The Importance of Warming Up and Doing It Correctly

Whether you go to ActiveSG, The Pit, or any gym for this matter, there will always be that one guy who heads to the weight rack directly and skips out on his warm-up. People like to do this, for some reason, but the importance of warming up cannot be stressed enough. From reducing muscles soreness, injury prevention, muscle and mind preparation, and etc., you simply should not skip your warm-ups.

Better blood circulation and oxygenation
Having a proper warm-up translates to better blood circulation all around the body. This also promotes better blood flow in and out of muscle tissues, particularly for the ones that will be active during a workout. Warming up also improves the delivery of oxygen through the blood, especially if you’re doing light cardio exercises. This facilitates better blood flow and the cleaning out of toxins left in the muscles.

You won’t gain muscles if you’re injured
This probably summarizes it all. The biggest reason why warming up is always recommended is because of injury prevention. When you’re all warmed up, it reduces the risk of you pulling a muscle. Imagine a situation where you skipped your warm up. On that day is your arm day, but because you didn’t warm up you suddenly tear your bicep mid-workout. As a result, you won’t be able to return to the gym for a while. You’ve now wasted time recovering instead of making gains.

Warming up properly
• Avoid static stretching
A common mistake people make is that they assume that stretching in place can be considered a warm-up. This is actually bad because stretching a “cold” muscle will cause its microfibers to tear, hindering your performance and weakening the muscle in the long run. Static stretching is better as a post-workout routine to reduce muscle soreness.

• Start slow
Essentially, it’s called a warm-up because you’re “warming up” the muscles before putting pressure on them. So if your lifting weights, of course you’re not going to lift heavy during your warm-up set. Start slowly from a lighter weight and gradually increase it during your warm up. By the time you get to your workout sets, your muscles will be ready.

• Work on mobility
The warm-up is also a time to practice your form and work on your mobility. As far as muscles are concerned, you can only get a good flex and stretch if your joints are able to hit the maximum range of motion. You won’t be able to achieve that if your joints are still stiff. Not only will this help you with flexible joints and limbs, but it also reduces the risk of injury, which really is the objective here.

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Food Allergy Vs. Food Intolerance

Food allergy and food intolerance is more common than you think. However, not as many know the difference of the two, or at least know which of the two conditions they are suffering from. On one hand, you may be allergic to, say, dairy; but it could also be that you’re lactose-intolerant. If you want to find out what that bloated feeling really means, start by knowing what sets food allergy and intolerances apart.

Food Allergy
This condition is an immune system reaction; when the body mistakes the food—usually a protein—as harmful and tries to fight it. Usually, symptoms of food allergy show up within minutes up to a couple of house and can range from mild reaction to life-threatening cases. Such symptoms include difficulty in breathing, hives, nausea, and in worst cases, anaphylaxis or a total-body shock.

Food Intolerance
Conversely, food intolerance is more of a digestive condition, which can be caused by one of these two things: the body’s lack of enzymes to digest the food and your sensitivity to a particular food additive such as gluten and lactose. Unlike food allergy, the reaction of food intolerance isn’t as severe and appears within 48 years. Surely, the symptoms are not pleasant, but it’s easier to remedy than allergic reaction.

Tips to Minimize Onset of Symptoms
If food allergies and intolerances have something in common, it is that they are both preventable and manageable. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

1. Read the Label
Nowadays, pre-packed foods contain a lot of ingredients. Take the time to go through the labels and read the ingredients. For someone with food allergies and intolerances, make it a habit to be aware of what you are putting into your body to save yourself from unpleasant reactions.

2. Keep track of the food you eat
This is very helpful for those with food intolerances. Keeping a food diary will help determine which food(s) could be causing the problem.

3. Look for substitutes
Whether you have allergy or intolerance, you really need to avoid those food that causes the reaction. Gluten, for example—should be part of your diet as it is a great source of fiber. However, if your body reacts to gluten, you have to avoid. Instead, eat more quinoa to make up for the nutrient you need.

4. Always have on-hand medicine
Always have antihistamines ready at home, and make sure to bring some wherever you go. Because, really, you may not always know what ingredient in your food may trigger your allergic or intolerance reactions.
The bottom line is, talk to your healthcare professional ASAP if you think you have either of the two. They will not only treat your reactions, but will also tell you exactly what to do to help manage your condition.

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What Happens When You Drink Too Much Coffee

As a natural stimulant, caffeine not only increases the body’s processes, but also makes you feel more alert and awake as a result. This has led to coffee being one of the most widely-consumed beverages in the world, and is arguably one of the most popular among adults and students.

But with that being said, caffeine also has its own drawback: consume too much and you’ll start experiencing side effects, which can even be life-threatening in certain cases.

How Much Is Too Much
The maximum allowable dosage of caffeine for adults is 400 milligrams, which is roughly equivalent to three or five eight-ounce cups of coffee. But what happens when you’ve had a little too much to drink?

These are the more common symptoms of caffeine overdose, such as the following:
• Fast, irregular heart rate
• Restlessness
• Confusion
• Nausea or vomiting
• Tremors or shaking, or “jitters”

However, more serious symptoms of caffeine overdose include:
• Cardiac arrest
• Heart palpitations
• Insomnia
• Dizziness
• Panic attack

The good news is that life-threatening symptoms of caffeine overdose are rare, and that most people only experience these mild symptoms before the chemical leaves the body entirely.

This is because the side effects we experience are our body’s way of telling us that we should stop consuming caffeine. In fact, if you start feeling jittery, this is your cue for taking a break from coffee or any caffeinated drinks, such as energy drinks.

However, if you start to experience any of the more serious symptoms, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

Dealing with Caffeine Overdose
The first thing you need to do right away is to stop drinking coffee or ingesting any sources of caffeine as much as possible.

Mild side effects can be dealt with by drinking more water to rehydrate (caffeine takes water from the body to dilute it, which makes you feel dehydrated as a result) and burning out that restlessness by going on a short walk.

After doing these, you will notice that the side effects will subside after three to five hours, which is the half-life of caffeine in the body. But if you notice more severe symptoms or have accidentally consumed a large amount of coffee, you may need medical treatment.

Other Sources of Caffeine
Aside from black coffee and energy drinks, you can also find soft drinks, tea, and dark chocolates to be other sources of caffeine, so be careful of how much you consume these foods and beverages throughout your day.
Caffeine tablets and headache medications can also be more direct sources of caffeine, so if you’re currently taking them, be sure to reduce your coffee intake.

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4 Foods to Eat When You’re Down with the Sniffles (And 3 to Avoid)

No one wants to go down with the common cold, but if you’ve had a run-in with last night’s hard rain and went home with more than just your shoes soaked, you’re in for a treat.

There are a few things you should do after getting home from the rain: take off your damp clothes as soon as possible (especially the wet socks), take a quick warm shower, and drink something hot.

There are a few steps that you could take to keep yourself from getting sick the next day, but what do you do if you still end up catching a cold? Here are a few foods that you should watch out for:

Foods You Should Eat
1. Chicken Soup – This has been a remedy for sickness for a long time, and there’s a good reason why. The slow-cooked broth, especially when mixed with cubed vegetables, is rich in nutrients and every warm sip is sure to be good for the cold soul.

2. Tea – Nothing beats a steaming cup after getting wet in the rain. Hot tea is rich in anti-oxidants and has both anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, making it a better alternative to coffee. Tea made from fresh thyme is also great for curing whooping-cough.

3. Citrus fruits – These are rich in Vitamin C, which is great for boosting your immune system. One glass of freshly-squeezed orange or lemon juice, for instance, is great for recovering from a fever.

4. Honey – One teaspoon of honey before each meal is effective for fighting coughs because of its antibacterial properties. Add horseradish or ginger if the coughing leaves you feeling tight-chested.

Foods You Should Avoid
1. Milk – Daily products such as full milk and cheese aid in producing mucus and make your bouts with the sniffles last longer. Instead, drink plenty of vegetable juices to help you decongest.

2. Orange juice (store-bought) – Orange juice is rich in Vitamin C, but store-bought orange juice is much higher in sugar than the amount in an actual orange. Having too much sugar in your body can slow down your body’s ability to fight infections and may make you sick for longer.

3. Chips – Salty and oily foods could end up making your throat feel drier, which could worsen the mucus production as well as leave your stomach unsettled.

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5 Hangover Cures That Don’t Really Work

Hangovers often involve several unbearable symptoms, such as throbbing headaches, dizziness, indigestion, irritability, nausea and even brain fog. It’s no wonder why people go to great lengths just to avoid experiencing them. Sadly, your best efforts might not be enough to keep it from happening. To help save yourself from all the trial-and-error, we listed down some of the hangover cures that will never work the way you want them to.

1. Drinking Water
Chugging all the water won’t exactly save you, since dehydration isn’t the main cause of hangovers. The real culprit is actually more complicated – it involves numerous chemicals which throw your whole system off. So while drinking water in between your cocktails may deter you from chugging down more beer, it can’t and won’t protect you from the aftereffects of your last tequila shot.

2. Throwing Up
Although vomiting does remove the booze from your system, it’s actually already a sign that you’re suffering from the toxic effects of alcohol. Making yourself throw up won’t really work wonders. Instead, it’ll leave you dehydrated and feeling much worse the morning after your booze party.

3. Consuming a Greasy Meal
While nothing tastes quite as good as a cheesy breakfast sandwich with a side of home fries, indulging on a heavy and greasy breakfast can actually trigger indigestion that could make you feel even worse. Instead, opt for some fruits to help you feel better and to replenish your blood sugar levels that dip when you’re drinking alcohol. If you’re craving for some carbs, then a honey on toast can be helpful as it’s easier to digest.

4. Taking Hangover Pills
Hangover pills would definitely be everyone’s saving grace – if they only worked. Sadly, a study found that most of these pills don’t actually deliver any benefits. So stop wasting your money on these pills unless the product contains tolfenamic acid, an NSAID drug used to treat migraines, alleviate pain, and repair tissue damage.

5. Sipping on Coffee
Drinking coffee actually worsens a throbbing headache caused by an all-nighter booze party, since caffeine reduces the swollen blood vessels while the alcohol on your system raises your blood pressure. That said, sipping on a bit of coffee could provide some form of reprieve – so try halving your usual coffee serving instead of springing for a venti cup.

There is no real hangover cure for the next-day pain, and while it may seem cruel, experiencing a little hangover every now and then can actually be beneficial to keep us from putting our bodies through too much, too often.

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Things You Should Know About Hernia

Hernia is common here in Singapore but there are others who are not familiar with it. It is important that you know Hernia so you can prevent it. If you notice any swelling or lump in your abdominal wall or groin, there is a chance that you have hernia.

stages-of-hernia

Here are some facts behind hernia:

  • Signs and symptoms: Hernias commonly develop in one’s abdomen. Signs and symptoms vary depending on the type. For example, if you have inguinal hernias, a bulge in the groin is noticeable. There’s pain. The patient may also suffer nausea, fever or vomiting.
  • Causes: Hernia has many causes. If you lift weights often, you have higher risks of hernia. There are also other causes like incorrect posture, blows to the abdomen, poor nutrition, smoking and many more.
  • Types of hernia: There are different types of hernia to include inguinal, femoral, umbilical, incisional, diaphragmatic and many more.

HerniasType

  • Diagnosis: Doctors can confirm hernia through physical examination. For hernias that are painless and small, doctors will usually use the wait-and-see approach. For painful hernias, it needs surgery.
  • Treatment: If doctors identified that it is hernia, immediate treatment should be considered. Here in Singapore, there are over 1,000 cases of hernia every year. This is according to the Singapore General Hospital. Immediate surgery should be performed to fix the damaged intestine.
  • Complications: As mentioned earlier, hernia should be treated immediately or it may cause obstruction and other complications. Complications include obstruction of bowel and or strangling of the tissue. Other complications include inflammation, haemorrhage, irreducibility and hydrocele.

Hernia is a non-life-threatening condition but that doesn’t mean you need to ignore it.

ventral-hernia

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