Weekly Newsletter

When improving your health comes down to the numbers

Learn if hypervaccination protects against Covid-19, why women don’t need to exercise for as long as men and how daylight savings messes up more than just sleep.
A dreamy photograph of a man sitting on the wing of a plane set near the ocean, staring into the distant sunset.

Anyone who’s missed a plane by two minutes or experienced the ire of calculating late fees knows numbers can really matter, right?

So this week, we’re all about the details.

What happened when a German man got over 200 Covid-19 vaccine jabs in 29 months? Why does losing even an hour of sleep make us hangry? And what did a massive study reveal about women vs. men when it comes to exercise + time?! Thanks for spending a few minutes with us as we dive into your weekly…

  • Checkup: recalls + ramps + baths
  • Tick Tock: hypervaxed
    • exercised + tired
  • Healthcare: CDC guidance + abortion stats + cyberattacks

The Checkup

What happens when you get 217 Covid-19 vaccine shots?

A Black man wearing a pale pink suit and helmet rides an electric scooter down a London sidewalk.

A 62-year-old German man has gotten 134 confirmed and 83 self-reported doses of Covid-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Sanofi over 29 months.

Researchers have found zero benefit from this hypervaccination. The man hasn't contracted Covid-19 and each jab increased his quantity of T + B cells. But they haven't improved the quality of his immune response. The researchers also couldn’t credit the repeat jabs for his not catching the virus. One positive takeaway? He hasn't had an adverse reaction to a single dose.

Learn more at CNN.

Just a few more minutes?

A young blond white woman with a limb disability does an upward facing dog yoga pose on a yoga mat in a sunny, yellow living room.

The CDC suggests that adults do 150-300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, plus two muscle-strengthening workouts. But a new study tracking over 400,000 US adults for 20 years shows that women only have to do 140 minutes of weekly cardio + one strength session to lower mortality risk by 18%. Men need to do the full 300 minutes + three strength sessions to get the same benefit.

Why the gap? Men generally have higher percentages of muscle mass + lean muscle mass, which take longer to condition.

Get more details at the Washington Post.

If exercise can help you prevent or treat a medical condition, you may be able to use your pre-tax HSA/FSA funds to save on gym membership, fitness class + training fees. Learn more about how it works. Or to connect with a licensed provider to find out if fitness is the right treatment for you, start a $15 online fitness consultation.

What are we saving, really?

A dreamy indoor photograph of a bedroom where a gauzy curtain dances in the breeze of an open window and sunlight casts shadows on the wall.

Our brains like regular sleep. So, many of us will be extra groggy, hangry and slow this week as we adjust to daylight saving time.

Why? Our circadian rhythm starts secreting melatonin around 9 pm and we're triggered to wake via shifting hormones, routine and sunlight. So when we rise earlier in relative darkness, our brain is confused + sleep-deprived.

The disruption puts us at greater risk for car accidents + workplace mistakes. And we eat around 200 more calories on days we’re sleep-deprived.

When it comes to our health, there’s also no benefit to getting more light later in the day.

For the history behind this confounding switch + adjustment tips, head to Time.

Healthcare 411

CDC updates isolation guidance (YLE): Epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina breaks down what the guidelines mean depending on symptoms, timing and other risk factors. She points out that the CDC used more research to come to these guidelines than they have in the past. And she concludes they don’t change much—sick people are already staying home + asymptomatic people don’t know they’re sick and so go out anyway.

KFF health tracking poll March 2024 (KFF). 86% of Americans support abortive interventions for pregnancy-related emergencies including miscarriage. More Democrats than Republicans support traveling for abortions + not penalizing providers who provide abortion care. Abortion rights are a ballot priority mostly for Black women, followed by Democratic women + those who live in states with abortion bans.

Biden team, UnitedHealth struggle to restore paralyzed billing systems after cyberattack (CBS). Change Healthcare handles 1 in 3 patient record transactions between providers + insurers. Their unresolved Feb. 21st cyberattack continues to cause significant financial issues for providers + treatment delays for patients. The federal government has offered temporary interventions reminiscent of early pandemic days. But providers say it will take months before services are back on track, which will continue to harm patients in the meantime.

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