Here's This Week's Quiz Including a
Special Holiday Question
- Which one of the following is not one of the recommendations of the American College of Sports Medicine to overcome sedentary behavior?
Which of these countries self-reports the fewest sedentary minutes a day?
- Active commuting
- Taking up gardening
- Standing desks and standing meetings at work
- Establishing movement cues
Thanksgiving was established by which president as a federal holiday in the United States? (Note: This answer in not in the newsletter. You'll have to look it up.)
At the movies, a tub of buttered popcorn has about how many calories?
It is more difficult to swallow when your body is already well-hydrated.
- Abraham Lincoln
- Thomas Jefferson
- Franklin Roosevelt
- Theodore Roosevelt
For years now we've heard that you need to drink a lot of water every day - at least eight 8-ounce glasses a day, we were told. And for years, I've said that is just wrong. I've maintained that for several thousand years, we did just fine relying on our bodies to tell us when we needed to drink water. That's what thirst is for. But no, said the experts, by the time you feel thirsty, you're already dehydrated.
It is my contention that this fixation with drinking water came along about 20 years ago with the appearance of bottled water on grocery store shelves. Coincidence? I doubt it.
Anyway, now we have some interesting news out of Melbourne, Australia. Two researchers there have found that our brains activate a "swallowing inhibitor" that actually makes it more difficult to swallow when your body is properly hydrated. You can test this yourself by drinking an 8-ounce glass of water when you are thirsty and when you are not. Most people will find that it's about three times more difficult to swallow the forced glass of water.
One of the researchers Associate Professor Michael Farrell of the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute in Melbourne summed it up this way, "If we just do what our body commands us to do, we'll probably get it right. Just drink according to thirst instead of on an elaborate schedule." Hmm. That sounds familiar.
Every once in a while I run across an article that I want to read just for fun, not because it's got some new or groundbreaking information that I need to learn and pass along. Such was the case with an article by Nikki Chavanelle on the Active.com website entitled "The 16 Most Annoying Things People Do at the Gym." Since I spend anywhere from six to ten hours a day in a gym, I read it to see how many of her list I agree with. Here's what I found:
- Stealing machines. I find this almost never happens. Most people are courteous enough to inquire whether I or my client is finished with a machine before getting on it.
- Hogging machines. This does happen frequently and it is very annoying. I've seen two people occupy one bench press rack for an hour, and this is in a small gym with only one bench/squat rack. Do you really need that tenth bench press set?
- Using more than two machines at once. I'd even go so far as saying that using more than one machine at one time is annoying if the gym is crowded. If you're going to superset, do it when there aren't many people in the gym.
- Dawdling. If you're using a machine and you're taking more than 60 seconds between sets, you're dawdling. Get moving already.
- Talking to me when I've got my headphones on. Ok, this one doesn't bother me, because I never wear headphones when I'm lifting weights.
- Not wiping down your machine. If you're sweaty, wipe it down. If not, you're just wasting time. That's the way I see it anyway.
- Trying to give advice. This doesn't bother me. I've learned some new techniques from others, but it bothers most people. I learned a long time ago, if somebody wants my advice about how to do an exercise, they'll ask for it. Otherwise, I'll stay out of their business.
- Talking on the phone. This one is really aggravating. There is nothing worse in a gym than having to listen to someone talking to their friend while they are strolling on a treadmill - unless it's somebody talking to their friend in a foreign language.
- Noticeably staring. Obviously this was written by a girl. Gals, you can stare at me all you want to.
- Taking selfies. I rarely see this in the gym. As a matter of fact, I don't think I ever have.
- Not re-racking your weights. If you've just benched 315 pounds, don't you think you could manage to take the weight plates off the bar? Or maybe you just want the next person to see how much you lifted.
- Excessive locker room nakedness. Old men are the worst about walking around naked in a locker room. But the worst of the bunch are the guys who stand at the sink and shave while they are buck naked. C'mon, grab a towel.
- Using the machine adjacent to someone else. I don't really understand this one. I don't know why that should bother anyone.
- Unnecessary grunting. Yeah, this can be real annoying, but I'm not gonna tell that guy to shut up.
- Standing right in front of the mirror. Maybe, but standing right in front of the weight rack is much more aggravating.
- Incredibly long showers. This is rarely a problem, because I don't shower at the gym very often and when I have, I've never had to wait for a shower stall to be available.
We all know that sedentary behavior (SED) is bad for our overall health. Sedentary individuals are more likely to have a larger waist circumference, elevated blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, and lower HDL (good) cholesterol.
Obviously, office workers or people who have to spend a lot of time in their cars are more likely to be sedentary than people who are on their feet at work. But even people who get plenty of exercise can be sedentary for large portions of the day. These people are called active couch potatoes, and they may be susceptible to some of the same problems as their less active peers.
SED is not limited to the United States. It's a world-wide problem. So which countries are the most sedentary? Of the eight countries surveyed, with women, Japan tops the list. Japanese women self-report 480 minutes a day of SED. Japan is followed by Canada and Spain, both with 300 minutes a day. Then Australia, the United States, and China are next with 240 minutes, then India (185) and Brazil (180).
The men's numbers are about the same: Japan (420), Spain, China, and Canada (300), The US, India, and Australia (240), and Brazil (180).
Here are a few things the American College of Sports Medicine recommends to combat SED:
Active commuting which is walking or biking to work or at least parking farther away and walking the rest of the way.
Standing desks and standing meetings.
Automated reminders to get up and move around. This recommendation is good when you're at work or at home watching TV.
Establishing movement cues, such as using TV commercials as a reminder to get up and stretch or do some sit-ups or jumping jacks.
Research is uncovering promising data on how physical activity helps the body and mind heal and prevent cancer. Here are four facts you may not know about the relationship between exercise and cancer:
- Epinephrine released during exercise helps to circulate natural killer cells in tumors. These cells move into the bloodstream and infiltrate tumor cells, causing them to shrink.
- Active men and women have about a 30 to 40 percent lower risk of developing colorectal cancer compared with inactive individuals
- Trends show that high levels of moderate and vigorous physical activity during adolescence may be especially preventive against future cancers.
- Not exercising is actually a risk factor for cancer - like smoking.
If you plan on taking in a movie this holiday season, let me caution you against eating the concession food. There is not a single healthy option behind the glass counter, with the exception of bottled water.
Let's start with popcorn. Surely that can't be bad for you. In the 1950's when I was a kid, a box of movie popcorn (which cost a dime) held about 3 cups of popcorn and about 175 calories. Today's tub of butter popcorn (which cost about a week's salary) holds 21 cups and packs as much as 1700 calories and 116 grams of fat. In case you forgot, the maximum daily fat grams you should consume is about 65.
Here are some other movie snack samplers: An 8 ounce box of Reese's Pieces ... 1200 calories and 60 fat grams. A 6.75 ounce box of Skittles ... 765 calories and 9 fat grams. A 3.1 ounce box of Raisinets ... 380 calories and 16 grams of fat. And a 3 ounce box of Mild Duds ... 340 calories and 12 grams of fat.
Oh, and that 32 ounce Coke, a bargain at $3, has 400 calories and almost 27 spoonfuls of sugar in it.
We're about two weeks away from Thanksgiving Day, so I thought I'd take a moment and reflect on a few things that I'm thankful for. I'm never done this publicly before, and by no means is the list exhaustive, but here goes in the order of importance:
- I'm thankful that God loves me so much he sent Jesus to die for me.
- I'm thankful for Michelle, the best wife in the world.
- I'm thankful for two great kids, Darby and Tanner, both of whom love the Lord.
- I'm thankful that I live in the United States, and I pray that this great country will remain true to the values which made it great in the first place.
- I'm thankful for two good lifelong friends who go back to my high school and college days, and for many other friends of more recent vintage.
- I'm thankful for my family's good health, for food to eat, a home that's comfortable, cars that run, and money enough, but not too much.
- I'm thankful for a job I love and clients that keep me loving it.
Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Nutrition Specialist
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