Spotlight On: Heart Failure

Credit: iStock Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition that leads to decreased heart pumping capacity. This makes it difficult for the heart to pump enough blood to the body to meet its needs. Conditions that cause heart failure include heart disease (no, they are not the same), diabetes and high blood pressure. Those at … Continue reading Spotlight On: Heart Failure

Smile Rx: A Smile a Day Can Go a Long Way

Credit: iStock The biggest authentic smile—called a Duchenne smile—happens when we use our whole face, show our teeth and crinkle the muscles around our eyes. What a beautiful outward projection of our inner positive emotion! Smiling can cause positive changes in our bodies, too, and even a fake smile is worth something. Smile fact:There are … Continue reading Smile Rx: A Smile a Day Can Go a Long Way

Vitamin C Might Help Counteract Too Much Sitting

Credit: iStock If you are reading this, chances are you’re sitting down. Whether working at a desk, relaxing on the couch or commuting by car or public transit, the majority of us sit for the better part of our day. All of that sitting could have some not-so-great effects on our long-term health. We have … Continue reading Vitamin C Might Help Counteract Too Much Sitting

Can You Win an Underwater Breath-holding Competition?

Credit: iStock As kids, many of us had competitions to see how long we could hold our breath under water. It may have seemed like a simple and fun way to compete with our friends, but our bodies were actually doing amazing things to help us stay under water for longer periods of time. Humans … Continue reading Can You Win an Underwater Breath-holding Competition?

Hibernation: Not Just for Animals?

Credit: iStock Why isn’t crawling into bed like a well-fed grizzly bear and sleeping away the world’s problems on our list of options for surviving life? I imagine my hibernation pod would be kind of like the COVID-19 pandemic’s “stay-at-home” orders, but with a lot more sleep and a lot less pizza delivery (though adequate … Continue reading Hibernation: Not Just for Animals?

Marathon Runners: There’s a Downside to Drinking Too Much Water

Credit: iStock Imagine this: A runner has just begun the Badwater Ultramarathon, the hottest, toughest ultramarathon in the world, which winds 135 miles through Death Valley in the middle of July. After hours of intense racing, she feels incredibly thirsty and quickly gulps down a lot of water at an aid station. Worried about her … Continue reading Marathon Runners: There’s a Downside to Drinking Too Much Water

COVID-19 Is Keeping Us Up at Night

Credit: iStock Most of us know how important a good night’s sleep is for our physical and mental health. This is especially true as we live through the COVID-19 pandemic, but for many sleep has become increasingly difficult. Three-quarters of U.K. residents reported changes in their sleep habits during the initial lockdown in March and … Continue reading COVID-19 Is Keeping Us Up at Night

COVID-19 Could Spell Long-term Trouble for Heart and Blood Vessels

Credit: iStock We’ve learned a lot about how SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes COVID-19—affects our respiratory system. But as we learn more about the virus and its physiological consequences, it’s becoming clear that COVID-19’s effects may go beyond the lungs. With its demonstrated—sometimes long-lasting—effects on the heart and blood vessels, COVID-19 may be just as much … Continue reading COVID-19 Could Spell Long-term Trouble for Heart and Blood Vessels

All We Need Is Love?

Credit: iStock Hunger. Thirst. Sleep. Sex. The motivation to satisfy these physiological needs are what propels humans forward as a species. These are called “physiologic motivators,” which are primal instincts that continuously drive our behavior. Emotions like anger, sadness and happiness are fleeting—they only last a few seconds to a few minutes. Their role in … Continue reading All We Need Is Love?

Are You Thirsty? Here’s Why.

Credit: iStock Water makes up about 70% of body weight in a typical adult. Humans can’t easily adapt to a lack of water, and you may begin to experience the effects of dehydration with as little water loss as 1% of your body weight. Humans are unique because, unlike other animals, we respond not only … Continue reading Are You Thirsty? Here’s Why.