How Sleep Loss Adds to Weight Gain

How Sleep Loss Adds to Weight Gain

Losing sleep tends to make people eat more and gain weight, and now a new study suggests that one reason may be the impact that sleep deprivation has on the brain.

The research showed that depriving people of sleep for one night created pronounced changes in the way their brains responded to high-calorie junk foods. On days when the subjects had not had proper sleep, fattening foods like potato chips and sweets stimulated stronger responses in a part of the brain that helps govern the motivation to eat. But at the same time, the subjects experienced a sharp reduction in activity in the frontal cortex, a higher-level part of the brain where consequences are weighed and rational decisions are made.

The findings suggested that one unfortunate result of sleep loss is this “double hit” in brain activity, said Matthew P. Walker, an author of the study and a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of California, Berkeley. A sleepy brain appears to not only respond more strongly to junk food, but also has less ability to rein that impulse in.

Some experts have theorized that in a sleep-deprived state, people eat more food simply to make up for all the calories they expend as they burn the midnight oil. But the new study showed that the changes in brain activity were evident even when the subjects were fed extra food and not experiencing any increased sensations in hunger.

“Their hunger was no different when they were sleep deprived and when they had a normal night of sleep,” Dr. Walker said. “That’s important because it suggests that the changes we’re seeing are caused by sleep deprivation itself, rather than simply being perhaps more metabolically impaired when you’re sleep deprived.”

The relationship between sleep loss and weight gain is a strong one, borne out in a variety of studies over the years. Large population studies show that both adults and children are more likely to be overweight and obese the less they sleep at night. In smaller, controlled studies, scientists find that when people are allowed to sleep eight hours one night and then half that amount on another, they end up eating more on the days when they’ve had less sleep. One pivotal study at the University of Colorado in March showed that losing just a few hours of sleep a few nights in a row caused people to pack on an average of about two pounds.

Other studies have found that the underlying effects of sleep deprivation on the body can in many ways be pronounced. The stress hormone cortisol climbs and markers of inflammation rise. Hormones that stimulate appetite increase, while hormones that blunt it drop. People become less sensitive to insulin, raising their risk of Type 2 diabetes.

But until now, few if any studies have looked at precisely what goes on in the brain when people are starved of sleep and then faced with food decisions.

In the new study, which was published in the journal Nature Communications, Dr. Walker and his colleagues recruited 23 healthy men and women and assigned them to two different regimes, each separated by about a week. On one occasion, the subjects came into the lab and got a normal night of rest – roughly eight hours – before waking up to a small breakfast of toast and strawberry jam.

The subjects then looked at 80 pictures of a variety of foods and were asked to rate how strongly they wanted them while an imaging machine measured brain activity. The subjects were told that after looking through the pictures, they would receive one of the foods that they rated the highest.

On another occasion, the subjects followed the same routine, but this time, instead of sleeping, they stayed awake through the night. They were also given snacks – like apples and peanut butter crackers – to offset any extra calories that they burned while staying awake.

The research showed that when the subjects were bleary-eyed and sleep-deprived, they strongly preferred the food choices that were highest in calories, like desserts, chocolate and potato chips. The sleepier they felt, the more they wanted the calorie-rich foods. In fact, the foods they requested when they were sleep deprived added up to about 600 calories more than the foods that they wanted when they were well rested.

At the same time, brain scans showed that on the morning after the subjects’ sleepless night, the heavily caloric foods produced intense activity in an almond-shaped structure called the amygdala, which helps regulate basic emotions as well as our desires for things like food and experiences. That was accompanied by sharply reduced responses in cortical areas of the frontal lobe that regulate decision-making, providing top down control of the amygdala and other primitive brain structures.

One expert who was not involved in the new study, Dr. Kenneth P. Wright Jr., called the findings exciting and said that they help explain why people make poor dietary choices and eat much more than they need to when fatigued.

“There’s something that changes in our brain when we’re sleepy that’s irrespective of how much energy we need,” said Dr. Wright, the director of the sleep and chronobiology lab at the University of Colorado at Boulder. “The brain wants more even when the energy need has been fulfilled.”

But why would a lack of sleep disrupt the brain response to food?

Dr. Walker said he suspected that one factor that plays a role is a substance called adenosine, a metabolic byproduct that disrupts neural function and promotes sleepiness as it accumulates in the brain. One of the ways that caffeine stimulates wakefulness is by blocking adenosine. Adenosine is also cleared from the system when we sleep.

Without enough rest, adenosine builds up and may start to degrade communication between networks in the brain, Dr. Walker said. Getting sleep may be the equivalent of rebooting the brain.

“I think you have about 16 hours of optimal functioning before the brain needs to go offline and sleep,” he said. “If you go beyond these 16 hours into the realm of sleep deprivation, then those brain networks start to break down and become dysfunctional.”

Dr. Walker said it was increasingly clear from the medical literature that there is not a single tissue in the body that is not beneficially affected by sleep.

“It’s the single most effective thing people can do every day to reset their brain and body health,” he said.

A Little Older, A Little Sicker

link to article A Little Older, A Little Sicker

According to a new survey, Americans are living longer (not much), but not because we’re healthier. Here are some quotes from an NBC article:

Americans may be living longer and even exercising a little more, but we really are not much healthier than we were 10 years ago and we are still far behind other rich countries when it comes to our health, researchers said Wednesday.

Journalists love to point out how we lag behind other rich countries. More on that later.

The biggest survey of U.S. health in 15 years breaks down death, disease and disability county by county – and makes some very unflattering comparisons to other countries. It’s a big, comprehensive dive into what kills us and what makes us sick.

Journalists love to point out how we lag behind other countries. Wait … I already said that. Well, the journalist felt compelled to mention how we lag behind other countries twice in two successive paragraphs, so we’re even.

It finds that how healthy you are depends on where you live.

No, it depends on what kind of person you are: health-conscious or not health-conscious.

If you live in a rich area like San Francisco, Colorado or the suburbs of Washington D.C., you’re likely as healthy as the Swiss or Japanese. If you live in Appalachia or the rural South, you’re likely to be as unhealthy as people in Algeria or Bangladesh.

Hmmm, I’m pretty healthy. If I move to Appalachia, will my health decline? If an obese diabetic from Appalachia moves to San Francisco, will his health improve? I think not. All we’re seeing here is that San Francisco and the suburbs of Washington D.C. are damned expensive places to live. That means mostly rich people live there, and rich people tend to be more health-conscious. They’re not healthier because they live in “rich areas.”

Our biggest enemies are our own bad habits – poor diet, smoking and obesity. They’re far more dangerous to our health than pollution or risks from radiation.

Our own bad habits are also the reason we’re lagging behind other countries. Again, more on that later.

But Americans lost ground compared to people living in other countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. “Among 34 OECD countries between 1990 and 2010, the U.S rank for the age-standardized death rate changed from 18th to 27th,” Murray’s team wrote.

Wait for it …

“The United States spends more than the rest of the world on health care and leads the world in the quality and quantity of its health research, but that doesn’t add up to better health outcomes,” Murray said in a statement.

I knew that was coming.  Here’s a similar quote from an article in The Washington Post:

What surprised Murray and his team was that despite increased consciousness about disparities and per capita spending on health care that is at least 50 percent higher than European countries, the United States is falling farther behind them with each passing year.

Whenever I read or hear something along the lines of “The U.S. spends more on health care than any other country — and yet we have worse health outcomes!” as if that’s shocking news, it’s a head-bang-on-desk moment for me. Why? Well, if you read any of these statements in the news, would you be shocked?

The U.S. spends more on pianos than any other country in the world – and yet we have more piano players!

The U.S. spends more on cars than any other country in the world – and yet we have more auto accidents!

The U.S. spends more on food than any other country in the world – and yet we eat more!

I think you get the idea. We don’t have an unhealthy population in spite of spending more on health care.  We spend a lot on health care because we have an unhealthy population.  Healthy populations don’t rack up big health-care bills.

The researchers partly blame obesity for our health woes, but I believe rising obesity rates are mostly a symptom of the real problem: skyrocketing rates of diabetes. Among the “rich” developed countries, the U.S. has the highest rate of diabetes. (I put “rich” in quotes because I don’t believe a country that’s $16 trillion in debt and pays its bills by borrowing another $1 trillion annually is actually rich anymore. But we still spend like we’re rich, so bear with me.) About one-quarter of our senior citizens have diabetes. When people get sick and you treat them (and treat them and treat them and treat them), you get medical bills.

Older Americans today are sicker than previous generations of older Americans. (See this postfor more on that.)  In spite of that, they’re living longer largely because as a “rich” country with advanced medical technology, we make heroic efforts to extend their lives.  Those heroic efforts produce big medical bills. According to one study I looked up, 32% of all Medicare expenditures are for “end of life” medical care — i.e.,  treating old people who die within the next two years. On average, they’re treated by 10 different doctors during those last two years. Or as the Wall Street Journal noted:

Medicare patients rack up disproportionate costs in the final year of life. In 2009, 6.6% of the people who received hospital care died. Those 1.6 million people accounted for 22.3% of total hospital expenditures, the Journal’s analysis shows.

I’m not suggesting we tell old people who are sick to go away and die. I’m suggesting that the country can’t survive the financial burden resulting from the bad foods our government subsidizes and the bad diet our government recommends. We can’t afford to make people ill and then pay for every procedure imaginable to treat their many illnesses. Something’s got to change.

But never fear. This latest report on illness and longevity is inspiring some much-needed action:

First Lady Michelle Obama said the report shows communities and policymakers need to help Americans eat better. “We’re going to be working with food companies and restaurants who are offering more healthy options to families so that when they go into a restaurant they have some decent choices,” she said at an event at the White House for her “Let’s Move” campaign.

Awesome.  The government’s going to step in and help Americans eat better.

Don’t you feel more optimistic already?

Strength training adds weight to the battle against aging

Strength training adds weight to the battle against aging

As you pass into middle age, you may think you have many more important things to worry about than being able to complete two sets of repetitions on the weight machine circuit. But Carroll Patin Jr., Exercise Specialist with Dynamic Dimensions in Moss Bluff, says that in reality, building your muscles is more important than ever as you get older. “Muscles get weaker as you age, and this can cause problems that may impact an active, independent life. Fortunately, the trend can be reversed with some simple strength training exercises.”

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends weight training, also called strength training, for all people over age 50, and even people well into their 90s can benefit. “Strength training can lead to physical improvements for anyone, even for people who may feel that they are too frail to lift weights,” says Patin. “Balance is better, walking pace quickens and activities like climbing stairs become less challenging.”

Patin says other benefits of strength training include:

— Improved walking ability. A University of Vermont study of healthy seniors ages 65 to 79 found that participants could walk almost 40 percent farther without a rest after about 12 weeks of weight training. This is important not only for the fact that the improved endurance allows people to do many more of the activities they enjoy, but because among seniors, insufficient leg strength is a powerful predictor of future disabilities, including the inability to walk.

— Prevention of broken bones. Weight lifting can protect you from potentially debilitating fractures in several ways. Strength training boosts your strength, balance and agility, making it less likely you’ll experience a fall. A study at Tufts University found that older women who lifted weights for a year improved their balance by 14 percent. Weight training can also build bone mass in the spine and hip, helping to protect against osteoporosis.

— Relief from arthritis pain. By strengthening the muscles, tendons and ligaments around your joints, weight lifting can significantly improve your range of motion. It can also cut down on pain by increasing the capability of muscles surrounding the afflicted joint, which eases stress on the joint itself. Arthritis sufferers should begin by using light weights and work up to heavier ones very gradually.

— Ease in performing day-to-day tasks. By giving you the strength to handle your daily routines, weight lifting can help you maintain your independence. Researchers at the University of Alabama found that healthy women ages 60 to 77 who lifted weights three hours each week for 16 weeks could carry groceries and get up from a chair with much less effort than before.

— Weight loss. Lifting weights doesn’t burn many calories, but it does stimulate your metabolism. Strength training helps build muscle, which burns calories more efficiently than fat. Combining strength training with a healthy diet is the right combination for losing unwanted pounds.

Hey Parents…..Your kid sucks

great post – click here for a link  Hey Parents…..Your kid sucks

Now that I have your attention, I must qualify that it is not the child’s fault that he is terrible at (enter sport).  It has everything to do with you.

