Archive for March 24th, 2009

HEALTH SECRETS FOR PEOPLE OVER 40: HEARING

March 24th, 2009

Hearing— according to experts, even by age 20 many people begin to lose their ability to hear high-frequency tones. With increasing age, that loss of sensitivity to high-frequency sounds, may become significantly impaired. However, most people are not seriously affected until they reach their 60s, when they may begin to find speech difficult to follow. This condition is more common in men than it is in women, and studies have revealed that, in general, women are less likely than men to go deaf.

Studies have also shown that a high-fat diet can clog the blood vessels which provide nourishment to delicate hearing organs, and years of exposure to high levels of noise can cause cumulative damage to our hearing. With that in mind, it’s a good idea for people in their 40s or older to have a hearing test to find out how their hearing may have been affected over the years. You can receive such a test, free, simply by dialing 1-800-222-EARS (3277). The toll- free number puts you in contact with a national project, which has already provided screening for more than 5.6 million Americans. (The service is also now provided for Canada at 215-5443-7000).

You will need to furnish a project operator with some basic general information such as where you live. The operator will then give you a local phone number to call for your hearing test. There’s usually no toll charge involved with the number because you will generally be calling a location within a 50-mile radius of where you live. Once you call the local number, you’ll be given recorded instructions during the test which takes two minutes. The actual test includes 8 signals or tones— 4 for each ear. If you have trouble hearing all 8 tones, you should then consider having your hearing tested by a specialist. The operators can also provide you with referrals if you wish.

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HOW TO TELL IF YOUR HOME IS SAFE FROM HARMFUL RADON GAS

March 24th, 2009

Radon a colorless, odorless radioactive gas that accumulates inside homes is suspected of causing between 5.000 & 20.000 lung cancer deaths a year in the United States. The gas is a product of the decay of uranium and it may penetrate through cracks in the walls and foundations of a home. It can also contaminate the household water supply, or it can be emitted through some building materials.

Here are four ways you can reduce the risk of radon exposure:

1) Make sure there is good ventilation throughout your house.

2) Test your home for radon. Levels below 4 picocuries/liter are considered safe.

3) Get in touch with a professional. You can get information and advice from your public health department. Most solutions to reducing radon levels, such as sealing cracks in the basement floor, are relatively inexpensive.

The test for radon requires a specially made charcoal canister which is available at industrial supply houses. The canister is attached to a wall in the basement for a day or a month, depending on the test.

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7 SELF-HELP TECHNIQUES FOR CONTROLLING STRESS

March 24th, 2009

1) Relax. Make time everyday for periods of relaxation— even if only for a few minutes.

2) Talk about your problems with someone you trust, or the people who may be the source of a problem.

3) Avoid making too many major life changes at one time. Whenever you can. plan for the future so that such changes won’t occur at the same time.

4) Get regular exercise. Besides being good for your physical well-being, regular exercise will help take your mind off your troubles.

5) Set your priorities. Consistent planning of your daily priorities will enable you to gain control of your work load and help prevent frustration.

6) Establish reachable goals. You can avoid a lot of frustration if you don’t set unrealistic goals. It’s o.k. to be ambitious, but you must also be practical about what you can reasonably accomplish.

7) Take a break. Regular short breaks after periods of concentrated effort, or whenever you are frustrated with a project or a certain troubling situation, will help clear your mind.

If the stress in your life seems to be more than you can handle, consult your doctor immediately. He can evaluate you for the possibility of other effective stress fighting methods.

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HOW TO QUIT SMOKING WITHOUT GAINING WEIGHT

March 24th, 2009

According to a recent government survey, people who stop smoking are likely to gain weight, but the average increase is relatively small—under ten pounds. It is believed that ex-smokers gain weight for two reasons— they burn about 100 fewer calories per day and they consume an extra 200 to 300 calories a day (mainly in carbohydrate snacks). Although it isn’t known exactly why ex- smokers eat more, it may be because that in the absence of nicotine, the brain releases a smaller amount of the chemical serotonin, which influences both appetite and mood.

Some recent studies suggest that serotonin-enhancing drugs, may cut down on weight gain in ex-smokers. The studies are, however, not conclusive, and more research is needed. For now, the best recommendations for people who stop smoking are as follows:

1) Get more exercise to counter the slow-down in metabolism which occurs after giving up nicotine.

2) Cut calorie intake by trimming fat from your diet.

3) When you have a craving for sweets, try eating hard candy or chewing gum.

Control

4) Sip cold water to suppress your appetite. Spicy Foods And Weight One of the keys to maintaining a desirable weight is the ability to control the to eat too often, and too much. New research suggests that consuming spicy foods such, as Szechuan, Mexican, Thai, or Indian, may help satisfy your appetite before you ve eaten too much. Such spicy foods appear to satiate the appetite better than does less spicy foods It is almost impossible for most people to overeat when dining on spicy foods, possibly because the flavors are so intense they don’t need to eat as much.

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BEST THINGS TO EAT AND DRINK, IN THE MORNING TO FEEL GREAT ALL DAY

March 24th, 2009

There’s usually no good excuse for skipping a meal as important as breakfast. Even a light breakfast helps us get into the day with more energy and the necessary nutrients. Good breakfast foods should be low in fat and cholesterol, high in calcium, contain some source of vitamin C and/or vitamin A, be high in fiber, and contain some protein.

Fresh fruits, such as berries, peaches, plums, melons, and kiwifruit, are excellent sources of both vitamins C and A, as well as fiber. Your favorite bread or a toasted English muffin can be topped with nonfat cottage cheese or a low-fat yogurt/raisin

spread. You’ll be adding protein to your meal as well as eliminating butter or jam. Add a glass of juice or 2 percent milk to the menu, and you have a quick, healthy, energizing, low-fat meal.

Here are some other breakfast suggestions you can work into your menu:

1) Have a bowl of hot or cold cereal with skim milk.

2) Sprinkle your favorite cereal or wheat germ on top of a bowl of plain or flavored nonfat yogurt.

3) If you add scrambled eggs to your breakfast menu, use only one yolk for every two whites, eliminating over 200 milligrams of cholesterol and 60 calories.

4) Try waffles with low-fat frozen yogurt or a fat-free frozen tofu-based dessert.

How To “Snack” Between Meals Without Gaining Weight

Eating between meals doesn’t have to be bad for your health. In fact, if you choose the right foods, snacking between meals can actually be good for your health. The key is to choose snack foods that are lower in fat, cholesterol, sugar, and salt than the standard “junk food” items. If you can’t bring yourself to do that, you’ll need to make some adjustments for the extra fat, sugar and sodium you intake with a favorite snack by reducing the amount of those “offending” substances you consume during regular meals.

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