Tag Archives: Wall Street Journal

World chess champion on exercise – WSJ

I have written it previously and I will repeat it: I love it when the news meets my bias. This week Jen Murphy wrote in the Wall Street Journal about three time world chess champion Magnus Carlsen and his training. Think about it, nothing is less physical and more cerebral than a game of chess, right? Yet, Mr. Carlsen says, “… he believes a healthy diet and physical training are crucial for a chess master to remain at peak, just as they are for other types of athletes. “I get bored very easily, so I don’t do well in the gym,” Mr. Carlsen says. “Luckily for me, I have a real love of sport.”

Isn’t that wonderful?! He considers a healthy diet and physical training to be ‘crucial’ for success in chess.

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World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen became a Grand master at the age of 13, one of the youngest in history.

How does he work out? “When Mr. Carlsen is on the road for a tournament, he depends on his workouts to help him relieve tension and relax. He might run intervals on the treadmill at a hotel gym, adjusting the incline and intensity for 30 to 60 minutes. “Running is a time where I can go through game strategies,” he says.
After he gets his heart rate up, he winds down with a series of stretches, or he will flow through yoga sequences for 20 minutes. “Much of my core work comes from yoga,” he says. “I’m not the type to go to the gym and run through reps and sets of exercise. I need something more fluid and fun.” If he can find a hot yoga studio, he’ll attend a class.”

I love that a chess grand master includes healthy food and good exercise in his training regimen. Keep in mind that he is just practicing what I have been preaching here for some years. Although the rest of us aren’t grand masters and maybe don’t even play chess, the same principles apply. Eat intelligently and exercise regularly to succeed in living a healthy life.

You can check out my Page – Important facts about your brain – (and exercise benefits) for more info on this critical subject.

Tony

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Filed under brain exercise, Exercise, exercise and brain health, Wall Street Journal

Are you fit enough for surgery?

I have written a lot of words on the benefits of living a healthy life by eating intelligently and exercising regularly. We have the opportunity to live long healthy lives with our mental abilities functioning as well as our bodies do. We need only follow a few simple rules of good health. Our bodies are organic machines that need proper care and maintenance or they will fall into disrepair just like our inorganic machines, autos, refrigerators, etc., do.

Now the Wall Street Journal illuminates another aspect of fitness. The other side of good health, namely hospitalization and surgery.

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“In health care, we often bring patients into surgery without fully addressing their chronic medical conditions,” says Dr. Solomon Aronson, executive vice chair in the anesthesiology department at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C. By improving their health before surgery, he says, “we can significantly diminish the risk of complications.”

The item cites a seriously overweight man who had a knee replacement in 2013, but the hardware began to come apart leaving him hobbled and in pain. The failed knee had to be removed. The patient was warned about the dangers of his being overweight. “No one had ever mentioned to me that this might be a problem…”

“The reason many patients don’t do well is because they are already deconditioned as couch potatoes, and then they get a big operation which makes them even more frail,” says Michael Englesbe, a University of Michigan transplant surgeon and associate professor who led the study and directs the Michigan Surgical and Health Optimization Program. Dr. Englesbe says that the program “empowers patients to have control over their outcome,” and recommends all patients train for elective surgery, much as they would before athletic competition.

Maybe this will be the final reminder for folks who are currently letting themselves go physically. There is always hope. It is never too late to improve your physical condition. Your body will respond to good behavior and nutrition and you can begin to flourish again on your own and before you need medical intervention. The choice is still yours.

Tony

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Age-related declines start early … WSJ

As a 76-year-old, I am totally aware of the age-related declines in my body. For starters, I don’t hear so well, I need bigger print to read comfortably and my hair gets thinner by the day. The list goes on…

When I was younger, I didn’t pay much attention to age-related changes going on. Probably because I was having too much fun.

But, it turns out that the aging decline starts much earlier than we are aware.

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Einstein enjoyed his bike riding for many years

The Wall Street Journal says, “Age-related hearing starts going downhill at 25, though it isn’t noticeable until decades later. We start losing bone mass as early as our 30s. And a recent study by Duke University researchers found that some types of physical decline—particularly lower-body strength and balance—often begin in the 50s.” Continue reading

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Why You Should Have More Empathy – Wall Street Journal

“Sensitivity to other people’s emotions helps relationships; you can learn to be better at it,” the Journal says in the item by Elizabeth Bernstein.

In what seems like another life, back when I was going through marriage counseling, I learned that I needed to have more empathy to improve our relationship. Empathy is defined as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” Wikipedia says, “By the age of two, children normally begin to display the fundamental behaviors of empathy by having an emotional response that corresponds with another person.”

While my marriage didn’t survive, I did become much more sensitive about empathy and its value in all relationships. You can check out the link above to get the Journal’s take on empathy.

I mentioned empathy because it brought to mind a post I wrote several years ago which I am reblogging below.

Please feel free to share your views on this as I think it is an important subject.

Tony


What About Heroes Without Empathy?

I am asking about heroes without empathy because I really don’t know the answer. Over the past few years, we have been offered several heroes that have become hugely popular yet who do not seem to care at all about other people. They have no empathy.

Empathy is defined as “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” Wikipedia says, “By the age of two, children normally begin to display the fundamental behaviors of empathy by having an emotional response that corresponds with another person.”

A hero is someone admired for achievements and noble qualities. Someone who demonstrates a lot of courage. The heroes below are over the top on achievements, but seem utterly lacking in empathy, a quality I consider a noble one.

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I like movies and TV and as a retired guy indulge in my share. I am thinking of two heroes of popular TV shows and one of books and movies.

Noome Rapace as Lisbeth Salander

Lisbeth Salander is The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest and Played with Fire in Stieg Larsson’s memorable trilogy. Abused as a child, Lisbeth forged a successful life for herself that included physical combat, computer hacking, bisexuality, higher mathematics and a general off the grid existence. She hijacked the focus of millions of fans worldwide, but appeared incapable of fathoming the feelings of the person seated across from her in a room. Lisbeth is the first of my three heroes.

Jim Parsons as Dr. Sheldon Cooper

The Big Bang Theory’s Sheldon Cooper is the number two. A Cal-tech theoretical physicist, according to Wikipedia, “Sheldon exhibits a strict adherence to routine, a total lack of social skills, a tenuous understanding of irony, sarcasm, and humor, and a general lack of humility or empathy.”

Jim Parsons who plays Sheldon has won Primetime Emmys, a Golden Globe Award, A TCA Award and a Critics’ Choice Television Award for his work on the series.

Sheldon dominates his roommate, Leonard, with The Roommate Agreement, a multi-page document that Leonard signed to come aboard. It is heavily weighted in Sheldon’s favor. He has a similar agreement with his girlfriend, Amy Farrah Fowler, about which she laments in one episode that she didn’t consult with a lawyer before signing.

Unlike Lisbeth Salander’s crushingly dark character, Sheldon is a bright incredibly comic character whose antics propel The Big Bang Theory to the top of the sitcom charts every year.

Lucy Liu as Dr. Joan Watson and Jonny Lee Miller as Sherlock Holmes

The third hero is none other than Sherlock Holmes himself, in his latest incarnation on TV’s Elementary. Brought to life by Jonny Lee Miller, Holmes is a recovering drug addict with the lovely Lucy Liu as his ‘sober companion’ Dr. Joan Watson.
Continue reading

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Pressed for Time? Don’t Overlook Micro-Workouts

As an old retired guy, I am rarely pressed for time, so I can get in my 10 and 20 mile bike rides over the course of a day without much difficulty. Clearly, that wasn’t the case when I was working.

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If you are still in the working world you know what I mean. Speaking of the working world, don’t forget the dangers of prolonged sitting. Get up from that desk and move around a bit every hour or so.

Regarding exercise needs, according to the 2008 U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans:

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.

The 10 minute interval cuts the issue of exercise down to more bite-sized periods. But wait, Rachel Bachman writing in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal reports that studies since 2008 have documented physical benefits from as little as one minute of intense intermittent exercise, not including a warm-up and cool down. Continue reading

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Soft Drink Makers Again Adding Sugar – WSJ

A glance at the headers along the top shows the listing for my Page – What’s Wrong with Soft Drinks?

I am an equal opportunity analyst and I find fault with both the sugary soft drinks and the chemically-laden diet soft drinks.

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal reported that “Fewer people are gulping soft drinks. In the past five years, the volume of soda consumed in the U.S. has declined between 1% and 3% each year. Diet sodas have fallen especially sharply, between 2.5% and 6% annually, according to Beverage Marketing Corp., a New York research and consulting firm.

So, apparently folks are backing away more from the diet sodas than sugared although sales of both are sliding.

To counter this trend, soft drink makers are selling a new angle for their beverages: “They contain sugar,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

Talk about pick your poison. One is worse than the other for you. I think you are better off drinking something else, like, say, water?

Interestingly, fruit drinks aren’t a lot better. Across the pond – researchers from the University of Liverpool and colleagues from Action on Sugar have assessed the sugar content of over 200 fruit drinks marketed at children and have found them to be “unacceptably high.”

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The research, conducted by Professor Simon Capewell from the University’s Institute of Psychology, Health and Society and Action on Sugar has been published Thursday, 24 March in the online journal BMJ Open. Continue reading

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Bike Riding Love

This is a bit of a personal indulgence. I wanted to share some of the enjoyment I get from my bike.

Jason Gay, Wall Street Journal columnist and avid bike rider wrote in his book Little Victories about his interview with Robin Williams, “Robin Williams was fanatical about cycling.You know when you’re talking to somebody at a party about their job and they give very autopilot answers, and then when you talk to them about something they really care about … they suddenly turn into the very exuberant 11 year-old who still lives inside? It was like that. Robin Williams began talking animatedly about bike riding and his bike collection … and his trips to the Tour de France. He sounded like a different person. His happiness poured into the phone.

“At the interview I asked Williams why he liked to ride his bike so much.

It’s the closest you can get to flying.

“That line hits me like a hammer whenever I am on the bike because I know it to be true. I mentioned it in a column after Williams died and was struck by how many people wrote back to me about how a bike had saved them in hard times. That’s exactly the way I feel, too, they said.”

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I wrote these words in a post on National Bicycling Month on May 2 of this year, “I have tried to explain to myself first as well as others who asked, why I love to ride my bike. Until recently, the best I could come up with is that I feel like I am flying. Not soaring high, just flying along several feet above the bike path.” Interesting coincidence, huh?

That’s all the words, enjoy the pictures.

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Look at their faces.

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Tony

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Exercise Whether You Lose Weight or Not – WSJ

As I have written hundreds of times here: eat less; move more; live longer. Notice there is nothing in that statement about losing weight. I know that with almost 70 percent of the population overweight or obese, there is a lot of worry about weight loss. I wish folks would lighten up. No pun intended. If you eat right and exercise, you will be healthy and live longer.

 

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I found a Wall Street Journal article  from early this year on that very subject. Rachel Bachman cited, “A recent study underscores that there are significant health benefits to overweight and obese people being physically active, even if they don’t lose a pound. The study, of 334,000 Europeans over 12 years, recorded twice as many deaths due to a lack of physical activity as due to obesity.”

I have time and again written that the reason most people fail at losing weight and keeping it off is that they have the superficial goal of looking sexy or something like that. If you are healthy you will be sexy whether you appear that way to the object of your affection or not.

She makes another good point with, “Some doctors say the diet industry and popular culture overemphasize weight loss and underemphasize the benefits of exercise for people of any size. Health clubs and fitness studios advertise with images of lean bodies. Many people stop exercising if they’re not losing weight.”

The sooner you can get the superficial appearance thing out of your head the better off you will be.

