Happy New Year – Still keeping those resolutions?

For everybody whose New Years Resolutions may have already fallen by the wayside the following advice I received in an Email from an eccentric Chinese doctor, Dr Quak, may be of some comfort.

Q: Doctor, I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true ?

A: Your heart only good for so many beats, and that it … don’t waste on exercise.

Everything wear out eventually. Speeding up heart not make you live longer; it like saying you extend life of car by driving faster. Want to live longer? Take nap.

Ed note – there is good evidence to show that life expectancy is indeed linked to total number of heart beatsmainly when comparing one species with another. Healthy exercise should increase your heart rate to 70% of your maximum predicted value for the time that you exercise.

Your maximum predicted rate is 220 – age. However a healthy heart pumps more efficiently so that your resting pulse is slower – the average pulse rate varies between 60-100beats per minute – Olympic athletes often have pulse rates in the 40s.

Broadly speaking your life will be increased by at least the time you spend exercising. Those who spend 4 or morehours a week will extend their lives by up to 7 years.

Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

A: You must grasp logistical efficiency. What does cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables.

So steak is nothing more than efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef also good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And pork chop can give you 100% of recommended daily allowance of vegetable product.

It’s interesting to note that the Atkins diet (which excludes most fruit and veg) often results in a reduction of cholesterol levels!! It is effective because carbohydrates drive our appetite so people on the Atkins diet simply eat less. Also red meat is the best source of iron.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?

A: No, not at all. Wine made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that mean they take water out of fruity bit so you get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made of grain. Bottom up!

A little bit of alcohol does indeed seem to have a protective effect on heart disease. Sadly too much has a serious adverse effect.

The greatest challenges to modern society are obesity and alcohol related problems –both of which continue to get worse. Smoking related diseases are all on the decline.

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio ?

A: Well, if you have body and you have fat, your ratio one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio two to one, etc.

This advice is probably better than the standard advice given to most people who are overweight and not obese. In technical language a BMI (Body Mass Index- which measures your ‘fatness’) of 19- 25 is normal, 25-30 is overweight and over 30 is obese.

If you are obese the message is simply if you lose weight you’ll live longer and healthier – up to 7 years of extra good quality life. However if you’re simply overweight the message is not so clear, if you lose weight then your life is shortened.

It transpires that the extra exercise your lungs and heart do carrying the extra weight up the stairs more than compensates for your increased risk of hypertension and diabetes associated with the extra weight. So if you’re overweight and planning to lose weight you must increase your exercise levels to ensure your heart and lungs are still protected.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

A: Can’t think of single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No pain … good!

Although the benefits of exercise are overwhelming – adding on average 7 years extra life, not everyone benefits. An Australian study suggested that up to 10% of the population do not seem to benefit from regular exercise.

Q: Aren’t fried foods bad for y o u ?

A : Y O U N O T LISTENING! Food are fried these day in vegetable oil. In fact, they permeated by it. How could getting more vegetable be bad for you?!?

I wouldn’t be surprised if in years to come we change our advice regarding what constitutes a healthy diet.

Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

A: Definitely not! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only be doing sit-up if you want bigger stomach.

Sit ups will simply strengthen your abdominal muscles – it is unlikely that your heart and lungs will get a good work out – and it is your heart and lungs that are important when it comes to extra life and feeling better.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?

A: Are you crazy?!? HEL-LOO!! Cocoa bean! Another vegetable! It best feel-good food around!

There’s a lot of evidence which shows that chocolate really is good for you. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids and antioxidants and have been shownto possibly reduce heart disease. Chocolate also seems to boost serotonin in the brain and help with anxiety and depression.

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?

A: If swimming good for your figure, explain whale to me.

Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise because you can exercise all your muscle groups without pounding any joints. Even if you are as big as a whale you can still have an excellent work out.

There is a common misconception that if you’re fat you’re unhealthy and unfit. The two are linked but there are plenty of fat people around who are actually very fit and plenty of people of a normal weight who are very unfit.

Q: Is getting in shape important for my lifestyle?

A: Hey! ‘Round’ a shape!

How we feel about how we are is really important. If you are contented with your shape that is healthier than forever being anxious and worried . Well, I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

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