Health & Fitness

September 4, 2014

Jim Silva: Too much information about health, fitness can be confusing

If you are confused about studies and information that come out from health researchers, you are not alone.

Coffee is good for you. Coffee is bad for you.

A study says drinking a glass of wine every night will improve your health. The next study says it is connected to breast cancer.

If you are confused about studies and information that come out from health researchers, you are not alone.

Sometimes it makes me want to give up all together and start eating fast food every night. (OK, not really.)

Still, it is very frustrating to try to wade through all of the information about what is good for you and what isn’t. I’ve read stories that say too much running can be bad for your health. Really? Being too fit is bad?

While I read a lot of articles about health and fitness, I try not to put too much credence into any one article or study.

I like to keep things simple. I figure that if you eat healthful food, exercise regularly and keep your stress levels in check, you have a good chance to live a long, healthy life.

My basic philosophy comes from a book I used to have that was full of good little sayings. One of them was, “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”

The meaning, as I look at it, is that over-consumption of anything – wine, coffee, running, etc. – is bad for you. But it’s OK to overdo it once in a while.

That’s how I’ve tried to approach a healthy lifestyle since I began my fitness journey about five years ago.

I enjoy a few cups of coffee throughout the day, but I don’t have six or seven. I will have a glass of wine or two, but I try not to drink too much. I allow myself to have sweets, but keep the portion sizes in check.

And yes, every once in a while I indulge a little.

There are many factors that play into our health and fitness. One, of course, is genetics. You can’t change your DNA.

I am blessed that all of my grandparents lived into their 90s. And my parents are both in their mid-70s and healthy.

But you can’t rely on DNA alone. If you want to live a long, healthy, productive life, you need to make the choice to make healthy decisions.

When it comes to that, don’t worry about what the latest study says.

I say just keep it simple – eat healthful food, exercise regularly, contain stress levels and have a positive mindset.

There’s never going to be a study that can deny that.

Modesto Marathon training group

If you’ve ever thought about training to run a marathon, half-marathon or 5K but don’t know where to start, then check out the Modesto Marathon Adult Training Group.

The group is holding informational meetings on Sept. 13 at noon and Sept. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at Central Valley Specialty Hospital at 730 17th St. in Modesto.

The 2015 Modesto Marathon will be held March 29, so there’s plenty of time to train.

The training group features group workouts, a training plan, certified coaches, seminars, social events and more. It’s a great way to train for a distance race, whether you’re a novice walker or an advanced runner, and to meet new people.

For more information, contact Mike Mason or Susan Taylor at

For more information about the race, go to

Jon Olsen does it again

Looking for a little inspiration? Modesto’s Jon Olsen has provided it again, winning the Santa Rosa Marathon on Aug. 24.

The 40-year-old ultramarathoner completed the 26.2-mile race in 2 hours, 32 minutes and 37.89 seconds. And it was just a tuneup for the Spartathlon in Greece, a 153-mile run from Athens to Sparta that will be held Sept. 26-27.

Olsen has won the Modesto Marathon twice.

Modesto’s Javier Maciel finished seventh (2:49:42) and Charles Wickersham was 19th (2:58:40) at Santa Rosa.

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