A least to me, it seems like we can knock paragliding off of the “keys to longevity” list.
This week’s 7 Things covers – as you can see from the title – some interesting topics.
The insights in this column include some slippery topics like what really helps with longevity, how you can read faster to learn faster, a little running advice and a question to end it all with (not your life, just the column, silly…)
I’m not going to waste any more of your time, so here goes…
1. Can booze, coffee and unfaithfulness lead to a longer life?
This week, I re-read “The Blue Zones” by Dan Buettner.
I’m in the process of information gathering for a new book that we’re working on here at Renegade Health – I might as well tell you the title.
It’s called “Renegade Health.” LOL!
There’s a subtitle and all the other goodies, but it’s an exploitative book into what is possible for your own personal health.
That’s all I’m telling now, but it will give you a little idea of what I’m doing and maybe even get you a little excited about it. (Don’t get too excited though… the book is only a title, an outline and a recently hired researcher to help me out with the details.)
Anyway, I re-read “The Blue Zones” because I wanted to know if there was anything I missed out on the first time around and to see if I could include any of the research or interview any of the experts included in the book.
To be honest, the book doesn’t really match my theme, so I didn’t find too much that was helpful in terms of my book, but I was reminded of some things that were slightly odd to me the first reading around.
You could imagine that eating a lot of veggies and fruits were on the longevity short list.
But there were a few that would catch anyone’s attention.
These involve the consumption of (sometimes maybe too much) wine and coffee, and one sub-culture that is (maybe now – was) routinely unfaithful to their wives.
These are two things that I’ve been very specifically outspoken against here on the blog, and one that I just thought didn’t need to be spoken about at all.
But anyway, it seems these are worth another go around, even if it’s some short coverage here.
The Sardinians of Italy are known to like their wine. So much that Dan Buettner attributes wine drinking as one of the factors in their longevity. The centenarians and elders that he visited drank in the day, the evening, the morning or whenever people came by to visit. He even wrote that they have a rather heavy hand when they pour a glass for a guest. So much for moderation.
The Nicoyans of Costa Rica on the other hand don’t drink booze as much as they drink coffee. They drink it regularly and show no signs of adrenal fatigue, because the pocket of people Buettner and his team studied had one of the largest per-capita number of centenarian in the world. Weird news, right?
Another thing about the Nicoyans that was observed is that the centenarian men of this culture all seemed to have mistresses. Buettner and his team didn’t attribute this as a “key to longevity” for obvious reasons – it would cause an uproar – but there was enough mention in the book during the study of the long lives of the Nicoyans that there was speculation, there was something to this.
For the betterment of relationships all around the world, I think Dan and his team did us a favor by leaving that one alone.
But back to the booze and the Joe.
Why were these working? Were they really working?
I can only speculate, but I wonder if we’re able to separate the social sharing of beverages from the actual health effects of the beverages in order to determine what really is the cause of longer life.
So, for instance, is the wine taken during the day really the cause of longevity or are the family and friendly visits all throughout the day what is helping extend life.
Is it the coffee, or the fact that while drinking coffee, the Nicoyans all get together to talk and be with each other.
We’ll never fully know this answer and Buettner knows it – that’s what the “Blue Zones” are about. The book is about finding commonalities in hopes of drilling down as close as we can to the answer – what did all the centenarian do regularly?
The answers in this type of study, of course, could be helpful to your own longevity practice.
Or maybe not – it depends on how you interpret the information. (Or if you should interpret it at all.)
You can’t just drink lots of wine and sit on the couch. You can’t drink 3 cups of Dunkin Donuts coffee, not eat breakfast and then head off to your stressful job for 10 hours (or more.)
The keys to the longer lives of these pockets of people around the globe come from a collection of things they do – a lifestyle – not an American distillation of one thing or another, take this pill with a special herb, supplement with an isolated nutrient. I can guarantee you that.
(I’m not even going to get into the sleeping around part, there are plenty of public cases in the U.S. that show that’s not ideal for longevity or keeping all your body parts. See Bobbit.)
2. Born to run…
After reading some excerpts, I finally dove into the full version of the book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall.
The concepts, in terms of running, were not new to me.
In 2004-ish, Annmarie and I were taking a ChiRunning course with Danny Dreyer – before Vibrams were popular when the idea of barefoot running was only being experimented with by top college track teams – under secrecy because it was working.
Of course, barefoot running has been around for as long as our existence, but it’s renaissance is certainly welcomed by me.
When we were trainers, I would correct running form by watching gait and having my clients take off their shoes to retrain their feet and eventually their entire chain of locomotion.
