HAVE A GOOD HEALTH Healthy Habits: July 2007

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Facts about Fat

We know for certain that some fats worsen cholesterol levels and increase the risk of disease; these have been labeled as ‘bad fats’ and these bad fats are solid or semi-solid at room temperature and you can count trans-fats and saturated fats in this group. Avoid trans-fats completely, while moderating your intake of saturated fats.

Saturated fats -

Are the ones found in such dairy products as whole milk, butter, cheese, and ice cream.

Also found in red meat, chocolate, coconuts, coconut milk, coconut oil and palm oil.

Trans-fats -
The ones to avoid, can be found in most margarines, in vegetable shortening and also partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.

Tran fats are emplyed for deep-fried chips or fish, many fast foods and most commercial baked goods.

'Good fats' are liquid at room temperature and unsaturated, either mono-unsaturated or poly-unsaturated fats. They improve cholesterol levels and lower the risk of disease.

Mono-unsaturated fats -
As they are in olives or olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, and nuts in genral, like cashews, almonds, peanuts, and most other nuts.

Avocados also contain mono-unsaturated fats.

Poly-unsaturated fats -
Considered the best, found in corn, soybean, safflower, and cottonseed oils, and, of course, fish.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Cardio exercise to spice up your sex life

Well-toned muscles, good posture, stamina and flexibility can do wonders for sessions between the sheets! Exercise helps to knock off the excess weight and tighten your muscles, giving your body shape and strength.
So if you want what it takes to last through a memorable rendezvous, try these exercises 3-4 times a week.
Cardio exercise
Walking, running, aerobics, swimming and cycling all fall under this category. It boosts hormones, flushes out stress, works away fat, rejuvenates the body, boosts your confidence and literally puts you in the "pink of health". Since a passionate session requires stamina, improving cardiovascular fitness, will help you perform longer and more often.
Pick your choice of cardio exercise and do it at least 3-4 times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes at a brisk pace without a break.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Yoga for lower back pain

Here are a few yoga poses that will also help your lower back pain.

1. The Corpse Pose: A very common yoga relaxation pose, you begin by lying on your back with your legs stretched out to the sides (making a V shape), do the same with your hands. Next, turn your head 90-degrees left and then right and bring it back to the center so you are looking straight up, this helps to position the spine for the pose. Next, imagine your body being pulled from your feet and head, your arms and legs, your shoulders from your neck and so on…such that you are stretching your various body extremities away from each other. Hold the pose for a few minutes and then sit up.

2. Vatayanasana (The Wind Pose): Especially useful for stretching the lower back, freeing up the sciatica and improving digestion, the Wind Pose begins with you lying on your back with knees bent and then grabbing one knee with both hands pulling it up to your chin such that your leg presses against your chest. Do the same with the other leg. Movement should be slow and deliberate. Carry this pose on for 5-minutes.

Leg raises and Triangle Pose are additional yoga poses that you can use to improve your lower back strength and resistance to factors causing pain


Pranayama is a breathing practice in Yoga. It is particularly useful in situations where you feel threatened, because it helps you retain your calm. Pranayama is often recommended to the beginning occultist.

Wear loose-fitting clothes or no clothes at all. Make sure your nose is clear, so you can breathe freely. If you have a cold, you will have to wait till you are recovered. Not only is it impossible to do pranayama when you cannot breathe through your nose but if you have a sore throat the first deep breath will send you into a violent cough attack.

Step One
The purpose of the first step is to learn to distinguish between belly breathing and chest breathing.
Lie on your back on a comfortable flat surface. Relax and start following your breath. Put one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Relax.
Belly breathing: When you inhale, the hand on your belly rises, while the hand on your chest remains still. As you exhale, the hand on your belly goes down again, whereas the hand on your chest remains still. Repeat this for 5-10 breaths.
Chest breathing: When you inhale, the hand on your chest rises, while the hand on your belly remains still. As you exhale, the hand on your chest goes down again, whereas the hand on your belly remains still. Repeat this for 5-10 breaths.
Alternate between belly and chest breathing for 5-10 minutes. Repeat every day. It is vital that you master this step before going on to step 2.

Step Two
Purpose of step two is to combine belly and chest breathing in one breath. This is called Yoga breathing.
Lie on a comfortable flat surface. Relax and follow your breath. Put one hand on your belly and the other on your chest. Relax.
Yoga breathing: Start inhaling with belly breathing. When you feel that you cannot inhale any more this way, go over to chest breathing until the chest part of your lungs are full. Then you exhale using chest breathing first and then belly breathing until you have emptied your lungs completely.
Breathe very slowly. If you feel dizzy, you are breathing too fast. If you feel out of breath, you are breathing too slowly. Follow your body's signals.
If you have problems distinguishing between belly and chest breathing, go back to step one again.

Step Three
Sit or stand with your spine upright.
Use Yoga breathing and follow a set pattern. To do this you need to somehow count the rythm. . Be careful not to hold your breath for too long. Again, listen to your body's needs.
Yoga breathing should be a more or less effortless process, so your breath should not be louder than usual. You mayexperience problems with starting the exhalation inaudibly. If you experience this , there is a trick to it: you inhale just a wee bit before exhaling. You are supposed to be able to use pranayama in virtually any situation, so to practise making it an "invisible" process is definitely worthwhile. That way you can use it, for instance when you walk up to the platform before making a speech or when listening to someone in an argument.

Practice It is a good idea to practise step one for a week, then combine step one and step two for one week, and then try all three steps in your daily session during the third week. This way you repeat the first basic steps every time. I followed this advice and feel that I have learnt the basics quite well. I still feel the need to practise distinguishing between belly and chest breathing from time to time. Pranayama works better if you practise it regularly. Do not do it all the time, but a few times a day will not hurt, quite on the contrary.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


There are 3 major types of exercise:

* Cardiovascular or aerobic exercise like Jogging and brisk walking stimulates the heart and lungs, and builds endurance so that you can exercise longer each time you do it. Basketball.

* Flexibility exercise like Dancing and Yoga stretches and flexes muscles; helps promote balance and overall grace.

* Strengthening like Weight lifting exercise increases muscle strength.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A good variety of plain, unrefined plant food for Americans

A good variety of plain, unrefined plant food is more nutritionally balanced than the animal products and manmade processed foods. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds contain high-quality protein, a better fatty-acid profile (thus decreasing the risk of heart disease and cancer), no cholesterol, plenty of complex carbohydrates and fiber, and are rich in vitamins and minerals and water.

Animal products and man-made foods are often high in fat, cholesterol, sugar, salt, and harmful additives, and are lacking in fiber. Sometimes we cannot obtain an ideal diet. People shouldn't be made to feel guilty about what they eat if they are doing the best that they can with what knowledge and resources they have. Certainly it is not unhealthful to use some refined products like white flour, sugar, or oil in small amounts to prepare healthful and tasty dishes. A moderate amount of salt can be used by most people. The problem is that the average American taste bud has been conditioned through overuse to expect and demand far too much of these things. It would be well to gradually re-educate people to require much less.
The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs in 1977 issued these recommendations to all Americans: Reduce salt intake by about 50-85 percent, cut fat consumption by at least 10 percent, slash sugar ingestion by 40 percent, and limit cholesterol to 300 mg. daily (equivalent to one egg).

These guidelines suggest that major changes are in order for the average American diet. The benefits of making such significant changes in the types of food in the diet are amazing. The Adventist Health study has shown that pure vegetarians (no animal products) have only one-third as many deaths from cancer and one-fourth as many deaths from coronary heart disease as non-vegetarians. In these studies other variables such as tobacco and alcohol were accounted for, so that we know that the tremendous health advantage of the pure vegetarian group is due to the fact that they are not using animal products in their diet. These same studies have shown that the vegetarians who do not smoke or drink have only 14 percent as many heart-attack deaths and 9 percent as many cancer deaths and live an average of l2 years longer than the general population.
Traditionally, most people measure the nutritional status of their diet by the Four Food Group Plan. The four food groups are: Milk and milk products, meat or protein, fruits and vegetables, and bread and cereals. The idea is to eat a certain number of servings from each group every day to ensure balanced nutrition. This plan does ensure that we will meet the daily requirements for all nutrients. Its chief drawback is that it does not guard very well against overnutrition, which is the greatest nutritional problem in the U.S. today. We can easily consume too much protein, fat, cholesterol, and salt on this plan.

Do we really need four food groups when we can obtain all our nutrients from just two groups-the fruit and vegetable and bread and cereal group—just as the vegetarians do who are so much healthier than the nonvegetarians? It is an elemental fact of nutrition science that there is no such thing as an essential food. There are only essential nutrients. We can get them all from two groups or four.

Well Balanced-Diet

One way to assure variety and a well-balanced diet is to select daily servings of foods.....

1.Fruits and Vegetables
2.Breads and cereals
3.Milk and cheeses
4.Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans
5.Fats, sweets, and alcohol

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: provide vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber; some provide starch or protein. Peels and edible seeds are especially rich in fiber. Deep-yellow vegetables are good sources of vitamin A. Dark-green vegetables are a source of vitamin A and C, riboflavin, folic acid, iron, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Vitamin C is provided by melons, berries, tomatoes, and citrus fruits (oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, lemons). Certain greens--collards, kale, mustard, turnip, and dandelion--provide calcium. Nearly all vegetables and fruits are low in fat, and none contain cholesterol.

BREAD AND CEREAL group: Foods in this group provide starch, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, iron, magnesium, folacin, fiber, and protein.

MILK AND CHEESE group: Milk and most milk products are calcium-rich foods. They contribute riboflavin, protein, and vitamins A, B-6, and B-12.

MEAT, POULTRY, FISH, AND BEAN group: It's a good idea to vary your choices in this group. Each food has a distinct nutritional advantage. Red meats are good sources of zinc. Liver and egg yokes are valuable sources of vitamins, but are high in cholesterol. Dry beans, peas, soybeans, and nuts are worthwhile sources of magnesium. All foods of animal origin contain vitamin B-12. Foods of vegetable origin do not.

FATS, SWEETS, AND ALCOHOL: Most foods in this group provide relatively low levels of vitamins, minerals, and protein compared to calories. Vegetable oils generally do supply vitamin E and essential fatty acids.

What is a Nutrient ?

A nutrient is a substance that promotes body growth or improvement or repairs the natural waste of the body. You need more than 40 different nutrients for good health. These include:
Energy sources (measured in calories)

Carbohydrates (starches, sugars)
Amino acids (from proteins)
Essential fatty acids (from fats and oils)

Iinclude starches, sugars, and dietary fiber. Starches and sugar supply the body with energy. Dietary fiber provides bulk in the diet, which encourages regular elimination of wastes.

Provide energy and are carriers of fat-soluble vitamins. Fats also add flavor to foods. Some fats help form cell membranes and hormones.

Are the building blocks of the body. They are needed for growth, maintenance, and replacement of body cells. They also form the hormones and enzymes used to regulate body processes. Any extra protein is used to supply energy or is changed into body fat (stored energy).

Are organic substances needed by the body in small amounts. They do not supply energy, but they help release energy from carbohydrates, fats, and protein. They also help in other chemical reactions in the body.

Are also needed in relatively small amounts and do not supply energy. They are used to build strong bones and teeth, and to make hemoglobin in red blood cells. They help maintain body fluids and help in other chemical reactions in the body.

Is often called the "forgotten nutrient." It is needed to replace body water lost in urine and sweat. Water helps to transport nutrients, remove wastes, and regulate body temperature.

Diet for Senior Citizens

Fortunately, there are nutritional guidelines for seniors that can be derived from conventional wisdom. They are as follows:
Eat a variety of foods from five of the six major food groups (fruits; vegetables; breads and cereals; milk and cheeses; meat, poultry, fish, and dry beans) to obtain all the nutrients needed for good health.

Avoid foods high in cholesterol.

Limit total fat intake to less than 30% of your calories and keep intake of saturated fats to less than 10%.

Increase your intake of dietary fiber.

Be selective of foods that cause gas problems.

Prepare moister or softer foods, or smaller portions, if you have difficulty with dry foods.

Limit the use of salt and sodium compounds.

Increase your calcium intake, especially women.

Avoid too much sugar.

Drink at least eight (8 ounce) glasses of water daily.

If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.

Drugs interact adversely with certain nutrients. If in doubt, before you take them, find out.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

10 Easy steps to control your FAT

Weight loss is an excellent resolution to have in spite of how difficult it may seem. Although there are many diets and fads that come and go, even a 10-pound weight loss can improve your health and your risk for diseases associated with obesity, diseases like Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
Here are ten easy steps to jumpstart your weight management program.
1.Accept that weight management is an achievable goal :
If you approach weight management with the concept that small steps will add up to make a big difference over time, then the idea of losing weight does not seem so complex.
2.Make a plan to succeed:
Identify 10 food items that you currently purchase that you know are bad for you and that you can live without. Make a consistent plan to start eliminating 2 of these items each week from your grocery list.
3.Contact a nutritionist and make an appointment:
Every individual should have a customized plan tailored to their age, weight, height, metabolism and activity level. This plan is best created with a professional who will dedicate time to working with you one on one.
4.Schedule regular exercise:
Make it a goal to double the distance that you walk each day until you are walking at least 30 minutes each day.
5.Set realistic goals:
Rapid weight loss that can't be sustained only results in frustration. The goal should be to lose approximately 2 pounds every week. Depending on how much you choose to lose, over the course of a year this would result in a substantial amount of weight loss.
6.Develop a support system:
It is important to join a support group and to develop a network of individuals who are committed to your success. Some of the most accessible groups exist at Weight Watchers, Ediets.com and faith-based organizations. Inquire within your health plan for resources that also may be able to help you maintain your goals.
7.Weigh in regularly:
It is important to check your weight regularly. Every week you should check your weight in the morning before you get dressed on the same scale.
8.Positive Reinforcement:
Feel good about the success that you are making and provide a small reward for yourself each week that is not food related. Some excellent suggestions include a manicure, a massage, taking a scenic walk, purchasing a new CD or new clothing item.
9.Congratulate yourself:
Weight loss is similar to a marathon that is not always won by leaps and bounds. The goal is to stay focused on your goal even if there are small setbacks from time to time.
10.Love Yourself: while absolute weight loss is a goal, it is important to love yourself no matter what your size may be.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Beauty Foods

What To Eat Each Day For Looks And Health
Apple Cider Vinegar
Beside having amazing healing properties, apple cider vinegar keeps skin supple. It's heavy concentration of enzymes helps peel off dead skin cells. It breaks down fat and helps food digest properly.
Maintain the outer layer of the skin to prevent premature aging. What you'll find in is the same as you'll get in Retin A.
To ensure a happy smile, add a slice or two of hard cheeese into your diet. Choose Swiss, cheddar, or gouda to block bacteria in the mouth and prevent cavities.
Citrus Fruits
Hold the skin cells together by forming collagen. Collagen cannot be added to the skin topically, which is why fruits and fruit juices are such an important part of the daily diet.
Keep urinary tract lining healthy.
Helps combat wrinkles and restores tissue.
Nonfat Yogurt
High in calcium, which keeps your smile white and your teeth cavity-free.
Sweet Potatoes
Vitamin A is known to be a remarkable anti-wrinkling agent. Sweet potatoes are full of this important vitamin. The pleasing results is clearer, smoother skin.
These "love apples" will keep you loving your skin. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.
Wheat Germ
If you want to get rid of pimples quickly and efficiently, make sure to include two or three tablespoons a day in your diet. Add it to cereal, yogurt, and cottage cheese.
You should choose foods that you enjoy, of course, but you need to include the following:
Three to five servings daily. Try to include one serving of raw, leafy greens.
Have no more than three three ounce servings a day. Cut off all fat. Try to make two servings of turkey or chicken. One serving of fish a day is ideal.
Two to three servings daily. A 1/2 cup of chopped or sliced fruit is a serving. Fruit salad
At least two servings daily. A serving would be eight ounces of milk or yogurt.
Salad dressing, cooking oil, butter, and mayonnaise should be limited to two servings a day.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Top Sports To Get You In Shape

If the thought of another hour on the treadmill has lost its appeal, it might be time to switch from a workout that's become a second job to one that feels more like play.
Fitness experts say they're seeing more adults turning to soccer and tennis both for fun and a form of exercise. The trick, however, is to make sure the game you choose isn't the only thing you're doing to keep fit.
"You can't say, 'That's all I'm going to do,'" says Kathy Berlin, fitness director for the Indianapolis-based Athletes Edge at Sports of All Sorts, a sports performance center and fitness club. "You need to think about keeping yourself healthy all around."
That means watching your diet, stretching and warming up, and getting into the kind of shape your sport demands. Because people tend not to be able to control their environments during a game as much as in other fitness activities, they often find themselves in awkward positions and exposed to stresses that may leave them injured and on the sidelines.
Before stepping onto the basketball court, for example, spend 15 to 20 minutes on dynamic stretches, says Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise. Jog around the field's perimeter, jump in place and bring your knees as close to your chest as possible, or try a few butt kicks. If all you do is stretch on the floor, boot the ball around and think you're ready to play, you're asking for trouble.
That's because, "the first time you sprint to get the ball on a break away," he says, "you can strain your hamstring."
Beyond game play and practice, consider spending time on exercises that will lessen your chance of injury. If you're playing soccer, for instance, try core-strengthening exercises, along with moves that work the glutes, Berlin says.
Crunched for time? Exercise in front of the TV. Cross training will balance your routine and cut your risk of overloading the muscles you use in a specific sport, says Dr. Jonathan Chang, of the Pacific Orthopedic Medical Group and a clinical assistant professor at the University of Southern California.
Fitness Fun If you're playing sports to get into shape, you stand to gain a number of health benefits, whether you're diving for a disc or shooting a basket.
Want to build strength and endurance? Try water polo. You'll get a hard cardio workout--players on average reach 92% of their maximum heart rate during a game, says Guy Baker, the U.S. Women's National Team water polo head coach. The sport also will build muscles in your legs, shoulders and chest. Since you're never touching the pool floor and even a foul doesn't halt the game, you're constantly moving,
Golf might not be the first sport to pop into your head if you're focused on getting fit. But, says Rick Martino, director of instruction for the PGA of America, it's a matter of the way you play.
Studies have shown that if you nix the cart and caddy, a round of golf is equal to or better than spending 30 to 40 minutes on the treadmill, Martino says. If that sounds like too much, try taking turns after each hole, with one person walking and the other driving the cart.
Swinging the club builds stability in the legs, hips and core, and increases flexibility in the shoulders. There are mental bonuses too. While the rest of your life might be a blur of commuting, meetings and e-mails, golf is an excuse to spend four hours away from it all with friends. Unless you're really worried about your score, your stress level is bound to fall. And then there's the scenery, which beats an hour in the gym any day.
"You are out in probably some of the most beautiful man-created places you can be," Martino says. "How much prettier can it be than Pebble Beach, Cypress Point and Kiawah Island?"
If you're looking for a more intense workout, consider joining an ice hockey league. You'll get an aerobic and anaerobic workout from all of the hopping on and off the ice and high-intensity skating, says Dr. Michael Stuart, chief medical officer of USA Hockey, the national governing body for ice hockey in the U.S. Players tend to have lean body mass, strong core muscles and great lower body strength.
The sport also gives your neuromuscular skills a workout, as you balance on two sharp edges, maneuver a stick and try to control the puck, all while rapidly accelerating and decelerating. Even goalies, who you might think have it easier during games, get their hearts racing at about 170 beats per minute. Most players, however, are having so much fun they don't even realize what a great workout they're getting, Stuart says.
"The bottom line," he says, "is it's fun. We preach exercise, yet you must enjoy it or you will not be compliant in the long term. If you really love to play hockey or basketball, it's a wonderful way to exercise."
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Friday, July 6, 2007

How To Avoid A Heart Attack

Sure, many of us can't resist glazed donuts and French fries and don't remember what the inside of a gym looks like. And yes, we're constantly stressed out about work and could stand to lose 10 pounds.
But a heart attack? They happen to other people--not you.
Even if the worst should occur, doctors can use drugs to decrease the damage to your heart, or perform angioplasty or bypass surgery to fix the problem. Right?
Not always. Up to 25% of people who die of sudden cardiac death had no prior symptoms or warnings such as chest pain.
"You can't just rely on the thought that, 'Oh, well, if I have a heart attack the doctors will be there to save me and put me on medications,' " says Dr. Erin Michos, a cardiology fellow at Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Some people don't make it to the hospital. They die at home. Prevention needs to begin early in life."
Heart attacks strike when one or more of the heart's arteries are blocked, severely reducing or stopping blood from reaching part of the heart muscle. They're usually preceded by the buildup inside the artery walls of fatty deposits or plaque, which can rupture, causing a blood clot to form and block the artery. When the blood supply is cut off for more than a few minutes it can be deadly.
Coronary heart disease remains the nation's single leading cause of death, and it's estimated that 1.2 million Americans will have a first or recurrent coronary attack this year, killing 452,000 of them, according to the American Heart Association.
Preventative Measures
If those statistics sound frightening, take heart.
Cardiologists, doctors, nutritionists and other experts say you have the power to cut your risk of having a heart attack.
Instead of looking for the latest quick fix, however, focus your preventive efforts on what's already been proven.
For starters, that means changing your diet. But, as registered dietitian and American Heart Association spokeswoman Ronni Litz Julien points out, today there are lots more do's than don'ts.
She tells clients to get a tablespoon of olive oil a day, either with sautéed vegetables or a salad, and to frequently eat low-mercury fish, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
A few eggs a week are no longer forbidden. Neither is meat, if you're eating lean, 4 ounce to 6 ounce cuts. The same goes for nuts, such as walnuts, almonds, cashews and peanuts, as long as you're not demolishing a Costco size container in two days.
A little portion control will go a long way toward helping you keep your weight in check too. Litz Julien recommends that couples eating out order separate salads or shrimp cocktails and split an entrée. When cooking, don't just dump half a bag of rice into the pot--measure it. Aim to always leave something on the plate.
"If you can leave a few bites, you've created a barrier between you and the food," she says. "You're still satiated but you're not so completely full that you have to unbutton your pants."