Should you grab life by the bells? Science and kettlebells!

Tony:

Fascinating take on kettle bells, a subject on which my ignorance if nearly pristine.

Tony

Originally posted on Is it healthful?:

As I finish my morning run, my eyes become drawn to a group of young and trendies in a circle. They’re swinging what looks like a kettle up and down and I can only presume they must be in a who can damage their back the most contest.  As a physiotherapist and low back pain sufferer, I cringe. No, wrong, I feel physically ill.  I want to intervene, but I fear these kettlebell wielding youths will turn on me. What I do next will shock you!

Yes, I go inside to research kettlebells.

I put in a paragraph there to give you sufficient time to be shocked. Did I come out minutes later with a barrage of scientific evidence to fire at these yucky yuppies? Read on to find out!

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Kettlebells and exercise performance:

I was certain these kettlebellers were damaging their backs, so I thought I’d have a bit of a gander (look) at what…

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How My Apple Watch Helps Me to Exercise

This is the specific follow up to my previous post on how the Apple Watch keeps me healthy in general.

As regular readers know, my go to exercise is riding a bicycle so what I am going to tell you about is my first hand experience using the Apple Watch to ride my bike. I think it is fair to say, however, that since biking is aerobic, what I am about to tell you applies also to any aerobic exercise. In fact, the Watch offers the following types of exercise to choose, Outdoor Walk, Outdoor Cycle, Stair Stepper, Outdoor Run, Indoor Walk, Indoor Run, Indoor Cycle, Elliptical, Rower. There is also an Other category.

First of all, these segments are from the Workout App on the Watch. I am going to offer the same link as last time and I recommend that you go there and watch the Guided Tour for the Workout App.

Here is the Watch face with the icons. The Workout one is the little green running man on the left.

Here is the Watch face with the icons. The Workout one is the little green running man on the left.

This page will give you a total of 21 different aspect of the Watch and explain their use. I am focussing on the Workout one today.

To start, I go to the screen with all the icons and tap on the one with the little figure running. This gives me the list that I enumerated. Naturally, I select the Outdoor Cycle workout.

The watch then allows me to set a goal based on calories or time. I don’t evaluate my rides that way. It also offers for outdoor choices the option of setting a distance goal. That’s not my style. I just want to get on and ride.

The Watch allows me to do that with the Open option which simply features a Start button. For the record, if I chose a distance to ride, the Watch would remember it and it will become the default next time. Very handy if that is your cup of tea.

When I press Start, the Watch goes into a three second countdown. Once I am enroute, it offers the following info: Pace, Distance, Heart rate.

In the upper right hand corner is a time metric. I can simply swipe to get my present elapsed time, the time of day or my speed.

As an old guy who takes breaks on his rides I am happy to report that I can do that and pause the watch at any time. I can restart the Watch when I restart my ride.

Because the Watch is paired with my iPhone, all of the data from my workouts is automatically stored in the Health App on my phone.

I hope this explanation hasn’t sounded too complicated. I haven’t felt that. I have used the app on all my bike rides since I bought the Watch. In addition, when I walk my dog, I included that as a Walking Workout and get the data on that activity, too.

One caveat I would like to add is that while the Watch can give you a heart rate readout as well as tell your average heart rate for the workout. You have the option of turning off the heart rate monitor as an energy saver.

Another aspect of the Watch that I need to mention is that is greatly simplifies my rides in that I don’t lose phone calls any more. Without the Watch, I have to stop the bike, dig out my phone from the rear pocket on my jersey, open the case and answer the call. I would often lose calls in this physical confusion.7d0d5df44b163aafb6b11fe751886da2

Now with the Watch, I simply pull over, raise the Watch and check the screen to see who is calling. So, I have the option of not answering. I can also scroll up and choose to send the caller a message, or simply answer it – on my wrist or on my iPhone. Readers old enough to remember the Dick Tracy comics will be reminded of Dick with his famous Wrist Radio. When I take a call on my Watch, I look exactly like the legendary Dick Tracy talking into his wrist radio.

In summary, the Apple Watch has added a great deal of fun and also information to my daily bike rides. I hope I have told you enough to be able to translate it to your go to exercise.
As always, you are invited to share your experiences and ideas.

Tony

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How My Apple Watch Keeps Me Healthy

I have owned my Apple watch just under a month now. For the record, I am a big fan of Apple. I bought my first Apple II+ back in 1979 and upgraded to a Fat Mac in 1984. I bought the stock when it became available and I have continued to update my home Apple computer (both on my desktop and laptop) ever since.

