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Saturday, January 27, 2018

BE SMART ABOUT YOUR HEALTH

For health and longevity, get enough sleep, minimize, if not eliminate, stress, control your blood pressure, be careful about inflammation and attempt to fluctuate at the higher end of your Body-Mass Index.  Wait a minute, am I saying it's okay to be pleasantly plump?  Read on.  

Your life should of course also include adequate exercise with little sitting and smart eating.  Certainly, don't smoke, but do drink alcohol (incredible, but people who imbibe live longer).  About right are two glasses of red wine for men and only one for women.  Two glasses are 10 ounces, or just about 40% a bottle wine.  Certainly seems like a lot.

I've had numerous postings about sleep, from my recent focus on magnesium and naps, to the optimal compass direction on how you sleep, to what experts say about how much sleep you should have:

  • Newborns (0-3 months ): Sleep range narrowed to 14-17 hours each day (previously it was 12-18) 
  • Infants (4-11 months): Sleep range widened two hours to 12-15 hours (previously it was 14-15) 
  • Toddlers (1-2 years): Sleep range widened by one hour to 11-14 hours (previously it was 12-14) 
  • Preschoolers (3-5): Sleep range widened by one hour to 10-13 hours (previously it was 11-13) 
  • School age children (6-13): Sleep range widened by one hour to 9-11 hours (previously it was 10-11) 
  • Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5) 
  • Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category) 
  • Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours 
  • Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category) 

Here are 21 Ways to Sleep Better and 15 Science-Backed Ways to Fall Asleep Faster.  I asked one of my younger nephews how long does it take him to go to sleep.  He said two minutes.  Here are 10 Easy Ways to Fall Asleep Anywhere in 5 Minutes or Less.  Good luck to you for any of these to work, but, certainly, avoid pills if you at all can.  I probably slept from 6-7 hours through most of my adult life, but at 15 Craigside, now have 7-8 hours.  Yet, every night is a challenge.

About your weight, I read two years ago in Scientific American:


To quote:

When the researchers separated the cohorts into two age groups—younger than 60 and older than 60—the BMI that correlated with the lowest risk of death crept up a bit as people got older. In the 1970s, it was 23.5 for those who were 60 and younger and 24.4 for those who were older than 60—both still well within the normal range. From 2003 to 2013, the BMI linked to the lowest mortality was 26.7 for those 60 and younger and 27.3 for those over 60, which is just inside the overweight category.

Or in graph form:


So I did a lot of research and posted:

     OVERWEIGHT PEOPLE LIVE LONGER THAN NORMAL PEOPLE!!!

I concluded:

My reading of the above is that normal people have the same life expectancy as those obese, and the overweight with  a BMI (body-mass index--those numbers in the table above) between 25-29.9 live the longest.  Why wasn't all this publicized seven years ago?

Mind you, my personal physician and my neighbor (also a doctor), don't agree with me.  Anyway, here are few more surprising revelations:
So you say, but don't overweight people have more high blood pressure, diabetes, lower self-esteem and crummier social/physical lives?  Yes, but here you might actually want to credit Big Pharma and their unscrupulous relationship with the medical profession.  I still think we take too much prescriptive medication, but those pills you ingest might actually have skewed those longevity statistics to your benefit, while the extra poundage serves as the resource that carries you over during serious illnesses.


Finally, as you travel the country, have you noticed how fat Americans are?  Well, I quote from one of my postings:

No doubt Americans are probably way too fat:  35% of men and 40% of women were obese in 2014.  The 38% obesity average is an increase of 34% since 2006. 

This is one reason we have a life expectancy lower than what we should have were we not so obese.  Keep in mind:  overweight is okay, but obese is bad, unless you happen to be a female in Italy.

Changing topics, as I've had dozens of postings about the value of wine, chocolates, coffee, and even fat (omega-3 fatty acids in fish, for sure, but even beef fat), let me skip nutrition and move into inflammation (if you can't adequately read that summary to the right, click on it) a subject matter that is little understood:
  • this is your body's natural protective response against infection and aliens:
    • when you cut your hand, your immune system sends white blood cells there
    • the result is redness and swelling, but your body is at work
  • chronic inflammation
    • reaction to toxins from smoking can cause cancer
    • excess fat cells stored in your belly
    • reaction to plaque in your artery, resulting in strokes and heart attacks
  • include C-reactive protein in your blood test to determine your risk of heart attack and stroke
  • aspirin seems to help prevent blood clots and dampen inflammation
  • statins also work
But as I started with red wine, let me conclude by saying that this particular potion reduces inflammation, and so do dark chocolate, fish, tea, ginger, blueberry, vegetables and turmeric (where the active ingredient is curcumin, used in curries).

Nothing to do with health, but isolated and esoteric highlights of interest to your tribe also help create an aura of smartness:
  • A 390-pound sumo wrestler from Georgia yesterday won the Emperor's Cup in Tokyo.  No, not the state, but country.  Levan Gorgadze, known as Tochinoshin, was a low-ranking competitor who suddenly became the best.  The heaviest sumo-tori ever was Konishiki (belowtop photo) from Hawaii at 633 pounds.  Akebono, also from Hawaii, was a measly 550 pounds.
  • Michelle Wie now sports pink hair.  Of course, she's been more adventurous in her past, with rainbow hair:
  • 42-year old Tiger Woods rallied for four birdies on the back nine yesterday to make the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open (these golf tournaments have lost their glamour by featuring sponsors, for this is Torrey Pines near San Diego--Did you know that singer Andy Williams hosted for 20 years?) for the first time in 29 months.
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