Aaacchooo!! Spring allergies return.

Spring Allergies PhotoBy: Abbey Bowen

Sneezes, runny noses and itchy eyes. Ah, the symptoms of spring allergies!

Spring allergies are mainly triggered by pollen release from trees, grasses and weeds. Your immune system mistakes pollen as a foreign antibody and attacks the allergens. This attack releases chemicals known as histamines into the blood. Histamines cause runny noses, itchy eyes, etc.

Allergic rhinitis (allergies) affects 10 to 30 percent of adults and almost 40 percent of children. With high percentage like this, there’s a good chance you suffer from allergies of some kind.

So, what can you do to alleviate your symptoms?  Dr. Andy Nish, and allergist in Georgia, recommends changing your environment before going on medication. Nish says to limit your outdoor activity to the times in which pollen levels are the lowest. Such levels can be found by checking local weather reports.

According to Joanna Broder, of Webmd.com, it can also be helpful to keep the windows of your home and car closed at all times. She also suggests running your air conditioning to filter the air.

If simply avoiding the outdoors and fresh air doesn’t work, over-the-counter, non-sedating medications with antihistamine can help rid you of your symptoms, Dr. Paul Enright, allergy specialist, says. Look for “antihistamine” on labels when looking for eye drops, and decongestants. If your nose continues to run, however, saline nose sprays may also provide relief.

While it can help to avoid the outdoors, spring allergies should not throw off your workout routine! Like mentioned before, you can always check pollen counts before heading outside, or you can work out from the indoor comfort of the Weight Room in the Williams Center or University Fitness in the basement of Wells resident hall.

However, asthma triggered by allergies is a whole other story. Asthma is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in both the small and large airways, which are known as the branches that carry air into the lungs. Symptoms of asthma include wheezing, shortness of breath and coughing. For some sufferers, these symptoms become worsened when exposed to allergens. Asthma can be controlled through the use of inhalers and nebulizer treatments.

It’s hard to say whether it is “safe” or not to work out when asthma symptoms flair, but for the most part it’s best to just listen to your own body.

It’s safe to say that allergies stink, but there are things you can do to combat your symptoms! Most importantly, don’t let them interfere with your normal workout routine. If I missed any information you think is of key importance, please e-mail me at BowenAK15@uww.edu.

~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~
Abbey :]

Freezin’ for a Reason

Polar Plunge PhotoBy: Kenzi Weidman

This has been a cold, dark, long winter and considering the groundhog didn’t see his shadow, we have many more weeks to go. All I think about is swimming in a pool and being outside, and then I remember that I have to wait awhile yet for that. Then I heard about the Freezin’ for a Reason Polar Plunge. Swimming in 90° weather sounds a lot more appealing than jumping into a freezing cold pool when it is expected to be in the low 20’s, but I’ll take what I can get. A pool is a pool right? I can’t be picky.

Every year participants take the plunge into the ice-cold water, whether it is a pool, ocean, lake, or river, to show their support for the Special Olympics. When talking to some of the jumpers from last year, many replied with “Raising money for the Special Olympics in order to jump into a freezing cold pool is like a winter tradition.” It is so exciting to see everyone be supportive and brave.

The event is schedule for February 15, 2014, and the jumper’s take the dive throughout the morning and early afternoon. Warhawk Fitness & Aquatics has created a team of about 17 workers that are brave enough jump and most importantly caring enough to raise enough money for the Special Olympics. Each jumper needs to raise a minimum of $75, and with the help of EVERYONE (yes you reading this blog) we hope to reach our team goal and raise grand total of $1,300.00.

Wondering how you can help? Here are some options:

  • Stop by Room 100 of the Williams Center, and they will gladly take your donation.
  • Do you workout at the Weight Room, University Fitness, Group Fitness classes, or maybe take advantage of the Williams Center pool? All those locations you can donate your money to the supervisor and they will put it in the designated envelope.
  • Don’t like to carry cash? Are you from out of town? You can donate online! Choose one of the listed jumpers to donate to at the Warhawk Fitness and Aquatics Donation Site!
Pat Fogarty
Tyler Filipiak
Kenzi Weidman
Callie Carlin
Mary A Marren
Christine Panella
Eric Schuerman
Kate Marty
All proceeds benefit the Special Olympics directly and our team needs your help to reach our goal so we can all be Freezin’ for a Reason! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at weidmankl15@uww.edu. I am so excited for this event; I would love to discuss anything you have questions about!

“Always remember that it doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you keep on going”
~Kenzi Weidman

Fighting the Winter Blues

Flu PhotoBy: Mary Marren

Getting into a regular fitness routine can take a lot of work. You put your dedication and time into making yourself healthy and happy and there is nothing worse than something stopping you on your journey. Now that winter is here, I like most people, try hard to take every measure not to get sick. It seems like every other week someone you work with, a close friend, or even just the lady standing in front of you in line at the grocery store is sick. No matter how hard you try, beating flu season may just not be in the cards for you this year. So, if you are like many people that are looking for a quick turnaround to get healthy and back into your workout routine, here are some tips you may find helpful.

First and foremost, something you should know about working out when sick is that it can actually lead you to feeling worse. According to Lewis G. Maharam, MD, a New York City-based sports medicine expert, “The danger is exercising and raising your body temperature internally if you already have a fever, because that can make you even sicker.” So if you have a cold, feel free to continue on with your workout while being careful not to overdo it, but if you have a fever stay home and rest.

Vitamin C is one way to help ease your cold and help you get better quicker. Health.howstuffworks.com says, “The vitamin may be useful for allergy control by reducing histamine levels. By giving the immune system one of the important nutrients it needs, extra vitamin C can often shorten the duration of the cold as well.” So although it may not prevent you from getting sick, it could help you get better faster.

Along with vitamins, drinking plenty of liquids will also help your body recover faster. The water can push toxins along through your body as well as keeping you hydrated. Someone once told me to imagine my organs as a sponge. When your organs don’t get enough water they shrivel up and don’t work properly, but when they do your organs stay hydrated and healthy.

Believe it or not, chicken noodle soup may also be a fighting factor against a cold or the flu. The mayo clinic says, “…it acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the movement of neutrophils — immune system cells that participate in the body’s inflammatory response. Second, it temporarily speeds up the movement of mucus, possibly helping relieve congestion and limiting the amount of time viruses are in contact with the nose lining.”

So along with rest, here are some ways to make a quick recovery and get back into your workout routine! Remember to wash your hands frequently and also maybe consider taking vitamins on a regular basis as well.

Stay Healthy, Stray Strong.
-Mary Marren

Exercise for book worms

Exercise for Book Worms PhotoBy: Abbey Bowen

This is probably one of the sillier posts I have ever written. But while reading a book this morning, I found myself wondering if there’s a way to combine two of my favorite pastimes: exercising and reading.

I Googled, “Exercises and stretches to do while reading,” and I was surprised to find several search results.

Obviously, recumbent or upright bikes and elliptical machines are ideal for people who want to read while doing cardio, but I wanted to get some ideas for when I’m not at the gym.

If you’re looking to tone your abs, it’s beneficial to lie on your back, hold the book away from your face and lift your legs into the air. Hold them parallel to the floor for a few seconds or minutes (depending on your fitness level).

For the most adventurous, a plank sequence can be an effective way to tone while reading. Try holding the pose pictured to the left for 30 seconds at a time. Place a book in between your forearms and focus on the text, instead of your discomfort.

Hold the pose for a page and then lower and rest for a few pages. Repeat as desired.

This plank sequence will help tone your arms, abs, leg muscles and more! Just remember to always suck your belly button into your spine at all times.

If you’re looking for a lighter, more gradual workout, try replacing your office chair with an exercise ball. By doing this, your body learns to rely on the increasing strength of your back and abs, not the support of a chair.

For those looking to tone their arms, try raising five to 10 Ib. dumbbells into the air repeatedly as you read.

If you’re really crazy, try doing all the exercises I mentioned above. :]

Again, I know this post may seem a little goofy, but I truly believe making small lifestyle changes can make a big difference in the long run. Incorporating exercise into our daily routines is one of the easiest ways to become healthy and fit.

~Remember, you have to learn to love yourself before you can truly love someone else~
Abbey :]