WORKER BEES’ DAILY BITES
Aspirin and fish are two health topics that get plenty of coverage. Just when you read the latest studies that command you to shun all things pill and pisces, another round tells you to take the opposite tack. We’re dishing all the latest research. And for simultaneous comic relief and health insights, you’ll enjoy the link to a debunker who is taking on…the debunkers.
Aspirin: What a Pill
Plenty of authoritative medical studies and organizations recommend taking aspirin for various health issues ranging from heart disease to cancer. Other studies find fault with this OTC drug. Today, European scientists are calling for better investigation into the dangers of aspirin. One problem with OTC drugs is that they are often taken in excess of the recommended dosages. Our observation (certainly not original, but worth stating): OTC drugs are still drugs, and it’s vital to exercise caution and do your homework. Many hospital visits are due to overdoses and interactions from “harmless” OTC drugs.
Fish: Scientists Still Flip-Flopping
While fish consumption does present concerns (mercury! sustainable harvesting!) one thing is now conclusive: fish oil is a more effective source of essential fatty acids than olive oil, nuts and plant oils.
This is Laurelfan’s Flickr Photo. We enjoy wild-caught salmon, too!
But Who Will Debunk the Debunkers?
Anssi Manninen, that’s who (via Bodybuilding.com). This is a pretty interesting and entertaining piece calling nutritional “debunkers” on the their own apparently misguided advice.
As our friend, the Fuming Fuji, is always quick to point out, marketing garbage to children is a dirty business – which is why we are happy to introduce you to Amy Jussel. As the founder and executive director of Shaping Youth, Amy is doing her part to clean up the filth.
Her organization, via the popular blog ShapingYouth.com, tackles all issues related to the influence that media and corporate marketing schemes have on children. They take on big problems, like pre-teen body image and childhood obesity, and expose the tricks that giant advertising firms use to manipulate your children.
In the near future, we will have the pleasure of featuring an interview with Amy Jussel on Mark’s Daily Apple. In the meantime get behind the counter-marketing efforts of ShapingYouth.com and check out a few of our favorite articles.
Short answer: probably a lot longer than you want.
Long answer: I tend to cover a lot of nutrition, food marketing and diet issues, but fitness is also a crucial factor in overall health, so I’m eager to discuss exercise issues in greater detail. Truth is I spend a fair amount of time coaching, speaking and writing in the fitness world, particularly triathlon but weight loss to some extent.
Exercise is a vital component of not just weight loss and weight management, but stress relief, energy, sleep, aging, disease prevention, bone health, and on and on it goes…but it’s easy (and maybe more fun) to exclusively focus on the nutrition and diet issues and forget that we have to move our lazy buns once in a while. Leaving exercise out of the wellness equation is far more destructive to your health than any number of diet “sins” you might commit. Notwithstanding the fact that I believe our standard American diet is largely responsible for most of our health problems and most common causes of death, the importance of exercise cannot be overstated.
We don’t exercise for many reasons.
Eating is not a habit, but a necessity. After all, no one really forgets to eat for very long. And it’s usually rather enjoyable to change food selections and to modify our diets for the better, for we get immediate psychological rewards: control, accomplishment, tangibility. Exercise is also a necessity, but as it’s no longer integral to our daily lives – few people plow an acre of sod nowadays – it feels like a chore. No one likes a chore, and establishing a chore as an ingrained habit is tough. Life’s rewards require elbow grease, and that will never change. If exercise were easy or yielded quick results, I suppose everyone would be doing it. Exercise is certainly worth the effort, and not in spite of the challenge, but because it is a challenge. The long-term health rewards of exercise – outside of the brief blast of endorphins following your workout – are not always initially apparent and certainly not immediate.
If we don’t view exercise as an unpleasant chore, we view it as a means to an end: getting a leaner or sexier body. Those fitness infomercials feature guys with six-packs and Christie Brinkley for a reason – we all want to look like that. But the reality is that even the fittest folks are not necessarily going to end up looking “like that”. You can only maximize what you’ve got. I believe that we have to stop thinking of exercise as a vanity tool and remember that it’s simply a basic necessity of life. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be excited about using exercise to lose weight if you hope to shed some extra pounds. But we fall off the proverbial treadmill over and over again because we’re getting on it for the wrong reasons in the first place – exercise is about far more than weight loss.
