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< WHYLLness 31-40            WHYLLness 51 >

» 041 Have a balance exercise   » 042 Eat brown rice & sweet potato   » 043 Hot bath for 30 min 3x a week   » 044 Use honey instead of refined sugar   » 045 Be kind   » 046 Sleep regularly   » 047 Maintain good oral hygiene   » 048 Massage scalp but don't scratch   » 049 Know the emergency numbers   » 050 Avoid red meat

041 Have a balance exercise

              A balance exercise, equally involving major muscles in the right and left sides of your body provides you all the health and aesthetic benefit of exercise while avoiding the risk of injuries.


Balance exercise

              A balance exercise is not only balancing the load on muscles in the right and left sides of your body, but it is also balancing the frequency and the kind of exercises you do. Work out regularly and make sure to combine stretching for flexibility, aerobics for endurance and weight training for strength.

              Robinson and Convy in their book Pilates Gym provides simple and easy-to-follow illustrated balanced workout.156


Avoid overtraining one side of your body

              If you are right-handed and reach the limit of what your right arm can do, you will end up over training your right. To avoid that, always start with your less dominant side (e.g. left) when doing weight training. Try limiting the right side of your body with what your left side can handle. Remember that body symmetry is not only important for balance but it is essential for you to look good and healthy.


Make good posture a habit

              Your body adapts to the pattern of postures you take, making you feel more comfortable in that posture. Sitting up straight most of the time, rather than slouching, in the long run will become a natural posture for you. Sitting up straight will make you look taller and with the right body proportions it will also make you look sexier.


Exercise steps to the tone of music

              Exercise can be fun if you can easily see and follow someone doing it at the same time enjoying the accompanying music. Table 41 lists some examples of workout, exercise and fitness videos that you can try to make your workout more enjoyable.


Table 41. Workout videos that can help you enjoy your exercise.


1. Billyfs BootCamp series with Billy Blanks. Work out system that combines Tae Bo and Boot Camp. By GT Media, a GAIAM Company, New York. This video offers several


2. Hip Hop ABS. c2007 Beachbody. By Product

Partners, LLC, Beverly Hills, CA. This video series introduce several step combinations that can help you loss weight, improves cardiac function and firmed up abdomen


1. AEROKAEBO with Manny Salta & Pia Guanio. A workout set to potent music, the system combines Aerobics, Karate and Boxing. It also offered a 10 minute complete workout designed for busy people. By Videoflick Productions, Inc.


WHYLLness by Dr. Feril


042 Eat brown rice & sweet potato

              Eating brown rice instead of white rice and sweet potato rather than potato can help prevent obesity and may also reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and some form of allergies.


Brown rice or whole grain

              Whole grains including brown rice or unrefined rice have high dietary fiber contents. High fiber diet tends to prevent absorption of cholesterol in the digestive system but it does not interfere with calcium digestion,157 resulting in a low blood cholesterol levels and eventual decrease in blood pressure.158 In animal studies, feeding with a mixture of brown and black rice has improved the lipid profiles and antioxidant status of rats.159


Table 42a. Some difference in rice contents.


Content per 100 g

Type of rice




Energy (kcal)




Dietary fiber (g)




Calcium (mg)




Potassium (mg)




Zinc (mg)




Saturated fatty acids (g)




Monounsaturated fatty acids (g)




Polyunsaturated fatty acids (g)




Source: USDA (nal.usda.gov, retrieved June 2, 2010)


Improved lipid profile means that indicators of bad cholesterols are decreased and good cholesterol increased.

              Most people know that whole grain or brown rice is better than white rice but most of them still prefer white rice. This is because white rice is softer when cooked than brown rice. A pre-germinated brown rice may offer a softer version with the same health benefits, and particularly to patients with type 2 diabetes or patients with impaired fasting glucose.160

              Wild rice may also provide the same or even better health benefits, but it is rare and not easily available.


Table 42b. Some nutritional difference in bread.


Content per 100 g

Type of bread



Energy (kcal)



Dietary fiber (g)



Potassium (mg)



Selenium (mcg)



Beta Carotene (mcg)



Vitamin E



Vitamin K



Saturated fatty acids (g)



Monounsaturated fatty acids (g)



Polyunsaturated fatty acids (g)



Source: USDA (nal.usda.gov, retrieved June 2, 2010)


Whole-wheat over wheat bread

              Just like whole brown rice, whole-wheat may also provide more health benefits than plain wheat bread (Table 42b).


Sweet potato over potato

              Just like brown rice and whole-wheat bread, sweet potato has lower caloric content and higher fiber content over its counterpart, potato (Table 42c). In addition, sweet potato contains beta carotene relatively higher than carrot and antioxidant vitamins A, C and E.

              Yam can also be a good alternate for sweet potato. Regular intake of yam (Mexican wild yam Dioscorea mexicana), 390 g in 2 to 3 meals per day for 30 days in a controlled study, resulted in an improved status of sex hormone, lipids and antioxidants of the subjects, thus suggesting potential benefits against cardiovascular diseases and cancers161. This kind of yam contains a naturally occurring hormone called dehydroepiandrosterone or more commonly known as DHEA. In the Philippines, locally available yam species is the purple one, locally called ube, also called in India as violet yam.

              Intake of DHEA which is also found in sweet potato has also shown potential beneficial effects in preventing cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diseases associated with aging, both physical and mental. DHEA supplements are available but long term effects of high dose supplementation for long durations are generally unknown.


Table 42c. Some nutritional differences between potato and sweet potato


Content per 100 g

Type of bread


Sweet potato

Energy (kcal)



Dietary fiber (g)



Calcium (mg)



Iron (mg)



Vitamin C (mg)



Riboflavin ((mg)



Beta Carotene (mcg)



Vitamin A (IU)



Vitamin E



Source: USDA (nal.usda.gov, retrieved June 2, 2010)


Glycemic index and diabetes

              Brown rice, whole-wheat bread and sweet potato are foods with lower glycemic index than white rice, wheat bread and potato, respectively. This means that the rise in blood glucose levels is slower when you eat food which has a low glycemic index. These types of food are good in preventing diabetes and for people with diabetes.

              Diabetes and the rising cases of diabetes are a major health concern for modern society, including the Philippines.162


043 Hot bath for 30 min 3x a week

              A soothing and relaxing hot bath may help counteract stress and may help prevent metabolic and vascular diseases.


Health benefits from hot bath

              Exposure to hot bath raises your heart rate and increases peripheral blood circulation. It is also accompanied with dilatation of peripheral blood vessels resulting in decreased blood pressure. Unlike during exercise by which increase in heart rate is associated with an increase in blood pressure, our body benefits from the exercise-like effects of hot bath with less strain on the heart. A study also found that regular use of hot bath and saunas improved insulin sensitivity.163 This makes hot bathing a complimentary or an alternative to exercise training in diabetic prevention and control programs.

              Improved peripheral circulation may also prevent complication from vascular diseases such as varicose veins and hemorrhoids.

              People with respiratory problems such as allergic rhinitis and obstructive pulmonary diseases may benefit from hot baths. Deep breathing during the bath sooths the respiratory tract and the steam from the bath provides softening of mucosal secretions. Hot bath also works well with aroma therapy. Addition of herbs in the bath can also improve the relaxing and therapeutic effects of this method.



              If you just want to enjoy the water and relax, you may set the water temperature to 33 to 35oC. But if you want the exercise-like effects for better health, you need to set the water temperature to 39 to 41oC.

              Higher temperature such as 42 to 44oC may be more beneficial to you but because of the risk of overheating, you should do it under professional medical supervision.

              If it is your first time to do hot bath, start with a lower temperature then gradually increase the temperature until your body adopts to the higher temperatures. With a higher temperature, limit your exposure to hot bath to 15 minutes. You may eventually increase the time per session to 30 minutes.

              You should take a cool shower after stepping out of the bath. This brings rush of blood through the inner part of the body and closes skin pores.

              Evening is the ideal time for taking a hot bath. It may also help induce sleep.


Hot bath is not for everyone

              Elderly people especially with heart condition should seek medical advice before having a hot bath. Risk of sudden death has been reported among this susceptible population.164

              Drowning including that in bathtubs is a common cause of accidental deaths among small children. Young children and persons with physical disability should be with a capable adult when taking a hot bath.


044 Use honey instead of refined sugar

              Cutting on the use of refined sugar and using a more nutritious and healthier substitute such as honey, may lower your risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some forms of cancer.

Sweet and sweeteners

           Sweets and sweeteners have been important components of human diet. That is why sugar from sugarcane is available in the market in many forms, with refined sugar commonly used.

              Refined sugar has less nutritional value than the raw form. It may also affect normal regulation of blood sugar level in the body.


Table 44. Nutrients in honey and table sugar.


Content per 100 g


Brown sugar

Refined sugar

Energy (kcal)




Protein (g)




Dietary fiber (g)




Total sugar (g)




Sucrose (g)




Glucose (g)




Fructose (g)




Maltose (g)




Galactose (g)




Calcium (mg)




Iron (mg)




Potassium (mg)




Source: USDA (nal.usda.gov, retrieved June 3, 2010)


              Almost all snacks and dessert use sugar to make them taste good. Overuse of sugar has led to several health problems including the deadly ones like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.


Nutritional facts of honey and table sugar

              Honey has lesser caloric content and is high in dietary fibers. It contains several vitamins and minerals superior over refined sugar. Honey has greater nutritional contents over table sugar. However, brown sugar contains higher amount of minerals such as calcium, iron and potassium. Honey also contains phytochemicals which include polyphenols that can act as antioxidants.

              Using honey instead of table sugar as sweetener is a healthy move. However, if you are allergic to honey or when honey is not available, brown or raw sugar is a better choice for a sweetener.


Antimicrobial effects of honey

              Honey has known antimicrobial properties. Its use as a wound dressing goes back to ancient times.

              More recent studies confirm the superior antimicrobial property of honey against many pathogenic bacteria.165 When used as a wound dressing, it resulted in a faster and better wound healing with less scar formation.

              Although proven beneficial as wound dressing, honey wound dressing is less effective compared to modern methods such as paraffin tulle gras dressing, according to a study.166 But honey dressing may still be an option in rural areas when no other better option is available.

              Ironically, despite honey's antibacterial properties, honey may be contaminated with Clostridium butolinum, thus, using it on infants should be avoided. In addition, some people are allergic to honey and they may develop a severe allergy that can be life threatening.


Royal jelly

              A honeybee secretion called royal jelly is used in the nutrition of larvae, as well as of adult queen bees. Although high in water and less in sugars, royal jelly contains 10 to 16% protein as compared to honey which is only about 0.2%.

              Several studies have shown some beneficial effects of supplemental royal jelly. However, further studies are needed to provide a solid evidence for these good effects on health. Nutritionally, royal jelly is loaded with protein, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that taking them may prove valuable. However, some people may develop an allergy to it, especially people who are known to have some form allergies.


045 Be kind

              You will feel good when someone is kind to you. But being kind to others is also in a way being kind to your own self. Being kind to others will not only make you happier but also healthier.


Kindness helps you too

              Kindness is more than just an ethical behavior; it is also a healthy one. That rewarding feeling that you get after having been kind to someone will give you some sense of meaning for your life and some good feeling that promotes general wellbeing.

              Your kindness helps you, the receiver of your kindness and also those who have witnessed your kindness. Being involved in an act of kindness, even passively, will increase the levels of serotonin (a neurotransmitter that improves mood) in your brain. This chemical reaction can be compared to runners high and is sometimes called "helpers high".


Table 45. Simple acts of kindness.

Offering your seat in a bus or train to others

Give compliments

Be positive

Offering to share a table in a crowded fast-food

Hold the door for a stranger

Giving out your older things to others

Making it a habit to say thank you even on little favors

Make it a habit to say "hello" and "have a nice day"

Volunteering in an environmental group

Smile (even at stranger)

Donate blood

Give up your place in line


Kindness connects people

              Loving-kindness technique was shown to enhance the feeling of social connectedness resulting in an increased social emotion and decreased social isolation.167 This feeling of being socially connected has been known to confer mental and physical health benefits.

              In medical care, an act of loving kindness is an important part in effectively connecting a health provider to a patient24 for a health provider to effectively manage any health problem. This is also likely to improve patient compliance to treatment and other medical advices, in addition to a social environment that supports emotional wellbeing of both the health provider and the patient.


Volunteer and be healthy

              Volunteering can be a venue to express kindness. Acts like this will not only give you opportunity to use your skills to contribute to the good of your community, but such act of kindness may also be good for your mental health.

              A study showed that midlife environmental volunteering is associated with higher level of physical activity, less depression and improved self-reported health.168 Psychosocial wellbeing of older adults can be improved through engagement in meaningful volunteer activities and contributes to others, according to another study.169


Even simple acts of kindness can be priceless

              Even simple acts of kindness may provide similar health benefits. Simple kindness may include things that you bother to do to make others feel important, respected, cared for, or loved.

              These are things that you can do and teach even young children. Smiling, giving compliments, offering your seat in a bus to others with disability, and volunteering in a cause-oriented group are all simple acts of kindness without the need of spending money (Table 45).

              Kind behaviors benefit all of humanity. People who have experienced kindness will likely be more kind to others. Just witnessing an act of kindness encourages people to be more kind. An environment of kindness is best for everyone's health.


046 Sleep regularly

              Sleeping regularly keeps you at your optimal level and allows your body and mind to perform efficiently. Having a regular and adequate sleep may also lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

Sleeping pattern

              People are efficient in doing things when they know what and when they are going to do them. Our body behaves similarly. If you eat regularly, exercise regularly, and sleep regularly, your body efficiently functions. It means efficient digestion and utilization of nutrients from food, strong immune system, optimal physical and mental functioning and being able to recharge when sleeping.

              Sleeping regularly is important for your body to find some rhythm of your daily activity-rest-activity pattern. Disrupting this rhythm gives a signal to your body to change and adapt to the new pattern. To some degree your body and the biomolecular system in your body are able to do so, but extreme disruptions put so much stress on your body, affecting your body's metabolism, defense system170 and performance.

              A study showed that among young people who sleep regularly for 7 to 8 hours, disrupting their sleep pattern resulted in a decline to their sensorimotor performance and short term memory.171


Irregular sleep and heart disease

              People who don't sleep regularly are more likely to have high or fluctuating blood pressure. If your blood pressure occasionally spikes, you could be at higher risk of having stroke, than those with regularly high blood pressure.



Physical activity and sleep

              Sleeping regularly can improve physical performance. Conversely, physical activity regulates sleep.

              Among children, physical activity is effective in regulating their sleeping habit. Study shows that physical activity for children is important, not only for fitness, cardiovascular health and weight control, but also for promoting good sleep.156


Excessive daytime sleeping

              Irregular sleeping habit may lead to severe drowsiness during the day or even excessive daytime sleeping. This will not only affect your work efficiency, this will also make you prone to accidents.

              Maintaining a regular schedule including sleeping time in preventing daytime sleep is apparently important while other non-pharmacological self-management strategies include taking a bath, reading or listening to music and exercising, according to a study.172


Parents' sleep habits are children's too

              Children with irregular evening sleep and frequent daytime dozing and sleepiness are more likely to have parents who have irregular sleep at night as well.173 This correlation is stronger on mother's sleep habit than that of the father's.


047 Maintain good oral hygiene

              Good oral hygiene is important to your overall well-being. Healthy teeth and gum not only enables you to look and feel good, they make it possible for you to eat and speak properly. While good oral hygiene also results in a mouth that looks and smells healthy, this will also lower your risk of heart disease, lung infections and some forms of cancer cancer.



Oral hygiene, heart disease and cancer

              Periodontitis or gum disease, previously known to cause heart disease, may also be a risk factor for oral cancer and cancers of the head and neck.

              Table 47 summarizes things that you can do to maintain or promote good oral hygiene. While drinking plenty of water washes away microorganism in your mouth, drinking tea works better in reducing amount of harmful bacteria in the mouth.


Oral cancer

              Poor oral hygiene, smoking and alcohol use are three major risk factors for oral cancer. Poor oral hygiene combined with alcohol use can be a deadlier combination.174


Table 47. Practices that promotes good oral hygiene.

1. Brush teeth 2-3 times a day

2. Floss teeth daily

3. Brush tongue, gum and inner mouth regularly

4. Don't smoke or use tobacco

5. Avoid drinking alcoholic drinks

6. Avoid snack and carbonated drinks between meals

7. Drink plenty of filtered water or unsweetened tea

8. Eat balanced diet and include food high in dietary fibers

9. Visit your dentist or hygienist regularly


              In addition, infection with human papilloma virus (HPV) also causes oral cancer just like it causes cervical cancer. Vaccine against HPV may also prevent oral cancer to individuals susceptible to HPV infection.

              A study also found that some diet high in fats, micronutrients like sodium, calcium, riboflavin and retinol are minimally associated with oral cancer risk, while diet rich in dietary fibers, thiamin and niacin lowers the risk.175


048 Massage scalp but don't scratch

              Scalp care, such as scalp massaging but not scratching, is very important to your scalp and hair health. The health and condition of your hair affects your look, health projection and quality of life.


Scalp care

              Massaging your scalp improves blood circulation in the skin and muscles of the scalp and improves hair growth and condition. A common habit of scratching the scalp, however, can cause scalp damage that may promote growth of microorganism such as fungal infection. This may in turn result in increased hair loss.

              When shampooing your hair, try to massage your scalp and be gentle with your hair. You may also apply mineral oil before taking a shower. Do this by massaging the oil in your scalp for 2 to 5 minutes and allow it to stay for 15 minutes before applying shampoo to remove the oil.

              If you are taking a hot shower, remember to end it with a quick cold shower to close the skin pores in your scalp and bring the warmth into deeper tissues.

              Dry your hair after bath using a hair dryer or a clean towel.

              Avoid sharing hair brush or comb.


Hair transplantation

              Pattern baldness is a common problem affecting majority of men as they grow older. Several ways to manage the problem have been introduced. A more definitive one is surgical hair restoration technique.

              Current scientific knowledge and technological advances on hair transplantation have resulted in satisfactory clinical results that physicians can now recommend the procedure without reservation.176 Before undergoing hair transplantation, discuss with your doctor the procedure and other possible options you have. Although using the contemporary transplantation techniques almost always provide you with excellent results, older techniques may not.177 One contemporary transplantation technique that has shown good results if done by an expert technician is the so called follicular unit transplantation or FUT.178

              FUT is a hair restoration technique where a patient's hair is surgically harvested in groups of up to 4 hairs, called follicular units. Each follicular unit, which may contain fine hairs, oil glands, nerve and small muscles, is moved from one part of your body (the donor site) to bald or balding parts (the recipient site).


Finasteride for male pattern baldness

              Finasteride (marketed as Proscar and Propecia), a drug used to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy, is a synthetic antiandrogen agent that acts by inhibiting type II 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme that converts testosterone to dihydrotestosterone. Blocking the formation of dihydrosterone may prevent its strong adrogenic effects including pattern baldness in men. An oral 1 mg/day preparation is known to be effective but a topical gel preparation may also be as effective.179

              Do not self-medicate, seek professional medical advice on the use of this drug.


049 Know the emergency numbers

              The quicker you can get help, the better. Keeping emergency numbers handy makes you able to get help when in crisis. Knowing that you're well-prepared can give you peace of mind at all times.


Table 49. My emergency numbers.


Telephone number

Emergency (Phils.)








Family doctor






Fire station









Emergency contact numbers

              Contact information such as telephone number of the hospital closest to your place is important for you to have. This should be kept handy in cases of crisis.

              In the United States, 911 is the emergency number you can call for any form of emergency. In Japan, you have to dial 110 if you need police assistance and 119 if you need an ambulance. In the Philippines 117 is the national emergency number.

              You can fill up the telephone numbers applicable to you in Table 49 and keep the list as your guide.


Teach and train the children too

              Teaching children how to spot the signs of stroke in relatives and to call emergency numbers (e.g. 117 in the Philippines) could reduce stroke-related disability or death.

              Train everyone how to use the phone to call emergency numbers, how to dial, when and when not to call, and how to talk to the dispatcher (emergency operator). Do this training regularly, monthly or even weekly.


050 Avoid red meat

              Excluding red meat in your diet lowers your risk from heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and Alzheimer's disease. If you can't avoid red meat in your diet, try to lower your consumption as much as possible.


Red meat and heart disease

              Red meat (such as pork, lamb or beef) is a source of protein, B vitamins, and minerals such as iron and zinc, but it also contains bad fats and cholesterol that can block your arteries affecting the heart, brain and other parts of the body. Consumption of red meat is associated with high blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack and stroke.180


Red meat and the risk of cancer

              While read meat is a good source of protein and iron, consumption of red meat is associated with increased risk of breast cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, lymphoma, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer,181 and pancreatic cancer.


Table 50. Nutrient in pork meat.


Content per 100 g pork meat


Leg (boneless) sirloin

Energy (kcal)



Protein (g)



Fats (g)



Saturated (bad) fats






Iron (mg)



Potassium (mg)



Zinc (mg)



Niacin (mg)



Source: USDA (nal.usda.gov, retrieved June 5, 2010)


Organic meat

             Of all animal products, fish is the healthiest [001]. However, if you just can't leave the red meat behind, choose those organic meat or meat from grass-fed animals and those not given hormones and antibiotics. Also limit the amount of consumption to less than 100 g per meal and no more than 3 times a week.


Healthier meat in your meal

              If you still want to eat red meat, go for the healthier meat. Three points to remember in order to have a healthier red meat in your meals:

1.      Look at the label for fat contents and go for the leanest versions. For example the leg part contains lesser amount of fats, high in protein, lower total caloric value and higher in micronutrients iron and zinc contents (Table 50). If possible, use meat from organically grown animals.

2.      Avoid processed meat. Processed meat usually contains more fats, more sodium and many additives. Consumption of processed meat is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a recent study.182

             Have your meat grilled rather than fried. Grilled meat contains about half fats than the fried meat.

» 041 Have a balance exercise   » 042 Eat brown rice & sweet potato   » 043 Hot bath for 30 min 3x a week   » 044 Use honey instead of refined sugar   » 045 Be kind   » 046 Sleep regularly   » 047 Maintain good oral hygiene   » 048 Massage scalp but don't scratch   » 049 Know the emergency numbers   » 050 Avoid red meat

< WHYLLness 31-40            WHYLLness 51 >

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