They hate you and they want you ill.

I have had the urge today for real meat. Yes, we had some at brunch, but it was later in the day and I needed to concentrate. So I took some salami what was in the fridge and briefly sauted it. To crisp it up, and shared it with Kea.

We basically eat meat. Occaisionally we don’t, but we avoid plants. If we don’t we suffer. This has led to weight loss and generally better health. It appears that as this body hack becomes more recognised, climate change is being used as a means to get us to eat things that can be preserved for a long period of time.

A powerful coalition of the UK’s health professions has called for a climate tax to be imposed on food with a heavy environmental impact by 2025, unless the industry takes voluntary action on the impact of their products.

The group says the climate crisis cannot be solved without action to cut the consumption of food that causes high emissions, such as red meat and dairy products. But it says that more sustainable diets are also healthier and would reduce illness.

The UK Health Alliance on Climate Change (UKHACC) includes 10 Royal Colleges of medicine and nursing, the British Medical Association and the Lancet, representing the doctors, nurses and other professionals entrusted with caring for the country’s health.

The alliance’s new report makes a series of recommendations including a swift end to buy-one-get-one-free offers for food that is bad for health and the environment, and for perishable foods that are often wasted.

It also calls for public information campaigns on diet to include climate messages, for labels on food to reveal its environmental impact, and for the £2bn spent every year on catering in schools, hospitals, care homes and prisons to meet minimum environmental standards.

These regulations require Big Ag. Consider this: when you go to a grocery store and buy some fish or an apple or a pear or cheese… it does not come with a massive amount of certification and nutrition information or approval ticks. Those things cost money. Farming has enough costs and regulation already. They don’t only want you ill, but they hate the farmer who would feed you.

On that, an observation. On the last decent hike, there were a bunch of people basically power walking up the hill. I was not wearing a heart rate monitor, but I was moving at times (percieved effort) from easy to moderate. They were going moderate to hard. This is bad for you.

As I became more enthused about Speedgolf, I tried to limit my heart rate to 145 bpm or below for my training runs, knowing the importance of maintaining aerobic intensity and minimizing anaerobic stimulation doing routine workouts. However, the 145 bpm number I chose was much to high for a 50-year-old; it was based on what I now believe is a flawed calculation of aerobic maximum heart rate based on estimated maximum heart rate. Instead, I recommend that endurance enthusiasts of all levels train according to Dr. Phil Maffetone’s “180 minus age” formula, where you calculate your aerobic maximum heart rate to be 180 minus age in beats per minute. Maffetone is the author of the Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing and legendary endurance coach. His time-tested formula ensures that a workout is minimally stressful and emphasizes fat burning, with minimal stimulation of glucose burning and stress hormone production.

I learned the hard way after six months of greatly increased training volume that even a little too high of a heart rate can be highly destructive. By going out for golf rounds and training runs with heart rate in 140s, I was stimulating a bit too much stress hormone production day after day. I was ill prepared for both the huge increase in training volume along with a heart rate that was too elevated.

Life gives you rest periods if you refuse to take them yourself. It took me weeks of buildup from short walks, to longer walks, to jog/walks and finally to resumption of light jogging. This time around, I decided to adhere to the 180-age MAF formula, and never exceed 130 beats per minute during my sessions (180 minus age 50 is 130 bpm). This meant doing a lot of walking during Speedgolf rounds, because stopping to swing the club raises your heart rate from jogging level!

For a lifelong competitive athlete, it’s a huge adjustment in mindset to maintain such a frustratingly slow pace – walking up hills and so forth. After months of devoted effort and limiting heart rate however, my energy and general health improved greatly, as did my fitness.

This is classic Lydiard. You went jogging in the morning (which was slow — 8 to 9 minute miles for elite athletes who often trained at 6 minute miles) and did not call that training because that is what you did in the evening. You limited speed work and hill work to short, intense sessions and dialled the mileage way back at time time. If you are more interested in staying healthy, it may be time to not run at all. At my age, I have to keep my aerobic efforts below a HR of 120 (180 minus age).

That is the revelation I have come to appreciate over decades of devoted endurance training. Walking is perhaps most health and longevity promoting activity of them all, the ultimate human experience of life and planet that our genes require daily for healthy functioning. This is especially true as you age. A UCLA study of the elderly revealed that walking more than 4,000 steps a day makes for a thicker hippocampus, faster information processing, and improved executive function.1 Sedentary folks were found to have thinner brains, lower overall cognitive function and increased disease risk. From a base of frequent daily walking (and other forms of low level movement like yoga), if you are fit enough to jog at a heart rate below “180 minus age” in beats per minute, there is pretty strong evidence that you are boosting health. If your “jogging” routinely drifts above that important MAF cutoff (surely the context for DeVany’s warning), you are likely actualizing the quote and endangering your health.

Coming off a period of high stress and illness, for both of us, we are having to avoid a lot of things. Difficult tasks as scaled. We did not go back to the box after the COVID because the intensity was too high. The aim now is to get the bulk stuff done, and keep the intense stuff short.

Very short. I managed to strain a shoulder doing a practical farmers carry getting about 15 kg per side up a flight of stairs in the house. Better, tomorrow, to get in a good walk.

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1 year ago

“unless the industry takes voluntary action”

An interesting definition of voluntary that seems to have crept into the discourse over the past few decades. Walk the plank voluntarily or we will throw you over the side. Why the hell would anyone do the “voluntary” thing when it so clearly isn’t?

Running v walking: I run, fairly slowly. Depending on the season I either do 2/3 times a week or 1 time per week. I generally enjoy myself once I get over the desire to not exercise. I tried walking and found that it just didn’t get me in much better shape. (3.5 miles is my normal run at about 11 minutes per mile FWIW). I also do martial arts which I think is lower impact, but lots of martial arts and sweating doesn’t seem to prepare me for any sort of distance travel. I’m trying to figure out a way to do walks with my plate carrier (body armour), just to acclimatize myself to the weight, without looking like a total tool.

1 year ago

It’s T-minus 6 weeks until my walking buddy can put her paws on the sidewalk. I can’t wait.

That puppy will be bigger than you real soon