Boom Generation Fitness

Mind - body fitness and health strategies for powering thru later years

The blog is aimed at the generation that was born between 1946 and 1964 - the so-called Baby Boomers.

We are now into our middle-age and very interested in staying fit and healthy until well into our senior years.

This blog provides some of the tools to do just that. You can find posts here and lots more by clicking on the links to THINK FIT and THE FITNESS PAPERS (see left side column).

These pages are about any and all matters concerning wellness, mind, body and spirit and, of course, physical exercise of all sorts. A special feature is an emphasis on individuals who can provide examples for us all of a healthy, energetic and positive life.


Geoff Quartermaine Bastin

More about who I am on:

Thursday, December 31, 2009


About half of us could not care less about checking on our health. These people endanger themselves, not just by an early death, but from years of disease and discomfort before they die. By ignoring what their body could tell them they give up the possibility of the quality and joy of life as they age. And, by the way, they impose an enormous and growing burden on our economies by doing so.

I asked users of the LinkedIn network (the social/business networking site – www. what they did about monitoring their blood profiles (lipids, glucose and other key markers) so they could get early warning of disease and so take preventive action, hopefully through adjusting their lifestyles. I thought that this would be something that an overwhelming majority of the LI community (mainly educated middle class professionals) would do routinely. Well…mmmmmh…… not really.

In fact, only a small majority of the LI users that answered my question bother with any kind of health check up and some of those are in the nature of “well maybe once a year”. Roughly half of a sample of folks, all who may be expected to be able to afford regular preventive tests and check-ups and to know their value, simply prefer to ignore the fact that they might fall ill.

Human nature? Fear of knowing the answer? Perhaps. But I find this a depressing result in an age where so many so-called ‘modern” diseases (Type 2 diabetes, stroke, heart disease, cancer) can be dealt with effectively if they are caught early. These diseases also present a massive burden on our industrialized economies – hence the urgent need to reform health care in the USA.

The result of my little survey suggests that selling preventive health care is a real uphill struggle; if this is what so-called educated well-off people think, what on earth about the huge majority who will continue to stuff themselves with beer, donuts and fries and smoke a pack a day? But without preventive medicine - and taking responsibility for our own wellbeing - we are surely in for a major health care crisis in the industrialized economies.

To read the full report on the survey go to The Fitness Papers via the button in the left hand column.

Monday, December 28, 2009


Should we be packing down the protein? We all know that there are three main building blocks of nutrition: carbohydrate, protein and fat. But one of the most difficult things to get right in any diet is balance between the three. There are a huge number of diets that suggest a balance towards carbs, while others (Atkins for example) say you have to hit the protein hard. Another point of view is that human nutrition is so complex that so-called “nutrient splitting” will never provide the right answer; in this case the way to go is to adopt successful diets from places where more common “industrialized” diseases (such as Type 2 diabetes) are not found. These are the diets from the ‘cold zones’ where modern diseases are less.

Because the subject of “too many carbs” or “not enough protein” comes up all the time, it may be helpful to try and discover and discuss some of the arguments.

I’ve taken two authorities whom I respect but who say diametrically opposite things about protein. Ellington Darden PhD. (author of various books on bodybuilding and a PhD nutritionist) says, “…we know from long-term animal studies that high protein diets will shorten life spans.” Darden says that consuming any food will not build muscle; what builds muscle is exercise that stimulates the growth of muscle fibers that then draw on the available nutrients to grow.

Now for the other side of the picture: Dr Scott Connelly is a medical doctor, the author of a best selling book, ‘Body Rx’ and the inventor of a (protein) dietary supplement ‘Met-Rx’, According to Connelly’s ‘6-Pack Prescription Daily Rrequirements’ a 200 pound man needs 200 grams of protein per day. In terms of an easy to use measure, a 20 gram serving of any kind of protein looks about the size of a deck of cards. This is a LOT more than the standard Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of between 60 and 80 grams/day.

I’ve taken a look at the science, and the results of my study are available by clicking on The Fitness Papers in the left hand column of this blog. Follow through and find the paper, ‘Protein – Just How Much?’ Or just click on this link:

I found no evidence whatsoever that large amounts of extra protein do anything but pass directly through the body causing needless physical stress to vital organs. Your body gets about half of the amino acids needed to keep the body working and to build cells from ingesting protein, the rest it manufactures itself. The key point is you need to maintain a balance of these chemicals by consuming a normal balanced diet that includes protein from a variety of sources. The body cannot store excess protein. It must process it into the required amounts of amino acids and the rest gets changed into fat or excreted. Large amounts of protein work the kidneys and liver far too hard. Protein leaches the calcium out of the bones and is believed to be a prime cause of osteoporosis in the USA. Furthermore, there is evidence that excess protein makes the body more acidic with the acids accumulating in the joints making for gout or arthritis.

Bottom line: I’ll eat a normal diet with not more than 20% protein - just as recommended by almost all the dieticians and nutritionists and found in most traditional diets – remember our ancestors for most of human history had very limited access to large amounts of protein. But one point in fairness to Dr. Connelly and the Atkins Diet folks: if you are overweight and eat mostly carbs, then you probably do need to consider more protein and re-balancing your diet. However, if you do suffer from a disease and are not normally fit and healthy do please make sure you consult your doctor before making any drastic dietary changes. The key word in all this is “balance” – a balanced diet and a balance of effort between diet and exercise.


Eddie Vernon (on the right here and seen with his brother on the left and fellow competitor Bruno, center) won his class in a national level mountain bike race in Udon Thani in North-east Thailand this December. Here's his report: "The cross country mountain bike race was held at Ban Na Kha, 17km north of Udon Thani city in northeast Thailand on 20 December 2009. The race course was a mix of singletrack and doubletrack mainly across rice fields, down farm tracks, along canal banks and through wooded areas. My brother Tim (aged 49) and I (aged 51) raced two laps of a 17km course (total 34 km). The weather was perfect - dry, sunny and warm (not hot). I came first out of 12 riders in the 50 - 54 age group and my brother came 6th out of 14 riders in the 45 - 49 age group; it was his first mountain bike race. The first 7 riders in each age group won a cup. I also won some prize money of 1,500 baht About (US$47). My French friend, Bruno (age 43 - in the center of the photo) from Vientiane and his Thai friend, came equal first out of 12 riders in the 40 - 44 age group, though since only one rider could receive a trophy for first place, Bruno accepted second place". We think this is pretty amazing considering Eddie works full-time, often in Afghanistan, and Thailand is not the easiest place to train.