If you've been feeling a bit sweatier than usual lately, it's no wonder — Australia just copped its hottest month on record.
But perspiration does more than keep us cool. The watery stuff that oozes out of our skin can give us the lowdown on what's going on inside our body.
Most notably, sweat is used to test for cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition that thickens mucous in the lungs and digestive system.
The cystic fibrosis sweat test turns 60 next month. And the concept behind it has remained largely unchanged since.
So how can sweat diagnose cystic fibrosis — and what else can it be used for?
Corneel Vandelanotte, et al
Regular walking produces many health benefits, including reducing our risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and depression.
Best of all, it’s free, we can do it anywhere and, for most of us, it’s relatively easy to fit into our daily routines.
We often hear 10,000 as the golden number of steps to strive for in a day. But do we really need to take 10,000 steps a day?
Not necessarily. This figure was originally popularised as part of a marketing campaign, and has been subject to some criticism. But if it gets you walking more, it might be a good goal to work towards.
For years, I was the person who kept paying a membership to a gym I never went to.
I'd sign up for early morning boot camps and press snooze when the alarm sounded.
I'd lug work-out gear around in my backpack all day, only to skip my run on the way home.
Despite having the capacity to exercise regularly, and even knowing the minimum amount you need, I didn't make it a priority.
Why was it so difficult for me to start — let alone stick — to an exercise routine?
Now almost a year into exercising consistently, I can pinpoint the fault. My previous motivation for exercising — to change my appearance — was counterproductive.
With my weight as the focus, I'd created a flawed habit loop — a typical cue would be to feel bad about my body, which would prompt the desire to build an exercise routine and lose weight, with the reward being to see instant improvement.
Partnering a reward to an unrealistic expectation made my exercise goals vulnerable to sabotage.
Turns out there are many, many opportunities to brand yourself a failure if you don't see instant results, or don't meet the narrow #fitspo ideal straight away… or ever.
For those of us who enjoy exercise, sometimes we don’t have time to make a meal out of it. Sometimes, an “exercise snack” has to suffice.
It’s always a good time to really look at your posture, and check in with how you’re treating the only body you have. Especially with texting and sitting behind a computer at work, followed by sitting in front of a television at home, bad habits are causing an epidemic of folded over posture. Plus, as we get older, gravity bends us more, aggravating the issue.
People who move unevenly suffer more back pain, plus they look older than their age. Asymmetry will reveal itself when the left and right side of your body looks lopsided on a posture assessment picture, which also means you’re body is not moving the same on both sides. This is a problem because once your muscles are trained to move differently on the left versus the right, they keep moving that way, locking in the adapted movement pattern.
New guidelines from the British Journal of Sports Medicine recommend getting up and moving about for 2 to 4 hours of your workday to reduce (or prevent) back and neck pain, as well as reduce the risk of serious health conditions like diabetes.
Simply bending over is a surprisingly common cause of back injury and pain. It often occurs when someone bends at the waist and hips instead of bending the knees to lower the body.
To increase stability and minimize straining your back when you bend down, be sure to keep your head right above your feet (not forward of your feet). Keep your back as erect as possible and centered over your hips and feet and squat down rather than bend forward. When bending down, don’t twist your body.
How’s your driving posture? As people become more posture aware, many notice their posture is more bent forward on the drive home than it was during the morning drive to work. Most likely the culprit is fatigue and/or sitting in front of a computer all day.
A lot of people think their posture is pretty good, and when they stand tall their head is level head and body is aligned properly over their feet.
However, a quick check with a posture picture often shows a different reality, with head jutting slightly forward and upper back rounded… making them look older than their years.