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SUDDEN CARDIAC DEATH IN ATHLETES

 

Occasionally, sports can become deadly. Fortunately, sudden cardiac death (SCD) doesn’t happen often, occurring at a rate of one to three cases per 100,000 people per year during or shortly after exercise. SCD is usually caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in people less than 35 years of age. HCM is an inherited disease, where athletes have an enlarged heart with small pumping chambers. Other causes of sudden cardiac death in young people include abnormal coronary arteries, inflamed heart muscle (myocarditis), and blunt trauma to the chest. Coronary disease can also cause sudden death in young people, especially those with inherited high levels of blood cholesterol. Experts are divided in how to prevent cardiac sudden death in athletes. Some want all athletes screened with an electrocardiogram and echocardiogram. Others say this isn’t cost effective and that the best course is identifying people with a family history of the condition. (Journal Internal Medicine, published online December 18 2013)

 

TESTOSTERONE THERAPY AND PROSTATE DISEASE

 

Low testosterone levels are linked to premature death, muscle and bone loss, depression, erectile dysfunction, low sex drive amd decreased aggressiveness

 

Boost Your Mood

 

The foods that we eat can greatly influence our mood. We all know that when we’re hungry our blood sugar levels drop and we become irritated and lose our patience. However, there are specific foods which can actually boost our mood and make us feel better, naturally.

A lack of certain vitamins and minerals can put us at risk of depression. Vitamin B will help to soothe your nervous system. You can find vitamin B in dark green vegetables such as spinach and beans.

 

Protein rich foods will keep you alert and energised which is also important for those at risk of depression. Try to include foods such as chicken, fish and beef in your diet. Foods that are rich in folate, such as lentils, spinach and asparagus, have also been proven to improve depression.

 

Fish is another important food to include in your diet. It contains omega-3 fatty acids which can have therapeutic benefits to help regulate your mood. It is also a mind boosting nutrient and can alter chemicals in our brain that are linked with mood, such as dopamine and serotonin. People with low levels of serotonin often display signs of depression. Serotonin can also be increased through carbohydrates.

Food rich in selenium improve mild to moderate depression and there is a strong association between low selenium intake and poor moods. Selenium contains antioxidants that protect cells from damage. Foods to look out for include seafood, nuts and seeds, lean meat, whole grains, beans/legumes and low-fat dairy products.

 

Purple foods are also important for your brain health, memory function and mood. They contain anthocyanin’s which is an antioxidant that helps your brain produce the chemical dopamine. Dopamine is a natural reward chemical that boosts our mood.

 

Dark chocolate is another food that will reduce our stress. Dark chocolate contains high amounts of antioxidants that have positive health benefits and keep bad moods at bay.

 

The best thing you can do? Not skip breakfast. Starting your day off with a healthy wholesome breakfast will improve your energy for the day, kick start your metabolism and help you avoid fatigue and anxiety. Drink lots of green tea or black tea and water during the day. Green tea helps regulate your blood glucose level, keep you hydrated and keep your mind alert. It can also keep away those after lunch sugar cravings that can hit all too easily.

 

Time To Rest

 

Resting after exercise is vital. Just like you need work/life balance, you need exercise/ rest balance.

 

  • Getting rest after exercise is extremely important, and all high profile athletes ensure they fit into their training regimes

  • In between workouts, your body repairs and strengthens itself, and without doing so you will actually weaken your body

  • It is extremely vital as your muscles need to repair and rebuild in order to continue strengthening

  • Taking time to recover also allows your body time to replenish its energy stores and repair damaged tissues

  • Exercise causes changes in the body such as muscle tissue breakdown and the depletion of muscle glycogen and fluid loss

  • If you are overtraining you can feel it through the following symptoms- lack of motivation, staleness, depression, decreased sports performance, injury and stress

  • Training too hard will easily lead to injury and muscle damage as you overwork your body and don’t allow time to adapt

  • It is important you are getting adequate amount of sleep each night. Having a consistent lack of sleep will result in subtle changes in hormone levels related to stress, muscle recovery and mood

  • To get fitter, you need to introduce stress to your body and allow it to adapt- this is where recovery is important

  • Keep in mind that the greater the training intensity, the greater your need for recovery

  • Tips for recovery

  • Rest- sleep allows our body to adapt to the physical and mental demands of training

  • Nutrition and hydration- you need to ensure you replace your fluids and replenish your energy stores

  • Cool down and stretch- stretching or a slower paced exercise after an intense training session will provide an adjustment between exercise and rest

Why It Is Easier For Men To Lose Weight

 

It is an age old question, why do men find it easier to lose weight than women? There are a few different reasons, but unfortunately it mainly comes down to genetics, with a little bit of psychology.

 

  • Men view losing weight as a ‘war’. They look at weight loss as a challenge and are generally more competitive than women.

  • Men approach weight loss as more of a game with themselves, whereas women see it as a burden and place more emphasis on body image, rather than fitness.

  • Another reason men are better at avoiding those extra calories is their food preferences. In general men love meat and women love carbohydrates. This makes a big difference when you are trying to lose weight.

  • Men are genetically designed to have more muscle than women due to testosterone. This works in favour for them when they are trying to keep fit as they can continue to eat more calories but lose weight faster.

  • In addition, muscle burns three to five times more energy than fat. This means when you are gaining muscle your metabolic rate increases allowing you to burn more calories.

  • Men can burn around 20 percent more calories when they are doing nothing due to their greater muscle mass.

  • Women can help spur on weight loss by increasing muscle mass and in turn increasing their metabolism

  • Women can change their fat to muscle via diet, exercise and strength training. Men naturally burn more calories because they have a higher muscle to fat ratio.

  • Men tend to have more visceral fat. Visceral fat is the fat that surrounds your organs. While it is more dangerous for you, weight loss wise it is much easier to get rid of, with a combination of exercise and healthy eating.

  • Women tend to have more subcutaneous fat. This is fat that is found just underneath the skin. It is harder to budge and can cause cellulite (a burden for all women no matter what your size is).

  • Finally, research has shown that women are more inclined to turn to food when they are emotional. Research shows that women have a reduced ability to starve off hunger and resist food cravings.

  • Both sexes have their advantages though and in the end its up the to individual.

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