We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Friday, April 9. 2021
In olden times before recorded music, everybody in the family was expected to be able to make some music. Talent, or not.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:40 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, March 31. 2021
The NYT warns about doing too much. I don't think that is much of an issue for 99.99% of people.
People who do Soul Cycle and similar programs, if done daily, might exceed those sprint warnings - if you believe them. Still, sprinting is like flying. It feels good.
As we have discussed before, HIIT is true Cardio exercise, meaning that it is designed to stress, not just use, the heart muscle. The goals are to improve or maintain heart function and to increase your odds of surviving your first unfortunate "cardic event" by developing collateral blood supply.
As we have also discussed here, it is sprints which have this effect. Exertions commonly grouped as "cardio" - like biking, swimming laps, jogging, rowing - are worth doing to maintain general endurance but do not get the heart rate to the 70-90% max that efficiently stresses the heart to the point of heart muscle development. Same idea as curls for the biceps.
Assuming you have a well-balanced fitness program (weights, calisthenics, and both types of cardio), two 20-minute sessions/wk of HIIT is good. Most calisthenics circuits include bits of HIIT too, such as speed rope, heavy ropes, or row sprints.
Obviously, all of this depends on age and level of fitness.
What is a typical 20-30-minute HIIT session? It's 30-60-sec. all-out sprints followed by 60-80 seconds of slow recovery. Rinse and repeat. The sprints are anaerobic.
The way I do it is to include sprints in one weights recovery day, which is like an hour of treadmill jogging, fast-walking, or elliptical, interspersing sprints in it. It keeps it interesting. On another day, I do 20-min of HIIT and then 30 minutes of weights or accesssory weights. You do not need to monitor your heart rate, because you know dqrn well when you are going all-out.
What is cardio? And what is the difference between cardio and high intensity interval training? And why is there a place for both? That piece is reasonable, but seems to assume that the only fitness exercise anybody does is "cardio." That is surely better than nothing but it is not a balanced fitness routine.
Saturday, March 20. 2021
I'll do my best to field readers' questions about the Maggie's Fitness for Life suggestions (which readers know includes sessions of heavy weights, sessions of calisthenics, and sessions of HIIT cardio plus maybe some plain "cardio."
Ask me, and I will attempt to explain the rationale. Bear in mind that exercise is not for fat loss
I keep getting caught up by our own anti-spam filter, so I will post further responses to questions here:
Unless somebody is a well-experienced gym rat, we recommend using an experienced trainer to make personal recommendations.
Injuries are avoided by correct techniques.
Road-running is terrible. Treadmill or trails, not so much.
Most gyms are open now. For the weight-training part of your program bands are no substitute for dumbells and barbells, but are better than nothing.
That is surely better than nothing, but I tend to view my workouts as a sort of torture. Then I derive the life benefits. We recommend balanced exercise programs, so one has to hate a lot of it. It hurts.
RJP asked us this question:
Since you bring up calisthenics again, I'll ask the same (unanswered) question from a previous post:
In your day-to-day life, where exactly are you applying all this hard-earned endurance? What makes you think you won't have enough endurance for those activities if you build up more strength?
Why do you think getting your squat and deadlift up will hamper your ability to do things like burpees?
Our program recommendations (4-6 hrs/wk) are designed for general life functionality. That includes sports and things like hiking 15 miles. It is "general," not designed for body-building or marathon-running.
Squats and deadlifts will not harm your burpees. Every category of exercise makes demands on, and builds on, different energy systems. Power, agility, and endurance are completely different. That's the reason for a mix.
I will welcome more questions...
Monday, March 8. 2021
Tuesday, March 2. 2021
In fact, only the most sentimental people like old stuff. I am one of them.
At dinner with friends this weekend we all resolved to use only China and silverware at home for the indefinite future. What good are heirlooms, if not used?
If gold-rimmed, etc., teach any kids at home how to wash dishes and silverware. It is not rocket science and only takes a few minutes.
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 13:57 | Comments (15) | Trackbacks (0)
Wednesday, February 24. 2021
Saturday, February 20. 2021
Tuesday, February 16. 2021
Posted by Dr. Joy Bliss in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 14:27 | Comments (8) | Trackbacks (0)
Friday, February 5. 2021
Why do people with any fat stores ever feel hungry, or eat anything at all, considering they may have 1-5 month's worth of energy stored as fat? (We term the hunger experienced by overweight people "False Hunger," because it is.) Except in the truly malnourished or extremely fit, low body-fat athletes, hunger is rarely a signal of an energy deficit or of any nutritional need.
Think about it. Even normal-weight (neither overweight nor underweight) people carry 8-10 weeks of energy stored in fat if they can only access it.
You can consider appetite in the pudgy or overweight, not to mention the obese, to be a design flaw based on the hunting and gathering, and, earlier, just plain gathering condition of human existence, same as the other great apes who only become overweight in captivity. Agriculture and food abundance, along with sedentary life, exposed the design flaw for people who overnourish themselves. Of course, physical inadequacy is another side effect.
Here are a few issues (below) -
Continue reading "Why do overweight people ever feel hunger? (re-posted)"
Wednesday, February 3. 2021
A good thing about dumbbell resistance exercises is that you don't need a spotter. In addition, you can have them at home if you are still gym-phobic.
For strength maintenance, you have to go heavy. Hand weights with high reps are calisthenics, not strength.
