What are the benefits of exercise?

In this blog post we consider some of the scientifically proven benefits of exercise and list some common questions and answers in relation to it.

Why should I exercise

Before starting to do any type of exercise you might wonder, why should I exercise in the first place and go through the hassle of getting sweaty and tired.

Well first of all let’s start and consider what type of exercise we are talking about, in this blog post we will consider hard physical exercise, defined by high pressure heart rate typical of running or lifting heavy weights.

Furthermore let’s only consider benefits of effects where you are doing hard physical exercise. The hard exercise thus include two different types of burning process defined as anaerobic and aerobic exercises.

Two major types of exercises

There exists two major types of exercise called anaerobic and aerobic exercise defined by the availability of oxygen in the blood when trying to do work.

But more on this later on, let’s stick to the subject of why you need to exercise, in short here are five typical benefits of hard exercise according to the national health guidelines for Americans: see source. The major benefits of regular hard physical exercise are the following:

  • Reduction of risk for mortality in general: People who exercise regularly have a reduced risk for mortality in a broad sense meaning that people regularly exercise in a similar manner.
  • Reduction of risk for cardiovascular diseases: As you increase your overall metabolic rates through regular exercises the risk for dying of cardiovascular diseases minimizes.
  • Reduction of risk for osteoporosis, obesity and cancer: Regular exercise increases the amount of new tissue and regeneration effects of the body through production of
  • Increased mental health: The conduction of regular exercise have benefits for the mental health of individuals by reducing the amount of stress experienced while simultaneously boosting self-esteem leading to a more joyous lifestyle.

These are just a small number of the expected benefits from doing regular hard exercise where the activity level is significantly increased. Thus if you are not convinced already there is another quite significant effect from regular exercises, increased mental health.

Science answers to mental health linkage

According to the WHO (World Health Organization) mental health branch, 5% of people globally is suffering from the mental health disorder depression.

Depression is this one of the most common mental disorders affecting people and the consequences of being affected by depression are devastating with the most severe cases leading to suicide and other society problems.

Some of the most common and devastating effects of depression are the following:

  • Changes in appetite or weight: Depression can lead to changes in a person’s appetite, which may result in significant weight loss or weight gain. Some people with depression may also experience cravings for certain foods, such as carbohydrates or sugar.
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt: Depression can lead to feelings of low self-esteem, worthlessness, and guilt. People with depression may feel like they are a burden to others or that they are not good enough.
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions: Depression can affect a person’s ability to think clearly, concentrate, and make decisions. This can interfere with their ability to perform at work or school.
  • Sleep disturbances: Depression can disrupt a person’s sleep patterns, resulting in difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early. Alternatively, some people with depression may sleep excessively and find it difficult to get out of bed.

These are some but a few of the most serious consequences of depression and as we can see they are quite significant and dangerous which in the worst cases can have fatal consequences for the individual.

Related Read: Everything ChatGPT, Top ten misconceptions about earthquakes

Luckily for us there exist quite a number of remedies for depressive people and usually these consist of some simple yet effective rules which might need to be followed. These include some of the following remedies

  • Healthy eating and regular exercise: Improving sleeping habits with early bed and early rising in the morning.
  • Medications such as anti-depressives: These might help reduce some of the most serious symptoms of depression such as the suicidal thoughts or sedentary behavior.
  • Conversational therapy: Through use of conversations with professionals it is possible to mitigate some of the symptoms of depression as tools and frameworks given by professionals help individuals understand their situation better.
  • Support groups: By incorporating within a support group it becomes easier to understand ones troubles and needs which can help comprehend the situation which the individual is stuck within. This also incorporates the need for individuals to feel connection with multiple people.

These remedies for depressive symptoms are not a full list but are some of the most common answers to depressive symptoms which may be found and followed by individuals.

Anaerobic exercise

During anaerobic exercises, the absorption of oxygen is prohibited as the intensity versus the amount of oxygen available during the active period is restrained meaning that the body is forced to burn calories through processes not using oxygen therefore the name anaerobic.

By performing high intensity workouts the initial burning of calories follow the anaerobic processes and lasts for usually a small amount of time ranging from seconds to a few minutes. It is the body’s way of quickly reacting to the different abruptly starting environmental burdens which may be experienced.

This is key as the inadequately intake of oxygen compared to the necessary requirements due to the elevated activity level causes a particular type of burning mechanisms in the body to occur.

The burning mechanisms utilize stored energy in the muscles and tissue that is quickly used up to perform work from the muscles during the small high intensity period.

One important consideration when performing this kind of high intensity workout routine is the increase of endurance. Endurance is the ability to perform and conduct high intensity workout through periods of time during which the experience is somewhat unpleasant.

Aerobic exercise

The aerobic exercises which are being conducted require quite some intensity in order to truly facilitate the burning of calories through oxidized exercise. As with all types of exercise there exist a point where the body needs to start burning calories through the aerobic processes as the oxygen deficit initially utilized is paid off through use of the aerobic calorie burning processes.

The steady state oxygen consumption rate is related to the heart rate and volume associated with the transport of blood and oxygen through use of the red blood cells. In order to better understand illustratively how the oxygen concentration in the blood varies with exercise an illustration of the oxygen consumption have been made and outlined in Figure 1.

Here we can clearly see the initial oxygen deficit incurring as the amount of oxygen consumed is larger than the oxygen uptake, since the following heart rate increase easily follows that of the oxygen burn rate, we see an decrease in the oxygen benefit with time. This decrease in oxygen deficit is a direct result of the increased uptake of oxygen as the aerobic processes catches up with the remaining needs of the body.

Illustration of the oxygen deficit curve as experienced when performing exercises from beginning until the ending the performed exercise.
Figure 1: Illustration of the oxygen deficit curve with relation to oxygen uptake when performing exercises. Illustration from source.

Afterwards when the oxygen demand wears off, meaning that the primary exercise most likely has stopped then the post-exercise oxygen consumption or (EPOC) period begins. This period is dominated by the amount of lactic acid produced in the muscles which has been built up during the exercises.

The amount of oxygen deficit needs to be ‘paid’ off through excess breathing after the end of the exercise as the body needs more oxygen in order to return to its normal state from the increased activity. Now that we have considered some of the individual processes of anaerobic and aerobic exercise lets now consider the difference between the two and how this contributes individually.

Difference between aerobic and anaerobic exercise

Now that we have covered both anaerobic and aerobic exercises in detail let’s now try and consider in a chemical sense what makes the two different. In the YouTube video below we uncover the chemical disposition differences between the energy creation from an anaerobic and aerobic process. This way the differences and similarities between the two start to easily unravel.

Video 1: Explanation of the anaerobic and aerobic exercises and how the generation of energy between the two processes are made.

The creation of energy, ATP, which the body is able to translate into motion of the joints or legs, is what creates the burning of calories and similarly within the body.

This production of ATP is absolutely critical for our warm blooded body as if it wasn’t possible to transform calories into ATP we wouldn’t be here.

The best exercises for weight loss

In order to facilitate weight loss it is important to consider how we actually lose weight in the first place. For weight loss to happen you are required to burn more calories than you ingest daily so that you are supposed to eat less than you burn and utilize to sustain yourself.

Portions are important

This is happening by moving and exercising and watching carefully what you ingest so that you don’t overeat so to say meaning that you shouldn’t eat anymore than you necessarily need to stay warm and healthy.

Therefore in order to start loosing weight an important parameter is exercising more and eating less, it is actually that simple! You need to watch what you eat and make sure that you exercise regularly keeping you in motion, hence burning calories, and making sure that you don’t eat to much.

According to a recent study from 2017 titled: “How does plate size affect estimated satiation and intake for individuals in normal‐weight and overweight groups?” Research have shown that the plate size effects the portions size and hence the amount of food you intake during a regular meal. The conclusion on the study was that the plate-size effect on overweight individuals differed from normal weight individuals and that the apparent feature of eating less from small plates can be affected from the type of dish and apparent appeal of the food.


There exists a plethora of reasons why it is important to do regular exercise and therefore singling out a singular reason is not really possible. However one of the best advantages of regular exercise is the apparent minimization of risks associated with depression including weight gain, suicidal thoughts and mental resistance against outside responses to the environment.

Furthermore when trying to lose weight it is imperative to increase the amount of exercise conducted such that the individual burning rate of calories remain high through the life-style changes which are being introduced.


Peng M. “How does plate size affect estimated satiation and intake for individuals in normal-weight and overweight groups?”. Obes Sci Pract. 2017 Jun 27;3(3):282-288. doi: 10.1002/osp4.119. PMID: 29071104; PMCID: PMC5598018.


Earthquake epicenters

In this blogpost we will try and explain how to calculate earthquake epicenters with examples of measurement systems and methodologies.

Tectonic plates

The Earth can be subdivided into different ‘floating’ parts called tectonic plates. This subdivision follows three different main mechanism as explained in the figure below outlining the tectonic plates.

Tectonic plates illustration with different types of movements shown including subduction zones, lateral sliding and spreading for the epicenters
Figure 1: illustration of tectonic plates and their individually driving mechanisms dividing the subdivision zones.

These tectonic plates move around on the earth in unpredictable patterns that build up stress throughout the solid medium. When the built up stress releases the earth moves and we have an earthquake.

These event are extremely energetic releasing immense amounts of energy. The release of energy causes widespread destruction as seen in the Turkey earthquake from February 2023, the Kahramanmaras earthquake.

Related read: top ten misconceptions about earthquakes., Effective Investment strategies for climate adaptation

Definition of a p(ressure)-wave

Firstly, lets define the definitions of pressure and shear waves, the so-called p and s-waves.

The definition of the pressure, p-wave is a pressure type underlying wave moving through the solid medium. The direction of propagation is dominated by compression\expansion pressures. The particle path is first compressed and then elongated.

Illustrative video of a pressure type wave.
GIF 1: illustration of the p-type (pressure) wave

The p-wave is the fastest moving pressure wave throughout the solid medium. The initial disturbance moves quickly through the solid medium. It emanates from the area of interest; the epicenters of earthquakes.

Definition of a s(hear)-wave

The shear type, s-waves, is different from the p-wave. Contrary to p-waves, shear waves moves in the direction of propagation through shearing motions. Shearing waves causes particle motions to move in a up-and-down type of fashion. In addition to this, the s-wave is slower than the pressure waves as shearing of solid medium poses more resistance.

Illustrative video of a shear type wave.
GIF 2: illustration of the s-type (shear) wave

The shearing causes changes in the underlying soil characteristic and in extreme cases causing earth ruptures. These waves emanate in all-directions arising from the epicenters of earthquakes.

Definition of a love wave

Thirdly, we have the Love type surface waves. Contrary to p and s-type waves, this is a surface wave. In other words surface waves have particle motions varying with depth, where deeper particles move less, than upper surface particles. As an example of the L-type wave, see the figure below.

Illustrative video of a Love type wave.
GIF 3: Illustration of the love-type wave

Important to realize is that Love type waves are slower than both p- and s-type waves and are present at the surface. In particular the particle motions which are horizontally varying with depth causes a diagonally shearing with depth. Thus L-waves require a solid material in order to be able to propagate. Conversely L-type waves are unable to propagate through liquid media. Therefore does the presence of L-type waves throughout the earth constitute an underlying measure for the existence of a liquid earth core. This is one of the reasons why we believe the core of the earth is liquid due to the absence of L-waves across the earths solid media.

Definition of a Rayleigh wave

Fourthly, we have the Rayleigh wave. This type of wave is similar to the love wave in the sense that it is a surface wave traveling across the globe emanating from the epicenters of earthquakes.

The Rayleigh waves propagate in a fashion similar to ocean waves with horizontal displacements in direction of propagation varying with depth. An illustration explaining the wave propagation is shown in the figure below.

Illustrative video of a Rayleigh type wave.
GIF 4: illustration of Rayleigh-type wave

The Rayleigh waves are slower than love type waves but are also causing surface changes and therefore affects buildings, infrastructure and people alike.

The particle motion is orbital meaning that it changes with depth. The Rayleigh waves are able to happen across liquid and solid media alike, thus differing significantly from L-type waves.

Now that we have introduced the four types of earthquake waves we now move further into measuring these different types of waves. For this scientists and engineers utilize the physical instrument called the seismograph.


The seismograph is an instrument utilized in measurement engineering when trying to estimate and predict the onset of earthquakes. It works by having giant ear-like sounding equipment directed towards the earth. The resulting vibrations ‘heard’ are measured with high accuracy and mapped onto a seismogram see Figure 2.

a picture of a seismographic device showcasing the measurement vibrations from an earthquake, these devices are used for calculation of epicenters
Figure 2: A Seismograph device showcased with measured earthquake vibrations on a seismogram paper.

From the picture you can see the characteristic black line indicating differences in surface vibrations measured in time. The vibrations consist of a superposition of p-, s-, L- and R-waves all mixed together onto the seismogram. The amplitude and phases differs based on the type of waves allowing engineers and scientists to differentiate individual wave types.


The seismogram allows us to analyze the differences in amplitude period and type of vibrations. In addition it allows interpretation by seismologists geologists or similar experts. Furthermore the interpretation include the characterization of individual waves. An example of wave characterizations is shown in Figure 3.

Figure over the example seismografic paper showcasing the different, p-, s-, L- and R-type waves emanating from epicenters.
Figure 3: an illustration of interpreted seismogram where p-, s- and surface-waves are marked with an red arrow.

From Figure 3, we can see that the earliest sign of an earthquake is the p-wave, followed by the s- and surface waves (Love and Rayleigh). Amplitudes of the surface waves compared with the p- and s-waves are significantly larger making them easily felt by people on the ground. Furthermore the p and s-waves are barely measurable and have significantly faster arrival times compared with surface waves.

With the introduction of the seismograph and seismogram we now continue with the mathematical description of the distance calculations following the narrative with Euclidean distances.

Euclidean distance

An Euclidean distance is the observed straight-line connection between points. It is calculated in two dimensions as the difference between points x1, x0 and y1, y0 denoting end and startpoints respectively.

(1)   \begin{equation*} s = \sqrt((x_1-x_0)^2 + (y_1-y_0)^2) \end{equation*}

Now as we live and breathe in three-dimensions, (four counting time) we need to include a third coordinate in our calculations of distance. For this purpose we include the coordinate z1 and z0 in a similar manner.

s =  \sqrt((x_1-x_0)^2 + (y_1-y_0)^2 + (z_1-z_0)^2)

Now we can calculate the distance between two points in space. Finally we need to compare different locations in time to accurately calculate the earthquake epicenters.

Triangulation methodology

With the knowledge of how to calculate a distance between points, now we can move on to calculating the epicenters location through use of time-dependent triangulation methodologies. The location of epicenters in three-dimensional space corresponds to accurately figuring out a location based on satellite measurements. As the medium we consider is solid state matter, we need estimations of sound speeds through the media and for this we need seismologists, geologists and similar experts.

Seismologists, geologists and experts

An important parameter is the time-aspect of figuring out exactly how to do the determination of the individual epicenters. By comparing measurements of seismograms through time, one can calculate the arrival time of individual p-, s-, L-, and R-waves. As the speed of sound is assumed through specific soils this leaves the only unknown to be distance which is solved for numerically.

This type of analysis is carried out by seismologists, geologists and similar experts with knowledge about wave propagation speeds throughout solid state media and how to interpret the individual seismograms. Now lets consider the epicenters themselves

Epicenters of earthquakes

With the advent of seismographs, seismograms and specialized scientific methodologies for accurately calculating the measured distances and time-variation of seismograms allows the calculation of epicenters of earthquakes.

The epicenters are important parameters to understand as they allow for the construction of the tectonic plates. They are characterized by experts whose knowledge is used to construct the tectonic plate theory. Finally understanding epicenters help when trying to understand the earths complex composition of solid state matter.



Earthquakes – Top ten misconceptions

In this blogpost we explore top ten common misconceptions about earthquakes.

Related read: Top 10 misconceptions about Tsunamis

1. Earthquakes cause violent ruptures of the earth

We all know the scenario from movies, the hero’s try and escape the rupture from the earth. The crack keeps running all the way up to the hero’s foot where it suddenly stops. This common misconception arises since when movies need to be more spectacular.

In fact, earthquakes tremble the earth for up to multiple minutes based on the severity of the earthquake. Earthquakes do not cause earth ruptures as illustrated by an AI below in meme 1.

