Normally, I love these infographics, but this one on men’s health facts was kind of a downer. As it states only 30% of men’s overall health is genetic, so we must be making a whole lot of bad choices. Come on, guys! Think.
Normally, I love these infographics, but this one on men’s health facts was kind of a downer. As it states only 30% of men’s overall health is genetic, so we must be making a whole lot of bad choices. Come on, guys! Think.
Regular readers know that I am a nearly daily bike rider here in Chicago. As such I read some cycling blogs, too. One of my faves is Loving the Bike.
If you aren’t convinced you should also be riding, check out The Joy of Spokes and you might consider giving it a go.
This infographic on first aid for cyclists appeared in Loving the Bike. I use infographics because they get so much information into so little space. However, sometimes when I reproduce them in the blog they get skinny and become difficult to read. So, I am providing this link so you can see it in all its glory. This is super info for anyone who rides a bike. Double clicking on it expand it to full size on my Mac.
I picked this up from an email and was impressed with how inclusive it is. I think I now know twice as much about High Intensity Interval Training as I did before I read it.
On the subject of HIIT, the September 12, 2016 issue of Time magazine says, ” Martin Gibala, an exercise physiologist at McMaster University wanted to test how efficient and effective a 10-minute workout could be, compared with the standard 50-minutes-at-a-time approach. The micro-workout he devised consists of three exhausting 20-second bouts of all-out, hard-as-you-can exercise, followed by brief recoveries. In a three-month study, he pitted the short workout against the standard one to see which was better.
To his amazement, the workouts resulted in identical improvements in heart function and blood-sugar control, even though one workout was five times longer than the other. “If you’re willing and able to push hard, you can get away with surprisingly little exercise,” Gibala says.
Regular readers know that I have been an avid bicycle rider for years. I logged over 7000 miles in the year just ended. And, I have not stopped riding. I have, however, begun a new exercise, for me – climbing stairs.
How come? Well, the only drawback to cycling I know of is that it is not weight-bearing. So, while the aerobic activity benefits my cardiovascular system greatly, I get no benefits for my skeletal system. I need both and I just can’t get into weight workouts.
An additional benefit of stair climbing over bike riding is that you can do it indoors so the weather conditions do not present a problem. Having just suffered through historic cold weather with much of the country, this is particularly relevant now. While current temps here in Chicago range in the mid 30’s, there is still a lot of snow, ice and slush around that makes for dangerous biking conditions.
So, what about climbing stairs? It burns more calories than running and doesn’t beat up your legs as much as running does. RunSociety says, “When you stair climb for exercise, you burn twice the fat in half the time than if you run and three times more than walking. An intense stair-climbing exercise session will produce more aerobic benefits in a shorter amount of time than running or walking. One hour of stair climbing will burn approximately 1000 calories.”
Nonetheless, you can climb at your own pace and still get a good workout.
A New York Times article by Dr. Harvey Simon on the heath sciences technology faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and founding editor of the Harvard Men’s Health Watch, wrote, “What’s so special about climbing stairs? Researchers in Canada answered the question by monitoring 17 healthy male volunteers with an average age of 64 while they walked on the level, lifted weights or climbed stairs. Stair climbing was the most demanding. It was twice as taxing as brisk walking on the level and 50 percent harder than walking up a steep incline or lifting weights. And peak exertion was attained much faster climbing stairs than walking, which is why nearly everyone huffs and puffs going up stairs, at least until their “second wind” kicks in after a few flights.”
With summer upon us it is important to play it safe when we play outside. Too much heat can be risky for healthy 40 year olds as well as seniors. The National Institutes of Health has issued the following tips for hot weather fun.
Check the weather forecast. If it’s very hot or humid, exercise inside with a Go4Life DVD or walk in an air-conditioned building like a shopping mall.
Drink plenty of liquids. Water and fruit juices are good options. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. If your doctor has told you to limit liquids, ask what to do when it is very hot outside.
Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothes in natural fabrics.
Dress in layers so you can remove clothing as your body warms up from activity.
