Weekly funnies …

Herewith the latest batch of pics and GIFs that tickled my funny bone in the past week. I hope you enjoy them. Although I am very allergic to cats I absolutely love them and their crazy, sweet ways.



Cats and dogs together are so cool.





Clearly, dogs need affection, too.

Have a great weekend!



Leave a comment

Filed under fitness funnies, funnies

Mis-remembering vs. forgetting – Seniors Study

As a 78-year-old concerned about his cognitive facilities remaining intact, this Penn State study caught my attention.


Older adults often complain about forgetting, but Penn State psychologists suggest that another problem may be mis-remembering.

In a study, the researchers found that as people age, they may be more likely to rely on a type of memory — called schematic memory — that helps them remember the gist of an event, but not necessarily the details. This inability to remember details, though, could lead to difficulty in distinguishing between a memory of something that really happened and something that a person thought happened, but did not — a false memory.

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under aging, aging brain, memory, successful aging

You don’t have to lose cognitive function while aging – Study

With Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia on both sides of my family, I can’t tell you how good it makes me feel to run across studies like this that say the wheels don’t have to come off your mental functions as you age.

Gradual and variable change in mental functions that occurs naturally as people age, not as part of a neurological disease such as Alzheimer’s disease, is one of the most challenging health issues encountered by older adults, says a report from the Institute of Medicine. The aging process affects the brain just like any other part of the body. Known as “cognitive aging,” the type and rate of change can vary widely among individuals. Some will experience very few, if any, effects, while others may experience changes in their memory, speed of processing information, problem solving, learning, and decision-making abilities. The committee that carried out the study and wrote the report proposed three top actions individuals can take to help maintain optimal cognitive function with age.


“Changes in mental functions and capabilities are a part of aging and occur with everyone,” said committee chair Dan G. Blazer, the J.P. Gibbons Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. “The extent and nature of these changes vary widely and are gradual, and aging can have both positive and negative effects on cognition. Wisdom and knowledge can increase with age, while memory and attention can decline.”

Aging can affect cognitive abilities needed to perform daily tasks, such as driving, following recipes, adhering to medication schedules, and paying bills, the committee said. As they get older, individuals of all ages should take the following three steps to help promote cognitive health:

Be physically active.
Reduce and manage cardiovascular disease risk factors, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking.
Regularly discuss and review health conditions and medications that might influence cognitive health with a health care professional. A number of medications can have a negative effect — temporary or long term –on cognitive function when used alone or in combination with other medication.

Other actions that may promote cognitive health: Continue reading


Filed under aging brain, brain, brain function, brain health

Huge and unnecessary variation of salt levels in bread – survey

We hear a lot of talk about the amount of salt and sodium in our diets and the importance of trying to keep it limited. Some folks even remove their salt shakers from the tables. However, we get most sodium from our processed foods. So, we need to turn our focus to everything we eat, not just our salt shakers. Here is a study on how much salt can be found in the seemingly innocuous bread-food-healthy-breakfast.jpgbread on our tables.

  • Canadian bread product saltiest in survey of global bread products
  • Some breads surveyed had as much sodium (salt) as seawater
  • More than a third of breads worldwide have more salt than UK maximum salt
    reduction target for bread (1.5 g of salt or 600 mg of sodium /100 g)
  • 73% of Canadian breads exceeded Health Canada’s 2016 targets for sodium in bread products and 21% were above recommended maximum levels.

Bread features heavily in many diets worldwide, and is one of the biggest sources of salt in diets. A new survey by World Action on Salt and Health (WASH), based at Queen Mary University of London, has revealed the shocking levels of salt present in this essential staple. WASH surveyed over 2,000 white, wholemeal, mixed grain and flat breads from 32 countries and regions, including over 500 products from Canada collected by Professor Mary L’Abbe’s lab at the University of Toronto. Continue reading


Filed under salt, sodium, white bread, whole wheat bread

My lost weekend …

I am just finishing up the remains of a lost weekend. You may not remember the book and/or movie of that name about an alcoholic. I do. I was a little kid when the movie came out in the 1940’s and had the bad luck to be brought to see it with my mother. It was way beyond my pay grade at the time and I remember having nightmares about a bat flying through a hole in a wall and bleeding. Anyway, my current lost weekend has nothing to do with alcohol.


Friday started out normal, I got up early and rode my bike, then breakfasted with my girlfriend and took the dog for her walk. I had to bring her in for her semiannual physical checkup as she is a 12-year-old senior canine.

