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Food Pyramid, HIIT, Anti-Aging, Nasal Breathing, Dopamine, and Much More

Issue 180

Good afternoon Nikkola Newsletterers!

On this day in 2005, the USDA unveiled an updated version of their food pyramid, called “MyPyramid.” I could go on a tangent about how ridiculous and unhealthy the food guidelines have been ever since the government got involved in 1977, but I’ve done that before (here).

Unfortunately, the average person still buys into the insanity behind the guidelines. As a result, they believe fruit juice is better than soda, meat consumption should be limited, saturated fat leads to heart disease, and that “whole grains are healthy.”

What happens when an entire country believes that? Kids have trouble learning, and they develop bodies that function at a fraction of their potential. Adults get addicted to food and dependent on medications.

I guess I went on a bit of a tangent after all. The lesson in all of this could be summed up in one of President Reagan’s most famous quotes:

I think you all know that I've always felt the nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the Government, and I'm here to help.

President Ronald Reagan

Enjoy this week's carefully curated newsletter!

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🏃‍♀️ The Warm-Up

Brief summaries of the latest health and fitness research findings.

High-intensity, low-volume exercise is superior for cardiovascular health. The default recommendation for people concerned about their cardiovascular health or who have heart disease is to recommend low-intensity, longer-duration exercise. Research shows that high-intensity exercise, done in short bouts, improves cardiovascular function better. It’s also as safe as other forms of exercise. For aging adults, I’d recommend using an upright bike for high-intensity interval training as it’s easier to increase your intensity quickly, and there’s no risk of tripping or stumbling as you might on a high-speed treadmill.

HIIT might be the best anti-aging form of exercise. If people knew about the findings of a new study, there’d be a lot more seniors sprinting around their retirement communities. Among various exercise types, only High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) significantly increased telomere length, making it a potential anti-aging champion. This study is unique in its focus on healthy populations, highlighting HIIT's unique benefits beyond cardiovascular health. However, the relationship between exercise intensity, duration, and telomere elongation remains complex and variable.

Nasal breathing improves heart rate variability and helps you relax. When you’re relaxing, breathing through your nose helps stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps you relax and curb feelings of anxiety. With a large percentage of adults being mouth-breathers, this simple tweak to their breathing could have a significant impact on their health. Nose breathing also reduces rates of perceived exertion, lowers diastolic blood pressure, and increases heart rate variability (which means it lowers stress levels).

Exercise boosts dopamine. No doubt, you already know this. But research continues to pour in on this topic, which is more important than ever. From a treatment standpoint, diseases like Parkinson’s or mental issues like schizophrenia and ADHD get exacerbated by lower dopamine levels. Exercise can be a great way to slow or halt their progression or effects. (You can also help boost dopamine by improving your gut health).

Good reason to eat fermentable fiber. A new study shows that short-chain fatty acids, which are produced by bacteria in your gut when they eat fibrous foods, not only help with gut integrity, but they may also help you stay lean, and in women, they can help you sleep better. This emphsizes the value in supplementing with the right probiotics, too.

🏋️‍♂️ The Workout

Full-length features from my blog

Can Low Testosterone Cause Anxiety in Women or Men? Can low testosterone cause anxiety? This is an important question, as more and more adults today deal with both low testosterone and anxiety. Could there be a connection between the two? We’ve seen a rapid increase in mental health issues over the past five years. At the same time, testosterone levels continue to plummet. This intersection of hormonal health and mental wellness brings us to a pivotal question: Can low testosterone cause anxiety in women or men? Keep reading…

What are the 6 Types of Anxiety Disorders? Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health issues in the United States, affecting millions each year. However, anxiety isn’t a one-size-fits-all issue. There are several types, each with unique symptoms and treatment options. As a natural health advocate, I find it crucial to understand these differences, especially when exploring treatments that extend beyond conventional methods. In this article, we’ll explore the six common types of anxiety disorders, their primary causes, and a range of treatment options, including nutritional supplements and traditional medicine practices. That said, with so many ways to treat anxiety, we will not cover them all. This just serves as a brief overview. Keep reading…

Is antibiotic resistance a greater threat to public health than COVID? Natural health practitioners have been warning people about antibiotic use for decades now. Not surprisingly, most of their concerns have fallen on deaf ears. Today, antibiotic resistance as a public health threat is undeniable. Unfortunately, the COVID pandemic has made that threat even worse, not because of COVID, nor because of an increase in bacterial infections, but because most COVID-positive patients received antibiotic treatments as part of their care. Doctors prescribed them without any evidence they helped patients, but with clear evidence that their prescriptions increased the risk of antibiotic resistance. Keep reading…

🧘‍♀️ The Cooldown

Other interesting articles from around the web

The Silent Epidemic Eating Away Americans’ Minds (The Epoch Times). Billy was a bright 10-year-old boy with two Ivy-League-educated parents. He was book smart—got straight A’s in school—but lacked street smarts. He was also a poor sport. Billy would frequently lie and cheat when playing board games or participating in team activities and have full-blown meltdowns when he lost. His friends, who had been with him since kindergarten, began losing patience. His parents recognized that something had to be done. Keep reading…

The Hysterical Style in American Politics (American Greatness). The post-Joe McCarthy era and the candidacy of Barry Goldwater once prompted liberal political scientist Richard Hofstadter to chronicle a supposedly long-standing right-wing “paranoid style” of conspiracy-fed extremism. But far more common, especially in the 21st century, has been a left-wing, hysterical style of inventing scandals and manipulating perceived tensions for political advantage. Or, in the immortal words of Barack Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste.” Keep reading…

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In faith, fitness, and fortitude,
Tom Nikkola, CSCS

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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