April 26, 2013, 11:00 am
We tend to think of our digital distractions as exactly that—distractions from the otherwise productive business of our daily lives. The Zombies, Run! game, however, could just as easily fit alongside the health and wellness posts on ProfHacker. This smartphone app (available for Android and iOS devices) is essentially a running app wrapped up in zombie narrative. Each run enacts a single “mission” in post-apocalyptic world threatened by zombie hordes. You play Runner 5—a courier with a mysterious past—and while you are running in the physical world, various characters from your struggling military base talk to you through your headphones, slowly revealing a background story. The narrative elements are broken up with music from your device’s playlist. And every once in a while you are “chased” by moaning zombies, which you outrun by picking up your pace a few notches.
July 17, 2012, 11:00 am
I’ve just finished reading A. J. Jacobs‘s latest book, Drop Dead Healthy, an entertaining and often informative memoir of two years he spent trying to become “the healthiest person in the world.” Along the way, Jacobs interviews a variety of people, tries a lot of new things, and does, indeed, improve his health substantially — but this isn’t a book of health instructions so much as a large-scale experimental response to the puzzlement that many people face when making choices about their health. Jacobs, an “experiential journalist” and editor at Esquire, has built part of his writing career on not being afraid to look foolish, act in an extreme way, or irritate his friends and family with his projects: two previous books chronicled his experiences reading the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica and a year spent following all the codes of the Bible.
You don’t have to go to such extremes…
November 10, 2011, 11:00 am
It shouldn’t be news to our regular readers that many of us at ProfHacker are proponents of exercise fitness, and wellness. Guest author Meagan Timney has encouraged Nurturing the Mind-Body Connection, Kathleen Fitzparick has written about the importance of Prioritizing Exercise, and Brian Croxall has discussed the benefits of Losing Five Pounds. In addition, readers have weighed in on their Favorite Fitness Tracking Tools, and whether or not they Take Advantage of the Campus Gym.
In my most recent post on the topic, The Rule of 200: Fitness Edition, I talked about the difficulty of maintaining an fitness routine once the semester hit its stride with the typical whirlwind of obligations, responsibilities, and unanticipated crises. As I mentioned in that post, I resolved to try something different this semester: I registered for a half-marathon thinking that having a fixed goal…
October 5, 2011, 8:00 am
Two recent news items from the New York Times “Well” blog caught my eye. Each of them concerns the relationship between physical health and mental health.
In the first post, Gretchen Reynolds writes, “Can a stroll help ease depression? That question preoccupied Dr. Madhukar H. Trivedi, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, after several of his patients, all suffering from serious depression, mentioned that they felt happier if they went for a walk.” The results of Dr. Triveldi’s study resulting from that question are far from conclusive, but they seem to suggest that exercise can, in fact, act as an effective anti-depressant.
In the second post, Reynolds writes, “Can exercise make the brain more fit? That absorbing question inspired a new study at the University of South Carolina during which scientists assembled mice and…
November 11, 2010, 11:00 am
A little more than two months ago, I did something that was relatively uncommon for me: I decided to get on the scale at the gym. I’ve been a regular at our local YMCA for almost six years (they offer free child care during workouts!!), but I haven’t often wanted to get on the scale. While I loved the opportunity to nurture the mind-body connection that came with regular workouts, it just wasn’t life affirming to be reminded that my weight hadn’t changed all that much. But this time, I was surprised to discover that I was 5-6 pounds lighter than I expected to be. What’s more, I found myself tantalizingly close to the numbers that I wanted to see on the scale. With that as an incentive, I decided that I was going to make a concerted effort to lose weight for the first time in my life and see if I could eliminate those last five pounds.
I’m pleased to report that last week I met my…