What I've Been Thinking About...
This week I spoke with a few nurses and these conversations shed lights on the state of our countries health, the hospitals ability to handle a never ending supply of patients, and a profession that is seeing people leave in droves. One hospital, for example, was short staffed 8 nurses for a shift. The job by itself is a tough one. Nurses have to deal with lack of sleep, stress, death, illness, conflict and a bunch of other things associated with that kind of work. When work is fully staffed, it is a very demanding job. When short staffed, the demands grow exponentially and eventually you get to the point where nurses are burnt out. I remember seeing a headline at the height of the pandemic that read "90% of nurses contemplated leaving their jobs". This workforce is the backbone of every hospital, one in which we should be mindful to take care of!
As fitness professionals, it is our job to get people healthy. It is our job to keep people out of the hospital and do everything in our power to help aid whoever we work with live a long, disease free life. But, to put this simply, we are failing big time! We are living in a country where 88% of the population is either diabetic, pre-diabetic, or has high blood pressure. This same country has a population of people where over 70% of adults are overweight or obese. 4 out of 5 adults, and 3 out of 5 kids, don't get enough daily physical activity, and even when people get excited about their health, it often doesn't last. Take in note what you see every January in gyms where over 80% of new enrollees quit within five months of signing up.
If we can decrease the burden that hospitals are facing, quality of care will increase and an important workforce (nurses, family doctors, etc.) will not be feeling overburdened, day in and day out.
Fitness Tip of the Week
After decades of research and hundreds of years of human evolution, sleep scientists have discovered that between 7-9 hours of sleep for adults is the mandatory minimum for optimal development. When you don't get the required amount, and end up fighting biology, disease and/or sickness tend to be not far behind. This hits close to home once or twice a year for me. During these times of impaired sleep, my brain doesn't seem to function properly, I catch a cold or virus, and often times lose motivation to get things done. I also find myself eating a lot more junk food. All of these things are no good!
When I am having trouble sleeping, I try to remember how important it is to have a consistent routine and maintain a somewhat rigid sleep and wake time. Whatever time your alarm is set for, start preparing for sleep 9-10 hours before that. During this time preparing the body, I try to take a hot shower, drink some sleepy tea, avoid exercise and eating, and generally like to read a bit before passing out. All of these things help me wind down but it was through experimentation that I found what worked and what didn't. Try out a variety of things to develop what works for you!
Sleep is vital to our health and should be placed high on our priority list. Without it, we aren't being the person we are capable of being. In addition, we might die sooner as one study points out that those who sleep less than 7 hours have a 12% increase in all-cause mortality. Don't be the person who claims they only need 4 or 5 hours of sleep. This is 1-3% of the population and if you are one of them, kudos to you. If you are not, which is highly likely, then shift your mindset and sleep more. This line of thought appears to be more of an example of hubris than self awareness!
Are there "Rules" for Parenting?
I am reading a book that outlines 12 rules for life and this led me to think: Are there rules for parenting? I started writing some ideas down and after jotting down an entire page worth, I thought I would share some things that I have learned along the way...
What I've Been Reading
3 More Reps: The Golden Age of Bodybuilding by George Snyder & Rick Wayne
I grew up in a house where my father was a former bodybuilder and we always had a gym in the basement (I didn't always use it growing up but it was there!). Names like Arnold, Frank Zane, and Franco Columbo were on my radar at a very young age and I always wondered how these guys can train themselves to those incredible physiques. That wonderment is still there which led me down the path of reading this book to get an idea on their training programs. This book is a compilation of seminars given by some of the best bodybuilders of the 70's and 80's at the authors gym which happened to be located in Pennsylvania.
One interesting note, at the time of some of these seminars, anabolic steroids were not illegal. Some the guys were very candid about what they took. During the era that they competed, their bodies are noticeably smaller than today's competitors. It makes me wonder what the heck the current guys are doing to get so damn huge. Unfortunately for them, I do not believe that much mass leads to a long, healthy life which seems to be apparent with the rash of young deaths in that field.
Quote of the Week
"The great tragedy of science - the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact." -- Thomas Huxley
I hope you all have an awesome week!