Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Nescessity of Athleticism

Just a quick note to let everyone know that posts will no longer be out everyday but will be published each Wednesday and Saturday.

"I will go so far as to say that it is only the athletes, in this broad sense, who truly 'live'; who can savour life in all its aspects. And being fit, being an athlete, in no way debars one from being a poet, an artist, a musician, or any other creative endeavor." P.W.Cerutty.

To be at the top of our game mentally and physically we have to achieve a degree of fitness that is probably higher that what most people believe is necessary.

There is something special about the state one realizes when the body is optimally fit and the brain as been fed and challenged by reading, study and involvement in stimulating mental activities.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Yes You Can

Sometimes in our desire for success a little voice inside says that we don't have the 'goods' or the talent, that it's other people meant for success, not us. Consider the following by philosopher, coach and athlete, Percy Cerutty.  He worked with athletes of varying skills, talent and ages.

"I do admit freely, frankly and fully, that we are not all born equal in graces, brains and ability, but I do affirm that no power exists,  human or superhuman, that opposes the genuine aspirations and sincere attempts of any personality to advance itself."

In all of us is the ability to go beyond what we think we can accomplish.

Sometimes I wonder if saying we can't, really means, I don't want to bother trying, I don't want to make the effort.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Keeping a Training Journal

For those who are serious about achieving athletic success, it is essential to keep a journal or diary. Consider the following:

"One of the reasons why athletes stop running,or training, is that they lose their belief in future development. Without a training journal, the athlete cannot see the pattern of training that preceded his own best performances and his own best seasons. Nor can he see the differences that led to poor performances and poor seasons. The diary keeps track of the quality and quantity of training and allows one to plan on which of these should be emphasized depending on event and time to train. Evaluations, predictions, comparisons, and future planning can be made with greater accuracy and reliability as a result of information accurately recorded in a diary. The benefits available are well worth the relatively small effort involved in the daily upkeep of a diary."

As I was forced to eventually admit, my refusal to keep a journal was because I was too lazy to keep one. Don't let that happen to you.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Two From Teddy

It's a short day today so I'm going to give you two from my favorite quotemeister--Teddy Roosevelt.
This man lived a full and robust life, in addition, he had a unique and special way of expressing himself.

“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”

“Believe you can and you're halfway there.”

The man knew what he was talking about--his quotes come from experience, not from speculation and dreaming.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Simple Rules

I recognize that many of my posts are filled with nutrition and related information but it is vital to be well informed in this area. Health and freedom from illness are never fully appreciated  until we become sick.
The beauty of it all is, is that what is needed to achieve optimal health is not difficult to understand or do. It's the implementation, at least in the beginning, that is difficult.

If you want to have a long, healthy life:

   Proper Food Choices: Generally speaking, you should be looking to focus your diet on whole,   ideally organic, unprocessed foods. For the best nutrition and health benefits, you will want to eat a  good amount of salads and raw fruits and vegetables. Avoid sugar, and fructose in particular. All forms of sugar have toxic effects when consumed in excess, and drive multiple disease processes in your body, not the least of which is insulin resistance, a major cause of chronic disease and accelerated aging.
I believe the two primary keys for successful weight management are severely restricting carbohydrates (sugars, fructose, and grains) in your diet, and increasing healthy fat consumption. This will optimize insulin and leptin levels, which is key for maintaining a healthy weight and optimal health.

           Regular exercise: Even if you're eating the healthiest diet in the world, you still need to exercise to reach the highest levels of health, and you need to be exercising effectively, which means including high-intensity activities into your rotation. High-intensity interval-type training boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is essential for optimal health, strength and vigor. HGH also helps boost weight loss.
    So along with core-strengthening exercises, strength training, and stretching, I highly recommend that twice a week you do peak fitness exercises, which raise your heart rate up to your anaerobic threshold for 20 to 30 seconds, followed by a 90-second recovery period.
Stress Reduction: You cannot be optimally healthy if you avoid addressing the emotional component of your health and longevity, as your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease -- from heart disease and depression, to arthritis and cancer.
    Meditation, prayer, social support and exercise are all viable options that can help you maintain emotional and mental equilibrium.
Drink plenty of clean water. Get a water filter, it's as important an investment as food.
Maintain a healthy gut: About 80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut, and research is stacking up showing that probiotics—beneficial bacteria—affect your health in a myriad of ways; it can even influence your ability to lose weight. A healthy diet is the ideal way to maintain a healthy gut, and regularly consuming traditionally fermented foods is the easiest, most cost effective way to ensure optimal gut flora.
Optimize your vitamin D levels: Research has shown that increasing your vitamin D levels can reduce your risk of death from all causes. You can get vitamin D from the sun but you must be cautious and sensible in regards to exposure.
Avoid as many chemicals, toxins, and pollutants as possible: This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides, and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.
Get plenty of high-quality sleep: Regularly catching only a few hours of sleep can hinder metabolism and hormone production in a way that is similar to the effects of aging and the early stages of diabetes. Chronic sleep loss may speed the onset or increase the severity of age-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and memory loss.Too many people do not get enough sleep.

In closing--I know people who have a beautiful home, cars and clothes. They have no problem spending large sums of money on adult 'toys' yet are misers when it comes to buying quality food. What is wrong with that picture? It's a cliché but there is a lot of truth to the saying, 'we are what we eat'. Buying quality food is a better investment than buying a nice home or car because you are investing in your long-term health.

It's all about priorities and looking down the road.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Oh Yeah

 "Each athlete and person is responsible for providing his own internal motivation. And nothing can compensate for the lack of will to fight when the situation demands. In every competition or life situation, there may be one moment(or more) when a person wants to quit and needs internal motivation to survive the crisis. Otherwise, the penalty is defeat.There is no defeat, no failure like ceasing to try."

Develop your will, find the way to develop your will, then personal success will follow.

The meaning of success is often highly personal, what constitutes success to one person, may seem like anything but to another.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Be Honest With Yourself

It's funny how we can get used to less than ideal personal behavior just because it  becomes a regular part of our lives.

Consider this:

Thoroughly check the conduct of your daily life. Really think about it.

Do you avoid responsibility?

Do you make excuses for your shortcomings and failures?

Do you lie or tell half truths?

Know this:

It takes a certain kind of person to face up to life's responsibilities.

The more one admits his own failures, the greater are his chances of doing something about them.

The definition and meaning of character is not quite what it once was, now there are 'conditional' things(excuses) that make allowances for behavior that was once considered a personal shortcoming.

Don't buy the lie, good character consists of qualities that are changeless.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Consider This

To be at the top of your game mentally and physically, we must be willing to think and consider.

There is so much to learn from people who have travelled down the same road we are now on.

Take time and give give thought to the following:

"One should not torture himself over a single mistake. What is essential is one's presence of mind hereafter. When one makes a mistake, he should not be hesitant to correct it. Making a mistake and not correcting it, this is the real mistake."

"Do all things with patience."

 "The impatient athlete tends to be a self-defeating one."

 "Be master of mind rather than mastered by mind."

 "We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

More Than Just the Body

As I have said before, no one should consider missing a day of working out (training). It is as vital to your health and well being as eating and sleeping.
Too often what exercise does for the brain is overlooked in favor of building 'the body beautiful'.

"Exercise encourages your brain to work at optimum capacity by causing your nerve cells to multiply, strengthening their interconnections, and protecting them from damage. There are multiple mechanisms at play here, but some are becoming more well-understood than others.
For example, a number of animal studies, including the featured rodent study, have demonstrated that during exercise, the animals' nerve cells release proteins known as neurotrophic factors. One in particular, called brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF, activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons. BDNF also triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health. Further, exercise provides protective effects to your brain through:
  • The production of nerve-protecting compounds
  • Greater blood flow to your brain
  • Improved development and survival of neurons
  • Decreased risk of heart and blood vessel diseases
  • Altering the way damaging proteins reside inside your brain, which appears to slow the development of Alzheimer's disease. In animal studies, significantly fewer damaging plaques and fewer bits of beta-amyloid peptides, associated with Alzheimer's, were found in mice that exercised."
Work-out like your life depends on it because it does.

5k time trial--won't even get into the time here. 5 minute warm up and 10 minute warm down. Lots of walking and stretching after.

How was your day?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Four Tenets of Athletic Bliss

I feel sorry for those who regard much of their training as being hard, unpleasant or worklike. I'll never forget a conversation I had with an outstanding runner from my hometown of Buffalo, New York, he said his training was like a job to him. I thought to myself, why train? I  no longer felt envious of his running success but glad that I wasn't him. It reinforced my belief that success in running couldn't be measured by time or how you finished. Thanks to C. Bergland for the following.

The Four Tenets of Running Bliss

1.Presence of positive emotions.

2.Physical pleasure.

3.Meaning or significance(you believe your activity is 'worthy' of your time and involvement).

4.Sense of achievement(no matter how small or insignificant that achievement may appear to others).

Live the life you love, do the things that are positive and edifying.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Aerobic Exercise

I frequently hear from certain people who say that aerobic work is overrated in regards to achieving a high degree of health and well being. It reminds me of what I heard the other day from two guys on TV who said that The Beatles, musically, were a 60's version of  'boy bands' like NSYNC and The Backstreet Boys. The stupidity of comments like that trigger a feeling of embarrassment that someone could be so ill informed to make such a remark. The same goes for those who say aerobic work is 'overrated'.
As a reminder, aerobic work means in the presence, or with oxygen. I'm not talking oxygen debt workouts here. Consider this:

"Everyone needs to be able to efficiently take oxygen into their lungs and blood and pump it to their working muscles where it is used to oxidize carbohydrates and fats to produce energy."

As far as weight workouts that build big muscles, is that the be all end all of exercise?

"How strong you are, how well-sculpted your body is, and how good you feel about yourself will not be sufficient consolation to you if you become seriously ill.
Your muscles are the primary target organ of aerobic training. Aerobic training increases the muscles' ability to use fat as a source of energy. Aerobic training improves the condition and efficiency of your breathing muscles and your heart ( the most important muscle)."

Ultimately it all comes down to this:

"When your muscles need oxygen, your aerobic (cardiovascular) system must be able to efficiently deliver it to them. When your body has waste products that need to be expelled (carbon dioxide and metabolic waste products), your heart lung complex must be up to the task. These two tasks form the functional basis of aerobic fitness."

There are so many other things aerobic training accomplishes.

Aerobic work is essential if you want to feel good and be healthy, it is the most important type of training you can do.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


As we strive to achieve our goals, the word perseverance always comes up. Do we recognize all that this word means or do we just say, 'oh, that's about sticking to it.' Well, there's more to it then that, consider the following:
"Perseverance means showing firmness, steadiness, determination, tenacity and backbone. Perseverance is the ability to endure adversity until the problem is overcome. Perseverance is remaining confident and faithful to yourself while the odds appear to be mounting against your chance of success. Perseverance is being able to progressively attack adversity in an intelligent aggressive manner until the task is mastered."

Although the above was written by Del Hessel  for athletes, it's obviously applicable to everyone.

 10 minute easy jogging warm-up followed by 25 minutes over a hilly course--10 minute warm down, stretching after.

How was your day?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Code of Conduct

Below are the traits needed to achieve athletic success, written by someone who achieved much:

* Dedication and Persistence.

* A passion and love for your chosen sport.



* Strong work ethic.

The often forgotten trait, 'A passion and love for your chosen sport.' When you truly love your sport, the training rarely, if ever, seems like work.

Tomorrow begins a new week, for many, a new beginning.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Advice For Athletes and Other People

We all want to be at the top of our game mentally and physically. We all want happiness and contentment in life. The following is as good advice as you'll read on that subject. Very well put.

Here are Christopher Bergland's eight central tenets of a positive psychology of exercise. "If you live by these rules," he writes, "your life will be in good shape."
  1. "Take care of your body: "Get seven to eight hours of sleep, exercise for at least twenty to thirty minutes most days of the week. Respect yourself, don't be self-destructive."
  2. Family and friends: "Strong personal relationships mean more than money, status, or your job title…. Fortify your sense of community as an athlete and nonathlete. Join a club or a class at a local gym or community center."
  3. Laughter and levity: "People laugh thirty times more when they are in the company of others than when they're alone. Laughter heals, stress kills. Lighten up…. Have fun working out with people…. Trigger neurobiological joy by smiling when you work out. Smiling and laughing sends a signal to your nervous system that all is well and you're having fun."
  4. Look forward to something: "A sense of anticipation makes people healthy and happy. Put things on the horizon that you can look forward to. A sense of curiosity and eagerness gives you a sense of purpose and a reason to seize the day."
  5. Gratitude and simple joys: "Take time to count your blessings from little things like a good meal to big things like watching your children grow up…. Take pleasure in every breath and the celebration of being alive—the joy of movement and sweat."
  6. Do something well: "You want to hone a skill and become really good at something…. Mastery is the key to fulfillment. Mastering an athletic skill is an easy place to start, even if it is just becoming the best spinner in spin class or the best stepper in step class. Master it."
  7. Develop coping mechanisms for hardships: "The mechanism for getting through hard times is threefold: a belief that you are a survivor, an understanding that it is temporary, and a willingness to reach out for your support network."
  8. Give something back: "Try to practice selfless acts of kindness toward family, friends, and strangers every day. This can be altruistic—and should be—but it also creates a positive feedback loop of feeling generous and appreciated and will bring you reciprocated kindness."
Now for the challenge, actually incorporating it into our lives.

35 minutes running today with 8- 45 second pick-ups mixed in throughout the run--stretching and calisthenics after.

What did you do?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Big C

Cancer--just the word stirs up fear and anxiety in most of us. Cancer is on the rise in this country. Interestingly, each year billions of dollars are spent by mainstream medicine and society trying to find a cure while the answer is right in front of us. The real cause lies in our personal and environmental pollution. Consider the following if you are a skeptic, and remember, cancer was never the major disease that it is today. What has changed? The source of what you are about to read is from a medical doctor with an open mind and is someone who looks at the big picture. It's well researched data he offers, not just speculation.

"Based on studies of human remains ranging from 5300 B.C. to the mid-19th century, we know that cancer used to be quite rare.
This is not the case anymore... in 2012, more than 1.6 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed, and more than 1,500 people will die from it every day. Cancer now accounts for nearly one out of every four deaths in the United States.1
What might surprise you is that even the American Cancer Society states that about one-third of cancer deaths could be prevented by making lifestyle changes, as they’re related to excess weight, physical inactivity and poor nutrition (and this does not even account for cancer related to smoking). In fact, the American Cancer Society said that Americans could realistically cut their cancer death rate in half by doing nothing more than making some simple lifestyle changes

15 Top Tips for Cancer Prevention
I believe the vast majority of all cancers could be prevented by strictly applying the healthy lifestyle recommendations below.

  1. Avoid sugar, especially fructose. All forms of sugar are detrimental to health in general and promote cancer. Fructose, however, is clearly one of the most harmful and should be avoided as much as possible.
  2. Optimize your vitamin D. Vitamin D influences virtually every cell in your body and is one of nature's most potent cancer fighters. Vitamin D is actually able to enter cancer cells and trigger apoptosis (cell death). If you have cancer, your vitamin D level should be between 70 and 100 ng/ml. Vitamin D works synergistically with every cancer treatment I'm aware of, with no adverse effects. I suggest you try watching my one-hour free lecture on vitamin D to learn more.
  1. Engage in regular exercise.  There have been loads of recent studies that show a very powerful effect of exercise in dramatically lowering your risk of cancer. It most likely does this through optimizing insulin and leptin signaling.
  2. Avoid unfermented soy products. Unfermented soy is high in plant estrogens, or phytoestrogens, also known as isoflavones. In some studies, soy appears to work in concert with human estrogen to increase breast cell proliferation, which increases the chances for mutations and cancerous cells.
  3. Improve your insulin receptor sensitivity. The best way to do this is by avoiding sugar and most all grains even organic ones as if you are one of the two thirds of the people that are overweight they could likely be worsening your insulin and leptin signaling.
  4. Maintain a healthy body weight. This will come naturally when you begin eating the right foods and exercising. It's important to lose excess body fat because fat produces estrogen.
  5. Drink a quart of organic green vegetable juice daily. Please review my juicing instructions for more detailed information.
  6. Get plenty of high quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil. Omega-3 deficiency is a common underlying factor for cancer, and since most cancers have an inflammatory component, with up-regulated Cox-2 enzyme activity, omega-3 fats – particularly EPA – will directly interfere with the inflammatory process.
  7. Curcumin. This is the active ingredient in turmeric and in high concentrations it can be a very useful adjunct in the treatment of cancer. For example, it has demonstrated major therapeutic potential in preventing breast cancer metastasis.2 In fact, the biomedical literature now confirms that it has potential in preventing and/or combating well over 100 different types of cancer.3 It's important to know that curcumin is generally not absorbed that well, so I've provided several absorption tips here.
  8. Avoid drinking alcohol, or at least limit your alcoholic drinks to one per day for women, two for men.
  9. Avoid electromagnetic fields as much as possible. Even electric blankets can increase your cancer risk. Also be very cautious with your cell phone usage.
  10. Avoid synthetic hormone replacement therapy, especially if you have risk factors for breast cancer. Breast cancer is an estrogen-related cancer, and according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute,4 breast cancer rates for women dropped in tandem with decreased use of hormone replacement therapy. (There are similar risks for younger women who use oral contraceptives. Birth control pills, which are also comprised of synthetic hormones, have been linked to cervical and breast cancers.)
  11. If you are experiencing excessive menopausal symptoms, you may want to consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy instead, which uses hormones that are molecularly identical to the ones your body produces and do not wreak havoc on your system. This is a much safer alternative.
  12. Avoid BPA, phthalates and other xenoestrogens. These are estrogen-like compounds that have been linked to increased breast cancer risk, found widely in plastics, personal care products and other household goods.
  13. Watch out for excessive iron levels. This is actually very common once women stop menstruating, and also in some men. The extra iron actually works as a powerful oxidant, increasing free radicals and raising your risk of cancer. Fortunately, checking your iron levels is easy and can be done with a simple blood test called a serum ferritin test. I believe this is one of the most important tests that everyone should have done on a regular basis as part of a preventive, proactive health screen. Ferritin is the iron transport protein and should not be above 80. If it is elevated you can simply donate your blood to reduce it.
  14. Make sure you're not iodine deficient, as there's compelling evidence linking iodine deficiency with certain forms of cancer. Dr. David Brownstein,5 author of the book Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It, is a proponent of iodine for breast cancer. It actually has potent anticancer properties and has been shown to cause cell death in breast and thyroid cancer cells."
The most foolish thing we can do is to put off till tomorrow what we should begin today. The second most foolish thing? Saying that cancer only happens to 'other' people.

On a lighter note--45 minutes easy running through the park---a lazy day--stretching--walking and calisthenics after.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

How to Stay Motivated

Staying motivated, who hasn't had a problem with that at one time or another? Losing motivation is why people give up their dreams and goals. Here are some suggestions on keeping motivated by the great Jack Lalanne. After his I'll add a few comments of my own.

!. Reads books and magazines that have inspiring stories and articles.

2. Organize your day so that you have the time to train.

3.Develop a positive attitude.

4.Set goals, short term and long term.

5.Daily, remind yourself what your goal(s) is.

6.Recognize that willpower has to be nurtured.

7.If staying motivated has been a problem in the past, find someone with a similar goal and have them as a training partner.

8.Break bad habits. No alcohol or drugs to interfere with your commitment.

I like his suggestions but would add one important thing---when you have a goal that you want to reach, you must truly believe that this goal is worthy of your time and energy. For instance, too many people believe deep down inside that the athletic goals they have set are not really 'worthy.' Not  worthy like hitting the $70 thou a year annual income mark or  getting that six figure home in the gated community. Your goal is worthy if you believe it is. Since when is a price tag or an income a sign of the worthiness of a goal(s). I suppose since we've entered the age of money and what you have rules era.

Don't by the lie, be an individual!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Alcohol and the Active Athlete

Like the recovering alcoholic with an agenda--I offer the following admonition to athletes who are still serious about performance--avoid alcohol consumption. Now before you blow off today's post and move on, give the following a read. I'm not talking long term effects here, I'm referring to the here and now. Thanks to former world record holder in powerlifting, Dr. Fred Hatfield, for providing the info. Oh yeah--I'm not an alcoholic, a former episodically heavy drinker maybe, but not an alcoholic.

"Alcohol can damage muscle cells. Some of these damaged cells can die from prolonged exposure to alcohol, resulting in less functional muscle contractions.  Alcohol will also result in increased muscle soreness following training, thereby requiring additional time for recuperation."

Not good, especially if you're a distance runner.

"Alcohol can cause several gastric, digestive and nutritional irregularities. This drug causes a release of insulin that will in turn increase the metabolism of glycogen, thereby sparing fat, resulting in more difficult fat loss. Since alcohol consumption can interfere with the absorption of many nutrients, it is possible to become anemic and deficient in the B vitamins."

In case you don't know, look it up and see how vital B vitamins are to maintaining health.

"Alcohol acts as a diuretic, large amounts of alcohol can place undue stress on your kidneys. With alcohol's diuretic action, large amounts of antidiuretic hormone(ADH) are secreted. This can result in elevated water retention, something no athlete wants."

As they say--knowledge is power. If you find yourself rationalizing or dismissing the facts, perhaps you need to take a look at your relationship with alcohol. Don't get mad, I'm just looking out for you.

A beautiful fall day---hill reps for 25 minutes with a 10 minute warm up and warm down---stretching after.

How 'bout you?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Something To Think About

If the following sounds strange to you, then perhaps you have become too far removed from the natural, physical life, you've become a creature of comfort in this modern society.

"That without strength, efficient organs, intelligence and an absence of secret fears man is only a parody, and for him life cannot be fully lived. He does not dominate his enviroment, it is the enviroment that dominates him. Such a man is not free. Only the mentally free and the physically strong can live this type of life to the full. Nature ordains it this way.There is no catch to it. Nature favors the fit." (Percy Cerutty).

As Cerutty used to say--"only the fit are fearless."

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Taking Risks

"To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.

To live is to risk dying.

To hope is to risk despair.

To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

The person who risks nothing does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing.

They may avoid suffering and sorrow but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow love, live.

Chained by their certitudes they are a slave, they have forfeited their freedom.

Only a person who risks is free."

Author Unknown

As they say----Live the life you love--Are you existing or truly living?

Exhausting work day but ran 20 minutes easy in the morning---6 hours at work on my feet the whole timer--lots of lifting and walking.

What did you do?

Saturday, October 12, 2013


"As to methods there may be a million and then some, but principles are few. The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods, ignoring principles is sure to have trouble."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don't believe Emerson was an athlete but the above quote sure is applicable to training.

Not too long ago someone asked me if I had heard of a book on running that advocated a certain way of training. I said that I hadn't but if it incorporated the fundamentals of training for distance runners I was all for it. A large part of the training principles for distance running and other sports teaches that easier work is followed by progressively more stressful work as the body can tolerate it. At the end point,these training principles all lead to the athlete being in peak condition for competition. It's all incredibly simple, logical and sensible.

The running coach I follow, Arthur Lydiard, instructed athletes to follow the principles he laid down but added that the individual could adapt them to their specific needs( the methods).

As far as training principles for sports? They must take into account human anatomy and physiology.
Still, many try to 'reinvent the wheel' and come up with "methods" they believe will revolutionize their sport.

Be very careful when you decide to choose a way to train, or way to eat for that matter, is it adhering to sound principles? Do not be fooled by charismatic hucksters.

Lastly, speaking of Arthur Lydiard: he was a giant in the sport of running, just as Vince Lombardi was in American football, John Wooden in college basketball or Casey Stengel in  pro baseball. Even though Lydiard trained and developed many champions and record holders,  he would always take time to interact with anyone who approached him. I recall back in the '80's writing a letter to him, I can't remember how I found his address in New Zealand, I sort of hoped he might write back but wasn't willing to put any money on it. Sure enough, not quite a month later I received a letter from him. A couple years later I wrote again and the same thing happened. Talking with others, I later found out that, that was just the way he was. Take it from me, this is a rare quality among famous people.

27 minutes at 2/3's pace with a 5 minute warm up and a 10 minute warm down--stretching after.

What did you do today?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Each Day

Each Day is a Gift

Each day is a gift if you have your health.

Each day is a gift if you have a place to live and food to eat.

Each day is a gift if you have someone who cares

Each day is a gift if you have an appreciation...for all that you have.

Each day is a gift because you have the ability to determine the way you live.

A great workout--40 minutes running over a hilly course--walking and stretching after.

How was your day?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Consider This

Words to consider and contemplate from time to time, written by Rudyard Kipling. 

"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!"

Whew! Just so well put--nothing more needs to be said, and I won't.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Random Thoughts

Have you noticed that as we age life gets more complicated? It seems that how we deal with the variety of things that come with the passage of time determines our level of enjoyment in this life. If we are having trouble handling things, it's only natural that life, for the most part, will not be all that pleasant. I suppose that may be one of the reasons why so many people drink or eat too much,or take drugs. It's all about trying to cope. What to do. I think of what Dr.Sheehan wrote; "To go back to those times when your soul, your self, was not what you possessed or your social standing or other people's opinion but a totality of body mind and spirit. And that totality interacting freely with your total environment. Somewhere past childhood that integration of self and that response to the universe began to dissolve. We came more and more to associate who we were with what we owned; to judge ourselves by other people's opinions; to make our decisions by other people's rules; to live by other people's values."
Dr. Sheehan goes on to say, and I'll paraphrase what he said, coincidentally, or perhaps not coincidentally, our physical condition began to decline, as it did for so many of our peers.

I remember the time Dr. Sheehan refers to when 'that integration of self and that response to the universe' began to dissolve.' For me, it was when I first entered the job market. I felt compromise was essential to "fit in." Fortunately, I soon learned it wasn't worth it.
If some of you feel that you are not where you want to be, it is never too late to assert yourself and take control of your life.One of the things you can do that is a step in the right direction is simplifying your life. Cutting down on the number of activities you're involved in and the amount of possessions you have is a great start.

And another thing that concerns being in control of our lives, it's about our physical being, the condition our body is in--"no life can be completely lived without being lived completely on a physical level. The way to relive our life is to go back to the physical self we had before we lost our way." (Dr. Sheehan).

A vital, alive, fit body is essential if we are to have that mental peace.

Live life vigorously!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Forgotten Health Practice

Fasting. Ahh, for so many that word conjures up thoughts of agony and deprivation. However, in reality, we all fast. We fast during the hours that we sleep and then break(the)fast in the morning when we have, you guessed it, breakfast. Fasting is something beneficial to all who try it.
The easiest type of fast is to take one day a week and go without food. Drink all the purified water you choose but take in nothing else. I used to fast that way for quite awhile until I got, I don't know, lazy,......?
I would have dinner around 6pm, go to bed and then upon arising I might have a cup of herbal tea(no coffee!) but for the rest of the day it would be water only. I recall feeling somewhat hungry during the early part of that day but I believe a lot of my hunger had to do with the habit of eating. I always made a point of being by myself at lunch, reading or going for a walk. Around 1 or 2pm I recall feeling energetic for the remainder of the fast which I ended at 6 or 6:30pm.
Almost as important as the fast is how you 'break' the fast. Eating a salad with a fairly light meal is the way to go. Overeating only negates the benefits you gained from your fast.
The following are some of the benefits given by Dr. Alan Cott as to the benefits of a Fast. I put the one I believe is the best reason at the top of the list.

Fasting gives the body a physiological rest.
Fasting increases the pleasure of eating(particularly for fresh and raw foods after breaking the fast).
Fasting is an energizer, not a debilitator.
Fasting aids in the elimination process.
Fasting, done regularly, is a rejuvenator, slowing the aging process.
Fasting can lead to improved dietary habits.
Fasting lowers cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Fasting is adaptable to a busy life.
Fasting rids the body of toxins.

I could go on but I think you can see that fasting is beneficial.
One benefit I would add that the Dr. didn't list:
Fasting builds discipline. Heaven knows most of us need to work on our discipline.
Go for it!

20 minutes easy in a cold rain ---stretching after.

What did you do today?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Health Hazards, pt.1

Ignoring something potentially dangerous doesn't minimize its risks. I find it interesting that the studies and articles on the possible dangers of using cellphones and other wireless phones always seem to come from someplace in and around Europe.
Call me a cynic but could this be due to the fact that all things pertaining to the use of cellphones in the a billion dollar+ industry? While they tell us here that cellphones are safe they advise us to text more and don't let young children use them, mmmmm. Consider the following:

" A Swedish study on the use of wireless phones, including cell phones and cordless phones, has uncovered a link between electromagnetic radiation exposures and the risk of malignant and non-malignant brain tumors.

Cell phones and cordless phones emit a form of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation, radiation which can be absorbed by tissues and cells that come into close contact with the phone, e.g., the head and neck. The most conclusive evidence as to the dangers of cell phone and similar radiation exposures come from studies on long-term exposure (ten years or more) like this Swedish study.

This new study reveals that people who used cell phones and cordless phones for more than a year were at a 70% greater risk of brain cancer compared to those who used cell phones and cordless phones for a year or less. Those who used cell phones and cordless phones for more than 25 years were found to have a 300% greater risk of brain cancer than those who used cell phones and cordless phones for a year or less.

The total number of hours of cell phone and cordless phone use was found to be as important as the number of years of use. A quarter of the study's subjects were found to have lifetime cell phone or cordless phone use of 2,376 or more hours, which corresponds to about 40 minutes a day over ten years. Heavier users were found to have a 250% greater risk of brain tumors compared to those who'd never used cell phones or cordless phones or used them for less than 39 hours in their lifetime

This new study echoes the previous study findings of the decade long 13-nation Interphone study, which found a 180% greater risk of brain cancer among those who used cell phones for 1,640 or more hours in their lifetime. But it also goes further.

In this latest study, for all types of cell phone and cordless phone use, brain cancer risk was found to be greater in the part of the brain where the exposure to cell phone and cordless phone radiation was highest, on the side of the head where people predominantly used their phones."

If you use a cell or wireless phone, take these safety measures:

Limiting calls to those that are absolutely necessary on wireless devices
Using a speaker phone or air tube headset whenever possible
  • Keeping cell phones away from the body
  • Turning your cell phone off when not in use
  • Texting instead of talking
  • Alternating from one side of the head to the other when phoning
  • Avoiding using a cell phone when reception is poor
  • Using a corded land line whenever possible
  • Removing cordless phones from bedrooms

  • Call me an alarmist but it is something that must be considered. Do the investigation yourself, your health and well being may very well depend on it. Don't be like the habitual cigarette smoker who believes that lung cancer only happens to 'other' people.

    Sunday, October 6, 2013

    Checklist For Success

    Since we are all about being at the top of our game mentally and physically, what follows are a few attributes that Percy Cerutty believes are essential to achieve success. I believe he wrote the following in regards to athletic success, but, it's easy to see how they could be applied to any type of endeavor.

    2.Finding the way and means.
    4.Concentration on task.
    6.Faith in oneself.
    7.The quality of 'rather die than give in or be ultimately beaten.'
    8.The recognition, until one's goals are achieved, that one cannot serve two masters, that one goal must, and does, take precedence over the other.
    9.The recognition, as we overcome so we strengthen to overcome better, and as we weaken in our resolves, so we become weaker and less capable of worthwhile achievement.
    10.Total commitment to your goal."

    Hard to find fault with the above. #6,like #5, is something that comes up frequently in these types of lists. For a lot of people, faith in oneself is the forgotten key to achieving your goal. Why can't you be the 'guy'? What don't you have that someone else has? Quite often the only thing the other person has that you don't have is confidence. Many of us need to change our way of thinking.

    #2.Looking into the right program that will get you where you want to be as opposed to following a generic, one size fits all program is essential. Adapting it(program) to your strengths and weaknesses is vital. This takes a motivated and thoughtful individual.

    Big day--25 minutes at 2/3's pace--oh yeah, 5 minute warm-up with a 10 minute warm-down--stretching after.

    How was your day?

    Saturday, October 5, 2013

    The Big 15--Lest We Forget

    People who regularly exercise tend to forget the host of benefits associated with it--As a little refresher for those who may have forgotten, here's what regular exercise will do:

    "1.Improve your brainpower.
    2.Lower your blood pressure.
    3.Fight off a cold.
    4.Manage arthritis.
    5.Lower your risk of heart disease.
    6.Cure insomnia.
    7. Fight depression.
    8.Lower your risk of diabetes and reverse pre-diabetes symptoms.
    9.Build strong bones
    10.Helps in losing weight.
    11.Reduse your risk of cancer.
    12.Boost your I.Q. and think better.
    13. Relieve chronic knee pain.
    14. Increase your energy levels
    15.Slow down your aging process."

    #3 I was not aware of this but the following provides an explanation---
    "Prolonged intense exercise causes immunosuppression, whereas moderate-intensity exercise improves immune function and potentially reduces risk and severity of respiratory viral infections."

    As far as #'s 4,9 and 13--People who have been told that running will eventually lead to OA(osteoarthritis) are not being told the truth. Unless you are significantly overweight, jogging and fast walking actually strengthens your joints.

    #12. "In 2006, Arthur Kramer of the University of Illinois used MRIs to prove that aerobic exercise builds gray and white matter in the brains of older adults. Later studies found that more aerobically fit grade-schoolers also perform better on cognitive tests."

    You should no sooner skip working out each day than you would skip eating or sleeping.

    Tomorrow is the first day of the week.

    40 minutes easy in Hugh MacRae Park-- a lazy hot day--lots of walking and stretching after.

    What did you do?


    Friday, October 4, 2013

    Avoiding A Dreaded Disease

    What's worse than contemplating your own mortality? How 'bout contemplating your demise from a slow lingering and progressive disease? Hmmm, nice light subject for a Friday night.
    There are so many illnesses out there that can be delayed or prevented if we take personal action. If you believe there is no concrete proof that you can, then why not adopt certain health practices that at worst will only make you healthier? Sounds like the proverbial win-win situation to me.
    The disease I'm referring to today is called Alzheimer's. Consider the following facts:

    5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer's disease. It's estimated that up to 16 million will have the disease by 2050. One in eight Americans age 65 and over has Alzheimer's. Every 68 seconds, another American develops Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the 5th leading cause of death for those aged 65 and older. Alzheimer's deaths increased by 66 percent between 2000 and 2008.

    The following is from the recent archives of a medical doctor/alternative practitioner(not Dr. Andrew Weil). Some of the recommendations and findings may seem a bit extreme to some but are based on scientific studies, not speculation.

    Some strategies on lowering your risk of getting Alzheimer's Disease:
    What is interesting and important to understand about chronic disease is that it very rarely exists in a bubble. What I mean is, if you are developing changes in your brain that are indicative of Alzheimer's, you're probably also experiencing signs of insulin resistance, such as diabetes or obesity.
    And, meanwhile, you may also be showing signs of heart disease, such as high blood pressure, as, very often, chronic diseases are intricately intertwined; they're the product of imbalances in your body that are manifesting, likely after years spent festering just below the surface. This can actually be a good thing, however, as implementing a few simple techniques address the underlying causes of multiple chronic diseases, and Alzheimer's is no exception.
    This includes:
    • Optimize vitamin D. In 2007 researchers at the University of Wisconsin uncovered strong links between low levels of vitamin D in Alzheimer's patients and poor outcomes on cognitive tests. Scientists launched the study after family members of Alzheimer's patients who were treated with large doses of prescription vitamin D reported that they were acting and performing better than before.
    • Researchers believe that optimal vitamin D levels may enhance the amount of important biomolecules in your brain and protect brain cells. Vitamin D receptors have been identified throughout the human body, and that includes in your brain. Metabolic pathways for vitamin D exist in the hippocampus and cerebellum of the brain, areas that are involved in planning, processing of information, and the formation of new memories.
      Sufficient vitamin D is also imperative for the proper functioning of your immune system to combat excessive inflammation, and, as mentioned earlier, other research has discovered that people with Alzheimer's tend to have higher levels of inflammation in their brains.
    • Fructose. Ideally it is important to keep your level below 25 grams per day. This toxic influence is serving as an important regulator of brain toxicity. Since the average person is exceeding this recommendation by 300 percent this is a pervasive and serious issue. I view this as the MOST important step you can take. Additionally, when your liver is busy processing fructose (which your liver turns into fat), it severely hampers its ability to make cholesterol. This is yet another important facet that explains how and why excessive fructose consumption is so detrimental to your health.
    • Keep your fasting insulin levels below 3. This is indirectly related to fructose, as it will clearly lead to insulin resistance. However other sugars, grains and lack of exercise are also factors here.
    • Vitamin B12: According to a small Finnish study recently published in the journal Neurology, people who consume foods rich in B12 may reduce their risk of Alzheimer's in their later years. For each unit increase in the marker of vitamin B12 (holotranscobalamin) the risk of developing Alzheimer's was reduced by 2 percent. Very high doses of B vitamins have also been found to treat Alzheimer's disease and reduce memory loss.
    • Eat a nutritious diet, rich in folate, such as the one described in my nutrition plan. Strict vegetarian diets have been shown to increase Alzheimer's risk, whereas diets high in omega-3's lower your risk. However, vegetables, without question, are your best form of folate, and we should all eat plenty of fresh raw veggies every day.
    • High-quality animal based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil. (I recommend avoiding most fish because although fish is naturally high in omega-3, most fish are now severely contaminated with mercury.) High intake of the omega-3 fatty acid DHA helps by preventing cell damage caused by Alzheimer's disease, thereby slowing down its progression, and lowering your risk of developing the disorder. Researchers have also said DHA "dramatically reduces the impact of the Alzheimer's gene."
    • Avoid and remove mercury from your body. Dental amalgam fillings are one of the major sources of mercury, however you should be healthy prior to having them removed. Once you have adjusted to following the diet described in my optimized nutrition plan, you can follow the mercury detox protocol and then find a biological dentist to have your amalgams removed.
    • Avoid aluminum, such as antiperspirants, non-stick cookware, vaccine adjuvants, etc.
    • Exercise regularly. It's been suggested that exercise can trigger a change in the way the amyloid precursor protein is metabolized, thus, slowing down the onset and progression of Alzheimer's. Exercise also increases levels of the protein PGC-1alpha. New research has shown that people with Alzheimer's have less PGC-1alpha in their brains, and cells that contain more of the protein produce less of the toxic amyloid protein associated with Alzheimer's. I would strongly recommend reviewing the Peak Fitness Technique for my specific recommendations.
    • Avoid flu vaccinations as most contain both mercury and aluminum, as well as egg proteins (e.g. myelin basic protein), which the body may produce antibodies against and that cross-react with the myelin coating your nerves, in effect causing your immune system to attack your nervous system!
    • Eat blueberries. Wild blueberries, which have high anthocyanin and antioxidant content, are known to guard against Alzheimer's and other neurological diseases.
    • Challenge your mind daily. Mental stimulation, especially learning something new, such as learning to play an instrument or a new language, is associated with a decreased risk of Alzheimer's. Researchers suspect that mental challenge helps to build up your brain, making it less susceptible to the lesions associated with Alzheimer's disease.
    • Avoid anticholinergic and statin drugs. Drugs that block acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter, have been shown to increase your risk of dementia. These drugs include certain night-time pain relievers, antihistamines, sleep aids, certain antidepressants, medications to control incontinence, and certain narcotic pain relievers.
    • One study8 found that those who took drugs classified as 'definite anticholinergics' had a four times higher incidence of cognitive impairment. Regularly taking two of these drugs further increased the risk of cognitive impairment. Statin drugs are particularly problematic because they suppress the synthesis of cholesterol, which is one of the primary building blocks of your brain. As Dr. Stephanie Seneff reports:
      "Statin drugs interfere with cholesterol synthesis in the liver, but the lipophilic statin drugs (like lovastatin and simvastatin) also interfere with the synthesis of cholesterol in the brain. This would then directly impact the neurons' ability to maintain adequate cholesterol in their membranes. Indeed, a population-based study showed that people who had ever taken statins had an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease, a hazard ratio of 1.21. More alarmingly, people who used to take statins had a hazard ratio of 2.54 (over two and a half times the risk to Alzheimer's) compared to people who never took statins."

    I can't stress this point enough, take control of your personal health, do not leave it in the hands of others!

    Thursday, October 3, 2013

    More Than Just Fitness

    "Physical fitness programs have long been based on the desire to lead a long life, to forestall heart attacks, to feel better generally or to improve your figure. No one ever told us that the body determined our mental and spiritual energies. That with the new body we can put on the new person and build a new life, the life we were always designed to lead but lost with the body we enjoyed in our youth."
    George Sheehan, runner, writer, physician.

    Consider the words of Dr. Sheehan, particularly the last sentence. It's true, it's a message that I wish everyone could hear and heed.

    35 minutes with 30 second pick-up added throughout the run--stretching after.

    What did you do?

    Wednesday, October 2, 2013

    A Few Thoughts

    Strangely, I was watching the News this evening, something I normally never do. Part of me just wanted to watch it to find out what the weather was going to be like tomorrow, while the other part just sat there not wanting to do anything. Well, they ran a feature on an upcoming show called The Biggest Loser. The contestants on this show were all morbidly obese, one was a past runner-up on American Idol. What struck me was how these people recognized that they had to lose weight and assumed diet and exercise were what was needed to reach their weight loss goals. You can't argue with that assertion. Some of the contestants were pictured indulging in their favorite foods like pizza with blue cheese dressing and hot dogs with a huge amount of condiments on them. I got to wondering how the moderators were going to approach the dietary regimens of these people. I say this because I've noticed the trend these days with dieting involves either cutting down on food intake or eating smaller meals four to six times a day. I've seen the various weight loss companies taking this approach, some even have the audacity to say you can still eat the foods you love and lose weight. This may be true but is it good advice?

    What needs to be told to everyone, irregardless of their weight, is that many foods should never be eaten by anyone on a regular basis because they will clog your arteries and do nothing to promote good health. They will in fact diminish your quality of life by causing you to feel lethargic and unmotivated. Fat laden foods, rich desserts, certain drinks and fried foods should be viewed as poisonous to your system because that's what they are, poison. To make matters worse, they are addicting.

    People who have lost large amounts of weight most often gain it all back, that's because they haven't seen foods for what they are and what they aren't.

    Wondering what this country would be like if everyone just ate to live, not lived to eat.

    Six big hours on my feet lifting and walking, feel like I ran 15 miles.

    How was your day?

    Tuesday, October 1, 2013

    Free Your Mind

    I often speak of simplifying, getting along with less, etc., but, there is something else we need to do, and that's uncluttering our minds. Here's what I mean by this, don't allow yourself to get mentally caught up in things you have no control over. I have known so many people who are preoccupied with News and Talk shows that deal with current and controversial issues, often becoming unsettled and agitated by what they hear. To what end does getting upset lead? It certainly is not a health promoting reaction. There is little if anything you can do to change what is getting you upset on the television and the radio, so why bother watching or listening to it? An example, Nationalized Healthcare in the U.S, people are going absolutely ballistic over this, again, to what end? Is anything going to change because of your response?

    Seek out healthier and more positive outlets to view and be a part of.

    Don't get manipulated by a media and other sources that create, or fuel, controversies for their own agenda.

    Be an individual.

     It was a Beautiful day today--- a lazy, easy 45 minutes in the woods with stretching after.

    What did you do?