jenk: Faye (Jen40)
New inhalers can cause confusion. I just started using inhalers last summer, so I'm not sure I ever had a CFC inhaler. But my last two definitely have an HFA propellant, and I noticed they had a softer spray. I also hadn't realized that inhalers need cleaning -

HFA inhalers need to be washed with warm water and air dried once a week. The medication is stickier and will clog the hole, reducing the amount of medication the spray delivers.
This morning I washed my old inhaler that I thought was near-dead and just keeping "in case". Um, no, it's fine. Cool.

Skip the paper bag if you think you're hyperventilating and focus on slow, calm breaths. The paper bag won't hurt you if you really are hyperventilating - but if it's asthma or a heart attack, reducing oxygen is the last thing you need.

Building muscles has a utilitarian purpose??? They're not just decorative??? Who knew??? Yeah, I'm heavy on the sarcasm there. Truth is, size is not the point - strength is. It's from a special section on the human body.
jenk: Faye (Jen40)
I've mentioned to friends that I use stretching to help prevent low back pain and other various aches. So recent articles on how " stretching doesn't prevent pain or injury" have caught my eye.

And I'm pretty sure that the study the articles mention isn't about what I'm doing.

See, I'm not stretching to prevent soreness. I'm stretching to reduce muscle tightness, which will increase my pain-free range of motion.

Example A: Low back pain while walking. I've learned that for me, there's a particular low back pain that shows up when my quads are too tight. Stopping and sitting on a bench will stop the symptoms while I'm sitting, but only while I'm sitting. Stretching my quads will allow me to continue walking without pain.

Example B: A pain all down the right side of my leg while driving or walking. If stop and do a particular stretch I learned in yoga, then I can continue without pain.

Needless to say, I've been working on figuring out when I have muscle soreness vs muscle tightness. Tightness, stretching can help. Soreness, not so much.

(Thanks [ profile] dianthus for reminding me to post about this.)
jenk: Faye (Shocked)
Item in the NY Times:
December 9, 2007
Mindful Exercise
By Christopher Shea

Simply by telling 44 hotel maids that what they did each day involved some serious exercise, the Harvard psychologist Ellen Langer and Alia J. Crum, a student, were apparently able to lower the women’s blood pressure, shave pounds off their bodies and improve their body-fat and “waist to hip” ratios. Self-awareness, it seems, was the women’s elliptical trainer.

At the start of the study, Langer and Crum quizzed 84 maids at seven carefully matched hotels about how much exercise they got. Fully a third of the women said they got no exercise at all, while two-thirds said they did not work out regularly. Langer and Crum took several measures of the women’s basic fitness levels, which indicated that they, indeed, had the poor health of basically sedentary people. Then just over half the women were told an unfamiliar truth: cleaning 15 rooms daily — pushing recalcitrant vacuum cleaners, scrubbing tubs, pulling sheets — constitutes more than enough activity to meet the surgeon general’s recommendation of a half-hour of physical activity daily. The researchers even provided specifics: 15 minutes of scrubbing burns 60 calories, 15 minutes of vacuuming burns 50. The basic message and the details were then posted in the maids’ lounges in the hotels where the 44 women worked, to serve as reminders, while a control group was left in the dark.

A month later, Langer and Crum checked back with the women to find, as they reported in the February issue of Psychological Science, remarkable results. The average study-group maid had lost 2 pounds, while her systolic blood pressure had dropped by 10 points; by all measures the 44 women “were significantly healthier.” Yet there were no reported changes in behavior, only in mind-set, with the vast majority of the women now considering themselves regular exercisers. Langer sees the study as a lesson in the importance of mindfulness, long a subject of her research, and which need not involve Buddhism or meditation, she stresses. “It’s about noticing new things; it’s about engagement,” she says.

But for the study’s white-collar readers, a corollary to its results might be dispiriting: Made freshly aware — mindful — of just how sedentary their work lives are in contrast to a housekeeper’s, might they not suffer a corresponding decline in health?
Collection of graphs here.
Abstract here. "These results support the hypothesis that exercise affects health in part or in whole via the placebo effect."
jenk: Faye (read)
DeVita and Timor Hortobágyi found that a person who weighs twice as much as another experiences no greater torque in the knees when both walk at the same, reasonable speed. When the obese volunteers were allowed to walk at a slower speed, which they found more comfortable, they exerted even less force on their knees than people in the other group did at the faster pace. Greater force on the knee had previously been presumed to explain why obese people are susceptible to osteoarthritis in that joint.

Furthermore, DeVita and Hortobágyi reported in 2003, obese volunteers walked with shorter strides and straighter knees than did other people. Those behaviors reduce certain stresses on the joint, DeVita says. - Science News
Article abstract here

"Diabulimia" came up in conversation - Insulin-dependent diabetics skipping insulin to lose weight. (I was tired enough I wasn't making too much sense, but hey, I found the article I mentioned ;)

And if you've heard the one about how "The average person walking half an hour a day would lose about 13 pounds a year", a study had sedentary folks start exercising an HOUR a day, 6 days a week for a year. So they'd lose, what, more than 13 pounds on average, right? Nope. The women lost an average of 3 pounds and the men an average of 4 pounds. Both groups appear to have gained muscle, since they lost a bit more in total fat than in overall weight. The average fat loss was 4lb for women, 6.6lb for men ... which is still less than the 13 pounds they're "supposed" to lose if they'd walked 30 minutes a day. So, er, how's that again?
jenk: Faye (Default)
For years I'd resolve to go for a walk each day, do it for a few days or weeks, then stop.

A few months ago I got some free bus tickets and started taking the bus, which drops me off a bit over a half-mile from work. This is working well because my good intentions really only have to last long enough to get me onto the bus -- after that, I'm kinda stuck :)

When I started I was badly enough out of shape that I would drive to work one morning, walk+bus home that night, and reverse it the next day. I did this all while recovering from a pulled muscle and found it really helped.

Now the walking is easy enough I occasionally get off a stop early :) Sometimes it's pleasant to be walking and alone with my thoughts - or jazzing to music. And sometimes I really don't like it. I'll be sore and cold and tired and don't wanna. But that doesn't usually hit until I'm off the bus, at which point I don't have much choice beyond walking. (Or calling someone and asking for a ride. I'm not willing to be that much of a wuss.) So I walk on anyway.

I will say that having walked usually does feel good. Even if I'm sore, I arrive at work feeling more awake and relaxed. And I'm much less stressed if I bus home than if I drive.

Does this add more time to my commute? Yes. The time spent on the actual buses is about the same as if drove, only I get to read :) The walk? Is additional, but less time than going to a gym. Waiting for the bus? That can get old, and is sometimes long. I'm fortunate that I can usually wait at a lighted shelter where I can read.

How about cost? I started with incentive Metro tickets from the city, free. I've since bought a 3-month 1-zone peak pass for $162 and my company reimbursed me half that cost ($81). I've also bought a more visible coat; a more comfortable, waterproof, & stylish backpack; and a light folding umbrella.

Bottom line: I'm feeling better, I have more endurance, and I've stuck with this longer than most gyms I've joined. So I think it's for the best.
jenk: Faye (jane sarcastic)
I pulled a muscle in my leg Wednesday morning. So I've been limping a bit. Also, sore.

Today I've got the leg elevated (upturned garbage bin + throw pillow). Not sore. Yay not sore.

Then my foot went to sleep.

jenk: Faye (YogaTriangle)
[A]erobic exercise helps the heart pump more blood to the brain, along with the rest of the body. More blood means more oxygen, and thus better-nourished brain cells. For decades, that has been the only link between athletic and mental prowess that science has been able to demonstrate with any degree of certainty.
Active adults have less inflammation in the brain. They also have fewer "little bitty strokes that can impair cognition without the person even knowing," says University of California, San Francisco, neuroscientist Kristine Yaffe. Still other researchers have found that athletes have more astrocytes, or cells that support neurons and mop up neurotransmitters after they're used to send messages from cell to cell. And even the levels of those neurotransmitters are higher in people who exercise frequently. "Dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine—all of these are elevated after a bout of exercise," says [Harvard psychiatrist John Ratey]. "So having a workout will help with focus, calming down, impulsivity—it's like taking a little bit of Prozac and a little bit of Ritalin."
So far, though, for reasons that no one really understands, the few studies that have examined stretching, toning and weight lifting have found little to no effect on cognition.
- Full article at Newsweek
jenk: Faye (Maggie)
Saw this in the NY Times...couldn't resist. Reminds me of when I quit dieting in college: I got better grades, generally felt better about my life, and saw my weight stablize for the first time EVAH.
On the Scales: Non-Dieters Weigh the Same, but They're Happier
Dieting is not necessarily the royal road to good health.

In a paper published this month in The Journal of the American Dietetic Association, researchers found that obese women who used a nutrition and behavior approach that ignored weight and body mass index, or B.M.I., a common measure of weight in relation to body size, were psychologically healthier at the end of a two-year trial period than those on conventional weight-loss diets.

Nondieters lost no weight during the trial. Dieters initially lost weight, and then gained it back, showing no weight loss after two years. ) Differences between dieters and nondieters in total cholesterol, H.D.L. cholesterol, L.D.L. cholesterol and blood pressure were insignificant at the end of the study. But nondieters felt significantly better about their bodies and showed highly significant decreases in depression, as measured by a widely used test.

"There is an extraordinary amount of scientific research that documents that dieting is not an effective health or weight-loss strategy," said Dr. Linda Bacon, the lead author. But, she said, "there is abundant research to show that when people make lifestyle changes, they improve health."
I have to wonder about the "improve health" comment tho. Did the non-dieting group's cholesterol, BP, endurance, cardiovascular health, or other measurement improve during the study? It would be interesting to know.
jenk: Faye (jen36)
From Jane Brody's column in the New York Times:
... ) "Some people," Dr. Coleman said, "have pure Alzheimer's disease and some have pure cerebral vascular disease. But most have a mix of the two." The same risk factors that raise a person's chances of having a heart attack or stroke - high cholesterol and blood pressure, excess weight, smoking, lack of exercise - also raise the risk of developing dementia, she explained.

It's not that circulatory disease causes Alzheimer's, she emphasized. But if the brain lacks a healthy flow of blood through vessels relatively free of atherosclerotic plaques, it is less able to fight off the damage associated with dementia. ... )

How you spend your leisure time may also make an important difference. Activities that involve mental and social stimulation, like doing crossword puzzles; playing bridge, checkers or chess; learning a language or new skill; taking up knitting or crocheting; and remaining socially involved have all been associated in various studies with preservation of normal brain function.

When these activities are combined with regular physical activity, the benefit appears to be even greater. [...]

Mice and other rodents have been shown throughout their lives to be able to form new cells in the part of the brain involved in learning and memory if they live in an "enriched" environment.

Can you be any less well developed than a mouse?


jenk: Faye (Default)

April 2017

9 101112131415
161718192021 22


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 23rd, 2017 06:20 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios