Why do we get fatter as we get older?

And how to avoid it...

Why we get fat as we age

Why we get fat as we age?

It almost seems inevitable. As we get older we all seem to gain weight. When is the last time you ran into an old friend or acquaintance and remarked that they weighed less than when you last saw them?

This age driven weight gain isn’t inevitable. It is actually rather easily addressed.

First as we get older we believe that we can’t do as much as we used to so we slow down our activity. This simply burns fewer calories. Instead, we should go out of our way to continue to move as much as possible. Walk, take the stairs, do something to stay active throughout the day and keep moving.

Also, our muscles will begin to deteriorate as we age mostly because we become less active. So once in awhile say once a week it is okay to lift something heavy and/or do something fast. Find a big rock or a bucket of small rocks and pick it up and down. Squat. Walk around with it. Find a hill and run up it slightly faster than you would normally jog.

Second, as we get older our bodies seem to be less able to handle carbohydrates as well as when we were younger. If you have extra fat on your body now it is a good bet that you are becoming what is called insulin resistant. This means your body has dealt with so many carbs over your lifetime that the sensitive signaling system for noticing carbohydrates in the blood stream and clearing them out using the hormone insulin has gotten less sensitive. Your body demands more and more insulin to clear out the same carbs and carbs are more likely to be turned directly into fat.

What do you do? Eat fewer carbs especially processed carbs and added sugars. Eat more fats especially in fish and avocados and nuts and eat more protein instead.

Keep moving as you get older. There is nothing stopping you. And eat fewer carbs especially heavily processed carbohydrates and added sugar.

The Meaning of Life

Are you risking too much or too little?

Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 2.03.14 PMIn a great video called Never Stop, sponsored by The North Face, Jimmy Chin ponders the meaning of life. Jimmy Chin is an excellent skier, climber and photographer. Somehow Chin caught the skiing and climbing bug despite growing up in Mankato, MN and attending  Carleton College in Northfield, MN. I also went to Carleton and can attest to the lack of any hills or mountains in Minnesota.

Now Chin is a North Face sponsored athlete who among many other accomplishments has climbed to the top of Everest and then skied down. You read that right. He has had photos published in Outside Magazine and National Geographic and also recently produced, directed, shot and starred in a stunning film called Meru, about his climb with two friends to the top of a foreboding peak in the Karakoram mountains between India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and China. This film won the U.S. Documentary Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival and is definitely worth watching.

So what does Jimmy Chin think about the meaning of life:

“I guess I have always been driven to see what happens if I really throw myself at something. I learned early on that unless you really do that you will never find out. And, I think that would be really sad if I didn’t ever find my true potential. In a way, this is almost like the meaning of life. Finding a purpose and then pushing yourself in that space no matter what it is.”

“There are two great risks in life: risking too much and risking too little. The one that scares me the most is risking too little because you are given this great opportunity and you should make the post of it.”

This sounds a lot like the Ancient Greek concept of Arete. According to Wikipedia, “Arete is frequently associated with bravery, but more often with effectiveness. The man or woman of Arete is a person of the highest effectiveness; they use all their faculties—strength, bravery and wit—to achieve real results” or perhaps we could call it reaching their potential.

Are you reaching your potential? Are you throwing yourself at anything? Are you risking too much or too little?

 

Why Watching the Olympics Can Make You Fat

Full disclosure: I love the Olympics and watch as much as I can every two years.

It is very motivating to see how a strong work ethic, some talent and focused training can createScreen Shot 2016-08-19 at 7.39.45 AM such incredible performances. Especially good are the stories of athletes inspired to become Olympians by watching the Olympics at an early age. The Daily Mail has an article about Joseph Schooling, a young boy from Singapore, who met his idol Michael Phelps at 14 years old and then went on to beat him in the 100m Butterfly in Rio eight years later. Amazing stuff.

The inevitable stories of athletes over-coming challenges to get to the Olympics are great as well.  Today’s NY Times has a story about how an American High Jumper once had to live in her car.  Even Ryan Lochte and his stupid antics can’t tarnish this great institution.

So what’s the problem? It’s the advertising. Envision that we have millions of people watching the Olympics perhaps being inspired to seek a Gold Medal or perhaps just inspired to get off the couch and stop playing videos games to take a swim or a jog around the block.  But then, what do they see in between the games? Advertising for huge amounts of Sugar. Sugar that will inevitably make them fat and sick.

