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THE HERALD FRIDAY JANUARY 13 2017


Foods that can make you more alert First aid afloat


I SAW recently in the news that


there is a growing need to render first aid to the public. This is in response to modern day events such as terrorist activity in popular and, moreover, populated places. So, how does this affect the at


WANT to feel more alert?


To keep up your mental energy and focus, you’ve got to eat the right foods at the right time. The next time your mood or motivation is feeling low, think back. When did you last eat? What did you have? Have you been drinking enough liquids? Skipped meals, unbalanced meals, and dehydration can all zap your mental energy and focus. (And don’t forget that getting adequate sleep and rest is part of the equation, too).


WHAT IS MENTAL ENERGY? It includes your overall mood and


motivation, as well as your attention and focus. When your mental engine is revved up, there’s a good chance your diet had something to do with


it. So, here’s some ‘food for thought’ - What can I eat to keep my mental energy up all day long?


EAT THE RIGHT CARBOHYDRATES


Glucose is derived from


carbohydrates in your diet. After they’re been broken down during the digestive process, carbohydrates enter the bloodstream as glucose (or ‘blood sugar’), which help to fuel your brain. Since your brain is active 24/7, it has high energy demands and needs a continuous supply of fuel. To do this, try to stick to the carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains to give your brain the nutrients it needs. These high-fibre foods take time to digest, which leads to a gradual release of glucose into your system. On the other hand, a meal high in


FUEL YOUR BRAIN


AT REGULAR INTERVALS Since your brain wants a steady


source of glucose, it’s important to eat at regular intervals throughout the day to keep your mental energy from dipping too low. Aim for small meals and/or snacks every three to four hours.


START THE DAY WITH BREAKFAST


There’s plenty to be said about


the importance of breakfast, and giving your brain a boost is just another reason to enjoy a meal first thing. While you were sleeping, your brain was busy, leaving the tank fairly empty by morning. Do your brain a favour and start your day with a well-balanced breakfast that includes the essential macro and micronutrients.


MEET YOUR PROTEIN NEEDS


Even though your brain doesn’t


use protein directly for fuel, it does use amino acids – which are derived from the proteins that you eat. The recommendation is to get up to 30%


Mild dehydration can reduce


alertness and your ability to concentrate, and by the time you feel thirsty, your mental energy has


processed carbohydrates (such as those found in starchy, sugary foods) is digested relatively quickly, which can cause a quick rise in your blood sugar, often followed by a quick drop. This blood sugar ‘crash’ can make you feel mentally sluggish.


tention to first aid at sea? Ships’ staff attend first aid courses and a designated person aboard is put in charge of medical care. What happens aboard your craft? What if first aid is required by you (yes, you!)? Seamanship now reveals it’s a


simple, common sense approach. Having determined that there is a requirement aboard for first aid whenever human beings are around, the first thing is to check that a first aid kit is available and that its’ disposable contents are up to date. Does your crew know where it


is stored and is its location marked? Do your crew know how to use the contents in a safe and reliable manner and are there instructions contained in this kit box? Is there a first aid manual available for use? Are there useful contacts noted in this kit? Next, when was the last time


any member went on a first aid course? When was the last time you familiarised yourself with first aid procedures? How would you evacuate a person who is incapacitated or unconscious


of your daily calories from protein, so make sure you include proteins from poultry, fish, dairy products, nuts and beans in your daily diet to keep your body performing as it should. ‘Complete’ proteins are best, such as those found in soy protein.


DRINK UP


from your craft? The list expands once you get


into thinking about what is required. Again, how do you dispose of medical waste from your boat? I would suggest that you as a boat


owner or even crew member look at attending a basic first aid course. This would be invaluable anywhere. Aboard your craft, such experience is invaluable. Basic treatments for seasickness and exposure immediately come to mind. In my experience, I have seen


instances at sea where prompt first aid action have saved a serious situation. The confidence is that the injured person is reassured that administered first aid is making a positive effort to normalise the situation. In addition to applying first aid


to a casualty, a notebook and pen prove useful in logging times. This is for onward medical treatment, if required. Obviously, time of the accident and what first aid was given are relevant. A brief account of how the accident occurred if known is a positive contribution to reviewing the situation and preparing lessons to be learned for future avoidance of such accident. This all comes under the heading


of ‘taking charge’. People look to you for authority and guidance in these situations. Seamanship rules – OK!


already taken a hit. Water is always a good choice, but coffee and tea in moderation contribute to your daily fluid intake, too. Caffeine- containing beverages may help with focus and concentration – but be smart about it. You don’t want to ignore your diet and simply rely on caffeine to keep you going through the day. You need to hydrate properly, eat right and monitor your own response to the caffeine you’re taking in. If it makes you jittery or keeps you up at night, you’d be wise to cut back.


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