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Friday, 27 July 2018

Travelling during summer 2018


Butlins provides beds, restaurants and bars. Andrew needs something a little more scary as a ride.

Skegness and Ingoldmells, for the rides. Butlins for accommodation. Andrew succeeded in getting us on the log flume and crazy golf. He got £22 worth easy on the rides at Ingoldmells.
Butlins is full of very large people. It's tired with peeling paint and beds in need of weeding. 



Salford Keys is a great place for a show and an sleepover.



Looks like Llandudno, except for the cliff lift and planetarium on the far headland.




Harbour and Ffestiniog railway terminus.



Sir Clough Williams-Ellis created this village with a smile on his face. Famous names from our tour guide tripped us up - Patrick McGoohan (The Prisoner), Brian Epstein, Jools Holland, Noel Coward and so on. Sir Clough rescued what he called 'Fallen Buildings' as in fallen women.
Back in the 70s the childbride and I stayed here. I presented a paper on Huntington's Disease at the Welsh Association of Physicians. Henry Jones fixed it for us. Great.



Near Llanidloes where we were staying with Big Dave and Joan. Tallest dam in the UK, with a ruined lead mine under its shadow.








Thursday, 26 July 2018

Aging Rockers



Hollywood Vampires - a very good bar band
Joe Perry (Aerosmith) 67 
Alice Cooper 70 
Johnny Depp 55 

From The Times Magazine. Portraits Tom Jackson

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

"Holding Back the Years" - "Oiling the Gears"

we no longer need a wheelbarrow, so we turned it into a plant pot
From an article written by Joel Snape in the Telegraph - with some comments from me.

Our lifespan is written in our DNA. All things being equal (no accidents or disease) we will wear out at this predetermined age. Can we measure this? Joel summarises the latest biochemistry and immunology which may or may not help. It's a tad confusing which means to me that they haven't cracked it yet.

We do know that our demise could be premature due to accidents and disease. There are also risk factors active when we are still well. So taking care could be a good idea before we retire, and certainly still beneficial well into ageing (70-79 young old, 80+ old old). We've all read about or met people who are fantastic role models in the 90s; see blogs on older people (1) and (2).

So here are the usual disease suspects; stop me if you have heard them.
  Risk factors for heart attacks and stroke: sedentary lifestyle, smoking, high blood pressure, overweight/obesity, high cholesterol. None of these on their own is powerful, but it gets worrying if you begin to collect them and they are under our control with help from our friendly prescriber.
  In addition, sedentary lifestyle can contribute to osteoporosis and risk of low trauma fracture - sadly being a tad unsteady is part of normal ageing. Diabetes, particularly type 2, can be a direct consequence of creeping above and beyond our ideal weight.
  There is a debate around the measurement of these risk factors, which is interesting but best not used as an excuse for not taking care.

There are the 4 normal physical 'S' challenges of ageing - strength, stamina, skill and suppleness. We no longer shift pianos over 60 and our exercise capacity declines predictably from an early age. Skill is balance and dexterity, while suppleness is stiffness v. flexibility. We are all at various stages of the 'S' change.

So the Joel plan?

  • Diet - there is not a lot new here. Eat less calories, eat more fish (mackerel) and plants, drink less alcohol (minimum of two water days per week), drink more green tea, eat more whole foods and cut down on processed stuff.
  • Strength training - not much detail. As we have said a few times, do something and regularly. See blogs on exercise and the older person (1)(2) and (3). Joel recommends we get as stronger handshake.
  • Balance - sounds like pilates which I do recommend. Try standing on one leg, eyes closed, and counting to 10 slowly. Try sitting on the floor and getting up without help from arms or knees. Stretch something whenever you can.
  • Exercise - a bit thin on detail. Walk more is well documented, but check out the links above.
  • Then a few extra ones for good measure. Spend more time in bed sleeping, regular sex helps skin look younger, learn a language to ward off alzheimer's, oh and, worry less.
So a fun article with the usual advice to eat and drink what we don't enjoy and start doing things which make us breathless and feel pain. I'm into more sleep if I can get it. Worry less? I've been down among the muck and bullets at the bottom of a rugby scrum all my life. Where has Joel been?

Last words from Professor Jamie Timmons, Medical and Molecular Genetics, King's College, London.
'I think there is no evidence yet that we can alter our "biological age clock" through lifestyle, but it does seem that longevity up to an average age of 80 years is highly modifiable. We can treat the symptoms correlated with age through things like strength training and avoiding obvious toxins such as smoking. Other than that, I'd say do things today that might be sensible if they also enhance the quality of life now.'
In other words, and it's a cliche for which I apologise, 'put life into years'.







Saturday, 21 July 2018

How much exercise is too much?

A recent article in the Times by Peta Bee lists the pitfalls of too much exercise:

Fatigue, constantly aching muscles
Restless sleep and insomnia
Shin pain
Achilles tendinitis
Frontal knee pain
Increased risk of colds

The solution is - only do high impact activity (circuits, weights, hard running) on alternate days
                         - increase the amount gradually
                         - always give your body time to rest

It would be glib to say I experience nothing of the above, simply because most of what I do isn't hard enough. Sadly I do experience many of these exercise-related problems but not because of exercise, so I totally agree with the solutions. In fact I adopt the assumption that I'm constantly work in progress, as if I am returning from holiday or injury. I never get disappointed about my personal best.

Forever young taking on some gently exercise