It was reported today on the radio that an increased number of UK motorists are being stopped by the police between the hours of 6 am and 11 am and found to be over the drink driving limit. This is attributed to the start of the Christmas party season.
Most if not all motorists know that they should not drink and drive but many are unaware that they may still be over the limit the following morning after they have been drinking the night before. This is most likely to occur when they have been drinking late into the night socially often at an office party and then have to get up early the following morning to go to work.
What can you do to reduce the risk of this happening:
Stay off the alcohol if you have to get up for work or drive early the next morning is the obvious one.
drink plenty of water during the evening. Maybe alternate soft drinks with your alcoholic drinks.
Stop drinking as early as possible during the evening if you are going to need to drive the following morning.
Do not drink alcohol after midnight-move to the soft drinks
Have a glass of water when you get home
Use a digital breathalyzer or disposable breathalyzer kit the next morning to get an indication of whether alcohol is still in your system
Do not drive if you think you may still be under the influence of alcohol. It is not worth risking your life, the lives of others and your driving license. Use public transport or get a taxi.
You can buy disposable glove box breathalyzer kits for the UK limit of 0.08% BAC from UK Drug Testing
Breathalysers including digital breathalysers are also available for sale online in the UK from Valuemed
At this time of year we are often asked by parents to reccomend the best gifts for medical students.
Any of the Littmann stethoscopes would make a fabulous gift for a medical student but parents are often surprised when we advise them not to go for the most expensive stethoscopes from the Littmann range. The best stethoscope for medical students just starting out on their training are the Littmann classic 11 SE stethoscopes. Most UK doctors start their medical school clinical training with a Littmann classic or similar. They come in a wonderful array of colours now so you really can stand out from the crowd and come boxed so are easy for wrapping. We also have the more traditional Littmann Classic colours.
Littmann Classic 11 SE best stethoscope for medical student
For a final year medical student a Littmann dual 111 cardiology stethoscope would make a really special gift and would help give them confidence for their final exams.
We also have a comprehensive range of starter kits for medical students that would make great gifts for medical students just starting on their clinical training.
If you are a medical student let us know what you think are the best medical equipment gifts that you would like to receive for Christmas that would make gifts.
I wear a pedometer every day and yesterday I went christmas shopping in Cambridge (great place to shop & stunningly beautiful architecture) and was pleased to see at the end of the day that I had clocked up a very pleasing 18,000 steps. On several occaisons I started to flag and even contemplated getting a bus instead of walking but my pedometer kept me motivated to keep walking. There are lots of coffee shops & benches where you can take a rest and admire the lovely views or simply soak up the great atmosphere. Anyway I digress.
I have worn a pedometer for about 10 years on on & off now I think and thought I would share with you some tips for those that are new to it or thinking about wearing one.
Best place to wear your pedometer-I have found that I get the most reliable results if I wear it directly over my hip on my right-hand side-I prefer right because this feels more natural to me and I find it easy to check it throughout the day to see how I am getting on. I am right handed so this may well have a bearing on why I prefer this side.
The best type of pedometer. I find the sort that clip on to your waistband or belt are the best as they tend to stay horizontal which is necessary for accurate recording of steps. In fact, I have found that it is best to clip it to a leather belt as this keeps it in place. Without the belt, it tends to fall off and get lost, fall in the toilet or fail to record accurately.
What to do if it falls in the toilet (this happened quite frequently to me before I started to wear it with a belt) Dont panic they usually recover. Whip it out of the loo and dab it dry with a towel. Then put it somewhere warm and dry. Airing cupboard if you have one is ideal or next to a radiator. Avoid putting it somewhere too hot as too much heat could damage it. You have to be patient now as it may take a day or two to come back to life. If you are lucky it may be quicker-it depends on how much water has gone inside. In my experience, they nearly always recover. This method also works very well if you drop your iPod or mobile phone down the toilet or in a sink of water (I have done both)
How many steps should you aim for? Health guidelines have suggested that aiming for 10,000 steps per day is associated with significant health benefits.
