The previous post laid out the history of stress, explained how stress imposes a reaction, and the difference between good stress and bad stress.
In all activities, there is always a ceiling. It can be genetical and limit maximum strength, speed, coordination in physical performance. It can be environmental or geographical. Where we live and study determines for example the quality and scope of work. It can be a time ceiling, giving us limited time to accomplish required tasks.
This maximum can be attainable after a long and hard journey and is illustrated by the red line in the graph below.
The term stress was borrowed from physics by the first stress researcher Hans Selye. In physics, stress describes the force that produces strain on a physical body (i.e.: bending a piece of metal until it snaps occurs because of the force, or stress, exerted on it).
Hans Selye noticed that all his patients, regardless of disease, all looked under duress. He decided to name “stress”.
In a previous post, resting heart rate was shown to reflect physical and mental condition. A low resting heart rate correlates with good health compared to a high resting heart rate.
It becomes complex when you consider age. Older people have lower resting heart rate. And individuals with the same age, nutrition and overall fitness level can have vastly different heart rates. For instance, my maximum heart rate when running is around 172bpm while a friend has 200bpm, with the same heart rate sensor. It does not mean however that I am more or less fit than others.
I like a lot the idea of this goal. During the day, I would already imagine my legs powering me forward, the wind flowing, and the constant battle against the watch. I was already eager on sharing my success everywhere.
Recently, it started snowing. Sidewalks become a sliding game, shoes become soggy and fingers are frozen. And what was once beautiful green trails become cold, dark and snow paths like above. Result: I loose half of my speed!
Even though healthcare is free in Canada, I haven’t taken any antibiotics or any over the counter medicine in the past ten years. No aspirin, Tylenol, Vicks, Advil. Nada.
It’s not because I reject the healthcare system. If I get bitten by a dog or a snake, I will gladly get my anti rabies or anti venomous shot. If I get pneumonia, I won’t say no to a dose of antibiotics, to the contrary. In fact, if you get sick, I highly recommend you to consult your doctor and follow their prescription.
First is including exercise in your daily routine. I have already mentioned commuting as exercise. Blue Zones populations take it a step further. Ikarians in Greece and Okinawans do not buy vegetables but care for a garden instead. Sardinians are sheepherders, waking up early to cater for their animals and walk great distances. In these areas, there is also no concept of retirement, so elders still continue to have their healthy dose of exercise.
Is there a recipe to live past 100, and at the same time have a good quality of life?
That’s what Dan Bruettner tries to investigate in his book entitled “The Blue Zones, Second Edition: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest”.
With his team, Dan went to Barbagia in Sardinia (Italy), Ikaria (Greece), Okinawa (Japan), Loma Linda (California, United States), Nicoya (Costa Rica). These have relatively a high percentage of centenarians, and low occurrences of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes or COPD. Dan interviewed them on their diet, daily lifestyle, social networks and various habits. His findings are then discussed with doctors and health experts.
The picture above shows iron rust. Oxygen reacts with steel, in a process called oxidation. It gives a grey and red color, and soon, steel disintegrate. The process can be accelerated with air or water moisture.
Oxidation can also been seen in food, turning rancid cooking oils or transforming nice apples into sad brown food. This process of oxidation creates free radicals.