This is the band that I have. It is called Milanese and is totally adjustable to fit my skinny wrist.

This is the band that I have. It is called Milanese and is totally adjustable to fit my skinny wrist.

Because I am 75 years old, there is a certain ‘old man resistance’ to new stuff in me these days. Nonetheless, I have taken to my Apple Watch like a duck to water. Despite my enjoyment, I can not say that I have mastered all its intricacies yet by any means. Like a good relationship, it keeps unfolding in the most delightful ways.

The Activity App is the one of the keys keeping me healthy. I will write some aspects, but, to really learn about it, click the link to go through the guided tour. The link has info on 20 aspects of the Apple Watch. For this post, please scroll down to the Activity one (with the three concentric circles) and Click on  “Watch the Guided Tour.” Apple created the tour and demonstrates actual usage of the App beautifully.

To begin using the app, the Watch screen prompted me to fill in a brief form with sex, age, weight and height. Now my watch knows me.

Next I had to indicate my personal activity level. This is what I estimate my activity calorie expenditure for the day to be. The watch then suggested a goal for me which you can accept or adjust it to a level I prefer.

I can track my activity through the day by tapping the icon or actually put an icon on my Watch face and track it from there.

There are three rings on the Activity app. The Movement one, in red, shows active calories toward my daily goal. BTW, these are calories which I burn as I move throughout the day. It does not include resting calories from lack of movement, like just sitting. The Centers for Disease Control reports that 78 percent of us are not meeting our basic activity requirements.

The Exercise ring, in green, shows how many minutes of exercise I have done toward a goal of 30 minutes per day. This tracks movement, not just health club stuff. Playing with your kids or dancing counts on the Activity app.

Finally, the Stand ring, in blue, shows how many times out of twelve hours that I have stood for at least a minute. If you aren’t aware of the dangers of prolonged sitting, please check out my Page – Do you know the Dangers of too much sitting? I have to confess that I am blown away by the fact that the Watch reminds me when I have been sitting too long. Many people are not even aware that prolonged sitting is bad.

The Stand reminder, by the way, is shown on the Watch screen and is accompanied by a little nudge on my wrist called a haptic. The Watch has sensors and other mechanisms on the part that touches your skin. That is where the haptic originates. It feels like someone gently poking your wrist.

In sum, the Activity App alone gives me the feeling that I am being watched over by a gentle and friendly robot that cares about me. Okay, I have a vivid imagination. Nonetheless, I have enjoyed being reminded to stand and also viewing my activity through the day as well as at day’s end. I have a better consciousness of my daily activity progress as a result. Every Monday, the Watch notifies me of the previous week’s results and I have the option of tweaking my daily move goal for the coming week.

I called this post How My Apple Watch Keeps Me Healthy, but of course, I am the one keeping me healthy by my commitment to good health. I think if you are a person less committed than I am, the Watch will be even more effective for you because it continually reminds you about your need to move. I would love to hear from readers who are also experiencing owning the Watch.

The next time I will continue this by going into the Workout App which gives me wonderful coverage and assistance on my bike riding. Of course, it also covers walking, running, indoor and out, elliptical, rower and more.

Stay tuned.

Tony

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More Reasons to Eat Fresh Fruit – Infographic

One of the good things about summer is that there is an abundance of fresh fruit available. A look at the infographic below will remind you how good it is to enjoy some of those fresh offerings.

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Tony

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Intermittent Fasting

Tony:

I am posting this because it has a ton of good information about eating before working out and working out on an empty stomach. As a matter of fact, I don’t do fasting well, even the short ones, but if this kind of thing works for you, go for it.

Tony

Originally posted on Your Gateway to Health:

The Surprising Benefits of Exercising on an Empty Stomach

It’s a debate that’s raged since the first weight was lifted: Is it better or worse to work out on an empty stomach? Wars have been waged and nations have fallen (okay, that’s a slight exaggeration) during the eternal battle of fed versus fasted exercise, but it’s time for this madness to end. We have the final answer.

Well, not the final answer. Different people work out best under different circumstances, and deciding whether someone should eat before training can be like telling them what time of day to work out or which diet they should follow—it largely depends on what works best for the individual. But it is time to dismantle some old myths.

Contrary to popular belief, research suggests that eating many small meals throughout the daywon’t speed up the metabolism, skipping a meal won’t make you fat

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Wealthy Habits vs Poor Habits – Statistical Data

Tony:

So here is Ramsey’s quick comparison of wealthy habits versus poor habits (remember, wealthy is defined as household income exceeding $150,000 and poor as under $30,000):

In food we trust.

