“I” caught your attention.
NO – I’m not penning KABOOMER thoughts about a third “Eye” for Shiva – with mystical occult powers and all-seeing wisdom. Perhaps a extraordinary KABOOMER sequel will address how we might enhance extraordinary openings of our third eyes. On some lockdown days, it is occasionally hard to keep just 2 eyes open.
Courtesy of genius.com
After that ocular warmup, let’s consider three extraordinary “Is” of wellness and fitness:
- Insulin Sensitivity
- Imbalances – both mechanical and chemical.
We could certainly and accurately add other relevant words starting with our ninth alphabetic letter “I” – yet these three are loaded for 3-ringed circus performances into our nineties.
Inflammation in our amazing bodies, brain and gut can be good and bad. It depends. If we get a wooden splinter, our body reacts with inflammation to expel that invader. That is good.
We cause inflammation when we work our skeletal muscles in stamina or strength regimens. If you think of inflammation as our body’s reaction to: 1. stress, 2. sunburns or 3. smoking, then inflammation is bad. If we get a novel viral infection which causes an inflammatory cytokine storm – that is also bad – or fatal.
Now, think of exercise-induced inflammation – that catatonic result of running or lifting stuff. “ROS”, which is shorthand for reactive oxidative species, is a trigger in small concentrations for anabolic restoration, repair and growth. If free radicals in these “species” become too concentrated, they can act as scavengers with damaging results. It depends. Doesn’t it seem ironic that oxygen – which we need to live and move – can also cause cellular “rust” and damage which needs to be addressed and offset. Offset? Right – rest and Vitamin P(lants) are two prime offsets for ROS. Counter “bad” inflammation with “good” lifestyle and dietary habits.
KABOOMERS engage in activities of daily life and move to sweat. When they do, “acceptable” concentrations of these ROS signals are both healthy signallers for “R&R.” Yet, if inflammation, if ROS, is too concentrated, then bad things tend to happen.
I am ever-amazed at how bodies can be healthy shuttling a teaspoon of glucose [ 4 grams] present in a normal adult’s bloodstream. NIH reports advise that glucose/insulin “fluxes” are complex and dependent on our whole selves.
Our stamininety metabolisms are predicated on glucose and oxygen. In balance – we are living breathing, moving marvels. Out of balance and our bodies can develop chronic conditions like TYPE 2 Diabetes. Oy! Try the ADA’s 60-second “test” to gauge your risk level. Please.
I hope that you acknowledge how exercise can favorable improve insulin sensitivity (a very good thing] and offset insulin insensitivity! Motion is medicine, say I to keep our blood glucose levles in proper ranges. Here’s what one NIH article offers better than I can,
“pharmacological manipulations have been shown to reduce insulin resistance. Some of these genetic manipulations have led to the development of promising drug targeting strategies for treating metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, or associated symptoms. Treatment strategies for insulin resistance are attempting to mimic a beneficial effect that happens normally in subjects that exercise regularly. Perhaps the major difference between targeted therapies and physical activity is that the health benefits of physical activity involve the interaction of physiological systems. This may, in fact, be what makes physical activity so effective in disease prevention. The beneficial effects of exercise generally occur without complications. ” EXERCISE over DRUGS!
Few of us have perfect symmetry in our skeketons, connective tissue and muscle groups. That’s a fact.
Many great KABOOMER activities – such as tennis, cycling and rowing can cause physical imbalances due to the nature of the motions enjoyed. As written in KABOOMER: Thriving and Striving into your 90s, rowing can cause these:
- Quadriceps dominance.
- Gluteus muscle weakness.
- Hip flexor tightness.
- Thoracic kyphosis (rounded upper back)
- Internally rotated shoulders.
The more a KABOOMER trains, the higher the prospect of created imbalances. A “century-riding” cyclist will assuredly tighten her/his hamstrings and posterior chain (except for a stretched lower back which can also send imbalance “pain” feedback to the rider.
Cycling? “Correct the [front to back] imbalance by building your glutes and hamstrings with straight-leg deadlifts and leg curls and reducing the isolation exercises you do for your quads. Also perform squats and leg presses, which equally strengthen all of your leg muscles.”
We certainly know of nututional imbalances too, yet let’s save those dietary hacks for another post.
In closing, I tribute an extraordinary gent, Congressman and activist John Lewis, who passed this week. If there ever was a person who lived up to the “right” descriptor of Henry Ford, it was John Lewis.
Today’s LA Times offered his quote which I will save –
“Never give in, never give up, NEVER GIVE OUT.”
RIP, Congressman Lewis.
Be ever safe, always resilient and “RIGHT.”