Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
December 11, 2016
I think I need to get myself a membership for a local movie theater here in Tucson. The Loft Cinema is probably my favorite watering hole, a place where I can see some of the most atrocious pieces of celluloid that barely labels itself “cinema” to some of the greatest works of art that has ever been put on the big screen. Already this month, I have seen some good ones, like “City of God,” “Westworld,” and “Werewolf.” Later this month, I will be seeing some other great films, like “2001” on 70mm—which will be a nice little birthday treat—and the non-Mad Max film “Fury Road” Chrome edition where it is changed over into black and white. I also have to see some other films like “The Hand Maiden” and “The Tower,” but that will be seen as they come to me. One thing is for certain, I find myself addicted to good cinema. It’s all I have these days, for the real cinema that is being released at this time of the year is mostly tripe and huge franchises that will never end (I’m looking at you Star Wars!). December used to be the month of epics and good cinema, now it just plays out like a colder version of the typical summer movie schlock fest. I mean, even the science fiction genre, one that I love with all of my heart, is turning too much into a chick flick stereotype these days (just look at “Arrival” and “Passengers”). That was why I was so happy to see “Westworld” this past week, just to catch Yul Brynner do his thing and be a scary robot that is hell bent on killing any human in his path. Forget this love on a space ship crap. I don’t care how beautiful Jennifer Lawrence is…c’mon fellas!! I mean, the occasional “The Fountain” was okay from time to time, but now it is all about turning science fiction films into date night films. Blah!
As I lament the descent of great cinema, watching it devolve into areas that are sad and disgusting for my personal tastes, this is also the month of the year where a lot of people start to think about their New Year’s resolutions. They are eating too many tamales or eating too many sweets of in the case of my job, too many chocolate provided snacks the company loves to dole out from time to time. We all know this is the time of year where we start stocking up on our food and making buffets disappear, mainly because we all know the instant we recover from our New Year’s hangovers, we will be hitting the gym and making those gains. Of course, that is hardly how it ever works, and of course my theory of how just about 70% of all New Year’s resolutions die on Super Bowl Weekend will once again be confirmed when we start seeing some food atrocities like meat sushi and bacon cheese dip hit the social media platforms. Anyway, like I said earlier this week, I have very little to show this week in terms of my writing and fitness due to my lack thereof, but hey, some good stories to look at….
STAY HEALTHY, LIVE LONGER
I’ve lamented several times about the issues within the United States health system. While people have strangely tried to blame the reason for the poor health of America on the actual health system and the Affordable Health Care Act, the reality of the matter is that this country is too ignorant and apathetic to the situation. Think about it, people are complaining about the pills they need to keep living in their current states when a great many of these illnesses they suffer can be prevented by the food they eat the practices they partake in. Of course, this sort of attitude about health is continuing to affect the country as a whole, where our life expectancy has dropped once again. http://www.usnews.com/news/news/articles/2016-12-08/us-life-expectancy-falls-as-many-kinds-of-death-increase The United States used to sit pretty at roughly 79 years of age in regards to life expectancy, but that number is now down to 78.5. It seems like an insignificant drop, but the US is also the third biggest country in the world, so you have to imagine how many people have to die young to make that number drop like that. Some will try to blame trivial things like violence and crime and other stupid excuses, but the reality is due to the poor health and the accepted standards of poor health.
What makes this problem even more odd is the fact cancer, the biggest fear that everyone has in this country, was the only mode of death in our country’s top ten that actually dropped. Heart disease, diabetes and drug overdoses all took spikes, and this is all due to the fact preventable health issues that can be altered by better life choices are not being taken advantage of. I see this sort of thing every day, for my job is rife with overweight people (and it is not because of the free food and the sitting). I have talked with some of my new co-workers and the problems seems to lie in the fact no one really does much in their spare time. And of course, the bad food choices are a definite problem, considering the rampant use of energy drinks and sodas are everywhere. Now, this past week, I am not the person to be judging due to the fact I have been lazy, but at least I am still walking consistently and will once again be running consistently starting today. Whatever the case may be, America needs to pull its collective head out of its butt and start doing something about the health of this country. Considering the orange goofball is in charge, he sure as hell ain’t gonna do anything about it, much less anyone. Do you want keep complaining about the cost of your pills or do all you can to get off them? I think more people need to start looking into that part of their life. Either way, the supposed greatest health system in the world is still a joke in the reality of the situation.
