Sunday, November 15, 2009

Odds and Ends

Writing from Tampa tonight -

Trends: The ACSM has been conducting a world wide survey of trends related to fitness and the health industry for four years. It is an impressive sampling, though the return rate is only 15%. The response for 2010 trends included almost 1500 professionals from several countries. It is important to note that they are tracking trends ( an indication of long lasting behavior change), not fads. There is significant criteria to make the list. There may be things on the list in the top ten or twenty spot that drop off after a couple of years, and those are then deemed to be fads that were longer lasting than usual. Of note, for what is expected this year (which is often the same as the last four years), is children and obesity, special fitness programs for older adults, personal training, core training, strength training, balance training and comprehensive health promotion programming at the worksite. The first and last are my favorite, but they are third and twentieth on the list. Oh what I wanted to say was that in the little blurb about special programming for older adults, which certainly emphasizes activity to keep the person as active, strong and independent as possible and which is a trend due to the aging baby boomers, I saw some new terminology. The terms used were - more active older adult, the ATHLETIC older adult and the frail elderly. I can tell you which one I strive to be. (from ACSMs Health and Fitness Journal V 13 N 6)

Fish Oil: From the same ACSM journal cited above comes additional information on Omega 3s and what fish oil is proven and not proven to do. I KNEW from hearing experts, reading research and visiting the AHA website, that fish high in omega 3s or essential fatty acids and fish oil supplements reduced the inflammation markers for heart disease and could prevent it. There are other conditions for which evidence supports a benefit of consumption of these fatty acids. I have already written about this in several posts. What I was able to better grasp today was that the three poly unsaturated fats that are important are (briefly) ALA, EPA, and DHA. We actually get a lot of omega 3 fatty acids every day, but most are ALA and it is not the ALA that protects. Also, our bodies do not sufficiently convert this ALA to DHA and EPA so we should consume at least two 3 oz servings of fatty fish a week. See previous posts and links for fish that are lower in mercury, dioxin and PCBs. Of note, shrimp DOES have omega 3s and canned tuna is a good source too. Salmon is of course, the best. Fish oil supplements DO protect for cardiovascular disease but DO NOT reduce the inflammation associated with vigorous physical activity. There fore, I am reconsidering my daily fish oil supplementation as I, unlike most of the country, do not have any heart disease indicators.

Caludication: I was listening to the radio and heard this commercial asking "do you suffer from intermitent caludication?" And I kept thinking, I know what that is. Why do I know what that is? What is it? OH<>

Therapists: Okay, before I say my piece let me be fair and clear. My early career was as a child focused social worker and later a psychiatric social worker, so yes, I have done counseling in a general way. I have dear friends who are psychiatrists and psychologists and I certainly respect the therapeutic relationship. That being said, I also believe that sometimes, therapists just need to shut the hell up. It is helpful to talk with someone about where you are so you can be where you really need to be. Sometimes, but NOT always, that involves a check in with the past, the very far away past. Today at the pool, I hear a man talking on his cell phone. I heard these little blips of conversation and cannot begin to know what the real topic was. It seemed he was talking to a friend or family member about a relationship. He was having real problems with his girl. He said something like, "sex is the most powerful..." and damn, I didn't hear the rest. Then something about falling asleep?? and then , "my therapist said that having something like that happen when I was so young ... yeah, six or seven... would be very hard on a person." Then he said, "no, I don't really remember anything, but the therapist said...."
And that is when, well, I packed up my stuff to leave because I just didn't want to hear anymore, but I thought, not too kindly, "that therapist needs to shut the hell up."

OK, that's it then...

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