Friday, July 11, 2008

Killing Ourselves to Live

I recently subscribed to a magazine called Best Life, which is a spin off of Men's Health (which I also receive). It's full of tidbits and advice on how to look better, feel better, and just lead a, well, better life. At 42, I think I'm taking better care of myself than ever. I got through six months of unemployment without becoming a raging, degenerate gambler/sot. One of the things I did do regualrly was go to the gym. Part of the reason was that I wanted to get in better shape, with the other reason being that I had plenty of time to kill before the wife returned home. I'd put in about an hour a day. That doesn't sound like much, but when you get to a certain age, you have to realize the point of diminishing returns before it's too late. I'm not going to be posing at Venice Beach anytime soon, but I'm also not going to be the guy in the "before" ad, either.

Still, the more I try to take better care of myself, the more I realize that it may be a riskier proposition than a sedentary lifestyle. Witness this little gem from the aforementioned Best Life magazine: "Recent studies link multi-vitamin use to an increased risk of cancer. Harvard Men's Health Watch is suggesting that the average man stop taking a daily multi-vitamin until more research is available....the studies suggest that multi-vitamin use leads to a general increase in the risk of prostate cancer and link the intake of folic acid to men's colon cancer". Oh.

Last month, I read an article on the benefits of folic acid. Now, it's going to kill me, and painfully at that. I've taken a multi-vitamin faithfully for years. I've taken extra doses of Vitamin C. I rarely get sick. Now that I read this, I'm left to wonder if I would've been better off just leaving everything as is. This little multi-vitamin linked to cancer note is just the latest absurdity among so-called healthy foods. Remember the bagged spinach paniclast year? How about the recent link of e-coli to tomatoes (and hot peppers now, too)? It seems like the healthier we try to live, the more it's making us sick. I remember when I would drink two protein shakes a day because it was supposed to make me stronger and increase my workout production. The only thing that gained in size during that period was my gut.

I can't remember the last time a frozen pizza was recalled, so that's what we're having for dinner tonight. With cheesy breadsticks. And soda. Maybe two sodas. It'll be by far my least healthiest dinner this week, but I'm willing to bet it will also be the safest.

OFF TOPIC: Looking at all the people lined up nationwide to get the new iPhones, tell me again with a straight face how the economy is in the tank. Please?

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