Thursday, February 7, 2008

Jesus as my Barefoot Running Coach

Howdy, Everyone :o)

Somedays I wish you could be inside my body to feel how good it feels to become more functional and balanced in my legs, hips and torso.

I came to running from having ridden over 750,000 miles on bicycles in my life time. Imagine a Cydesdale horse that has had way to much weight on its back from to young an age and its spine was so sagged that mid back looked like a U! That was me! Then take its hips and them to the right and forwards on the right then twist its shoulders to the left. That was me!

I wondered for decades why I was so prone to bike crashes with injuries almost always on the right side of my body. Why the right side of my body developed all kinds of joint, ligament and muscle pain when I attempted running any kind of distance.

I attributed a lot of this bio-mechanical mess to the numerous crashes I endured in my early years of bicycle racing when I had more speed than skill at keeping my rig up right through fast corners in races.

Way back in late 70's after a very memorable case of "Road Rash" as we use to call the skin burn you got from sliding sideways on your flesh on pavement I attempted to take a break from riding by rediscovered the joy of running and found myself quickly up to runs of 12-20 miles a day.

With no awareness of how my body had changed due to it's dealing with the trauma of the crashes I found it easy to ramp up to 12-18 mile runs within my first month. Within 3 months I started running formal Marathons. It only took a couple in the span of 2 months to find out I was damaging my right knee to the point that had to abandon running and return to the bike just so I could maintain my cardio and respiratory fitness. A feeling I have never wanted to live without.

The doctors told me my running days were over. That the cartilage in my right knee was so hammered I would be looking at a complete knee replacement in the near future.

I never believed that... I always believed there was a non-surgical solution. I instinctively knew there was a larger lesson being taught here....

I traveled the country back and forth looking for clues. I sought out all the top authorities on joints, ligaments, muscle rebalancing, stretching, nutrition, mental reprogramming, you name it....

One day decades later, after I had accepted Christ as my Savior I asked him to guide me in healing my body and restoring my health.

I had a haunting feeling that if I did not seek his counsel on this something bad was going to happen to me on the bike. I'd knew I'd been shielded by Gods grace over all those miles I'd ridden but the Lord had other plans for me and wanted me to move on.

Low and Behold... In a matter of a few weeks after I began to earnestly ask him for guidance he lead me to bare foot running of all things.

I was stunned and yet amazed as I read of how others had come from where I was and listened to the Lords promptings to shed their shoes and relearn how to walk and run the way only he could teach us. All the testimonies I read told of miraculous healings of bum knees, hips, backs, and feet! Just the opposite of what our logical minds would think!

Here I am today bare foot surfing the concrete and asphalt jungle of the Inland Empire as they call this region.

Listening to him whisper into my heart with every step I take, with regenerated knees, a pillow like foot strike, comfortably cruising across the land while burning fat mostly and feeling a breeze that I've come to know as one of the Lords kisses of approval on my life.

Always when I arrive home after having spent such precious time with my coach Jesus... I feel so blessed and at peace.....He is the source of all healing, help, hope and happiness.

Thank you Lord!

Thank you for the gift of healing this broken spirit and unraveling this body that was in bondage.

Thank you for being present in the moments of my life and all those you would have me touch in your name. Thank you for patiently waiting for me to give up my cause for yours.

Your all has ever made a difference anyway!

Lord it's only you who can "Set the Captives Free!"

John 10:10

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Sedentary Lifestyles Associated With Accelerated Aging Process

ScienceDaily (Jan. 29, 2008) — Individuals who are physically active during their leisure time appear to be biologically younger than those with sedentary lifestyles, according to a report in the January 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

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Regular exercisers have lower rates of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, obesity and osteoporosis, according to background information in the article. "A sedentary lifestyle increases the propensity to aging-related disease and premature death," the authors write. "Inactivity may diminish life expectancy not only by predisposing to aging-related diseases but also because it may influence the aging process itself."

Lynn F. Cherkas, Ph.D., of King's College London, and colleagues studied 2,401 white twins, administering questionnaires on physical activity level, smoking habits and socioeconomic status. The participants also provided a blood sample from which DNA was extracted. The researchers examined the length of telomeres--repeated sequences at the end of chromosomes--in the twins' white blood cells (leukocytes). Leukocyte telomeres progressively shorten over time and may serve as a marker of biological age.

Telomere length decreased with age, with an average loss of 21 nucleotides (structural units) per year. Men and women who were less physically active in their leisure time had shorter leukocyte telomeres than those who were more active. "Such a relationship between leukocyte telomere length and physical activity level remained significant after adjustment for body mass index, smoking, socioeconomic status and physical activity at work," the authors write. "The mean difference in leukocyte telomere length between the most active [who performed an average of 199 minutes of physical activity per week] and least active [16 minutes of physical activity per week] subjects was 200 nucleotides, which means that the most active subjects had telomeres the same length as sedentary individuals up to 10 years younger, on average." A sub-analysis comparing pairs in which twins had different levels of physical activity showed similar results.

Oxidative stress--damage caused to cells by exposure to oxygen--and inflammation are likely mechanisms by which sedentary lifestyles shorten telomeres, the authors suggest. In addition, perceived stress levels have been linked to telomere length. Physical activity may reduce psychological stress, thus mitigating its effect on telomeres and the aging process.

"The U.S. guidelines recommend that 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity at least five days a week can have significant health benefits," the authors write. "Our results underscore the vital importance of these guidelines. They show that adults who partake in regular physical activity are biologically younger than sedentary individuals. This conclusion provides a powerful message that could be used by clinicians to promote the potential anti-aging effect of regular exercise."

Journal reference: Arch Intern Med. 2008;168[2]:154-158.

This study was supported in part by a grant from the Welcome Trust, grants from the National Institutes of Health and a grant from The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey.

Editorial: More Research Needed to Verify Exercise-Aging Link

Additional work needs to be done to show a direct relationship between aging and physical activity, writes Jack M. Guralnik, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Institute on Aging, Bethesda, Md., in an accompanying editorial.

"Persons who exercise are different from sedentary persons in many ways, and although certain variables were adjusted for in this analysis, many additional factors could be responsible for the biological differences between active and sedentary persons, a situation referred to by epidemiologists as residual confounding," Dr. Guralnik writes. "Nevertheless, this article serves as one of many pieces of evidence that telomere length might be targeted in studying aging outcomes."

Editorial reference: Arch Intern Med. 2008;168[2]:131-132.

This work was supported by the Intramural Research Program, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health.