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Health and Fitness

Staying Fit

All it really takes to stay fit can be summarized briefly:

  • get appropriate rest when it's dark outside (that's when most of us get the best sleep) so that each morning you feel fresh instead of worn out. For me that is between 6.5 and 7 hours.
  • take in only that food and nutrition that you need to perform your physical day
  • move around and get off your rear (even a ten-minute brisk walk every day will accomplish amazing things)
  • drink enough water (not other drinks but water).

Losing Weight

Since the vast majority of North Americans (in particular) are overweight and more of us as we age, we should be concerned about this factor that increases our chances of developing serious health issues in later life. In April 2016, I "discovered" a link to an interview with Dr. Peter Attia that has inspired me to change my diet significantly, in a direction almost completely opposite to everything else I had heard to this point in my life. The bottom line is that this approach works quickly and without a lot of stress. Try it - I guarantee you will be surprised in a good way.

More on Water

The body cannot survive more than a few days without it. Most of everything living on the planet needs it for survival. Two-thirds of the globe is covered in it, good health relies on it, doctors recommended drinking 6 to 8 glasses of it day or about 0.5 ounces per pound of body mass, and yet I think that most of us just don't take in enough water.

If you have ever suffered from dry or itchy eyes, this is the number one cure, and is key to the proper functioning of the body and its processes. I suppose everyone knows this, but can probably stand a reminder. It tooks me many years to realize that I always feel better after a glass or two (cheap fix, too). Sipping is better than gulping as it allows for better absorption. In addition, if a lot of water is taken in too close to mealtime, then the stomach juices responsible for proper digestion of food may be diluted too much. Other bonuses associated with drinking adequate anounts of water:

  • improved energy
  • toned muscles
  • improved mental and physical performance
  • waste and toxin removal
  • transport of nutrients
  • regulation of body temperature
  • healthy skin
  • alleviation of migraine headaches
  • reduced high blood cholesterol, rheumatoid arthritis pain, asthma allergies, high blood pressure
  • reduced or minimized back pain
  • appetite regulation (thirst is often mistaken for hunger so this helps in weight loss)

Remember, there are no alternatives to water.

Not Rocket Science

One cannot separate rest, eating and physical activity as unrelated and try to fix one without concern for the others. It's not "rocket science". It just requires a little thought, understanding of how your particular body works (nobody knows like you do), a little discipline and a little time. Too often, people are looking for "the easy fix" when the natural "fix" is easy anyway. Let's get with the program (our own) and keep the hospitals for sick people.

Feet - The Bottom of the Barrel

If staying fit to you includes walking, as it probably does, one needs to consider footwear with some seriousness. The foot is at the bottom of the heap as far as the body goes. Each of our feet carries our entire body mass with every step (my guess is a pressure of at least 500 pounds per square foot for an average male). The foot can be squeezed into small footwear or remain unsupported in something too large or improperly fitting. Both of these situations can ruin your feet.

When I was much younger, footwear was something to keep your feet warm in winter, dry in wet weather or cool in the hot summer. Satisfying these conditions along with ensuring that the footwear was somewhat comfortable was the primary purpose and seemed good enough to get me through the first couple of dozen years without too much trouble. As time progressed, I began to consider the shoe or boot design and how it benefited and supported my feet which I had thought (as an immortal kid) were going to last forever and always be OK. Now that I am an adult (and then some - ha!), I think about looking after the various bits and pieces of my body that still work (yes, there are some). After breaking an ankle a few years ago, I think more about my footwear from a supporting point of view. I think some people overlook the footwear's primary function when style and fashion (or fad) drives the urge to buy.

If you spend time on your feet (probably at least 20% to 40% of your conscious time), and you value the mode of transportation (i.e., walking), it makes perfect sense to give consideration to the quality and appropriateness of your footwear. Shoes that are well-made have good longevity and are a pleasure to wear over many years. With fuel prices soaring and health a big issue, having the right footwear may make all the difference that is needed to stay fit and avoid some of the increased cost of local travelling.

Allergies

The complexity of our world is increasing, and so are the number of products made from who-knows-what with primarily profit in mind. The number of substances that the human body is exposed to, responds or reacts to, and possibly, is modified by, is increasing. When it is impossible to escape from all of our wonderful man-made products and retreat to live in harmony with nature because the natural areas of our world have shrunk away due to the ever-increasing global population, we are faced with living with the by-products of our industrial society. There is so much more out there to be allergic to, that it is surprising that we are not all allergic to something.

Links

World Health Organization

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Transport Canada's Recall Database

Some interesting statistics about cigarettes and smoking from the Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada. 




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