I just ran across these in my web wanderings and wanted to share them. If you ride a bike you get it. If you don’t, maybe you should consider it.
I just ran across these in my web wanderings and wanted to share them. If you ride a bike you get it. If you don’t, maybe you should consider it.
General Douglas MacArthur, Paul Newman, Angela Davis, Wayne Gretzky, Eddie Van Halen, Jules Feiffer and Ellen DeGeneres were all born on January 26.
Oh, yes, and one not so famous. It’s also my birthday. I am now 77 years old. I am happy to say that I feel great and am healthier than I was 20 years ago when I toiled in the working world.
This is from my birthday blog post last year:
One of the main reasons I feel like I have things so together is this blog. I started writing it in March of 2010 with a partner who has since left for other pursuits. From the beginning, I discovered a focus. At first it was simply trying to keep my weight down. I learned portion control and serving size. This Italian guy was surprised to learn that a “serving” of pasta was not a 10 inch plate heaped with spaghetti noodles smothered in tomato sauce. No, a serving of pasta is about the size of a baseball. Incredibly, that was a revelation to me. But I put the information to use. I began to reduce my portions accordingly. I am not going to recount all the lessons I learned in the past nearly six years, but if you want to get control of your weight, check out my Page – How to Lose Weight – and Keep it Off. Continue reading
I am pretty much a believer that the words, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help,” are contradictory. However, every once in a while when it comes to the subject of health, government agencies can prove helpful. I think one of the keys to living a long and healthy life is to exercise regularly.
Following are suggestions from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases NIDDK).
Regular readers know that I ride year ’round here in Chicago. Through November, we barely cracked 40 degrees F which didn’t call for much extra prep beyond gloves and ear covering. Come December, however, with the advent of the 30s and below a whole new dimension of cycling wear opens up. Whether you ride a bike or not, I think you will find some useful info here.A recent Wall Street Journal had a cleverly written item on Your Outdoor Sports Survival Guide, by Jason Gay. He aptly describes “the maniacal joy of Survival Season,” and observes “Nobody looks suave playing sports in the freezing cold. If you are doing it correctly, you look a little unhinged and suspicious. Are you going to play golf…or rob the Bank of Alaska?”
As an enthusiastic bicycle rider and supporter of the exercise, I was really pleased to see the results of the American Heart Association studies. Here is a summary:
• People who bike regularly, either recreationally or as a way to commute, appear to have a lower risk of cardiovascular illness, according to studies conducted in Denmark and Sweden.
• Middle-aged and older Danes who took up biking and stuck with it had a 26 percent lower risk of developing coronary artery disease, compared with non-bikers.
• In Sweden, those who regularly biked to work were less likely to develop high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes and obesity — key risk factors for cardiovascular illness.
People who bike regularly, either for pleasure or as a way to commute, appear to have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, according to two separate studies published simultaneously in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation and Journal of the American Heart Association, the AHA/ASA’s Open Access Journal. Continue reading
This seems particularly timely as I wrote about my own cycling – Riding a bike on Chicago’s Lakefront on Chicago’s Lakefront yesterday.
The Harvard Health Publications has a nice positive blog post on starting cycling again presumably as a senior.
Heidi Godman, Executive Editor of the Harvard Health Letter, states that she loved riding as a kid, but now only rides occasionally.
“It’s fun, it’s socially oriented, and it gets you outside and exercising,” says Dr. Clare Safran-Norton, a physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Plus, cycling is an aerobic activity, it’s easy on the joints, and it helps build muscle and bone. Continue reading
Just thought I would share some of these with you.
Maybe they will inspire you to get out there and pedal some. It couldn’t hurt.
Yes, I went for a ride after I posted this.
Although weight loss was the primary focus of this blog at the outset, it has been pushed to the back burner in favor of straight forward healthy living which consists of intelligent eating with regular exercise. However, if a person if a person finds himself overweight and wants some speedier results. Interval training just might fill the bill.
Interval training is a type of physical exercise that involves a series of low- to high-intensity exercise workouts interspersed with rest or relief periods. The high-intensity periods are typically at or close to anaerobic exercise, while the recovery periods involve activity of lower intensity. Varying the intensity of effort exercises the heart muscle, providing a cardiovascular workout, improving aerobic capacity and permitting the person to exercise for longer and/or more intense levels. According to Wikipedia.
Just to keep things in perspective, please check out my Page – How to lose weight – (and keep it off).
Yesterday I had a series of events that would have had my hands trembling with frustration and stress a year ago. However, I have been using some tools for dealing with stress that served me very well. Maybe this recounting will help you to do the same.
The day started with a dentist visit. That wasn’t the stressor. I was simply having a crown fitted. The problem was that the appointment was at 9:00 AM. The weather forecast said very hot.