RUN THAT TREADMILL, TAKE THAT TEST!
There was a great scene from an old Simpsons episode that still makes me laugh every time I see it. Once again, they had a massive Simpsons Marathon and one that I constantly love to watch is the episode where The X-Files shows up featuring Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, the venerable lead characters of the show. Homer Simpson is being put through a battery of tests to see if his witnessing of an extraterrestrial could be warranted. Of course, he fails a simple reflex test and is then forced to run on a treadmill. “Why are you making him take this test,” Mulder asks Scully. “I thought he could use the exercise…” she answers. Anyway, the whole idea of taking tests for our health is pretty standard in our day to day lives. Mammograms, prostate tests, stress tests, blood sugar and of course echocardiograms are just some of the various tests we must partake in during the course of our lives. But now there is a new idea that might be on the horizon, as some doctors ar estarting to push the idea of taking fitness tests. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/30/well/move/should-a-simple-fitness-check-be-part-of-your-checkup.html?_r=0
You should seriously read the comments section on this page, for the hilarity and the back and forth is quite strange. Truth be told, I firmly am with this method. We need to do something more than just standard blood tests to figure out whether someone could be healthy or not. Whatever the case may be or whatever the test may be, we have to have something to help gauge the fitness of a person. Of course, we have one big caveat to the argument…with such a wide swath of people to work with, how do we figure out one test that might come to the benefit of the masses? Of course, it might not reside in the idea of one test that will try to fit all, but a battery of tests that would need to gauge the strength of a person, the cardio of a person in addition to the flexibility of a person. I don’t really know how to approach this simple problem, but perhaps focus more on flexibility, strength and weight as we get older. As was mentioned up above, something needs to slow down the groundswell of bad health that is happening in this country, and while some people try to disparage the issue by calling it propaganda, you have to remember the United States would barely make Casey Kasem’s Top 40 of Healthiest Countries if there was a category for the health side (and I just totally dated myself with that reference…hey, Kasem was the voice of Shaggy dammit!). Now of course, this solution will run into some roadblocks along the way…we will have doctors trying to figure out how to do these fitness tests rather than fitness and health professionals. Not to be rude on the subject, but most doctors know very little in terms of actual fitness and nutrition, mainly because it is the side of the medical profession they barely provide. I mean, all those thousands of dollars that are thrown into the pot and most doctors might get a week of nutrition and fitness training. Go figure. Who would have thought preventative health would be such a problem in this country.
Like a lot of people in this country,. I am slightly sleep deprived. Now, I have done my best to get myself in the right frame of mind in regards to this problem, typically getting myself into bed at around nine o’clock during my work days and only sleeping in until six a.m. on my days off. I’m trying my best to not alter my body, especially since I worked so hard to change my sleep patterns during my job’s training. It worked out pretty nice of me, especially since I have the same schedule these days and I can continue to hone my ability to sleep normal hours. Of course, I usually get into the sack at around the same time and wake up sometimes between 4:20 to 4:30. this past week, that whole vibe was thrown out the door thanks to a couple nights where I decided to stay up a little later than normal. The only thing that was really affected during these times was the fact I was super tired the next day at work, and it kind of forced me to hit a wall on Friday night after staying up late three of the four previous nights. I didn’t regret it of course, but I was dragging all day on Saturday. Fortunately I didn’t have that rough of a work day and I didn’t kill myself with some poor calls. But job performance may not be the only thing that is hurting you when you are not sleeping well. Apparently, your gut bacteria may also be going through some changes. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161025114118.htm
During a small study that was done in Europe, several healthy men were put through some sleep deprivation over the course a few days. Once the study was completed and the men’s gut bacteria was looked at, the balance between the little buggers was quite noticeable. Since our stomach is something of a battlefield, maintaining good bacteria is essential to our health. What was initially discovered in the study is these balances can be altered, and especially alters the metabolic rate of people who are being deprived. There have already been studies that have linked obesity with sleep problems, and now this may be a preliminary window in to the idea that not only can sleep deprivation alter our waistline, it can really alter the delicate balance in our stomachs. Research will have to continue on the subject, with a wider swath of people to make it more understandable, but the researchers did discover people were becoming more sensitive to insulin. Hopefully we can get more information o the subject, fora lives of a lot of people may depend on this sort of research to fix their health down the line. So hurry up and start studying!
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About Parsons Training
Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
About Our Blog
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.