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Health & Fitness

Joggers and cyclists should wear masks – here’s why

Tom Wang/Shutterstock Trish Greenhalgh, University of Oxford England is deep into its third lockdown, yet the daily tally of new COVID cases and deaths remains sickeningly high. As Chris Whitty, the country’s chief medical officer, said recently, more needs to be done to bring the pandemic under control. Masks, which when worn correctly are highly effective in reducing transmission, are …

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The link between drugs and music explained by science

Henny van Roomen/Shutterstock.com Ian Hamilton, University of York; Harry Sumnall, Liverpool John Moores University, and Suzi Gage, University of Liverpool For centuries, musicians have used drugs to enhance creativity and listeners have used drugs to heighten the pleasure created by music. And the two riff off each other, endlessly. The relationship between drugs and music is also reflected in lyrics …

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Lost your motivation to work out? Here’s why – and how to get back on track

Motivation can steadily fade over time. New Africa/ Shutterstock Ian Taylor, Loughborough University In the early phases of lockdown, the streets were teeming with runners and living rooms were a blur of uncoordinated star jumps and lunges. In fact, physical activity levels in the UK peaked around mid-to-late May, just before lockdown restrictions began to be eased. Now, after months …

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Why living in a poor country means you have bad food choices

It’s not that people in poorer countries want to eat unhealthily – but cost is a huge factor. Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock.com/Editorial use only Derek Headey, The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and Harold Alderman, The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Poor diets are the number one risk factor in the global burden of disease: they account for one in …

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Group exercise may be even better for you than solo workouts – here’s why

During the pandemic, exercise classes and groups need to take social distancing guidelines into account. Noam Galai/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images L. Alison Phillips, Iowa State University and Jacob Meyer, Iowa State University Group exercise is very popular: Nearly 40% of regular exercisers participate in group fitness classes. In advance of the coronavirus pandemic, the American College of Sports …

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Why most food labels are wrong about calories

OK you can trust this food label. But calories? Forget it. Bryan Kennedy, CC BY-NC Richard Wrangham, Harvard University and Rachel Carmody, Harvard University Looks so official and definitive…. FDA Food labels seem to provide all the information a thoughtful consumer needs, so counting calories should be simple. But things get tricky because food labels tell only half the story. …

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Intermittent fasting: if you’re struggling to lose weight, this might be why

Marcin Malicki/Shutterstock David Clayton, Nottingham Trent University Intermittent fasting is a way of losing weight that favours flexibility over calorie counting. It restricts the time you are allowed to eat, which reduces calorie intake by limiting opportunities to eat. That’s the theory, at least. A popular version of intermittent fasting is the 5:2 diet, which involves eating a very low-calorie …

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Natural supplements can be dangerously contaminated, or not even have the specified ingredients

Some supplement products contain substances that are harmful. Getty Images / David Malan C. Michael White, University of Connecticut More than two-thirds of Americans take dietary supplements. The vast majority of consumers – 84% – are confident the products are safe and effective. They should not be so trusting. I’m a professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Connecticut. …

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CBD: Rising star or popular fad?

CBD, made from hemp, is being hyped as treatment for pain, nausea and a variety of maladies. But studies so far do not show benefit in humans. ElRoi/Shutterstock.com Jenny Wilkerson, University of Florida and Lance McMahon, University of Florida Cannabidiol, or CBD, has become a household name. On many social media sites, people suggest “but have you tried CBD oil?” …

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