The C2S blog draws on the arts, the social and biological sciences to explore the many meanings of health and "dis-ease." Designed to be a locus where patients, their families and professionals can meet on a level playing field, it is the natural off-shoot of the Cell 2 Soul Online Journal. We encourage the submission of ideas, essays, poems, stories, humor, and timely reviews relating to the humanities and health care.
"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation... A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work." H. D. Thoreau
Thoreau sequestered himself at Walden. The erstwhile neurologist, Dr. John Kitchin, fled a medical practice to in-line skate on the boardwalk. On any given day, "Kitchin [can be seen] meticulously skating up and down San Diego's promenade. Disillusioned with a life that had become increasingly materialistic, he abruptly abandoned his career and moved to a studio by the beach. The locals call him Slomo, knowing little about his past life, but cheering and high-fiving him as he skates by in slow motion. He has become a Pacific Beach institution."
If you missed the provacative and, for some, inspirational NY Times article, click on SLOMO.
“Physical activity is an elixir of life, but we’re not teaching
people that. We’re telling them it’s a pill to take or a punishment for
bad numbers on the scale. Sustaining physical activity is a motivational
and emotional issue, not a medical one.
Studies have shown
that what gets people off their duffs and keeps them moving depends on
age, gender, life circumstances and even ethnicity. For those of college
age, for example, physical attractiveness typically heads the list of
reasons to begin exercising, although what keeps them going seems to be
the stress relief that a regular exercise program provides.
elderly, on the other hand, may get started because of health concerns.
But often what keeps them exercising are the friendships, sense of
community and camaraderie that may otherwise be missing from their lives
— easily seen among the gray-haired women who faithfully attend water
exercise classes at my local YMCA.
This post was inspired by, and is dedicated to, Dileep G. Bal, M.D., Kauai District Health Officer, State of Hawaii and previous Chief of the Cancer Control Branch in the Department of Health Services in the State of California. Mahalo!
The work Dr. Breslow will be most remembered for is the Alameda County California study that [is purported to have] rocked the public health world, because it proved with numbers that behavior indisputably affects longevity. Its seven recommendations are: do not smoke; drink in moderation; sleep seven to eight hours; exercise at least moderately; eat regular meals; maintain a moderate weight; eat breakfast. Full "Lester Breslow Obituary."
Strangely, this is very similar to what William Osler espoused in the 19th century: "‘the desire to take medicine is perhaps the greatest feature which distinguishes man from animals... Of one thing I [am certain] that that a little more exercise, a little less food, and a little less tobacco and alcohol, may possibly meet the indications of the case."
Of course, our grandmothers told us the same thing. Yet, it took men of of science many years to corroborate their proscriptions.
"Exercise guidelines from the American Heart Association and other groups recommend that, for health purposes, people accumulate 10,000 steps or more a day, the equivalent of about five miles of walking. Few people do, however. Repeated studies of American adults have shown that a majority take fewer than 5,000 steps per day.
The condition becomes a serious concern only when inactivity is lingering, when it becomes the body’s default condition. 'We hypothesize that, over time, inactivity creates the physiological conditions that produce chronic disease,' like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease, regardless of a person’s weight or diet."
Dr. Mike Evans is founder of the Health Design Lab at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, an Associate Professor of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of Toronto, and a staff physician at St. Michael's Hospital. He answers the old question "What is the single best thing we can do for our health" in a completely new way.