communities) is somehow related to the elevated cortisol and related poor sleep coming out of the economic crisis.
  • Our neighbour’s cat, Jake, has been shedding fur all over the house as he replaces his winter coat with a lighter summer coat.  Despite the fact that he rarely goes near our garage where the weights are kept his hairs can appear all over the place and there’s something distracting about finding cat hairs stuck to the bar just as you are mentally preparing for a big squat move.  However, this seasonal moult is clearly an issue for many cat owners (and those, like us, owned by cats they never signed up for) as Garfield demonstrated at the start of an entertaining series through April about his moulting habits.
  • Thanks to Chris at Conditioning Research for highlighting a piece of research which concluded that barefoot running is more efficient than running in trainers when running on a treadmill (it could be less efficient if you start trying to run over a patch of particularly sharp stones…).
  • I’m going to stick with feet for a bit longer to ask people whether they’ve ever considered touch to be one of their important senses.  I used to spend time in my teenage years considering each sense and how I would get by if I woke up to find I had lost that sense (I was a strange teenager who went through a definite semi-goth phase).  I don’t think I ever considered touch though (other than considering how I would cope if I lost a finger or two for some reason – a real issue for someone who loves to make music on violin and piano).  David on Naturally Engineered has made me rethink the “feet” aspect of proprioception and made me really aware of how much more awareness I’ve got of my surroundings since I moved to Vibram-wearing a lot of the time.
  • If you are in the mood to read all about obesity then an article earlier this month from Neuroanthropology about the Anthropology of Obesity has a ridiculous number of links to studies and articles on various issues surrounding obesity.  Fascinating reading, although I’m still only partway through all the links.
  • Here’s a question: if you are doing bodybuilding work are you really working hard enough?  If you are, then are you resting enough?  Bodybuilding walks a fine line between working hard enough and recovering sufficiently.  Most people get one or other (or both) wrong.  Iron Man Magazine will get you thinking about it some more.
  • That Paleo Guy has been finding some more interesting studies and one about meat consumption improving some necessary minerals and vitamins for good reproductive health in women seems particularly relevant for this blog.  Jamie notes that in comparison to fortified grains, meat and green leafy vegetables are likely to put you in a better position for your reproductive health.  Is this one of the reasons why women on a paleo diet seem to get pregnant more easily?
  • Here’s some fascinating stuff about muscle cramps, a problem I used to suffer from excessively and now hardly ever get.

This week I’ve got an inspirational video from the Elite FTS team, with apologies to anyone who already saw this when Chris at Conditioning Research shared it a few weeks ago.


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