Focused On Fitness - January 25, 2007

    I guess life is all about the challenges and how we face them. Since we have many these days, it is interesting to see how some have changed, some have stayed the same and how some challenges can be good for us.

According to their website, in 1929 Charles Atlas formed "the foundation of today's health and fitness awareness." The site goes on to say that, "Charles Atlas, Ltd. holds the distinction of owning the most famous and recognized trademark in advertising history with the "Hey Skinny" and "The insult that made a man out of Mac" advertisements, which have appeared for nearly a century via comic books and pop culture magazines." His challenge and his challenge to others was to not be a "97 lb. weakling getting sand kicked in his face." Less than 80 years later, Jillian Michaels has made a name for herself by helping people to be the Biggest Loser. Now there's a challenge that has changed!

Just a couple of days after the State of the Union message which was all about the challenges that we face, the direction that our country will take and how our country will spend its money, it is ironic that on this day in 1879, Harper's Weekly would feature a cartoon on military spending - a challenge that obviously has remained the same.

Then there are the challenges that we can undertake on our own that are good for us. This week, I have listed a few fitness challenges below that I have come across that will all test us and some that have their rewards, too.

And finally, reporting from the home front, the wonderful UPS driver who brings all of your Polar heart rate monitors to my office assured me that my real challenge isn't now, spending my days working and looking after two little girls (which was great, by the way), but rather what my challenge will be when they are both teenagers. How true that is...!

In This Issue 
Featured Articles
Health News Headlines
Fitness Challenges
Heartwarming Story
In Parting


Featured Articles 
   5 Simple Steps to "Reprogram" Your Weight to Your Set Point - Set point is a term we use to explain why our bodies impede our results whenever we get close to our target weight.
   Onions, Garlic, and Leeks: Our Stinky Allium Family Friends! - Let's take a moment to salute these beautiful, bountiful bulbs which are delicious and nutritious, with a smell that's slightly vicious.
   Test Your Metabolism IQ - This week we'll test how much you really know about metabolism and how it effects how you eat, how you drink and how you think about aging.

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Health News Headlines 
    Affluenza: Rampant consumerism erodes us - Beware the Affluenza Virus. An epidemic of mindless consumerism is sweeping the world with the compulsive pursuit of money and possessions making people richer but sadder.
    Trans fat alternative may have its own problems - Cholesterol-raising trans fats may be disappearing from supermarket shelves and restaurants, but one type of fat taking their place may be no healthier, new research suggests.
    Gaining weight may influence earning power - Piling on the pounds is not only bad for health it can have a negative impact on earning power.
    Exercise helps stoke fat-burning fires - It may be easier for active people to stay slim after a few days of eating too much fat, a new study shows.
    Americans not getting enough preventive healthcare - Too few Americans are getting preventive health services that could lower their risk of a range of serious health problems, according to two new government reports. Make sure that you read this story - What’s a Pound of Prevention Really Worth? below.

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Fitness Challenges 
    Million Dollar Body - I am involved with this challenge and it gives you the opportunity to lose weight, get fit and win money.
    GHF Fitness Challenge - Global Health and Fitness rewards the top three finishers with luxurious resort vacations.
    National Body Challenge 2007 - From the Discovery Channel and Discovery Health and an opportunity to get fit and lose weight.

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Heartwarming Story 
    Hiking Club Spreads a Little Bit of Charlie on Every Peak - TUCSON, Jan. 24 — Richard Kane stood on a large outcropping at Chimney Rock in the Santa Catalina Mountains northwest of here one day recently. He was holding an open prescription bottle and thinking about Charlie Whitmore, his hiking buddy who died in 2005. Skip to next paragraph Beth Kane Charlie Whitmore, at Grand Canyon in 2003. He died in 2005. On his deathbed, Mr. Whitmore, 79, got assurances from Mr. Kane and other members of the Southern Arizona Hiking Club that they would honor his last request: spread his ashes on each of the club’s 315 authorized peaks. Mr. Kane and Mr. Whitmore hiked together almost every weekend, and Mr. Whitmore had reached all 315. In Mr. Whitmore’s hiking days, his tree-trunk legs could carry him from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon to its North Rim and back, a 50-mile hike, within 24 hours. Continued...

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In Parting 
    What’s a Pound of Prevention Really Worth? - We now know an enormous amount about how to prevent heart attacks, with powerful drugs like statins, smoking cessation, exercise and diet. With the right preventive care, people can cut their risk of a heart attack by up to 80 percent, cardiologists estimate. “We have made major improvements in prevention,” Dr. Gregg W. Stone, the director of cardiovascular research at Columbia University, says. “But it's difficult. It takes frequent visits, a close relationship between a physician and a patient and a very committed patient.” See, preventive medicine just doesn't pay in the current American medical system. “The time we spend with patients — we get rewarded almost zilch,” Dr. Agatston says. Or as Dr. Valentin Fuster, a former president of the American Heart Association, puts it: “There is no incentive at all. It's a disaster.” Continued...
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Persevere and be safe,
    Richard Dafter