Early birds may be more active, but night owls can catch up

Being an early bird has long been associated with a go-getter attitude. Early birds, or those who tend to wake early and go to bed early, are people who naturally feel sleepy earlier in the evening and naturally wake early in the morning. For an early bird type, a 9 pm bedtime may be the norm, and rising at 5 am without an alarm clock feels relatively effortless.

Our internal clock controls more than sleep patterns

Being an early bird, or the opposite night owl, is usually not something that is thought of as being highly under our control. Some people seem to be hardwired to sleep early, while others get a second wind and tend to sleep late. This internal clock is called our circadian rhythm, each person’s unique internal timekeeper and the body’s own master controller of many functions. Most obvious is our sleep patterns; however, our internal … Read more

Continue Reading

Type 2 diabetes: Which medication is best for me?

If you are living with type 2 diabetes, you certainly are not alone. One in 10 people in the US has diabetes, according to the CDC. However, despite considerable progress in diabetes treatment over the past 20 years, fewer than half of those with diabetes actually reach their target blood sugar goal.

In part, this may be because doctors can be slow to make changes to a patient’s treatment plan, even when a patient’s treatment goals are not being met. One reason for this may be the overwhelming number of medications currently available. And yet, waiting too long to adjust treatment for type 2 diabetes can have long-lasting negative effects on the body that may raise the risk of heart and kidney disease and other complications.

What is type 2 diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease where the body’s ability to use glucose or sugar as fuel … Read more

Continue Reading

It’s still true: Not all the news about COVID-19 is bad

I thought the pandemic would be over by now. And I’m not alone; there were sophisticated models predicting a dramatic drop in the number of infections by the summer. And while there was understandable worry about the second wave, re-infection, and the coming flu season, there was good reason to believe we’d have the worst of the first wave well behind us.

Now, that all seems like wishful thinking. Here we are, over nine months into the pandemic, with more than 224,000 deaths, and more than 70,000 new cases and 800 deaths every day in this country as of late October. There are new hot spots popping up in the US and all over the world. Herd immunity, whether due to infection or vaccination, is still many months or even years away — if it happens at all. Despite these challenges, we do have some good news.

Good news about

Read more

Continue Reading

Coping With IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) can be painful, annoying, and embarrassing. There is currently no cure for this complex condition, and managing its symptoms and flare-ups is tricky. So, coping mechanisms are a constant need.

What are the symptoms of IBS?

IBS is a gastrointestinal disorder in which your gut becomes more sensitive, and the muscles of your digestive system have abnormal contractions. People with IBS usually have abdominal pain along with frequent changes in bowel habits (diarrhea, constipation, or alternating between both). Other common symptoms include

  • bloating and gas
  • urge to move the bowels, but being unable to do so
  • incomplete bowel movements
  • urgent need to move the bowels.

Because no one knows what causes IBS, it is impossible to prevent it. Once you have been diagnosed, the goal is to focus on managing the condition. You can do this by identifying specific triggers of your IBS symptoms and then … Read more

Continue Reading

Defusing the “Benadryl challenge”: Discussing danger with teens

Let’s start with the bottom line: Parents of teens need to help them understand that just because they have been “challenged” to do something doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. But as simple as that sounds to us, it’s tough for many teens to grasp.

The latest challenge in the news is the “Benadryl challenge” that appeared on TikTok, a popular social media video platform. The idea was to take a whole lot of Benadryl (diphenhydramine, a common antihistamine) in order to cause a high, with hallucinations. While it’s true that diphenhydramine can make you high and make you hallucinate, when you take too much of it you can also have seizures, pass out, have heart problems, or even die. And indeed, emergency rooms across the country have treated overdoses of diphenhydramine, and at least one death has been attributed to the challenge.

Dangerous challenges appeal to teens

To TikTok’s … Read more

Continue Reading

Why a Dark Sky Area Should Be Your Next Road Trip Destination

It’s hard not to feel small in a place like Westcliffe, CO. With the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the west and the Wet Mountains to the east, you can spot several 14,000-foot peaks—including Crestone Needle and Crestone Peak—from nearly any point in the Wet Mountain Valley. As stunning as that panorama is during the day, I came to Three Peaks Ranch—a family-owned and- operated private ranch just 15 minutes out of town—not for the mountain views, but for the nighttime sky.

How to Safely Camp and Recreate During Wildfire Season

Read article

Westcliffe is one of just 28 “dark sky” communities in the world certified by the International Dark Sky Association for showing exceptional dedication to the preservation of the night sky. That’s done through the implementation and enforcement of a quality outdoor lighting ordinance, dark sky education, and citizen support of dark skies. It’s a … Read more

Continue Reading

Jaw-Dropping Surf Clips From This Week's Massive Nazaré Swell

This article originally appeared on Surfer.com and was republished with permission.

The first time you watch the clip, it seems like your eyes deceive you. A white trail is streaking across a massive wall of water, but there’s no surfer to be seen. Watch it again, and again, and again––same result. The streak is Lucas Chumbo and the wave is one that Chumbo would later claim as the “bomb of my life.”

