This Saturday, January 28, Crosscut Sports is hosting the second annual Ski for Soren race. 16-year-old Soren Hartnett collapsed on July 15, 2020, while training with his team.

His parents would soon find out Soren had a previously undetected condition called Wolff Parkinson White Syndrome. This is a relatively common heart disorder that causes the heart to beat abnormally fast for periods of time.

“After one of his sprints, he collapsed, and everyone kind of thought he was just catching his breath. But what had happened is he had gone into a rhythm called V-fib, ventricular fibrillation. We ended up in Salt Lake City, and on the 18th of July, we took the breathing tube out and just let him see if he could go on his own which of course he had such a [bad] brain injury, he didn't,” said Soren's dad, Doug Hartnett.

Soren's parents, Mary and Doug Hartnett looked for a way to honor Soren, but also give back to the community. Ski for Soren was then born, hosted by Crosscut Sports.

“A number of our staff and board members were close to the family and they were trying to figure out how to honor his legacy and also find ways to raise awareness to prevent this from happening to other kids,” said CEO of Crosscut, Jen Beaston.

The event is for people of all ages and skill levels, including a fun ski, and several ski races for more experienced skiers. Proceeds from the race go towards scholarships and safety gear for young athletes.

“A Fund was started in Soren's name, a scholarship fund, and that's gone to provide scholarships for Nordic skiing and biathlon athletes here in town. Also to provide defibrillators to the community and get them out to sports teams,” said Doug Hartnett.

Last year's event was a success and Crosscut along with the family is hoping for another great turnout this year.

“Last year, it was Crosscut's largest-ever event with over 400 registered athletes,” said Beaston.

For Mary and Doug, Ski for Soren helps them find a silver lining by helping other athletes with aspirations similar to Soren's.

“He’s left a huge hole of course in our lives but in his friends' lives,” says Doug Hartnett.

Registration for Ski for Soren closes Friday, January 26th at noon.



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Underlying these phenomena is an inflammation of the airways, accompanied by a narrowing of the muscles of the bronchi and an increase in bronchial secretion, all of which impede the flow of air.

These processes are almost always triggered by exposure to triggering factors that, while in non-asthmatic subjects they are harmless, in asthmatic subjects they can cause various problems, such as pollen, food, a simple laugh, a deep breath or a short run.

Doctors distinguish between two types of asthma: intrinsic (or non-allergic) and extrinsic (or allergic) asthma

The former is not sustained by an allergic process, while the latter is.

Generally, non-allergic asthma appears in adulthood, while allergic asthma can begin at any time in life, although it often appears as early as childhood.

Since sensitisation to allergy-inducing substances (called allergens) increases as the child’s exposure increases, the peak incidence of allergic asthma usually occurs at school age.

How to know if you have asthma

Symptoms of asthma vary from person to person: some people have attacks infrequently, some have manifestations only at certain times, for example when in a dusty environment or in the middle of a lawn or when exercising, and some have discomfort constantly.

In any case, the signs and symptoms of an attack may include:

  • Shortness of breath;
  • Sense of chest tightness
  • chest pain
  • coughing or wheezing attacks
  • wheezing during exhalation
  • sleep disturbances caused by shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing

These attacks can be greatly aggravated by the presence of viruses, such as those that cause the common cold or flu, which is a common sign of asthma especially in children.

Signs that asthma is probably worsening are an increase in breathing difficulty and the appearance of the symptoms described, manifesting poor control of the disease, which is measured at home with a device that checks the functioning of the lungs (peak flow meter), and the need to use a fast-acting inhaler more often.

For these reasons, people prone to asthma attacks should always carry a spray with bronchodilator substances, which are capable of rapidly reducing bronchial spasm (so-called ‘life-saving’).

When asthma attacks occur

For some people, the signs and symptoms of asthma occur in certain situations:

  • when they do sport. In this case, we speak of exercise-induced asthma, which can worsen when the air is cold and dry;
  • when carrying out one’s profession. We speak, in fact, of occupational asthma, a condition that is triggered by irritants breathed in at work, such as chemical fumes, gases or dust;
  • in the case of exposure to allergenic substances. In this case we speak of allergic asthma, a type caused by airborne substances such as pollen, mould spores, dust mites or pet dander;
  • during the night. This situation is referred to as nocturnal asthma;
  • when taking acetylsalicylic acid drugs, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs in general, anaesthetics. In this case, other symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, sinus pressure and coughing are also present, and we speak of drug-induced asthma.

The different types of asthma

Based on symptoms, doctors classify asthma into:

-intermittent mild, in which symptoms are mild and appear less than twice a week. Nocturnal symptoms appear less than twice a month;

-persistent mild, with symptoms present three to six times a week and nocturnal symptoms present three to four times a month. Asthmatic attacks may affect normal activities;

-moderate persistent, with daily manifestations and nocturnal attacks five or more times a month. Symptoms may affect the person’s activities;

-severe persistent, with symptoms persisting both during the day and at night, such that the person is forced to limit their activities.

Severe asthma attacks can be life-threatening, which is why they must be addressed promptly.

Signs of an emergency include: rapid worsening of shortness of breath or wheezing; no improvement even after using a quick-relief inhaler; shortness of breath at rest.

CHILD HEALTH: LEARN MORE ABOUT MEDICHILD BY VISITING THE BOOTH AT EMERGENCY EXPO

Asthma, the risk factors

Certain risk factors are thought to increase the chances of developing asthma, including:

  • having a relative with asthma, such as a parent or sibling;
  • suffering from another allergic condition, such as atopic dermatitis (which is characterised by the presence of symptoms such as red, itchy skin) or hay fever (which causes runny nose, congestion and itchy eyes)
  • being overweight;
  • smoking;
  • being exposed to second-hand smoke, exhaust fumes or other types of pollution;
  • being exposed to occupational triggers, such as chemicals used in agriculture and by hairdressers.

Asthma, when to go to the doctor

People who have a frequent cough and/or wheeze lasting more than a few days or other signs or symptoms that can be attributed to asthma should consult their doctor as soon as possible, who may then decide to refer them to a pulmonary specialist.

It is important not to underestimate the situation and not to wait too long: if treatment of the disease is started early, the risk of long-term lung damage and worsening of the disease over time is significantly reduced.

Good long-term control of the disease helps you feel better day after day and can prevent a life-threatening asthma attack.

To monitor asthma after diagnosis, it is important to work with your doctor, also because the disease often changes over time and changes to the prescribed treatment may be necessary.

Do not take more medication than prescribed without first consulting your doctor, as overuse of asthma medication can cause side effects and worsen the situation.

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Most of us enjoy hot weather, but excessive heat is hazardous to our health.

Dehydration and heatstroke are two common heat-related diseases that, if untreated, can be fatal during a heat wave. Here’s how to ensure you’re prepared.

For a long time, we had hoped for warm summer days. When temperatures soar, however, the heat and humidity can be too much for the body.

Heatstroke and dehydration are major concerns during the hot summer months. If ignored or untreated, they can lead to life-threatening medical conditions.

Allow the summer heat to overcome you. Know the signs and symptoms of heatstroke and dehydration and how to prevent the dangerous consequences.

What is dehydration?

Dehydration can be a serious heat-related disease. It is also a dangerous side effect of diarrhoea, vomiting and fever. Children and people aged over 60 are particularly susceptible to dehydration.

What causes dehydration?

Under normal conditions, we lose body water through sweat, tears, breathing, urine, and stools. In a healthy person, this water is replaced by drinking fluids and eating foods that contain water. When a person suffers severe fever, diarrhoea or vomiting, dehydration can occur. It can also happen if an individual is overexposed to the sun and does not drink enough water. Basically, dehydration happens when the body loses water and essential body salts, such as sodium and potassium.

Occasionally, dehydration is caused by certain medicines, such as diuretics. These deplete our body fluids and electrolytes. Whatever the cause, dehydration must be treated as soon as possible.

What are the symptoms of dehydration?

Here are the most common symptoms of dehydration. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms could include:

• thirst

• less-frequent urination

• dry skin

• fatigue

• light-headedness

• dizziness

• confusion

• dry mouth and mucous membranes

• increased heart rate and breathing

In children, additional symptoms could include:

• dry mouth and tongue

• no tears when crying

• no wet nappies for several hours

• sunken abdomen, eyes, or cheeks

• listlessness

• irritability

• skin that does not flatten when pinched and released

The symptoms of dehydration may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always ask your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

Treatment for dehydration

If caught early, dehydration can often be treated at home under a healthcare provider’s guidance. In children, directions for giving food and fluids will differ according to the cause of the dehydration, so it is important to talk to your child’s healthcare provider.

In cases of mild dehydration, simple rehydration is recommended by drinking fluids. Many sports drinks on the market effectively restore body fluids, electrolytes, and salt balance.

For moderate dehydration, intravenous (IV) fluids may be needed. If caught early enough, simple rehydration might be effective. Cases of serious dehydration should be treated as a medical emergency because hospitalisation, along with intravenous fluids, is necessary. Immediate action should be taken.

How can dehydration be prevented?

Take precautions to avoid the harmful effects of dehydration, including:

• drinking plenty of fluids, especially when working or playing in the sun;

• ensuring you take in more fluid than you lose;

• trying to keep physical outdoor activities for the cooler parts of the day;

• drinking appropriate sports drinks to help maintain electrolyte balance.

For infants and young children, solutions such as Pedialyte will help maintain the electrolyte balance during illness or heat exposure. Do not try to make fluid and salt solutions at home for children.

What is heatstroke?

Heatstroke is the most severe form of heat illness and is a life-threatening emergency. It is the result of long, extreme exposure to the sun. In this case, a person does not sweat enough to lower their body temperature.

The elderly, infants, persons who work outdoors, people with mental illness, the obese, those with poor circulation, and those taking certain medicines or drinking alcohol are most susceptible to heatstroke. It is a condition that develops rapidly and needs immediate medical treatment.

What causes heatstroke?

Our bodies make a tremendous amount of internal heat and we normally cool ourselves by sweating and radiating heat through the skin. However, in certain circumstances, such as extreme heat, high humidity, or vigorous activity in the hot sun, this cooling system may begin to fail. This allows heat to build up to dangerous levels.

If a person becomes dehydrated and cannot sweat enough to cool their body, their internal temperature may rise to dangerously high levels. This causes heatstroke.

What are the symptoms of heat stroke?

Here are the most common symptoms of heat stroke. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

• headache;

• dizziness;

• disorientation, agitation, or confusion;

• sluggishness or fatigue;

• seizures;

• hot, dry skin that is flushed but not sweaty;

• a high body temperature;

• loss of consciousness;

• rapid heartbeat;

• hallucinations.

The symptoms of heatstroke may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always ask your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

Treatment for heatstroke

The person needs to be treated immediately because heatstroke can cause permanent damage or death. There are some immediate first-aid measures you can take while waiting for help to arrive, including:

• getting the person to a shaded area;

• removing clothing and gently apply cool water to the skin followed by fanning to stimulate sweating;

• Apply ice packs to the groin and armpits.

Have the person lie down in a cool area with their feet slightly elevated.

Cool the person rapidly however you can.

Intravenous (IV) fluids are often necessary to compensate for fluid or electrolyte loss. Bed rest is generally advised and body temperature may fluctuate abnormally for weeks after heatstroke.

How can heatstroke be prevented?

Some precautions can help to protect you against the adverse effects of heat stroke.

These include:

• drinking plenty of fluids during outdoor activities, especially on hot days. Water and sports drinks are the drinks of choice. Avoid caffeinated tea, coffee, soda, and alcohol, as these can lead to dehydration;

• wearing lightweight, tightly woven, loose-fitting clothing in light colours;

• Schedule vigorous activity and sports for cooler times of the day.

• Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a hat and sunglasses and using an umbrella.

• gradually increasing time spent outdoors to get your body used to the heat.

• Take drink breaks often and misting yourself with a spray bottle to avoid overheating during outdoor activities;

• spending as much time indoors as possible on very hot and humid days; and

• not leaving children or pets in closed cars on warm or sunny days.

If you live in a hot climate and have a chronic condition, talk to your healthcare provider about extra precautions you can take to protect yourself against heatstroke.



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Tool singer Maynard James Keenan, a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, will offer an intro course on the martial art combat sport in Arizona next month.

Want to learn jiu-jitsu from the longtime Tool rocker and martial artist who also makes wine? Just in time for the Super Bowl, Keenan will teach "An Introduction to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu" on Feb. 11 at Verde Valley Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Cottonwood, Arizona.

Verde Valley BJJ is the singer's local jiu-jitsu studio that he himself regularly uses. Are you ready to get on the mat with Maynard? See an advertisement for the special event down toward the bottom of this post.

Keenan's course is a "detailed orientation for beginners, white belts and blue belts," the studio explains. Upper belts are welcome to attend, but space is limited.

The Tool singer, who resides in Arizona, is also co-founder of Verde Valley BJJ. In 2019, Tool released Fear Inoculum, their first studio album in 13 years.

Visit verdevalleybjj.com and see more details below.

Heads up to any Jiu Jitsu aficionados traveling to AZ to attend the Super Bowl. Cottonwood is just a short drive north from Phx. Maynard James Keenan will be hosting 'An Introduction to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu' on Sat., Feb. 11 at the new Verde Valley BJJ facility. This is a detailed orientation for beginners, white belts and blue belts. Upper belts are welcome to attend. There will be two sessions and space is limited.

Watch: Maynard James Keenan Discusses Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (2021)

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Golf is an ancient game of mysterious customs, often seen as old-fashioned and resistant to change. But that’s changing—sort of.  

The game remains the same, but a new breed of high-tech resorts are putting advanced professional training techniques to work improving the bodies and minds of dedicated golfers.

Sensei Lanai: A Four Seasons Resort, Lanai, Hawaii

It’s not often a golfer gets to test oxygen blood levels, A1C, body fat composition, weeks of sleeping habits, and breathing techniques before getting out on the course. Prepping for a round at the Sensei resort at the Four Seasons’ Manele Golf Course on the Hawaiian island of Lanai means working through all of that and more as the program puts holistic technology to work advancing a player’s game and overall health. 

Founded by Oracle co-founder
Larry Ellison
and medical author David Agus, Sensei transformed an old lodge in the Lanai highlands into a luxury resort equipped with the latest advancements in everything from mindfulness to fitness analysis and body scanning to targeted strength and conditioning.

When a golfer books the Golf Optimal Wellness Program at Sensei Lanai (or Sensei Porcupine Creek in Palm Springs, Calif.), he or she receives a WHOOP—a wrist-worn fitness monitoring device—a few weeks before arriving in Hawaii. The data it collects lays out the wearer’s fitness habits and sleep patterns so the Sensei trainers can use that data as a base for analyzing the guest’s pre-visit performance.

Kari Lansing, Sensei Lanai’s exercise physiology guide, steps into the guest’s process soon after the arrival, focusing on the venue’s triple focus of Move/Rest/Nourish.

“I primarily focus on Sensei’s move pathway, partnering with whether they’re looking to optimize for a specific sport or coming back from an injury,” Lansing says. “I focus on helping them improve their strength, flexibility, endurance, and overall movement competency.”

Lansing adapts her tests and exercises to the guests’ age, fitness level, and health status. She explains her goal is to send them back with more than insights to make them better golfers.

“I guide them to create an actionable lifestyle plan they can take with them and implement the moment they depart Sensei,” she adds. “We look at these sports programs as a way to extend their years of playing. The programs also include access to a variety of classes, spa treatments, and one-on-one sessions on topics such as mindfulness, nutrition, and movement.”

Lydia Moran, Sensei Lanai’s mindset guide, covers a range of topics including sleep, stress, and goal setting. While Lansing works on guests’ physical development, Moran teaches mental and behavioral strategies, providing behavioral tools guests can apply to their daily lives.

“We as guides challenge (guests) to consider other factors that could be getting in the way of sustainable change,” Moran says. “I see us as bridging the gap between understanding what we can do to improve our health and why we would make these changes.”

The pool at Sensai Lanai.


Sensai Lanai

Moran explains one of the surprising obstacles facing her Sensei clients is the simple act of breathing. She believes the speed and on-demand nature of modern life lead people to forget how to breathe properly. She teaches in-depth sessions on how to relearn that essential practice. 

Moran insists such breathing difficulties can raise stress levels for golfers and limit their performance. “Shallow breathing can signal that you are anxious or stressed—sometimes chronically so,” she says. “Breath work is one effective tool that can help you disrupt this negative feedback loop and help bring down the stress levels.”

In the midst of the physical test and mental practices, golfers head out onto the spectacular Manele Golf Course. Adjacent to the oceanside Four Seasons Lanai, the Jack Nicklaus-designed championship track is laid in ribbons back and forth across cliffs overlooking the Pacific, offering an ocean view on all but a couple holes on the back nine.

After nine holes with one of the course’s PGA professionals, who analyzes the student’s swing, skill level, and mindset. Armed with those observations, the teaching pro reports back to Lansing and Moran on what the guest needs to pursue mentally and physically with golf in mind.

“In my view, the main objective in spending your time at Sensei is not to find a magic elixir, but to develop the blueprint for a clear path to success,” says William Foster is the first assistant golf professional at Four Seasons Resort Lanai. “It’s up to the student to determine what that success may be.”

TaylorMade Kingdom of Golf, Reynolds Lake Oconee, Ga.

TaylorMade Kingdom of Golf’s employs improved fitness and mobility work aimed for better performance on the links.


Kelly Kine

One of two TaylorMade Kingdom of Golf venues in the country—the other is near TaylorMade’s HQ in Carlsbad, Calif.—the Reynolds Lake Oconee site is more focused on golf-centric technology than Sensai Lanai in its overall instruction. Still, its staff employs improved fitness and mobility work aimed for better performance on the links. 

Sean Cain, director of operations and PGA director of instruction for The Kingdom at Reynolds Lake Oconee, explains the facility is open to residents of the venue’s extensive real estate developments, course members, or golf package guests at the adjacent Ritz Carlton Lake Oconee, with Cain and his staff looking to balance body and mind before, during, and after a round.

“Currently, Reynolds Lake Oconee offers a yoga for golfers’ program and TRX golf specific classes in conjunction with our Titleist Performance Institute-certified instructors,” Cain says. “We also have a nutritionist on the wellness team who counsels members individually based on their personal needs.”

Tyler Mayer, Reynolds Lake Oconee director of wellness, insists there are always more holistic golf offerings in the works at the facility He says the program already has the capability to build holistic, integrated plans for Reynolds residents and members “because of the multiple interactions and checkpoints available with the frequency of visits.” 

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Lack of exercise is a well-known risk factor for conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain forms of cancer. But some research also suggests that physical inactivity should be considered a risk factor for respiratory infections caused by the common cold, influenza, pneumonia and COVID-19. 

Studies show that regular exercise, of moderate intensity, is associated with a decreased risk of respiratory infections. More severe outcomes with COVID-19 also have been linked to low physical activity.

The latest study, published Tuesday, found that children with higher levels of daily physical activity are less susceptible to upper respiratory tract infections, such as the common cold. For every 1,000 average daily steps taken, children experienced 4.1 fewer days of respiratory symptoms. Children who played sports for at least 3 hours each week also tended to have fewer respiratory infections.

The study, which involved 104 children ages 4-7, did not establish a direct cause-and-effect relationship because it was observational. But the researchers had a few theories for their findings. Higher levels of physical activity reduce levels of inflammatory cytokines, which are associated with chronic inflammation and disease. They also promote stronger immune system responses. 

Another possibility is that additional immunity comes from small extracellular vesicles – small, cell-derived particles – released by the muscles after exercise, the researchers said. 

Still, health officials emphasize that vaccination and other preventive measures, such as frequent hand-washing, wearing a mask in high-risk settings, drinking fluids and getting enough sleep, are the most effective ways to reduce the risk of respiratory infection.

Too much exercise may have the reverse impact on the immune system. Some studies have suggested that too much physical activity increases the risk of infection. In one study, exercise stress was linked to an increase in influenza severity and risk of death. 

Another study found that 90 minutes of high-intensity endurance exercise can make athletes more vulnerable to illness for up to 72 hours after their workouts. Some researchers theorize that during intense physical exercise, the body produces hormones that may temporarily lower immunity. Additional research found that intense exercise before or during a respiratory illness can worsen the infection. 

National exercises guidelines advise that adults get 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. Moderate activities include walking briskly, recreational bicycling, gardening and vigorous housecleaning. The American Lung Association says that aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities can strengthen the lungs and tone breathing muscles, such as the diaphragm.

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Higher levels of daily physical activity are associated with reduced susceptibility to upper respiratory tract infections such as the common cold, suggests a study of 104 Polish children published in Pediatric Research.

Wojciech Feleszko, Katarzyna Ostrzyżek-Przeździecka and colleagues measured the physical activity levels and symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections of children aged between four and seven years in the Warsaw city region between 2018 and 2019. Participants wore a pedometer armband 24 hours a day for 40 days to measure their activity levels and sleep duration. Parents reported their children's symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections -; such as coughing or sneezing -; using daily questionnaires for 60 days. Using a second questionnaire, parents reported on their children's vaccinations, participation in sport, whether they had siblings, and their exposure to smoking and pet hair.

The authors found that as the average daily number of steps taken by children throughout the study period increased by 1,000, the number of days that they experienced symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections decreased by an average of 4.1 days. Additionally, children participating in three or more hours of sport per week tended to experience fewer days with respiratory tract infection symptoms than those not regularly participating in sports.

Higher activity levels at the beginning of the study were associated with fewer days with respiratory tract infection symptoms during the following six weeks. Among 47 children whose average daily number of steps was 5,668 during the first two weeks of the study period, the combined number of days during the following six weeks that these children experienced upper respiratory tract infection symptoms was 947. However, among 47 children whose initial average daily steps numbered 9,368, the combined number of days during the following six weeks that these children experienced respiratory symptoms for was 724. The authors did not identify associations between upper respiratory tract infection symptoms and sleep duration, siblings, vaccinations, or exposure to pet hair or smoking.

The authors speculate that higher physical activity levels could help reduce infection risk in children by reducing levels of inflammatory cytokines -; which are associated with chronic inflammation and disease -; and by promoting immune responses involving T-helper cells. They also suggest that skeletal muscles could release small extracellular vesicles that modulate immune responses following exercise. However, they caution that future research is needed to investigate these potential mechanisms in children. They add that the observational nature of their study does not allow for conclusions about a causal relationship between physical activity levels and susceptibility to upper respiratory tract infections.

Source:

Journal reference:

Ostrzyżek-Przeździecka, K., et al. (2023) Association of low physical activity with higher respiratory tract infections frequency among pre-school children. Pediatric Research. doi.org/10.1038/s41390-022-02436-7.

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Top athletes are always looking to get the most out of their performance by training to reach their maximum potential. A big part of their training may include finding ways to improve their breathing patterns, optimizing lung capacity, and shortening recovery time.

Once thought of as just a way for individuals to combat respiratory and skin conditions, athletes are now turning to dry salt therapy (halotherapy) to gain an edge over the competition and achieve their best sports performance.

Dry salt therapy has predominantly been thought of as a natural, drug-free, touchless complementary treatment to help relieve symptoms from a variety of respiratory conditions such as allergies, asthma, COPD, bronchitis, etc., however, athletes are now turning to dry salt therapy to gain an edge over the competition and achieve their best sports performance.

For athletes, the importance of breathing is often overlooked. Airflow obstruction and airway inflammation are two respiratory conditions that can cause poor breathing patterns that affect performance and ultimately lead to:

  • Increased dehydration
  • Reduced stamina and performance
  • Increased likelihood of cramps and injury
  • Increased recovery time
  • Elevated heart rate

Once athletes can optimize their breathing, less breath is required, which, in turn, means they have more air in reserve to achieve superior performance.

By simply breathing in dry salt aerosol, inflammation is reduced in the lungs so more oxygen can flow and turn into red blood cells. Dry salt also absorbs the mucous and other foreign substances that we breathe in every day, and salt is antibacterial.

Respiratory Conditions That Affect an Athlete’s Performance:

  •  Airflow obstruction
  •  Exposure to airborne allergens
  •  Respiratory illnesses
  •  Asthma
  •  Allergies
  •  Airway inflammation

How Dry Salt Therapy Works For Athletes

Improved Athletic Performance

Professional athletes, regular gym-goers, marathon runners, and anyone working out to improve their lifestyle all depend on breath control for optimal performance. Whether or not you have a respiratory condition, salt therapy can improve your respiratory and cardiovascular function.

Halotherapy acts as a disinfectant by clearing airways of bacteria, microorganisms, and other infections while not allowing microbial cultures to develop in our bodies. As a result, oxygen levels and respiratory volume increase, leading to improvements in athletic performance.

Clear airways mean increased oxygen capacity, higher energy levels, and more stamina. You will be able to set and accomplish higher workout goals as a result.

Several college and professional football players, including San Francisco 49ers defensive back Jimmie Ward, use salt therapy during their off-season training, “I’ve seen amazing results from salt therapy and started leaking mucus and breathing better when I left the salt room. I’ll be adding salt therapy to my routine going forward in my NFL career.”

Faster Post-Workout Muscle Recovery

Working out causes microscopic tears (microtears) in the muscles, which produces inflammation and corresponding pain up to three days later. These microtears are vital for helping athletes build lean muscle mass.

Muscles must be broken down in order to build back up stronger. Following a strenuous workout, microtears occur, signaling the body to increase blood circulation and oxygen to the area to stimulate healing. Salt therapy opens the airways to improve breathing and allows oxygen to travel faster to the inflamed muscles, speeding up the recovery process.

A salt therapy session following a workout can reduce inflammation and post-workout recovery time.

Reduce Swelling and Inflammation

Swelling and inflammation at the joints are common results of working out due to the repetitiveness of performing similar movements over and over. It can also be the result of the normal aging process.

Salt acts as an anti-inflammatory, reducing fluid buildup and swelling in the joints. Decreasing the number of days without pain means more productive (and less challenging) workouts for you.

Reduced swelling combined with improved respiratory and cardiovascular function can dramatically enhance overall body performance. Just one session each week can provide you with the proper environment needed to reach your full athletic potential.

How to Experience Salt Therapy

To prevent and treat respiratory weaknesses that often affect athletes, the Salt Therapy Association (STA) recommends introducing dry salt therapy into sports training to better lung function and improve overall performance, endurance, and recovery. To find a facility near you, search the Client Directory Listings on the STA website.

Add Salt Therapy to Your Facility – Attract New Members. Generate New Revenue.

Fitness clubs across the country are striving to set themselves apart from the competition. They are looking to increase their customer base by attracting a clientele that cares about their respiratory and mental well-being and is looking for a relaxing post-workout recovery session.

Dry salt therapy is gaining in popularity thanks to its numerous health benefits. Instituting dry salt therapy at your club for sports training can lead to better lung function and improve the overall performance, endurance, and recovery of your members while offering a timely, future-proof profit center for your business.

If you own a fitness club, adding or converting a room into a dedicated salt room or a multi-use salt room where you can combine salt therapy with modalities such as yoga, massage, meditation, or breathwork can transform an underutilized space into a lucrative new revenue stream.

If you don’t have an extra room, simply installing a plug-and-play SALT Booth® for individual, personalized salt therapy sessions only requires a 4’x 4’ space. A SALT Booth® session is a 10-minute touchless service that requires minimum labor and your consumable salt costs are just pennies a day.

Adding salt therapy to your facility allows you to:

  • Incorporate a great wellness modality that helps treat respiratory issues and skin conditions
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By Sandee LaMotte, CNN

What if you could look at all the things you do daily — walking from room to room, preparing a presentation at your desk, running up and down stairs to deliver folded laundry or taking a jog around the block — and know which ones will best help or hurt your brain?

A new study attempted to answer that question by strapping activity monitors to the thighs of nearly 4,500 people in the United Kingdom and tracking their 24-hour movements for seven days. Researchers then examined how participants’ behavior affected their short-term memory, problem-solving and processing skills.

Here’s the good news: People who spent “even small amounts of time in more vigorous activities — as little as 6 to 9 minutes — compared to sitting, sleeping or gentle activities had higher cognition scores,” said study author John Mitchell, a Medical Research Council doctoral training student at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health at University College London, in an email.

Moderate physical activity is typically defined as brisk walking or bicycling or running up and down stairs. Vigorous movement, such as aerobic dancing, jogging, running, swimming and biking up a hill, will boost your heart rate and breathing.

The study, published Monday in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, found doing just under 10 minutes of moderate to vigorous exertion each day improved study participants’ working memory but had its biggest impact on executive processes such as planning and organization.

The cognitive improvement was modest, but as additional time was spent doing the more energetic workout the benefits grew, Mitchell said.

“Given we don’t monitor participants’ cognition over many years, this may be simply that those individuals who move more tend to have higher cognition on average,” he said. “However, yes, it could also imply that even minimal changes to our daily lives can have downstream consequences for our cognition.”

Steven Malin, an associate professor in the department of kinesiology and health at Rutgers University in New Jersey, told CNN the study provides new insight in how activity interacts with sedentary behavior as well as sleep.

“Understanding the interaction of sleep and various physical activities is often not examined,” said Malin, who was not involved in the new study.

While the study had some limitations, including a lack of knowledge about the health of the participants, the findings illustrate how “the accumulation of movement patterns in a day to a week to a month is just as, if not more important, than just getting outside for a single session of exercise,” he said.

A decline in cognition

There was bad news as well: Spending more time sleeping, sitting or engaged only in mild movement was linked to a negative impact on the brain. The study found cognition declined 1% to 2% after replacing an equivalent portion of moderate to vigorous physical activity with eight minutes of sedentary behavior, six minutes of light intensity or seven minutes of sleep.

“In most cases we showed that as little as 7 to 10 minutes less MVPA (moderate to vigorous physical activity) was detrimental,” Mitchell said.

That change is only an association, not a cause and effect, due to the observational methods of the study, Mitchell stressed.

In addition, the study’s findings on sleep can’t be taken at face value, he said. Good quality sleep is critical for the brain to operate at peak performance.

“The evidence on the importance of sleep for cognitive performance is strong,” Mitchell said, “yet there are two major caveats. First, over-sleeping can be linked to poorer cognitive performance.

“Secondly, sleep quality may be even more important than duration. Our accelerometer devices can estimate how long people slept for, but cannot tell us how well they slept.”

Additional studies need to be done to verify these findings and understand the role of each type of activity. However, Mitchell said, the study “highlights how even very modest differences in people’s daily movement — less than 10 minutes — is linked to quite real changes in our cognitive health.”

The-CNN-Wire
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The use of flip or tumble turns can be a contentious topic among triathletes. Some swear by them, and some hate them. As with most topics with strong supporters on both sides, there’s typically some subtlety that’s being lost.  

What is a flip turn?

A flip turn, or tumble turn, allows you to change direction at the lane end at speed, rather than stopping, touching the wall, turning around and pushing off the wall to go back up the lane again.

Effectively, you swim until just before the lane end, dive into a forward roll, twist under water so you’re facing the direction you came from, and push off the wall with your feet.

Should I be doing flip turns?

Rather than providing a black and white answer to a nuanced topic, I’ll provided some suggestions based upon certain circumstances. Then, you can decide if it’s the right decision for you.

You’re already accomplishing your goals

If you’re accomplishing your goals in the water, you’re making progress, and you’re not doing flip turns, there’s no compelling reason to change. Flip turns are NOT a requirement for open-water racing.

You’ll never have to do one in competition, so you never have to do one in training, either. If you’re happy with where you’re at, there’s no reason to change it up for a skill that’s not required in competition.

You just don’t want to do flip or tumble turns

Perhaps the most important reason of all – you don’t want to! As mentioned above, flip turns are not a competitive skill in open-water triathlons.

You don’t need to be able to perform one to race effectively, successfully, or safely. While this might seem like a rather lame reason not to learn, remember that participating in triathlons is something that should enrich your life and bring you joy.

If learning flip turns is going to make participating in sport less enjoyable, don’t sweat it.

Racing pool triathlons

If you ever race in triathlons that take place in pools, you might want to learn flip turns. They’re going to be faster in the long run, even if it’s a struggle at first.

As you improve, at some point your turns will limit your ability to race competitively when other triathletes are performing flip turns and you’re not. Take the time to learn the skill.

You have problems with breathing

If you struggle with your skills once you get challenged with your breathing, and this is made worse by choppy open-water conditions, flip turns can be a powerful tool. Performing flip turns will definitely test your breathing as you’ll be going an extended period without oxygen.
This will force you to learn how to manage your skills when you’re really out of breath, and you won’t need to be in a race environment to do so. You can do it any day of the week. Of course, ensuring that you don’t breathe during open turns can work as well.

Improve your triathlon swimming breathing technique 

You’re looking to gain an edge in your swimming 

Flip turns are harder.  They’re not just harder to do technically, they’re harder to do physically. As mentioned above, you’re going to be without air for a longer period of time, and that extra challenge may provide a physical stimulus that can take your training to the next level.

You want to move into competitive swimming

If you have any notion that you might one day compete in swimming, learn flip turns sooner than later. There’s going to be a learning curve both physically and technically, and you might as well get working on it today.

Turns will absolutely limit performance in competitive swimming, so learn flip turns as soon as you can.

Top image credit: Getty Images

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This article originally appeared on Triathlete

Now that you've made good progress with the movements we've given you so far, week four of Triathlete‘s Multisport Mobility Bootcamp is going to be about improving your strength and endurance. A great coach and friend, Bobby McGee once said, "There is no courage in defeated mechanics." Performing to your potential in these tests, and in your sport, is all about maintaining efficiency as you fatigue. From years of testing athletes in relative strength, I know that repetitions will vary depending on your gym age, but fatigue starts kicking in at about 40 seconds, so maintaining proper mechanical tension in the 20 seconds that follow will help improve your dynamic capacity.

That's why this week you'll repeat the drills from last week to continue cementing these movement patterns, while increasing your time under tension. However, the number of sets will decrease so that you can reinforce and expand your capacities per set while reducing your total volume from the week before. Work on maintaining good posture and breathing patterns through these longer sets, and by the end of the week you will be ready to PR in your testing!

If you weren't able to progress to these movements last week, that's okay. You can either try to do them this week--after building some more strength--or you can continue to do the movements from the series that feel most appropriate for your level of strength and coordination.

RELATED: What Is Your Gym Age (And How Can You Grow Up)?

This week's circuit:

Sets & Reps:

Session 1: 2 x 40-60 seconds with 1-minute rest

Session 2: 2 x 40-60 seconds with 1-minute rest

Session 3: Testing – Repeat the original test and compare to your results from four weeks ago. We know you have come a long way in just four weeks, so share your results on our Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!

For exclusive access to all of our fitness, gear, adventure, and travel stories, plus discounts on trips, events, and gear, sign up for Outside+ today.



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Having previously defined what Self-care is, what does a self-care practice looks like. Each person is unique and their self-care practice is going to be different. It will encompass actions that are specific to the individual but all practices will share several characteristics. 

The practice of practice is about intentionally and consistently doing a set or series of things that produce the desired outcome…  But what would or could a routine look like? There are many different ways to do Self-care, and what works for one person may not work for another. However, some examples of Self-care practices include:

  1. Good hygiene: Take regular showers or baths, brushing your teeth, and keeping your body clean.
  1. Eating a healthy diet: Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, choosing whole foods over processed foods, and limiting intake of sugar and caffeine.
  1. Getting regular exercise: Go for a walk or run, joining a gym, or participating in a sport or fitness class.
  1. Getting enough sleep: Set a regular sleep schedule, avoid screens for at least an hour before bedtime and creating a comfortable sleep environment.
  1. Mindfulness: Meditation yoga, or journaling to help stay present and focused in the present moment.
  1. Connecting with others: Spend time with friends and family, join a support group, or reach out to a therapist or counselor.
  1. Taking time for hobbies and interests: read, listen to music, garden, or things that bring joy and relaxation.
  1. Keeping a positive attitude: Surround yourself with positive people, practice gratitude, and seek out the good in difficult situations.
  1. Managing stress: Learn stress-management techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, visualization and time management.
  1. Caring for spiritual well-being: participate in religious practices or ceremonies, prayer, or spending time in nature, these will help you feel more grounded and connected to something greater than yourself.

It’s important to remember that self-care is not selfish, it is an essential part that allows needs to be met making way for better productivity and daily function. It is also important to note that self-care is not a one-time thing, but rather a consistent and ongoing effort to prioritize well-being. Allow time each day, with the intention of self care, to maintain a happy, healthy and fulfilled lifestyle.

Jerry Frear is a highly experienced transformation coach, executive coach, and business coach. With over 30 years of experience as a pastor and digital marketer, Jerry has a wealth of knowledge and expertise to draw upon in his coaching practice. He is dedicated to helping people become their best selves, and believes that there is always something to do every day to become better. If you have any questions or would like to connect with Jerry, email him at [email protected] or visit his website at www.jerryfrear.com.




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The pandemic has brought the importance of physical and mental fitness to the forefront of people’s consciousness. Nowadays, most of us concentrate on overall fitness and training, often neglecting the fact that respiratory strength remains the engine of all other muscle training activities. So, we not only need to breathe the right way but possessing high lung capacity is equally very important. Two innovative devices introduced by medtech solutions provider Xplore Health Technologies can go a long way in boosting our respiratory muscle strength and lung capacity. We are talking about Airofit PRO, a smart respiratory training device, and its lighter version, Airofit Active, both creations of Airofit, Denmark. Let us check out some of their key features and overall running.

Airofit PRO

On the lines of regular muscle training, Airofit PRO employs resistance training in order to increase the strength and capacity of our breathing muscles. It is a personal data-driven smart respiratory training system, priced at a somewhat steep Rs 34,990. Basically, the device pairs with a mobile app (Android & iOS) and when synced, gives you access to tested respiratory training programmes that are based on data as well as your age, gender, physical condition, and preferences. The company calls its smart respiratory muscle training (RMT).

We checked out the PRO and liked the fact that the device can truly personalise the breathing training experience. Importantly, it can train both inspiratory and expiratory muscles. Essentially, the device works by subjecting diaphragm and other breathing muscles to resistance training, an exercise involving resistance wheels providing adjustable but restricted airflow to the individual. To explain, since the resistance causes fatigue in breathing muscles, it gets compensated by muscle tissue growth thereby making respiratory muscles more robust, allowing longer and deeper breathing.

Also read: FE Digital Health Conclave 2.0 witnesses eminent industry experts dig into plans for holistic tech-based futuristic ecosystem

Airofit PRO checks vital lung capacity everyday and tracks various parameters of lung health improvements everyday. It offers 17 unique breathing sessions, has a real-time live guidance platform that guides you through all exercises and sessions while tracking progress derived from real-time data. Moreover, going beyond simple RMT, the device also addresses other related aspects of breathing such as respiratory strength, vital capacity, anaerobic threshold, and relaxation.

Also read: Trends dominating the pharma industry: A 2023 outlook

Overall, it is an easy-to-use device and only takes 10 minutes of training once or twice a day to get relief from shortness of breath. A must-have for those with respiratory and lung disorders.

KEY FEATURES

* 17 breathing sessions

* Personalised programmes

* Real-time guidance

* Bluetooth connectivity

* Estimated street price: Rs 34,990

Airofit Active

This is a lighter version of Airofit PRO and is priced at Rs 11,990. It is customised for sporting performance as well as general well-being. Training with this device four minutes a day is said to have the same effect as a 53-minute VO2 max workout twice a week would have on endurance athletes. The device also addresses other aspects of breathing such as respiratory strength, vital capacity, anaerobic threshold, and relaxation.

With simple training guidance offered by the device and in three sessions, a sportsperson can train himself in vastly improving his breathing methods and capacity and therefore elevating his sporting performance.

Airofit Active stimulates the vagus nerve, allowing one to achieve better relaxation, very crucial for those who need to boost recovery between sports events. Also helps in non-sporting spheres, thus useful for lay people too.

KEY FEATURES

* 3 simple training sessions

* Adjustable resistance levels

* See your training history

* App offers simple training guidance

* Estimated street price: Rs 11,990



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It’s been over two years since Barry Guyer came down with COVID-19.

“(I) was just out in the harvest field. I just got feeling terrible,” said Guyer, who farms near Goodland in northwest Kansas. “I got home that one night (and) I said, ‘I think I’ve got this stuff.'”

Guyer was in the hospital for a week. It would be about a month before he was back out on the farm. It took nine months for his sense of taste and smell to come back. He’s still waiting for his stamina to return.

“I’m climbing grain bins and moving augers and stuff around today by myself here,” he said. “It just takes all your breath away doing all that and then you just have to stop and wait for a little bit to get caught back up.”

Long COVID, the often-baffling aftereffects that trouble the body for months or years after acute symptoms pass, likely haunts close to 200,000 people in Kansas. But Kansas is one of just two states without a medical center specializing in treatment of the condition.

That leaves people like Guyer hours away from specialists with the expertise to battle the brain fog and breathing ailments that stay after the COVID wanes. And even people who live close to Kansas City and places in neighboring states with teams of specialists can wait months for an appointment.

The clinics formed across the country, typically in hospitals. They combine a range of expertise for treating long COVID. But they’re clustered, predictably, in urban areas. And though nearly every state has at least one, Kansas and South Dakota have none.

The right specialists

While hospitals and medical centers might have pulmonologists or cardiologists to treat long COVID symptoms, the special centers designed to treat it can give patients more comprehensive care.

“A specialized center can take a comprehensive and kind of 50,000-foot view of the patient,” said Dr. William Michael Brode, who works in a long COVID clinic at the Dell Medical School in Texas. “So you’re not kind of wandering doctor to doctor.”

Survivor Corps, an organization that tries to help people with long COVID, says there are about 240 centers scattered across the country focused on long COVID. Most of them are listed as long-term recovery centers.

“Those places aim to be kind of one-stop shops where you can go and get treatment from multiple specialists,” said Survivor Corps spokeswoman Kathryn Burke.

Long drives, longer waits

The wait time can stretch out for months. Yet Brode said people appear willing to wait and travel for the specialized help.

“We have patients coming from the (U.S.-Mexico) border who have traveled five hours to come see us,” said Brode. “I think eight hours is our record, which shows that people are seeking out this care and willing to put in the time to get the care they need.”

For someone like Guyer, the closest one-stop clinic would be in Denver — roughly a three-hour drive. Burke said local clinics and hospitals typically can’t afford to set up their own long COVID clinics.

“It is hard for people in more rural locations, less wealthy locations, to be able to access long COVID care simply because … the medical clinics and medical centers around them simply may not have the funding or the staffing to dedicate time and money towards long COVID clinics,” Burke said.

She would like to see more federal funding to help more rural hospitals offer long COVID clinics.

“The federal government stepping in and having those clinics and centers established in more rural regions,” Burke said, “is really crucial.”

But even in urban areas with long COVID clinics, wait times can be maddening.

Kansas had a virtual long COVID clinic during the height of the pandemic. The University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City, Kansas, opened the online clinic to existing KU patients at the beginning of 2021 and then opened it up to the public a few months later.

Debbie Hamilton was referred to KU’s long COVID clinic, but she was told she would have to wait three months after having COVID for an appointment.

“I had such high hopes and … just felt like I had literally taken a beating whenever they told me that,” she said.

Hamilton had COVID in 2021 and never fully recovered. She described her cognitive issues that made it difficult to drive, take a shower or be in a room with other people, including her own family. Dealing with her symptoms and having to constantly advocate for her medical treatment took a mental toll.

“It’s awful,” she said. “Feeling like failure; feeling like you can’t function; feeling … not even smart anymore. Feeling like the doctors just think that you’re crazy.”

Even though she’s a nurse, Hamilton struggled to navigate through doctors and appointments. One doctor told her that they “didn’t do COVID.”

“Why is that an option to say?” Hamilton said. “These patients are having so many more things. It’s causing autoimmune problems. It’s causing heart problems. It’s causing breathing problems.”

It took about a year for Hamilton to recover enough to return to work. She believes the clinic also is a way to just acknowledge that long COVID is real and to give people a place to feel validated.

“There needs to be a clinic, because I think it’s very much more widespread than anybody thinks,” Hamilton said.

Limited awareness

While Kansas has no long COVID clinics, Missouri has five — two in Kansas City, two in St. Louis, and one in Columbia.

Dr. Zachary Holliday works at Missouri University Health Care’s Columbia clinic. In one room, a bike and treadmill sit nestled next to each other and close to a machine that patients blow into to test breathing capacity.

“It measures lung function, and what that boils down to is how much air can someone get in and out and how fast,” he said.

The clinic is only open one Thursday a month. That limits how many people it can treat.

“We try to do our best to get folks in as fast as possible,” Holliday said. “And if they can’t see us in the long COVID clinic, what we’ve tried to do is actually get them still access to the pulmonary clinic.”

He said demand could be even greater because many people don’t even know about the clinic.

Guyer, the northwest Kansas farmer dealing with long COVID, only recently learned such clinics exist with expertise to treat his problems. He said he would consider driving to Denver — to the closest long COVID clinic — if he could time it with other appointments. At the same time, he’s become resigned to his damaged health.

“I don’t think that’s ever going to change,” Guyer said. “I think it’s just going to be a part of life like I have to deal with now.”

— Samantha Horton reports for the Kansas News Service.







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