The Coming Two Weeks
The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

The Coming Two Weeks

We leave in a few hours for Colorado and the Wilderness Medical Society Meeting.

For the next two weeks, I'll have uncertain access to Internet, mail, or messages, to read or answer comments. I stored some fun posts for you. New Healthline staffer Leigh is scheduled to put them online while we make our way 'out West' during the week before the meeting. Thank you Leigh.

With each trip out to this part of the US, we work to document and preserve various martial arts systems of Native American Indians, as much as they want us to have. Will also make our way through the Rocky Mountains.

For going off-trail, we don't carry a tent or sleeping bag, let alone a computer. Simpler. There are still things to carry. The post Healthier Backpack Carrying to Get Better Exercise and Stop Back Pain explained the role of using abdominal muscles to prevent one kind of back pain from carrying backpacks. It is not by tightening the ab muscles, but using them to position the lower spine forward enough to reduce an overly large lower back arch, and stand with neutral spine. Strengthening exercises, whether for abdominal or back muscles do not make the spine attain neutral position in place of overarching. That is why strengthening core muscles does not stop this kind of pain. You get better and more functional core exercise by preventing overarching when carrying loads than by doing crunches or exercises for any specific back muscles. When you hold neutral spine, a small inward curve remains, just not the large one with the "backside-stuck-out-in-back" tilt that damages the lower back.

The post Throw a Stronger Punch (or Push a Car or Stroller) Using This Back Pain Reduction Technique gives a quick effective way to feel how to move your hip and lower spine using your abs away from arching to neutral. This Friday's post should cover preventing upper back and neck pain when carrying backpacks.

In pretty much any terrain, we don't wear hiking boots or fancy cross-training shoes. I wear roomy, cheap (ten or fifteen dollar range), discount store sneakers (usually in tatters). A shoe should not be what holds your foot in position - it is better when your own ankle, leg, and foot muscles do that. For me, shoes are more to avoid hookworm, other parasites, tetanus, and bites. The posts
Arch Support Is Not From Shoes
Which Shoes Help Exercise, Fall Prevention, and Ankles?
show how to hold healthy foot and arch position, and give ideas for better gait and balance. In technical climbs, tight shoes are often worn. I'm not much of a climber, but decline tight climbing shoes for bare feet, and enjoy feeling the rocks. For daily wear, tight shoes are not healthful: See, Are Your Shoes Too Tight? My near-seven-foot-tall husband Paul does the same, in his size 17 sneakers or flip-flops (approx size 52+ European).

We don't bring "sports food," commercial hydration drinks, or energy bars and drinks. Refined sugar is not health food. Unfermented soy in many of these products is increasingly documented to promote unhealthy over-estrogenic effects for both men and women. The post Is Your Health Food Unhealthful tells hidden dangers to avoid. The posts Healthy Mother's Day and Independence Day for Fitness give a few quick, good-tasting, healthy foods and drinks to try instead. If you don't have a blender, mash ingredients by hand for arm exercise. Dehydration is important to prevent, and can be done with healthy food and drink.

We hope to arrive in Snowmass by Saturday for the toxicology symposium before the meeting. Then interesting lectures, my two workshops (come take them) and other workshops. The WMS will present the first Fellows of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. I have been advanced to Fellow, along with Wilderness expert and Medicine for the Outdoors blogger Paul Auerbach, and others in the field. Dr. Auerbach could have easily been "grandfathered" to Fellow status for his stack of achievements, but he went through the exacting point system along with the rest of us. You set the bar high Boss, wow, thank you.

I will try to get to the conference Internet café during the meeting. For the week after, will again be outback without access. If you comment or e-mail, I may not have access to reply. Check existing replies to posts for answers already there. Look for fun posts until then. Hope to see you at the meeting.

"Utility is when you have one telephone; luxury is when you have two, and paradise is when you have none."
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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.