HEALTHY liv­ing

Here’s to a better life for all.



If you’re healthy, one piece of stan­dard ad­vice for get­ting even health­ier is to make sure you do at least 150 minutes of mod­er­ate aer­o­bic ac­tiv­ity a week. But what counts as mod­er­ate? It’s when your heart beats at 50–70% of the rate it can man­age, and that de­pends on your age. Work out your max: sub­tract your age from 220. So if you’re 50, don’t go above 170 beats a minute. Mod­er­ate ex­er­cise means your heart is thump­ing at 85 beats a minute, min­i­mum.

All a bit fid­dly faddly? The Mayo Clinic says that if you think you’re ex­ert­ing your­self, you ac­tu­ally are. But it also men­tions these phys­i­cal signs: your breath­ing quick­ens, but you’re not out of breath, and you get a lit­tle sweaty af­ter about 10 minutes. And this one, which seems a lit­tle im­prac­ti­cal: you can chat, but you can’t sing. Who’s go­ing to put that to the test at the gym?


Is it some­one’s fin­ger on the nu­clear but­ton? (Ac­tu­ally, there’s no but­ton; there’s a card called the bis­cuit, with the codes on it.) Is it cli­mate change? Is it an as­ter­oid strike? Robots gone rogue? Wa­ter scarcity? Food short­ages? Okay, let’s round off the gloom list with an equally gloomy pos­si­bil­ity: US mi­cro­bi­ol­o­gist Lance Price says su­per­bugs – bac­te­ria that have be­come re­sis­tant to an­tibi­otics – are right up there with the worst of them. ‘I rank it with cli­mate change; I def­i­nitely rank it way ahead of ter­ror­ism,’ he says. There is some­thing you can do about this one: don’t reach for an­tibi­otics un­nec­es­sar­ily.


We can tell whether some­one is rich or poor just by look­ing at their face, say psy­chol­ogy re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Toronto. But it has to be when their ex­pres­sion is neu­tral. Rather alarm­ingly for any hopes of so­cial equal­ity, they also found that we judge the ‘rich’ faces more likely to land a job. Keep smil­ing?

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