Random Health Thoughts

September 27, 2008

Inspired by Seth.

It amazes me everyday that science fails to override the wive's tales and opinions that are rampant in the fitness industry. Twain was right when he said "The truth is easy to kill. But a lie well told is immortal."

The presidential candidates today want desperately to fix the health care system (or do they?). I put to you that there is nothing wrong with the system per se. There is simply too much wrong with people.

Typical scenario: Doc says: "Your cholesterol is too  high. Takes these drugs." You do. 6 months later you have a little liver trouble and muscle weakness. Because of this you injure yourself playing golf, you can't enjoy a glass of wine and due to the added effect of COQ10 declination in your blood caused by the cholesterol lowering drugs, your health begins to suffer. More drugs are needed to counteract the situation.

Now you are less active because you feel lousy. You eat more (more sugar usually since you can't have meat and fat since your cholesterol is too high) because you are a bit down in the dumps. Thus, blood sugar rises. A couple of years of this and now you have pre-adult onset diabetes. More drugs are now needed. The cycle continues.

Two years ago you were lean, active and happy and now you are fatter, have type-II diabetes, your liver enzymes are too high and you are inactive and depressed. What happens as a result? Your health care cost rises to meet your declining health.

Follow? If we want to fix health care let's stop making people need it.

Misinformation on health and fitness abound. To me the plethora of misinformation is so staggering I've often considered throwing in the towel and selling real estate. (But today, that would be a big time boo-boo.)

Why does the American Heart Association continue to advocate aerobic exercise when orthopedic injuries caused by such activities dwarf the amount of benefit received?

If we do have a finite number of heartbeats available to us why would we want to waste them doing daily cardiovascular exercise?

Why do so many think weight lifting is dangerous for kids yet gladly send them off to football or gymnastics camps?

Why does the American Diabetes Association advocate the ingestion of blood-sugar raising dietary carbohydrates when doing so requires taking medication to lower it?

Why does the American Medical Association support the use of statins when ALL of the scientific evidence shows no benefits to taking them and instead shows tremendous detriment? Worse, far worse, why is it that when you educate people as to this fact they fight with you about it?

Since eating fat and protein is known to be essential for health, why are we being taught that is is bad?

How come the government food pyramid indicates that most of our daily calories should come from grain based carbohydrates - a food group that is completely non essential to human life?

If rigorous physical activity is so healthy for us, why are the vast majority of athletes careers over at age 30?

It appears than ethanol (gasoline with added alcohol made from corn or sugar) fuel gunks up the engines of cars. Most engineers agree that this stuff is garbage for the cars circulatory system and recommend that fuel thinners be used to keep the engines from ceasing up.  Might this be true of our circulatory system as well?

Why did the American Council on Exercise (a leading fitness organization that pledges it's soul to help educate the gen pop on health and wellness of which I have been a member of for 2 decades) send me 2 letters asking me to let them know about what I do to help the fitness community when I am a bestselling fitness author and the owner of a popular NYC gym?

Why do we cheer on marathon runners when the activity is so physically detrimental? It would be like cheering on a throng of people trying to see how fast they could smoke 10,000 cigarettes. (If you disagree with this, think about it for more than a second.)

Explain to me the logic behind an insurance company paying for gastric bypass and not for an exercise program?

Why do insurance companies ask you if you smoke and what your cholesterol is but not if you are a runner or are vegan?

Why do we think exercise will cure our obesity when the lack of it is not how we got fat in the first place?

Why do many women say they don't want any muscle and then in the next breath say they want to feel tight and toned?

How come comic book characters and action figures have turned from lean athletic figures into impossibly gigantic muscle monsters?  Hoes does this affect a child's self-perception?

Why do you need to be 21 to smoke but not to buy a can of Mountain Dew?

If our normal core body temperature is ~98.6 degrees and 100 degrees is a fever, why are we dictated to warm up before we exercise? I put to you that it is essential to cool down before an exercise program not warm up.

We are all looking for simple answers. But all too often when they are presented we reject them in favor of something far more complicated. It seems as if simplicity is scary because it allows us to take action. Confusing and complicated answers are easier to accept because they disallow action.

Eat real foods and keep your muscles strong in the safest way possible.

There. I've just cured the health care system. Will you vote for me?