     I have been coaching an 11 U select baseball team for about 4 months now and I am finding some disturbing trends among parents and their relationships with their children.  I have found that (a) parents exponentially over value the talent of their child, (b) cannot separate the emotions they feel during the game with that of their child’s, (c) find it necessary to inject their opinions and/or suggestions for the team because they pay money to be part of the organization, (d) severely hinder and stunt their child’s progress and passion for the sport they play.
     Here are my suggestions and solutions to what I’ve described above, and in the end, I will explain to why these are necessary in order for your child to love to play the sport he or she is involved in and hopefully they won’t hate you by the time they are 16 years of age.
1.  Your child will only go as far as they love what they do
This not only applies to sports but life in general.  Support what they love and are interested in, not what you think they should be involved in.  You had a childhood now let your kid have theirs.
2.  You weren’t that good of a player (i.e. high school sports)
Most parents have an idea that they excelled in the sport they competed in high school.  However, hindsight is 20/20.  In the grand scheme of things you really weren’t that great so stop telling your kid you were.  They don’t need to live up to your lies
3.  Leave your child alone during competition
Your child is out on the field competing and does not need any added pressure from you telling them what they should or should not do.  Save it for after the game, and if it is not constructive, keep it to yourself.  Your insights on their play are usually driven by emotion and passion and typically come off as confrontational.  They have enough pressure as it is, they don’t need more from you.
4.  Let the coaches coach
Did you sign up to coach?  Did you volunteer your time away from your family to help others?  If not, you don’t have a say.  Yes, you may have coached Rec league or “daddy ball” but in no way does that qualify you to give me any suggestions as far as lineup, playing time, and direction of team.  If you don’t like it, leave.    You don’t have to stay and have every right to go somewhere else.  If that’s how you feel, then I’d rather you leave than be a distraction to our team.  (And typically this element comes from parents whose child is the least talented)
5.  Let your child enjoy the process
Sports are a never ending process of learning, whether it be social or fundamental.  There’s an inherent value to the social and fundamental construct of sports.  These early years of athletics can be unbelievably valuable for your child’s social abilities in the future.
People often ask what my parents’ role was in my climb to professional baseball.  I tell those people that my parents were supportive of my love of baseball and gave me every opportunity to succeed.  My father was a football coach and knew nothing of baseball and my mother did not play sports in high school.  Whether I played a great game or terrible game, my parents always treated me with support and love.  They never “pushed” me in any way and anything that I accomplished was because of my own desires and their support. They had complete trust in my coaches and I was very lucky to have great ones along the way.  So, when you look at your child and you see a major league baseball player or professional football player, understand that they may think of themselves as something very very different.  It’s not about you, and if it is, it’s probably the reason your kid sucks.  Parents: don’t be the reason for your kid’s failures, they’re under enough pressure already

GUIDE TO HOW TO SET ACHIEVABLE GOALS

For full article click GUIDE TO HOW TO SET ACHIEVABLE GOALS

Often people state “I’m just lazy” or “I’m unmotivated” when they are unsuccessful. Yet, most of the time, the problem isn’t laziness, but lack of understanding about how to achieve goals. For instance, I believe that much of the problem the American people have with weight control is related to inability to set goals. Oh, we can set goals alright! We can set them until the cows come home. But if we don’t set goals properly we are unlikely to be successful. For instance, I hear people all the time “I’m going to lose 10 pounds in the next two weeks” or “I’m going to exercise an hour a day” or “I’m going to limit myself to 1200 calories a day” or some combination of these statements in attempts to manage weight. However, even though they might achieve these goals over the short-term, any long-term change is unlikely. They will revert to old habits with resignation sighing, “I’m unmotivated. I’ll never be able to lose weight.”

The same problem can occur in the work setting: “If only I could get organized, I would be more successful at work.” Or in sports: “I just don’t stick with things. I give up too easily.” Again, the problem is likely to be problems with setting goals. We tend to set goals that are unreasonable, perfectionistic, and unachievable. You may question this statement, “What do you mean unachievable? I see people achieving these goals all the time.” Which is true. However, most likely they achieved their goals by following some of the principles I discuss below.

When Athletic Shoes Cause Injury

full New York Times article here When Athletic Shoes Cause Injury

Sometimes innovative science requires innovative machinery, like a moveable, four-legged robotic sled that can wear shoes, a contraption recently developed and deployed by researchers at the University of Calgary to test whether grippy athletic shoes affect injury risk.

It’s well known, of course, that shoe traction influences athletic performance, especially in sports that involve sprinting or cutting, meaning abrupt rapid shifts in direction. In broad terms, more traction leads to better results.

In a 2009 study of soccer players and their footwear, for instance, researchers tested the players’ forward sprinting and sideways cutting speed while the players wore their normal soccer shoes, and again after the shoes’ cleats had been shaved down in length by 50 percent and then by 100 percent, meaning they were flat against the outsole. While wearing the shortened cleats, the players had less traction on the field and were significantly slower moving forward or sideways.

But these and similar studies did not establish whether more shoe traction is always desirable or if there is such a thing as too much stickiness in a shoe.

Athletic shoes have two primary types of traction. One keeps you sticking to the ground as you move forward. The other, called rotational traction, kicks in when you move sideways or shift direction. The amounts of each type of traction depend on a shoe’s outsole material and on whether it has cleats and, if so, how many, their size and shape, and how they are positioned.

For some time, most researchers have believed that forward-related traction does not have much effect on injury risk, while rotational traction does.

But that idea had been difficult to test in real-world situations. For one thing, researchers can’t ethically shave down cleats or otherwise alter shoe traction and ask players to don them and helpfully go out and hurt themselves.

And logistically, it’s easier to measure shoe traction in a lab than on a playing field.

But researchers at the Human Performance Lab at the University of Calgary wanted to see whether different degrees of traction would affect whether players got hurt in real playing conditions. So they created their shoe-wearing robotic tester. Mounted on rails, it can move either forward or sideways on a field at whatever speed the researchers choose, while its “feet” stay in contact with the ground and various sensors determine forward and rotational traction.

3 Questions For Better Workouts

by Charles Staley

Compared to when I was cutting my teeth in this industry almost 30 years ago, I’d characterize today’s fitness scene as being information-dense, yet knowledge-starved.

As an old colleague of mine used to always say, “We’re swimming in a sea of information, yet we’re drowning for knowledge.”

Thanks in large part to the proliferation of the Internet, nearly everyone today has cheap, easy, fast, unlimited access to an absolute universe of data. The challenge however, is learning how to cull the rare pearls of legitimate information from the nonsense.

In this article I’ll present 3 important questions you can apply to fine-tune your critical-thinking ability. Better critical thinking leads to better decision-making, which in turn leads to more results from your workouts. So with that, let’s get started.

Question #1: “Compared To What?”

This first question is designed to distinguish between “what works?” and “what’s optimal?” Look, let’s be honest – almost anything you do in the gym has the potential to “work,” as long as you don’t get hurt in the process.

So to simply ask whether or not something works is a poor form of inquiry. A much better question is, “Compared to what?”

Imagine a college-age kid who’s trying to furnish his first studio apartment on limited funds. Staring at his empty apartment and then at his meager bank account he thinks, “OK, what do I really need most?”

Sure, it’d be great to have a sofa or a TV, but he can’t justify those items given the fact that he’s sleeping on the floor and living on fast food because he doesn’t have basic kitchen supplies.

As an athlete, I want you to think like this when evaluating your exercise menus and decisions about loading parameters. I want you to stop behaving as if you’ve got an unlimited budget, because you don’t. Your resources (which I define as time, energy, knowledge, orthopedic status, and money, among other things) are limited, and must be allocated toward the things that provide the most bang for the buck.

Over the past several months, I’ve heard a few different prominent (I never quite know what to label these folks) “strength/fitness authorities” state their opinion that Get-Ups (often known as “Turkish Get-Ups”) as the “best” exercise that anyone can do.

Now I’ll allow for the inherent flaws that these “best” type of questions all possess, but that aside, how can you honestly prescribe the Get Up as the best exercise for any large group of trainees?

Although I do like the minimal equipment requirements and the mobility/stability benefits, the Get Up is a high-skill, usually low-load (with some exceptions certainly) movement that does little to promote or enhance strength, power, or lean body mass.

I certainly see the benefits of this movement from a physical therapy perspective, but I have a tough time appreciating the value from a “bigger, faster, stronger” point of view. So, returning to the premise of “compared to what?” please permit me to compare this with the barbell hip thrust – a movement that seems to generate reams of controversy for reasons that continue to elude me.

Like Get Ups, Hip Thrusts also require minimal equipment, but unlike Get Ups, Hip Thrusts require very little skill and require almost nothing in terms of setting up or psyching up.

In other words, Hip Thrusts are very low cost (see point #2 below), and provide enormously safe and effective strength and power benefits to the posterior chain – a group of muscles that are pivotal to both athletic performance and everyday life, not to mention aesthetics.

Again, I don’t deny that Get Ups have value for certain people at certain points in their development, but to say that they’re the “best” exercise for general trainees, compared to dozens of demonstrably better movements that have stood the test of time, is baffling and maddening.

The next time you find yourself doing a particular exercise or loading pattern, ask yourself if it’s truly the best use of your time and energy for that moment. If the answer is “no,” make the necessary changes right away.

Question #2: “At What Cost?”

As I’ve said many times, “Everything you do in the gym has a cost, but not everything necessarily has a benefit.”

Because all fitness-related pursuits involve “getting out of your comfort zone” (read: “pain”), there is a persistent, almost Pavlovian response for trainers and trainees alike to assume that more is better. And of course sometimes, it is. What we usually fail to consider however, is the cost.

One example of this that especially pertains to “general” fitness folks is aerobic exercise, which often assumes the form of jogging. As compared to a number of possible alternatives (such as lying on the couch eating Cheese Doodles, for example), jogging is “good.”

Meaning, it is at least a form of movement, and it does after all burn calories, improve certain measures of cardiovascular fitness, and for some at least, improves what we might call “well-being.”

An argument can also be mounted that jogging requires very little in the way of skill, equipment, or facilities.

The costs of jogging however, are considerable, and often not appreciated or adequately considered:

  1. Jogging reduces or at least interferes with efforts to increase lean body mass, strength, and power. In other words, it has demonstrably feminizing effects.
  2. Jogging, like all aerobic activities, is by definition, time consuming. Unlike resistance training, the only way to create progressive overload with jogging is to do more of it.
  3. Dovetailing with the previous point, one serious downside to jogging is that the more you do it, the better you get at it, which in turn reduces the supposed benefits of the activity, requiring you to do more of it to compensate for the reduction in benefit. In other words, the more you do it, the less it does for you.
  4. Jogging, particularly for those who tend to be drawn to it (overweight people), tends to have negative orthopedic consequences, especially for lower-body joints.
  5. For many people, jogging is inherently unpleasant and viewed as an “unnecessary evil” (typically for the purpose of “losing weight.”)

I’d like you to start thinking of your gym-time less like a strength coach and more like an economist. Don’t simply look at the benefits of exercises – look at the costs as well. Be frugal. Only spend when you must, and even then, only for the best bargains.

Question #3: “Where’s the Evidence?”

Skepticism is an extremely valuable trait to have when your goals include getting bigger and stronger – the strength-training industry is rife with absurdly ridiculous methods, products, and claims.

Over the past several years, I’ve noticed that many of us plate-head types are losing our appreciation for the value of science and the type of critical thinking that it demands. Personally, I credit T-Nation contributors Nick Tuminello and (my training partner) Bret Contreras for renewing my own appreciation for these concepts.

For some reason, skepticism is often regarded as a “negative” attitude. In reality however, what could be better than possessing a highly-developed and reliable bullshit detector?

As Michael Shermer brilliantly explains in the video below, “believing” in goofy things is the default condition of the human brain, and long ago, it had survival value for our primitive ancestors living in a dangerous world.

Today, however, especially for those of us interested in maximizing our physical potential, it pays to be skeptical. After all, the overwhelming majority of fitness enthusiasts out there are following dangerous, ineffective exercise programs and paying good money for worthless supplements. Developing a skeptical attitude and a healthy appreciation for science can prevent these pitfalls.

4 Take-Home Points And Action Steps

The following 4 suggestions will serve to help you make practical use of the information I’ve just presented. Please consider taking action on all 4 right away.

  1. Critically examine your current exercise choices and loading strategies for optimum benefit as well as maximum cost/benefit ratio. Just because something is “working” doesn’t mean that it’s optimal. Don’t be a “program hopper,” but at the same time, continuously and ruthlessly assess your current methods.
  2. Always seek ways to reduce the “cost” of your program. Performing exercises in “circuit” fashion (i.e., performing antagonistic exercises back to back) as opposed to a “station” approach saves time. Exercises requiring minimal set-up, psyche-up, and warm-up sets save time, energy, and psychological stress.
  3. Continuously evaluate and re-evaluate the evidence behind your programming decisions. If the evidence isn’t apparent, look for it. If you can’t find it, make some changes. Seek out and emulate role models who are similar to you, but who are getting better results than you are. Become more competent at reading and interpreting the scientific research.
  4. I’d like to plug for Bret Contreras’ monthly Research Review Service. Bret does an amazing job compiling and interpreting all the best studies available each month. It’s an amazing time-saver that keeps you current and on top of the science.