Whooping Cough According to the CDC, the US is having its worst whooping cough outbreak in 50 years. Whooping cough is the common name for the bacterial infection, pertussis. The"nickname" is related to the symptoms not the cause. People who have the infection are contagious during certain periods and the illness can spread to others who are not immune. Vaccines are effective at preventing both the spread and contraction. In other words, vaccines protect against getting it yourself and giving it to others. Most of us received the immunization as children in the DPT shot and its booster. Many colleges require young adults to get a booster before allowing them to attend classes. The CDC is suggesting that adults may need to get a second booster as well – to protect children. It appears that the outbreak is related to adults getting sick (often because they have lost their immunity) and infecting children who have not yet had their series of shots. The number of cases for the year so far are 18, 000.
Helmets and Leaders I rode my bike on some Greenway trails today. At one point I came upon a small group. The group consisted of one man, late 20s, and ten or so children who appeared to be middle school aged. We were riding in opposite directions so we came face to face. ALL of the children were helmeted. It is the law in NC to wear one if you are 16 or younger, but many children do not wear them and the law is not enforced. The adult in the group was the only one not wearing a helmet. One of the children, a boy, rode off the paved trail into the street. As the boy went off the trail, the adult said, “Tommy, you are not being a very good leader right now.” And – well – you know what happened next right? As I rode by, I looked at the man and said – with a light tone, “Neither are you and tapped on my helmet.” He said, “I know!”
Blood Cholesterol and Heart Disease This segment can be brief or long and complicated. I am only just beginning to wrap my mind around what I am learning and the little research I did today is not enough. Briefly then: The link between blood cholesterol and atherosclerosis (heart disease due to plaque buildup) is being challenged by many scientists. It has been debated for a while. One of the arguments is that not everyone who has heart disease has high cholesterol. It may be that a person’s cholesterol becomes high when other risk factors are in play. For example, not exercising, smoking and being obese are risk factors for heart disease. These factors may change the way that the body handles excess calories from fats and sugars and thus the cholesterol that the body creates from them. I am not sure what this means in the end or what you should do with the information. I have read that cholesterol lowering drugs should be considered only after weight loss and increased activity have begun. Also that when used; only the least amount of drug that is effective should be given. There is little evidence to support that lower numbers are better because the cholesterol may be a symptom of some other problem. For example, if being 30 pounds overweight is causing the sterol to form in the arteries, then having an LDL of 100 while still being overweight is not going to help.
News from AHG The information presented below is directly from an email I received from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. The goal of the organization is to improve the health and wellbeing of children. Please go to the websiteto learn more. The tips that are offered below can apply to adults as well. If you don’t want to use playground equipment or play tug of war, you can get your resistance training with free weights or exercises that use your body as the muscle load. What I liked best from the email is highlighted in yellow below. I also like the definitions and examples.
Aerobic Activity: Endurance activities that get muscles moving in patterned movements for a sustained period of time.
Try: Bicycling and swimming
Muscle-Strengthening Activity: Resistance training that increases skeletal muscle power by doing more work than in daily physical activities.
Try: Using playground equipment and playing tug-of-war
Impact and tension activities that help grow and strengthen skeletal system.
Try: Running and jumping rope
Different Bodies Are Better at Different Things
Did you know that running a mile at the same speed will have a different effect on different bodies? Lifestyle, metabolism and fitness level all play a part in how exercise affects our bodies. This is because we expend energy at different rates. But with some effort, we can influence that rate.
A body trained to sit, will sit well. A body trained to move, will move well.
How active is your body?
How active is your body?
Inactive: No activity beyond baseline activities of daily living
Low Activity: Activity beyond baseline but fewer than 150 minutes of moderate activity a week
Medium Activity: 150 to 300m of moderate activity or 75 to 150m of vigorous activity a week
High Activity: More than 300m of moderate activity a week