May 28, 2009


To say that I was skeptical would be a gross understatement. The only reason I continued to read the information was because it was written by a medical doctor. Like you, I still occasionally buy into the theory that MD's are Gods with a small "g" - just ask one. What he had to say was so totally different than anything I understood to be the truth about physical fitness, routines and workout theory that I couldn't stop myself from reading on. As I continued reviewing the remarkable information, it slowly began to make sense in a common sense sort of way.

There is a bit of a disconnect between what our bodies were originally designed to accomplish and what has evolved into modern fitness practices. I started working out in high school and have sporadically dragged myself into a gym or out on a roadway or hiking path since then with the goal of "getting into shape." I always thought that the right approach was to continually push myself to lift more weight more frequently, jog further and more often, to the point where workouts would run into an hour and more, not counting travel time. Like so many others, I would simply get tired of doing this every day or other day, get pressed for time to fit it in or injure myself from the repetitive strain and eventually the whole process would grind to a halt.

Dr. Al Sears, MD is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Youth Sports Coaches Association and an ACE certified fitness trainer. In addition, he has a worldwide readership of millions from over 123 countries and has appeared on over 50 national radio programs, ABC, CNN amd ESPN. He lives in Florida where he has helped transform the lives of over 20,000 patients. I originally heard about him from another doctor whom I highly respect for his commitment to functional medicine and began to read Dr. Sears' reports and research. He made so much sense when he described how and why our bodies respond to workload (physical training) stress and why it is so often counter-productive and entirely too time consuming. Here's the crux of his program: our bodies are designed for short bursts of intense energy and strength based on our ancient need to escape the many dangers that lurked around us. When ancient homo sapiens began walking upright, we weren't the most dangerous animal in the woods. We didn't have guns, bows and arrows, smart bombs and night vision binoculars. We had 2 things - our wits and our legs, and they both needed to work very fast or we became dinner for some sabre toothed tiger. We have been smart enough, as a species over the centuries, to change the landscape and climb to the top of the food chain based on our intelligence, but our bodies are still designed for escape. This is why the largest muscles in our body exist in our legs and why we need to make sure they remain the strongest.

Dr. Sears presents a program designed to use the inherent qualities of our body rather than fight against our natural needs by forcing our muscles into performing long and damaging training routines that are actually doing more harm than good. Here's the good news - he offers a series of excercise modules that are done in 10-12 minutes - and that's 10 minutes per day! In addition to specific recommendations, he gives his readers all sorts of options and skills to create the strong, lean bodies that are hiding inside each of us. He includes charting formats to track progress and keep us not only on track but always changing the elements of a workout routine to keep us fresh and more importantly, healthier, stronger and happier. You will learn and experience why it is better to spend 90 seconds in intense exercise and then 2 minutes of rest. You will see why our bodies continue to use up fat stores hours after our routines have ended when we set them up to do so. I know this to be true because I have experienced it personally. Following Dr. Sears' program along with a diet that is very low in processed foods has allowed me to lose 40 pounds in 4 months and I am now stronger and healthier than I was when I hiked the 45 mile West Coast Trail, 5 years ago.

I strongly recommend going to Dr. Sears' website and checking out his book - Rediscover Your Native Fitness. I had been spending a little over an hour a day in a combination of aerobic and weight training and must admit, I was making some progress but sometimes the time commitment made it very impractical. I could see myself falling into an old rut of changing my routine to every other day and then missing a long weekend and so on and so on until I was back to waving a golf club at a ball once a week and calling it exercise. The PACE program, introduced in Dr. Sears' book, made the whole "getting into shape" deal manageable and realistic. Honestly, I no longer dread going down to the basement and slugging it out on the treadmill for an hour or worse, getting in my car, going to the gym (with all of those annoyingly athletic hard bodies), changing my clothes, finding a machine, cleaning it, changing the weights to a lighter number, doing a set, watching while someone else claims and adjusts it, cleaning it again, doing set number 2 and after an hour or so of this, changing my clothes, driving home and making dinner. I'm exhausted just writing about it! Now, I hit the exercise mat or the treadmill for 12 minutes, relax on the deck afterwards while soaking up a little vitamin D and I'm getting better results, feeling better, looking better and losing weight.

