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4Mar/10Off

18 tips to keep men young (Part 3)

(cont'd from Part 2)

13: Farmers work help longevity. A University in Chicago have an aging research center that discovered the probability of farmers living longer is 200% of urban people. So if men can work on some gardening in their leisure time. That will help live longer - it's actually correspondent to what I mentioned in a post a while ago - working more with hands stimulates the acupressure points on the hands and hence makes us healthier

14. Golfer live 5 years longer than non-golfer. The death rate of golfer actually is 40% lower than the people who don't play golf in the same age group. It's because it's an outdoor activity that plays a few hours and usually walk for about 4 miles. It also helps relieve pressure through the social activities.

15. Eat more spinach for muscle. Spinach helps men grow better muscle because of catalyst effects on the synthesis of protein, and definitely that'd make men look stronger and younger.  By the way, spinach helps avoid osteoporosis.

16. Shorter hair looks younger. Men usually start losing their hair during middle-age. In the early stage, short hair makes hair look thicker, while long hair tends to reveal the scalp. (Honestly, I'm starting to have that problem, although I'm not even middle age yet.)

17. Eat slow. There are research saying gorging will increase the opportunity of overweight for about 84%. And that's definitely one of the most obvious reason to look older.

18. Train quadriceps - stronger quadriceps help to relieve arthritis.

11Dec/09Off

Wonderful water therapies – Swimming, Part 2

Alright, I just came back from a vacation and will go on to talk about different healing therapies along with my research. Sometimes,  it's not necessarily limited to Healthy Check therapies, just whatever alternative therapies I found interesting. I brought up some inspiring stories of swimming last post. Indeed, swimming has been long known for a great exercise. In the recent 20 years, it has become a physical therapy for many patients instructed by doctors. Over 60 millions of Americans take swimming as a long-term exercise for health "maintenance". In the old days of Chinese community, most people focused on working hard as their "exercise", partly because of the poverty keep them "work" hard in the farms, or as blue collar workers just to survive. Now since the society changed a lot already, people who are especially over 30-40 years old realize their health are getting worse. They need to find a better way for leisure and health purpose, which can keep them healthy even after retire.  Swimming is known as the best work out for the whole body.  So it's getting more popular in Chinese community than before.

A lot of consistent swimmers go for swimming because their health is declining, usually after 40 something, symptoms are like sore back, get tired easily, etc. Retired swimmers also go swim for social purpose as well. Repetitive movements, slow and steady breaths, the freedom and the floating force provided by water, help swimmers to feel relieved and change the mindset. Some people swim for fun immersing in the water, some swim for exercise, some people swim for stress relief. No matter what the reasons are, swimming has some advantage that no other exercise can replace. First of all, water somewhat defy gravity and let our body joints and muscle freely move, so patients with muscle or joints problems, or injured limbs take swimming as their best choice of exercise and even "movement". Furthermore, unlike walking or running, which use mostly a few parts of your body, swimming uses the whole body including arms, legs, back, stomach and all major group of muscles, so it's the most balanced exercises. Swimming doesn't give as much pressure as other exercises to circulation system and joints.

Doctors usually suggest people who has arthritis or body injury to swim, because this is the best method  increasing the amount of exercise with minimum strikes to the body. According to some sports specialist, swimming in correct poses is almost the only exercise that doesn't cause injury to our body, because water almost make our body weightless. There is only 10% of active force of the land, so the pressure to our joints is very small as well. Some handicapped people go swimming like a fish everyday and totally get rid of the limitation of their injured body.

Can swimming lose some weight? Consistent swimming can really tone up our muscle and get rid of fat, but weight is different. Muscle is heavier than fat so swimming may actually gain some weight. Since cold water makes our brain senses hunger after swimming to tell our body to eat a good meal. If we eat more than necessary after swimming, it could be worse. However, if we can control our calorie intake, swimming does burn more fat than running. A specialist indicated that water is 775 times heavier than air, swimmers has to burn 25% more calories than normal runners to resist the water pressure.

The most appealing says of swimming is that swimmers look younger than their real age. Also, the author of The Complete Book of Swimming, P. Whitten also indicates that swimming reduce fat and blood pressure, increase good cholesterol , hence reduce the  chances of heart diseases, diabetes and some cancers.

14Nov/09Off

Wonderful water therapies – Spa, hot spring, etc, Part 2

(cont'd from part 1)

Water therapy is not necessarily a Chinese alternative healing. Considering hot spring is one of the biggest genre in water therapy, it's more common in Japan and Korea. It's also a popular activity in America and Europe as well.

General workers and housewives treat spa or other water therapies as a way to relax and relieve their stress, both mentally and physically. Retired people use water therapies as an effective treatment to relieve the accumulated pain, sore joints and muscles.  Water therapy can heal a lot of different health problems from sprain, swollen feet, sore back, arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, rehabilitation of heart and lungs functions, to stress relief and energy refreshments. A lot of problems that hospital can't help or little problems that we don't even bother to go to hospital, many people choose to go to spa, swimming pool, hot spring and Jacuzzi for solutions.

In fact, the nature of water has been used for treating certain diseases and sickness even by mainstream doctors. For example, the rehabilitation department of many hospitals use the warmth and the floating ability to heal patients who have problems with bones and muscles. Some doctors also recommend swimming as a long term treatment for patients that have disorders of heart and lungs. In Europe, America and Japan, using water therapy as treatments can qualify to claim insurance upon doctor's approval. The major difference of attitude between mainstream doctors and water therapists is that the range of the treatments of the former is not as wide as the later. And water therapists are more aggressive and confident in using water in various areas than mainstream doctors as well.

(to be cont'd)