So, how long before you see results?
You really can’t fight your genes. I witnessed one young woman I coach become sleek and toned after seemingly two sessions with weights and a few rounds of yoga – it’s easier when you’re young, of course. Another guy I work with exercises day in, day out, and has for two years now; although he’s fit and lean, he will never look like Bruce Lee no matter how hard he tries. (It’s worth noting that if you start your children on exercise – such as a sport – from an early age, they’ll develop muscles that will stay with them for a lifetime, even if they gain a little weight down the road as we all tend to do.)
There is some justice: the longer you exercise, the easier it will be to make changes to your shape. That said, results are different for everyone. It’s a complex equation of existing muscles, your natural build, metabolism, fat distribution and many other factors. You actually do get an immediate health boost from exercise, but let’s be honest: how many are really after that? Most of us give up on exercise after a few weeks or even a few days because we don’t see the desired physical results. People like the aforementioned young lady are rare; most of us have to put in months before seeing any real improvement.
The point is, if you’re asking that question – how long before I see results – the answer is almost always: much longer than you want. Hang in there; change will happen. We all want to look good, and many of us want or need to lose weight. Those are healthy and admirable goals. But while exercise can and does help with these goals, at the end of the day, we’ve got to realign our thinking and remember that exercise, more than anything, is just a necessity for health, and despite what the marketers would have us feel, that is reason enough.
Please share your thoughts on exercise, your challenges, and your successes, with me in the forum. I’d love to hear your perspective.
More Sisson Said What? posts
WORKER BEES’ DAILY BITES
Soft Drinks Disrupt Your DNA
Yikes! Even diet soda is unhealthy for you.
What’s It Like to Go Global?
The complex and interesting web of global food production.
Is Cancer a Virus?
Is cancer a virus, a fungus, an autoimmune disorder, a collection of symptoms? Oncology just got a lot more complicated.
What Are Gourmet Chefs Up to These Days? Foie gras ice cream and truffle popsicles, apparently. This is a fascinating picture-filled piece about avant garde culinary feats.
We’ve gotten some really nice feedback and reviews in the last few days. First, Highlight Health (a very spiffy health site from a biochemist blogger) was kind enough to add us to the blogroll. Then, Eating Fabulous, our favorite nutrition blog, gave us some love, and next, the original Daily Apple (yes, turns out, there is another!) reviewed us. The other Daily Apple covers all kinds of topics, but naturally we dug into the health posts, and we were really impressed. The health articles are all very useful, clear, and similar in format: an interesting introduction, a helpful list of points, and plenty of good references for every single topic discussed (a very nice thing indeed). And seize-the-health-by-the-horns Kevin was nice enough to nominate us for a Blogger’s Choice Award! Thank you so much, everyone, for the encouragement and support.
Hi everyone! As you know I’m always scanning the web for the latest healthy developments in Web 2.0. Though I’ve retired Aaron’s Additions in favor of Aaron’s Awards (because who doesn’t love a good laugh now and then?), I can’t help but be impressed by the insane popularity of fatblogging. I want to highlight fatblogging because I am such a big fan of positive social trends. Though I rant from time to time, ultimately it’s the positive healthy developments that get me the most excited. I spent all weekend checking out literally hundreds of inspiring, funny, excellent, and, well, not-so-excellent fatblogs. I am including my favorites here because I want to provide a little inspiration to you if you’re feeling compelled to make a change to your waistline or your health (or both!). These people prove that it can be done. The coolest thing about this? You’ve got a whole network of support ready to go! If you want to lose weight, consider joining the fatblogging phenomenon. There’s a whole web of friendliness there for the asking.
Share your favorite weight loss blog with fellow readers, or tell us what you think about the fatblog trend in the forum!
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