DIET just another NASTY FOUR LETTER WORD!
I have an acronym for the ugly word DIET - (DEPRIVATION - INDUCED - EATING - TRAUMA). What could be more counterproductive than saying you should begin a diet AND exercise program simultaneously? First of all why would you want to start exercising when you are most likely stressed, frustrated and most importantly HUNGRY due to the effects of restricting your food intake and/or eliminating your favorite foods?
I often hear people say that they are on a "great diet." To me that is like saying I just had a "fantastic headache." I think most will agree that a great diet or a fantastic headache would be those that fail to start in the first place. If there was such a thing as a universal diet, vitamin, supplement, or food that caused the masses to safely lose weight and keep the weight from creeping back again, do you actually think you would have to seek it out? I think not! The product would have a life of its own, plastered across every newspaper in the world and available on every street corner of the US. There have been some strides in the modern science of weight loss, although most involve great expense/risk, both or many more years of study. READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE
Cross Chaining Rubs You the Wrong Way...
Ever notice that your chain sounds and feels like it is under stress? You are probably creating this avoidable condition yourself. I have ridden by many, or more to the point, been passed by many cyclists whose bikes are emitting a terrible "metal on metal" sound. Many bike shops report that bikes coming back from a test ride and customers' bikes dropped off for repair often are cross chained. Most of these people should know better. They are performing the dreaded act of cross chaining (i.e., creating unhealthy, extreme, chain angles between the rear cogs and the front chain rings). The more the chain follows a straight line the happier it is.
Cross chaining will eventually do damage to your chain and rear derailleur. The chain is caused to bend out of its appropriate chain line putting unnecessary stress on the pivots of the chain and the rear derailleur, causing the chain to stretch unnecessarily and accelerate the wear of the teeth on the chain rings and rear cogs. This extreme angle causes the chain to ride on the edge of the gear, wearing the sides of the gear teeth and creating deformed uneven points. This wearing could eventually weaken the teeth and cause the teeth to break off, usually at the most inopportune time - like climbing, as you put immense pressure on the chain and gearing. READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE
It's Going to Happen Anyway ... Even if You Don't Think About It!
In general terms a relaxed person takes a little over 17,000 per day, an average person takes approximately 20,000 per day, a stressed individual may take 30,000 per day - breaths, that is, one of the few miraculous things our bodies do consciously or unconsciously. It can pay huge dividends to get into the habit of passively noticing your breath - the sound, depth, and frequency. Be careful not to obsess or pay total attention to your breathing or that attention itself may make you ill at ease. Monitor your breath as if you were simply watching small children play in the park on a beautiful, warm, sunny, summer day - relaxed, detached, and not bothered. Better yet imagine yourself as the children playing! Do not put too much thought or effort into the process, just causally watch and listen. Eventually this "watching" will become second nature.
When you stop to think about it breathing is the most precious commodity of our existence. Generally speaking, we can live for three to four weeks without food, several weeks without sleep, three days without water, three hours without warmth but only mere minutes without oxygen. For the average person, brain damage shortly follows after three minutes without taking a breath. Of course there are exceptions like the highly skilled free divers who dive deep into the ocean without additional sources of oxygen. For examples of this extraordinary breath control please see sites such as AIDA - the Worldwide Federation for breath-hold diving and martinstepanek.com. READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE
To Drink Or Not To Drink - It Used To Be So Easy!
We have been urged by health-care organizations and government agencies such as "US Department of Heath and Human Services- National Institutes of Health" to reduce our sodium intake due to a possible link between high sodium intake and high blood pressure in certain individuals. Many diseases are worsened by extremely high sodium intake. I feel these guidelines are for the general population and don't apply to a small percentage of extremely physically active adults who indulge in long duration endurance events - especially in hot, humid conditions.
Unfortunately, as we all know most of us need not worry about the consequences of long duration exercising, since exercise in general is not on most people's agenda, much less exercise of any length in extreme conditions. However, we need sodium for normal bodily functioning. We can lose abundant amounts of sodium through sweat and urination during prolonged activity. This article is geared toward those of us who enjoy partaking in extended periods of exercise (measured in hours instead of minutes) and the important need to pay attention to the delicate water/sodium balance in our bodies, and the real possibility of taking in TOO MUCH WATER without adequate electrolytes and the serious consequences that may result. READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE
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