Senin, 26 Januari 2009

Jack LaLanne and Change

As I was thumbing through the paper this morning on the way to the comics I spotted a headline that said, "Fitness buff LaLanne still strong at 94."

He still exercises twice a day in his home gym and swims 30 minutes daily. He says that people should exercise a half hour 3 times a week. And don't take a rest. He changes his routine every 30 days to avoid monotony.

I exercise most days from 20-30 minutes a day and I don't rest. So we're on the same page on that part. 

The article said he eats only at 10 a.m and 7 p.m. with no snacking in between. That flies in the face of all the gurus these days that advocate 6 small meals a day. I'm in agreement with Jack on this one. I don't eat at set times like he does but I do generally eat 2-3 meals a day and I don't snack. It's a lot better on your internal parts to allow one meal to fully digest before eating another, something that can't happen on 6 small meals a day.

One thing I found interesting is that it said he ate a daily breakfast of 4 egg whites with 3 pieces of fruit. Several years ago I read an article in which he said he consumed a soy protein shake every morning. It seems he's off the soy and now doing egg whites.

But Jack has a history of changing diet. He was vegan for a long time. Then he added fish back into his diet. In the same article about the soy shake he said that he had a salad with at least 10 different vegetables every night with a 3 ounce piece of broiled fish. He doesn't eat dairy or red meat.

I don't know why he jettisoned soy for egg whites or why he went from vegan to fish but apparently Jack isn't afraid of change and we shouldn't be either. If something's not working for you, instead of doing the same old thing and hoping you get better results, you need to be adaptable. You need to change.

Whether it's you diet or your exercise routine, if it's not producing for you, or not working as well as it once did, try something different. Change your workouts a little. Tweak your diet. Or maybe both need a major overhaul.

Of course if what you're doing is serving you well, by all means keep it up. But if the results start falling behind, you just might need a change.

Jack LaLanne is a MAN and a true fitness icon. I have no idea why he's changed his diet over the years but change he has. And it has worked. There are no doubt many people 50, 60, 70 years his junior that can't keep up with him. What he's doing works for him.

As a side note, I once read that he used to drink a quart of cow's blood every day. Besides being disgusting, I don't know if it's true as I never bothered to try to verify it. I have my doubts.

Jumat, 16 Januari 2009


Too often the excuse people use for not exercising is that they don't have the time. I say if it's a priority for you, you will find the time.

During the summer, I work 55 to 60 hours a week on average. Last summer, I decided to learn how to ride a unicycle. It was a goal of mine, thus a priority, and I made time for practice every day until I learned how. My 15 year old son learned in a week or so. They say you can teach a 10 year old in a few hours. It took considerably longer for this 47 year old to get it, but I kept at it until I did. I also still got in my workouts, still spent time with my wife and kids, and still had time to read 3 or 4 books a month. I don't watch TV. I don't have time for that.

But people who don't have time to exercise often still have time to watch 3 or 4 hours of television a day. I got an A in math so say you watch 3 hours of the stupid box every day. That's 180 minutes. Subtract 30 from that and you still have 150 minutes of television time. Take that 30 minutes and use it to exercise. See how simple that is. The time is there if you make it a priority. Better yet, jettison the boob tube all together and you will have all kinds of time to get in shape and do something more productive with your life. It just depends on where your priorities are.

Today was a gorgeous Indian summer day here in Colorado. It was hard to tell it's still the middle of January. So after work, I got out the unicycle and lo and behold, I haven't forgotten how yet. I made some pretty good rides after not being on it for over a month. I was hoping I wouldn't lose it during the winter and have to relearn again in the spring. So far, so good.

And guess what? I still found time for a workout. Unicycling is a good workout in and of itself. I highly recommend it, not only for fun but for exercise. But it will be hard to learn if you don't make it a priority.

Rabu, 14 Januari 2009


Here is the long awaited second installment in my 8 principles of health series. The second principle is water.

Most of the body is made up of water. Water acts as a solvent, a lubricant, a medium of transportation, and it is important in regulating our body temperature. And most of us don't drink enough of it.

If your joints are creaky, chances are you're dehydrated. Drink some water. Your joints need water for lubrication.

Fatigue, poor digestion, toxicity, heartburn, poor memory, poor kidney and liver function, bad skin, etc. can all be caused by you not getting enough water. Of course, there could be other causes for these and other conditions, but a lot of ailments could be easily taken care of simply by consuming enough water.

Dr. F. Batmanghelidj in his excellent book, "Your Body's Many Cries For Water" states that physicians often treat the symptoms with drugs or other treatments when the cause is simply dehydration.  I highly recommend this book.

How much water should one drink? That depends on who you ask. Some say half your body weight in ounces of water each day. For me that would be 78 ounces. From personal experience, that isn't enough. Others say your full weight in ounces per day. So if you're not used to drinking a lot of water, cut out the sodas and all the other garbage (you should do that anyway) and start with half your body weight. Go up from there.

I generally drink around a gallon of water each day. Several years back I bought a water distiller. I also bought some one gallon polycarbonate jugs that aren't suppose to leach anything into the water like plastic does. Every morning upon rising, I do a few exercises to get me going and drink a 16 ounce glass of water. By the end of the day, the jug is usually empty or pretty close to it. That's what works for me. If you're smaller than I am, you may need less. If you're bigger, you'll probably need more.

The bottom line is that water is essential for good health. And if you're like most Americans, you get your liquid from sodas, coffee , tea, or other beverages that are dehydrating and just aren't very good for you. And if you have any nagging health problems and you're like most people in this country, chances are you just need to drink more water. So get a glass and drink up. It's for your health.