I've dialed up the intensity and dialed down the time spent. This program works for me and I know it will work for you too. It is ideal for people who are a little more mature (in years) and who want to get on with life and don't require the social "possibilities" of working out in a gym...not that there is anything wrong with that. Let's face it, we could still go to the gym, pay our money and use this program to get incredibly fit and have a little more time to stand around and admire ourselves and others. Perhaps I should install a mirror in my basement.

May 27, 2009


Meta-analysis finds lower risk of stroke among tea drinkers:

The results of a meta-analysis published in the May 1, 2009 issue of the American Heart Association journal Stroke revealed that men and women who consumed at least three cups of green or black tea per day had a lower risk of stroke than those who consumed less than one cup.
For their review, Lenore Arab, PhD and her colleagues at UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine selected 9 epidemiological studies that included data on tea intake and fatal or nonfatal stroke outcomes. The studies included a total of 194,965 participants in 6 different countries, among whom 4,378 strokes occurred.
The pooled analysis uncovered a 21 percent lower risk of fatal or nonfatal stroke among those who consumed three or more cups of tea per day compared to those whose intake was reported at less than one cup per day. The findings involved participants from diverse geographical areas and were consistent whether green or black tea was consumed.
Although the analysis did not break down stroke according to type, the authors believe that the association observed is likely to be due primarily to tea's effect on ischemic stroke. In their discussion of possible mechanisms for tea against stroke, they note that although tea's antioxidant and anti-inflammatory actions are frequently cited, green and black tea have also been demonstrated to reduce blood pressure in an experimental model of hypertension, a condition that is a strong risk factor for stroke. Additionally, tea has been shown to enhance endothelial function, which, when reduced, impairs cerebral blood flow. Furthermore, a compound found in tea known as theanine readily crosses into the brain, where it may provide a neuroprotective effect.
"The observational, epidemiological research in humans is strongly supportive of the hypothesis that tea consumption, at the level of greater than or equal to 3 cups per day, either as green or black tea, reduces the risk of occurrence of stroke, stroke volume, and mortality from stroke," the authors conclude.

May 25, 2009


OK Health Full Boomers, especially those of you who are spending a significant portion of your days in front of a computer screen. Here's some very sound advice and I should add that stretching is one of my 6 steps to becomming a Health Full Boomer and yes, there will be a test one day...

This advice comes from a friend of this corner, Dr. Al Sears. For daily stretching, you should focus on three areas of the body. These are the areas that tend to get the most strain from your daily activities, such as sitting at a desk all day:

The front of your shoulders
The front of your hips
Your back

Here are my favorite three stretches from The Stretching Institute that are great for your shoulders, hips, and back. Try them out for yourself.

Reverse Shoulder Stretch: You need to stretch these muscles because they shorten from most types of work like lifting, throwing, running, walking, jumping, and swimming.
How To: Stand upright and clasp your hands together behind your back. Keep your arms straight and slowly lift your hands upward.

Lying Crossover Knee Pull Down Stretch: You need to stretch your hips because sitting causes shortening of the muscles of the front of the hip, particularly if you sit for long periods. And stretching your hip flexors muscles several times a week will also help prevent lower back pain.
How To: Lie on your back and cross one leg over the other. Bring your foot up to your opposite knee and with your opposite arm gently push your raised knee down towards the ground. Repeat with the other leg.

Lying Knee-to-Chest Stretch: Stretching your back gives you more mobility, which improves athletic ability. And, it helps to eliminate back pain by improving posture.How To: Lie on your back and keep one leg flat on the ground. Use your hands to bring your other knee into your chest. Repeat with the other leg.

For maximum benefit you should hold your stretches for at least 20 seconds. And do 3 to 5 reps for each muscle group.

There you have it - todays good health lesson.

May 23, 2009


Welcome to the HEALTH FULL BOOMER! I'm not sure how you found me but I am very glad that you did and I should probably say this right away. If you are not a "boomer," that's just fine with me. There are no security checks or admission requirements, but some of what you will read here may just be very valuable to you, too. Think of it this way, all that advice that we received from our parents, teachers and other "old people," you know, the stuff we didn't listen to, didn't want to hear again, was just plain boring and oh, so OLD. Well, for Pete's sake, don't tell them now but maybe, just maybe, some of it might have been worth following...if only someone COOL had told me. Don't mistake me for cool but some of the people I will introduce you to in these pages, are cool to the extreme. So, here are the 5 W's of the HEALTH FULL BOOMER.

WHO: You can check my profile for some of the more mundane things but here's the deal; I don't think I ever really left school even though there are a few periods in my life when I thought that I knew everything. For a large part of my 60+ years I have been an addicted reader. It started at the breakfast table with cereal boxes and has become a progressively more compulsive behaviour as the years have passed until I discovered the internet. Now, it rages in my hormones like a drug addiction - I can't seem to get enough. As I get closer to that so-called retirement age, my reading has begun to focus on things related to our health - all kinds of health, physical, mental, fiscal, spiritual and anything else I can squeeze into that category. I read a very wide variety of sources and find connections, opportunities and information that present some very exciting and valuable possibilities for people to explore.

WHAT: The HEALTH FULL BOOMER is a place to present this information in language that takes the mystery out of research, the complexity out of technology and the hours out of boring investigation so that you can find what you need to know in your own life to be full of health. As often as possible, we will offer free reports that distill the facts about all sorts of things including exercise, nutrition, money, travel and whatever else strikes my fancy or yours. Send your request through the "comments" format of this blog.

WHERE: Somehow or other you have found yourself here and if you feel that what is reported in this space is, or will be valuable, then add this site to your favourites and come back every few days. There are much easier ways to access this spot though and without having to remember to do so. If you use Google, then on the homepage of your search engine, look for a link that says "Reader" where you can create an automatic feed from this site - follow the directions you find there but you might want to save this address first. Other search engines have similar programs. We will soon be adding an option, depending on response, that will allow you to add your email address to our subscription program and receive each and every posting absolutely FREE.

WHEN: I don't expect to publish a post on a daily basis but only as valuable information becomes available that you will find is important and worthwhile. There are millions of words added to the internet daily and just as much published by conventional means and it is impossible to digest all of it and introduce it to you every single day. That is why we will do so only when it makes sense and we have something that is important enough to access your valuable time. That is why opting into our subscription program will be your best way to utilize this service.

WHY: Here are my 5 main strengths according to a very recent assessment that I did;
Input - "...craving to know more...collect and archive all kinds of information."
Ideation - "...fascinated with ideas...finds connections between seemingly disparate phenomena."
Intellection - "...intellectual activity...appreciate intellectual discussions."
Empathy - "...sense feelings and imagining themselves in others' lives or situations." a need to help.
Futuristic - "...inspired by what could of the future."

Those characteristics of who I am really sum it all up and provide the reason I am presenting this forum to you. I especially love to read information that is both cutting edge and controversial and we now live in a time when technology makes it possible to find it without endless treks to libraries and long lists of magazine subscriptions. The fact that I don't have a PHD in some esoteric area of study means that I have to keep asking or researching a subject in order to understand it - it also means that you get to leverage my efforts by eliminating the need to do the same thing yourself. We will cut through the jargon to find out how revolutionary research affects our lives and what we can do about it right now. Mostly, we find out how we can benefit from all of this information about health - all kinds of health. Welcome to your life as a HEALTH FULL BOOMER !
If you find the prospect of what is in these pages interesting, then please forward our efforts to a friend - the more the merrier.