Got Runner’s itch?

postimage_betty_20080916-165218_full

 

So you’ve made up in your mind that now is the time, I’m going to start walking/jogging. I’m getting fit, enjoying nature and about a mile through the trail you start getting an itching sensation. You think oh something has bit me and you start scratching and you can’t stop. The itching becomes so annoying and after you’ve just about scratched all of the skin off of your body you just stop walking and go home. So much for day 1 on the trail or day 1 back on the trail. I know these two words doesn’t even seem like they belong in the same sentence, but it certainly happens and can be very annoying. Don’t worry, you’re not allergic to the outdoors (or maybe you are), but it’s more than likely runner’s itch. After a hiatus from the walking trail I’ve experienced runner’s itch myself the first time back. 

There are two reasons that I’ve found why this happens. One being when you start walking the blood flow through your blood vessels and capillaries increase in order to get to the muscles. Someone’s capillaries that’s used to living a sedentary lifestyle have collapsed slightly (which is normal) because they do not require a lot of blood flow, so in order to accommodate the increased blood flow during exercising, the capillaries expand. During that process adjacent nerves are sparked sending signals to the brain that say’s scratch me! To prevent this from happening keep those capillaries open by staying active. Don’t quit!

 

Some believe runner’s itch is an histamine response to prevent the body from going into exhaustion during the exercise and suggest you take an antihistamine before workout.

Good news is after about the first day or two it usually doesn’t happen again or is much less of a problem. Run on!!

The Numbers don’t lie, check the score board!

In recognition of June being Men’s Health Month, Crespective is putting the numbers out there. The life expectancy of Males at Birth is 76.2 years as opposed to Women at Birth 81.0 years. Men die at higher rates than women from the top 10 causes of death, 6 including:

 

        Cause & Rate     Men     Women

  1. Heart Disease    22.8       143.0
  2. Cancer               211.6     146.8
  3. Injuries               51.1        24.6
  4. Stroke                39.7       37.8
  5. Suicide              19.2        4.9
  6. HIV/AIDS           4.4          1.7

 

“There is a silent health crisis in America…it’s that fact that, on average, American men live sicker and die younger than American women.”

-Dr. David Gremillion, Men’s Health Network

So the big question is what’s the reason? In a recent survey from African-American males ages 20-58, Crespective found that out of 7 men who considered their health very important only 3 visited their primary care doctor annually. That stat alone could be one reason for such an unbalance in health concerning men and women.

Designed to encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys, Men’s Health Month brings awareness to our male society concerning health issues that can be prevented. Some issues targeted are depression, anxiety, stress, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, prostate health, and sexually transmitted diseases especially in younger males. To support Men’s Health we wear blue. That’s not it!! Many communities provide health fairs and yearly health symposiums to contribute to the well-being of men and boys by way of educating them and screening for certain diseases. Also with the national initiative to get affordable healthcare to everyone, President Obama has incorporated free preventative health services as a benefit in Marketplace plans and other healthcare insurance plans. Go Mr. President!! If free annual wellness visits doesn’t encouragement men to get the proper screenings, the fact that men are living approximately 5 years less than women should be an encouraging factor for men to act now in taking charge of your health. This statistic doesn’t only affect our men, pre-mature death in men is causing a rise in poverty in our older women because traditionally in our older generation, the men “brought home the bacon”. We need you men and want you to live your best years stronger and longer.

For more info
please visit Men’s Health.download

Is Organic for you?

fn6_usdaorganicsealSo apparently there’s this new Organic-rave sweeping the Health and fitness community, but what do we know about Organic Produce exactly? Is it just some costly money gimmick or could it be the game-changer among those fervently trying to balance their biological systems as a whole. I admit I jumped on the bandwagon after trying to fit a pair of skinny jeans I wore last summer. I jerked one leg after another through the pant while lying on the bed to fasten the jeans and I was successful, but ended up with a muffin top. All this occurred while my 6-year-old daughter watched at the door laughing at me frantically. Needless to say I started my journey to find whatever I can, as healthy as I can for a resolve. I searched my local grocery store and found Organic brand foods offered by Full Circle and chose items I eat on a daily basis.  image1image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SO!…

What exactly are Organics?
– Foods such as fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy products that are produced in an ecological environment that supports plants and animals growing together in the most natural way possible. To be labeled as “Organic”, farmers must follow national standards established in The Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) for the production and handling of foods.
– To adhere to these growth standards farmers do not use pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bio-engineering; or ionizing radiation.
– Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones.

What’s so bad about pesticides?
The health effects of pesticides depend on the type of pesticide. Some affect the nervous system, Others may irritate the skin or eyes, and Some pesticides may be carcinogens. Others may affect the hormone or endocrine system in the body.
See the EPA’s human health risk assessments for many pesticides.

So what do these farmers use?
• Use of cover crops, green manures, animal manures and crop rotations to fertilize the soil,
• to manage weeds, insects and diseases.
• Using rotational grazing and mixed forage pastures for livestock operations and alternative health care for animal wellbeing.
• A focus on renewable resources, soil and water conservation, and management practices that restore, maintain and enhance ecological balance. After all this world will need to be sustained for years and years to come.

Are Organic Foods healthier than conventionally grown foods?
According to an article published by Stanford University published in the Sept. 4 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

“There isn’t much difference between organic and conventional foods, if you’re an adult and making a decision based solely on your health,” said Dena Bravata, MD, MS, the senior author of a paper comparing the nutrition of organic and non-organic foods.

On the Down side, Organic foods are more expensive than conventional foods due to more costly farming methods.

So I guess we have some decisions to make, but one thing’s for certain, I’m sure some of you will be looking at your food label a litter harder now.