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Women's Health

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Fitness Tips

separator Skip a Day, Add the Next
“Oh well, I didn’t get any exercise today. That’s one day’s worth down the drain.” Right?


Just add your missed time to the next day. Or spread it out over a couple of days. Taking on a defeatist attitude can make you want to give up. But the great thing about exercise is that each day is a brand new chance to do the right thing. Yesterday doesn’t matter anymore.

Today, you can make it right, simply by going for a walk. Or by working out while you watch a television show. Or by jumping in the pool.

Source: American Council on Exercise

Danger Signs of Heat
Here are three types of heat-related conditions to be aware of as you exercise or work in the heat. Children, the elderly and people taking diuretics or high blood pressure medication are most susceptible to these conditions:

Heat exhaustion Symptoms: heavy sweating, weakness; cold, pale, and clammy skin; weak pulse; fainting and vomiting. Treatment: get out of the sun; apply cool, wet cloths; loosen your clothing. Drink fluids if not vomiting and seek medical attention immediately.

Heat cramps Symptoms: painful spasms in arm, leg and abdominal muscles. Treatment: firm pressure or gentle massage can help. Causes: loss of water and salt from the body. Treatment: drinking water may help if not vomiting.

Heatstroke or sunstroke Symptoms: high body temperature (105 degrees or more); hot, dry skin; rapid and strong pulse; confusion; possible loss of consciousness. This is a severe medical emergency. Call emergency medical personnel, and move to a cooler place while you wait. A cold sponge bath is beneficial. Drink water if not vomiting.

Source: The American Red Cross

Blood Pressure Guidelines
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recently updated its blood pressure guidelines to reflect that what used to be considered “normal,” 120 over 80, is now considered “pre-hypertensive.”

If that puts you in the pre-hypertensive category, it’s a good idea to talk with your doctor about whether you should change your eating habits. Studies conducted by the HNLBI showed that reducing your salt intake can help reduce your blood pressure.

The NHLBI has created a food plan called the DASH diet. It emphasizes a lower sodium diet that focuses on fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, fish and poultry.

If you’d like to read more about the DASH diet, read the NHLBI’s publication, Facts about the DASH Eating Plan. You’ll need an Adobe Acrobat Reader for this.

Source: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Water Intoxication?
You read about making sure to drink enough water during the hot summer months, but is it ever possible to drink too much?

Yes, but it’s generally a problem only for marathon runners who drink too much while they’re in a race. The clinical term is hyponatremia. During a race, runners perspire and lose a lot of salt. When they drink a lot of water, the salt in the blood becomes diluted and is less available to body tissues. This loss can interfere with brain, heart and muscle function. If the condition continues, it can lead to coma and death.

If you’re taking part in a marathon, triathlon or similar type of activity, a good rule of thumb is that you should take in 8 to 16 ounces of water per hour. But this varies, depending on your speed, your body type and weight, your rate of perspiration and the heat and humidity levels.

Source: Annals of Internal Medicine, 2 May 2000; University of Florida College of Health and Performance

Exercise Reduces Stress
Exercise can do a lot for your mental state. It can be an outlet for anger, give you quiet “down” time at the end of the day and improve the quality of your sleep, among other things. To get the most stress reduction from your exercise program, here are some of the things you should keep in mind:

  • Make sure you like the activity.
  • Make sure competition isn’t the main focus of your activity.
  • Choose activities you are likely to do well.
  • Do your best to exercise almost every day.

Source: E. Randolfi, Ph.D., Optimal Health Concepts

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