Health & Wellness Week in Review

The Health and Wellness Week in Review this week takes a look at some submissions from Associated Content writers Cristina Olvera, Brian Want, and Parenthetically Inexplicable. In checking out the spotlighted content this week, we review the signs and symptoms of cardiovascular disease, investigate the correlation between high fructose corn syrup and obesity, and meander down a murky, murky path with one “smoking degenerate” as he lays down his plan to train for the Philadelphia Marathon.

In her article “The Symptoms of Cardiovascular Diseases,” AC Content Producer Cristina Olvera shares with readers the varying types and manifestations of cardiovascular disease, signals and symptoms to watch for that may suggest that it’s time to get the old ticker checked out, risk factors, and steps that can be taken to reduce the chance of developing a potentially dangerous or deadly cardiovascular condition.

Her piece is well-written and informative, and certainly touches on a subject that is of great importance to all adults. According to Olvera’s article, diseases of the heart are responsible for 42% of all deaths each year, and are the leading cause of death in adults over the age of thirty-five.

In another article that explores the factors contributing to the morbidity of today’s population, Content Producer Brian Want takes a look at the prevalence of high fructose corn syrup in the typical American diet and examines the connection between the use of the sweetener in dietary staples as diverse as packaged stuffing, fruit juice, and ketchup and the high rate of obesity in the U.S.

His piece “High Fructose Corn Syrup Health: Obesity Link” describes the make up of the syrupy sweetener and its differences from sugar, the food sweetener that it has largely supplanted in U.S. food product manufacturing, principally due to its relative inexpensiveness. Want also opens a discussion about why it is so hard for the link between high fructose corn syrup and obesity to be determined, and examines the differing opinions among researchers. As those researchers continue to work on the many puzzles leading to obesity in this country, the discussion will be one that may continue on for years to come.

Finally this week, I have chosen to look at an unlikely candidate for the Health and Wellness Week in Review, and I’m not sure that my choice won’t be much to the writer’s chagrin!

In his very funny, tongue in cheek piece about how an out of shape, smoking, drinking “degenerate” (his word) might go about training for the Philadelphia Marathon six months down the road, Parenthetically Inexplicable (a pseudonym to be reckoned with) has written a piece that actually has some Health and Wellness veracity to it, whether by inadvertent or not.

His article “A Smoking Degenerate’s Guide to Marathon Running” is a scream. It’s a look at how one might try handy tips like cutting down alcohol consumption to “nine alcoholic beverages a night (no more than twelve if you are a beer drinker),” while in training for the marathon, and to “try to cut down” on the smoking. And yet, in a manner that appears to be completely accidental, Mr. Inexplicable manages to pass on some sage advise for people trying to get into shape for the first time from less than athletically pristine condition. His guidance to start slowly, running a mile or two on the treadmill while working your way up to outdoor running (which any runner will tell you is more physically challenging due to the requirement that the foot propel the body forward, and not just keep pace with the moving track of the treadmill), is correct, and he advocates (begrudgingly?) cutting out drinking all together by the last month, and smoking by the last week.

Now, any athlete will tell you that Inexplicable’s advice is nothing to write into the margins of your runner’s guides and power manuals, but for someone who is starting from a perspective of minimal cardiovascular health and muscle endurance, his article at least frames the notion of getting in shape in a “hey, I’m screwed just like you” kind of manner, and he offers plenty of yuks along the way.

In this admirable quest he may, however, want to check out Cristina Olvera’s article to make sure his ticker is handling the shock of the exercise, and take another look at Brian Want’s warnings about syrupy sweeteners!

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