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The Truth About Exercise ?  (drifting into musing about aging)
Posted: 01 May 2012 06:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
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George - 01 May 2012 05:51 AM

No, the bottom line is that there is a correlation between people who exercise and are healthier. It may very well be that people who are healthier to begin with, are more likely to exercise.

Hey, it’s a quote from SA - not me. You could be right, George. Most studies are correlations and do not offer conclusions. Still, you seem to keep your head in the sand regarding some issues. But honestly, I think we all do WRT personal biases.

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Posted: 01 May 2012 06:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
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traveler - 01 May 2012 06:04 AM
George - 01 May 2012 05:51 AM

No, the bottom line is that there is a correlation between people who exercise and are healthier. It may very well be that people who are healthier to begin with, are more likely to exercise.

Hey, it’s a quote from SA - not me. You could be right, George. Most studies are correlations and do not offer conclusions. Still, you seem to keep your head in the sand regarding some issues. But honestly, I think we all do WRT personal biases.

If there were no obvious mechanisms whereby exercising could confer health benefits, then I think it would be wise to look beyond just correlation. But everything we know about human physiology predicts that it should work that way, not to mention mountains of anecdotal evidence. We evolved in a world where calories were scarce and hard work was mandatory. It only makes sense to assume, lacking evidence to the contrary, that we would operate best under similar circumstances. Knowing all this, why question the studies that overwhelmingly suggest this to be true?

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Posted: 01 May 2012 06:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
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It’s probably a little more complicated than you think, Free. Humans went through long periods of famines throughout their evolutionary past, but those were in fact the times when they worked the least. If you look at any hunter-gatherer society today you’ll see that they don’t actually work all that much. Especially men in hunter-gatherer societies have always worked a lot less than women or people in general after the agricultural revolution. The fact that calories used to be scare is actually responsible for humans evolving to be fat, not fit. Even today, most people from poor countries (like the blacks, or Latinos from Central America) are the most likely to suffer from obesity. (The reason why whites in the U.S. are fatter than Europeans is, I imagine, because it was the poorest Europeans who initially left for America.)

It was the agricultural revolution that helped people to maintain a steady supply of food and also demanded that people worked a lot more. But again, it wasn’t that working hard made them fit, but rather that those who were fit to begin with could afford to work hard on their fields. It became evolutionarily advantageous to be a hard working person, and probably one who didn’t need to overeat each time such an opportunity came along.

It’s obvious that people in our society who took an “evolutionary shortcut” (most blacks and Latinos) and the poor (the fat white “Europeans”—i.e. “Americans”) are fat and unhealthy because of today’s abundance of food.

The problem with all these studies is that they throw all these people in one bag and then “suggest” (as per traveler’s article wink ) that exercise makes us physically and mentally healthier. Maybe people like traveler come from the ex-farmers who were born to work hard and be healthier (and smarter) and are simply still “working” hard and being healthier (and smarter). Correlation shouldn’t imply causation.

[ Edited: 01 May 2012 07:14 AM by George ]
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Posted: 01 May 2012 07:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
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George - 01 May 2012 06:58 AM

It’s probably a little more complicated than you think, Free. Humans went through long periods of famines throughout their evolutionary past, but those were in fact the times when they worked the least. If you look at any hunter-gatherer society today you’ll see that they don’t actually work all that much. Especially men in hunter-gatherer societies have always worked a lot less then women or people in general after the agricultural revolution.

Hmmm, let’s look at a hunter-gatherer society today… LINK


It’s obvious that people in our society who took an “evolutionary shortcut” (most blacks and Latinos) and the poor (the fat white “Europeans”—i.e. “Americans”) are fat and unhealthy because of today’s abundance of food.

It’s probably a little more complicated than you think, George.  smile  The abundance of food - much of which is unhealthy - is found in combination with an unprecedented sedentary lifestyle. Diabetes rates are correlated with this combination.

The problem with all these studies is that they throw all these people in one bag and then “suggest” (as per traveler’s article wink ) that exercise makes us physically and mentally healthier. Maybe people like traveler come from the ex-farmers who were born to work hard and be healthier (and smarter) and are simply still “working” hard and being healthier (and smarter). Correlation shouldn’t imply causation.

That’s not necessarily a problem. We are all the same species. It’s not rats v. people here. And let’s be aware that although correlation is not causation, it is often a very strong hint.

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Posted: 01 May 2012 07:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
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traveler - 01 May 2012 07:25 AM

Hmmm, let’s look at a hunter-gatherer society today… LINK

I have only watched about two minutes of the video as I wasn’t sure why you linked to it. (If there is a specific reason why I should watch the whole thing, let me know.)

If you were trying to challenge me on what I said about the hunter-gatherers working less, you can either wait until I get home tonight to find the exact numbers related to this discussion, or, in the meantime, you can read Jared Diamond’s article on why he thinks agriculture was the worst mistake in the history of the human race:

[T]he average time devoted each week to obtaining food is only 12 to 19 hours for one group of Bushmen, 14 hours or less for the Hadza nomads of Tanzania. One Bushman, when asked why he hadn’t emulated neighboring tribes by adopting agriculture, replied, “Why should we, when there are so many mongongo nuts in the world?”

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Posted: 01 May 2012 07:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
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George - 01 May 2012 07:48 AM

I have only watched about two minutes of the video as I wasn’t sure why you linked to it. (If there is a specific reason why I should watch the whole thing, let me know.)

Grrr.  cool smirk

You wrote: “If you look at any hunter-gatherer society today you’ll see that they don’t actually work all that much. Especially men in hunter-gatherer societies have always worked a lot less than women or people in general after the agricultural revolution.”

In the description of the clip: “... we see a tribesman runner persue his prey through the most harsh conditions in a gruelling eight hour chase.”

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Posted: 01 May 2012 08:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
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Kudu burgers, yummmmm! If I had to chase my food down like that I’d loose 100 pounds on the spot (mostly water weight). Thought I’d wade in here and give a few thoughts. I’m 63, my Father is 86 and in great health. He exercises at the Y a couple of times a week and stays active daily with various projeccts. He’s always been an active person, driven by what, I don’t know since the time he was a lad in the 30’s. He joined the Marines at 18 and has two combat wounds. My Mother is 85 and not so ambulatory. She likes to read, a lot. They’re both still active with what friends they have left. The point is, they watch their weight (always have) and exercise infrequently. My doctor says I have good genes (whatever that means) and can expect to live a longer life if I get my blood pressure down. I really believe that it’s a combination of genetics and what you do with what you have. We all have compulsions (throw a bunch of bananas into a chimp cage and watch the gorging) mine is chocolate, my brothers was cocaine. I have (knock on wood) no health problems to speak of, and he has half a throat from a bout with cancer. He still smokes BTW.
We were born into a World with an abundance of food; actually an overabundance, and we have to balance that with restraint and exercise. Maybe chasing down a Kudu burger might not be so bad! Look at the reward. Also look at the stats when fast food arrived on the scene. We have grown exponentially larger as a result. 35 fat grams in a Hardee’s burger. That’s too much even for a farmer, or a descendant of one, like me. Althiough I don’t entirely disagree with George’s statements on genetics either.


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Posted: 01 May 2012 08:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
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traveler - 01 May 2012 07:55 AM
George - 01 May 2012 07:48 AM

I have only watched about two minutes of the video as I wasn’t sure why you linked to it. (If there is a specific reason why I should watch the whole thing, let me know.)

Grrr.  cool smirk

You wrote: “If you look at any hunter-gatherer society today you’ll see that they don’t actually work all that much. Especially men in hunter-gatherer societies have always worked a lot less than women or people in general after the agricultural revolution.”

In the description of the clip: “... we see a tribesman runner persue his prey through the most harsh conditions in a gruelling eight hour chase.”

Yeah, well, it’s eight-hour chase followed by four days of doing nothing. Compare that with 10–12 hours a day of hard labour on a farm field.

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Posted: 01 May 2012 08:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]
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George - 01 May 2012 08:06 AM
traveler - 01 May 2012 07:55 AM
George - 01 May 2012 07:48 AM

I have only watched about two minutes of the video as I wasn’t sure why you linked to it. (If there is a specific reason why I should watch the whole thing, let me know.)

Grrr.  cool smirk

You wrote: “If you look at any hunter-gatherer society today you’ll see that they don’t actually work all that much. Especially men in hunter-gatherer societies have always worked a lot less than women or people in general after the agricultural revolution.”

In the description of the clip: “... we see a tribesman runner persue his prey through the most harsh conditions in a gruelling eight hour chase.”

Yeah, well, it’s eight-hour chase followed by four days of doing nothing. Compare that with 10–12 hours a day of hard labour on a farm field.

But you didn’t compare it to that!!! I shouldn’t have to keep reminding you of what you wrote - “...worked a lot less than women or people in general after the agricultural revolution.”

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Posted: 01 May 2012 08:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]
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I am not sure what your point is. The men, the hunters, worked less than the women, the gatherers. This fact actually hasn’t changes all that much even in today’s Africa where woman do most of the work. And both men and women from the hunter-gatherer societies worked less than men and women after the agricultural revolution.

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Posted: 01 May 2012 08:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]
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George - 01 May 2012 08:18 AM

I am not sure what your point is. The men, the hunters, worked less than the women, the gatherers. This fact actually hasn’t changes all that much even in today’s Africa where woman do most of the work. And both men and women from the hunter-gatherer societies worked less than men and women after the agricultural revolution.

We are men and women after the agricultural revolution. You are saying that those men chasing down animals to exhaustion work less than we do. You cannot mean that. We are talking about physical work here, right?

I’m being punked, right?  cheese

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Posted: 01 May 2012 08:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]
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I am saying that men who chased down animals 14 hours per week worked less than people who slaved on their fields 10 hours a day, seven days a week. Today many of us don’t have to work as farmers or hunt animals, but how we respond to today’s abundance of food is probably closely related to our past, which wasn’t the same for all peoples. (Also, the majority of people even in our society today work manually and they indeed work a lot more than the 14 hours per week of the hunter-gatherers.)

People who are fat today aren’t necessarily working less than their ancestors. What they are doing is eating more (!). The reason why their ancestors never got a chance to become fat was due to famines and the periods between feasting on a hunted animal. They were able to eat more when they had food and store it as fat until the next meal. If fat people today are fat not because they exercise less than their ancestors (they “exercise”—work—more) but because they eat more, why do we assume that exercising even more will make them healthier?

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Posted: 01 May 2012 09:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]
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Mriana - 30 April 2012 07:50 PM
Occam. - 30 April 2012 10:39 AM

While I’ve owned four dogs (and a number of cats and a parrot) during my life, I don’t have one now.  Yes, I like yogurt (used to make my own).  The schedule is yogurt in the morning, chocolate in the afternoon and wine in the evening.  It would be terrible to have yogurt in the evening and wine in the morning (chocolate is great any time).  LOL

Occam

OK, ignorant question here, but you’re a good one to answer it, Occam…  I’ve often wondered, given that many seniors take heart/blood pressure meds, if they can get a way with drinking a glass of wine or two.  My grandparents didn’t drink and neither does my mother (67) and her sister (72).  I wouldn’t expect anyone in my aunt’s condition to drink though- she’s had so many TIAs that her mind is gone and she’s in a nursing home, not expected to recover enough to take care of herself even in an assisted living apt.  My mother, like my grandparents, takes blood pressure meds, as do many her age and older.  If you don’t take any meds at your age, I’d say you’re one lucky…  wink  So… the question is, if you’re on heart/blood pressure meds, how does wine mix with them?  Is it safe to do that?

This is a question that has no easy yes or no answer to it. Alcohol does not directly interact with most of the common antihypertensive medications but it does affect blood pressure, albeit in a complex biphasic way that could negate or accentuate the affects of blood pressure medication.

In low doses alcohol tends to lower blood pressure by causing vasodilitation ( that flushed face you get sometimes when you have a drink). But heavy long term use has the opposite effect and tends to raise blood pressure.

Most people on blood pressure medications can safely have an occasional drink or glass of wine but of course its something each person should discuss with their own physician. Age and coexisting medical conditions can affect the interplay between alcohol and blood pressure. There are just too many factors that come in to play to give a blanket recommendation.

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Posted: 01 May 2012 09:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]
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Good gawd almighty, I can’t believe we’re arguing over whether a moderate diet and exercise are good for your health.

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Posted: 01 May 2012 10:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]
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Quoting Mriana:

… the question is, if you’re on heart/blood pressure meds, how does wine mix with them?  Is it safe to do that?

Good question, Mriana.  I’ve always made sure to read all the warnings etc. in the Rx literature and before they started packing it with the prescription, the PDR.  I do it both because I’m curious and because I figure I know more about and am more interested in my body than the doctor or pharmacist are. 

Most of them warn against excessive alcohol, but one or two glasses of wine seem to be positive rather than negative, both physically and mentally.  While your relatives should talk with their doctors, I’d guess that it wouldn’t hurt and could help.  If nothing else, a glass of wine a half to an hour before bed does help one fall asleep.  And I’m on 10 mg of blood pressure meds which I tke in the morning.
===
I was thinking about exercise, and without any evidence or medical expertise the following seems reasonable to me:  All of one’s body is constantly metabolizing and putting out junk that has to be carried away for disposal or recycling. This is done by blood flow.  The longer and more of that stuff that stays in the cell, the more likely it would seem that it could damage the cell.

Exercise both stretches the blood vessels and increases blood flow, so more of the trash gets carried to the kidneys and liver more quickly.  That alone would seem to mitigate in favor of exercise.
===
Not causatrion but an interesting correlation:  Those with plaque build-up in their arteries seem to have by far the greatest frequency of heart attacks and strokes.  One can reduce plaque by weight loss, lower fat diet, and exercise.  After the 2nd world war the freed prisoners were checked.  Many had been overweight and some had histories of heart problems.  They had been fed very little and all were extremely thin.  An interesting item the doctors found was that all the plaque in their arteries had disappeared. 

Just a personal anecdote:  I hated exercise, but after my heart attack my doctor had me work out every other day.  I’ve kept it up for over a decade and there seems to have been improvement.  Not causation, George, but an example of the reverse of your premise that it may be healthy people who choose to exercise.

Occam

[ Edited: 01 May 2012 10:24 AM by Occam. ]
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