By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
September 11, 2016
On this day, a lot of people will be talking about 9/11 and what not, and in all fairness, it is rather hard to really apply fitness and such to such a solemn day. But such is life, you find ways to continue to move on. I still find it crazy that many of the people that were first responders to the event are not getting the proper care they need due to all of potential sicknesses a smoldering building with 30 years of dust can do to the body. It is unfair of course, and there has been several instances where support organizations haven’t done their job to help these people, lining their pockets instead with free money. I guess that is why I am always weary of donating money to any cause. So I guess this is the underlying message that seems to be surfacing…enjoy what you have. I know, I am always harping on the whole YOLO crowd, but what I am really saying is enjoy what you have and make it count every day. People in this country of ours, which is always designating itself as the best in the world, still have to fight for basic rights like clean water, infrastructure maintenance and national sovereignty, for the rights of the corporation continue to stomp on the rights of the people. I have been fascinated by the protests in North Dakota over the pipeline, for this is a true grassroots stand-up against “the man.” I mean, for crying out loud, dogs were used to intimidate! All the while the news agencies kind of turn the other way, focusing on Hilary Clinton’s supposed health problems and Trump’s inability to use words which encompass more than two syllables. Me on the other hand, I have been doing the usual environmental angle on the situation, for we have enough oil pipelines as is and should be seeking out better and less destructive methods of energy. There were a couple studies that came out this past week that paint the first insight on the dangers of fracking, yet we have people in our government that are getting angry at citizens who want to use solar power and collect rain water. Anyway, it is a strange time to live in, for the discord of a select few on the internet make it seems like the US is falling apart. But trust me my friends, social media is great and all, but it ain’t the true representation of the United States. Anyway, I found a few stories this past week that need some good ranting against.
One thing is for certain, I think the LA Times has been ripping me off or something. http://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-how-to-bounce-back-20160906-snap-story.html One such subject they speak about in there health section this week is the simple method of getting your butt back into gear when you fall off the ramp a little when it comes to your health regimen. Right now, I’m experiencing a lot of those issues, for I am trying to get back into running so I can start doing half marathons again. Plus I have spread this crazy rumor around amongst my friends, that during my 40th year of life I want to run 40 races, including the epic 50-mile race that is held at Colossal Cave every year (or I could be stupid and do a 50-miler in Flagstaff). Of course, this crazy idea starts with the fact I need to establish a good running acumen now, since I am barely doing three-mile runs as we speak. But the good thing about a new job is my eating may become more regimented and consistent and I will have more money to get new shoes more often. So even though I will hate my new job, at least it will help out while I keep looking for others. So yes, one of the recommendations this article stated, which I have stated several times, is to start slow and reasonable. And at least in regards to the writer, stay away from Haagen-Dazs. For me, I will be starting a specific running schedule on Monday, which should give me enough time to prep myself for a half marathon in December. I want to be good enough to do that sort of thing again, and I’m hoping consistent work will allow me to afford the deep tissue massages and chiropractic care I was getting when I was on the verge of doing 10-mile runs at a sub 10-minute per mile clip. Now that the summer is starting to dissipate, I might be able to reach that apex again! Read the article, the advice is good even though it is kind of terribly written. I should know this tidbit, no one ever said journalists were known for being healthy!
OBESITY AND KIDNEY CANCER
Before I get into the nitty gritty of this weird article, let me just say that obesity is not something that should be celebrated. I know there are a lot of body acceptance people in this world who might get triggered at the mere mention of me saying that, I always stick to the plan. Long term obesity, even if you seem healthy right now, is not something you should aspire to. Think about the people that are extremely overweight and throwing around terms like “thin privilege” and what not…they are all typically young a la under 40. Trust me, I know the mentality of being extremely overweight, for we want all the upsides that thinner people enjoy and none of the downsides of living in a society that is not built for larger people. Not being able to fit into an airline seat is a not a problem with the airline, it is a problem with you. Remember, they have to make money somehow, and reducing the amount of available seats on a plane is not sound business. So yeah, I am still learning the hard way in regards to being overweight, considering I still am right now. My body is still recovering from the years of poor diet and not exercise, and learning patience and not overeating are my biggest issues. Truthfully, there is no real benefit to being overweight or clinically obese, but a unusual study proved otherwise…being obese may allow you to live longer in one very specific instance. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/312776.php
Personally, I don’t know how this is even a study, but then again, you stumble across some things that may strike you as “WTF” and pretty much writes itself. Apparently, people who suffer and have died from kidney cancer apparently have a much longer life span provided they are overweight or obese. Now, this may be kind of strange to say the least, especially since obesity can be a direct cause of kidney cancer, but the interesting side effect of this might actually help prolong some people’s lives who might be on a long donor list. Think about it, with the so called “obesity” apocalypse I eluded to in other blogs, this might provide some good insight into helping people prolong their life a little. Of course, the pros and cons of the situation is why solve a problem by aiding another, the research could come in handy. The researchers found that patients with a high number on the Body Mass Index (BMI) showed reduced production of a gene called fatty acid synthase (FASN), compared with those who have a normal BMI. These genes are known to play a sizable role in cells' production of fatty acids. The process is known as lipogenesis, and it has been linked to a great many deaths in this area. Based on the initial research, scientists speculate that “reduced expression of FASN in kidney cancer patients may explain why those who are overweight or obese live longer than patients who are a normal weight or underweight.” If researchers can harness the power of these FASN inhibitors, it could be an excellent way to stop kidney cancer period. Of course, this is all speculation and in the early stages, but it could be something. Who would have thought poor exercise and eating habits would be the cause and cure to a singular problem. Not me!
EXERCISE AND ALCOHOL, PT. 55,444,556,908,897.670957659876735
Okay, I have written lot about alcohol over the past few years. From the fact that I have basically removed it from my diet and turned into a lightweight, to the battle between whether beer or wine is better for your heart. Well, that war will always wage on, simply because like all things in life, people want to argue and bitch about stuff. Anyway, as I was getting healthier, I certainly noticed my desire for alcohol becoming more refined and much more lacking. Since I rarely drank, and my taste buds had been reactivated, I can live with harder and more favorable beer than before. And I actually have some taste for wine, if you can believe. Now I could just write a darn blog about the local beers here in Arizona and how they are starting a nice little revolution for my senses, this is about health and fitness and therefore there has to be a tie in. Well, let’s see. I’m sure when you were in college there was some “bro” you knew at the gym that totally swore by the fact you can get piss drunk whenever you want as long as you pumped iron and worked out an equal amount of time. Well, even though that sounds like one of the dumbest things you could could possible hear, science seems to agree with the sentiment…to a degree. http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20160908/exercise-may-cut-alcohol-health-risks
According to some research, the health risks of alcohol can be considerably lessened provided you do a couple things….exercise the minimum two and a half hours a week and drink maybe no more than the recommended maximum per week (21 drinks for men, 14 for women). Sounds like a crazy idea, but the researchers involved stated kind of the obvious. The more you drink, the worse you get. Exercise kind of offsets that. At least that seems to be the gist. However, after looking at the actual study text, it still doesn’t really explain why. Sure, alcohol can create an increased risk for cancer, but why? Well, I searched for some additional info and found this. http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/alcohol-and-cancer/how-alcohol-causes-cancer Apparently the ethanol in alcohol can be converted into acetaldehyde, which can cause damage to a person’s DNA in addition to the cells that repair that damage. Since cancer is nothing more than a mutation gone haywire, having a bad drinking problem can make you more susceptible, especially if your family has a predisposition to cancer. Personally, I don’t know if I will ever stop drinking, but I am glad I have managed to control the intake almost perfectly.
THE JOY OF PUSH-UPS
One thing is for certain these past ten days….I have been getting much better at one of my least favorite exercises. I think I developed a despair of the movement when the movie “In The Army Now” came out, where Pauly Shore (he is still alive!) kept finding himself doing a lot of push-ups. Much like him, I hated every moment of it. In fact, I did my best to avoid it. But that is the great thing about change in your life. Sometimes you challenge yourself and discover some new things about your body. While I have had some misgivings about the lumpiness of my vessel, I at least have seen some marked improvement. If anything, I will be reaching fifty straight push-ups without stopping rather soon. But before I get ahead of myself, I really have to get into the idea of it first. Eventually, I want to be like Pauly Shore, where I get so good at doing the push-ups that it is no longer a viable punishment for my crimes. Jeez, that would be pretty awesome. That means Jon would have no ammunition against me. But then again, he does have burpies still. Anyway, I just mention this because I stumbled on a fun article about push-ups, and plus I needed some more space! http://www.keepinspiring.me/10-massive-benefits-of-push-ups/
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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.
When you read this blog you are reading through the eyes of someone who is winning the battle of real weight loss. Steve is not a fitness professional, but he is someone we can all learn from.
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