Yep, that XXL swell at Nazaré is living up to expectations. Hurricane Epsilon sent liquid skyscrapers barreling towards Portugal this week, and it’s being described as one of the biggest swells in years. In addition to Chumbo, this week’s XXL chasers included Kai Lenny, Nic von Rupp, Pedro Scooby, Justine Dupont, Andrew “Cotty” Cotton, Sebastian Steudtner and more.

To give you a sense of what’s going down in Portugal right now, we assembled a collection of the … Read more

Continue Reading

Talking to your doctor about an abusive relationship

When Jayden called our clinic to talk about worsening migraines, a medication change was one potential outcome. But moments into our telehealth visit, it was clear that a cure for her problems couldn’t be found in a pill. “He’s out of control again,” she whispered, lips pressed to the phone speaker, “What can I do?”

Unfortunately, abusive relationships like Jayden’s are incredibly common. Intimate partner violence (IPV) harms one in four women and one in 10 men in the United States. People sometimes think that abusive relationships only happen between men and women. But this type of violence can occur between people of any gender and sexual orientation.

Experiencing abuse can be extremely isolating, and can make you feel hopeless. But it is possible to live a life free from violence. Support and resources are available to guide you toward safety — and your doctor or health professional may be … Read more

Continue Reading

This Animal Flow Workout Will Get You Stronger Without Any Weights

Don’t let the odd name deter you: Animal flow offers unique benefits you won’t get from traditional strength training. “It fundamentally brings you back to the basics,” says Nike Master Trainer Patrick Frost. “These are ground-based movements, where you create resistance by pushing and pulling your body around a fixed platform.” The trick to mastering this discipline is generating constant tension throughout your body. “There are some parts that require grace and some that require grit,” Frost says.

10 Incredibly Awkward Exercises That Build Tons of Muscle

You may be embarrassed to do these moves in the gym, but they'll build you one hell of a body.

Read article

“You could do this same workout multiple times and have a completely different experience depending on how you attack it.” While mimicking the movement patterns of a crab or an ape can seem a little goofy, animal flow … Read more

Continue Reading

Intermittent fasting: Does a new study show downsides — or not?

Intermittent fasting (IF) is an approach to eating based on timing. The idea is that fasting for long enough allows insulin levels to fall low enough that our body will use fat for fuel. Growing evidence in animals and humans shows that this approach leads to significant weight loss. When combined with a nutritious, plant-based diet and regular physical activity, IF can be part of a healthy weight loss or maintenance plan, as I described in an earlier blog post.

Now, a randomized controlled trial published in JAMA claims that IF has no significant weight loss benefit and a substantial negative effect on muscle mass. News outlets picked up the story and ran headlines like A Potential Downside of Intermittent Fasting and An Unintended Side Effect of Intermittent Fasting.

But what did this study actually look at and find?

In the study, 141 patients were randomly assigned to … Read more

Continue Reading

Why Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Are on the Ballot This Year

How we protect and intend to use the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is on the ballot this election, as is the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Idaho’s South Fork Salmon River, Bristol Bay, Bears Ears National Monument, and countless other public lands.

Ely, Minnesota was once a thriving iron mining capital, whose modern identity is now synonymous with the largest wilderness area east of the Rocky Mountains: the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. That wilderness (the most heavily used in the U.S., attracting a quarter million visitors a year) now finds itself at odds with a foreign-owned copper/nickel mine—one that had been suspended, pending further research under the previous administration, and is now being fast-tracked by the current one.

Travis J. Camp / Shutterstock

The massive underground project, underway just a couple miles (or a long portage) away from … Read more

Continue Reading

Keeping your family safe this Thanksgiving

So much is different and hard during this pandemic — including planning for the holidays.

It’s understandable to want to gather with friends and family. We are all so worn out by the COVID-19 pandemic, and need some cheering up. And most of us have friends and family that we haven’t been able to really spend time with — or haven’t seen at all — for months.

But gathering with friends and family can bring real risks during the pandemic, especially with cases rising all over the country. All it takes is one sick person — who may not even realize that they are sick — to infect others and spread the virus even more.

The best thing to do, honestly, is to celebrate the holiday with just the people you live with, and to skip in-person sporting (or other) events, or in-person Black Friday shopping. That’s truly the best … Read more

Continue Reading

What Every Man Can Learn From the Navy SEALS About Grit

For generations, the U.S. Navy SEALS (Sea, Air, and Land) have set the standard for military special operations. Relied on for the toughest missions, these men are as notorious as their training, which begins at Naval Amphibious Base Coronado off the coast of California. Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, or BUD/S for short, is the crucible in which SEALs are made, but the 24-week course, the first that SEAL candidates must endure, is actually only a fifth of the nearly two and a half years it takes before a man goes on his first mission.

The first phase, BUD/S, assesses candidates’ endurance and conditioning, water competency, camaraderie, and grit, culminating in “Hell Week.” The challenge has captivated men for years, and for good reason: Of an average 170-person class, around 30 make it to Week Five. Such severe attrition of some of the fittest men in the world is notable in … Read more

Continue Reading

Load More