Tuesday, February 2. 2021
Many sorts of mammals use sex recreationally. Monkeys (and apes like us), especially. A blast of oxytocin and various endorphins is a nice thing regardless of whether it is a part of bonding or just for fun. For non-humans - and most humans now, it is not purposeful reproduction but a simple biological urge like thirst. Hence masturbation in various forms in mammals including dogs.
It's a shame that so many female humans find orgasm so elusive or difficult to reach whether in an exciting new relationship or an old one. I have spoken with many women of all ages about this. (Yes, women in their 80s like sex.) While a lucky few are able to orgasm at the touch of a penis, most not. It depends on level of attraction and arousal - the psychological component; and stimulation - the biological component. Re the latter, I sometimes recommend vibrators. Why not?
However, this is not a sex therapy post. I am skeptical about this theory: Why do women orgasm?
Sunday, January 31. 2021
Except for Blueberries. There is no reason to even think about this topic unless you want to lose weight, or unless the physiology is interesting to you. Fruit is a fine dessert because its main nutritional ingredient is sugars. Especially Fructose. There is nothing "healthy" about fruit or fruit juice.
Fructose is metabolized in a different way than is Glucose.
The very short story is this: All sugars are not created equal. Fructose is metabolized into fat. Glucose in moderate amounts is turned into glycogen for energy. Table sugar is Sucrose, which is metabolized first into its components of Glucose and Fructose.
Corn syrup, the most common commercial sweetener, contains Glucose and Fructose. Thus eating a fruit, or drinking fruit juice, is equivalent to drinking a Coke other than the virtue signaling. No common sweeteners contain pure Glucose.
Children are best off drinking milk or water.
Tuesday, January 26. 2021
Thursday, January 14. 2021
As I have not really discussed in the past, there are plenty of gray zones between the three, and few exertions are purely in one category (excepting sprints which are real cardio).
Burpees might be the ultimate calisthenic. SEALS do a lot of them. The more you can do, the better overall shape you are probably in. My personal trainer/Boss wants us to do Birthday Burpees, meaning our age in burpee reps. As they say in New York, fugettaboutit.
I do sets of ten (with the pushups) in between weights sets on weights days. Might not be ideal to do that, but it is my routine, and I like routine.
Wednesday, January 13. 2021
Among the machine options, the rower and the stair machines are most designed to help build some strength along with the heart stress. The advantage of the rower is that it is pretty much total body, and when you up the resistance, it's some strength along with the cardio.
To beat a dead horse, cardio is meant to be about heart fitness, so if your heart rate is not where you want it then all it is about is physical endurance (which is not a bad thing in itself).
The Maggie's protocol advises sprints for cardiac fitness, not long-slow. Long-slow, like walking or swimming laps, is fine for ordinary endurance and maintenance. It all depends on one's goals.
I like mixing up my cardio days with variety to avoid boredom. Treadmill sprints, rower, stair machine, ski machine. Usually only 30 minutes, then I finish my hour with accessory weights.
Reminder for January fitness people: unless you are a unicorn, do not use exercise to lose weight. That's not what it is for, and it only works for the rare unicorn. Exercise can be good for muscle weight gain, though, especially weight training. Losing fat is about nutrition.
Monday, January 11. 2021
Sunday, January 10. 2021
Changing Psychiatry’s Mind - Two books investigate the science and pseudoscience of diagnosing mental illness.
As a colleague once said to me, "I've never seen a patient who fit into the DSM." That is hyperbole, but it's true that everybody is an individual and not a diagnosis. Humans are complicated.
Thursday, January 7. 2021
My main point is that many are not equipped to launch out into the big world to become world-beaters, or even to become well-adapted to current economic-psycho-social expectations. In my view, it is remarkable that so many are equipped and willing. It is a social expectation now but not a useful one.
Humans are tribal, family- and extended-family-oriented creatures. Every human has some gifts, and many shortcomings. Luck matters in life of course, but I do believe that "we make our own luck" if we have the temperament to do so. In my career, I have seen many flawed but talented flounder on the rocks because wealth, privilege, and family enablement made it possible.
A bit more than a century ago, and forever before that, most people worked on farms. Family farms. Life was hard before machines, but there was work for everybody in the family for generations. Occasionally, an ambitious kid would leave for the city for work or further education. With the industrial revolution, there was work for all (including kids) off the farm, at whatever level one sought to achieve. Not pleasant work in the mills until skills were achieved, but still work, contributing to the family...
Continue reading "Farms, factories, and "Failure to Launch""
Wednesday, January 6. 2021
Sunday, January 3. 2021
Tuesday, December 29. 2020
Tuesday, December 15. 2020
Dorothy Parker supposedly named her bird Onan because he spilled his seed. She was a witty lady.
This from Althouse is about Jeffret Toobin, and the Old Testament.
Tucker Carlson attributes it to "status anxiety." Is that a thing? Perhaps it is, for some more insecure people, whether about attractiveness, wealth, profession, education, or other. Of course, in the US physicians are given the honorific Dr. in formal settings. It is pleasant. In the UK, physicians are given the honorific "Mr." or whatever their pronoun preference is nowadays.
Monday, November 30. 2020
Statistically-inclined readers may offer their explanations for this data, if valid.
Add: I doubt this was retracted for narrative reasons.
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