Sunday, July 31, 2011

Fit and Thin Are Not The Same

From all walks of life, from people of all ages, I hear the statement, the question, the judgement:  That people who are large, or fat, or stout, or "zaftig" -- whatever the heck -- are unhealthy, unfit, worse still, unworthy in some intrinsic or even moral way.

Can obesity be unhealthy?  Certainly, when obesity is associated with a lack of regular exercise.  But not always so please, don't assume it -- research conducted by Steven Blair at the Cooper Institute for Aerobics, by Glenn Gaesser  at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, and David Levitsky at Cornell University demonstrates that fitness is attained regardless of weight.  I once hired a woman fitness instructor who was easily over 200 pounds to lead classes in my studio.  Boy, was she fit for the job... she was an energetic and engaging teacher, her choreography was fun and flowing, she was more flexible than I could ever dream of, as she had been a gymnast in high school.  And her classes were packed with people.  Yes, people of all sizes.

Inactivity is the problem.  Being overfat isn't a cause of disease if you are active.  Being "normal-weight" and inactive, or underfat and inactive, is just as hazardous to your health as being overfat and inactive.  "Oh, you're thin, you don't need to exercise." Rubbish.  Everyone needs to exercise, because it's vital to your overall health.

It'd be nice to see people who are comfortable in their own skin, regardless of how much skin they're in, and for people to be more comfortable with each other about it.  Yes, even on the beach at Tybee.  It'd be nice to hear people talking about quality in and quality out, feeling better from the inside out with healthy food choices, healthy activity, and a healthy outlook on life, whatever size they are.  Not hating their friends for being thinner than they are, as if thin = better person or thin = happiness.  Have you found yourself feeling sorry for someone who's big... and feels good about it?  Maybe it's not delusional to be big and happy.

That's my opinion, sorry if I'm getting preachy but hey, it's my blog and I'll preach if I want to --preach if I want to -- pre-e-e-e-eeach if I want to! :-D

On a lighter note, Red Hot Mama Sophie Tucker had her own reasons for being happy just the way she was... Enjoy:

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Snappy Answers to Common Questions from Long Distance Runners

You will need the following toolkit:

A voice.
A straight pin or safety pin.
A handful of cotton swabs.
Adhesive bandages.
A bottle of hydrogen peroxide that is less than 10 years old.

Q: What do I do about this blister on my (insert part of foot rubbing raw on sneaker) ?

A: Get your toolkit. Swab the blister with HP. Swab the pin with HP. Stick the blister with the pin and drain the fluid. Swab the former blister with HP. Cover with adhesive bandage.

Q: What do I do about this bruise under my toenail ?

A: Toolkit :-) Swab under the top of the nail with HP. Swab the pin with HP. Slowly, carefully slide the pin under the nail, between the nail and the bed. Press down on your angry nail to drain the fluid out from under it. Swab under top edge of the nail again with HP. I know, EEEEWWWWWW. But what you have is in effect a blister under your toenail, and if you leave it alone without draining it, it will hurt a lot and it will eventually cause your nail to lift away from the nailbed and fall off. Which isn't fatal or even horribly painful, but it is extremely unattractive.

To prevent toenail bruising, wear thinner socks or larger shoes or shoes with a larger toebox to minimize toe friction. Also, take note as to whether you are digging or clawing your toes down during your stride. Wiggle them loose from time to time. They get tense when you're working hard on those miles, after all.

Q: What do I do about the bee sting I got in the car on my way home from the long run ?

A: Time to employ your voice tool.  Yell, "OW!" really loud, because I don't care who you are, bee stings hurt a real whole lot. Scrape the stinger out sideways ASAP. Smush the bee and put it out of its misery, it's dying without its stinger anyway. Since you were driving to Starbucks on the way home, pull in and use your voice again to ask the nice person at the counter for a couple of ice cubes (before or after you order your coffee, up to you) because you just got stung by a bee. This will distract him or her from commenting on what a sweaty, rancid-smelling mess you are after having run a dozen or so miles in the nearly-90 degree Savannah morning heat. See, LD runners have quite enough unattractiveness going, thank you. Put the ice on your rapidly swelling, just stung body part to provide a cooling analgesic effect and reduce the swelling. If you are allergic, forget everything in this paragraph after, "Scrape the stinger..." and get an epi-pen stuck in you ASAP.

Nope, I do not know when the bee got in.

Summer Training for Kids

This is reprinted from a reprinted blog (redundancy intended) by Mike Boyle, a phenomenal hockey coach, athletic trainer, and training facility owner in New England, who spends a lot of time sharing his expertise and perspective with personal trainers and athletic trainers alike. LOVE THIS GUY!  Here he is:

Question - I need to put together a summer plan for my 9 yr
old hockey team. Obviously I don’t want to look like a crazy
person, but it would be something that I think could be good
for my own kids as well. Is it too young?

My first reaction was to say “are you crazy”? Instead, slightly
tongue-in-cheek I developed the plan below.

Step 1- play another sport. Lacrosse is highly recommended as
it has similar skills to hockey although baseball is fine. This
does not mean another sport in addition to hockey. Summer is the
off season.

Step 2- Cancel all hockey camp registrations except 1 week.

Pick your favorite that has the largest number of y our friends
attending and go to that one. Ideally look for a camp that only
has you on the ice once a day. No need to get blisters. You won’t
get better in a week anyway.

Step 3- Cancel any summer hockey leagues you are scheduled for.

The best players in the world never play summer hockey and, they
never have. The only conceivable exception would be a weekly skill
session lasting one hour. Another exception would be “play”. If
ice is available and the kids can play, let them. Please remember
play means NO COACHES or COACHING.

Step 4- Reread steps 1-3. Acknowledge that the key problem in
youth sports is applying adult values to children’s activities.

Step 5- Go to the nearest bike shop. Get nice bikes for everyone
in the family

Step 6- Ride the bikes, not in a race. For fun. Maybe put a few
hockey cards in the spokes to make noise.

Step 7- Head to Walmart and buy fishing rods.

Step 8- Take the fishing rods to the nearest lake and fish.

Now That is an off-season plan for any nine year old.

Step 9- repeat steps 5-8 while continually rereading steps 1-3