Subscribe to It Has Nothing to Do with Age by Email Follow Tusk95664 on Twitter It Has Nothing to Do with Age: February 2013
It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

We Human's Require Humor & Laughter

"Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth. We are happy when we are growing."– William Butler Yeats

Did you know that in the ancient times  the Greeks used, the term  “humor “   to refer to the principal body fluids of:1.  Blood 2.Phlegm 3.Choler (yellow bile) 4. Melancholy (black bile)? And they thought the balance among these four fluids determined an individual’s health, temperament, and mood. Good balance of these four fluids led to “good humor;” and an imbalance  led to “ill humor” so they thought. Would you say  you experience ” good” or “ill” humor ? Do you have enough humor in your life?
Most of the definitions of humor relate  specifically to laughter, with laughter  acting  as an indicator that something humorous has occurred. Sigmund Freud, in the early 20Th century, believed that there was a link between dreams and jokes. He believed that because society leads  to repression of so many basic impulses, that  joking emerged as a socially acceptable method of expression . He also believed in psychic economy and that  humor was the ability to minimize psychological energy spent on a particular issue. Freud further believed  that when the expenditure of psychic energy was  slight we did not need a lot of humor in order  to feel happy with life. He also believed that humor was  not only liberating, but ennobling, possessing both grander and elevation which made  the world seem   safe and less threatening. In fact so safe, that it was  okay to joke about it.
According to the superiority theory, one of the traditional theories of humor,   we assert our own superiority over others by laughing at their inferiority, stupidity or misfortunes. In fact Plato and Aristotle spoke of this as the “pleasure in the pain of others.” Some of you might remember that laughing at other people’s silly antics was employed in the role of the clown and performers such as Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, the Keystone Kops, and Buster Keaton. Their humor contains an element of aggression but it was not always cruel and scornful; it  contained  warmth and empathy as well. In essence we’re laughing at ourselves and our own very human foibles. The moment we laugh, we are feeling superior. It didn’t happen to us but it could in the future. The so-called superiority theory is often called the disparagement theory, the ability to laugh at ourselves and our all too human weaknesses. Source:”Humor & Healing” Barbara Sternberg, Ph.D.

To be Continued

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Brain,Obesity and Food - Part 4

The Brain, Obesity and Food- Part 4 continued from last week.
  Don’t forget the children and their problem with obesity as well. These statistics do not bode very well for our young .1. The average American child watches 2 to 3 hours of television viewing per day. 2. The American Academy of pediatrics (AAP) recommends no more than two hours of TV per day. 3. In the 1970s study, researchers found that, at age 5, approximately 40% exceeded the AAP guidelines. 4.  Every additional hour of weekend TV viewing by five year olds beyond the AAP 2 hour recommendations may cause a 7% increase in risk of obesity at age 30. 5. Kids do not have to engage in high levels of physical activities and sports to prevent obesity. 6.Teens and preteens involved in outside of school activities: clubs, bands, music lessons, part-time jobs, volunteer work, church activities and household chores are less likely to become overweight than those who don’t. 7. Parents who are themselves obese and have sedentary lifestyles need to be aware that their behavior is putting the kids at risk. 8. Children who purchase lunch at school are more likely to be overweight than those who brought their lunch from home. 9. Children who attended physical education classes 2 or more times per week are more likely to be normal weight. 10. Children who ate dinner with their families three more times per week were at a decreased risk for being overweight .11. Children who skipped breakfast were 50% more likely to be overweight than those who usually ate breakfast. 12. Teens who frequently ate fried foods away from home consumed more calories, more saturated and trans fats, sugar sweetened beverages, red and processed meats, and foods with higher glycemic loads. 13. Eating family dinners is associated with reduced risk for tobacco, alcohol, marijuana use and healthier diets.
Some statistics regarding breakfast and weight control: 1. Breakfast eaters tend to have lower BMI’s than breakfast skippers.2. Approximately 20% of US adults skip breakfast. 3. Approximately 24% of young American women skip breakfast. 4. Those that eat cereal/grains for breakfast and have lower BMI’s than breakfast skippers, or meat and egg eaters.5. Eating cereal or fiber rich whole grain breads for breakfast can help regulate body weight. Eating meat and eggs, skipping breakfast and/or eating on the run do not contribute to healthy weight management.
How do French women stay slim? 1. Only 7% of French adults are obese compared to 22% of Americans. Mortality from heart disease among French adults is also considerably lower. 2. Comparing restaurants in Paris and in Philadelphia the findings suggest that the mean   portion size across Parisian eateries was 277 g compared to a mean of 346 g in Philadelphia restaurants. 3. Chinese food restaurants in Philadelphia served meals that averaged 72% more food than those served in the Parisian counterparts.4. Comparing single serve food sold in supermarkets in both cities, 14/17 items were larger in the American stores. 5. Don’t forget the wine.  Resveratrol antioxidants found in high concentrations in grape skins shows an ability to reduce conversion of dietary fat to stored fat and an ability to mobilize fat stores.
To be continued
I have a slight groin” over use “going on so I started tapering earlier than usual for my 50 k on March 9. Tomorrow, Alpha and I are planning a trail run. Remember, keep moving.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Oscar Pistorius , Lance Armstrong and Hero Worshiping

