YES, MOVING YOUR MUSCLES COULD THWART DISEASE

In today’s newsletter, we examine new proof on how exercise helps the mind,see the keys to Earth’s beginnings, learn why bears are moving to cities and suburbs … and ask if climate change is coming for our pizza.


PHOTOGRAPH BY NICHOLE SOBECKI, NAT GEO IMAGE COLLECTION

It doesn’t take a neurobiologist to know how muscles in motion—splashing in the water, pumping on a bicycle, shuffling to salsa, stretching before a run (above)—can improve your mind and help in the fight against Alzheimer’s. We now have proof to the molecular level.


Nonetheless, it took hours of weekly dancing for neurobiologist Constanza Cortes Rodriguez to see it for herself. Even though her salsa and bachata classes took her away from mounds of lab work. she became more efficient, “thinking differently and remembering things better,” she tells us.


Emerging research shows the brain reacts to moving muscles instead of simply directing them. “Activity seems to increase the brain’s capacity to regenerate neurons, calm inflammation, and enhance neuron-to-neuron communication,” Connie Chang writes for Nat Geo.


Here’s the full story.



PHOTOGRAPH BY ANASTASIA TAYLOR-LIND, NAT GEO IMAGE COLLECTION

Dance, dance, dance: Students participate in a class (pictured above) at China’s Yangtze Normal University. Dancing engages the entire body as well as the mind and can improve muscle tone, strength, endurance, and fitness.


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IN THE SPOTLIGHT



PHOTOGRAPH BY COREY ARNOLD

Cities gone wild: Whether it’s bears getting comfy in the living room or coyotes roaming down the avenue, bold, brave animals are living more quietly among us (Above, Nat Geo Explorer Corey Arnold photographs a three-legged black bear entering a home in Asheville, North Carolina.). A decline in hunting and a shrinking of the countryside has brought more wild animals into our urban and suburban lands. These “cosmopolitan carnivores” might be here to stay, Christine Dell’Amore tells us.


THE NEW NEIGHBORS


STORIES WE’RE FOLLOWING


PHOTOGRAPH BY OLIVIER GRUNEWALD

See the landscapes that hold keys to Earth’s origins(pictured above, a lava flow in Iceland)


From inflammation to depression, electricity is transforming medicine


The true story behind Morocco’s tree-climbing goats


Where to find an island with a thousand orchids


Explore 13,000 years of human history on a California island


How to fight invasive plants—one bite at a time



PHOTO OF THE DAY



PHOTOGRAPH BY @EDKASHI

Caring for the land: Volunteers and members of the North Fork Mono Tribe work together on a cultural, or controlled, burn near Mariposa, California, in 2021. This is part of a wider initiative in which the Native people lead an effort to restore meadows and trees, while also teaching students, firefighters, and residents their traditional efforts to protect forests from wildfires.


PREVENTING WILDFIRES


IN A FEW WORDS


You can wear a mask for three hours but then once it ends up on the ground, it can end up killing an animal, it could contaminate the environment forever … When you think about it on a global scale and level it up across the world, that number is so much more, and who’s doing something about it?

Justine Ammendolia

Plastic pollution researcher, Nat Geo Explorer


FUTURE FORWARD



PHOTOGRAPH BY AC BNPHOTOS, GETTY IMAGES


Don’t take my pizza! Drought and high temperatures have curtailed California’s tomato crop—and have prompted farmers to plant fewer tomatoes. These climate-change effects could affect the quantity and price of pizza sauce—and pizzas. “Geneticists are trying to breed a more drought-resistant tomato, to fight diseases more effectively, and more efficiently grow—eking out gains wherever they can,”Alejandra Borunda writes.


TAKE A LOOK


This was edited and curated by Monica Williams, Heather Kim, and David Beard. Have an idea for us? A bear in your backyard? Let us know at david.beard@natgeo.com. Have a good week ahead!

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