32 episodes

My Body Odyssey chronicles the rewards and challenges of individuals pursuing active lifestyles despite chronic illness, recurrent injury, behavioral issues and more. Their stories are complemented by insights from researchers, medical doctors, physical therapists, psychologists, and other wellness experts. An award-winning show, My Body Odyssey will be launching Season Two later this year. Subscribe and stay tuned to learn more!
www.mybodyodyssey.com

My Body Odyssey Fluent Knowledge

    • Health & Fitness
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

My Body Odyssey chronicles the rewards and challenges of individuals pursuing active lifestyles despite chronic illness, recurrent injury, behavioral issues and more. Their stories are complemented by insights from researchers, medical doctors, physical therapists, psychologists, and other wellness experts. An award-winning show, My Body Odyssey will be launching Season Two later this year. Subscribe and stay tuned to learn more!
www.mybodyodyssey.com

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Nordic John on the Parkinson's Trail: Family Support, Muscle Memory & Ski Wax

    Nordic John on the Parkinson's Trail: Family Support, Muscle Memory & Ski Wax

    “I haven’t had any medical people tell me that I shouldn’t go all out,” says our protagonist in this episode, Nordic John. He’s 80 years young but still competing internationally in cross-country skiing despite  the onset of Parkinson’s disease a decade ago. “That is really effective when you push yourself to the limit.”
    Our expert guest, Dr. Jerry Vitek, Head of Neurology at the University of Minnesota Medical School,  confirms John’s experience. “Exercise is one of the best things we can do and recommend to our patients.”
    Nordic John’s wife, Gina, attests that John is no stranger to the  vigorous challenge of cross country skiing. John directed the Nordic Skiing Program at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Vermont for decades. And both attended the 2023 Master’s World Cup of Skiing in Austria. 
    “I just need to get him to the start line because then when the gun goes off he just knows what to do,” she explains. 
    That means Nordic John’s muscle memory for skiing remains intact despite the onset of other symptoms, such as tremors and loss of balance. 
    “There's no question that when you start to become proficient at something, you've clearly changed those connections and strengthened them,” confirms Dr. Vitek. 
    We’ll also hear from Coach Ollie, who has taken over John’s former position at the Craftsbury Center yet now directs John at his Master’s practices. And we’ll learn about the important role played by the actor Michael J. Fox and his foundation in raising $1 billion for Parkinson’s research so far.
    How do John and Gina fare in disappointing snow conditions at the Master’s World Cup? What important research is on the horizon for the many millions of Parkinson’s patients worldwide?
    Tune in to learn more on this  final My Body Odyssey episode of Season Two, Nordic John on the Parkinson’s Trail. 
    My Body Odyssey is a Fluent Knowledge production. Original music by Ryan Adair Rooney. 
    SHOW NOTES
    Experts:
    Jerrold Vitek, MD, PhD
    Studies:
    Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson Disease: An Expert Consensus and Review of Key Issues
    Forced, Not Voluntary, Exercise Improves Motor Function in Parkinson's Disease Patients
    Resources



    What is Parkinson’s? 



    Parkinson’s disease: overview and symptoms



    Stanford Medicine: The Benefits of Exercise for PD



    Parkinson’s Foundation: Exercise



    NIH: Role of Physical Activity in Parkinson’s Disease



    American Parkinson Disease Association: Which types of exercise are best for Parkinson’s?



    American Parkinson Disease Association: Approved Medications for Parkinson's



    American Association of Neurological Surgeons: Causes of Parkinson's



    Parkinson's Foundation: Postural Instability



    Stanford Medicine: The science behind muscle memory



    Preserved motor memory in Parkinson's disease



    Benefits of physical exercise on Parkinson’s disease disorders induced in animal models



    Neurotrophic Factors



    Growth Factors



    The Relationship Between Stress, Anxiety, and Parkinson's Disease



    How Stress and Stress Management Impact Parkinson’s



    Can Exercise Slow Parkinson's Disease Progression? with Daniel Corcos, PhD



    The Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson’s Research



    John Broadhead: VT Ski Hall of Fame, 2019



    Climate change makes the future of Nordic skiing uncertain 



    Craftsbury Outdoor Center



    Ski For Parkinson’s



    University of Michigan Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson's Disease Research



    Jaxon XC



    Bethel Outing Club



    NENSA



    Nonstop Nordic



    Silver Star

    • 29 min
    PTSD & Open Water Swimming: Atlantic Annie Finds Calm Within the Waves

    PTSD & Open Water Swimming: Atlantic Annie Finds Calm Within the Waves

    The benefits of open water swimming are widely felt and observed but not yet fully documented by the scientific community, as they combine the effects of immersion in nature, cold water and strenuous exercise all at one time. 
    “It actually does change your pulse and it changes our physiology as humans,” says our protagonist, Atlantic Annie. “And it's apparently activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which I have come to understand over the last 10 years, is our relaxation response, activated when we sleep, when we're with our favorite pet, with a lover. And I was getting that by swimming.”
    For Annie these benefits are particularly important because of childhood trauma which surfaced as full-blown PTSD some years later as an adult. She has since  been successfully treating this chronic anxiety for two decades now, adding in open water swimming over the past ten years. 
    “I love the way I feel after, and I love the experience itself," Annie tells us after a swim at her favorite spot along the Southern New England shore. “And I haven't found many sports where I feel such a sense of calm.”
    Annie is far from alone in feeling these benefits, according to our expert this episode, Dr. Heather Massey, a lecturer in Physiology at the University of Portsmouth (UK) and an avid open water swimmer.
    “People have sent me their Garmin watch information about their resting heart rates,” Dr. Massey says, “and told me when their periods of regular outdoor swimming have been compared to when they haven't swam outdoors.” 
    Dr. Massey theorizes this calming effect has to do with a well documented phenomenon known as the Mammalian Diving Reflex. “Cold water swimming is  what we call a perturbation, and it totally disrupts the status quo within the body,” she explains. “It's putting the body in a position where it needs to react to the stimulus of cold water.”
    Open water swimming has serious risks and should not be undertaken alone or without prior medical consultation. But swimming safely against a small amount of potential risk may paradoxically have a calming effect on open water swimmers like Atlantic Annie and others with anxiety issues. 
    Tune in to find out more about the calm within the storm of open water swimming this episode, “PTSD & Open Water Swimming.” 
    My Body Odyssey is a Fluent Knowledge production.
    Original music by Ryan Adair Rooney.
    Expert:
    Dr. Heather Massey
    Show Notes:







    What is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)?







    CPTSD (Complex PTSD)







    Open-water swimming: a beginner's guide







    Health Benefits Derived from Forest: A Review







    Harvard Health Publishing: Take the plunge for your heart







    Improved mood following a single immersion in cold water







    Cold Water Swimming—Benefits and Risks: A Narrative Review







    Physiology, Diving Reflex







    The Mammalian Diving Reflex: 4 Fascinating Things Happening to Your Body When You’re In Water







    The Mammalian Diving Response: An Enigmatic Reflex to Preserve Life?







    Parasympathetic Nervous System







    Effects of Cold Stimulation on Cardiac-Vagal Activation in Healthy Participants: Randomized Controlled Trial







    Vagus nerve stimulation







    How Does Vagus Nerve Stimulation Reduce PTSD Symptoms?







    Understanding PTSD From a Polyvagal Perspective







    The effects of cold water immersion and active recovery on inflammation and cell stress responses in human skeletal muscle after resistance exercise







    Health effects of voluntary exposure to cold water – a continuing subject of debate







    Short-Term Head-Out Whole-Body Cold-Water Immersion Facilitates Positive Affect and Increases Interaction between Large-Scale Brain Networks







    The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

    • 28 min
     Cycling & Sweating Sue: Two Decades Outriding Metastatic Breast Cancer 

     Cycling & Sweating Sue: Two Decades Outriding Metastatic Breast Cancer 

    Completing the 200-mile Pan Mass Challenge (PMC) bike ride every year for two decades would be an accomplishment for anyone; but it’s particularly remarkable in the case of Cycling Sue, who has ridden 10 of those 20 years with metastatic breast cancer.
    “I've had many friends who I've met through this journey,” Sue tells us in this third episode of a series on cycling and cancer. “And they aren't here. But I also know that they would say, ‘What are you crazy? Just keep pedaling!’”
    Sue entered into breast cancer treatment largely alone back in 2003 with her initial diagnosis. But she’s since found a community of caregivers and patients through the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and the PMC ride benefitting research there. In this episode (a first for My Body Odyssey), we speak with three of Sue’s actual caregivers from Dana Farber, past and current, about the challenge of metastatic breast cancer, the benefits of exercise for cancer patients, and the motivational power of the PMC event.  
    “She was all in, you know, welcoming me to Dana Farber like an ambassador,” recalls Jenn McKenna, Sue’s Nurse Practitioner (NP), of their first meeting over a decade ago. “I just really liked her right away.”
    We’ll also hear from Sue’s current oncologist, Dr. Rachel Freedman of Dana Farber, as well as her former oncologist, Dr. Eric Winer, now President of the Smilow Cancer Center at Yale Medical. Through their insights, we get a deeper understanding of this chronic disease and the importance of a positive attitude like Sue’s during the demanding rounds of treatment. 
    “She doesn't spend… anytime feeling sorry for herself. None of that,” says NP Jenn McKenna of her patient and sometimes-Peloton-partner, Sue. “She just keeps living her life, doing all the things that make her happy in a way that we all should.”
    Some high quality inspiration on this episode with Cycling Sue. And amidst a lot of perspiration, too. In addition to completing the 200-mile ride this year, Sue has again claimed an additional title: The Sweatiest Person at the PMC Award.  
    “You can't see it on the podcast, but I keep my wristband on for a few days and it's all gross and worn away,” she says in a boastful moment. “So I've crowned myself as The Sweatiest Person again.” 
    Special thanks to Producer Debbie Blicher for her reporting on this episode. And huge thanks to our expert guests as well; see more of their information in our show notes.
    My Body Odyssey is a Fluent Knowledge production.
    Original music by Ryan Adair Rooney.
    Experts:
    Rachel A. Freedman, MD, MPH
    Eric Winer, MD
    Breast Oncology Program Treatment Team at Dana Farber
    Sources:

    Metastatic Breast Cancer

    Pan Mass Challenge


    Physical Activity as the Best Supportive Care in Cancer: The Clinician’s and the Researcher’s Perspectives


    Physical Activity and Cancer


    Physical Activity Boosts Brain Health


    The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically Depressed


    Physical Activity and Cancer Care—A Review


    Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity

    • 21 min
    Exercising with Cancer: Three Oncologists on the Rewards & Challenges

    Exercising with Cancer: Three Oncologists on the Rewards & Challenges

    SHOW NOTES

    Experts:
    Rachel A. Freedman, MD, MPH
    Eric Winer, MD
    Breast Oncology Program Treatment Team at Dana Farber

    Resources
    Metastatic Breast Cancer
    Pan Mass Challenge
    Physical Activity as the Best Supportive Care in Cancer: The Clinician’s and the Researcher’s Perspectives
    Physical Activity and Cancer
    Physical Activity Boosts Brain Health
    The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically Depressed
    Physical Activity and Cancer Care—A Review
    Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity

    More at www.mybodyodyssey.com

    Follow/Subscribe to the show so you don’t miss an episode!

    And follow us on:
    Twitter: @mybodyodyssey
    Facebook: @mybodyodysseypod
    Instagram: @mybodyodysseypodcast
    YouTube: @mybodyodyssey

    Generational Gene: Ups and Downs of Weight Loss & the Stark Risk of Cancer 

    Generational Gene: Ups and Downs of Weight Loss & the Stark Risk of Cancer 

    In this season two episode, Generational Gene details the serious risk of colon cancer and his two pronged approach of cycling and weight loss against three related medical issues– obesity, diabetes, and cancer, all of which run in his family. 
    This builds upon our season one episode where Gene described his choice of cycling to help manage blood sugar and hold off diabetes. “Some days it feels like your pedal to save your life,” Gene told us, “and in a lot of ways, you really are.”
    Now a high school superintendent, Gene is also a former biology teacher. “One of the things I’ve learned in the last couple years,” he tells us after a short training ride, “is that cellulose and fat tissue is biologically active.” 
    That point is echoed by our medical expert this episode, Dr. Chika Anekwe of Mass General Brigham and Harvard Medical School, who adds that “the signals that fat cells send out can be carcinogenic, or cancer-causing.”
    On the dietary/weight-loss front, Gene proudly recounts a story from some years ago where he lost 42 pounds in three months through crash dieting, winning a bet from a close friend. Soon after, though, he reverted to his original weight– like so many other dieters have experienced after initial weight loss. 
    “And that has a lot to do with this concept of the set point,” Dr. Anekwe explains, “No matter what you do to lose that weight, to bring it down, it always wants to go back to that set point.” 
    Challenges abound for Generational Gene on the exercise road, too. Gene participates in the annual Pan Mass Challenge, a 200-mile bike ride across Massachusetts benefiting cancer research at the Dana Farber Institute. But a training accident in the spring kept him off the bike with a hamstring injury for several important weeks. 
    “I just lost control of the bike and then just went down on the road,” he recalls. “And then I saw that the pedal was in the road. And I was like, man, the pedal snapped.”
    Will Gene have the stamina for the 100-mile Saturday leg of the PMC? Will his new bike pedals support the effort? And how about that long term, often uphill challenge of losing weight for diabetes and cancer prevention? 
    Tune in for chapter two of Generational Gene’s body odyssey, as he pushes back against a family history of diabetes and cancer. With expert commentary from Obesity & Preventive Medicine Physician, Dr. Chika Anekwe of MassGeneralBrigham and Harvard Medical School. 
    My Body Odyssey is a Fluent Knowledge production.
    Original music by Ryan Adair Rooney.
    Show Notes:
    Experts:
    Name: Dr. Chika Anekwe
    Resources:

    NIH: Overweight & Obesity Statistics

    Healthline: Obesity Facts

    Role of Physical Activity for Weight Loss and Weight Maintenance

    Acute and Chronic Effects of Exercise on Appetite, Energy Intake, and Appetite-Related Hormones: The Modulating Effect of Adiposity, Sex, and Habitual Physical Activity

    Dietary Approaches to the Treatment of Obesity

    Protein for Life: Review of Optimal Protein Intake, Sustainable Dietary Sources and the Effect on Appetite in Ageing Adults

    Optimal Diet Strategies for Weight Loss and Weight Loss Maintenance

    Recent advances in understanding body weight homeostasis in humans

    Long-term weight loss maintenance

    Is there evidence for a set point that regulates human body weight?

