Stress is making you older. But what can you do about it?

“Stressful events in life, such as the death of a child, divorce or being fired, can age the brain by at least four years as reported by the BBC this week.

Don’t we have enough trouble already these days? Politics, global warming, health care, our kids coming back home to live with us and now we can’t just enjoy a little stress?

The study, reported at the recent Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London, looked at performance in memory and thinking tests of 1,300 people in their 50s to gauge brain health.

“Although the research could not establish any direct link between stress and an increased risk of dementia, stressful experiences are known to have an impact on brain function, which could then lead to dementia in the longer term.”

Brain age and dementia could be linked but just as important we don’t want our brains to age prematurely any more than we want our muscles to atrophy and our mobility to be impaired. The idea is to not just increase lifespan but also to increase your “healthspan” – how long you can live while doing that which you enjoy whatever it is.

Stressful experiences across all groups included educational difficulties, financial insecurity, serious health problems and psychological trauma. The thinking goes that stress increases inflammation and that inflammation can cause premature aging of the brain. Inflammation is also probably a key factor in other major problems like cancer and heart disease.

So, now what? The most obvious thing to do is to reduce stress, right?  Good luck. Most people can’t just decide to reduce the stress in their lives. But if you can certainly try. Maybe kick that millennial kid out of the house. But what else can we do? The next best thing to reducing stress is to improve how your body reacts to it and two great ways to do that are meditation and exercise.

What strategies have you used to reduce stress?

For more information on how to stay motivated and to get back to the fitness for what you want to do to enjoy your life, REGISTER HERE for our newsletter.

What does a Stone Cat have to do with Alzheimer’s?

The Stone Cat Marathon and 50 mile trail races take place at Willowdale State Forest in Ipswich, MA. This year it happens on November 4th.  The name seems to have come from a brand of beer that might have originally sponsored the event or at least been imbibed afterwards. There is also a myth about a “stoned” cat that may or may not have been found wandering around the course at some point. This raises the question of how a cat gets stoned? Cat nip?

Either way, this year Team BoomerangFit will be participating this year in the Stone Cat Trail Marathon (26.2 miles) in order to raise money for the CureAlzeimer’s Fund.  If you want to join us in the run to raise money, you can register HERE. Registration is limited however so decide quick and let us know.

Alzheimer’s disease is a horrific fate for anyone, and I know this first hand because my grandmother, my mother, my aunt as well as several neighbors and friends have either died from or are now suffering from this horrible disease.

Today, 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, up to 16 million will have the disease. Payments for care in 2012 were estimated to be $200 billion. Without a cure, these figures will nearly triple by the year 2050 and most likely bankrupt the healthcare system as we know it.

Since its founding, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has contributed more than $56,000,000 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.

If you have been touched by Alzheimer’s Disease or simply want to help defeat this awful disease, please click HERE to donate.

 

Why the world is really in trouble?

Hint: It has nothing to do with Donald Trump

Climate change, taxes and health insurance and all of the other hot button issues of the moment are certainly important to the long-term success of our country and our world.

However, there are perhaps more imminent threats to our society that have less to do with Donald Trump and more to do with health, nutrition, exercise, inflammation, obesity and disease.

According to a new study published on July 6th, 2017 in the New England Journal of Medicine
, “more than 2 billion adults and children globally are overweight or obese and suffer health problems because of their weight.” That is Billion with a “B” and that is 30% of the entire world! And it is getting worse.

Furthermore, “the United States has the greatest percentage of obese children and young adults among the 195 countries and territories included in the study.”  We fret about destroying our children’s future with climate change and government debt, but what if they don’t live long enough to find out?

This isn’t just about weight gain or body mass index either. Diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes that are essentially directly linked to obesity and metabolic syndrome are growing as well. And, other diseases with indirect links to obesity, metabolic syndrome and nutrition like Cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease are also growing rapidly.

For example, today, 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, up to 16 million will have the disease. According to the CureAlzheimer’s Fund, payments for care in 2012 were estimated to be $200 billion. Without a cure, these figures will nearly triple by the year 2050 and would most likely bankrupt the healthcare system as we know it.

Alzheimer’s Disease alone could bankrupt the healthcare system. Then add in growing rates of Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, and the aging baby boom and it seems that we might just be re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic arguing over insurance premiums.

So what do we do? The easy answer is eat right and exercise more. In a nut shell, if the food or food-like substance is advertised on TV then you probably should eat less of it or cut it out completely. If it has a label that includes ingredients that you don’t recognize then don’t eat it. In general just eat less processed food and sugar. Oh and move more, stand up, walk, etc.

But we all know this isn’t easy or we would all do it. So, I have started a group called BoomerangFit that is focused primarily on helping people in their 40s and above including myself to eat better, get fit, reduce the likelihood of getting struck by disease and increasing the likelihood of enjoying a long, energetic and active life.

As a part of this group, you will get access to information, inspiration, motivation, reviews of books and equipment, interviews with masters athletes, coaches and other experts, tips and tricks as well as an invitation to participate in virtual and physical challenges to increase motivation and raise money for charities such as the CureAlzheimer’s Fund. If you would like to start today towards a healthier future for you and our world, click HERE.

What do you know about Ketones or Ketosis?

What are Ketones or Ketosis? You may have heard of it or even tried it but what is really going on?

When your body doesn’t have access to carbohydrates, your liver starts to turn your fat into these fancy molecules called Ketones. Your body can then burn these Ketones for energy instead of sugar. Your brain and heart do especially well burning Ketones for energy.  This happens naturally when you fast, when you don’t eat carbohydrates or even to a small extent when you sleep.

The Ketogenic Diet, or eating what will naturally create and burn Ketones, has been known for over 100 years. It was first studied as a way to treat seizures in children who had epilepsy and is still to this day used to treat epileptics that don’t respond to medication. The Ketogenic Diet also has a lot of other very positives effects such as weight loss, improving mental clarity, increasing energy and reducing muscle wasting when you age. It has also been discussed as a possible way to treat or avoid dementia. If you want more information on any of these things, just Google Ketogenic Diet and whatever effect you want more info on.

The biggest problem with Ketones and Ketosis is that you need to eat a very small amount of Carbohydrates every day to get there. By small amount, I mean 25-50 grams per day. Since Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram that is only 100-200 calories per day or maybe just one piece of bread or a big salad.

So, the question is, can you get some of the benefits of Ketones and Ketosis without eating such a minimal amount of Carbohydrates. The answer just might be yes. By drinking Ketones directly, your body can go into Ketosis and start to mimic what it does when you don’t eat Carbohydrates.

I just started working with a company called Pruvit that has created a Ketones product in partnership with some research scientists like Dom D’Agastino (HERE is a link to his TED Talk). If you would like to understand more about how it works, go to boomerangfit.experienceketo.com or send an email to ketones@boomerangfit.com.

 

Why MyFitnessPal drives me crazy

While I am not a big fan of food diaries as a long term tool, they can be useful for a number of reasons in the short term.  For example, if you are trying to build a new habit say of eating fewer carbs, tracking your intake for awhile can be useful. Or, if you are training for an event like I am training to climb a mountain in July, you can ensure that you are getting enough protein and carbs to support continued progress while ramping up training. The food diary I have been using is called MyFitnessPal. It has a great iPhone app, is now owned by Under Armour and it integrates with a number of exercise and fitness trackers.

Why a warning for Saturated Fat and not Sugar?

Why a warning for Saturated Fat and not Sugar?

What I don’t understand about MyFitnessPal, however, is their notification or warning system.

Selective Warnings

If I add a tablespoon of Coconut Oil to my daily food diary, I will get a warning notification that says: “This Food is High in Saturated Fat” with no explanation (see photo). A tablespoon of Coconut Oil has about 14 grams of Fat, mostly saturated, and 130 calories according to MyFitnessPal. If however, I add a Snickers Bar to my daily food diary, I get no yellow notification regarding Saturated Fat even though the amount of Saturated Fat is similar. What’s the difference?

Why No Warning for Sugar?

Additionally, a Snickers Bar contains 33 grams or 132 calories of sugar. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently reduced its recommended daily intake of sugar for a normal weight adult to 25 grams of sugar (this is per day remember). The Snickers Bar represents 132% of the recommended daily intake of sugar in one bar but there is no warning that says “This Food is High in Sugar”. Why not?

Is Saturated Fat Really A Problem

The next question is why does MyFitnessPal even have warnings for Saturated Fat when recent studies have shown that it is not as harmful as once thought and apparently doesn’t increase the incidence of heart disease. According to a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease, there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD (Coronary Hearth Disease) or CVD (Cardiovascular Disease). Additionally, where the Saturated Fat comes from can be very important. Does it come from industrial beef or grass fed beef, industrial pork or organic coconut oil? There is no difference according to MyFitnessPal. More on eating meat HERE.

Sugar is Really the Problem

Meanwhile, good old sugar is where the problem really lies but MyFitnessPal doesn’t deem it worthy of any warning or notification.  According to a study in JAMA Internal Medicine, “most US adults consume more added sugar than is recommended for a healthy diet” and “we observed a significant relationship between added sugar consumption and increased risk for CVD (Cardiovascular Disease) mortality.

MyFitnessPal Needs to Get with the Times

According to the latest research, Saturated Fat is not as bad as we once thought especially when it comes from a clean natural source such as Coconut Oil or Grass Fed Beef. Additionally, sugar is emerging as the true villain when it comes to obesity, metabolic syndrome and various diseases like Alzheimer’s Disease, Heart Disease and Cancer. So lets get with the program MyFitnessPal and start focusing more on guiding people away from sugar and less on fat that it turns out wasn’t so bad after all.

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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.

Team Boomerangfit to climb Mt Baker to Raise $$ for CureAlzheimers

Sunset at Mt Baker

Sunset at Mt Baker

Boomerangfit is a group of Baby Boomers committed to returning to the fitness we once had in our 20s and 30s. There is no reason we need to succumb to the “normal” ramifications of age if we eat right, move, exercise, sleep, laugh and enjoy life.  Additionally, we are committed to physical challenges that stretch our limits as well as help us raise money to for CureAlzheimers. Last year we focused on Spartan Obstacle races and this July we are climbing Mt Baker with the professional support of Alpine Ascents in Seattle. In the Cascade Mountains north of Seattle, Mt Baker stands 10,781 feet tall and our goal is to raise $1 per foot or $10,781 for the CureAlzheimers Fund. Click HERE if you would like to help.

Alzheimer’s Disease is a horrific fate for anyone and I know this first hand because my grandmother, my mother, my aunt as well as several neighbors and friends have either died from or are now suffering from this horrible disease.

Today, 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, up to 16 million will have the disease.  Payments for care in 2012 were estimated to be $200 billion. Without a cure, these figures will nearly triple by the year 2050 and most likely bankrupt the healthcare system as we know it.

Since its founding, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has contributed more than $28,300,000 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.

So please click HERE and help us make this terrible disease a thing of the past.

Alzheimer’s Can Happen to Anyone

Triathlon Cofounder Jack Johnstone Dies of Alzheimer's

All America Swimmer and co-founder of the Triathlon

All America Swimmer and co-founder of the Triathlon, Jack Johnstone

The world’s of triathlon and Alzheimer’s came crashing together yesterday when Jack Johnstone, the co-founder of the triathlon, died after battling Alzheimer’s since 2013.

An All-American swimmer, Johnstone took up running later in life and, in San Diego in 1977 with his friend Don Shanahan, started the sport of Triathlon. Now nearly 40 years later, triathlon has millions of participants in the U.S. alone and is an Olympic sport.

Today, 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, up to 16 million will have the disease.  Payments for care in 2012 were estimated to be $200 billion. Without a cure, these figures will nearly triple by the year 2050.  Aside from the horror of living with this disease or caring for people with it, we simply can’t afford this disease to continue to grow. Our healthcare system will go bankrupt.

If you are an athlete contemplating your 2016 goals and challenges, I urge you to consider combining these activities with raising money to cure Alzheimer’s. I lost my grandmother and my mother to this disease and my Aunt is now struggling with it as well. My brother and I are currently planning to climb Mt Baker in 2016 to raise money for CureAlzheimer’s. This mountain, out in the Northern Cascades in Washington state stands 10,781 feet tall so our fundraising goal will be $10,781.  If you would like to raise money through your active efforts this year or simply donate to our efforts, please click HERE

Team BoomerangFit Raising Funds for Charity

Doing Spartan Trifecta for the Cure Alzheimers Fund

CureAlzMy mother and grandmother both died of Alzheimer’s Disease and I witnessed what a horrible fate this can be for a person, their family and friends. Today, 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, up to 16 million will have the disease. Payments for care in 2012 were estimated to be $200 billion. Without a cure, these figures will nearly triple by the year 2050.

Since my mother passed away I have been raising funds to cure Alzheimer’s. My brother and I have recently formed a team of Baby Boomers called Team BoomerangFit. We are all trying to improve our health and fitness, reduce the likelihood of diseases like Alzheimer’s affecting our own lives as well as raising money for the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund. Our current challenge is a Spartan Trifecta – or three races with one of each the three distances – short, medium and long – in one year. Our third race will be the Spartan Beast (13 miles) in Killington, VT on September 19-20.

Since its founding, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has contributed more than $28,300,000 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.

Have you had any experience with Alzheimer’s Disease in your life?

Click HERE if you would like to support this great cause.

Subscribe Here to BoomerangFit if you want to commit to getting back your health and fitness!