Ignorance Is (Not) Bliss

choose173x115The testimony section of each Health Tip is a place where I can share some of the letters I have received. These testimonies are always such an inspiration to me and I hope also to you. I read every one of them. If you have something to share regarding how your health has improved on the Hallelujah Diet I would sure appreciate your sharing it with me so that I can share it with all our Health Tip readers. Send your testimony by clicking here! “Dear George, You are such an inspiration to all of us who follow the Hallelujah Diet. I read them regularly and would really miss them if you were to stop writing them. You are such a wonderful example of how healthy a person can be at age 80 because they have consumed a healthy diet and lived an active lifestyle.
I too follow the Hallelujah Diet even though there are temptations to cheat all around me. I have found that the motivation for me to stick with the diet is how alive I feel when I eat the live foods and how listless and sick I feel when I eat mostly dead foods. So my focus is ‘JUST DO IT’!
I made a list of things that have happened to me since starting on the Hallelujah Diet:
  • I have lost 57 pounds – dropped from 205 pounds to 148 pounds
  • I feel healthy and alive instead of sick and depressed
  • I have more energy and stamina
  • I heal quicker
  • I sleep better
  • I am calmer and have more peace
  • I don’t overeat
  • I have body warmth instead of always feeling cold
  • My house is more organized
I could go on, but I know you have heard all these good things happening to so many people after they changed their diet to the Hallelujah Diet. I just want to say thank you! And regarding your retiring, whatever you decide, just remember that George and Rhonda Malkmus will always be synonymous with the Hallelujah Diet.”

Healthy Hearts

The Food Pyramid

  • Build the foundation of your daily eating plan with 6 to 11 servings from the Bread, Cereal, Rice & Pasta Group.

  • Choose an item from the Vegetable group at least 3 to 5 times each day.

  • It's a treat to enjoy 2 to 4 servings from the Fruit Group as part of your daily diet.

  • Limit your selection of Milk, Yogurt & Cheese to just 2 to 3 items per day.

  • Get protein from the Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs & Nuts through 2 to 3 servings every day.

  • Top off your daily eating plan with Fats, Oils & Sweets, but only in small quantities.

Healthy Hearts

Everyday Heart Health Tips

If you're not convinced about the need to develop an exercise program for your life, you can at least try following some of these tips in your everyday routine. Take advantage of any opportunity for exercise. Try some today.
  • Take the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator at school or the mall. Just start with one flight. Soon, you'll be ready for two.
  • Park your car at the far end of the parking lot. The short walk to and from the store or school helps your heart.
  • If you ride a bus or subway, get off a stop before your destination. Walk the rest of the way.
  • If you can, spend a few minutes of your lunch break taking a stroll around the campus grounds. It should help you stay awake after lunch.
  • Think of housework as an extra chance to exercise. Vacuuming briskly can be a real workout.
  • Mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, and raking leaves are chores that can be done yourself as a chance to exercise.
  • If you have a dog, think of the dog as an exercise machine with fur. A brisk walk with the dog is good for both of your hearts. Make it a part of your daily routine.
  • If you have a family, schedule an after-dinner walk. Make it quality time.


