Sunday, March 31, 2013

Worst triathlon is best day ever

Worst triathlon is best day ever

I learned an important lesson last week: A bad day at a triathlon is better than the best sitting on the couch.

It was at my first triathlon of the year at the 2013 March Triathlon Series hosted by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo at Lake Lopez. The last race I ran was the Wildflower olympic in May of 2012 almost a year ago.

I haven't done much for training for the last several months, unless you count racquetball a few times a week the Paso Robles Kennedy Club Fitness. I've been working over-time at work developing new services for our company Access Local Search.  The little time I have had left I've spent with my children. 

The night before the race, my buddy backed out. At 5 a.m. I was ready to call it off and sleep in. Lake Lopez was in the 50s; swimming in it would be cold difficult. I closed my eyes and reflected on everything I had accomplished in the last couple years: losing 80 pounds; getting in shape and keeping the weight off; changing the way I eat to a pale-style diet. I even qualified for lower life insurance rates now that my health had improved.

Was it all for nothing? Wasn't I mentally tough enough to do it? I started thinking about how far I'd come. I thought about how I want to be in-shape for myself and my family. I mustered the energy and got out of bed and drove down to the race.

If Woody Allen said 80-percent of success in life is showing up, he was 100-percent right. I felt like a million bucks just for showing up and completing the race. As far as speed goes, it was my slowest by far. 

Even though I finished low in the rankings, it was the best day ever. While I was in the race, my mind was in a meditation thinking about everything in life I am grateful for: breathing fresh air, soaking in sunshine, and loving my family. 

Triathlon Stats
Race #21 – Cal Poly’s March Triathlon Series, Lake Lopez
March 24, 2013
Race: Sprint_M_40-44 , ½-mile swim, 12-mile bike ride, 5k run
Time: 1:54:58
Place: 57/69
Swim time: 20:33  
T1 3:21
Bike time: 51:57   
T2 1:46
Run Time: 37:21

Health Insurance Paso Robles – Callie L Fisher Insurance – (805) 238-6593

Friday, March 22, 2013

During late Stone Age there were a significant number of people living into older adulthood

The New York Times reports: Who Lives Longest?

Artwork from the NY Times.
A Swedish baby born in 1800 had a life expectancy of just 32 years. We know this because Sweden was one of the first countries to keep extensive records of births and deaths and, by 1800, had a reliable national system that allowed this morbid statistic to be calculated. That baby’s life may sound nasty, brutish and short, especially for a nation advanced enough to keep such detailed records, but before you imagine 19th-century Swedish teenagers suffering the regret and ennui of midlife crises, consider this: that same year, a 20-year-old Swede could reasonably expect to live another 37 years.

Life expectancy is an average, and it fluctuates with age as the risks we face change throughout our lifetimes. Both those facts make it a frequently misunderstood statistic. High infant-mortality rates depress the figure substantially. This can lead contemporary observers to the false conclusion that most humans died quite young, even in the not-so-distant past. (Were you ever told, as a petulant teenager, that you’d have been considered middle-aged in medieval Europe?)

“ ‘Life expectancy’ is this term that entered public lingo without public understanding of what it really means,” says Andrew Noymer, associate professor of public health and sociology at the University of California, Irvine. Our hypothetical Swedish baby’s 1832 expiration date is, of course, nothing of the sort. It’s a way of expressing, statistically, that lots of babies and small children were dying in 19th-century Sweden. By simply surviving childhood, a young Swede could expect a relatively long life — and if he was lucky, aproper midlife crisis.

But so could Fred Flintstone. In the last decade, scientists have concluded that humans have lived into older adulthood since 30,000 years ago, during the Upper Paleolithic (part of the era more commonly known as the Stone Age). Michael Gurven, a professor of anthropology at U.C. Santa Barbara who has studied modern hunter-gatherer and horticultural tribes, found that people in these societies who survived childhood lived about as long as 19th-century Swedes did — into their 50s and beyond. His work is one clue that suggests Enlightenment Age Europeans could have had the same longevity as our ancestors who painted caves and hunted the woolly mammoth.

Before the Upper Paleolithic, early humans really did die young, most before their 30th birthdays. Then, during the late Stone Age, there was a significant increase in the number of people living into older adulthood. The scientific and technological advances that made the modern era possible are well known to us, but the Upper Paleolithic was also host to a flourishing of early human culture.
Rachel Caspari, a paleoanthropologist at Central Michigan University, studies the life spans of ancient humans, their ancestors and close relatives — together, known as hominins. In 2004, she and a colleague examined teeth from 768 hominin fossils representing three million years of primate evolution.

Looking at wear and other signs of aging in the teeth, Caspari split the fossils into groups of old and young adults, creating rough approximations of ancient demographics. Examing a span from between 100,000 and 30,000 years ago, Caspari found about four old adults for every 10 young adults. But beginning around 30,000 years ago, during the Upper Paleolithic, this reversed: Caspari counted 20 old adults for every 10 young adults.

This demographic shift coincided with an explosion of cultural production: clay figurines; carvings made of bone, wood and stone; cave art and jewelry making; and complex burial practices. According to Caspari, it was longer human life spans that seem to have made this flourishing possible. Having more time on earth allows our species to progress.

Read the full story at The New York Times

Insurance San Luis Obispo – Susan Rodriguez - State Farm Insurance Agent – (805) 783-7050

Monday, March 11, 2013

How Exercise Helps Cancer Patients

How Exercise Helps Cancer Patients

Even if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma or another type of cancer, you still need to take extra steps to ensure you are living a healthy life. Cancer treatment can often leave you feeling exhausted and in pain. It also weakens your immune system, making you more vulnerable to illness and disease. However, regular exercise can improve your quality of life and complement your traditional treatment quite well. If you do not participate in a routine exercise program, you might be wondering what it can do to benefit your health and how often you should be exercising on a daily basis.

Exercise has several benefits that you will find when you begin a program. The first benefit is that you will be able to feel more energized. People who exercise tend to improve their energy levels because of improved muscle strength and tone as the person continuously works out. As a cancer patient, you will find that this extra energy really helps to make life easier for you, and allows you to be more independent. Exercise also releases endorphins into the body, which is the chemical that makes you feel happy and satisfied. This is the feeling you will normally get when you finish a workout, which can be especially beneficial for those battling cancer. Depression is a common development as a result of cancer, and working out can be a healthy way to combat that.

When working out, it is up to you what type of exercise you'd like to participate in. Many cancer patients have found that walking and following a set regimen helps tremendously when it comes to establishing a program. Other cancer patients are enjoying yoga and join local classes to reap the benefits of exercise as well as social interaction. It is advised that you get clearance from your doctor before starting an exercise program. Your doctor will be able to help create a workout regimen appropriate for you and your diagnosis.

Working out has its benefits for people who are young or old and for those who are either in great shape or those who are very ill. The key to working out is to start it off slowly. Try to workout for a few hours each week, but do not overdue it as to make yourself even more exhausted. You want to make sure that you are able to continue exercising throughout your treatment without feeling overly exhausted. It is a great idea to begin exercising when you are going for traditional treatment, but always talk with a doctor before doing anything yourself at home.

Guest blog by Melanie Bowen