Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

You may remember, at last year’s London Olympics, I posted all the gold winning medallists of the British team. Well it’s currently the Athletics World Championships in Moscow & I’m going to do the same. I absolutely love watching athletics, probably more so than I do football. Now I’m from Liverpool, a two football club mad city, so if you’re not a red or a blue, well you’re viewed with deep suspicion. Much like witches were in the time of Medievalness! So for me to come out & say I prefer watching Athletics to football, is controversial to say the least.

Yesterday in Moscow our very own, two time gold winning Olympian from London, Mo Farah won the 10,000m. He was desperate to win, as it was the only global gold missing from his collection. He was predicted to win comfortably, but he didn’t have it all his own way, as the guy who pipped him to gold two years ago, was nipping at his heels all the way down the home straight.

Mo, I & hopefully all of Britain are very proud of you!


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BBC Three are currently airing a mental health season & last night ‘Diaries Of A Broken Mind’ was on. It focuses on 25 people chronicling their lives via a handheld camera. It was very insightful, as it literally gives you an inside view of people lives with various mental health issues.

As many of you will know I have bipolar…umm for those that don’t…eyes up to the top of the page…hear that? Yep a few pennies dropped right there 😉 Sorry I went of on a tangent there. So I have bipolar, but what this season of mental health programmes is giving me, is a wealth of information & knowledge on other mental health disorders out there.

Have a look at the episode I watched last night. I noticed the uploader’s comment on YouTube mentioned he’d received copyright infringement due to the music content in the programme. So if you can’t access this by the time you try let me know & I’ll change the link.

Let me know what you think?

I appreciate it’s a long documentary, so if you don’t have the time just click to 12mins in & watch until 13:30. This was my favourite part of the docmentary. Partly because of the amazing piece of music in the background, but also because it encompasses really well the stigma we face around mental health in just 1min 30secs.

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You may remember my posts last year during the London Olympics, chronicling the amazing triumphs of the British team. Well it only seems fair that I do another, this one focusing on Andy Murray. A few hours ago he played the Wimbledon final, the British grand slam, against Novak Djokovic. No male Brit has won this tournament since Fred Perry in 1936, that’s 77 years!

Andy won in straight sets! 😀

I only found out a couple of years ago that Andy grew up in Dunblane, Scotland. A name synonymous in Britain for a school shooting in 1996. What shocked me, was that he was a pupil at the school when it happened. Until recently he hasn’t spoken of the tragedy, preferring to keep his privacy on the subject. Last month in an interview with the BBC he spoke of this painful story. I’ve shared that part of the interview below. The reason I’m sharing this is I think it can give hope & show no matter what we go through in life, we can come back from setbacks and achieve great things.

The interview is emotional, not in a graphic sense of what happened in Dunblane, but in Andy’s reaction when he speaks of it. What is really sweet, is how you can see the bond Andy has with his dog.

All of Britain is proud of you Andy!

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It’s coming to the end of my temporary rolling contract & my mind keeps looping to ‘What if I lose my job?’. I’m fairly confident that it will be renewed, as we’re well into the summer holiday season & there is plenty of work right now.

That said, the worry is still lingering at the back of my mind, mainly because this job seems to work with my bipolar really well. As a postman, I get daily exercise, a mix of cycling & walking for four hours each day. I also get to work outdoors enjoying plenty of fresh air & interacting with the public. So if I do lose my job I think I’ll struggle to find one that helps with the bipolar side of things.

Soooo it came as a nice surprise yesterday, when the subject of my contract renewal came up at work. Now my manager isn’t one for words of encouragement, so when he said ‘Well you haven’t got any worse’, I thought, steady on boss let’s not go all out on the praise here :). To be fair he also said I’d gotten better & was performing my rounds quicker. I still didn’t get confirmation I’ll be getting a new three month contract, but the positive feedback was…well…positive 🙂

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I read this on Bipolar Out Load. It’s a great article Nellie has written about, well, ‘Building Your Own Happiness’. I sometimes struggle to read large posts, as this one is, but it’s definitely worth reading part of it, leaving it & then coming back to read the rest.

