Exercise, Meditate, Launder [Weekend Reading]

by Michael on September 4, 2010 · 0 comments

Trust me, photos of genes are even more boring.

Call it our guy version of “Eat, Pray, Love.”

Don’t Blame Your Genes

First up is a study by the UK’s Medical Research Council Epidemiology Unit, which found that exercise can improve the health of even those who are genetically predisposed to obesity. In the past it was assumed that many who are obese had no choice, that they were genetically “meant to be fat.” Of course, now that we (and by “we” I mean “scientists”) can actually look at your genes, it’s become harder to use them as an excuse:

The researchers analysed the genes of physically active and inactive volunteers, looking for one or more of 12 genetic markers known to increase BMI and risk of obesity. They calculated each participant’s overall genetic susceptibility by converting the number of obesity genes into a ‘genetic predisposition score’. The researchers then examined whether a higher ‘score’ was associated with a higher body mass index (BMI) and obesity risk. Those who had a physically active lifestyle dramatically reduced the impact of their obesity genes by an average of 40% compared to those who were sedentary.

Translation: it’s not hopeless. Get busy being healthy or get busy dyin’.

Don’t Forget to Pause

This one comes from the always-perceptive Leo Babauta of Zen Habits:

The noise of the world is a dull roar that pervades every second of your life. It’s a rush of activity, a drain on your energy, a pull on your attention, until you no longer have the energy to pay attention or take action.

It’s an illness, this noise, this rush. It can literally make us sick. We become stressed, depressed, fat, burnt out, slain by the slings and arrows of technology.

The cure is simple: it’s stillness.

I can’t tell you how strongly I recommend meditation, and the crazier your life is, the more you need it. Leo’s recommendation is to simply learn to be comfortable with stillness—just sitting quietly, not taking on any task or thought, just listening to your own breath and becoming comfortable with yourself.

The money quote in all of this: “It takes strength to find stillness when the world around us is a chaos of activity.” Be strong; be still.

Don’t Over-launder those Jeans

Finally, a well-done guide to maintaining your denim, courtesy of Valet. From brand-new shrink-to-fit Levi’s 501s to that favorite pair you dread one day finding threadbare and faded in the crotch, the Valet team walks you through the process of both making your pants fit right, and then keeping them healthy.

The kicker is their washing advice, which eschews (meaning “gives the finger to”) the washing machine entirely:

Fill the bath or sink with cold water (for least amount of shrinkage and indigo loss) or warm water for more shrinkage and fading. Add a small amount of a gentle soap….Let them soak for 45 to 60 minutes, occasionally agitating them by hand. … The less launderings you do, the longer your denim is likely to last, and the more individual character it will take on.

All that is assuming you don’t normally go commando, in which case it’s the washing machine, on hot. In fact, I don’t even want to be party to that. You’re on your own.

Have a great Labor Day weekend.

Regular exercise helps shed the genetic likelihood of obesity by forty percent [MRC Epidemiology Unit]

find stillness to cure the illness [Zen Habits]

How to Properly Clean Jeans [Valet]

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