Working Out The Crook In The Arm

If you walk around your town, you’ve probably noticed this already.  I’m talking about the number of people who are going from Point A to Point B, carrying a coffee cup or water bottle.  I’d say at least half, and maybe more, of the people out and about these days are fully liquified and ready to immediately hydrate or caffeinate.

020107002It’s kind of strange when you think about it.  It’s as if these folks can’t bear to be away from the liquid of their choice for any length of time, so they carry it with them — even if they aren’t actually drinking from the cup, or mug, or jug as they walk along.  And I’m not talking about people who have just emerged from the nearest Starbucks with a pumpkin latte and are heading back to the office, either.  I’m talking about people who seem to carry their containers at all times.  One of my fellow walkers from German Village to downtown Columbus always carries a cup of coffee with him on his stroll to work, and he never takes so much as a sip.  Of course not!  If you try to take a drink when you’re walking you’re risking a spill, and coffee stains are hard to remove from clothing.  That begs the question:  if you’re not going to actually drink the liquid you’re lugging around, why carry it with you in the first place?

As somebody who prefers to walk unburdened by water bottles and coffee cups, I conclude that there are two potential explanations for this.  One is that the water-bearers have become emotionally attached to their liquid containers and their contents, and that constantly carrying them around provides some kind of comfort.  The other is that this is all part of some new exercise regimen. Somewhere, some fitness guru has decreed that the muscles surrounding the crook of the arm are under-exercised, and that the best way to deal with the issue is to carry around small containers and maintain the arm perpetually bent at the elbow, with the lower arm and the upper arm forming a 90-degree angle, for extended periods of time.  Only by doing so will the biceps and triceps, working with the ulna, radius, brachioradialis, tendons, extensors, and flexors, get the full workout that they really need.

Call it Coffee Cup Conditioning, or the Water Jug Workout.

Guzzle Coffee, Live Longer

Here’s news that will warm the already rapidly beating hearts of coffee lovers — drinking a lot of that black brew apparently makes you live longer.

A large study of more than 400,000 men and women by the National Cancer Institute found a correlation between significant coffee drinking and life span.  Men and women who drink two to three cups of coffee a day were at a significantly lower risk of dying from heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, and diabetes than men and women who drink no coffee.  These coffee hounds therefore have an increased chance of outliving their wussy, coffee-abstaining counterparts.

The researchers don’t know why coffee might have positive health effects; further studies will be done on that score.  Although the scientists haven’t figured out the cause-and-effect issues, this coffee fan has some suggestions.  Coffee decreases your risk of heart disease and stroke because it gets your heart pumping and your blood coursing, leading to a strong and well-exercised heart and blood vessels free of clotting debris.  It has a positive effect on respiratory systems because coffee aficionados like to breathe deep the heady aroma of their brew.  It lessens the likelihood of diabetes because coffee drinkers, charged with caffeine surging through their systems, will get up and move around to avoid the jitters and that exercise helps to keep their weight down.  (That is, unless they are drinking one of those sugary whipped cream concoctions from the neighborhood coffee house.)

Time for another cup!