January’s News You Can Use

A quick jaunt around the newsroom …

1. Weight lifting is good for your brain. From the NYT’s Well. Seems like the more we learn about the brain, the more we find that it’s just one big muscle, capable of all kinds of growth and change and modification and re-routing.

2. LA Times Health and Fitness: All Fibers Are Not Created Equal. A quick look at sources of naturally occurring fiber and how the supplemented, processed foods measure up. If you’re on a low-carb diet or just plain eating too much junk, you need to think about this one.

3. Hal Walters looks at olive oil. “While most other dietary oils are virtually absent of phytonutrient phenols, extra-virgin olive oil, obtained from the whole fruit using the cold-press technique, is very high in phenols.”

4. More on brain health. From Dr Phil Maffetone, fourteen things you can do just about every day to keep your brain ticking. Seven here and seven more here.

5. Running barefoot is getting more and more attention, but this web-based shoe retailer wants you to reconsider the risks. Hmmmm … sounds like he’s realized that it’s hard to sell air to barefoot runners.

6. One of the things I find fascinating about education is how much inertia is in our systems and infrastructure. Teachers should be on the cutting edge of just about everything, should be innovative and open to new ideas. But throw them an idea that requires them to get off their butt and change, and you’d better get ready for some serious whining. Case in point: it makes zero sense to ask kids to clean their plate and fill their bellies, then send them out to the playground. Zero sense. And yet, only around 5% of schools schedule recess before lunch.

The Well: Play, Then Eat

(When it comes to education, we should frequently ask ourselves, if we were designing this from scratch, is this what it would look like? I think we’d be surprised how often we’ll answer that question with a “no,” and yet how infrequently we’ll do anything about it.)

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