A health and fitness blog: With an occasional food item

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Christopher Hitchens: Cancer and Vanity Fair

The popular author Christopher Hitchens
writes in Vanity Fair about his journey with cancer. Probably like you, I have too many friends who have it. Some have recently died from it.
Oddly, as Hitchens notes, we tend to save our battle imagery for cancer, rather than heart disease or diabetes. I wonder.
On a side note, Christopher Hitchens and his brother Peter come down on opposing sides of faith. C. is a devout atheist, and P. is a practicing Christian. Here's a CNN report from a recent live conversation between the two.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Grand opening of Outside World

The grand opening of Outside World is Thursday-Saturday.
Location: 1025 Broadway.
I went in today and it's pretty cool. Guy behind the counter said this is the second store to open after the one in Dawsonville, Ga. They seem to have a good variety of clothes (outerwear, primarily) and shoes; camping gear; kayaks; and some trail books.
Ribbon cutting is Friday.
Welcome to the neighborhood.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cosmo: Why men love power-hungry women

Never thought I'd link to something from Cosmopolitan, but here you go.
Have you ever toned down an opinion for your guy because you didn't want to seem bossy? Don't do it again. Here's why many men actually like a woman with a point of view and some ambition.
Meryl Streep revealed something about men recently that really grabbed our attention. She said that out of all the characters she's played, the one guys say they like most is — wait for it — Miranda flipping Priestly, the power-hungry (to put it nicely) magazine boss in The Devil Wears Prada.
Read the rest here.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

New York Times: Weekly health quiz

Take the weekly health quiz from the New York Times.
Here's one of the more intriguing questions.
Speaking of infants, we have an infant cat in the house, a kitten named Smoky. We're fostering him because my parents, for whom this pet was adopted, aren't ready to take him yet.
He has really turned our other cat, Bisquick, on his head. For about four years, this has been Bisquick's territory. It's his house and we are the staff. Now, one of us goes around paying more attention to this kitten, holding him and such, and Bisquick does a lot of growling. Yesterday he made a noise I'd never heard before. Here's hoping they make peace.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mike Venable: Columbus and the Valley

If you have a moment, say prayers for our friend Mike V. over at Columbus and the Valley magazine.
He writes here on his blog, about a recurrence of cancer.
He is one tough dude--but still, most of us know what bad medical news looks like. Or at least uncertain news.
He's such a great writer, but I'm sad for the occasion that led to this post.
Hang in there, Mikey. We've got your back.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Prof. Hike: Making the Best of a Bad Situation

Prof. Hike from Backpacker Magazine writes here about the precautions one should take BEFORE heading out.
Mostly this is common sense. But then again, sometimes we (myself included) head out without it.
For one, prepare for blisters. You're gonna get 'em. Two, prepare for rain, and mud (use gators).
In real life, Prof. Hike is Jason Stevenson, author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Backpacking and Hiking."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

On call: Weekend work and healthcare

Interesting Op-Ed piece in the Times from earlier in the month.
It seems that weekend work for docs improves care and cuts costs. Anyone who's been a hospital patient knows that weekends are for the skeleton crew. That's true of many businesses. But, for one thing, hospital discharges before noon on a weekend save taxpayers.
N.Y.U. is experimenting with the line between more care and better results.
Like this line: In health care, experimentation is the mother of improvement.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Michael Lanaz: 'In car years, I'm 269'

Found this cool outdoors blog by one Michael Lanza.
One of his latest posts is about "nursing" long-time ailments/injuries/aches through middle age.
Good quote: "Staying active in middle age isn’t just hard. It’s sometimes insulting."
To that end, I went to Group Centergy today at my gym. Basically it's a combo of yoga and Pilates. I hadn't been in some time (and could tell almost immediately). I'm so accustomed to working certain muscles that the other ones I don't often use were saying: "Hello?"

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Bicycle magazine: Core

Your bulging quads and razor-cut calves are the envy of your pack, and you start every ride strong. As the ride progresses, though, your hips seesaw in the saddle, your lower back aches, and you slow in corners. The problem? Your core cries uncle long before your legs wear out. Although a cyclist's legs provide the most tangible source of power, the abs and lower back are the vital foundation from which all movement, including the pedal stroke, stems.
"You can have all the leg strength in the world, but without a stable core you won't be able to use it efficiently," says Graeme Street, founder of Cyclo-CORE, a DVD-based training program, and a personal trainer in Essex, Connecticut. "It's like having the body of a Ferrari with a Fiat chassis underneath."
Read the rest here in Bicycle magazine.
It's true. The core muscles needed for cycling aren't the most obvious. You need the whole machine to do with the work, of course, but the legs get all the attention. Working the core will help you work more efficiently and powerfully.
Happy spinning, y'all.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Icing down after a long run

So I have these friends in various cities who are training for marathons or half-marathons or triathlons, etc. One of the friends just posted on Facebook about a 10-minute ice bath after a 24-mile run.
Here's what I found.
It makes complete sense to do it, as it decreases inflammation and soreness, but I would REALLY have to get psyched up for it. I have such an aversion to cold water, period, much less dumping ice into the situation.
Anyone else tried it? Does it work?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Medical student and physician stress: High rates of suicide

From the Well blog on the New York Times: Several years ago, I learned that a physician in a town not too far from where I was practicing had committed suicide. Neither I nor my hospital colleagues knew him, but according to the story we heard, he was the father of young children, was respected by doctors and patients alike and had struggled privately with mental illness since medical school.
But it was not the details of his life that haunted us; it was the details of his death. He had locked himself in a room in the hospital, placed a large needle in his vein and injected himself with a drug that so effectively paralyzed his muscles he was unable to breathe.
Or call for help.
Read the rest here.
I can easily see how the suicide rates are so high. (And depressingly high, so to speak, for female docs.) If you just factor in the cut-throat competition, and the need to be top of the class (when there's only one spot available), sure I get it. It's very sad. There has to be a paradigm shift. And not just among doctors, or those in training.

TWC: Texting while cycling?

Here's a new one for ya: Texting while cycling.
On Sunday, a guy was in my bike lane coming toward me. He was clearly trying to text someone on his phone. The same thing happened Tuesday. Not sure if it was the same guy or not.
BUT: Come on, people!
Both times, I had to yell for the person to look up then swerved.
My husband said later he hoped he hit a tree.
It's dangerous enough to text behind the wheel of a car.
It's also dangerous to hit someone head on going 15 mph on a bicycle.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Junk food key to weight loss?

Losing a double-digit chunk of weight in one month was a piece of cake for Mark Haub. On August 25, the Kansas State University professor of nutrition began a 10-year-old's dream diet of Twinkies, Ho Hos, and brownies for each meal. Thirty days later and 15 pounds lighter, Haub not only feels great, but his bad cholesterol is down, his good cholesterol is up, and his blood pressure is fine. But while he is pleased about his new, trimmer self, that's not the reason he switched to junk food. He wanted his students to see for themselves that any diet can produce weight loss­—and if accomplished with a menu all but guaranteed to wreak havoc, then weight shouldn't be the sole standard for good health.
Read the rest here.
I was pleased to see that PART of his daily intake included veggies.