Monday, 6 May 2013

How Healthy?

"The upper respiratory tracts of middle-aged and elderly men have multiple pathogenic antigens that have built up over the years, and if these men are infected with the H7N9 virus... the cilia in their trachea will allow the H7N9 virus to go straight into the lungs, because of chronic illnesses such as bronchitis, obstructive pulmonary emphysema, asthma allergies and chronic inflammation."
An illustration of the point that a healthy body is more difficult for airborne pathogens to destroy than a sick one. It makes me glad that I never took up smoking, but I do wonder how healthy I actually am. I'm 33 years old and on the one hand, I'm no superman-cyclist riding from Taichung to Alishan and back in a single day, but on the other hand I'm no chain-smoking, beer-drinking bar-fly.

Last night I jogged for the first time in about a year and managed 4K in just over 40 minutes - I only stopped because my shorts began to chafe (I was wearing the wrong type), but otherwise I think I could have reached 6K for the hour without any problems. How far I could go whilst carrying a 27kg bergen on my back I don't know - although I can now manage 15 pull-ups per set with a daily aggregate of 90 to 120, so I shouldn't be too bad. I haven't ridden the bicycle now for a few months either, but I was regularly reaching distances just shy of 100K. I'd like to think I'd only need a week or two to get back up to that standard again. I eat plenty of fruit, veg, fish, rice and eggs just about every day (I have the odd couple of days a months when I lapse into noodles or burgers or something) and have done for years now. I like the odd beer or a gin & tonic, but I haven't been to the pub in well over a year now (and hadn't been a frequent visitor for several years before then anyway). I don't have asthma but I do have a slight hayfever, which affected me much worse in Britain than it does here in the tropics. So all in all, it might be fair to say that if and when I'm lucky enough to reach my 50s, I probably won't be in too bad a shape, although there will be many others much fitter than me.

At any rate, although I could be doing much better, I'd like to think no virus is going to be taking me down any time soon.

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