I grew up right outside of New York City. Before there was the internet, you would have to get a train schedule to find out when the trains were going to be stopping in our home town to take you all the way to the city. It was only about an hour ride but we had to make sure that we were going to be able to make it back in time for dinner. We would skip school and hop on the train and check the pnr status so we would know what train we had to take back before our parents knew that we had actually skipped school to go walk around the big bad city by ourselves. Read more…
The bends, also referred to as caisson disease or decompression sickness, is a common effect to people who are pursue activities that involve quick pressure changes all over the body. Scuba divers most commonly experience this. In most cases, the bends occur when a diver resurfaces too quickly. It can greatly affect many different parts of the body including the skin, brain, joints, and heart.
This article was submitted by Josh, a long-time diver and traveler. He is not an expert in this field but found this topic interesting and offer to let us publish it. Josh owns the blog, “The Best Bug Out bag List” where he discusses survival, preparedness and the art of creating the perfect bug out bag.
The build of nitrogen bubbles in a person’s body causes decompression sickness (DCS). Once we breathe, roughly 79 percent of the air we are inhaling is nitrogen. At the time that scuba divers go down under the water, the pressure around the diver’s body increases, which causes nitrogen to be absorbed into body tissues. This is not dangerous to the body; the body can absorb quite a bit of nitrogen before it gets to a point known as saturation. At this point, the pressure around the body tissues equalizes with the surrounding pressure. However, the risky part is when the current pressure needs to be released. If the diver resurfaces too fast, then the nitrogen will also be released too fast causing gas bubbles. These in return contribute to the side effects that the diver experiences discussed below.
Typically, there are two types of the bends or DCS. These are categorized into Type I decompression sickness and Type II decompression sickness. Type I DCS mainly indicates mild symptoms and is considered the less serious type. Normally, it involves only body pain and is not life threatening to the person. However, type I symptoms should be taken seriously because these might lead to more serious complications. On the other hand, type II DCS is the most serious and can be life threatening. It mainly affects the nervous system, unlike type I that affects the muscular system.
The bends can be seen in many different symptoms, so it is necessary to take account of the most common symptoms of this illness. Primarily, the most common symptoms of DCS are known as musculoskeletal symptoms. In most divers, they frequently feel pain in and around major joints with the elbows and shoulders mostly affected.
More symptoms include:
- Extreme fatigue – Intense tiredness that is not proportional to the activity just executed like scuba diving.
- Skin – Red or marble rashes on the skin may occur if you experience the bends. These can be very itchy.
- Pain – Pain can be felt in the neck, torso, or head. If these symptoms present, expect the worse.
- Ringing in the ears – More commonly known as staggers or inner ear problems. Some experience deafness, vomiting, or spinning sensation.
- Lymph nodes/glands can be swollen and painful
- Numbness and dizziness
- Blurred vision and headaches
- Heart and respiratory problems
Once a diver, or any person, has the symptoms of the bends, it is recommended to see a doctor at an emergency care facility immediately to receive aid.
Virtually all water sports require special gear in order to perform it more effectively. Diving is no different. Whether you’re scuba diving US or just diving in Indonesia, you need the appropriate gear that suits you best. It is advisable to read diving gear reviews to gain information about what you need when you decide to go scuba diving. The infographic below will also share you the best reef diving destinations you should explore.
Cardiovascular fitness, sometimes referred to as aerobic fitness, is the ability of the lungs to provide oxygen to the blood and of the heart to pump oxygen-enriched blood to body tissues. A more everyday definition is the ability to sustain a continuous activity level for an extended time. Running, walking and swimming are examples of exercises that build cardiovascular fitness. In fact, any activity that raises your heart rate and keeps it up it up for some time functions as cardiovascular exercise, also called simply cardio. This fitness is the result of your your heart, lungs, muscles and blood working together in concert while you exercise.
According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association, this kind of fitness is linked to a reduction in blood pressure, reduced risk of developing coronary heart disease, lowered incidence of diabetes, decreased risk of stroke and heart attack, lower fat mass, increased bone mass, improved energy levels and greater resistance to illness and fatigue. These benefits are attributed to cardiovascular exercise as much as they are fitness. Benefits decline if exercise is not regular and consistent.
If you follow a regular program of cardio exercise, your risk of high blood pressure and stroke are also lowered. The level of HDL, or “good” cholesterol tends to rise. The level of triglycerides, linked to coronary heart disease, falls. Persons who have heart attacks have better survival rates if they start and maintain a program of cardiovascular fitness training.
The American Heart association points out that cardiovascular fitness is strongly recommended to help you lose weight and keep it off. Cardio is useful for countering severe weight gain or obesity as well as related conditions like Type two diabetes. Effective weight loss does require more than the minimum level of cardiovascular exercise. The Walking Site suggests you build up to 45 to 60 minutes a day at least five days per week.
This has been shown to have other benefits, like a reduced risk of colon cancer, according to the American Heart Association. If you smoke, you’ll find it easier to cut down on the tobacco even if you don’t manage to quit entirely. It is also associated with reduced feelings of depression, more energy and an improved sense of well-being.
This type of fitness is expressed as your VO2 max — the maximum volume of oxygen you can take in through your lungs, pump around your body using your heart and blood vessels and then make use of in your muscles. Fitness can be assessed using a number of tests, including treadmill tests, step-up tests, cycling and rowing tests. Rudimentary fitness tests are often hard-wired into common cardio exercise machines so you can assess your CV fitness without having to go to a sports science laboratory.
As you get fitter — for example after an extended period of performing regular aerobic exercise — your body makes numerous adaptations that result in improved cardiovascular fitness. The muscles involved in respiration — your intercostals and diaphragm — get stronger and more efficient. The capillaries in your alveoli — the tiny blood vessels that supply the air sacs deep in your lungs — increase in number. In short, you become better able to take in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Your heart gets stronger and more efficient as you get fitter. A fit, strong heart can pump more blood per beat than a smaller, less fit heart. Your muscles also get fitter and stronger as a result of exercise. The number and size of the capillaries that deliver oxygen to and take carbon dioxide from your muscles increases. The number and size of mitochondria — the energy-producing cells — also increases.
Cardiovascular exercise is beneficial and healthful but does not come without risks. If you have been sedentary for a long time, are significantly overweight, are suffering from any form of cardiovascular or metabolic disease or have any joint problems, seek medical advice before beginning any sort of new workout routine.
Aquatic therapy or pool therapy consists of an exercise program that is performed in the water. It is a beneficial form of therapy that is useful for a variety of medical conditions. This therapy uses the physical properties of water to assist in patient healing and exercise performance. Therapists use the water and specifically designed activities to enhance, restore, and maintain a person’s functional abilities. Conditions can be acute, transient, or chronic.
After an illness, injury, or surgery, a patient’s sensitivity to pain may be increased or the ability to bear weight on the injured area limited. In water, the pull of gravity on the body is not as strong as on land, therefore motion and functional activity are more comfortable. Water supports the body, reduces joint stress, and provides resistance and assistance to movement. Patients can improve mobility, strength, and function rapidly during the healing process. Other benefits include:
- Improved muscle strength and tone
- Increased cardiovascular function
- Reduced stress
- Decreased swelling
- Increased circulation
- Increased strength and endurance
- Increased range of motion and flexibility
- Increased balance and coordination
Four components of aquatic therapy that ‘land based’ therapies may not offer:
Buoyancy – One benefit of aquatic therapy is the buoyancy provided by the water. While submerged in water, buoyancy assists in supporting the weight of the patient. This decreases the amount of weight bearing which reduces the force of stress placed on the joints. This aspect of aquatic therapy is especially useful for patients with arthritis, healing fractured bones, or who are overweight. It allows a person to move more easily with decreased stress on muscles, joints, and bones.
Heat – Aquatic therapy is provided in a heated pool, temperatures ranging from 94-96 degrees. The warmth of the water experience during aquatic therapy assists in relaxing muscles and vasodilates vessels, increasing blood flow to injured areas. Patients with muscle spasms, back pain, and fibromyalgia find this aspect of aquatic therapy especially therapeutic.
Hydrostatic Pressure – Aquatic therapy also utilizes hydrostatic pressure to decrease swelling and improve joint position awareness. The hydrostatic pressure produces forces perpendicular to the body’s surface. This pressure provides joint positional awareness to the patient. As a result, patient proprioception is improved. This is important for patients who have experienced joint sprains, as when ligaments are torn, our proprioception becomes decreased. The hydrostatic pressure also assists in decreasing joint and soft tissue swelling that results after injury or with arthritic disorders. Once swelling is reduced, joint tenderness may decrease and range of motion can increase.
Resistance – Allows for improvement in balance and strength in all muscle directions. On land, resistance is felt in only one direction, which leads to an over development of some muscles and under utilization of others. Resistance also increases sensory awareness. The viscosity of water provides an excellent source of resistance that can be easily incorporated into an aquatic therapy exercise program. This resistance allows for muscle strengthening without the need of weights. Using resistance coupled with the water’s buoyancy allows a person to strengthen muscle groups with decreased joint stress that can not be experienced on land.
It is important to know however, that aquatic therapy is not for everyone. People with cardiac disease should not participate in aquatic therapy. Those who have fevers, infections, or bowel/bladder incontinence are also not candidates for aquatic therapy. Always discuss this with your physician before beginning an aquatic therapy program.
Surfing is a sport that can take you years to master. But if you succeed in doing it well, it can be prove to be lots of fun. Learning how to surf can be quite tricky and if you are just learning how to do it, it’s important that you have realistic expectations. Some starters get easily discouraged if they are not able to do 360’s on their first day. Having this kind of mindset will not help you because the truth is, it’s not an activity that can be learned easily. But if you persist in doing it, you will learn how to surf.
They say that surfing fits those with a try and try again attitude because like all other sports, the best way to master it is to keep on practicing. It works best when you learn it at a young age but that doesn’t mean you can’t try if you’re above 40. Some people surf well into their 80s so there is no such thing as being too old to surf.
The most important thing to remember regardless of what age you are or what skill level you’re at is to have a healthy respect for the ocean. That cannot be stressed often enough. You have to understand what you are up against and make sure that you are safe when you surf. The moods of the ocean can be unpredictable and you wouldn’t want to get caught up in a really bad wave.
Some of the factors that you have to watch out for when surfing includes:
Know your terrain
• Weather: This is one of the major factors of ocean safety. A sunny day that’s a little windy is the perfect time to surf. But you have to keep watch because it can change in a second. The wind can pick up and cause waves to increase in size that can easily overwhelm you. So always be on the lookout.
• Waves: Check out the size of the waves, the bigger ones can really take you under. If you get swiped off and lose your board, it will be harder to recover. That’s apart from the fact that your board may hit someone else. The waves may not be solid but it can pack quite a punch. It will feel heavy when it hits you and can cause disorientation so much that you may not realize whether you’re up or down. If you’ve already been wiped out, it is best that you try to distance yourself from your board and land flat on your back with your arms outstretched.
• Reefs: Coral reefs are really pretty but they can also cause big waves that can really be hazardous for you. They are normally very shallow which means that hitting it during a wipeout can give you some really nasty cuts and bruises.
Look out for others
• Other surfers: Funny as it may sound, sometimes one of the biggest threat that you will meet in the ocean is the presence of other surfers. Things can get pretty hairy when you see boards flying all around you. This is the reason why there are established rules on surfing which often are enforced by local enthusiasts.
• Swimming Ability: This is also one of the more critical, and often over-looked element of ocean safety. There is no greater danger in any water sport than jumping in the ocean without really knowing how to swim. The surfboard is not a flotation device and it can easily separate from you. It is best that you take swimming lessons to ensure your safety. Even if lessons are done in a pool which is totally different from the ocean, the skills that you will learn can be adapted in any body of water.
• Holistic preparation: learn how to combine vitamins and supplements in stacks for increased alertness and focus while surfing. These natural boosters to body function enhance our capacity to pay attention, expand our awareness during those critical moments, and improve your overall mood.
The most important lesson that you need to learn is how to tread. You can do this with minimal energy and for long periods of time, if it becomes necessary. This will become invaluable to you in case you lose your board while surfing. You need to be comfortable in the ocean and remain calm in any situation.
At this point, you’ve probably realized that there’s more to surfing than meets the eye. While it can be really fun to do, there are a lot of things that you have to watch out for. If you feel hesitant to try out because the waves are too big or the beach is deserted, then come back another day. Your safety should be always your priority. If you’re smart about this, then you can probably look forward to a lot of surfing years.
There’s more to life than hanging out on a blanket waiting for sunburn to set in. Nearby are water sports, nature trails, galleries, rides, concerts, marine life and ferry rides. That’s just for starters. So next time you head to the beach, don’t forget to venture off the blanket and check out the world around you.
Beaches of South Walton, Florida
Located along Florida’s Gulf Coast, the Beaches of South Walton are made up of 18 small beach communities. Here, beautiful turquoise waters lap sugar-white sand beaches. The three that stand out are Grayton (named best beach in the nation in a 1994 study), Seaside (filled with quaint cottages) and Sandestin (the largest golf and tennis resort on the coast).
