Monday, September 15, 2014

Soda Intake Increases Risk of Hip Fractures

A recent analysis published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found an association of soda intake with an increased risk of hip fractures in postmenopausal women. Using the Nurses' Health Study cohort, this questionnaire-based analysis found that for every additional soda there was a 14% increase in risk of hip fracture. This higher risk was for all types of sodas not just colas as indicated by prior studies.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

70.3 Ironman Triathlon World Championships

This weekend I competed in the 70.3 Ironman TriathlonWorld Championships in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada. Mont Tremblant was a fantastic venue to hold this event and the Canadians were incredible hosts. While driving to Canada from Massachusetts we passed through Montreal which was a real treat for me. I hadn't visited this city since 1976 when I participated in the Olympic Games.

The beautiful hamlet of Mont Tremblant is almost magical. No cars are allowed in the cozy pedestrian village itself and getting around is fun and easy via its cobble-stoned walkways and "over-the-village" ski-lift. The people of Mont Tremblant are extremely welcoming and there were lots of fun activities to do such as swimming, bungee jumping, miniature golf, and luge to keep my mind off the upcoming race.

Race day came and the weather was perfect. I started off with a good 1.2 mile swim being 4th out of the water in my age group. The 56 mile bike was challenging with some headwinds and lots of hills but I felt good up to around 40 miles...then I started to fall apart. The weeks leading up to the race hadn't been the best for training. I'd been pretty sick 4 weeks before the race and am still plagued by a nasty lingering cough. Then the day before the race (possibly from eating some smoked salmon) I developed plumbing issues that may have dehydrated me a bit. I'm not trying to make excuses (oh yes, and don't forget the mild concussion and pulmonary contusion from my bike crash 3 weeks ago...) but the bottom line is that when I got off the bike and headed out for the final 13.1 mile run portion of the race...I was toast. I had nothing left in the tank. End result...I finished 12th in my age group. Oh well...there is always next year...right? I am just grateful to be able to compete at this level. It was lots of fun but there is also lots of room for improvement.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Tennis: A Great Exercise for Warding Off Osteoporosis: Report from the U.S. Tennis Open 2014

The nice thing about tennis is that you can do it year round (indoor and ourdoor tennis courts abound), you can play competitively or non-competitively as you like, and as long as you can stand up without falling over you can play well into your 70's, 80's, or even 90's. Now THAT is a GREAT sport!

It is always an honor to watch elite athletes in action no matter what sport. So when I got the opportunity to attend a match at the US Tennis Open in New York I was extremely excited even though I don't play tennis and barely know how to keep score. Today was the quarterfinals match between Victoria Azarenka and Ekaterina Makarova and I was totally in awe as that ball blasted back and forth at speeds exceeding 100 m.p.h.! Such amazing athletes...so powerful, so agile, and extremely competitive. Makarova from Russia won 4-6, 2-6 and will take on Serena Williams in the semi-finals in two days.

So if you are looking for a new challenge and you want to get some exercise to help build up your muscles and bones...you might want to check out tennis. You don't have to be US Open material...you just have to hold a racket and get yourself out onto a court. Looked like a lot of fun to me!


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