Listen to the podcast version of this post

Athletes — recreational or professional — are always looking for ways to gain an edge.

Recovery technology, nutritional supplements, and training devices have all been developed to help athletes get more out of their body and their training regimen. Even those who exercise for general health can still benefit from many “performance-enhancing” devices and products.

But when it comes to improving performance, sometimes the simplest strategies can be the most effective. For a long time, we have known that heat therapy can be beneficial for health — regular sauna use or hot-water…


If you enjoy the content of this blog, please consider showing your support by making a donation.

There is an ongoing debate as to whether one can exercise “too much.” A moderate to high amount of aerobic and strength training is fantastic for our body — improving cardiovascular health, body composition, and metabolic and mitochondrial function, to name a few of the myriad effects of exercise.

While I’m in the camp that in general, more exercise will lead to more positive health benefits, there is no denying that somewhere, a point exists where a plateau occurs or perhaps a point…


I want to begin by first extending a major thank you to listeners of the Science & Chill podcast. If you listened to even ONE episode — heck, even just 10 minutes of one episode — I am extremely grateful that you lent your ears. I hope that you took something away from your listening experience, whether it be new knowledge on a particular topic, exposure to a guest whose research or work you now follow, or a tiny bit of information that changed your health or mindset for the better. That’s the goal of the podcast, after all.

An…


Vascular impairments are the cause of many modern-day ailments. Heart disease, atherosclerosis, cognitive decline, stroke — all can be tied in some way to a reduced ability of blood vessels to carry blood and oxygen throughout the body. In general, this is referred to as endothelial dysfunction (the endothelium is the inner layer of our blood vessels that regulates the ability to relax, or vasodilate).

Another vascular disease where endothelial dysfunction is prominent is called peripheral artery disease, or PAD. PAD is characterized by the buildup of plaque in leg arteries and a narrowing of the blood vessels, which reduces…


“We must make haste then, not only because we are daily nearer to death, but also because the conception of things and the understanding of them cease first.”

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

If someone gave you a pill to live forever — would you take it?

Perhaps not. Many people scoff at the concept of physical (or even metaphysical) immorality; citing either biological implausibility or a fear of “growing bored with living” as reasons they’d like to someday shed their mortal coil.

Regardless of one’s stance on eternal existence, most people, if given the option, would at least take the…


We grow old — at least biologically — due to a combination of environmental, lifestyle, and genetic factors. Father time takes a toll on our organs and tissues at a cellular level, leading to our progressive “decline.” Apologies for starting off on such a depressing note…

Many of these age-related changes occur to our cardiovascular system, with the primary two being the stiffening of our arteries and a loss of blood vessel function — our arteries lose their relaxation capacity, and this sets the stage for atherosclerosis.

There are many potential “causes” of cardiovascular aging, and one pathway gaining recent…


Of all the beverages consumed throughout the world, coffee, tea, and soda probably make up a large proportion (other than water and alcohol).

Among athletes, gamers, college students, and (mostly) younger boys/men, energy drinks are also a popular beverage. In fact, between 2003 and 2016, energy drink consumption grew considerably among adolescent, young, and middle-aged adults in the U.S.

There have been several published position statements debating the relative benefits and harms of energy drinks. …


At this point, suggesting that sleep is important for cardiovascular health, and a lack of sleep detrimental to it, seems like beating a dead horse (sorry PETA).

Not getting ENOUGH sleep — having a short sleep duration — is associated with metabolic, neurological, and cardiovascular dysfunction.

In addition to duration, poor sleep habits and “shift work” are also associated with a greater risk for a variety of diseases.

The way in which poor sleep habits influence disease risk probably involves disruption of our circadian rhythms. …


Sleep is important for good health…and so is exercise. A new study investigated how these two lifestyle factors might interact.

Studies (many in rodents) have shown that sleep deprivation (some have gone up to 72 hours) increases processes in the muscle that are responsible for protein breakdown (termed catabolic) and muscle atrophy (loss of muscle mass).

This seems intuitive, since sleep is also known to be a time of repair and regeneration for our muscles. It’s very likely that muscle protein synthesis (MPS) increases during sleep. …


What is the single biggest risk factor for cardiovascular disease?

Elevated blood pressure? Obesity? High cholesterol?

Nope. Age.

That’s right. Age is the single biggest risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease — the older we get, the greater our risk.

Why does the passage of time confer such a drastic risk on our cardiovascular health? This has to do largely with one single process — the stiffening of our arteries, in particular, our aorta — the largest artery in the body with the most important functions. The aorta is the main valve through which blood is distributed from the heart…

Brady Holmer

PhD candidate at the University of Florida — Science writing with a particular focus on exercise and nutrition interventions, aging, health, and disease.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store