Tag: exercise

To Diet and Lose Weight: Not As Easy As Reduced Intake

Flippant, I was, when I was younger, when I said the way to reduce your weight is to simply eat less. In a way I was right, but in my naivety I did not know the complexity of the problem. Age has a way of providing more wisdom to the problem. It turns out that I am not alone, as the percentage of obese people in the Western world is now alarming and rising. This is a big problem that needs to be solved.

Exercise Addiction: Getting your Daily Dopamine Fix

People who exercise consistently and hard are thought to be devoted and doing good for their bodies. Commitment is required to be hard core. An alternative view is that they are addicted to the spurt of dopamine that they receive during each workout, very similar to all other addictions. In an age where most people don’t get enough exercise, this cannot be bad, right? Can you have a diet addiction? Apparently so.

Exercise as the Savior to Chronic Health Problems?

CEO Greg Glassman, CrossFit, started in 2000

CEO Greg Glassman, CrossFit, started in 2000

Sometimes you need to recognize that a system is broken and not as helpful as our expectations. The Western medical system is one such system. Yes, we are living longer, with viruses and bacteria largely at bay. As we progress to better health, chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, heart failure, diabetes and obesity have become much more prevalent. These chronic diseases show little abatement with current guidelines. “Lose weight, reduce salt intake, exercise more” may be medically valid advice, but the words are much easier to say and harder to implement.

Active Minutes per Day vs Average Resting Heart Rate by Country: Chart

This data comes from the Fitbit company who manufacturers wrist watch style heart monitor computers. They are expensive, so usually those with extra money would buy them. In other words, this is not indicative of the average person in the country, but only those that are willing and able to buy these devices. This usually means the more affluent and better educated people.

I am surprised that, for example, people in China exercise on average 60 minutes per day. While some do, most Chinese do not like to exercise, so this is puzzling.

North-East Toronto, Scarborough and Walkability

In my quest for more information about North-East Toronto, Canada, specifically Scarborough, here is information about walkability. The City of Toronto has published a report about how easy it is to walk about the city. The theory is that ease of walking contributes to better health and well-being, and therefore better living overall. How does my area of Toronto, heavily biased towards Mainland Chinese, rate on walkability? Overall, not very well.

The Walkability project is interesting to me in that I would rather walk or ride a bike to shop or go places yet I live in the suburbs, a statistically less walkable area of Toronto. While we do have better air and a far greater supply of Chinese groceries, I hope that my neighbourhood’s walkability will increase.