    Obesity and Set-Point Theory

    Cell biology of fat storage

    Familial Adenomatous Polyposis

    Colorectal Cancer in African Americans: An Update

    • 27 min
    Four Body Odysseys On Two & Three Wheels: Cycling the 20th Maine Lighthouse Ride

    Four Body Odysseys On Two & Three Wheels: Cycling the 20th Maine Lighthouse Ride

    My Body Odyssey rode along the 20th Annual Maine Lighthouse Ride this year, interviewing 4 protagonists who faced steep uphill challenges to even get to the starting line of this scenic ride.
    Rebecca, a yoga teacher in her early sixties, has missed the event the past few years- first, due to a recurrence of endometrial cancer, then COVID, and then work obligations. She counts three challenges in completing this year’s one hundred mile route. 
    “One is torn ligaments in my knee,” she told us, “ and one is that almost exactly two years ago today, I had my last chemotherapy treatment. And in the mix, I manage the energy of depression.”
    Profiled in a previous episode, Larry is a Stage IV prostate cancer survivor taking on the 40-mile distance despite finishing chemotherapy three months ago and sustaining a training ride fall two days before the event.
    “I was just gonna have a small ride and I fell off my bike onto a set of railroad tracks,” Larry explains. “The doctor said… I'll give you a 20, 30% chance of riding. So I may not do the full 40 miles.”
    Also taking on the 40-mile ride is New Hampshire resident Jim, an engineering PhD who became partially paralyzed from a mountain biking accident twelve years ago. Nevertheless, getting back onto a bike -or a more stable three wheeled trike- became one of the major goals of his long rehab process. 
    “I have to concentrate really hard when I ride,” says Jim, who propels the substantial weight of his “trike” with only good leg. “So it's also done a lot for my focus.”
    Eric, a Portland resident in his early thirties, had a serious hiking accident one year ago that required surgical attachment of a quad muscle as well as a rotator cuff repair. That put him in a downward spiral, both financially and behaviorally. Yet, he’s taking on the 62-mile ride today after gradually escalating his training mileage the past few months. 
    “I think it all saved me when I found the right athletic trainer that was able to work on my injuries,” he recounts. “She encouraged me to get help on my mental health issues I was battling... And then over a few months, I started getting more confident.”
    Over 800 riders at this year’s Maine Lighthouse Ride, which benefits completion of the Eastern Trail, a 65-mile dedicated bike path from Kittery to Portland Maine for recreation and commuting. That’s a lot of mileage and a lot of stories. Tune in to find out if these four MBO protagonists– Rebecca, Larry, Jim and Eric– complete their ride distances. What rewards will they reap from the 20th Annual Maine Lighthouse Ride?
    My Body Odyssey is a Fluent Knowledge production.
    Original music by Ryan Adair Rooney.
    Show notes:

    Eastern Trail Alliance

    Maine Lighthouse Ride

    Cracked: My Life After A Skull Fracture

    ZERO Prostate Cancer

    Larry's Fundraising Page

    Lana Wescott Events

    Sea Change Yoga

    • 15 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

Viola Breeze ,

Fascinating episode

Fascinating episode about Ultimate Mark, an ultra-competitive weekend sports player named Mark. He can’t stop playing ultimate frisbee at an ultra-competitive level, despite a longer and longer string of injuries. After listening to this episode, I wished that Mark could chill out! He needs to watch the Big Lebowski 😂

Top Podcasts In Health & Fitness

Huberman Lab
Scicomm Media
On Purpose with Jay Shetty
iHeartPodcasts
The School of Greatness
Lewis Howes
Uncared For
Lemonada Media
Passion Struck with John R. Miles
John R. Miles
Nothing much happens: bedtime stories to help you sleep
iHeartPodcasts

You Might Also Like

Align Podcast
Aaron Alexander
The Doctor's Farmacy with Mark Hyman, M.D.
Dr. Mark Hyman
Everyday Wellness
Everyday Wellness: Cynthia Thurlow, NP
The Peter Attia Drive
Peter Attia, MD
Paul Saladino MD podcast
Paul Saladino, MD
The Life Stylist
Luke Storey