10 eye health tips to protect your vision

In a 2012 survey from the American Optometric Association, more than half of the respondents reported that they valued their eyesight more than their memory or ability to walk. However, you may be making little decisions every day that could be compromising your most indispensable sense.
“Constantly interacting with screens, missing out on essential nutrients, forgetting your sunglasses—these innocent-sounding habits can stealthily take a toll on healthy eyes,” optometrist Hilary L. Hawthorne, a trustee of the American Optometric Association, said.
Also, we often skip yearly eye exams, which puts not only our eyes but also our overall health at risk. Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to turn things around. Many of these expert-recommended tips can be done in the blink of a you-know-what.
Related: 3 Eye Problems, Fixed
1. Keep Screens at a Distance
Screens have proliferated far beyond laptops and desktops. Now there are smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and MP3 players—not to mention the screens that we encounter at airports, subway and train stations, movie theaters, and sporting events.
The contrast and the glare of an electronic screen can eventually lead to eyestrain and, in some cases, computer vision syndrome, which happens after prolonged use. Symptoms can include headaches, blurred vision, neck pain, dry or red eyes, fatigue, double vision, and difficulty refocusing.
It’s actually middle-aged people who spend the most time in front of screens—an average of 9.5 hours a day, according to a study by the Council for Research Excellence.
“Not only are we viewing screens for longer periods without breaks, but we’re working with handheld devices at closer distances than we would with printed materials,” said optometrist Mark Rosenfield, a professor of clinical education at the State University of New York College of Optometry, in Manhattan. (And as you age, the closer you are to an object when you read it, the more work your eyes have to do to maintain focus.)
Experts recommend that you keep your eyes at least an arm’s length from a computer screen and 16 inches from a handheld device. However, according to a 2011 paper published in the journal Optometry and Vision Science, people on average hold smartphones about 14 inches away when reading and sometimes as close as seven inches.
If you can’t easily read the text on your handheld’s  screen from at least 16 inches away, increase the font size. To minimize eyestrain with any device, make sure that you’re reading in soft lighting that doesn’t cause glare. For a desktop computer, consider investing in an antiglare filter that clips to the monitor (such as 3M’s, $69, amazon.com).
2. Take Blinking Breaks
In everyday life, we blink about 15 to 20 times a minute. But that rate drops by half when we’re viewing text on a screen.
“Blinking is important because the upper eyelid spreads tears over the front of the eye, or cornea, just like a windshield wiper works,” Rosenfield said. “If you don’t do it enough, the cornea can dry out and feel irritated.”
He recommends using the 20/20/20 rule when staring at a screen: Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds so you can blink naturally and give your eyes time to relax. If you suffer from chronically dry eyes, try using a laptop instead of a desktop computer.
Related: Keep Your Eyes Healthy
When you’re looking down at a laptop, less eye surface is exposed and there’s less tear evaporation and your eyes stay more moist. If you have to use a desktop, raise your chair or tilt your screen four inches below eye level, as measured from the center of the screen, so you aren’t looking straight ahead. Find more dry eye treatments.
3. Wear Shades
Over time, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays can deteriorate vision, leading to cataracts (a clouding of the eyes’ lenses); age-related macular degeneration, or AMD (loss of sight in the center of the field of vision); and noncancerous and cancerous growths on the eyes’ surface, eyelids, and surrounding skin, according to optometrist Rachel Cohn, the owner of the Wink Eyecare Boutique, in Potomac, Maryland.
The American Optometric Association recommends sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of UVA and UVB radiation and that screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light. Look for an “ANSI” sticker on the sunglasses, which indicates that they meet these guidelines as proven by the American National Standards Institute. And if you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors, it’s a good idea to get sunglasses with lenses that are polarized, which means that they’ve been treated to reduce glare.
Though a new generation of contact lenses can help deflect some of the sun’s harmful rays (such as Acuvue TrueEye, which is popular among dry-eye sufferers), they don’t cover the eyelids, “so you’ll still want to top off with a pair of sunglasses,” Cohn said. Find the perfect sunglasses for your face shape.
Related: 6 Remedies for Tired-Looking Eyes
4. Try a Seafood Diet
You probably know that omega-3 fatty acids can bolster heart and brain health, but they can also decrease your risk of eye disease. According to a study published in the 2011 Archives of Ophthalmology, women who ate canned tuna and dark-fish meat (mackerel, salmon, sardines, bluefish, swordfish) just once a week had a 42 percent lower risk for AMD than those who ate such fish less than once a month.
“Fish oils and fish-oil supplements are loaded with antioxidants that help prevent the damage from free radicals that can cause diseases like AMD,” Tanya Zuckerbrot, a registered dietitian in New York City, said.
Another reason to go fish: Increasing your intake of omega-3s may also support healthier tear film. (Eat at least five to six four-ounce servings of fatty fish weekly.)
5. Go for the Greens
Carrots have a reputation as the go-to vegetable for healthy eyesight, and it’s true that “getting shortchanged on vitamin A, a key nutrient in carrots, could contribute to the deterioration of your vision,” Zuckerbrot said.
But the real star nutrients are lutein and zeaxanthin—pigments found in such foods as dark, leafy greens, broccoli, zucchini, peas, and Brussels sprouts. Researchers from the University of Georgia in Athens discovered that leafy green vegetables may improve vision by reducing the stressful effects of glare and exposure to bright light, because they help absorb some of that light. Find more information on how a healthy diet can protect your vision.
Further evidence for the power of produce: A British study published in the 2011 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed that vegetarians had a 30 percent lower risk of developing cataracts than people who ate 3.5 ounces of meat a day.
6. Start Steeping
You may want to swap that afternoon cup of coffee for green tea: Not only is it hydrating (which helps you produce tears) but the brew also contains catechins, which are among a host of antioxidants (like vitamins C and E, lutein, and zeaxanthin) that may defend the eyes’ tissues from AMD and cataracts. Research from the Chinese University of Hong Kong has proven that catechins are absorbed in the highest concentrations by the tissues in the retina, the part of the eye that detects light.
7. Treat Contacts With Care
Approximately 85 percent of those who wear contacts claim that they’re caring for their lenses properly, but only 2 percent really are, found one study conducted by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in Dallas.
“One of the most harmful but common infractions is moistening contacts with saliva instead of saline solution,” said Eliot Grossman, the chief of eye health and optometry for LensCrafters, in Orange County, California. “Hundreds of bacteria from your mouth will be introduced directly to your eye, which could cause a serious infection.”
The same is true for water or any other “nontraditional” substance. (In one study, people fessed up to moistening contacts with everything from beer to butter to baby oil.) And always store lenses in fresh solution.
Grossman also recommends removing lenses even before naps and giving your eyes a break by wearing glasses once a week. And to keep your contacts and their case bacteria-free, wash your hands before handling them and replace contacts as frequently as prescribed.
8. Make Over Your Makeup Routine
Bacteria can thrive in mascara, so toss the tube after three months. Also, sharpen liner pencils regularly. It’s okay, of course, to line the base of your lashes, but “putting liner inside the lash line can block the oil glands, which protect your eyes’ surface,” Dr.Ruth D. Williams, a former president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, said .
9. Get Your Goggles On
You don’t have to work on a factory floor to sustain an on-the-job injury. According to a 2008 study from the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Ocular Trauma, of the 2.5 million eye injuries that Americans suffer annually, nearly half happen at home.
“People understand that you need safety glasses or goggles when using power tools. But we should also wear them for things like yard work, basic home repairs—like sawing, sanding, drilling, nailing, painting—and certain cleaning jobs, like cleaning the oven,” said Justin Bazan, a Brooklyn-based optometrist and a medical adviser to the Vision Council. “Chemicals tough enough to clean appliances will damage eyes on contact.”
10. See a Doctor
Even if you’re not among the 81 percent of Americans who need corrective eyewear, experts recommend that all adults get a comprehensive eye exam (during which the doctor dilates your pupils with drops) by age 40. Follow up with yearly exams thereafter or as recommended. Go sooner if you have symptoms such as persistent pain inside or behind your eyes, redness, or gradual loss of vision. You also may need to start earlier if a family member had glaucoma or you have diabetes, which puts you at a higher risk for vision-related issues.
A comprehensive eye exam can also be an important barometer of overall health.
“The eyes are the only part of the body where we can view arteries and veins without surgery or incisions,” said optometrist Andrea P. Thau, an associate clinical professor at the State University of New York College of Optometry and a spokesperson for the American Optometric Association. “This allows an eye doctor to assess your risk for things like stroke, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, brain tumors, aneurysms, and multiple sclerosis.”

