By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
October 28, 2016
It’s kind of funny that I am in a ranting today, especially since my Wednesday led to a rather happy event for me. I have mentioned my money troubles from this past year and how it has affected me in regards to my pocket book. During this time, I have barely been able to keep up with the bills and have heavily relied on potatoes and the kindness of others to help me out, especially when my unemployment was revoked and I was kind of skimming along for a few weeks there as I waited for my job to start. Well, suffice to say, I have kind of evened things out and am back on track, paying rent consistently again and actually paying my bills on time. But there was the issue of my car. It broke down in late June, and I was in a bad spot for a couple weeks due to having no ride to get me around. Fortunately, with no money meant I wasn’t spending anything. But with no money, I was not able to pay the damage that had befallen my poor hooptie. Fortunately I have one of the most understanding people ever in regards to my mechanic, an old school gear money named Chuck of Chuck’s Auto Repair. He could have sent people to come after me mafia style, but knew I would eventually show up and pay my bill. Well, I finally did it, and needless to say, I’m pretty happy about it. It was hanging over my head and it was putting a lot of doubts in my mind about the kind of person I am. It’s in the past now, and I still have a couple of other debts to deal with, namely my school loan debt and some other moneys I borrowed along the way. I’m still a little bothered by my job, but at least I can feel good about a couple things as I will begin my job hunt again (yup, already starting to dislike my job). Anyway, I have another battle down the line, that being with the darn state of Arizona as they are trying to make me pay for the unemployment they approved for me this past year. Even though they labeled it an “administrative error” when they ruled for my former company, like any bureaucracy, they are going to give me some pushback before I stand up to them. So there is that to look forward to. So then again, I guess I do have a reason to be a little upset. Right now, it’s all about trying to maintain a good balance about life, which is still a challenge considering my job schedule is not that great on my personal life. So, let’s get some steam off my chest and rant about some crap that is on my mind. Everybody is doing it, just I prefer not to waste my time with dumb politics.
SITTING DOWN AND BEING FIT…JUST MIGHT SAVE YOU!
It’s no secret the toughest part of my job is the fact I am sitting much of the day. It is a dreary experience to say the least, talking to people and trying to teach them how to manage their account while also solving complex issues. It can get tedious and boring, and it can hurt after a while. The downside of my company is the fact they have invested in some of the worst chairs imagined, and I find myself standing up almost half the time because of this. Throw in the fact the computer screens are obscenely small and are PC (blech…Macs are so much better) and you can see my discomfort. Right now, I am contributing to the current issue that is falling onto the laps of America’s health system. With the loss of factory jobs and other physical labor jobs (shipped to other countries, and no Mr. Trump, it’s not because we demand too much money it’s because companies want third world citizens to do the job for pennies on the dollar) has happened for decades, these jobs are not being replaced with equally physical jobs. Now there is a difference between physically demanding jobs and jobs that demand a little physicality, like working in a shop doing some woodwork is not as demanding as the guy that is doing demolition on the job site. Either way, these jobs are being replaced by cubicle work, or sedentary type of work that requires very little movement throughout the day. I have already written in the past about how sitting down all day affects you in the health department, especially with cardiovascular diseases and obesity. But here was a new caveat to the story. What if you are insanely fit and doing fitness stuff all the time (like myself) and are working a desk job? https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161019104445.htm
According to the study published by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, sitting down is a problem that is highly prevalent within western society. We often times waste away in our desk jobs, and then continue this trend in old age as we become more sedentary. Throw in other sedentary activities like binge watching TV and movies and it makes you wonder how anyone does anything these days. Anyway, the study was conducted over the span of five years amongst 874 participants, and while the total number of participants was small, the results could be big. Due to a sedentary lifestyle, cardiovascular issues could increase by as much as 83%, depending on the amount of sitting the said person does. This is not news so to speak, for there are a variety of problems associated with sitting down all day. But here is the new wrinkle in the discussion…staying physically fit can help offset some of the issues. Of course, it won’t save you (especially if you are eating junk food the entire time) but it will drastically reduce your health problems. The study didn’t indicate how much exercise was needed, but the healthiest 40% within the study showed drastically better health numbers than those who were sitting up to 13 hours a day! Right now, I will continue to stand and stretch as much as I can when I am work, but I can tell that there are some days where I just don’t have much of an edge. Those are the days where I often times eat less than I am expected because I just might not have enough time. Now if I could just somehow get some more of my co-workers to start a Ragnar running team with me.
BEAT SOFTLY MY RESTING HEART
Even though I have a regular job these days, I still donate plasma on the side. Granted, I don’t need the money as much as I did when I was dead broke, it still comes in handy. Now, I would like to say that I am naturally nosy, and sound is easy for me to pick up when I actually pay attention. I’ve heard some pretty outlandish health stats, like a person that came in with a blood pressure reading of 173 over 102! Usually, when someone gets rejected at that place, it is usually because their heart is already beating way too fast or their water level is just way to low. Someone tried to donate one day with 33% water in their body (39-54 is the safe level). Someone got instantly rejected when their heart rate was well over 100 beats per minute! Of course, I am not without my issues as well, for my low protein diet has caused some problems for me when I accidentally miss a meal or did not eat enough nuts and beans. On the other hand, my blood pressure has been good and my water levels are all within the safe zones. Even on the days where I work out and then hit the donation center, my pulse is still below 70 beats a minute. Heck, there was one day where I nearly got rejected because my heart rate was barely 50 a minute!! This happened on a day where I woke up, ate a little food and went straight over. No coffee or working out or anything. Fortunately it would have been easy for me to warm up. Anyway, why do I mention this? Research is indicating that high pulse rates might be contributing to mental health issues within men. http://www.livescience.com/56650-mens-resting-heart-rates-linked-with-mental-health.html
Now as always, I will tell you that this is mostly speculation and more study is required, but this is a compelling issue that might be worth looking into. In another Scandinavian study, this one from Sweden, the Swedish army conducted a major study for the young men that joined the army between 1973 to 2001. Since military service was required during this time, the study looked at a wide swatch of men. The study looked at data amongst the men that had high resting heart rates, which would be in the high 50s or low 60s for most fit men. Anyway, amongst the men that high resting heart rates (82 beats per minute) there was an indirect link between men suffering from mental disorders such as schizophrenia, obsessive compulsive disorder and other anxiety disorders. Other studies within the field had already indicated some heart issues down the line, but this is a first to associate such issues with high resting heart rates. Like I already said, this is just a preliminary link, for the idea that many of these men might have had anxiety issues before going into the military is being looked into. Many of the men that had high resting heart rates also had high blood pressure, which is another cog in the machine. Whether the link is there or not once more studies have been conducted, it does throw another argument in favor of good health. Across the westernized world, the suicide rate is far outpacing women, and while societal pressures and war caused post traumatic stress disorders have been the biggest culprits for male suicide, anxieties caused from poor health could be a contributor. But I will say this about myself…the feelings of hopelessness are not as prevalent since I have improved my health. Either way, figuring out early contributors to suicide might be a helpful way to improve the suicide rate amongst men in the future.
GET PROFESSIONAL HELP!
I’m always harping about fitness, and the fact I am still doing this is the fact I have had some good guidance along the way. I have managed to keep on the course despite some setbacks and constant change, and that is mainly because I have listened to professionals rather than get cut-rate advice from people that have little to no idea what they are talking about. Fortunately, I have met many good trainers at Parsons Training that have added different ideas to my regimen; the kind of stuff that can help me be as fit and healthy as I possibly can. Now my body has not always cooperated, but at least I have stayed the course. http://www.thenational.ae/uae/health/social-media-experts-and-even-doctors-spread-misinformation-about-health-and-fitness#full This particular article kind of made me think about some of the things I see on the internet, which ironically posts some o the same gripes I consistently have. Don’t do fad and crazy diets, exercise regularly and eat good food. Of course, this particular article takes some weird turns, there is some sound logic to look at here. If it sounds too good to be true, it just might be too good to be true. So I will always keep saying this about my own fitness regimen. Stay the course with your eating and eat decent food. Exercise regularly and eat consistently. Right now, the struggle for me has been the belt of fat around my stomach, but a lot of other things continue to shape up well for me. I am much more toned than I ever have been, just my front worse is still a little too pudgy for my own tastes. The advice I will always give in this respect…do things the right way. Don’t do these crazy fasts or detox diets or nonsense like that. Stay consistent and shake things up when you have to. At least that is what I am seeking to do.
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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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Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. The author of this blog is an independent writer and is not an associate of Parsons Training, LLC. Any information or images displayed are done so solely at the authors discretion. Any dietary or fitness commentary is exclusively that of the author and in no way dictated by the company.