Second Wind Project
The Biggest Winner Lives the Longest
The intent of this program is to get the reader/participant on the path to lifestyle change to achieve better health while learning strategies that promote quality of life and longevity.
The Healthcare Crisis is already here caused by a tsunami of an aging population.
Beginning in 2011, the largest generation in American history began to move onto the list of Social Security and Medicare. This will exacerbate any problems not addressed earlier regarding the health outlook for older people. It is currently projected that the US will have only one-fourth the geriatricians needed to care for older people as the growth of the Baby Boom generation reaches it’s crest. The gap between the need and supply is huge.
It is time to confront the inertia, head in the sand attitudes and action toward aging and the structural changes in both health care education that have kept us in a Medical Never-Never Land or to be precise – the private preserve of the medical community, insurance companies and lawyers.
Defined by scientific research it is the content of the five pillars symbols that promote quality of life, health and longevity:
physical – the body
mental – the brain
nutritional – the food
social – the gathering
spiritual – the unknown
These pillars are the basis for longevity and quality of life – two central themes to the program. The reader, now refered to as participants since this is an action book, will be suggested a series of challenges, each to do with one of the five pillars.
Success in the challenges will be marked by the participant’s personal improvement, as well as raw skill. Challenges will be judged both quantitatively/objectively- as in using a stopwatch for speed and endurance and qualitatively/subjectively- as in judging how the participants’ feel about the artistic value of a creative project.
It is suggested the participant take, for example, strength, flexibility, endurance and speed tests in order to create a starting point to indicate eventual improvement. In addition the participant could take a blood test for cholesterol and blood sugar levels as well as a blood pressure test in order to get a fix on internal conditions which are not viewed by the eye. You’re in control to set-up a baseline and improve on personal conditions and weaknesses.
run an agility course
For example, placing a yardstick on the ground which is taped across at right angles to the 15” mark. Sit with the yardstick between your legs and place your feet, without shoes, about 10-12” apart at right angles to the 15” mark. Slowly reach forward with both hands as far as possible on the yardstick. Your score recorded is the most distant point reached on the yardstick in inches.
A reach to 21 inches excellence. Ten inches is not so good. Yet the competition is the individual’s overall improvement.
You pick either your favorite activity or the new activity to start to challenge yourself and rewire your brain.
Run – 1 mile
Swim – 500 yards
Bike – 5 miles
Two minute step test
Run – 5 miles
Swim – 1 mile
Bike – 25 miles
challenges on the computer
Art and Design
record daily food intake
record daily supplements
number of social connections weekly
relevant cultural knowledge
domestically & internationally
statement of spiritual involvement
what is your developed opinion
time spent in nature – alone
resting heart rate
Medical conditions transformed by a new healthy lifestyle:
It turns out practically everyone has some condition or conditions that can lead to more serious medical problems if not nipped in the bud through awareness and lifestyle change. The challenges will also involve the sub-themes of motivation, momentum, risk-taking and blowing away antiquated concepts and myths of aging based on brain plasticity and science.
Leaders in academia, healthcare and science through research share clinical and educational expertise to the program. The legacy of this program will continue to grow beyond the horizons of thought and innovation to solve this pressing agenda of ill health throughout the globe. Scientifically validated games, products and training protocols will improve memory and cognitive functions.
A New Vision On Aging
Innovative, creative, remarkable breakthroughs in science, controlling and erasing disease, upgrading procedures, changing attitudes, debunking lifelong beliefs and myths which have permeated the understanding of aging. Research, experiments and field experiences result in a new world extending longevity into higher numbers throughout the globe.
We will investigate the data regarding how, why and what is contributing to the boom in living longer. Yet is living longer better? Unfortunately for many people living longer can be expressed as “waiting to die.” That’s exactly why quality of life needs to accompany quantity of years – longevity. Stanford researchers came up with an interesting label for living a long, productive, energetic life ending with a short illness like a heart attack and death, they call it “compressed morbidity.” Now there is a way to completely avoid a long, aggregative, painful chronic illness before death.
This program is about living to your fullest. It’s about a kick-start to discover resources, exercises, projects, and alternative healing for you to continue on your path to health and longevity.
The data is not only compelling, but rather overwhelming when adults begin or upgrade physical exercise, knock off bad habits for good ones, eat right, remain connected and social and adopt some form of spiritual rigor, living better and longer is a fair result.
Many of us know how to eliminate or reduce health problem, yet don’t do much about chronic conditions except listen to the doctor and take the medicine or allow the surgery. Medical care is not the only way nor most effective nor cost efficient way to reduce pain and suffering. The goal of Catching a Second Wind is stopping the condition before it begins as an uninvited guest in our body or mind.
Just as we need to discover alternative ways of creating energy, we need to discover and develop alternative ways of dealing with medical problems. From procedures to costs, hospitals to outpatients offices, malpractice issues to quality care, a revolution in healthcare is necessary. A serious problem now and in the future is a lack of doctors to take on patients who are on Medicare and/or medical or comparable state health plans and dealing with rising medical costs even when covered by health insurance is a problem.
Medical doctors are in a noble profession. They possess a combination of brains and compassion to remove pain and suffering, cure illness and save lives. There will not be enough doctors and medical practitioners to address the growing number in the aging generation that contract any number of conditions and illnesses both acute and chronic. We need to take responsibility for our own health and lack of it causing life long chronic conditions.
Introduction to Mental Fitness
Mental Fitness is a state of mind in which we are open to enjoying our environment, the people in it and believing we have the capacity to be creative and imaginative. It is using our mental abilities to the fullest extent, taking risks, inquiring, questioning and accepting other points of view, with a readiness to learn, grow and change.
It is no secret that the latest research indicates we use 100% of the brain and it continues to grow rewiring itself throughout life including aging. Parts of the brain are working even as we sleep and with complete attention it grows more neurons, thicker dendrites and glial cells when challenged by new and novel activities, adding up to more brain connections. Yet the brain can not pay attention to two projects, multi-tasking, at the exact same time without a good chance for a mistake. It takes a second to get out of one program before shifting into another project.
The main focus of this pillar is the brain. With up to 500 trillion synaptic and neuronal connections, the human brain is by far the most powerful and creative machine in the known universe. These connections are what create thoughts, drive emotions and control behaviors. More incredible, the brain is constantly changing through a process called brain plasticity. We can take advantage of this process to improve and enhance the brain’s powers at any age.
Brain plasticity is one of the most revolutionary discoveries in modern neuroscience. It proves that our life experiences continually shape and mold our brain.
Brain fitness is the pathway to improvement including:
learning and creativity
sensory acuity and fine motor skills
I have learned we can increase the power of our brain under our own guidance. The brain’s ability to change in response to experience is a way to understanding the brain’s development. Whatever the age, one can direct the growth and evolution of our own brain development with our direct experiences throughout our entire life.
Messages are transmitted through the brain’s electrochemical pathways. Neuroscientists say cells that fire together wire together. Not unlike some friendships, those that are enriched and maintained endure, while those that are not maintained disappear.
The key to optimal brain development is living in an enriched environment which is not limited to the past or early life development, but this dynamic process, influenced by choice and decision the brain continues to evolve throughout life.
The key to optimal brain functioning is proper diet, sleep and exercise. Reducing empty calories to avoid obesity which is recognized as a risk factor for late life dementia and other cognitive deficits. Exercise brings about positive changes in the brain function from children to adults and elders. More sleep is characteristic of high achieving students. Power naps can help enhance memory and cognitive performance.
Attention, focus and concentration, must be applied in the effort needed to grow neuronal connections and improve our brain performance. In order to attain attention we must manage distraction and multitasking. When your attention is aligned with the task, you have a easier time learning, remembering and a greater ability to retrieve and use the new information.
Over reliance on electronic information such as IMBD, Wikipedia and Google can result in disuse atrophy of your memory power although the atrophy can be overcome by deliberate efforts to improve your memory.
Working memory or short-term memory is the key to the most important mental operation carried out by the human brain – retrieving and manipulating stored information. Deliberate practice is the key to improving our working memory that can increase intelligence as applied to any human endeavor including occupational achievement, creativity, recreation and play.
Challenging your brain to learn and apply new and novel information throughout our lifetime builds a cognitive reserve. The more education and knowledge acquired the less likely to be diagnosed with dementia in later years.
The competitors as well as the viewing audience will learn and experience steps to enhance their brain function.
Exercise. It turns out exercise, along with new personal challenges, are the best nutrition for the brain as well as the body.
Exercise provides many benefits to the bo
Improved cardiovascular health
Reduced serum cholesterol
lowered blood sugar
lowered blood pressure
Increased bone density
In the early 1960s, Dr. Ralph Seal Paffenbarger and other researchers began to look at exercise and its effects on 17,000 Harvard graduates, all men ranging in age from 30’s to 70’s. The study, which was conducted at Harvard & Stanford, considered physical activities like sports, walking, climbing stairs and translated the exercise into calories expended by the men in the course of a week.
By the 1970s, the study’s preliminary findings suggested that men burning 2,000 or more calories a week faced a substantially lower risk of death from heart disease than their more sedentary peers. Indeed, in 1984, Dr. Paffenbarger concluded that, among 640 men in the study who had died of cardiovascular disease, the death rate for the most sedentary was nearly twice that for the most active. By the ’90s, the study refined that figure, finding that regular exercise reduced coronary death rates by 25% to 33%.
The results of the Harvard study became a major impetus for the aerobic exercise movement of the 1980s, as Dr. Paffenbarger and others argued that the benefits of exercise could accrue even if it was begun in middle age. He later calculated that vigorous activity, started early enough, could increase further life expectancy by one or even two years at age 80, adding that quality of life would probably also be enhanced, as there would be fewer chronic diseases like diabetes. In the 1990s, the study found that men ages 45 to 54 who began to exercise could expect to live 10 months longer on average than their sedentary peers.
Dr. Terence Kavanagh, an internist and professor of exercise sciences at the University of Toronto, said Dr. Paffenbarger was “a scientist who practiced what he preached,” showing “conclusively that sedentary individuals who became active got increasing protection from cardiovascular disease.”
The Harvard study was modeled in part on Dr. Paffenbarger’s earlier health study of 6,000 longshoremen working along San Francisco Bay. The Harvard study, which continues, also built upon the findings of Jeremy N. Morris, an English researcher who in the 1950s and ’60s conducted studies of exercise and cardiovascular disease among drivers and conductors of London’s bus system. Dr. Morris found that conductors, who climbed the stairs of double-decker buses, had lower coronary risks than the seated drivers.
The modern diet is energy rich and nutrient poor. On average we eat too much processed flour and sugar, poor quality fats and meats and not enough fruit, vegetables, nuts, beans and whole grains, which have more nutrients per calorie. When people fill themselves with sugary soft drinks they will feel full, yet they are starving for micronutrients.
Supplements: Supplements are not substitutes. You can’t eat a terrible diet and take supplements and expect you are fine.
Which supplements should we choose? How many should we take in what form?
What it does.
Why you need it.
What to look for.
Omega-3 fish oils
Essential fatty acids found in vegetable and animal fats are important building blocks for cells and regulate many of the body’s functions. Evidence is mountain that the typical modern diet, high in animal fats and vegetable oils, over emphasizes omega-6 fatty acids, which is a cause for inflammation and produces more body fat. They also deliver too few of the anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids found in green plants, certain nuts and seeds, fatty fish and fats from animals that graze on grass. To combat this problem, experts recommend increasing omega-3 intake with a fish oil supplement.
The US National Institutes of Health reports that most American get about 10 times more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3s; other estimates suggest that number may be as high as 25 times more.
Calcium Vitamin D Magnesium
Calcium helps protect bones. Yet it is a bulky molecule. Most multivitamins only include about 10% of daily requirement. An additional pill is a good idea. Our body can’t fully assimilate calcium without vitamin D and magnesium. Bone health is affected by protein rich foods and excessive sweets which disrupt the acid/alkaline balance in our body. The body doesn’t want blood to be acidic, so it pulls calcium compounds from bones to neutralize acidity. This contributes to the high rate of bone fractures and osteoporosis amount the elderly. To protect your bones, eating more alkalinizing foods like beans, whole grains and vegetables is advisable.
The Gathering- Social
Be social. Studies show that isolation can lead to depression and early death. We gain energy by being with others (both humans and animals). Make time for family, friends and pets.
Human beings are social creatures. In the beginning we realized survival relied on being in a group. Groups grew in numbers to become hamlets, villages, towns and cities. Individuals specialized in specific purposeful behaviors called work. It’s no different today.
Research shows that people who are attached to a social fabric, connections to others – live longer. The research supports the premise that women live longer than men and the main reason is that women tend to put a greater amount of time, energy and attention to creating and maintain connections to others throughout their lives. Women thrive on the building and nourishing friendships and look to them as an integral part of an ongoing support system, especially when going through tough times and stress, e.g. aging parents, illness, death, loss of a job.
Seniors who engage in productive activities and purposeful projects in groups have healthful numbers in cholesterol and high blood pressure equal to those who exercise daily. Being married, even if you go on to get divorced, helps you to live a longer life. New research in mice suggests that high levels of social support may provide protection against strokes by reducing the amount of damaging inflammation in the brain. The amount of tissue damage in the brain was about four times larger in the mice housed alone compared to those housed with another mouse.
Yet a comprehensive study published in the American Sociological Review found that Americans are far more socially isolated than just two decades ago, with a quarter of respondents saying they have no one to confide in. That number actually doubled in the last two decades.
Maintaining positive relationships rank up there with healthy eating and exercise as a necessary investment in your health:
Having a good marriage or just one close friend cuts mortality by a third. The benefit increases the more your cycle of friends broadens.
Socially engaged adults age more successfully.
Friends can help you achieve your weight and fitness goals.
Loneliness linked to high blood pressure in aging adults.
Happiness is catching – from friends and colleagues.
Building a circle of friends makes you happy.
Friends lessen grief.
Being social boosts your immune system.
The number one strongest social predictor of long life is a strong social network.
Reach out to others and the love will get returned.
Interaction is the antitheses of isolation. It may save your life.
Rejecting Aging Myths
Many people feel threatened when being asked to question their cherished beliefs or perception of reality. Yet self questioning and challenging ourselves leads to a supple and strong mind. Many beliefs we take for granted are ingrained over a lifetime, unquestioned and seen as conventional wisdom. A collection of beliefs, called a paradigm, seemed to make life simpler. No need to think because the paradigm is the truth. We all know it.
Not so fast. Paradigms shift and fall apart through additional information, experience and science. Before 1492, sailors knew after passing through the Straits of Gibraltar sailing westward, eventually the ship would simply fall off the flat earth. Before England’s Roger Bannister broke the four minute mile, the medical community agreed that a man was not physically equipped to run that fast. Three weeks later it was broken again by New Zealand’s John Landy. Today sub-four minutes miles are a regular occurrence at any track meet.
Collectively people ease into the myths of aging without being aware of the drift because our perception gives us the feedback of complaining about aches and pains, chronic conditions and diseases, seeing old friends loosing it, can’t remember and/or can’t get moving. Buy into the myths of aging and over time they become real, cemented, ingrained and presto they are you. This program is about major mind shifts. Once we become aware that these belief based myths have been neutralized by fact based science, we find a new youthfulness and can expand our comfort zone, quality of life and longevity.
Here’s the process. The characteristics most frequently ascribed to older persons tend to be stereotypes.We either disengage with these myths or don’t buy into them in the first place. Here’s just a few myths that science has busted:
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
Being old is about being sick.
The healthcare system will take care of me.
It’s too late for me to change in order to make a difference in my health.
Heredity and genetics shape our destiny.
Increasing age brings about greater psychological distress.
Older adults are less satisfied with their lives than younger adults.
Increasing age brings about a decline in sexual desire and interest.
Older adults are not physically capable of engaging in sexual intercourse.
Most old people are set in their ways, have poor health, poor memory and nothing can be done.
The majority of older people feel miserable much of the time.
People tend to become more religious as they age.
Old people are frail.
The frailty of old age is irreversible because muscles lose their ability to respond to training.
Diminished vision, loss of hearing and other sensory defects that characterize old age are inevitable and irreversible.
Most aging adults lose their teeth and eventually must use dentures.
Forgetfulness is part of the aging process.
The aging body just wears out.
Memory decline is inevitable in old age.
People lose brain cells every day and eventually just run out.
Aging is reserved for the old.
Spiritual- The Unknown
More and more people are making a connection between their health and the concept of spiritual and physical or “life force” energy. Research at the highest levels of academic medicine has pointed toward a positive relationship between mind-body interactions, spiritual practice, genuine religious belief and multiple positive outcomes.
For the past 30 years, scientific inquiry by Herbert Benson, M.D., Harvard Medical School and recent work by Larry Dossey, M.D. and others, has elucidated the effects of meditation, prayer, visualization and other mind-body interactions. Meditation for example, not only creates health promoting physiological changes as in lowering blood pressure, but also leads to the development of a relationship with a divine power that we call God.
Deepak Chopra, M.D., a medical pioneer in the science of longevity and living well has stated, “my personal observations of people who live extended lives and more than that, extended happy, carefree lives, is that longevity becomes a side benefit of their own spiritually.”
The therapeutic potential of spirituality and religion has been the subject of many reviews. There are a myriad of sociological and biomedical investigations that underline a positive relationship between religious belief, attendance at worship services and beneficial health outcomes. People with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, stroke, cancer and colitis have all benefited from spiritually.
Muslims pray five times a day, Sikhs read five bands or prayers, Orthodox Jews have their morning rituals, Catholics say their rosary over and over again, other Christians read the Bible while Buddhists sit for hours in meditation. Spiritual growth requires a daily practice.
How does spirituality make you live longer?
It gives you a purpose and a meaning.
It provides you with a sense of fulfillment.
It renews your life energy by connecting you with the Divine.
It motivates you with love and compassion for others.
It can lead to simplifying your life.