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Thursday, May 17, 2018

How Extended Daily Sitting Shrinks Part of the Brain │ Some Foods That Enhance Brain Function

Last night was unexpectedly late for me. I capped off the night's T.V.-viewing for my younger brother Mark and I by tuning in (via our Android TV Box) the premiere episode of Legion.

The unrealistic episode seemed to be running overlong; and most of the way through it I checked its running time and saw that it was projected as being something over 107 minutes, if I'm remembering right.

That's commercial-free time, so it must have been a two-hour premiere on regular T.V.

I was somewhat surprised that Mark never once uttered a contrary word about the show itself. He kept his silence throughout if he was forming any opinions about the plot.

I wish that he would do his passing-out late in the evenings instead of early into them. He generally loses consciousness early into our viewing, and consequently it's much too early for me to leave him in his oblivion and get myself on upstairs to bed.

The first show of the evening that he was physically present for ─ but mainly unheeding of ─ was the premiere episode of Ozark.

There was a scene where a 'drug lord' and some of his underlings murder (in execution-style) something like five of the main character's associates ─ the first murder being the girlfriend of one of the soon-to-be-victims. She was shot blindly several times through a bathroom door in front of the others in order for them to unequivocally apprehend what was coming; and then her body was stuffed headfirst into a barrel for dissolution ─ it either contained a caustic solution, or was soon going to.

This was when the others all realized that they were about to die, one by one, and their bodies be similarly disposed of.

The whole lengthy scene was extremely upsetting and loud ─ we keep the T.V. volume rather high; yet Mark perceived nothing of it. I might as well have just been sitting at his bedside in the deep of night for all the bloody company he is when he's in this state.

I love the guy, of course ─ but not the changeling that appears after he's demonstrably overindulged.

But I am drifting in my narrative. My conclusion is that it was 1:20 a.m. before I was finally in bed for the night.

Yet at 5:33 a.m. this morning I had checked the time and was to start my morning after just a few minutes of thought, for I was far from adequately-slept.

I had hoped to start adding content today to the new post whose foundation largely got set up yesterday morning at Amatsu Okiya, one of my six hosted websites; but it was not to be.

Both of my stepsons went to work quite early. However, Mark unexpectedly rose at 8:00 a.m., and I had only managed to finish the foundation of the post. Essentially, I had only completed what would amount to be its forward or introduction.

I had no desire to get caught up in some T.V.-watching that early in the morning, so I returned to bed for a nap before Mark had showered and emerged from his bedroom.

There was some chance that he might have wearied and sought his own nap by the time I finished with mine, but when I got up around 9:44 a.m. and came downstairs, he was seated at the dining table and doing his best to pass time.

Soon, we were watching an episode of The Voice.

At its conclusion, Mark announced that he was going to head off for a haircut; and once he was gone, I geared myself up for some exercise out in the backyard tool-shed while the opportunity was there.

The morning was heavily overcast, so it was not at all unpleasantly warm. The Sun never was to strongly manifest itself until around the mid-afternoon.

When I had my eight or nine minutes of activity and had returned into the house, I was a little surprised to find Mark already present. And soon he was back in his bedroom seeking a nap.

I fixed up a small meal of some of my wife Jack's cooking from yesterday, and got involved eating that. Due to having to pick over many chicken bones ─ cleaning the meat as best as can be done from the ribs can be so time-consuming ─ the meal took me almost the duration of Mark's nap!

One of our immediate neighbours is a widow, and she had enlisted an Asian couple to do considerable yard work for her today. The main task involved the man doing a vast amount of trimming of many, many evergreens lining portions of her property.

Mark got curious about what the guy might charge to deal with two shrubs at the mouth of our driveway ─ one shrub is on each side. The plants used to be cube-shaped, but now they are almost spherical from neglect.

Well, that is an exaggeration, but here are two photos that I took at 5:06 p.m. this afternoon:

At one time they were practically perfect cubes.

We don't have ideal tools for the job. Mark has tried his hand at it; and he has even tasked my stepsons with the job, but they are clearly geometrically-challenged.

The lads are decades younger than either of us.

Anyway, Mark went and spoke with the fellow; and after this latter had checked out the shrubs, he gave Mark a quote of $100.

Mark seemed to consider that a worthwhile sum ─ I really didn't expect that, I must say.

Obviously the couple are obligated to finish their work on our neighbour's property, but it is now 5:24 p.m. and I see that a stepladder is out there beside the shrub at the left in those photos.

Thus, I will have a comparison photo or two to add to this post before I publish it.

Mark gave up waiting around, and left around 4:30 p.m. ─ his drinking buddies need his guidance, after all. So I will have to assess the handiwork that gets done and pay the fellow.

Meantime ─ marathon sitter that I am ─ I came across yet another study that has found just how bad extended daily sitting can be for us. 

This particular study focused upon the physical brain, and determined that sitting for long periods every day seems to result in a shrinkage of parts of the brain ─ even if the person doing so much sitting is also an active exerciser.

In other words, this damage cannot be undone merely by exercising. The only way to counteract the shrinkage is by reducing the time spent sitting throughout the day.

Here are some articles about the study:




Believe me, I do not comfortably read such reports, even if I may make fun of myself for my lengthy daily sitting. I am 68 years old, after all ─ these studies direly concern me.

But until I somehow develop a second income via the Web to match my monthly pension ─ or win huge in a lottery or sweepstakes ─ I am in bondage to my computer. 

Coincidentally, another article I came across today expounded upon some of the foods that actually preserve the integrity of the brain:


Since I rely upon my pension and the income of my hardworking wife, I am limited as to what I can afford to buy (my younger brother Mark gave me the $100 to pay for the shrub-cubing, but I may yet have to make a 50% financial participation) ─ a diet heavy in fish, berries, and nuts is just not possible.

The curcumin, though, is something I do include quite abundantly into my diet.

Okay, I am interjecting now to add those "after" photos of the newly cubed shrubs ─ these photos were taken between 7:08 p.m. and 7:31 p.m.:

I took the photos surreptitiously, for I didn't want the couple to feel that they were being monitored.

And lo! I didn't even need to socialize with them ─ Mark arrived back home at almost 7:50 p.m., and the couple were still outside cleaning up. And so my garrulous brother took the cash and went forth to dazzle them with his compliments and wit. 

I hereby close today's post with this old journal entry of mine from 41 years ago when I was 27 years old, and living in a basement housekeeping unit in New Westminster.

I was renting in a private home located on Ninth Street [Google map], and two houses up from Third Avenue.

Mark was renting a duplex unit out in the Whalley area of Surrey ─ specifically, he was living along Semiahmoo Road [Google map], not too very far from where it ends on Old Yale Road. For some reason now, it seems to me that the duplex may have been nearly across the street from where 102nd Avenue ends on Semiahmoo Road.

It was my intention to hike out to his suite that day and watch some evening T.V. there.

Mark had persuaded me into throwing in with him and getting some accommodation to share together elsewhere in Surrey; and so after being in New Westminster since 1969 or even 1968, I was nearing my final day there. 
TUESDAY, May 17, 1977

I had planned to jog 13 laps at 4:00 a.m. (arisal) at the school track, but at the last I selected sleep instead.

I arose at 7:00 a.m., nearly.

I forwent my weight routine today, spending time cleaning up my suite and packing.

I'm getting flabby and losing my colour, but hopefully Mark & I will get such a fine new home that these conditions can be reversed.

I will go to his place today, and probably spend the night, though I sure feel like napping here and now, though it's only shortly after 1:00 p.m.


Mark, due to a ball practice, did not get home till about 10:30 p.m.

I wrote a letter to Jean during the afternoon.

[Jean Michelle Martin (née Black) was a U.S. pen-pal I had back then.]   

Mom phoned to have me determine if Mark would take her bowling either Wednesday or Thursday next week.

Dad phoned at night, fairly intoxicated; he won't be going to the hospital for leg treatment.

[My father Hector had ugly, discoloured, and scaling ulcerations all around his ankles; and overall had extremely poor cardiovascular health. He was to die of a heart attack in seven or eight years.]

I slept at Mark's.
And that's all I wrote for that day.

To the present now, my wife Jack will have worked in Langley today at her friend Fanta's Thai restaurant, so she will be home to spend the night (she normally stays in Vancouver). 
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