Whilst most people are aware of the benefits of exercising, less is know about its effect on working habits. Researchers in Sweden have found that by taking a break to exercise at work, employees became more productive and were sick less often.
With the more appetising summer weather, you may be thinking of taking a break at work to stretch your legs with an invigorating brisk walk. But whilst a small risk, you need to be aware of any ailments you may pick up whilst out exercising.
In the UK, one of the biggest threats to your health whilst exercising outdoors this summer is Lyme disease.
But what is it? And how do you contract it?
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that is usually transmitted to humans when they are bitten by an infected tick.
Ticks are small insects that are closely related to spiders. They are mainly found is grassy areas and in woodland, but they can also be located in urban gardens and parks. Lyme disease can be contracted anywhere in the UK, but particular hot spots are in the Scottish Highlands and in the south of England.
It’s important to stress that only a small minority of ticks carry this disease, and getting bitten by a tick does not mean you necessarily have the disease.
What Are the Symptoms of Lyme Disease?
The initial indicator of Lyme disease is usually a circular red rash expanding from the site of the tick bite site. The rash tends to gradually increase in size, but unlike other rashes it is not hot, itchy or painful.
But not everyone suffering from Lyme disease has a rash. Other sickness symptoms that individuals may encounter include: feverish high temperatures, headaches, muscle and joint pain, and fatigue or a complete loss of energy.
If left undetected or untreated, those infected can suffer serious neurological problems, such as a malfunctioning central nervous system or a complete heart block caused by a loss of electrical signals to the cardiac muscle.
Treatment for Lyme Disease
Once Lyme disease has been confirmed in a patient, the disease is usually cleared up with a 3-week course of anti-biotics prescribed by your doctor. As already mentioned, patients suffering neurological problems may be referred to hospital for specialist treatment.
For most individuals, the antibiotics help to the remove the symptoms of Lyme disease within a few months. However, many suffer with the sickness symptoms associated with Lyme disease for months, and even years, as was the case for World Cup-winning rugby star Matt Dawson.
Should You Visit Your Doctor If Bitten?
If you do get a bite, use a set of tweezers or a tick removal tool to remove the tick. Make sure to grab the tick as close to skin as possible and take care not to squeeze it. Once removed, clean the bite area with an antiseptic wipe or soapy water.
Since only a small percentage of ticks carry this bacterial infection, you shouldn’t need to visit your GP unless you feel unwell with any of the symptoms described above. If you do need to visit, make sure you make the most out of your time with your GP with these great tips.
They will then run several tests to detect the presence of Lyme disease. They may do so over an extended period of time as it can be difficult to detect in its early stages.
Find Out If You Have Lyme Disease
If you have recently found a tick bite on your skin, you may want to check if you have the early warning signs of Lyme disease.
This way you can book a visit to your GP if the results suggest that would be beneficial.
Protect Yourself Against Tick Bites Whilst Exercising This Summer
If you are looking to improve your health by walking outdoors this summer, then it’s wise to protect yourself against the threat of Lyme disease.
Take precautionary steps such as tucking your trousers into your socks, using DEET products to ward off insects and by sticking to well defined paths away from long grass.
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