Humor and Longevity linkage?

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.” – e. e. cummings

American flags will be flown at half-mast this Saturday in honor of an amazing lady.  Barbara Bush’s demise at 92 years young is sad for admirers. Yet humor helped her put life in her years on this crazy planet. Heck – most of us can look at 92 years – or 34,000 days or those 807,000 hours or those 48 million seconds as chances to live well.  And living well means on average 235,000 hours of “good sleep.” And living well relates to that tried and true adage about “laughter is good medicine.”  This former first lady offered that one key ingredient her 73-year marriage to George H.W. Bush was humor.     I know that my better half would have departed long ago if she couldn’t laugh off my bone-headed moves and well-intentioned hiccups of life.  Ah – 42 years of matrimony as evidence of our work in progress!?

Please check wellness aspects of chuckling at help guide  (https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm).

Mrs. Bush was living proof of these documented wellness aspects of happy faces 🙂

Now her long legacy can be proof positive too.

  • Drop blood pressure?  you bet.
  • Decrease stress/cortisol levels?  Undoubtedly.
  • Burn a few calories?  Sure… 10 to 15 minutes of smiling and laughing can burn ~ 40 calories a day – or 4 pounds a year – IF you laugh well and often.
  • Decrease physical / mental pain or discomfort?  Ya la creo! Check this article for laughter as therapy for cancer survivors.  Dr. Patch Adams didn’t clown around solely to be a comedian – did he?
  • Reduce prospects for heart disease?  True!
  • AND . . . live longer (especially for women)?  Most likely.

You’ve probably seen evidence of Barbara Bush’s humor shared in TV spots, commencement addresses, or perhaps in person – as I was fortunate to experience her joie d vivre.  She spoke at a motivational gathering in San Diego years ago, with your scribe attending/taking notes.

– She asked us if  “we” were concerned that “her boys” governed one-tenth of all Americans.  I wasn’t a bit concerned as George and Jeb seemed to be doing pretty good jobs in Texas and Florida.  She added several other quips and life is funny thoughts that day.

I’m a Vermonter, and fairly stoic by nature. Can I and should I laugh more?  Note to self – YES!

  • I can and should create opportunities to laugh.
  • I can and should develop my humor.

If I can – you can too. “But if you had a humorless childhood, never fear—studies show people can learn to embrace the absurdity of life at any age.” It’s perfectly okay, and encouraged, to laugh at others’ jokes, even if not too funny.  Yup.

I prescribe medicinal chuckles -> and ask readers to be funny and probably die later…

Embrace absurdity, and be well.

 

df

 

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Patriots Day 42K, then Tax Day

As a former clydesdale marathoner, I commend all Boston Marathoners for their “gut” performances yesterday in yucky wet race conditions.  That was a wet Patriots Day fer sure – and the Red Sox called the Fenway game off.

We San Diegans are proud of Hilltop HS grad, Desiree Linden, who glided through that monsoon weather to be our first American winners in 33 years!  And where did 7 of the top 10 women’s finishers hail from?  All USA baby.

A marathon is a gnarly 42K way of burning about a pound of body fat for fuel.  These crucible runs are also gnarly creators of the break down to build up C6-C10 processes in our amazing bods.  Just remember to take plenty of anti-oxidants to counter bounteous oxidative free radicals generated by those hearty strides.

Tax Day – smack day . . . I was fortunate to complete our simple Federal and State returns some time ago.  So I invested part of today’s Tax Day hiking a local trail called Iron Mountain in Poway. Sunny and cool conditions for me – take that Bostonians.  I logged plenty of ascent and descent training for my assault on Mount Whitney in about 5 weeks. Crowley and Dodge remind us Boomers that we should choose “kedge” events on which to focus and achieve.  I’ve never truly enjoyed hiking, as it turns so long to get anyplace.  I’m trying to adjust to shanks mare aerobic exercise after many moons of rowing.  Call that my cross training, I suppose.  Onward and Upward.  Well done, Desiree!

 

Be well,

df

 

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National Doctor Day and us

I am honored to have a Doctor (MD) in the family- though not in the House.

Our daughter is a pediatrician and active Mom. So I don’t get to reference her as a sports medicine, gerontology or internal medicine expert for many, many wellness issues which arise in lives of us baby boomers. I’m okay with her specialty, by the way…

Yet our national day of recognition for MDs prompted this weblog and will serve its scribe well in scads  of supporting passages in an upcoming book titled  BOOM: Your Well Past Forty Alamanck.

Sure- many guys in my Boomer generation would rather get a root canal than visit their MDs for routine physical checkups.

This is just too bad. Doctors are NOT to be avoided. My same assertion is valid for a boomer-aged guy whom has a physical reason to seek MD help yet doesn’t. That too is a shame.

FACT: There isn’t a digital recital exam as part of every Doc visit one makes. Not that any gent  is keen on grabbing his ankles and experiencing what women experience with MD fingers in lubed latex gloves.

I advocate full lab tests (blood and urine) yearly.

Sure-  there may be false positives- such as for potassium levels in my case. Sure, lab results can seem arcane or downright confusing.

And, in some cases like for magnesium, one’s serum level of magnesium may NOT be indicative of MG levels in our cells.

I’m sure that there are other “YES But” reasons for not getting on a doctor’s calendar for regular physical  or specific reasons.

If I may borrow from Nike Corporation, guys – just do it.

If you aren’t in good physical or wellness “shape” – a professional opinion as part of Physical Aptitude Readiness is suggested for all boomers, and I consider to be semi-mandatory if boomers are over the age of 65 in our country.

Family Histories, personal indicators like BP and cholesterol ratios, plus conditions or diseases affect what we certified personal trainers should plan and do for clients.

Enough said?

Be well and get routine health checkups- please!

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Live well Sister Jean- what a Renegade :)

Okay, okay. I’ll help the Loyola of Chicago chaplain go viral.

How neat is it that a 98-year young Nun is the darling of 2018’s March Madness?  Where do I buy my red and gold socks with Sister Jean on them?

Does she eat the Mediterranean diet? Does she add years to her long life by socializing and being passionate about a cause larger than herself?

I believe so! Her TV persona exudes humor, confidence and love. If only I can be like her!

Note to self – I will strive to laugh, believe and trust.

How about you?

Nothing against blueblood basketball powers, but this Underdog Dave is pulling for Sister Jean’s Loyola Renegades in San Antonio.

If I live into my nineties- it may be due to similar wellness practices like those of our trending Chaplain.

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Spring in your Step?

Although our kids in Boston and Philadelphia dispute this transitional day, winter is officially behind us.

Perhaps Spring’s startup is a reminder of spring in your step as a measure of longevity.

If you think that Scientific American passes a published ” C R A A P” test, as I do, then you might consider this 2011 S-A article:

If you normal Baby Boomer gait, as a 70-something Baby Boomer covers a mile in less than 27 minutes, you may live longer than peers who cover a mile in 33 minutes.  This is pretty interesting to me – as the article’s source says this walking pace study of 34,000 “lab rats” accommodates Boomers’ gender, race and etc.  Hmmm.

Do you have a bit more spring in  your step?

Full and open science…”a quick pace is not a proved panacea for living longer. Many other studies have, however, found that walking helps lower blood pressure, keep weight down and improve mood. Substantial amounts of strolling have also been linked to slower memory decline and reduced risk of some cancers.”

“Walk on by (don’t stop)”, though Boomer lyricist Isaac Hayes, chose those words for love, rather than longevity.  I’ll question if walking can mean BOTH love and longevity.

How about you?

Be well as you stride,

df

 

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Pi Day and passage of S. Hawking

What might today, 3.14.18 and the passage of physicist (and former rowing coxswain) Stephen Hawking have to do with being Well Past Forty?

My short answer is a four-letter word -> T I M E.

Today is another great day in our T I M E to strive for  7 munificent S’s to be Well Past Forty.
– Did you take restful time to recharge your brain and body (7-9 hours)?
– Did you eat and hydrate well today (both macro- and micronutrients)?
– What hour of your day was/is devoted to stamina and sweat (to get endorphins pulsing)?  Remember – that hour is only 4% of your day. Sir Richard Branson offers that his hour devoted to fitness give him three (3) hours of productive time in his hectic day. How about you?                                                                                                         – Did you carve out a “coffee break” time to chill a bit, think mindfully and be grateful for being alive and well in this crazy world?

Nil time is needed to pop off 25 air squats for stability and strength.

How long does it take you to bound up a flight of office stairs?

Only 15 seconds of precious time are needed to check your stability – via your 1 legged stand with eyes closed.

And…stretch often to break up your screen time.


Circling back to Pi Day – there are many “STEM” factors at work in our complex, heavenly bodies. Burning “K” calories is just one example.  That release of heat (calories) fits into a law of thermodynamics which is mentioned in Hawking’s book    “A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME”. Honest.

To irrational number followers of Pi, and to scientists like Stephen Hawking, this day of fitness and wellness is for you (and for the rest of us).

 

Be Well.

df

 

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Mother’s Little Helper – Richards and Jagger (1966)

“Doctor please, some more of these
Outside the door, she took four more
What a drag it is getting old.”

The STONES’ 1966 anthem for tranquilizers to help Mums get through their activities of daily life seems darned relevant today.
This scribe tries to walk his walk of getting older(slowly) without conceding “oldness” AND without resorting to deadly pain-killers.

TV Shows, like BLUE BLOODS, have episodes with opioid overdoses sadly played out. TV talking heads advise that Houston, Hamptons and Hillbilly towns definitely have deadly problems.
– Why New Hampshire? West Virginia? Pennsylvania? Hmmm.
I read that 40 percent of our 110 deaths per day in America stem from PRESCRIPTION opioids. I don’t think that I’m the only citizen who senses a problem here.
“Doctor please” ?!

PAIN, from contrasting viewpoints of the legendary Vince Lombardi and US Marines, and of running in systemsrunninginsystems are worth your consideration.
On the play through it macho side of a pain coin:
“Fatigue can make cowards of us, Pain is fatigue leaving your body…
yet from a systems and feedback vantage,

“Lumped into the category of pain are soreness, discomfort, localized exhaustion, aching, sharp-pain, tearing pain, etc. Because, in the English language, pain can mean all of these things (and many more), it is an exceptionally poor word to use when giving advice as to when and why to maintain exertion.”
– Note to self – there IS a difference between pain and discomfort. I was uncomfortable in my recent ergometer stress test – yet I wasn’t in chronic pain.

What is your pain IQ? Try this quiz and see.

* I don’t think that enough people know about our body’s amazing capacity to generate its own opioid-like chemicals – endorphins.
keep calm and release endorphins

Unless I drank funny kool-aid, I often experienced those endorphin highs – at about my 8-mile point of road runs. I thought I could run lightly – for many miles (until that inevitable wall at 20 miles, anyway).
In same, yet different ways, rowing also offers me those narcotic periods of zen-like ebullience. Prolonged aerobic exercise gets me higher 🙂

So what are these brain-induced (NON-PRESCRIPTION) endorphins as our quasi-opioids?

SELF HACKED (which passes my CRAAP test for proper sourcing) offers 30 natural highs,

“You don’t have to take heroin or painkillers to feel good. If your life is healthy enough and incorporates enough of these strategies, you should feel good enough with these natural highs. Of course, taking drugs will have a more pronounced effect, but that’s not the state most of us are looking for. We just want to feel pretty good.”
Thanks, SELF HACKED, for this list of 30 NATURAL alternatives to prescription or other opioids. I emboldened ones which I have tried, and which I use as part of my Wellness regimen to trigger endorphins.
– I am blessed that I have nil need for prescription opioids! May my good fortunes continue.

1) Take a Cold Shower
2) Exercise More
3) Sleep More
4) Binge On Sugar (or don’t if you don’t want to get addicted)
5) Get Some Sun
6) Fall In Love or Spray Some Oxytocin
7) Take a Hot Shower/Bath
8) Get a Massage
9) Hang Out With Some Friends
10) Butyrate
11) Eat Tasty Foods
12) Eat Chocolate
13) Eat Foods with Morphine-Like Characteristics
14) Use Alcohol in Moderation
15) Take Magnesium
16) Stress
17) Acupuncture
18) Take Low Dose Naltrexone
19) Don’t Sleep With The Lights On
20) Wear Red Glasses or Take Melatonin
21) Get Zapped With tDCS
22) Hold Your Breath (or don’t)
23) Kratom
24) Use LLLT
25) Pregnenolone
26) Probiotics: Acidophilus
27) Chili/Cayenne
28) Marijuana
29) Poppy Seeds
30) Nicotine

Note that there is indeed FOOD for THOUGHT on this SELF HACKED list.

And:
Dr. Josh Axe offers this useful infographic about Endorphins:

EndorphinesGraphic-1 DrAxe dot com
It’s my hope that more of us can NATURALLY avoid that 60’s Richards/Jagger message – WHAT A DRAG IT IS GETTING OLD.

Be well and join me in “feeling pretty good” – naturally,
df

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