"I guess I have a lot of problems, so many that I don't have time to go into them all in detail. Suffice it to say I'm anal, obsessive, vain, quick to temper, overly introspective, lazy, judgmental, insecure, and self-righteous. Probably the most annoying thing about me is that I'm hugely opinionated. But I kind of make up for that by always being right."

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Day Six: Passionate Advice From A Reader

1) Get a Walkman, Ipod, whatever, and get ready to wear it. After a while, solitary training in the great bounty of nature blows.

2) The human body is only designed to do one thing: walk. The further you deviate from that normality, the more you'll get hurt.

3) NEVER stretch if you're not sweating. DON'T kid yourself by thinking that you remember exactly how to do that stretch. You don't.

4) Get a copy of "Beyond Splits" by Marco Lala. No, I don't think you'll go beyond splits; the tape was made for Karate guys. But it's amazingly effective. The banner in his ads say "Total Body Flexibility at Any Age." He delivers. Helped me so much, I can't tell you.

5) You will need one month of unpleasant training to compensate foreach year of sedentary living.

6) You do not improve your heart's health until your thirty-first minute of cardio. It's OK if it's the most pathetic cardio in history. Just DON'T STOP. EVER.

7) Going for the burn will get you killed. You know how you sometimes hear about a healthy guy, age 37 to 60, dropping dead of a heart attack? Like the Power Bar Company founder? And that it's this big mystery? It's becoming more and more likely that it isn't a mystery. It's frequently due to cardiovascular inflammation. When those tissues swell, they squeeze nerves. Sometimes, those squeezed nerves freak out ,and, well, you know.

8) To avoid cardio inflammation: a) take an aspirin every day b) have your docs 'splain you what your maximum heart rate should be. AFTER you get in shape, you can stay at this level if you choose to push yourself. If you stick with your program, you'll be able to exceed it and stay beyond it. Feels great. Don't do it.

9) Hiking boots cause tendonitis. Often. I had a case that lasted for seven years. Could often not even see the knobby bones on either side of my ankle because of the swelling. Finally, read "Beyond Backpacking" and switched to running shoes, with great skepticism. For walking, they are manna from heaven. Does get a little complicated picking out the right ones from the wrong ones.

10) Throw all the white bread, white flour, white flower rolls, white rice, and all such grain and grain products out of the house. They all cause the brain to do what is does when you eat too much sugar: delay the mechanism in your brain that says: "I've had enough to eat."

11) Absolute Worst Foods: High fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. The body has no way to cope with these artificial molecules. The h-f corn syrup is far worse than sugar, and it's in EVERYTHING: hot dog buns, bread, relish, ketchup, TV dinners, canned soup, U.S.-made cookies, etc., etc.. Gotta lookit the nutritional labels on packages and make sure you don't eat the contents if HFCS is inside. Men's Health Magazine wrote an article on this stuff. Title: "The Devil's Snack Food." Hydrogenated oils are artificial. The digestive system does not fully process them. Some of the undigested portion winds up smeared all over your heart. Most often found in: U.S.-made cookies(banned abroad), breads, peanut butter(not the natural stuff).

12) Whole grains slow down digestion. The white starch inside is surrounded by a hard husk, and it takes a while for the acid in your stomach to break through it. For this reason, the starch is SLOWLY digested into sugar and released into your bloodstream. Appetite sated. Weight off. Weight kept off.

13) Whole wheat bread isn't. It's mostly white flower. Buy 'yuh that thar hippy bread, not the mainstream stuff.