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Healthy Habits.

posted Jan 21, 2015, 3:59 AM by   [ updated Dec 2, 2015, 6:09 PM by Upali Salpadoru ]


Do you know that our breathing mechanism is inferior to that of a fish?  

In mammals air goes in through the nose and the exhaled air comes out sharing the same windpipe. Imagine the fate of a car engine that has to share a common tube as the air ‘inlet’ and ‘exhaust’.

The total capacity of the lungs of an adult is around 6 Liters and only about 4.5 L may be removed by forceful expiration. What remains is called the, ‘Residual volume’.

Fig.1 Inhaling and exhaling in Fish and Man.

In the case of fish the system is much better; the water goes in through the mouth and comes out over the gills. There is a uni-flow system.

We have a control over breathing. In the case of passive breathing only a few litres of air can exchange.

1.1   So it is very important to concentrate on deep breathing once in a while.

First compress the lungs and the tummy to remove the air as much as possible. Then relax; take a deep breath expanding your lungs and abdomen, lot of air will gush in. Lifting of arms will help this exercise.

This will stretch the thin air tubes (bronchi oles) and the air sacs called alveoli increasing the surface area facilitating the oxygen exchange between the blood and air.

1.2 This should preferably be done in a green park and not in an asphalt jungle.

Various activities such as jogging, cycling and other exercises will make you breath rapidly improving the efficiency of respiration.


According to much of the available evidence, the Life originated in a watery medium. Transfer from hydro to aero medium is recognized as an important step in evolution. Strictly speaking this never occurred.  Any organisms that landed had their living cells bathed in water. The skin in aquatic creatures that held the body mass together, got an additional assignment; to trap and allow the water to evaporate in a controlled manner especially for the purpose of cooling.

2.1 So we can correctly say that our living cells still live in water.

Remove the water, the cells will die. Water is essential to our system as much as oxygen.

The query now remains, is the quantity of water we should drink and the ideal way to take it. There is a belief that an adult needs 8 glasses of water a day.  This has no scientific basis. The rule has to be:-

2.2  When thirsty drink as much as you need.

The golden rule to find the point of dehydration is to observe the colour of urine.

2.3  If the Urine is golden or darker take a glass of  water.

It may not be a good thing to drink a lot of water immediately after a heavy meal. It can dilute the digestive juices.

2.4  It may be a good thing to drink  some water as you get up in the morning.

2.5  Hot or cold ? Water is best taken at body temperature.

All drinks, milk, fruit juices etc., are really water containing dissolved and suspended matter. Even the fleshy solid foods contain a high percentage of water.

While milk and fruit juices contain beneficial ingredients such as vitamins and minerals some may have additives such as high sugar, caffeine and alcohol which can be harmful in high doses.  

2.6  In most places, tap water is better than bottled water.

Though the bottled water is appealing there have been instances when poisonous elements have been detected in bottled water.

2.7  Aerated waters such as coke, and even apple juice are not healthy.

2.8  Coconut water and fruit juices made fresh are nutritious

2.9 Wine and Beer are healthy as long as you don't exceed the limit

(Limit is 2 or 3 glasses a week)


Fig.3.  A balanced diet for a happy family.

Food is essential to supply energy for the functioning of the living process, growth and to repair the worn out pats.

It is imperative that we should take a balanced diet suited for the age and the type of life we lead.

3.1  Beneficial food

Whole wheat, Raw rice, Edible Greens, Yams and tubers, Fruits, Seeds and nuts.

Fish, Dairy products (Mild or Nonfat) and Eggs.

3.2  Harmful

An effort has to be made to cut down on the   3 Esses.

                   3.21  Sugar,      3.22  Salt and      3.23   Saturated Fat

3.3 Food Supplements

  3.31   At times when we cannot get the required vitamins and minerals etc., we must get them from the supplements.

  3.32   Excess of vitamins can cause maladies instead of curing them.


In this age, where some people use automatic devices even to scratch their back, without exercising their brawns and brains, there is no wonder why  many develop senility much earlier than they should.

Anybody can realize how valuable would be the exercising your muscles when you go through this list of advantages taken from authoritative sources.

4.1  Physical Exercises may be categorized as follows...

1.   Dynamic                              2.  Static                                         3.   Stretching

TYPE of Exercise



General Effects

1. Dynamic (aerobic).

Rhythmic exercises that go on for at least a few minutes.

Jogging, walking, swimming, cycling

Improves the blood circulation and the respiratory functions.

2. Static

They need a burst of energy

Pushing a car,

Weight lifting.

Muscle building

Sudden elevation of pressure could be harmful


Those that pull the muscles

( These may be static or dynamic)

Head bending to stretch neck muscles.  

Push ups

Strengthens the muscles and bones.

Suitable as warming up exercise.

4.2  Specific advantages of Physical Exercises

4.21 Reduces the blood pressure preventing heart attacks

4.22 Increases the pumping rate of the heart and thereby the blood circulation providing more oxygen and nutrients for the organs                                                                                                                                4.23 Improves the hormone activity preventing diabetes and harm due to excess of adrenalin ( The hormone you get to fight or flight).

4.24  Corrects the blood  cholesterol balance.

4.25 Reduces the blood clotting factor fibrinogen which may cause blood clots responsible for stroke in the elderly

4.26 Burns off the unwanted body fat in the tummy of men and thighs and buttocks of women.

4.27 Improves the bone texture, strength and the efficiency of muscles.

4.28 Reduces the risk of a few forms of cancer.

4.3 Conditions, limitations etc.

4.31 One should not rush into exercises especially if you have been leading a sedentary life for some time.

4.32 Although walking is extremely beneficial to cardiac activity, if you are elderly and overweight it may be too much for your knee joints

In that case you should resort to aqua jogging or to exercise your leg muscles without giving weight to your knees.


5.1 Working out puzzles like cross words, Sudoku etc.,

5.2 Playing indoor games like Chess and Bridge.

5.3 Get engaged in creative and innovative projects.


6.1 Man cannot live a happy and a content life all alone.

An individual has to give and get love and attention. He or she has to seek the protection from the family, and the community.

Some may even require spiritual protection from faith and beliefs. In the absence of contact with other human beings a man can get depressed.

Here are a few suggestions to avoid that:-

6.11   Join a club, or a society.   

6.12   Be a fan of a sport or an idol.

6.13   Travel and meet people.   


7.1 Toilet use

It has been estimated that millions of pathogens get freely sprayed all over the room when flushing a commode.

7.11 Make it a point to close the lid every time you flush.

         WRONG                                             RIGHT

Fig.4. Invisible sprays spreads all over the room.

7.2 Body wash and Bath

Washing the body regularly is a healthy act to remove the dead cells and the dirt clinging on due to sweat. But there are certain precautions one has to take.

7.21 Oils secreted by the sweat glands is good for the skin. Excessive use of soap can remove this.

7.22 Getting immersed in a hot bath for a long time  is not suitable for males.


Here are some Medical suffixes and prefixes used in medicine.

1. Angiogramn = Picture of blood vessels.

2. Antihistamine = against histamine

3. Arthritis = joint inflammation

4. Carcinogen = cancer causing      

5. Cardiovascular = heart and blood vessels.

6. Colonoscopy = Looking inside the large intestine..                                                     

7. Dermatologist = Skin specialist      

8. Ectoderm = Outer skin

9. Endoscopy = inside study            

10. Gastric = pertaining to the stomach

11. Hematology = Blood study        

12. Hyperactive = increased activity

13. Hypoglycemia = Decreased glucose

14. Hysterectomy = uterus removal

15. Osteoporosis = bone becomes porous.


9.1 Common cold.

9.11 There is no truth in the belief that you can get a cold due to wet or cold weather.

These are two viral, infectious diseases. As a person sneezes billions of the disease causing virus sprays all around. They gain entry into your system through eyes, nose or mouth and invade the respiratory tract and lungs causing the well-known symptoms.

9.12 As anti-biotic are not effective against viruses the treatment could be bed rest and taking a plenty of water.

9.13 The patients as well as others should take measures to prevent the spread of the disease.

9.14 After a child has got cured of flu his tooth brush has to be changed and his toys must be washed or sprayed with an antiseptic.

Steps for prevention are:-

1. Proper hygiene

a. A hand shake is a very convenient way to transfer germs between individuals. Before touching your eyes, nose or mouth wash your hands with soap and water.

Fig.5  Wash your hands after being in public places to prevent flu.

b. Sneezing is the way a patient gets rid of the young viral bugs. Using tissue to cover the mouth is a good way to curtail the spread of the disease.

9.2    Aches and pains

9.21  Headache

We all have had headaches sometime or other. This is the most common as well as the most mysterious maladies of human beings. The greater part of the head is occupied by the brain which does not have pain receptors. So the pain should come from the outside tissue, sinuses, eyes or ears.

a.  If the headache is not severe and does not occur often the best thing is to ignore it.

b. If it is severe and caused by some stress you may take a mild pain killer such as aspirin or Paracetamol.

c.  If a headache is associated with nausea, fever and impaired vision you should consult your physician.

9.22 Tummy aches

The underlying cause for a stomach-ache could be a trivial disturbance in the abdomen or a very chronic infection that require immediate medical attention.

Here are a few causes and some remedies.



Prevention / Remedies

a. Tummy bloats.

Gas production mainly by bacteria in the gut.

Reduce aerated drinks.

Sitting in the commode will help the gas to pass out with or without stool. (Flatulence)

b. Burning sensation

Excess acid in tummy.

Abstain from milk and acidic food. (sour food)

Reduce heavy meals and resort to frequent light meals.

Do not sleep with a heavy stomach and if you have to sleep so keep the upper part of the body at a higher level.

c. Constipation

Lack of fruit and fibre in the diet

Lack of exercise.

Lack of bulk.

Improve your diet and stick to regular exercise.

Kiwi fruit. Papaya and Wood apple are very good natural laxatives. Increase the liquid intake.

d. Lose motions

Mild infection due to viral or bacterial infection.

Drink water and rest. (Coconut water)

Spoonful of lime juice may help.

Dehydration due to diarrhoea may be deadly especially in children. Oral re-hydration solution may be required.

e. Severe lasting pain on the right side,


Inflammation of appendix

Medical attention is essential

9.3  Blood Pressure

Fig.5  A digital meter to check blood pressure and pulse.

Make a secure Online Order for your Blood Pressure Monitor now.

HL-168B automatic Blood Pressure Monitor.

High blood pressure is very common in adults all over the world.  There is digital blood pressure measuring devices available now of course at a price. If you have that you can monitor your blood pressure and take steps to keep it normal. High blood pressure can cause complications.

Blood pressure           





< 80

High blood pressure   


> 90       

The chart gives the accepted normal and level   high blood pressure values in mm of Hg. for adults.

9.4 Weight control

An individual adds weight to the body mass during the growing stage and on reaching middle age it should remain more or less constant. If you consume more calories fat will accumulate in unwanted places.

One way to find the correct weight of a person is to calculate the Body Mass Index BMI. The weight of the person has to be divided by the square of the height. The formula is given by the first two rows. The interpretation is shown in colours.


           BMI     =

                Weight in kilograms

(Divided by)  Height X Height in meters



















9.41  A body mass index of 18 to 25 is ideal.

9.42  Another way to check is to compare the waist and the hip.

If the waist is more than the hip size, it is a signal for men to reduce fat by exercise and diet.


1) Medical Myths that can kill you and the 101 Truths that will save …

     By Dr. Nancy L Snyderman MD   .............. ISBN 978-0-307-406132)The Harvard 

2) Medical School Guide to Men' s Health  (Yr 2002)

                         By Harvey B Simeon   MD ..............................ISBN 0 - 684-87182-3