The recent video confusion is finally over. If you were unable to view them on my home page, click on the video tag at the top of the home page and you’ll find them. Sorry for the inconvenience. If you would like to buy some of the bands like I used, click on the banner called Resistance Band Training on the home page underneath the picture.

I just returned from a camping trip to northern Arizona with my son. We had a great time, although 4 inches of rain made some of our hikes a real adventure. We were up near Greer, AZ, which sits at an elevation between 8000 and 8500 feet. At age 58 (almost 59), I soon realized that acclimatizing to that altitude took me longer than it used to. Legs were burning and my heart was pounding on what were seemingly small hills. I remember from an exercise and environment class that it takes approximately 16 hours at high altitude for you body to acclimate completely. Physiologically, your blood thickens (more platelets) so that you can carry more oxygen with each heartbeat, so refrain from any strenuous activity when you first arrive at high altitude. This is especially true if you are not in good physical condition. Luckily for me, elevation was not a serious issue (I’m in good shape). There was a recent article in the Wall Street Journal¬†(7/23/13)¬†regarding this issue. The study found that those who slept at low elevations (0-2500 feet above sea level) were five times more likely to suffer a fatal heart attack as those who slept at higher elevations. Researchers in Dallas analyzed 301 sudden cardiac deaths that occurred during weeklong expeditions in the Austrian mountains between 1985 and 1993. On average, the victims were 58-60 years of age and slightly overweight. Just over 40% had high cholesterol and high blood pressure, 26% had suffered a previous heart attack, and about 25% smoked. Of the 301 victims, 149 died on the first day; 29% of the deaths occurred around noon after two and one-half hours of activity. Almost two-thirds, 59%, died hiking on relatively easy terrain. Long story short; acclimate!¬†

I’ve never had kidney stones, but have heard from those who have that I never want to; very painful. It is thought that drinking more fluids may prevent kidney stones. However, not all fluids are alike. Researchers tracked more than 194,000 people for eight years. Those who drank at least one serving a day of sugr-sweetened cola had a 23% greater risk of developing kidney stones than those who drank one or less per week. People who drank regular or decaf coffee, or tea, had a 16 to 26% lower risk of stones than people who drank those beverages less than once per week. The risk was 30 to 40% lower in people who had at least one serving of wine or beer daily, and 12% lower in those who drank orange juice, but not other juices, at least once a day. Bottom line: minimize (or eliminate) sugar-sweetened sodas. Scientists suggest that their fructose may raise the risk of kidney stones by making the kidneys excrete more calcium, oxalate, and uric acid-most kidney stones are made of calcium oxalate. This study was published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 2013.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.

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