Sunday, August 21, 2005


The American Hiking Society finds the top 10 hiking trails for fitness and exercise; families and kids; and low-impact trail activities.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on 5 or more days per week. A 150-pound person hiking at a comfortable 2-MPH rate burns 240 calories in one hour!

American Hiking's specialists picked trails that are in or near major metropolitan areas (easy to get to before & after work and during your lunch hour). All of the trails have portions that can be completed in 60-90 minutes, and in some cases they are multi-use.

Fitness trails provide great outdoor alternatives to gym treadmill workouts.

Their top-ten list, NOT a ranking (DRUMROLL PLEASE!):

10 Great Cities, 10 Heart-Pumping Trails

1. Red Trail - Albany, New York
2. Barton Creek Greenbelt - Austin, Texas
3. Rock Circuit Trail - Boston, Massachusetts
4. Sand Creek Greenway - Denver, CO
5. Burke Lake Trail - Greater Metro Washington, DC (Fairfax/Northern Virginia)
6. Indiana Central Canal Towpath - Indianapolis, Indiana
7. The Long Path - Greater Metro New York City (New Jersey)
8. Black Rock Loop - Phoenix, Arizona
9. Guy Fleming Trails - San Diego, California
10. Coastal Trail - San Francisco, California

So get up and get out(side)!

It's o.k.: Stop reading blogs and shut off your computer now ;-D

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Just Do It (Do or Die!)

Many of us who go to the gym and run on a treadmill ignore the electronic readouts that tell us how many MET units we achieve during our workouts. New research published in the August 4 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that we should be paying much closer attention to those numbers.

Dr. Martha Gulati, et al., studied the results of 5,721 exercise stress tests performed on women aged 35 and older. All of the tests used the Bruce Treadmill Protocol.

Those researchers found that women who score less than 85 percent of their age-predicted exercise capacity during an exercise stress test were twice as likely to die within 8 years as those who score 85% or higher.

They determine fitness level using units of metabolic equivalents (MET). One MET is the the amount of oxygen used when sitting quietly for one minute. Moderate walking burns 3 - 6 METs per minute, while running can consume more than 6 METs/minute. A 50-year-old woman performing vigorous exercise should be able to reach 8.2 METs, while the predicted exercise capacity for a man of the same age comes out to 9.2 METs.

The study finds that women lose about 1% of their exercise capacity per year, so the researchers devised a simple table, which they call a nomogram, that helps women find their prescribed exercise level. The next time you are on that treadmill, pay attention to the METs. Then draw a straight line on the table between your age and the METs your burned. The point where that line intersects with the table's slope shows your percentage of predicted exercise capacity for age. If that percentage falls below 85%, you better ramp it up the next time!


Sign at a veterinarian's office:

"We will be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!"


A girl phoned me the other day and said "Come on over, there's nobody home." I went over. Nobody was home.”

- Rodney Dangerfield

Monday, August 15, 2005

Noise on the Job & Hearing Loss

Noise, or unwanted sound, is one of the most common health problems in American workplaces. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) estimates that 30 million workers in the U.S. are exposed to hazardous noise.

Exposure to high levels of noise may cause hearing loss, create physical and psychological stress, reduce productivity, interfere with communication, and contribute to accidents and injuries by making it difficult to hear warning signals.

OSHA requires employers to determine if workers are exposed to excessive noise in the workplace. If so, the employers must implement feasible engineering or administrative controls to eliminate or reduce hazardous levels of noise. Where controls are not sufficient, employers must implement an effective hearing conservation program.

Section I: What is considered "noise" and what are the potential health effects?
Section II: What standards limit and control noise exposure?
Section III: How do I evaluate noise exposure?
Section IV: What constitutes an effective hearing conservation program?

Thursday, August 11, 2005


"The nice thing about meditation is that it makes doing nothing quite respectable."

— Paul Dean

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Financial Health

Source: Money Magazine

A small sampling of good links for personal financial health:

An amazing WEALTH of information (No pun intended, but quite appropriate):

U.S. Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics

A fabulous site with lots of good advice, games, and tools for TEACHING CHILDREN FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY:


Some good tools and calculators:

Thursday, August 04, 2005

You're Not Getting Better, You're Getting Older (Watch Out!)

We always knew that as populations age, physical functions such as strength and aerobic capacity decline. Scientists assume from data collected through cross-sectional studies that regular strenuous exercise slows the rate of decline. However, a new study published in the July 25 edition of the American Heart Association online journal Circulation debunks those assumptions as "overly optimistic", at least concerning aerobic capacity.

Dr. Jerome L. Fleg, et al., followed "375 women and 435 men ages 21 to 87 years from the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, a community-dwelling cohort free of clinical heart disease, over a median follow-up period of 7.9 years."

The disappointing findings that emerge after performing repeated measurements of peak treadmill oxygen consumption (peak VO2) indicate that "the rate of decline [of VO2 Max] accelerated from 3% to 6% per 10 years in the 20s and 30s to more than 20% per 10 years in the 70s and beyond", regardless of activity level.

Fleg points out, however, that although everybody in the same age cohort declines in function at the same rate, starting out at a higher level of function does put those fit individuals at a distinct advantage.

Dr. Nieca Golberg, cardiologist and chief of Women's Cardiac Care at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City notes that, "People who have low aerobic capacity may not even be able to make it to their bed." Conversely, people who exercise regularly do pretty well with their daily activities of life as they age.

Goldberg stresses the importance of high-level activity so that elders remain independent as long as possible. She says, "What I really don't want people to take away from this study is 'don't bother'."

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Palmeiro vs.Historical Perspective: BATTLE OF THE QUOTES

Baltimore Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro tested positive for steroid use after testifying emphatically before Congress, under oath, that he had never used them. He apparently agrees with President Lyndon Johnson, who said, "There are plenty of recommendations on how to get out of trouble cheaply and fast. Most of them come down to this: Deny your responsibility."


George W. Bush: "America, at its best, is a place where personal responsibility is valued and expected."

Andrew Jackson: "Any man worth his salt will stick up for what he believes right, but it takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error."

Woodrow Wilson: "Character is a by-product; it is produced in the great manufacture of daily duty."

Thomas Jefferson: "He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, til at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world's believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions."

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


"Duty is ours; results are G-d's.

-- John Quincy Adams

Technology Innovation Awards 2005

Congratulations to the overall winners and the winners in the "Biotech-Medical" categories of the Wall Street Journal's "Technology Innovation Awards 2005":


  • GOLD WINNER: Sun Microsystems Laboratories (U.S.) - New method for chips to transmit data inside a computer up to 100 times faster than today's top speed.
  • SILVER WINNER: Given Imaging Ltd. (Israel) - Pill-shaped video camera screens the esophagus for disorders.
  • BRONZE WINNER: InSightec Image Guided Treatment Ltd. (Israel) - Device destroys tumors using ultrasound waves together with magnetic resonance imaging.
  • HONORABLE MENTION: Flarion Technologies Inc. (U.S.) - New approach to mobile broadband networks, based on Internet protocol.
  • HONORABLE MENTION: Witten Technologies Inc. (U.S.) - Technology that creates detailed images of conditions underground.


WINNER: Given Imaging Ltd. (Israel) - Pill-shaped video camera screens the esophagus for disorders.


  • InSightec Image Guided Treatment Ltd. (Israel) - Device destroys tumors using ultrasound waves together with magnetic resonance imaging.
  • Menssana Research Inc. (U.S.) - A breath test for detection of disease.
  • Advanced Imaging Technologies Inc. (U.S.) - Applies acoustical holography to soft-tissue imaging for early detection of breast cancer.
  • Restore Medical Inc. (U.S.) - Procedure to treat obstructive sleep apnea.
  • Ogenix Corp. (U.S.) - Small portable device that delivers pure oxygen to treat chronic wounds.

The Journal awards companies for innovations in the following categories:

  • Overall
  • Biotech-Medical
  • E-Commerce
  • Environment
  • Materials and Other Base Technologies
  • Multimedia
  • Network and Internet Technologies
  • Security (Facilities)
  • Security (Network)
  • Semiconductor and Electronics
  • Software
  • Transportation
  • Wireless

For more information on winners in all of the categories, visit the Dow Jones website.

Monday, August 01, 2005

OSHA Posters & Publications: Free for the Asking

Advertisements suggesting that OSHA workplace posters must be purchased from private companies may be misleading employers.

OSHA reminds employers that official posters such as the OSHA Workplace Poster are available free for the asking. Posters, and most publications, are available at no cost to anyone who asks simply by visiting the publications page on the agency's Web site, or by calling the Publications Office at (202) 693-1888.