The three major advertisers that I remember seeing most are Coca Cola, PowerAde and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. A 12-ounce can of regular Coke contains 39 grams of total sugar, which is about 9 1/3 teaspoons of sugar. In March 2015, the World Health Organization recommended that adults and children reduce their daily intake of free sugars to less than 10% of their total energy intake (approximately 12 teaspoons. A further reduction to below 5% or roughly 25 grams (6 teaspoons) per day would provide additional health benefits.

You read that right. A single can of Coca Cola contains approximately 3/4 of the daily sugar intake recommended by the WHO and 50% more than what they recommend for added health benefits. A 20 ounce PowerAde, owned by Coca Cola, has 7 teaspoons of sugar almost as much as a can of Coke. While admittedly a bigger portion, this is the typical size of sports drink that you see people drinking. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups have 8 grams of Sugar or 2 teaspoons per Cup or 4 teaspoons in a typical package of 2 cups. By the way, the Peanut Butter cups were being pitched by Olympic skier Lindsay Vonn.

What’s the message we are sending? If you work hard and stay focused you too can become an Olympian. But in the meantime, eat a whole bunch of sugar and get fat and sick. Don’t worry though because these great athletes you are watching are telling you it is okay.

 

Is Chocolate Milk Really A Great Recovery Drink?

The Tour De France and USA Swimming seem to say yes...

Screen Shot 2016-07-24 at 4.26.13 PMThe Tour De France came to its exiting finish today in France. Britian’s Chris Froome won his third Tour. If you watched this year you would have probably seen multiple commercials touting Chocolate Milk as a great recovery drink for athletes. Believe it or not it is actually the official recovery drink of USA Swimming.

Is this really true. Well, milk is not a bad choice as long as you are not lactose intolerant. However, it is the chocolate part that is the problem.

All chocolate milk can be a bit different based on what you use for milk (1%, 2%, whole milk) and what you use for flavoring. Since TruMoo Chocolate Milk touts USA Swimming on their website, let’s use them as a representative of the beverage.

The ingredients found in one (1) cup of TruMoo Chocolate Milk include Low Fat Milk, Sugar, Cocoa, Corn Starch (more Sugar), Salt, Carrageenen (a questionable filler) and then some natural flavors and added vitamins.

There are 18 grams of Sugar which equates to over 4 teaspoons of Sugar in this cup of chocolate milk! This is in one (1) cup remember and a TruMoo bottle actually contains 12 oz.  So, in a typical bottle of TruMoo Chocolate Milk we find 27 grams of sugar or almost 6 teaspoons. This is approximately what the World Health Organization recommends that an adult consume in an entire day. Chocolate Milk is providing as much sugar as you should be consuming in an entire day in one bottle. Doesn’t sound like a great thing to be drinking to recover from exercise.

Additionally the intake of all of this excess sugar creates a massive influx of insulin and inflammation both of which are not a great idea for post exercise. According to Harvard Medical School, “The bolus of blood sugar that accompanies a meal or snack of highly refined carbohydrates (white bread, white rice, French fries, sugar-laden soda, etc.) increases levels of inflammatory messengers called cytokines.”

Finally, back to that pesky Carrageenen. This filler also seems to be linked to excess inflammation in the body. 

Great. Give me a bottle of refined sugar that ramps up insulin and inflammation just when my body doesn’t need it.

So what do you drink to recover? Try water. If you have been exercising for more than about 2 hours find a drink that provides electrolytes and some protein without all of the sugar.

How about you. What do you drink after a workout?

 

Why these rocks motivate me more than anything else

Rocks. Volcanic Rocks. I picked up these rocks while sitting at the side of the volcanic crater near the top Mt. Baker in the Northern Cascades in Washington State. So why do they motivate me?

Volcanic Rocks from Mt. Baker

Volcanic rocks from Mt Baker

I picked up these rocks while sitting and waiting for my team to go up to the summit of Mt. Baker  and come back while I stayed behind because my legs were cramping and I was exhausted. While sitting there, I thought that I must be dehydrated or reacting badly to the altitude, or maybe just unlucky or as my kind guide said “having a bad day”. But then I realized that there were really only two reasons for not making it to the top. 1) Mental – I was not strong enough mentally and could have prepared better through visualization, meditation or any of the other various ways you can get mentally stronger; and 2) Physical – even though I worked out hard and frequently and tried to do what the AlpineAscents guides told me, I didn’t do enough.

There is one rock by the way next to my bed and one next to my bed just so I don’t forget.

