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Wednesday, 8 June 2016

45 Health Tips

1. Copy your kitty: Learn to do stretching exercises when you
wake up. It boosts circulation and digestion, and eases back
pain.
2. Don’t skip breakfast. Studies show that eating a proper
breakfast is one of the most positive things you can do if you
are trying to lose weight. Breakfast skippers tend to gain
weight. A balanced breakfast includes fresh fruit or fruit juice,
a high-fibre breakfast cereal , low-fat milk or yoghurt,
wholewheat toast, and a boiled egg.

3. Brush up on hygiene. Many people don't know how to
brush their teeth properly. Improper brushing can cause as
much damage to the teeth and gums as not brushing at all.
Lots of people don’t brush for long enough, don’t floss and
don’t see a dentist regularly. Hold your toothbrush in the
same way that would hold a pencil, and brush for at least
two minutes.
This includes brushing the teeth, the junction of the teeth and
gums, the tongue and the roof of the mouth. And you don't
need a fancy, angled toothbrush – just a sturdy, soft-bristled
one that you replace each month.
4. Neurobics for your mind. Get your brain fizzing with
energy. American researchers coined the term ‘neurobics’ for
tasks which activate the brain's own biochemical pathways
and to bring new pathways online that can help to
strengthen or preserve brain circuits.
Brush your teeth with your ‘other’ hand, take a new route to
work or choose your clothes based on sense of touch rather
than sight. People with mental agility tend to have lower
rates of Alzheimer's disease and age-related mental decline.
5. Get what you give! Always giving and never taking? This is
the short road to compassion fatigue . Give to yourself and
receive from others, otherwise you’ll get to a point where you
have nothing left to give. And hey, if you can’t receive from
others, how can you expect them to receive from you?
Read: Mind aerobics
6. Get spiritual. A study conducted by the formidably sober
and scientific Harvard University found that patients who
were prayed for recovered quicker than those who weren’t,
even if they weren’t aware of the prayer.
7. Get smelly. Garlic, onions, spring onions and leeks all
contain stuff that’s good for you. A study at the Child’s
Health Institute in Cape Town found that eating raw garlic
helped fight serious childhood infections. Heat destroys these
properties, so eat yours raw, wash it down with fruit juice or,
if you’re a sissy, have it in tablet form.
8. Knock one back. A glass of red wine a day is good for you.
A number of studies have found this, but a recent one found
that the polyphenols (a type of antioxidant) in green tea, red
wine and olives may also help protect you against breast
cancer. It’s thought that the antioxidants help protect you
from environmental carcinogens such as passive tobacco
smoke .
9. Bone up daily. Get your daily calcium by popping a tab,
chugging milk or eating yoghurt. It’ll keep your bones strong.
Remember that your bone density declines after the age of
30. You need at least 200 milligrams daily, which you should
combine with magnesium, or it simply won’t be absorbed.
10. Berries for your belly. Blueberries, strawberries and
raspberries contain plant nutrients known as anthocyanidins,
which are powerful antioxidants. Blueberries rival grapes in
concentrations of resveratrol – the antioxidant compound
found in red wine that has assumed near mythological
proportions. Resveratrol is believed to help protect against
heart disease and cancer.
11. Curry favour. Hot, spicy foods containing chillies or
cayenne pepper trigger endorphins, the feel-good hormones.
Endorphins have a powerful, almost narcotic, effect and make
you feel good after exercising. But go easy on the lamb, pork
and mutton and the high-fat, creamy dishes served in many
Indian restaurants.
12. Cut out herbs before ops. Some herbal supplements –
from the popular St John's Wort and ginkgo biloba to garlic,
ginger, ginseng and feverfew – can cause increased bleeding
during surgery, warn surgeons. It may be wise to stop taking
all medication, including herbal supplements, at least two
weeks before surgery, and inform your surgeon about your
herbal use.
13. I say tomato. Tomato is a superstar in the fruit and
veggie pantheon. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful
cancer fighter. They’re also rich in vitamin C. The good news
is that cooked tomatoes are also nutritious, so use them in
pasta, soups and casseroles, as well as in salads.
The British Thoracic Society says that tomatoes and apples
can reduce your risk of asthma and chronic lung diseases .
Both contain the antioxidant quercetin. To enjoy the benefits,
eat five apples a week or a tomato every other day.
14. Eat your stress away. Prevent low blood sugar as it
stresses you out. Eat regular and small healthy meals and
keep fruit and veggies handy. Herbal teas will also soothe
your frazzled nerves.
Eating unrefined carbohydrates, nuts and bananas boosts the
formation of serotonin, another feel-good drug. Small
amounts of protein containing the amino acid tryptamine can
give you a boost when stress tires you out.
15. Load up on vitamin C. We need at least 90 mg of vitamin
C per day and the best way to get this is by eating at least
five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day. So hit
the oranges and guavas!
16. No folly in folic acid. Folic acid should be taken regularly
by all pregnant mums and people with a low immunity to
disease. Folic acid prevents spina bifida in unborn babies and
can play a role in cancer prevention. It is found in green leafy
vegetables, liver, fruit and bran.
17. A for Away. This vitamin, and beta carotene, help to
boost immunity against disease. It also assists in the healing
process of diseases such as measles and is recommended by
the WHO. Good natural sources of vitamin A are kidneys,
liver, dairy products, green and yellow vegetables, pawpaw,
mangoes, chilli pepper, red sorrel and red palm oil.
18. Pure water. Don’t have soft drinks or energy drinks while
you're exercising. Stay properly hydrated by drinking enough
water during your workout (just don't overdo things, as
drinking too much water can also be dangerous).
While you might need energy drinks for long-distance running,
in shorter exercise sessions in the gym, your body will burn
the glucose from the soft drink first, before starting to burn
body fat. Same goes for eating sweets.
19. GI, Jane. Carbohydrates with a high glycaemic index ,
such as bread, sugar, honey and grain-based food will give
instant energy and accelerate your metabolism. If you’re
trying to burn fat, stick to beans, rice, pasta, lentils, peas,
soya beans and oat bran, all of which have a low GI count.
20. Mindful living. You've probably heard the old adage that
life's too short to stuff a mushroom. But perhaps you should
consider the opposite: that life's simply too short NOT to
focus on the simple tasks. By slowing down and
concentrating on basic things, you'll clear your mind of
everything that worries you.
Really concentrate on sensations and experiences again:
observe the rough texture of a strawberry's skin as you touch
it, and taste the sweet-sour juice as you bite into the fruit;
when your partner strokes your hand, pay careful attention to
the sensation on your skin; and learn to really focus on
simple tasks while doing them, whether it's flowering plants
or ironing your clothes.
21. The secret of stretching. When you stretch, ease your
body into position until you feel the stretch and hold it for
about 25 seconds. Breathe deeply to help your body move
oxygen-rich blood to those sore muscles. Don't bounce or
force yourself into an uncomfortable position.
22. Do your weights workout first. Experts say weight
training should be done first, because it's a higher intensity
exercise compared to cardio. Your body is better able to
handle weight training early in the workout because you're
fresh and you have the energy you need to work it.
Conversely, cardiovascular exercise should be the last thing
you do at the gym, because it helps your body recover by
increasing blood flow to the muscles, and flushing out lactic
acid, which builds up in the muscles while you're weight
training. It’s the lactic acid that makes your muscles feel
stiff and sore.
23. Burn fat during intervals. To improve your fitness quickly
and lose weight, harness the joys of interval training. Set the
treadmill or step machine on the interval programme, where
your speed and workload varies from minute to minute. Build
up gradually, every minute and return to the starting speed.
Repeat this routine. Not only will it be less monotonous, but
you can train for a shorter time and achieve greater results.
24. Your dirtiest foot forward. If your ankles, knees, and hips
ache from running on pavement, head for the dirt. Soft trails
or graded roads are a lot easier on your joints than the hard
stuff. Also, dirt surfaces tend to be uneven, forcing you to
slow down a bit and focus on where to put your feet – great
for agility and concentration.
25. Burn the boredom, blast the lard. Rev up your
metabolism by alternating your speed and intensity during
aerobic workouts. Not only should you alternate your routine
to prevent burnout or boredom, but to give your body a jolt.
If you normally walk at 6.5km/h on the treadmill or take 15
minutes to walk a km, up the pace by going at 8km/h for a
minute or so during your workout. Do this every five minutes
or so. Each time you work out, increase your bouts of speed
in small increments.
26. Cool off without a beer. Don’t eat carbohydrates for at
least an hour after exercise. This will force your body to break
down body fat, rather than using the food you ingest. Stick to
fruit and fluids during that hour, but avoid beer.
27. ‘Okay, now do 100 of those’. Instead of flailing away at
gym, enlist the help – even temporarily – of a personal
trainer . Make sure you learn to breathe properly and to do the
exercises the right way. You’ll get more of a workout while
spending less time at the gym.
28. Stop fuming. Don’t smoke and if you smoke already, do
everything in your power to quit. Don’t buy into that my-
granny-smoked-and-lived-to-be-90 crud – not even the
tobacco giants believe it. Apart from the well-known risks of
heart disease and cancer, orthopaedic surgeons have found
that smoking accelerates bone density loss and constricts
blood flow. So you could live to be a 90-year-old amputee
who smells of stale tobacco smoke. Unsexy.
29. Ask about Mad Aunt Edith. Find out your family history.
You need to know if there are any inherited diseases prowling
your gene pool. According to the Mayo Clinic, USA, finding
out what your grandparents died of can provide useful – even
lifesaving – information about what’s in store for you. And be
candid, not coy: 25% of the children of alcoholics become
alcoholics themselves.
30. Do self-checks. Do regular self-examinations of your
breasts. Most partners are more than happy to help, not just
because breast cancer is the most common cancer among SA
women. The best time to examine your breasts is in the week
after your period.
31. My smear campaign. Have a pap smear once a year. Not
