Health Watch: Combat common running and walking ailments
TIP OF THE WEEK
If running or walking is your workout of choice, nothing is worse than an ache or pain. The good news? With a smart plan and a few simple strategies, you combat these common and annoying ailments. Time to finally put shin splints, side stitches and muscle cramps to bed and get on with your workout.
Shin splints: Shin splints aren’t only a nuisance, but they are seriously painful, too. Tiny tears that occur around your shinbone are to blame. The first step in avoiding this ailment altogether is to pace yourself. Periodically switch to running or walking on grass, gravel or sand instead of hard pavement to reduce the shock that travels through your legs. Also, make sure you are wearing a good quality pair of running shoes with proper support.
Side stitches: Although the cause of side stitches has yet to be proven by science, a few strategies can decrease your chances of experiencing this annoying ailment. Avoid eating within an hour of running and hydrate your body with water instead of sugary drinks. Never take off on a run without a proper warm-up. Walk briskly for a few minutes to prep your body for what’s to come. Finally, make sure you are taking big, deep breaths.
Muscle cramps: When a spasm hits your calves, hamstrings or quads, immediately stop running and stretch your legs on the side of the road. To lessen the chance of cramps happening next time, make sure you drink enough water prior to your run. Try using your foam roller on your legs.
— Life Fitness
As the weather begins to warm up, it’s important to keep your child hydrated when she’s out on the soccer field or baseball diamond. Heat exhaustion is a common ailment for young athletes during spring and summer months, and it can turn into the more dangerous heat stroke if it isn’t taken care of. If your child begins exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion -- including increased thirst, headache or nausea -- make sure to get him into the shade or into an air-conditioned space as soon as possible. Remove any extra layers of clothing, encourage your child to drink water or a sports drink and call your doctor if symptoms persist.
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Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the U.S., and according to current estimates, 40 to 50 percent adults who live to be 65 or older are likely to develop some form of skin cancer at least once. To reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, it’s important to wear water-resistant SPF 30 (or higher) sunscreen when you go outdoors, and wear protective clothing and hats when you spend time outside. If you are worried you may have skin cancer, make sure to see your doctor as soon as you can.
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A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that routine vigorous exercise can mean a significant reduction in early mortality. Researchers from James Cook University and the University of Sydney tracked more than 204,000 participants ages 45 and older for an average of six and a half years, and found that the benefits of exercise were applicable regardless of body weight or chronic disease status.
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‘Body of Truth’ by Harriet Brown
As a science journalist, Harriet Brown has explored this collective longing and fixation from an objective perspective; as a mother, wife, and woman with “weight issues,” she has struggled to understand it on a personal level. Now, in Body of Truth, Brown systematically unpacks what’s been offered as “truth” about weight and health. Starting with the four biggest lies, Brown shows how research has been manipulated; how the medical profession is complicit in keeping us in the dark; how big pharma and big, empty promises equal big, big dollars; how much of what we know about health and weight is wrong.
— Da Capo Lifelong Books