Sunday, March 22, 2015

Day 3.81 I'll Take 'Em

In a semi-serious rhetorical question posed to long-course triathletes (Ironman) a few years ago, the answer wasn't overly surprising. But one of the published responses was. The question:

If science (in conduction with big pharma) invented or discovered a drug that would allow you to win Kona (World Championship) but would cost you five years off your life, would you take it?

The 'no surprise' percentage from the AAA type over-achievers was overwhelming, about 65% responded without a second thought, answering yes. 20% of those answered fuck yes.

The one answer I found comical was the person who wanted a qualifier. He asked, before answering, what five? The bet hedging got me to thinking, 'without the diminishing quality of life reality, would obvious instant glory be worth hastening the end game?' Seriously, if we are destined to spend the 'golden years' prostrate in a hospital bed linked to life support systems and unable to clean up after ourselves, why NOT have one moment and its glorious memory?  Because it's cheating is the only legitimate response. Ask Lance.

But this hypothetical situation plays out in other metaphorical ways. Remember the days when the anti-smoking coalition's scare tactics told us that every cancer stick we puffed cost us five minutes of life? That 100 minutes per pack (I am assuming that this was a non-filtered test) means that for all the Camels, Marlboros and Rothchilds I inhaled in my silly younger, bullet-proof days, I should be ashes and dust by now.

For approximately the last quarter century I have wised-up to the benefits of good habits. I quit smoking a long time ago, gave up hard liquor and quit eating meat. I exercise daily. That combination has probably kept me alive as a couple of heart-related issues could have easily gone 'the other way'. Point being that everything we do, every combination, every bad habit kicked and good one pursued, gives us a better chance of sticking around. You might be the toughest guy on your team and still get broadsided by a cement truck, sure, but the things we can control, we must.

Here is an interesting study published in US News & World Report. Please read it.

A team of Harvard University researchers analyzed data from six large studies that focused on the leisure activities and body mass index of more than 650,000 people older than 40 who were followed for 10 years. They found that those who clocked 75 minutes of brisk walking each week – which translates to about 11 minutes a day – lived 1.8 years longer than those who didn't exercise at all. And those who got 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week, or 22 minutes a day, gained 3.4 years. The findings were released in November 2013.

Did you notice the (bold) 3.4 years metric? On only 22 minutes a day?

I'll take 'em, thank you very much.

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