Health and Fitness, October 2017

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Harriet
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Health and Fitness, October 2017

Postby Harriet » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:33 pm

It's been fun to have the "trek" thread this autumn. Thanks for all the inspiration.

Exercise IS somehow good for the brain... ... isn't it? I mean... ... sounds reasonable.
We want the dimension of our brains to stay about the same if possible, so we wont deal with as much "dementia" (which simply means the brain gets smaller). And if it has already gotten smaller, well, we have to resign ourselves to that... ... right? Do we really understand how anyone knows it helps, and do we have inspiration to get busy on it ourselves? Here's some.

Researchers at the University of Illinois recruited 59 adults - all were over age sixty and sedentary - for an exercise program. Three times each week, the volunteers got together for aerobic exercise.

After six months, the researchers measured the size of everyone's brains. Using MRI they measured their gray matter - that is, the part of the brain made up mostly of brain cells (think of it as the business part of the brain). They also measured their white matter, which is made up mostly of axons - long wirelike processes extending from one brain cell to another. White matter is the collection of fibers that keep various parts of the brain and nervous system in communication with each other.

Then they compared the results to MRIs done before the exercise program began. It turned out that after six months, the exercisers' gray matter was larger than before, especially in the frontal lobe areas essential for memory and attention. Their white matter was larger, too. The part of the white matter that had increased in size was the part of the brain that allows the right and left halves to communicate.
(Colcombe et al, Aerobic Exercise Increases Brain Volume, expressed by Neal Barnard, MD in Power Foods for the Brain)


Here's the link to that research if anyone's interested. Also there are more examples of research like this in that book (and others), coming to similar conclusions and reassuring us that in general, exercise is a friend to the brain. It's something we can DO, with a direct benefit we'll like. :idea:

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Nancy
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Re: Health and Fitness, October 2017

Postby Nancy » Mon Oct 02, 2017 12:07 am

Did my exercise on the stat bike bc I stubbed my little toe in the night ouch.

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Kathryn-in-Canada
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Re: Health and Fitness, October 2017

Postby Kathryn-in-Canada » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:38 am

Since my tracker no longer records automatically onto my computer, I've added a couple of lines to my weekly calendar spread to track water and steps. For the past 2 weeks I've managed over 10K per day and the week before that was just under 10K. So my steps are returning.

It seems ridiculous to me that I need to see numbers on a tracker worn all day long to push me to move more but it is what it is. When using only a phone, even when carrying it most of the day and adding on and estimated 1 - 2K for movement around the apartment, it would be generous to say I was managing 6 - 7K per day.

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Harriet
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Re: Health and Fitness, October 2017

Postby Harriet » Tue Oct 03, 2017 9:24 pm

Ouch, Nancy!

Kathryn, I hope the calendar record can become as inspiring to you. I admit my word-type doc leaves something to be desired. Right now I'm appreciating how much info I can keep on it, though.

September brought another 3/4-pound loss so the warm months were good to me in the scale dept. I've definitely had some inch loss in waist-hips-thighs since the last cool weather we had, because when I try on the cold-weather jeans/pants I can feel it. They slip and need either a little sewing-up or replacement. Also my thighs are no longer tight in the stretch style pants, which now have a loose look at upper thigh (hmmm... good and bad in that, lol).

Recent new foods I've tried have been Dragonfruit and Starfruit. Of the two, I would choose the Dragonfruit as a favorite, but both are good (youtube to the rescue on best ways to cut). More Bok Choy - large - but I'd already had that in the mini version, so knew how it would taste and the changes it makes in recipes compared to other greens (lots of moisture). So easy and clean to use - substituting for celery sometimes.

Also for the first time, am using fresh refrigerated turmeric rather than just the dry spice in the kitchen now. There's a downside as far as shredding it fine and getting the orange color on your hands or staining the utensil, etc. But it's nice knowing there's plenty and it's fresh, since it is probably the spice with the most proven health benefits. I insist on it when HRH makes his Thai soup. I find it in the ordinary grocery beside the mushrooms and sprouts in the refrigerated produce.

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Nancy
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Re: Health and Fitness, October 2017

Postby Nancy » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:28 pm

For my exercise today I am counting loading dishes from the basement, draining hoses, shopping, and walking 3/4ths of a mi. W ddog.

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Re: Health and Fitness, October 2017

Postby Nancy » Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:51 pm

Was able to do my regular hill walk to gather stones to paint this morning. Not very fast but did okay.

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Re: Health and Fitness, October 2017

Postby Nancy » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:26 pm

Walked around the grange a bit in the morning saw 4 deer at the orchard across the street.
Did stairs doing laundry mid day.
Walked with the ddog just before dinner a lovely walk added a bit of distance not much but a bit more in the grass around the bus stop.

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Re: Health and Fitness, October 2017

Postby Nancy » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:18 pm

Walk at the grange mid afternoon.

I have walked w the ddog this evening I have added 1/4 block a grassy patch that is nice for feet.

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Re: Health and Fitness, October 2017

Postby Nancy » Sun Oct 08, 2017 1:03 pm

First exercise opportunity digging bulbs & planting hauling water to them aka gardening, and decluttering patio area.

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Harriet
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Re: Health and Fitness, October 2017

Postby Harriet » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:38 pm

(this is like a travelogue or trip report, but a travelogue through a few rooms in one day, lol.)
Lifestyle Medicine symposium was great. It was held at the education facility of our largest regional hospital authority, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. Friday. My best guess was 200 people got seats; they said they turned away 70. Intro was by the cardiologist who led the whole thing and kept everyone on schedule. He discussed the two national cardiology/chronic disease education programs that have local presence there - CHIP which uses the same rooms and spaces we did, and Ornish, which is in a neighboring building. He gave examples from his practice and colleages' practices of a lot of success stories, and he got people to stand or raise their hands. Gave info that Ornish will have another location soon (actually not that far from me) as they try to make it easier to attend in this region. Information in a flyer about how CHIP is not yet covered by medicare, but as always insurance partially covers the referral by drs to dietary, disease management or health counseling anyhow. He explained how his usual appts with patients go when someone needs to be referred - he reassures them that he's a speaker at both and nearby.

Next a professor of physiology spoke on exercise and was eye-opening. She is from USC, the first univ in the US to require courses in nutrition and lifestyle all 4 years for med students. She insisted we stand up for part of her presentation. Some of the studies she wanted to talk about - 2 years of life lost, on average, for those who sit still 3 hours per day. The ability to do one pushup directly correlates with ability to live independently in old age. Physical inactivity results in 3.2 mill deaths globally per yr. Obesity can be detected at the cellular level 15-20 years before visible obesity. Exercise improves glucose uptake in second way postprandial (following meals) independent of first way (muscle contraction). Survival of lung and breast cancers proven to be increased by fitness (and she believes others are as well - just not all studied yet). She recommended apps... " 7 minute physical activity app" and "desk exercise app".

Then we separated into 3 groups and first I went to a presentation regarding motivation and how everyone has different motivations, and about counseling drs can give. They went in-depth on how dr's appts can still be effective in just minutes (5-minute videos of actors using time well). Points included - keeping on topic, setting your agenda in advance, summarizing, using the "on a scale of 1 to 10" phrase helps make a point, even with drs. We will likely be seeing more "check-in forms" or "patient-identified areas of focus", meaning we as patients will be writing down a few things for the dr to read as he/she walks in - bringing up our topics right at the first.

Then we were back together for Dr. Michael Greger in a webex lecture on the 15 most common causes of death and the non-invasive ways to halt them, which I've heard twice before - many in the audience hadn't so there was a lot of laughter as he's a good entertainer and very likable. He kept calling us all "clinicians" so I guess he didn't realize how many were ordinary people. He had been slated to attend in person but was leaving Switzerland to do it and the flight was delayed. The dietician seated beside me was just devastated not to get to meet him. During his lecture, the computer app "Flux" yellowed his screen because it was still set on Swiss time, making it react as if it were evening. He recommended the app and says he uses it all the time for reminding him it's time for evening light, to stop looking at screens that would keep you awake.

Then after lunch the lecture from National Geographic expedition director/photographer Nick Buettner, who talked about his group's grants for their study, and their particular choices for their documentary, of what they called "The Blue Zones", 5 countries/groups with the greatest health. Their criteria was 1) greatest number of people with documented ages over 100, and 2) documented greatest life expectancy overall. Incidentally, all of these had more than 10 times higher rate of centenarians than the US. They chose Sardinia, Italy; Okinawa, Japan; Adventists in the US (not a place but a religious group); Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Ikaria, Greece. He did talk briefly about the Okinawans and the Adventists being on several other researchers' lists as well, but Sardinia Icaria and Nicoya being replaced by others. He said The Blue Zones expeditions' particular longevity emphasis brought those 3 to the top for them. The world's longest disability-free life expectancy is in Okinawa. His group is continuing with attempts to help in various areas/towns who request their help to increase community health, and they hope that outreach can grow - just a few in the US right now.

Then back into 3 groups again and I went to the kitchen area with recommendations on small appliances and how to use them -
I was the one who knew what the Air Fryer was. Only question I got right (in time to be first) all day.

Then all together again with a stress education expert. I counted 13 letters behind his name and gave up on that - he knows his stuff, I guess. He told us current events : that on Monday, October 2, 2017, the American Heart Association adopted Meditation as one of their recommended lifestyle modifications, following their research into results of 50 studies; that the number of traffic fatalities caused by texting just crossed 16 percent with "being somehow lost in thought" now the number one cause of traffic mishaps in general (though not number one in fatalities). He had many physical benefits of meditation to talk about - lowers inflammation, lowers level of cortisol, slows cognitive decline, etc. He works formally with first responders, especially firemen because of the need for controlling and sustaining their personal attention under stress ("inter-temporal choice to delay ones own gratification, for the common good") as well as their need to calm others. He said 10 years ago, he/we would have told a person who needed to calm down to "breathe", but now we have a better wording to say, "notice your breathing" or even to suggest slow walking. Just saying "breathe" to a person in anxiety sometimes causes heightened anxiety. (oops) He recommended 2 apps for starting meditation: "headspace" and "insight times".


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