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I’ve pasted below a blog about the benefits of drinking water I came across on Reaching Utopia.

We all know it is good for us to do so, but it still surprises me how many of us don’t drink it enough. Myself included on occasion!

I’ve tweaked the post slightly in the ’14 Things Water Helps With’ section. I’ve highlighted numbers 7, 8, 12 & 14 as I believe these are things those of us who have suffered from depression would benefit from. Ummm not having the symptoms…drinking more water to alleviate those symptoms 🙂

Anywhoozles I’ll shut up now & let you read the article.



glass of waterThe Most Overlooked Liquid

People simply do not get enough water in their diet. The majority of us will trade water for any other kind of beverage packed with unnecessary additives and sapping the health qualities of water on it’s own.

Water takes up around 60 percent of our body weight . This liquid contributes nutrients needed for cells, flushes toxins  out of vital organs and creates the perfect atmosphere for tissues in the throat, ear and nose. Every system inside your body relies on water. So what do you want your body running on? It’s funny to joke around and say “Yeah, my body runs on coffee”, but it’s an entirely different thing when your body is literally fueled by it!

Now it’s true that all liquids are comprised of some amount of water, but the problem is some beverages actually work against waters original capabilities. More on that later!

Does it matter if I lack water?

One of the most common conditions that people incur is dehydration due to a lack of water. Even a minor level of dehydration can leave you feeling sapped of energy since you don’t have enough water in your body to carry out it’s normal functions.

14 things water helps with:

  1. Digestion
  2. Weight loss
  3. Kidney health
  4. Headaches
  5. Replaces potential food so you feel full and don’t overeat
  6. Younger and healthier looking skin
  7. Relieves fatigue
  8. Preventing sickness
  9. Exercise productivity
  10. Reduces risk of cancer
  11. Work productivity
  12. Improves mood
  13. Preventing cramps and sprains
  14. Helps with regular bowel movements

Consuming an appropriate amount of water will aid your heart in pumping blood and deliver essential nutrients to your cells more efficiently. It also helps to transport oxygen in your blood.

Boosting your muscles and preventing cramps is also a helpful trait of water. This can be a fairly significant property if you find yourself always feeling tired while working out. You should be chugging back a couple cups of H2O around two hours before you exercise. Water will reduce fatigue during exercise and and activities  in addition to helping you keep more alert and awake. If you tend to work often and for long hours this can be one of the single best things you can do to keep in check.

different drinks in convenience store

Water vs. Other Liquids

Some companies try to sell the idea that their drink product can be better than water. This is not the case! There’s a major difference between drinking water and drinking something thatcontains water. Some positive effects of water on it’s own are masked because of added ingredients.

Caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea and pop are frequently chosen before water. Although it may taste better, the water contained in these beverages does not help the body as effectively as just drinking water on it’s own could. These processed liquids stimulate the adrenal glands in the body and act as diuretics. High amounts of phosphorus are found in soft drinks which could result with calcium depletion in your bones.

Even a lot of fruit juices that we associate with being healthy can have harmful effects on the body. Pop and fruit juices can stimulate the pancreas due to their high sugar content. Blood glucose is converted by your body to energy through a hormone called insulin. Eating too much sugar in one sitting isn’t too big of an issue as your pancreas can handle the extra insulin. However, if you frequently eat too much sugar, your pancreas may “age” faster than the rest of your body. Ultimately, this can result in pancreatic failure or diabetes. An average can of pop contains over 9 teaspoons of sugar, not to mention a decent load of calories. These particular beverages can therefore cause some undesired effects.

Some people like to consume sports drinks especially after an intense workout. Now this can be useful however they contain syrup and among several other ingredients that aren’t beneficial to your body in the long run.

There are a fair amount of people who don’t like drinking water because of the lack of flavour. Although it’s highly recommended to drink this precious liquid on it’s own, here are a few healthy ways to improve the taste of water if you really must:

  • Add some fresh lemon, orange slices, lime or mint to your water
  • Put a handful of frozen berries into your water bottle. As the day passes on the frozen berries will help keep the water chilly and infuse the fruit flavour.
  • Make natural herbal iced teas without adding sugar to use in place of plain water.
  •  Fruits on their own can be up to 90% water content so one of these suckers can boost your fluid intake on it’s own

dry cracking skin dehydrated

Lack of water?

Thirsty? You may already be dehydrated!

When your thirst mechanism kicks in, your body is signalling that you are already dehydrated. When exercising you ideally want to be drinking water before, during and after the exercise. This ensures that you don’t reach the stage where you feel thirsty.

Pitting edema is when a section of your body (usually a limb) is so swollen that when you press your finger down on their skin, the finger print hole stays for several minutes. It is an additional symptom that occurs with dehydration in some of the elderly and needs to be checked every so often if they are on prescriptions that might reduce this.

Signs and symptoms for dehydration in adults and teenagers:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Dry lips
  • Nausea
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dry eyes
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Lack of sweat
  • Dark urine (orange/yellow coloured and an especially strong odor)
  • Inability to urinate

Dehydration signs and symptoms in children and infants include:

  • Crying without tears
  • Over three hours without a wet diaper
  • Dry mouth and tongue
  • General fatigue
  • Irritability
  • High fever
  • Sunken eyes cheeks or abdomen
  • Pitting edema

glasses of water filled

How much water is needed per day?

You have probably heard  that you should be drinking eight 8 ounce glasses of water per day. This isn’t necessarily accurate but is at least an easy thing to remember and to have as a base amount. The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) of fluids per day. The AI for women is 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) of fluids per day.

Every day you lose water from breathing, perspiring, urinating and bowel movements. For your body to function properly it’s important to replenish this water supply. If you spend time in hot or dry weather, exercise or consume a significant amount of caffeinated drinks you may need more water!

Can you drink too much water?

Realistically you can take in too much of any liquid or solid than your body can physically handle.

It’s pretty rare but there’s a condition called water intoxication. Drinking too much water will dilute the electrolytes in your body which can affect your heart. There’s even been athletes getting heart attacks because they consumed too much water, but it’s extremely uncommon. Don’t worry, your body won’t get over hydrated drinking 15 cups of water a day. You’d have to be drinking a ridiculous amount of water to reach that level of extreme.

Wrap Up

On average, people aren’t getting enough liquids in their body and even less are primarily consuming pure water on it’s own. This is a critical and essential asset to your health. Keep your body running on the cleanest liquid fuel around and it will do wonders. Don’t forget most fruits primarily consist of water so you can never go wrong with indulging in them!

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I’m a bit late on seeing this but here is my pledge…

I pledge my commitment to the Blog For Mental Health 2013 Project.  I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others.  By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health.  I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”

I saw this pledge on Canvas Of The Minds & thought it was something I definitely want to take part in, as it serves a great purpose of eradicating the stigma around mental health & shows solidarity in the mental health community.

I try to write about my daily living with bipolar, but I also post a lot of music. I aim to write daily, but since I’m back in work this is turning more like once every few days.

My symptoms of bipolar tend to go like this…When I feel like me, I’m happy, outgoing & cheeky. When I feel low, they all go out the window to be replaced by insecure, reclusive & subdued. When I feel hyper I dance to the tune of enthusiastic, excitable & I feel I can achieve anything.

A more accurate description of my hyper side would be annoying, bouncing off the walls & Okaaayyyy, time to get Graham some sleeping tablets, as he is plainly tired…

Please show your support to the Blog For Mental Health 2013 project. Anyone reading this who writes a blog about mental health please consider yourself pledged by me.


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