Monday, August 21, 2006

lifestyle linking mental health: the brain

I am with the school of thought that believes we are only just beginning to tap into the potential of our own brains to help with correcting any ill health our bodies are experiencing. I feel their is a separation.

Sheryle Bolton's
Brain Reserve is of this school of thought and her blog pulls together her observation s with the latest scientific brain research. Worth a read.

long haul flight, third sore through in row?

The answer was no. The fight was still not great, full and hot. However, the jet lag is catching up with me on day three.

Did my taking a few quieter days off to rest up help prevent the sore throat? Did taking the multi-vitamin/mineral supplement play a role?

Is there things I can do get over the jet lag? Is it because 6 of the last 7 months were in the -8 hour time zone?

Extreme hiking, health before, during and after

22 miles over 7 and half hours pushes the body to the max. The day after the walk the pain in my thighs is pretty intense. The repetitive pounding of the legs on the downward leg proving too much for my legs. It is a thought to walk. All other muscles are fine. Is the thighs pain due to a lack of training for those muscles? Or does dehydration play a part in tired muscles?

It is now the 4 days post the walk and my legs are back to normal. Could I have recovered quicker by going swimming in those days? What exercises can I take to prepare for the next marathon walking and the up coming skiing season?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Toothpaste, healthy teeth & healthy heart?

I decided to change my brand of toothpaste yesterday. The old tube was empty so a new purchase was required and Colgate lost out to Tom's. But it iwas a difficult choice, I have to own up to three fillings, all done before I was sixteen years of age. So, through my commitment to cleaning my teeth etc. I have halted the need for time with the drill for over 16 years. Shouldn't I stick with the toothpaste that has taken me this far?

Well, it is a tough call. How much of that success (no fillings) can be attributed to the particular brand? As a kid I think Crest was used from time to time, around the time when stripes arrived on the scene. However, until a few months ago I had never heard of Tom's, a natural tooth paste and the human values set by their founders and owners is applied across their corporate and manufacturing processes to be natural. So, I have changed. They, have science to back up their tooth pastes effectiveness, just like the other brands but what I found interesting in their packaging and I have seen the global brands expand to make this statement too, the healthy teeth are key to a making you healthy, or in Tom's case, suggestion that some research suggests healthy teeth can reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

Now we can have healthy (white is what we need) teeth, reduced plaque, fights decay and heart disease etc. What I would like to know is, what is the research and science behind the claims and how does it effect me personally? Not some 'average' person.

Monday, August 14, 2006

lifestyle linking blood pressure

Last week became a week where I was highly motivated to test my blood pressure. It started by attending a doctor talk on blood pressure, I was keen to see the characteristics of the people that attended. At the end of the talk, you got the option to test your blood pressure with a machine you can buy for your home for $30.

I took up that offer and found that my blood pressure was sitting high, two above the normal zone. I have never posted a high reading before and the representative started realing of a list of lifestyle factors like, do you exercise, I do but more like three times a month at present than the three times a week. So, she suggested I do some more exercise and check the reading in 2 months.

My background thoughts on blood pressure it that I am always surprised its not higher given the entrepreneurial start up stress and driven lifestyle I live. So, maybe it had caught up with me this time? The next few days, I am busy and take my blood pressure reading a Longs Drug stores, Alberston's and Safeways supermarkets, very convenient and easy to use. I don't think I had noticed the machines in the stores before. The blood pressure reading trended downwards. I get to Saturday and eventually get some exercise in at the swimming pool. So, I pop in to get a reading, 3 hours after swimming, 101 over 68 . Well under the normal zone of 120 over 80. And that is were it remains.

I started to think to figure out the lifestyle linking correlations that may have led to this high blood pressure reading? Well, the day of the first reading was extremely hot. I had decided not to take my water bottle with me and due to a mix up on the bus, I spent 3 hours in a hot bus getting to the meeting. I have since learnt that blood pressure increases with dehydration. Another significant factor was that I was nearing the end of a busy spell of 5-6am rises and late to bed days. (burning the candle light at both ends) so does a lack of sleep increase blood pressure? The last reading came after my first good nights sleep. I have been training hard at swimming post the last reading, how will that impact my blood pressure?

The real important lesson/message I take from this story? The immediate feedback I received was not helpful, they had no context of my day and it felt like (though a positive desire to provide helpful information on a high reading) they heightened my initial concern in the reading.

Talking your blood pressure can be real easy and convenient, 1 minutre of your time.

I am the best person to decide on my self education needs and requirements.

I will be self motivated to act, when I believe a change of behavior is in my own short and long term self interest.