Health and Fitness

Relative Risk

According to Wikipedia, the relative risk or risk ratio is the ratio of the probability of an outcome in an unexposed group to the probability of an outcome in in an exposed group. Together with risk difference and odds ratio, relative risk measures in the association between the exposure and the outcome.

Clearly, the risk of blood clots from the vaccine is extremely low. It is actually lower than your risk of being struck by lightning.

Another common analogy that I came across when thinking about this topic was seatbelt usage. Approximately 30,000 people die in the United States every year in motor vehicle accidents. It is estimated that seatbelts save approximately 14,000 lives per year. Clearly however, there is a small percentage of people the die because they had their seatbelt on either from being trapped in their car or from direct trauma from the belt itself. Virtually no one however, is arguing that you should not wear your seatbelt because it is not safe.

The risk of catching, and the potential devastating consequences of the COVID 19 infection are exponentially worse then any potential side effects of the vaccine. Further, you can’t catch the COVID-19 infection from the vaccine because it does not contain live virus.

As a Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physician, I evaluate risk and reward all the time. I unfortunately see the consequences in patients that engage in high-risk behaviors and suffer devastating injuries. Activities such as racing a motorcycle without a helmet or speeding without a seatbelt greatly increase the probability of a negative outcome.

We’ve been given a great opportunity, with the development of three safe and thoroughly evaluated vaccines. This is our opportunity to protect the health of ourselves, our friends and family, and allow society to reopen.

When you consider the great history of vaccine safety and effectiveness, and all that they have done to eradicate diseases, and protect the health of ourselves and our children, it is clear that the relative risk is greatly in our favor!

Stay well!

Health and Fitness

Your Health is an Investment, Not a Cost

The Aultman Working on Wellness team provides health screenings and education at no cost to lead our community to improved health. This is a great example of a group in our community helping you to invest in your health. They provide health education and resources as well as referrals, as needed.

The analogy of health investment as a financial investment is a good one. If you want to be financially healthy and secure, you have to continuously work towards this goal. The same is true for your health. Pay yourself first and continue to “invest” in your health in good times and in bad

The World Health Organization defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely absence of disease. To earn this return, you need to consistently invest in healthy lifestyle habits including a good diet, exercise, adequate sleep and stress reduction.

Invest in your health today to fight and prevent future diseases. This may pay further dividends including reduced overall health care cost, increased happiness, more productivity at work, and being more available for your family and for leisure activities.

People that have suffered severe illness, say that health is like money and that they never have an idea of its true value until they’ve lost it.

I came across a read by Jim Rohn. He said “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.“ Makes a lot of sense!

Stay well!

Health and Fitness

Transit Time

The title of this blog may catch you off guard. When I say “transit time“ I don’t mean the time it takes to get across town. I’m talking about how long it takes for the food that you eat to travel down your esophagus, to your stomach, through your small intestines, your large intestines and then be expelled through your anus.

I’ve always thought that eating raw vegetables could cover up or buffer other bad dietary habits. Science has shown that my hunch was correct. This is because they decrease the transit time through our a gastrointestinal tract as well as providing the many other well-known health benefits.

Digestion takes anywhere from 24 to 72 hrs.. The average transit time is 30 to 40 hours in someone who is not constipated. The three best ways to speed things up are 1. Eat more fiber. 2. Drink more water. 3. Exercise daily.

A unique way in which faster transit time greatly affects your body weight is through the hunger modulating hormones. Leptin is a hormone made by fat cells that decreases your appetite. Ghrelin is a hormone that increases appetite and also plays a role in body weight. Studies have shown that fiber-enriched meals decrease post prandial glucose, insulin and ghrelin. These high-fiber meals provide the additive effects of decreased fat storage and decreased hunger.

To decrease your transit time and more easily achieve an ideal weight, eat more vegetables, especially brassica vegetables such as kale cauliflower or broccoli. Further, increase your consumption of legumes, beans and lentils, as well as colorful, organic, seed-containing berries

Stay well!

Health and Fitness

Jackie Robinson Day

Jackie Robinson was a dynamic baseball player, best known for erasing the unofficial color barrier in major league baseball. On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson started at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbet’s Field. The class and dignity that he displayed might even have outshined his dazzling offensive and defensive skills.

This past week, and on April 15 every year, major-league baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson day. He will always be remembered for breaking down barriers and opening up opportunities for minorities in professional sports. Even more important however was his fight for equality as a businessman, public speaker, and in politics. Every year on April 15, baseball honors Jackie Robinson‘ s legacy by celebrating his life, values and accomplishments.

Years ago I listened to an autobiography of Jackie Robinson while on a road trip. I was fascinated to learn of his philosophies on life success and justice. When researching this current blog post, I read many of the quotes that were attributed to Jackie Robinson. They give a snapshot of his wisdom and dignity.

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.“ “The most luxurious possession, the richest treasure anybody has, is his personal dignity. “ “I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me. All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.“

It is clear that this phenomenal baseball player made an impact not just with his play, but also with his words. With eloquence and dignity, he spoke out against injustice and stood for fair and just treatment of all. He said that “Your time is limited, so don’t waste a living someone else’s life and to keep rising every time we fall.

He’s truly an American hero.

Stay well!

Health and Fitness

Five Reasons to Ride Your Bike

1. Biking may not cure diseases alone, but it will make our bodies healthier. It improves our cardiovascular fitness, lowers blood pressure, and increases strength, balance and coordination.

2. Bicycling won’t solve climate change alone, but if adopted en masse, it can make our communities healthier. The transportation sector accounts for nearly 30% of all US greenhouse gas emissions, with cars and trucks delivering nearly 1/5 of these emissions. Together we can make a difference.

3. Biking can make our roads safer. As we all bike more, it will become safer. Drivers’ behavior changes to adapt to more bicyclists on the road. Further, communities adjust their city planning to accommodate more bicyclists, creating a virtuous cycle.

4. Biking will improve your happiness and your cognitive function. Your daily commute may reduce your stress and anxiety and improve sleep. It is well-known that moderate exercise can improve attention and memory and slow cognitive decline.

5. Biking can help you lose weight and maintain and ideal body weight. A one hour daily cycle ride at a moderate pace or 15 mph will burn 465 cal. Multiply that times five days a week equals 2325 calories! That’s more than a pound per week.

Currently, the Trek bicycle company is promoting the #GoByBike movement. They are asking that you choose your bike for one or more trips each week and tag a photo of your bike with #GoByBike for the health of our people and planet. “Collective action makes a world of difference, and what you do today matters for tomorrow.“ Both for you and for the planet.

Stay well!