Thus you shouldn’t be afraid that the earth will split underneath you during an earthquake.

2. It is better to run outside than staying inside during an earthquake

Often times people believe that running outside during an earthquake is safer than staying inside.

By going outside you risk being hit by falling debris, rubble and subduction zones while if you stay inside the building most likely will absorb the earthquake shaking.

It is therefore better to seek shelter inside sheltering yourself from above by hiding underneath tables, beds or sturdy furniture.

This way you are protected by the solidly built walls and ceilings of the building while simultaneously ensuring you are safe from falling books, chest of drawers, fridges, wardrobes and book shelf’s.

3. Earthquakes are predictable events

Unlike most other natural phenomena which we have extensively researched, the predictability of earthquakes still remain a resounding problem in science and engineering.

Top tier researchers still struggle with methodologies and theories to explain and provide early warning systems for earthquakes.

Typically sounding equipment is placed on locations around the globe, allowing the triangulation of epicenters to be calculated.

Related read: How do you calculate an earthquakes epicenter?

4. Earthquakes only happen during warm weather

In ancient greek, they believed that earthquakes were mystical events caused on warm sunny days where the earth opened up underneath their feet and closed again later on, see reference for more information.

Unlike the ancient Greeks, people today have a misconception that earthquakes happen during warm sunny weather.

Although this would be convenient allowing us to better estimate the eminent occurrence of an earthquake, sadly this isn’t the case.

Earthquakes are driven by deep earth dynamics governed by mass and heat transfers indifferent to top-earth weather phenomena.

Thus earthquakes can happen during sunny, rainy, snowy, foggy or stormy weather indifferent to other phenomena’s driving mechanisms.

Related read: Tsunamis the what, when and where

5. The initial shaking is defining a marked ending to the earthquake

A common misconception about earthquakes is that once the initial shaking stops the earthquake is over. This is however not the case. As aftershocks of earthquakes always accompanies the initial shaking and the higher on the Richter scale the earthquake is, the larger and long-lasting the aftershocks become.

Related read: Effective investment strategies for climate adaptations

This means that the danger after the initial shaking recedes unfortunately still resides. The dangerous aftershocks are critical to be vary off, since the initial shaking can loosen and damage buildings while the aftershocks cause weakened structures to collapse or loose debris to fall down on people below.

The Richter scale and aftershocks

The power of the aftershocks and the initial shaking follows a logarithmic scale naturally distributing with powers of 10 in magnitude. This scale, called the ‘Richter scale’ is widely used to describe the severity of experienced earthquakes, see Figure 1 as an example. This scale defines the magnitude of the initial shaking and also defines the aftershocks strengths.

In order to understand the distribution of aftershocks researchers have compared the temporal extent of the number of observed aftershocks with number of days since the main shaking event, see Figure 2. They have found that the distribution of aftershocks with number of shaking events follow an exponentially declining function with time since main shock.

An illustration of the Richter scale with examples of the logarithmic nature of the magnitudes of earthquakes. Examples of historic earthquakes are exemplified
Figure 1: Illustration of the Richter magnitude scale with the logarithmic scale with example earthquakes.
Aftershock duration based on observations and theoretical best fit on days after main earthquake shock
Figure 2: Illustration of the observed aftershocks of the Honshu, March 11´th 2011 Earthquake hitting Japan. The theoretical best fit is shown with a black line.

6. Earthquakes only happen in Japan and USA

Another common misconception about Earthquakes is that they only happen at specific locations around the earth such as Japan and USA.

One of the driving mechanisms behind earthquakes is plate tectonics. Plate tectonics is theoretical framework that is the movement of continents and countries located on drifting (large timescale) plates at different parts of the world.

Plate tectonic

By indexing the world in tectonic sections each within its own plate see Figure 3. It is possible to explain most of the historic movements of continents throughout earth eras and develop theories for the occurrences of earthquakes whose likelihood depends on the locations of fault-lines of the different types such as subduction, lateral sliding and spreading.

Illustration of the plate tectonics of the earth with naming and three different types of fault line zones illustrated.
Figure 3: Tectonic Plates world map vector diagram and tectonic movement illustrations showing subduction, lateral sliding and spreading process.

