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: February 2008

3 Ways to Keep Exercise Fun and Rewarding – Variety, Variety, Variety

They say variety is the spice of life, but it’s also pretty darn integral to exercise, both in terms of keeping your mind engaged in the activity at hand and ensuring that your dedication to exercise continues to pay off, be it in gains of physical strength, endurance, or simply just feeling good about your body.

On the mental front, variety in your exercise routine can be one of the most important predictors of adherence to exercise. To test this theory, researchers from the University of Florida assigned 114 people to one of three exercise programs; one where the type of exercise varied between workouts, a second where members were required to perform the same exercise at each workout, and a third where exercisers where left to their own devices in terms of schedule and exercise type. At the end of the eight week program, 53 participants had left the program, leaving 24 people in the first group, 22 in the second group and 15 in the third group. In addition, participants in the first group enjoyed their workout sessions 20 percent more than the members of the second group and 45 percent more than members of the third group.

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Chronic Pain and the Brain

Last week we brought you news that the costs of treating neck and back pain had gone through the roof in the last several years but patients were actually getting less relief. As many of you wrote, the constantly lingering pain is enough to encourage patients to give multiple therapies a try. And research out of Northwestern University supports this strong motivation.

Using functional MRI, researchers compared the brain activity of those suffering from chronic back pain with that of a control group.

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Study Suggests Carbohydrate-Rich Diet, Obesity Linked to Esophageal Cancer Risk

A study slated for release in an upcoming edition of The American Journal of Gastroenterology suggests that rising esophageal cancer (adenocarcinoma) rates in the U.S. may be due to recent dietary trends that emphasize heavy carbohydrate consumption.

Although the cause of esophageal cancer has yet to be determined, previous studies have suggested that obesity is a risk factor for several types of cancer, including those affecting the thyroid, kidney, uterus colon, gall bladder and esophagus. However, this study is one of the first to suggest that carbohydrates, besides being a “common contributor to obesity,” may themselves correlate with esophageal cancer rates.

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Top 10 Ways to Make it Through the Flu Season

Last week, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Surveillance (CDC) released a report suggesting that cases of flu had peaked in recent weeks.

But rather than go crazy and hole up in your house until the flu season passes, we suggest you follow these tried and true tips for avoiding – and recovering from – the flu.

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Health Boost from a Restaurant?

It’s the height of cold and flu season. Should you add a restaurant outing to your immunity arsenal? Well, if it’s one of the new “immunity-enhancing” menus being touted at a number of new California restaurants, it might not hurt.
Now, restaurant menus here are marrying the broader commercial movement of “functional” foods – those stuffed with heavy doses of vitamins and antioxidants – and a national fixation on immunity boosting (a fizzy gulp of Airborne is as much a part of the pre-flight experience as a baggage check). In Beverly Hills, Crustacean, a modern Vietnamese restaurant, has attached an icon to the left side of several menu items letting diners know that those dishes supposedly boost immunity. At M Café de Chaya in Hollywood, a macrobiotic restaurant often dotted with celebrities, the chef, Shigefumi Tachibe, has “items that offer both immune boosting and healthful benefits for everybody,” said his spokeswoman, Cindy Choi. Down Melrose Avenue a bit from M Café is Dr. Tea’s Tea Garden and Herbal Emporium, where immunity enhancement is always part of the menu, said Dr. Tea, a k a Mark Ukra. “We work a lot with cancer patients to bring their immunity up, and lots of people come in to get our tonics to get rid of the flu,” he said.
via New York Times

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Dear Mark: Encore on Omegas

The posts involving omega-3s have spurred a lot of discussion and a good number of excellent questions. Thanks to Ed Parsons and company I thought I’d give more time to the topic and see if I can complete the picture a little more. Thank you for your comments and questions.

Dear Mark,

Can you give us some rules of thumb for getting into the 1:1 ratio ballpark? Should I be trying to hit the ratio for every meal, for each day, or by the week, or even over a longer time period?

Just to review, the hailed 1:1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids provides your body with the appropriate balance thought to keep inflammation at bay. I would advise making the ratio a priority each day. Targeting the ratio for every meal can get unnecessarily complicated, and longer spans like a week don’t take into account your body’s constant hormonal production, which is influenced by the fatty acids.

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