Wednesday, October 24, 2012
That was the question I asked my father when he complained about the driver he was following on the highway. The man stopped suddenly and Dad had to slam on his brakes to avoid a collision. Of course, I understand that Dad would have been at fault if he had not been following at a safe distance.
A similar thing happened to me yesterday except I wasn’t in a car. I was running on the sidewalk and because I was heading into the sun I had my cap pulled down and was focusing my gaze at the ground in front of me. I would glance up into the distance regularly to check out the terrain. I noticed a woman walking about 100 yards ahead of me. We had passed each other earlier as I was going in the opposite direction. Suddenly, there she was, right in front of me, tying her shoe! I shrieked and slammed on the brakes, so to speak, avoiding an accident which would have been totally my fault. She was as startled as I was, but we both recovered and laughed about how we would explain a “rear end collision” to the EMTs when neither of us was in a vehicle.
When I got home, I told my husband the story about how I almost hit an “elderly” woman. He replied that she was probably not much older than I was. To a lot of people, I’m elderly too! Gee, I don’t feel elderly – which brings me back to the question I asked my Dad.
How old is a geezer? Dad said, “anybody older than me.”
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
That was a rather cynical reaction of a critic to a longevity study a few years ago. Other research has documented the longevity bonus of running and of other exercise as well. One concluded a 7 year differential.
So why the cynicism? Is it even true? Imagine a really dedicated runner. Running 2 hours a day, 5 days per week, 300 days per year for 40 years. Even at 10 min/mile that’s 60 miles per week – 3 times my routine and way beyond the average for recreational runners. That does translate into 1000 days of running, about 2 years 8 months, but that wasn’t really the point was it? The implication was that those who spent time working out, in this case running, were somehow missing out on life.
You could substitute any activity for “running” in the above example.
Then you would have watched TV for nearly 3 years, or played video games for nearly 3 years, consumed food for 3 years or even spent that time on SP. How long has SP been around anyway?
Let’s forget the 2 hour/day timeframe. That was only chosen to approximate 3 years over a lifetime. Consider 30-60 min per day, 3 to 5 times per week - quite enough to gain health benefits. If you hate running, then walk, or bike or swim or dance or try Zumba or any of the other activities that have sprung up to accommodate us. If you hate the activity, it’s unlikely you could sustain it long enough to reap the benefits anyway.
Now returning to the original study, the benefits were more than longevity. Researchers (Stanford University) found that runners delayed major disabilities 16 years longer than non-runners and had lower instances of cancer, infections and other diseases. Also there was no increase in joint problems, knee replacements or osteoarthritis in the subjects studied. Yes, I understand that runners probably had other healthy habits that the control group did not have. However, Stanford does have a reputation for controlling as many variables as possible.
Hmm, - comparing runners who regularly consume junk food with those who don’t? I wonder who would fund that research? “Little Debbie” perhaps?
I well understand the stress that life can put on us. No one advocates quitting your job or ignoring your family’s needs, and there are certain extraordinary situations where one really doesn’t have time for oneself. However, if those times are the norm and last for years, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate. You count too, and you want to be around and healthy so you can continue to be helpful to others.
Sunday, October 21, 2012
That was the screech from the nursery that sent me running to my toddler’s room 37 years ago. I found her holding back the curtain and excitingly shouting “The sun came back!”
Such is the wonder of an almost 3 year old who suddenly realizes each day is a new beginning. Today is the first day of the rest of your life is a cliché, but true nonetheless.
What about last week?
Did we make good choices? Did life interfere with our plans?
It really doesn’t matter now. Today we begin a new day and new week.
Here’s the choice. Look forward with hope and stay on the right track or fall back into old destructive habits. I don’t want to retrace my steps and go backwards. I know where that leads and I didn’t like it there.
So, as I watch the sun rise over the lake, I wish you all a good day and the resolve to make it a good week.
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Last month I wrote about the daily challenge of living with the junk food king, including a picture of my kitchen table.
This is how it looks now.
The peanut butter is mine – part of my breakfast every morning for the past decade. Further back you can see DH’s Nutella peeking out from behind the napkins. Not a bad choice, except that’s part of his 1st breakfast. There are always one or two more before lunch. Yesterday it was cheese Danish. I know because I saw the wrapper in the garbage.
The water bottles are there just to be handy to grab as I run out the door. I always want one with me. Note the new SP inspired additions – 3 bottles (vegan omega-3 since I’m allergic to fish, vitamin D3 since my test showed I’m low normal and a multivitamin). Why are they upside-down, you may ask? That’s how I know whether or not I remembered to take them. One with each meal and, as SP advised, dependent on what I am eating. (The body can’t absorb more than 500 mg of Vitamin C at a time etc.)
The junk food is still in the house, only it’s been banished from my sight. I know my table won’t get Martha Stewart’s approval. That’s a bunch of old mail at the far end and no pretty centerpiece. But it’s much more conducive to a healthy lifestyle than it used to be.
Just for comparison, here’s the old photo.
EDIT: Onmymed's comment reminded me that I should have added that I do use a reusable water bottle, but I visit a lot of places during the day where I find the water source questionable. So when I need a refill, I have an alternative and I do recycle always.
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