Tag Archives: Exercise

Deskbound to an Early Death?

Office work is injurious to your health.

If you spend eight hours a day sitting at a desk, your health will suffer, your fitness will suffer, and you may be heading to an early grave.  In fact over a 20 year period you are 60% more likely to die than someone who leads an active life, (defined as a couple of hours physical activity a day).  A sedentary lifestyle can kill you.

A deskbound, sedentary lifestyle means that you will be  far more likely to suffer from all kinds of nasty illnesses, including; heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, cancer, type 2 diabetes, depression, dementia, insomnia, poor circulation, back pain, neck pain, brittle bones, arthritis, gout, obesity, stomach problems…

However, there are some fairly easy changes you can make to your deskbound lifestyle to make up for the fact that for eight hours a day you’re mostly a potato.  All you really need is a little bit of self-discipline, and you could transform your life by following some, (or all), of these simple suggestions.

Seems like a lot of fuss and effort, doesn’t it?  OK, don’t bother to do any of this.  Don’t make any changes to your sedentary life.  Be a boring person, get sick, feel terrible, die before you should.  With one exception I don’t give a damn if you follow any of this advice or not.  It’s your life, such as it is, you are free to be a desk potato, if that’s what you really want.

But remember, if you just sit at your desk for eight hours a day, then you have to do a solid hour’s exercise in the evenings just to undo all the harm you’ve done to your body, mind, and spirit during the working day.

Get more exercise and have a nice life.

~

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

21 ways to save money

Easy Lifestyle Changes Could Save You A Small Fortune.

Red_RoseThere some very basic things you can do which, added together, will save you a great deal of money.  These changes to the way you live your life are not difficult, they’re not complicated, and they will not take up a lot of your time.  In fact, all of these things are what my granny used to call; ‘basic common sense’.  Get on with it, smell the roses, save yourself some money, and live a better life.

  1. Pay off all your credit and store card bills.  The average interest rate on credit card debt is around 16%, with some banks charging as much as 79.9% per annum, this is just extortion and usury.  Far better to borrow elsewhere, at a cheaper rate, and pay off your plastic.
  2. Use the internet and find cheaper providers for your gas, electricity, water, mobile phone, (cell phone), land line telephone, internet, cable television, and car insurance.  Switch to the cheapest provider because customer service will always suck, no matter who you are with.  And, by the way, do you really need all those rubbish TV channels?
  3. Lower the temperature of your heating, and raise the temperature of your air conditioning by a couple of degrees.  We all pay far too much for heating and cooling our homes.
  4. Lower the temperature at which you wash your clothes.  There is a 30C setting on my washing machine, (about 90F), and most of the time that’s what I use.  This gets rid of most dirt and stains, but it does not get rid of germs, and it’s not hot enough to get whites clean.  So, I still always wash my bed linen and whites at 90C, (about 200F).  Mind you, I always use biological washing powder which works well at lower temperatures.
  5. Always make a shopping list.  Far too many people go into a store and come out with a whole bunch of stuff they don’t really want or need, while forgetting the important thing they went in for.  Make a shopping list and never, ever make impulse purchases.
  6. Try own-brand goods.  Very often the own-brand products are just as good as the more expensive named-brands.  Quite often own-brand products are made in the same factories and on the same production lines as named brands.  Stores always try to make you buy the most expensive, premium goods.
  7. Never buy ‘designer labels’  ~  don’t be a logo whore, and who wants some other guy’s name on their clothes and shoes anyway?  It’s pathetic.
  8. Learn to do DIY.  I hate contractors, repair men, decorators, gardeners, with a passion.  If it needs doing then 90% of the time I do it myself.  Learn to decorate, put up a shelf, fix a leaky tap, (faucet), and save yourself an absolute fortune.
  9. Make your travel arrangements early and do it on the internet.  Always shop around for the cheapest deal.  Always pay by credit card.  Get a brochure from the travel agent for information and to give you a comparison.
  10. Learn to drive properly.  Almost everyone I know is a crap driver, especially women.  Almost everyone I know drives too fast, races between the lights, uses the accelerator hard and the brakes hard, and sits in the wrong gear.  Drive a little slower and learn what anticipation means and you will not only use less petrol, (gas), there will be much less wear and tear on your car.
  11. p1020966Don’t always buy the newest, top-of-the-range car.  A low mileage used car, or the basic model in the new car range can save you thousands.  Remember, the biggest cost of owning a car is depreciation.  Most cars will lose between 50% – 60% of their value in the first 3 years.  (Just don’t buy an Edsel ~ people will laugh.)
  12. Walk, don’t drive.  If you don’t have far to go and don’t have much to carry, don’t drive, walk instead.  That won’t only save you money, walking will do wonders  for your health and fitness.
  13. Give up smoking / vaping.  Both will seriously damage your health, both can kill you, and both will cost you a fortune.  A pack of 20 cigarettes will cost you about £7 in the UK and about $7 in California, (USA prices vary by state).  So, a 10 a day habit will cost you about £1,300 per annum in the UK and $1,300 a year in California ~ a lot of money for a disgusting habit that’s killing you.
  14. Cut down on your drinking.  Too much booze will make you fat, ill, and temporarily or permanently stupid ~ it will eventually kill you.  How much booze is too much?  If you drink  a bottle of wine a night, or 4 bottles of beer, or a quarter of a bottle of spirits, then you are drinking far too much.  Decent booze is hellishly expensive.
  15. Cincinnati KidSTOP GAMBLING.  Gambling is exactly the same as throwing your hard-earned money in the trash.  Gambling is an addiction, and all gamblers lose heavily over time, always, with no exceptions, (not even the Cincinnati Kid).
  16. Never, ever, join a gym, and if you have gym membership, then cancel it.  Most people with gym memberships don’t go often enough to get their money’s worth.  Gyms are poor value for money and bad places for most people to exercise ~ you’re breathing stale air, being made to listen to loud music, and you’re indoors under artificial lights.  Nasty.  Exercise for free instead.
  17. Plan ahead and buy stuff in the sales, at discount stores, and in thrift stores.
  18. Claim all your tax and other benefits.  Use the internet at learn what you can really claim.
  19. Never use pay per view TV or TV services such as Netflix ~ this is just stupid.  Do you really need to dumb down so much as to sit in front of the TV, and pay extra for the privilege, over and above whatever stupid cable subscription you are already paying for this crap?
  20. Never, ever buy extended warranties on things like a car, new washing machine, or television.  These warranties are scams, not worth the paper they’re printed on, and cost a fortune.
  21. Stop buying expensive pre-prepared, ready meals.  Learn to cook instead.  ‘Ready meals’ are full of unmentionable crap, and are terrible value for money.

Remember, when you want to save money, when you want to stop wasting money, the internet is your friend.  You may think you don’t have the time to spend on internet research, trust me, you do have loads of spare time, it’s just that you waste that too.  Stop ruining your mind by watching hours of drivel on the TV, stop ruining your health by spending time in your usual sleazy pub / bar, and stop making excuses.

Never, ever, sign anything you don’t understand.  Never, ever, trust a salesperson.

Take back control of your own life, and take control of your finances, it’s a lot easier than you think.

~

Wall Streetjack collier

jack collier7@talktalk.net

how I lost 18 pounds in 6 weeks

I wanted to be healthier, fitter, and look better, (or at least look as well as I could).  Turns out I developed a sustainable plan for eating, exercise, and good health.

Black DogIt all started on June 9th, when I came to the conclusion that I really, really, needed to give up coffee for a month  Too much coffee was turning me into a mad dog.  I’ve only had coffee on 2 days since then, and for me, coffee is now a drink only for after a special meal, with a special friend.

As I felt much better not drinking coffee I also resolved to cut all the junk out of my diet.  This is easier said than done ~ most of the stuff we eat is full of salt, sugar, additives, colourings, and sundry crap.  After a while I decided that I just had to stop eating a lot of processed, packaged, pre-prepared food. For me, there is also the big issue of Abstinence versus Control.

Then I wanted a couple of other things; to get a decent sun tan, and get some exercise.  Ha!  I could do both by going for long walks on the beach, in the sunshine.

So, 6 weeks ago I came up with this plan.

  1. Take a long walk every day it wasn’t raining.  Walking is good for you.  I bought a pedometer, and my long walk turned into 10 miles every day, which takes me about three-and-a-half hours.  I also found I could do some upper-body isometric exercise while I was walking in the sunshine.  Sun tan and exercise!
  2. No alcohol whatsoever.  I am not supposed to drink anyway, and if you want to look as good as you can, then you need to give up booze, (and I mean completely), for 6 weeks.  In fact you should stop drinking beer for the rest of your life.
  3. No wheat whatsoever.  This includes wheat products like bread, cakes, noodles, pasta, and beer…  Modern wheat is full of nasty stuff, piles on fat around your stomach, and will eventually harm your insides.  Everybody should probably stop eating wheat.
  4. Take as little sugar as possible.  This means cutting out all those canned, packaged, processed foods.  Stop drinking soda completely.  Quitting coffee and switching to green tea helps too.  Not eating wheat products also cuts out a lot of sugar.  Too much refined sugar will kill you anyway.
  5. Eat only healthy meals prepared at home.  Unless you’ve bought the produce and cooked / prepared the meal yourself, you have no idea what you are eating.  In any event, eating out is too likely to lead one down the road of overeating and booze. There are hundreds of quick and easy menus ~ hell just read my Food on Friday blog if you run out of ideas.
  6. No snacks, no grazing, no eating between meals, over large meals, cookies with coffee…  And, do not have more than 3 meals in a day.  In fact, do no have more than a light breakfast, light lunch, and reasonable evening meal in each day.

This eating plan is going to be a big problem for some people, it certainly was for me.  I am one of those people who can give up stuff easily, but I can’t control how much stuff I want once I’ve started.  Like most of us, once I start eating I want to eat more.

My solution was daily intermittent fasting, eating only 1 meal a day, my evening meal.

You will be surprised to know that I found this programme very easy to follow.

And when I checked my wight yesterday I found I had hit my target of 150 pounds, which means I have shed 3 pounds of flab, every week for 6 weeks.  Add it up.

~

hbz-insta-amandabiskjackcollier7@talktalk.net

liebster-12

Cycling Is Dangerous

ARE BRITISH ROADS THE MOST DANGEROUS IN EUROPE FOR CYCLISTS?

cycle_pavementsThere is no doubt that roads in Britain are not particularly bike friendly.  Dedicated bike lanes are few and far between, and usually seem to have been designed by people who have haven’t ridden a bicycle since they were at school.  Consequently, cyclists are always at risk of being hurt by inconsiderate, careless, thoughtless drivers who are usually not paying attention to where they’re going when they change lanes.  Because of this most cyclists have now taken to riding on the footpaths, pavements, sidewalks, just to get away from two-ton tin boxes that can crush a cyclist to death without really noticing.

This places the speeding cyclist into direct conflict with pedestrians ~ those people who have a legitimate right to be on the footpath.  In England and Wales, cycling on the footpath is against the law.  Yet, hardly anyone is ever charged with breaking this particular law, total prosecutions in England and Wales run at about 150 per year.  I have even seen policemen riding their police bicycles on the footpath. This is not a good idea for daydreaming pedestrians.  It is very unfunny to walk around a street corner to be faced with a couple of speeding cyclists coming the other way.  Non cyclists regard this as extreme anti-social behaviour which causes a potentially fatal hazard to pedestrians and cyclists alike.  Cyclists often have less than perfect manners or any consideration for any other person unlucky enough to come into close proximity to a madly pedaling maniac.

London_Big_Ben_Phone_boxA Parliamentary report said; ‘Some cyclists are perceived to behave irresponsibly, such as riding on pavements and disregarding red traffic signals, thereby posing a danger to themselves and making other road users including elderly pedestrians feel unsafe.’  David Curry asked the transport department’s permanent secretary Robert Devereux, ‘Why are cyclists such irresponsible and arrogant road users?’  Mr Deveraux denied that his department looked at cyclists as though they were; ‘living in some sort of superior moral category.’  The report concludes; ‘It is surprising that the department was unaware of a strongly held perception that, through the irresponsible behaviour of some cyclists, they are a hazard to themselves and other road users.’

Not every cyclist is a lout dressed in Lycra.  Not every cyclist has forgotten how to say thank you.  Not every cyclist cannot be bothered to show consideration to other people they meet on the road, pavement, car parks, the beach-side promenade… If you happen to meet a Lycra lout then do not attempt to stand your ground, get to one side as quickly as possible, because the very best you can expect if you make them deviate from their chosen course is a mouthful of expletives, or a stream of saliva.  Do not point out that for riding on the footpath they should get a £30 fixed-penalty fine, because you both know that the police will be massively disinterested.

Motorists in cities face similar problems with aggressive cyclists.  Any motorist seeing a bike in their mirrors should expect the cyclist to do something dangerous, it’s best to pause to let them past, or they are in danger of ending under your wheels.  Cyclists should observe indicator lights and wait for the car to move on, as it is the duty of the vehicle doing the overtaking to keep out of the way of the vehicle being overtaken.  But any motorist who does not give cyclists an absolute right of way is asking for a kick in the door, thump on the window and a stream of four letter words.