on our list of favourite things, but it’s vital. Cervical cancer
kills 200 000 women a year and it’s the most prevalent form
of cancer among black women, affecting more than 30
percent.
But the chances of survival are nearly 100 percent if it’s
detected early. Be particularly careful if you became sexually
active at an early age, have had multiple sex partners or
smoke.
32. Understand hormones. Recent research suggests that
short-term (less than five years) use of HRT is not
associated with an increase in the risk of breast cancer, but
that using it for more than ten years might be. Breast cancer
is detected earlier in women using HRT , as they are more
alert to the disease than other women.
32. Beat the sneezes. There are more than 240 allergens,
some rare and others very common. If you’re a sneezer due
to pollen: close your car’s windows while driving, rather
switch on the internal fan (drawing in air from the outside),
and avoid being outdoors between 5am and 10 am when
pollen counts are at their highest; stick to holidays in areas
with low pollen counts, such as the seaside and stay away
from freshly cut grass.
33. Doggone. If you’re allergic to your cat, dog, budgie or pet
piglet, stop suffering the ravages of animal dander: Install an
air filter in your home.
Keep your pet outside as much as possible and brush him
outside of the home to remove loose hair and other allergens.
Better yet, ask someone else to do so.
34. Asthma-friendly sports. Swimming is the most asthma-
friendly sport of all, but cycling, canoeing, fishing, sailing and
walking are also good, according to the experts.
Asthma need not hinder peak performance in sport. 1% of the
US Olympic team were asthmatics – and between them they
won 41 medals.
35. Deep heat. Sun rays can burn even through thick glass,
and under water. Up to 35% of UVB rays and 85% of UVA
rays penetrate thick glass, while 50% of UVB rays and 75% of
UVA rays penetrate a meter of water and wet cotton clothing.
Which means you’ll need sunscreen while driving your car on
holiday, and water resistant block if you’re swimming.
36. Fragrant ageing. Stay away from perfumed or flavoured
suntan lotions which smell of coconut oil or orange if you
want your skin to stay young. These lotions contain psoralen,
which speeds up the ageing process. Rather use a fake-tan
lotion. Avoid sun beds, which are as bad as the sun itself.
37. Sunscreen can be a smokescreen. Sunscreen is unlikely
to stop you from being sunburned, or to reduce your risk of
developing skin cancer. That’s because most people don’t
apply it properly, and stay in the sun too long.
The solution? Slather on sunscreen daily and reapply it often,
especially if you’ve been in the water. How much? At least
enough to fill a shot glass.
38. Laugh and cry. Having a good sob is reputed to be good
for you. So is laughter, which has been shown to help heal
bodies, as well as broken hearts. Studies in Japan indicate
that laughter boosts the immune system and helps the body
shake off allergic reactions .
39. It ain’t over till it’s over. End relationships that no longer
work for you, as you could be spending time in a dead end.
Rather head for more meaningful things. You could be
missing opportunities while you’re stuck in a meaningless rut,
trying to breathe life into something that is long gone.
40. Strong people go for help. Ask for assistance. Gnashing
your teeth in the dark will not get you extra brownie points.
It is a sign of strength to ask for assistance and people will
respect you for it. If there is a relationship problem, the one
who refuses to go for help is usually the one with whom the
problem lies to begin with.
41. Save steamy scenes for the bedroom. Showering or
bathing in water that’s too hot will dry out your skin and
cause it to age prematurely. Warm water is much better.
Apply moisturiser while your skin is still damp – it’ll be
absorbed more easily. Adding a little olive oil to your bath
with help keep your skin moisturised too.
42. Here’s the rub. Improve your circulation and help your
lymph glands to drain by the way you towel off. Helping your
lymph glands function can help prevent them becoming
infected.
When drying off your limbs and torso, brush towards the
groin on your legs and towards the armpits on your upper
body. You can do the same during gentle massage with your
partner.
43. Sugar-coated. More than three million South Africans
suffer from type 2 diabetes, and the incidence is increasing –
with new patients getting younger. New studies show this
type of diabetes is often part of a metabolic syndrome (X
Syndrome), which includes high blood pressure and other risk
factors for heart disease.
More than 80% of type 2 diabetics die of heart disease , so
make sure you control your glucose levels, and watch your
blood pressure and cholesterol counts .
44. Relax, it’s only sex. Stress and sex make bad bedfellows,
it seems. A US survey showed that stress, kids and work are
main factors to dampen libido. With the advent of technology
that allows us to work from home, the lines between our jobs
and our personal lives have become blurred.
People work longer hours, commutes are longer and work
pervades all aspects of our lives, including our sexual
relationships. Put nooky and intimacy on the agenda, just like
everything else.
45. Good night, sweetheart. Rest heals the body and has
been shown to lessen the risk of heart trouble and
psychological problems .

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the comment writers alone and does not reflect or represent the views of Victor Duru

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