Monday, December 27, 2010

Obesity: Hereditary or Not?

In an old issue of HR Magazine, there appeared an article, entitled, "Obesity is not hereditary."

"The problem of the 'fat' person has become paramount importance in the last few years, with the trend towards physical fitness as evidenced by the jogging craze," says the article.

"Physical fitness is always linked with health. The aim of any physical fitness program is not merely to make a person physically fit, but healthy as well, since health, physical as well as mental, is very important.

"Hence, an overweight person cannot be physically fit because excess fat is unhealthy. What should one do, then?

"Many reducing clinics attempt to cure obesity by curing only the symptoms, and never bother to look at the cause, " continues the article.

And that cause is food.

There are factors which may be held responsible for obesity, such as hormonal imbalance and physical inactivity, but the root cause is still food.

No one was ever born overweight.

Every overweight person must learn correct eating habits, create a new lifestyle based on wise food choice, and have enough physical activity.

To further explain the obesity syndrome, bariatric experts (those specially trained in weight control) suggest behavior modification techniques to control obesity.

Psychology defines behavior modification as the correction of disorders in human behavior by the application of the principle of learning. It contends that an individual, throughout his lifetime, develops a distinct mode of behavior or habit.

Habits, good or bad, are the products of learning and are embedded in one's subconscious. In the same manner that computers can be programmed and de-programmed, so habits can be learned and unlearned.

A healthier, longer life to all in 2011!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Meditation Promotes Health

Practitioners of various relaxation methods have long accepted meditation can have beneficial health effects by reducing blood pressure, heartbeat and respiratory rate.
Blood pressure rises in response to our emotions, say researchers, suggesting that it may be possible to lower blood pressure with good thoughts.

On the contrary, we can raise our blood pressure just by thinking of a traumatic experience.
Therefore it seems reasonable that calming thoughts can also lower blood pressure. But it was not until the advent of biofeedback training that these claims were scientifically validated.

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects a very large percentage of the adult population.
It can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and hardening of the arteries.
It is our emotional reaction to various pressures in life which creates stress. Our body responds to any threat, physical or psychological: muscles tense, blood pressure rises, and heart rate increases.

Like primitive warriors, we are prepared for any battle. But we --modern "hunter-warriors"-- are desk-bound. We have little or no opportunity to react physically to the threat and release the pressure. We are therefore left with a pounding heart and soaring blood pressure.

But each time we get angry, frustrated or excited and our blood pressure rises, it fails to return down to normal. Bit by bit, millimeter by millimeter, our normal pressure at rest creeps upward until we have essential (not caused by disease) hypertension.

Dr. Herbert Benson, who conducted studies with Transcendental Meditation (TM) at Harvard and Beth Israel Hospital in 1968, emphatically stated that essential high blood pressure can be lowered by a simple form of Transcendental Meditation (TM). He describes the technique in his book, The Relaxation Response. He writes:
"Our hypotheses is that the 'relaxation response' decreases and counteracts the increased sympathetic nervous system activity that accompanies the arousal of the fight-or-flight response. This sympathetic nervous system activity is reflected in the measures...of oxygen consumption, heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure which increase with the fight-or-flight response and decrease with the elicitation of the relaxation response."

Results of TM were demonstrated by a study of 36 volunteers with high blood pressure. The subjects were monitored for six weeks with special test machines to verify their high blood pressure readings. After the six-week period the volunteers were instructed in TM and began meditating daily. Their blood pressure was measured every two weeks at random times of the day, "but never while meditating."

After several weeks of meditation, their average systolic (upper) blood pressure dropped 10 millimeters, and their average diastolic (lower) reading lowered 4.6 millimeters. Although meditation had not cured them, as long as it continued, their blood pressure remained normal. When seven of the subjects stopped practicing TM, their blood pressure returned to pre-meditation hypertensive levels within four weeks.

Here are the four steps to Dr. Benson's relaxation response which laboratory tests at Harvard showed produces the same physiological changes as TM:

1. Sit comfortably in a quiet place.
2. Close eyes and relax all muscles.
3. Breathe easily and naturally through your nose. Inhale, then as you exhale say in your mind the word "one." Repeat the word "one" silently each time you breathe out.
4. "One" is a mantra, a mental device to anchor your thoughts. Your thoughts will wander--your mind will tend to reflect on problems, events and desires. Do not wrestle with these thoughts, just replace them with the thought of "one" and your steady rhythm of breathing.
Meditate for 10 to 20 minutes, twice daily. When the time is up--you may check a clock but do not use an alarm--remain quiet for a few moments, first with eyes closed, then opened.
Do not practice within two hours after a meal because digestive processes will interfere with the technique. And do not worry if the technique doesn't seem to work for you at first. It has worked for thousands of other subjects and, given time, it will work for you.

Here's to a Happy Yuletide Season--and a healthier you!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Stressed? Run!

Yes, running can diffuse negative emotions--and more.

Dr. George Sheehan, a medical practitioner who has written for Runner's World and Physician and Sports Medicine magazines, considers the running life as mental as well as physical.

Speaking from experience, Dr. Sheehan further claims that running has the effect of defusing anger, fear and anxiety. Like music, it soothes the savagery in us that lies so close to the surface. It is the ultimate tranquilizer.

But why is this so? What is it about running that blocks these negative, destructive feelings?

Here are Dr. Sheehan's own words: "The best explanation, it seems to me, lies in the James-Lange theory of emotions. It is one of psychology's most unlikely hypotheses and one that has been given little credence. Yet, like most ideas espoused by James, the passage of time seems to be giving it the support it has always deserved."

"According to James, I do not first get angry and then exhibit that anger in my body. The actual process is the reverse: My body gets angry, and then I get angry. My body perceives the object or idea that angers me, reacts with the usual physiological phenomena--rapid pulse, flushing of the face, and so on--and only then do I feel the emotion of anger.

"If the usual signs and symptoms of rage are blocked, I will not feel rage in my mind. Such blocking can occur two ways. The first is by flooding the various systems of the body with activity, so that there is no reserve to utilize for creating the reaction identified with emotion. The second is to substitute some positive emotion in its place. Act happy, look happy, speak happy, said James, and you will be happy.

SQUEEZE IT OUT. Persons can slow down a dangerously racing heartbeat by squeezing one of their ears; angina sufferers can relieve their chest pain the same way, said Dr. Mohan Kataria of King's College Hospital.

The squeezing action, he said, slows the heartbeat and reduces blood flow by stimulating the vagus nerve, which begins in the brain and branches to both the ears and heart.

Dr. Kataria outlined the proper technique for squeezing the ear: Cover one ear with the open palm of your strongest hand, press your fingertips behind your neck and squeeze the whole ear for 10 to 20 seconds -- firmly but not till it hurts. It's as simple as squeezing a sponge.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Principles of Exercise

A basic principle of exercise for individuals over forty years of age, according to Glenn Swengros, an American authority on physical fitness who has served as Director of Program Development for the President's Council on Physical Fitness, is to avoid incurring a large oxygen debt. An oxygen debt is brought on during the performance of anaerobic (without oxygen) exercise.

In this type of work, the exercise is so intense that the body is just not able to supply itself with sufficient oxygen. The oxygen must be repaid quickly, and to do that, the activity must stop or slow down considerably until the debt is repaid.

Anaerobic exercises are necessary for athletic training, but are of lesser value in a personal physical fitness program. In fact, if you have been sedentary or if the heart is damaged, this type of exercise could be harmful.

Most experts would suggest that you should concentrate on aerobic exercise (activities that do not develop an oxygen debt) to improve cardio-respiratory fitness, the most important type of fitness for adults.

The same principle applies to warm-ups. Perform a warm-up of 5-10 minutes before engaging in an all-out muscular activity, especially if your workout takes place first thing in the morning.

ISOMETRICS - USE CAUTION. If you have a heart condition, check with your physician. Then run and walk--but don't use isometric exercises.

According to researchers at the University of Texas Medical School, isometric exercises--the ones that pit muscles against other muscles or an immovable object--can cause blood pressure to rise.

Jogging, on the other hand, increases the oxygen uptake while maintaining a much lower blood pressure.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Vitamin C and Weight-Training

People usually eat more protein than they actually require.

But with vitamin C, it's a different story, says John Haberern, the editor of Fitness for Living.
Even if you consume a great deal, vitamin C is water-soluble and what you don't use is quickly excreted.

Vitamin C helps make collagen, the binding substance that holds cells together.

Let's suppose that you start using your arm muscles strenuously, as in lifting dumbbell or barbell. They suddenly start building additional new fiber and need more vitamin C to hold it together properly. But what happens if enough vitamin C isn't there to quickly manufacture as much collagen as is needed?

The muscles will keep attracting blood to their area, trying to extract enough vitamin C from it. They stay swollen with blood , and it is such swelling, creating unusual pressure on the nerves, that causes the stiffness and soreness.

To counteract the effect of stiffness and muscle soreness, you can take a tablet of vitamin C just before exercising: if you can take another one after a strenuous workout, so much the better.

Another frequent cause of prolonged swelling is rapture of the tiny capillaries in the muscles under pressure of unusual blood supply. Here again vitamin C plays a major role. It is well-known that vitamin C strengthens the capillary walls (especially in conjunction with the bioflavonoids) and prevents raptures. If the vitamin C is insufficient and the raptures occur, you then have within the muscle precisely the same condition that you get on the skin surface when you bruise yourself. A pool of static blood collects, attracting more blood that attempts to break it down and remove it. The pressure on the nerves is greatly increased and can be extremely painful.

What is there about lifting weights that makes it so effective in building muscles? Regular lifting of controlled loads, such as dumbbells and barbells, is one of the best ways to build muscular strength. This is "progressive resistance training" or "PRT."

When you lift a dumbbell, for instance, a series of large muscles contract to meet the overload of resistance that is being applied, and remain contracted throughout the whole range of the lifting movement. As the muscles work against the overload, their cells go through a complex chemical and physiological process that builds strength to meet future similar challenges of effort that might be needed.

If the overload is moderate and gradually increasing in amount, muscle strength will increase in a regular manner.

However, if the overload is beyond the current strength of the muscles and skeletal structure, something will give. A vertebra may compress, or the stressed muscle fibers may tear. In effect, you have a choice. You can do moderate lifting as a healthy exercise and become strong enough to meet the extraordinary lifting challenges that are bound to occur from time to time. Or you can shun lifting as hazardous or arduous---as most people do today---and run the risk of injuring yourself when the time comes that you have to lift something heavy.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Keeping Fit With Less Effort

What's the least effort you can do to keep fit?

Answer: Most physiologists agree that to maintain fitness, you need to exercise at 65% of your maximum capacity for 15 minutes a day, three times a week.

What's your maximum capacity? A heart rate of 220 minus your age.

So if you're 40, a pulse of about 120 (220-40x.65) is what you should be tailoring your workouts to sustain.

There's no need to overexercise--so long as you're consistent. Rather than knocking yourself out on weekends trying to make up for lost time, you're far better off setting up a schedule that's leisurely enough to live day to day.

What should you do? Something you enjoy.

A lot of the agony of exercise for many people is mental. Take walks. Play tag with the kids.
Anything to get your mind off your muscles. If you enjoy dancing, great.

Studies have shown that layoffs as brief as 2-1/2 days can begin to reserve the effects of exercises--so if you take a weekend off, be prepared to get back into the swing of things first thing Monday morning.

TIDBITS. Exercise, studies confirm, is the key to the prevention of osteoporosis, the degenerative bone disease afflicting 25 percent of women over 50.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (in a past issue) reports that, while dietary calcium supplements help slow the age-related bone loss, regular jogging or walking enhances bone formation. Taking supplements without exercise is "like settling for half a loaf, " says JAMA.

One group of women (mean ages: 53) exercised three times weekly, increasing their bone mass 2.6 percent in a year; a sedentary control group had a 2.4 percent mass loss.

When you run long distances, you may also be giving your heart extra mileage. JAMA reports that marathon running, or other sustained exercise, increases the body's level of high density lipoprotein (HDL) which has been associated with lower cardiovascular death rates.

Monday, November 15, 2010

New Test For Middle-Age Fitness

Traditional fitness tests become invalid when used on middle-age people.

Dr. Albert A. DeVries and Kenneth Lersten of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, said that the traditional tests rely on strength, speed, agility, power, balance, and coordination. Often those tests are hazardous for older people and produce invalid conclusions.

To get around that problem, investigators selected other standards to measure fitness. Those include blood pressure, maximal oxygen consumption, blood composition, nervous tension and muscle tone.

Jogging is heartening. Within three months after leaving the hospital, probably one-third of all heart patients can start jogging, says an Oregon cardiologist.

Dr. Waldo E. Harris recommends an exercise program which he developed over a four-year period on a group of 32 men. They were tested and evaluated from the time they were permitted to sit on a chair just days after the attack. All of them have since returned to their jobs and many jog over two miles, 3 or 4 times a week.

The Best of Three. What produces the greatest gain in physical fitness--running, exercise on the treadmill, or exercise on a stationary bicycle?

That was the question answered by researchers at Harding College at Arkansas, U.S.A. After extensive studies of the three activities, a trial group was given tests in maximal breathing capacity, vital capacity, working systolic blood pressure, resting diastolic blood pressure, and lean body mass.

Although the study showed that all groups had significant gains on most of the tests for fitness improvement, the running group showed the greatest improvement. Bicycling was second and treadmill work third.

All improved more than a control group which did no exercise.

Running means more blood. Fitness for Living Magazine reveals that total blood volume (TBV) in 14 previously sedentary males (ages 26 to 64) increased by about 6 percent after running 47 times during a 16-week period.

In a control group the TBV did not change significantly.

There's a surprising link between long hours of sleep and a rise in heart disease fatalities, according to Fitness for Living Magazine.

The American Cancer Society, in the same report, revealed that350,000 men and 450,000 women who slept 9 or more hours nightly had higher death rates from heart disease than those who slept only 7 or less hours.

The article suggests that a longer, more active day restricts heart disease.

TIDBITS. Fat people don't necessarily eat more: They exercise less.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Dangers of Overeating

Do you know that dyspepsia or indigestion is simply the irritation due to too much food or drink? It is not a disease, and medicine only adds insult to injury, claims Dr. Peter P. Chase in his book, Your Wonderful Body.

Dr. Chase says that most cases of indigestion do not require, and are not benefited, by medicine. Where the indigestion is due to ulcers, medicine or surgery may be required.

Another medical practitioner, Dr. Victor Heiser, in You're the Doctor, illustrates the danger of overeating as follows:

"It is as though you owned a boiler designed to burn a ton of coal a day, the amount sufficient to generate steam enough to run your plant. Instead of following instructions, you constantly burn two tons daily. The safety value is then always blowing off unused steam. You are not only wasting your coal but burning out the boiler. Something similar to this is taking place in the bodies of people who overeat."

Overeating leads to obesity and, consequently, to heart attack, stroke, diabetes, cancer, among others.

To avoid overeating, eat healthy food (organic raw or lightly cooked vegetables and fresh fruits) and exercise regularly. Stick to this regulated system of diet, exercise, etc. and you'll not only improve your overall health but live longer--and happier.

Preservative May Affect Memory. Sodium Nitrate , the preservative found in hot dogs, bacon, bologna and other prepared meats, significantly alters the memory process, even in low doses, according to animal experiments. This raises the possibility that sodium nitrate may alter memory processes in human beings. However, since sodium nitrate is also suspected of being a cancer-causing agent, it is unlikely that it should be tested on humans.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Vitamins, Anyone?

Many nutritionists believe that most people should take multivitamins as supplements to diet.

A few years ago, California Institute of Technology, aided by Lockhead Aircraft Corporation, offered proof that most people can benefit from extra vitamins the year round.

They tested a group of healthy men whose ordinary diet was as good as average. Each man was given tablets five days a week for a whole year. Half the men were given multivitamin tablets, while the other half were given placebo (fake tablets of no value).

For the first few months there was no discernible difference between the two groups.

But during the following six months, the men who had been receiving multivitamin tablets forged ahead. They were absent less and scored higher in merit-rating.

The multivitamin tablets seemed to have the greatest effect on the workers' emotional well-being. They seemed happier, more alert.

And speaking of vitamins, do you know that daily doses of folic acid (a B vitamin) can save or prolong the lives of heart and artery disease patients? This was revealed by cardiologist Dr. Kurt A. Oster.

Folic acid counteracts the damage to heart and arteries caused by an enzyme in homogenized milk xanthine oxidase or XO. It neutralizes XO and restores a substance--plasmalogen--that repairs the damage and stops the fatty buildup.

Here's more...If you start taking vitamin and mineral supplements, you could also stop taking sleeping pills, or any other kind of psycho-active drugs such as sedatives or tranquilizers.

"These drugs have the potential to cause intellectual impairment in a person of any age," says Dr. Richard W. Besdine, a professor at Harvard Medical School. A scientific study on the tranquilizer Valium has proven him right: Valium "impairs" memory.

Monday, October 25, 2010


Senility--memory loss, forgetfulness, and an inability to reason properly--is a scary word.

Well, instead of being scared of senility, you should think about what you can do now (before old age) to keep your mental batteries fully charged.

The secret, say scientists, is to take good care of an organ you probably don't think much about: Your brain. If you keep it healthy now, it will have a better chance of going the distance without faltering.

Of course, there are no guarantees that you can prevent senility. In fact, medical researchers are still arguing about its cause. But while some scientists debate over how the brain breaks down, others have focused on maintenance. And perhaps the most important element they have found to keep your brain fine-tuned is diet.

Research shows, for instance, that the brain needs B-complex vitamins to preserve memory and clear thinking. Also it was found out that a zinc deficiency contributes to senility.

Exercise, continues the research findings, should be the central element of your anti-senility plan.

"What the scientific research on the influence of exercise on aging indicates is that when you do long-term aerobic exercise, your brain cells don't age as quickly. Exercise oxygenates the cells and keeps them healthier," says Dr. John Young of the Kentland Institute of Preventive Medicine in Indiana, USA.

Lastly, do not forget that getting seven to eight hours of sleep nightly will make your brain function at its optimum capacity.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Health-Giving Fruits

As Filipino health buffs, we can consider ourselves as blessed for having a variety of delicious and nutritious fruits all year round.

Consider the papaya, called the “melon that grows on a tree” by Americans. In an issue of Organic Consumer Report, a health publication, this nutritious fruit was featured and from the facts presented in the article, we should eat as much of papaya as we can. Here are the reasons:

Papaya is rich in vitamins and minerals and low in calories—truly the fruit of health. It is the source of an important digestive ferment called papain, an enzyme. This enzyme possesses the power of digesting protein materials such as meat, egg white, milk curd, etc.

And take note: Papaya has a higher vitamin C content than apples, pineapple, grapefruit, oranges and many other popular fruits; an excellent source of vitamin A, it has a higher content of this vitamin than carrots and an appreciable amount of vitamin B.

It is well-recognized that those consuming fresh, raw vegetable juices, and a large percent of their total food intake in the form of raw vegetables, especially green leaves and root vegetables, often experience relief from stiff joints and other miseries. Without identifying the exact nutritional factor to be credited—which is not necessary because nutrients work together—it appears that what is now called stigmasterol plays an important part.

Here’s something interesting from Organic Consumer. Your body is a six-million-year-old healer that has a lot of wisdom if you will listen to it: Headaches, the body’s warning that you are tired, over-worked, or hungry. Or they can signal something more serious such as stroke, concussion, brain disorder, constipation or glaucoma. Try to understand the cause and eliminate it. Backaches usually mean too little exercise or putting unnecessary strain on your back by poor posture or lifting things the wrong way, or a pinched nerve. Heartburn is often a symptom you’re eating or drinking something you shouldn’t—coffee, cola drinks, alcohol, can trigger it…the acid/alkaline balance is off. Sneezing indicates the body is trying to get rid of something it can’t tolerate. Earaches are frequently caused either by blowing the nose too hard or not enough. They can also signal meningitis, but this probably isn’t present if you can touch your chin to your chest without pain.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Can Arthritis Be Prevented?

The right kind of exercise may postpone or prevent osteoarthritis, the most common kind of arthritis, reports Prevention Magazine, a publication for better health.

By strengthening the muscles around the joint, exercise makes the joint work better. Stronger muscles mean less wear and tear on cartilage and bone—and the chance of the deterioration of osteoarthritis. Other investigators have proposed that exercise insures the health of the cartilage by keeping it well-nourished.

The kind of exercise you do probably matters less than how you do it. If you exercise improperly, you can hasten the development of the disease. In particular, avoid exercising without a thorough warm-up: when muscles are tight, the joints move unnaturally, producing damaging strains.

Whether you run, swim, play golf or play tennis, make sure you do it right. ‘Correct’ tennis and golf strokes—using your body in a natural way—not only means a better game: It means less strain.

How about running and jogging? Some experts take a dim view, noting that they tax the weight-bearing joints (hips and knees) where osteoarthritis often develops. However, as long as sensible precautions are taken—a smooth surface that “gives” good shoes, and scrupulous attention to stretching and warm-up exercises, there is nothing wrong with these activities.

Still on jogging...Researchers at Purdue University report that jogging may be good for your pocketbook as well as for your emotional stability. Professor A.H. Ismail and his two colleagues compared the physical and mental well-being of men who are regular exercisers with another group of similar men who remained inactive. Over a four-year period, the active men incurred fewer severe illnesses and accidents—they saved on average of $1000 each year in lower medical costs. Professor Ismail observed: “When people who are perpetual exercisers become ill, the illness is less and, consequently, less expensive.”

The researchers found that the active men were also more emotionally stable than their sedentary counterparts, and that the active ones tended to become “non-neurotic, non-psychotic, and non-depressive.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Healthy Heart

A heart that is kept healthy through exercise maintains clear coronary arteries.

On the contrary, when the arteries become blocked through lack of exercise, the blood supply is reduced and a section of the heart muscle stops functioning, resulting in a heart attack or even in death.

And how does exercise help the heart? It does so through use. It also needs oxygen. Exercise enables the lungs to operate more efficiently, thereby delivering more oxygen through the coronary arteries to the heart.. The supply of oxygen enables the heart to function at a lower blood pressure without having to work as hard.

One of the more widely reported effects of physical activity on heart function is the development of extra circulation routes when the main coronary artery branches become blocked.

According to Dr. William B. Kannel of Harvard University, “Persons who have an important degree of blockage of the coronary artery, but continues being physically active, can reasonably be expected to develop more collateral circulation than those with comparable coronary involvement who remain inactive.”

It comes as no surprise that exercise may protect against heart disease by preventing the accumulation of excess weight. But how many people know about studies which indicate that exercise lowers blood levels of cholesterol, a fatty acid which is believed to lead to the formation of plaques which clog arteries in atherosclerosis? Atherosclerosis is the thickening of, and loss of elasticity in, the inner walls of arteries.

Do you know that the link between exercise and heart disease was first suspected in 1854? However, it was not until 1951 that English physician Dr. Percy Stocks reported that coronary heart disease accounted for 15 percent of the deaths among laborers and 40 percent of the deaths among sedentary workers. From all over the globe, unshakeable evidence suggests that exercise will prevent heart disease.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Health Facts At Your Fingertips

Your fingertips mirror what’s happening in your body --- a tip-off to disease:

  • Brittleness indicates generally poor health, possibly vitamin A or calcium deficiency.
  • Ridges may often mean a hereditary condition, also indicating an injury or vitamin B complex deficiency.
  • Separation (or if the nail lifts off) may indicate a fungus infection, an allergy, thyroid disorder or lack of iron.
  • White Spots are usually caused by a blow or light physical shock. They can also indicate illness, zinc deficiency, a nervous problem or extreme cold.
  • Opaque White Bands indicate a minor injury, a lack of protein, vitamin A or calcium.
  • Cracking indicates imbalanced diet or a shortage of vitamin B2 (riboflavin).

Tidbits. Every night, the average person has 3 to 4 dreams, each lasting 10 minutes or more; when you touch something, the impulse travels along our nerve network to the brain at the rate of 350 feet per second; the human skull is made up of 29 different bones; for reasons unknown to science, color blindness affects more men than women.

Hard to believe, but everyday, blinking causes the eye to close for 30 minutes; the iris of the eye can adjust to light intensities up to 1,000 times; the average human circulatory system is 60,000 to 100,000 miles long; the largest organ of the body is the skin; everyday the bone manufactures 1,000,000,000 (one billion) red blood cells; the largest blood vessels in your body are 1-inch wide; in an average lifetime, the hair on your head grows about 25 feet.

Exercise Shorts. Swedish heart specialist Dr. Per-Olaf Astrand reports that with proper half-hour, twice-weekly exercise stints a man can save his heart 30,000 beats per day.

Exercise has been effectively used to treat patients with angina pectoris (a condition marked by recurrent pain in the chest and left arm, caused by a sudden decrease of the blood supply to the heart muscle), according to Aerospace Medicine.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Food Additives Can Be Dangerous

Dr Richard Ronk, US Food & Drug Administrator, estimates that overall the number of chemicals used in food processing reaches 11,000 – 12,000.

The uncertain safety of food additives falls into three categories. The first concerns whether a chemical poisons you immediately. The second concerns slow poisoning on chronic exposure and the third concerns whether the substance causes cancer (carcinogenesis) 20 -30 years later.

Most food additives have been tested for category one safety only. The reason is that it is very expensive to test food additives up to a category three level.

The Canadian tests which led to the banning of saccharin (a sugar substitute), for example, required the time of several senior scientists over a four-year period and cost a million dollars.

Government laboratories, including the Food & Drug Administration, just don’t have the resources to test every chemical and industry, understandably, has shown a reluctance to invest in such tests. Why should they undertake tests on a similar and useful (to them) additive which might result in it being banned?

Many food additives can interact with the known vitamins of foods. Sulfite, a common additive in many foods (like in soft drinks, wines, vinegar, dried fruit, etc.), destroys thiamin and folic acid. Sodium carbonate or lime, another additive, also destroys thiamin while causing severe loss of several amino acids.

And, do you that iron added to fortify many processed foods, causes destruction of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) and vitamin E (tocopherol)?

TIDBITS. Keep Cool and Live Longer! You’ll live 500 years, says scientists, if body temperature were just 8 degrees cooler.

That’s how much of an extent heat can affect a life span! So writes Otto Wolfgang in Strength & Health Magazine, a Bob Hoffman publication.

Your heart, for example, works harder at a given task during summer than in the cold months – 10 times as hard in 90 degrees as in 70. Doctors call it increase “cardiac output.”

Tests also show that the older a person gets, the harder it becomes for him to withstand heat.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Delaying The Aging Process

Although all vitamins and minerals play a part in delaying aging, vitamins C and E are probably most important. Both protect the tissues from the aging, destructive effects of oxygen.

You must have plenty of oxygen for the functions of life, but if there is a deficiency of vitamin C or vitamin E, the oxygen speeds the aging process. Vitamin E is essential for good circulation and a healthy heart.

The above is the gist of an article, How To Slow The Aging Process and Prolong Your Life, written by Dr. Samuel Homola in the fitness magazine, Strength & Health.

In the same article, Dr. Homola asserts that endurance-type exercises, such as swimming, jogging and bicycle-riding stimulate the circulation of the blood and strengthen the heart muscle, thus contributing to improved health and longer life.

Dr. Homola also advocates scientific weight-training or barbell exercises to preserve youthfulness. There is evidence, for example, to indicate that there might be a connection between lifting weights and the ability of the body to produce hormones that slow the aging process.

So be sure to include a few barbell exercises in your youth-building program!

For The Weight-Watcher. Do not eat between meals, but drink 1-2 glasses of pure water instead.

However, if you must take a mid-morning or mid-afternoon snack, drink fresh fruit or vegetable juice. Or munch bananas—any fruit of the season will do.

It doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do, so long as you do it long enough to be effective. Fifteen minutes of running, studies show, is comparable to two hours of tennis.

Moderate exercise over extended period of time is best for fat metabolism. If you walk four hours a day, you can do yourself as much good as running for 30 minutes or exercising with weights for an hour.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Ways To Reduce

The toughest thing about reducing is sticking to it.

Since overeating is without doubt the major factor in overweight, the important question asked by many is why people overeat.

Dr. Irwin Ross offers the following reasons:
  • Food is often a vicarious means of obtaining emotional satisfaction.
  • Food may symbolize strength and security—being “big” or “bigger” than others can bring about a feeling of superiority.
  • Food may symbolize hostility. Devouring a meal may very well be a substitution for “devouring” one’s minor enemies.
  • Overeating may serve as a means of punishing oneself.

The above can be traced to psychological factors. Or food and the resulting obesity may represent an impregnable wall of defense.

To undertake a sound reducing program, Dr. Ross offers five ways:

  • Discover why you are overeating.
  • Give yourself a real motivation to reduce.
  • Set up a reasonable goal in pounds.
  • Realize that it is quite normal to break a diet.
  • Choose a sensible diet.

The Ideal Weight. A good rule of thumb is that a desirable lifetime weight should be no more (or no less) than what you weighed at age 25. To be 20% heavier is definitely overweight; anything more than this is considered obesity.

Overweight results in high blood pressure, arterial disease, liver and kidney disease, varicose veins, chronic fatigue, and that Number One Killer, Heart Disease.

How Fat Can A Human Being Become? According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the world’s fattest man was Robert Earl Hughes, who tipped the scales at 1,069 pounds. But he died young; he was buried in a piano case.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Falling Asleep Easily

Do you have a hard time falling asleep? Here are some rules to fall asleep quickly:

Every individual, experts say, has his own sleep cycle. So know your own sleep pattern.

When does sleepiness start to set in? When do you feel wide awake? Obey your body’s call for sleep even if it means going to bed earlier than your so-called “regular sleeping time”—which may not be right for you.

Intensive sleep research has found two time-worn pieces of advice that are still best:

  • Think Pleasant Thoughts. Nothing can banish sleep faster than negative thoughts.
  • Count Sheep! “Bore yourself to sleep with a repetitive sequence,” counsels the report.

Allow me to share with you my “style” of falling asleep faster:
  • Empty the bladder before going to bed.
  • Close all window shades and shut off the lights.
  • Adjust the pillow to prevent stiff-neck.
  • When lying down to go to sleep, erase all thoughts of the day.
  • Finally, take some deep, slow, rhythmic breaths to release tension or stress.
When you follow the above suggested routine regularly, you will have no trouble sleeping—it will lull you to “dreamland” like a breeze!

Tidbits. Research suggests that sleep deprivation can affect one’s immune system and overall health. So sleep early. Seven to eight hours of sleep nightly would be fine, while sleeping as early as two to three hours before midnight is best.

And here’s something to warm your heart: Meditating before going to bed may help ease worry about falling asleep.

Have a good night’s sleep!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bad News For Joggers

Here’s some not-so-good news for joggers.

An article from the Southern Medical Journal tells of joggers passing bloody urine after running.

The cause: Repeated impact of the empty bladder against the prostate.

Knowing this, you should not empty your bladder before running. Bloody urine has not occurred in women joggers whose different anatomy protects them against the problem. But women should beware of prolapsed uterus caused by jogging.

Does this mean that you have to stop jogging? Not at all. But try running as slow as you can. Brisk walking, using long strides, is better – and safer.

The report also mentions fallen arches, damaged ankles, knees, hips, spine and the whole works from jogging. Some even have prostate troubles, bladder problems, and problems with other internal organs.

If you are going to jog, do so on bent knees. This is probably not the recommended way to do distance-running as a sport. However, be sure you are not damaging your health instead of improving it.

Tidbits. It is best to take from two to six glasses of pure water upon awakening in the morning before doing your exercise. This will flush your internal organs clean. Make this a habit and feel the difference.

Discipline is an unpopular word for most of us. But we must begin a form of self-discipline if we expect to enjoy good health. The irony is that people think about health when they are already sick. That’s the time they become conscious and careful about their diet.

But isn’t NOW the time to be health-conscious while we’re still alive and well? Certainly not afterwards – for tomorrow might be too late!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Watch Your Waist

Many of us carry a “spare tire” around our middles.

What you may not know is that it’s not merely a cosmetic problem.

Visceral adipose tissue (VAT)—fat around the waistlines—is much more metabolically active than fat stored elsewhere.

Studies reveal that excessive VAT is associated with elevation in triglycerides, insulin, blood pressure, and with lower levels of the protective HDL cholesterol.

VAT is also indicative of increased risk of coronary heart disease, metabolic syndrome (the increasingly popular term for “syndrome X,” caused by insulin resistance), and type 2 diabetes.

To determine if you are at risk, take a measuring tape and measure your bare abdomen at the point high above your hip bones (typically about an inch below your belly button). Gentlemen, if your waist measures over 37 inches and, ladies, if yours is over 34.5 inches, you need to take action.

Watching portion sizes, cutting out unhealthy fats and refined carbohydrates, and exercising regularly will help you lose VAT—and reduce your health risks exponentially.

(Source: Dr. Julian Whitaker’s Health and Healing, June 2004, thru World Research Foundation, USA)

Tidbits: A basic element of fitness (and, of course, keeping a trim waistline!) is physical activity. Whether you are fat or lean, daily exercise is vitally important to your health. Some doctors consider it the most important single factor for survival.

“The human organism is so perfectly operated and has so many uncontrollable forces that work to keep the organism alive and healthy that it is incredible that anyone should ever become ill or even die.” This view is contained in the book, The Lives of a Cell by noted medical researcher, Dr. Lewis Thomas.

Dr, Hans Selye, another famous authority—this time—on stress and its effect on health and longevity, claims that although our body needs a certain amount of stress, the amount must be carefully controlled.

It will not hurt you, he says, to work hard for something you really want, but first make sure that you really want it and that you have a reasonable chance of attaining it.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Cancer Update, Part 3

Dioxin chemicals cause cancer, especially breast cancer, according to studies conducted by Johns Hopkins. The health hazards of dioxin chemicals are also being circulated at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Dioxins are highly poisonous to the cells of our bodies. So we are advised not to freeze our plastic bottles with water in them as this releases dioxin from the plastic.

Recently, Dr. Edward Fujimoto, Wellness Program Manager at Castle Hospital, was on a TV program to explain this health hazard. He talked about dioxins and how bad they are for us. He said that we should not be heating our food in the microwave using plastic containers. This especially applies to foods that contain fat. He said that the combination of fat, high heat, and plastics releases dioxin into the food and ultimately into the cells of the body.

Instead, Dr. Fujimoto recommends using glass, such as Corning Ware, Pyrex or ceramic containers for heating food. You get the same results, only without the dioxin. So such things as TV dinners, instant ramen and soups, etc., should be removed from the container and heated in something else. Paper isn’t bad but you don’t know what is in the paper. It’s just safer to use tempered glass, Corning Ware, etc. He reminded us that a while ago some of the fast food restaurants moved away from the foam containers to paper. The dioxin problem is one of the reasons.

Also, he pointed out that plastic wrap, such as Saran, is just as dangerous when placed over foods to be cooked in the microwave. As the food is nuked, the high heat causes poisonous toxins to actually melt out of the plastic wrap and drip into the food. Cover food with a paper towel instead.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cancer Update, Part 2

John Hopkins research on what cancer cells feed on follows:

A. Sugar substitutes like NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, etc. are made with Aspartame and is harmful. A better natural substitute would be Manuka honey or molasses, but only in very small amounts. Table salt has a chemical added to make it white in color. Better alternative is Bragg’s aminos or sea salt.

B. Milk causes the body to produce mucus, especially in the gastro-intestinal tract. Cancer feeds on mucus. By cutting off milk and substituting with unsweetened soy milk, cancer cells are being starved.

C. Cancer cells thrive in an acid environment. A meat-based diet is acidic. Meat also contains livestock antibiotics, growth hormones and parasites, which are all harmful, especially to people with cancer.

D. A diet made of 80% fresh vegetables and juices, whole grains, seeds, nuts, and some fruits help put the body into an alkaline environment. About 20% can be from cooked food including beans. Fresh vegetable juices provide live enzymes that are easily absorbed and reach down to cellular levels within 15 minutes to nourish and enhance growth of healthy cells. To obtain live enzymes for building healthy cells try and drink fresh vegetable juice (most vegetables including bean sprouts) and eat some raw vegetables 2 or 3 times a day. Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures of 104 degrees F (40 degrees C).

E. Avoid coffee, tea, and chocolate, which have high caffeine. Green tea is a better alternative and has cancer fighting properties. Drink purified water to avoid toxins and heavy metals in tap water. Distilled water is acidic, avoid it.

F. Meat protein is difficult to digest and requires a lot of digestive enzymes. Undigested meat remaining in the intestines becomes putrefied and leads to more toxic buildup.

G. Cancer cell walls have a tough protein covering. By refraining from or eating less meat it frees more enzymes to attack the protein walls of cancer cells and allows the body’s killer cells to destroy the cancer cells.

H. Some supplements build up the immune system (IP6, Flor-ssence, Essiac, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, EFAs, etc.) to enable the body’s own killer cells to destroy cancer cells. Other supplements like vitamin E are known to cause apoptosis, or programmed cell death, the body’s normal method of disposing damaged, unwanted, or unneeded cells.

I. Cancer is a disease of the mind, body, and spirit. A proactive and positive spirit will help the cancer warrior be a survivor. Anger, un-forgiveness and bitterness put the body into a stressful and acidic environment. Learn to have a loving and forgiving spirit. Learn to relax and enjoy life.

J. Cancer cells cannot thrive in an oxygenated environment. Exercising daily, and deep breathing help to get more oxygen down to the cellular level. Oxygen therapy is another means employed to destroy cancer cells.

(Cancer Update, Part 3, the last of the series, will appear in next week’s posting)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cancer Update, Part 1

After years of telling people chemotherapy is the only way to try ("try,” being the key word) to eliminate cancer, Johns Hopkins is finally starting to tell you there is an alternative way.

Cancer Update from Johns Hopkins:

1. Every person has cancer cells in the body. These cancer cells do not show up in the standard tests until they have multiplied to a few billion. When doctors tell cancer patients that there are no more cancer cells in their bodies after treatment, it just means the tests are unable to detect the cancer cells because they have not reached the detectable size.

2. Cancer cells occur between six to more than 10 times in a person’s lifetime.

3. When the person’s immune system is strong, the cancer cells will be destroyed and prevented from multiplying and forming tumors.

4. When a person has cancer, it indicates the person has nutritional deficiencies. These could be due to genetic, but also to environmental, food and lifestyle factors.

5. To overcome the multiple nutritional deficiencies, changing diet to eat more adequately and healthy, four to five times per day and by including supplements will strengthen the immune system.

6, Chemotherapy involves poisoning the rapidly-growing cancer cells and also destroying rapidly-growing healthy cells in the bone marrow, gastrointestinal tract, etc., and can cause organ damage, like liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, etc.

7. Radiation, while destroying cancer cells, also burns, scars and damages healthy cells, tissues and organs.

8. Initial treatment with chemotherapy and radiation will often reduce tumor size. However, prolonged use of chemotherapy and radiation do not result in more tumor destruction.

9. When the body has too much toxic burden from chemotherapy and radiation, the immune system is either compromised or destroyed, hence the person can succumb to various kinds of infections and complications.

10. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause cancer cells to mutate and become resistant and difficult to destroy. Surgery can also cause cancer cells to spread to other sites.

11. An effective way to battle cancer is starve the cancer cells by not feeding it with foods it needs to multiply.

(Note: J. Padua would like to acknowledge reader Jo Vidal for contributing to this posting, “Cancer Update,” including the main source of information, Johns Hopkins.
Part 2 of the above article will appear next week) .

Monday, July 19, 2010

Attaining Physical Fitness

Good health does not mean the absence of disease—although you may settle for that—it means fitness and vigor.

The U.S. President’s Council on Physical Fitness defines physical fitness as “a measure of the body’s strength, stamina and flexibility.”

In more meaningful personal terms, it is “a reflection of your ability to work with vigor and pleasure, without undue fatigue, with energy left for enjoying hobbies and recreational activities, and for meeting unforeseen emergencies…and, because the body is not a compartment separate from the mind, it relates to how you feel mentally and physically.”

A basic element of fitness is physical activity. Whether you are fat or lean, daily exercise is vitally important to your health—it is the single crucial factor for survival.

Physical fitness, actually cardiovascular fitness, is an observable and predictable benefit of exercise training. It is a state of body efficiency enabling a person to exercise vigorously for a long time period without fatigue and to respond to sudden physical and emotional demands with an economy of heartbeats and only a modest rise in blood pressure.

The fit individual has endurance or stamina—he is able to supply more energy to his muscles for them to work harder and longer, and with less effort, than when he was not physically fit. Thus, when fit, the exercise puts less strain on his cardiovascular system. He feels better, sleeps better, and has better digestion and disposition.

In a very enlightening book, “Beyond Diet…Exercise Your Way to Fitness and Heart Health,” published by the American Heart Association and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, its foreword asserts that “…principally, invention of the elevator and the motor car have reduced the population to a sedentary lifestyle accompanied by over-indulgence in fatty foods, cigarettes and candy bars. Overweight, deconditioning (getting out of shape) and tooth decay are major but not necessarily lethal resulting health problems. Of far greater importance…is the established certainty that this lifestyle has a great deal to do with the development of atherosclerosis—the clogging up of arteries of the heart, brain and kidneys—the disease process that kills and cripples more people than all other disease entities combined.”

Monday, July 12, 2010

Discipline and a Healthy Life

Discipline is an unpopular word for most of us. But we need to take charge of our life if we expect to enjoy good health.

The irony is that some people only think about health when they are already sick. That’s the time they become conscious and careful about their diet and all.

But isn’t the time to be health-conscious now that we are alive and well? Certainly, not afterwards—it might be too late by then.

Consider exercise. Regularity is the key to maximize its benefits. This is one of the secrets of physical fitness. Other factors, which are just as important, also come into play: kind of exercises, number of hours per session, and so on.

The last consideration is one’s age. For those over forty, it is a good idea to see a doctor (a sports medicine specialist is best) before embarking on an exercise routine.

It is good to take from two to six glasses of pure water upon awakening in the morning before doing your exercises. This will flush your internal organs clean. Make it a habit and feel the difference.

Another good practice is drinking at least a half glass of pure water while exercising. Drink every twenty minutes or so to prevent dehydration. This is a must especially for those who perspire profusely.

Those who are suffering from gastritis or ulcer may postpone their exercise. Instead, they may drink raw cabbage (by washing the cabbage well and blanch it). Researchers say that the Vitamin C and U (the latter, an anti-ulcer vitamin) in cabbage have powerful healing qualities.

Better yet, drink cabbage juice if you have an electric juicer.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Adequate Sleep and Organ Regeneration

Research suggests that adequate sleep promotes organ regeneration. This means that we have to sleep and wake up at regular hours.

As we know, the average sleeping hours for optimum health is between seven to eight hours. However, recent findings have confirmed that people sleeping six to seven hours a night live the longest.

Ideally, we should sleep as early as nine to ten in the evening. And the reasons are:
  • Evening (9-11pm): is the time for eliminating toxic chemicals (detoxification) from the antibody system (lymph nodes). This time duration could be spent by relaxing and listening to soothing music. If during this time one is still in an unrelaxed state, it will have a negative effect on the individual’s health.
  • Evening (11pm-1am): is the detoxification process in the liver, and ideally done in a deep sleep state.
  • Early morning (1-3am): detoxification process in the gall, also ideally done in a deep sleep state.
  • Early morning (3-5am): detoxification in the lungs. There will sometimes be severe coughing for cough sufferers during this time. Since the detoxification process had reached the respiratory tract, there is no need to take cough medicines so as not to interfere with toxin removal process.
  • Morning (5-7am): detoxification in the colon; you should empty your bowel.
  • Morning (7-9am): absorption of nutrients in the small intestines. You should be having your breakfast. Breakfast for the sick should be earlier, before 6:30am. Those wanting to stay fit should have their breakfast before 7:30am. And those who always skip breakfast should change their habits; it is still better to take breakfast late until 9-10am, rather than no meal at all.
Sleeping very late and waking up late will disrupt the removal of unnecessary chemicals from our body, especially in the organs where the concentration of chemicals and toxins is at its highest. Most important, 12mn-4am is the time when the bone marrow produces blood.

Lastly, a friendly reminder: Have a good, restful sleep—and stay healthy!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Causes of Brain Damage

The human brain is a fascinating subject of numerous studies--and to quote one writer--
“the most complex, powerful organism in the universe.”

Without any doubt, our brain is vital to our existence. We use it to function in the physical world. But like the rest of our body, the brain is subject to aging, decay, and death.

Studies show that some habits can cause brain damage:
  • Omitting Breakfast. Not taking breakfast lowers blood sugar level. This leads to an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain causing brain degeneration.
  • Overeating. Eating too much hardens the brain arteries, decreasing mental power.
  • High Sugar Consumption. Too much sugar interrupts the absorption of proteins and nutrients causing malnutrition and interfering with brain development.
  • Smoking. Multiple brain shrinkage and Alzheimer’s disease are effects of smoking.
  • Air Pollution. Inhaling polluted air decreases the supply of oxygen to the brain, bringing about a decrease in brain efficiency.
  • Sleep Deprivation. Long term sleep deprivation accelerates the death of brain cells. Sleep allows our brain to rest.
  • Head covered while sleeping. Sleeping with the head covered increases the concentration of carbon dioxide and decreases the concentration of oxygen, leading to brain damage.
  • Working your brain during illness. Working hard or studying while one is sick may decrease the effectiveness of the brain and damage it.
  • Lack of stimulating thoughts. Thinking is the best way to train our brain. Without much stimulating thoughts, the brain may shrink.
  • Conversations. Intellectual conversations promote brain efficiency.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Exercise for High Morale

Exercise can release tension and reduce stress. But do you know that high morale is also one of its important benefits?

Physiologists and psychologists have observed for years that persons who exercise regularly have a more positive mental attitude than unfit and sedentary individuals.

Two reasons for the phenomenon are that persons free of tension and physically fit simply feel better—they have less reason to be depressed or mentally sluggish—and persons who have the self-discipline necessary to follow an exercise program are achievers: they already possess high morale.

Studies suggest that exercise causes chemical changes in the brain which alters its thinking process. The changes in attitude and morale are therefore effects directly related to exercise.

Clinical psychologists found that mental alertness was improved when large amounts of pure oxygen were delivered to brain cells. They administered pure oxygen to senile patients placed in a pressurized chamber. After receiving pure oxygen treatments twice a day for 15 days, the patients took a standard memory test. Their scores improved by as much as 25 percent from previous experiments.

It was noted that male participants who were 50 years old and above felt better and enjoyed their lives more by being active.

Two important findings were confirmed by the clinical studies:

  • To have a good oxygen supply to the brain, it must be delivered by a healthy heart and strong blood vessels. This delivery system should be kept in the best condition.
  • For the brain cells to perform efficiently, they should not be deprived of a sufficient amount of oxygen; otherwise, this will cause the decline of intellect and reasoning power, which may lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

Let us then exercise, while breathing deeply and diaphragmatically. Enjoy!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Unraveling The Mystery Of Migraine

Those who have experienced migraine know how painful and disabling it is. The headaches come without warning.

Symptoms such as dizziness, sensitivity to light, anxiety, and even nausea (the impulse to vomit) precede an attack of migraine. It can last for hours or even days, causing discomfort and apprehension in one’s life and family.

Present studies confirm that there’s no one cause for migraines. It could be a combination of several causes which doctors call “systemic.” Cancer, for one, is systemic: it is caused by several possible causes. That is why alternative or integrative medicine offers multiple protocols when it treats degenerative diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, depression, etc.

Let’s try to discuss some possible causes of migraines from various studies.

  • Stress triggers a pain-producing substance by nerve cells called “substance P.” This substance dilates blood vessels, releasing allergic compounds as histamines. Chronic stress and food allergies may also cause migraines.
  • Food preservatives, like chemical sweeteners and aspartame, also trigger many migraines. Consumption of excitotoxins such as Monosodium Glutamate (MSG); food ingredients that contain MSG, such as yeast extract, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, processed sodium, to name a few, are the most common causes of migraines.
  • Weak ligaments in the neck or “stiff neck,” is another cause of migraines for some individuals. Therapeutic massage done by a licensed practitioner, like a chiropractor, may overcome migraines.
  • Other substances that can trigger migraines are tyramine, nitrates, and caffeine. Tyramine is derived from the amino acid tyrosine that is found in aged cheese, beans, red wine, grape juice and soy sauce.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Overcoming The Smoking Habit

What we are finding is that precisely the methods which are known to improve heart health also help build the needed motivation to stop smoking.

Exercise is one example. Regular, rhythmic physical activity strengthens the heart and also does something inside a person that reduces the urge to smoke.

When people start brisk-walking or jogging, they find that smoking impedes their performance, and that cigarettes no longer taste good. So they stop the habit.

Smoking is definitely on the decline among people who jog or do brisk-walking.

A healthful diet can create the same anti-smoking effect. One of the best diets for improving heart and circulation features raw, whole plant foods like seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables. Research has documented the value of that diet for heart improvement.

Equally interesting is the observation that people who are able to stick with a raw food diet not only lose their desire to smoke, but soon find cigarettes less tasteful; eventually,
they are not able to tolerate the smoking habit at all.

Combining a healthful diet and regular exercise with the inhaling of smokeless air will lead people to the achievement of a glow of aliveness that is so good it cannot be described in words alone. You have to feel it to believe what can happen to you.

To those who find it hard to stop smoking because they will experience stress if they do so, here’s some advice from health researchers: Regular exercise provides a degree of protection against emotional stress by conditioning the body’s stress adaptation mechanism. Researchers have discovered, for instance, that physically-fit individuals have a better reserve of such hormone-like chemicals as adrenaline which help the body overcome prolonged tension. Psychologists offer yet another reason: exercise releases nervous tension and anxiety by providing an outlet for pent-up feelings of aggression and hostility.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Is That Indigestion Or A Heart Attack?

Ask yourself an important question: Can you tell the difference between indigestion and a heart attack? If you can’t, you should. Your life may depend on it!

Heart attack can strike anyone. When it occurs, there is no time for delay. Most heart attack victims survive if they recognize the early warning signals of heart attack and get medical care immediately.

The pain of heart attack is not exactly the same for every victim. It might be an intense pain for one person or a milder pain for another—often misinterpreted as “indigestion.”

Heart attack victims often hesitate. Some don’t want to admit that they’re ill. Others mistakenly decide that the symptoms don’t mean anything or are due to indigestion. They don’t know the early warning signals of heart attack—they wait, ignoring the warnings, hoping the pain will disappear.

Signals vary…but the usual warnings of heart attack as enumerated by the American Heart Association, are:

  • Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest for more than two minutes.
  • Pain may spread to the shoulders, neck or arms.
  • Severe pain, dizziness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath may also occur.
  • These signals are not always present. Sometimes they subside and then return.
When these signals occur, waiting can be fatal.

If you or someone you know has these signals, get help immediately. Prompt action can reduce the risk of a fatal heart attack.

The early warnings of heart attack are a special “body language.” They tell the person that the blood supply to the heart is seriously reduced. A coronary artery which supplies the heart with blood becomes narrowed or closed, and part of the heart muscle begins to die because it gets no blood and oxygen.

Doctors call this a myocardial infarction.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bad News For The Smokers

We all know that smoking affects our lungs, but unknown to many of us, its worst effect is on our hearts.

Smoking, certainly, is bad for the lungs. It can cause lung cancer and emphysema, a condition in which the lungs lose their power to deflate. Another equally serious problem that smokers may suffer from is chronic bronchitis.

The effect of smoking on the heart and the circulatory system is much more mysterious.
For this reason, the connection between smoking and heart health is not well-understood by the average person, nor is it widely accepted as a bad result of the smoking habit.

Statistics show that smokers have a higher risk of getting a heart attack than do nonsmokers; should smokers suffer a heart attack, they have twenty times greater risk of dying from the attack.

There’s no doubt that smoking is bad for the heart. But why does it weaken the heart?

Carbon monoxide is the culprit. Tobacco smoke contains that odorless gas which hurts the heart. Oxygen, not carbon dioxide, is the gas that the heart loves; lack of oxygen in this vital organ can trigger attacks—and eventual death for the individual.

The heart, furthermore, utilizes more oxygen than any other organ in the body, and takes from the blood a hundred percent of the oxygen during sleep and other rest periods.

The nicotine in tobacco smoke also has a bad effect on the heart. Being a powerful drug, nicotine is particularly harmful to a weakened heart because it upsets the normal electrical impulses which are the sparks which cause the heart to function.

Although the heart is said to be the most powerful organ of the body, beating about 100,000 times a day, we should take good care of it. Remember, we only have one heart!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ten Natural Ways To Stop The Common Cold

With the onset of the cold weather at certain times of the year, we can expect to suffer from the common cold.

Unknown to many of us, there are more than 200 different cold viruses floating around to make our lives miserable. Only a strong immune system can repel these viral invaders—and most often it does, or nobody would ever stop sneezing!

Should the cold virus slip by your bodily defenses—or has already—Norman D. Ford, a medical researcher and writer, has offered a 10-point crisis program to get you well in just one day:
  • Take a brisk walk for an hour or more.
  • Stop smoking completely and cease drinking alcohol for as long as the cold lasts.
  • Begin taking nutritional supplements.
  • If you have a sore throat, start taking Slippery Elm lozenges. Or you can also gargle with a warm saline solution (with some crushed garlic, if you wish) every hour or less until the itchiness in your throat disappears.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Eat lightly.
  • Increase the humidity and clear your nose.
  • Make yourself comfortable.
  • Stay calm and relaxed.
  • Think positively.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Want To Smarten Up?

It is possible to increase mental acuity and memory up to 25% by adding a well-known food supplement—lecithin—according to an interesting report from the Organic Consumer, a health publication.

Lecithin, a natural component of soy beans, contain choline, required in the production of acetylcholine, an important brain chemical involved in memory and thought. Phosphatidyl-choline, in lecithin, is the source of acetylcholine.

Dr. Christian Gillin, one of the pioneer researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health in the United States, reported that subjects of an experiment became smarter and increased their learning ability by the simple addition of lecithin to their daily diets.

Dr. Sitram, another researcher, found improvement was most dramatic in slow learners. “Choline is a part of the B-Complex,” he explained, “and the substance acts within 90 minutes and its level in the blood lasts for four to five hours.

Maureen Kennedy Salaman, best selling author of the book, All Your Health Questions Answered Naturally, maintains that “Only two food sources contain liberal amounts of lecithin: soybeans and eggs.” Lecithin is also found in wheat germ, cabbage, lettuce, cauliflower, lentils, rice, etc.

And because exercise promotes a healthier brain, here’s something for exercise buffs: If you suffer from muscle soreness and stiffness after a workout, they are the results of strenuous physical activity. The discomfort may occur immediately—or some delay—following the activity, in which case the soreness may not be felt until the next day. Pain in the neck, or “stiff-neck,” is a common occurrence; pain in the joints, is another.

The soreness and stiffness usually lasts for only a few days, although after periods of heavy exercise, it may last for a week.

Medical authorities have offered two possible causes of muscle soreness and stiffness:

• The metabolic waste (lactic acid) remains in the muscles for a few hours after exercise, causing pain in the muscle receptors.
• The muscle soreness may be the result of tiny muscle fiber tears that occur during severe muscular activity.

To avoid muscle soreness and stiffness, plan your conditioning program to progress gradually, especially during the beginning stages.

One best remedy to overcome sore muscles is to have a regular body massage. It lessens stress and relaxes you, too. So, why not give it a try?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Iloilo and Bacolod pictures

I'd like to share some pictures taken during LifeMax Mila product launching in Iloilo and Bacolod, Philippines.
Thanks to Dominic Alojado, Adonis Manzan, Rads Sy, Vhey Galang, et. al for the memorable weekend sojourn. 
More pictures are in Michael Padua's facebook page.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Research has pinpointed free radicals as a major component in the development of degenerative diseases, like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and--though not technically considered a disease--aging.

Aging is hastened by the proliferation of free radicals which wreaks havoc on the immune system, the body's defense mechanism. And free radical destruction is the actual cause of aging.

But what are free radicals?

In essence, free radicals are oxygen molecules that have lost an electron in its center shell, leaving an unpaired electron. To regain their missing electrons, free radicals steal electrons from molecules, transforming damaged molecules into free radicals themselves.

The attack of the free radicals on other molecules continues, causing a cumulative adverse effect on the immune system. Consequently, the immune system weakens, becoming less effective in overcoming disease and infections.

Through proper diet, regular exercise, stress reduction, adequate sleep and other lifestyle changes, the immune system can be strengthened to make us healthier and live longer.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Negros and Panay Islands here we come!

Your health blogger has been invited to visit Visayas from April 28 to May 1. My wife Emy, son Michael and I will be visiting Bacolod  in Negros and Iloilo in Panay. We will be there in connection with LifeMax.Net.  We will be helping promote the health benefits of LifeMax Mila and set up business opportunity presentations together with other Philippine distributors.

If you are residing in the area or will be there during that period, please contact me so we can get together and share the great health and business benefits of LifeMax Mila.

Everyone else who might be interested to learn about the LifeMax opportunity, please don't hesitate to contact me. You may also click here for my distributor page.

I will be posting pictures from this trip (and other similar trips) soon.