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.

Grads & Dads Watch This Video Today!

You other folks can watch it too . . .

Here is a recording of one of the best commencement speeches around save maybe Steve Jobs’ at Stanford. The speaker is Naval Admiral William McRaven, a former commander of Special Operations and a Navy Seal.

What other great commencement speeches or for that matter TED talks etc have you seen that you found motivating?

Is Coconut Oil Really Bad for You?

American Heart Association says it is.

Long a staple of the health conscious community and low carb fans, coconut oil has recently come under attack by the American Heart Association.

“Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of CVD [cardiovascular disease], and has no known offsetting favorable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil,” the American Heart Association said in the Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease advisory.

Unfortunately there are a couple of problems with this statement.

  1. Eating cholesterol doesn’t increase your cholesterol. Apparently the body is pretty good at regulating the amount of cholesterol in your blood. Your body manufactures most of what you need anyway and, if you are otherwise healthy, eating foods that contain cholesterol shouldn’t matter. “The body creates cholesterol in amounts much larger than what you can eat, says Dr. Steven Nissen on the website of the Cleveland Clinic. So avoiding foods that are high in cholesterol won’t affect your blood cholesterol levels very much.” Actually cholesterol plays a very important role in our bodies and is involved in creating cell walls, sex hormones and vitamin D among many other things. Perhaps this is why there are seemingly so many side effects from cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins.
  2. High cholesterol doesn’t seem to cause heart disease. According to an article in the Telegraph in the UK last year, “Cholesterol does not cause heart disease in the elderly and trying to reduce it with drugs like statins is a waste of time, an international group of experts has claimed. A review of research involving nearly 70,000 people found there was no link between what has traditionally been considered “bad” cholesterol and the premature deaths of over 60-year-olds from cardiovascular disease. Published in the BMJ Open journal, the new study found that 92 percent of people with a high cholesterol level actually lived longer.”

So, what are people to think?

It appears based on the most recent studies that it is inflammation that causes heart disease and this inflammation by and large is probably coming from eating sugar and processed foods and too much stress. Stay away as much as possible from Sugar and Processed Foods and try to reduce stress through meditation, better sleep and exercise.

Another big red flag is the number of big food and big sugar companies that are sponsors of the American Heart Association. It certainly be good for them to come out in favor of eating less cereal.

What do you think? Do you consume coconut oil? Would you reconsider that decision now?

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.

 

Can you avoid the side effects of pharmaceuticals?

Nature has some alternatives...

A fairly common treatment for respiratory issues is Prednisone. Unfortunately, like many drugs today, this treatment comes with a long list of potential side effects.

Among the side effects listed on Drugs.com are the following.
* blurred vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
* swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath;
* severe depression and seizures (convulsions);
* coughing up blood;
* pancreatitis;
* low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling); or
* dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

As would be expected, many people would like to avoid these side effects and somehow try to treat their issues and symptoms more naturally. Unfortunately most doctors are either not aware of the more natural options or are discouraged from recommending them due to risk of malpractice law suits and insurance headaches. So what are people to do if they want to try to help themselves before submitting to pharmaceuticals and surgery.

In many cases, health issues can be address through changing the way you eat and adding in some exercise. Don’t use the D word – Diet – because you don’t necessarily need to go on a diet to feel better and be healthier. Just change some of the things you eat. To start just eat less processed food and less added sugar. Eat a lot of vegetables and some fruit, add in grass-fed and organic meat if you aren’t vegetarian or vegan. Don’t eat things in a can or a bag with a lot of ingredients you can’t pronounce.

On the exercise side, you really just need to walk regularly and maybe occassionally speed up beyond your typical pace, go up and down stairs or up and down a hill, whatever you can accomplish without going into too much distress.

Additionally, you need to take responsibility for your life and educate yourself on what is available beyond what the medical community is willing or able to offer. Other cultures have been using alternative therapies for 100s if not 1000s of years with great success so why not give it a try. Talk to knowledgable alternative therapy practitioners or to other people in your community with similar challenges. Try something new.

A great example is Dry Salt Therapy or Halotherapy. Due to its natural anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and absorbent qualities, salt has been used medicinally for 3 thousand years, all the back to ancient Egypt. More recently in about the 13th century, people in Eastern Europe discovered that salt miners tended to not get sick and to not have any respiratory or skin issues like others in the community. Now we have figured out how to take what is good from the salt mine and make it available to everyone through Dry Salt Therapy or Halotherapy.

Halotherapy is simply breathing in very fine particles of pure dry salt to reduce inflammation, reduce the affect of any microbes you have breathed in as well as absorbing what is in your lungs and helping you expectorate it out of your body.

If you are on the Southcoast of Massachusetts and would like to try Dry Salt Therapy, CLICK HERE TO BOOK.

How are you different and why does it matter?

Getting fit can mean something different for everyone

How many people have a New Year’s Resolution to get fit or lose weight?

What does that mean? Since we are all different, it should mean something a little different for everyone. First of all, you need to set some reasonable doable goals and second you need to create some metrics and activities to hold yourself accountable and to measure your success.

Lets start with fitness or getting fit. Get fit for what? To run a marathon, to walk up and down the stairs in you house or to keep up with your kids or grandkids on the sledding hill.  This could be anything from lowering your PR in that marathon to not having to stop on the stairs to catch your breath on the way up.  If you reach the goal early, just set another one. Make them reasonable and measurable.

