I can now nasal-breath for the first time ...
One hundred and thirty-eight days ago, on July 7th, 2020, our city went into a tight COVID lockdown. We were only allowed out for one hour daily (plus essential trips) and masks were compulsory.
If exercising, masks were optional. Since we propel massive volumes of moist air from our lungs when running past people, I chose to wear a mask. Today restrictions were lifted.
I trail run 5km daily, so that meant I ran 138 days with a mask.
It wasn't what I would call enjoyable, but it did have some benefits. Today, running without a mask for the first time since lock-down, I was able to sustain my pace just breathing through my nose - that's a first.
Weight loss and late-night meals ...
In nutrition (and fitness) it's hard to differentiate between fact, myth and personal bias.
And boost your brain health
The choices you make at the grocery store can have an impact on the inflammation in your body. Scientists are still unravelling how food affects our inflammatory processes, but they know a few things.
In simple terms, sugary high-processed foods help release inflammatory messengers that can raise the risk of chronic inflammation. Other foods like fruits and veggies help your body fight against oxidative stress, which can trigger inflammation.
Add walnuts to your shopping list - they fight inflammation and have other desirable side-effects such as helping us sleep better.
You can lower your blood sugar with the right timing
If you have diabetes, you're always conscious of the need to keep your blood sugar under control.
Controlling your blood sugar can avoid long-term complications, including eye disease, kidney problems, nerve problems, cerebrovascular disease such as strokes, and cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks heart failure and high blood pressure.
Here's a way to dial up your efforts: Consider the timing of your workouts after meals.
This advice is aimed at Type 2 diabetics and in particular those who are not insulin-dependent.
After one week this is how you'll feel
Most adults don't eat enough fruits and vegetables. In fact, dietary intake of several nutrients found in fruits and vegetables — including potassium and dietary fibre — is low enough to be a public health concern for both adults and children in the US, and in Australia.
"The bottom line is that most Aussies are not eating enough vegetables each day," Alexandra Parker, accredited practising dietitian of The Biting Truth, told HuffPost Australia.
The health consequences can be serious. For example, there is compelling evidence that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
A study of over 100,000 mean and women over 14 years found that, compared with those in the lowest category of fruit and vegetable intake (less than 1.5 servings a day), those who averaged 8 or more servings a day were 30% less likely to have had a heart attack or stroke.
Although all fruits and vegetables likely contributed to this benefit, green leafy vegetables, such as lettuce, spinach, Swiss chard, and mustard greens, were most strongly associated with decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.
What's perfect is to fill half your plate with vegetables at all main meals. That may not sound very scientific, but it is a whole lot better than worrying about the details.
Add in variety and a couple of pieces of fresh fruit, and you will start to feel the difference. That's all I do - I pay attention to mixing the colours, eating 5 or so serves daily, and eating some fruit.
How you do that starts with shopping! Typically, in this kind of article, we jump into the health benefits, and what should go onto the plate.
Not in this case! Let's start at the shop.
And add some fenugreek seeds ...
Is coffee good for you? It could be, in moderation.
Coffee has had a hot-and-cold reputation when it comes to health benefits. Not long ago, I was learning about the dangers of coffee: how it could raise your blood pressure, make your heart race, impair sleep, and maybe even cause bladder and pancreatic cancer.
Now, it seems that drinking two to five daily cups of coffee may protect against heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
But too much can cause problems like anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia.
And if you like Japanese food ...
Our body needs vitamin K to produce prothrombin, a protein and clotting factor that is important in blood clotting and bone metabolism, and for regulating blood calcium levels. That is how we usually pigeonhole vitamin K.
However, vitamin K's health benefits have been recently shown  to extend beyond blood and bone health and to benefit chronic low-grade inflammatory diseases such as cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis, dementia, cognitive impairment, mobility disability, and frailty.
There is also interesting, though not definitive, evidence of a direct correlation between vitamin K levels and cognitive performance. Four human studies reported an association of low vitamin K intake or low blood concentrations of vitamin K with cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's Disease.
My ophthalmologist and I don't see eye-to-eye on this
I have cataracts in both eyes, and as they have grown worse, I notice a touch of imbalance has come into my life.
I asked my GP if there was any association between the two. He said no. I asked my ophthalmologist also. He said no.
I say yes.
Science says they improve our sleep quality!
Ever flipped your pillow to the cool side? I have.
There's a reason we do it, and that's the reason that cooling pillows work. Not that I knew any of this until last week.
Our body lets us sleep best when the ambient temperature is about 16 to 18 degrees Celsius. A fall in body temperature due to circadian rhythms causes drowsiness and increases our propensity to want to go to sleep in the evening.
If we feel hotter, our sleep is disturbed, and we flip the pillow to seek cooling.
It was only one week ago that I discovered that such a thing as a cooling pillow existed. I was surprised, especially since I was not reading advertising but a research report. I had no inkling that such a thing existed (beyond marketing).
A little imagination helps ...
I trail run with injury-free at the top-of-mind, but I also enjoy challenging myself along the way. If I see someone 200m ahead, then it becomes my challenge to calculate a passing move.
That takes stamina.
You want to run at tempo pace to close the gap, pass strongly enough to discourage tailgating, and then settle back into a pace that keeps you moving ahead. What you don't want is to pass and then blow-up. This is where stamina comes in to play.
Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building fitness training which lowers my age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter