Friday, February 19, 2010

The Downside of Trying To Be Actively Healthy

I got home from today's swim session feeling like my head is going to split into two. The first time it happened - it was about 3 weeks ago - was when I came home from a swim, fixed myself breakfast, and 20 minutes later, vomited the contents out with a severe pounding headache. 

 The doctor diagnosed it as a migraine, and well, he found out what my trigger points were. I can't have chocolates, any cocoa based food (milo included), cheese, mandarin oranges, and I forget what else. I was shoveling all of those a few days before on a continuous basis. 

 However, the headache is acting up again. Even as I'm typing this, there's literally a hot vise gripping around my skull and the pain is both pounding and throbbing. And when I googled, I found out that I'm not alone:

 They called it a Swimmer's Migraines, or Headaches, and many people have either felt it or experienced it on a normal basis. The culprits are likely to be tight goggles, tight cap, or dehydration. Also some articles discussed about CO2 buildup which is caused by inefficient breathing during the swim. 

 My own diagnosis is that I am dehydrated. This is my biggest weakness in doing sports - I tend to go a whole workout without water and food and always ended the exercises feeling waaay too exhausted and spent. For instance today I can't remember drinking anything on the way and even while swimming and when I arrived in my parent's house in Nilai I took my time puttering, reading books, playing with my cat before having a glass of water. By then the headache was already saying Hello to me.

 My sister saw me drinking loads of water and asked why. When I explained it to her, she said, "Wow, there sure are a lot of pitfalls in working out. X-rays this, X-rays that, weak knees, migraines, and the works."
 She added, "Not to rain on your parade, but I think I'm healthier than you!"

 Straight away I knew that I am giving out the wrong message about staying healthy. Exercising is the number one choice to start getting healthy, but you have to do it properly. Overtraining, over excessive use of muscles, bad nutrient and diet won't make you any better even if you work out 6 days per week. There's a whole load of injuries and ailments waiting for you out there - swimmer's Ear, Swimmer's Migraines, Runner's Knees, handlebar palsy, etc.

And mother of all: dehydration: lack of water! oh why do I do this to myself?

 Have to train myself to take care of the 'other' part of being healthy. Proper food, proper fueling and proper rest. 

 Arrrgh pening gilaaa


  1. Sorry to hear that. And let's not kill ourselves with obsession. I used to think there's no life beyond running, I was wrong. It's even more fun and safe when done in moderation. Plus, from people who have been running for 20-30 years, I learned that's how they keep from burning out. Train moderately, and know when to rest and enjoy life. :)

  2. Agreed with Haza. Everything in moderation but we do sometimes get too carried away without due care given. Moderation with a balance in your life and know when to have a breather to keep your sanity too :)

  3. my mom freaked out when I told her some runners died while running in Adidas etc - talk about giving out wrong messages across hahaha

    Take care and drink well - this shall be a reminder to all of us now. btw, I had a blast today! See you swimming next week!

  4. Nadia, next week you will swim with the buoy (u can swim 500m with this). U dont have to kick at all and it really train you to rotate your body properly and thus reducing drag. At the same time, you should consider getting a paddle. What it does is, it makes you work harder to pull but you'll gain strength with every pull.

    Rest and refuel is all part of being actively healthy. Take care of yourself. See you next week, and I'll make sure we do 3KM, no less!

  5. haza & yimster: you are most correct... and it only took me 3 spltting headaches to realize that! the funny thing is I caution my dad all the time about overtraining and not pushing the limits but I tend to forgot that on myself. will try to be more balanced.

    syah: when you left me and fong marveled at how fast you were! ape ni kata beginner... hehehe i won't tell my mom about the runners dying because for sure she won't let me be anywhere near a running course! seems like we have to trian smart as well, not study smart je.

    kash: yep. I'm thinking of getting the paddles as well since I had a hard time trying to keep my fingers from spreading apart today.
    i really have to look closely into my diet and nurtrition from now on.

  6. hey, u got nice strokes =) just put some power in it, surely laju nyer =)kash is right bout d buoy =)paddle pun ok...

  7. not it's my turn to visit your blog, thanks for visiting mine. you can't eat chocolates huh? me neither. milo/choc cakes/anything with cocoa. i get a nasty headache, macam migraine.