After the vet visit I brought her home, fixed lunch and then walked the pooch again. It was now nearly 1:00 PM, time for another bike ride. My back was sore, though, so I thought I would lie on the floor with my feet up on a chair for five minutes or so to relieve my back pain. I learned this position in a yoga class years ago and it works very well. I assumed the position and relaxed. The next thing I knew, I was waking up and it was 1:25 PM. I had slept almost a half hour in the middle of the day!

Upon rising I also became aware that I was still very tired and certainly did not have the energy to take the bike out. So, I took off my cycling outfit and went to bed to rest. I fell asleep again and didn’t wake up till 4:30 PM. Wow. Two things struck me immediately, I still felt tired and I had to get up to walk the pooch again.

With great difficulty, I roused my non-responsive body and put some clothes on. I live in a high rise building and found myself leaning on the elevator wall to support myself on the ride downstairs.

Mercifully, the dog didn’t want to do much walking and we returned home in short order.

Continue reading


Filed under biking, Exercise, exercise downtime, safe biking, The Lost Weekend

The Coffee Cannabis Connection

Lots of people drink coffee not quite as many, I reckon, are involved with cannabis on some level. So, how do they interact in us? Here is a fascinating study on just that subject.

It’s well known that a morning cup of joe jolts you awake. But scientists have discovered coffee affects your metabolism in dozens of other ways, including your metabolism of steroids and the neurotransmitters typically linked to cannabis, reports a new study from Northwestern Medicine.


In a study of coffee consumption published in the Journal of Internal Medicine, Northwestern scientists were surprised to discover coffee changed many more metabolites in the blood than previously known. Metabolites are chemicals in the blood that change after we eat and drink or for a variety of other reasons.

The neurotransmitters related to the endocannabinoid system — the same ones affected by cannabis — decreased after drinking four to eight cups of coffee in a day. That’s the opposite of what occurs after someone uses cannabis. Neurotransmitters are the chemicals that deliver messages between nerve cells. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under coffee

Green Tea for St. Patrick’s Day… and Every Day

If this looks familiar it’s because I ran it last year on St. Patty’s Day.


“BETTER to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one.”
Ancient Chinese proverb.

If that really is an ancient Chinese proverb it must be referring to green tea. Don’t know about green tea? You are in for a treat.

About.com reports that in 1994 the Journal of the National Cancer Institute had a study showing that green tea drinking cut the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly 60%.

Nadine Taylor wrote an entire book on it – Green Tea: The natural secret to a healthy life.gif-st-patrick-192.gif

Green tea, beautiful benefits

HealthMad lists 10- benefits of green tea.

1 Used to treat Multiple sclerosis
2 Cancer treat/prevent
3 Stop Alzheimer’s/Parkinson’s
4 Raises metabolism and increases fat oxidation
5 Reduces risk of heart diseases and attacks by cutting risk of thrombosis
6 Reduces risk of esophageal cancer
7 Inhibits growth of certain cancer cells, reduces level of cholesterol in blood, improves ratio of good over bad.
8 Used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular diseases
9 Used to treat impaired immune function
10 May help prevent tooth decay by killing bacteria that causes dental plaque

What makes green tea so special? About.com said it is the high quantity of catechin polyphenols. These are powerful antioxidants that not only inhibit cancer cells, but kill them outright without harming healthy tissue. It also lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) levels and inhibits the abnormal formation of blood clots which can cause heart attacks and stroke.


Lastly, you might be asking why green tea and not black, or Earl Grey? About.com reported that while the teas all come from the leaves of the same plant, the green tea leaves are steamed which prevents a very valuable chemical compound (EGCG) from being oxidized. Other teas are made from fermented leaves which results in the EGCG being converted into other compounds that are not nearly as effective in fighting disease.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results of a study at the University of Geneva in Switzerland that showed men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given only caffeine or a placebo.

Speaking of caffeine, green tea contains only 30 to 60 mg of caffeine in 6-8 ounces vs 100 mg or more in coffee.gif-st-patrick-181




Leave a comment

Filed under green tea, St. Patrick's Day

Weekly funnies

And now for something new and completely different. I always loved that sentence at the beginning of the old Monty Python show. Actually, these are not only not new, but very old. For many of us, however, they are new information. Herewith, some amazing ads that ran in yesteryear …






1 Comment

Filed under funnies

Can Exercise Help Me Learn?

“Exercise helps you to learn on three levels: first, it optimizes your mind-set to improve alertness, attention and motivation; second, it prepares and encourages nerve cells to bind to one another, which is the cellular basis for logging in new information; and third, it spurs the development of new nerve cells from stem cells in the hippocampus,” so says Spark, the revolutionary new science of exercise and the brain. Author John J. Ratey, M.D., is a clinical associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Besides, Spark, he also wrote A User’s Guide to the Brain among other books.

The hippocampus plays a major role in the consolidation of information from long term memory and short term memory. So, clearly, exercise plays an important role for seniors who are concerned about their memory failing in their latter years.

One distinction needs to be made here. You can’t learn difficult material while you are exercising because blood is shunted away from the prefrontal cortex and this hampers your executive function. Dr. Ratey quotes a study of college students who were working out on treadmills and exercise bikes at a high rate. They performed poorly on tests of complex learning. “However blood flow shifts back almost immediately after you finish exercising, and this is the perfect time to focus on a project that demands sharp thinking and complex analysis.”

He enumerates an experiment that was done on 40 adults aged 50 to 64. They were asked to do one 35 minute treadmill session at either 60 percent or 70 percent of maximum heart rate. Afterwards, they were asked to list alternative uses for common objects, like a newspaper. It is used for reading, but can be used to wrap fish, line a bird cage, etc. Half of the group watched a movie and the other half exercised. They were tested three times, before the session, immediately after the session and then 20 minutes later. The results of the movie watchers showed no change, but the runners improved their processing speed and cognitive flexibility after just one session. “Cognitive flexibility is an important executive function that reflects our ability to shift thinking and to produce a steady flow of creative thoughts and answers as opposed to a regurgitation of the usual responses. The trait correlates with high performance levels in intellectually demanding jobs.” The doctor recommends going for a short, intense run at lunchtime ahead of an important brain-storming session at work.

spark-book I have enjoyed Dr. Ratey’s book and recommend it to readers of the blog. You can get a look at the book on the Amazon website and purchase it from there if you like it.

As regular readers know, I lost an aunt to Alzheimer’s and my mother suffered from dementia in her final years. I am a total believer in this exercise-learning hypothesis. If I don’t ride my bike every day, I manage a five mile walk, climb 30 flights of stairs, or take a trip to the health club. I ain’t sittin’ around doin’ nothin’.

I have repeated the phrase, Use it or Lose it time and again in this blog. In this case, using the body promotes healthy mental processes as well as good physical results.



Filed under aging, aging brain, brain, brain function, brain health, cardio exercise, Exercise, exercise benefits, John J Ratey MD, successful aging

Geeking out on Pi Day

As if the earlier infographic weren’t enough, I have found an interesting set of quotes from math loving scientists on Pi that may interest you. If not, no hard feelings… I hope.

Why do math lovers around the world call March 14 “Pi Day”? Because Pi, the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, is 3.14. Pi is a Greek letter (π) that represents a constant in math: All circles have the same Pi, regardless of their size. Pi has been calculated out to as many as 1 trillion digits past the decimal, and it can continue forever without repetition or pattern.

In honor of Pi Day, we, the National Institute of General Medical Scientists, asked several biomedical researchers in the field of computational biology to tell us why they love math and how they use it in their research.

Why do you love math?

The computational biologists we talked to offered similar answers. They love math because it lets them see the world in an ordered way. Tamar Schlick of New York University explained, “Math is essentially logic and order combined and applied to solve problems in interesting and creative ways.” Math’s constant rules allow computational biologists to understand and even predict natural phenomena, including biological processes such as cell behavior and biofilm formation. Andre Levchenko of Yale University added, “This predictive power is one of the coolest aspects of math, helping us understand what otherwise may seem paradoxical or impenetrable.”The researchers described exciting findings that math helped them make; here are a few snippets.

What type of math do you use?

The scientists’ toolbox of mathematical approaches extends far beyond the ones we may remember from high school or college. Computational biologists use different types of math and select one or many based on the problem they’re trying to solve. For example, to study the complex, time-dependent processes occurring in our bodies, scientists use a branch of math called nonlinear dynamics. Several of the researchers we interviewed said they’re still discovering mathematical approaches well-suited for biology. Reinhard Laubenbacher of the University of Connecticut Health Center said he’s proud his team “found ways to use areas of math that are not typically viewed as ‘applicable’ in the context of computational biology, such as abstract algebra and algebraic geometry.” Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Pi Day

Happy Pi Day Post – Infographic

Hope it isn’t too late to join in the Pi Day fun with this infographic. Since this is a special day seems a shame not to cerebrate.

I hope you enjoy a Byte or two.






If you insist on getting serious about it, check out Steven Strogatz’s Why Pi Matters in this back issue of The New Yorker. Here is just a snippet- “So it’s fair to ask: Why do mathematicians care so much about pi? Is it some kind of weird circle fixation? Hardly. The beauty of pi, in part, is that it puts infinity within reach. Even young children get this. The digits of pi never end and never show a pattern. They go on forever, seemingly at random—except that they can’t possibly be random, because they embody the order inherent in a perfect circle. This tension between order and randomness is one of the most tantalizing aspects of pi….”


Leave a comment

Filed under Pi Day

Feeling Anxious? Blame the Size of Your Waistline

While this blog started as a venue for guys – hence the address guysandgoodhealth, it has since morphed into an all purpose health and longevity blog for both men and women. In fact, I would bet there are more women readers than men. That is why this particular study piqued my interest. Additionally, while I have had friends who suffered from anxiety, I think my ignorance of that subject is nearly pristine.

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health disorders, and it’s more likely to affect women, especially middle-aged women. Although anxiety can be caused by many factors, a new study suggests that the amount of abdominal fat a woman has could increase her chances of developing anxiety. Study results are published online in Menopause.


Everyone is familiar with the term “stress eating” that, among other things, can lead to a thicker waistline. In this study that analyzed data from more than 5,580 middle-aged Latin American women (mean age, 49.7 years), the cause-and-effect relationship was flipped to determine whether greater abdominal fat (defined as waist-to-height ratio in this instance) could increase a woman’s chances of developing anxiety. Although this is not the first time this relationship has been examined, this study is the first of its kind known to use waist-to-height ratio as the specific link to anxiety. Waist-to-height ratio has been shown to be the indicator that best assesses cardiometabolic risk. A general guideline is that a woman is considered obese if her waist measures more than half of her height.

The article “Association between waist-to-height ratio and anxiety in middle-aged women: a secondary analysis of a cross-sectional multicenter Latin American study” reports that 58% of the study population were postmenopausal, and 61.3% reported experiencing anxiety. The study found that those women in the middle and upper thirds of waist-to-height ratios were significantly more likely to have anxiety, and those in the upper third were more likely to actually display signs of anxiety compared with women in the lower two-thirds.

Anxiety is a concern because it is linked to heart disease, diabetes, thyroid problems, respiratory disorders, and drug abuse, among other documented medical problems. Research has shown an increase in the frequency of anxiety in women during midlife, likely as a result of decreased levels of estrogen, which has a neuroprotective role.

“Hormone changes may be involved in the development of both anxiety and abdominal obesity because of their roles in the brain as well as in fat distribution. This study provides valuable insights for healthcare providers treating middle-aged women, because it implies that waist-to-height ratio could be a good marker for evaluating patients for anxiety,” says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director.


Filed under anxiety, big waistline, Weight

A Lifetime of Regular Exercise Slows Down Aging

Regular readers know that I ride my bike pretty much daily here in Chicago and my 78th birthday occurred in January. I wrote about my physical condition then, but I have to tell you that finding this study was like a wonderful belated birthday present.

According to researchers, older adults who exercised for most of their lives showed signs of slowed down aging. The study reports those who actively cycled into older age had lower cholesterol levels and better immune systems than those who did not partake in regular exercise.

Field Museum

Here I am with my trusty riding companion, Gabi, who just turned 12 in December.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham and King’s College London have found that staying active keeps the body young and healthy.

The researchers set out to assess the health of older adults who had exercised most of their adult lives to see if this could slow down aging. Continue reading


Filed under aging, aging brain, cardio exercise, Exercise, exercise and brain health, exercise benefits, outdoor exercise, regular bike riding

Spring Forward and Change Your Clocks

At 2:00 o’clock tomorrow morning you need to set your clock one hour ahead – spring forward – to participate in Daylight Savings Time. Some explanations for this practice include to help the harvest for farmers by providing more daylight working hours.


Actually, you are springing forward, but I couldn’t resist this wonderful pun.


But, what does it mean to the rest of us non-agrarian folks?

Well, tomorrow morning if you are on a schedule, like catching an airplane or something, you lost an hour of sleep, so you may be somewhat sleep-deprived the rest of the day. It being Sunday, maybe you just slept in. If that is the case, you will start your day an hour later, but otherwise, no harm, no foul.

Later, however, we all will experience the magic of moving an hour of daylight from the morning to the afternoon – Daylight Savings. If you want to enjoy the outdoors, you now have an extra hour of daylight to do so. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under daylight savings, Exercise, exercise benefits

Belated Happy International Women’s Day 2018

To all my Wonder-ful women readers, I want to wish you a belated Happy International Women’s Day. I hope it was special for you!



Leave a comment

Filed under International Women's Day

Weekend funnies …

Herewith some items that tickled my funnybone…. I hope you have a great weekend!



Painting can be very relaxing …



I love cats, although I am allergic…






Filed under funnies