What do Oscar Pistorius and Lance Armstrong have in common? You might think to yourself, that’s a funny question. If I asked,” what were your first thoughts about Oscar this past week it certainly would be different than your thinking about him during the 2012 Olympics? “In fact, this young double amputee (from birth) man from Australia was in the news as a result of being able to run fast and compete against able-bodied world-class runners. What did you really know about him? You probably knew he had a disability since birth, ran fast even with his J shaped carbon-fiber (Blade Runner) prosthesis and likely not much more.
Did you know this man, age 26, earns about $630,000 a year, loves fast cars, beautiful women and high-powered guns? Loving fast cars, beautiful women and high-powered guns might not be that surprising for a young man in his 20s. What might be surprising is that this young man receives so much income per year?  How many 26-year-old men do you know earn that much money per year? For that matter, how many disabled men do you know earn that amount of money per year? When was the last time you earned or made $630,000 in a year? And, how did he earn it? He did what, he ran around a track. You must be kidding.
What about Lance Armstrong and his earnings prior to his fall from grace. This man, in his early 40s, acquired millions of dollars during his career of riding a bicycle. I don’t know the exact figures but Lance had tremendous amounts of capital as a result of endorsements, winnings etc. How many young men do you now in their 40s acquired as much capital, in a short lifetime, as he did? And, what did he do to earn so much money? He rode a bike. Wow!  Certainly these two young men did not follow the traditional formula of graduating from college, going to work 9-5, Monday –Friday, establishing a 401 account, saving like practically everyone else in our capitalistic system.  These men, with a physical illness/disability did not fit the mold. They ran, they rode, trained hard, won and received enormous capital through endorsements etc. Yes, they are exceptional athletes.
So the big business, economic sports world helped create images or illusions about these two men. They quickly were made into idols and received large amounts of income from big business in order to market, endorse, and sell various products by their testimonials.  Notice neither character, intelligence, altruistic nor loving qualities were marketed.   Still, the public   wanted to physically touch them, be around them, fawn over them and associate with them in order to feel good. That was then.   The quick change in admiration, by the public sponsors, was fast and lethal. The fall from grace was a free fall.
We have to ask ourselves the question “do we really admire these young phenom or do we actually resent and are jealous and envious of their   economic fortune, success or fame? “ If convicted, it’s easy to acknowledge resentment for Oscar for killing his attractive girlfriend. However for Lance, he did not commit a crime that would incarcerate him. Yes he lied and cheated. And now we have justification (our resentment now becomes conscious) like Nike to throw him under the bus.  Some of us probably delight in his fall.  However, lying and cheating is fairly common nowadays. For example when reading the Wall Street Journal it is common to find articles about some criminal probe, some scandal or some questionable   business or government wrongdoing taking place.
My premise is that underneath (unconscious)   the surface for hero establishing and worshiping is a different story.  It is apparent that hero worshiping is not based on the wonderful human –family qualities of the individual. It is actually not about the real or authentic them that we worship.  This worshiping behavior is based on something lacking within ourselves. It is really about us and our personality.  This hero worshiping behavior is a temporary escape from feeling insignificant, small, powerlessness, in being just a speck in this all-powerful fear-based world with its myriad of natural and human problems. These unconscious feelings are generally unavailable and masked from our awareness. Therefore, we seek others to fulfill what we lack. So now we can be important, powerful or worthy by identifying with these famous others who are more significant and more powerful than us.
 This hero-idol worshiping   behavior also allows for escape from day to day sameness.  Escape exhibits itself in many different forms and outlets. We may, for example, buy assault weapons, yell and scream at sporting events, music concerts or political gatherings and temporarily lose ourselves in the process. Just watch a program like American Idol on TV and listen to all the screaming people. This  energy  allows everybody in the room to  get caught up in the moment and escape , for an hour or two ,from common, ordinary and  everyday life .This deficiency , deficit or need states  is  unconscious  and thus escape and worshipping behavior  gives us temporary satisfaction .Unfortunately, it doesn’t fill us up nor is not long-lasting. This pill doesn’t have a half-life. This pill doesn’t work to fulfill or resolve inadequate feelings.  So we continue to prop up flawed humans on a pedestal over and over and find mechanisms for escape. Yet, we remain with our own discomfort and underlying issues since idols/escape is not the answer but merrily a short term fix.
I suggest that you chose your idols carefully and wisely

