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Archive for April, 2009

Obese Preschoolers

Posted by cavewomanrunner on April 7, 2009

There have been many articles recently on obesity in children. One posted on CNN today states that 1/5 of all 4 year olds are obese. That’s 20 percent. I remember the days when it was rare to have one overweight child in a neighborhood, let alone one in every five being obese. And these kids aren’t even in school yet!

What\’s the difference between overweight and obese? Overweight= BMI of 25.0 to 29.9. Obese= BMI of 30+

Some people say the cause of childhood obesity is hard to pinpoint. Is it really? Dr. Tom Robinson states: “We know most of the changes that have occurred in body fat tend to occur from being in an environment that promotes very easy access to high-caloric foods and limited opportunities for physical activities.”

Exactly. Just go to a convenience store or a supermarket and see all the boxes and wrappers of processed “foods.” Most adults don’t eat meats, veggies and fruits. And guess what, kids eat what their parents eat. Plus kids are flooded by the media for sugar, candies, and chocolate (translation = money for manufacturers and advertisers, health problems for kids).

Michael Rich, an associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, offered an interesting idea to combat childhood obesity: the 5-2-1-0 plan: “Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables, cut screen time down to two hours or less, exercise at least one hour, and have zero soda and sugary drinks.”

I would edit that to have zero sugary, processed FOODS. The sugar doesn’t just come from drinks. Just look at a few examples: Cocoa-puffs, Snickers, donuts, cakes, and ice creams. Children eating these items every day, and most times more than the normal serving sizes, causes these problems. Lack of exercise does not help either.

Our paleo ancestors would be shocked and dismayed. I’m sure even paleo children had to be fit to survive – to help their families and villages get food and shelter. Survival is no longer an issue – instead we have plenty of extra time to stuff ourselves and our children with sugary sweets.


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Mix Up Your Runs

Posted by cavewomanrunner on April 3, 2009

I’m always interested in how to shake up my training runs. Currently I do a mix of easy runs, speedwork, intervals, and long runs.  I run four days a week, long runs on the weekend. I’ve added interval training – like doing 6 x 2 minute fartleks or T runs (20 second sprint, 10 second jog, then repeat). I’ve increased my speed and endurance. And, of course, doing long runs (up to 20 miles) has also helped my endurance and getting my body used to running close to a marathon.

I feel quite prepared for my half marathon in 15 days (steep hill climb for 5 miles) and then a full marathon in six weeks. I also plan on adding in at least one 1oK, more half marathons, and at least one more marathon this year.

Half marathon time to beat: 2:18:35.0

Marathon time to beat: 4:28:02

Active.comhad an article today on how to mix up your running schedule. For the most part, it wasn’t very useful. It boiled down to either running longer or shorter – or using a treadmill. No mention of interval training or adding speedwork. The tip of logging your runs in a journal is nice, but most avid runners already do this.

I had to laugh too at this article’s definition of “high-energy tracks” you could add to your iPod: Madonna and the Red Hot Chili Peppers? Okay, a few of the RHCP’s songs are good for running – but Madonna? You might as well add Yanni to your playlist. Get some real music like Metallica, Static X, Motorhead and Disturbed, folks!

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