If you don’t think you can do it because your too old or too broken, think again. Jere’ Longman recently profiled, Ed Whitlock in the NY Times. Ed is an 85 year old runner who recently ran a marathon in under 4 hours. In fact, Ed was the first person older than 70 to have run a marathon under 3 hours. This is amazing and should be sufficient to get you off the couch no matter how old you are.

Now on to weight loss. Is weight loss your actual goal or are you more interested in how you feel or how you look in clothes. Again everyone is different. If you work out enough and eat right you could gain muscle and lose fat but not lose any weight as muscle weighs more than fat. So perhaps the right metric isn’t the scale but perhaps it is a measuring tape or your favorite pants that don’t fit anymore. If your doctor told you to lose weight, ask why? Is it to lower your cholesterol or blood pressure? You can probably do both of those things using nutrition and exercise without necessarily losing weight.

The final question is what do you mean by eat right or proper nutrition. Again, everyone is different. Some people are Vegans or vegetarians, others will never stop eating meat. One thing it seems everyone can agree on though is to eat less added sugar and processed foods. Start there and see how it works. Add it 3-4 times a week of exercise at some level and then just continue to add on as you improve or get bored. Good Luck!

Comment below on what your resolutions are for 2017?

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Could Five Minutes Change Your Life?

office-walking

Many of us work all day at an office and sit down for most of that time. Recently, we have heard that sitting is the new smoking and that we need to stand up all day, maybe even buy a standing desk.

Full disclosure: I use a standing desk and find it to be worthwhile. You can find out more about that HERE. A new study, however, has found that you might not need to go that far.

According to a study cited in a recent NY Times article by Gretchen Reynolds, “standing up and walking around for five minutes every hour during the workday could lift your mood, combat lethargy without reducing focus and attention, and even dull hunger pangs”.

“The study, which also found that frequent, brief walking breaks were more effective at improving well-being than a single, longer walk before work, could provide the basis for a simple, realistic New Year’s exercise resolution for those of us bound to our desks all day.”

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Get Up, Stand Up, Stand Up for Your Life

What one exercise can help you live longer?

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-2-45-09-pmTo paraphrase the classic Bob Marley song, being able to get up off the floor, to stand from a sitting position, can be a great predictor of how long you will live.

In a article I just found in Outside Magazine entitled Why You Need to Be Doing BurpeesMichael Joyner MD from the Mayo Clinic sites a study from Brazil that indicates that “there was a clear relationship between how easy it was for people to get off the floor and how long they lived.” If you are interested in the study, click through above to the Outside article and there is a link.

Dr Joyner goes on to say that Grip Strength is another great predictor of longevity. Additionally, in my experience balance is another skill that will go quickly as you age if you don’t stay on top of it.

So, what can you do? Are just doomed to dwindle away with old age? NO.

As the article’s title implies, if you want to get good at or stay good at getting up and down off the floor then you should practice. Here’s some ideas:

  1. Good old fashioned burpees. If you don’t now what a burpee is, HERE is a link to a great instructional video courtesy of the coaches at the Spartan Obstacle Race group. If you don’t know what Spartan Race is, you should check it out HERE and you should go try one. There are races all over the country as well as coaches certified to help you succeed all on their website. I have done 5 of them so far and they are a great challenge to get you off the couch.
  2. Turkish Get Ups. The Turkish Get Up is a fairly old exercise that I found out about when I got my Kettle Bell Certification through the RKC. HERE is a video that shows you the steps. Try it with no weight at first and then you can add weights via a kettle bell or dumb bell.
  3. Just get up and down off of the floor. No Frills. Lie down on your stomach and stand up. Lie down on your back and then stand up. Or, as I learned at seminar from legendary coach Dan John, challenge yourself to get up and down off the floor using only one arm or no arms, etc. Mix it up. Take your time and when this gets easy try the two exercises above.

So what about Balance and Grip Strength. Well, balance can be improved by the drills above as well as simply standing on one foot, or standing on one foot and closing your eyes. Try standing on one foot and closing your eyes while you brush your teeth. As for Grip Strength, get a something grip while sitting at your desk or in the car like a tennis ball or grip strength device like the Captains of Crush Gripper. Or, simply hang from a bar, do pull ups or dead lifts.

What exercises do you do everyday?

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Don’t Throw Away Your Stinky Workout Gear. Try This First!

     If you are like me, you have to keep your used workout gear in a separate room from where you live and sleep until laundry day.

DeFunkit

     Then, even though it smells okay when it comes out of the wash, it really starts to stink once you get warmed up and start to sweat. And when you are finished, you and your clothes are banished to the far reaches of your home. But I don’t want to throw away perfectly good work out gear just because it smells.
     It turns out there is a really good reason for this behavior and better yet a way to deal with it that doesn’t include throwing out your favorite gear, buying new gear or an expensive divorce.
     Bacteria and other microbes latch on to the microfiber fabric that makes up most workout gear. Remember cotton. Didn’t smell as much but it has its own problems. So regular washing doesn’t break this bond between that which smells and your clothes, it just hides it until you start to sweat again.
     Other things I have tried in the past like soaking my workout gear in vinegar have worked to get the stink out because it kills the bacteria but it didn’t stop it from coming back.
     Now I have found a way to both remove the stuff that smells and stop it from coming back with DeFunkit. I have tried this myself with gear that needed to be hung up outside for days after each workout and it did the job. It is a bit expensive but realize that you have to wash gear using this system once to rid it of the bacteria and block it from coming back. After that you just wash normally.
     Give it a try and come back to tell us how it worked….

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