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Brain,Obesity and Food: Part 3

"It is never safe to look into the future with eyes of fear."– Edward Henry Harriman

Consider a few of the tips listed and perhaps they can assist in dealing with this food- weight connection. To illustrate:  stress often lowers brain dopamine and precipitates comfort food seeking behavior. As a result, stress management, and/or a cognitive-based therapy program is often very beneficial at controlling food cravings and binging behavior. If you’re addicted to sugar or fat than gradually reduce your intake by eating smaller portions or switching to similar foods with lower sugar/fat intake. For example replace high-fat ice cream with low-fat frozen yogurt. Also, eat a healthy balanced diet and be sure to eat plenty of fiber. And last, if cravings persist, seek help from a qualified dietitian, physician, or psychologist. We know that certain drugs increase dopamine (Meridia) and block opiates at the CBI receptor (Accomplia) and curb food cravings.

 Don’t forget about the sleep- weight connection either. 1. Recent evidence has uncovered brain circuits common to both sleeping and eating. 2. Northwestern University researchers have found that mice with the mutation in the gene involved with circadian rhythms, the so-called clock gene, have disrupted sleep patterns and are prone to considerable weight gain. 3. Partial sleep deprivation alters circulating levels of the hormones that regulate hunger. This leads to increased appetite and a preference for high calorie high-fat/sugar foods. 4. Research participants who slept only four hours a night for two nights showed an 18% increase in appetite along with a marked increases in Ghrelin, marked decreases in Leptin, and a preference for candies, cookies, chips, nuts, breads, and pasta.  5. For the past 40 years the amount of sleep American adult’s average each night has dropped by two hours. In 1960 Americans averaged 8.5 hours of sleep per night. By 2002 the number had fallen to less than seven hours per night. 6. Young adult Americans have shown a similar decrease in hours of sleep per night. As of 2004, only 23.5% are getting eight hours of sleep per night.
Remember, we are what we eat .No one ever claimed that controlling this problem was easy. Take control of your life. Do not allow it to control you.
Yesterday, Alpha and I ran in the cold rain and we didn’t melt .Yes, it was cold and it snowed in the afternoon. The motto remains: keep moving and running is good for your life.  Oscar,the Blade Runner  did what?
To be continued:

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Brain,Obesity and Food : Part 2

"Never let life's hardships disturb you…no one can avoid problems, not even saints or sages."– Nichiren Daishonin

A few more statistics regarding obesity related illnesses and private health insurance spending since 1987.  Hopefully, this gets your attention 1. Employers and privately insured families spent 36.5 billion in obesity related illnesses in 2002 and increase from inflation adjusted spending of 3.6 billion in 1987. 2. It is estimated that treating an obese individual in 2002 cost $1244 more than treating a healthy weight individual. In 1987 the cost difference was $272.  3. It is predicted that as the obesity epidemic continues, the skyrocketing cost will soar even higher. Just think, for a moment of all that fast food consumed, and, who is profiting at your expense?
Are you addicted to food? Of course you are.   As far as dopamine, one of our neurotransmitters is concerned: 1. The sight and smell of food raises dopamine levels. 2. The obese have fewer dopamine receptors. 3. The obese may need to eat more to attain the same level of dopamine stimulation. 4. The mere presence of food triggers the pleasure and motivation centers of the brain.5. Sights, smells, sounds of food trigger dopamine release. 6. Food addictions are fueled by exposure to food stimuli via advertising, candy machines, food channels, food displays, bakeries, etc.
Just pass by a fast food establishment or visit a market while hungry to test your dopamine levels. What about viewing a food commercial of some young adult biting into a gigantic burger with food dripping from his mouth?  Does that commercial appeal to you?
Guess what, food and drug addiction are located in the same areas in the brain. High dopamine is involved with satiation of hunger and cravings. Sugar and fat produce psychological comfort. Fat, sugar, salty foods are most addictive. Sugar may generate production of endogenous opioids. Food addictions can be very strong: some people can quit 2 to 3 drinks/day but not ice cream. In conclusion yes food like drugs can be addictive.
 How do you control your addictions? Alpha and I visit Baskin-Robbins after every tough (tiring) trail run event.
A more serious suggestion about dealing with food addictions or binge eating behaviors comes from Duke University. Yes, it’s the same university that’s associated with Coach K. the famous basketball coach.  Consider the program known as HALT  .Simply ask yourself before eating whether  you feel any of the following: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired.
1. Anger: verbalize what you are angry about; if appropriate find the person you’re angry at. If that is impossible, speak with someone else or write your feelings down. Hitting a pillow or taking a brisk walk may help. Don’t look for your automatic weapon.
2. Loneliness: if possible, make plans with a friend or family member. Sign up for an exercise class such as yoga, an adult education or community college class. If you’re unable to get out of the house, pick up the phone and call a friend or relative. These strategies seem to work better than e-mail or other impersonal computer-based approaches.
3. Tired: the best thing to do is to take a nap for 20 to 30 minutes. Short of that close your eyes for five minutes or take a brief but brisk walk. Breathe deeply to inhale fresh oxygen and get your brain and body circulation going. Meditation can be helpful as well.
No one ever said that this is easy. It takes discipline; adult like behavior, smart choices, consistent follow through-in other words it’s a lifelong event. It’s no wonder why pills, diets, exercise stuff is such a big industry. Source: Institute for Natural Resources.
To be continued:

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Brain ,Obesity and Food Addiction

"We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn."– Mary Catherine Bateson

Today’s post is related to our brain and the effects of prenatal experience on becoming overweight. To illustrate, recent research shows an association among prenatal experience, patterns of fat deposition, and appetite regulation in postnatal life. Further prenatal exposure to either increased or decreased levels of nutrition increase the risk of obesity in postnatal life. According to Beverly Muhlhausler, the author of Early Origins of Obesity ,  all the components of the system which we know regulates appetite and postnatal life are already there before birth and may be responding to signals of nutritional status. This, of course, raises the possibility that changes in the fetal environment can permanently change the way that the system develops and results in changes in feeding behavior.  Think about that and allow that to sink in your hippocampus.
More information: evidence suggests that infants who grow very rapidly in the first two years of life, and those with the highest body mass index (BMI) are at increased risk of obesity in childhood and adulthood. Second, maternal diet during pregnancy and breast-feeding also appear to influence risk of obesity in later life. Third, maternal over nutrition and obesity in pregnancy may be as harmful to the developing fetus as under nutrition. Forth, it appears that an individual’s appetite and cardiovascular disease risk may be programmed by excessive maternal caloric intake, predisposing an individual to diabetes or hypertension in later life. If you fit this profile, start and continue to make healthy changes quickly.
The national trend is as follows: most recent data analysis from the Framingham Heart Study show that a 30-year-old has a 74% chance (females) or 92% chance (males) for becoming overweight at some point in life.2. The risk of becoming obese, if you are a 30-year-old today, is 39% for women and 48% for men .3.The lifetime risk for overweight approaches that for high blood pressure and exceeds that described for most other chronic diseases.
A recent study predicts that based on the current increase in obesity rates, especially among the young and minorities, life expectancy in the US can be expected to decline. Obesity currently reduces life by an average of 4 to 9 months. This number is greater than the negative effect of all accidental mortality such as car accidents, suicides and homicides combined. The steep increase in obesity rates is expected to reduce life expectancy of the obese even more severely over the next 50 years possibly shortening life as much is 2 to 5 years.
Again, employing a developmental approach research suggests that prenatal experience is terribly important and heavily influenced by the maternal mother. The expecting mother’s weight, her diet (over-under nutrition), breast-feeding are just three factors that affect the offspring. In other words, the newborn infants, not only had nothing to do with being born, can start off life at a tremendous disadvantage as far as longevity and future health.
What type of training ,education or instruction did you receive regarding marriage , babies, etc.? Can there be, should there be something different than what we have now? And if so, who or what should take the lead in dispensing the information .I’ll bet Public Health and social psychology could devise such a program based on attitude and behavior change.
More information to follow:
After, a week off, my running partner Alpha and I are running today. Good news, he and Debbie are also going solar.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Aging Brain

"Don't let other people tell you what you want."– Pat Riley

There is plenty of information and knowledge regarding health and well-being, the amount of health care costs, and US health care ranking. We constantly hear reports of unsustainable health expenditures as related to GDP. Yet, our country is not making significant strides in either increasing longevity or becoming a healthier nation.  This problem is not the result of ignorance regarding health care. Plenty of information is available, about what to do, via the Internet, television, radio, printed material and from your doctors and other health care professionals. In thinking about this serious problem, perhaps, employing a   developmental approach might suggest or give an understanding of the “why.”

Science told us that it is not unrealistic to become a centenarian. Remember, the oldest female lived to 122 while the oldest male to 115. W e know that the brain  reaches maximum maturation typically around 20. And, by the time we are in our 60s, mass and volume reduction as a result of atrophy plus death of brain cells has significantly occurred. Not only that, if we have experienced a neurodegenerative disease even more abnormalities in the white matter has occurred.  And age-related changes in the white matter have been associated with micro vascular disease.

Developmental and critical periods can be applied to the aging brain and provides a clearer understanding of this health issue. This and subsequent trauma to the brain can explain cognitive, emotional and behavioral impairment.   For example, such things as drug, nicotine and alcohol use, poor nutrition, psychological stress etc.  significantly affect and harm prenatal brain development. And these factors affect neurons and neurotransmitters with the unfortunate impairment with potential consequences. If damage to the prefrontal cortex, often referred to as the executive function of the brain, occurs, then memory, higher cognition, abstract thought, comprehension of language, social behavior and decision-making making is put at risk. So perhaps future, inappropriate behaviors, poor judgments and choices have already been compromised and put in motion during brain maturation. And if that is so, we can expect crises and impaired brain development and function to take place during the many critical periods necessary during and post brain maturation. To make matters worse, poor decisions, trauma, accidents and lifestyle choices during one’s life cycle just exasperate the issue further and consequently make things worse. Remember, we can’t get a brain tune up or replace defected parts. As a consequence, learning, acquiring information, vocabulary, memory, intelligence, emotions etc. is compromised and impairs the ability to make proper decisions   regarding self.

