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Weight Control: It’s All about Simple Math

It's not magic! Losing weight is simple math--calorie math.

Here’s how to break it down: 3500 calories is equal to one pound.  There are 7 days in a week. So in order to lose about a pound per week—which is a healthy rate for weight loss—you need to cut out 500 calories each day. This can be done by either eating less calories or burning off more calories. There are 52 weeks in a year, so at this rate you can lose approximately 52 pounds per year! It’s that easy! If you want to gain weight, just reverse these steps.

Positive Tip: Take control of your weight—keep track of those calories.

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Sleep to Prevent Disease

Getting a good night’s sleep may actually help protect you against serious diseases...

This may come as a surprise to many, but adults need approximately 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night. Research shows there may be a link between sleep and certain diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and depression. Sleep is also one of the easiest ways to improve your thinking and health! So be sure to get a good night’s sleep EVERY night! 

Positive Tip: Getting enough sleep is an important step to better health.

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Kids and Exercise!

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6, NIV

The behaviors we learn when we are kids stay with us throughout our lives. This is why it is so important to instill healthy behaviors in our kids so they can grow into healthy adults. Part of this requires a lot of physical activity, at least one hour or more a day. Over half of that hour should involve aerobic activity, like running. About three days out of the week your child should also be including muscle building and bone strengthening activities, such and pushups and jump rope.

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Work More, Get More (Benefit)!

Exercising longer and more frequently helps cardiac rehab patients lose more weight!

It seems in life that nothing worthwhile comes easily! A newly published research paper underscores this fact in finding the higher the energy expenditure of overweight patients in a cardiac rehabilitation program, the greater the improvement in risk.

Typical protocols result in little weight loss for the more than 80% overweight patients who enter cardiac rehabilitation programs. Investigators designed exercise programs which increased energy expenditure by 615 kcal per day compared to the 269 kcal increase in the control group. At five months those in the high-calorie exercise expenditure group had lost more than twice as much weight, and their insulin resistance was significantly better.

The Complexities of Forming Habits

 

For the last couple of weeks we have examined willpower and habit change in this column. It is important to understand how habits are formed so we can avoid establishing the harmful ones! 

All habits are laid down in nerve pathways in the brain.  Extending from each nerve cell are many little fibers called dendrites and one long fiber called the axon. The dendrites are like miniature receivers that pick up incoming electrochemical messages. The long axon is like a small transmitter that sends messages to neighboring cells.

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Swimming Related Illnesses

Summer is here! Be aware of germs every time you go swimming!

There are several different illnesses you can get from swimming in contaminated water such as diarrhea eye, ear, skin, and respiratory infections. These are coming from germs in the water. To make sure that you are not spreading these germs: always shower before entering a pool; don’t go swimming when you have diarrhea; deposit your bodily wastes in the toilet instead of the pool; wash your hands after using the toilet; don’t swallow any water you swim in; and so on. The germs that are on you will get in the water, the same as everyone's around you! So to stay healthy, stay clean.

Positive Tip: Showering before and after swimming is to protect you and others from waterborne illness

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Do You Care for Your Hair?

Healthy hair is happy hair, so it won’t be so eager to leave you...

The small things that we may do, or not do, to our hair have a big impact on its health. Here are some steps to improve the health and longevity of your hair:

  • Dry your hair by gently using a towel to soak up excess water, and letting it air dry.
  • Protect your hair from the sun’s UV rays by using conditioners and wearing something to cover your hair. when you’re outdoors for long periods.
  • Avoid styling products that have a “lasting hold”.
  • Condition your hair before and after using swimming pools.
  • Keep brushing to a minimum.
  • Avoid tight braids and ponytails.

All of these things will help keep your hair stronger and last longer. 

Positive Tip: Hair loss may be genetic, but it can speed up with improper hair care.

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Bravo for the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009

Historic legislation signed by President gives FDA regulatory powers over all tobacco products.

There are few threats more dangerous to the health of the public than tobacco! Each year more that 435,000 Americans die of tobacco related illnesses--mostly heart, vascular, and lung disease. Use of these products is also associated with significant health problems that diminish quality of life. The total annual cost of tobacco related problems in the United States run to $96 billion--a truly staggering amount.

It is rather surprising, that with the overwhelming evidence of harm, more than one in five Americans still smoke. This is a testimony to the addictive nature of these products. 

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The Best Parts of the Mediterranean Diet

High use of fruits and vegetables and low intake of meat identified as beneficial components of Mediterranean diet.

The Mediterranean diet was introduced as a health protecting diet almost thirty years ago! Since then much research has linked this diet with a number of specific positive health outcomes, including overall mortality.

A new study just published in the British Medical Journal has reported on the relative effectiveness of the individual components of this diet. Researchers followed 23,000 healthy Greek adults for 8.5 years and found the following elements of the Mediterranean diet contributed most the reducing risk of mortality:

Trapped, But Not Without Hope!

The prophet Jeremiah said, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.” (Jeremiah 13:23).

A year ago we removed an old trash compactor from our kitchen and replaced it with a set of drawers. Into one of those new drawers we moved our silverware. It was a big improvement. However, ever since I have been going to the old drawer to get my silverware--only to find hot pads! Each time I do this I feel rather foolish. An old habit has me trapped.