10 tips for a healthier heart

Here are some tips to help you look after your heart.

  1. Quit smoking now. Twelve months after quitting, your increased risk of dying from heart disease will be half that of a continuing smoker.

  2. Improve your diet. Include wholegrain cereals, legumes, fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts in your diet and lower your risk of heart disease.

  3. Exercise regularly. Walk briskly for 30 minutes a day and reduce your risk of heart attack by one third.

  4. Maintain your friendships. People with supportive friendship networks are at less risk of heart disease.

  5. Eat more fish. Oily fish like tuna, sardines or salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and will boost your good cholesterol.

  6. Switch your chocolate choice. Switch from milk chocolate to dark chocolate. When eaten in moderation, dark chocolate is good for your heart.

  7. Limit your alcohol. It is recommended you limit yourself to no more than two standard glasses of alcohol a day if you are a man, or one glass a day if you are a woman.

  8. Avoid salty and high sodium foods. Don’t add salt when preparing or eating your meals.

  9. Have a diabetes test. Uncontrolled diabetes can damage your artery walls and contribute to heart disease.

  10. Make fitness fun. Choose activities that combine exercise and socialising like pilates, water aerobics, dancing, cycling or yoga.

Family Health

ImageHelping families be safer, healthier, and stronger

In the Spotlight

2013 Healthy Living Calendars
Healthy Living calendars promote daily tips to use for a safer and healthier life. Calendars are now available for download.
Kids’ Health RSS
Stay updated with new content from CDC on kids’ health. From this page you can subscribe to CDC or other US Government RSS feeds or view content directly on this page without having to use an aggregator. Subscribe to the Kids’ Health RSS feed.

Healthy Families

Engaged Parents Have Healthier Adolescents
Students whose parents are engaged in their school lives are more likely to practice healthy behaviors and succeed academically.
Chickenpox Can Be Serious: Protect Your Child
Most children with chickenpox completely recover. But it can be serious, even fatal, for babies, adolescents, and adults. Be proactive. Get vaccinated if you are not protected against chickenpox.
Antibiotics Aren't Always the Answer
Antibiotics do not fight infections caused by viruses like colds, most sore throats and bronchitis, and some ear infections. Unneeded antibiotics may lead to future antibiotic-resistant infections. Symptom relief might be the best treatment option.
Traveling Overseas? Consider Getting Insurance
If you are planning an international trip, there are 3 types of insurance you should consider: trip cancellation insurance, travel health insurance, and medical evacuation insurance. These will cover different situations and may give you financial peace of mind, as well as allowing for safe and healthy travel.
Inspiration for a Healthy New Year
Make being healthy your resolution and find ways to get and stay healthy this year. Meet three people who changed their health habits—and their lives. Here are their stories and tips for making healthy living easier.
Helping Parents Cope With Disaster
Anyone who is a parent knows how hard it can be to raise a child. Add a stressful situation, like a natural disaster or other emergencies, and a difficult job gets even harder. If you are prepared for potential disasters, you can be more confident in your ability to keep your family safe, and your children are likely to handle the disaster better as well.

Healthy Communities

Making Health Easier: Healthy Changes Start in Preschool
The video highlights the efforts of one educational organization, Los Angeles Universal Preschool (LAUP), to keep kids healthy at an early age. Childhood obesity now affects approximately one in six kids and disproportionately affects low-income and minority populations.
2013 Student Opportunities in Public Health
Whether you are looking for a summer internship or a year-long fellowship, these programs provide valuable exposure to a wide range of public health opportunities. Jump Start Your Future - Apply Today!
Provider Resources for Vaccine Conversations with Parents
Making time to talk with parents about vaccines during the well-child visit may be challenging. Provider Resources for Vaccine Conversations with Parents help you assess parents' needs, identify the role they want to play in making decisions for their child’s health, and then communicate in ways that meet their needs.
Let's Stop HIV Together
Let's Stop HIV Together highlights the fact that HIV touches every corner of American society and that people with the infection are part of the fabric of our families and valued members of our communities.

Science and Research

2011 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance: STDs in Adolescents and Young Adults
Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2011 presents statistics and trends for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the United States through 2011. This annual publication is intended as a reference document for policy makers, program managers, health planners, researchers, and others who are concerned with the public health implications of these diseases.
National Surveillance of Asthma: United States, 2001–2010
The number of persons with asthma increased 2.9% each year, from 20.3 million persons in 2001 to 25.7 million persons in 2010. Of the 25.7 million, 7.0 million were children and 18.7 million were adults. Among children aged 0–17 years, current asthma (prevalence increased at a rate of 1.4% per year.
STD Trends in the United States: 2011 National Data for Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis
STDs are a significant health challenge facing the United States. CDC estimates that 19 million new STD infections occur every year in this country.
HIV Among Youth in the US, Vital Signs
About 50,000 people are infected with HIV each year, and 1 in 4 is 13 to 24 years old. Youth make up 7% of the more than 1 million people in the US living with HIV. About 12,000 youth were infected with HIV in 2010. The greatest number of infections occurred among gay and bisexual youth. Nearly half of all new infections among youth occur in African American males.
Vital Signs: HIV Infection, Testing, and Risk Behaviors Among Youths — United States
Prevalence of diagnosed HIV was 69.5 per 100,000 youths at the end of 2009. Youths accounted for 12,200 (25.7%) new HIV infections in 2010. Of these, 7,000 (57.4%) were among blacks/African Americans, 2,390 (19.6%) among Hispanics/Latinos, and 2,380 (19.5%) among whites; 8,800 (72.1%) were attributed to male-to-male sexual contact.
Suffocation Deaths Associated with Use of Infant Sleep Positioners — United States, 1997–2011
When providing guidance for parents of newborns, health-care providers need to emphasize the importance of placing infants to sleep on their backs in a safe sleep environment. This includes reminders about the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendations against side sleep position, ISPs and pillows, comforters, and other soft bedding.
Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit
The Vaccine Storage and Handling Toolkit (November 2012) is a comprehensive resource for providers on vaccine storage and handling recommendations and best practice strategies.

Health Tips for Long-Term Travelers

Stuffed suitcase
If you are going to be spending a long time in a foreign country—to go to school or to work, for example—have a plan to protect your health while you’re away from home.

Find a Doctor at Your Destination

Pill bottle and mini globeBefore you go, get checkups from your regular doctor and dentist to make sure everything's in good shape. You still might need care while you're gone, so plan in advance where you'll go if you get sick or are hurt. You might also want to consider getting travel health and evacuation insurance to pay for care, if you need it.
In some countries, there might be a risk of getting counterfeit medicines, so if you take any medicine routinely (such as drugs for high blood pressure or an asthma inhaler), consider bringing a supply from the United States. If you are going to be in another country a long time, make a plan with your doctor about how you will get refills of your medicines.

Avoid Injuries

The number one cause of preventable death in travelers is injuries, particularly traffic accidents. Always wear a seatbelt, be careful when crossing the street (especially in countries where they drive on the left), and try not to be on the road at night in developing countries. Another major cause of death is drowning, so take precautions when swimming, diving, or boating.

Get Vaccinated

Talk to your doctor about what shots you might need to prepare for your trip. You might need booster shots of routine vaccines or travel-related vaccines, depending on your destination. If you think you might travel to surrounding countries while you're gone, tell your doctor—other vaccines might be recommended for those areas.

Prevent Other Diseases

Stack of suitcasesNot all diseases can be prevented by vaccines, so take other measures to protect yourself. Many diseases are spread by mosquitoes or other bugs, so try to avoid being bitten—wear insect repellent when outside, and only open windows if they have screens. If your doctor prescribes a drug to prevent malaria, make sure you take enough for your entire trip, and take it the entire time you are in a malaria risk area.
Travelers' diarrhea is very common in long-term travelers. Be careful about what you eat and drink, and ask your doctor about taking an antibiotic in case you do get sick.

HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases are a risk for long-term travelers, so if you have sex, you should use a condom every time. Bring condoms with you from the United States, since those sold in other countries may not be up to US standards.

Protect Your Mental Health

Being in another culture, especially if you do not speak the language, and away from family and friends can be stressful. Take care of your mental as well as physical health by eating healthfully and exercising regularly. Take along photos of family and friends, and stay in close contact with loved ones at home (see Mental Health & Travel).

Eight tips for healthy eating

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health, and can help you feel your best. It doesn't have to be difficult either. Just follow these eight diet tips to get started.
The key to a healthy diet is to do the following:
  • Eat the right number of calories for how active you are, so that you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use. If you eat or drink too much, you’ll put on weight. If you eat and drink too little, you’ll lose weight. The average man needs around 2,500 calories a day (10,500 kilojoules). The average woman needs 2,000 calories (8,400 kilojoules). Most adults are eating more calories than they need, and should eat fewer calories.
  • Eat a wide range of foods to ensure that you’re getting a balanced diet and that your body is receiving all the nutrients it needs. 

    Get started

    These practical tips cover the basics of healthy eating, and can help you make healthier choices:

     Base your meals on starchy foods

    Starchy foods should make up around one third of the foods you eat. Starchy foods include potatoes, cereals, pasta, rice and bread. Choose wholegrain varieties (or eat potatoes with their skins on) when you can: they contain more fibre, and can make you feel full for longer.
    Most of us should eat more starchy foods: try to include at least one starchy food with each main meal. Some people think starchy foods are fattening, but gram for gram they contain fewer than half the calories of fat. Learn more in Starchy foods.

    Eat lots of fruit and veg

    It’s recommended that we eat at least five portions of different types of fruit and veg a day. It’s easier than it sounds. A glass of 100% unsweetened fruit juice can count as one portion, and vegetables cooked into dishes also count. Why not chop a banana over your breakfast cereal, or swap your usual mid-morning snack for some dried fruit? Learn more in 5 A DAY.

    Eat more fish

    Fish is a good source of protein and contains many vitamins and minerals. Aim to eat at least two portions a week, including at least one portion of oily fish. Oily fish is high in omega-3 fats, which may help to prevent heart disease. You can choose from fresh, frozen and canned: but remember that canned and smoked fish can be high in salt.
    Oily fish include salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, fresh tuna, sardines and pilchards. Non-oily fish include haddock, plaice, coley, cod, tinned tuna, skate and hake. Anyone who regularly eats a lot of fish should try to choose as wide a variety as possible.

    Cut down on saturated fat and sugar

    We all need some fat in our diet. But it’s important to pay attention to the amount and type of fat we’re eating. There are two main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which increases your risk of developing heart disease.
    Saturated fat is found in many foods, such as hard cheese, cakes, biscuits, sausages, cream, butter, lard and pies. Try to cut down, and choose foods that contain unsaturated rather than saturated fats, such as vegetable oils, oily fish and avocados.
    For a healthier choice, use a just a small amount of vegetable oil or reduced-fat spread instead of butter, lard or ghee. When you're having meat, choose lean cuts and cut off any visible fat. Learn more, and get tips on cutting down, in Eat less saturated fat.
    Most people in the UK eat and drink too much sugar. Sugary foods and drinks, including alcoholic drinks, are often high in energy (measured in kilojoules or calories), and could contribute to weight gain. They can also cause tooth decay, especially if eaten between meals.
    Cut down on sugary fizzy drinks, alcoholic drinks, cakes, biscuits and pastries, which contain added sugars: this is the kind of sugar we should be cutting down on rather than sugars that are found naturally in foods such as fruit and milk.
    Food labels can help: use them to check how much sugar foods contain. More than 22.5g of sugar per 100g means that the food is high in sugar. Learn more in Sugars and Understanding food labels.

    Eat less salt

    Even if you don’t add salt to your food, you may still be eating too much. About three-quarters of the salt we eat is already in the food we buy, such as breakfast cereals, soups, breads and sauces. Eating too much salt can raise your blood pressure. People with high blood pressure are more likely to develop heart disease or have a stroke.
    Use food labels to help you cut down. More than 1.5g of salt per 100g means the food is high in salt. Adults and children over 11 should eat no more than 6g of salt a day. Younger children should have even less. Learn more in Salt: the facts.

    Get active and be a healthy weight

    Eating a healthy, balanced diet plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy weight, which is an important part of overall good health. Being overweight or obese can lead to health conditions such as type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, heart disease and stroke. Being underweight could also affect your health. Check whether you’re a healthy weight by using our Healthy weight calculator.
    Most adults need to lose weight, and need to eat fewer calories in order to do this. If you're trying to lose weight, aim to eat less and be more active. Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help: aim to cut down on foods that are high in fat and sugar, and eat plenty of fruit and vegetables.
    Don't forget that alcohol is also high in calories, so cutting down can help you to control your weight. You can find information and advice in Lose weight. If you’re underweight, see Underweight adults. If you're worried about your weight, ask your GP or a dietitian for advice.
    Physical activity can help you to maintain weight loss or be a healthy weight. Being active doesn’t have to mean hours at the gym: you can find ways to fit more activity into your daily life. For example, try getting off the bus one stop early on the way home from work, and walking. Being physically active may help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. For more ideas, see Get active your way.
    After getting active, remember not to reward yourself with a treat that is high in energy. If you feel hungry after activity, choose foods or drinks that are lower in calories but still filling.

    Don't get thirsty

    We need to drink about 1.2 litres of fluid every day to stop us getting dehydrated. This is in addition to the fluid we get from the food we eat. All non-alcoholic drinks count, but water, milk and fruit juices are the most healthy. Try to avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks that are high in added sugars and can be high in calories and bad for teeth. When the weather is warm, or when we get active, we may need more. Learn more in Drinks.

    Don’t skip breakfast

    Some people skip breakfast because they think it will help them lose weight. In fact, research shows that eating breakfast can help people control their weight. A healthy breakfast is an important part of a balanced diet, and provides some of the vitamins and minerals we need for good health. Wholemeal cereal, with fruit sliced over the top is a tasty and nutritious breakfast.

Eat, workout for a strong heart

New Delhi: On World Heart Day, say yes to good eating habits and exercise. Have low fat milk, make your plate colourful by opting for different coloured vegetables and fruits and much more, says an expert.

Sonal Raval, nutritionist at Snap Fitness India, shares dietary and health tips to help people have a healthy heart:

- Eat a variety of food items, but not in excess: Different coloured vegetables and fruits, pulses and legumes, low fat dairy products are some of the ways to prevent your food from becoming boring.

- Check your weight: Overweight can be the reason behind high blood pressure or disease like diabetes. To avoid such problems, it is best to keep a check on your weight. Eat slowly and take smaller portion, opt for low calories, but rich in nutrients food.

- Keep away from food rich in fat: Use skimmed or low fat milk and milk products. Bake, roast or boil rather than frying.

- Eat food with adequate fiber: Fruits and vegetables like carrot, cucumber and apple have skin. They should be consumed along with it.

- Avoid sugar in excess: White sugar, soft drinks, candies, chocolates, cakes and cookies should be avoided. Don't eat sweets between meals.

- Sodium should be taken in less quantity: Use small amount of salt to prepare dish, try more natural ways to add flavour to food items. Go with spices, lemon juice, tomatoes and curds, don't munch chips and fried foods constantly.

- Don't encourage exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups. Such exercises involve straining muscles against other muscles or an immovable object.

- Don't exercise outdoors when the temperature becomes extreme. High humidity may cause you to tire more quickly; extreme temperatures can make breathing difficult, and cause chest pain. Indoor activities such as mall walking are better.

- Exercise in hilly areas is a big no. If you are located in such places then slow down when climbing up the hill.

- If your exercise programme has been interrupted for a few days due to illness, vacation, or any other reason, start with a reduced level of activity.

Healthy Heart Diet

If you want to have a healthy heart, you have to learn how to eat a healthy heart diet. All of the food you eat affects the health of your heart. Learn which foods are heart smart and try to include them as a regular part of your diet.

Consult your doctor for an eating plan that best suits your dietary needs. If you are of average health, you can probably follow the Food Pyramid eating plan.

No matter which eating plan you follow, the following guidelines are recommended:
  • Total fat intake should be less than 30 percent of total calories daily

  • Polyunsaturated fatty acid intake should be no more that 10 percent of total calories daily.

  • Monounsaturated fatty acids make up the rest of total fat intake, about 10 to 15 percent of total calories daily.

  • Cholesterol intake should be no more than 300 milligrams per day.

  • Sodium intake should be no more than 3000 milligrams per day.

  • Beware of chemicals in your food like caffeine, MSG, and other food additives.

Don't forget that you can enjoy the taste of eating right. Healthy heart foods can be delicious! For more information, consult our Heart Smart Hints.

Everyday Heart Health Tips

If you're not convinced about the need to develop an exercise program for your life, you can at least try following some of these tips in your everyday routine. Take advantage of any opportunity for exercise. Try some today.
  • Take the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator at school or the mall. Just start with one flight. Soon, you'll be ready for two.

  • Park your car at the far end of the parking lot. The short walk to and from the store or school helps your heart.

  • If you ride a bus or subway, get off a stop before your destination. Walk the rest of the way.

  • If you can, spend a few minutes of your lunch break taking a stroll around the campus grounds. It should help you stay awake after lunch.

  • Think of housework as an extra chance to exercise. Vacuuming briskly can be a real workout.

  • Mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, and raking leaves are chores that can be done yourself as a chance to exercise.

  • If you have a dog, think of the dog as an exercise machine with fur. A brisk walk with the dog is good for both of your hearts. Make it a part of your daily routine.

  • If you have a family, schedule an after-dinner walk. Make it quality time.

Beginner's Guide to Exercise

Proceed with caution. Anyone beginning an exercise regimen should begin slowly. Allow yourself to get used to the strain of physical activity. As your body adjusts, you'll be able to increase the duration and intensity of your program. If you feel any discomfort, stop exercising and consult your doctor.Exercise beginnersDress comfortably in loose-fitting clothing. Wear the appropriate footwear. Consider the weather. If the temperature and humidity are extreme, either too high or too low, physical exertion may be dangerous.

Begin with a "warm-up" session. Stretch muscles slowly to avoid injury during the actual exercise. Get your respiration, circulation, and body temperature to increase by beginning with some low-impact exercises. Your warm-up should last about three to five minutes.

Begin the actual exercise phase at a moderate intensity. The duration will build cardiovascular fitness. Don't overexert yourself. If you exercise regularly, you'll be able to lengthen the time and increase the intensity. While you're exercising, you should feel your heart beating faster. You should be breathing more rapidly and deeply, yet still be able to carry on a conversation. You should begin to sweat. These are ways that your system responds to the challenges of exercise.

End with a "cool down" session. Spend a few minutes walking slowly to let your body gradually decrease itself. Just as you needed to gradually begin to exercise, you need to gradually begin to rest.
Plan for your next exercise session. Commit to it. In order for exercise to be truly effective, it must become a regular part of your routine. Cardiovascular fitness needs to be maintained.

Kinds of Physical Exercise

A successful exercise program involves frequent physical activity that is rhythmic, repetitive, challenges the circulatory system, and uses large muscles. The exercise program must significantly increase the blood flow to the muscles for an extended period of time, promoting cardiovascular fitness. Such exercises are called isotonic, dynamic, or aerobic. If you want to have a healthy heart, you need to perform aerobic exercise.

Aerobic activities really "get the blood pumping." As the heart beats faster, the blood circulates more quickly, delivering extra oxygen to the muscles. This builds strength, or cardiovascular fitness. Some recommended aerobic activities are walking, hiking, jogging, bicycling, swimming, jumping rope, and roller skating. Some forms of exercise, like weightlifting, can build muscle strength without building cardiovascular fitness.

Physical Exercise

The hardest part of an exercise routine is getting started. Once you've established a regular pattern of exercise, you'll find yourself following it. So, how do you get started? Well, first of all, consult your doctor. Your doctor can recommend the specific kinds of exercise for your own individual needs. Generally, however, these guidelines should get you going.

First of all, exercise will only become a habit if it's fun! Pick something you will enjoy doing. If you like being with a group of people, try a team sport like basketball or soccer. You don't have to be a super athlete. Anyone can exercise. Social activities like dancing and mall-walking are also good. If you're more of a loner, try bicycling or swimming.

Don't kid yourself. Be honest about what you realistically think you can do. If you have always hated to climb stairs, step aerobics probably isn't for you. Maybe a walk around the neighborhood would be more pleasant. Many people today are walking toward fitness.

Consider your current state of physical fitness. If you haven't exercised in years, you'll definitely want to start with some modest activities. As you get adjusted, you can increase your activity.
Consider your schedule. Are you a morning person? Then plan to exercise in the morning. If you're addicted to your snooze button, plan to exercise in the evening. Start with just a small block of time, maybe fifteen minutes. As you get into your routine, you probably won't mind increasing to twenty, and then thirty, minutes. In order to be effective, you'll need to repeat your exercise routine 3 or 4 times per week.

Will you exercise at home or at a fitness center? Selecting a fitness center can be a challenge, but you may find the community support motivational. Will you need any special equipment? The variety of exercise equipment available for purchase today can be overwhelming. Be sure to buy the proper equipment.

Finally, take it easy. Make sure that you exercise intelligently and cautiously. Follow some guidelines for beginners. Exercise should improve your health, not risk it.
If you're still making excuses, at least try some of the Healthy Heart Tips for today. These simple, realistic activities can become the first step toward a healthier tomorrow.

Top 30 Health Tips

 A garlic a day: Garlic is the mother of all cures. Researchers in Liverpool have found that 5ml of garlic extract lower levels of a disease-causing chemical by up to 48 per cent.

 Eat wholegrain foods: Make sure you have whole-grain bread, rice or pasta at least four times a week and you will reduce the chance of having cancer by 40 per cent.

 Take care of your skin: Always wear sun-screen lotion during summers. It is advisable to use winter care creams to overcome the harsh and cold winds. The best cure is to smile through and your skin will shine with an extra dash. It's no big secret!

 Eat plenty of fish: Fish is the recommended diet for a longer healthier life. Studies have found that those who regularly ate fish were up to one-third less likely to get heart diesease than those who ate it less than once a month.

 Try Tea: Tea is always good. Being a heavy tea-drinker can never have nagative effects. The protective effects of tea increase with the amount drunk, and people who are regular tea drinkers are the least likely to die of a heart attack.

 Stop smoking: Do not smoke your health away. Nicotine pathces, gums or inhalers might work for some individuals, or other methods, from hypnosis to acupuncture. More you are to smoke, more likely your are to develop cancer or heart disease.

 Walk for Health: There is nothing better than walking. Walking a mile everyday, or taking reasonable exercise three times a week, promises to reduce the risk of heart disease, as well as strengthens bones and keeps them strong.

 Never sleep over a backache: It is never advisable to sleep over a backache. Research shows that people who take to their beds with backache take the longest time to recover. Those who avoid bed-rest and continue normal activities as much as possible have less pain.

 Water spells health: Water flushes out the toxins. A good amount of liquid intake helps the entire system and of course is best for curing skin ailments. The average man needs 2.9 litres, or about 12 cups of water, a day and woman needs about 2.2 litres.

 Stop bad breath: You can prevent that unfriendly odour. It is caused by oral bacteria. A toungue scraper may help, but dental care may be needed. Mouth rinses are effective, as are flossing and brushing teeth twice a day.

 Slow down on the junk: Research shows that eating too many high-fat-food contributes to high blood-cholestrol levels, which can cause hardening of the arteries, coronory heart disease and stroke.

 Cut back on salt: Health Organisation recommend no more than five grams a day. Too much salt can lead to stroke and heart problems.

 Drink wine: Research suggests that the equivalent of a couple of glasses of wine a day may be good for health. It can also help you keep a good mental frame.

 Spouse can matter: A man in poor health in his 50s is six times more likely to be affected if married to a woman who is also in poor health.

 Eat right for better teeth: Your pearly whites can gleam. Eat apples, oranges, celery, carrots and high fiber green.

 Make love: There is no better medicine than to have sex. people who have sex at least twice a week get protective boost from their immune systems. Of course it relaxes the mind.

 Crash diets don't work: The so called new-age diets do not add to health prospects. There is no easy way to lose weight so the best way is to do it over a period of time.

 Coffee is good: Researchers have found that two to four cups of coffee daily can lower the risk of colon cancer by 25 per cent.

 Being overweight is dangerous: Loose the extra kilos. Over weight people cut 20 weeks of their life for every excess kilogram, according to new research.Keeping a personal weight machine at home really helps.
 Supplement with selenium: Research has shown that people who took a daily supplement of selenium had a 37 per cent reduction in cancers.

 Lower you cholesterol: Work on reducing your cholestrol. This can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke even when your level is not high. Exercise to reduce weight.

 Asprin is a wonder drug: Asprin can actually do wonders. It helps to reduce the risk of conditions such as heart disease and cancers, including of the colon, oesophagus, stomach, rectum, prostrate. cent.

 Change your job: If the workplace is what bothers you. Simply quit! Consider becoming a salesperson. Salespeople are least likely to have a work-related illness.

 Socialising is good: Meeting friends and relatives is recommended. Weekly socialising improves the memory, concentration and problem solving skills.

 Learn to relax: Unwind, take up a hobby and start socialising. This fights stress and depression.

 Fruits and vegetables help: Have at least five portions of vegetables and fruit a day, especially tomatoes, red grapes.

 Sing to stay healthy: Singing is good for the mind and body. it is relaxing, improves breathing and muscle tone.

 Vitamins are vital: A multivit a day keeps the tablet away, but be sure it contains at least 200 meg of folic acid.

 Sleep well: There is nothing like a good sleep. Sleep primes the immune system. Most people need between seven and nine hours of sleep a night.

 Or just hum...: Humming helps. Daily humming is a good way to increase ventilation in the sinuses

    Health Tips and Technics - Fitness and Exercist Tips

    Health and Fitness is now one of the major concern areas across the world. Easy lifestyle is what we are moving towards. Very less of effort spent on most activities like, travel by motor vehicles, air-conditioned environment, ready-made food stuff, etc.
    Earlier humans used to hunt for their living, due to which their body had to undergo a lot of physical exercise. Every part of the body was exercised and the intake was more of natural substances.
    Today, we hardly do any of those. Even a simple 30 mins per day of workouts and one good nutritious meal a day can help improve our health. This easy life has restricted humans to do that bit of physical exercise which is required to keep the body fit and healthy.
    How do we ensure that we have all that is required for a healthy living? This is a big question among everyone. We need a fit and healthy body. Good Health is all that one craves for. Becoming healthier and fitter though not very difficult needs dedicated efforts.
    Nutrition and Health Diet
    The basic foundation for a healthy individual starts from his foetal stage with proper and healthy nutrition derived from his or her mother. Hence, a pregnant woman's diet stands atop all diets.
    Your food shall be your medicine. Ayurveda has postulated the role of food and especially nutritive foods for maintaining health as well as cure of diseases. Nutrients are necessary for the proper functioning of mental, physical, metabolic, chemical and hormonal activities. The body is like a machine that will repair and rebuild itself if proper nutrition is provided by way of food.
    Sumptous nutrition is available in fruits and vegetables. Fruits have the capacity to give all that a body needs. How to consume? What to consume? Which fruit helps in which way? The answers to these questions can be found in our Nutrition and Healthy Diet Section
    Exercise and Fitness
    Simple fitness exercises can help to have a fitter and healthy life. Stretching exercises can help in many ways in mainting a fitter body. Weight loss can be achieved by following simple effortless regular exercises. Medical breakthroughs can happen by regular meditation and exercising. Yoga and other workouts which can be performed easily are available in this website to keep you fit and healthy.
    Health and Fitness can make all that difference in one's life. Healthy living is all that one needs, and to achieve that we picked up the best of the articles from reliable sources and have presented here in an organized manner. You might not be able to spend your valuable time on complicated medications and diet controls, but, you can find articles to help you have a better living using simple and easy technics.
    Ayurveda, a science in vogue practiced since centuries, uses a wide variety of plants, animal origin substances, mineral and metallic substances to rebalance the diseased condition in the sick. A few tips on simple treatment of life style diseases have been carefully picked for the visitors of this website. These tips can help reduce or control diseases like diabetes, cholesterol, blood pressure, etc.

    45 best health tips ever

    We've done the legwork for you and here they are: the 45 best health tips. Make that 46 - taking the time to read this tops the list.

    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?
    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 percent 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. 11 percent 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 percent of UVB rays and 85 percent of UVA rays penetrate thick glass, while 50 percent of UVB rays and 77 percent 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 percent 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.

    Tips to keep your bones healthy

    Protecting your bone health is easier than you think. Understand how diet, physical activity and other lifestyle factors can affect your bone mass.

    By Mayo Clinic staff Bones play many roles in the body — providing structure, protecting organs, anchoring muscles and storing calcium. While it's particularly important to take steps to build strong and healthy bones during childhood and adolescence, you can take steps during adulthood to protect bone health, too.

    Why is bone health important?

    Your bones are continuously changing — new bone is made and old bone is broken down. When you're young, your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone, and your bone mass increases. Most people reach their peak bone mass around age 30. After that, bone remodeling continues, but you lose slightly more bone mass than you gain.
    How likely you are to develop osteoporosis — a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle — depends on how much bone mass you attain by the time you reach age 30 and how rapidly you lose it after that. The higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have "in the bank" and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age.

    What affects bone health?

    A number of factors can affect bone health. For example:
    • The amount of calcium in your diet. A diet low in calcium contributes to diminished bone density, early bone loss and an increased risk of fractures.
    • Physical activity. People who are physically inactive have a higher risk of osteoporosis than do their more-active counterparts.
    • Tobacco and alcohol use. Research suggests that tobacco use contributes to weak bones. Similarly, regularly having more than two alcoholic drinks a day increases the risk of osteoporosis, possibly because alcohol can interfere with the body's ability to absorb calcium.
    • Gender, size and age. You're at greater risk of osteoporosis if you're a woman, because women have less bone tissue than do men. You're also at risk if you're extremely thin (with a body mass index of 19 or less) or have a small body frame because you may have less bone mass to draw from as you age. Also your bones become thinner and weaker as you age.
    • Race and family history. You're at greatest risk of osteoporosis if you're white or of Asian descent. In addition, having a parent or sibling who has osteoporosis puts you at greater risk — especially if you also have a family history of fractures.
    • Hormone levels. Too much thyroid hormone can cause bone loss. In women, bone loss increases dramatically at menopause due to dropping estrogen levels. Prolonged periods absence of menstruation (amenorrhea), before menopause also increases the risk of osteoporosis. In men, low testosterone levels can cause a loss of bone mass.
    • Eating disorders and other conditions. People who have anorexia or bulimia are at risk of bone loss. In addition, stomach surgery (gastrectomy), weight-loss surgery and conditions such as Crohn's disease, celiac disease and Cushing's disease can affect your body's ability to absorb calcium.
    • Certain medications. Long-term use of corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone, cortisone, prednisolone and dexamethasone, are damaging to bone. Other drugs that may increase the risk of osteoporosis include aromatase inhibitors to treat breast cancer, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, methotrexate, some anti-seizure medications and proton pump inhibitors

    The full pose, which is suitable for intermediate students, will be described in the Full Pose section below. First we'll practice the leg position only, which should be accessible to most experienced beginners.

    Begin on all fours, with your knees directly below your hips, and your hands slightly ahead of your shoulders. Slide your right knee forward to the back of your right wrist; at the same time angle your right shin under your torso and bring your right foot to the front of your left knee. The outside of your right shin will now rest on the floor. Slowly slide your left leg back, straightening the knee and descending the front of the thigh to the floor. Lower the outside of your right buttock to the floor. Position the right heel just in front of the left hip.

    The right knee can angle slightly to the right, outside the line of the hip. Look back at your left leg. It should extend straight out of the hip (and not be angled off to the left), and rotated slightly inwardly, so its midline presses against the floor. Exhale and lay your torso down on the inner right thigh for a few breaths. Stretch your arms forward.

    Then slide your hands back toward the front shin and push your fingertips firmly to the floor. Lift your torso away from the thigh. Lengthen the lower back by pressing your tailbone down and forward; at the same time, and lift your pubis toward the navel. Roll your left hip point toward the right heel, and lengthen the left front groin.

    If you can maintain the upright position of your pelvis without the support of your hands on the floor, bring your hands to the top rim of your pelvis. Push heavily down. Against this pressure, lift the lower rim of your rib cage. The back ribs should lift a little faster than the front. Without shortening the back of your neck, drop your head back. To lift your chest, push the top of your sternum (at the manubrium) straight up toward the ceiling.

    Stay in this position for a minute. Then, with your hands back on the floor, carefully slide the left knee forward, then exhale and lift up and back into Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose). Take a few breaths, drop the knees to all-fours on another exhalation, and repeat with the legs reversed for the same length of time.