There’s too much Internet—with wonders like a gadget that tells you when your breath smells—and too little time. That’s why we curate a list of the best of the best (a.k.a. “the Greatist”) things we’ve come across on the Web this week. In other words, it’s the stuff we’d email/gchat/tweet/text you immediately if we were besties. While we’ll never stop striving to bring our readers amazing content on a daily basis, we know not all the best stuff comes from us.
1. Quitting Sugar Is Not the Answer (Refinery29)
Poor sugar. Instead of understanding how glucose keeps us energized and focused, we’ve started to say it’s poison and that cookies are the new cocaine. Not so fast! The real culprit is all of the added sugars found in everything from chips to cereals that trick our bodies into wanting to eat more Lay’s and Cap’n Crunch. We’re thankful that our friends at Refinery29 took the time to dispel all of the not-so-sweet rumors.
You get a Fitbit for Christmas and—if you’re like the rest of us—you won’t be wearing it come June. (If we’re being honest, we forgot about it already.) Just like our best attempts at New Year’s resolutions, we start strong only to take a serious tumble off the bandwagon. The reason we give up on these trackers so quickly might be the fact that they don’t have enough bells and whistles. Once we can know what 10,000 steps or a good night’s sleep feels like, we don’t feel the need to keep wearing them.
3. How Tough Mudder Designs Obstacles to Torture You (Fast Company)
Sure, Tough Mudders are physically grueling—a 10-mile (or longer) course with plunges into ice cold water and runs through charged electrical wires is taxing even for elite athletes. But the real genius (cruelty?) of the race its test of mental toughness. Looking down a tunnel of tear gas or getting ready to slither military-style under barbed wire will strike fear into just about anybody. Fast Company spoke with the designers of Tough Mudder to learn how they engineer each obstacle to push our mental limits.
4. Skip Your Annual Physical (The New York Times)
Doctor’s orders! We’ve been led to believe that an annual checkup is just like routine maintenance on our car. Run a few tests, check the vital signs, make sure everything is in working order, and in the worst case scenario, stop any illness in its tracks. The big problem: Annual physicals don’t lower our mortality rate, which makes them seem like a waste of time (and money) for patients and doctors.
Society has led us to believe that skipping our daily shower is dirty and lazy. But it turns out we shower way too much. Dermatologists say going two or three days without sudsing up is actually good for your body. Too much hot water can dry out and irritate skin (especially in the winter). So enjoy those extra 10 minutes you’ve now added to your day—we’ll probably spend it sleeping.
6. To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This (The New York Times)
If there really was a foolproof, step-by-step process we could follow to find the right mate, there wouldn’t be so many single ladies (and gents) out there. One study suggests the trick lies in asking a specific set of probing questions and then staring into your romantic prospect’s eyes for four whole minutes. But the big question is: Did it work for this writer?