Health and fitness funnies

Here are some more fun items I found in my web wanderings. I love the art masterpiece ones. Enjoy!

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Tony

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Brain’s Power to Adapt Offers Short-Term Gains, Long-Term Strains

There is not necessarily fresh ground broken here, but I think seeing details on how the brain functions can only be helpful. The most important idea for me is one I had going in, namely, you only have one brain so take care of it.

Like air-traffic controllers scrambling to reconnect flights when a major hub goes down, the brain has a remarkable ability to rewire itself after suffering an injury. However, maintaining these new connections between brain regions can strain the brain’s resources, which can lead to serious problems later, including Alzheimer’s Disease, according to researchers.

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After a head injury, the brain can show enhanced connectivity by using alternative routes between two previously connected regions of the brain that need to communicate, as well as make stronger connections, said Frank G. Hillary, associate professor of psychology, Penn State. These new connections between damaged areas are often referred to as hyperconnections, he added. Continue reading

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Filed under brain, brain health, Alzheimer's disease, brain function, aging brain, brain damage

Healthy living = a healthy brain as you age – Mayo Clinic

Eat less; move more; live longer is the mantra of this blog. Seems that a healthy lifestyle increases the chances of a healthy brain as we age, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle can protect the brain against several risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, Mayo Clinic research shows. Controlling blood pressure and cholesterol and avoiding obesity, smoking and diabetes are among the steps that can help preserve brain health, according to the study, published in JAMA Neurology.

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Neurologists believe two aspects make up Alzheimer’s disease:

  • Amyloid deposits: Toxic proteins that build up plaques on the brain.
  • Neurodegeneration: Loss of structure and function of neurons in the brain.

The Mayo research examined whether the risk factors and protective steps against each differ. Continue reading

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Filed under aging brain, brain, brain function, brain health, exercise and brain health, Mayo Clinic

Harnessing stress – Harvard

Dealing with stress seemed like a daily occurrence back when I was in the working world. These days, being retired, it’s a different story. I know that many of you are still  working and deal with severe stresses on a regular basis. For that reason, I have written numerous posts on the subject. I offer some examples at the bottom of this post.

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Here is Harvard taking a positive look at stress:

Changing your mindset doesn’t mean taking a Pollyanna view of the world. The key isn’t to deny stress, but to recognize and acknowledge it — and then to find the upside, because a full-throttle fight-or-flight response is not the only possible reaction to stress (at least when the stress does not involve a potentially life-threatening situation).

In people with a more stress-hardy mindset, the stress response is often tempered by the challenge response, which accounts for the so-called excite-and-delight experience that some people have in stressful situations, such as skydiving. Like the typical stress response, the challenge response also affects the cardiovascular system, but instead of constricting blood vessels and ramping up inflammation in anticipation of wounds, it allows for maximum blood flow, much like exercise. The balance of hormones is different, too, including more DHEA. Continue reading

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Many Millennials still live at home

The Census Bureau reported that latest figures show 31 percent of Millennials live at home with their parents vs 27 percent who live with their spouse. The Millennials are those folks between 18 and 34 years of age.

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I think these numbers are incredible. Why can’t these Millennials cut the umbilical cord?

In addition, the numbers break down as follows 35 percent of the men are still with their parents vs 29 percent of the women.

I believe the fact that they grew up in an atmosphere where they got a trophy for being on the team, not winning, damaged them seriously.

It is a fact that these kids are burdened with $1.3 trillion in student debt. Also, the Obamacare law permits them to remain on their parents’ insurance till age 25.

Student debt is no small consideration. The $1.3 trillion exceeds the amount of car loans or mortgage loans out there.

What do you think?

PS I actually posted this in my other blog @ willingwheeling.wordpress.com, but was not able to reblog it here.

Tony

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HIIT training can reverse aging processes in adults – Mayo Clinic

Eat less; move more; live longer remains the mantra of this blog. So, I was thrilled to read this latest from the Mayo Clinic on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).

Everyone knows that exercise is good for you, but what type of training helps most, especially when you’re older – say over 65? A Mayo Clinic study says it’s high-intensity aerobic exercise, which can reverse some cellular aspects of aging. The findings appear in Cell Metabolism.

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Mayo researchers compared high-intensity interval training, resistance training and combined training. All training types improved lean body mass and insulin sensitivity, but only high-intensity and combined training improved aerobic capacity and mitochondrial function for skeletal muscle. Decline in mitochondrial content and function are common in older adults. Continue reading

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Egg on the Gray Lady’s face

The New York Times is considered the Gray Lady of journalism – news. Lately, however, what passes for journalism there is turning the Gray Lady into a haggard old street walker.

The NYT published these photos of the New England Patriots and their visit to the White House and greeting by President Trump. As you can see from the 2015 photo, the above one, there appears to be a much bigger crowd for Obama than appeared in the 2017 photo for President Trump.

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Here is what the New England Patriots tweeted afterward: twitter.com/NYTSports/status/854793140125020160 

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The fact is it wasn’t a smaller turnout at all. The difference is that in 2017, only the players were pictured up with the president. The rest of the staff were below. The numbers who turned out were very similar.

CNN also tried to pass this off as a smudge on President Trump.

I spent a good part of my life, including the last seven-plus years on this blog, as a journalist and have always been proud of that fact, but this kind of dishonest dealings turns my stomach. I hope something can revive the love of truth in the kids writing now.

Thank goodness for twitter and the integrity of the Patriots.

Tony

 

 

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Our Gunslinger

I love riding my bike every day. I experience a wonderful physical pleasure pressing down on the pedals and feeling myself flying across the path. In addition, I am very happy that bike riding has also helped me to attain a level of good health higher than I ever enjoyed in my life. Those are the physical things. Very important to me. There are also other aspects of riding that I enjoy very much. I can’t tell you how many times that I have pedaled across the pavement and found myself bouncing around ideas for a blog post. Ideas connect, I do some phrasing and by the time I get home it is like I can dictate the post from my head.

This is one of those posts. I love John Fogerty and his wonderful upbeat music. Here is one he performed about ten years ago during the last administration.

I grew up in the ’40’s. As kids we went to the movies on Saturday and saw double features of cowboy movies. Lots of gunslingers. There is something archetypal about a gunslinger. A loner, quiet, deadly, mysterious, a scary guy.

Here are a couple of insights and a connection that have been going through my head for several rides. First, as a boxing fan, I am familiar with the incredible upset victory that young Cassius Clay (he had not yet changed his name) achieved over Sonny Liston. Much has been written about this fight, Clay was a brash youngster. Liston a powerful old brawler. He claimed to be 32 years old, but some experts put him closer to 40. He had spent time in prison for armed robbery. Of the 46 fight writers at ringside, 43 picked Liston to win. I read somewhere, and, sadly, I can’t find it now, that secretly Liston was afraid of Clay. Clay acted truly crazy, including driving his bus through Liston’s neighborhood at 3:00 AM and waking up the neighborhood challenging Liston to fight him. While in prison, Liston had seen truly insane individuals and feared them. So, Clay was clearly the gunslinger in that situation. A loner, quiet, deadly, mysterious, a scary guy.

The other instance I thought of was between President Reagan and Nikita Khrushchev. My understanding is that Khrushchev also feared Reagan. Part of it was the press at the time which gave Reagan a certain wild west personality, not suited to be president. (sound familiar?) Also, Reagan had actually played a cowboy in the movies which influenced the Russian leader. Again, it was that gunslinger personality that struck fear into the heart of his opponent. A loner, quiet, deadly, mysterious, a scary guy.

And, finally, there is our gunslinger – President Trump. Like Reagan he has been vilified by the mainstream media. Numerous attacks on his intelligence, character, you name it. Certainly a slightly unstable entity, in the eyes of the press.

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Now, let’s look at the Syrian Tomahawk missile launch. My understanding is that the President Trump excused himself in the middle of dinner with the Chinese President, Xi Jinping. When he returned, he informed the Chinese leader that he had just launched 59 Tomahawk missiles into Syria. Enjoying your main course? A loner, quiet, deadly, mysterious, a scary guy.

What I think is going on these days is that cunning and extremely intelligent leaders, such as Vladimir Putin, are thinking the U.S. has a gunslinger in the White House. Who knows what he might do? My feeling is that President Trump will have vastly more success in relations with Putin than his predecessor. Likewise in relations with Iran. A loner, quiet, deadly, mysterious, a scary guy.

Tony

 

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Happy Birthday – Einstein – Belated

While my ignorance of physics is nearly pristine, over the years, I have run across a number of quotes from him that I thought were really fine. Herewith, some birthday celebration quotes:

 

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As a bike rider, I couldn’t possibly overlook this one. I also have this poster framed in my living room.

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These are just a few that I like. Please feel free to offer anything that you found particularly meaningful.

Clearly my ignorance of physics rivals my ignorance of Einstein as his B’day was March 14th.

Tony

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Health and fitness funnies

Who says you can’t have fun while living a healthy life? These are from my recent web wanderings …. Enjoy!

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Tony

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More bad news for expanding waistlines

For decades, American waistlines have been expanding and there is increasing cause for alarm. Researchers make the case that metabolic syndrome is the new silent killer and that the “love handle” can be fatal.

I have posted on obesity in general and expanding waistlines in particular. If you want to read further on these subjects, check the links at the end of this post.

For decades, American waistlines have been expanding and there is increasing cause for alarm. Researchers from the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University make the case that metabolic syndrome — a cluster of three of more risk factors that include abdominal obesity, high triglycerides, high blood pressure, abnormal lipids, and insulin resistance, a precursor of type 2 diabetes — is the new “silent killer,” analogous to hypertension in the 1970s. As it turns out, the “love handle” can be fatal.

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In a commentary published in the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics , the authors describe how being overweight and obesity contribute to metabolic syndrome, which affects 1 in 3 adults and about 40 percent of adults aged 40 and older. Clinicians have traditionally evaluated each of the major risk factors contributing to metabolic syndrome on an individual basis. There is evidence, however, that the risk factors are more than just the sum of their parts.  Continue reading

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Happy Easter Wishes – Try Biking – Infographics

Easter comes at a time when the weather is mellowing and more folks think about getting outside and enjoying the air. Maybe slimming down. The whole idea of Easter is rejuvenation, right? Spring; new life. Well, biking is the coolest way I know to get outside and feel reborn.

I hope you will enjoy these images and ideas as much as I do.

benefits-of-a-bicycleI just love that little poster. The Earth sends a lil extra luv to those on bicycles… It says so right there.

8478b233cb320070783ded4e51998d43What’s not to like?

WebMost years I ride my bike farther than I drive my car. That’s something you might be able to do …

twin-cities-biking-walkingIsn’t it interesting that Minneapolis is one of the top cities for biking in the country?

c6e9f77152707d384b96d3d757e6cc3fIt’s a good day for a ride …

Happy Easter, bunny!

One little safety note: besides a helmet, get those biking gloves. If  When  you fall, you are going to put your hands out in front of you. The gloves will protect them from glass, dirt and anything else on the road.

Tony

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Filed under biking, cardio exercise, Easter, Easter wishes, Exercise, exercise benefits, regular bike riding

Sing, Sing, Sing

I am tempted to say that this is for my younger readers as they are unlikely to have experienced the song – Sing, Sing, Sing. But, then I realize that probably more than 95 percent of you are younger than I am. So, this is for all of you.