So maybe it is not surprising that  poor lifestyle choices( from birth to 60) that include  alcohol, drugs, smoking ,what and how we eat , inability to manage stress, difficulty with sleep  to name a few results in  being vulnerable in acquiring such health issues as depression diabetes, heart disease, hypertension  etc.  Remember, in normal aging, blood flow, in the brain, is reduced by 15 to 20%. Also, the remaining or healthy neurons require mental stimulation. You heard the expression “use it or lose it” fits here. Not only that, it is apparent that physical activity is necessary as well. So at this point, we understand why dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is on the increase as well.
 There is no simple approach for optimum brain development. Protect the brain or suffer the consequences. Source: Institute for Natural Resources.
This past week a touch of bronchitis   interfered with my trail running. In other words, I didn’t do much moving.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Motivation and Food

"When a man is sufficiently motivated, discipline will take care of itself."– Sir Alexander Paterson

As far as eating less goes, Jack La Lane who died at the age of 96, supposedly said “if man made it, don’t eat  it; and if it tastes good, spit it out.” Jack just might have a clever way of remembering what to do about eating. One quick way of assessing if you weigh too much is to measure your waist from above both hip bones and around your belly button. If you’re a man and your waist measurement is greater than 40 inches you’re in trouble. If you’re female and your waist size is greater than 35 that’s not good for you either. Did you know that roughly half of the men in our country have a waist measurement greater than 40? And, 70% of women ages 50 to 79 have waist measurements greater than 35. Not too surprising that we have this tremendous health issue and climbing health care costs in our country.
Two other points about food and eating. You might want to look up the DASH diet if you’re having difficulty with these numbers. This diet is very similar to the Mediterranean diet which we know works. Also, we know that individuals need 500 mg of sodium to stay alive and if you’re ingesting more than 2300 mg a day that is too much unless you’re exercising in hot weather. By the way 2300 mg of sodium a day is equal to 1 tablespoon of salt
According to Bottom-line, February 1, 2013, reported that one study found that about 82% of heart attacks and other coronary events were not linked to high cholesterol. According to the study, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, obesity, a lack of exercise and poor diets were the culprits .Further, the ratio of small to large LDL molecules seems to be more important than the total cholesterol -200 mg/dL. The article went on to say that saturated fat in red meat, butter and eggs do not increase your risk for heart disease or stroke. However, the risk for heart attack was higher for patients who replaced their saturated fat with refined carbohydrates. Healthy carbohydrates are whole grains, legumes and vegetables. Stay away from the refined carbohydrates in white bread, white rice and desserts. Sugar is bad because it increases arterial inflammation, insulin levels and blood pressure. It also elevates triglycerides one of the main heart disease risk factors.
According to the Wall Street Journal February 7, 2013, reported good news. With an analysis of 21 fast food restaurant chains between 2006 and 2011, the following was reported: people are placing fewer orders of French fries and sugary drinks. In fact those restaurants that increased lower calorie servings experienced an average of 5.5 increases in same-store sales, as compared to 5.5% decrease among restaurants selling fewer lower calorie servings. So, be smart, check out the calorie counts and menus featuring smaller portions and continue to make good choices.
Remember, keep moving and run for your life.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Exercise, Health and the Super Bowl

Part 3   continued:
Choices are the hinges of destiny."– Pythagoras
 These 12 lifestyle patterns appeared in studying the generation of 100 –year-olds: 1.Don’t smoke or stop 2.Drink less alcohol 3.Keep weight steady 4.Eat fewer calories 5.Eat fruits and vegetables 6. Take your vitamins 7.Exercise regularly 8.Sleep well 9 Challenge your mind 10. Stay positive in attitude 11. Don’t let stress get you 12. Stay friendly and social. Remember, about 70% of our health can be attributed to   your  lifestyle choices Further, the   unfortunate, deadly  health consequences  for men include the following::heart attack, cancer ,accidents, stroke   copd and diabetes . For women heart disease, cancer, stroke, copd, diabetes and Alzheimer’s are leading causes of death in the U.S.
Which of these lifestyle changes are the most difficult to follow and why is that? If you can assess the answer, then you have an opportunity to change and are more .likely to live longer than the current mortality rate in the U.S.  I recently thought about living longer and the number of people that I would more than likely out live.  I, unfortunately, know a number of individuals and friends that might not be around.  For me, making friends with younger people is not a bad idea. Both my mother and Alpha’s and Penny’s told us that being around younger people was a good thing. At times, more so than not, older folks seem to talk about their poor health, aches, pains, medications, what they can’t do, not feeling well or illness. Believe me, if you’ve experienced that or been around old or ill people, in your life, that’s a negative because it’s an energy drain. My father was a juvenile diabetic so I know.  Remember number 10 “stay positive in attitude.
For me, number one is not smoking is easy since I haven’t smoked since young adulthood and at the time I did not do much of that either. Number two drink less alcohol is easy for me also. For the last 5 to 10 years, I have been drinking less and less alcohol. And even when I was drinking alcohol   I only drank it sporadically. Currently, I may take a sip of beer or wine from Linda’s glass and that only happens once in a very great while. I can’t remember the last time I had a bottle of beer or a full glass of wine.
I’ve talked with Alpha about longevity and told him that expect to be running with him when we get old. Last year, he started saying no to drinking a beer after our trail runs. In fact I can’t remember exactly when he actually stopped having a beer after our trail runs. More recently, he’s even given up drinking a Coke which he initially substituted for the beer. On top of that, I’ve seen him eating a nutritious health bar, fruit or drinking coconut water. Lately, I kid him about getting healthier and of course offer him some sweet thing like a cookie after our running.
Good luck Alpha on your 21 mile trail run Saturday. Unfortunately, I’m resting. Remember, keep moving and run for your life.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Exercise, Health and the Super Bowl

"Your life becomes the thing you have decided it shall be."– Raymond Charles Barker

 Did you know the lifespan for the ancient Egyptian was 43.5 years? The lifespan in the United States in the 1900s was 47.3 years and the lifespan in 2007 was 77.9 years. There’s another statistic about the amount of money spent on health and in the US we spend more than any other country or culture. However there are 50 cultures that outlive us.
The “rule of six” is a formula to determine roughly maximum lifespan. For instance, in most mammals if you multiply the time it takes for the animal to reach neurological maturity, and then multiply that number by six.  It takes, in humans, about 20 (the brain size then begins to shrink) years for the brain to reach neurological maturity. So multiply 20x6 to get the approximate maximum human life span of 120 years. The oldest recorded lifespan for a woman was Jeanne Calment, She was French, and died in 1997 at the age of 122. The oldest recorded lifespan for men was 115.Also; more women become centenarians by an 8 to 1 margin compared to men. However, if a man becomes a centenarian he is more likely to be healthier and have fewer issues with dementia compared to women
.About 50% of 100-year-olds still live independently   although many of them have multiple medical conditions they are still mentally and emotionally healthy. Growing old and functioning relatively well is partially a genetic causation however mostly due to common lifestyle characteristics. Remember the statistic; about 70% of what happens to you in your body is a result of your decisions, your attitude, and your behavior or lifestyle characteristics.
PART3 continued

Monday, February 4, 2013

Exercise,Health and the Super Bowl

"Be happy. It's one way of being wise."– Colette
 I have some thoughts and ideas about exercise and food intake. I just read some statistics regarding the ingestion of food during the Super Bowl. I didn’t write them down but the numbers were huge as far as snacks etc. it is no wonder why many corporations want to advertise during this event. And further, they know that some people care more about the special and unique advertisements than they do about the actual game. Are you one of them that would rather watch the commercials rather than the game itself?
I recently heard these statistics regarding exercise and health in a continuing education class I took last Friday. The instructor stated that 30 minutes of brisk daily exercise benefits health. 60 minutes of brisk daily exercise is necessary to prevent weight gain while 90 minutes of brisk physical activity will keep the lost weight off. Once again, that doesn’t seem like an inordinately amount of time to spend on oneself.  Notice, brisk daily exercise can be walking at roughly a 4 mph pace. For those of you concerned about distance, check out this website: map my to assist in miles covered. Remember, one doesn’t have to run to accomplish brisk exercise. I get it and I realize that running is difficult and that there are a number of other substitutes that can be used instead. In any event, the activity that you take must number one1. Have a perceived benefit.  2. The activity should be fun, safe, cheap or inexpensive and fit into your busy schedule 3. Walking can be used. Check out this website for assistance: shape  Don’t forget to include flexibility or muscular strength training as well.
Part 2 to be continued
Saturday, I ran the Jed Smith 50 km race( I medaled).  I have been running this race for the past decade and use it for training for my next ultra which Is Way Too Cool.  Per the good news, I was a little under trained as far as distance is concerned but my time was faster this year than last. Also, my Achilles didn’t bother me. I was fortunate enough to have my friends Alpha, Madhu and Chris run with me. Of the six loops Alpha ran 4, Madhu ran 3 and Chris ran 2. However on the last loop, I was accompanied by everyone.
I ran the first three loops well but then started to tire. Chris was especially helpful in the last loop reminding me to keep my head up to assist in relaxing my neck and shoulders. He also reminded me to keep my arms moving. There was one man who passed me on the last half of the last loop. I mistakenly thought he was in my age group but later learned at the finish that he was in Alpha’s age group. After the event, we stopped for treats at Starbucks and Baskin-Robbins for our awards. It is so neat to have good friends who enjoy similar activities. I am lucky.
On Sunday, Linda and I hosted the Super Bowl. We had a potluck celebration with many friends. Too bad the 49’ers lost. I’m tired from Saturday’s run. Today, I’m off to a continuing education class.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Short Bursts of Exercise--U.S. Guidelines

"There ain't nothing from the outside can lick any of us."– Margaret Mitchell

Guess what I found in the January 8, 2013 edition of the Wall Street Journal? Get a load of this title: “Exercise in Short Bursts Is Effective.” A study in a sports and exercise journal  had  the following: U.S. guidelines :  It recommend  that Americans get 150 minutes(2 1/2 hours) of physical activity a week, with the activity accumulated in bouts of at least 10 minutes.

Boston researchers tracked the physical activity of 2,109 men and women enrolled in a larger long-running study of cardiovascular risk factors from the years 2008 to 2010. These individuals were 47 years of age on average-more than half were overweight and were tracked for eight days. On average, these individuals engaged in a half an hour of moderate and vigorous intensity exercise a day of which involved short bursts of activity totaling around 10 minutes. Moderate exercise was defined as walking briskly, heavy cleaning, badminton and golf while vigorous exercise included hiking, jogging, farming, shoveling and competitive sports such as tennis and soccer.

10% of men and 15% of the women met the US guidelines of at least 150 minutes of exercise in bouts of 10 minutes or more. When all the physical activity was both greater or less than 10 minutes in length was considered 56% of men and 47% of the women were compliant with the research guidelines.
.Compared with non compliant subjects all those that met  the US weekly exercise guidelines regardless of how  the150 minutes were accrued had lower triglycerides,  waist circumference  loss, lower  BMI’s  and  improved cholesterol scores. Exercising, the researchers found, had a stronger impact on the cardiovascular risk factors in women compared with men.
So once again it pays to exercise especially if you are female. Let’s do a little math. If you divide 150  minutes  by 7 days you get approximately  21 minutes per day; if you divide 150 minutes by six days you get  25 minutes per day; if you divide 150 minutes by five days you get  30 minutes per day.
Do you know of anyone who would have difficulty complying with the” moderate or vigorous definitions” used in current US guidelines for 150 minutes a week? If you know of somebody that would have this difficulty, I would like to hear about it and about their circumstances. Remember, exercise can be as little as 10 minutes per episode. I’m sure that most of us have the time to exercise. More than likely it’s not about” time “; it’s likely about will, desire, motivation and fortitude. If you can’t find the time to exercise now, I’m sure you shall find the time when you are ill and uncomfortable.
For those of you that are on the couch, I suggest you consider starting with a 10 minute walk per day. In seven days you will have totaled 70 minutes and well on your way to meeting this guideline. I’m sure you know someone that can benefit from exercise so don’t forget to let them know.
Tomorrow, Alpha, Chris, and Madhu are joining me for the Jed Smith 50 K. run in Sacramento. Super Bowl Sunday, Linda and I are hosting it. Keep moving and run for your life. Your health depends on it.