Where Are All These Runners Coming From?

Where Are All These Runners Coming From?

Anyone else noticing more runners on city streets (NY or elsewhere)? For the last 6 months, in my neighborhood, the streets are filled with runners every morning at 7-ish as I’m heading to the gym. Over the summer, likewise, hordes of runners making their way across Rivington Street (headed, perhaps, to one of the bridges to Brooklyn).

I have no idea if they belong to a running club or are affiliated with NYU (they look too old to be students) but they are out bright and early every day.

Try as I might I could find no statistics to bear out what I’ve been observing. As a matter of fact, all the data indicated we were in the midst of a five-year decline in road racing. Running peaked in 2013, when 19 million runners crossed the finish line at U.S. running events.

But then I uncovered this:

“Running Is Back, Baby! 
Buoyed by the
persistent failure of studies to find any evidence that even extreme amounts of running will kill you and the persistent brilliance of Eliud Kipchoge—2020 will be the year that the trend finally turns around. Lapsed runners will return to the fold, new runners will discover the Trial of Miles, and hardcore veterans will redouble their efforts.”

Alex Hutchinson, Outside Magazine Columnist/Author
And finally, THIS!
Orchard Street Runners

They arrange weekly runs (Tuesday nights) starting at Allen Street near Canal. Meeting up at 7:45 pm, they start their run at 8 pm SHARP and rules are strict: “Come ready to run, no bathroom, bag check or changing.”

They also have a super intriguing midnight run planned for next Thursday, January 16.

This inaugural OSR1 will take athletes on the fastest mile of their lives, screaming through open New York City streets at 1:00am in the morning. The distance will be measured to the best of OSR’s abilities and the race will feature electronic timing. Click here for details.

Bottom Line.

The Orchard Street Runners organization is a big deal. I can’t believe I haven’t discovered it before (literally my neighbors) but I do now understand why I am seeing such an influx of runners.

I also noticed Eventbrite is hosting dozens of group runs in NY and NJ and I’m sure in other parts of the country. So this is definitely a “thing” that I just happened to catch serendipitously because of my location.

Will keep tabs on it and look forward to interviewing some runners in the not too distant future.

Something definitely percolating here. Let me know if any of you have also picked up signs of a running renaissance .

Read More >

Share this post on:

Sick As A Dog Over New Year’s. Why? Second Shingles Shot!

Sick As A Dog Over New Year’s. Why? Second Shingles Shot!

If you’re about to hit 50 (or you’re over 50), it’s time to get both your shingles shots. Why? you ask. Especially since I’m telling you it made me so sick. Here’s why: because one out of every three people in the U.S. will eventually develop shingles if they are not vaccinated.

“As we age, our risk of shingles goes up. Shingles is a very devastating infection causing extreme nerve pain and discomfort that can last for years.”

Dr. Kathleen Dooling, shingles expert, CDC Division of Viral Diseases

At my last physical, my doctor asked me to get re-immunized against shingles with the recently approved Shingrix vaccine. It’s much more effective than previous vaccines but it has to be administered in two separate doses (from two to six months apart).

I got my first shot in late October and on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve as I walked past Duane Reade, I thought “let me get this whole shingles thing out of the way before we head into 2020.”

Fortunately, my New Year’s Eve plans consisted of nothing more than a night at home – in peaceful solitude – with some great wine and a delicious cheese plate.

While the first shot left me with little more than an achy arm, I was not so lucky the second time around. By early evening, I was running a 102 fever, had a horrible headache, and my arthritis was acting up (joint pain is one of the side effects of Shingrix I learned). As you can imagine, my New Year’s Eve was a bust!

I was in bed by nine, sick as a dog.

Next day, same thing (Happy New Year!).

I took an Advil at around noon when my temperature hit 101. I had no appetite and once again, nasty headache. However, by early evening I was starting to feel better. And by the end of the day, the side effects had passed. So all in all, I was down for the count for 1 day. Not too bad.

In doing some research, I discovered that this is par for the course for this newest vaccine. One in six people who get Shingrix shots, suffer from some kind of flu-like side effects. But they go away within 1-3 days. No explanation, however, for why there were no side effects the first time around.

Bottom Line.

Shingrix is much more powerful and fully effective for up to 4 years versus prior vaccines.

