Health & Fitness

Sleep. It’s something you do every day, hopefully. If you’re like most people, sleep’s probably the first thing you sacrifice when life gets hectic. But what scientists and researchers are discovering about the profound effects of sleep on our bodies might make you think twice about staying up late to watch another episode of your favorite TV show. Dr. Michael Breus, aka the “Sleep Doctor,” joins us Thursday to explain how sleep impacts our minds, our muscles, our weight, even our genes, and how what you eat effects how you sleep.

Image by <a href=""> Leigh Anthony DEHANEY</a>/<a href'="" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Chances are good you’re sitting down as you read these words. After hearing what Dr. James Levine, a researcher at the Mayo Clinic, has to say about sitting, you might find yourself standing a lot more. That’s because Dr. Levine’s research suggests that spending most of your day sitting and physically inactive – at work, at home and everywhere else – won’t just give you a sore back: there’s a good chance it could lead you to an early grave. Dr. Levine joins us Wednesday to explain the dangers of inactivity.

Image by "Patriziasoliani" via CC/Flickr,

Like every other organism on the planet, humans evolved over thousands of years to survive and thrive under rather specific circumstances. But what exactly is the human body adapted for? The evolutionary biologist Daniel Lieberman poses and attempts to answer that question in a new book. Lieberman says the human body is in many ways a Stone Age creation, better suited to the demands of a hunter-gatherer lifestyle than to 9-to-5 office work. He’ll join us Tuesday to explore the story of the human body.

Why We Get Fat

Sep 11, 2013

Most doctors will tell you that to lose weight you need to burn more calories than you consume. The science writer Gary Taubes would tell you to ignore most doctors. He argues that calories aren’t to blame for America’s obesity problem: hormones are, and so are carbs. To lose weight, Taubes says stay away the low-fat, carb rich foods most diets recommend, and instead eat lots of meat, eggs and fat. It’s a controversial opinion, but Taubes says the proof of science is on his side, and he joins us Thursday to make the case for changing what we think about why we get fat.

The Sports Gene

Aug 21, 2013

Every high school has its star athletes who are so good it seems like they were born to throw a football, run the 100-meter dash or swing a baseball bat. The sports writer David Epstein has spent a lot of time around exceptional athletes, and he started to wonder if their skills were the result of freak genetic programming or just lots and lots of practice. Epstein has written a new book that examines the science of extraordinary athletic performance and he joins us Thursday to talk about it.

The Truth About Sugar

Aug 12, 2013

Sugar may be sweet, but it’s gained a bad reputation lately, and its rap sheet seems to just keep growing. Studies link its consumption to afflictions like diabetes, obesity, heart disease, cancer.  A new University of Utah study suggests that sugar isn’t even healthy at supposedly “safe” doses. It could reduce reproduction rates and lead to an early grave. Tuesday we’re putting sugar under the microscope. We’ll take a peek at its cultural history, and we’ll also inspect the growing case for labeling sugar a toxic ingredient.

When it comes to fitness and exercise, there’s no shortage of advice out there. Luckily, there’s Gretchen Reynolds, the Phys Ed columnist for the New York Times. Her job is to cut through the chaff and find out what exercises, regimens and diets actually work, and which are simply hokum. She also wants to show just how little exercise you can do to get lots of health benefits. Reynolds joins us Thursday to bust popular health myths and tell us what it takes to exercise better, train smarter and live longer.

Aging and Exercise

Jun 24, 2013
Paul Holbrook

Somewhere around our late 30s or early 40s, our bodies begin to breakdown. We lose muscle mass, flexibility, strength and power. We typically chalk it all up to just getting old, but a growing body of research shows that inactivity is largely to blame. Researchers are also finding that the effects of aging can be drastically reduced by training a lot like an athlete would. Tuesday we’re talking about aging and exercise. We’ll be joined by a physical trainer and a researcher who argue that to age gracefully we should age actively.