Monthly Archives: November 2012

10 Survival Tips On Winter Cycling


For those of you who know me you are aware that I absolutely LOVE winter cycling because I have been known to cycle in 26 degree weather for 52 miles or more and bring others along for the fun and excitement! Because of this I feel moved to share the safest way to enjoy this adventure while keeping it fun and full of adventure.
Winter is here and many places in the Northern hemisphere are already feeling the chill of what many are saying will be a record setting cold winter.
It may seem like the perfect time to curl up next to the fire place and sip coco, while actually this is the ideal time to get out on your bike and go for a ride. So how do winter cycliist handle the cold when riding? Being prepared can be the best way to enjoy the winter weather when biking and stave off potential injuries or illness. So, when preparing for your next ride carefully consider what you’re wearing before you step outside.
A little discussed fact about aerobic exercise is that the body only uses about 20 – 30% of its total energy output for mechanical work, with the remaining energy expenditure being liberated as heat.
In most cases, performance, when cyciling in the cold, can be maintained without effect, down to -22 F or -30 C, by regulating temperature with apparel.
When setting out for a ride, you are using four separate methods of heat transfer, or cooling, to regulate your body temperature;
  • Conduction or the transfer of heat from surface to surface by contact. For example Muscle to skin, skin to air contact.
  • Convection, which is the cooling of the body by the movement of air over the skin.
  • Radiation, the transmission of heat from one body to another with out contact. (Think how the sun can heat your skin)
  • Evaporation or the vaporizing of moisture through the skin or breathing.

To best regulate your temperature and keep you performance from being compromisedwhen cycling in winter conditions, follow these easy steps:

  1. Start with layers: Layer your clothing so that you can adjust accordingly to the level of exertion and cold that you are feeling. The goal should always be to keep the core of your body warm and dry (from your chin to your crotch.) by layering your clothing you allow yourself to add, remove or vent layers as your exertion or the temperature change.
    Avoid cotton fabrics: While cotton may feel good when it’s dry, it also naturally absorbs moisture and prevent air circulation.
    Use Polyester, Polypropylene, Silk or Wool for base layers. These natural and man made fabrics wick moisture, allow air circulation and dry quickly.

    Remember these important life-saving steps of dressing in Layers

    Layers provide options when cycling in the cold if the weather warms up or if you are overdressed. A base layer that wicks sweat and keeps moisture away from the skin and an outer layer protecting from wind and precipitation are necessities. In between, wear fleece or other fabric that retains heat. Boot covers that are waterproof keep out snow and slush and keep feet protected. Hats and helmet covers prevent loss of heat through the head. Gloves designed for winter biking keep fingers and hands warm and able to control and brake. Goggles and a face mask shield from wind damage and skin chapping. No visible skin is a good rule to follow. Winter winds and weather chaps exposed skin.

  2. Don’t forget to cover your hands, feet, head and neck. These are major areas of heat loss. Your head alone can account for 30-40% of your bodies total heat loss. And, while you may be thinking that it’s a good thing to let your head breath, your hair is a natural source for wicking moisture. While the heat builds up in your head and sweat is produced, your hair collects the moisture and cools without dry, therefore, encouraging the body to produce more heat, consuming more energy to regulate your temperature. In freezing temperatures and conditions with sub freezing wind chills, many riders have reported having their hair freeze. This condition can be extremely dangerous and robs the body of energy that could be used for muscle out. By regulating the heat expenditure here it will allow your body to more easily regulate your core.
  3. Dress so you’re are a little cold before your work out: While layering your clothes you don’t want to over do it. Make sure before you start your ride that you are cool, but not cold. You definitely don’t want to be warm. Once your ride begins your body temperature will rise naturally making you more comfortable.
  4. Dress in apparel that can be unzipped or easily removed. While many of us don’t like full zippered or bidirectional zippered jerseys and jackets, they do allow the greatest level of adjustment. Don’t be afraid to unzip different layers to different points to moderate air circulation and evaporation. A little air circulation can greatly help with the evaporative cooling effect.
  5. Don’t underestimate wind chill. While the ambient air temperature may tell you to dress one way, don’t forget that the air temperature will seem to decrease once you are moving. A good wind blocking exterior layer can greatly reduce this effect and keep you from having to dress too bulky. An inexpensive alternative that can give your more seasonal flexibility in your cycling closet can be a lightweight, packable shell or wind vest. These 4 to 6 ounce garments can make a substantial difference.
  6. Be prepared to dress up or dress down. An easy way to adjust your temperature without having to carry bulky clothing is with alternate layers. If you start out cold with a Quick Wik skull cap and find that it’s not enough, stash a Super Roubaix or Wind Stopper Cap in your pocket. This simple change can decrease heat transmission by up to 40%. The same rules apply for your feet and hands. While you may want to start out without booties, toe warmers or full finger gloves, carrying these small items folded in a jersey pocket can make a big difference in your total body temperature.

