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How was your weekend running?

Jul 2nd, 2017 by

Too hot for racing for me, but plenty of others out there proving me wrong .. as always, share your running heroics and bemoan those nasty niggles below the line

Well, that was a bit warm, no? While many of you in warmer climes are used to such things, temperatures of over 30 celsius (87 Farenheit, for any Americans) in London are not a frequent occurence. Last time I ran a race in anything like that heat, I was in Barbados, and jumped pretty much straight from the finish line into the sea.

Having jogged a whole two miles, mostly downhill, to the start of yesterday’s Ranelagh Harriers Richmond 10km and still been more sweaty than if I’d done it in a sauna, I made the call that it was not a day for racing. Not that I’m on ‘racing form’ at the moment anyway, but in that heat it just felt like lunacy. Instead I decided to run it as a tempo effort. Judging by how many people I overtook on the second half (running at dead even effort) it was a sensible decision. Then again, the heat didn’t stop our own BTL regular David from nipping in under 36 minutes. Mega kudos and a bucket of ice for that man.

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Can you guess the city from its bike lane maps?

Jul 2nd, 2017 by

The web and app company Bike Citizens has trawled its database of cycle infrastructure to create these ‘naked’ cycle maps. Blue lines = protected bike lanes; grey lines = painted lanes. Can you identify the cities?

All images by Bike Citizens

Venice

Amsterdam

Birmingham

Barcelona

Lisbon

Chicago

Rome

London

Mexico City

Berlin

Rotterdam

Vienna

Boston

Miami

Chicago

Copenhagen

Edinburgh

Toronto

Oslo

Los Angeles

Cardiff

New York

York

Yokohama

Brussels

Manchester

Paris

Portland

Vancouver

Sao Paulo

San Francisco

St Petersburg

St Albans

Sydney

Florence

Basel

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What all urban planners should be asked: would you let your child cycle here?

Jul 2nd, 2017 by

For generations, Danish urban planners have made it a priority for children to be able to ride to school alone. The result is not just more social, cheerful, healthy children – but more social, cheerful, healthy adults

“I love to cycle. I’ve got no clue why,” says Emilie, a six-year-old Danish girl. She is with her friend Vilja, who’s the same age. “When I cycle, I can go to new places faster,” she says in a recent Danish campaign for cycling.

Even though it’s almost half a century ago, I would have said exactly the same at that age. When I was a child, my bicycle gave me freedom to move around with speed, ease and lightness. It gave me the feeling of being independent from my parents, as I did not need to ask them to drive me to my friends’ place or to school. I could just jump on my bike, and off I went. My childhood wasn’t very different from that of most other Danish kids.

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Obese women more likely to have babies with serious birth defects, says study

Jul 2nd, 2017 by

Increased risk of health problems including heart defects, digestive anomalies and malformations of genitals or limbs revealed by major study

Women who are obese when they conceive are more likely to have a baby with serious birth defects, a major study has found.

The research revealed a sliding scale of risk for health problems including congenital heart defects, anomalies of the digestive system and malformations of genital organs or limbs.

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Testicular cancer: men most at risk could be identified using new gene group

Jul 2nd, 2017 by

Discovery of 19 new genes could allow doctors to spot the 1% of men most at risk of the cancer, allowing closer monitoring or preventative treatment

Researchers believe they can identify the 1% of men who are most at risk from testicular cancer after they discovered a new group of genes linked to the disease.

Screening men for the 19 new genes, along with 25 known already, would allow doctors to spot those who are 14 times more likely than usual to develop the cancer, the scientists said.

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Global study finds 75% of pregnant women don’t have healthy weight gain

Jul 2nd, 2017 by

Data from Asia, US and Europe finds 23% do not gain enough weight and more than 50% gain too much, increasing risk of premature birth and caesareans

A comprehensive new study has found 75% of women are not gaining a healthy recommended weight when pregnant.

Gaining too little or too much weight during pregnancy increased the risk of premature births or requiring caesareans, it said, and the prevalence of both obesity and excess gestational weight gain was increasing.

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Chloë Grace Moretz ‘appalled and angry’ over body-shaming poster

Jul 2nd, 2017 by

The billboard for the actor’s new animated film Red Shoes and the 7 Dwarfs has attracted criticism for its beauty standards message

Actor Chloë Grace Moretz has spoken out against a promotional poster for her new film Red Shoes and the 7 Dwarfs, which has been accused of body-shaming.

The poster for the South Korean film, an animated parody of the Snow White tale, was first brought to widespread attention by a New York Magazine journalist at the Cannes film festival last week. It features two versions of the film’s lead character, one tall and thin, the other shorter and wider. The accompanying text reads: “What if Snow White was no longer beautiful and the 7 Dwarfs not so short?”

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Teenagers’ sleep quality and mental health at risk over late-night mobile phone use

Jul 2nd, 2017 by

Researchers advise ‘physical boundaries’ over devices in bedrooms after study finds poor sleep associated with phone use linked to depressed moods

Teenagers’ late-night mobile phone use is harming their sleep and potentially their mental health, say researchers who advised that “physical boundaries” be set over use of such devices in the bedroom.

A longitudinal study of 1,101 Australian high school students aged between 13 and 16 found poor-quality sleep associated with late-night texting or calling was linked to a decline in mental health, such as depressed moods and declines in self-esteem and coping ability.

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Too many children being prescribed melatonin to aid sleep, experts warn

Jul 2nd, 2017 by

Some specialists concerned use of hormone has become a ‘fashionable treatment’ for parents who want ‘perfect children’

The hormone melatonin is being handed out too readily to children who are struggling to sleep, despite the fact little is known about the long-term risks of taking it, experts have warned.

Melatonin, a hormone the body produces naturally in reaction to darkness that helps prepare us for sleep, has been authorised for use among the over-55s, and has been hailed as a less-addictive alternative to drug treatments for insomnia.

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Bigger wine glasses make us drink too much, says researcher

Jul 2nd, 2017 by

Today’s glasses, 450ml compared with 65ml 300 years ago, encourage consumption, Cambridge scientist tells Hay festival

Wine glasses have increased in size from a capacity of 65ml 300 years ago to 450ml today and the change has encouraged us to drink far more than we should, according to a behavioural scientist speaking at the Hay festival.

Theresa Marteau, director of the behaviour and health research unit at Cambridge University, said her team had looked at 18th-century wine glasses at the Ashmolean museum in Oxford, 19th-century wine glasses owned by Buckingham Palace, and more recent glasses in John Lewis catalogues and the evidence was clear: they had got bigger.

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