Certified Nutritionist who writes about living well. Subscribe to my email list at andrewmerle.com.
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Many people who exercise regularly focus exclusively on cardio.

In the past, I was one of those people. For more than a decade, I worked out just about every day, but my workout always consisted of a 30-minute run in the morning.

This daily run produced terrific mental and physical benefits, and I assumed it was all I needed to maintain my health.

I thought lifting weights was only for gym rats and muscle heads obsessed with vanity.

I was mistaken.

Now, don’t get me wrong — aerobic exercise is incredibly important for health and longevity, benefiting everything from your cardiovascular system to your immune function to your brain power. …

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For the first time ever, a randomized, controlled clinical trial has demonstrated the ability to reverse biological age

People have been searching for the fountain of youth throughout history.

Now we have scientific data that shows you can turn back the clock on aging.

For the first time, a randomized, controlled clinical trial has demonstrated the reversal of biological age. This trial also marks the first time a diet and lifestyle intervention has been proven to reduce biologic aging.

In just 8 short weeks, those in the ‘treatment’ group (18 people) of the study tested an average of 1.96 years younger, according to the Horvath DNA methylation age and epigenetic clock.

We now have scientific ‘clocks’ that measure markers of age with remarkable accuracy and the best of these is the Horvath DNAmAge clock. The Horvath clock is a multi-tissue predictor of age that estimates the DNA methylation age of most tissues and cell types. …

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It’s August and the pandemic is still having a significant impact on everyday households. While most people’s occupations have changed in one way or another, many people have lost their jobs altogether. If you fall in the latter category, chances are you are struggling to make ends meet.

Figuring out how to keep yourself and/or your family afloat financially is essential as you look for employment. Fortunately, there are some practical ways to adjust your finances and boost your income while you are between jobs. Here are a few examples:

Rework Your Finances

The first thing to consider is how you can adjust your budget to help soften the blow of job loss. Take a close look at your budget for the last three months, and identify all of your discretionary expenses. Many of these expenses can be cut, including gym memberships, streaming services, and gaming apps. Look at it this way: You won’t have to live without these comforts forever. The more willing you are to cut expenses now, the faster you will be able to regain financial stability. …

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Low-carb diets are all the rage these days.

Keto, Paleo, Primal, Atkins, LCHF, or anything else you want to call it. They are all close low-carb cousins.

But here’s the thing: the longest-lived people in the world don’t eat a low-carb diet.

In the Blue Zones — the places around the world where people live the longest — they actually eat a HIGH-carb diet.

That’s right, carbs are the predominant macronutrient among the world’s centenarians. To be exact, about 65% of their food intake comes from carbs, 20% from fat, and only 15% from protein.

But we’re not talking about simple refined carbs. …

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Photo by Razvan Chisu on Unsplash

It can be tempting to believe you will become an overnight success.

That if you have a goal and wish for it hard enough, it will miraculously come true one day.

Or maybe you are waiting for inspiration to strike and — once that happens — you’ll be lifted to greatness from motivation alone.

But the reality is success doesn’t work this way.

Having a goal is not sufficient to actually achieve it. And motivation fades all too quickly.

The real secret to success is committing to the process. Every. Single. Day.

“Success is the product of daily habits — not once-in-a-lifetime transformations,” according to James Clear, New York Times bestselling author of Atomic Habits. …

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Anecdotally, many of us have experienced the performance-enhancing benefits of caffeine.

My morning runs or workouts certainly seem easier after I’ve had a cup or two of coffee. But is it the placebo effect or does caffeine actually improve exercise performance?

A recent comprehensive report analyzed 21 published meta-analyses to answer this very question.

The systematic review looked at the effects of caffeine on aerobic endurance, muscle strength, muscle endurance, power, jumping performance, and exercise speed.

The conclusion — after looking at all of the data — is that “caffeine ingestion improves exercise performance in a broad range of exercise tasks.” …

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You might be surprised to know that the order in which you consume foods can have an impact on your health and body weight goals.

Specifically, it is recommended to prioritize protein first, followed by fibrous vegetables, and save your carbs for last.

This method of eating has been proven to reduce post-meal hunger, which means you are less likely to snack shortly after your meal. Saving your carbs for last has been shown to help maintain satiety more effectively than eating carbs first or eating all meal components together.

The reason this works is because protein is the most satiating macronutrient, so you start to fill up your stomach by eating protein first. Vegetables come next because they are high in fiber — absorbing water and expanding in your stomach — further helping to achieve a sense of fullness. Carbs come at the end to take whatever remains of your hunger. …

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Photo by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash

You didn’t misread that title.

The only misleading part is that it should really finish with “11 years younger.”

That’s right — consuming a big salad every day is associated with the brain being 11 years younger.

That is according to a study of 960 people ages 58–99 who completed food questionnaires and had multiple cognitive assessments over about 5 years.

The findings held true even after adjusting for age, sex, education, participation in cognitive activities, physical activities, smoking, alcohol consumption, and other lifestyle factors.

Specifically, the people who consumed the most green leafy vegetables daily — a median amount of just 1.3 servings per day — were able to slow their cognitive decline by the equivalent of being 11 years younger in age. …

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Most of us have heard we should be logging 10,000 steps a day to stay healthy and fit.

That guidance originated decades ago with a marketing campaign in Japan designed to promote a pedometer.

The 10,000 number has since caught on around the world and is often the default daily goal setting in smartphone apps and fitness trackers.

But the original basis for the number was not scientifically determined.

Now more recent research has given us a better understanding of the relationship between daily steps and overall health. …

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We all know that exercise is good for us.

Just 30 minutes of daily exercise has been shown to reduce your risk of dying early.

But it turns out some sports add more years to your life than others.

People who play racket sports such as tennis outlive those who participate in other sports.

Numerous studies validate this fact.

For example, a recent study of Danish adults found that people who frequently play tennis or other racket sports not only live longer than sedentary people, but they also out-live people who do other healthy activities such as running, swimming, and cycling. …

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