Sea Dragon, a very big Sea Dragon

The remains of a monstrous, 33-foot-long (10 meters) “sea dragon” that swam in the seas when dinosaurs were alive some 180 million years ago have been unearthed on a nature reserve in England. The behemoth is the biggest and most complete fossil of its kind ever discovered in the U.K.

“It is a truly unprecedented discovery and one of the greatest finds in British palaeontological history,” excavation leader Dean Lomax, a paleontologist and visiting scientist at the University of Manchester…

Spend your recreation time at a nature reserve. Never can tell what you might find, eh? The two men who found this were out walking in the nature reserve…turned off-trail through the bottom of a drained lagoon. And there it was.

Game changer for blood pressure

It’s estimated that close to half (45%) of all US adults suffer from a form of hypertension or high blood pressure. Perhaps even more troubling, only 24% of those individuals have their condition under control…

So, what can you do to lower your high blood pressure/prevent hypertension from ever occurring? For years, doctors have long advised hypertension patients to get moving. Walking has supposedly been the “gold standard” behavioral treatment for blood pressure issues. Now, however, a new study just released by the University of Saskatchewan finds stretching actually provides more blood pressure benefits than walking…

“Everyone thinks that stretching is just about stretching your muscles,” says kinesiology professor Dr. Phil Chilibeck, a co-author of the study, in a release. “But when you stretch your muscles, you’re also stretching all the blood vessels that feed into the muscle, including all the arteries. If you reduce the stiffness in your arteries, there’s less resistance to blood flow.”

Looks to be a really interesting read…a useful addition to my regular exercise routine. My blood pressure is already low for an old geezer. A lifetime of aerobic exercise and sport has pretty much sorted that out. But…and that’s the important part…nothing wrong with modifying, updating the whole regimen when research suggests an addition.

My wife is getting used to sleeping in a quiet bedroom

I stopped using a CPAP machine to sleep a few weeks ago. After 17 years.

My O2 levels are now solid in the 90’s. And I have to admit losing 80 pounds was key. Walking ~3 miles/day at [a moderate] elevated respiration rate helps, too.

My sleep doc told me I could stop. That I had corrected everything causing my sleep apnea as far as he could determine.

Frankly, I’ve been very happy with the solid sleep I’ve enjoyed over the years with a couple of different CPAP machines over time. Wore the first one out in a decade.

Took a year before I tried this. Love the change.

Morning walk selfie

Living in high desert country is still striking after 33 years, so different from my coastal New England youth. We had 1/2″ of rain, yesterday. That’s about 7% of what we had all of 2018. Lot 4 is located in the Santa Fe River valley, the bosque…at 6300′ altitude. The clouds of mist rising from yesterday’s rain – downstream, behind me – are rare.

Anyway, I took the selfie just to record my new “David Gilmour” haircut.

Grannies being recruited for Uber Eats in Japan

❝ Uber Technologies Inc.’s strategy for Japan, where ride-sharing is banned, is as unique as the country itself — think grandma in running shoes delivering ramen noodles.

❝ “The elderly are actually signing up for Eats couriers,” Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi told Bloomberg News. “Eats has been a huge success for us in Japan. It is going to be a very effective introduction to the Uber brand.”

❝ While most workers deliver using a bicycle or scooter, seniors in search of exercise are doing it on foot, Khosrowshahi said. “This is one area unique to Japan, and we are looking if we can expand to the rest of the world,” the CEO said.

Way cool. I absolutely can see this as a positive for retirees who want to combine an income with exercise.

Not exercising kills you sooner than smoking, diabetes or heart disease

We’ve all heard exercise helps you live longer. But a new study goes one step further, finding that a sedentary lifestyle is worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease.

Dr. Wael Jaber, a cardiologist at the Cleveland Clinic and senior author of the study, called the results “extremely surprising.”

“Being unfit on a treadmill or in an exercise stress test has a worse prognosis, as far as death, than being hypertensive, being diabetic or being a current smoker,” Jaber told CNN. “We’ve never seen something as pronounced as this and as objective as this.”

Jaber said researchers must now convey the risks to the general population that “being unfit should be considered as strong of a risk factor as hypertension, diabetes and smoking — if not stronger than all of them…It should be treated almost as a disease that has a prescription, which is called exercise…”

Jogging, walking at a good pace, cripes just walking steadily is better than sitting on your butt. Get your heart working faster than a leaky faucet.

Country roads, West Jamaica

❝ For the first time in years, I’ve taken to wearing a headset, listening to music, on part of my morning walks.

❝ The first set is usually the Amazon Music All Jazz playlist – tailored by my thumbs up-and-down. Folks like Miles and Monk and Mingus back from the era when I could hop the train down to NYC for the weekend and cruise jazz clubs, sleep in Washington Square Park without either being arrested or mugged.

The second playlist I named Groundation after my favorite contemporary Reggae group – though much of what I listen to is as old as my jazz favorites. This morning’s second set of walking our fenceline ended with Toots and the Maytals – and the best thing that ever happened to West Virginia.

Why are these countries obese? Let’s start with walking

❝ A recent study found that more than 2 billion adults and children globally are overweight or obese and suffer health problems because of that — but this is nothing new.

There are, however, pockets of the global population who remain somewhat unaware of this public health crisis, despite the growth of waistlines all around them, and this lack of awareness is just one of the underlying problems, according to Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard…

Different countries have different issues,” Hu said. “You need to mobilize (their) whole society to tackle the problem. … it’s not just a medical problem.”

❝ The Pacific Islands, Middle East and Americas lead the way in terms of regions with the greatest obesity rates. In 2014, more than 48% of the population of the Cook Islands was classified as obese. Qatar led the way in the Middle East with 34%, followed closely by the United States at 33%, according to the World Health Organization…

❝ When assigning blame, two factors are common: diet and physical activity, namely poor diets and a lack of physical activity. But a number of smaller factors combine to fill these two large umbrellas, and those need to be understood to truly tackle the problem, Hu believes.

RTFA. Pretty halpful analysis, methods of analysis that can be appreciated by pretty much anyone.

I’m not making recommendations. I can only speak to what works for me – and it’s exactly what I’ve known all my life. Good nutrition reducing sugars, easily accessible exercise – and for me, tracking meal-by-meal, day-by-day. The health app built into the operating system of Apple iPhones works fine for me. I combine it with a daily calorie tracker that has a ginormous database.

Taking a look, right now, year over year, I’ve averaged 3.1 miles per day walking, 9146 steps per day. That’s every day – averaging in high summer temperatures or the occasional blizzard mid-winter. Not too many of either at our altitude in northern New Mexico. Being an ancient creaky old Leftie is no copout.

I’m happy about weighing what I weighed in 1956 – and aiming for less.

Pokémon Go got you to walk 25 percent more than you used to


Ina Fried/ReCode

Pokémon Go’s creators want the hit mobile game to get people out of the house and exploring their neighborhoods. A new study confirms that’s really happening.

In “Influence of Pokémon Go on Physical Activity,” researchers from Microsoft Research and Stanford University studied, over the course of a month, how many steps were recorded by the Microsoft Bands — wearable activity trackers — belonging to Pokémon Go fans. The most engaged fans of the game walked 25 percent more than they did before Pokémon Go’s release…

All told, the study estimates that Pokémon Go players across the U.S. walked an additional 144 billion steps in the game’s first month in the wild. It says that if those players were to keep up the same level of increased activity over a longer period of time, they could add nearly three billion years, collectively, to their lifespans.

I’m a lifetime walking addict. Count in miles spent backpacking, hillwalking, hiking, walking because because I found an interesting place to walk, etc…I’ve spent a good piece of my waking hours walking. It all helps.