Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Fitness Master

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I typed the headline of this column about 20 minutes ago. I've typed other sentences since, all of which have been rather quickly followed by my right middle finger banging down upon the delete button.

Clearly, I'm struggling for a way to introduce the evils of empty calories as I reach for the last bit of the breakfast I typically eat three hours before a 60- to 80-mile training ride. The chewing is quickly accompanied by a You-big-dope moment and followed by one of delicious irony.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

"You're not going to be happy with me," a good friend said near the beginning of a recent training ride. "I cracked. Did I ever crack."

Since that's a cycling term used when you can't keep pace, and we were at the front of a relaxed group of 12 riders, I knew there was more to the story.

"You know I've been doing really well on that diet." I nodded. "Well, one of my meetings last week lasted longer than I expected, and I absolutely was starving coming home, so I stopped for coffee at a convenience store to hold me over."

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Years ago, a teacher I didn't know very well entered my classroom after school. He told me because he was overweight and out of shape, he had recently purchased a bicycle and wanted to ask me a few questions about riding.

I remember answering questions about proper tire pressure, which roads to use around Palmerton for bicycling, and, most importantly, just how long and how hard he'd have to ride to see results.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Do you do what too many people do? Kowtow to partial truth and transform it into an absolute.

It's more common than you might imagine, for treating a partial truth as an absolute is comforting. It provides closure and means that there's no more thinking to do.

Unfortunately, that creates close-mindedness and sometimes something else: compromised health.

I'm pontificating like this because a couple of casual acquaintances have recently explained to me why they're carrying extra weight with the same two words. "It's genetic," they both said.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Clever fellows, those Buddhists monks of long ago.

They knew that ordinary, everyday tasks, like washing dishes, contained the spiritual quality that's the basis of Buddha's teachings if done with full awareness. They also knew that to get most ordinary people interested in Buddhism, they couldn't tell them to wash dishes.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

We live at fast pace and seem to like it that way.

We multitask as much out of want as out of need.

Teens text message, listen to music, and surf the Internet while they do homework. Mothers watch television, wash laundry, and wash dishes while they cook a week's worth of suppers. Fathers answer e-mails, check sports scores, and make business calls while keeping one eye on the little league game.

Suggesting meditation in such a society is a hard sell.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

In "The Great Emotional Escape," an article about how to handle difficult emotions by Valerie Reiss in the February issue of Natural Health, Christiane Northrup, M.D. and author of Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom, says "getting a handle on your emotions and learning elegant ways to name them, claim them and express them is probably the most important thing you can ever do for your health."

Northrup does make an important point. My only objection is her use of "most" preceding important.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Eighteenth century philosopher David Hume never received any academic position he sought. That's because his writings struck some as so anti-religious that they would speak out vehemently against him, so vehemently that universities were hesitant to hire him.

Yet the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy now calls Hume "the most important philosopher ever to write in English," and his words that incensed so many back then seem tame today.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

You probably don't think twice (or even once) about the selection of "Fitness Master" topics and the structure to the articles. And why should you?

You read because you're interested in health and fitness, not because you're writing a review. But this week, understanding how and why I do what I do just might make you do something you probably need to.

Exercise more often.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The cover of the January/February issue of a popular women's lifestyle magazine, informs readers that they can "BURN 600 CALORIES Without Trying," "DROP 15 POUNDS FAST," and that there are "FLAT BELLY FOODS" containing carbs that "MELT FAT." If the Buddhists are right and expectation really is the cause of all suffering, Health magazine readers are undoubtedly anguished individuals.

That's because these teasers and the articles they introduce create expectations and unrealistic ones at that.