Friday, September 27, 2013

HEALTH: General 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

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

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

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.

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

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.
(From the Heath24 team)

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