‘Quads’ might be dangerous:
News of Ozzy Osbourne’s crash on a quad bike was all over the media in the last ten days. Personally I’d never heard of a ‘quad bike’ until this story hit the news. However, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents had certainly heard of this ‘bike’ (a contradiction in terms as the ‘bi’ of bike implies two wheels, not four.) The Times on Saturday quoted Roger Vincent of this well-meaning society who made the point that the number of accidents on these strange vehicles went up from 1200 in 1998 to 4200 in 2002. Once used only by farmers, they have become the ‘playthings of fun-seekers’. So, fellow fun-seekers, if you want to have fun on a ‘quad’ be sure to wear a crash helmet.
Pharmaceuticals: Sometimes they works and sometimes they don’t
The big news was that the pharmaceutical industry admitted that 90% of drugs work for only 30% to 50% of us. And amazingly this piece of news came from the industry itself in the name of Dr Allen Roses of GlaxoSmithKline, a pharmaceutical giant if ever there was one. Some drugs work better than others. Painkillers work in 80% of us while anti-cancer drugs tend to help only 25% of us.
The media gleefully quoted a song by the Verve that goes: ‘The drugs don’t work, they just make you worse’ etc. Of course the good band were singing about the use of recreational drugs but the quote was just too good to ignore ;-). Actually doctors have known for some time that different people react differently to different medicines for no obvious reason. Sometimes an anti-hypertensive drug will effectively lower the blood pressure of one patient while having little effect on another. The pharmaceutical industry is gradually beginning to come to the conclusion that doctors may need to individualise drugs. That means certain people with a particular genetic predisposition may require specific medicines. Such research is in its infancy however. So in the meantime my advice is to keep taking the tablets…
Runners take note:
Wherever I go these days, I see determined runners pounding the pavements. London seems determined to stay fit. But is it a good idea simply to buy a pair of running shoes and hit the streets? A few years ago I did this and ran to the shop to buy milk. This resulted in a strained Achilles tendon and a quick end to my running career. A year later I started going to the Bodydoctor studio and learned to train properly with loose weights and machines. After 8 months of this, I decided to try running again. Over the past few months, I have been able to run further and faster with no strained ligaments, muscles or tendons. On looking at the December 2003 edition of Running Fitness, I read an article strongly advocating that runners do some sensible training with weights so I can personally endorse that advice.
In the same edition of Running Fitness there is also an excellent article on stretching for runners with a free stretching poster. I’ll try these out and report back in the New Year.
Homeopathic Tip of the Week
Staying with the theme of running and training, let’s look at injuries. Unfortunately, just about everyone who works out, eventually gets at least a minor injury. When this happens, be sure to suspend exercise until the pain is 90% better. You could also try the following homeopathic remedies: (the recommended strength is 6c twice a day)
Arnica: for all injuries especially those where there is some bruising. A great medicine for just generally overdoing it.
Rhus tox: For strains and sprains especially those that seem to be worse in cold and damp weather.
Calendula cream: Marvelous for grazes. Keep some in the house; you never know when you might need it.