18 June 2012

What is Your Exercise Personality?

Do you know people who love to run, but haven’t taken an exercise class since Jazzercise first made the scene?  Know someone who tried kick boxing, hot yoga, kettle ball, TRX suspension training and every new exercise program introduced?  Turns out, there is a correlation between personality and the type of exercise a person is likely to enjoy.  

Type A people gravitate toward competitive exercise like running.  Type B personalities like team sports like baseball.  A person’s internal drive, discipline, and personal intensity can factor into which activity sticks.   Even the 16 personality types of Myers-Briggs have been applied to exercise personalities in the book The 8 Colors of Fitness by Suzanne Brue http://the8colorsoffitness.com/book/

Out of curiosity, and nerdiness, I compiled the responses to a question posted on RunnersWorld’s Community Forum which asked runners to submit their MBTI.   In that sample, more runners were Introverts than Extroverts by 2:1.  More were Intuitive (dreamers) than Sensing (realists) by 3:1.  There were equal numbers of Thinkers (logical) as Feelers (tenderhearted).  And Judging (structured) personalities heavily outweighed Perceivers (go-with-the-flow) by 5:1. 

Does it matter?  Not to determine athletic performance, but research shows if you enjoy an exercise/activity then you are more likely to make it part of your lifestyle.  And for long term health, an active lifestyle is more important to establish than pushing for a 30-minute workout every day for a year.  You don’t have to run 5 miles a day or take an aerobics class, like a Physical Fitness (gym rat) personality would.  Michael Bracko, Exercise Physiologist, identifies three other fitness types:  1- Functional (the gardener) 2- Health related (heart patient) and 3 - Recreational Athlete (tennis player)  http://www.rodale.com/exercise-personality?page=0,0                

For kicks, find your exercise personality and live a fit life:

07 June 2012

A Summary on Organic

With recent talk about pink slime (processed meat by-product) and The Dirty Dozen, we wanted to dig into the subject of Organic food.  What is it?  What are the benefits of eating organic, and the risks of not?  Which foods are worst?

Definition. Organic food is that which is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizers, nor chemically altered in process.  With respect to meat, that includes animals free of antibiotics or growth hormones.  For an organic stamp, food in the US must be 95+% organic in composition.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_food''

There has been no proof that organic food is superior in taste or nutrition, and there’s question as to the harmful effect of eating trace amounts of pesticides, which are deemed allowable by the USDA. In fact, several of the published reasons to go organic are to protect the environment.  And even that is now debated as organic goes mass market.  http://www.organic.org/articles/showarticle/article-206
Still many people searching for organic foods want to reduce their cumulative exposure with concern of cancer, and in particular pregnant women and parents of young children where allowable amounts are a concern for developing bodies.  http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/JustOneThing/organic-nonorganic-buy/story?id=13310727#.T9AAMcUrqSo
In summary, go organic when you can.  Shop local farms, or look for certified labels in supermarket, but don’t knock yourself out if you can’t be 100% organic.  We take the same stance as we do with whole food, educate yourself and make reasonable changes in your diet to move the dial in the right direction.  Note: In the off-season when more fresh produce is imported, be diligent looking at where the food is coming from, different countries have different standards.  (The Wikipedia link above touches on specific country practices.)

To help you decide what foods to focus on, here are two lists:

“The Dirty Dozen” is a quick list, produced by Environmental Working Group, of foods ranked with the highest pesticide content as reported by the Dept of Agriculture.  The dirty dozen generally includes fruit and vegetables (tree fruits, berries, leafy greens).  More recently the list includes meat and dairy due to chemical additives/hormones and fat content.  For the full list, click here http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/dirty-dozen-foods#fbIndex1

“The Clean 15”, deemed by The Daily Green as "so clean of pesticides you don’t have to buy organic”, include fruit and vegetables many with a thick skin which isn’t eaten such as cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, corn, etc.  For the full list, click here http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/eat-safe/clean-15-foods-2011#fbIndex20

More Sources:
"Understand Organic Food Labels, Benefits, and Claims" http://www.helpguide.org/life/organic_foods_pesticides_gmo.htm