• What You Should Know About Hedgehog Cages

    Many track and field athletes and runners are pet enthusiasts. Among their common pets are dogs which they can take on their regular runs. However, there are also some who have developed an interest in raising exotic pets such as hedgehogs.

    Although you cannot take your pet with you during your training or regular running exercise, unlike dogs, hedgehogs certainly make an entertaining pet. They are also suitable for your hectic schedule because they do not require much attention as long as you have given them what they need. And among their top needs is the appropriate place to stay.

    You cannot just raise your hedgehog in any cage you bought. Hedgehog cages must follow certain standards to make them ideal for the health and growth of your pet. Hedgehogs spend most of their time in their cages. So they deserve to have a cage where all their needs are present and where they can feel secure, safe and entertained.

    Although hedgehogs are small, they are very active animals during their waking hours. This means that they need a bit of space. Their cages should be at least two feet wide and four feet long. A bigger cage is even better because it can give them more space to play and move around. A solid floor works best than a wire floor because the latter can be painful for its feet. Multi-level cages also make a great home for hedgehogs since they like to climb and explore their place from time to time.

    Once you have the right cage, it should be placed away from heaters, air conditioning, drafts, windows and places with direct exposure to cold or hot temperature. Ideally, the temperature should be between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, put the cage in a place where the animal can still experience daylight and darkness.

    One of the most important things to put in the cage is the substrate or bedding. Recycled pulp or paper is one of your best options. Avoid using wood shavings because they can be less comfortable to your pet. There should also be a hide area where your pet can escape to relax and hide from scrutiny. You can use a pet igloo, wood box, half log or tubing for this purpose. Another important component of a cage is the litter box. You can place just a small box with recycled paper litter pellets inside the cage. Water bowls and food bowls are also important. Your pet should have clean water and food at all times. The best option for water bottle is a stoppered water bottle. For food bowls, you should have one food bowl for moist foods and another for dry foods. Use heavy bowls that you can attach to the cage to avoid spilling.

    In addition, a hedgehog cage should also have materials for exercise and entertainment. Some of the popular additions you can put are exercise wheel, ramps, tunnels, ledges and other decors.

    If you want to raise a hedgehog, you should be able to meet the standard requirements for its cage. These requirements are necessary for your pet to stay healthy, happy and satisfied.

  • What Athletes Should Know Before Getting a Tattoo

    While tattoos are gaining in popularity among many athletes in various sports such as basketball, baseball, softball and others, it is not as popular among track and field athletes. It could be that track and field athletes are just not as bold in displaying tattoos as their counterparts in other sports.

    Many athletes, both men and women want to get a tattoo. Chest tattoos for men and side tattoos for girls are becoming popular as sports fans learn to accept them. In fact, you can see popular track and field celebrities like Wallace Spearmon sporting various tattoos in different parts of their bodies. But while many athletes already have them, several athletes are still clean or are still planning of getting one.

    There are important things you should know before getting a tattoo. And when you know these things, they could affect your decision of having your first tattoo or not.

    1. A tattoo is a permanent mark. Once you have it, it can be difficult or expensive to remove it. Even with the use of the latest technology, tattoo removal does not yet guarantee total removal of the ink without leaving an unsightly scar or keloid.

    2. Tattooing can be painful. Applying a tattoo can be painful especially if it is on the part of the body where there is less fat to serve as a cushion. Also, the bigger and more intricate your tattoo design is, the more painful it would likely be.

    3. Getting a tattoo poses risks of certain skin problems such as scabbing and skin tear which may also result to infection if not treated properly. In some cases, scabbing causes the tattoo to become unsightly. Also, it is common for those who just got a tattoo to experience redness, pain and swelling in the newly tattooed area.

    4. Tattoos may cause allergic reactions on some people. People who are allergic to dyes may develop allergic reactions especially to blue, green, yellow and red dyes. Symptoms of allergic reaction include itchiness and rashes on the tattooed area. And this could occur even after years of getting the tattoo.

    5. A tattoo could put you at risk of blood-borne diseases. Some people become infected with hepatitis or tetanus after getting a tattoo using infected equipment. If you really want to get a tattoo, be sure to get it from an experienced and reputable artist. Don’t just get it on the sidewalk. Also, be sure to check first the tools and equipment that the artist will use. The needle should come from a sealed package. Any pigments to be used should also be unused. Check also if the artist has a sterilization machine for sterilizing non-disposable equipment. You can get valuable information by talking and asking important questions. It is important that you should know what there is to know before getting a tattoo.

    After knowing these risks, you could now decide whether you really want to have a tattoo or not. If you are still willing to get one after being aware of the risks involved, your next step is to find a reputable tattoo artist and to select a design that best expresses yourself.

  • Neutropenic Precautions for Runners

     

    Neutropenic precautions are preventive measures that a patient suffering from a blood disorder called neutropenia must follow to avoid contracting infections. A person with neutropenia has an abnormally low level of white blood cells which work as the body’s shield against infections. Without enough white blood cells, a person is at risk of being infected with bacteria, virus and other microorganisms that can be potentially harmful to his or her health.  But with certain precautions, a person can avoid exposure to factors that can potentially cause any infection.

    As neutropenia is a condition that could affect anyone, it may also affect any seemingly healthy track and field athlete or one of any other sports. While you can still run as you like, you should avoid competing in a race. There are also some precautions that you should observe during your practice or regular run.

    Although there are no standard precautions or protocol to observe, some basic precautions may be helpful for runners. Firstly, you must seek advice from your doctor if it is okay with you to go on with your regular activities including running. This activity can be physically demanding and your doctor may require you to modify your running routine. Additionally, depending on the severity of your condition, you may also be required total rest from running until your condition will improve.

    If ever your doctor allows you to run, it would be safer if you wear a mask when running. The mask can provide protection from direct exposure to airborne bacteria. Be sure also to run only in places that are far from construction sites where fungus could thrive in the air or from hospitals which are a haven for bacteria and viruses. Avoid participating in mass races where many people participate because you are also prone to contracting bacteria and infections from fellow runners. And be extra careful to avoid tipping or falling which may cause you to have scratches, punctures or cuts on your skin. Wounds may serve as the gateway of infections to your body. If ever you have one, be sure to administer proper treatment immediately.

    Important consideration to your clothing and footwear is also necessary because without proper clothing, you will be exposed to all sorts of infection. Be sure to wear clean clothing that covers as much parts of your body. Also wear clean socks and shoes. Moreover, don’t forget to bring water because you may need to drink water from time to time to avoid dehydration.

    However, despite following these precautions, you may still suffer from infections. In that case, you need to see your doctor immediately. Signs of infections include high temperatures of about 38 degrees Celsius or more, a cloudy urine or pain when urinating, difficulty in swallowing, weakness or dizziness, shortness of breath, redness, mouth sores, sore throat, coughing, and runny nose.

    Neutropenic precautions are just preventive measures to avoid infection. Following them does not guarantee that you will be able to totally avoid these infections. It is therefore of utmost importance that you periodically report any abnormalities you feel to your doctor for proper action.

  • Your Very First Marathon

    So you will finally be able to run that marathon that you have been preparing on for so long now and I bet you are so very excited about it. Not only that, I bet you are feeling a bit nervous about the whole thing that you are literally feeling butterflies are skittering around your stomach and you are already second guessing yourself.

    Relax, everybody feels that way when they are confronted with an important thing, and the anticipation of it might sometimes get the better of you. We know you’re already on panic mode now so we decided to help you with this little list that might help you on your big day, as you really wouldn’t want to forget about your running shoes tomorrow right?

    Things to Bring to a Marathon

    1. Your own pair of durable yet totally comfortable running shoes. There are apparently some famous runners who like to compete using only their bare feet, but to be on the very safe side, don’t forget to bring yours.

     

    1. Comfortable socks. Avoid getting blisters and lessen the impact of the road on your feet by using well-padded running socks.

     

    1. Medications if you need to take them. You never know when you’re going to need them so just carry them along to be sure. Better yet, use a medical bracelet informing whatever sickness you got and person to contact in case of emergencies. There will be ambulances and medical personnel around but it never hurts to be doubly sure.

     

    1. If you are competing in another state or another country for that matter, do not forget to bring identification cards or passports.

     

    1. Do not bring cameras with the best travel tripods as you will never get to use them. Not unless the marathon is being held in your city and you’ve got lots of friends to take pictures of you while you are competing. Don’t clutter your mind with any other things and concentrate only on the task at hand, which is finishing your marathon.

     

    1. Pack light but pack smartly. Check the weather in the area where you are running and bring correct clothing implements suited to the weather there. It also never hurts if you have the best lightweight luggages available as you will be carrying it with you most of the time.

     

    1. Other items which might help you out come race time includes: Vaseline for chafing, safety pins for your bibs, paperwork for the race, timing chips if you already have it, sunscreen to not roast yourself alive, running belts to hold your water or energy bar or any lucky charms you might have, salt tablets if you are prone to cramping, several folds of tissue paper for those unexpected moments, and Band-Aids for everything else.

    Just remember to run the marathon at your own pace and not try to over exert yourselves. This is your first one so you better take it easy and just feel you way around, next time’s will be the real thing.