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🔋Your Weekly Recharge

September marks a fresh start for The 5-Minute Recharge that’s switching to a speedy format to respect the 26 seconds that research says you will devote to skimming this email.

⏱ So here’s five minutes of recharging in 26 seconds. 😂

1. 👉Help wanted!

Helpful photo: Tim Mossholder, Unsplash

Has physical activity changed your life? If you’ve made physical activity a part of your life and have found it to be transformative, I’d like to Zoom with you.

Why? Your experience will help me with a research project I'm working on that seeks to uncover why why certain people have been able to make physical activity a life-changing habit.

What's involved? When you contact me we'll set up a 40-minute interview during which we'll talk about what first made you want to move, how it changed your life, and how you motivate yourself to keep moving.

🎁 What's in it for you? All interviewees will receive a copy of the finished research product — you may have to wait a while — along with my gratitude and the hope that your insights will move others to move.

2. 🏓+🎾+🏸 = the perfect pickle pastime?

Michael Phelps, Leonardo DiCaprio, George and Amal Clooney. All, so says The New Yorker, are pickleball enthusiasts.

  • It’s the fastest growing sport in North America, with over 5 million “picklers” in 2021, nearly double the number that played pickleball 2014.

  • Yes, but isn't it an older person’s sport? Pickleball is for all ages, and is trending younger: the average age of a 2021 pickler was 38.1, down 2.9 years from 2020. 24-and-under is the sport’s fastest-growing cohort.

Where did the pickle come from? Three dads on summer vacation created pickleball in 1965 as a cure for their children’s boredom. Legend has it that the pickle in pickleball comes from Pickles, the dog that would often chase the game’s wiffle-like ball and run away with it.

Yes, but is it exercise? “Pickleball is not just a good workout, it’s a great workout,” says Lance Dalleck, a professor of exercise science at Western Colorado University.

  • With a burn rate of roughly 350 calories per hour, pickleball qualifies as moderate-intensity exercise.

  • Pickleball is on an exercise par with hiking, yoga, and water aerobics.

  • Playing an hour a day, every other day, for six weeks can improve your cardiovascular fitness.

Can you fall in love playing pickleball? Yes, and you can have a pickleball wedding! “We consistently heard it was the most fun wedding anyone had ever been to,” said pickleball groom James Kloss.

Why pickleball matters: Combining the wellness pillars SWEAT and CONNECT in a fast, fun, and easy-to-learn package, pickleball may be the world’s most perfect pastime. It's so enjoyable that you won’t realize you’re exercising.

🎾 But, in San Quentin, they’re sticking with tennis.

3. 🧫 Gut reactions

Photo of a gut microbe feast: Unsplash Why your gut matters: The community of microorganisms that live inside your digestive tract (a.k.a. your gut microbiome) affects your mood, your metabolism, your immunity, and ultimately, your longevity. What’s the problem? Compared with guts from 100 years ago, we’ve lost half the diversity in our microbes!

  • Blame processed foods. “We don’t have an obesity problem, we have a food problem,” says Tim Spector, a leading expert in microbiome science and the Director of the British Gut Project.

  • We need to shift our mindset away from calories and toward food quality. “Completely ignore the c-word,” says Professor Spector.

📰 The good news: You have the power to improve your microbiome.

  • Your gut loves a variety of plants.

  • Aim to eat at least 30 different varieties of plant each week.

  • It’s easier than you think. A breakfast of full-fat yoghurt, topped with mixed seeds and nuts, mixed berries and a dash of kefir, can start your day with over 10 different types of plant life. And that’s just one meal!

  • Exercise. There’s an abundance of studies showing that physical activity can increase the diversity of gut bacteria.

  • “Lactate is produced when we exercise, and this could be serving as fuel for certain bacterial species,” says Jeffrey Woods who studies the effects of exercise on the body. In other words, when you SWEAT, your gut microbiome has an A-list dinner party.

👑 The final word on wellness goes to Her Majesty.

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