So, despite the side effects, it is absolutely worth getting the shots. The benefits far outweigh the short-lived side effects.

And if you have been vaccinated for shingles in the past, remember it only lasts a few years so it’s probably time to get revaccinated. Just make sure you don’t have anything urgent scheduled for the next day!!

Read More >

Share this post on:

What Happens When I Give Up Drinking For A Whole Year?

What Happens When I Give Up Drinking For A Whole Year?

My second Dry January is just around the corner and I’m looking forward to it. But it also made me wonder if I could go dry for a few more months or even an entire year? And, more importantly, would I want to.

What’s hard about not drinking?

For me, it’s how it might impact my social life. Having a glass of wine or a cocktail goes hand in hand with most of my get-togethers.

That said when this year’s Dry January ended I did not revert to drinking at anywhere near the same level. And my friends, wonderful people that they are, totally support my not drinking which is very cool.

I drink about 50% less now than I did before my first Dry January earlier this year. That’s in great part because I now rarely drink at parties or at dinners where wine is poured freely. Experience has taught me that’s where the worst damage gets done. On the other hand, ordering a bottle of wine or two at a restaurant is a much more mindful experience. That’s the kind of limited wine consumption I see in my future.

What was the first dry january like?

When I first started Dry January in 2019, it took me about a week to notice the results.

But it was major. Everything was better, from how I slept to the effects of my osteoarthritis (alcohol causes inflammation). Waking up without a hangover also has to be about the most wonderful feeling ever.

Since 2019’s Dry January worked so well, I am considering upping the ante for 2020.

Scroll down to see what i’ve got in mind
Read More >

Share this post on:

50% Increase In People Using Walking Aids.

50% Increase In People Using Walking Aids.

This week I noticed an ENORMOUS number of people with walking canes in NYC. I thought I was having that “new word” experience, i.e., you learn a new word and then you suddenly see it everywhere. But, in researching this topic, I found the use of walking aids did, indeed, jump 50% over the last decade.

Here’s how this trend got on my radar in the first place

On my weekly treks to Chinatown, I’ve found myself increasingly sharing the sidewalk with elderly Chinese using walking canes – I’d estimate at least one-third of the adults I encounter are using a walking stick of some kind. Another more recent development is the use of mobility scooters. I now encounter at least one or two every time I head to Chinatown.

The homeless. I’ve also been noticing increasing numbers of homeless men on the Bowery using walking canes – especially the men utilizing the services of the Bowery Mission. These men, I’ve also noticed, tend to be overweight and arthritic.

Art lovers. My most recent sightings, last Friday, were in Chelsea. As I was heading to the Yayoi Kusama show, I ran into at least a dozen people gallery hopping, cane in hand. Says a lot about the age of the collector class.

Scroll down for more.
Read More >

Share this post on:

5 Tips On How To Best Live With Osteoarthritis

5 Tips On How To Best Live With Osteoarthritis

Over the last few months I’ve had some major breakthroughs with my osteoarthritis. I’m more limber, my gait is better and the day-to-day discomfit has eased significantly. I know there is no such thing as remission but I’m definitely on the path to improved mobility.

It’s also important to point out that these tips are preventative measures that I wish I had been aware of years ago.

“By age 40, 90% of people have some level of osteoarthritis in their weight-bearing joints but they may remain asymptomatic until they are older. “

Verywellhealth.com

Osteoarthritis is the most frequently experienced joint disease among Americans and yet it is largely preventable. Had I been aware of it when I was in my thirties or forties, I would have done everything possible to nip it in the bud then as opposed to dealing with it now.

Here are 5 tips that have made living with osteoarthritis easier for me
1. Exercise/ Gym

If there’s one thing an individual with osteoarthritis should do every day, it’s exercise. It strengthens muscles and improves flexibility and balance. It not only helps ease pain and stiffness but also improves overall health.

Harvard medical school

I’ve gone to the gym for years and have worked with my trainer, David Luis, for several years. Over the last six months, however, we’ve focused specifically on building up my hip flexor muscles to compensate for the joint weakness I have in that area.

I train with David one day a week but I’ve incorporated many of these new exercises into my daily regimen. It’s making a huge difference.

My daily workout consists of 30 minutes on a stationary bike (which is better for arthritis than the treadmill), plus an additional 30 minutes working on flexibility and muscle strength.

A side benefit of my gym is its community. I get a lot out of my fellow gym-goers, especially the older Chinese men and women who are all in their late ’70s and ’80s. They work out every day, are in great shape, and are living “the life.” They absolutely inspire me.

Scroll down for more.
Read More >

Share this post on:

Botox Before And After. But Is It Worth It?

Botox Before And After. But Is It Worth It?

I’ve had two deep furrows in my forehead for years. A result of too much squinting and frowning. I decided to give Botox a try.

A friend recommended his dermatologist and I arranged a visit. It’s a very easy procedure, the doctor was great and at $360.00, the cost is not outrageous.

The treatment I got on my forehead is for two very deep frown lines between the brows, known as glabellar lines. They are caused by the force of overactive glabellar muscles. As the skin ages and loses collagen and elastin, the skin can no longer resist the force of these muscles and gives in by forming wrinkles.

Twelve days after the procedure, I do see some improvement on my forehead but I’m not sure I care enough about it to do this on a regular basis. That said, all week long I’ve been getting incredible compliments from people who say I’m “glowing.” However, I also had my keratin done this week and my hair has looked phenomenal (thank you, Rodrigo Padilla). In other words, I’m not entirely sure what’s eliciting the compliments: the botox or the keratin?

Bottom Line.

I do notice a difference but I am not 100% convinced I need to do this every 6 months (versus the keratin which I absolutely cannot live without).

Scroll down if you’re curious to see photos of my forehead from day 1 to day 12.
Read More >

Share this post on:

Why Is Giving Up Salt So Darned Difficult?

Why Is Giving Up Salt So Darned Difficult?

“Unhealthy diets are a leading cause of death globally and excess salt consumption is the biggest culprit, estimated to have caused over 3 million deaths globally in 2017.”

Dr. Norm Campbell, former President of the World Hypertension League
Tobacco-Style Health Warnings

Which is why we may soon see salt shakers carrying tobacco-style health warnings like this.

Excess sodium can cause high blood pressure and promote stomach cancer. Limit your use.

Salt and High Blood Pressure

My doctor has warned me about high blood pressure for years. I refused to be medicated for it so the salt had to go (and a daily exercise regime entered my life). The salt habit I replaced with copious amounts of pepper and sometimes, hot sauces.

This past week, however, I found myself salting a piece of buttered bread while out to dinner. That’s been my favorite way of eating bread since childhood! Why did I revert to that behavior? So bad – but so tasty!

Anybody else addicted to salt? I don’t know why I love it so much but I must cut it out because high blood pressure is no joke.

Bottom Line.

Over the last few years, by cutting out salt, I’ve been able to bring down my blood pressure to the 121/78 range from around 144/96. All accomplished naturally with exercise, losing weight, cutting out salt and dialing back the drinking. Zero medication involved.

And hereis the article from Medical Xpress about adding health warnings to salt packaging sold in supermarkets as well as salt shakers at restaurants.

Read More >

Share this post on:

Get Your Flu Shot! It’s Forecast To Be A Horrid Season.

Get Your Flu Shot! It’s Forecast To Be A Horrid Season.

Australia, often a precursor for what kind of flu season we’ll get in America, just reported the highest number of confirmed cases in the country’s history – more than 270,000, compared to 60,000 in 2018.

This is my loving annual PSA begging everyone I know to get their flu shot – and to do it NOW. This weekend!

Most of my friends do not bother and it drives me crazy. As I’ve previously written, I had a nasty experience with the flu on a business trip with a slew of major presentations scheduled. All canceled and me stuck in a hotel for over a week. I have been a firm believer in flu shots ever since. And I have not come down with the flu since I started getting vaccinated. I still get bad colds but never the flu.

Another sign that this will be a bad flu season:

Earlier this month, a four-year-old boy in Riverside County, California died from the flu. Public-health officials announced the case as the county’s first pediatric flu-related death of the 2019-2020 flu season and worry that a death so early in the season is a harbinger of a particularly bad flu season to come.

So do not delay one moment more.

Get that flu shot – it takes about two weeks to kick in and the flu season typically runs October through February.

Carry on.

Read More >

Share this post on: