While the reasons to exercise keep adding up — better brain function, reduced risk for heart disease and cancer — we're lucky enough to also have a slew of new ways to make getting and staying fit actually fun. I got inspired visiting with the happy trio of runners featured in our cover story and learning about fitness apps in Jordy Byrd's story. Just like Mary Poppins says, "You find the fun and — Snap! — the job's a game."
I recently read a study that showed how just one year of endurance and interval training transformed the hearts of a dozen couch potatoes into pretty good facsimiles of the highly efficient tickers of elite athletes. But even fairly minimal effort — as little as 11 minutes a day — can result in great benefits.
Speaking of Mary Poppins, while a spoonful of sugar may or may not help the medicine go down, a new study published in Annals of Family Medicine has some research-supported advice for those who, like me, struggle to swallow big pills. Here's the scoop: For tablets, which tend to be heavy, place the medicine on your tongue, seal your lips around a plastic water bottle, then lift your chin and suck the water in, whooshing the pill down your gullet. For capsules, which tend to float up, it's better to put the medicine in your mouth, take a swig of water and tuck your chin down to swallow.
To your health!