Health & Fitness

Rachel Herz is a neuroscientist who studies the psychology of eating. Which is to say, she explores what influences the things you eat and the things you don’t, how food affects us mentally, emotionally, and how it can change your behavior.

Wednesday, we’re asking this question: Is it true that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? Investigative journalist and anthropologist Scott Carney went looking for answers. He joins us to talk about pushing past perceived limitations.

Greg Pye via Flickr ( CC2.0 (

Friday, we’re talking about the value of rest. Of taking a break. From everything. For most of us, overwork is the new normal and rest is an afterthought. But the scholar Alex Soojung-Kim Pang says that by dismissing the importance of rest in our lives we stifle our ability to think creatively and truly recharge. Pang will join us to talk about why long walks, afternoon naps, vigorous exercise, and "deep play" stimulate creative work and sustain creative lives. (Rebroadcast)

The Nature Fix

Feb 13, 2017
Mark Stevens via CC BY-NC-SA 2.0/Flickr

Monday, we’re talking about the restorative power of nature. For centuries, great minds like Beethoven, Tesla, and Einstein have extolled the benefits of the outdoors. But these days, our lives are increasingly lived indoors and onscreen. Wondering if we could all use some more exposure to the natural world, the writer Florence Williams set out to explore the science of “our deep, cranial connection to natural landscapes.” She’ll join us to discuss how nature can make us healthier, happier, and more creative.

In America today, nearly 10% of the population has diabetes; more than two-thirds of us are overweight or obese; and one out of 10 kids are thought to have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. The journalist Gary Taubes blames all of these afflictions on one culprit: sugar. In a new book, Taubes argues that sugar is the “principal cause of the chronic diseases most likely to kill us…in the 21st century.” Taubes joins us to make the case against sugar and why we’d be healthier without it.

The Science of Fat

Jan 4, 2017
Laura Lewis via Flickr/CC,

Body fat is a source of shame for many people, something to be hidden, fought, and burned away. But fat, says the biochemist Sylvia Tara, isn’t just unsightly blubber, it’s an essential and deeply misunderstood organ that’s vital to our existence. It enables our reproductive organs, strengthens our immune system, protects us from disease, and may even help us live longer. In a new book, Tara explores the science behind our least appreciated organ, and she joins us Wednesday to talk about it.

Greg Westfall (cropped), via CC/Flickr,

For years, Daniel Kunitz lived the life of the mind. His body though “became a trash depot.” Then he started running, which led to swimming, weightlifting, and eventually CrossFit. His health and his life steadily improved. Kunitz’s personal quest got him wondering how fitness culture has changed through the years. Why were the Greeks so buff? Why do guys do dumbbell curls? How have women changed exercise as we know it? Kunitz joins us to share what he’s learned about the evolution of fitness.

Jan Willemsen via CC/Flickr,

Dan Buettner has been working for years to identify hot spots around the globe where people enjoy exceptionally long, happy, and healthy lives. He calls these places “Blue Zones.” People living in Blue Zones often grow old without suffering chronic diseases like cancer, obesity, and diabetes. There are just five of these places in the world, but Buettner thinks the habits and practices common to Blue Zones can be adapted by people everywhere. He joins us Monday to explore the Blue Zones recipe for longevity.

Noakes Foundation


Professor Tim Noakes is one of the most widely respected authorities on exercise and fitness, and he’s built his career by challenging conventional beliefs, including his own. The idea of carb-loading before endurance races: he came up with that. These days he promotes a high-fat low-carb diet, even for athletes. And he’s not a big fan of sports drinks. Noakes joins us Thursday to talk about eating better, drinking less, and running against the grain to achieve better athletic performance.


Oct 27, 2015

When was the last time you stopped for a few minutes to reflect on the present moment? Not the thing you screwed up yesterday, or the meeting you’re worried about tomorrow, but the here and now. Meditation and mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe says those few minutes are key to decreased anxiety, better sleep, and improved focus. He’s the creator of a popular app that guides users through meditation, and Tuesday he joins Doug to talk about finding “Headspace” in your life.