Archive for the 'Safety' Category

Hot as Ballz!

June 22, 2012

This season is already sizzling hot. My street has become people stew and smells like it…the subway platform a marinated mess of stinky feet and underarm sweat. Marathon training? Ha! I’m just trying to get from one block to the next without frying like an egg!

My favorite mode of transportation (walking) hasn’t been the smartest: Wednesday, after back-to-back clients and a doggie stroll, I was exhausted. I took a catnap and woke up dizzy and lightheaded. Dehydrated and overheated, I was forced to chill at home, dog licking my face, husband playing nurse. It turns out several clients have fallen victim to the heat, too.

Unless you have extra sick days stored up and money to burn, don’t push yourself in this heat. Below are some warning signs that you may need to slow down:

  • A headache
  • General lethargy
  • Abnormal fatigue
  • Lack of motivation to do anything productive
  • Moodiness
  • Muscle soreness that lasts more than 48 hours
  • Body aches
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth and throat

Feel exhaustion coming on? Get in remedy mode!

  • Hydrate. Drink coconut water, watered-down gatorade, plain ol’ water with lemon or sparkling water with a splash of fruit juice.
  • Skip your workout today. And maybe tomorrow. A few days of rest won’t make you fat! In fact, you’ll come back stronger and better.
  • Rest up! Take a nap! Shut-eye helps restore hormone levels.
  • Get a massage. Take a load off and smooth out those sore muscles!
  • Eat vitamin-rich foods like leafy greens, colorful berries, legumes & lentils, fish & other lean proteins, and healthy fats like nuts & avocado.
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Heating up!

June 3, 2012

Outdoor workouts

Summer heat can be stifling. My later-than-usual Sunday run today was unbearable! I found myself trudging up the Harlem hills rather than my usual happy stride, but I made it. Not unscathed, however.

Tonight, my lungs actually hurt. Which got me thinking: how dangerous is it to breathe in hot, humid and polluted NYC air?

After a brief google search and combing through my resources, it turns out that vigorous exercise in excessive heat and air pollution is more damaging than I realized! Remember the media buzz leading up to the Beijing Olympics? Many articles warned of pollution affecting the athletes’ performance. According to the NYTimes:

A 2004 review of pollution studies worldwide conducted by the University of Brisbane, Australia, found that during exercise, low concentrations of pollutants caused lung damage similar to that caused by high concentrations in people not working out.

Given what can be in the air, “people who exercise outdoors should probably be more worried” than many are, said Dr. Morton Lippmann, a professor of environmental medicine at the New York University School of Medicine.

Fine particles can sail past nasal hairs, the body’s first line of defense, and settle deep in athletes’ lungs. Some remain there, causing irritation and inflammation. Others, so tiny they can bypass various bodily defenses, migrate into the bloodstream.

Hoo boy. So what can you do to avoid pollutants and health hazards but still get your workout on?

  • Time your workouts carefully. Get it done before the hazy sun rises in the sky and prior to exhaust fumes from rush-hour traffic settle in.
  • Avoid high-pollution areas, like near a freeway, highway or busy road. According to the Mayo Clinic, pollution levels are likely to be highest within 50 feet (15 meters) of a road.
  • Monitor air quality levels. On heavily-polluted days, take your workout indoors.
  • Listen to your body. If you’re feeling chest pains, asthmatic or find it hard to breathe, stop immediately.

Pop a Pill

December 5, 2011

My poppa had his knee replaced mid-October. His recovery has been remarkably fast: he went from lying in a hospital bed to walking unassisted in less than 2 weeks. During his physical therapy appointments, the experts marveled at his progress given that this man is 83 years young. If you know my dad, he doesn’t roll over and play dead: on the contrary, he’s stubborn, willful and does everything with 110% effort. (I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.)

However, these days he’s been getting night cramps in his hamstrings. If I had to guess, he’s pushing himself a bit too much during therapy and his muscles seize up from years of relative inactivity, only to be worked to exhaustion during re-strengthening exercises.

I recommended that he stretch, get routine massages, perhaps even a bout of accupuncture would do him good.

And the doctor? Prescribed my dad with yet another pill to pop. O yes. Did you know there’s a medication for muscle cramps?? This is absurd!! What a solution: for a week, my poppers dealt with less muscle cramps but side effects that included indigestion, bowel irregularity and nausea. I wonder if there’s a pill for that?