The walk sign is on

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3 min readApr 18, 2024

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🎂 It’s April 18th, which means happy birthday to Rick Moranis, Conan O’Brien, Kourtney Kardashian, America Ferrara, and many, many other people!
Today: A wrenching recollection, and advice on how to make requests that actually get heard
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Is there anything more miraculous in its simplicity and potential for changing your mood than the humble walk? There are myriad problems to which I find the most immediate solution always boils down to “stand up, you fool, and move your body through space.”

I’ve been thinking about how I can walk more and sit less — working from home makes this a challenge. A 2023 study looked at the best ways of combating the ill-effects of prolonged sitting, and concluded that “a five-minute light walk every half-hour was the only strategy that reduced blood sugar levels substantially compared with sitting all day.” I’m inspired by this piece from my coworker

about his ritual of a quick afternoon walk, and especially this tip: “Taking a short walk in the middle of a workday is a bit like taking mini-PTO: There’s never a perfect time to do it, which is why setting a time in advance helps.”

It turns out there are strange and beautiful mathematics behind the concept of a “random walk” from probability theory, which will make you appreciate them all the more. A theoretical walker in 1D or 2D will eventually return to their starting point, but in 3D, they’re more likely to wander off forever.

If you’re already a regular walker and want to take it up a notch, here’s a detailed account from a writer who added a weighted vest to her daily walks — in the end, she concludes, you’ll probably get more out of just walking faster if your goal is increased speed and stamina, but she ends with a rallying cry I can get on board with: “Walk more. Walk faster. Walk every day. It will change your life.”

What else we’re reading

  • This heartbreaking and beautiful piece of writing brought me up short when I first read it — “The Year Before” is a mother’s retelling of the year leading up to her son’s death, an overdose after a long struggle with addiction.
  • The role that egg consumption plays in a healthy diet is one of those hot-button nutrition issues where the prevailing advice seems to change from year to year and study to study. In “Should You Eat Eggs? Unscrambling the Advice,” Robert Roy Britt gives the latest understanding of the science, plus a light sprinkling of wordplay. The upshot, as is often the case, is a tad boring: According to a consulting cardiologist at the University College London Hospitals, “For most people, eggs can be eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet, unless they have been advised not to for a specific medical or dietary reason.”

Your daily dose of practical wisdom (about making a request)

“When we ask for something, whether it’s a raise at work, a favor from a friend, or something we need from a family member, we’ll have a better chance at success when we package our request in a way that benefits the person we are speaking to.”

P.S. In the April 12th issue of the Daily Edition, we highlighted Autism Speaks in talking about World Autism Month, and heard feedback from many of you expressing disappointment with that choice. It was an error on our part, and we appreciate the genuine feedback we received asking us to deepen our own understanding on the topic.

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