Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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Month: July 2007

8 Essential Aging Hacks

We face eight key health challenges as we age.

The steps you take to prevent and mitigate these challenges can make the difference between just hobbling through your golden years and actually thriving. There’s just no reason not to enjoy energy and vitality well into your seventies, eighties and beyond.

Everyone’s into hacks: life hacks, brain hacks, productivity hacks, tech hacks, budget hacks, house hacks. I’m into aging hacks. Let us hack.

Here are the top health issues we all must face when we descend to the other side of the hill, and the smart steps you can take – now – to stop them. Although I think it’s worth stating that the hill metaphor of life should be chucked entirely. “Over the hill” doesn’t make sense in this day and age with all the amazing scientific and nutritional advances of which we can take endless advantage. So I prefer to think of life as a gently sloping valley that gets a bit steeper the closer you get to the other side. You just need a few more tools to ace the slope.

1. Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome

This is the biggest cause of preventable death, because it’s linked to virtually all the other major causes of death (cancer, diabetes, heart disease). 75% of adults over 60 are overweight or obese. Obesity and poor health go hand in hand. It’s almost impossible to live a long, healthy life if you are seriously overweight. No wonder we’ve got such a massive health care tab and drastically reduced quality of life among seniors. Though I ought to quibble with the BMI, for the purposes of this post I won’t. The general guideline is to make sure your waist is less than 40″ if you’re a man and 35″ if you’re a woman. I don’t recommend focusing on LDL cholesterol to the detriment of other crucial factors like raising your good (HDL) cholesterol and keeping your triglycerides and inflammation under absolute control.

The four simple steps required:

– Eat smart protein that contains good fat: grass-fed meat, wild fish, DHA-enhanced eggs, fermented tofu (and take a fish oil supplement, too).

– Cook with olive oil or walnut oil.

– Absolutely avoid all refined foods that contain processed grains, sugars, corn syrup, starch, flour, etc.

– Move a little. A daily walk is sufficient if you do your best to make it brisk.

2. Arthritis

Half of us will get it. I even have osteoarthritis from my time as a pro runner. We’re also prone to joint troubles thanks to our primal past – er, the fact that we walk upright hasn’t quite registered with our DNA. Hence, we experience knee and back issues like they’re going out of style (only as of yet, they are not). Of course, obesity is a big culprit. Losing just ten pounds can cut your risk in half.

I manage arthritis successfully by doing the following:

– Taking at least a gram of fish oil daily.

– Reducing free radical oxidation with…a

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Why the Hugo Outrage? These Drinks Are Worse

You may have heard about McDonald’s new supersize drink that they refuse to admit is a supersize drink. Hugo (no relation to Lost) is the latest hypocritical atrocity from the Golden Arches. Guess it didn’t take them long to depart from the “we’re healthier now, honest” marketing of late. The Hugo contains over 400 calories (that’s a meal right there). At 42 ounces, this corn syrup catastrophe is priced at less than one dollar. It’s the special obesity value menu.

Hugo derision is already all over the health and consumer blogs and social networking sites (here, here, here, here, and here…and here). It remains to be seen what sort of impact (if any) the blogosphere will have in garnering public outrage over Hugo. But let’s think about this from a different perspective. Everyone cheered when McDonald’s canned its Supersize menu. Supersize-in-disguise Hugo is drawing plenty of flack.

But why pick on Hugo? The following drinks are:

– just as high, or far higher in calories than Hugo

– are massively popular and are consumed by millions daily

– are equally unhealthy

– are much more expensive – so you can be fat and broke

– and yet…they garner zero public outrage!

It’s too easy to pick on McDonald’s and everyone does. But where is the outrage over:
Starbucks: their much-loved grande frappuccinos and creamy “fruit” whipped delights are almost all in the 500+ calorie range and pack upwards of 80 grams of sugar (easily rivaling any decent milkshake – because these are milkshakes).

Jamba Juice and Robeks: these “healthy” fruit juice smoothies are entirely comprised of worthless, sugary juice, ice cream, sorbet or yogurt, and can top out at over 600 calories and 140 grams of pure sugar!

Even a McDonald’s milkshake has less sugar than a “healthy” smoothie. I don’t see anyone fretting over coffee drinks and fruit drinks that are terrible for health. In fact people seem to feel good about slurping these sugar buckets. We are drinking excessive, empty calories without so much as a second thought.

I’m no advocate of McDonald’s, and the new Hugo is both unethical and hypocritical, but let’s not pretend a coffeehouse with “culture” or a few pictures of strawberries are any better.

[tags] counter-marketing, Hugo, Starbucks, calories, sweetener, beverages, obesity epidemic, McDonald’s, Robek’s, Jamba Juice [/tags]

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Top 10 Ultimate Fitness Gadgets

Here’s the roundup: Mark and the Bees’ favorite workout gear, as tested and approved. Let us know your favorite exercise essentials!

Vibram 5 Fingers

Less shoe, healthier foot. Very Primal! 😉

Garmin Forerunner 201 GPS

Get lost anywhere and find your way home!

PumpOne

Workouts on the go!

Adventure Plus

MacGyver would approve of this multipurpose gadget.

Ipod Shuffle

Clip and go – only $79 bucks for plenty of portable tunes!

Tapas Ultra Yoga Mat

The most comfortable, safe mat available.

Omron Digital Premium Pedometer

Keep track of how far you walk each day.

Sennheiser Sport Headphones

Indestructible Exercise-Friendly Headphones

Nintendo Wii with Wii Sports

Have you tried the new balance board?

Cardio Canine

Hands-free leash with bottle holder!


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[tags] gadgets, gym, fitness, tools, equipment, Cardio Canine, leash, iPod, Shuffle, Wii, Vibram, Garmin, GPS, portable, Adventure Plus, Omron, pedometer, shoes, Sennheiser, headphones, yoga, tapas, mp3, mat, PumpOne, PDA workout, workout, exercise [/tags]

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Perspective and Priorities

– via Strange New Products

When it comes to water, we really need more options. It’s not enough that we have potable, low-cost drinking water at our convenient disposal. We still can’t seem to appreciate it, let alone drink it. That’s why there’s PUR Flavor Options. With the press of a button, delicious, sugar-free raspberry, peach or strawberry water is yours! Why, how delightful! A flavor cartridge is only 10 dollars and fits conveniently into your existing PUR filtration system. You can enjoy as many as 75 glasses of flavored water. Buy all three for only 30 dollars and enjoy hundreds of glasses of flavored water all month long! Just think how much more water your family will drink now that it’s not boring anymore. Think of the monotonous, life-sucking agony you will avert when you no longer have to drink virtually free, pure, clean water.

You know what else only costs 30 dollars?

Saving the life of an actual child.

One-fifth of the world’s population does not have access to drinkable water.

4,500 children die every day from lack of drinkable water. And over 2 million people die every year because of poor quality water or dehydration. Every seven minutes, a child dies from dehydration.

Here are some water facts. Here are some more. It breaks my heart that we have such a bloated sense of ennui we actually think we deserve things like PUR flavored water. Sure, it’s not “our fault” that pain and suffering exist. And we all need enjoyment and variety. I guess.

But we don’t need bottled water in this country. We don’t really even need filtered water, let alone flavored filtered water. And we don’t need to spend 2 bucks a pop on Ethos Water to help dying children – we need to drink from the tap and send that 2 bucks to Africa. I’m sure the Ethos people are nice and I bet they really enjoy their private jets and yachts, which is wonderful, but we can all do a lot better. We could use a little horrifying.

Just a thought. Donate here. Or here.

6/27/07 EDITOR’S UPDATE: Aquafina, bite us.

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Size Matters

Manufacturers are making larger car seats to accommodate heavy children.

Restaurants have expanded seating sizes (and so have amusement parks).

Even medical equipment has required super-sizing.

In fact, expanding the sizes of chair, belts, booths, and other common widgets is one of the hottest areas of product development in business right now.

At the current rate, we will achieve 100% child obesity in America by 2044 and 100% total population obesity by 2058.

What does obesity look like in dollars, numbers and lives? Learn why obesity is such a “big” deal.

[tags] sizing, seating, obesity, epidemic [/tags]

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Disease Inventing Contest!

Restless leg syndrome is “genetic”, researchers tell us. (Technically, the research simply proves that some folks are more susceptible to developing RLS. This is a common thread in genetic research; by no means does that mean the research isn’t inherently valuable. It just means we need to stop blaming our grandparents when we develop diseases that are preventable through smarter lifestyle choices. Your “bad genes” aren’t a license to shirk personal responsibility.)

Restless leg syndrome has to be one of my favorite modern diseases. I could swear it is a profitable invention out of the imagination of our Big Pharma friends – if I didn’t know that the pharmaceutical industry would never do such a thing. Restless leg syndrome occurs overwhelmingly in overweight, inactive individuals. It’s a very logical consequence of an unhealthy lifestyle. In fact, with our tremendous rates of obesity and collective detestation of exercise, it’s a condition that makes perfect sense. It’s entirely preventable, but once again, we’ve manufactured a “disease” and the inevitable accompanying drugs.

I propose: The Invent Your Own Disease Contest

Requirements:

1. Your disease must identify at least one symptom of sedentary behavior, poor diet, weight gain or other unhealthy lifestyle choice. Bonus points for multiple-symptom diseases.

2. Your disease must disappear entirely with exercise, reduced caloric intake and a healthy lifestyle.

3. Your disease must be named after the symptom(s) it represents. It should sound made-up, just like Restless Leg Syndrome. No Latin.

Example: Roll Discomfort Syndrome. This disease is defined by an excessively large stomach roll which creates discomfort when attempting certain physical postures, e.g. curling up in bed, hunching over one’s computer, and leaning over to pick up the cat. There is a genetic component to Roll Discomfort Syndrome. If you have a history of obesity in your family, you may be at risk for Roll Discomfort Syndrome. There are medications to alleviate sensation and discomfort in this area of the body. You do not have to suffer any longer!

Note: there is a neurological component to some cases of RLS that is legitimate and typically unrelated to lifestyle. For example, RLS can afflict those with diabetes, Parkinson’s, anemia, and peripheral neuropathy. That said, addressing the underlying cause will usually alleviate RLS symptoms. But please. The “RLS” drug you see advertised direct-to-consumer on primetime television is not for these folks. This “disease treatment” is a way to make money off two vast and connected public health threats: obesity and inactivity.

P.S. Don’t forget to submit pictures of your fruit bowl to the Bees. A couple that have come in so far look great. Looking forward to seeing yours.

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