Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Extreme Weight Loss for Athletes is a Big NO NO

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, doctors need to put more emphasis on healthy ways of losing weight for athletes and encourage coaches to relay these messages. The study can be found on CNN.com or just click here.

The Academy has researched and found that young athletes are engaging in dangerous activities that cause them to lose an average of two to three pounds each week. This pattern is especially true in sports like wrestling, weight training, figure skating and gymnastics. The policy also says:
Weight loss accompanied by overexercising, using rubber suits, steam baths, or saunas should be prohibited for all young athletes. So should diet pills, nutritional supplements and diuretics, and no weight-loss plan for athletic purposes should ever be used before the ninth grade, the policy says.

This study was prompted after the death of three wrestlers in 1998 for trying to lose weight rapidly to make a certain weight class. It is thought that coaches encourage many students to lose weight in these unhealthy manners. The policy urges doctors to put pressure on these coaches to do what is best and healthy for their athletes.

The policy puts several aspects of training into affects for all student athletes. According to the new policy, which will go into effect in the 2006-07 school year, there are mandates in body fat minimums for both males (7 percent) and females (12 percent). There is a similar body fat percentage recommendation for male athletes, but the number is not set for females. Basically, the Academy wants females to consume enough calories to keep their mentrual cycle and flow normal.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Calculators are not just for Math!

I found this great health calculator on iVillage.com. You simply check off the health concerns you wish to calculate, like healthy weight or hip/waist ratio, and fill in your information. The calculator will tell you what you need to know about yourself. Check it out.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Sleep Habits Start Young

I have written several posts about college students' and teenagers' sleep habits. I found a study that this poor sleeping pattern may begin as young as preschool age. The study is discussed here. It seems that children as young as five years old begin to mimic their parents' sleeping patterns, which may result in much less sleep than a normal child should have each night.

Doctors suggest that children get 12 to 15 hours of sleep per day, including naps. The average amount of sleep a child was getting in this study was 8.7 hours of sleep, and 9.5 hours when naps were included.

When children begin following their parents' sleeping habits, they fall into their own routine. This routine can carry into their teenage and college years, which proves to be unhealthy as each year goes by and nothing is done about a lack of sleep.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Coffee Good for Short Term Memory

So is coffee good or bad for us? Can researchers just make up their minds already? According to an Austrian study reported at the Radiological Society of North America, caffeine may be beneficial to your short term memory. Check out the article from CNN.com here. I also want to point out that the study was only conducted on men, so maybe this effect is only true for males. More importantly, the article points out that all of the healthy men (how do you rate their health exactly?) are right-handed. I am sure this is a very important fact in the study. Interesting...

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Anxiety Help

With the end of the fall semester in sight, final papers and exams are ahead, and with them comes anxiety. Sue Gilbert, a nutritionist that writes frequently for iVillage.com, has posted some good diet tips to help with your anxiety troubles. Here are her suggestions. Some good ideas for college students include cutting back on caffeine (which many college students become addicted to in order to cram for finals) and try to eliminate alcohol. The list is quite interesting and informative.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Healthy Eating more Important than Weight Loss

I found this great article on CNN.com about female athletes now turning to their nutritionists for healthier training rather than sheding the pounds. It is scary to think that some athletes are passing out while running simply because they have not been focusing their training on the right area. Check it out.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The End is Near...

I can actually open my organizer now and I have only two weeks left of real work for my classes. This is how I know that the end is in sight. The semester has been a crazy one- full of classwork and NUTV work and Borders work, but in the end I still somehow stayed afloat and alive. I think back on my blog and the very beginnings of my blogging adventure. I remember picking my health topic and having no idea where to start with it. I would search through CNN.com and MSN.com and find a few interesting articles and then write about those studies. The topics became drab and I felt as though I was jumping all over the place. I began reading other class members' blogs and saw how they were bringing their own life experiences into their blogs. I thought that maybe I should try my hand at this and talk about a college health issue I was facing myself: my migraines. I think that once I began writing about something I actually knew intimately, my voice shone through in my blog. In writing about my struggle with migraines, I was also researching more blogs and studies done with migraines. I felt that although my health topic was originally based on health issues facing college students, maybe my migraine world was a little more interesting for myself and others to read. If I could go back, I think I would focus more on migraines and my own plight with the topic.

I also think I would have liked more comments other than my classmates'. It would have been nice to know that someone else was at least taking the time to check out some of my postings. Perhaps if I opened it up to my family, at least they would read them. I was afraid my mom would freak out that my headaches were occurring more frequently though. That was the real reason behind not sharing my blog with them.

As for my continuation with the blog, I will probably not post as frequently as I have been. I have so much on my plate, it is hard to find time to settle down at a computer and do some writing. I hate to admit that because I realized through this blog experience how therapeutic the entire experience has been. When I got a chance to sit down and write about my own life experiences with my health, it gave me a chance to break away from marketing work and reading for my other classes. I was not only posting for myself, but for others. This blog experience also helped me to learn so much more about health issues in the news and updated migraine treatments. I probably would never have visited so many health sites if it was not for this blog assignment. So I suppose what I am saying through this all is that, hey, I think I'm a blogger girl from here on out.

Headache Quiz

I found this great headache questionaire on The Daily Headache blog. Here is the National Headache Foundation's questionaire. The list of questions will help you better understand your health and provide more information before you trek to a doctor about your headaches. Some good stuff.