Endurance athletes sometimes say they're "addicted" to exercise. In fact, scientists have shown that rhythmic, continuous exercise — aerobic exercise — can in fact produce narcoticlike chemicals in the body.
Now researchers suggest that those chemicals may have helped turn humans, as well as other animals, into long-distance runners.
The man behind the research is University of Arizona anthropologist David Raichlen, a runner himself. He does about 25 miles a week.
When it comes to walking, the easy part is understanding the benefits: Regular, brisk walks can strengthen our bones, help control blood sugar, help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and the list goes on. The hard part is finding the time to fit it in.
Engineering physical activity back into Americans' daily lives is the goal of an educational campaign launched by Kaiser Permanente,an Oakland, Calif.-based health plan.
Somewhere on the path to the White House this year, a powerful set of ideas began to creep into the mainstream debate over which direction the country will take.
These are ideas that not too long ago were written off as marginal, or even worse, a little kooky. They come from Libertarians: free and open markets and extremely limited government. Those ideals are now becoming more mainstream and are influencing the Republican Party.
Forty years ago Sunday, history was made at Carnegie Hall.
On May 6, 1972, comedian Groucho Marx made his debut at the famed New York venue to a packed house. Tickets sold out as soon as it was announced.
Marx was 81 at the time and had been out of the spotlight for many years. His one-man show only toured a handful of venues, and his Carnegie Hall show was later released as an album called An Evening with Groucho.
This past week, charges were filed against members of the Florida A&M marching band in the hazing death of a former member. In recent weeks, there have been a string of hazing scandals on campus. In April, five Boston University students were bound and beaten in a fraternity house basement. And Rolling Stone magazine recently profiled a Dartmouth student's humiliating hazing experiences.
But as New Hampshire Public Radio's Dan Gorenstein reports now, all of this attention may be a good thing.
She closed the book, placed it on the table and finally decided to walk through the door. That's the starting sentence for Round 8 of Three-Minute Fiction. That is our contest where we ask you to write an original short story that can be read in about three minutes. We are no longer accepting submissions for this round.
Our readers from across the country are almost done going through all of the more than 6,000 submissions this round. So let's hear a few samples of their favorites so far.
The end of Republican Sen. Richard Lugar's 35-year career representing Indiana in the U.S. Senate could be imminent.
A new Howey/DePauw Indiana Battleground Poll shows the octogenarian trailing State Treasurer Richard Mourdock by 10 percentage points ahead of Tuesday's GOP Senate primary. The survey also finds that the venerable Lugar is increasingly viewed by home-state voters in a negative light.
When Hilary Mantel's new book opens, the spark has gone out of Henry VIII's second marriage. His roving eye leaves Anne Boleyn and begins to settle on Jane Seymour, another woman at court. The monarch doesn't go to a marriage counselor or divorce lawyer, not when Thomas Cromwell is his chief adviser.
Bring Up the Bodies is the sequel to Wolf Hall, which won the Man Booker Prize and worldwide acclaim. Itis also the latest in a planned trilogy about Cromwell.
North Carolina's African-American voters could be crucial in Tuesday's vote over the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions. Blacks make up a little more than 20 percent of the state's population, and some polls show they strongly favor a ban.
While activists on both sides make phone calls and put up yard signs, many African-Americans are struggling with the issue inside their churches and homes.
If life is a ball game, Mike Pesca is our umpire, calling the shots as he sees them. Pesca is NPR's sports correspondent and WEEKEND EDITION's guide to the intersections between sports and life, and he joins us now. Hey, Mike.
MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Hello.
MARTIN: OK. So, this week baseball in the headlines and steroids - back in court again. Give us a rundown of what's happened.
And in case you missed it, the Libertarian Party held its national nominating convention in Las Vegas yesterday and chose a former Republican named Gary Johnson as its presidential nominee. Meanwhile, in Sparks, Nevada, supporters of Republican presidential contender Ron Paul dominated the state's GOP convention with Paul himself addressing the gathering. NPR's David Welna has more.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
This morning, voters in two European countries hit hard by the continent's crippling economic crisis are going to the polls. In a moment, we'll speak with NPR's Sylvia Poggioli in Greece. But first, we turn to France where incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy has been campaigning against the background of widespread discontent and a strong Socialist opponent, Francois Hollande.
People are going to the polls on Sunday to cast their ballots in what has become a referendum on international loan agreements. The election is the most unpredictable in recent history and could produce a hung parliament. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli talks to host Rachel Martin from Athens.
Fossil-hunting scientists are coming to grips with a new discovery that could change forever how we think of dinosaurs. What they've found is that dinosaurs may well have been tortured by large, flealike bloodsucking insects.
Yes, it appears that the greatest predators that ever roamed Earth suffered just as we mammals did — and as we still do. Fleas were thought to have evolved along with mammals — they like our soft skins and a diet of warm blood.
Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren holds up a poster of herself as Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., looks on during the annual St. Patrick's Day Breakfast in Boston on March 18. A civility pledge between the candidates has kept attack ads largely on the sidelines in their race.
It was no big surprise when outside groups started spending millions of dollars on attack ads in the high-stakes U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts between Republican incumbent Scott Brown and Democrat Elizabeth Warren.
On Monday, Vladimir Putin will again become president of Russia. When he is inaugurated in the Kremlin, it will be for a third term, even though the Russian constitution limits presidents to two four-year terms.
The restriction, however, is for two consecutive terms. It doesn't rule out a third term if someone else holds the presidency in the interim. That's exactly what Dmitri Medvedev did. He was elected president after Putin, but declined a run for a second term.
This political swap succeeded, but Putin will be leading a different Russia after his re-inauguration.
President Obama says the country has come too far in the last four years to change course now. He kicked off his re-election campaign Saturday with a pair of high-profile rallies in two pivotal states, Ohio and Virginia.
Obama acknowledged the economic recovery still has a long way to go. Yet he argued his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, would move the country backward, not forward.
Former Denver Bronco's tight end Nate Jackson posted an open letter on Buzzfeed.com this week to Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III, the NFL's top two draft picks this year.
It begins, "You have been mentioned in the same breath for the last several months. But once you get drafted and shake hands with Darth Vader, your lives will diverge and you will be immersed fully in the identity of your new employers."
The story doesn't get much better, Jackson continues.
The alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four other men charged with helping launch those attacks ended their first day in a military commission arraignment by saying they would wait to enter their pleas.
The day was contentious. The men refused to answer routine questions from Judge James Pohl, refused to participate in the proceedings, and even refused to listen to the simultaneous Arabic translation of what was going on all around them.
Weekends on All Things Considered's series, Movies I've Seen A Million Times features filmmakers, actors, writers and directors talking about the movies that they never get tired of watching.
For writer-director Lawrence Kasdan, whose credits include The Big Chill, The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark, the movie he can't get enough of is Jacques Tourneur's Out of the Past. Kasdan says that the 1947 movie is a great piece of film noir cinema.
President Obama held a pair of campaign rallies today, his first big public events of the 2012 election. He targeted two key battleground states: Ohio and Virginia. NPR's Scott Horsley is traveling with the president and joins weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz to talk about the events.