The odds of a cyclist hurting or killing themselves are bad enough even with wary drivers always giving them a wide berth.  Transplant surgeons refer to cyclists and motor cyclists as donors and know there will be a fresh supply of spare parts every time it rains.  Every year in England about 19,000 cyclists are killed or injured in reported road accidents.  This despite the fact that hardly anyone cycles anywhere.  On average people in England and Wales only make 10 trips a year by bike travelling no more than 30 miles, (out of a total of 7,056 miles per person per year).  Less than 4% of adults use a bicycle as a means of transport, and just over 4% of adults use a bike for fun or to keep fit.  Most cycling accidents, some 80%, involve adult males.

Stair-LapsCycling is an excellent exercise, much better than running in some ways.  Many serious runners of my acquaintance suffer from knee problems, muscle damage, and inflammation.  But cycling also puts you in harms way unless you can find a safe route, free from interference from cars and pedestrians.  Other excellent exercise regimes, for the more mature manly man, are distance walking, stair-laps, swimming, and working out with weights.  As I hate bicycles and getting wet, walking, stair laps, and working out with weights is my personal exercise regime.  A couple of thousand steps is a great cardiovascular workout.

cyclistCycling is also a great sport.  Great Britain has had a lot of recent successes in the Olympics and major road races such as the Tour de France.  But, road races take place mostly on closed roads, and yet serious accidents still happen.  The dynamics of a bicycle are such that the machine is always on the verge of catastrophe.  It is only the gyroscopic effect of the turning road wheels that keeps a bike upright, disturb that equilibrium at all, and you will be kissing tarmac.  Also, back in the day, we were expected to take a cycling proficiency test.  This has now been rehashed as Bikeability.  Sadly, not many cyclists bother with this kind of training.

raleighPersonally, I haven’t seriously ridden a bike since I was at school.  Looking at today’s roads I don’t think I’m going to start now.  Some cyclists lose all common sense as soon as they get out onto the roads.  Some cyclists become aggressive and dangerous.  This is why we should be teaching young cyclists that they have responsibilities as well as rights.  If cyclists go on believing that everything is always someone else’s fault, they cease to have any grasp on reality.  But this attitude of it’s always the fault of the motorist is exactly the line that Cycling England espouses.

The hard truth is;  Keep death off the roads, don’t ride a bike.

Carbohydrates Are Addictive

THE HUMAN TONGUE IS TUNED TO TASTE CARBOHYDRATES

ObesityIf you have ever wondered why ‘diet foods’ taste bland and unsatisfying, it’s because your tongue isn’t picking up the taste of carbohydrates as there aren’t many carbs in diet food.  Worse than that, when your tongue recognises carbs in your food, it sends pleasure signals to your brain.  No carbohydrates on your fork, no fun for your pleasure centres.  The people in white coats report that as well as the basic five ‘tastes’ of; sweet, sour, salty, savory, and bitter, the human tongue has a ‘sixth sense’ and can identify carbohydrates.  Given that carbohydrates rapidly break down in the body, turning to sugar in the blood, the ‘taste’ of starches tells the brain to expect an instant hit of energy in the form of sugar.

I Ate My Desk AgainCarbohydrates hit areas of the sensory system and brain that remain totally unaffected by artificial sweeteners.  Crucially, this happens if you merely taste the carbs and don’t even swallow them.  Dr Nicholas Grant from the University of Auckland’s Sport and Exercise Department says; ‘Carbohydrates are extremely powerful stimuli that have profound and immediate effects on the brain and the systems it controls.’  This sixth sense on the tongue for carbs might explain why sportsmen respond immediately to carbohydrate-rich food.  It might also explain a lot about eating disorders.

The good news is that because this happens direct from the mouth to the brain, you don’t even have to swallow the bread / potatoes / rice / beans to get this particular jolt.  Studies have shown that having a carbohydrate-rich drink and using it as a mouthwash, (spit the stuff out), improves performance during strenuous exercise without giving your body all those calories.  This does not work with sugar-based solutions, just carbohydrates.  Sugar and carbohydrates together works even better as an energy mouthwash, allegedly.  MRI studies show that sweet carbohydrate solution swished around the mouth activates the areas of the human brain linked to ‘sight’ and ‘reward.’  The carbohydrate taste is completely different to the sweet taste, so the brain receives two separate signals.  Motor output and therefore physical performance are improved, just by the brain telling the body that there’s energy on the way.

bread-baked-from-wheat-flourThe bad news is that, if a sportsman doesn’t ingest the carbohydrates the brain will tell the body that it has more reserves of energy than actually exist.  Great for weight-loss, bad if you’re running a marathon.  The other bad news is that carb-rich foods stimulate the areas in the brain involved with cravings.  I know people who have a craving for carbohydrates such as; bread, chocolate, cakes….  It isn’t pretty.

Because just tasting carbohydrates on your tongue sends signals to the pleasure centres in the brain, people can become addicted to carbohydrate-rich foods.  These include, (but are not limited to): bread, bagels, biscuits, cakes, cereal, chocolate, cookies, crackers, danish, french fries, fruits and fruit juices, ice cream, potato chips, (crisps), pasta, potatoes, pretzels, rice, pies, popcorn, sugary drinks, and sweetcorn.  Carbohydrate addiction is a recognised medical condition.

a-obese-wSome respected psychologists, doctors, dieticians, and food scientists, claim the carbohydrates, sweets, (candy), and chocolate are as addictive as cigarettes. Eating too many hot dogs is just another form of substance addiction.  The sugar rush created when we eat these foods stimulates the same areas of the brain that respond to nicotine, alcohol, and other drugs.  The problem is that carbohydrates and sugars are like other addictive drugs in that the ‘addict’ has to consume ever larger amounts of the chemical of their choice to get a satisfactory hit.  Consuming ever larger amounts of carbs and sugars makes people fat, obese, morbidly obese and dead.

So, the parts of the brain that respond to carbohydrates are the same areas that are linked to alcoholism, smoking, substance abuse and dependence.  That does not sound good.

alcoholic-latina-womanIt just gets worse.  The brain is run on things called neurotransmitters, which allow signals to pass between nerve cells.  When you take cocaine, smoke, drink booze, eat carbohydrates, a neurotransmitter called dopamine is created.  Dopamine goes right to the pleasure centres of the brain.  The reason dopamine is created from carbs is because the release of insulin into the blood causes a huge blood sugar spike.  This is particularly bad when we eat wheat products, potatoes, and corn starch.  It’s even worse than that for diabetics because they can go into shock and die from eating too many high-glycemic carbohydrates.  Too many carbohydrates, alcohol and too much tobacco are leading you on the path to type 2 diabetes anyway.

The question is, is a low carbohydrate diet the answer?  Perhaps that depends on how bad your addictions are.  However, too many carbohydrates are really bad for the human body, whatever way you look at it.  Refined carbohydrates, principally from wheat flour, corn flour and corn starch are toxic.  The blood sugar produced is responsible for visceral fat.  The infamous ‘beer belly.’  If you have a beer belly, not only do you look disgusting, you are also unhealthy.  Visceral fat, (omentum fat), affects your body’s ability to produce insulin, which is essential for the proper digestion of sugar in the blood, and you’re back on your way to type 2 diabetes again.

smoking1Depending on who and what you read, it takes from 3 to 28 days to detoxify your body and kick an addiction to carbohydrates.  Personally, being very familiar with 12-step self-help programmes, I am more inclined to think that it takes 28 days to kick your carb addiction.  That will mean giving up on wheat products, potatoes, corn sugars, refined table sugar, fizzy drinks, and, (because of cross addiction), probably booze and cigarettes for 28 days.  Allegedly, the half-dozen foods you should almost never eat if you have a weight booze, tobacco, carbohydrate problem and would like to lose your belly fat are;

  1. Concentrated fruit juice drinks.  These are nothing but sugar-water.
  2. Highly processed foods like TV dinners, candy, and chocolate ice creams.  Often full of corn syrup and / or dextrose which are very bad for you.
  3. Margarine.  This stuff is full of trans-fats, which can give you heart disease, increase bad cholesterol, and kill you.  Butter is better.
  4. Wheat and wheat products, including whole wheat.  Bread, pasta, pizza, cake, cookies and other comfort foods.
  5. Processed soy.  Soy milk, tofu, vegetarian ‘meats’ etc…  95% of soya grown in the USA is genetically modified.  This stuff is unhealthy.
  6. Corn and corn products.  Especially GM corn.  Genetically modified corn is just as bad as ‘modern’ wheat when it comes to toxins your body does not like.

The bottom line is, Highly refined foods are full of bad stuff.  Too much carbohydrate is going to kill your chances of being a manly man,

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