Get medical help right away if you think someone might have a heat-related illness. Watch for these signs: Continue reading
As you can see from her photos, Senior Supermodel Oleda Baker is aging magnificently. I interviewed Oleda last December. She is a treasure trove of information on everything this blog stands for, namely weight control, healthy living and healthy aging, so I asked her if she would share some of her ideas with us. She has written 10 books on beauty and health. Her latest, written at the age of 75, Breaking the Age Barrier – Great Looks and Health at Every Age – was released in November 2010 and is available from Amazon or from her website www.oleda.com where she also sells her own line of health and beauty aids.
You might think the most important deterrent to brain cell deterioration is engaging in mind-bending games or doing the daily crossword puzzle. Taxing the brain and learning new skills are excellent activities, but they usually don’t get your heart rate up and pump blood to your brain cells.
Perhaps the most striking brain research discovery of the last decade is that physical exercise can forestall mental decline. It may even restore memory. Animal studies have shown that aerobic exercise increases capillary development in the brain, increasing blood supply, which carries more oxygen to the brain.
It doesn’t have to be formal exercise at the gym. You can play tennis a couple times a week, ride a bike, or walk a mile each day. A combined program of aerobics and weight training will produce the best results.
Fit people have sharper brains; and people who are out of shape, but then get into shape, sharpen their brains along with their bodies.
It was once thought that brain cells do not regenerate as do other cells of the body, but more modern science learned that neurons do continue to form in the brain, even into old age.
Memory does begin a decline when we reach our 40’s, but the progression is not as steep as originally feared. Indeed, forgetfulness may be due less to brain cell loss than other influences, such as taking care of the kids, the job, paying the bills, doing chores, everyday living all competing for cognitive time.
To keep your brain young you need to give it lots of varied stimulation and challenges. Like a muscle, it needs to be exercised, to “strain the brain,” so to speak. Repeating the same mental functions over and over, such as Sudoku or crossword puzzles or watching television, doesn’t help slow cognitive deterioration. Mental stimulation is as important for your brain as physical exercise is for your body.
As so often happens with Oleda’s ideas, they coincide exactly with my own. The only difference is that Oleda has lived longer and more successfully than I have. To read further about the value of exercise to the brain, check out my page Important Facts About Your Brain and Exercise.
As you can see from her photos, Senior Supermodel Oleda Baker is aging magnificently. I interviewed Oleda in December. She is a treasure trove of information on everything this blog stands for, namely weight control, healthy living and healthy aging, so I asked her if she would share some of her ideas with us. She has written 10 books on beauty and health. Her latest, written at the age of 75, Breaking the Age Barrier – Great Looks and Health at Every Age – was released in November 2010 and is available from Amazon or from her website www.oleda.com where she also sells her own line of health and beauty aids.
Your Body, Mind and Spirit Need a Break … here’s how: Years ago a doctor in New York City told me how he relieved his stress at the end of the day…. I never forgot it and have followed his advice most days.
When he went home, he drew a tub of very warm water and soaked in it for about twenty minutes. “When you get out of bed in the morning, your body’s organs are more or less rested,” he explained. “As the day goes on, those organs, as well as your mind and spirit get out of sorts due to the day’s stressful wear and tear, as it were. Hydrotherapy, a fifteen or twenty minute very warm bath, relaxes me better than anything else I’ve tried. I can feel myself returning to a calm state, and I believe it’s good for my long term health and well-being, too.”
I tried it not knowing if it would work for me…It did work! Ever since, I have soaked in a relaxing tub of warm water every day I possibly can. Until you try it it’s hard to believe how well it works. Here’s why:
Hydrotherapy – an Ancient Healing Practice
Hydrothermal therapy (hot water treatment) has been used as a traditional treatment for disease and injury by many cultures, including China and Japan. Asklepios, the ancient Greek god of healing, advocated the use of water as medicine. Similarly, Roman physicians, Galen and Celsus, used therapeutic baths for many remedies. So, water therapy has been used for centuries to heal the sick.
Since I started writing this blog, I have made some major and minor changes in my life, exercise and eating habits. In this, the second month of my fourth year of blogging, I am down 15 pounds from where I started the blog and 70 pounds from my worst weight and physical condition ever. You can see me at my worst in the post How I Lost 50 Pounds in 52 Weeks.
My latest tweak is to stop eating a half slice of pizza daily at lunch. I am trying to cut back on the gluten and dairy I consume because I think I may have a food sensitivity to them and they are aggravating my arthritis and post nasal drip.
So, I am now eating a salad at lunch along with my high fiber parfait. One of the things that has always given me pause about making salads is what to include. There are so many options, I would just freeze up. Maybe that’s why I am Mr. Lazy Cook. I like it quick and dirty.
I have been able to buy salad greens at a local fresh market that included baby spinach, arugula, kale and other green goodies. But, what about the rest of the salad? All those choices!
As so often has occurred in the past, I happened to be in Costco when the answer hit me. The Kirkland brand Fruit and Nuts! As you can see from the photos, the first was at Costco, the second, a close up of the package, it included dried cranberries, dried cherries, almonds, walnuts and dry-roasted pistachios. What wonderful additions to a salad!
Here is the nutritional breakdown of one ounce (30 grams):
Total Fat 8 grams
Saturated Fat 1 gram
Carbohydrates 15 grams
Fiber 2 grams
Protein 4 grams
Sometimes I add some avocado because I love what avocado adds to a salad besides being terrifically healthy. I advocate avocados.
Now I have a wonderful, quick fix, stick to the ribs salad at lunch time. Also, this is a simple stepping off point. I can add some quinoa or other goodies for even more nutritional benefits.
What are we talking about here? Wikipedia says Nature-Deficit Disorder refers to a hypothesis by Richard Louv in his 2005 book Last Child in the Woods that human beings, especially children, are spending less time outdoors resulting in a wide range of behavioral problems. This disorder is not recognized in any of the medical manuals for mental disorders.
I confess that on first blush this term sounded kind of tree-hugging and politically-correct to me. Don’t we have enough important things to concern us without worrying about being out in nature?
While this being nature deprived is usually applied to children, it doesn’t have to be. I am indebted to Kelly, The Spunky Caregiver, for introducing me to the concept in the first place.
Kelly mentioned it regarding care giving for seniors. She wrote, “Getting outside alleviates our stress and can literally change the mental state we are in. I have personally seen this in caring for seniors with moderate to advanced dementia. Having trees, gardens, horses and walking trails around, is like heaven after being inside. They begin to remember stories, smile more and connect. I have also seen it in rehab patients, how it inspires and elevates their optimism for recovery. For me personally, I need to get outside to feel alive in my body and the thought of being inside for days is painful. I love the sun and the trees and the air. Taking the seniors outside is a serious paid benefit!” Continue reading
I ran across this excellent discussion of senior cycling on RoadBikeRider.com. They have graciously permitted me to reprint it. See permission at end.
RBR Editor’s Note: Coach John Hughes copied me on a recent email exchange he had with Marty Hoganson, an RBR reader with whom he had ridden on tours in years gone by. Marty wondered what, if any, differences there are in terms of recovery, motivation, etc., between 50-somethings and 70-somethings. Both agreed to let me share the exchange with RBR readers. It provides a wealth of solid, useful information.
These days I live and ride in Yuma, Arizona. I am involved in our local bike club called Foothills Bicycle Club, which is primarily made up of retired folks – late-50s to mid-80s. Many strong riders in their 60s and 70s, for their ages — or any age, for that matter.
Now that I am older also I have taken some interest in your articles on cycling and aging. I was wondering how cycling over 70 relates to your articles on cycling over 50? I’m pretty sure they don’t necessarily relate well. I am arriving in that 70+ age group this year, and have been feeling the difference in recovery time and healing from injuries for quite a few years.
What used to take three days to recover from, while riding a tour, may now take longer than the tour lasts. Maybe months longer. I ride year-round and still ride pretty strong, but I’m also experiencing a loss of interest in doing long days. I still like to do long tours, but with shorter days. I’m wondering if the lack of desire or drive might be a major contributing factor in the loss of performance, or if the loss of performance leads to the lack of desire to train harder? Also, if the shorter days might lead to the longer recovery times? Continue reading
I have written repeatedly about the flu and protecting yourself from it this season. It is also worth mentioning that this is cold season as well. A lot of folks are suffering from the common cold.
The Mayo Clinic has some worthwhile suggestions on fighting a cold virus if you succumb.
Dr. Robert Sheeler, Medical Editor of the Mayo Clinic Health Letter has the following to say about handling cold symptoms.
“Being sick with a cold virus for a week or two doesn’t mean you have to be miserable. These remedies may help:
• Fluids — Drink plenty of liquids. Water, juice, clear broth, or warm water with lemon juice and honey can help loosen congestion.
• Saltwater gargle — To relieve a sore or scratchy throat, gargle with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt dissolved in an 8-ounce glass of warm water. Continue reading
McDonald’s announced it is putting its new Fish McBites into Happy Meals today, just in time for Lent.
How many calories in the new McDonald’s offering and, possibly as importantly, how does it compare with Chicken McNuggets?
The new Happy Meal size of Fish McBites breaks down as follows:
Serving size 2.4 ounces
8 grams protein
9 grams fat
15 grams of carbs
300 mg of Sodium
This compares with the 3.4 ounce serving of Chicken McNuggets:
13 grams protein
18 grams fat
18 grams of carbs
540 mg of Sodium
My kids are grown, but a parent of small kids friend of mine said that she didn’t think her children would go for a change from the Chicken McNuggets because they love them so much. That is unfortunate in my view as the McNuggets have nearly double the Sodium in a single serving and most folks eat too much Sodium (salt) already. Health experts suggest no more than 2300 mg per day for an adult and 1500 mg per day for an adult over age 50. Presumably, the total is less for child-size bodies.
A couple of other observations: The Fish McBites are about a third smaller serving than the McNuggets. This might leave children feeling unsatisfied if they are used to getting the bigger serving – more to eat.
It will be interesting to see how the McBites fare in the marketplace with Mickey D’s marketing muscle being them.
There is a 3.4 ounce serving – ‘Snack Size’ – available. It breaks down as follows:
11 g protein
13 grams fat
2 g sat fat
21 g carbs
420 mg Sodium
The Sodium picks up, but still falls short of the McNuggets.
For adults, there is a ‘Regular Size’ of Fish McBites 5.2 ounces:
17 g protein
20 grams fat
2.5 g sat fat
31 g carbs
630 mg sodium
For my money the 17 grams of protein are positive, but I don’t care for the 20 grams of fat and I like less the 630 mg of Sodium.
They also offer a Shareable size which is just larger. You can see all you need to know about the nutrition in it from the foregoing to make up your mind about whether to order it or not.
As far as beverages go, stick with nice healthy water. You can read all about McDonald’s Drinks if you want details.
As regular readers know, I don’t drink sugary or diet soft drinks and consider them some of the most damaging junk foods available.
A Nashville family’s rap video is the winner of a contest aimed aimed at raising awareness of the harmful health effects of overconsumption of sugary drinks. The winning video “Just Pour One Out” features an original rap song from the Sullivan family, inspired by 41-year-old stay-at-home dad Peter Sullivan’s personal struggle with soda consumption.
“I was surprised by how much the process changed my drinking habits,” Sullivan said of making the film.
Announced by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest in October 2012, the Pour One Out video contest invited the public to produce short videos demonstrating the pouring out of sugary drinks in a creative way. Advertising pioneer Alex Bogusky joined CSPI staff in judging contest entries based on creativity, originality, and effectiveness of the health message. CSPI offered a $1,000 prize for the winning film, and $500 and $250 prizes for the second- and third-place films.
The runner up video
Earlier this week I wrote about Vitamin D affecting waist reduction in a study. It is complicated to work out all the factors that affect our Vitamin D level yet this is a very valuable vitamin in our arsenal of good health.
Harvard Healthbeat says, “The process by which the body makes vitamin D is complex. It starts when the skin absorbs rays in the invisible ultraviolet B (UVB) part of the light spectrum. The liver and the kidneys also participate to make a form of the vitamin that the body can use.
“A number of factors influence a person’s vitamin D levels.
Here are six important ones.
Where you live. The farther away from the Equator you live, the less vitamin D–producing UVB light reaches the earth’s surface during the winter. Residents of Boston, for example, make little if any of the vitamin from November through February. Short days and clothing that covers legs and arms also limit UVB exposure.
Air quality. Carbon particles in the air from the burning of fossil fuels, wood, and other materials scatter and absorb UVB rays, diminishing vitamin D production. In contrast, ozone absorbs UVB radiation, so pollution-caused holes in the ozone layer could end up enhancing vitamin D levels. For those of us who life In the U.S. just being out in the sun is not sufficient to get adequate Vitamin D during the winter because of the sun’s acute angle to the earth.
It shouldn’t be surprising that since 60 percent of us are overweight and 30 percent obese that many people don’t understand the risks of obesity. Duh. This is twice as many as 20 years ago. Even our children are getting fatter. Among young people, 15 percent of those ages 6 to 19 are seriously overweight. That’s nearly 9 million, triple the number in 1980.
Maybe if people had a better idea about how damaging obesity is, there wouldn’t be so many overweight.
About one out of four people think it’s possible for someone to be very overweight and still be healthy, according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Only seven percent of people in the survey mentioned cancer. Yet doctors have known for years that fat increases the risk of a number of cancers. It was recently reported that cancers of the esophagus, uterus, pancreas and kidney have risen despite declines in cancer rates. Experts said that excess weight triggers production of insulin and hormones that play a role in cancer growth.
Also, with overweight people excess fat makes it difficult to spot some tumors.
John Seffrin, the American Cancer Society’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.”For people who do not smoke, excess weight and lack of sufficient physical activity may be among the most important risk factors for cancer.”
As an arthritis sufferer, I was not surprised to learn that excess weight takes a toll on one’s joints, especially the knees. Only about fifteen percent of people were aware that obesity can contribute to arthritis, which then aggravates joint pain and makes it harder to exercise creating a vicious downward spiral in health.
The study also found that half of the people think their weight is just about right and only 12 percent of parents think their child is overweight. Nevertheless, about 60 percent of adults and 30 percent of children and teens are either overweight or obese.
If you want to know how much you should weight, please check out What is My Ideal Weight?
The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research study took place between late November and mid-December, by phone interviews with just over 1,000 adults.
For significantly more detail on obesity, you can read How Does Obesity Affect You posted here in May. Or you can click on the obesity tag at the right for a number of similar items.
Getting through December in a four season climate like Chicago is a dicey experience for a guy who wants to ride his bike every day. You just don’t know what the weatherman will be serving up on any given day.
December usually has some of the most bizarre offerings, unfortunately. However, this year was one for the record books. No snowfall of an inch or more since March. This was the third most snow free season on record with 0.9 inch the lowest since 1939. The year 2012 was the warmest in Chicago’s 142 year observational record dating back to 1871.
I just finished adding up my bike riding for the year and it comes to, wait for it … 8,433 miles. I don’t know if you are impressed, but I am. This mellow December has been most helpful in my biking. Normally, we have snow and really difficult weather for riding at all, let alone virtually every day. This year, as you can see from the first paragraph – warmer and less snow. I bought a new car on February 25. I have driven it 4200 miles.
This cycling total is most gratifying to me because last year I rode 6,300 and thought I had begun to slow down due to my age. In 2010, the prior year, my total was 7,111 which was the most I had ever ridden. I was not surprised when I slid back the following year.
The 8,433 miles comes to a daily average – 366 days in 2012 – of 23.04 miles. A 23 mile ride lasts around two hours and burns about 1000 calories, thus expanding my gustatory horizons for the remainder of the day. It also works my heart and lungs and pumps up fresh oxygen to my brain creating new neurotransmitters.