Stressor number one. Normally, I would be out first thing in the morning to ride my bicycle and avoid the afternoon’s extreme heat. But, I couldn’t because I had to go to the dentist. A year ago, I would have raced off to the dentist fretting about how hot it was going to be and all the attendant difficulties. I chose not to. The dentist visit was something I needed to do and I decided that I would adjust my riding accordingly even if it meant riding in hotter weather than I would have liked. It was simply a matter of priorities. I looked at it in a positive way. When I finished with the appointment I relaxed and walked home, I didn’t race home to save seconds and stress myself further. I changed clothes, got the dog and went downstairs to the bike room.
Stressor number two. My bicycle speedometer battery had died. I needed to go to the bike shop and get it replaced. That would set me back at least a further 15 minutes. Take a deep breath; let it out slow. Okay, I could deal with that. The alternative of riding without a speedometer and odometer was not acceptable as how many miles I ride is relevant to me. I rode down to the bike shop.
Stressor number three. My two regular bike mechanics weren’t there. They are familiar with my speedometer and have changed the batteries before. I was going to be stuck a longer time as the new guy figured out the workings of the little gadget. Take a deep breath; let it out slow. Okay, it’s still a day I can ride. So, that is a plus for me. Just a little further delay to deal with. The new guy got it changed, reprogrammed and I was ready to go. The charge $3.00. No biggie. But wait, it rained the other day and I had to hang up my cycling shorts to dry out. I keep my money in the pocket. The shorts are still hanging up in the bathroom and I am wearing a different pair. I have no money! Take a deep breath; let it out slow.
My grown daughter and her husband gave me a panini maker as a gift some years ago. It was great fun and I made panini sandwiches regularly for a while. Then I got tired of it and moved the appliance off my counter. It has now been around five years since I made a panini.
I was out on a bike ride yesterday and happened upon a billboard truck with a picture of a panini on it. They were advertising for a local eaterie. As it happens, I passed the truck several times. By the third time, my mouth was watering and I had determined that I would make myself a panini when I got home. Theirs looked so good. I posted about it for willingwheeling. One picture is worth a thousand words, or in this case, a tasty 283 calories. Continue reading
This looks like pleasant news for chocolate-loving endurance jocks.
I have previously written about raw cacao powder which seems a similarly good addition to the diet. I include it in my morning smoothie.
There are several different varieties of chocolate (Photo: André Karwath)
Having dealt with hazards in food during a lifetime, it is always nice to be able to look at the benefit side. We all need good news stories. However, even good news stories can be deceptive. There is much fuss made over what is called superfoods, while the overall diet is more important. And scientists test individual food components in isolation reporting highly beneficial effects in unrealistic animal experiments that have no relevance to real life. Resveratrol that can be found in red wine is supposed to be heart protective, but will require daily consumption of many bottles of wine to reach an effective dose.
But dark chocolate seems to be the real thing with normal consumption amounts sufficient to be beneficial to health.
Chocolate is made from cocoa solids (cacao), mixed with fat (cocoa butter) and finely powdered sugar to produce…
View original post 617 more words
As bicycle riding season seems to be coming into bloom, I thought you might enjoy this ….
I have this poster three feet high framed in my living room. I absolutely love it. Einstein looks like he is having the kind of enjoyment that a child gets out of riding a bike. I feel good every time I look at it. That is also exactly how I feel when riding my bicycle.
I found the following quotes on the Argonauts website.
I thought of that while riding my bicycle – Albert Einstein on The Theory of Relativity
Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving ~ Albert Einstein
Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I have hope for the human race. ~ H.G. Wells
Cycle tracks will abound in Utopia. ~ H.G. Wells
When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount…
View original post 111 more words
The good news about riding my bike is that it exercises my cardiovascular system, sends oxygen molecules to my brain creating new neurotransmitters that fight off dementia, promotes my all ‘round physical conditioning and, lastly, it feels like I am flying over the pavement every time I ride. The bad news is that sometimes a guy falls. While this anecdote revolves around a bike ride, it could just as easily be a runner’s accident or anything else you might be doing with your body in motion.
I took a bad fall Friday riding on the Chicago Lakefront. A runner cut in front of me and I reacted with a death grip on the hand brakes. The front wheel locked and threw me OVER the front of the bike. I was wearing my helmet and my cabeza never hit the ground, but I landed with my full weight onto the concrete on my hands and knees.
Coincidentally, 15 years ago, almost to the day, I had a similar fall when my feet got stuck in the pedal straps and I landed with my full weight on my left hand. I fractured the scaphoid bone in my wrist and spent two months in a cast and a third wearing a splint. I couldn’t ride for those three months.
After a sports injury or sprain, first aid comes first. The acronym RICE summarizes the approach:
• Rest the injured part as soon as it is hurt to avoid further injury.
• Ice the area of pain to decrease swelling and bleeding.
• Compress the area with an elastic bandage to limit swelling and bleeding.
• Elevate the injured part above the level of the heart to increase drainage of fluids out of the injured area. Continue reading
cyber- a combining form meaning “computer,” “computer network,” or “virtual reality,” used in the formation of compound words ( cybertalk; cyberart; cyberspace) and by extension meaning “expressing visions of the future” ( cyberfashion).
I was sitting on my couch yesterday and happened to glance over at my cycling helmet which was plugged into my computer. Over on the chair, my HYDRA water bottle was charging along with my cell phone. I checked the time on my Apple Watch.
I flashed back to 30 years ago when I first started riding my bike regularly on the Chicago lakefront bike path. There were no such electronic gadgets … literally.
Because I often ride in the dark, I bought a cycling helmet that has lights in front and back that flash to increase my visibility for safety. You can read about this helmet in my post – My New Bike Helmet – the Torch2.
The HYDRA water bottle isn’t so much of what I consider a necessity as a fun addition to my rides. You can find the details in my post – What is a HYDRA Smartbottle? Briefly, the HYDRA has a bluetooth speaker on top and allows me to play music from my iPhone on it. It also lights up at night to increase visibility of the bike.
Although those gadgets are literally new to the world as I received them from my crowdfunding activities on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, I think the biggest change in my bike riding is from the smart phone which most of us already own.
With my iPhone I have instant and up-to-the-minute access to weather information which is crucial to my daily bike riding. No more do I have to look up at an overcast sky and wonder if there is rain coming and should I turn around and head home. Now, I just fire up the iPhone and check the radar. No green and yellow shapes heading my way. Good to go!
Last, but not least, is my Apple Watch. Before I set out on the bike, I select the Workout app which allows the watch to track the ride. At the end of the ride, the watch gives me a report on how far I traveled, my average speed, the exact time I started and stopped and how many calories I burned. It also includes these data in my activity log for the day.
Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?
Lest you get the wrong idea, I want to leave you with this thought:
UPdate 8 April 2016. This past week I bought a new light for my bike. My bike shop mechanic showed it to me and I had to have it. The brand is Cygolite. Here is a listing from Amazon. I am including it here because it has a rechargeable battery, just like the helmet and water bottle. I plug it into the computer after riding.
I wrote Stress Will Kill You a while back. I was halfway through the Course on Stress from The Great Courses at that point. Now I have finished the class and wanted to share some very important concepts from the final lecture. They deal with exercise, its benefit and our attitude toward it.
The following two paragraphs are quoted from the course Guidebook:
“The first thing you can do is exercise. Exercise helps in all sorts of ways: it decreases your chance of cardiovascular disease, and that seems to protect against certain aspects of brain aging and cognitive decline. If your cerebrovascular system is not getting gummed up, you are going to have a brain that works better and that ages better. Exercise also stimulates neurogenesis and helps your neurons grow new processes and new connections. One qualifier to keep in mind is that if you overdo it, it can negatively impact your reproductive system.
“There are certain qualifiers that apply to exercise…. First, you cannot save your stress management for the weekend; it has got to be done virtually daily. Next, you need to take the time out for it. It needs to be something that is important enough to you that you are going to say no to all these stressors competing for your attention. In the realm of aerobic exercise, for example, most studies suggest that you need to do 20 to 30 minutes to begin to get the cardiovascular advantages, Last, you have got to like doing it. If a personal trainer is forcing you to exercise, you do not get anywhere near as much of the health benefits.”
Another aspect of the enjoyment concept quoted in the Unworkout comes from Cedric Bryant PhD. “The Number one reason people say they don’t get regular physical activity is lack of time, says Cedric Bryant, PhD, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) in San Diego. Yet, he adds, “we’ll find time to do what’s enjoyable.”
The Unworkout also suggested that you make play your workout. Remember begging your mother to let you stay outside five more minutes? Whatever you were doing — playing catch, jumping rope, or riding your bike — it was too much fun to quit. The key to fitting more activity into your life is rediscovering that joy of movement.
Regular readers know that I have found bicycling to be the perfect exercise. I hope you are able to find one that works as well for you. Lucky me. Turns out it really makes a difference.
What? You don’t know what a HYDRA Smart Water Bottle is? Don’t feel bad. It happens to be a new invention that I read about and backed on Indiegogo, the crowdfunding site.
As I have posted previously, I use the two crowdfunding sources, Kickstarter and Indiegogo, for cool new products and ideas. You can read about my Torch 2 Bike Helmet that lights up at night which was also crowdfunded.
The HYDRA Smart Bottle is a wonder for a bike rider like me. It was “Designed to bring modern creature comforts along for the ride.” One picture is worth a thousand words, so you can see all the features below.
The top is a detachable Bluetooth speaker for my iPhone music. It also functions as a radio. By pressing a button on the bottom, the bottle lights up and becomes a lantern. It can also flash red if I want to turn my water bottle into an illuminated flashing red lantern when I ride at night. The base when charged holds enough energy to charge my iPhone or a tablet when out.
To get the full story on the HYDRA check out this video from the creators:
Here is the link for their website to read more: http://hydra-smartbottle.com/shop/
They are just finishing shipping out the preorders for backers, so you can’t get one there yet. Amazon will be selling the bottles. Watch for them.
Posted 5 Feb 2016: Here is the Amazon link they are selling for $59.95.