Wednesday, July 27, 2022

On A Break


Finding the energy to post just twice this month and seven times last month means that I’m essentially taking the summer off, as it turns out. Wasn’t planned, it just happened.

When I return it will be in a somewhat different format and schedule (working through some ideas now).

See ya soon!

Thursday, July 07, 2022

Undiscovered Gems: Gordon Lightfoot


It took me a few decades to wake up to the genius of Gordon Lightfoot — don’t let that happen to you.

Over the last two years I have discovered several album cuts that are absolute gems and a much clearer view into who he is as an artist when compared to his U.S. hit singles like “Sundown” and “Carefree Highway” — which I liked but not enough to care about digging deeper into his albums.

The passage of time and the wisdom of life experience has revealed to me that his music was far more mature than I was capable of appreciating as a young adult.

The lyrics, the band, the subtlety and power of the music, the impeccable taste of the arrangements, it’s all in there — but you have to be ready as a listener to absorb it.

The Circle is Small

Hangdog Hotel Room

Race Among the Ruins

I especially like the chorus:

When you wake up to the promise
Of your dream world comin' true
With one less friend to call on
Was it someone that I knew
Away you will go sailin'
In a race among the ruins
If you plan to face tomorrow
Do it soon

High and Dry

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Best Exercises for Longevity


Confirming everything I have ever said about exercise: 

Direct quote from Dr. Peter Attia:

“Exercise is the single most important longevity drug we have, bar none.”

Ponder that and note the following which he emphasizes, and which I have been saying for a long time.

Cardio and strength (not muscle mass) are by far the two best predictors of longevity. It isn’t close.

Cardio is the biggest impact on longevity, with a 5x reduction in all-cause mortality — dying from any reason — but strength is important too, with a 3x reduction, so it’s best to do both with cardio as your base. The ideal is biking (stationary is okay) 4x per week for 45 minutes (which is exactly what my ideal goal has always been, coincidentally). He does not discuss walking but my own take is that walking is far better than doing nothing, but biking, swimming, or running are ideal.

For strength the biggest predictors of longevity are grip, dead arm hang, and quads strength (body squats with a basic test of how quickly you can get up from a chair five times in a row). His testing only splits people into “high” vs. “low” strength so that’s where the 3x reduction in mortality applies, no further breakdown is available. Still, what more do you need to know? Work on your grip, your dead arm hang, and body squats, first and foremost. These are lifestyle exercises, too. Everything becomes easier with strong hands, forearms, legs, and core.

And as he notes, and I have always said, by far the biggest “bang for your buck” is in the change from doing nothing to doing something, not in going from doing something to doing a lot. Avoid sloth — it’s a sin, and not good for your health either. Just aim for moderately active, consistently. If 4 x 45 minutes per week is too difficult at first, or due to age or infirmity, try for 3 x 30 minutes per week.

The first step is always the hardest. Make yourself do that, the rest will be easier.