A Few Reasons to Skip Your Workout

teenybikiniNobody with a serious fitness goal in mind, or who’s just days away from having to wear that TEENY TINY BIKINI on vacation, likes skipping a workout, but there are a few times that skipping it is exactly what you should do.

otcThis is especially the case if you have taken some specific over-the-counter (OTC) drugs for routine ailments.  Hmmm….

  1. Did you take any type of decongestant or “cold and flu” medication?  I’m talking about a very broad range of OTC here: Zicam, Theraflu, Mucinex, Sudafed, Tylenol Cold-Max, etc.  Because the entire class of cold and flu remedies has some sort of sedating effect, there is a risk of injuring yourself  while exercising due to a foggy feeling from that sedation or, at the other end of the spectrum, the decongestant can increase your blood pressure and heart rate, putting you at a slightly elevated risk for stroke if you work out when taking some decongestants.  In both cases, it’s better to just ride the treatment out and take a few days off to recover.
  2. Did you need to take a pill to get some shut eye last night?  If you took a sleeping pill after tossing and turning most of the night, it’s better to a) not try and work out while the effects of the sleeping pill could still be retarding your muscles response and, b) not try to work out unless you got a full 8 hours of sleep after taking the pill.
  3. Are you an allergy sufferer?  If you plan to work out, take a non-drowsy allergy relief pill like loratadine (Claritin), fexofenadine (Allegra), or cetirizine (Zyrtec).
  4. If you’re hacking like you’ve just gotten off of a subway train full of smokers and need to take a swig from your handy bottle of cough medicine, you might need to consider a couple of things before you jump into your workout clothes and take off for the gym:  Does your cough medicine have a decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine or dextromethorphine in it? If it does, it can make you groggy and could increase your injury risk when working out. Cough medications without dextromethorphine should be safe to workout after taking, but if you are coughing enough to need to take it regularly, you could be suffering from some other ailment, like asthma, and should see a doctor to make sure that you are healthy enough to continue with your current exercise routine.

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Why Aren’t You Having More Sex?

toesHere’s a scary statistic:  It’s estimated that 40 Million Americans have what experts call a “Sexless Marriage.”  In this case, they are defining a sexless marriage as one in which you are having sex less than 10 times a year.

When you were first committed to each other you were literally joined at the hip. 😉  Anytime, anyplace, multiple times a day and everyday.  Rabbits had nothing on you. You wanted each other all the time!

Somewhere down the line that became a little less frequent and it wasn’t necessarily kids or life that got in the way, you and/or your spouse started making excuses and your sex life just disappeared.  We’ve all heard the jokes about the famous women’s line, “Not tonight honey, I’ve got a headache,” but it wasn’t just women giving the excuses anymore, men began telling their partners, “not tonight” as well.  WTF?  Men used to complain about their wives holding out and all of the sudden girls night out became a gab fest comparing notes about the excuses their men were giving in the bedroom!

Anita H. Clayton, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of Virginia and author of Satisfaction: Women, Sex, and the Quest for Intimacy says, “A regular sex life is good for your health. It can satisfy all sorts of emotional- and physical-intimacy needs and help partners stay close.”

Babble.com compiled 20 excuses for not wanting to have sex given by both men and women.  Mind you, Babble.com is owned by Disney, so it’s pretty tame and not all induced a response:

  • I’m mad at you – Reasonable, but try and get your spouse to look at this another way. The best way to patch things up is…Make up Sex!
  • I don’t feel well – Okay, no one wants snot dripping on them, coughing, or (gasp!) intestinal upsets welling up in the middle of getting busy, so definitely a pass should be given for this one.
  • The kids are still awake – Hmmm… They should have their own rooms and there should be a rule about knocking when a door is closed, so this one is really LAME!
  • I hurt my back today – Okay, maybe you did hurt your back today.  Nobody said that sex was the only way to be intimate.  Offer a back rub and maybe things might heat up in another way that might not need to involve a lot of movement of the back…
  • I ate too much dairy and now I’m bloated – Yeah, I’d stay away from this one, as well as Mexican food excuses.  Gas really isn’t fun or sexy.
  • I just do not feel sexy – That one is hard.  Self confidence is a hard thing to get past. As a partner we can say we find our lover attractive but until they believe it it’s a hurdle that’s hard to get over.  Maybe joining the gym or just working out together might make them feel sexy after the endorphins are flowing.
  • I think I forgot to take my birth control – that’s a deal breaker for most men.  If it’s a routine excuse take the control out of her hands and buy condoms.
  • I have to finish this video game level/tv episode/movie, etc. – Wow! How far down do I rate in your items of importance?

If laughing together over the lame Disney media excuses doesn’t ignite a few sparks and encourage your partner to drag you into the nearest bedroom and grab a quickie, you may want to move on to the chart below and check out all of the great health reasons for increasing the amount of sex you are having. health benefits

Some other things that may be interfering with your sex drive, are things you may not even realize.  Some of the fixes are as easy as changing your evening routine, getting a lock for your bedroom door or even changing your method of birth control!

The prescriptions you take:  Oral birth control contains estrogen which can trap testosterone and, in turn zap your sex drive. Anti-Depressants, pills to lower Blood Pressure, Acid-Reflux, and Anti-Anxiety medicines can also kill your desire.  FIX: Discuss potential sexual side effects of any drug you are prescribed and alternatives.

Some problems and solutions don’t require a lot of effort and could easily rekindle your desire to have sex with your partner.

Declare the master bedroom a technology free zone!  With all of the distractions in our busy lives, the last place we need to have our partner’s attention focused away from us and directed to their phone, video game or other device is the bedroom.  Turn it off and you just may find something else to turn on!

Some problems in the bedroom stem from very serious relationship issues.  Maybe there has been infidelity, in which case you are likely struggling with mending your relationship from the ground up.  If that is the case, all I can say is there are always good days and bad when you decide that the relationship is worth staying for.

Or, maybe you beg for sex and he just says no? “Perhaps he’s emotionally withdrawing,” says Bob Berkowitz, PhD, co-author of He’s Just Not Up for It Anymore: Why Men Stop Having Sex, and What You Can Do About It. “The usual problems between husbands and wives can play out in the bedroom,” he says, “especially if your partner has a hard time expressing his feelings properly.”  This is a hard one.  If your partner is not someone who will open up and tell you the truth about what is going on, won’t tell you why he’s withdrawn from you physically, (and it sounds like emotionally) your only route is likely counseling.  I don’t see a lot of hope for a relationship that lacks physical intimacy when one side is withholding it.

If you happen to be one of the “lucky” partners who has a partner who “just” makes the occasional excuse and hasn’t cut you off completely, here are some other suggestions for getting past the “not tonight” or “I’ll be in as soon as my show is over” excuses and getting back to an active and healthy regular sex life:

  • Quit asking permission
  • Quit waiting for the perfect moment
  • Quit relegating sex to a bedtime only activity
  • If you’re going to wait for bedtime, run a scented bath for your partner and wait for him/her in the bed
  • Be spontaneous (anytime-anyplace like when you were first together)
  • Have a real date night and end the date like you used to!  Hmmm

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How Old is “Old Enough?”

kidbabysitterWhen I was growing up my friends and I were given a lot more freedom than kids today are.  I began babysitting my younger siblings when I was just 8 years old.  My siblings were 6 and 1.

At first my parents felt that they could safely leave me alone with my siblings for a few hours while they went across the street to play cards and have some cocktails with the neighbors.  They knew once my 6 year old sister was asleep she wouldn’t wake up, and that if my 1 year old brother awoke, I could competently change his diaper and/or give him a bottle and put him back to bed.

As time went on, i.e. I turned 9, my parents began having dinner out, going to high school football games, and making other trips out for a few hours knowing that I could safely hold down the fort.

About that same time I began sitting for other families on the street, even one that had 3 kids under the age of 3.  No one worried about the safety of their kids because they knew that I was competent enough to call my Mom a few doors down and then dial 911 if there was an emergency.

By the time I was 10 years old, my parents began spending all day and even entire evenings (until last call) out confident that I could take care of both of my siblings, prepare meals and get everyone into bed.  All of the neighbors were doing the same with their pre-teen children, except for my friend Shawna’s family who had a live-in.  Unless our parents were going to be gone over night, none of us had babysitters.

There are nosey neighbors in every neighborhood.  Most people know who they are and avoid their snoopy interference in their lives with tall fences, thick foliage, dark drapes, window tinting or blinds drawn (lol) so that they can’t be reported on.  In lieu of that kind of precaution, the woman behind the blog at Thirty Handmade Days, made a chart based on the state-by-state guidelines (if they even have them) for when it’s acceptable to leave children without adult supervision.

1468264593-kidshomealoneguidelines30days

Had this chart been around as a reference in the late 1970’s my parents, and those of many of my friends, would have been reported and hauled in by the County Sheriff’s Department regularly!  Hmmm

Even without an official legal requirement in most states, in today’s overly intrusive, judgmental, busybody, litigious society, I’d recommend you leave the following on a laminated sheet secured by magnetic clothes pin type clamp on the refrigerator (just as a precaution of course) for when you decide your little darlings are ready to be left on their own:

  • Identify your child (ren) by name(s) & age (s) and which has been left in charge
  • State that the instruction has been given to call 911 in case of Fire or any other Emergency and that the second call is to be made to parents
  • In non-emergency, put the name of a neighbor or nearby relative that is aware the child(ren) is/are home unsupervised
  • State that you judge this child to be perfectly capable of the responsibility for the time that you are away from the home
  • Put your name, cell phone number as well as the other parent information
  • Sign the document.

Should there ever be a neighbor complaint that you have left the children unsupervised this will give whatever authority that is sent to investigate the information they need to reach you.

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They Will Literally Be Swimming in Human Crap!

I feel really sorry for the athletes from around the world, who have spent years busting their asses to master their sports and make their countries’ Olympic teams, only to have to go to, what can only be described as, a gigantic cesspool, (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) to showcase them.filthrdj

Dead fish, dead animals, and even rotting corpses & body parts can be seen along the, what used to be picturesque, shorelines of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Even the most posh areas (Ipanema and Leblon Beaches) with steel and glass high rises cannot escape the filth.  The lagoons that snake around them (and also around the nearby Olympic Village), “regularly sees massive pollution-related fish die-offs and emits an eye-watering sulfuric stench.”

Fisherman Jose Rubens told how he watched children haul a dismembered woman’s body from the waves of Guanabara Bay.  Standing beside a gaping pipe spewing raw sewage straight into the bay, Jose, 56, unflinchingly shared, “They found a woman’s severed buttocks and upper legs three months ago.  She was already starting to decompose.  We didn’t tell the police. It’s not what people do here. We just pushed the remains back into the water.” (Source: Oliver Harvey, The Sun) These are the very waters that Olympic yachtsmen and wind-surfers will soon be competing for their countries in!

bodyrdjwaters
A decomposing corpse found floating in the waters where some Olympic competitions will be held.

 

In 2009, Brazil used the awarding of the 2016 games as the motivation needed to “regenerate Rio’s magnificent waterways.”  They pledged a billion-dollar investment meant to cleanup the tar-black Rivers; the lagoons near the Olympic Park with fluorescent green algae thriving amid sewage; the Guanabara Bay teeming with thick sludge that nearly swallows fishermen’s wooden boats; and to eliminate the giant brown stain that surfers must paddle out through to reach the beautiful blue surrounding waters.

copacabana
This is where the elite Athletes of the World thought they would be competing when they heard they were coming to Rio de Janeiro

 

Open water swimmers could very well have the worst of it though.  Rio medic Dr. Daniel Becker said, “Foreign athletes will literally be swimming in human crap, and they risk getting sick from micro-organisms.”

Biologist Mario Moscatelli has spent the last 20 years studying Brazil’s polluted waterways.  Every month he has flown over them by helicopter to note changes good or bad.  “It’s been decades and I see no improvement,” laments Moscatelli.  “The Guanabara Bay has been transformed into a latrine … and unfortunately Rio de Janeiro missed the opportunity, maybe the last big opportunity” to clean it up. (Source: Jenny Barchfield; AP)

Opening Ceremonies for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games are just 4 days away.

300,000-500,000 foreigners are expected to descend on Rio for the Olympics.  They are likely in nowhere near the physical conditioning of the world class athletes they are coming to cheer on, and are much more likely to succumb to the viral illnesses that are the result of off the charts contamination of the most popular Rio de Janeiro beaches.  Testing at several of the city’s world-famous beaches has shown that in addition to persistently high viral loads, the beaches often have levels of bacterial markers for sewage pollution that would be cause for concern abroad.

  • In June 2016, Copocabana and Ipanema Beaches both had alarming readings for rotavirus, the main cause of gastroenteritis globally, with 7.22 million rotaviruses per liter detected in the waters of Copacabana, while 32.7 million rotaviruses per liter were found in the waters of Ipanema Beach.
  • The testing also revealed alarming spikes in fecal coliform levels — the very measure the state government uses to determine the safety of Rio’s recreational waters.

“If these were the reported values in the United States, let’s say in California, there is definitely an indication of a problem,” said Dr. Kristina Mena, a waterborne virus expert at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

  • According to California’s bacterial tests standards, 400 fecal coliforms per 100 milliliters is the upper limit for a beach to be considered safe for swimming. AP’s tests revealed that Copacabana Beach, where the marathon and triathlon swimming are to be held and thousands of tourists are likely to take a dip, exceeded California’s limit five times over 13 months of testing.
  • Nearby Ipanema Beach, which is not playing host to any Olympic sports but is among the city’s most popular tourist spots, exceeded California standards five times over 12 months, once spiking to nearly 50 times what would be permitted in California. One of two testing spots along the beach in the Olympic hub neighborhood of Barra da Tijuca once hit more than 60 times that limit over the five months testing was conducted there.

The beaches even violate Rio state’s own standards, which are much less stringent than those in California.   In California these beaches would be closed to the public until the source of the contamination was found and fixed and the water treated until tests came back with the water testing safe for the public to be in it again.

If you are a Tourist planning to attend the Olympic games in Rio beware:  Water quality warning signs used to dot showcase beaches, but they’re no longer there. The water may not look infected but it is.  Remember that the water flows across, carries, and deposits sand along the shoreline, so the sand is contaminated too…HMMM

The World Press has been paying close attention and has already reported a number of troubling things that the Athletes, Media, and those Tourists who may decide to travel abroad to witness the games, may encounter when they visit Brazil:

  • A broken main caused untreated raw sewage and human waste to pour into the Olympic Village, where the World’s athletes are being housed and fed, over the weekend;
  • Rotting corpses have been spotted floating at the rat-­infested sailing and wind-surfing venue of Guanabara Bay;
  • Athletes competing in events in the polluted Guanabara Bay are being told to ‘close their mouths’ for fear of contracting viral infections from waters poisoned by human excrement;
  • Athletes have been robbed at gunpoint on the streets of Rio;
  • Gun-toting thugs robbed Australian Paralympic sailor Liesl Tesch and team official Sarah Ross of their bikes while they were cycling in a Rio park;
  • Between January and April of this year, there were 1,715 homicides in the city, a 15 per cent increase on the same period last year;
  • A fire in the basement of the Australian team barracks overnight, forced all to evacuate the building.  The alarms had been disabled and the only alert to the team was the smell of smoke!  While they were out laptops and protective long sleeved anti-Zika clothing were reported stolen.
  • Around 300 tons of trash are dumped in Guanabara bay every month — including condoms, discarded syringes, used toilet paper, old fishing nets, mangled furniture and other household trash;
  • The spread of the Zika virus (now officially reported as having spread from infected male to female) has resulted in the top 4 golfers in the world, as well as many tennis players and other athletes, pulling out of the games;
  • Body parts were found strewn on Copacabana Beach, right below the Olympic Beach Volleyball Venue.

As if threats to the health of athletes, media and tourists from the environment wasn’t enough, there are the threats of violence from the drug gangs and other thugs that rule the streets of Rio de Janeiro and now some scary threats reportedly coming from ISIS:

  • After the Paris attacks in November a jihadi sent a tweet saying: “Brazil, you are our next target.”
  • In May, ISIS launched a new social Portuguese-speaking media channel in a bid to attract new recruits.
  • Brazil, used to dealing with armed drug gangs, has no experience in dealing with ISIS assaults.
  • On July 15 Brazilian authorities deported a French-Algerian professor who had been convicted in France in 2012 of providing logistical advice to ­terrorist groups.
  • Last week dozens of alleged IS sympathizers were held after claims they had discussed an attack on the Games.

When awarded the games, officials pledged to treat 80% of the raw sewage pumped into Rio’s Guanabara Bay, promised only to use the very cleanest sections of the Bay for competitions, and that there would be only minimal risk to sailors and other athletes.  Now that the Opening Ceremonies are less than a week away and the proof of their inability to live up to their promises is being seen, smelled and reported worldwide, officials have had to admit that they have only been able to reach a sewage treatment percentage of 40%.  That is obviously not acceptable for a city with a population of more than 12 Million, let alone one that is putting itself under the world wide microscope by hosting the Olympic games.

Additionally, Rio officials pledged that the athletes and visitors to their country would be safe, based on the reports of robberies within the village and in the surrounding areas, they are already failing on that front as well.  It remains to be seen how Brazil is going to remedy the situation with just 4 days left before Opening Ceremonies, but I know one thing, the ravenous world press will not pull any punches in letting the rest of the world know just how deplorable conditions are.  HMMM Indeed!

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