Friday, May 27, 2011

Home Help and Health

"Power to the people" is a Sixties slogan, so I suppose that means that I'm a Hippy Health Professional, because I believe in empowering people to do what they can at home to improve their health and well-being.
So here are two simple tools that may help you on your way:

1. A tape measure
2. A Diary

A tape measure is a simple but effective tool to estimate the amount of central fat in your body; and central fat is not a good thing to have as it increases risk for heart disease, blood pressure and diabetes. According to the Mayo Clinic (and remember, Americans tend to be big people, so for we "Athletic Aussies", we should be aiming for lower numbers):

* Men are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches (102 centimeters, or cm).
* Women are at risk if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (88 cm).

If you're looking for what is normal then in men I would suggest 95cms and for women 82cms. For men, measure at the level of the umbilicus, and for women, half way between the lowest part of the ribs and the top of the pelvis.
So this weekend, get out the tape measure and have some fun measuring each other!

A Diary fulfills three purposes:
Firstly, for those having a "battle with the bulge", a diary is a very useful tool for keeping a daily Food record of everything you eat each day: it literally helps keep you honest. Once you have kept a record for a week, then you have a good idea of your Calorie intake and can make the necessary adjustments.
Secondly, if you aim to get fitter, then the diary is a good place to store your daily physical activity records. The experts tell us that we should find between 30 and 60 minutes daily to reach a good standard of physical fitness: and yet again, the diary will help keep us honest and can also make us feel good about ourselves when we thumb back through the pages and see how much we have actually done.
But I like to think that the third use of a Diary is the best one, and that is to record your personal journal- the "story of your soul". It's a safe place to note how you feel and even let off steam about issues that have got under your skin. It really does help to unload and "complete" psychological problems, and who better to unload upon, but someone who will never let you down -your own dear Diary!
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1 comment:

Annieb25 said...

Such good simple advice. In fact all of your blog posts are just that. It's so nice to meet you Sarah's dad, albeit virtually. You have a wonderful daughter.