Best of all, you won’t find tacky chain motels or fast-food dives here — just great boutiques and galleries for those born to shop. Nature lovers will appreciate Grayton Beach’s nature trail, filled with otters, lizards and other wildlife. Seaside’s Summer Film Festival features a movie every Friday night through August for free! On Tuesday evenings, jam to the sounds of great musicians at the Sunset Serenade. Watch from your blanket. It’s free too.
Laguna Beach, California
Of the 5,000 plants and trees in California, 1,416 are found only in this region. One species, Dudlea Stolonifera, is found nowhere in the world but Laguna Canyon. Perhaps it’s the mild weather. July’s high is just 77 degrees — perfect for surfing, golf, swimming, tennis, hiking, fishing and sailing. Watch sea lions get nursed back to health at the Friends of the Sea Lion Marine Mammal Center. Go snorkeling, hike past waterfalls and do some major whale watching. Or browse along Gallery Row — a shopper’s paradise.
From July 7 through August 28, visit the Festival of Arts and Pageant of the Masters. Staged in the six-acre canyon park near the ocean, it is Southern California’s most renowned outdoor fine arts show, featuring paintings, photographs, ceramics, stained glass and tons of other crafts. The $3 admission fee includes hands-on art demonstrations and live musical entertainment. After sunset, the grounds undergo a transformation as art comes to life. Real people re-create works of art by posing to look exactly like original art pieces. Ticket prices vary from $15 to $40.
Cape May, New Jersey
In 1620, Capt. Cornelius Jacobsen May of Holland explored New Jersey and the Delaware Bay area, naming Cape May for himself. (Hey, wouldn’t you?) Over a century later, Cape May became the first seaside resort town in America. Many of the grand Victorian-style bed and breakfast inns are still in operation today.
What’s there to do? First, head to the beach and search for “diamonds.” Sunset Beach at Cape May Point is packed with pure quartz crystal pebbles. The source of the “diamonds” is 200 miles up the Delaware River where swift waters eroded away pockets and veins of quartz crystal. Each crystal has taken thousands of years to break from its source and travel the waters to its sandy destination.
When you’re done treasure hunting, wander over to the Atlantus (a cracked, weather-beaten ship made of concrete — one of only 12 experimental designs from WWI), the bird observatory (see an amazing variety of birds) or the old light-house (open to the public even during its restoration). When you’ve seen and done it all, ferry over to Lewes, Del., another wonderful beach town.
Erie County, Ohio
Erie County offers a triple tourism treat: Sandusky, the mainland beach area; Lake Erie Islands, easily accessible by ferry; and Cedar Point, the world’s largest amusement park, featuring three antique carousels and 11 roller coasters.
There is lots to do in Sandusky beyond taking in rays. Visit the Toft Dairy to see how ice cream is made. Hang ten at Surf’s Up Aquatic Center with its wave-action swimming pool and water slides. Catch live entertainment at the Sandusky State Theatre, and stroll among beds of roses, perennials and holly along the beautiful Sandusky Gardens. For action lovers, sprint car races are held every Saturday night at the Sandusky Speedway. The Maritime Center displays interesting commercial fishing artifacts. And don’t miss the Merry-Go-Round Museum, where you can take a spin around historical carousel displays.
Seen enough of Sandusky? Cruise on over to one or more of the Lake Erie Islands (Kelleys and South Bass are the two most popular). It’s easy to get back and forth since frequent ferry services run most the day. Back on Sandusky’s shore-line, don’t even think of missing Cedar Point Amusement Park. Set on 364 acres, there are 56 rides, including the Magnum XL-200 – ranked the No. 1 coaster in the world. This summer marks the park’s 125th anniversary.
Tybee Island, Georgia
For the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, Tybee Island will be the site for the yachting and beach volleyball events. The rest of the time, it’s a great family beach that stretches five miles across the warm waters of the Atlantic.
Some love it because it’s a mere half-hour drive from historic Savannah. Known as the “city of festivals,” there are all sorts of fun events scheduled all summer long. Family Day in the Park and Savannah Maritime Festival are just two.
Each year, Tybee Island is host to Savannah’s Annual Regatta, where the best sailboats prevail. Visit marine life at the beachside demonstrations for children. Cast your fishing lines from the beach and tidal creeks, or go for the big ones on a deep-sea fishing boat.
Visit the Fort Pulaski National Monument, designed by West Point engineering graduate Robert E. Lee. At Tybee Island Museum, discover a horde of treasures and climb a lighthouse that has stood guard since 1867. Finish the day by dining on famous she-crab soup and Savannah red rice, then catch a breeze on the veranda of a historic inn.