Stories from the Road

Author: Robert (Page 2 of 3)

71-year-old Flying Dutchman and world-record holder Jo Schoonbroodt offers sensible training advice

On May 8th, Jo Schoonbroodt, a 71-year-old from Maastricht, Netherlands, ran a marathon in a breathtaking 2hr 54min 19sec to become the fastest septuagenarian in recorded marathon history. Jo set the new over 70 world record at the Maasmarathon de Visé, on a beautiful cross-border route through the Belgian and Dutch countryside.

The Guardian »

“I only started jogging at 36 because my doctor told me I had high cholesterol,” he says, chuckling. “But last year I ran 7,242 kilometres [4,450 miles], which is more than double what I did in my car.”

Incredibly it was Schoonbroodt’s 75th sub-three-hour marathon, and it came only four weeks after his 74th at the Rotterdam marathon. For good measure, the flying Dutchman also holds a number of ultra running records. He is clearly no ordinary Jo. But the secrets of his success might surprise you.

“Most runners train too hard. I do a lot of my training with groups who run very slowly. And then I build on these basics with some faster interval training. But I don’t do the same stupid distance 10 or 20 times – I prefer to have a lot of fun with my running.”

“A lot of people follow a training plan or coach and push on even when their body is saying: ‘No, this is not a good day to do it.’ But if you go out the door and just do what you feel, it’s easier to keep running and stay injury-free.” »

A ‘marathon’ is a long-distance foot race with a distance of 42.195 kilometres (or 26.2 miles).

Is it time to trade in your sunscreen for a shirt and a broad-brimmed hat?

Rowan Jacobsen, Outside Magazine (2019) »

For three years, his team tracked the blood pressure of 340,000 people in 2,000 spots around the U.S., adjusting for variables such as age and skin type. The results clearly showed that the reason people in sunnier climes have lower blood pressure is as simple as light hitting skin.

“Homo sapiens have been around for 200,000 years. Until the industrial revolution, we lived outside. How did we get through the Neolithic Era without sunscreen? Actually, perfectly well. What’s counterintuitive is that dermatologists run around saying, ‘Don’t go outside, you might die.’”

Vitamin D now looks like the tip of the solar iceberg. Sunlight triggers the release of a number of other important compounds in the body, not only nitric oxide but also serotonin and endorphins. It reduces the risk of prostate, breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers. It improves circadian rhythms. It reduces inflammation and dampens autoimmune responses. It improves virtually every mental condition you can think of. And it’s free.

This does not mean breaking out the baby oil or cultivating a burnished tan. All the experts agree that sunburns—especially those suffered during childhood and adolescence—are particularly bad. »

Please read the whole article »

5 types of foods that contribute to anxiety and fatigue

Dr. Uma Naidoo, a Harvard Nutritional Psychiatrist and best selling author, avoids these five types of food as they contribute to feeling stressed and being tired.

1. Processed food
Baked goods and soda are high in sugar which “can lead to inflammation in the brain and may ultimately result in depression and fatigue.”

2. Industrial seed oils
Highly processed corn, grape seed, soybean, sunflower, and palm oils. “Studies have shown that people who consume foods high in omega-6 fatty acids are at higher risk of depression compared to those who consume foods high in omega-3s.” Dr. Naidoo suggests we” opt for anti-inflammatory alternatives like extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil when cooking. “

3. Added and refined sugars
“Refined sugars exacerbate inflammation and overwhelm the body with more sugar than it needs, which can create increased anxiety and unstable mood levels.” Instead, Dr. Naidoo suggests a handful of blueberries or a bit of extra dark chocolate when craving something sweet.

4. Fried Food
“Researchers found that people who consumed more fried foods were more likely to develop depression in their lifetime.”

5. Artificial sweeteners
“Several studies have demonstrated that artificial sweeteners can be toxic to the brain, altering concentrations of mood-regulating neurotransmitters.” Instead, consider using natural sweeteners such as honey or agave nectar.

More details and alternatives are available at CNBC »

Dr. Uma Naidoo is on Twitter

Dr Lucy Hone — a resilience expert — shares the three strategies that got her through an unimaginable personal tragedy⁠

In this powerful and courageous Ted Talk, Dr Lucy Hone offers us a profound insight on human suffering.

Dr Lucy Hone is a director of the New Zealand Institute of Wellbeing & Resilience, a research associate at AUT University, a published academic researcher, best-selling author and contributor to Psychology Today, the Sunday Star Times and Next magazine.

She trained at the University of Pennsylvania and got her PhD in public health at AUT University in Auckland. She has helped a range of organisations—from primary schools to leading law firms—to design and implement wellbeing initiatives creating sustained and meaningful change.

Five years ago, the sudden death of Lucy’s 12-year-old daughter Abi forced Lucy to turn her academic training and professional practice to foster resilience in very personal circumstances. The blog she wrote in the aftermath of Abi’s death attracted international attention and resulted in the best-selling non-fiction title, What Abi Taught Us, Strategies for Resilient Grieving (Allen & Unwin, 2016), now available as Resilient Grieving in the US, UK and NZ. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

A boom in fitness trackers isn’t leading to a boom in physical activity

Scott A. Conger, David Bassett, Lindsay Toth, The Conversation »

Worldwide sales of fitness trackers increased from US$14 billion in 2017 to over $36 billion in 2020. The skyrocketing success of these gadgets suggests that more people than ever see some value in keeping tabs on the number of steps they take, flights of stairs they climb, time they spend sitting and calories they burn.

The manufacturers of these devices certainly want consumers to believe that tracking fitness or health-related behaviors will spur them on to increase their activity levels and make them healthier.

Our analysis of research published over the past 25 years suggests otherwise.

We are professors of kinesiology – the science of human body movement – at Boise State, the University of Tennessee and the University of North Florida. To learn whether and how physical activity has changed in the years since fitness trackers became popular, we analyzed more than two decades of research from several industrialized nations – all conducted before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Continue reading

Clinical depression and prolonged stress and anxiety increase the risk of cardiovascular disease

Medical Express »

“These findings may indicate more attention to mental health is needed to fight cardiovascular disease, particularly for people with depression or chronic stress. In the next decades, new therapies for atherosclerosis should focus on altering immune responses, inhibiting inflammation and promoting pathways of plaque resolution. These therapies have great potential for benefiting people with cardiovascular disease, and likely particularly in those with depression,” Tufanli Kireccibasi said.

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