Sceptically Fit

26/05/2012

Are you standing comfortably?

Filed under: Health and Nutrition — Tags: — Sceptically Me @ 11:35

More and more – sitting is bad for you. I should look at investing in some kind of standing desk, instead of just feeling guilty about sitting so much (eep – guilt=stress=more bad!).

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25/05/2012

Community Announcement – How Bra fitting works!

Filed under: Exercise — Tags: , , — Sceptically Me @ 23:31

There is some scary sounding statistic floating around about how many women are wearing the wrong sized bra. While I think this is partly the clothing industry’s fault – keeping costs down by only producing a limited range and expecting women to fit – this has been changing over the last decade. However, many women don’t understand how bra sizing works – that the cup size is relative not absolute.

While some women are comfortable without a bra, for most women wearing an illfitting bra impacts on their ability to live an active life. I know I would never have taken up running if I was still wearing the sizing I used to be handed – two band sizes too large just because they didn’t stock any larger cups! And for larger ladies, its not just running. The discomfort of walking around is enough to limit their activities.

 

22/05/2012

Lots of Links

Filed under: Exercise, Health and Nutrition — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — Sceptically Me @ 19:29

Stress can make you fat. Should we just sleep more? Is meditation the answer?

A look at the idea of sustainable agriculture and the role of subsidies. Another look at the question of is Paleo sustainable?

British tastes in breakfast cereal is moving away from highly processed and sugary. Can we move away from cereal altogether? Mark offers some conversational rebuttals that may come in handy when explaining you don’t eat grains.

A further look at the role of inflammation and mood disorders.

A look at the myths and pseudoscience in the cosmetic industry.

I don’t expect to win, yes its just about taking part and yes, races are just more fun.

Caitlin talks about why fit is a feminist issue:

But when you’ve internalized the social messages that you are weak because you are a woman, well, just existing in the world becomes a lot harder than it needs to be.  And when you pursue fitness simply so you can fit a new definition of “sexy,” you are continuing to buy into a system of thought that says women’s highest value lies in how they look to others.

I think it is critical that we feminists engage with fitness and athletics in a way that takes these things seriously and recognizes their potential to change lives for the better.  It doesn’t have to be about hating yourself and your body, nor does it have to be about embracing fascist beauty standards.  It can also be about loving your body and wanting to take the best possible care of yourself.  It can also be about rejecting the social equation that says to be a woman is to be weak and in need of protection.  It can be about redefining yourself as a creature of strength and power.

16/05/2012

Chiropractic Treatment – Dangerous and Unethical

Filed under: Health and Nutrition — Tags: , — Sceptically Me @ 22:10

The Guardian has an article looking at the dangers of chiropractic treatment. Or specifically at how the industry is so keen to promote itself as the 100% cure for everything it doesn’t report any adverse effects.

Improper reporting of the adverse effects of a medical intervention was unethical, said Edzard Ernst, professor of complementary medicine at the Peninsula medical school, University of Exeter, who led the latest analysis. This had allowed chiropractors to create a falsely positive picture about the safety of their treatments, he said.

In his latest analysis, Ernst’s team collated data from 60 randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of chiropractic carried out from January 2000 to July 2011. They found that 29 of the studies failed to mention any adverse effects of the treatment and, of the 31 trials where adverse effects were reported, 16 reported that none had occurred during the study. The results are published in the April 2012 edition of the New Zealand Medical Journal.

Guidelines for publishing clinical trials require that all adverse outcomes of a medical intervention should be published. If an intervention is totally safe and, therefore has no adverse effects, the researchers should report that there were no adverse effects.

Misogyny and Athleticism

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Sceptically Me @ 21:57

Men are strong, like King Kong… everyone knows men are just better at everything athletic, right? Even the men who don’t do any exercise are going to be better than any woman no matter how hard she works because … penis!

Personally, I’ve not noticed too much of this directed at me. But I realise that’s more a combination of my own anti-social and obtuseness, and luck. I’m also not going to pretend that men don’t have some biological advantages – like the male friends I play squash with who don’t do any other exercise and still have a decent backhand, whereas I’ve been lifting for a couple of years and my two-handed backhand is still pretty poor. Damn that upper body strength.

But that’s not what Caitlin is talking about when looking at the idea of being chicked. Rather the idea that any man must always be better at anything slightly athletic than a woman. An idea that is born of misogyny as much as anxious masculinity. If you can only define being a man as being stronger/faster/whatever than a woman, of course you are threatened.

Fortunately, lots of guys, like Brian, reject this silliness.  (Here’s another one.) Interestingly enough, athletic men tend to be way more accepting of the prowess of their lady counterparts than are non-athletic men (which is something I’ve remarked upon before).  It’s very simple, really – if you are secure in yourself in a human being, you won’t have to boost your self-esteem by dominating people you perceive as weaker than you.

Ahh patriachy, when will you ever end?

Colour me Impressed

Filed under: Exercise — Tags: , , , — Sceptically Me @ 21:06

I need to fine a gym like this!

(courtesy of MissDeejers – my secret girlcrush!)

 

The Obesity Epidemic

Filed under: Health and Nutrition — Tags: , , — Sceptically Me @ 10:59

There’s a new HBO documentary coming out looking at the obesity epidemic in America. And Gary Taubes picks holes in it

But when David Wallinga of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy tells us in The Weight of the Nation that the USDA has established the cause of the obesity epidemic and it’s “an increase in our calorie consumption over the last 30, 35 years,” he also tells us where those calories come from: a quarter come from added sugars, a quarter from added fats (“most of which are from soy”), and “almost half is from refined grains, mainly corn starches, wheat, and the like.” What Wallinga doesn’t say is that the same USDA data clearly shows that red-meat consumption peaked in this country in the mid-1970s, before the obesity epidemic started. It’s been dropping ever since, consistent with a nation that has been doing exactly what health authorities have been telling it to do.

If The Weight of the Nation accomplishes anything, it’s communicating the desperation of obese Americans trying to understand their condition and, even more, of lean (or relatively lean) parents trying to cope with the obesity of their offspring. Lack of will isn’t their problem. It’s the absence of advice that might actually work. If our authorities on this subject could accept that maybe their fundamental understanding of the problem needs to be rethought, we and they might begin to make progress. Clearly the conventional wisdom has failed so far. We can hold onto it only so long.

15/05/2012

Twenty Minutes to Spare

Filed under: Exercise — Tags: — Sceptically Me @ 21:25

How about an instant workout routine?

Paleo Food Pyramid

Filed under: Health and Nutrition — Tags: , , , , — Sceptically Me @ 21:10

How to eat well:

 

 

13/05/2012

Proper Squat Form

Filed under: Exercise — Tags: , , — Sceptically Me @ 21:13

EverydayPaleo offers a guide to identifying issues with squat form that I found quite helpful.

 

This has been my problem that I’m trying to work on. I turn out my feet more than my knees follow but since I realised it I’ve dropped the weight (down to 30kg) and limited the reps so that I don’t drop form as I fatigue. Now I have to try and stay consistent and keep working on the form and stop my pride and eagerness from upping the weight before I’m ready.

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