Decrease Your Risk For Running Injuries This Season

OK, let’s just get it out there – distance running has a higher injury rate than almost any other sport. In fact, a recent Dutch study, in which more than 700 marathon participants were surveyed about injuries suffered during the process of training for the event and within the marathon, found that nearly 55% of respondents reported suffering at least one running-related leg injury within the preceding year, and 18% developed an injury during the event itself.Now, the Rotterdam Marathon is not run through hot coals with wild dogs chasing you. These same results have been found in various other similar studies. So, why is running so hard on the body, and what can be done to prevent you from becoming a statistic?Probably the single greatest factor in running injuries is repetition. Think about the number of strides per run, per week, and then throw in a few biomechanical inefficiencies, and you have a recipe for overuse injuries. “But wait”, you might say, “swimmers and cyclists seem to have the same predisposition to overuse injuries – why are my swimming buddies not hurting as much as I am?” It all comes down to impact forces, and impact forces do not affect all tissues of your lower body equally. As you can probably guess, the areas of greatest susceptibility to injury are the tibia (shins), Achilles tendon, and the knee.So, given the statistical likelihood that you will suffer some form of lower extremity injury this year, what can you do to save yourself? The simplest solution would be to run less and run on softer surfaces, but if I told that to my runner patients I would be out of a job. Here is the recipe for pain-free running: run with the most efficient gait possible, and train your running muscles. While there are a million tips for better running, most experts agree that you should run with a high cadence and strike on your midfoot. This is how I train my runners, and it’s more efficient and safer, period. Shoot for a cadence of around 90 per foot strike per minute. This will force you to take shorter steps, and will result in you striking on the midfoot instead of the heel. Training the running muscles will take more work, and probably some time in the gym. The key will be to focus on the hip muscles (gluteus medius in particular), which will help prevent excessive dipping of your hips, which has been linked to most running injuries of the lower extremity. (See my Shin Splints article for some great exercises for the hips).Understanding that we are each unique in our running technique, mileage, and intensity, paying attention to your running cadence and training your running muscles in the gym can help decrease your risk for injury and make for a better running season.

Kids Soap Making – Guaranteed to Keep Little Ones Amused During the Holidays!

Homemade soap making is fun for any age and for kids, soap making allows them to be creative, have fun and end up with a usable product. I know when my kids were small, they absolutely loved making their own soaps, and what better way to get them into the tub!Now, I’m going to give you a couple of different recipe ideas, the first one being very simple and suitable for quite tiny children. The second one can still be made by kids but definitely needs constant adult supervision because a microwave and sharp knife is needed.Right, lets get the kids soap making and creating lovely bubbles!Recipe 1
Soap Flakes (or some bars of pure soap grated finely into a powder)
Liquid Food colouring
Vegetable oil
String (if the kids want to make soap on a rope)How to make it:
1. Pour about 3 cups of soap flakes into a large bowl
2. Add 1 to 1 and 1/2 cups of water with a few drops of food colouring added to it.
3. Mix the ingredients with your hands until it forms a consistency like play dough
4.To shape it, take a drop or two of vegetable oil and rub it between the palm of your hands – now shape anyway you wish.
5. To make a soap on a rope, cut a piece of string and tie the ends together. Push the knotted end gently into the finished shape.
6. Let the completed soap stand to set over nightIf you are using grated soap, you may not need as much water to mix to a dough like consistency.
Alternatively, let the kids roll out the dough to the required thickness and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Another soap on a rope idea is to cut out two shapes of different coloured dough and sandwich the string between the two shapes.Recipe 2Items that you will need:Sharp knife
Scented oil
Sparkles or glitter (optional)
Coloured glycerin soap
Soap moulds
Spray vegetable oil
Glass measuring jug
Cutting board
Decorative packaging (optional)How to make it:1. Lightly spray the soap mould with vegetable oil to prevent the soap from sticking alternatively grease the mold with a little vaseline2. Cut the glycerin soap into small cubes3. Place the cubes into a glass measuring jug4. Put the glass jug into the microwave and heat on high until the soap has melted. This can take about a minute.5. It’s important to do this next step quickly because melted glycerin soap soon hardens.
Add a couple of drops of your chosen fragrance. Bubblegum fragrance is a great choice because it smells so yummy! Also at this stage, if you want, add a few sparkles or glitter and stir around using the toothpick.6. Carefully pour the melted soap into your moulds and leave for at least half an hour7. When the soap has cooled and hardened, carefully pop it out of the mould8. The soap is now ready to be wrapped in your choice of packaging, or, if making a special gift for someone several soaps could be put into a small wicker basket.Take care to supervise kids soap making in the kitchen at all times and ensure they wear aprons and use an oven cloth when handling hot pans and ingredients.

