Fortnightly Medical News Round-Up

This week’s medical news round-up is all about the human brain, perhaps the most mysterious, complex, and fascinating part of what makes homo sapiens, homo sapiens.

Leonardo da Vinci had ADHD?

Mona Lisa painting

A professor from the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London argues that the great artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci likely had ADHD. This would explain why da Vinci couldn’t finish many of his works.

According to the paper’s author, Professor Catani, da Vinci was said to be a procrastinator since his childhood. He shared many other characteristics of the condition, such as working day and night interspersed with short cycles of sleep, jumping from task to task, and being left-handed and possibly dyslexia.

So even though having a kid with ADHD can be frustrating when you can’t get them to finish their homework, remember that ADHD doesn’t mean a low IQ or less success!

Science could change the way you see your memories.

Collection of Gray Scale Photos

What if science could alter your relationship with a painful memory? Scientists have discovered that by stimulating memory cells in the top area of the hippocampus, negative emotions associated with traumatic memories can be lessened. Meanwhile, stimulating memory cells at the bottom of the hippocampus can make bad memories even worse.

This study was done on mice which, though similar to humans in many ways, are still very much a very different species. So we have a long way to go until we can, well, control other people’s memories. However, this is an important finding for those who suffer from mental disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Treat your gut to treat anxiety.

person in red jacket making heart illustration

A review of studies published in the scientific journal General Psychiatry suggests that patients with anxiety symptoms may find relief by regulating gut organisms with probiotics and non-probiotic supplements and food.

Scientists found that out of the 21 studies they reviewed, 11 showed that regulating intestinal microorganisms had a positive effect on anxiety symptoms. However, other studies suggested this doesn’t work.

Non-probiotic interventions, such as adjusting diet rather than taking a probiotics supplement, were more effective. The scientists involved think this is the case because diet changes have a larger impact on gut bacteria.

It’s true; augmented reality (AR) influences how we behave.

woman wearing black VR goggles

Halfway between total fiction and reality, augmented reality (AR) is when computer-generated content is “layered” on top of the real, existing environment. Scientists have found that after people were exposed to AR, their way of interacting with the real, physical environment changed even after removing the AR device.

For example, subjects performed more poorly on tasks when they had an avatar watching them in the augmented reality. Furthermore, a vast majority of subjects chose to sit in a seat next to the avatar when they took off their device, as opposed to sitting in the seat the avatar once sat.

More than a Pokemon-catching game, AR has great potential for practical use in our hyper-connected world. For example, the research leader suggested AR could be used to hold meaningful meetings between professionals on different sides of the planet, which is a lot more environmentally-friendly (as well as convenient)!

Being a dog person is coded into your genes!

Close-Up Photo of Woman Kissing A Dog

Are you a dog person or a cat person (or a hamster or fish person)? If you’re a doggo fan, this may be coded into your genes!

Scientists found that identical twins were more likely to both own a dog or not own a dog when compared to non-identical twins. This suggests that the propensity to own a dog has a genetic component.

Many studies have claimed positive health effects from owning a dog, but the finding that some people have a more genetic propensity towards owning a dog may someday partly explain the positive impact of dogs on human health.

Fortnightly Medical News Round-Up: Scientific Proof You’re Actually Super Tired, Less Invasive HPV Testing, and More

Another fortnight, another round of exciting medical news. Here are some hand-picked highlights from the last two weeks.

We may soon be able to diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome using a blood test.

People tired of being told they’re not tired, who are tired of being tired, may soon have tangible scientific proof of their condition.

Scientists used an electrical current to test immune cells and plasma in blood samples. When the blood samples were stimulated with stress using salt, the electrical current was also affected. Larger changes in the current indicated stressed cells, which was a distinguishing feature in the chronic fatigue patients. The study tested 40 subjects — 20 with chronic fatigue syndrome and 20 without — and accurately flagged all 20 subjects with the condition without flagging the other 20.

People who complain of chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms are often stigmatized by both peers and medical professionals. Doctors may dismiss their concerns as merely imaginary if their bloodwork comes back otherwise normal. Hopefully, new testing methods can soon reduce this stigma. It may even open doors for research into a chronic fatigue-battling drug.

Urine testing may be as effective as pap smears for cervical screenings.

Pap smears aren’t fun, and many women fail to get the necessary screenings done because of the discomfort and embarrassment involved. This is a concern for doctors because the precancerous stage of cervical cancer can be detected as many as five to 10 years before the cancerous stage, allowing for earlier treatment.

Fortunately, UK scientists have found that urine testing may be just as effective as cervical smears to detect high-risk HPV, the virus responsible for causing cervical cancer. The scientists hope that the availability of urine testing may allow more women to participate in regular cervical screening.

Getting screened for HPV regularly is an important part of women’s healthcare. Soon, you may soon be spared the stirrups and the speculum and be able to get a diagnosis in a painless, private way instead.

Morning calisthenics can improve brain power in older adults the rest of the day.

If you’ve ever wondered why your grandparents like to wake up at the break of dawn and do tai chi or go for a brisk walk in the dark, this peculiar habit of theirs may be helping them keep their brains sharp.

A study led by the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute and The University of Western Australia found that in older Australians, moderate intensity exercise in the morning improves decision-making throughout the day when compared with prolonged sitting. They also discovered that frequent, light walking breaks throughout an eight-hour day of sitting can improve memory when compared to sitting without breaks.

The study also found that levels of brain-derived neurotropic growth factor were elevated for eight hours in the subjects that exercised. This protein is important to the survival and growth of neurons that transmit information in the brain.

Obesity and emotional issues may develop as early as age seven.

Adults who assume children lead stress-free lives may need to listen to their kids more carefully. Presented at the European Congress on Obesity (taking place April 28 to May 1), a study found that children who were obese at age seven were at higher risk of emotional issues at age 11, which then predicted a higher body mass index at age 14.

The study was quite comprehensive, using data from 17,215 children born in the UK participating in the Millennium Cohort Study. The researchers adjusted for factors like gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status, but they did admit that the study has certain flaws, such as basing data on parental reporting, not the child’s own reporting.

Stay tuned for more health and wellness news!

The title "Fortnightly Medical News Round-Up: Serving Up Food for Thought" is overtop a table covered in breakfast foods and a newspaper.

Fortnightly Medical News Round-Up: Serving Up Food for Thought

Hungry to learn more about the latest medical news?

Then, join me as I tuck into some of the most recent juicy details.

A plant-based diet may help you fight against gingivitis.

Vibrant, veiny green leaves from a cabbage are in full view.

Ever wanted to keep your teeth nice and healthy? Well, recent research indicates that you might be able to do just that by changing your diet!

This research comes directly from a randomized trial published by the Journal of Clinical Periodontology. During the four-week trial, researchers took 30 participants and split them into two groups. One group kept their original diet. And the other group changed their diet to one low in processed carbohydrates and animal proteins, but rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, vitamin D, antioxidants, plant nitrates (i.e., plant chemicals), and fibres. Both groups were subjected to interdental cleaning, and at the end of the trial, researchers discovered that the group with the changed diet were able to significantly reduce gingivitis.

So, consider taking on a similar diet! Your teeth might thank you.

For more information about the studied plant-based diet, click here.

Breast milk could impact how childhood obesity is handled.

A baby in a bear-head-shaped hat is holding on to their mother's shoulder.

If you’re a mother to a newborn baby, you’re probably more interested in protecting the weight and diet of your child.

Well, science has something for you too. From The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a study was recently published on breastfeeding children. The study focused on differences between mothers under 25 kg/m2 who were breastfeeding and mothers who were breastfeeding while over 25 kg/m2. And researchers soon discovered mothers with obesity who breastfed their children were providing those children with different metabolism substances that may make the children more prone to childhood obesity.

While this study only shows the possibility of a connection between breastfeeding and childhood obesity, it could be an important one to be aware of as you care for your baby. But before you take any extreme measures, talk with your doctor. They’ll have a better idea if there is a great risk to you and your baby.

You can also take the time to learn a bit more about breastfeeding and childhood obesity by clicking here to read directly from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’s study.

Eggs are the breakfast of champions for diabetics.

Several eggs are on a tray frying over a fire next to some frying bacon.

Another study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition indicates that eggs might actually benefit people who have type 2 diabetes. More specifically, research from the study shows that if type 2 diabetics eat a breakfast high in fat and low in carbohydrates, they seem to have better control over their blood sugar levels for the rest of the day.

Luckily, eggs fit the bill for a high-fat, low-carb meal. So, if you happen to have type 2 diabetes, consider making your morning meal more eggcellent.

To learn more about the impact of such a meal, take a look at the study’s summary here.

Seasoning your food with salt may be unhealthy, but you might still be able to keep the taste.

A salt shaker is in the foreground against the background of a dining place.

If you’re looking for a way to season your breakfast, afternoon, or dinner meals, salt might be one item you think about. More specifically, you probably think of the most common blend of salt: sodium chloride. While it certainly can create a savory flavor, consuming too much sodium chloride can be problematic. If enough excess sodium chloride is consumed, you can end up stiffening your blood vessels, which can eventually lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes.

But science is here to offer a solution!

As part of a study in the Journal of Food Science, researchers looked at different salt blends to see how they could keep the salty flavor while lowering the amount of sodium chloride. So far, the most optimal blend of salt that they found consisted of 96.4% sodium chloride, 1.6% potassium chloride, and 2% calcium chloride. But they may very well find an even better blend at some point in the future.

So, look forward to new and improved salt with the same flavor, but with less of a negative impact on your health!

Take a look at more of the salty details here.

Fortnightly Medical News Round-Up: Newfound Scientific Advantages

From Skrillex ruining the days and nights for mosquitoes to birth control you can wear on your ears, plenty of exciting stuff has been happening in the medical world lately. Let’s check out some stories.

Electronic music repels mosquitoes.

brown mosquito

Remember this one for your summer camping trip! According to one study, it turns out that blasting electronic music — in this particular study, Skrillex’s “Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites” — reduced feeding behavior in the female Aedes aegypti mosquito. The study also noted that adult mosquitoes kept in an environment with music copulated less.

Why does music like that of Skrillex affect mosquitoes? Well, it appears that sound disrupts the low-frequency vibrations insects use to communicate with each other. This is an exciting finding, given how most of us vehemently hate getting bit by mosquitoes. It’s also exciting that the particular species studied, Aedes aegypti, carries the dengue virus. This virus can cause dengue fever in humans, a flu-like illness with no known treatment. So playing Skrillex could be a literal life-saver.

For more information, take a look at the original abstract here.

Midnight toilet trips are linked to hypertension.

Do you frequently get up in the middle of the night to visit the bathroom? If so, you might want to get your blood pressure checked out.

Scientists in Japan, a country with a relatively high salt intake, have found a link between nocturia — the need to urinate at night — and high blood pressure. However, the researchers did note that although getting up to urinate at night meant subjects had a 40% higher chance of having hypertension, it didn’t mean there was a causal effect between the two. But it’s good to know that previous studies have associated high salt intake with nocturia. So if you have been dealing with frequent midnight toilet trips, you may want to consider cutting down on the ramen noodles.

You can check out the original press release for this news here.

High-tech pajamas could help you sleep better.

Toddler Sleeping While Sucking Pacifier

When was the last time you had a good night’s sleep? Like most people in the helter-skelter modern world, you probably don’t get enough quality sleep. Well, a new technology aims to help you change that.

The Phyjama contains textile patches of sensors that can monitor a sleeper’s heartbeat, breathing, and sleep position. This data can give both ordinary sleepy Joes and medical professionals valuable, unobtrusive insight into sleeping habits. The team of inventors estimates that the Phyjama can be available to buy within two years. And it’s not super expensive either; it could cost between $100 and $200.

See the original press release about this exciting new product here. This research will be presented at the American Chemical Society meeting.

The future could soon include fashionable, wearable birth control.

Woman in Silver Framed Eyeglasses and Red Top

You may soon be able to go out stylish and safe thanks to wearable birth control. Scientists are testing a transdermal patch that can be attached to earrings and worn by women. This patch can be attached to the backs of jewelry pieces like earrings where it will then release the contraceptive through the skin.

Transdermal patches for other medical purposes have been around for some time, but they have never been incorporated into jewelry. Scientists are hoping that by doing so, contraception would be more appealing and discreet for women. This technology may also be useful in areas where long-term birth control devices like implants and IUDs are harder to access.

Learn more about this product here.

The future might also even let you grow babies from outside your body!

white land animal

If you’re wondering if we can grow babies outside our bodies and save on some labor pains, we’re not there just yet. But scientists are a step closer now. As a result, we are better able to support extremely premature babies on the border of viability (i.e., 21–24 weeks). Scientists have even been able to create an artificial womb that has successfully maintained preterm lamb fetuses at an age equivalent to 24 weeks of human gestation.

This technology is being hailed as a four-minute mile break in the field, and you can learn more about it here.

The Dog Who Saved Alaska

During a diphtheria outbreak in 1925, teams of sled dogs saved lives by transporting life-saving serum through harsh arctic conditions to Nome, Alaska. The most famous of these dogs was a husky named Balto.

A Frozen Town

Imagine living in a remote town landlocked by ice, in a time where communication was limited to the radio telegraph and the nearest train was more than 600 miles away. In this town, where temperatures dropped way below freezing, your most reliable form of transportation was a sled pulled by dogs.

This was life in Nome, Alaska in 1925. To add to the harsh, unforgiving climate, the small town’s only doctor had just diagnosed diphtheria in a patient. A highly contagious disease, diphtheria would be especially dangerous to the local Inuit who had only recently recovered from a measles outbreak. Fortunately, effective treatment existed in a life-saving serum. Unfortunately, this serum was a thousand miles away in Seattle.

An Extremely Contagious Killer

Diphtheria is a bacterial infection spread through respiratory fluids like coughing and sneezing. The bacteria that cause diphtheria emit a toxin that causes weakness, fever, sore throat, swollen glands around the neck, and destroys respiratory tissue. This dead tissue then forms a thick, grey pseudomembrane that blocks airways, making swallowing and breathing painful and difficult. If the toxin enters the bloodstream, it will also cause serious damage to the heart, kidneys, and nerves. Other complications include nerve damage, paralysis, and pneumonia. About 10% of victims will die.

Today, diphtheria is prevented by vaccination and is now rare in countries with sophisticated healthcare systems like the USA. However, this was not always the case. In 1925 Nome, diphtheria quickly spread among its residents, who were likely living in very close quarters to stay away from the cold.

A Dog Breed with Exceptional Prowess

The Siberian Husky is not your average dog breed. Developed thousands of years ago by the Chukchi people of Siberia, they had been used for transportation and companionship for generations, and were highly respected in Chukchi culture for their hardiness. The breed remains beloved today.

Huskies are unique in that they can run seemingly forever. In fact, in terms of distance running, huskies will outrun every other animal. (Interestingly, humans are in second place, thanks to our unique ability to sweat). Unlike most mammals, huskies can change their metabolism to burn fat and protein without glycogen. This allows them to run for extremely long periods, and they express similar vitals when they finish a journey. They also don’t require extensive downtime to recover.

A Town Saved

The closest train station to Nome was in the town of Nenana. Between Nenana and Nome was 674 miles of treacherous terrain. The two towns were connected by the Iditarod Trail, which becomes the only route of transport during the winter season. If you needed to a package to be delivered from Nenana to Iditarod, it would take approximately a month. The package would be passed from dog sled team to dog sled team in an unbroken relay until it got to you. In 1925, the package that required delivery was the life-saving diphtheria serum, and it was transported to Nenana in a mere 6 days. This meant dog sled teams traveled, on average, 6-9 miles an hour.

Leonard Seppala and his lead dog Togo were responsible for perhaps the most dangerous leg of the race. Today, their contribution remains overshadowed by Balto’s. Unlike Balto, Togo was a more experienced sled dog and was able to safely lead his team across the frozen ice of Norton Sound just three hours before it broke.

Musher Gunnar Kaasen and his team, led by Balto, completed the last, critical leg of this relay. At the time, Balto was an inexperienced team leader, and if Kaasen had anticipated the stormy journey they were about to embark upon, he may not have chosen him as lead dog. However, Balto quickly proved his worth. The team endured vicious attacks from Mother Nature; at one point, Balto refused to go forward, saving the team from freezing in the Topkok River. At another point in the journey, the sled and team were lifted off the ground by an extremely powerful gust of wind.

Balto’s team had originally been assigned the second-to-last leg of the relay, but when they arrived at their destination, the next musher was sound asleep. So, they decided to mush the rest of the way to Nome, making the length of their journey total to around 53 miles.

Aftermath

The dogs were lauded as heroes around the world. Unfortunately, after a series of disputed financial dealings between Kaasen and filmmaker Sol Lesser, who produced a documentary with the sled dogs, Kaasen had no choice but to tour a vaudeville circuit with his dogs to make ends meet. Two years later, Balto was found in inhumane conditions at a “dime” museum by a businessman named George Kimble. Kimble, who had sympathized with the dogs’ heroic story, was rightfully outraged. To buy and rescue the dogs, he had two weeks to come up with $2000, a lot of money at the time.

Thanks to fervent advertising, the money was quickly raised by donors touched by Balto’s story. Kimble was able to bring Balto and six other dogs back to Cleveland, where they lived the rest of their retirement in better conditions at the Brookside Zoo.

Balto died in 1933, aged 14. His body was taxidermied and remains displayed today at the Cleveland Museum of National History. A statue of Balto was erected in Central Park in New York City to honor the serum run, with Balto himself present for the unveiling.

The heroic story of Balto and the “Great Race of Mercy” remains an inspiring tale of cooperation between humans and dogs. Today, “The Iditarod” is a race of over a thousand miles between Anchorage and Nome, undertaken by enthusiast mushers and their dogs. To learn more about Balto, you can refer to the Cleveland Museum of National History brochure here.

6 Physical Features Unique to Homo Sapiens

As humans, we tend to think of our bodies as being less capable than many others in the animal kingdom. We can’t run as fast as most animals, nor can we track prey by scent or fly. Yet, we human beings actually have a number of physical features that are unique to us. At times, these features even enable us to out-cool our fellow animal brethren.

  1. Superior vision

While many other animals have color vision, many others do not. Our cats and dogs have very limited color vision compared to us. Scientists believe humans and other primates developed color vision as a means to discern ripe fruit in forest habitats. We also use the color of our faces to express ourselves to others, blushing when we’re shy and going pale with fright. It’s true that our vision is superior to many animals. After all, vision plays a large role in reading, writing, and art – forms of communication not found in any other animal – as well as deciphering intricate facial expressions.

Still, many animals have us beat when it comes to vision. Animals like reptiles and insects can see infrared and ultraviolet light.

2. Sweat and long distance running

Did you know you can outrun a horse? That’s right! Humans are one of few animals that can run continuously for long distances. This is perhaps due to our unique ability to sweat, a mechanism that lets us cool off while we run. Other animals don’t sweat or sweat differently, so although they may outrun us at the beginning of a race, they cannot maintain a constant speed.

Scientists posit that our long distance running ability may have helped our ancestors tire out prey in the savannah. However, our running prowess is no match for huskies, which can change the way they burn fat and run long distances seemingly without pain.

3. Menstrual cycle

The menstrual cycle womb-bearing humans are familiar with is strangely absent from most mammals with the exception of primates. Your dog or cat has something called an estrous cycle. When an animal is in estrous, it is referred to as being in heat. These animals will only copulate during time periods when they are in heat, and most can reabsorb their endometrium (lining of the uterus) if fertilization does not occur. Humans, on the other hand, shed their endometrium, a process those of us with periods every month are familiar with. We also don’t go into heat, allowing us to get it on all year round.

4. Dextrous hands

Many primates have opposable thumbs just like us, but humans are unique in that we can bring our thumbs all the way across our hand to touch our ring and pinky fingers. This gives us exceptional dexterity. So, while monkeys and apes can pluck fruit from trees with ease, we humans are capable of far more intricate handiwork. This has allowed us to weave cloth, write down information, and construct intricate pieces of technology.

5. Musicality

It is no coincidence that music exists in every human civilization. From the grand orchestras of Europe to the percussive complexities of Africa, nearly everyone finds comfort, community, celebration, and more in music.

Humans are unique in that we can process melody, harmony, and rhythm simultaneously. A few animals have shown signs that they can too, but only anecdotally. We humans also use our vocal cords in unique and complex ways, singing songs and pronouncing words.

6. Bipedalism

It’s no surprise that few animals walk on two legs the way we do. While two legs are slower than four, scientists believed our two-legged habit gave us unprecedented evolutionary advantages. For example, when our ancestors left the forest for the savannah, having two legs allowed them to stand up and look over tall grass. Bipedalism also allowed us to free our hands to grasp tools and carry things. It has even been posited that bipedalism helped us thermoregulate more efficiently.

Our traits allow us to adopt a unique niche

Humans may seem clumsy and slow next to, say, a graceful antelope or even a prowling housecat, but we have specialized traits that have allowed us to excel in our unique niche. With our ability to manipulate tools, communicate through complex means, and of course our brainpower, humans have successfully dominated the planet. However, we’re still far from being the most successful; earthworms, algae, and bacteria have been here a lot longer than us and take that honor. At least for now.

How to Exercise (for Lazy People)

Do you hate exercising?

Did you hate gym class as a kid? Do you dread being sweaty and hot? Do you loathe all the exercise advice you get from your friends, the internet, and that over-achieving guy at the gym who’s convinced all your life’s problems will be solved if you “just lift, bro”?

People who give advice about fitness are usually people who love fitness. But gimmicks like “you just need to find a sport you enjoy!” and “once you get into it, you’ll love it!” don’t work on the chronically lazy. Moreover, not everyone has hours to kill and bucks to spend on a fancy gym membership or have a suitable place to jog in their neighbourhood.

Thankfully, there are cheats around this. What we need to understand is that no matter how much you hate it, exercise has a myriad of benefits. You may literally live longer. So here are a few tips to get some exercise into your day without sweating (too much).

1. Walk everywhere. And build walking into your day.

Many of us don’t want to exercise because we don’t want to carve out a portion of our day for it. It doesn’t count as waste, though, if you build exercise into your day.

For example, you need to get to work anyway, so why not build walking into your commute? If you transit, you can get off several stops earlier and walk the rest of the way. Live within 30 minutes of your workplace? Walk the whole damn way! And choose the stairs, not the elevator, when you get to the office.

2. Do tiny little workouts throughout the day.

You don’t have to slog through a 5km jog to reap the benefits of exercise. Doing a little thing here or there counts, and you may even end up expending more effort and energy into each 10-minute chunk than if you’d grinded through an hour-long run.

3. Watch your favourite show during a workout.

Admit it: exercising is painful. But you can mind-over-matter that by distracting yourself with a TV show. Just put on your favorite comedy or thriller while doing squats and push-ups. While studies suggest that entertainment during workouts may lower your rate of exertion, if you’re aiming to just get off the couch, it’s worth trying without missing the much-awaited season finale of your favorite binge. Just be careful not to injure yourself if you need to crane your neck to see the screen!

4. Hang outside with a friend

Instead of inviting your friend over to sit down on the couch and gossip with you, why not go on a walk and gossip instead? Much like the TV trick, when our brains are occupied by something interesting, we often forget about physical discomforts like aching legs and sweaty arms. If you live near a park or a trail, even better. More studies show health benefits of simply being in nature. In fact, there’s even an Association of Nature & Forest Therapy that trains people to guide others in nature for the therapeutic effect.

5. Get a DDR pad.

If you’re a fan of video games, you might want to invest in a Dance Dance Revolution pad. Garage Band isn’t bad too, especially if you bang on the drums. DDR, however, can really get your heartrate up. Loads of people, mostly gamers, have touted the benefits of the popular rhythm-based video game and its offshoots, such as StepMania.

6. Find an active activity you like.

Okay, I know I said in the beginning that for many of us, this is worthless advice, but have you really explored all your options? Have you tried…

  • Birdwatching?
  • Skimboarding?
  • Cricket?
  • Archery?
  • Darts?
  • Rock climbing?
  • Horseback riding?
  • Roller derby?
  • Fencing?
  • Scuba diving?
  • Skateboarding?
  • Ultimate frisbee?
  • Capture the Flag?
  • Laser tag?
  • Tai Chi?
  • Juggling?
  • Curling?
  • Paintball?
  • Quidditch?
  • Dining table table tennis?
  • Skipping stones?
  • Jumping up and down on a trampoline?
  • Running around screaming?

(Okay, avoid the last one).

Yes, some of these sports are more expensive and less accessible than others. Some of them will also require you to join a team. But there’s a reason why weird sports like Quidditch exist – they have a following, people think they’re fun, and who knows, you might agree!

Now, while these are all great ways to get you moving, you probably shouldn’t rely on walking the dog as your main workout. It’s still important to do the odd hike, jog, or swim. But if you’re struggling just to motivate yourself off the couch, every little thing counts.