1. Hawaii is the happiest state in the U.S. (for the sixth year running).
Say "Aloha" to the good life if you're lucky enough to be able to move to Hawaii. The state topped the Gallup-Healthways 2016 State Well-Being Rankings, as well as America's Health Rankings Annual Report. This marks the sixth time that Hawaii has come out on top in the poll since Gallup-Healthways began conducting it in 2008—a feat that no other state has accomplished. (Yahoo)
2. Here's a new way to think about fitness.
In his new book What Doesn't Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude, and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength, author Scott Carney suggests that they key to fitness lies in reexamining our relationship with the environment. Perhaps, he suggests, when we take ourselves out of our cozy surroundings we'll end up seeing ourselves differently and unlock our full potential. (Quartz)
3. Fast-food packaging is as bad for you as the food itself.
That's right—you shouldn't just be staying away because of the burgers and fries themselves. A recent report found that the packaging is filled with chemicals that rub off on the food and are then ingested as you eat it. "The most studied of these substances (PFOSes and PFOAs) has been linked to kidney and testicular cancer, elevated cholesterol, decreased fertility, thyroid problems, and changes in hormone functioning, as well as adverse developmental effects and decreased immune response in children," noted the release that accompanied the study. Fries with a side of hormonal disruption? We'll pass on that. (CNN)
4. There's such a thing as "good" recess and "bad" recess.
You might not have thought there was much to strategize about recess, but when you consider a child's development, no activity should go unscrutinized. That's why the Society of Health and Physical Educators researched the elements of an optimal recess. For example, recess should never be used as a punishment, take place before lunch to encourage healthy eating, and promote physical activity. (NPR)
5. There's another reason to be wary of over-the-counter drugs.
A group of medications called proton-pump inhibitors are commonly taken for heartburn or GERD. But recently, studies have shown that taking these medications long term is associated with stomach infections, poor absorption of key vitamins and minerals, and now even dementia and kidney disease. (Scientific American)
6. How long do you have to work out to see results?
According to this exercise scientist, one minute. New research by Dr. Gibala shows that participants who did three 20-second sessions of an all-out push on a stationary bike (buffered by a couple of minutes of breezy cycling) enjoyed a significant, upward difference in their aerobic, muscle, and heart health. Yep, that "no time" excuse is now completely moot. (NYT)
7. This Saturday is World Cancer Day: Here's how you can make a difference.
8. Teens are better at handling uncertainty than adults.
A new study finds that teenagers are more inclined to collect relevant information as they try out new tasks, but their actions aren't necessarily dictated by a desire for answers. This makes sense when you consider the fact that teens tend to be less risk-averse. (New York Magazine)