our frail bodies

2016 has been a shit year for celebrities with the death count at 82 (?) so far. Legends like Bowie, Prince and Sir Terry Wogan have sadly left the mortal realm.It’s not a good year for us normos either what with the specter of the Zika virus hanging heavy over the Rio Olympics. And not forgetting the ever expanding global diabetes epidemic.

For a great review article on death and disease  be sure to read NEJM 200th Aniversay special “The Burden of Disease and the Changing Task of Medicine“. An interesting tidbit I came acoss while researching ideas for this post:

But the inclusion of infant mortality rates in calculating life expectancy creates the mistaken impression that earlier generations died at a young age; Americans were not dying en masse at the age of 46 in 1907. The fact is that the maximum human lifespan — a concept often confused with “life expectancy” — has remained more or less the same for thousands of years. The idea that our ancestors routinely died young (say, at age 40) has no basis in scientific fact.

When Socrates died at the age of 70 around 399 B.C., he did not die of old age but instead by execution. It is ironic that ancient Greeks lived into their 70s and older, while more than 2,000 years later modern Americans aren’t living much longer. 

Really something to think about eh.

On the bright side, it seems that Pokemon Go may actually be the cure to the obesity problem. It gets people out and about and socializing! And great news for us runners. Running not only makes you smarter, it may even help with knee health!

The results were opposite to what the investigators had expected. This forced them to conclude: “A history of leisure running is not associated with increased odds of prevalent knee pain, ROA, or SOA [symptoms of arthritis]. In fact, for knee pain, there was a dose-dependent inverse association with runners.”

This means that the people who ran the most had the least knee pain. “This was true across all age groups and for running at any time in one’s life,” noted first author Grace Hsaio-Wei Lo, M.D

I’m going to end this post with some pretty amazing things people have done with their frail bodies this year.

As I type this post 25 women and 72 men are now running the Badwater 135 – world’s toughest foot race.

Now in its 39th year, the world-renowned event pits up to 100 of the world’s toughest athletes against one another and the elements. In scorching temperatures and at altitudes as high as 8,300 feet, runners, triathletes, adventure racers, and mountaineers from 21 countries and 27 American states will face off in a grueling 135-mile non-stop run from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA. Widely recognized as “the world’s toughest foot race, “ it is the most demanding and extreme running race on the planet.

Earlier this year, comedian Eddie Izzard completed 27 full marathons in 27 days across South Africa. A pretty damn impressive feat for anyone, let alone the 54 year old sometime wearer of heels 😉





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