In food we trust.

I am reblogging this even though it focuses on money as opposed to good health or weight loss. I believe strongly that the same principles apply to living a healthy life as living a successful life financially. You need to take responsibility for your actions (and inactions).

TANSTAAFL – There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

As I said in a comment on this post by the original blogger. I think this post put the lie to the, “You didn’t build that” theory which is clearly intended to take away credit from individual’s achievements. We are absolutely responsible for our health, fiscal and physical.

Eat less; move more; live longer.

Tony

Originally posted on Dream Big, Dream Often:

Dave Ramsey published a list of habits of the wealthy versus the poor.  I used it in part to compile my own list of positive life habits I wanted to adopt for myself.  I use the list from my previous post as a guide to success and kind of a mission statement to keep me in check.  Building wealth or success takes dedication beyond anything I have experienced in my life.

But as I am realizing, once you understand the formula it becomes easier to duplicate success in other areas of your life.  Millionaires will tell the story of losing millions several times over, yet start again from scratch and ascend like the pheonix.   Ever wondered how?  The answer is found in the formula I discussed in my first few posts: 1. determine what it is that you desire and state it, 2. determine what you are willing to sacrifice to get…

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Certain Foods Can Damage Your Ability To Think Flexibly

Tony:

“We’ve known for a while that too much fat and sugar are not good for you.

This work suggests that fat and sugar are altering your healthy bacterial systems, and that’s one of the reasons those foods aren’t good for you.

It’s not just the food that could be influencing your brain, but an interaction between the food and microbial changes.”

The ‘Western diet’ that many consume daily is high in sugar, fat and simple carbohydrates.

I am fascinated by the workings of the brain, and in this case, how we can mess up a perfectly good system with bad diet. I think this post makes clear that we need to eat well and exercise in order to stay healthy. We don’t just adopt a few changes to drop a couple of pounds and then revert to our bad eating.

Tony

Originally posted on Our Better Health:

A high-fat, high-sugar diet causes significant damage to cognitive flexibility, a new study finds.

Cognitive flexibility is the ability to adjust and adapt to changing situations.

The high-sugar diet was most damaging, the research on mice found.

This caused impairments in both long- and short-term memory.

This is just the latest in a line of studies showing the potentially dramatic effects of diet on mental performance.

Professor Kathy Magnusson, who co-led the study, said:

“The impairment of cognitive flexibility in this study was pretty strong.

Think about driving home on a route that’s very familiar to you, something you’re used to doing.

Then one day that road is closed and you suddenly have to find a new way home.”

With lower cognitive flexibility, adapting to these kinds of changes would be more difficult.

Professor Magnusson said it wasn’t yet clear how these damaging effects were caused:

“It’s increasingly clear that…

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More Than Two-Thirds of Adults Overweight or Obese

Tony:

“Obesity is not getting better. It’s getting worse, and it’s really scary. It’s not looking pretty,” said Lin Yang, a postdoctoral research associate at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

To read more on the damage of obesity, check these posts:

U.S. Obesity is on the Rise
Obesity May Speed Aging of the Liver
HIgh-Fat and High-Sugar Snacks Contribute to Fatty Liver and Abdominal Obesity

Tony

Originally posted on Our Better Health:

Only 25 percent of men and 33 percent of women at a healthy weight, researchers say

By Dennis Thompson    HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, June 22, 2015 (HealthDay News) – Fewer than one-third of Americans are currently at a healthy weight, with the rest of the population either overweight or obese, a new report finds.

About 35 percent of men and 37 percent of women are obese. Another 40 percent of men and 30 percent of women are overweight, researchers said in the June 22 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

“Obesity is not getting better. It’s getting worse, and it’s really scary. It’s not looking pretty,” said Lin Yang, a postdoctoral research associate at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Obesity has been linked to a number of chronic health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers and arthritis, Yang said.

“This generation of Americans is the…

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How Risky is Exercise if Over 50?

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal had a very informative story by Ron Winslow about men over 50 having a heart attack while exercising.

Earlier this week James B. Lee Jr., the 62-year-old vice chairman of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., who regularly exercised, became short of breath while exercising and went to a hospital, where he died, his company has said.

exercise-physiology1This is tragic news and particularly nerve wracking for men over 50 who work out.

The Journal story makes some excellent points that I want to pass on to you.

I am 75 years old, retired and I exercise daily. As I have said repeatedly, the mantra of this blog is eat less; move more; live longer. I don’t want to think for a minute that my exercise routine is somehow threatening my life. To the contrary, I think it is extending my life.

“Exercise is not a vaccine against heart disease,” says Michael Joyner, an exercise physiologist at Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn. While not specifically addressing Mr. Lee’s case, Dr. Joyner noted that risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol are increasingly common as people age. Continue reading

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Nutrition and Healthy Aging for Men

Tony:

Here’s a closer look at five of the most common health conditions that affect men as they age, and how better nutrition and lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce their risk.

Excellent information in this. I must admit to being highly satisfied to see the increased emphasis on exercise.

Please check out my Page on Important Facts About Your Braind (and Exercise Benefits).

Tony

Originally posted on Cooking with Kathy Man:

Judith C. Thalheimer, a dietitian wrote . . . . .

As men get older, their risk of developing chronic diseases increases. Adopting healthier lifestyle habits can decrease that risk and help ensure a higher quality of life for years to come.

“Eating a well-balanced diet with a variety of foods can help men promote their overall health and reduce their risk of chronic diseases,” says Ximena Jimenez, MS, RDN, LD, a national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (the Academy). By sharing that wisdom with male clients in a way that empowers them to take control of their health through lifestyle choices, nutrition professionals can have a major impact on their lives.

Here’s a closer look at five of the most common health conditions that affect men as they age, and how better nutrition and lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce their risk.

1. Heart Disease

The statistics…

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Best Muscle and Exercise Chart – Infographic

I ran across this chart on the web and thought it was a super description of our muscle system and that exercises used to develop them.

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Tony

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Health Advocates Remake Famous Coke Ad – CSPI

It’s time to change the tune on Soda, says the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)

Real people suffering from diabetes, tooth decay, weight gain, and other diseases related to soda consumption are starring in a remake of Coca-Cola’s iconic “Hilltop” ad. The new video is health advocates’ latest salvo in their campaign to reduce the incidence of soda-related disease in America and around the world.

“For the past 45 years, Coca-Cola and other makers of sugar drinks have used the most sophisticated and manipulative advertising techniques to convince children and adults alike that a disease-promoting drink will make them feel warm and fuzzy inside,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “It’s a multi-billion-dollar brainwashing campaign designed to distract us away from our diabetes with happy thoughts. We thought it was time to change the tune.”

Soda and other sugary drinks are the leading source of calories in the American diet, and raise one’s risks of diabetes, tooth decay, and weight gain—conditions experienced by the Denver-area residents who participated in the film.

“Soda is just one of several contributors to diet-related disease, but it’s a major one,” said Dr. Jeffry Gerber, a Denver-area physician who appeared in the film. “As a physician who asks all of my patients about the foods and drinks they choose, I see the connection between soda consumption and chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity every day of the week. It’s hard to ask patients to practice moderation when all of the advertising, marketing, and overall ubiquity of soda rewires people to overconsume sugary drinks.”

The film was produced by Scott McDonald and Gavin Anstey of the Lumenati agency, and was written by Mike Howard of Daughters & Howard. Alex Bogusky, formerly of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, provided overall creative direction. Bogusky also served as executive creative director for The Real Bears, CSPI’s 2012 short film that showed an animated family of polar bears suffering the consequences of soda-related disease. Coca-Cola called it “irresponsible and the usual grandstanding from CSPI,” while Mark Bittman of the New York Times called it “Depressing, touching, and effective.”

CSPI is providing Spanish, Portuguese, French, Hindi, and Mandarin translations of the lyrics used in the new film as a resource for health advocates around the world, where Coke and Pepsi are investing billions of dollars a year to promote the consumption of their products.

Regular readers know that I feel strongly about soft drinks in general, both diet and sugary. Check out my Page – What’s Wrong With Soft Drinks?

Tony

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Dietary Guidelines for Alzheimer’s Prevention

Tony:

There are some excellent tips here on boosting brain health. As regular readers know, I have both Alzheimer’s and dementia in my family, so anything professing to boost my brain health is music to my ears.

I was impressed with the insights on vitamins with iron and copper, also the suggestion to avoid aluminum cookware and products that contain aluminum.

Naturally, the suggestion to exercise for 120 minutes each week was also good to read. I have written a Page on the brain and exercise which I urge you to read – Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise Benefits).

Lastly, I have to take issue with the first suggestion about avoiding coconut oil among other saturated fats. Coconut oil is actually a terrifically healthy fat which I have integrated into my daily diet, not only with no ill effects, but very positive ones, including superb cholesterol readings. I am 75 years old and start every day with a tablespoon of coconut oil and peanut butter. I ride my bicycle an average of nearly 20 miles a day year ’round here in Chicago.

Here is my Page – Coconut Oil -Why You Should Include it in Your Diet. Please read that before deciding to follow the doctors’ suggestion on avoiding it.

Tony

Originally posted on Cooking with Kathy Man:

Enlarge image . . . . .

“Alzheimer’s disease isn’t a natural part of aging,” notes lead author Neal Barnard, M.D., president of the nonprofit Physicians Committee and an adjunct professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine. “By staying active and moving plant-based foods to the center of our plates, we have a fair shot at rewriting our genetic code for this heart-wrenching , and costly, disease.”

Alzheimer’s Disease International predicts Alzheimer’s rates will triple worldwide by 2050. The Alzheimer’s Association predicts long-term care costs start at $41,000 per year.

The seven guidelines to reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease are:

  • Minimize your intake of saturated fats and trans fats. Saturated fat is found primarily in dairy products, meats, and certain oils (coconut and palm oils). Trans fats are found in many snack pastries and fried foods and are listed on labels as “partially hydrogenated oils.”
  • Eat…

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The Evils of Caffeine

Tony:

I like coffee but usually drink decaf because I read about caffeine headaches years ago and it scared the life out of me. I wanted to reblog this because I know that a lot of folks drink those ‘energy’ drinks and they are crammed with caffeine along with other undesirable chemicals. No matter what your beverage of choice, I hope this proves useful to you.

I think the natural way is always better, certainly healthier and less damaging to the body.

Tony

Originally posted on Holistic Health & Living:

evil-coffeeBy Nikoletta Ven

Charles Czeisler, a neuroscientist and sleep expert from Harvard Medical School explains: “When the nature of work changed from a schedule built around the sun to an indoor job timed by a clock, humans had to adapt. The widespread use of caffeinated food and drink – in combination with the invention of electric light – allowed people to cope with a work schedule set by the clock, not by daylight or the natural sleep cycle.” In addition, scientific studies have shown that the power boost of caffeine is connected with its interference with adenosine – a chemical in our bodies, which has hypnotic effect and works as a natural sleeping pill. Caffeine actually ceases adenosine and in this way our alertness gets increased and our sleep habits are disrupted. As we all know, there’s no such thing as a free lunch and we pay for this extra…

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Opinion: 3 Myths About Dairy-free Foods

Tony:

Calcium is critical for many of the body’s basic functions, including regulating your heartbeat, says Victor Khabie, M.D. chief of sports medicine at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, New York. “The bones are a storehouse for calcium and if you’re not ingesting enough orally then the body will take calcium from your bones to keep the level of calcium in your blood normal.” And that can lead to osteoporosis, or brittle bones. The body also requires adequate protein and vitamin D to “remodel” bone, the process that keeps bone healthy.

To read further on calcium and osteoporosis, check out these posts:
Calcium – The Key to Strong bones – Infographic
The Benefits of Calcium
Calcium Supplements Linked to Longer Lifespans in Women
The Joys and Benefits of Bike Riding

Preventing Osteoporosis Takes a Lifestyle Change
What Can I do to Prevent Osteoporosis?
What is a New Weapon Against Osteoporosis?
Beating Osteoporosis – Harvard

Tony

Originally posted on Cooking with Kathy Man:

Calcium is important even when you’re older, and milk can be a fine way to get it.

Have you sworn off dairy? Maybe you think it will ease your stomach woes. Or, now that you’re middle-aged, you assume your bones don’t need as much. Or maybe you’re just drawn to all the dairy-free options now on supermarket shelves, including dairy-free ice cream, yogurt, and coffee creamer. Should you join the crowd? Probably not. “Unless you have a medical reason to skip dairy, such as an allergy to milk protein, adults can benefit by eating some dairy every day,” says Consumer Reports chief medical adviser Marvin M. Lipman, M.D.

Here we take a look at some common myths about milk and other dairy products.

Myth 1: After age 30 you don’t need calcium for your bones

It’s true that you reach peak bone mass by age 30, so getting calcium before…

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Happy Father’s Day and International Yoga Day

My father has long since passed away, but here’s to all you dads who are still around.

fathers

Assume the position. If we all did yoga we would have a happier and healthier world.

Yoga-DayTony

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