2022 Year in Review

While the COVID-19 pandemic is still not over, 2022 saw a marked shift away from the practices and media coverage of the previous two years. And this change in focus played out on KineSophy as well. This past year, I returned to the topics that grounded this site in the first place: the intersections between health, fitness, sports, society and philosophy. In many ways, 2022 was a year of returning to the roots of KineSophy in order to look forward. As we move into 2023, here is a summary of the year that was in the KineSophy 2022 Year in Review.

Exercise, Health and the Good Life

The majority of KineSophy articles in 2022 focused on physical processes in exercise and wellness and how those processes contribute to overall well-being. In February, I detailed the role of a class of molecules called myokines. These molecules mediate connections between physical movement and health benefits like preventing disease, slowing aging and improving cognitive performance. Understanding myokines offers insights into the deep connections between movement and our humanity. 

Toy cyclist between 2022 and 2023

In June, I looked at vicious and virtuous cycles and showed how we can use the cyclical benefits of exercise as motivation for physical activity. Believing you are physically capable of undertaking a new challenge improves your ability to overcome that challenge, which reaffirms your belief and gives you a performance boost for your next workout or competition.

In August and September, I took a critical look at acupuncture and cupping in a two-article series. In the first article, I broke down the findings and limitations of the research on these two practices. The following month, I presented a science-based explanation for acupuncture and outlined the appropriate role for acupuncture and cupping in healthcare and maximizing athletic performance.

Finally, I examined the biological mechanism of hormesis in October. In this process, physiological stressors such as radiation, alcohol and physical exertion can have beneficial effects in small, managed doses. Similar to myokines, hormesis helps explain the non-physical benefits of regular physical movement. 

Sports and Society

Also in 2022, I continued my exploration of the many intersections between sports and society at large. In March, I reflected on the Beijing Winter Olympics and addressed issues in figure skating, ice dancing, bobsledding and fake snow, topics that are linked to larger issues like the definition of a sport, climate change and the financial cost of sports. In a related July post, I summarized some recent articles detailing the many ways in which climate change will affect global health and sports competitions.

I also returned to my ongoing KineSophy Hall of Fame series with the April induction of Billie Jean King. For her outstanding tennis career, her promotion of physical activity for people of all genders, her courage and integrity in the face of adversity and her tireless advocacy on behalf of women and the LGBTQ community, this tennis star and activist deserves to be recognized with the leading figures in health, fitness, sports, society and philosophy. 

In many ways, 2022 was a year of returning to the roots of KineSophy in order to look forward.

Interviews and Reviews

Finally, I continued my efforts to interact with KineSophy-related voices from outside this website. In July, I interviewed massage therapist and stretching coach Butch Phelps about the techniques he uses to help his clients develop a stronger brain-body connection. And last month, author Bill Hayes discussed his book Sweat: A History of Exercise and shared some fascinating insights into the importance and development of human movement through the ages.

I also reviewed paleoanthropologist Jeremy DeSilva’s book First Steps: How Upright Walking Made Us Human in January, following his KineSophy interview the previous year. This book is an enjoyable scientific account of the history of bipedal motion and the development of quintessential human capacities that is perfect for anyone interested in the origins of humanity.

Coming in 2023

While I hope to continue the 2022 trend of exploring new topics in physiology and sports and the way they relate to larger non-physical issues, I also want to rededicate myself to connecting with like-minded experts in KineSophy-related fields. As this site grows, it’s important to me that I continue to incorporate outside voices and new perspectives. Notwithstanding the two great interviews I shared in 2022, I wish I had done more to find and share such perspectives this past year. I hope to integrate even more new voices in 2023 while still reflecting on the topics that helped build KineSophy.

As usual, many thanks to everyone who read, shared and responded to KineSophy articles this year. I wish you all a safe, healthy, happy and successful 2023.

Image by Marco Verch (Flickr)