Archive for January, 2015

Meet Dr. Michael Manyak: RCSC Member, World Explorer and Author of New Safety Travel Guide – Lizard Bites and Street Riots

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Member Highlights

Manyak.HeadshotHere’s an interesting fact to get your day started — more people have been to outer space than have been to the Titanic. Even more interesting, one of those deep-sea explorers just happens to work out with you right here at Rock Creek Sports Club!

His name is Dr. Michael J. Manyak , and he is a professor of Urology, Engineering, Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine at The George Washington University; and the Executive Director for Global Medical Affairs for the urology products of GlaxoSmithKline.

In short, Dr. Manyak is a physician who specializes in urology and what is known as expedition medicine, or remote travel and wilderness medicine. This has allowed him to join teams of explorers all over the world on a number of adventures and his incredible stories don’t end at the collecting relics from Titanic.

For example:
• He served as a medical officer aboard the Norwegian icebreaker MV Polar Star for an expedition to Antarctica.
• He was part of a team that uncovered early human footprints in Tanzania.
• He helped a group of scientists who used DNA samples to identify a new species of highly endangered wild camels in the Gobi Desert.
• He and his son helped excavate early human artifacts and animal fossils with the Smithsonian Human Origins program at the edge of the Rift Valley in Olorgesailie, Kenya.
• He was part of the first scientific dive at Lake Khosvgol in Mongolia, the second largest lake in Asia.


(Click Here to Here to Read About Dr. Manyak’s Expeditions and See More Photos)

This is the kind of guy you would want to take travel tips from right? Well you’re in luck! Dr. Manyak, along with two of his colleagues and fellow world travel experts, Rear Admiral Joyce M. Johnson, DO, USPHS (ret) and Warren J. Young, recently published Lizards Bites and Street Riots , which covers every sort of precaution you should possibly take or may have to take when touring abroad.


Dr. Manyak told us the idea for the book came to him while he was writing a chapter for his textbook on expedition and wilderness medicine. “I wanted to provide guidance and help to anyone that travels,” he said. “It was a labor of love.”

packinglistThe book is proving valuable for those who travel, including Dr. Robert Gates, former US Secretary, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and president of the Boy Scouts of America.

“This relevant resource for travelers combines two intersecting components of travel today, health, and safety. The up to date information makes for a great travel companion to help you sort out problems on the road and protect your security.” Dr. Gates said, according to Lizards Bites & Street Riots website. “Whether traveling for business or pleasure, on a Scouting adventure or an expedition, stow this in your carry-on luggage!”

So now one of the important questions for us at Rock Creek Sports Club — how does one so obviously very busy, find time to work out?

“You have to make time or it gets away from you.” Dr. Manyak, a member at RCSC for about 10 years, said, adding with all the traveling and work he has to do, it’s important for him to stay in reasonable shape. “On average I train four days a week, doing HIIT (high intensity interval training) for about 30 minutes. Hard, quick workouts.”

For more information about Dr. Manyak’s adventures check out his website at You can read more about his book, Lizard Bites & Street Riots at

NYT: How Exercise Keeps Us Young

Written by RCSC Writer. Posted in Blog, Wellness Bites

spin-500-The reasons why we get older, and why are bodies change the way they do, for the most part, is still kind of a mystery. However, a new study shows how exercise can significantly slow down a number of the common symptoms of aging.

According to a recent article in The New York Times, scientists have had some problems distinguishing what kinds of affects getting older has on our bodies, from those of a sedentary lifestyle, because many older adults are more sedentary than younger adults.

Researchers from King’s College London and the University of Birmingham in England, decided to solve this problem by gathering a group of adults aged 55-79, who were considered “serious recreational bikers” – thereby removing inactivity as a factor.

They then tested the following:

  • Endurance Capacity
  • Muscular Mass and Strength
  • Balance
  • Memory Function
  • Bone Density
  • Reflexes

In addition, they also conducted a Up and Go test, which measures how long it it takes to get up from a chair, without using his or her arms, briskly walks about 10 feet, turns, walks back and sits down again.

The results are pretty amazing!

Compared to supposedly normal benchmarks of aging, these bikers had results much closer to that of younger people, than people of their own age. In fact, “even the oldest cyclists had younger people’s levels of balance, reflexes, metabolic health and memory ability.” Oh – and that chair test – the oldest participants averaged 2 seconds faster than what’s considered normal for their age, and 4 seconds faster than those considered frail.

Of course, some results did show that age alone did have some results on reduced endurance and strength.

All in all though, we have to say these results really show how being active can have some seriously positive benefits as you get older! More reason to keep moving and to keep coming into Rock Creek Sports Club!