Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cowles Mountain Hike!

Happy Sunday beautiful guys & dolls! This past Friday I had the pleasure of hiking Cowles Mountain with my friend Christine.  Cowles Mountain is the dominant feature of Mission Trails Regional Park and the highest point in the classy City of San Diego.  Cowles Mountain's elevation is 1,591 feet above sea level.
Me at the peak of Cowles!
Photography: Christine Ford

Hike length: 3 miles
Estimated Duration: 1.5 hours
Difficulty: Medium

Trail Head (from North):
Take 5 South to 805 South to 52 East and take exit 15 for California 125 S and exit 20A for Navajo Rd.  Turn right onto Cowles Mountain Blvd. and turn left onto Tommy Dr.  You will see the park on your right hand side and there is street parking or a parking lot. 

Trail Head (from Downtown SD): 
Take 163 S to 8 E and take slight right onto Fletcher Pkwy. Take first left onto Baltimore Dr., take 2nd right onto Aztec Dr., continue onto Cowles Mountain Rd. and turn left onto Tommy Dr., keep right at fork.  

View from half way up!
Photography: Lena Rakijian
This hike is extremely popular and you will see a lot of smiling San Diegans...and it's dog friendly too!  I would suggest starting in the morning because it gets pretty hot out there - so pack your SPF, your Klean Kanteen, and get ready to feel it in your gluts & hammies the next morning!  Cowles Mountain makes for a great morning work out - the incline will have your heart rate up and have you breakin' a sweat in no time! When you get to the top you can enjoy sunny skies and beautiful views of La Mesa and Lake Murray.  Happy hiking erryybodyy!!!

Yours in health,


Christine and I at the top of the mountain!
Photography: Friendly hiker :)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Feeling HUNGOVER after the 4th? Here's why!

If all of the 4th of July festivities have you feeling a little "under the weather", here is a little physiological insight into what's going on in that body of yours! Unfortunately, consuming too much alcohol results in the unpleasant feeling of THE HANGOVER.  You don't have to go to a bachelor party in Vegas to feel hung over after a wild and crazy night.  Hangovers can occur the day after a binge drinking "episode", lets call it, and can last up to 24 hours.  Symptoms include headache, fatigue, dizziness, muscle aches, nausea and vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and extreme thirst.  In more severe cases, people experience depression, anxiety, irritablity, and other mood alterations.

So what's the deal? Well, alcohol inhibits anti-diuretic hormone in your body which increases urine output.  Increased urine output causes elevated loss of fluid and electrolytes which is probably why you get the spins and feel lightheaded after you get up out of bed, or off your friend's couch for that matter.  Abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting may be a hangover effect because alcohol irritates your stomach lining and gastric acid production.  Alcohol also disrupts your metabolism leading to lower blood glucose and higher lactic acid levels.  Hence, fatigue, weakness, and mood changes are seen after excessive alcohol intake.  Lastly, alcohol disrupts your sleep patterns and makes you feel tired kinda like jet lag. 

So how do you kill a hangover? Well, there are tons of so-called "remedies" out there but nothing really helps other than some good old fashion hydration.  Drinking water will minimize the risk of dehydration.  Consumption of food will help blood glucose levels to rise to normal. Taking a nap will help you with the fatigue. Antacids may help reduce nausea or abdominal discomfort, and an Advil may help your headache - BUT overall time heals all.

So next time you are planning on partying hard, remember to stay HYDRATED! Take water breaks, make sure that if you are going to drink, you don't drink on an empty stomach, and try to moderate your drinking.  Moderate drinking is considered 1 drink per day for women and 2 drinks per day for men.  Most importantly, drink responsibly, always have a sober driver, and don't fall asleep with your shoes on. Hope everyone enjoyed the 3 day weekend - I sure did :)

Yours in health,