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chaos
January 4th, 2007, 11:39 AM
Anyone read this article in todays NY Times. I couldn't figure out how to link it.

TRYM_Swimmer
January 4th, 2007, 11:54 AM
Here's the link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/04/fashion/04fitness.html

Very interesting article. I do a little yoga and deep breathing and it has helped in lots of ways, including making me more calm in everyday life. I can tell if I miss a day or two. It has helped me relax before big swims. I have not had any major injuries, but I can't be sure that's the reason.

FindingMyInnerFish
January 5th, 2007, 07:42 AM
Thanks for posting this! I have a stressful several months coming up--teaching at two different places, training for a long swim in August, then the Philly Marathon further along in November...

STRESS??? I'M NOT STRESSED OUT!! WHY WOULD I BE STRESSED OUT??? WHADDYA MEAN STRESSED??? :help: I'm just the picture of calm, no? :cool:

Seriously, I've tested out some of these ideas: for about a minute, thought of the most stressful situations, then took my pulse... then something relaxing... then took pulse... significantly lower after the relaxing thoughts. If that little exercise made my pulse go slower, think of all the other ways mind can affect body.

FlyQueen
January 5th, 2007, 09:07 AM
Julie Foudy (I think) did a motivational speech and in it she said that your mind can only hold one thought at a time and it is up to whether you make it a positive one or a negative one. Great advice!

KaizenSwimmer
January 5th, 2007, 09:15 AM
Anyone read this article in todays NY Times.

I read it. It even included a recommendation to practice mindfulness.

Redbird Alum
January 5th, 2007, 09:25 PM
for about a minute, thought of the most stressful situations, then took my pulse... then something relaxing... then took pulse... significantly lower after the relaxing thoughts. If that little exercise made my pulse go slower, think of all the other ways mind can affect body.

Amazingly, using the deep breathing technique for a minute or so before you have your blood pressure measured can also have a significant effect on your BP measures. Just take a minute to settle and breath deeply with your eyes closed and you will be surprised.

I have also used the progressive muscle relaxation technique on nights when I'm too keyed up to get to sleep. It's amazing how well that works.

Thanks for posting the article. I like having the references.

chaos
January 5th, 2007, 09:32 PM
Amazingly, using the deep breathing technique for a minute or so before you have your blood pressure measured can also have a significant effect on your BP measures. Just take a minute to settle and breath deeply with your eyes closed and you will be surprised.

I have also used the progressive muscle relaxation technique on nights when I'm too keyed up to get to sleep. It's amazing how well that works.

Thanks for posting the article. I like having the references.

last year before my first physical after turning 40 (guys you know what this means). i did some meditative breathing to calm myself. it got my heart rate down to 36 causing my md to order an echocardigram.

The Fortress
January 5th, 2007, 10:40 PM
[quote=Redbird Alum;73420I have also used the progressive muscle relaxation technique on nights when I'm too keyed up to get to sleep. It's amazing how well that works.[/quote]

I've used this technique to get to sleep on sleepless nights as well. It does work. Whereas I don't think calcium, valerium or those so-called sleep supplements work at all. I think this same comment was made on another thread too. So I guess others are finding success with it. I also think the point about stress causing possible injuries or illness is quite valid. Stress is inevitable but yucky.

Donna:

Tylenol PM? That doesn't work for a serious bout of insomnia. Quiet brain would work, but what if you don't have a quiet brain? Sometimes after a 7:30-9:00 practice, I'm pretty wired for awhile.

islandsox
January 5th, 2007, 11:00 PM
No NY Times here unless I go online; everything is Spanish.

Sleep=long swim OR
A tylenol PM if I am mindful, but I think being mindful is the reason the article describes ways not to be.

Quiet brain sounds much better to me.

Donna

jaegermeister
January 5th, 2007, 11:10 PM
This a complex and overlooked issue. Is "stress" really the issue, or is it our response? As the journalist points out, many of us can turn any conflict into a big issue. So often our own expectations, or how we play into the expectations of friends and family, are a huge driver.
Beyond all of that, breath control and imagery should be second nature to us swimmers. We should all really tap into this. Did Ande have this in one of his tips? (There are so many good tips in that thread that I'd have to re-read it many times to digest it).
I have found yoga to be very helpful for both my shoulders (which is why I started doing it) and for my overall outlook. I even have a mantra: "less caffeine, more breathing". It sounds sappy and ridiculous to some but it works for me.

The Fortress
January 5th, 2007, 11:19 PM
This a complex and overlooked issue. Is "stress" really the issue, or is it our response? As the journalist points out, many of us can turn any conflict into a big issue. So often our own expectations, or how we play into the expectations of friends and family, are a huge driver.
Beyond all of that, breath control and imagery should be second nature to us swimmers. We should all really tap into this. Did Ande have this in one of his tips? (There are so many good tips in that thread that I'd have to re-read it many times to digest it).
I have found yoga to be very helpful for both my shoulders (which is why I started doing it) and for my overall outlook. I even have a mantra: "less caffeine, more breathing". It sounds sappy and ridiculous to some but it works for me.

Nice post. I agree there is a difference between stress and our response to it. But I prefer to think of it as internal stress vs. external stress. How we handle stress is obviously important. I've found it's best to avoid "drama" with the expectations of family and friends as much as possible. There can be a lot of unproductive circular finger pointing nonsense going on. So I try to opt out or compartmentalize it while still being empathetic when needed. I tend to not like drama overly much.

Some external stress is inevitable though. You're working on a dealine, you've got a big meeting with a client, a surgery, a project due. Not that you can't work on calm responses to that too. When I was living in my old law firm, grace under pressure was a highly valued skill. I used to try to do my fantasy baseball picks while simultaneously finalizing a brief for filing. That helped. But it's sometimes difficult to be calm in the midst of frenzied chaos and screaming people.

Or you're stuck in your 10,0000th traffic jam of the week. That's one good thing about Rochester, Tom. You probably aren't too worried about traffic. Try having a low blood pressure where I live in traffic. I've been rear ended three times in the last month. Now, they are always plowing into the hitch on my Durango, so it's usually their car that gets damaged. So I've gotten pretty sanguine about that. Nonethless, having to get 3 kids to 3 different places in an hour isn't always easy with Radio Disney blasting in the background. This is one reason I'm a night owl. I like a little decompression after the kids have gone to bed.

Is caffeine really bad for breathing? I try to only drink it in the morning, but I'm curious about that as a congested person, partially due to the former swampland I live in.

islandsox
January 5th, 2007, 11:25 PM
I didn't know caffeine might be bad; after all, asthmatics use coffee to open up their airways.

Donna

jaegermeister
January 5th, 2007, 11:29 PM
I need to clarify. No, caffeine isn't bad, but for me, there is a very narrow window of efficacy, beyond which I am just wired and dysfunctional. To make it worse, I am sure I am a slow metabolizer; one espresso in the AM and I can feel it for 12 hrs plus. So rather than reaching for another java when I am feeling pressured, I get myself to focus and not over-compensate.
Its true that one of the good things about our boring small town is the lack of traffic. And there are trade-offs to having adolescents who you can trust to drive themselves (rowing practice begins at 5:20 AM- I don't drive there anymore). Gosh, am I ever feeling relaxed! :cool:

chaos
January 5th, 2007, 11:35 PM
http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/caffeine.html

caffeine
i will let the article speak.

jaegermeister
January 5th, 2007, 11:45 PM
This is an interesting and well-written article. I would certainly agree that caffeine can help performance. So long as you've adequately primed your muscle memory for optimal form/technique and are not pushing too hard.

The trade-off for caffeine use in daily life is more difficult. I don't have to tell anyone about short-term toxicity (...you can sneeze with your eyes open and answer the phone before it rings...). I think an under-appreciated issue is differences in our metabolism of and sensitivity to caffeine.

SwimStud
January 5th, 2007, 11:45 PM
[quote=chaos@ulster.net;73421]last year before my first physical after turning 40 (guys you know what this means).quote]

:eek: LOL

The Fortress
January 5th, 2007, 11:57 PM
http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/caffeine.html

caffeine
i will let the article speak.

