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Ideas that Move You

Welcome to Ideas that Move You, a selection of current articles on active living brought to you by McGill University’s Bloomberg Manulife Prize for the Promotion of Active Health. Like the Prize, which rewards groundbreaking research and discovery that encourages healthy living, we are here to bring you the latest news about innovative practices and ideas from around the world that we hope will inspire and empower you to lead a more active, healthier life.

1. Say It Isn't So-da

Expert nutritionist Dr. Walter Willett, winner of the 2013 Bloomberg Manulife Prize, offers his advice on how to stay hydrated in the warmer months without falling prey to unhealthy thirst-quenchers.

Sugary drinks are the worst offenders in the fight against obesity, and recently, new data from a study on youth proves soda consumption increases the odds of obesity more than any other foods. Dr. Willett reflects on this study, and offers his personal healthy alternatives. Read more >>

2. Bouncing Back from Spring Allergies

Exercising outdoors is good for the body – and the spirit. Don’t use allergy symptoms as an excuse to miss out on enjoying spring weather to its fullest, as sneeze-free as possible.

“Now the sun is higher in the sky, you’re craving exercise, and all of a sudden, your spring allergies hit,” says Lisa Lynn, a New York-based fitness trainer. What to do? This U.S. News and World Report article provides practical tips on how to reap the benefits of exercise while avoiding the worst of spring allergies. Read more >>

3. A Healthy Profit Margin

Companies like Google, Microsoft, Zappo and Nike have edged out the competition in many ways, including “healthy” ways, which makes their workplace wellness programs win/win initiatives.

Making a solid case for the profitability of wellness programs in corporations, this Huffington Post article explores the question: “If you could increase your profits by improving the health and happiness of your employees and organization would you?” Read more >>

4. And the Winner Is…

With so many diets – low carb, low fat, Mediterranean, Paleolithic, vegan and the list goes on – what is the medical evidence for (and against) different diets? Is one diet superior to all others in terms of health outcomes?

The Atlantic provides an overview of a Yale University study comparing all the mainstream diets, and the results conclude that while no single diet is a winner, there are common elements that can be understood as beneficial to health. As it turns out, “real food” is the real winner. Read more >>

5. Grocery List Gurus

Save that grocery list! Data collected from grocery stores can help inform new programs and policies aimed at health intervention initiatives, and encourage healthy food purchasing choices.

What you ring up at your grocery store checkout is watched closely by marketers who are interested in consumer choices, but for the first time, McGill University researchers are using that same information with a goal of promoting good health. Read more >>

6. Culture of Health, 2014

‘Culture of Health’ is a hub on LinkedIn that catalogues emerging practices and initiatives across the United States by businesses, communities and organizations that are creating programs to tackle some of the most pressing health issues.

The U.S. spends $2.7 trillion a year on healthcare, and yet health remains a persistent problem. 'Culture of Health' looks to create opportunities to pursue the healthiest lives possible, wherever we live, work, learn, and play - to create a healthier nation.

7. The Health-Wealth Effect

Obesity is an economic problem, plain and simple, according to an article in The Atlantic by Derek Thompson.

For many years, researchers have called the phenomenon the "health-wealth" effect: Wealthier people tend to be healthier people. Less-developed countries have lower obesity, but in richer countries, there tends to be an inverse relationship between waistlines and bank accounts. Read more >>

8. Park It!

This animated video enlightens us with eight cool facts about parks and how they improve our health (video produced by the Trust for Public Land).

Healthy lifestyles often include regular time spent at parks, playgrounds, and trails. For instance, the more parks there are in a community, the more people exercise - and they also report better mental health, whether or not they actually exercise there. Watch the video >>

9. Work-Life Balance

Jen Luckwaldt, writing for PayScale News, explains that if we are looking for another reason to keep those New Year's resolutions to get moving, look no further: Recent research suggests that working out helps employees balance the demands of work and their family life.

According to the study, respondents who reported regular exercise were less likely to experience conflict between their work and home roles because they benefit from stress relief and improved levels of self-efficacy. Read more >>

10. The Surprising Benefits of Getting Fit

Did you know that exercise play a role in the way our genes get expressed in our bodies? Or that staying active revitalizes the largest organ in your body, your skin? The Huffington Post offers a information-packed inforgraphic and related videos on the surprising benefits of getting fit.

Another surprising benefit: Getting active may have health benefits all the way up to your eyes. According to a recent paper published in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, regular exercise may be linked to a lowered risk of developing glaucoma. View infographic >>