Friday, July 20, 2007


The human body can last weeks without food, but only days without water. The body is made up of 55–75 per cent water. Water forms the basis of blood, digestive juices, urine and perspiration and is contained in lean muscle, fat and bones.

As the body can’t store water, we need fresh supplies every day to make up for losses from lungs, skin, urine and faeces. The amount we need depends on our metabolism, the weather, the food we eat and our activity levels.

Facts about water in our bodies
Some facts about our internal water supply:

* Body water is higher in men than in women and falls in both with age.
* Most mature adults lose about 2.5–3 litres of water per day. Water loss may be more in hot weather and with prolonged exercise.
* Elderly people lose about two litres per day.
* An air traveller can lose approximately 1.5 litres of water during a three-hour flight.
* Water loss needs to be replaced.
* Foods provide about one litre of fluid and the remainder must be obtained from drinks.

Water is needed for most body functions
Water is needed to:

* Maintain the health and integrity of every cell in the body.
* Keep the bloodstream liquid enough to flow through blood vessels.
* Help eliminate the by products of the body’s metabolism, excess electrolytes, for example sodium and potassium, and urea which is a waste product formed through the processing of dietary protein.
* Regulate body temperature through sweating.
* Keep mucous membranes moist, such as those of the lungs and mouth.
* Lubricate and cushion joints.
* Reduce the risk of cystitis by keeping the bladder clear of bacteria.
* Aid digestion and prevent constipation.
* Work as a moisturiser to improve the skin’s texture and appearance.
* Carry nutrients and oxygen to cells.
* Serve as a shock absorber inside the eyes, spinal cord and in the amniotic sac surrounding the foetus in pregnancy.

Water content in food
Most foods, even those that look hard and dry, contain water. The body can get about half of its water needs from food alone. The digestion process also produces water as a by-product and can provide around 10 per cent of the body’s water requirements. The rest must come from liquids.

Dehydration occurs when the water content of the body is too low. This is easily fixed by increasing fluid intake. Symptoms of dehydration include headaches, lethargy, mood changes and slow responses, dry nasal passages, dry or cracked lips, dark-coloured urine, weakness, tiredness, confusion and hallucinations. Eventually urination stops, the kidneys fail and the body can’t remove toxic waste products. In extreme cases, this may result in death.

Causes of dehydration include:

* Increased sweating due to hot weather, humidity, exercise or fever.
* Not drinking enough water.
* Insufficient signalling mechanisms in the elderly; sometimes they do not feel thirsty even though they may be dehydrated.
* Increased output of urine due to a hormone deficiency, diabetes, kidney disease or medications.
* Diarrhoea or vomiting.
* Recovering from burns.

When you need to increase fluids
If you regularly don’t drink enough water there is some increased risk of kidney stones and, in women, urinary tract infections. There is also limited evidence to suggest an increased risk for some cancers including bladder cancer and colon cancer. It can also lower your physical and mental performance and salivary gland function.

People who need more water in their diet include those who:

* Are on a high protein diet
* Are on a high fibre diet, as fluids help prevent constipation
* Are children
* Have an illness that causes vomiting or diarrhoea
* Are physically active
* Are exposed to warm or hot conditions.

Dehydration in elderly
Elderly people are often at risk of dehydration. This is due to:

* Changes to kidney function, which declines with age
* Hormonal changes
* Not feeling thirsty (because the mechanisms in the body that trigger thirst don’t work as well as we age)
* Medication (for example, diuretics and laxatives)
* Chronic illness
* Limited mobility.

Dehydration in babies and children
Children are susceptible to dehydration, particularly if they are ill. Vomiting, fever and diarrhoea can quickly dehydrate a baby. This can be a life-threatening condition. If you suspect dehydration, take the child immediately to the nearest hospital emergency department. Some of the symptoms of dehydration in a child include:

* Cold skin
* Lethargy
* Dry mouth
* Depressed fontanelle on the skull
* A blue tinge to the skin as the circulation slows.

Water intoxication (or hyponatremia)
Drinking too much water can also damage the body and cause hyponatremia. This is when sodium in the blood drops to a dangerously low level. Sodium is needed in muscle contraction and for sending nerve impulses. If too much water is consumed, the kidneys cannot excrete enough fluid. Water intoxication can lead to headaches, blurred vision, cramps (and eventually convulsions), swelling of the brain, coma and possibly death.

For water to reach toxic levels, you would have to consume many litres a day. Water intoxication is most common in people with particular diseases or mental illnesses (for example, in some cases of schizophrenia) and in infants who are fed infant formula that is too diluted.

Water and sports performance
Athletes should drink 500ml of water two hours before an event, and then 300–500ml every 30 minutes during the event. For smaller athletes exercising in mild conditions, less fluid may be needed. Well-trained athletes competing at high intensity in warm conditions may need more fluid.

Fluid retention
Many people believe that drinking water causes fluid retention. In fact, the opposite is true. Drinking water helps the body rid itself of excess sodium, which results in less fluid retention. The body will retain fluid if there is too little water in the cells. If the body receives enough water on a regular basis, there will be no need for it to conserve water and this will reduce fluid retention.

Recommended daily fluids
Approximately six to eight glasses (at least 150ml each) of a variety of fluids can be consumed each day. More than eight glasses may be needed for physically active people, children, people in hot or humid environments, and breastfeeding women (who need an extra 750–1,000ml per day). Less water may be needed for sedentary people, older people, people in a cold environment or people who eat a lot of high water content foods.

Sources of fluid
Fluids include fresh water and all other liquids like juice, soft drinks, coffee, tea, milk and soup. Fresh water is the best drink because it does not contain kilojoules and has fluoride that is good for the teeth. Milk is important (especially for children) and tea can be a source of antioxidants, which appear to protect against heart disease and cancer. Fresh fruit is preferable to fruit juice because it has more fibre and nutrients and less sugar; sweet drinks should be limited because they add calories without nutrient value.

Mineral water contains salt
Commercially bottled mineral water contains salt, which can lead to fluid retention and swelling and even increased blood pressure in susceptible people. Limit the amount of mineral water or choose low sodium varieties (less than 30mg sodium per 100ml).

Where to get help

* Your doctor
* In an emergency, the emergency department of the nearest hospital.

Things to remember

* Water is essential to most bodily functions.
* The body has no way to store water and needs fresh supplies every day.
* Dehydration is life threatening to a baby and requires urgent medical attention.
* It is recommended that you consume around eight glasses of water a day to prevent dehydration.

Monday, July 16, 2007


A healthy diet should include a good variety of nutritious foods. These include breads, pastas, fruits and vegetables. Eating breakfast is also an important part of a healthy diet.

Healthy diets contain a variety of foods
In general, we should all eat:

* A wide variety of nutritious foods
* Plenty of breads and cereals (particularly wholegrain), vegetables, legumes (such as chickpeas) and fruit
* Low salt foods, and use salt sparingly
* Small amounts of foods which contain added sugars.

Physical activity
A good balance between exercise and food intake is important, as this helps to maintain a healthy body weight. About 30 minutes of physical activity, such as walking, is recommended every day.

Keep fat to a minimum
Adult diets should be low in fat, especially saturated fat. Saturated fat, which is the predominant fat in animal products, is more easily deposited as fat tissue than unsaturated fats. Saturated fat can also be converted into cholesterol and cause blood cholesterol levels to rise.

Small amounts of polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats may have some health benefits when they are part of a healthy diet. Polyunsaturated fats are generally thought to lower blood cholesterol levels. Polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, are thought to have an anti-clotting effect on blood and may lower blood pressure.

Eat less high kilojoule foods
The total amount of energy-dense (high kilojoule) foods you eat may be as important as the total amount of fat in your diet. To reduce the energy density of your diet, you need to increase the amount of plant foods you eat. This will provide essential nutrients, help to make you feel ‘full’ and also reduce the amount of fat in your diet.

Eat foods rich in calcium and iron
It is important for all Australians to eat foods which contain iron and calcium. In particular:

* Calcium – is important for infants, women and girls.
* Iron – is important for women, girls, vegetarians and athletes.

Healthy diets for babies and children
Follow these guidelines to help encourage a healthy diet for your infant or child:

* Babies – encourage your baby to breastfeed for the first year of life. In most cases, breastfeeding should be the only source of food in the first six months. If you use formula, be careful not to overfeed or underfeed your baby.
* Sugar – children should eat only a small amount of foods that contain sugar.
* Low fat diets – these are not appropriate for infants and young children under two years of age. A diet low in fat, especially saturated fat, may be considered for older children.
* Drinks – infants and children should be encouraged to choose water as their preferred drink.

Don’t let children skip breakfast
Children who skip breakfast generally have below average nutrition. Their diets contain less:

* Calcium
* Iron
* Dietary fibre
* Vitamins such as riboflavin and niacin.

Skipping breakfast becomes more common as children get older. Some schools have introduced breakfast programs because they were concerned about children who skip breakfast. Children did better in school once the program was introduced.

Tips for easy breakfasts
Here are some easy-to-prepare, healthy breakfast ideas:

* Fresh fruit with wholegrain breakfast cereal and reduced fat milk. Toast with a thin spread of margarine (polyunsaturated or mono-unsaturated).
* Toast with cheese and tomato. Hot or cold reduced fat milk.
* Rolled oats with sultanas and reduced fat milk. Toast with a thin spread of margarine (polyunsaturated or mono-unsaturated). Orange juice.
* Baked beans on toast. Orange juice.

Things to remember

* Calcium and iron are important nutrients in our diets.
* Infants and young children should not be placed on low fat diets.
* Encourage infants and children to choose water as their preferred drink.
* Children will have better nutrition and do better at school if they eat breakfast.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


It is the universal symbol of horror, of death, yet it is the one thing that keeps you living. It is the blood that is coursing through your veins. But, what do you really know about your blood? Why is it’s function so vital? And why is your blood an irreplaceable commodity?

Blood, which appears to us as a flowing red liquid, is amazingly complex. It has two basic components – plasma and solids that are carried in the plasma. Plasma is 91.5 % water. It also contains hundreds of chemicals, such as hormones, sugar, salts, cholesterol, proteins and minerals.

The prime function of blood is as follows:

(1) The red cells in the blood – which give the blood it’s color – are keys to respiration. The oxygen from the lungs travels to the 60 trillion cells of the body via these red blood cells. On the return trip to the lungs, the blood cells carry carbon dioxide, the by-products of the cells energy production.

(2) White blood cells can move about the body to wherever there is a need. They serve as the policemen of the body by invading and fighting any foreign bacteria that could harm the body. Passing through the capillary walls, the white blood cells have powerful enzymes that eat offending bacteria. Pus that forms at the site of an infection is an indication that the white blood cells have been busy. Pus is primarily made of white blood cells and dead bacteria.

(3) Lymphocites are a type of white blood cell that enhances your immunity to infection and bacteria.

(4) Platelets in the blood attach themselves to cuts or abrasions to plug up the wound and stop the bleeding.

(5) Plasma carries our digested food to the cells in our body to be utilised as energy. It delivers carbohydrates, proteins, fats, minerals, salts and vitamins to the areas where they can do the most good. On it’s return, the plasma carries waste products – urea and uric acid – to the kidneys.

(6) If the body is too hot, the capillaries near the skin open and the blood carries excess heat to the surface. When it is cold, the blood stays deeper inside the body and so conserve body heat. The blood, then, helps to regulate our body temperature at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

As we all know, there are various blood types. So far 15 different types of blood have been identified. If transfused blood is not of the right type, a person may die. Yet, as science is discovering, blood type is not the only uniqe factor to be considered. The unique combination of anti-bodies, hormones, proteins make it impossible to match correctly. There is, in fact, a realisation that our blood may be just as unique as our fingerprint.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007


Migraines are the granddaddy of all headaches. They are terribly painful and debilitating. The pain is intense and focused on one side of the head, usually at the temple. Sufferers will often experience nausea and severe sensitivity to light and sound. The pain can go on for days if left untreated.

Most migraine sufferers will learn to recognize headache precursors. These are symptoms that occur before the headache gets started. For some, it can be seeing spots before the eyes, for others something as nebulous as a ‘feeing’ that a headache is coming.

Fortunately, there are some new ways to treat migraines. In the past, once the headache got going there was little the sufferer could do but tough it out. Now, there are medications that treat a migraine that has already blossomed.

Even so, prevention should not be forgotten. If you are a migraine sufferer, there are things that you can do to prevent migraines. Diet is highest on the list. Avoid foods that are high in tyramine. These include chocolate, aged cheeses and meats, and many others. You can get a list of these foods from your doctor.

Avoid excessive sweets, foods containing nitrates, like bacon and lunchmeats, and salt can all be culprits in migraine headaches. Meals should be eaten at regular intervals to avoid highs and lows in the blood sugar level.

There are medications designed to help prevent migraines, too. These are usually calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, and serotonin antagonists. These kinds of drugs help prevent vasodialation, blood vessel expansion. This vasodilation is what causes the pain of a migraine. Common drug names are Inderal and Depakote.

If you sense that a migraine is coming on, try to head it off before it gets a good start. You can do this by taking a high dose of caffeine; a very strong cup of coffee will do the trick, along with an aspirin. A newly recognized treatment that heads off a migraine attack is the herbal product feverfew. An 85mg capsule taken at the first sign of migraine can stall the attack or make the symptoms much less severe. Check with your doctor before taking anything.

If your migraine has already gotten a foothold, there are still options that will knock it out. Medical treatment is one choice. There are new drugs available that are designed to stop a migraine that has already gotten going. Some of the drug names are Zomig, Imitrex and Maxalt. These drugs cause the blood vessels around the trigeminal nerve to constrict and relieve the pain of the migraine.

There are some homeopathic options for treating a migraine that has already gotten started. Passionflower is a natural tranquilizer that can ease pain for some people. It can be purchased in capsule form or oil. Try adding 15 to 20 drops of the oil to a cup of tea. Practice all precautions using passionflower that you would using any other tranquilizer. It can be quite potent!

Rosemary oil rubbed into the temples may also relieve a migraine. Some people find rosemary tea soothing as well. You may also use ice packs to treat the pain of a migraine and stay in a dark, quiet room.

There are more options now than there ever have been for migraine sufferers. You should talk with your health care practitioner to see what may work best for you.

Sunday, July 1, 2007


As aging person.. i do advise that walking as the best way to maintain energetic..and look the under walking plan...hopefully it will guide you best.

Walking Plan

Warm Up Activity Cool Down Total Time
Session A Walk slowly 5 min. Then walk briskly 5 min. Then walk slowly 5 min. 15 min.
Session B Repeat above pattern
Session C Repeat above pattern
Continue with at least three walking sessions during each week of the program.
WEEK 2 Walk slowly 5 min. Then walk briskly 7 min. Then walk slowly 5 min. 17 min.
WEEK 3 Walk slowly 5 min. Then walk briskly 9 min. Then walk slowly 5 min. 19 min.
WEEK 4 Walk slowly 5 min. Then walk briskly 11 min. Then walk slowly 5 min. 21 min.
WEEK 5 Walk slowly 5 min. Then walk briskly 13 min. Then walk slowly 5 min. 23 min.
WEEK 6 Walk slowly 5 min. Then walk briskly 15 min. Then walk slowly 5 min. 25 min.
WEEK 7 Walk slowly 5 min. Then walk briskly 18 min. Then walk slowly 5 min. 28 min.
WEEK 8 Walk slowly 5 min. Then walk briskly 20 min. Then walk slowly 5 min. 30 min.
WEEK 9 Walk slowly 5 min. Then walk briskly 23 min. Then walk slowly 5 min. 33 min.
WEEK 10 Walk slowly 5 min. Then walk briskly 26 min. Then walk slowly 5 min. 36 min.
WEEK 11 Walk slowly 5 min. Then walk briskly 28 min. Then walk slowly 5 min. 38 min.
Walk slowly 5 min. Then walk briskly 30 min. Then walk slowly 5 min. 40 min.

So...don't it for keeping better health.