I wasn’t formally trained (except for a 2 day course with Danny), but for some reason this stuff just came naturally to me.
It just made sense – we weren’t born with air filled, padded heels, so why should we put shoes on with these adaptations as well?
The book to me, was reassurance that what I had been teaching for years now, had other supporters – some with more science than others (me).
But, in reality, how much science do we need to realize that we should run barefoot – or at least with a minimalistic shoe?
I guess the question is similar to this one – how much science do we need to tell us fruits and vegetables are a good choice?
Do we need science at all?
Yes, to convince the skeptics.
But otherwise, I wouldn’t waste too much time with most of it.
One thing I do want to caution you about is this…
3. Overtraining in Vibrams – or other barefoot trainers.
I’m going to do a longer piece on this in the near future, but I wanted to give you a heads up on it now – since it might save you some agony.
A few days ago, I was reading an article on Keith Olbermann. He’s an ex-MSNBC and ex-ESPN newscaster. The article was about his career, where he’s been, where he’s going now kind of stuff. Very uninteresting to the health crowd, except for one quick sentence about mid-way through the article.
He was talking briefly about his fitness regimen and quickly attributed a stress fracture in his foot to running in Vibram Five Finger shoes.
This caught my eye, because unfortunately, this isn’t the first time I’d heard this.
It seems like people are getting a little too far ahead of themselves when it comes to using these minimalistic tools to re-work their natural running form.
The challenge with shoes like these, is that for how ever old you are now, you have that many years of dumbing down and weakening the structure of your feet – so slipping on a pair of Vibrams and expecting to go out and run for 20-30 minutes a day is actually a tall order.
You need to gradually adjust into them.
For instance, before I even knew about Vibrams, I would train on the track at a local high school. My first few laps around the loop would be with shoes on. After I was warm, I’d run a half mile or so barefoot.
Once my feet were comfortable with this, I’d then take more laps shoeless than I did with shoes. I built up, over about 6-9 months, to running about 6 miles barefoot on a track.
(Yes, people did look at me funny. I also would do bear crawls and crab walks across the football field as well – which didn’t take away from the mystery of what I was doing either.)
I bet Olbermann wouldn’t have had his stress fracture if he followed my protocol – or anything reasonable like it. Gradual, in this case, gets you the best results.
Remember this the next time you slip on your Vibrams. Are you training to fast, or to hard in them?
By the way, I think it’s important to note, I’ve grown tired of the Vibrams. The number one reason is because they plain old stink. There’s no smell repellant that can cure them. (Yes, we’ve washed them, etc.)
My two pairs, I believe, since I haven’t seen them for a while, walked their stinky selves into the trash can (maybe with the assistance of Annmarie, but I wonder if she’d even pick them up, since they had such a foul odor.)
I feel, you can get very cheap and minimalistic shoes at a local running store that do the trick almost as effectively as the Vibrams do. They also will be significantly cheaper.
As for helping your feet along faster, I also wear Sanuk shoes (I call them slipper-shoes) on an everyday basis which don’t have any heal support or much support at all to help my feet stay at the top of their game when I’m doing my everyday work as well.
When it comes to your feet, less is better. This is true.
The only adjustment I’ll make to that is that you have to ease into less or else you’ll end up with more… pain, agony and stress (fractures.)
4. Longevity video series!
Dave Wolfe is at it again with some cool longevity videos from the previous Longevity Now Conference.
The latest video in the series is about anti-aging and I’m sure some of you are interested in that topic. (That was an intentional understatement.)
Anyway, to get on board with this video series, all you have to do is follow this link below…
After the series is over, David and team will be releasing their Longevity Now DVD set which you may be interested in as well.
We didn’t make it to this event, but the least few have been awesome and it’s totally worth the investment to get the DVD’s for your growing archive of health info.
Here’s where you can go now to check out this video and the others that are coming up this week…
5. Born to read… (or at least taught how to read faster.)
I already mentioned that I read two books this week.
Would it surprise you to know that I’ve actually read 4?
What’s even more interesting is that I didn’t even have a slow week that allowed me a heap-load of down time.
Four books is 3 more than the average person reads in a year and it’s 8 less than the average CEO reads during that same time. (So for the months of May and June, I’m 3/4 of a CEO… LOL!)
Now, I know you guys are smart and you read this blog, so you probably read more than the average, but to average 4 books a week would allow you to read over 200 books a year.
Imagine how much knowledge your could glean if you were able to do that? You may actually be able to cut through some of the B.S. that’s presented around the web about health, since books tend to be better researched and facts well checked.
I think that’s been my edge.
Not only with reading, but with the ability to interview and talk to so many people over the last 6-7-8 years has really put me in a position to hear the knowledge, distill it and present it – evenly – to you.
I’ve also heard somewhere, that to become an expert in a topic, you really just need to read 7-10 books on the subject. Whether that’s true or not, I’m not sure. There are relatively few “expert” certification boards. LOL.
What I do know, is that if you do read that many books on a subject, you will be able to talk with anyone about it. You may even – likely – know more than them about it. Plus, you’ll also be able to start to form your own theories and opinions to test and explore.
This is where real knowledge and real ingenuity takes place.
It’s my opinion that you either read to come to new conclusions (or interview!) or you don’t come to new conclusions.
It’s as simple as that.
“You’re either learning or you’re dying” – you can attribute this quote to just about any speaker on the circuit.
So my question to you is this…
What are you reading now? What will you read next week? The week after?
(If you want to use the system that I use to read faster, you can check out my friend Jim Kwik’s speed reading – with comprehension – program. Click here to read more.)
6. Vision Board is long overdue.
Annmarie and I haven’t put together a vision board since we lived in our condo in Danbury, CT.
It’s been at least 3 years – maybe 4 now.
We went hiking with a friend the other day up in Tilden Park – which overlooks the Bay – and she was talking about a vision board building session she had with a friend.
The two were like kindergartners in an art class. Giggling, laughing, being creative and most of all – beyond kindergartener conception – they were planning their future.
The curious thing about the vision board (don’t worry, I’ll skip the law of attraction goo) is that what you put on it is likely to come true.
I have no idea.
Every vision board (or for that matter, list of goals) I’ve ever created seem to spring intentions into life. The majority of everything I’ve written down as a formal goal – or visually represented in a vision board has come true.
So I could do two things here – an maybe you’re thinking about them too.
First, is I could spend all my time researching and finding out why a vision board or writing down goals works – because I do have a little skeptic blood in me.
I can just make a vision board and trust that usually the stuff becomes reality.
The second option is the shortcut, so we’re making another one this week.
Again, as much as I care how it works, I really just want the results.
If I do the thing, those will come.
7. Do you want advice?
A weeks ago I had a weird thought…
I was on the plane brainstorming the type of content we’d have on the Renegade Health blog in a year or so.
We’ve added commentary by Dr. Williams. We’ve added recipes. (Both by your request.)
And I was thinking about you and who you are and what you may want to be.
I realize that there are a subgroup of people who are practitioners in natural health who are aching for more ways to get their message out there.
If that’s you, I’m talking to ya.
Would you be interested in a once a month blog post – or more frequent – with advice on how to get more clients or how to spread your message wider?
Let me know. I’m interested in finding out, since I think (from my perspective) add more depth to what we cover.
Anyway, to either bump this one up the list or to shelve it, I’ve put together a ONE question survey so your to answer.
It’s either yes or no. This means with one question, I want EVERYONE to answer it.
Less than 10 seconds of your time.
It’s your blog too.
Let me know if you want this type of content or not.
Here’s where to go now…
(Thanks in advance!)
7a. A call to survey makers around the world.
I can’t tell you have many times I’ve been asked to take a survey for a company or business only to find that it’s 20-30 questions long and takes at least 10 minutes to answer.
I wonder who thinks this is a good idea.
I wonder who even fills these out – definitely someone who has more time on their hands than me.
I have to admit, sometimes I breeze through these surveys just to get to the other end. I give the wrong answers just to mess with them.
I know my one collection of answers won’t muck too much up, but it’s my way of rebelling from a practice that is – in my opinion – too self serving.
The survey, when long and winded, doesn’t take the customer (or reader) into account. This means the company is only focused on their own benefit.
If they were to focus on the reader or customer, they’d understand that answering every question is by far one of the lowest priorities on the totem poll for the survey-ee.
They’d also only ask questions that would eventually in a direct way benefit the reader or customer directly as well.
Don’t be fooled by the “We want to serve you better” language of a big ass survey. They really want market research for free.
We actually do want to serve you better here and do so, first, by understanding that you probably really like one to 4 questions on your survey and can answer them in about 1 minute and, second, by asking questions that are relevant to helping you get better health – or in this case – help more people get better health.
Need to get that off my chest. Thanks.
Anyway, be sure to take 3 seconds and answer this survey, so I know put my idea into action or put it to rest.
Here’s where to go again…
I want to know your thoughts: What is your take on today’s 7 Things? Do you think wine, coffee, running barefoot, reading fast or cheating have anything to do with longevity?