How to start using your pedometer, To begin with just find out where you are at. Wear the pedometer for a couple of days and monitor your daily number of steps so it will give you an idea of how active or inactive you are. When I started I was doing between 2000 and 3000 a day. Now I exceed 10,000 steps every day. Then you can begin to increase your activity level. My advice as with any increased exercise program would be to do this gradually, aiming for an increase of 1000-2000 steps daily and then sustaining this for at least a week. This way you can work up to 10,000 steps per day over several weeks or months. if you do it gradually you are often more likely to keep it up-it will simply become part of your daily routine. Studies on human behaviour have shown that it takes about 21 days of doing something for it to become an ingrained habit. If you find that the increased activity is easy then you can increase more quickly but be wary of increasing too quickly and making it too hard for yourself to sustain it.
Put the pedometer on 1st thing in the morning when you get out of bed and take it off the last thing at night to get an accurate picture of how many steps per day you are doing. Make sure to reset it each morning.
If you have any health issues that affect you walking eg knee problems, hip problems, heart problems then talk to your doctor about what you are planning to do and get their input. Most medical conditions benefit from increasing your activity levels but you may need to take things much more slowly so that you do not exacerbate any underlying medical conditions. Talk to your doctor if you have an underlying medical condition. They will be able to advise you on the best way you can safely get more active and how many steps you should aim to increase by and the rate at which you should do it.
Anyway enough, for now, I have been sat down far too long. Hope you have found these tips helpful. Enjoy your pedometer
You can buy this pedometer online in UK from Valuemed
I recently read an article that discussed new research showing that sitting on a daily basis for prolonged periods was associated with increased morbidity. As many of us, me included, these days earn our living working at computers this involves long periods of prolonged sitting. We also increasingly spend our leisure time sitting either surfing the net, watching television or playing on computer games.
It set me thinking of ways that we can help to reduce the negative impact of all this sitting.
Here are some suggestions:
set a timer when you are working at your computer or surfing the net. Time passes very quickly when you are working at a computer-it is easy to get into a state of flow and completely lose track of time. When the timer goes off take a break and move ! How long you set the timer is up to you. I suggest trying 45 minutes to begin with but if you are like me the temptation is to keep resetting it. Resist this and move.
Take regular breaks to use the toilet, make a drink. If you work from home take a break and do some housework or go outside and pull some weeds in the garden. The break will often refresh you and you will be more productive afterwards.
Take a walk in your lunch break-a walk in the middle of the day is very refreshing. You could run errands or just get out in the fresh air. If you do it every day it will quickly become a a habit and you will look forward to it.
wear a pedometer (step counter) so you can see how active or inactive you are. It is very motivating when you are trying to become more active. I was shocked when I first started to wear one at how inactive I was compared to my perception of how active I was. You should aim for about 10,000 stpes per day but you can start by just increasing you activity level-any increase is an improvement. I have worn a pedometer now for about 8 years and find it very motivating.
walk your dog each day if you have one-studies have suggested that dog walkers are healthier and happier. If you don’t own a dog maybe you could borrow one or walk with a firend who has a dog. Maybe you should even consider getting a dog-dogs generally love to walk and are always enthusiastic whatever the weather-mind you it is a big commitment so maybe just try borrowing one to begin with.
take up as sport that you do in the evening. At this time of year with the dark evenings it is all too easy to collapse on the sofa in front of the TV after your evening meal and not move again until it is time for bed-apart from those trips to the fridge to snack !
if you are watching TV do something active when those annoying ad breaks come on. Here are some of my favourites: tidy up your kitchen, put laundrey away, put a load of laundrey on, dust, tidy up-anything to get you active. Look upon the adverts as an opportunity to get your steps up.
Anyway these are just a few ideas to increase your activity level.
You can get a great little pedometer step counter here that will help you to increase your health and fitness if you use it