Sugar and Exercise

Here are a couple other posts CrossFit visitors might be interested in reading:

1. William Banting figured out sugar and starch was bad…in the 1800s.

2. Economist Art De Vany wrote a book about his New Evolutionary Diet, which is a lot like the Paleo Diet, and inspired some new exercise thinking for me.

Why didn’t I think of that?

Yeesh! Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best.

FitDeck is a unique deck of 56 playing cards containing illustrations and instructions describing over 50 different exercises, stretches, and movements.

These ‘no-equipment’ FitDecks contain exercises that require only your bodyweight to perform. ‘FitDeck Bodyweight’ is our flagship product in this popular series of ‘no-equipment’ FitDecks.

This idea emerged from an accident. Here’s more about that from a Shine on Yahoo! article:

It [FitDeck] is the brainchild of Phil Black, who got the idea when a card game in college turned into a push-up contest.

Based on the Shine on Yahoo! article, the FitDeck seems to be selling well. I’m a big believer in ‘boot camp’ style exercises. You can get a full body workout in a short time and they help strengthen muscles that reduce injury and aches and pains.

The biggest problem with a boot camp routine is deciding which exercises to do. If you are deciding that for yourself it’s easy to get distracted and lose focus and you end up not getting as good a workout.

That’s why classes and DVD’s are popular, because the instructor keeps you on a set, goal-oriented path. The FitDeck is another way to solve that problem.

Another product featured in the Shine article is the Knork (fork/knife combination). It’s not really a knife (wouldn’t want to slice the inside of your cheek). It’s just a fork with a beveled edge, rather than a sharp edge, to make it easier to cut through food.

I believe my brother had this same idea years ago, which is proof to the phrase that the difference between a good idea and a good business is hard work.

Product idea for a gym and parks & rec departments

Most gyms have class rooms that are used by instructors and personal trainers to lead various exercise classes throughout the day like boot camps, aerobics, yoga, Zumba and Pilates.

I wonder if any gyms have experimented with putting a large, flat screen TV in those rooms so patrons could select from a menu of recorded workouts when live classes are not in session.

I’m sure something like that could also be used by live trainers to broadcast their classes across multiple gyms as well and multiply their class sizes and geographic footprint.

This idea might work in a public space, like a park, too.

Working Out

Working Out (Photo credit: Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums).

Millennium Park in Chicago has the tall, water fountain/splash park with video screens of people making faces from behind the falling water.

I can envision something similar in regular parks.   I envision a “class pad” (flat area with rubberized ground surface similar to most high school tracks) in a park, near the playground equipment, equipped with a video screen that has a menu of different workouts to choose from.  Then the neighborhood moms could let their kids play on the playground and gather for a 20 minute yoga class nearby, or something like that.

Personal trainers could also schedule some of their classes at such facilities.

“Letter on Corpulence, Addressed to the Public”

William Banting wrote a 16-page diet book in 1863 with this name.  I love that name.

It appears he had it all figured out then.  His advice turned out to be the same advice that a) helped me lose weight and keep it off (going 11 years now) and b) recently helped me improve my cholesterol levels.

His advice:  Eat less sugars and starch, eat more proteins and fat.  Why?  Because too much sugar and starch throws off your hormones and tells your body to store fat.  Proteins and fat don’t.  In fact, too much sugar and starch will lead to diabetes.  Hello, diabetes epidemic coming after several decades of sugar and starch consumption!

I’m reading Gary Taubes longer than 16-page book, Good Calories, Bad Calories.  If you don’t have time to read the whole book, read the Prologue.  In it, Taubes gives great highlights on the evolution in the diet world since Banting’s book.

In the rest of his book, Taubes exhaustively reviews the “scientific” literature on diets to show that much of the conventional diet wisdom (e.g. government guidelines, the calorie balance equation, eating a low-fat diet) actually has no scientific basis.  Shocking.

But, for your own health, here’s the summary:  Follow Banting’s advice.

When I lost weight, I attributed my success to a lot things because I changed a lot of things.  I balanced my calories.  I ate more often.  I watched my portions.  I reduced mindless eating.  And, I increased my intake of fat and protein and decreased my intake of sugars and starches.

In his other book, Why We Get Fat, Taubes said that people with weight loss success like mine tend to confound all the reasons, but there’s really just one, the last one.

It’s worth experimenting.  Cut back on sugars, breads and starches in your diet, eat a little more fat and protein and watch your scale.