Do You Need to Stretch?
The jury’s still out on whether stretching before and after you exercise really does help prevent injury and muscle soreness. A review published last summer of studies about stretching concluded there’s little evidence that stretching provides injury protection. On the other hand, the American College of Sports Medicine Recommends warming up for five to 10 minutes before a workout
Maybe it just feels better to ease into your routine gently. Whatever the results of further studies on the subject turn out to be, taking it slowly for a few minutes before heading into full-throttle mode doesn’t seem to hurt.
Source: American College of Sports Medicine; BMJ 2002;325:468 ( 31 August )
What Kind of Athletic Shoes?
Does it matter whether you wear running shoes for running, tennis shoes for tennis, walking shoes for walking, etc.?
It all depends. According to the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, if you participate in a sport three or more times a week, you should have a shoe specific to that sport. When you try the shoes on:
- Wear the kind of sock you’ll wear during the actual activity
- Make sure you can wiggle your toes easily
- Re-lace the shoes in the way you would as if they were yours
- Make sure your heel doesn’t move up and down in the shoe
Source: American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society
Men and Sunscreen
You see it often: a woman and a man spend a day at the lake. The woman comes back without a sunburn, and the man comes back red as a beet. What’s that
We don’t know of any studies showing whether women use more sunscreen than men, but anecdotal evidence seems to show that women take the need to apply sunscreen more seriously. Do men think it’s a sign of weakness to protect themselves? Do they think that applying lotion is feminine? Do they want a suntan that badly?
It’s hard to say, but one thing’s for sure: men are at just as much risk if getting skin cancer as women are. The sun’s rays don’t discriminate. When you’re out for a bike ride, a hike, a day at the lake--no matter what your gender, put the sunscreen on.
Concussions Linked to Depression
A recent study has shown that having multiple concussions may increase the risk of depression later on in life. Researchers believe that having a concussion affects the chemical balance in the brain. Athletes suffer concussions with the greatest frequency, but even kids on the playground can have concussions.
Symptoms of a concussion include:
- Loss of consciousness, if only for a few seconds (but this doesn’t always occur)
- Persistent headache
- Changes in mood, vision or hearing
Be sure to follow your doctor’s advice for recovering from a concussion, and make sure to wear safety gear that can provide skull protection.
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
When a Child Needs the ER
Sometimes there’s no doubt you need to take your child to the emergency department:
- When a bone is obviously broken or there’s swelling at the injury site
- When a cut won’t stop bleeding or is too deep to heal on its own
- When an injury causes limping or pain that won’t go away
- When a head injury causes loss of consciousness, vomiting or change in behavior
Whenever you feel as if there’s no doubt about it, go to the emergency room. On the other hand, if you really aren’t sure, try calling your doctor first. You may be able to take care of your child yourself (with advice from your doctor) or make an appointment to see the doctor, avoiding the emergency room altogether.
Source: Medical College of Wisconsin.