*Another of the seminal songs in my musical upbringing is the famous Sing, Sing, Sing, written and performed by Louis Prima. I probably heard it at home on the radio because my father was a fan of Prima who had recorded it in March 1936. I became more aware of the song in my later years after hearing the Benny Goodman version at his famous 1938 Carnegie Hall jazz concert.*

In case you are unfamiliar with Louis Prima, here is what Wikipedia has to say, “Louis Prima (December 7, 1910 – August 24, 1978) was an Italian-American singer, actor, songwriter, bandleader, and trumpeter. While rooted in New Orleans jazz, swing music, and jump blues, Prima touched on various genres throughout his career: he formed a seven-piece New Orleans-style jazz band in the late 1920s, fronted a swing combo in the 1930s and a big band group in the 1940s, helped to popularize jump blues in the late 1940s and early to mid 1950s, and performed as a Vegas lounge act in the late 1950s and 1960s.

Louis Prima version 1937

“From the 1940s through the 1960s, his music further encompassed early R&B and rock’n’roll, boogie-woogie, and even Italian folk music, such as the tarantella. Prima made prominent use of Italian music and language in his songs, blending elements of his Italian identity with jazz and swing music. At a time when “ethnic” musicians were often discouraged from openly stressing their ethnicity, Prima’s conspicuous embrace of his Italian ethnicity opened the doors for other Italian-American and “ethnic” American musicians to display their ethnic roots.”

Of course, to my unsophisticated ear, the most stunning performance on the piece was the pulsing, primal Gene Krupa drum solo. It wasn’t till I was older that I got into appreciating the wonderful Benny Goodman clarinet work as well.

Here is what Wikipedia has to offer on the song: In their 1966 book Hear Me Talkin’ To Ya: The Story Of Jazz As Told By The Men Who Made It, music critics Nat Shapiro and Nat Hentoff quote Goodman as saying, “‘Sing, Sing, Sing’ (which we started doing back at the Palomar on our second trip there in 1936) was a big thing, and no one-nighter was complete without it.” Goodman’s 1938 Carnegie Hall jazz concert was different from the commercial release and from subsequent performances with the Goodman band. The personnel of the Goodman band for the Carnegie Hall concert were the same as in the 1937 recording session, except Vernon Brown replaced Murray McEachern on trombone, and Babe Russin replaced Vido Musso on tenor sax.

12 Min Version From Carnegie Hall 1938

I wanted to include this last one because seeing two other extremely gifted artists add their interpretation to it adds a further level of enjoyment. And, who doesn’t love Fred and Ginger?

Tony

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How often should you eat – Infographic

I just stumbled across this infographic and it seemed intelligently constructed and  particularly informative. Enjoy!

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Tony

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Use exercise to help depression – WebMD

I have done a number of posts on depression – a mood disorder very common and often misunderstood. One of the first things you need to know about depression is that it is a disorder of cognition not just mood, according to Robert D. Edger, M.D. speaking before Northwestern Memorial Hospital’s Healthy Transitions Program® . You don’t just buck  up or keep smiling to get rid of it. You usually need a medical intervention. Statistics show that possibly 75 percent of sufferers do not get medical help.

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Here are my pup and me riding in Chicago’s annual Bike the Drive up Lake Shore Drive. A bike is a super tool for fighting depression.

Here are a few suggestions from WebMD that at least offer some relief from depression. Needless to say, I was happy to see that, once more, exercise casts some light into the darkness of this situation.  Click on the link to read them all. Continue reading

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Exercise benefits Parkinson’s suffers – Study

I would like to thank reader, Garry, for tipping me off to this study on Parkinson’s disease and exercise.

From an analysis of more than 3,400 patients with Parkinson’s disease, researchers found that those who engaged in a minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity a week experienced much slower declines in health-related quality of life (HRQL) and mobility over 2 years, compared with patients who exercised less than 150 minutes weekly.

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Note: This recommendation exactly equals that of the U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services. Which states: Adults 18 to 64 should get:
2.5 hours/wk of moderate intensity exercise.
OR 1.25 hours a week of vigorous aerobic physical activity
Or Some combination of the above – equivalent episodes of at least 10 minutes spread throughout the week. Continue reading

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