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Staying young

Man’s therapeutic friend

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Humans need to be walked, says John Dickerson in The Atlantic. Our dog George “guides us by his nose” on morning walks, during which my wife and I “brief each other on the coming day”. We solve each other’s puzzles. We talk about the children, the hunt for flats, what we’re going to do at Christmas. In a busy life, daily dog walks are a “regimen of escape and pause”. They “enlarge our sympathies and sweeten our disposition”, prying open the day when it balls up into a small fist. “Every dog is a rescue dog” – a reservoir of unconditional love. No matter how awful the day, they will be there for you.

The Cristiano effect

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s diet is “unaffordable, boring and extremely time consuming”, says Barnaby Lane on Insider. But it works. During a “typical” day, the footballer, 36, eats up to six meals and takes five naps. He gets going with ham and cheese and a side of yogurt for breakfast, before tucking into avocado toast for brunch. He then usually eats two lunches and two dinners. The first lunch is chicken and salad, the second is fish with salad, eggs and olives. In the evening, he will either stick with fish – swordfish, tuna or cod – or switch to meat.

But his spartan meals have impressed his Manchester United teammates, reports TalkSport. One Friday night, says goalkeeper Lee Grant, when everyone had sat down to eat together, one asked him: “What has Cristiano got on his plate?” And then “not one single player dared get up and have the junk food that was laid out”. On Saturday, Ronaldo scored twice against Newcastle on his return to the club, with Manchester United winning 4-1. Clearly an appetite for success is more than just a state of mind.

It’s time to give pedal power a boost

“Sneer if you like, but if it weren’t for bicycle batteries this 72-year-old would never have mounted a bike at all,” says Matthew Parris in The Times. Last week, we cycled 89 miles on our e-bikes in the Grampian and Monadhliath mountains in the Scottish Highlands. E-bikes are transforming cycling for those who seek “gently efficient distance” rather than “heart-pounding sport”. You have to pedal or they won’t help – “they’re very Tory” – but they certainly make the hills easier.