SAN DIEGO—The last sessions of TED MED today offered some unusual windows into health and the individual from astronaut Scott Parazynski, author AJ Jacobs, and Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne.
Parazynski, a NASA astronaut, physician and Everest summiteer, offered: “I feel a little bit like Forrest Gump.” He’s seen the planet from above, at its highest peak and below the ocean’s surface. “But today, I’m the opening freaking act for Ozzy Osbourne.” In 2009, he was climbing Mount Everest when crippling back pain forced him to halt his ascent before the top. “On the bright side, I had an unlimited amount of ice,” said Parazynski, so he could lie down and ease his back pain on the way back down. Surgery later corrected the nerve impingement, and he reached the summit a year later.
A.J. Jacobs, author, described three years each spent with a different focus, and resulting in a book. To develop his mind, he read the encyclopedia from A to Z: “my intellectual Everest.” Next, he worked on his spirit, following the rules of the Bible. The third year, he wanted to work on his body. He said that i t takes a lot of time to be healthy. You need to spend time exercising, even chewing more thoroughly. “I am pro-chewing,” he said. He tried different workouts and diets, including calorie restriction. “ You’ll live a lot longer, even if you don’t want to.” He still has five months to go, but already has gained some lessons, including: eat less, move more, relax. “Be kind to your future self, like you would anyone,” he adds. He hung up a digitally aged picture of himself for inspiration.
Ozzy also proved to have some Neandertal DNA on chromosome 10, but Harvard University professor “George Church has about three times as much,” said Pearson. “I’d like to meet him,” said Sharon.