Marathons Aren’t as Impressive as Running a 5K

Running a marathon is seen as the big goal for committed runners – and it’s quite the triumph since running for so far and long is a big challenge no matter how healthy one is. I’ve never run a marathon and I just found out that there’s no reason to (phew!). It turns out that after looking at a lot of studies on health and running that just committing to a 5K run is enough.

5K seems to be the optimal distance for the vast majority of people given the fact that it’s long enough to be a challenge but not so long it can endanger one’s health.

So by focusing on the 5K, you’re optimizing health benefits and minimizing injuries, and if you’re deliberate about your training, you can maximize your fitness gains too. Training seriously for the 5K will get you close to your biological potential for aerobic fitness, Joyner said. “Seriously is the key though,” he said. The secret is high-intensity interval training, or HIIT — short periods of very hard efforts interspersed with easier recovery bouts. Studies show that these high intensity workouts produce greater improvements in VO2 max than the kind of long, slow workouts emphasized in many marathon training plans.1 Two-time U.S. 5,000-meter champion Lauren Fleshman has published a list of a dozen 5K-friendly HIIT workoutsat Strava, most of which require no track, just a stopwatch.

Read more.

The Future Is Now Relevant In American Courts

There’s a new tactic for environmentalists using the court system to change the world: argue that the government has a responsibility to protect people. The argument environmentalists can use is broadly known as “public trust” and how it relates to certain institutions and what they do. It is basically the notion that we a citizens entrust our government to keep us safe for now and in the future; by not protecting the environment they are endangering us now and for generations to come.

This public trust tactic has been used in other countries and now it’s winning in the USA. Let’s hope that more and more courts begin to understand that we need to act today to save tomorrow.

In 2008, Wood unveiled a novel strategy for climate activists to use the public trust as a legal tool. She called it “atmospheric trust litigation” and began giving dozens of talks about it. Prior to that, the public trust doctrine, when invoked in court at all, usually was seen through the lens of wildlife and access issues. Wood argued that the public trust doesn’t end at the earth and water, but also includes the atmosphere. And since the government is required to preserve resources for posterity—today’s youth and subsequent generations—it should be legally required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to ensure a healthful and pleasant environment in the future.

In 2011, environmental attorney Julia Olson formed the Eugene, Oregon–based nonprofit Our Children’s Trust to coordinate with and support law firms that, working pro bono, have filed a flurry of lawsuits based on Wood’s ideas. In all, there have been 18 state and federal climate-change cases with adolescents as plaintiffs. The cases all claim breach of the public trust and try to force states to implement plans for emissions reductions based on science. “They’re all alleging that their futures are imperiled and that [governments are] violating their public trust rights because government continues to promote the fossil fuels regime that is destroying the climate they need for their survival,” says Wood.

Read more.
Thanks to Delaney!

Your Body Wants You To Be Social If You Feel Lonely


Loneliness is something that everybody experiences in their life and it turns out it could be a good thing. By feeling lonely your body is telling you that you need to change: you ought to go hang out with friends.

Humans are social animals and our bodies have evolved to ensure that we stay in groups. Their are many benefits to surrounding yourself with friends and it looks like that deep inside our physical bodies know this too. So the next time you feel lonely just think about how cool it is that it’s an evolved trait! Then go chill with some friends.

In recent years, scientists have sharpened their focus on loneliness, concluding it does have a purpose, does have redeeming features. They are not talking like Thoreau about the benefits of solitude on our creative minds and spirits. They are talking like Darwin about loneliness driving change, an evolutionary correction.

“Loneliness is a warning system,” says Louise Hawkley a psychologist at the University of Chicago. It is our body telling us we’re breaking from the social bonds that nourished us as a species. “We’re failing to satisfy our fundamental drive to connect with other humans,” Hawkley says. Feeling isolated switches our bodies into self-preservation mode. “What happens with people who are lonely for a long time is their threat-defense programs get activated,” says Steve Cole, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles. “The body interprets loneliness as threatening.”

Read more.

Ontario Adopts $8.3 Billion Climate Change Plan

Climate change is the biggest threat to human wellbeing and if we don’t do anything about it’s inevitable that society as we know it will collapse. This is why nations around the world are acting to change their policies and support things like renewable energy and better water conservation. There are so many minor changes that can add up to big change, and that’s what Ontario as set out to do.

The province of Ontario has announced a $8.3 billion climate change action plan that will reduce waste and encourage people who drive to switch to less damaging vehicles. It’s being praised by all sides of the province.

Patrick DeRochie of Environmental Defence called the Liberals’ plan “a very positive development in climate action.”

Greenpeace said Ontario is on the right track by trying to phase out fossil fuels and encourage construction of “net zero” carbon homes, and by recognizing that climate change is an opportunity as well as a threat.

“Lots of bad things will happen if we don’t break our addiction to fossil fuels, but there are also a lot of good things — green jobs, cleaner air — that come with action on climate change,” said Greenpeace Canada spokesman Keith Stewart.

Read more.

Happy World Oceans Day

The world’s oceans are incredibly important to the overall wellbeing of our planet. They absorb a lot of CO2 and harbour multiple ecosystems that we are still learning about. Despite the importance of the world’s oceans we often ignore their health.

World Oceans Day is today and it’s a reminder how amazing these oceans are and that we ought to do more to protect them while revitalizing areas that have been negatively impacted by climate change.

Climate change is a global problem demanding a global solution. The Paris Agreement has created a framework for climate action around the world. At its last session in Bonn, the World Heritage Committee—which has had a carbon neutral policy for its sessions since 2007—voiced its hope that an agreement would be reached at COP21, and called on all States Parties to mobilize global climate action on the ground. For coral reefs and many other marine ecosystems, keeping climatic warming to the Paris Agreement’s long-term goal of 1.5°C is essential. UNESCO has been working for years to track and manage climate impacts.

Read more here and at UNESCO.