Sunday, August 26, 2012

Run Like a Kid

I have never been a big fan of running. I think it comes from my being an athlete when I was young and every time you messed up or the team was being punished for not playing well we had to run for what felt like days.
I also am the type of person who loves to lift weights. I really enjoy getting in the gym and seeing how many reps I can do. Setting goals and meeting them and continuing to see myself get stronger and stronger and the weights get larger and larger. I really enjoy this time. Which also means I am not a big lover of cardio and let's face it running is cardio.
I know that cardio is very important and I do it regularly, but I prefer the high intensity of a plyometric workout like Insanity or any of the plyo workouts in P90X. These test me and quite often leave me bent over sweating on the floor. So when it comes to running I just would do sprints and try and "get it over with" as fast as I could.
That was until I was put on Wake Island for so very long with my only time to get outside in the evening so even I could not sprint every day. I first came up with the plan to do sprints one day, bike the next, and kayak the third and then repeat. It worked for a short time, but after the second bike ride it was obvious that the roads on Wake are just not in good enough shape for you to get a good ride in (at least not without jarring and bouncing the mess out of you) and that the weather was going to be a real factor in if I could get out in a kayak or not.
So I started to put in some regular runs. At first it was the same as it had always been in that it was a struggle to keep my focus and to "feel" like I really got in a good workout. However then it all started to change. As I continued to run and up my distance my body started to improve and how I felt when I ran started to change as well. I started to get that feeling you see on a kids face when they just take off and run for no reason, the feeling of pure joy and happiness. At first I thought it was just a fluke a onetime thing, but as I continued to run I repeatedly would feel that pure sense of joy, just like when I was a little kid and would run just for the heck of it without a care in the world.
I know that this sensation is what people call the "runners high" and it is the brain chemistry releasing endorphins. I also know now that I have been running regularly that it is also the same feeling that you felt when you were a kid and would run "just for the fun of running" because you were happy.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Fitness Is a Choice

I often have wondered why some people struggle so much with their fitness while others seem to follow the same advice and get amazing results. After helping people for the past three years I believe it all comes down to something as simple as saying that "Fitness is a Choice".
We all look at others; famous people, friends, co-workers and wonder how they are able to be in such great shape when we are struggling so much with our own. Take for example someone like the action film star Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson. This guy has what appears to be a fantasy life. He has tons of money, is very famous because of his movie roles, and lives a life most people only dream about. He is in unbelievable shape and on the outside it appears that he has the easy life. However when you start to look closer and see what is really happening; this guy is working harder than most people could ever even think of. He works out 5 to 6 days a week no matter where he is at (no excuses for traveling or working a lot of hours) and eats clean and healthy no matter where he is at. He has "made fitness a choice" in his life and that it is important and for him it is. We see the results of all the hard work and assume it is easy for him.
So it all comes down to you either choose to make fitness a priority in your daily life and make a "real" commitment to it or you don't. It is just that simple between being successful at getting into and staying in shape or looking at others and wishing you had what it takes to achieve what they have.
I know that I have taken my fitness seriously and that when I made a commitment to it I was not just hoping or wishing it would happen I was willing to "put in the hard work" to make it happen. I have been working out regularly (regularly being 5-6 times a week) for three years now and I know what it takes. I am just like you. When I have a long day at work and then all evening running around with three teenagers activities followed by a project that has to be done that night and I get only three to four hours sleep that when the alarm goes off I just like you want to lay there and get "just one more hour of sleep"; on those crazy nights I go ahead and get up and do my work out. Why? Because I have "made fitness a choice" in my life and I am committed to it.
When you realize that your fitness and health are just as important in your life as making sure your teeth are brushed, doing well at your job to earn a living, that you have taken a shower, that you help and support your family; then you will have finally realized "what it takes" to be successful and will become "one of those people" that you use to look at and wonder how they stay in such good shape because you will be that person.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Using Proper Medication For Panic Attacks

Even though panic attacks do not pose any real physical threat, they can cause a lot of discomfort and stress to the person suffering from them. Panic attacks are common amongst people suffering from panic disorders and can be treated using proper medication and therapy. Therapies usually focus on changing the behavior patterns or thinking patterns. When both medication and therapies are combined, it has been noticed that relapses are a lot rarer.
There are numerous types of medications available for treating a panic attack or for suppressing the symptoms of an attack. Medications help not only in reducing the severity of an attack, but also in calming the person down and reducing the chances of a subsequent attack.
A common class of medication is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Zoloft, Paxil, and Prozac are some of the most commonly used SSRIs. SSRIs are essentially used for treating depression and they affect the chemicals known as neurotransmitters, which are used by the brain nerves to send messages. Nerves actually release neuro transmitters so that they can be received by other nerves. In case these neurotransmitters are not taken up by any other nerve, then the nerve which was responsible for the release reuptakes them. SSRIs basically prevent this reuptake, so more serotonin and neurotransmitters are available for uptake by other nerves.
Tricyclic anti-depressants (TCA) like Norpramin, Tofranil and Anafranil were used to treat panic attacks before SSRIs were available. The success rate for both SSRIs and TCAs has been pretty much the same. However, studies have shown that SSRIs are safer and patients have a better tolerance level for them. Benzodiazepine is another class of medicine which is used for relieving nervous tension. Ativan, Valium, and Xanax are some of the commonly used benzodiazepines. These medicines are prescribed for immediate use and need to be taken on a daily basis to suppress attacks.
Irrespective of the medicine being used, there is always a risk of side effects, so it is important to consult your doctor before you take any. Also, pregnant women should avoid these medicines because they can harm the fetus. In most cases, medication takes about 6 weeks to have some effect. If there is no improvement after this period, then the dose is increased or the medication is changed. Usually, the treatment period lasts for about a year, and the medication is decreased gradually after this.
Sometimes, certain patients suffer from panic attacks after being removed off the medication. In such cases, the medication is continued for a few more weeks, under the guidance of the physician.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Importance of Accredited First Aid Training

Accidents and injuries are often the unexpected visitors. You cannot predict when and where it is going to happen. However, it is this unpredictability and the consequences that add to the human cautiousness while encountering such situations. The very idea of first aid comes from such cautiousness. Be it a minor injury or a major accident, first aid is the primary procedure one should resort to. This may include simple to trained techniques for sustaining the life of a person till he or she is aided with proper medical care. It is significant to note that first aid is applicable to injured animals also.
The whole procedure of first aid can be said to have a threefold aim. This includes saving the life, reducing the severity of harm and ultimately aiding towards recovery. Though many of such techniques can be studied with the help of books or via internet, it is always advisable to undergo first aid training classes if you want to understand the procedures in a scientific manner. Though the basic techniques of rescue breathing and chest compression may be taught by the trainer, it is necessary to ensure that the training covers other areas like physical assessment, cardiopulmonary resuscitation etc.
The student can opt for one or more areas of application from a list of many. The various categories may include wound care, injury from poison and animal bites, bleeding control, home aids, bandaging, offering emergency drugs etc. The courses may also come under the categories of infant first aid, outdoor aid courses, pet aid courses etc. However for the best result, it is necessary that they should undergo training under a certified trainer or an accredited training school. This can help to a great extent in getting placed as first aid practitioner in good organizations.
Thanks to the availability of online courses, one can undertake first aid training classes through the internet. For this you may have to register with a recognized school or trainer. There are lots of such health training institutions offering all the course details on their online portals. Most of such course fees are reasonable and you can start with the practice without any further delays. You can also ensure credibility of such courses by contacting the trainer in person or by approaching the previous students. This can help to a great extent in avoiding problems with your training and certification at the end.