The First 20 Minutes (aka Just Move)

“The first 20 minutes of moving around, if someone has been really sedentary, provide most of the health benefits. You get prolonged life, reduced disease risk — all of those things come in in the first 20 minutes of being active.”

I learned this from Steve, who sent a post from the New York Times:  “The Surprising Shortcut to Better Health”

In this, science writer Gretchen Reynolds explains the research behind this claim, which she has distilled into her new book on the topic.

Here is a radical quote from the post, one that speaks to me directly: “It would be nice if people would look at exercise as a way to make themselves feel better and live longer and not necessarily as a way to make themselves skinnier.”

Here is another quote that speaks to me (as I sit): “I really do stand up at least every 20 minutes now, because I was spending five or six hours unmoving in my chair. The science is really clear that that is very unhealthy, and that it promotes all sorts of disease. All you have to do to ameliorate that is to stand up. You don’t even have to move. I’m standing up right now as I talk on the phone. I stand during most of my interviews now.”

I would love to hear your thoughts on this – click the link, check it out, and then post a comment here!


A Life-Saving Lesson

Years ago, after we spent a cloudy-turned-sunny morning waiting to meet Hillary Clinton, Sally taught me a lesson that I used every day since:  You need to wear sunscreen every single day of the year.  Steve and I were burnt.  Sally was not, at least not on her face.  What’s up with that, I asked.  I told you Mom, she said, you need to wear sunscreen EVERY day, not just the sunny ones!

Please take a minute and watch this video that I got from Sally’s blog.  There is a second life-saving lesson in here, on top of the sunscreen one.


Where there’s smoke…

there is not enough fire: that’s what I learned!

Steve gave me a beautiful fire in the fireplace for Christmas.  But first he found out how to do it smoke-free.

Somehow he got our neighbor, Bob, to climb up on the roof and check out the chimney, which Bob then declared to be clean and perfect.  So what’s with the smoke when we make  fires?  Bob told Steve that smoke comes from little fires, ones that don’t create enough heat to get the updraft going.

Here is the big roaring smoke-free fire that Steve made:

Bread, Interrupted

I have learned, from the good people at the King Arthur Flour Baking Hotline, what to do when you have to run out in the middle of making/rising bread!

It turns out that you can punch down the dough (the most fun part anyway), stick it in the fridge, and pick it up later where you left off.

I also learned, for the second time, how great those expert bakers are with their free and earnest advice!

Here is the proof of this valuable lesson, bread for Maddy using her own traditional recipe, also from King Arthur!

It’s all in the genes…

From this great podcast from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, which I watched live, I learned more about OncoMap,  a test that generates a detailed profile of tumor mutations that can be used to better diagnose disease and determine treatment options.

Dr. Garraway describes it all in very accessible terms, here!

Rock My World

Today I learned about this cool USGS website that lets you see all reported earthquake activity in real time AND lets you report what you feel – no not emotionally, just earthquake-wise – via a page called “Did You Feel It?”

As a bonus, I learned the word “conterminous” for what you usually hear as “contiguous”.  Extra JanesLessonsLearned bonus points (redeemable soon for JanesLessonsLearned merchandise) if you post here that you used this new word in a sentence and referenced where you learned it!

Leaning away from this idea in the future…

I learned that it’s a good idea to freeze water in a plastic water bottle for a hike on a hot day but it’s a bad idea to freeze water in a metal water bottle!

The ice in the plastic bottle just expanded upwards.

The ice in the metal bottle expanded downwards, rounding out the bottom of the bottle!

Here is the illustration of the resulting problem:

Sweet Summer Jamfest

I learned how to make jam!

Caren taught me how to make blueberry and strawberry jam!  I learned how to mash and cook the fruit, how to sterilize and fill the jars, how to heat them in boiling water, and how to listen for the “pop” that seals them.

I won’t be telling my mom about this adventure, because this would push her over the top with her relationship with Poison Control, but I’m  confident that we did it all right!

Thanks, Caren!