Time is Running For First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

First time home buyers can get up to an $8,000 refundable tax credit courtesy of the Federal government’s Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and expanded in 2009. So, what does it all mean?You have to purchase and close on the home before December 1, 2009 so there’s not much time left to find one, get financing and get it closed before then. If you’re building a home, you must be living it in by December 1, 2009.If you haven’t owned another primary home in the last 3 years, you are a first-time home buyer and you can get up to $8,000 (or 10% of the home price for homes less than $80,000) refunded to you at tax time. If you’re married, the law requires both of you to be eligible.For example, if you haven’t owned your principal residence in the last 3 years but your spouse did, you won’t qualify. If you owned a vacation home or rental property and didn’t use it for your primary home, you will qualify.If you would have gotten a refund, the $8,000 will be added onto it. If you would have owed taxes, you’ll get the difference. For example, if you owe $500, you’d get $7,500 back.This must be your primary residence and you have to live in it for 3 years (or you’ll have to pay it back) and you can’t buy it from a close relative. It’s OK if you rent out part of the house as long as you live there, too. It cannot be purchased for a rental or a vacation home.Any home that is going to be your primary residence will qualify including single-family detached homes, townhouses, condos, manufactured homes, even houseboats!You’ll get the money back when you fill out your 2009 taxes. Your tax preparer can help you with it or you can use IRS From 5405.If you are married and have an adjusted gross income (that’s not your take home pay) over $150,000 or single and have over $75,000 in adjusted gross income, you may be limited in using the $8,000 refundable tax credit. Again, your tax preparer can help you figure it out.Note that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has programmed its computer to be on the lookout for fraud. In a statement released at the end of July, the agency said it uses “sophisticated computer screening tools to quickly identify returns that may contain fraudulent claims for the first-time home buyer credit.”What’s different about this home buyer tax credit than the one that was available last year? This year, you don’t have to repay it! Last year, it was really a 15 year interest free loan.Can I use the credit as part of my down payment? If you’re getting an FHA-insured mortgage, you may be able to use the tax credit toward the home purchase and for certain closing cost expenses. Other agencies and non-profits have created plans to help you access the money before tax time. You can also reduce your income tax withholdings so that you’ll have more money in each paycheck. Note: this doesn’t affect your state income tax obligations.If you haven’t owned your primary home in the last 3 years, there’s not much time to dilly dally around. Find a realtor and purchase a home to qualify for up to $8,000 in tax credits.

Understanding Malignant Mesothelioma – One of the Deadliest Forms of Cancer

Internal organs of human body are covered with a thin membrane. It is called mesothelium. The mesothelium has two layers. One layer covers the organ and the other layer forms a sac around the organ. In between the two layers there is lubricant fluid which allows the organs move without causing any friction so that our lungs and heart can move. There are different names for different membranes in our body. The mesothelium present in the chest cavity is popularly called as pleura. The mesothelium covering the abdomen is called peritoneum and pericardium is the membrane covering our heart.Asbestos particles trigger the mesothelium cells to multiply without any order or control. The cells form a tumor and sometime may affect other organs of the body through lymph nodes.It is generally found that the malignant Mesothelioma is common in men over 60, however one may come across in women and children. The clear reason for women and children malignant Mesothelioma is not well understood.When one looks at malignant Mesothelioma it can be noticed that there are three distinct types. About 50% to 70% of the malignant Mesotheliomas have the best prognosis. It is called epithelioid. The other is called sarcomatoid type about 7% to 20% and the third type is called biphasic or mixed about 20% to 35%.Generally malignant Mesothelioma starts in the chest cavity which is known as pleural Mesothelioma. When the asbestos particles are inhaled the first organ in the body that are affected are lungs. About 10% malignant Mesothelioma begins in the abdomen area which is called as the peritoneal Mesothelioma. It is very rare for malignant Mesothelioma to start in the pericardial region.The treatment for all the types is the same. If the malignant Mesothelioma is found in just one place, surgery becomes a viable option. The doctors remove the tumor and the patient may experience relief. But sometimes the malignant Mesothelioma goes undiagnosed till it has spread to different parts of the body. In that case surgery is not a good option. Then the doctor may suggest chemo therapy or radiation.The research is going on to look for alternative treatment for malignant Mesothelioma. Patients can consider clinical trials or can take part in cancer treatment research studies. So the patient can opt for conventional treatment or alternative treatment. If the malignant tumor is diagnosed in fairly advanced stage then the doctor may suggest the treatment to manage and ease the pain.Malignant Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer. The symptoms could be misleading and considered as respiratory condition. So it is a good idea to go for full physical check up if you have chronic cough and shortness of breath.