Here are Some of our suggestions for how to dress when setting out for you next winter cycling adventure:

Temperature ranges:
Cool: 64 to 54 degrees
Cold: 53 to 43 degrees
Freezing: 42 to 0 degrees
Apparel combinations to consider for your Fall and Winter riding
Head:
  • Cool: Wik Cap
  • Cold: Roubaix Cap or Wind Stopper Head and Ear Band
  • Freezing: Wind Stopper Cap
Legs:
  • Cool: Riding shorts and leg or knee warmersor lightweight knickers
  • Cold: Super Roubaix Tights / Bib Tights or Bib Knickers
  • Freezing: Stopper Tights or Bib tights with a poly base layer or padded short.
Feet:
  • Cool: CoolMax Socks or other Moisture wicking socks
  • Cold: Lycra Booties or Toe covers with wool or Polyester wicking socks
  • Freezing: Wind Stopper Booties, with wool socks
Hands:
  • Cool: Fingerless gloves
  • Cold: Thin full finger gloves or fingerless gloves with a liners beneath
  • Freezing: Wind Stopper gloves
Arms/Body:
  • Cool: Sleeves base layer, short sleeve jersey and arm warmers
  • Cold: Full sleeve base layer and full sleeve jersey and a lightweight wind Jacketor wind Vest
  • Freezing: Full sleeve base layer, jersey and a Wind Stopper Jacket

 

7. Safety First Last And Always

This sentence is repetitive because it is most important, layers provide options when cycling in the cold if the weather warms up or if you are overdressed. A base layer that wicks sweat and keeps moisture away from the skin and an outer layer protecting from wind and precipitation are necessities. In between, wear fleece or other fabric that retains heat. Boot covers that are waterproof keep out snow and slush and keep feet protected. Hats and helmet covers prevent loss of heat through the head. Gloves designed for winter biking keep fingers and hands warm and able to control and brake. Goggles and a face mask shield from wind damage and skin chapping. No visible skin is a good rule to follow. Winter winds and weather chaps exposed skin.

8. Drink Up

Hydration is important even when it’s cold outside and you’re not as thirsty. Many times athletes forget to properly hydrate when exercising in cold temperatures. Your body requires just as much fluids as when it’s hot, but it’s not as obvious as in higher temperatures. Get a fluid system that resists freezing in low temperatures. Finding your water supply frozen stiff is a quick way to get dehydrated while winter biking.

 

9. Don’t Risk It

Never cycle when it’s icy or temperatures get severely cold. The same is true if a storm is near. It’s not worth it to get a ride in if it’s risking your life. Either hop on the trainer for a ride or find another indoor activity to get your heart rate up. Wrecking your bike on a patch of ice is a recipe for disaster, for both you and your bike.

 

10. Be Prepared

Always take a cell phone in case of emergency. Winter weather is unpredictable, so make sure someone always knows where you are and is available to come help if necessary. Leave a map of the route and the time of departure so that if you’re not back in a reasonable amount of time, someone can find you. Take an adequate supply of fluid and snacks, and all the normal repair gear you’d take, such as a spare tire, pump and tools.

 

Have Fun

Cold weather cycling is fun. It’s a great way to get out of the house and get your exercise at a time you normally wouldn’t want to be outside. As long as you take the proper precautions (and exercise indoors if cold weather is severe), there’s no need to worry.

3 Tips for Training in the Cold


 

Although training in the cold is not always pleasant, it is possible, if you know what you’re doing. Here are some practical tips for working out on cold days.

 

1. Don’t be a hero.

There is no air temperature below which exercise is unsafe. Even when the mercury falls well below zero you can safely train outdoors, if you are properly dressed. However, on especially cold days the risk of hypothermia and frostbite is increased even if you are wrapped up appropriately. For example, if you encounter a situation where you are forced to stop exercising far from home (such as muscle cramping), your body will produce much less heat and you could be in trouble.

 

So play it safe on the most frigid days. Avoid straying too far from home and using unfamiliar routes, and carry a cell phone and a credit or debit card with you in case a problem arises. Take precautions to prevent getting wet, as the resulting evaporative cooling could send your body temperature spiraling downward. If you experience early signs of hypothermia or frostbite, such as tingling in the extremities, get inside as quickly as possible.  Also, avoid running or cycling on slick surfaces such as black ice regardless of the temperature.

 

2. Dress appropriately.

The first rule of dressing for winter workouts is to wear technical apparel that is specifically designed for this use.  These products have several advantages over cotton sweat suits, everyday winter jackets and other items that are simply warm. Winter technical apparel is made from breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics that trap just enough but not too much of the heat your working muscles produce against your skin while keeping your skin relatively dry, so that evaporative cooling doesn’t chill you. Winter technical apparel is also lighter, allows more freedom of movement, and is easier to layer than other types of clothing. How much clothing should you wear? As a general rule, you should dress so that you are uncomfortably cool but not miserably cold when you first step out the door and then become comfortable after about 10 minutes of activity as body heat accumulates. The following table provides a basic set of guidelines for how to dress in different temperatures.

 

Temperature How to Dress
55°F+ Shorts and short-sleeve top
45°-54°F Shorts or tights and long-sleeve base layer top
33°-44°F Tights and long-sleeve base layer top; gloves and thermal headband optional
20°-32°F Tights, long-sleeve base layer, second top layer (e.g. vest), gloves and thermal headband; second bottom layer (e.g. running pants) optional
0°-19°F Tights, second bottom layer (e.g. running pants), long-sleeve base layer, jacket, gloves, thermal headband

 

In addition to the air temperature, also consider the wind when dressing for cold-weather workouts and wear a wind-resistant outer layer if necessary. Cyclists often get themselves into trouble on cold and windy days when they do out-and-back rides in which they have a tailwind in the first half and generate a lot of sweat, then face a headwind on the way back, which rapidly pulls all that sweat off their bodies and chills them. You can avoid this problem by packing a wind-resistant jacket to put on at your turnaround point.

3. Don’t forget to hydrate.

Athletes who routinely use water or a sports drink while training in the summer heat are much less likely to do so in the colder months.  There is a tendency to assume that hydration is not an important issue in cold-weather exercise.  But in reality it is just as important.  Failure to drink carries the same risks in the cold as it does in the heat: dehydration, bonking, and even fatigue-related injury.

Several factors increase the likelihood of dehydration in the cold. First, cold air tends to be very dry, especially at higher altitude, and in dry air more fluid is lost as vapor through breathing.  Second, the cold tends to suppress thirst so that athletes drink less even when fluid is available.  Third, cold-induced dieresis causes rapid fluid loss via urination, which often reduces the amount of fluid athletes voluntarily chose to drink when exercising in the cold.

To avoid dehydration in your winter workouts, drink water or a sports drink during all workouts lasting longer than an hour, even on the coldest days. Compensate for your reduced desire to drink by drinking on a schedule of four to six ounces every 10 to 15 minutes. Sports drinks are generally preferable to water because unlike water they replace the electrolyte minerals lost in sweat and provide carbohydrate energy, plus they are more palatable. Consider heating your sports drink before you head outdoors to make it even more palatable.

 

Anger is Danger = Side Effects


 

 

Anger is a human emotion characterized by a strong feeling of displeasure and hostility, precipitated by real or supposed grievances or insults. Like any other emotion, anger is also accompanied by physiological and biological changes. The heart rate and the blood pressure goes up and there is increased discharge of energy hormones such as adrenaline and nor-adrenaline. Changing lifestyle, increasing workload, uncertainty about fate of jobs and organizations; all these are causing stress, worry and anger in today’s work force.

According to Kassinove and his colleague, a study in 1997 revealed, 58% of anger episode included yelling and screaming while less than 10% involved physical aggression. Sometimes anger can be normal and helpful, but this is a very small percentage.

The most common sensations of anger are a tight feeling in the upper chest, flush of warmth in the face and the upper body and the tightening of the jaw. Take a few minutes and try to find out what sensations you feel when you are angry. It is important that you admit to yourself, even if you feel slightest of anger, if you want to improve your life.

Cost of Anger: Often one has to pay a heavy cost for anger. It could result in irrational thinking, could disrupt team performance or could result in decreased motivation levels. Repressed anger is even worse as it could erupt any time and cause irreversible damage. Angry individuals have 3 times higher risk of heart attack if below the age of 55 years and 6 times if above the age of 55 years.

Cause of Anger: Following situation can be responsible for ” triggering ” anger in a person where he/she may find it difficult to exercise patience.