Oh boo. This article, well reasonably well written, concludes that caffeine is bad for sprinting and good for endurance, although it admits that there is conflict and reaches a generalized conclusion on balance. I really don't agree, but maybe that's because of my own sensitivity and response to caffeine. I think caffeine is great before sprinting. It has saved me on a couple occasions. Now, I'm always pounding down water so I'm not dehydrated. I remember on the "Help with Sprinting" thread that a lot of sprinters, including breaststroke genius Wayne and GoodSmith chimed in agreeing that caffeine helped sprinting.

chaos
January 6th, 2007, 12:03 AM
i typically feel better when not caffinated, and would be asleep now if not for that devil in a mermaid's disguise.

(the starbucks mascot.) don't want to be misunderstood here.

The Fortress
January 6th, 2007, 12:09 AM
i typically feel better when not caffinated, and would be asleep now if not for that devil in a mermaid's disguise.

He, he, he. Very funny. :rofl: Sorry to keep you from your sleep. Since I'm not usually asleep for another 30-60 minutes, I'm good. What fun is it being an angel? You're a little devil too. Someone else is too. I guess you hot-headed Italians need a lot of yoga to keep calm even when doing mega yardage. A lot of little devils on this forum lately. I know you haven't had any caffeine tonight. So just do some mediatative breathing while I go change my avatar.:rofl: My offer to count for you still holds. You know I've counted before. I have forum witnesses from my last meet. Muppet? SwimmieAvsFan? I secretly wish I was a distance junkie.

Thanks for the clarification. Good try.

Wow, I see you edited or changed your avatar too. Very nice. Still threatening.

islandsox
January 6th, 2007, 02:04 PM
Donna:
Tylenol PM? That doesn't work for a serious bout of insomnia. Quiet brain would work, but what if you don't have a quiet brain? Sometimes after a 7:30-9:00 practice, I'm pretty wired for awhile.

Well, then I could take 20, like that thread recently about someone taking so many Tums or something (joke here).

Plus, I don't swim in the evening so I am at an advantage, but after I swim, I used to be wired up, but no longer, now am pooped. And caffeine, well, I just don't feel any impact one way or the other so I drink coffee, lots in the mornings, but then water the rest of the day.

I've never been able to meditate but my hubby can do it but it took practice. I guess it would have helped if I actually had sat down first :rofl:.
But I can lower my own heartrate--that was a feat!

Donna

Redbird Alum
January 6th, 2007, 09:12 PM
i typically feel better when not caffinated, and would be asleep now if not for that devil in a mermaid's disguise.

(the starbucks mascot.) don't want to be misunderstood here.

After 30 some odd years with coffee and tea, I've learned that I can drink all I want up until about 11:00 AM without affecting my sleep patterns, but God help me if I have even one cup :coffee: after 1:00 PM. I also switch to water or clear liquids (does amber beer count as clear) after the 11:00 AM cutoff time.

swimmieAvsFan
January 8th, 2007, 02:36 PM
My offer to count for you still holds. You know I've counted before. I have forum witnesses from my last meet. Muppet? SwimmieAvsFan? I secretly wish I was a distance junkie.



i'll vouch for the fortress. she was 2 lanes down from where i was counting. and she definitely knows how to count- fortress, how many times did i have to ask you what lap the guys were on? :laugh2:

and fortress, if you became a distance junkie, who would your new secret nemesis be?
:rofl:

Muppet
January 8th, 2007, 10:38 PM
i'll vouch for the fortress. she was 2 lanes down from where i was counting. and she definitely knows how to count- fortress, how many times did I have to ask you what lap the guys were on? :laugh2:

So it was YOU, Fortress, that are to blame for me swimming an 850 meter freestyle. :dedhorse: :dedhorse:

The Fortress
January 9th, 2007, 12:49 AM
So it was YOU, Fortress, that are to blame for me swimming an 850 meter freestyle. :dedhorse: :dedhorse:

No, no. Free your mind, Muppet. Try caffeine. It was my new secret nemesis after I become a distance swimmer and can actually do the 200 back that was at fault. Pretty fast 850!!:dedhorse: :banana: :dedhorse: :banana: