Thursday, August 7, 2008

Clapping may be hazardous to your health

Here in Taiwan, the elderly like to gather at dawn in parks around the island for early morning exercise. A favorite is to clap hands loudly which they believe energizes the body's chi.
However, hand-clapping also wakes up groggy and humorless gangsters. According to a recent news report the night owls posted signs in some of the parks in the southern city of Kaohsiung warning the elderly exercisers to not clap so loudly when doing their early morning exercises...or else.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Fast food and obesity

A friend recently emailed me this photo of an obese "David," and since I don't know the source, I can't provide a photo credit.


This image seems to sum up the current body condition for the developed world.


Luckily, people are getting fed up with a lack of healthy food options. The Associated Press reported on July 31 that the City Council of South Los Angeles voted for a year-long halt to opening any new fast food restaurants in the poor sections of town where obesity levels are highest.


South Los Angeles restaurants are 73 percent fast-food, while upscale West Los Angeles only has 42 percent fast-food joints. For the poor it's hard to make healthy choices when fast food is so cheap and readily available.


In addition, California was the first state to stop trans fats being used in restaurants.


Let's hope this is the beginning of global awareness to getting trim and fit.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Prevention Magazine

My passion for art is seconded by my interests in healthy living.
I'm happy to be a contributing blogger at Prevention Magazine's website community. Check out my link:
Since I just started it may take some time for it to go online.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Probiotics can save your life

Feeling sluggish? Constipated? Grouchy? Are you easily prone to catching colds?
How would you rate your immune system: Unflappable or sinkable?
Perhaps the culprit to your weakened immunity is that you don’t have enough healthy bacteria in your intestines, what is called probiotics. A stressful life style, an imbalanced diet, too many fast foods and sweets, and a reliance on antibiotics may have destroyed those healthy fighters that inhabit the crevices of your beloved colon.
So your immediate assignment to improve your overall health is to put down that soft drink and pick up the yogurt that is rich in acidophilus. It’s best to make your own at home; besides it is easy and convenient. Treat yourself to a serving of this friendly bacteria daily as it will help boost your immune system while improving your digestion.
And start chomping on anything with chlorophyll, except your neighbor’s lawn. Green leafy vegetables and sprouts help to restore the healthy bacteria to your intestines. In addition to the yogurt, miso and soy sauce are your friends as these fermented foods are extremely restorative. m
However, if your condition is more severe due to long-term illness and treatments, you will need to consult with a professional for the appropriate course of action.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

shower curtains are unhealthy

Brand-new shower curtains, which are usually made from PVC (polyvinyl chloride), release over a hundred toxins that are damaging to our lungs and nervous system.
According to a recent study, it is recommended to air such curtains out first before hanging them in the shower.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Mother's Interaction Determines Child's Behavior

A recent study shows a not-so-surprising result. The way a mother interacts with her baby determines the later behavior of the child. Infants who were more intellectually stimulated were at low risk of childhood behavioral problems.

The study shows how the first year of an infant's life is crucial and can predict the next 13 years.

Monday, June 23, 2008

How to prevent a stroke

A stroke is when blood stops flowing to the brain from a blood clot or a narrowing of an artery, thus resulting in a lack of oxygen to the brain and dying brain cells. Such an attack on the brain can have dire consequences.

If you have sudden numbness, confusion, dizziness or an intensely severe headache, you may be having a mini-stroke, and you need to see a Dr. immediately.
Some preventable things you can do:

  • maintain normal blood pressure
  • quit smoking
  • treat heart disease if needed
  • treat diabetes if needed

For further info:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

You are what you eat

Today's Reuters reports on an amazing study led by Dr. Dean Ornish, head of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, Sausalito, California.

Ornish is known as a guru who praises healthy lifestyle changes. In his study, after 3 months of a major lifestyle change that included exercise, a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables combined with meditation, patients with low-risk prostrate cancer were able to alter 500 genes in their bodies.
The amazing part is not that genes were altered, but that the disease-preventing genes increased (48 genes turned on), while the disease-promoting ones decreased (453 turned off).
We have the power to change our bodies within 3 months. Amazing!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Sarcasm is healthy

I'm so sarcastic, so I must be really healthy. Ha ha.
This title is a bit misleading. Recent research shows that patients who have certain brain disabilities are unable to perceive sarcasm.
To perceive sarcasm consists of reading the social context. The right parahippocampal gyrus is the part of the brain that detects sarcasm, while the right frontal lobe is where humor is detected on the MRI.
So when people start being unable to perceive sarcasm it can be a sign of impending dementia.
Read the interesting article:

Monday, June 9, 2008

Healthy Relationships

Having a loving relationship with another person is wonderful for your health. But sometimes a long partnership can reach an impasse - an impasse that almost seems insolvable.
Marriage therapist Michele Weiner Davis believes there are steps one can take to save a troubled relationship. Her advice is not only good for dying out marriages, but is also effective in how to live a healthy empowered life.
Her website and public forum is enlightening:

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Use it or lose it

A recent study from Stanford shows that 60 minutes per week of vigorous exercise wards off disabilities in seniors.
It makes sense; the more that we move about, increasing our circulation and our blood flow to important organs, we will be that much healthier. There doesn't seem to be a healthy outcome with a sedentary lifestyle, even though it seems like a popular lifestyle choice.
It would be good to see school programs focusing on life long habits of exercising rather than on the competitiveness of winning a game. American school phys-ed classes tend to focus on athletic students who can win games. This needs to change. Non-athletic students should feel safe in learning about exercise, rather than feeling shamed for their lack of prowess. Perhaps Yoga can become a school staple.
Exercise should become a life long habit for everyone. For details about the study:

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Golf is good

Great news for golfers. A recent study from Sweden shows that playing golf is such a healthy pursuit that it even will help you live longer.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

don't dwell on painful thoughts

Recent research about collective trauma such as a school shooting shows that not expressing one's feelings was healthier than letting it all out. This is contrary to what many have believed for a long time - that it's best to talk out your pain.
However, maybe dwelling on pain strengthens its negative feelings in the circuitry of the brain.

Monday, June 2, 2008

What's your biological age?

It seems like everyone is concerned with aging these days, from the personal to the political.
For example, the Japanese government is worried that Japan's rapidly aging population will not include enough of an abled-body workforce. While the celebrity pages dish up images of liposuctioned and surgically manipulated fleshpots.
Isn't age just a number? Some people age quicker than others.
If you want to see what your biological age is, which is determined by your level of health and fitness and is not determined by the date you were born, go to and take their real age test.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Mediterranean diet stops diabetes

A Spanish study released May 30 claims a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in animal products may prevent you from getting Type 2 Diabetes.
Yummy, Greek salad. Eating healthy foods can also be so satisfying.
Read here for more details:

Thursday, May 29, 2008

colon-residing superbug

Oh dear, another thing to worry about. It seems like hand washing, even with antibacterial soap, will not kill an infectious germ that likes to live in the colon.
The Clostridium difficile is spread by spores in the feces and is increasing annually in hospitals and nursing homes. This looks serious as this superbug is resistant to treatment.

Read the article:
The CDC publication:;_ylt=Au6hlkDuhyTHMoS35aolW8G0j4t4/*

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Infections lead to chronic disease, maybe Alzheimer's

Washing your hands is probably one of the best things you can do for your health. It's one of the simplest things to do and often overlooked. How many of you wash your hands before eating?
Bacterial and viral infections can lead to a long list of chronic illnesses, maybe even to Alzheimer's Disease.

ScienceDaily reported on May 25, 2008: "A number of chronic diseases are in fact caused by one or more infectious agents. For example, stomach ulcers are caused by Helicobacter pylori, chronic lung disease in newborns and chronic asthma in adults are both caused by Mycoplasmas and Chlamydia pneumonia, while some other pathogens have been associated with atherosclerosis. The realization that pathogens can produce slowly progressive chronic diseases has opened new lines of research into Alzheimer's disease."

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Older, but definitely wiser

According to an article in the NY Times, we definitely get wiser as we get older.
Studies showed that older adults were able to take in more information than their younger counterparts. Even though the older participants of the studies took longer to read the materials, including information randomly provided them, they absorbed it all, while the younger participants tended to ignore any info that seemed extraneous.
Researchers believe that the older we get, we can absorb and process more information in order to apply it to real situations. This application of knowledge is commonly referred to as wisdom. The research is published in a new book Progress in Brain Research.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Fasting prevents jet lag

According to an article in Reuters published yesterday, US researchers found that fasting may prevent jet lag. Going without food for approximately 16 hours could change the body's circadian clock and help global travelers quickly adjust to new time zones.
In lab tests, these researchers from Harvard Medical School found that mice could override their body clocks when it improved their chances to find food. So when it was time for the mice to sleep, that was when they were fed and the mice were able to adjust their sleeping and waking times in order to get the food.
All mammals have a gene that regulates the body's clock that determines sleeping, eating, and waking. And the researchers believe that when there is no food, the body's clock can be manipulated and changed. Hence, they believe that if people fast on an international flight, they will be able to shift their body clock to the destination's clock.
Considering that the costs of flying are increasing, perhaps airlines will soon be charging for rewarmed heavy carb meals. So now you have a good reason to pass on the chicken or the beef.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Importance of healthy body weight

A study published in today's ScienceDaily describes the importance of keeping a healthy body weight as it helps to delay or even prevent physical disabilities later in life.
Even though it seems to be common sense to eat healthy foods, exercise and stay fit and trim during one's lifetime, this advice is not so easily followed by the masses.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

stressed pregnancy may lead to baby's asthma

A recent study from the Harvard Medical School suggests that when women are stressed during their pregnancies it may trigger a chemical change in the body's immunity that leads to fetuses developing asthma and allergies.
Read the BBC article:

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Oh man! Man boobs

If you're a man and have man boobs, then you know it's time to hit the gym.
However, if you're a boy in the UK, you can just get them surgically removed.
Sounding like an urban legend, this is a true story according to the Daily Mirror. Obesity in boys and teens are leading to increasing and abnormal hormonal changes.
The medical term for man boobs is gynecomastia. The article states that normally, overweight boys can just lose weight to reduce their chests, but that gynecomastia is "caused by a hormone imbalance which can be triggered by obesity. It causes firm, tender female breast tissue to grow under the nipples. "

nutrition and soft drinks

Carbonated drinks like colas and other flavored sodas contain lots of additives and sugars. Regular and diet soft drinks contain no nutritious elements.
To drink these on a daily basis surely will damage your body.
On occasion, I enjoy a cold fizzy root beer, but I don't drink it every day.
Unfortunately children around the developed world don't realize that they shouldn't drink soda every day.
One thing to help you get back into shape is start limiting how many soft drinks you have per month.
Of course the obesity problem is not due to one element such as soda. Many elements come into play. Read this Washington Post article that describes how obesity is rampant in both the affluent suburbs and the poorer inner city areas of the US.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sign of the Times

This painting by Lucien Freud recently sold for a record-splitting sum and seems to be a sign of the times.
The Washington Post is currently doing a series about childhood obesity in the US.
Here are some frightening statistics:

This new blog "All Healthy" will be an aggregate, gathering up-to-date news from around the web, while providing useful information to help you make healthy choices.
When we make healthy choices, we usually feel better and enjoy life more.