Volcanic crater near the top of Mt Baker

Volcanic crater near the top of Mt Baker

PS. Another thing I learned climbing Mt. Baker is that you can never have too many gallon Ziploc bags.

PSS. If you are considering giving climbing a mountain a shot but want to do it in a controlled and safe way, I would highly recommend calling the AlpineAscents International in Seattle. Let me know if you need any more information about Mt Baker or climbing in general. So what motivates you every day?

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Please consider sponsoring BoomerangFit’s climb of Mt Baker to raise money for the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund by clicking HERE. Since its founding, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has contributed more than $38,000,000 to research, and its funded initiatives have been responsible for a number of key breakthroughs. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund supports some of the best scientific minds in the field of Alzheimer’s research. Fully 100 percent of funds raised by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund go directly to research—the Board of Directors covers all overhead expenses.

Getting Baby Boomers Moving Again

More Press for BoomerangFit

BoomerangFit is again profiled in the local southeaster Massachusetts press. This time the story was in Sippican Week. The article talks about how we are focused on motivating Baby Boomers and those close enough in agMassasoit State Park 5k 2016 e not to give in to the “inevitable” post 50s decline. You can stay mobile and active after 50 with some people committing to getting back to the shape they were in back in college. It is important to stay motivated, to keep moving and to continue to challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone.

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Please consider sponsoring BoomerangFit’s climb of Mt Baker to raise money for the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund by clicking HERE. Since its founding, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has contributed more than $38,000,000 to research, and its funded initiatives have been responsible for a number of key breakthroughs. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund supports some of the best scientific minds in the field of Alzheimer’s research. Fully 100 percent of funds raised by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund go directly to research—the Board of Directors covers all overhead expenses.

Outrunning, Out-Climbing Alzheimer’s

Boomerangfit in the News!

Boomerangfit and our upcoming climb of Mt Baker to raise money for the CureAlzheimer’s Fund got some press this week in The Wanderer in southeastern MassArizona Spartan Raceachusetts.

In the article, Jean Perry writes about why we started BoomerangFit. First of all to motivate Baby Boomers to keep focused on staying active and attempting new challenges as we age while at the same time raising money to cure one of the diseases that will do the most damage to our generation: Alzheimer’s.

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Please consider sponsoring BoomerangFit’s climb of Mt Baker to raise money for the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund by clicking HERE. Since its founding, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has contributed more than $38,000,000 to research, and its funded initiatives have been responsible for a number of key breakthroughs. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund supports some of the best scientific minds in the field of Alzheimer’s research. Fully 100 percent of funds raised by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund go directly to research—the Board of Directors covers all overhead expenses.

 

Drop 35 Pounds in 4 Months

And be better at your job too

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Keith Krach (via Business Insider)

Losing 35 pounds in 4 months is pretty impressive. It sounds like it could be the title of a late night infomercial, but it isn’t.

This great feat was accomplished by Keith Krach, the CEO of tech company Docusign, and was highlighted recently in an article in Business Insider – Why the CEO of this $3 billion startup just dropped 35 points in 4 months.

What was more interesting is why he did it. “Krach says there wasn’t any clear motivation aside from an open-ended commitment he’d made with his two sons that he’d get in his best physical shape since college before the age of 60.”

This is a commitment we should all be making and is the commitment that is essentially at the crux of BoomerangFit. Lets all commit to ourselves, our families and our friends to get in the best physical shape that we have been in since college before we turn 60 or just pick and age that works for you. This is a fabulous goal and is more doable than most people think.

“Krach’s weight-loss regimen comprised of a strict low-carb/high-protein diet and a daily workout program that involved heavy lifting.”

After losing the weight Krach said that he could “narrow down the benefits to the following three reasons: high energy level, better sleep, and an improved clarity of thinking.”

What commitment will you make to yourself?

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Please consider sponsoring BoomerangFit’s climb of Mt Baker to raise money for the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund by clicking HERE. Since its founding, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has contributed more than $38,000,000 to research, and its funded initiatives have been responsible for a number of key breakthroughs. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund supports some of the best scientific minds in the field of Alzheimer’s research. Fully 100 percent of funds raised by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund go directly to research—the Board of Directors covers all overhead expenses.

How To Get Six Back Abs by Next Tuesday!

Six Pack AbsHave you ever seen or clicked on an ad like this? I saw one today for something similar and clicked on it to find out what they were saying.

It turns out it was an exercise and diet program for men over 40  and promised as advertised “6 Pack Abs”. Not by next Tuesday but you get the idea. By the way, any advertisement that promises that you can lose weight, reduce the size of your clothes or improve your health by only exercising and not improving your nutrition is simply not sustainable.

Given the proper amount of discipline, the right diet and an exercise program, I am sure it is possible for someone over 40 to get a six pack. The question is why would that be your goal?

From what I hear in talking to most people in their 40s and 50s, there are a number of things they would want before even considering six pack abs.

First and foremost, people in this age group tell me that they want to be “Fit”. What does this mean? Fit can mean in good health but can also mean to be prepared for something or some activity. My goal could be to be “fit” enough to walk around the block with my dog if now I can’t do that. My goal could be to be “fit” enough to climb a mountain such as I am currently focused on.

Fit for a purpose of course depends on your purpose. If your purpose is to be an underwear or bathing suit model six-pack abs could be a goal worth achieving. If your purpose is to live long enough to see your grandchildren graduate college or to be able to walk 18 holes or play tennis, your goals could be dramatically different. I would argue that striving for mobility, energy, being happy with how you look in general, fitting well into your clothes, etc all may be better goals than six pack abs.

What I hear second most often is that people want to get “into shape”. What does this mean? “Shape” to me implies the way you look not, for example, the way you feel or what you can do. A shape is a circle or a square or whatever shape that you interpret as being desirable for yourself. As we all probably know, you can be in a desirable shape while not being healthy or fit for any purpose.

So save your money and don’t click on the Six Pack Abs advertisements unless you truly believe that your goal should be to get one. If your goals are more reasonable such as being able to move comfortably, to have enough energy to achieve your other goals, to extend not only the length but also the quality of your life, then just eat as little added sugar and processed food as possible, move slowly often and lift something heavy and move quickly only occasionally.

Has anyone attempted a six-pack ab program? What were your results?

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Please consider sponsoring BoomerangFit’s climb of Mt Baker to raise money for the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund by clicking HERE. Since its founding, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has contributed more than $38,000,000 to research, and its funded initiatives have been responsible for a number of key breakthroughs. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund supports some of the best scientific minds in the field of Alzheimer’s research. Fully 100 percent of funds raised by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund go directly to research—the Board of Directors covers all overhead expenses.

Guaranteed Way to Succeed

It is simple but not easy!

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 10.28.14 AMThere is a Japanese proverb that states “Fall down seven times, stand up eight.”

To me this probably the key to accomplishing anything. Some people might use a different saying such as “If at first, you don’t succeed, try try again.”

Either way, the point is don’t give up. The problem here is that this is a lot harder than it looks for two main reasons in my view:

One: giving up is harder than not giving up. Not giving up requires gumption or stick-to-itiveness or sisu (if you are Finnish) or Grit or whatever you want to call it. There is a great book out on this subject called Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth that is definitely worth a read or a listen if you want to understand how to get better at not giving up.

Two: the other aspect of giving up refers to what you are not giving up on. At some point it might be worth giving up on a secondary goal or a “means” goal in order to continue being focused on a primary goal or an “end” goal. For example, if my end goal is to travel more, I could get there in many different ways. I could become a travel agent. I could create a job for myself that allows me to be paid to travel like a travel writer or I could build something and sell it for a great value and then travel whenever I want. Each of these means goals gets me to the same end of traveling more. However, I may want to give up on becoming a travel agent someday if I come across a great opportunity to be a travel writer now but I would never give up on the goal of traveling more. Does this make sense? It is also very important to pick the right end goals based on your own vision. There is a great book that walks you through this process called The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms by Vishen Lakhiani.

So, what do you need to know to succeed at any goal.

  1. Pick an End Goal that is meaningful and aligned with your passion, principles and vision and never give up on this.
  2. Pick a Means Goal to get you to the End goal. These can change based on experience and circumstances.
  3. Figure out what you need to do every day to reach the above goals.
  4. Do these things every day.
  5. Don’t stop!

What kind of experiences have you have with goals and not giving up?

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Please consider sponsoring BoomerangFit’s climb of Mt Baker to raise money for the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund by clicking HERE. Since its founding, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has contributed more than $38,000,000 to research, and its funded initiatives have been responsible for a number of key breakthroughs. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund supports some of the best scientific minds in the field of Alzheimer’s research. Fully 100 percent of funds raised by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund go directly to research—the Board of Directors covers all overhead expenses.