Jumping Rope
Creative Commons License photo credit: LongitudeLatitude


Following is a workout I enjoyed just the other day. Begin with 3 minutes of jump rope to warm up. Then complete 20 two-handed kettlebell swings followed immediately by 1 minute of jump rope as active recovery.

The point of the jump rope for active recovery is to bring your heart rate back down while still remaining active. If jump rope is too new a movement pattern for you or you’re fitness level isn’t quite up there you might like to substitute some steady jumping jacks or shadow boxing instead. The point is to continue to move around and help your heart return closer to normal.

If your heart rate is still very high after the 1 minute of active recovery is finished you can wait some more for it to come down, however make sure you continue to move around lifting your knees up and swinging your arms. For everyone else go directly back into 20 kettlebell swings, followed again by 1 minute of active recovery. Complete this combination of swings and active recovery for a total of 5 times and then finish off with 3 minute jump rope, some moving about and 1 – 3 minutes in the full plank position.

If you’re interested in kettlebells you can read about how to select the right size kettlebell for you and importantly (for some) the difference between kettlebells and dumbbells.

Sugar: The Bitter Truth
In a very interesting talk Robert H. Lustig, M.D., UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology explores the damage caused by sugar. If you’re one of my subscribers and you can’t see the embedded video below you can watch it here – Sugar: The Bitter Truth.

The Skinny on Fats
Mary Enig, PhD and Sally Fallon provide one of the best introductory overviews of dietary fat available on the Internet backed by over 70 references to scientific studies for those who obsess about that sort of thing. They explain that there very little evidence to support the contention that a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fat actually reduces death from heart disease or in any way increases one’s life span. I highly recommend you check it out.

For example, quoting from the page:

“The Framingham Heart Study is often cited as proof of the lipid hypothesis. This study began in 1948 and involved some 6,000 people from the town of Framingham, Massachusetts. Two groups were compared at five-year intervals – those who consumed little cholesterol and saturated fat and those who consumed large amounts. After 40 years, the director of this study had to admit: “In Framingham, Mass, the more saturated fat one ate, the more cholesterol one ate, the more calories one ate, the lower the person’s serum cholesterol. . . we found that the people who ate the most cholesterol, ate the most saturated fat, ate the most calories, weighed the least and were the most physically active.” The study did show that those who weighed more and had abnormally high blood cholesterol levels were slightly more at risk for future heart disease; but weight gain and cholesterol levels had an inverse correlation with fat and cholesterol intake in the diet.”

Castelli, William, Arch Int Med, Jul 1992, 152:7:1371-1372

Hubert H, et al, Circulation, 1983, 67:968; Smith, R and E R Pinckney, Diet, Blood Cholesterol and Coronary Heart Disease: A Critical Review of the Literature, Vol 2, 1991, Vector Enterprises, Sherman Oaks, CA

And lastly for good measure:

“The U.S. Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial, (MRFIT) sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, compared mortality rates and eating habits of over 12,000 men. Those with “good” dietary habits (reduced saturated fat and cholesterol, reduced smoking, etc.) showed a marginal reduction in total coronary heart disease, but their overall mortality from all causes was higher. Similar results have been obtained in several other studies. The few studies that indicate a correlation between fat reduction and a decrease in coronary heart disease mortality also document a concurrent increase in deaths from cancer, brain hemorrhage, suicide and violent death.”

“Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial; Risk Factor Changes and Mortality Results,” JAMA, September 24, 1982, 248:12:1465


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