There Are No Shortcuts To Good Health

It’s extraordinary what you can find on the Internet: weight-loss pills, miraculous teas, physical performance supplements, or anti-aging pills.

You don’t even have to go deep. A quick search on Amazon will show hundreds of products, many with good reviews.

When someone has bad health, it’s very tempting to get one of these and believe you will get rid of symptoms quick. The reality is that the supplements industry is not regulated by governments. Anyone can call themselves a supplement designer, mix baking powder with pesticides (USA Today article), fool people with marketing tricks, and totally get away with it. There are simply no rules and it’s not far from snake oil salesmen in the 19th century.

Continue reading “There Are No Shortcuts To Good Health”

Healthy Food Options For The Holiday Season

Year after year, the holiday season is an opportunity to catch up with friends, rejoice and exchange gifts from with friends and family.

On a personal level, I see the holiday season as an important reminder of the cycle of life. We are so often invested in our work and daily routine that we can forget that time slowly passes by, season after season. I stop, look around, realize how much it changed and then feel thankful that I’m here, with so many good things ahead.

In more practical terms, the holiday season is also a season of indulgence. It’s not just the extra pounds but the poor nutritional value of the food and beverages. I have a few recommendations you can look into:

Continue reading “Healthy Food Options For The Holiday Season”

OutcomeReference.com : Linking Nutrition, Exercise and life choices to Health Outcomes

 

What is the ideal diet? What types of exercise should you do? What should you undertake to prevent mental disease? Those are common questions asked by millions of blogs and even more people every day, worldwide.

Unlike mathematics, there is no single answer. Delving into scientific studies such as those aggregated on pubmed help to separate the good from the bad. You type a keyword such as “diabetes” and it will show papers studying diabetes. However, this is not easy:

  • Health studies are published for scientists. Readability is low and challenging for those without relevant education
  • The vast majority of health studies are behind a “pay-wall”
  • There are different types of trial designs, from meta-analysis, double-blind randomized trials, cohort studies etc. Furthermore, the number of subjects vary wildly between studies, as well as age, weight range, athleticism of subjects, or study length. It takes a good eye to know which study has a better design and which ones are relevant to your case.
  • Studies on the same subject can use different metrics or biomarkers, making direct comparisons difficult
  • Studies on the same subject and with the same methodology can have conflicting results
  • Health studies, especially in nutrition, can be funded by corporations and have bias.

All these contribute to confusion. Media and bloggers then interpret findings to their likings, further increasing confusion.

Because of these issues, I have developed a reference portal OutcomeReference

OutcomeReference is a FREE, easy-to-use reference website aiming to show clearly the outcome of your health choices. 

Continue reading “OutcomeReference.com : Linking Nutrition, Exercise and life choices to Health Outcomes”

Managing Your Physical Condition with Heart Rate Variability

hrv_300

In a previous post, resting heart rate was shown to reflect physical and mental condition. A low resting heart rate correlates with good health compared to a high resting heart rate.

It becomes complex when you consider age. Older people have lower resting heart rate. And individuals with the same age, nutrition and overall fitness level can have vastly different heart rates. For instance, my maximum heart rate when running is around 172bpm while a friend has 200bpm, with the same heart rate sensor. It does not mean however that I am more or less fit than others.

Continue reading “Managing Your Physical Condition with Heart Rate Variability”

Accepting Imperfection

7033789-snow-sunset

One of my training goal is to be able to run 5 km in less than 20 minutes before the end of 2016.

I like a lot the idea of this goal. During the day, I would already imagine my legs powering me forward, the wind flowing, and the constant battle against the watch. I was already eager on sharing my success everywhere.

Recently, it started snowing. Sidewalks become a sliding game, shoes become soggy and fingers are frozen. And what was once beautiful green trails become cold, dark and snow paths like above. Result: I loose half of my speed!

Continue reading “Accepting Imperfection”

Healthy nutrition doesn’t have to be expensive

bigstock-fresh-organic-vegetables-ane-f-68352535-768x512

A surprising read: The Royal College of General Practitioners want to stop recommending 5 portions of vegetables per day.

The main reason was cost: eating healthy was said to be three times more expensive than a junk food diet.

Does that mean that well-off people can have good healthy food and others have to be content with junk food, with all the health consequences it entails?

Continue reading “Healthy nutrition doesn’t have to be expensive”