Stories from the Road

Author: Robert (Page 2 of 2)

Dr Lucy Hone — a resilience expert — shares the three strategies that got her through an unimaginable personal tragedy⁠

In this powerful and courageous Ted Talk, Dr Lucy Hone offers us a profound insight on human suffering.

Dr Lucy Hone is a director of the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience, a research associate at AUT University, a published academic researcher, best-selling author and contributor to Psychology Today, the Sunday Star Times and Next magazine.

She trained at the University of Pennsylvania and got her PhD in public health at AUT University in Auckland. She has helped a range of organisations—from primary schools to leading law firms—to design and implement wellbeing initiatives creating sustained and meaningful change.

Five years ago, the sudden death of Lucy’s 12-year-old daughter Abi forced Lucy to turn her academic training and professional practice to foster resilience in very personal circumstances. The blog she wrote in the aftermath of Abi’s death attracted international attention and resulted in the best-selling non-fiction title, What Abi Taught Us, Strategies for Resilient Grieving (Allen & Unwin, 2016), now available as Resilient Grieving in the US, UK and NZ. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

A boom in fitness trackers isn’t leading to a boom in physical activity

Scott A. Conger, David Bassett, Lindsay Toth, The Conversation »

Worldwide sales of fitness trackers increased from US$14 billion in 2017 to over $36 billion in 2020. The skyrocketing success of these gadgets suggests that more people than ever see some value in keeping tabs on the number of steps they take, flights of stairs they climb, time they spend sitting and calories they burn.

The manufacturers of these devices certainly want consumers to believe that tracking fitness or health-related behaviors will spur them on to increase their activity levels and make them healthier.

Our analysis of research published over the past 25 years suggests otherwise.

We are professors of kinesiology – the science of human body movement – at Boise State, the University of Tennessee and the University of North Florida. To learn whether and how physical activity has changed in the years since fitness trackers became popular, we analyzed more than two decades of research from several industrialized nations – all conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Clinical depression and prolonged stress and anxiety increase the risk of cardiovascular disease

Medical Express »

“These findings may indicate more attention to mental health is needed to fight cardiovascular disease, particularly for people with depression or chronic stress. In the next decades, new therapies for atherosclerosis should focus on altering immune responses, inhibiting inflammation and promoting pathways of plaque resolution. These therapies have great potential for benefiting people with cardiovascular disease, and likely particularly in those with depression,” Tufanli Kireccibasi said.

One week without social media reduces depression and anxiety

Research by the University of Bath in the UK supports previous studies in both the US and UK linking regular social media use with higher rates of depression and anxiety. As little as seven days without increased the sense of well-being.


“But if you are spending hours each week scrolling and you feel it is negatively impacting you, it could be worth cutting down on your usage to see if it helps.”

The number of adults using social media has increased from 45% in 2011 to 71% in 2021, and has hit 97% in people aged 16 to 44, the study said.

“Scrolling” through content is the most common activity that social media users perform.

How Long Does it Take to Hike X Miles?

It depends on the terrain, grade, weather, your fitness level, physical and mental stamina and determination, etc.

Backpacker »

There are some ways to get a general estimate of how long a hike should take. Most hikers average 2 to 3 miles per hour, so a 5-mile hike could take around 2 hours. Some speed hikers push the throttle at 4 to 5 miles per hour. Tough inclines might reduce your pace to 1 mile per hour, and off-trail hiking might cut that in half. There’s no good or bad hiking pace. Just go however fast or slow you want, and try not to compare yourself to any “local legends” who are crushing the trail on Fastest Known Time. »

Side note » A typical thru-hiker takes 5 to 7 months to completing the entire 3,525 km / 2,190 mile Appalachian Trail (A.T.), from Maine to Georgia. The average is a week or two shy of six months.

Also » Female Hiker / Trail and Summit / Love Life Be Fit / Section Hiker

Good Fitness Habits have many Mental and Physical Health Benefits

Getting people off the couch isn’t always easy. But once a fitness habit is formed, it can result in a better quality of life. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk has many mental and physical health benefits.

Jill Barker »

Getting started can be hard, but according to a team of exercise scientists from the University of Ferrara in Italy, once a habit is formed it’s hard to break — even for those who were exercise-averse. The researchers followed up with 110 formerly sedentary individuals seven years after they participated in a year-long instructor-led walking group sponsored by public health. The goal was not only to see how many of the group were still active, but also to confirm any health benefits they had accrued since starting to exercise.

The original 12-month program included 650 participants, 326 of whom were still walking at the end of the year-long study. Four months after that, 258 were exercising regularly despite the lack of scheduled instructor-led sessions. Seven years post intervention, the researchers were able to connect with 63 women and 47 men of the original walking group, all of whom agreed to undergo the same physiological tests they took seven years before, including measuring their weight, body mass index, blood pressure and walking speed.

The average age of the walkers in the follow-up study was 61. Fifty-nine per cent of them still met the recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week (the group averaged 286 minutes of exercise per week). Eleven individuals were sedentary and the rest performed fewer than 150 minutes of exercise per week. Yet despite the difference in weekly exercise volume, the average weight of the active and less-active groups was less than it was before starting the walking program. The sedentary/low activity group had higher BMI than the more active group. Ten of the walkers who had been obese lost enough weight they were classified as being overweight. »

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