Oct 18

Excuse me for saying so, but the new fish guidelines seem, well, fishy

So, the Institute of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association have issued new reports on which fish are healthy, which should be eaten in moderation and which should be avoided by the young, the elderly and those with specific medical issues.

So, while some media heralded the news as "clearing up the existing confusion," I’m a little moreH40d_2   cynical. Yes, the reports were concise and precise but, when will the contradictions begin? When will some Johns Hopkins researcher suddenly announce a new study that either muddies or disrupts yesterday’s findings entirely?

Medical research is a desperately important component to modern-day life but, from an image and reputation standpoint, the constant mixed messages and new research contradicting old reminds me a bit of the "boy who cried wolf."

Keep issuing those reports, guys, but don’t be angry if I don’t take the bait.

Oct 12

Exercise gets the creative juices flowing

Researchers have long known about the benefits of exercise in terms of weight and stress reduction, cardiovascular improvements and other positive side effects. Now comes news that should warm the heart of any business owner: a team of Rhode Island College researchers has demonstrated the positive effect of exercise on creative thinking.

The researchers asked 60 adults, aged 18 to 27, to take something called the Torrance Tests of  Creative Thinking. The test group did so once after being sedentary, once after 30 minutes of exercise and once after 30 minutes of exercise followed by two hours of rest. The result: exercise resulted in dramatically higher creativity scores.

This is a real no brainer to me. I’ve always believed exercise opened my mind to new ideas while05122514_1   refreshing my entire body from the stresses of the day. In fact, I love to workout at lunch, since it cuts the day in two, helps me unwind after the morning’s frivolities and come back refreshed and ready for the afternoon. The long-distance running I do on weekends almost always prompts a rash of new, creative (and usually useless) ideas for my firm. In fact, I’ll often sit down and write an e-mail to our management right after I’ve finished my run.

Now that exercise has been proven to improve creativity, I wonder if we’ll see some ad and PR firms start equipping their conference rooms with elliptical trainers, stationary bikes and treadmills? When you stop to think about it, doing so would really project positively on the image of any business.

Mostly every executive I know believes in investing in exercise and health club memberships, believing each to be a smart corporate health initiative. Now that there’s proof exercise helps with creativity, I could see more than a few of my agency principal buddies humming away, "Gotta go to Mo’s…" as they head off to buy gym equipment for the office.

Sep 12

So much for weightlifting

According to a just-released study, weightlifting may lead to glaucoma in men. That’s just great.

It seems no matter what doctors, trainers, nutritionists or others recommend as being good for us,1276990_1   it invariably turns out to be just the opposite.

Obviously, this is only one study. And, according to the broadcast coverage of the findings, doctors want to take a much deeper dive into the findings, but still…

It makes me think of the old adage: "the only thing certain in life are death and taxes."

It also reminds me of Woody Allen’s character in the long-ago movie, Sleeper. When Allen wakes up after a prolonged Rip van Winkle-like sleep, he finds out that everything that was once considered bad is now good. So, a doctor offers him a cigarette and tells him it will do him good. Another suggests a thick red steak. Amazing how spot on Allen’s commentary has become.

As for me, I’ll keep lifting. But, I’ll also make sure to include a glaucoma test when I go for my annual eye check-up.