Posts Tagged ‘health’

Credo to regain the strength and health of my hunter-gatherer ancestors

February 19, 2017

Technology changes rapidly but our biology, our bodies change slowly. Our bodies are essentially the same as 10,000 years ago. 10,000 years ago humans were stronger and healthier. I wish to regain the strength and health of my hunter-gatherer ancestors. To do so, I will emulate their conditions:

  1. I will take a cold shower each day to emulate the environmental extremes that my hunter-gatherer ancestors dealt with.
  2. I will fast on water every Sunday to emulate the periods without food that my hunter-gatherer ancestors endured.
  3. I will go barefoot as much as possible and run my feet over lacrosse balls to emulate the lack of footwear of my hunter-gatherer ancestors.
  4. I will walk outdoors for an hour each day to emulate the long distances that my hunter-gatherer ancestors traveled each day.
  5. I will lift heavy weights to emulate the hard work that my hunter-gatherer ancestors performed each day.
  6. I will eat fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and meat to emulate the diet of my hunter-gatherer ancestors.

The three pillars of health – diet, exercise, and environmental training

January 14, 2017

A few extracts from the (excellent) book: What Doesn’t Kill Us: How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude, and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength by Scott Carney

For at least half a century the conventional wisdom about maintaining good physical health has rested on the twin pillars of diet and exercise. While those are no doubt vital, there’s an equally important, but completely ignored, third pillar – environmental training.

Once you arrive at high altitude, your body automatically produces more red blood cells to compensate for lower oxygen saturation. Move to an oppressively hot environment and your body will sweat out fewer salts over time and produce lower volumes of urine. Heat will also stimulate your cardiovascular system to become more efficient and increase evaporation and cooling. Yet no environmental extreme induces as many changes in human physiology as the cold does.

A plunge into ice-cold water not only triggers a number of processes to warm the body, but also tweaks insulin production, tightens the circulatory system, and heightens mental awareness. A person actually has to get uncomfortable and experience that frigid cold if they want to initiate those systems.

Despite all of our technology, our bodies are just not ready for a world so completely tamed by our desire for comfort. Without stimulation, the responses that were designed to fight environmental challenges don’t always lie dormant. Sometimes they turn inward and wreak havoc on our insides. An entire field of medical research on autoimmune diseases suggests they originate from fundamental disconnect between the outside world and an under stimulated biology.

My journey to consume one gallon of water each day

January 2, 2017

Last November I decided to drink more water. Experts say that you should drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day. So for me, I should drink between 8 – 16 cups of water each day. 16 cups = 1 gallon. So I decided to shoot for drinking 16 cups (1 gallon) of water each day. The chart below shows my progress. The worst day was 7 cups, the best day was 14 cups. I learned early on that it’s much easier to consume warm water than cold water, so I warm up each cup that I drink. Lately I have been putting 1 tsp. of baking soda into a cup of water (once or twice daily). I read that that is supposed to be beneficial, although I don’t know how. I still haven’t reached my goal of 16 cups, but I am happy with the progress that I’ve made.

Water Consumption

The health risks of sitting, standing, or treadmilling for long periods

December 19, 2015

We’ve all heard about the perils of sitting for long periods of time. I agree. When I sit for long periods my back hurts and I become stiff. That’s not good.

Many people recommend using a standing desk. I have a standing desk. Standing is a welcome relief from sitting. But after standing for a while I get very stiff. That can’t be good.

Other people recommend walking slowly on a treadmill. I have a treadmill and have done this slow walking. After a month of using the treadmill every day I got deep pains in my hips. I realized that by walking on the treadmill I was working the same set of muscles over and over and over (repetitive stress). Clearly that’s not good.

Sitting for long periods is bad. Standing for long periods is bad. And treadmilling is bad.

What’s the solution? I’ve found the best solution is to change things up frequently: I kneel for 10 minutes, then stand for 10 minutes, then sit for 10 minutes, then get up and walk around for a few minutes. Then repeat.

Looking fit and being fit are not necessarily the same thing

November 15, 2015

In the late 19th century, Dudley Allen Sargent – virtually the founder of physical education in America – warned that without solid physical education programs, people would become fat, deformed, and clumsy.

Fitness has become accessory to the life of the modern man. It is up to each of us to exercise or not. Most people don’t, and being out of shape has become both ubiquitous and commonly accepted. It has become okay to be a physically soft, inept grown-up. Superficial, cosmetic improvements in body shape remains the primary motivation to the few who exercise, and gyms are filled with “mirror-athletes” — people obsessed with their own reflection.

But looking fit and being fit are not necessarily the same. Being fit is being capable of performing physically in the real world with effectiveness and efficiency, and especially when the situation and the environment are challenging.

More …

Go a whole MONTH without sitting

June 24, 2014

I just read a New York Times article by a fellow who went a whole month without sitting.

After reading the article I’ve decided to give it a go as well. I just moved my chair out of my office so I won’t be tempted to sit.

Will you join me for 30 days of no sitting?

Consider this:

Even if you’re active, even if you get up at five and do your P90X, if you sit six hours a day those benefits are negated.

If you spend more than 11 hours per day in a chair, you’ll increase your risk of dying in the next three years by 40 percent–even if you exercise.

When we sit for long periods of time, the enzymes responsible for burning fat shut down. Sitting too much can lower good cholesterol, HDL, and lead to a slower metabolism. In essence, sitting can cause the disease process.

Here’s the New York Times article:

How I overcame brain fog

July 21, 2012

13 months ago I started having brain fog.

It was a great effort to think. Seeing the light on a subject required penetrating a heavy fog in my brain.

I thought perhaps it was due to poor and insufficient sleep. So I got more and better sleep. No help. I sought help from my primary care physician. No help.

Finally, a month ago I decided to try essential oils. I went to the vitamin shop and purchased flaxseed oil, omega 3 oil, and safflower oil.

In one day my brain fog was gone!

It was amazing.

That was a month ago and still no brain fog. I take the oils every day now.

Here’s what I take. I am a big fan of the Solgar brand, so all that I mention are Solgar. (I have no affiliation with Solgar)

– Flaxseed Oil — 1250 mg
– Omega 3 — 700 mg
– Safflower oil — 3 capsules

Natural deodorant: Baking Soda versus Apple Cider Vinegar

November 19, 2011

For the last year I have been using baking soda as my deodorant.

It works pretty well. However, there are two downsides:

1. If I don’t wash it off at the end of the day then my underarm gets a rash.

2. It I do wash it off at the end of the day, the next morning my underarm stinks.

A few weeks ago I read that apple cider vinegar is a good deodorant, so I gave it a try. It works great. The downside is that I smell like apple cider vinegar for about 15 minutes. That’s okay. It has no smell after 15 minutes. The upside is the next morning my underarm doesn’t stink.

Which is a better natural deodorant – baking soda or apple cider vinegar? Answer: apple cider vinegar!

Update: I no longer use apple cider vinegar. It worked for about a month and then stopped working. I think it made my skin too acidic. In any case, I now exclusively use baking soda. It works well. I am very pleased with it.

Update (January 1, 2013): I just got this book, Salt, Lemons, Vinegar, and Baking Soda. It recommends making a deodorant from one part baking soda and one part corn starch. I am going to give that a try. The problem with just baking soda is that it falls off quickly. Perhaps the cornstarch will cause it to adhere a bit more.