  •    When a person is extremely stressed out, facing difficulties or when things are not moving as expected.
  •  Disappointment at not being able to fulfill expectations, either self-expectations or that of others. (Self directed anger).
  •  When a person is harmed or criticized by others.
  •  Memories of traumatic or enraging events.

Even if anger does not result in violence, if expressed in other un-constructive ways, it can lead to broken family relationship, school suspension, lost jobs and other diminished opportunities for success that can put young people at greater risk for criminal activities.

Medical Causes Of Anger:

Personality Disorders

  •  Paranoid personality disorder: Individuals with this disorder have a pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others and interpret their motives as malevolent.
  •  Antisocial Personality Disorder – Individuals who fail to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behavior.
  •  Deceitfulness, repeated lying, cornering others for personal profits or pleasure.
  •  Borderline Personality Disorder – pattern of instability in interpersonal relationship, self – image, intense anger or lack of control of anger with frequent display of temper.
  •  Narcissistic Personality Disorder – patient has pervasive pattern of grandiose sense of self-importance.
  •  Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder – person has pervasive pattern or person has pre-occupation with orderliness and perfectionism interfering with task completion.

Substance abuse disorder

  • Alcohol and alcohol related disorder
  • Drug abuse e.g. Cannabis, opium, cocaine, caffeine, other hallucinogens

Paranoid psychosis

Manic episode / Hypomanic episode

There are 3 basic style of anger in people

1. The suppressor style

2. The ventor style

3. The manager or director style

The suppressor style sits on or suppresses anger. The person feels that anger is all bad and therefore must be suppressed at all cost. However anger is a natural emotion that cannot be eliminated or suppressed for long.

In the ventor style, the person freely and uncontrollably expresses their anger. These people have no mercy at the heat of moment.

The manager or director style of anger management is usually aware of his anger and uses it in constructive manner. This is probably the best way to manage anger.

  • ·To deal with anger and anger provoking situations effectively and at a comfortable pace.
  • ·To deal with anger that helps to resolve the situation and G To see that intervention does not increase or worsen the existing situation.

There is a difference between being assertive and aggressive. Assertive behavior is a sign of maturity and of a positive thinking person. Assertion means expressing ones rights without encroaching on other’s rights and making them realize, in a peaceful manner, that you are right and the opposite person is wrong.

Anger Management

1. Rational Emotive Therapy

2. Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy

3. Psychotherapy

4. Relaxation Therapy/Progressive Relaxation Therapy.

5. Yogic Exercise

Can we make anger work for us? The answer is Yes.

Feeling angry can be beneficial if it motivates us to make necessary changes in our lives and personality. Anger should remind us that we have the power to overcome the obstacle. If we can follow the following equation then we can turn our anger to our advantage:

Anger = Energy = Power

Your anger is like a laser beam. Aim it precisely where it will do you good.

Children and adults can learn the positive values of treating each other with respect and taking responsibility for their own behavior.

Anger Management should include following steps

1. Accept that you get angry and there is a need for change in yourself.

2. Make conscious effort to change your attitude and behavior, each time you realize that a situation has provoked anger, which may require

a. Change of thoughts

b. Change of expressing words

c. Change in emotions

d. Change in external expression – behavior

3. If possible ask yourself the question “will the objective of my anger matter 10 years from now?” After getting the answer we will see things from a calmer perspective about our reactions of anger.

4. Counting from 1 to 10, either forward or backward, before reacting to any provoking situations will be helpful.

5. Consider alternative interpretation in the upsetting situation.

6. Questioning and changing our negative assumptions.

7. Changing the self-take, and the inflammatory vocabulary that triggers the use within.

8. Identifying the triggering stimuli, learning and adapting to alternative behavior, constructive avoidance and disengagement.

9. Relaxation training-especially Progressive Relaxation training, learning to monitor and reduce ones physical state of tension so that anger doesn’t wear you down or lead to further aggression.

10. Associate yourself with people who have positive orientation and thinking.

11. Regular exercise to relax one self.

12.Be honest to self and to others.

13. Accept shortcomings of your life.

Suggestions

  • Eliminate sarcasm and sarcastic humor from your mind and your daily attitude/behavior.
  • Make humor a priority, read jokes, watch funny movies, try to incorporate laughing into your daily routine. This diffuses situation that used to make you tense and defensive.
  • Develop empathy. When someone criticizes you, focus on them and their feelings, and try to imagine how they are feeling. The ability to empathize with others quickly is the hallmark of emotional maturity.
  • Postpone responses in conversations that provoke anger in you. Physically stop your tongue and breathe especially during heated discussions. You can buy time by saying “I will need time to think about it”.
%d bloggers like this: