Four Different Types of Roofing Materials

A home can never be complete without a roof. Roofing is obviously the very first line of defense against any harsh weather, as well as other types of elements which could affect a certain home’s quality, appearance and value. Therefore, it is significant to put some thought into choosing the right type of materials for your roof. The good news is that there is always a wide variety of choices in materials and manufacturers to choose from for quality roofing.

To begin with, an asphalt material shingle is a very common type of product, especially with American homes. It will work great for a wide range of styles of roofs and may be a perfect choice for your home. Asphalt shingles do not cost that much and run from around 1 to 5 dollars for every square foot depending on your provider, as well as the kind of home that you have.

Asphalt roofing shingles come with a lot of advantages for your home. Usually the most important factor to a home owner, it is affordable. Secondly, this kind of roofing is a lot easier to repair compared to others. It can work well on just about any style of roof and is manufactured in various colors, shapes, depths of dimensions. This kind of roofing material is also resistant to any effect that great heat from the sun and inclement weathers conditions could cause.

Now, let’s move on to the second type of roof which is rubberized materials. This is an eco-friendly choice that can assure durability, cost-effectiveness and also proven to be leak proof even when it’s made from various recycled materials. Also, it does no require heavy maintenance due to the light weight and flexibility it carries. Rubber roofing comes in two types: shingled and whole roof. The shingled ones are made from synthetic materials and are better for simple structured homes while the whole roofs are great for a more detailed architectural design.

The third kind would be the tile roofing which is considered as an internationally recognized type of roofing. Just like the above types, this one can ensure durability. As a matter of fact, it is proven to be invulnerable from fire. Also, its longevity could last for up to 100 years and can highly improve air ventilation. Tile roofing comes in various patterns, textures, colors and shapes which can make things more fun upon the process of choosing the right ones in order to bring true elegance out of your home through the roofing.

Last but not the least, wood roofing is popular for homes that need to undergo major renovations. This roofing material usually runs anywhere from 4 to 8 dollars for every square foot. The price also depends on the way of cutting. Wood roofing is essential if you want to give your home a warmer look. It also has the great ability to prevent the occurrence of heat transmission.

Any of these types of roofs can be a great choice for you to make. However, it is still best to consider getting consultation from an expert in order to know what’s best for the type of home that you have in terms of safety, design and efficiency.

Gamble Or Abstain!

ABSTINENCE [The sure way]

There has been great awareness campaign about HIV/AIDS for the past decades and It is believed that there is nothing really new about this particular ailment, the general Public is not aware of. Part of this awareness campaign is the preventive aspect of acquiring the Virus. Though this article is centered on abstinence, it is in no way in disagreement with the other ways of protection against   transmission  of the virus.

“Abstinence, being faithful, correct and consistent condom use are the only ways to successfully reach everyone when discussing HIV prevention. I believe that the abstinence message alone does not solve the AIDS epidemic”- a quote from the American actress, Ashley Judd. This true statement of fact is in total agreement to the former first lady to the United states and as well the 2008 Democratic party presidential aspirant, Hilary Clinton who said “there is a great deal of political pressure to only talk about abstinence and to deny support for condoms and education for using them. This policy will lead to the unnecessary deaths of many people”. This is also correct. You cannot live the lives of others or monitor their activities and actions. Preaching abstinence alone and preventing the other means of protection is far from the solution. But in as much as the use of condoms and other safe practices are not condemned, total abstinence is worth the greatest attention because it is a 100% sure way of prevention, therefore preaching it is aimed at encouraging those who are doing their best possible to abstain, and as well put more light on reasons to abstain for those who believe in it, but do not practice it.. Before we hit the nail on the head, let’s go through the ways of  transmission  of the virus from an infected person to one that is not infected.

 Transmission  occurs when secretions of affected persons come in contact with tissues such as those lining the vagina, anal area, mouth or eyes ( the mucus membranes) or with a break in the skin as such for a cut or puncture by a needles. These ways are possible via sexual contact, sharing of needles, and  transmission  from infected mothers to their new born during pregnancy, labor or breastfeeding. It could also be transmitted via blood transfusion. These following ways could be classified into two major classes. The controllable or avoidable ways of  transmission  and the Uncontrollable means of  transmission . The controllable or avoidable means are these methods of contacting the virus which can be controlled or totally avoided by the person involved. Note that this definition is specific to the person who is at risk. The uncontrollable means are the ones which cannot be controlled by the affected persons. Infected new born fall into the uncontrollable means as they cannot do anything about the situation. They fall out to be unfortunate victims and to a large extent, blood transfusion can be in this category. For this category or class of  transmission , abstinence cannot be preached since it was not the fault or carelessness of the affected persons.

In the controllable category, using of new needles each time you want to take drugs and dumping the old ones after using them; is a direct formula to preventing HIV infection via injection of needles. This reduces the risk to about 99.99%. If a person not only shares needles but uses them just once, he stands a great chance to be risk free, giving the control method a good efficacy. Nevertheless, 0.0001% is still a probability and we will see how probability counts in reality. Therefore, in order to really understand what abstinence is, focus would be placed on the two major controllable means (injection and sex), especially on sex.

In sexual means of  transmission , the break in condom cannot be totally avoided in a given formula. No matter the quality of condom, there are still chances it could break during sex. Some arguments stress out that the virus is smaller than the fiber of the condom and it can still get through, especially when the male genital is very huge, stretching the condom extremely well. Therefore, it gives the probability of 85%- 95% of HIV prevention for the males and 95%- 99% for the females if used correctly.

On the contrary, Abstinence is a straight 100% preventive measure; absolutely efficient and no slight chance no matter how negligible it may be. It is safer and easier to adopt. Remember that abstinence does not mean been a virgin forever but avoidance of more than one partner, and more concretely avoidance of pre- marital and extra- marital sex. Probability is the chance of an event to occur and no matter how insignificant the value is; it does not prevent the situation involved from existing. It is believed that the cru de chat syndrome (sterile females with immature sex organs resulting from the loss or deletion of a significant portion of the genetic material) occurs once in 5000 births. This does not mean cru de chat syndrome does not exist and you can understand that, a parent who has a sick child with such a syndrome would not be ready to listen to statistics from any doctor, because the reality still remains; his/her child is suffering from it irrespective of the slim chance of occurrence.

On a general note, abstinence is the sure way to avoid the controllable means of acquiring the virus. And from the following illustration below, we can justify this simple fact. The table below shows the estimated number of cases of AIDS amongst people by  transmission  category in the 50 states of the United States of America as of 2007.

Male- to- male sexual contact — 487,695

Injection drug use — 255,859

Male- to male sexual contact with injection – 71,242

High risk heterosexual contact – 176,157

Others (Hemophilia, blood transfusion, prenatal exposure and risk not reported or Identified) – 18,266.

[taken from http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/basic.htm ].

The first four ways are controllable means in which aside drug use, the rest are by sexual contact. These four means account for 990,953 cases out of 1,009,219, which is about 98.2% of all cases. Meanwhile 735,094 out of 1,009,219 cases are due to sexual  transmission  alone; accounting for 72.8% of all cases. Only about 1.8% of the total incidences are due to uncontrollable  transmission .

On normal grounds, occurrence of a situation caused by uncontrollable factors should be more, when compared to the same situation caused by the controllable ones. Another insight we can get from this statistic which is an extension of the first statement is; despite the control measures and protective means available, the controlled means are still far greater in occurrence than the uncontrolled ones. This justifies the fact that the only way this can be drastically reduced is through abstinence.

A teenage girl once said, “I have created an appetite for sex and I do not think I can stop it now”. The Human nature is such that, if you allow it take part in a pleasurable event more than once and continuously, it begins to yearn after that event due to its increased appetite. Charles DIkkens, a popular English Novelist of the Victoria era quotes “subdue your appetite, my dears and you’ve conquered human nature”. Human natured is meant to be conquered and in this way we can control ourselves- hence show great abstaining ability. If we do not conquer our human nature and allow our various tastes or appetite to explode, I think mutualism would not be a reality and a ‘jungle Life” scenario would be the possible resultant situation. If we can control our appetite or taste to any or all of the following; fashion, food, clothes, fame, drinks, sports est. why not sex? Is it normal to randomly have sex with different partners? As long as the Human nature could be stretched, it could also be tamed and the only way to do this is by abstinence.

Mr Anton Zakovich, a Russian economic lecturer said “Pre- marital sex is just like tasting soup while still cooking it. You taste the soup to know how spicy it is before it is finally cooked”. What if peradventure it burnt your tongue or distorts your taste buds? Would you be able to enjoy the soup later. Sex before marriage should not be compared to tasting soup, you taste the soup to know the quality for improvements by adding more ingredients if need be. But what sort of improvement do you need in pre- marital sex that you would not still accomplish when married. Marriage is a Life time commitment and the more the improvement in all factors at stake, the better the intimacy and possibility of becoming one. As for extra marital relationships, they are not only medically wrong, but as well morally and socially bad. If you think this Idea is too conservative, then think and take a look at the exposed extra-marital affairs of some celebrities such as Tiger Woods and John Terry, in relation to the general public and their fans. Then statistics will make you understand the ‘social- contempt’, extramarital affairs can stimulate.

Abstinence is not practiced, it is perfected. As we all have the ability to abstain. Dennis Wolfberg, the late American stand up comedian and actor, once quoted to confirm this statement. “I didn’t practice abstinence, I perfected it”. The major reason why abstinence becomes a difficulty is the fact that we kill this potential ability in us. And in some cases, it goes so bad to the extreme- addiction. The only way to sexual addiction is sexual exposure from an early age leading to continuous sexual activities as the child grows to his or her late teens and even older. This is also applicable to drug addiction.

According to SADD’s MISSION statistics of the year 2005, taken from around the entire states of the United States of America, 46.8% of all high school students report that they have sexual intercourse and 6.2% of high school students have had sexual intercourse for the first time before the age 13. Not only that, 14.3% of high school students nationwide have had sexual intercourse with four or more persons during their lives.

Talking about drugs, 9.9% of youth ages 12- 17 were illicit drug users; 6.8% use marijuana, 3.3% used prescription drugs for non medical uses, 1.2% used inhalants, 0.8% used hallucinogens and 0.6% used cocaine. Also, half of teens (50%) have tried an illicit drug by the time they finished high school. Though these statistics may have been taken years back, but surely it is appalling information and most probably parents and all stake holders involved (especially the school guidance and other parties) should put more careful attention to their children.

The best part of this statistics is the fact that youths ages 12- 17 who believed their parents would strongly disapprove of their using a particular substance were less likely to use that substance than were youths who believed their parents would somewhat disapprove of neither approve nor disapprove. SO, this have to do with home/ parental training which would not be discussed as it is outside the scope of the subject matter.

The point is, children of this present generation are sexually very active even from a very early age. And for this reason, they need adequate sex education with the sermon preached, not from a formal approach but rather done in adequate love, care and full attention. Taking advantage of the relationship to a great deal of understanding between the parent and the child would serve as the tool to achieving it. If this system is practiced there would definitely be an increase in the percentage of children who would adopt abstinence.

Now in general, consider this scenario. You want to go to the shopping mall by foot which is 5km from your home but there are 3 short routes about 2.5km each in which there is the probability of coming across wild dogs in one, been attacked by hoodlums in the other and as for the last- been hit by a car due to its busy nature (though, these incidences occur once in 2 months, but they continuously happen in that rate of occurrence). Would you still take the risk to follow one of the short routes? Some of us, knowing fully well the nature of events still follow one of these short routes and if unfortunate, get bitten by a dog (or some dogs) or been attacked or hit by a car. That is what majority of us do. The shorter time of going to the mall and back home should not be more of a priority to your Life and health. This is exactly the circumstance we face in Abstinence. It is a 100% route of safety but we prefer short- lived pleasure, which we would still enjoy later in Life or are enjoying with a legal partner.

All said and done, other preventive measures are never absolute and still give room or chances for the spread of the Virus to occur. If we can abstain why not give ourselves the 100% chance to be risk free from contracting the virus? There is great gain and full advantage when you abstain be it moral, mental, religious, and of course social. It also adds fun and spice to your marriage Life in the nearest future if you are single. Usually, you enjoy to the fullest, what you have been anticipating for a long time. Some people taste the soup two, three, four times and end up decreasing or even losing their appetite, therefore not enjoying the soup later when it is done. But when the soup is tabled for you to eat- fresh and new, you take it as though you could finish a drum of it and still ask for more.

On a final note, in as much as awareness on all the protective systems of avoiding the virus  transmission  is important; it is very necessary to stress the fact that Abstinence is the best and sure way and hence treat the best as the best. Do not gamble; abstain to sustain your Life.

Tips To Find Best Dental Assistant Programs

Dentistry is an area of medical practice that will always be in demand. Assistants skilled in the field of dentistry are confident about their job prospects. One needs to undertake years of training and learning to get qualified as a full-grown dentist, but if a person, who is looking to exert their energy in an area of less job responsibility than a dentist, then dental assistant programs can be a good choice. Joining the right school with the sound schooling is what makes a great career in healthcare industry worthwhile. Bear the following tips in mind when searching for best dental assistant programs:

Duration of the Course:

Before you put your name for any of the dental assistant programs, you must consider how long the program duration is and how rigorous the training will be. The duration of classic training programs ranges within 6 to 9 months. With a 6-month program as a dental assistant, you can begin earning sooner, but your level of knowledge will be unlike a dental assistant with a 9-month training period, as these encompass a broader range of areas related to dental care under discussion. With one of these longer more in-depth programs, you will be in a better position to get more job opportunities. On the other hand, if you plan to carry on with advanced dental schooling in future, a program of lesser duration can prove sufficient to grant you the certification you need. Even if you do not intend to go on to higher education, a fundamental 6-month training gives you an opportunity to participate in placement programs and get you a good job.

What Is The Teaching Method Used?

Regardless of your choice of a six-month or nine-month dental assistant programs, you must ensure that the training blends wide-ranging education points and purposes, dedicated lecturing and practical training. This practical training part is supposed to be the central feature for you to try to find, as here they prepare you for the real thing via this facet of schooling. With practical training, you will be all geared-up when starting to work at dental clinics, hospitals and miscellaneous healthcare centers soon after your education.

What Is The Course Syllabus Made Up Of?

There are many facets concerning dental assistant programs. As healthcare is a serious question of public interest, suitable and appropriate training is indispensable to ensure that patient care and safety is not compromised in any way. Each patient deserves to get the best possible care. Thus, you must search for a training program that will educate you in the following crucial areas: (dental/medical) urgent situations, skiagraphy, dental orthopedics, dental terms and expressions, tooth morphology, disease   transmission , clinical procedures, oral surgery and preventive dentistry and nutrition.

Easy Songs To Play On Guitar With 4 Simple Open Chords

Learning Chords

For most beginners at guitar playing, the first goal is to learn some easy songs to play on the guitar. And one of the main challenges here is learning all the guitar chords needed in order to be able to play those songs.

And that’s not always an easy thing to accomplish. Many songs uses chords that seem to have been invented for no other reason than to make it impossible to play. No wonder you give up on those songs. They have to wait until you get better at guitar playing.

G-Em-C-D

The Chord progression G-Em-C-D is a common (big understatement!) sequence all over the world, in all sorts of music styles. You can of course transpose to other chords, like C-Am-F-G or D-Bm-G-A and so on. Another way to “transpose” a song that not fits your voice is to use a capo at any fret you like.

I have compiled a little list of songs that I found that uses these chords. Many of them uses the progression all the way through the entire song, others are played with variations. And a few of them uses other chords as well.

The List

So here it is, my small gift to those of you who can’t find easy songs to play on guitar.

Here are the chords again, with two additional variations.

(C-Am-F-G), (G-Em-C-D), (D-Bm-G-A)

Stand by Me – Ben E. King

Heart and Soul – Hoagy Carmichael

The Thin Ice – Pink Floyd

Earth Angel – The Penguins (in family guy, back to the future etc.)

Donna – Ritchie Valens

Duke of Earl – Gene Chandler

Every Breath You Take – The Police

The Living Daylights – a-Ha

Last Kiss

Those Magic Changes and Beauty School Dropout – from Grease

Leader of the Pack

You Send Me

Blue Moon – Chris Isaak

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do – The Carpenters

Bubble Goose – Wyclef Jean

Teenager in Love – Dion & The Belmonts(?)

Fly On The Wings Of Love – The Olsen Brothers

Bus Station – Tom Russell

Heart Of Gold – Neil young

Stand By Me – Ben E King

Beautiful Girls – Sean Kingston

I’ve just seen a face – The Beatles

Last Kiss – Pearl Jam

Bleeding Love – Leona Lewis (I think?)

Single Ladies – Beyonce

Baby – Justin Bieber

Mary’s Song- Taylor Swift

Jump then Fall- Taylor Swift

Wrapped in your Arms- Fireflight

This magic moment

Up on the roof- The Drifters

Wonderful world – Herman Hermits

Lovers moon – Glenn Frye – My new favorite.

She will be loved – Maroon 5

His Latest Flame – Elvis.

I Only Want To Be With You – Dusty Springfield.

End Of The Line – Traveling Wilburys.

Puff The Magic Dragon – Peter, Paul and Mary

Kumbayah

Where Have All The Flowers Gone? – Pete Seeger

Look at the first song in this list. In all its simplicity “Stand By Me” is a fantastic song, and it has travelled with me through all these years. And it’s a very easy song to play on guitar.

If you like that song I’ll show you a very special version of it, at my website.

The Search for the Best Treatment for Common Cold Symptoms

Opinions vary about the best treatment for common cold symptoms. Zinc common cold remedies are much in the news, but some controversy surrounds their use.

Over the counter products, vitamin supplements and herbal remedies are really the only options a person has for treating a cold. Because colds are caused by viruses, there are no effective prescription medications and a visit to the doctor is usually unnecessary, unless a secondary bacterial infection, such as a sinus or ear infection occurs. Antibiotics are not effective for either preventing or treating a cold. Over-use of antibiotics has led to the development of more resistant strains of bacteria.

According to many experts, the best treatment for common cold symptoms is to get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids. Probably, because so many people have a busy lifestyle, pharmaceutical companies keep coming up with products like zinc common cold remedies and other multi-symptom cold relievers. Advertising for these products typically suggests that these can help you “get on with your life”. But many of these products have unwanted side effects. Some can be relatively serious, considering that cold symptoms are typically gone in a week or so.

Some people who have used a zinc common cold nasal spray or gel have lost their sense of smell. One company was sued and settled out of court without admitting fault. At least two different clinical studies have confirmed that these zinc common cold remedies effectively reduce the duration of symptoms, but other studies confirm that these preparations can cause a permanent loss of the sense of smell. In fact, one study performed by the George Eby Research Group in Austin, Texas concludes that “it is unethical to introduce any potentially permanent anosmia-inducing agent such as zinc or other heavy metals into the interior of the nose in a manner that could result in contact with the olfactory region to treat a temporary discomfort such as a common cold or allergy.” The term anosmia means loss of sense of smell.

Several other studies confirm that when zinc common cold remedies come into contact with the lining of the nose, permanent loss of the sense of smell can occur. Manufactures of these products claim that they may be the best treatment for common cold available and can reduce the duration of cold symptoms to as little as two days. But, in fact, many people recover from a common cold in a couple of days, anyway. Some viral infections last longer in some people and symptoms may last as long as two weeks, but the study in Texas showed that the zinc common cold remedies did not significantly reduce the duration of common cold symptoms. The majority of volunteers had recovered within a week, whether they were given the zinc common cold remedies or a placebo.

Because some people recover from symptoms so quickly, without treatment, it has been difficult for researchers to determine the best treatment for common cold symptoms. Some people are more susceptible to infection with cold viruses than others. A recent study indicates that asthma sufferers, who typically have more than their fair share of colds, produce less anti-viral proteins than normal. Supporting the belief that efforts to improve immune system function can be the best treatment for common cold symptoms, as well as the best prevention.

Vitamin C supplementation is considered, by some, to be the best treatment for common cold symptoms, but opinions vary. Some studies have shown that it is an effective preventative; others have shown it to be less effective. Again the difference in the results of these studies is probably related to the difference in people. Injecting the rhinovirus directly into the nose causes an infection in 95% of people, but only 75% of them develop any symptoms at all. If you decide to increase your vitamin C intake and you develop diarrhea, then you are getting too much vitamin C and should reduce the daily dosage.

Many herbalists still recommend Echinacea as the best treatment for common cold symptoms. Some still recommend it as a preventative, but clinical studies have shown that taking the herb for extended periods of time can be toxic to the liver. It was used traditionally by Native Americans as a treatment, not a preventative. For occasional use Echinacea appears to be safe, but there are safer herbs.

Andrographis paniculata, an herb used in traditional Asian medicine, may be the best treatment for common cold symptoms and an effective preventative. In one study, a group of volunteers were given the herb or a placebo and results showed that those who were given the herb were less likely to become infected with influenza viruses; these are some of the viruses that can cause common cold symptoms. In those people who took the herb and did develop the flu, symptoms were less severe and complications, such as pneumonia, did not develop. Andrographis paniculata has been shown to have no toxic effects on animals, even when used in large amounts.

The complications that are associated with zinc common cold nasal sprays or gels are not associated with dietary supplements of zinc. And, zinc is important to proper immune system function and overall good health. For more information about natural products that are believed to be the best protection from and the best treatment for common cold symptoms, visit www.immune-system-booster-guide.com.

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The Importance of Warming Up and Cooling Down

One of the most important factors in injury prevention is warming up and cooling down, and should not be neglected.

Warming up refers to a preparatory phase at the beginning of an exercise session. Warming up generally involves a period of low-impact exercise regimes which prepare the body for the more strenuous aspects of the sporting activity. Warming up is an important aspect of exercise in reducing the risk of injury that would possibly happen if over stretching occurred, without the person being physically warmed up and prepared for the exercise.

Cooling down refers to a short period at the end of an exercise session. The cooling down phase, again, tends to involve a short period of low-impact exercise which gradually returns the body to its ‘resting state’. The cooling down phase is believed to reduce the risk of muscular soreness which may occur the day after an exercise session, and reduce the risk of fainting or collapse after such a session.

The Warming Up Session

An exercise session should always commence with a period of warm up. In some cases it may take the form of a series of specially designed preparatory exercise, whilst in other sessions it will simply involve performing the activity at a low density before increasing the intensity to the desired level. The warming up period is important for the following reasons:

  • It gets the body ready for the physcal exertion that follows. This optimises the physical condition, enabling the body to cope more easily with the activity. It also enables the athlete to get the most benefit from the session.
  • If the warm-up session has specific movements relating to the sporting activity the muscles can be re-educated in preparation for the coming activities.
  • It reduces the risk of injury (cold muscles do not stretch very easily) and it reduces the risk of premature fatigue which can occur if the cardiovascular system is unprepared for strenuous activity.
  • It prepares cardiac function for increased activity and reduces the risk of stress being placed on the heart.

A typical warm-up may involve some ‘loosening exercises’ followed by a few minutes of low-impact aerobic activity and then a series of stretching exercises. This may last for approximately five to fifteen minutes depending upon the intensity of the session which follows. Loosening exercises at the start of the warm up may include activities such as ‘stretching’ and ‘running on the spot’. These are gentle activities which begin to prepare the body for exercise and are especially important if the athlete has been inactive for a while.

The aerobic exercise may involve activities such as cycling on an exercise cycle. This has the effect of increasing the heart rate, diverting blood to the exercising muscles and raising the overall temperature of the muscles.

Stretching exercises provide the final phase of warm up and ensure that the muscles and tendons are prepared for the exercise. An important reason for stretching exercises is to prevent the muscles and tendons from being overstretched during the session. Such a warm up will also prepare the joints for physical activity.

The Effects of Warm Up on the Body are:

  • Cold muscle, tendons and connectinve tissue do not stretch very easily. Stretching without a warm-up is therefore unlikely to produce the best effects. Warming up also relaxes the body and muscle which further allows them to be stretched effectively. It is also believed that cold muscles and tendons are more prone to damage since they are more likely to tear when cold.
  • A warm-up increases the heart rate gradually, and aerobic exercise prepares the heart and cardiovascular system, together with the muscles, gradually, for exercise.
  • A warm-up also causes the blood to be diverted to the exercising muscles. This is achieved by getting the blood vessels that supply the muscles being used, to dilate. This extra blood is diverted from areas of the body not as important for exercising, such as the gut.
  • Exercising, without warming up, may cause the muscles to work without an adequate oxygen supply. This forces them to use anaerobic processes to supplement their production of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). As a consequence, lactic acid accumulates and the muscles may become prematurely fatigued.

A warm-up increases the temperature of the body. This increase in temperature facilitates and speeds up many of the processes associated with exercise metabolism. It increases the rate of nerve impulse transmission, the rate of oxygen delivery to the muscles and the speed of the reactions associated with the production of ATP. Therefore, in this context, a warm up may be said to optimise the condition of the body.

Cooling Down

A cool-down involves a short period at the end of an exercise session during which the physical activity of the body is gradually reduced to almost its resting level. A cool-down therefore often involves a period of low-impact aerobic exercise which is gradually reduced, followed by a few gentle stretching exercises. This has a number of effects.

The gentle aerobic activity helps to get rid of any metabolic waste products which may have accumulated during the exercise session. The benefits of an active recovery are believed to be related to the muscles continuing to receive a more extensive supply of oxygenated blood, which will also assist with the removal of metabolic waste products.

During exercise the blood is being pumped around the body by the action of the heart. However, the blood is assisted in its return to the heart via the venous system and muscular contraction. If an athlete stops exercising suddenly, the heart continues to beat fast, sending blood around the body, but, because the exercise has ceased, the blood is no longer assisted in its return to the heart. It is suggested that this is one of the reasons why people sometimes feel faint after exercise. During a cool-down, the heart rate is gradually lowered to its resting level and the venous return continues to be assisted by the actively contracting muscles, thereby preventing this problem.

After exercising, and following the cool-down period, the athlete’s heart will still need a period of time to settle back down to its full resting rate but should be within 30 beats of what it was before the exercise session started. This will, of course, be influenced by the overall physical condition of the individual. It may also be influenced by the content of the session, with more demanding sessions requiring a more extensive cool-down. The cooling down period also provides an opportunity for the inclusion of additional stretching exercises, which may be desirable especially if they were not included as part of the main session. The inclusion of stretching exercises within the cool-down period not only helps to gradually lower the activity level of the body at the end of the session, but it may also prevent stiffness the following day.

The cool-down period is also likely to take place when the body is warm, making the muscles more receptive to stretching. The most effective stretching can therefore be performed at this time.

Flu Prevention and the Gym Member

Health officials’ warning this month of a potentially harsh flu season should be a red flag to avid aerobic-bunnies and gym-jocks alike. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warn that the flu is transmitted when flu virus in the air is inhaled after an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. Transmission also occurs when a person touches a surface that has flu virus on it and then touches his or her nose or mouth. Those familiar with the typical health club milieu, then, can easily liken a workout in the gym to sitting in a veritable Petry dish…

Heavy-breathing members on closely-placed cardiovascular machines and in crowded group fitness classes, hundreds of kinds of shared equipment from dumbbells and weight plates to public restrooms and the corner water fountain provide countless opportunities for contact with the flu virus. So, short of ditching our fitness goals until mid-Spring, it would do us well to learn more about the flu, it’s prevention, and what we can do about it.

What is the flu?

The flu, or influenza, is a contagious disease caused by the influenza virus. It attacks the respiratory tract in humans (nose, throat, and lungs). The flu is different from a cold; it usually comes on suddenly and may include these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Tiredness (can be extreme)
  • Dry cough
  • Sore Throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Body aches

About 10% to 20% of U.S. residents will get the flu each year. Among these persons infected, an average of 36,000 will die, and 114,000 will be hospitalized. Although the CDC claims it is not possible to accurately predict the severity of the flu season, this year’s early incidence of Type A flu strain is historically associated with a more severe flu season, including higher numbers of related hospitalizations and deaths. To make the outlook more grim, an epidemiological assessment by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) already reports “widespread” influenza activity in over 10 U.S. states.

Who is at risk?

Although anyone can get the flu, including individuals who are healthy, there are various groups who are at higher risk for complications. These high risk groups include:

  • persons aged > 50 years;
  • residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that house persons of any age who have long-term illnesses;
  • adults and children > 6 months of age who have chronic heart or lung conditions, including asthma;
  • adults and children > 6 months of age who need regular medical care or had to be in a hospital because of metabolic diseases (like diabetes), chronic kidney disease, or weakened immune system (including immune system problems caused by medicine or by infection with human immunodeficiency virus [HIV/AIDS]);
  • children and teenagers (aged 6 months to 18 years) who are on long-term aspirin therapy and therefore could develop Reye Syndrome after the flu; and
  • women who will be more than 3 months pregnant during the flu season.

How to Prevent Getting the Flu

Health officials are encouraging people, particularly those in high-risk groups to obtain a flu shot. The CDC states that an annual flu shot is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get the flu.

The best time to get a flu shot is from October through November, although you can still benefit from getting the vaccine after November, even if the flu is present in your community. Be aware that it takes about two weeks after the vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body to provide protection.

Obtaining the vaccine does not guarantee a flu-free season, however. Influenza viruses are constantly changing, and vaccine effectiveness depends on the match between vaccine strains and circulating viruses and the age and health status of the person getting the shot. Although the strain in this year’s flu vaccine is different from the circulating strain, the CDC states that studies indicate that the vaccine should provide some cross-protection against the circulating A strain.

Some people resist getting the flu shot because of the belief that they will get severe side effects, or even the flu itself, from the vaccine. The viruses in the vaccine are inactivated, so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Certain side effects are possible, such as soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given, fever (low grade), and aches.

Chances that the shot will cause serious harm, or death, is very small and allergic reactions to the vaccine, though possible, are rare, states the CDC. Most people who get the vaccine have no serious problems with it. However, the following groups should not get a flu shot before talking with their doctor:

  • People with an allergy to hens’ eggs.
  • People who have had a severe reaction to a flu shot in the past.
  • People who have developed Guillian-Barre Syndrome in the 6 weeks following a flu shot.

Since obtaining vaccination doesn’t necessarily guarantee immunity against the flu, it is wise to add common sense to our prevention efforts while we are busy pumping iron at the health club. Old fashioned hand-hygiene can go a long way in helping to prevent flu transmission. Although you don’t want to spend your entire workout running to the restroom to wash your hands after every set, it’s certainly advisable to make sure your hands are clean before and after the workout. Refrain from touching your nose and mouth during the workout to avoid obtaining the virus. Use of hand-antiseptics which include alcohol can also help to prevent transmission of the flu virus.

What to do if you get the flu

So what if you obtain a flu shot, practice stellar hand-hygiene and manage to contract the flu anyway? Since it is impossible to tell if you have the flu based on symptoms alone, visit your doctor. Tests can be performed in the first few days of the illness to determine the diagnosis. Since influenza is caused by a virus, antibiotics won’t work to cure it. You need to rest, drink plenty of fluids, avoid using alcohol and tobacco, and possibly take medication to relieve symptoms.

The CDC warns never to give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, particularly fever, without speaking to your doctor. Doing so can cause a rare but serious illness called Reye syndrome.

By all accounts, we may be in store for a particularly harsh flu season this year. Take precaution to reduce the likelihood of getting the flu, particularly if you are an avid gym-goer. Preventative measures may not only help to avoid the flu, but also interrupting hard earned progress on your fitness goals.

For more information about the flu, it’s transmission, prevention and treatment, check out the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/flu/

Genital Herpes Symptoms and Treatment

Genital herpes is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases in the world today. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus.  This is the family of viruses that causes cold sores, shingles, and chicken pox. 

Genital herpes is caused by infection with the herpes simplex2 virus (HSV2). HSV1 is the virus that causes cold sores on the lips and nose area. The herpes virus, however, is not too particular about the mucous membrane it calls home and will happily live in either the mucous membranes of the mouth and lip area or the reproductive tract.  Because of this, oral genital contact can spread either HSV1, HSV2. Viral transmission can occur from the mouth to the genitals or from the genitals to the mouth. The blister type lesions caused by either virus are virtually identical.

Genital Herpes Symptoms

Sometimes after the initial infection there may be fever and general malaise as could be seen with any acute viral infection but this is not always apparent in all cases.  In fact the symptoms of a genital herpes infection may not be known to you until you see some blisters on or around your genital area. 

This is called an outbreak and is characteristic of the way the herpes virus acts in the body. There will be periods when the virus is dormant and none of the characteristic symptoms of genital herpes are present.  Then there will be these outbreak periods where blisters appear in the genital area and may even extend to the anal area. 

The blisters will act like any normal cold sore on the lips.  They come up with an initial tingling, then grow larger and spread and eventually burst leaving an ulceration that will slowly heal on its own.

In men these blisters occur on or around the penis.  In women the blisters may actually be in the vagina as well as on the surrounding genital area. 

Symptoms of genital herpes will come and go but the virus stays with you forever. The number of outbreaks will gradually become less and less and in some cases, some people do not see outbreaks at all.   

Diagnosis

You may not know you have contracted genital herpes until the first breakout of the blisters. Symptoms of genital herpes are so mild in some people they think they just have a skin irritation.  The best thing to do is to be checked by a doctor so that you can get diagnosed properly. 

Doctors can usually make the diagnosis based on inspection of the genital area as the lesions are quite specific in appearance.  In some instances the doctor may take a swab on the blister fluid to see if it contains the virus.

Genital Herpes Treatment

There is no cure for genital herpes, however, it can be controlled so that you can live a normal sexually active life.  Anti-viral medications are often prescribed at the first outbreak to knock back the infection and may be used for prolonged periods if outbreaks are frequent.

Other treatments for the discomfort of an outbreak are common sense measures such as wearing loose comfortable clothing, using cold compresses or soothing creams and ointments on the blisters.

A strong and healthy immune system is needed to keep the virus suppressed and to reduce the frequency of outbreaks. Health denying habits such as smoking, drug use, or toxic relationships will drain the resources of your immune system so your best method of treatment is to maintain good health.  This would include eating whole nourishing foods, getting plenty of exercise, and managing stress. 

Complications

Generally the herpes simplex virus is not considered a dangerous infection to persons who have a fully functioning immune system. The virus will be suppressed and outbreaks will not be common as long as the immune system is functioning well.

However, if the immune system becomes burdened or compromised in any way then outbreaks will be more likely to occur.  This may happen during times of physical or emotional stress.  If the immune system is comprised by other more serious illnesses such as HIV or cancer then the herpes virus can become more dangerous.

If the virus is directly transmitted to other areas such as the eyes, or the brain, complications can be very serious. This direct transmission can happen in a number of ways but the most common is during the birth process.  The infant can become infected with the virus from contact with the mother’s vagina during birth.

If you suspect you may have contracted a genital herpes infection see your doctor as soon as possible.  Never have sex during an outbreak and never have unprotected sex. This means using a condom  (either male or female type)  during every sexual encounter even during oral sex. 

Additionally you should always inform your partner of your herpes status.  This is always the right thing to do.

Identify Male Yeast Infection Symptoms

If you were under the impression that only women suffer from candida yeast infection then you would be surprised that men may also suffer from this problem. It is important to identify male yeast infection symptoms because sexual intercourse is one of the ways in which this infection gets transmitted.

Candida is normally known to infect the skin, mouth, colon and the genitals. However most often it is either the vagina in the case of women and penile infection in the case of women that causes a lot of discomfort.

Some of the very common male infection symptoms are itching, irritation and mild pain in the penis head. One may also have pain while urinating. The penis may have redness along with some blisters.

It is always better to visit a doctor to get proper diagnosis and testing done to confirm the presence of this infection rather than self diagnosis. This is important because some of the male yeast infection symptoms are very similar to genital herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases.

Once the problem is confirmed then a natural remedy or one of the home remedies can be tried out. Home remedies used for vaginal candida infection work for the penile infection also. Yogurt and garlic can be used externally as well as consumed orally to get relief from this problem.

If is always recommended to stay away from sex if even one of the partners is infected. Alternately one can use a condom for sexual intercourse to prevent the   transmission  of the infection. In fact both partners should get a diagnosis done and take steps to prevent candida infection.

Preventive steps like wearing cotton undergarments, avoiding soaps with chemicals, changing wet clothes quickly, avoiding perfumes and deodorants in the genitals, avoiding sugar, bread, pickles, preserved mushrooms and other items that have yeast in any form should be avoided. This can help in controlling the problem.

If you are using natural treatment for male yeast infection symptoms along with conventional medicines then it is better to discuss this with your doctor. Sometimes natural herbs can interfere with conventional medicines.

One more important step is to not consume antibiotics for correcting this problem. Repeated use of antibiotics is known to aggravate the problem after a brief period of relief. It has been noted that the candida organism develops resistance to antibiotics after some time. Using time tested and proven natural remedies is the best solution for this problem in the long term.