Tuesday, October 21, 2014

You have my permission to skip a workout day

Who am I kidding? I am too crabbed up to work out in my old age--but if you aren't, it's still OK to skip.

Yet may people don't want to break up their momentum--they feel if they skip they may lapse.

Elizabeth Quinn wrote about this on About.com. Rest days are critical to performance, she says.

Some reasons for this are psychological--but most are physical. Muscles need time to repair and rebuild.

Too few recovery days can lead to overtaining syndrome.

The body needs to adapt to the stress of exercise for the real training effect to take place.

If you don't let the tissues knit (the tiny muscle tears) and fluids to be replaced, you can feel kind of sick, stales, depressed, and not do as well with each form of exercise.

Yes, alternating strength and aerobic can help, but you also need to knock off sometimes.

Short-term recovery is at the end of a session, but long-term recovery must be built in a year's schedule, Quinn says.

Key to the short-term, especially, is getting enough sleep.

What if a day off turns into three days or more...Catch yourself and start anew.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Don't overdo the acetaminophen for kids

Acetaminophen--Tylenol in branded form--is a parents go-to medication. Yet, every eight minutes a child experiences a medication mistake in this country.

And it's the parents' fault.

A new study in Pediatrics shows parents are quick to dose kids with over-the-counter meds.

Liquid OTC preparations are as common as food now.

But they are medicine--and they can be dangerous.

Tylenol posts a safety chart and the FDA says, as of 2008, kids under age 2 should not be given OTC cough and cold medications.

Some advice a la Mayo Clinic: Be sure your child needs the medicine--a low fever can burn out an infection--why push it down right away?

Often the child is fussy or even hysterically uncomfortable--things can get chaotic. One common event is to dose the child twice.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Going someplace? You may need shots

The big woo at the moment is Ebola--but not that many people will be yearning to go to West Africa, and world travel will continue.

The advice is--book your shots when you book your flight.

You may need to check with your doctor or travel clinic 4-6 weeks before departure to complete your vaccinations. This according to Caroline Sullivan, DNP, assistant prof at Colunbia Univ School of

First, find out what vaccinations are recommended for your destination. South America--You may want Yellow Fever or Typhoid Fever protection. Travel to part of Africa--rabies or meningitis. The State Dept can provide more info.

Also, be sure you have current routine vaccinations. If you didn't get Tdap--whooping cough, tetanus and diphtheria (was DTP), you may want it. If you are over 60, consider the pneumonia shot or shingles shot. Shingles on vacation could be a buzzkill.

You may also want to take along meds for malaria, altitude sickness, and motion sickness--depending on where you are going.

Insect protection is also good.

When you get there, drink only sealed drinks and fruit you peel.

Of course, there is always Disney World for the faint of heart.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Why I got a flu shot this year

My pharmacist was a great shot giver--no pain!
Medicines tend to make me queasy or sick--I think of myself as hypersensitive. Plus, I don't drive. So some years, I have not ended up getting a flu shot, even though I never got sick from one..

Yet--infectious diseases are on the national menu this year. Ebola, D68--yes, the former is only a couple of cases, but if there are more, they will go to ERs and doctors. I want to stay out of those waiting rooms--which for the most part, will be full of flu patients.

One year, I was sick with a paralyzed intestine and everyone else had flu. Flu, flu, flu. The shot in 2012-13 prevented 79,000 hospitalizations--but 381,000 American were hospitalized anyhow. Nasty stuff.

Still, perversely, I hear people say people coming across the border are bringing disease and then in the same breath, they say THEY would never get a flu shot, that the shots CAUSE flu, why their Aunt Jane...etc...all while mad at border crossers for not being vaccinated.

Anyone who does not get the shot is depending on those who do to make enough people less likely to get the flu that they will be protected in the process. It's called "herd immunity"--vaccinating enough people to head of huge outbreaks.

If you are over six months old, you can get it. Most insurance will pay. Older people are advised to get a stronger shot--ask your provider.

Oh--and that provider may be your phamacist--no doctor appt needed.

You are in no danger of getting Ebola, but could get the flu and then pass it on. Think about not doing that. It's not a sure thing. But what is? .

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Painless needle may be coming

One in 10 people may have needlephobia--which can decrease blood donations and vaccinations, not to mention medical testing.

Now, some docs at the Univ of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada, have developed a needle that applies pressure and vibration before the "stick," confusing the nerves and making the stick painless.

They tested all kinds of combinations of pressure, vibration, and cooling and warming on 21 adults, using a needle that gave a sticking sensation but did not break the skin.

They are now going to test in children, who experience pain differently and are notorious for needle hating.

When will this Godsend be available--not immediately. There are some other similar devices out there.

Well, bring it on. I notice they ask at the lab--Are you weird about needles?