The Western Mediterranean – a new example

As a newer example lets take a closer look at the interesting fault-lines which are the located at the Western Mediterranean towards the Gibraltar strait. This area is interesting because of the differences within the topographic and bathymetric features clearly shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4 and 5 include locations and markings of fault-lines together with recorded magnitude earthquakes. Arrows show the measured movement of the tectonic plates given as a yearly movement in mm’s. Corresponding to roughly 4.5 mm’s per year for the North African continental crust.

Scientific explanation of the development of a possible new fault-line within the Wester Mediterranean sea. Location of earthquakes with magnitudes, zoomed in area of interest and fault-lines are marked along bathymetric features, topographic terrain and movement arrows.
Figure 4: Reproduced from Figure shows the magnitude earthquakes, strike-slip fault-lines, normal fault lines and the proposed development of a new tectonic plate located near the end of the western Mediterranean sea.
Zoom in of the Wester Mediterranean. fault-lines and figure markings with other zoomed in areas are shown.
Figure 5: Reproduced from Closeup of the investigated area encircled with a white rectangular box. The given fault-lines are shown accordingly.

7. Drills can negate earthquake damages

To battle the damages of earthquakes we incorporate drills that explain to children that they should run for cover and hide underneath tables. This way of providing false hope to children can be dangerous if not correctly addressed.

Knowing when to run outside and when to seek cover inside is important as a means of preventing human injury during an earthquake. The damaging forces from earthquakes are not influenced by people running away from them.

In order to mitigate the damaging effects of earthquakes it is therefore necessary to continuously invest sturdier building materials, equipment and tuned mass dampers for high-risers. Such that buildings resistance towards the damaging shaking of earthquakes are continuously improving.

Preemptive investments are key to ensure that future disastrous events are accounted for and mitigated as much as possible.

Related read: Effective climate adaptation strategies

The drills are an important supplement which allow people to react quickly in the event of an earthquake. This must be accompanied by smart investment decisions enhancing the existing building mass for everyone benefit.

8. Building codes == safe buildings

Strict building codes lead to safer buildings. This is a common misconception present across the globe.

In fact, the foundation for safe buildings is strict building codes mixed with the efficient quality assurance. High-quality building work with proper quality control, safe building environments and senior-staff controlling junior is key.

The senior staff must check work carried out by junior laborer, allowing for the detection of faults and errors early on in the building process. The early detection of errors is critical for ensuring high-quality work and consequently safe buildings according to the strict building codes.

9. The implications of earthquakes are local

The effects of earthquakes can cause other dangerous events such as Tsunamis. Implications of earthquakes and the resulting consequences of their generated Tsunamis are dangerous and possibly globally covered.

The Tsunamis can spread from epicenters across the globe causing massive damages all because of earthquakes are displacing large amounts of water.

The damages on energy infrastructure such as nuclear powerplants can potentially damage the environment of the entire globe. These powerplants are vulnerable to earthquakes happening in the vicinity. History tells us that nuclear waste as a result of earthquake disasters can spread across the globe and pose a real threat for the environment and the people living in it.

10. Earthquakes are all the same

A common misconception about earthquakes is that all of them are the same in the fact that they are developing similarly across the globe regardless of the fault line types.

This is incorrect since earthquakes are dynamic phenomena whose development depend on the different instances of the boundary conditions as well as the soils initial state before the shaking starts.

The marginal effects of earthquakes are essentially changing with the initial state of the soil, plate tectonics and recent geological activity. These effects are difficult if not impossible to accurate describe throughout the three-dimensional medium.

Geophysical surveys make it easier to try and estimate tectonic plate composition. The survey depths of intrusion are however sufficiently deep to fully explain the plate tectonic behavior.

Bonus: Earthquakes can change the length of a day

In fact earthquakes are not only powerful destructive events, they can actually (in theory) change the length of a day on earth.

By releasing an increasing amount of energy through the shaking events, it is possible for the most powerful earthquakes to change earths rotation and thus the length of a day.


Gómez de la Peña, L., R. Ranero, C., Gràcia, E. et al. Evidence for a developing plate boundary in the western Mediterranean. Nat Commun 13, 4786 (2022). Used under creative commons license 4: