When there are changes in the nervous system (spinal cord, brain, neurons, nerves, etc.) and circulatory system (heart, veins & arteries deliver blood to body’s tissues), this can cause a drop in the amount of blood getting to the brain. This decrease leads to Ka-Thunk – loss of consciousness. We discussed this right here and here.
* Anemia is having a lower than normal red blood cell count. Why does this matter? Because a low count means decreased oxygen to the brain. And lots of university students are iron-deficient, which is strongly correlated to anemia. Lots of females with heavy periods are prone to anemia too.
* Eating disorders wreak havoc on the body, so it’s no surprise that fainting is a result.
* Pregnancy is fairly uncommon, but not unknown to this age group. Besides changes to the circulatory system and dehydration, those dang fetuses can sit right on top of the blood vessels and SQUEEZE, there goes the brain’s blood supply.
* Stress affects the nervous system, and not in a good way. Blood pressure goes LOW, LOW, LOW when you get under stress. This is rare for university students, as they never, ever worry about finals, papers, social issues, money, grades; that kind of stuff!
* Drugs do not mix well with exercise, including some prescription meds. Actually, if you’re misusing or abusing drugs, fainting is probably the least of your health worries!
* Medical issues, such as cardiac (heart) problems, seizures, or certain types of migraines are a big deal. If you’re fainting a lot or for longer than a minute, get checked out!
* Hyperventilation (fast breathing) causes carbon dioxide (CO2) to decrease in the blood. Combine exercise with an anxiety/panic attack, and you see the problem!
* Overexercising pisses off your histamine receptors, and they get so upset that they overact.
* One of the most common reasons students faint is dehydration. Drink more fluids, especially water, and eat properly before your workout. Sadly, this is so easy to prevent, yet accounts for most of the fainting. Does this sound like you? If so, get a water bottle. Use it!
* Another frequent reason for passing out in class is becoming overheated. This goes along with getting dehydrated, so after you get your water bottle, stand by the fan, A/C unit or the open door.
And now we come to the reason that I suspect there’s an epidemic of fainting this particular quarter – too many people in the room. More students are showing up to class, which means they are all getting hotter, sooner. Considering the fact that students are not fainting in the early morning classes, but are dropping with alarming consistency in the mid-day slots, my guess is a reasonable one. Now I just have to figure out if it’s better to have fewer students (it’s hard to say no to all those eager undergrads) or require them to bring personal spritzers! Or ask them to be absent more often!
Bonus word: Syncope – This is the medical term for “fainting after exercise.” Pre-syncope is when you have signs that you’re about to faint, but manage to recover before fainting occurs. Not to be confused with “syncopate,” which is to place musical accents on the normally unaccented beats, or to shorten a word such as “Sequim” to “Squim.” (Anyone from the Pacific Northwest knows this one!)
Photo credits: Creative Commons
Guest post by Erik Therwanger, of ThinkGreat90.com
As a former U.S. Marine, I have always led an active lifestyle and remained in great physical shape for most of my life. In 1999, after ten months of marriage, my then 27 year old wife was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. We were told that it was very aggressive and she needed to start chemotherapy immediately. The effects of her treatments were devastating. To have more time as her caregiver, I left my job and started a career in sales. One of the side effects of her treatments was a violent reaction to the smell of food. To make sure that she did not encounter such odors, I started to eat out more often, usually at fast food restaurants in between my sales appointments.
In addition to eating poorly, I had stopped exercising due to how hectic my schedule was. After months of taking care of my wife, I realized I had stopped taking care of myself – I had gained over forty pounds. I began a ninety day diet and exercise program. I began eating three smaller meals consisting of a protein, a fruit, and a vegetable. I drank mostly water. In between each meal, I ate about a ½ cup of granola cereal (with a glass) of water.
I started a small amount of exercise, which only included about seven minutes of cardiovascular training, three days per week. My initial goal was to lose 16 pounds. At the end of my 90 days I had lost 42 pounds. I looked great and felt even better. The goal-setting process was a huge part of my success. I identified my initial goal of losing 16 pounds and attached many powerful reasons to it: I don’t want to die early, I want to be around to watch my daughter grow, and I want to feel good about myself.
During the first week, the least fun part of my program was cutting out the junk food that I had gotten used to. But after the first week, I was starting to see results. I had lost nearly seven pounds and I knew that I would not only hit my first goal, but I would exceed it.
The top four habits that I adopted to accomplish this goal were to:
But the most rewarding part of accomplishing my goal actually had nothing to do with me. I inspired other people to lose weight also. In fact, I have been asked so many times about my weight-loss program that I started to write a book, The Goal Formula which provides a detailed account of my story and my program.
For me, losing weight enabled me to regain control of my life in so many ways. It also allowed me to impact the lives of other people!
Readers: If you want to contact Erik and learn more of his story (which gets even more interesting and inspiring) go to http://www.thinkgreat90.com
In deference to your career (or hobby) musings. we thought we’d share some of the reasons you should consider becoming an instructor (definition: person who puts on music and a microphone and leads a group of people in movement).
1. You get paid to work out – Yup, every time you teach, you get money. Sa-weeet deal. This would probably not be a good time to mention that some places do not actually pay as they firmly believe you should teach for the love of it. Don’t fall for that trap – if you want to do something unpaid “just for the love of it,” become a parent. We do encourage a certain level of volunteering, but not in this way.
2. You get to meet lots and lots and lots of new people – And 99% of them are really kind and fun. Great news for extroverts, kinda scary for introverts. But even introverts can find a way to let their inner diva out. We’ve seen some kick-ass introverted indoor cycle instructors. If you do a good job, these people you meet will bring their friends to your class and you will become massively popular.
3. You can share your love of music and movement – All those dance and gymnastics lessons can be put to use, as you choreograph the freshest, finest dance-delicious classes ever known to the world of exercise. But don’t sing along on the microphone unless you have a tolerable voice. High kicks cannot save you if you make dogs cry.
4. You get personal satisfaction out of helping people improve their lives – This one is a big deal and supersedes all the other reasons. If you feel good when your students feel good, that’s good! Just ask James Brown ; he was a famous fitness instructor!
5. You will become a very consistent exerciser – You know, assuming you show up for your own classes on a regular basis. Subbing out a lot is lame. Getting paid is cool, but having a healthy, fit body is even cooler. And you’ll look hot. Cool and hot together.
6. You become a role model – Bonus points if you have children.
7. You get lots of positive attention – Yup, it’s all about YOU as long as you make it all about THEM! In other words, learn their names, know their goals, help them modify for their needs, be compassionate, be sincere, earn their respect and trust, give good advice that’s within your scope of practice, and interact. You can also stare in the mirror a lot if you like that kind of positive attention, as long as that mirror is at home in your bathroom.
8. Your social life will improve – Whether you’re single or partnered up, just take our word on this one. Can you say “flexible?”
9. You know the teacher is good – If you like people, enjoy leading, performing and educating, have essential knowledge of how the body works, hear the musical beat (for most formats), and have the ability to design an effective class, you are probably in good hands with yourself in charge!
10. It’s fun
What do you think? Are you ready to become an instructor? One place to start is with here: The American Council on Exercise, aka ACE.
Alexandra Williams, MA and Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA
We thought it would a fun weekend romp in the field if we took some pictures to show you, our curious readers, how those big, red strawbs get to your local market (yes, we know that you know that the stork brings them, but still…fun romp and all). Oddly, Kymberly had already made a secret love pact with her camera, so I volunteered to be in the photos, rather than take them. By “in the photos” I mean “in the dirt.” Yeah, I know. Call me Dirty Girl.
First of all, they plant these sharp illegitimate cousins to bamboo as some sort of buffer from wind and pests.
In an “almost Tess of the D’Urbervilles” moment, Steve, the ranch manager, offered me a strawberry, but I had other ideas in mind!
Really, it’s not just enough to show you how delicious they are; I want you to know that Fun & Fit take the origins of our food very seriously. We are what we eat, so I thought it might be smart to become one with my fruit!
I was having such a “bonding” moment with my strawberries, that I decided to protect them until they were ready to pick (guess who learned to “snap them off with a quick motion” rather than pull them into submission?).
Thanks to my motherly attentions, my strawbs grew up to be productive members of one of these boxes. Oh, Lolita, where are you? (I named them all Lolita or Tess – read your classical literature, people!)
As a reminder of how healthy berries are for you, just think how fit and petite you’ll be if you stick to food that’s grown, not repurposed into foodstuffs.
Now that I have supervised my strawberries into a state of perfection, they are ready to be shipped to YOUR store. Just give me a moment of privacy to say good-bye to Lolita and Tess and Lolita and Tess and Lolita and… you get the idea. I love strawberries and I hope these all find a good home with lots of big mouths!
And there they go, off to a rendezvous with some dark chocolate.
Thank you to Steve Yamamoto of Cal Giant. We may have scared him when we put him into the Fun & Fit sandwich!
Moral of the story: Know where your food comes from. Eat more berries. Listen to your mom!
(Pssst. Cal Giant. No pressure or anything, but if you don’t invite us back for the raspberries, we might have to publish the blackmail photos. Just sayin’.)
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Kymberly: Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall. Is That Spin Sweat Sanitary at All? No and Yes. Have a nice day!
Alexandra: Oh, you want to know more? Fine, be that way. We humans burn 4-5 calories to perform 1 calorie of work. Where do those extra calories go that aren’t being used for work? Heat. Yup, we dissipate heat from our bodies. This is kind of like the thigh bone is connected to the shin bone song: in order for our bodies to stay at a constant (internal) temperature, the excess “energy” is directed to the skin, which converts it to sweat as a cooling (evaporative) mechanism. Hey, don’t wander off – I’m talking to you!
That sweat goes off your body and flies in a counter-clockwise direction around the cycle room until it finds a window or mirror or wall to fall in love with and steam up! Okay, I made up the direction – I don’t actually know how the sweat travels to the window – that’s physics or advanced calculus or something. Maybe it takes the train from platform 9 ¾.
K: We interrupt this storm for an additional update: Warm moisture in a room looks for a cool, smooth surface to land on.
A: Bottom line: You are breathing their sweat. Here’s hoping that’s okay with you.
Double bottom line: That studio needs more fans. There are no additional fitness benefits to be had by fogging the guacamole out of the room! Unless you think passing out from being overheated or dehydrated is a good plan! One of Kymberly’s favorite words is “thermoregulation” so she is going to love this study that essentially says, “Turn on a fan, fools! Fogging up the windows and mirrors is not conducive to a proper corporeal temperature nor cardio functioning.” Um, translated into English, “Turn on a fan, fools! You’re just being stupid.”
K: If you are a “Do Right, All Night Kind of Man,” then “dew” get a kick out of this explanation of dew point and condensation. I liked the part about “water molecules being more crowded in humid air.” Sounds just like some of the indoor cycle classes out there! Take a shallow breath, then exhale and inhale fully…outdoors. And enjoy the sun as extolled in this 1912 Popular Science chapter on “Stuffy Rooms.” As the chapter purports, you will then be “raised to the contemplation of the workings of the soul.”
Dear Readers: Want more bona fide cycling info from someone with both the qualifications and a sense of humor? Ride on over to Dr. Ron Fritzke’s website, http://cycling-review.com/. Also, listen in to our upcoming radio episode on womensradio.com with Dr. Ron, wherein he answers such key questions such as “should we wear undies under our bike shorts?” and “what do sheep do now that their wool is no longer used for bike shorts padding?”
Photo credits: Creative Commons
Alexandra: It’s an exercise bike with a pad where you can buckle your laptop in and go for a stationary ride! Well, K & A love to multitask, especially if we can combine our love of exercise with our
addiction to weird stuff we find on the net dedication to our craft.
We were told by the developer that we could exercise and d
o our emails, tweets, gaming and work, while keeping our elbows and hands comfy. Guess what? It’s true. Because we are so twitchy, have such bad eyes, we thought the computer would be hard to read if we pedaled at anything faster than a mosey. But it really does have a smooth ride. And the FitDesk is especially fun and comfy if you get someone else to assemble it! Preferably someone with mad skills.
It’s Portable – Yes, it truly is. You can take it to the mountains,
to the driveway,
to the backyard,
to the living room,
even to the beach.
Er, okay, maybe we forgot to take it to the beach. But you see how I almost look like I”m riding it? That’s gotta count for something.
And the best news? You never have to worry about getting so into your online farm game that you forget where you’re going and pedal into one of these!
Kymberly: The reality is that we as a nation are spending more time sitting. Bet you knew that. We want to be active; we want to feel mobile and happy in our bodies. But working, driving, eating, watching tv, sitting at computers, and other mawduhn activities are only increasing our need to move while working. Fortunately, we (meaning people in general) are pretty ingenious and tend to find solutions so we can do it all! FitDesk is one such solution. In fact, I predict that FitDesk and other such multi-task, office-appropriate solutions are the wave of the future. You can pedal at a moderate pace that keeps you sweat-free in your office attire. Relieve the pressure from thinking you have to get an intense workout from the FitDesk; think of your time on the FitDesk as “not sitting” time vs “exercise time” and you will be ahead of all your plunked down coworkers!
A couple of initial questions come up for sure:
1) What does the thingie ma jingie cost? Around $200, but go to the website to check details and accuracy.
2) Even with its adjustable settings, the FitDesk is lightweight and smallish. Can it handle a 6’5” guy who weighs over 250? Glad you asked as that describes my husband, whom we talked into test riding this baby. Yes, he fit and could pedal away while using the laptop; No, he was not all that comfy so the machine may max out for tall, big (though good looking!) guys.
3) Is it worth buying? What price is your health worth to you? FitDesk seems to be filling the niche of low-priced, low key, low tech workstation workout machines. Sure, you can spend more and get something bigger and heftier. But we like that the FitDesk provides a great option for most budgets. Bottom line is that your bottom line will thank you! We give it our “purchase and pedal” thumbs up!
Readers: What do you think? Are you ready to take it for a whirl? And how much time do you spend sitting down?
Photo credits: Kymberly herself! Dang me if she doesn’t refuse to get in the pictures!
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
You may be advertising, but is anyone buying it? Another way to look at it (or “please don’t make us look,” as the case may be) is not wearing enough support.
Men: In general, the jewels we want to see fall out of you are the ones that are in the form of a ring or earrings. The ones you use to create future bodybuilders, not so much.
Women: Make sure “Thelma and Louise” have a proper home and not one that is home on the free range. In other words, put your “girls” into a “headlights up” position, not an “oops, they jumped the shark” kind of deal.
Men and Women: If anything drops out the bottom of your shorts, it should be a key, not your bottom. You can safely and stylishly drop ell-bees and calories. Other than that, people need a chance to use their imaginations. Gravity is your friend for bicep curls, not for tush unfurls!
In short(s), no hanging out, while working out! Flatter yourself that whatever you are endowed with needs support.
“Wrong place, wrong time” shoes (using that term loosely) we have seen on active feet include:
We’re big fans of nice smells and delightful sniffies, (see our Mother’s Day post on scenterrific spa products) but we have heard our share of members complaining about
For the record, while many of the outfits we once wore might currently qualify as Fitness Fashion Faux Pas, in their time and our prime they were Fitness Fashion Notables, not No-nos! So there! But if you wear a French cut leotard with an elastic belt prancing about today in the gym or Dolfin running shorts paired with dark dress socks, you are fair game for Worst Dressed What Not to Wear When Working Out awards!
Take advantage of our free Fun and Fit guide to “What to Wear When Working Out.” This guide is so short you can read it here: Wear what you can move in safely, effectively and without embarrassing yourself.
Fitness Fashionistas: What is the worst workout outfit you have seen or worn?
Photo credit: Photobucket, Creative Commons
Kymberly Williams-Evans, MA and Alexandra Williams, MA
Alexandra: The best approach is to sleep in and get someone else to do all that early morning exercise for you. Sadly, that only addresses #D – energy level. Let’s go in order because that’s the way we swing at the start of the week – the whole salad, dessert, main course thing is only reminding me that I’m writing when I could be eating breakfast. Luckily, we addressed the question of weights or cardio first right here.
Kymberly: Dear Joe Ray of Sunshine: Let’s assume you are willing to work out 5 days a week. Discount rate advice:
Supreme total package, full price advice (aka = free)
Three of the 5 days do medium intensity cardio training first, followed by resistance training; the other two, switch the order. In all cases, end with gentle stretches, especially across your chest (pick a pack of pickled Pumpkin pecs). Here’s the twist (and not to your rotator cuff, Jabba Joe!): On the two days you do cardio after weights, limit your cardio time to 21 minutes. Aaaaand, make those the most intense 21 minutes you can muster up. Interval train by doing 5 minutes of medium high intensity followed by 2 minutes of super high, all out, “I want to outlast those boys of mine when we hit the WWF mat at home” supreme intensity. Repeat the cycle three times (5 mins-2 mins-5-2-5-2-whew! Notice that adds up to 21 minutes?) The high intensity, interval approach will be most time efficient plus more likely to jump start your energy gain and weight loss.
On the 3 days that you start with cardio, roughly divide your time in half leaving some time for post workout stretches. When it comes to the weight training, aim for one set of each exercise, with about 8-15 reps total per exercise. (Kind of a big range, I know, but I’m advising in semi-general terms here since we are close, personal, best strangers. Avoid fatiguing in fewer than 8 reps as that intensity makes the risk too high for your body). Yes, you heard me– ONE set per exercise! Ignore those multi-set grunters around you as they must have time to kill and different goals. Most training gains come in the first set, so take advantage of every rep with no fluff time in between, get in more exercise variety, and select resistance that allows you to achieve muscular fatigue in that one set. No dilly dally for you Joe Ray Dear, a He-Male Dear, Ray a Drop of Golden Sons. Quick- from what musical?
A: With your concerns about your rotators and the hernia, I’d say you need to be cautious about adding heavier weight to your workout. Is there an experienced, certified (by one of the quality organizations) personal trainer at your gym who can check your form? You could be doing your core or shoulder moves incorrectly. Rather than advise you to increase the resistance, we’ll go with “Keep a food journal.” Time to see where the snackin’ is packin’ so you can ditch any Budweiser Tumor.
K: If guys get hernias, what do gals get? Himnias. Ah haaaa I have been waiting years to throw that one down! Given your prior hernia, make sure you are BREATHING throughout all moves. You will be tempted to hold your breath. I say verily unto you, “resist that temptation and be healed!” Also, drink lots of water the rest of the day as that will help with energy levels.
A: We had a reader a while back who was a bit similar to you, and we recommended High Intensity Interval Training, which Kymberly also advises. Take a look at that post too for more details and stalling. And stop eating so many of those Chicharrónes.
Readers: What ideas do you have for Joe Ray? And if you wrestle with your kids, who wins? Who cheats?
Photo credits: Creative Commons
The secret to a healthier, slimmer, more fit you lies in your daily choices and habits. Why do more of the same when it’s not working? Our Spring into Healthy Habits 30 Day Challenge will share exercise, motivation, nutrition/diet, and lifestyle tips to put you on the road to lasting change in just 30 days!
The Spring into Healthy Habits 30 Day Challenge is different and better than all those other programs you may have tried because it gives you information and guidance that has already been proven effective for the thousands and thousands of students we’ve worked with over the years. No gimmicks, no undue suffering, no taunting, no unsafe or short-term results; just new habits you will “sneak” into your lifestyle.
For only $9.95 (about 33 cents a day), you will receive daily emails, beginning Monday, May 16, with specific steps for you take. And it gets even better! You can also win one of four gift baskets from Hanna’s Herb Shop (each worth $100), one of five berry shipments from Cal Giant Berries, or a basket of berries with a $25 gift card to Academy.com (Academy Sports & Outdoors).
In addition, every participant will receive a 20% discount coupon to Hanna’s Herb Shop, plus a free downloadable CD of workout music from iSweat Music. In other words, you get back much more than you put in!
Register today at FunandFit and beginning on Monday, May 16, you’ll receive the information you need to start creating new, healthy habits!
Here’s what you do:
1. Register at FunandFit
2. On Monday, May 16, you will start to receive your 30 days’ of Healthy Habits material, sent to your inbox every morning.
3. Inside those emails will be the coupon to Hanna’s Herbs that you can redeem online.
4. Inside those emails will be the code to download your FREE iSweat Workout Music.
5. Go to the Fun & Fit fan page and post your comments, photos, successes, challenges, etc. The more you post, the more chances you have to win.
6. At the end of the Healthy Habits 30 Day Challenge, we will notify the winners of their prizes.
7. Everyone is a winner, both in prizes and in gaining a healthier life.
8. Did you get the part where you get back more than the $9.95 you put in?