Health News of 2014-01-17

Health tips to master

Over the years I have compiled a list of interesting health tips from multiple sources and January is a great time to share. I am sure many of you are aware of these but they will serve as useful reminders.
1. The keys to successful lifestyle changes are: staying on track when times get tough and bouncing back after a setback. Keep trying! Most people succeed after several attempts.
2. A number of addictions can be linked to stress: overeating, smoking, drinking and drug abuse. By eliminating or minimizing stress, you are more inclined to kick a bad habit.
3. A Duke University study involving 1,000 patients with major and minor depression showed that the severity of depression was associated with lower religious attendance: less prayer and less scripture reading.
4. Cut down your fat intake:
(i) use fats and oils sparingly
(ii) drink non-fat or low-fat milk, and choose low-fat or non-fat versions of yogurt
(iii) Use low-fat salad dressings, and limit the amount of cheese in your eating plan.
5. Following an eating plan that is high in fibre and low in saturated fat and cholesterol reduces the risk of diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Be sure to:
(i) choose whole-grain pastas, bread and cereals whenever possible
(ii) eat whole fruits most of the time, instead of drinking fruit juices
(iii) eat legumes such as beans and peas, several times per week
6. It’s not snacking that’s bad, it’s the usual snack choices – chips, crackers, biscuits, sweets, etc. that cause the problem. Your body works best when it refuels every four to six hours. The best way to fuel your body is to eat light, well-balanced meals and two or three healthy snacks per day. Snacking may even help you lose weight, by taming your appetite, thus preventing the tendency to overeat and make poor choices. Learn to make healthy snacks a part of your daily eating plan, and hold the guilt!
7. Did you know that about half of all cancer deaths are related to tobacco use, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity, and being overweight or obese?
8. Drink plenty of water - it does wonders to your body, including:
(i) it aids in the digestion and absorption of foods and nutrients
(ii) it is the vehicle your body uses to flush out the waste produced in normal body functions
(iii) it is necessary for proper bowel function
(iv) It helps you maintain normal temperature.
9. A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of heart disease nearly two times. This risk is as high as that caused by abnormal cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and cigarette smoking combined. Despite the known risks, more than half of adults don’t get enough physical activity to benefit their health. Regular moderate physical activity cuts your risk of dying from heart disease in half.
10. Excess body fat increases the risk for both heart attack and stroke. Obesity is also associated with increased blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels and diabetes. Losing just 10% of excess weight, and keeping it off, can significantly lower risk.
11. Here are some common sense ways to reduce back pain:
(i) move the driver’s seat (in car) closer to steering wheel
(ii) tighten abdominal muscles whenever you are about to lift anything
(iii) do flexibility exercises daily
(iv) do back exercises regularly
(v) never twist forcefully
(vi) push, don’t pull – better yet, ask for help
(vii) Sleep on a firm surface.
12. If you have arthritis, exercise is important, because it:
(i) increases strength and flexibility around the joints
(ii) helps maintain or increase bone strength
(iii) provides nourishment and lubrication to joints
(iv) prevents muscle loss from lack of use
(v) provides feeling of control and self-worth All the above lead to reduced pain.
The majority of us do not like Mondays but maybe we should start considering it as a unique and exciting day. Look forward to Mondays; it always gives you a chance to get back on a healthy track after all the excesses of the weekend.
Dr. Kojo Cobba Essel
Moms’ Health Club
*Dr Essel is a medical doctor and is ISSA certified in exercise therapy and fitness nutrition.
Thought for the week – “There is enough food overall in the world to feed everyone. But 900 million people still don’t have enough to eat and 1 billion people are obese.”