A good example is Jeanette Patie a certified fitness instructor in Duarte, Calif., speaker and author of “The Fat Chick Works Out!” About 16 years ago, she read a book critical of the diet industry and had an epiphany: “I’m not the only one that fails at this. Almost everyone fails at this.”

“She began seeking out exercise that she enjoyed, and now teaches three or four dance-based exercise classes a week, in addition to walking, biking and doing yoga. She finds that she sleeps better, has more stable moods and gets sick less often.”

There you have it. How many readers can boast sleeping well, stable moods and getting sick less often?

I think it is fascinating that the physical problem of being overweight can best be handled first by making the mental decision to get healthy through good eating and exercise and letting the chips fall where they may.

I wrote Why you should quit trying to lose weight early last year. Check it out. You might find out something worthwhile. One last important point I need to make is that your brain benefits from exercise. Check out my Page – Important facts about your brain – and exercise benefits.

Tony

 

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There is a Physical Price for Too Much Sitting – Wall Street Journal

I learned about the dangers of prolonged sitting a while back and have posted several times on it as well as created a Page – Do You Know the Dangers of Too Much Sitting? which you can check out at your leisure to learn more about this fascinating subject.

It’s nice to see the Wall Street Journal take up the issue, “Studies have found that sedentary behavior, including sitting for extended periods, increases the risk for developing dozens of chronic conditions, from cancer and diabetes to cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Some ergonomics experts warn that too much standing also can have negative effects on health, including a greater risk for varicose veins, back and foot problems, and carotid artery disease.”

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I was interested to see that prolonged standing is also a no-no.

It seems our bodies were created to move and that is all there is to it.

I find this fascinating. I would have thought that regular exercise would solve the problem, but no. The Journal notes that, “Various studies have shown that even regular exercise won’t compensate for the negative effects from sitting too much during the day. Sitting causes physiological changes in the body, and may trigger some genetic factors that are linked to inflammation and chronic conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, said Dr. Buckley, of the University of Chester. In contrast, standing activates muscles so excess amounts of blood glucose don’t hang around in the bloodstream and are instead absorbed in the muscles, he said.”

While the danger of prolonged sitting may seem too subtle for some to take very seriously, I think it is very worthwhile information. So many people feel they suffer from mysterious maladies. This is clear cut science that removes a layer of the mystery from some of those maladies.

I am thrilled that my Apple Watch reminds me every hour with a Time to Stand reminder. You can achieve the same thing with a timer at your desk. (I put together a page on How My Apple Watch is Good for Your Health) with lots more aspects of healthy living.

The Journal also mentioned wearing a headset and walking in the office while talking on the phone rather than just sitting at your desk. Likewise, small meetings can be held while walking rather than cooped up in an office.

Clearly folks with desk jobs have some thinking to do on the subject.

Tony

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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 us 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 am certain that 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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How Exercise Benefits the Brain – Chicago Tribune

I wrote Exercise, Aging and the Brain back in September 2011. The first sentence reads, “Just a year of modest aerobic exercise reversed normal brain shrinkage by one to two years in older adults and improved their memory function, according to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal.”

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Because I have a family history of Alzheimer’s and dementia, I am acutely aware of my own brain’s vulnerability, so the Wall Street Journal piece reassured me and also spurred me to investigate how the brain benefits from exercise. You can check out my Page – Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise Benefits) to read more posts on the subject.

So, you can imagine my excitement to learn that the Chicago Tribune had picked up on the concept, too. My brother, Mike, also a senior citizen, called to alert me about the article – The Best Brain Exercise May be Physical by Julie Deardorff, a certified personal trainer and writer for Northwestern University, where I taught journalism some years ago.

I liked the fact that Deardorff expanded the concept of exercise aiding the brain all the way to infancy. “Babies, for example, need regular movement to carve out critical pathways and form connections in the brain. In children, research suggests exercise improves attention, focus and academic performance.”

My focus had been on the aging brain, but it is gratifying to learn that the principle starts in the crib.

“Scientists used to believe the mind-body connection was a one-way street: The brain helped build a better physique — or else it sabotaged attempts to get to the gym. But scores of studies suggest that what’s good for the body also is nurturing the old noodle. Exercise, it turns out, can help improve cognition in ways that differ from mental brain-training games,” the Tribune piece continued.

Yes, about those brain games. In April 2011 I wrote Exercise, Not Just Sudoku for Seniors. “Unless the activities that you’re practicing span a broad spectrum of abilities, then there is not a proven general benefit to these mental fitness programs. So, the idea that any single brain exercise program late in life can act as a quick fix for general mental function is almost entirely faith-based,” Professor Wang said in our post on physical exercise vs mental exercise.

So, seniors who are doing crosswords and sudoku puzzles to keep their brains active would be far better off taking a walk or indulging in other physical exercise that will send some oxygen up to their brains and create new neurotransmitters.

The Tribune piece concludes, “Sadly, the hippocampus naturally shrinks in late adulthood, leading to impaired memory and increased risk for dementia….

“”Atrophy of the hippocampus in later life is generally considered inevitable,” said Kirk Erickson, professor of psychology at the University of Pittsburgh. “But we’ve shown that even moderate exercise for one year can increase the size of that structure. The brain at that stage remains modifiable.””

I would like to conclude with some quotes from my post of May 2011 Exercise Has Real Benefits for the Brain.

“The brain has similar needs to other organs. It needs glucose, oxygen and other nutrients. There are very real concrete benefits to exercising that directly affect the brain.

“I like to say that exercise is like taking a little Prozac or a little Ritalin at just the right moment,” says John J. Ratey, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of A User’s Guide to the Brain.spark-book

“Exercise is really for the brain, not the body. It affects mood, vitality, alertness, and feelings of well-being” according to WebMD.

Dr. John Ratey also wrote the Book Spark – The Revolutonary New Science of Exercise and the Brain which you can check out at this Amazon link.

So, as I have said so many times on these pages, eat less/move more/live longer. You are likely to be doing it with your mental faculties intact, too.

Tony

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How You Can Benefit from a Positive View on Your Life – WSJ

Regular readers know that I have embraced the theory of positive psychology. I have written a number of posts on the benefits of a positive point of view. You can find an index of them at the end of this post.

Meanwhile, I was thrilled to see Elizabeth Bernstein’s piece in the Personal Journal of Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal entitled “It’s Healthy to Put a Good Spin on Your Life.”

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In a study of a large number of adults in their mid to late 50’s researchers found that “when people displayed higher levels of agency, communion and redemption and lower levels of contamination, their mental health improved. They consider good mental health to be low levels of depression and high levels of life satisfaction and psychological and social well-being.”

They explained the four keys to good mental health as follows:

• Agency—Did the subjects feel able to influence and respond to events in life, or did they feel battered around by the whims of external forces?

• Communion—Are the people connected to others or disconnected?
• Redemption—Did the subjects take a negative experience and find some positive outcome?
• Contamination—Did they tell narratives of good things turning bad?”

I would like to point you to a post I wrote in May of 2011 called Super Tools for Handling Stress.

In it I quoted Maggie Crowley, Psy.D., a Health Psychologist at the center for Integrative Medicine and Wellness at Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group.

Dr. Crowley listed the following as maladaptive coping strategies:

*Demand our circumstances be different
*Devalue ourselves and others
*Demean/blame ourselves and others
*When the above fail to work, do we choose another strategy?
*Or, do we double our ill-conceived efforts and feed our downward spiral.

She said that we needed something to shift our mental gears out of the stressful/fearful response that triggers that damaging cascade of negative emotion. She suggested the following activities that set off the parasympathetic approach:

*Practicing appreciation
*Making choices that are positive
*Using constructive language
*Employing our strengths and personal power.

I think there is a great similarity between the four keys to good mental health mentioned in the Journal and the points made by Dr. Crowley in dealing with stressors.

Regarding positive psychology, I have found it answered a lot of questions for me. If you are interested you can explore it in the following posts:
What is Positive Psychology?
How to Harness Positive Psychology for You – Harvard
Breaking down 8 Barriers to Positive Thinking – Infographic
11 Ways to Become a Better, More Positive You
How to Become a Positive Thinker
7 Exercises That Train Your Brain to Stay Positive
Positive, Happy People Suffer Less Pain

Tony

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Exercise Without Weight Loss Worthwhile – WSJ

Having lived in the world of Finance for most of my adult life, I have picked up the Wall Street Journal every morning for more years than I care to remember. These days, I pick up my iPad to read it.  Tuesdays the Journal has a Personal section which always highlights health issues. regular readers know that I often post on these stories.

This past Tuesday was no exception. Rachel Bachman wrote “Weight Loss or Not, Exercise Yields Benefits.”

Plus size model Ashley Graham appears in an ad in Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit issue.

Plus size model Ashley Graham appears in an ad in Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit issue.

I love that sentiment. Too many people focus on weight loss and only exercise as if they are paying the taxman. They don’t want to do it, but they feel like they have to in order to lose weight. The bad news is they don’t realize that the body needs regular exercise. Not just when you are trimming pounds.

The mantra of this blog is eat less; move more. I totally agree with the Journal story. I hope that you will too because your body will be a lot better off for it. “A recent study underscores that there are significant health benefits to overweight and obese people being physically active, even if they don’t lose a pound. The study, of 334,000 Europeans over 12 years, recorded twice as many deaths due to a lack of physical activity as due to obesity. Continue reading

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When You Eat Each Day Important to Weight Loss – Wall Street Journal

The human body is an amazing system in real life and especially when it comes to digestion.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that when you eat may be as important as what you eat.

If you are one of those readers who ate up The 8-Hour Diet, you have a running start on this discussion. It’s all about fasting.86286486

In a test run by Dr. Satchidananda Panda, an associate professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, in La Jolla, CA, one set of mice were allowed to eat only in periods of nine, 10, 12 or 15 hours. The other set could eat any time or all the time.

The Journal reported, “The benefits of restricted eating times were proportional to the amount of time fasted, said Amandine Chaix, a Salk researcher who works with Dr. Panda. The narrower the window for eating, the more weight the mice lost.”

In addition the time-restricted mice also had better muscle mass and lower cholesterol.

Continue reading

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How Often Should I Weigh Myself?

As is usually the case with a question like this, the answer depends on your situation. Are you just starting out trying to lose some pounds, are you in the midst of a weight loss program or have you achieved your goal and are now working on weight control? Also, are you a mature  adult or do you get emotional about setbacks, real or imagined? If you get emotional, daily weighing can work against you.

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The Wall Street Journal asks that heavy question this week and offers several opinions. Marlene Schwartz, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut, weighs in on what self-monitoring routines work best and why Wednesday is golden.

“Doctors’ views vary widely on how often people should weigh themselves, Dr. Schwartz says. Once a week is the most common recommendation in the obesity-treatment arena, where patients learn about smart-food choices and what triggers overeating episodes, rather than singling out a number on a scale, she says. ”

She added that three times a week or more is good for a person trying to trim pounds. That way you catch weight changes as they happen rather than get caught by surprise.

I have warned elsewhere in this blog that you can weigh every day, but you need to keep in mind that water retention and elimination can through off your total by a full percentage point or more, so you need to know the trend, not just day’s figure. Some medications can also contribute to weight changes.

The National Weight Control Registry says that 44 percent of their members who have lost 30 pounds or more and kept it off for more than a year weigh themselves daily.

Livestrong.com makes some good points. “Your weight on the scale is only one factor in the weight loss experience. In some cases, waist circumference provides a more accurate assessment of your health. Scale weight and body mass index don’t account for muscle weight. Pacing yourself to lose 1 to 2 lbs. a week increases your chances of keeping the weight off.” (My emphasis.)

“Daily weighing can work for you if you use if for self-monitoring without allowing normal fluctuations to derail your program. In a 2006 study that included 1,800 women and men who were trying to lose weight, the people who weighed themselves daily lost twice as much weight as people who weighed less often, the University of Minnesota School of Public Health reports,” Livestrong.com said.

When I lost my 50 pounds in 52 weeks, I weighed myself once a week, on Friday mornings after my shower. It was a weekly report card on my program. I like the weekly weigh in and use it now years after achieving and maintaining my goal weight.

What works for you? And where are you in the weight loss experience?

(Addendum January 16, 2015) After reading some of the comments to this post, I would like to clarify that diet and exercise can result in body changes besides weight loss. You grow muscle and burn fat which alters your body composition as well as your weight. More muscle and less fat will slow your weight loss, but your clothes will fit better and you will look trimmer and healthier. It is good to get a handle on your body fat percentage before you start and as you progress. Check out: What is the Best Way to Measure Body Fat? for more a great tool to do it.

Tony

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Doctors Prescribing Exercise as Medicine – Wall Street Journal

“The older I get the more medicines I find myself taking,” a Senior Citizen.

This is a common lament among seniors. But the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has a new and better idea. They declared May of 2014 as Exercise is Medicine month.

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“Everyone should start or renew an exercise program now as an investment in life-long health,” said Robert E. Sallis, M.D., FACSM, chair of the Exercise is Medicine. “Every person, regardless of age and health, is responsible for his or her own physical activity. There are far more reasons to exercise than excuses not to.”

Research shows that exercise has a role in the treatment and prevention of more than 40 chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and hypertension, an ACSM press release pointed out.

“While there are numerous reasons for soaring health care costs, one undeniable explanation is the poor physical health of so many Americans,” Sallis said. “Exercise is something every person can do to control the rising cost of health care and improve quality of life.”

Eat less; move more has long been the mantra of this blog. It is nice to see the mainstream moving ahead in the same vein.

Today’s Wall Street Journal ran a feature by Laura Landro entitled Doctors Dole Out Prescriptions for Exercise!

This is a direct result of the ACSM program.

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“Although the benefits of exercise in preventing and controlling a number of diseases are well-known, studies show that doctors don’t always counsel patients on adding more physical activity. About half of Americans report that they meet federal guidelines to engage in at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity, but not everyone owns up to how little exercise they get, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A 2011 study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found only about 10% of adults actually met recommended levels, though 62% reported they did.

Regular readers know that I am a senior citizen and instead of medicines, I ride my bike regularly and walk whenever I can. Last year, I pedaled over 7000 miles on my bike and as a a result of that and careful eating, I generally find myself in the best health of my life. I wrote about my aversion to taking statin drugs in Do I Have to go on Statin Drugs for the Rest of my Life to Fight High Cholesterol?

The Journal reported, “So many people look at exercise with fear and trepidation as if it’s something to be endured or swallowed like a bad-tasting medicine. But the reality is once people begin to move and gain strength and fitness they realize what a gift it is to feel agile and healthy,” says Susanna Carter, a Birmingham, Ala., obstetrician and gynecologist who left her medical practice last year to start Project 150, using Skype and email to counsel patients on exercise and nutrition.”

The Journal piece cites numerous examples of folks who took up exercise instead of medication and experienced very positive results.

The ACSM program “Exercise is Medicine” has training for doctors in more than 40 countries.

If you, like a lot of us, are concerned about your medical care going forward as Obamacare becomes the law of the land, it seems a good time to rethink previous sedentary ways and take a positive step toward maintaining your health without having to resort to doctor’s prescriptions.

I hope my excitement about this news and program is understandable, especially to regular readers. I have said from the beginning that we need to get out and move. Check out my Page – Important Facts About Your Brain (and Exercise) for more.

Tony

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Filed under ACSM, aging, Exercise, medicine, Wall Street Journal