Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Ultimate Active Survivalist: The Cyberman
The previous post showed a natural human form however if we are to avoid complete bodily breakdown and death it will be inevitable that parts will need to be replaced. It is already happening now with replacement joints being quite common. Obviously it would be best to avoid getting replacement bits for as long as possible but when the time comes to do a bit of modification I say embrace it.
The Cybermen replaced almost all parts of their bodies except parts of their brain although some say that even this was totally replaced t00 - probably a good idea.
Here is a link to a website that has details on all the different Cybermen models and more.
Cybermen were constantly adjusting and improving their design. This is what makes them the ultimate Active Survivalists!

The Perfect Body

Michelangelo's statue of David depicts the perfect body shape. This is why it is so famous. All male Active Survivalists should aspire to acquiring a body similar to this. Actually if I look at myself in the mirror I think I am not too far off. Men do tend to see themselves as much better looking than they really are however - LOL. The next two years will be largely spent working on shaping my body. I wonder what percentage of body fat David would have? The torso looks lean but not over the top ripped.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Exercise and Longevity

Longevity is the principal goal of the active survivalist. There is a link between regular exercise and longevity along the lines of "if you don't use it you lose it". Muscular strength, coordination, balance and flexibility all decline with age until the unavoidable (so it seems) terminal conclusion. While this may be inevitable the process can be delayed. A new study confirms this:

The men ranged in age from 47 to 71 and had been referred to a VA medical facility for a clinically prescribed treadmill exercise test sometime between 1983 and 2006. All participants were asked to run until fatigued, at which point the researchers recorded the total amount of energy expended and oxygen consumed.

The numbers were then crunched into "metabolic equivalents," or METS. In turn, the researchers graded the fitness of each man according to his MET score, ranging from "low-fit" (below 5 METS) to "very-high fit" (above 10 METS).

By tracking fatalities through June 2007, Kokkinos and his colleagues found that for both black and white men it was their fitness level, rather than their age, blood pressure or body-mass index, that was most strongly linked to their future risk for death.

Every extra point in MET conferred a 14 percent reduction in the risk for death among black men, and a 12 percent reduction among whites. Among all participants, those categorized as "moderately fit" (5 to 7 METS) had about a 20 percent lower risk for death than "low-fit" men. "High-fit" men (7 to 10 METS) had a 50 percent lower risk, while the "very high fit" (10 METS or higher) cut their odds of an early death by 70 percent.

"The point is, it takes relatively little exercise to achieve the benefit we found," noted Kokkinos. "Approximately two to three hours per week of brisk walking per week. That's just 120 to 200 minutes per week. And this can be split up throughout the week, and throughout the day. So it's doable in the real world."

Link to the above: A little Regular Exercise Extends Men's Lives

The really interesting thing about this study which confirms the principle of active survivalism is that those who exercised the most survived the longest. Body fat wasn't a major factor although I suspect those that exercised the most had the lowest body fat.

One thing I have noticed, especially among people who are a generation older than me, is that they do almost no exercise. My parents generation invariably did little or no focussed exercise. That is exercise for exercise sake focussing on developing heart health, muscle strength and endurance and lung capacity. Some of them claimed they got all the exercise they needed doing the gardening or going on an occasional walk. This is not enough. Exercise should focus on developing the body and should be a little bit tough if not extremely taxing. Pain is necessary and desired. Aching joints and muscles are to be expected. The active survivalist will suffer a little more due to the nature of an aging body and recovery times will probably be longer than that of a young persons. This is to be expected and battled against.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


The bicycle makes a great piece of exercise equipment. It is probably the best alternative to running for sustained cardio exercise and also has some interval training qualities when traversing hilly territory. Too much running for the mature person will inevitably result in damaged knees and tendons. The bicycle provides virtually injury free cardio and also makes a great and cheap form of alternative transport. All active survivalists should have a bike.

The bike shown above is my wet weather night rider. It's kitted out with dual headlights, rear light, mud guards, road tyres, after market front suspension and a kick stand. It is an early Marin mountain bike that has few original components unchanged. It is setup for all riding conditions and is very rugged and reliable.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Should I Exercise Every Day or Every Alternate Day?

There isn't an easy answer to this question. It depends on what you want to achieve. If general fitness is desired then every second day could be beneficial as it allows 48 hours of recovery time between each session. If weight loss is the objective then a daily exercise regime that burns off 300 calories or so would be desirable. Perhaps if both weight loss and strength gain is desired then alternate days of cardio and weight training could do the trick.

As this blog targets the mature individual facing the imminent prospect of old age the answer to the question should be relevant to this group. I don't know the answer. I do think that every second day is likely to result in missed days that extend the period between workouts. Generally for those pursuing 'active survival' exercise should be obsessional as diet should be also. Exercise everyday and then some unless physical injury is being experienced.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Alcohol Consumption

It is pretty well established now that alcohol consumption is beneficial to physical and mental well-being. Numerous studies throughout the world have highlighted the benefits of a glass or two of wine a day. It also seems to not matter too much what sort of alcohol one dinks be it wine beer or even spirits. Societies who shun alcohol such as Moslem ones and Seventh Day Adventists give no inspiration to follow suit.

My take on this is that alcohol helps ease the mind and relaxes the body and if taken in moderation has no adverse health effects. In my own family I have noticed that the uncles and aunts who imbibe regularly and what has often been regarded as a little too much are still alive and kicking. My own parents are now both dead and probably could have benefited from a little more drinking. It seems to take a quite a lot of alcohol taken over a long period of time to seriously damage ones internal organs. It takes less alcohol to temporarily damage ones coordination and decision making – something to be kept in mind if important things need to be done like driving a car or signing important documents for instance. It reduces sharpness of mind and body and often it may be better to drink a couple of cups of coffee at night time if work needs to be done.

That said it is really up to the individual to decide what is good for them. Some people should perhaps never drink anything – especially those people who lose all control once started or simply cannot handle it.

In general the mature individual interested in active survival should drink in moderation. Red wine preferably as this goes well with food and doesn’t seem to be in the least bit fattening.

My rules would be drink no more than two glasses or half a bottle of red wine a day. Drink with food if possible or if taken late at night, once all chores are done, drink a glass of water with each glass of wine. The reason for this is that alcohol is a bit harsh on the stomach. Have an alcohol free day twice a week or maybe even for a whole week occasionally. My reason for this last rule is that quite often it is hard to stick to the two glass limit and drinking everyday for me seems to reduce my feeling of wellness. When I awake the next day from an alcohol-free day I always feel a lot better. A long period of no drinking only seems to be beneficial for a week or so and then adverse psychological effects weigh in. It’s nice to have a glass of wine to look forward to and there is absolutely no reason to deny oneself this pleasure for too long.