Work ethic for a new Mister October

After this Wednesday’s epic World Series game 2 for the ages, I reflected on awesome achievements of the Houston Astros’ biggest “little” player – a 2nd baseman named Jose Altuve.

This “real deal” gent may be, as some folks write, the new face of Major League Baseball:

Sure, this 5’6″ 164 pound dynamo is blessed with fast twitch muscles and extraordinary hand-eye coordination and vision. But wait – there is much more!
His work ethic and investment in whole body/core regimens, as described by Men’s Health ( biggest-little-mvp-candidate-in mlb ) has to be an ingredient for MVP success:

“I do a lot of weightlifting in my training routine,” Altuve told Men’s Fitness. “I use high-intensity workouts and agility drills to help increase my speed while also maintaining my strength. I like to do different combinations using deadlifts, squats, sled workouts, and core work…”

Messages registered!
Whole Body.
– Core.
– Persistence.

MVP!
We can strive to be our own personal most venerable and viral person [MVP] – yes?!

 

off to my workout . . .

Wellness hints for our pearly whites

Thanks to today’s Saturday edition of the LA Times for this reminder about dental wellness steps.

Most of us have/had 32 bones in our mouths – otherwise called our teeth.  And… I acknowledge a reported fact those most adults have dental cavities for any number of reasons: heredity, lack of fluoride, sugar, hygiene….

As I age, I truly try to focus on proper care and prudent practices for my remaining 28 “pearly white” bones in a boca grande.

After my: 4 wisdom teeth extractions, red wine, years of nocturnal grindings, and gold crowns (which modestly increased my bodily net worth), plus one lower-jaw root canal procedure; my twenty-eight teeth are damaged goods which will need to last me (hopefully) for many moons.

  • Do I chew ice? Nope.
  • Do I like lemon and lime peels (and their fruit juices) for health reasons (in spite of possible weakening of teeth)? Yes, my conviction is to judiciously use those citric peels for anti-cancer, vitamin potency and anti-inflammatory merits.
  • Do noble grapes (particularly the red variants) affect the color of my chompers?  Yup.
    • With this acknowledged, it is worth mentioning that “IT DEPENDS.”               Red Wine (in moderation) can be good for us to relax AND for us to ingest HEALTHY polyphenols / flavonoids.  Yet our dentyne can be stained by those noble grapes unless we stay after remedial treatments. One more grapey paradox – red wine may help prevent cavities?!
  • Should I rinse my mouth after eating?  You betcha.
  • Should I floss and brush regularly?  Of course.
  • Do I get regular fluoride treatments when I visit my dentist for periodontal cleanings?  YES!

And… I don’t bite my nails or use my teeth to open “tough to open” plastic packets. Duh.

Do I water pik and stimulate my gumskllen-teeth-gum-gingival-stimulator.jpg *in idle time?  I try to often – although my fellow road warriors may wonder what I’ve got in my mouth.

  • note: That’s a GUM gingival stimulator (by trade name) pictured.  It works for me.

Gingivitis is a long yucchy, bodily term, in a different way than SARCOPENIA, which we definitely should tackle for the rest of our vital lives – yes?

Can chewing sugarless gum after meals help keep my chompers clean? Perhaps.

Are over-the-counter “bleaching” kits with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) effective?  Maybe.

I’ve been told by dental hygienists that these pricey (both OTC or Dentists’) hydrogen peroxide treatments DO NOT weaken our chompers. That is up to you to experiment, if desired and if you can foot the bill. The professional treatments are much more potent than OTC versions of whitening kits.

Another LA Times health article suggests that nightly tooth brushing can also good for our guts… “the best way to use this information to help your body is to keep your mouth clean, just in case some inflammatory food makes its way onto your plate.”

  • Inflammation – bad.
  • Anti-inflammatory foods and drinks – good (mostly). 

Take care of your ~ 32 dental bones and try to keep ’em pearly white.

Off to water-pik…

df

Treat our Bodies as Temples

I believe an old testament biblical passage challenged both faithful and unfaithful to treat their bodies as temples.

I’ll type away today on practical aspects of bodily temples, trying to reflect back ~ 25 centuries when water was scarce, pork was forbidden(for good reasons at that time), and GMO foods weren’t problems… as contexts for words handed down to “us”.

If I am try to perform at my best, yet knowingly or unknowingly hurt or hinder my “corpus”, I am kidding myself.

Three(3) of those darned four (4)  “S’s” of our daily lives are certainly AVOIDABLE or MITIGATED. Oxidative free radicals are generated in our “temples” by smoking, life’s stresses, sunlight exposure and exercise.

Duh – (1) Don’t smoke, (2) don’t get sunburned and wear hats/sunglasses to protect your eyesight) and (3) CHILL.  That last one – being cool except in times of fight or flight – is tough for many rat race Americans – I know!  How are your systolic and diastolic Blood pressure readings?  Can you unwind before bedtime and sleep soundly.

Can you remember that we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff in life, and much of what we face is truly small stuff?

Duh – #4S DO Exercise regularly.  My own peabrain model uses another “4S” model to make my pursued (or gained) temple possible:

(1) Strength

(2) Stretching

(3) Stamina (endurance and capacity)

(4) Stability (Lumbar Pelvic Hip complex – your core and MORE!)

Yes – there is maintenance and upkeep!  Yes – there are critical paths in your wellness project.  Yes – “LIFE” gets in our way – if we allow it to…

I don’t always cite baseball legends as philosophers, though George “Yogi” Berra and Satchel Paige are referenced on occasion (yet so are Mae West and WS Fields).

For today, let’s go with a triad of Satchel Paige offerings,

a. “Ain’t no man can avoid being born average, but there ain’t no man got to be common.”

b. “You win a few, you lose a few. Some get rained out. But you got to dress for all of them” and

c. “Don’t eat fried food, it angries up the blood.”

Can we affirm and reaffirm that we don’t need to be common?  Can we remember to get dressed for all of them?  Can we keep our blood from getting “angried“?

Let’s try to avoid 3 of the 4 oxidative stressors which some call “rusts” (and treat out bodies exceedingly well after we exercise).
Let’s strengthen and sustain our bodily temples with stretches, strength, stamina and stability regimens OFTEN.

Let’s work are keeping our bodies as amazing “structures” to be appreciated, admired and CHALLENGED to put life in our years.

Looking ahead (someone may be gaining on us 🙂 )

df

 

 

 

 

No excuse, Sir or Ma’am

Following my theme of wellness as an extended journey with speedbumps, confusing road signs, GPS mis-directions and such: Individual Responsibility and Accountability are next on my blogging plate.

No excuse, sir was one of my five boot camp (Plebe Summer) answers to a superior’s challenge.  I didn’t serve with any Ma’ams in my early uniform days…

President Harry Truman reminded West Wing visitors, “The Buck Stops Here.”

Who is / Are the Everybody, Anybody, Somebody and Nobody in Charles Osgood’s Responsibility Poem?

I can’t find many rational people who believe that it is easy to get fit and stay in that better way.  Fountain of Youth? Not.  Holy Grail? Nope…

I am lucky to be around many people who invest in regular work(outs) to put life in  their years.  Most of those ardent folks take responsibility for their being and wellness.  Most of those folks are accountable for putting themselves first.  Shucks – if Sir Richard Branson gets ~ 3 hours of extra daily productivity from his workouts – maybe we can, too?!

Q: Why didn’t you hit the jogging trail in the cold and dark, windy morning air?

A: No excuse, Sir or Ma’ am! I will hit it instead of going to Chipotle’s for lunch today.

 

ZZZZZZ

I wanted to title this post “The Big Sleep“, yet author Raymond Chandler and Detective Marlowe might take exception to my aggressive choice.

So, I’ll stick with out alphabet’s last letter, and dwell on invaluable power of deep restorative sleep to offset bad elder things (stroke, obesity, Alzheimers disease, heart attack).

Dr. Matthew Walker’s recent weekend WSJ article was definitely worth my read and re-read.  I commend his good observations to you about the linkage between age and lessened sleep quality/quantity.

Right. Approaches and potential solutions to sleep disorders like sleep apneas are tough, yet the downside of letting sleepiness (Insomnia) or worse, sleep disorders, get ahead of us are worth the toughness of your regimen (in my opinion).

Pink noise, light therapy, CPAPS, melatonin, circadian rhythms (even before 2017 Nobel Prize awareness) – wow – so much written, and I don’t see a holy grail in my future. I don’t grasp the significance of this Nobel Prize for bodily circadian rhythms. Perhaps Detective Marlowe can sleuth the details and put in layman’s terms for me.

Recall that deep restorative sleep is such a key element (~ 1/3rd) of our basic metabolic rate (BMR) KCAl burn, that weight management is a solid reason to ZZZZ well.

Siestas?  Nooners?  Naps? Kips? Powernaps?

Try em if you can – as long as they are short (~15 minutes).  Experts contend that naps partially offset general Americans’ sleep deprivation.

I hope you can, even as you age (which is Dr. Walker’s point – it gets harder, “by the time you are 70, you will have lost 80% to 90% of your youthful, restorative, deep sleep.”)  Yet it is worth your try to get that sleep.

Sleep Doctors are standing by, or cat napping…

cat nap (thanks to cartoon stock).

 

Get tired, go off the grid, don’t snooze as a couch potato…find what can work for you.

Muy importante!

 

Good luck,

DF

What do you do with a drunken Sailor?!

Today’s interesting match of  Friday the 13th with our U.S. Navy’s 242nd birthday gave me pause to think about the words of this old sea shanty, grog, and alcohol’s effect on sleep, performance and wellness.

What to Do? Putting a drunken sailor in your brig with the Captain’s daughter isn’t at the top of my list… Nor is shaving his or her belly with a rusty razor…early in the morning or at any time of day…

drunken sailor image

(Thanks, drunken-sailor-jibes-offend-australian-navy91619)

As a ‘ol Navy guy, I joined others to blaspheme about a teetotaler, Josephus Daniels, then Secretary of the Navy who banned ration/sale of grog or shipboard spirits under his General Order 99 in 1914.  How progressive!  We Navy “officially” went dry before Prohibition.

I’ll begin my main point with a non-groggy end in mind. That is, I’ll offer that one’s alcohol use and impact, like many other wellness questions  of balance ->  it often depends.

By that I mean alcohol can possibly be good, or really bad, or neutral.  Heck, the British Navy ruled the world on drunken sailors for  century or two.  And heck, the East German rowers dominated Olympic medal counts on pilsener, if no other ergogenics.

Speaking of rowers, I had this picture hung in my workout box,

Get together with a Guinness

Thanks, https://goo.gl/images/eCJeK6 .

I certainly endorse what Leigh Weingus shared (think cortisol, poor sleep even though you may crash on your pillow easier and accelerated aging with chronic use, and …):

Now, the bad news: Alcohol causes inflammation in the body.

If you’re working to reach a fitness goal, inflammation can slow you down a bit. And while certain alcohols are said to come with benefits—red wine has flavonoids, for example, which may help with heart health—it’s important to take inflammation into account.

“Secondary to sugar, alcohol is also a major contributor to inflammation in the body,” Brooke Scheller tells mbg. “In practice, I find that inflammation is one of the key reasons someone struggles to lose weight and reach their fitness goals…inflammation can also contribute to joint pain and muscle aches that may slow someone down at the gym.”

Long story short: Be mindful of how much and what you’re drinking, keep inflammation in mind, and don’t forget to have a good time.”

That is a loaded and mixed message – yes?  And it is oft-repeated in fitness and wellness articles.  Such as a shape.com blog by Mirel Ketchiff:

“Here’s the thing: Moderate alcohol consumption—no more than one drink a day, (df note – 2 drinks for a gent) according to the U.S.D.A. Dietary Guidelines for Americans—may have some health benefits, it’s true. But “work hard, play harder” can seriously backfire. Here, four (4) ways throwing back cocktails can throw your fitness goals off track.

  1. Cramping
    “Alcohol acts as a diuretic,”…which can trigger painful muscle cramping that does a number on your performance.
  2. Sleep Quality Suffers  A few glasses of wine before bed may help you drift off faster—but …Alcohol can prevent restorative deep REM sleep, which is needed to feel rested.” Lack of sleep can impair muscle recovery.
  3. The Scale Could Tip While there’s room in an otherwise balanced, healthy diet for a drink now and again, at the end of the day, alcohol translates into unnecessary, un-nutritious calories, says Haas. Add in the junk-food munchies you may down after a night of drinking, and you’ve got a surefire recipe for adding pounds.
  4. Your Body Is Left Hungry “When consumed excessively, alcohol can have detrimental effects on how your body uses, stores, and excretes nutrients,” says Haas. It can also interfere with the absorption of nutrients, she says, including B vitamins (which play a huge role in metabolism), vitamin A (a powerful antioxidant that helps the body recover from exercise), and vitamin C (which assists with bone growth and vision).” ====

Sooo, you be the judge. If you do what I do, I skip a day or two – when I teach at night to forego a moderate sip of an adult beverage. I’ll definitely add good ‘ol plain water to my cocktail time (with lemon – sure) to hydrate.  I’ll skip a late night cap.  I’ll be sure to down those colors – green leafy veggies, fruits. I’ll monitor my workouts on  next days to gauge possible impact on my athletic performance.

I’ll balance, and I do try to enjoy life.

Don’t forget many studies which suggest that moderate drinkers may indeed put years in their lives, or avoid tragic conditions of dementia… (drinking and dementia study).

No black or white for a drunken sailor or me about Grog …  It depends… Yet do avoid the “backfire” of this sedative.

Be Well.

DF

 

Madam Secretary (Clinton) and I agree on at least 1 practice

Have you practiced relaxation regularly?  If yes – yea!  If not, you might give some reasonably quick techniques a try.

Today’s SD Union Tribune [ thanks Kim Weeks]  cited Hillary Clinton’s “alternate nostril breathing” or NADI SHODHANA for yoga advocates or Sanskrit speakers 🙂 as a lifesaver for her after she suffered the “greatest disappointment of her professional life.”

Kim Weeks reminds us in this article that we don’t need to be fancy…

“all you have to do is slice through your daily activity with one pause, be it for one minute…and breathe deeply…Science attests to its benefits.”

What benefits?

Try it, you may like it, AND benefit. Madam Secretary did.

nadi shodhana nsal breathing

 

Flu(s) season is approaching

Whether or not you opt for a flu shot this fall is certainly your call.

Me?

My MD advised that my age and a prior bout with “atypical” mycoplasma pneumonia were indicators of benefits outweighing my potential downsides.  I agree.

  • Sure – the advance work by researchers to guess this year’s flu is a calculated gamble. I’m willing to take that chance.
  • Sure, one report suggests that I have only a 60% chance of averting a flu this winter (with the vaccine).

Here is what Business Insider reports about our 2017 flu vaccines and “WHY?!”:

Why-you-should-get-the-vaccine-2017-10.

If you opt to get that bee-sting in your upper arm, please don’t tarry too long.  Some individuals may need ~ 4 weeks to build up anti-flu defenses before the peak season (NOV-FEB) hits us.

flu vaccine shot Oct 2017.png

Change Cancer statistics – well-being and fitness can make dramatic differences

Though I am not a medical practitioner, I’ve had MDs and health care professionals remind me that some cancers are preventable – with personal diet, fitness and/or smart environmental moves.

Our American Cancer Society (ACS) reports these alarming statistics for CY 2017:

It is estimated that almost 1.7 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in 2017. Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among males (19%), followed by lung (14%) and colorectal (9%) cancers. Among females, breast (30%), lung (12%), and colorectal (8%) cancers are the most common.

Melanoma affects more men and women than it “should” – if we are smart, we can protect our body’s largest organ. Please look at this “wake up call” for Cancer up-trends:Cancer Uptrends US_2017

Thanks to the good folks @ Prevent Cancer;  we see that ONLY 5 percent (that’s right) of all cancers are hereditary.  That leaves a silent majority (~95%) of Cancers which we can overcome with “nurture”: