Remember when you were a girl and you spent endless hours on the playground jumping rope? You probably got so good that you could jump with three or four of your friends at the same time and do tricks that amazed the kids in the neighborhood. Better yet, you didn’t think of it as exercise – it was play and just plain fun. You loved jumping rope and just thinking about it reminds you of your childhood.

Why not jump rope for exercise? Sure, you’re grown and haven’t been on the playground for years. Rope jumping is just as much fun as it was when you were 9 years old, and it’s good for you, too. It is an incredibly versatile form of exercise that builds endurance, burns calories, develops strength and power, and fortifies bones. You can do it almost anywhere – in the gym, at home, or on

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When I talk about weight training, cardio, and physical activity of any kind, I usually do it from the perspective of losing fat and building muscle.

Today, however, I’m going to do it from the perspective of overall health.

Specifically, I’m going to tell you how many steps to take per day and how much cardio to do per week if you want to optimize your health and maximize the benefits exercise provides.

That means I’m going to break up my recommendations into two categories:

  1. Daily steps.
    This is the total number of steps you take over the course of the day, regardless of the purpose or intensity of those steps. It would include everything from high intensity running to casually walking from your kitchen to the bathroom, and everything in between.
  2. “True cardio.”
    This is more in line with what most people consider “cardio” to be, in that
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Feel like you’re just going through the motions lately? Wish your days had a little more wonder … a little more magic and meaning in them? Hey, it’s been a CRAZY few years — I think we all feel that way. And, to help, we have a guest post from Minneapolis-based artist Liv Lane to help us all find a little wonder in the every day.

By Liv Lane

The return to work and workout routines still leaves something missing in the equation. Awe is essential to overall wellness, and after a couple years of testing our patience and endurance, it’s a great time to work the muscles responsible for appreciating the magic and meaning in our lives. A recent study by Lifeway Research shows 57 percent of Americans wonder at least once a month how they can find more meaning and purpose in their lives; a full fifth say

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[Originally published on December 1, 2020]

Last week, I wrote about the misrepresentation of mental health in a common graphic about the “mental health spectrum”. If only I had had time to read the Productivity Commission’s report into its inquiry on mental health. On page 10 is this image which provides a more accurate context for mental health in Australia.

Rather than discussing the neutral or tipping point as Dr Barton did in the previous article, the Productivity Commission (PC) limits the spectrum line to those citizens with Mild to Severe mental illness, omitting those who are “at risk”. That spectrum line is supplemented by images that illustrate the ratio of Mild to Severe, with additional images to contextualise mental illness with the Australian population.

Does this diminish the importance of strategies to reduce mental illness? No, but it provides a more accurate depiction of how mental illness fits

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