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CHECKUP : LET RESTING PULSE BE WORKOUT GUIDE.

Byline: News, tips and trends

Are you working out too hard? The answer is just a heartbeat away, says a Texas doctor.

``Your pulse is one of the best fitness indicators, and it can tell if you're pushing your body too hard,'' said Dr. John Cianca, a sports-medicine expert at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

To use your pulse as a workout gauge, a baseline must be established, he said.

``Each morning for a week, take your resting pulse before you get out of bed,'' Cianca said. ``Count the number of heartbeats in 10 seconds and then multiply by six. Doing this for a week will establish your average resting pulse. It can then be used as a ``measuring stick.''

Your morning resting pulse may go down as you get in better physical shape, but, if it goes up, you're overdoing it.

``If your average morning pulse has been 50 beats per minute and all of a sudden it shoots up to 60 or 65, it's time to let your body rest for a couple days,'' Cianca said.

Prevent swimmer's ear: Did you know that swimming is not the only cause of swimmer's ear? Any activity that allows water or moisture to enter - showering, washing your hair frequently, using a sauna, and being in warm humid climates - can cause this ear problem, said Dr. Richard Miyamoto, chair of the Hearing and Equilibrium Committee of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

When water gets into the ear, it may bring in bacterial or fungal particles, he said. Usually the water runs back out; the ear dries out; and the bacteria and fungi don't cause any problems. But sometimes water remains trapped in the ear canal and causes the skin to get soggy. Then the bacteria and fungi grow, flourish and can infect the outer ear.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you need to see a doctor, Miyamoto advised:

The ear feels blocked and may itch.

The ear canal becomes swollen, sometimes swelling shut.

The ear starts draining a runny, milky fluid.

The ear becomes painful and tender to touch, especially the cartilage in front of the ear canal.

Ear drops can be used by most people to protect or dry the ear. ``Before using any ear drops, consult your physician,'' Miyamoto said. ``If you have an infection, a perforated ear drum, or other ear injury or surgery, you may not be able to use ear drops. You should always talk to your doctor before you put anything into your ear.''

For a free leaflet on swimmer's ear, send a self-addressed, stamped, business-size envelope to: ``Swimmer's Ear,'' American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, 1 Prince St., Alexandria, Va. 22314.

Got a cold? Wash your hands: If you catch a cold, remember to wash your hands a lot, a Texas doctor advises.

Many colds result from rubbing the nose or eyes with fingers that have picked up a virus from hand-to-hand contact, said Dr. Christine Matson of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

When people with colds cough and sneeze into their hands and then touch objects at home, work or school or touch each other, they leave cold-causing viruses behind. Frequent hand washing can lessen this transmission.
COPYRIGHT 1996 Daily News
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Copyright 1996, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:L.A. LIFE
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Apr 22, 1996
Words:542
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