What is endothelium?(Part 2)

Ways of preventing injury to the endothelium

Controlling your high blood pressure

In the study of Preston, RA et al, titled “Effects of severe hypertension on endothelial and platelet microparticles”, two markers were used to find out if indeed hypertension injures the endothelium. One of these markers is called endothelial microparticles (EMP), and it   is released in the bloodstream when the lining of the endothelium is damaged or destroyed. In this study, investigators found out that EMP was very much elevated in the subjects with high blood pressure[1]. This shows that existing high blood pressure could continually and inevitably injure your endothelium, and there is an urgent need to control it.

There is therefore a need to see your medical doctor soonest to control your high blood pressure. If synthetic drugs will be prescribed to you, the drug of choice should be any one belonging to the class of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, because this has been shown to contribute in the restoration of good endothelial function [2]. Examples of generic names belonging to this classare captopril, perindopril, imidapril, and many more. The generic names underthis class of drugs end in “pril”. Thus, if you have elevated level of LDL-cholesterol, in addition to having high blood pressure, ensure that yourmedical doctor prescribes you with any pill belonging to this class of anti-hypertensive drug.

Correcting yourhigh level of LDL-cholesterol

It has been reported that if the level of your LDL-cholesterol is very much above the normal ranges, that the production of nitric oxide (NO) by your endotheliumwill be reduced[2]. When this takes place, the following complications will follow:

Arteries constrict[2]

Since NO is responsible for the dilation of your blood vessels, the arteries in particular, its low level will lead to the elevation of your blood pressure, since the constriction of your arteries will predominate.

Platelets clump and attach themselves in the endothelial injury[2]

In your blood, there are three types of cells: (1) white blood cells, (2) red blood cells, and (3) platelets. The platelets play a significant role in the formation of blood clots which serve as plugs to any cut in your arm, legs, or in any external part of your body. Without platelets, it is difficult to stop any form of bleeding. When the level of NO in your blood is very much reduced, theplateletseasily form a clump and attach themselves at the injured site in your endothelium forming the so-called plaques which eventually block your arteries and make them inelastic.

This change in the properties of platelets was also shown in the study of Preston, RA et al as stated in the preceding wherein platelet microparticles (PMP) were elevated in subjects whose blood pressure was very high[1], indicating that platelets have changed in their biological behavior. It is possible that low NO initiates this change in the platelets, and severe hypertension aggravates it.

Smooth muscle cells grow in number and migrate[2]

Your smooth muscle cells which compose the walls of your blood vessels are well-behaved when the level of NO in your blood is normal. However, when its level decreases as a result of having elevated LDL-cholesterol in your blood, your smooth muscle cells become active and aggressive, such that they go out of their way and go to other places which normally are not their territories. They cannot be controlled, and they go astray! Consequently, even in the lining of your endothelium which is in intimate contact with your flowing blood, they grow and invade. These seemingly foreign invaders make your endothelium thicker and more inelastic leading to the development of atherosclerosis and hypertension.

(To be continued)

References:

  1. Preston RA, WencheJy, Jimenez, JJ, Mauro, LM, Horstman, LL, Valle, M, Aime, G, and Ahn, YS. Effects of severe hypertension on endothelial and platelet microparticles. Hypertension. 2003;41:211-217. doi: 10.1161/01.HYP.0000049760.15764.2D.
  2. Davigon J, Ganz, Peter. Atherosclerosis: evolving vascular biology and clinical implications, role of endothelial dysfunction in atherosclerosis. Circulation. 2004;109: III-27-III-32. doi:10.1161/01.CIR. 0000131515.03336.f8.

What is endothelium?(Part 1)

Nature of endothelium

Endothelium is also called tunica intima, and it is the innermost layer of your artery and your other blood vessels {Refer to Powertec (146)}. As part of your artery,  you will surely arrive at a conclusion that its main function is to support your arterial wall. To some extent, it does, but it has other functions much more important than being support of your artery. This will be the center of discussion in this article.

Functions of endothelium

Aside from serving as the innermost lining of your artery, the endothelium has the following more important functions:

  1. Maintenance of the vascular tone. It produces the substance nitric oxide which is responsible for the dilation of your artery. It also produces endothelin and angiotensin II which are responsible for the constriction of your artery[1]. For all of these reasons, the endotheliumcontrols the diameter of your artery, increasing or decreasing it as needed. If there is a need to increase your blood pressure to a certain degree, then your endothelium increases it by effecting constriction of your arteries; if there is a need to lower it, then your endothelium will dilate your arteries. Your endothelium does this spontaneously without your knowing it and without waiting for you.
  2. Inhibition and stimulation of smooth muscle cell proliferation and migration[1]. The smooth muscle cells should be located at the right places. If their multiplication and migration are not controlled, then they will wreak havoc to your cardiovascular For this reason, the endothelium balances these two processes. If, however, your endothelium is being injured by an abnormality in your body, it may react spontaneously to allow the proliferation and migration of smooth muscle cells to protect itself.
  3. Inhibition and stimulation of thrombogenesis and fibrinolysis[1].Thrombogenesis refers to the formation of obstructions in your blood vessels, particularly in the arteries. Fibrinolysis, on the other hand, refers to the dissolution and dis-aggregation of possible obstructions.

From the foregoing discussion, it can be gleaned that if the endothelium is damaged, the balances that it does so that no opposing force will predominate will be damaged as well, and you will have a lot of problems.

Factors injurious to the endothelium

High blood pressure

Being the innermost lining of the artery, the endothelium takes the brunt of the flowing blood. If the blood pressure is very much elevated compared to the normal ranges, it will injure the endothelium, and this injury is the beginning of a process which will develop into atherosclerosis, then leading to hypertension {Refer to Powertec 146}.

High level of LDL-cholesterol

When the level of your LDL-cholesterol is very much above the normal ranges, it suppresses the endothelium to produce nitric oxide[1]—a substance whose one function is to dilate the blood vessels. In the absence of sufficient nitric oxide, your blood vessels, specifically the arteries, constrict leading to hypertension, which will, in turn, lead to the development of, or aggravate existing, atherosclerosis.

Ways of preventing injury to the endothelium

Control the high blood pressure

You should know your current blood pressure. You are very much negligent of your health if at this time you still do not know your current blood pressure! If your blood pressure is above the normal ranges, you need to consult a medical doctor so that you will be prescribed with the necessary medications. In addition, you will be requested to have blood and urine examinations whose results will provide your medical doctor with an idea on the severity of your medical condition. It is not enough that your blood pressure is controlled; in addition, other aggravating factors, such as abnormalities in your blood chemistry, need to be corrected, so that your hypertension will not get worse.

(To be continued)

Reference:

  1. Davigon J, Ganz, Peter. Atherosclerosis: evolving vascular biology and clinical implications, role of endothelial dysfunction in atherosclerosis. Circulation. 2004;109: III-27-III-32. doi:10.1161/01.CIR. 0000131515.03336.f8.

Role of cholesterol in the development of cardiovascular diseases(Part 2)

Anatomy of the blood vessel wall

You have three types of blood vessels: (1) arteries, (2) veins, and (3) capillaries. Your arteries carry the blood from your heart and deliver them to different parts of your body. You veins collect the blood from the different parts of your body and return it to the heart. Your capillaries, on the other hand, connect your network of arteries to your network of veins.In the development of hypertension and heart diseases, the type of blood vessels that are primarily involved are the arteries.Therefore, the center of discussion in the next few sections will be on them.

Your arteries can be likened to your water pipes at home. They are tubes wherein fluid passes through. In your water pipes, water passes through them; in your blood vessels, blood will pass through them. Your arteries are relatively thick tubes, and they are made this way because they need to withstand the high pressure generated by your blood and the regularpumping of your heart.

Tunica adventitia

The wall of your arteries are made up of three layers: (1) tunica adventitia, (2) tunica media, and (3) tunica intima, also known as the endothelium.The tunica adventitia is the outermost layer, the tunica media is the middle layer, and the tunica intima is the innermost layer. The tunica adventitia is responsible for attaching your arteries to the surrounding tissues, thereby preventing them from moving astray. In addition, it provides some strength for your arteries. The tunica media is mainly responsible for providing the strength of your arteries to contain your varying blood pressure. Meanwhile, the tunica intima provides the internal lining of your arteries.

Important role of the tunica intimaor endothelium

Since the tunica intima or endothelium is the innermost lining of your arteries, it is in intimate contact with the flow of your blood. As your blood flows in your arteries, your endothelium offers a frictional resistance to such flow; therefore, the endothelium receives the brunt of the flowing blood. In the parlance of medicine, this is called the shearing effect of the flowing blood. When your blood pressure is very much increased compared to the normal values, this shearing effect also increases, and your endothelium will be injured. The higher the blood pressure is, the higher and more serious the injury to your endothelium will be. This injury will be the beginning of developing the so-called atherosclerosis wherein fatty substances are attached to the lining of the endothelium, giving rise to inelastic arteries which will, in turn, lead to the development of hypertension and heart diseases.

Injury to the endothelium and high level of LDL-cholesterol

In the development of atherosclerosis (deposition of fatty substances in the endothelium), it has been established that the first stage in the process is the infliction of injury to the endothelium.This injury to the endotheliumare caused by increased blood pressure and the increased level of LDL-cholesterol[1]. Hence, if you have elevated blood pressure and you have elevation of the LDL-cholesterol, your hypertension will get worse as days go by, if you do not take medicines to control your high blood pressure and the elevated level of LDL-cholesterol.

The LDL-cholesterol has dual effects in the causation and worsening of atherosclerosis. Firstly, it decreases the production of nitric oxide which is responsible for the dilation of the arteries[1]. Thus, in the absence of nitric oxide, you are prone to have elevated blood pressure because of constriction of your arteries.Secondly, with increased level of LDL-cholesterol in the blood, these fatty substances, together with platelets, could attach themselves in the injured sites in the endothelium. This will make the arteries inelastic and obstructed—be it partial or total—leading to the development of hypertension and heart diseases.

Reference:

Davigon J, Ganz, Peter. Atherosclerosis: evolving vascular biology and clinical implications, role of endothelial dysfunction in atherosclerosis. Circulation. 2004;109: III-27-III-32. doi:10.1161/01.CIR. 0000131515.03336.f8.

Role of cholesterol in the development of cardiovascular diseases(Part 1)

Nature of cholesterol

Cholesterol is a form of fatty substance needed by your body for the maintenance of cell membranes,and production of bile acid and hormones[1]. With insufficient cholesterol, your cells will be adversely affected because the integrity of the cell membrane which encloses all its structures will be impaired. In addition, the quality of your bile acid which is one of the components of your bile and the different hormones that you need every minute of your life will deteriorate.

Cholesterol can be sourced from: (1) the foods and drinks that you take, and (2)the different chemical reactions taking place in your body. Because it is produced in your body, it has been postulated that probably you do not need the cholesterol coming from your foods and drinks! Hence, the cholesterol being produced in your body is enough to meet your needs[1]! However, it is not possible to totally remove all the cholesterol that is in your foods! It is impossible! Thus, if you want to control your dietary intake of it, you need to be choosy with your foods, selecting only those which are not rich in it (Consult Powertec 144). Examples of foods rich in cholesterol are meats, liver and other organ meats, dairy foods, egg yolks, and shellfish[2].

Transfer and elimination of cholesterol

When cholesterol is absorbed in your gastrointestinal tract, it travels in the bloodstream in the form of lipoproteins. It cannot travel as cholesterol; it has to be in the form of lipoproteins. There are two lipoproteins that carry cholesterol: (1) the low density lipoprotein (LDL) and the (2) high density lipoprotein (HDL). The LDLcarry the majority of cholesterol, around 75 to 85%, while the HDL carry approximately 15 to 25%[1]. Thus, they are called either LDL-cholesterol or HDL-cholesterol.

Aside from having different densities, the LDL-cholesterol and the HDL-cholesterol have different behavior when they are in the bloodstream. The LDL-cholesterol tends to bring the cholesterol away from the liver; that is, it brings its passengers to the far-flung structures of the body, such as in the blood vessels and peripheral tissues. Consequently, the cholesterol molecules are deposited in these organs. Specifically, when the cholesterol molecules are deposited in the inner lining of your medium to large blood vessels, these structures become inelastic, leading to the development of hypertension. When they are deposited in the small blood vessels of your heart, you will have heart disease and possible heart attack[3]. Since the LDL-cholesterol contributes to the development of cardiovascular diseases, such as hypertension and heart diseases, it is also known as the bad cholesterol.

The HDL-cholesterol, on the other hand, carries cholesterol molecules from the peripheral organs, such as the muscles and blood vessels, and brings them back to the liver—otherwise known as the reverse cholesterol transport—where they are taken up and incorporated as part of the bile. In a way, these cholesterol molecules were removed from the bloodstream, without inflicting any damage to the blood vessels and other organs of your body. Since the HDL-cholesterolhelped to remove cholesterol in the blood, it is also referred to as the good cholesterol.

Injury to the inner lining of blood vessels and cholesterol deposition

The innermost layer of your blood vessels is called the endothelium, and lately this structure has been receiving a lot of research attention because it has been becoming more clear that it is very much involved in the causation of atherosclerosis (deposition of fatty substances in the blood vessels) andhypertension. It has been postulated that the deposition of fatty substances is preceded by the injury of the endothelium.

(To be continued)

References:

  1. Sacher, Ronald A. and Richard A. McPherson. Widmann’s Clinical Interpretation of Laboratory Tests. F. A. Davis Company, Philadelphia, 2000.
  2. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/news/spotlight/fact-sheet/questions-and-answers-cholesterol-and-health-nhlbi-nutritionist-janet-de-jesus-ms-rd
  3. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/resources/heart/heart-cholesterol-hbc-what-html

Relationship between the intake of saturated fats and the development of cardiovascular problems

Nature of saturated fats

Saturated fats (SFs) are also known as saturated fatty acids. They are found in meats, coconut, palm oil, palm kernel oil, butter, egg yolks, milk, and milk products (except fat-free) [1] {Consult Powertec 63}.SFs come in different names, and examples are formic, acetic, propionic, butyric, valeric, caproic, caprylic (octanoic), capric (decanoic), lauric, myristic, palmitic, stearic, arachidic, behenic, and lignoceric[2]. Thus, if a food product that you are buying contains one or more of these, then you know that it contains SFs, and the best way to find out the SFsincorporatedin any grocery product is to look at the “Nutrition Facts” wherein the different substances contained in it are listed, including the quantity in terms of percent.

Relationship of saturated fats with cardiovascular diseases

It has been established from researches that if your diet is high in SFs, the level of your low-density lipoprotein(LDL) cholesterol is also high[3]. You should remember that LDL cholesterol is also known as the bad cholesterol, because it carries cholesterol away from yourliver and deposited them to far-away structures, such as the blood vessels. When LDL cholesterol is deposited in the internal lining of the blood vessels, atherosclerosis takes place, and the blood vessels become inelastic, leading to the development of hypertension.

Neutralizing the adverse effects of saturated fats

Substitution of saturated with polyunsaturated fats

One of the ways of counteracting the adverse health effects of SFsis to replace them with the polyunsaturated fats(PFs). If PFs are taken in instead of SFs, the LDL cholesterol decreases, and the ratio of total cholesterol with the high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which is known as the good cholesterol, decreases, too [3],           implying that either the total cholesterol decreases, or the HDL cholesterol increases, or both scenario happen. When the LDL cholesterol decreases and the HDL cholesterol increases, the combination is a perfect recipe for the prevention of heart and blood vessel diseases.

PFs are abundantly found in safflower oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, soybeans, tofu, and fish[1]{Consult Powertec 63}. In simpler terms, what you will do is to replace meat with fish, and replace animal-based cooking oil with the ones taken and derived from plants.

 

Avoidance of replacing saturated fats with carbohydrates

When carbohydrates are used to replace SFs, it was found out that the level of both the triglycerides (another form of fat) andLDL cholesterol are elevated in the blood while the HDL cholesterol decreases. These consequences are all the more pronounced if the carbohydratesare refined and added with sugar[3]. This is bad for the heart and the blood vessels. Thus, it should be avoided.

Dietary cholesterol should be avoided if significant saturated fats have been in the diet

Based on animal researches, it was determined that if the dietary cholesterol has been increased,   the tendency of saturated fat to increase the LDL cholesterol level in the blood is also increased. This means that working alone, saturated fats increase the LDL cholesterol level in the blood. If the intake of dietary cholesterol is increased, it will aggravate the LDL cholesterol-raising effect of saturated fats. Therefore, as much as possible, the simultaneous intake of significant amount of dietary cholesterol and saturated fats should be avoided [3].

Foods rich in cholesterol are the following: eggs, roast beef, leg lamb (lean), leg lamb (lean and fat), pork chop (lean), chicken leg (fried, meat and skin), crabmeat (canned), salmon (canned), shrimp (canned) [1]. You need to avoid taking these foods if you have been taking a lot of saturated fats.

References:

  1. Roth, Ruth A. Nutrition and Diet Therapy. Singapore: Delmar Learning, 2007.
  2. Murray, Robert K., Daryl K. Granner, Peter A. Mayes, and Victor W. Rodwell. Harper’s Biochemistry. Appleton and Lange: Stamford, Connecticut, 2000.

Siri-Tarino, P., et. al. (2010). Saturated fatty acids and risk of coronary heart disease: modulation by replacement nutrients. http://www.ncibi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc2943062/

Basic principles in doing physical exercises[1](Part 2)

“Principle 5: Regularity[1]

This principle means that when you have decided to run for three times a week, then do that commitment consistently! If the gap between your exercise days varies a lot, you will not largely benefit from your physical exercises. In other words, your physical exercise does not practically contribute in your fitness if not done consistently and regularly. Always remember that it is hard to develop fitness; however, it is very easy to lose it! Thus, the fitness that you have gained within a period of one month could be lost approximately in one week if you stopped exercising for that period[1]!

“Principle 6: Individuality”[1]

No individual is a complete replica of another. Each one is different from others. Hence, what you can afford to do—in terms of the intensity and frequency of a particular physical exercise—cannot be performed by, and imposed to, another. There are a lot of factors that will determine your capacity to do a particular exercise. Some factors that could affect such capacity are the following: sex, age, height, weight, genetic make-up, length of time that you have been having physical exercises, and many more[1]. Thus, if you see your friend to have an easier time doing a particular work-out, do not conclude that you can do it as well! You may injure yourself! What you need to do is listen to your body and find out what you can afford to do. Never use another individual as your benchmark! Your own self is your benchmark.

“Principle 7: Patience”[1]

Fitness is not achieved overnight! Neither is it lost overnight! Whatever is the outcome, you need weeks and months to achieve it—not days! From being sedentary, an adult person needs from eight to ten weeks to achieve fitness[1]! Hence, you cannot fast track the development of your fitness! You need time to achieve it! Most of all, you need patience to achieve it! If you lack patience, you will tend to hurry up your gym sessions even if your body is not ready to tackle it! If you insist, you might injure yourself!

“Principle 8: Moderation”[1]

Too much of anything is bad! Thus, excessive drinking, exercising, book writing, gardening under the sun, and other preoccupations are bad. You need to balance your habitual work which usually generates stress in you with physical exercises which could counteract its adverse effects[1].

“Principle 9: Reversibility”[1]

When you exercise regularly, you will achieve a certain degree of fitness. If for a reason you stop in some days to exercise, your fitness will be decreased to a certain extent. If you stop completely from exercising, all your fitness will slip away. To preserve your fitness, do not stop completely from exercising. Hence, use your fitness; otherwise, you will lose it[1]!

“Principle 10: Share the flowers”[1]

The earlier you decide to have regular physical exercises, the better it will be! It will be a hard decision because you really need to eke out time for it. However, the moment you have reached that decision to give yourself some exercises, it will be the beginning of wellness for yourself. While doing it, however, you must still have the time to smell flowers and appreciate the gift of time that is given to you. When you meet others, encourage them to do the same: to have regular physical exercises. When you do that, you are not only sharing your knowledge—you are sharing the flowers [1]!

Reference:

Glover, Bob, Shepherd, Jack, and Glover, Shelly-lynn Florence. The Runner’s Handbook. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc., 1996.

Basic principles in doing physical exercises[1](Part 1)

“Principle 1: Overload Gently[1]

This principle means that you can increase the load of your physical exercises as you progress in your program; however, it should be done gradually. If you have running program, during the first week, the best that you can do is merely to walk for thirty minutes each day or every other day. On the second week, you can maintain the distance and frequency of your running, but this time you can walk alternately with running. Hence, you can walk for a total of 15 minutes and run for another 15 minutes.

There are three factors that will determine the load that you could give to yourself. These are frequency (how often), intensity (how fast), and time (how far). In increasing the load of your physical exercise, you need to alter just one of the factors. As much as possible, do not change more than one of the factors; otherwise, you will be confused as to whether you are increasing your load or not. In the example above, by shifting from total walking to alternating walking with running, in effect, you are only changing the intensity of the exercise. The frequency and time are not changed! They remain constant[1]!

“Principle 2: Progressive Stress – Train, Don’t Strain”[1]

As mentioned in the preceding section, introduction of additional load to your physical exercises should be done gradually. By the same token, when you train yourself to increase your stamina, you should also do it in progressive manner. You may not know it, but your body has great potential to progress in its ability to tackle whatever amount of load that you will introduce for as long as it is done in progressive manner. While it could gradually adapt to higher load, however, it has also limits; hence, do not strain your body.Once it has reached its highest load, stay there for some time. Do not increase it further. You may decrease a little bit, but not so much[1].

“Principle 3: Recovery – The Hard-Easy Method”[1]

There are times when you feel good and strong after doing a certain set of physical exercises. For this reason, you are sometimes tempted to do it again the following day! For your information, that is not the right way to do your physical exercises! Although you feel good, you need to rest the following day and allow your body to recover from the previous workout. There are no hard and fast rule on how many days you should rest before you do your physical exercises again! It depends on what your body can afford to do. Therefore, you need to listen to your body. If you need two days to rest, then do so. Another option that you can do is instead of totally resting on the recovery days, you can do light workouts[1].

“Principle 4: Specificity”

The set of physical exercises that you do depends on your goal. If you want to develop the muscles of your upper extremities, then you do push-ups. If you want to reduce the size of your bulging abdomen, then you do sit-up exercise. If you want to give more endurance to your heart and muscles, then you can do running! For a particular of goal, there is a set of muscles to be developed and strengthened; therefore, it requires a particular type of physical exercise.If you want to join in a running competition, then your training should revolve around running! You cannot do swimming as your daily physical exercise or focus of training, then you will compete in running! Your type of training depends on your goal[1]!

Reference:

Glover, Bob, Shepherd, Jack, and Glover, Shelly-lynn Florence. The Runner’s Handbook. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc., 1996.

The components of wellness program[1](Part 3)

“Work to balance the stresses and joys of work, friends and family” [1]

When you workin a corporate setting or otherwise, generation of stress cannot be avoided. It will inevitably take place because there are deadlines to be met and—if you are a supervisor—there are subordinates to contend with. However, to balance out the adverse effects of stress, you need to generate joy and contentment in yourself and among your co-workers. This is easier said than done, but the secret of having joy in the midst of your workplace, family, and friends is to practice openness, transparency, and good communication skill.

In a corporate setting, joy and contentment could be generated and spread if you—yourself—have it. Being happy and contented is very “infectious”, especially if you are a supervisor! If your subordinates see that you are in good mood, they will, in turn, reciprocate what you feel, and they would show the same feeling in the workplace. If you are a very sensitive person—and this is expected of from a supervisor or manager—you should be able to immediately sense the general mood of your working environment. If, in spite of your move to disseminate joy and contentment in the workplace, there seems to be something preventing it, then find out what it is. More often than not, some of   your staff have personal or work-related problems, and you need to find out.

After pinpointing those who have problems, you need to talk to each one of them, and find out what is bothering them. This is now the start of “good communication”. Once you have understood their problem(s), then you can address them accordingly. When the problems are solved, then expectedly the mood in your workplace will turn for the best. Always remember that staff with problems—related with you as a supervisor or not—are problematic employees! Talk to them and help solve their problems.

Similar to the workplace, in your family and among your friends, there are a number of individuals to contend with. You can apply the same techniques of disseminating joys and resolving impediments to having it.

Engage in regular physical exercises

The role of regular physical exercises in the promotion of health has been fully established by scientific researches. There is no doubt about it. Thus, after consulting some experts or websites, you need to start having regular physical exercises. One of the experts that you need to consult is a medical doctor who will examine and tell if you are medically allowed to engage in regular physical exercises.Once he issued you with medical clearance to have gym exercises, then you can start.

Regular physical exercises are not only good for your muscles and bones; they are also needed in the conditioning of your heart. In addition, they relax your whole body and refresh your mood.

Take your meals on time

It was mentioned in the preceding that you need to take your regular meals. Such advice is not complete because in addition to having regular meals, you need to take them on time. There are times that you do not have the desire to take your meal yet because you are not hungry. You delay your meal until you really feel the so-called hunger pangs. This is not advisable. If the time for your regular eating has come, take your meal even if you are not so hungry. If you want you can reduce the amount of food that you will take; but still, take your meal on time and avoid starving yourself.

 

Reference:

  1. Glover, Bob, Shepherd, Jack, and Glover, Shelly-lynn Florence. The Runner’s Handbook. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc., 1996.

 

 

 

The components of wellness program[1](Part 2)

“Do not abuse alcohol or drugs, and do not use tobacco in any form”[1]

The worst side effect of drinking too much alcohol is the development of liver cirrhosis. In this medical condition, there is extensive generation of fibers and scarring in your liver such that at certain point the flow of blood through it is partially or totally obstructed. When this takes place, the pressure of blood in the other blood vessels increases, leading to bleeding in the esophagus which could ultimately cause death.

Use of addictingdrugs could also cause a lot of undesirable effects on your health. Some of these adverse effects are feeling of drunkenness, talkativeness, blackouts, violent withdrawal symptoms, and even death due to overdose.The ten most commonly prescribed addicting drugs are the following: (1) Xanax (alprazolam), (2) Klonopin (clonazepam),(3)Valium (diazepam), (4) OxyContin (oxycodone), (5) Percocet (oxycodone), (6) Demerol (pethidine),(7) Darvocet (propoxyphene + acetaminophen), (8) Codein, (9) Adderal (amphetamine), and (10) Ritalin (methylphenidate)[2].Whenever a medical doctor prescribes you with a drug, try to know its nature, specifically its side effects.

The use of tobacco—in whatever form—is also discouraged because it has been scientifically established that it causes bronchogenic carcinoma in the lungs.

“Have regular medical and dental examinations”[1]

Annual medical examination is very important for you [Consult Powertec (127-133)]. It is meant to find out what are your ongoing and future medical problems; therefore, management could be started at the soonest time possible. By the same token, you need to have annual dental examination because a lot of medical problems arose from dental diseases. You may have kidney infection because you have been having dental problem!

“Work to develop an optimistic attitude and a sense of humor”[1]

Before starting on a project, have an optimistic frame of mind. You must believe that it will succeed because you know that you have planned for it, and have thought it out, so well. At the same time, practice the art of having a sense of humor because it could be your tool to fight out pressure in your daily life. Have laughter in your midst! Surely, you will be relaxed and refreshed to start doing again your work. Always remember what others say that laughter is the best medicine!

“Take minor upsets in stride”[1]

Whenever you are in a group—working in a corporate setting, for example—there is a great possibility that you will be upset by someone! Surely, your day is destroyed! However, the best approach to this situation is to take it in stride. You may try to explain your side, and point out what is wrong with what he did to you. But if the exchanges of justifications and excuses seem to have no end, it is better that you leave it as it is and end the discussion. Anger is at times cannot be avoided, but if done most of the time, it could increase your blood pressure. You may even die from it!

“Seek support from friends or family, or professional help, to deal with more serious stress”[1]

There are situations when the stress being generated is beyond your capability to solve.Do not hesitate to seek help from your friends and family members. They may have good ideas how to solve your problem. However, if they cannot help because your problem is so serious, then seek the assistance of a professional, such as a medical doctor or a psychologist. As soon as possible, solve your problem because if it is delayed, your condition might   deteriorate further.

References:

  1. Glover, Bob, Shepherd, Jack, and Glover, Shelly-lynn Florence. The Runner’s Handbook. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc., 1996.

Krucik GT, Krans B. The most addictive prescription drugs on the market. http://www.healthline.com/health/addiction/addictive-prescription-drugs#Overview1.

The components of wellness program[1](Part 1)

“Take frequent time outs—vacations, exercise breaks, regular family activities—to help overcome stress”[1]

Too much preoccupation with your work will generate boredom and lack of self-fulfillment in your life. At the end, stress is in your midst, and you will lose the energy and enthusiasm to work. To renew your zest in doing what you have been doing—and thus reducing stress—you need to break your routine, and look at new horizons, very much different from what you have been seeing day in and day out. These new horizons could be in the form of vacations, participation in sports, joining parties with friends and regular family members.

“Eat a balanced diet low in calories, fat, sugar, salt, and cholesterol but high in fiber and complex carbohydrates”[1]

It was emphasized in previous articles of Powertec that your diet should be low in calories so that you will not gain weight. In addition, it was also stressed that your diet should be low in fat, especially the saturated fat, so that you will avoid contracting diseases related to the heart and the blood vessels. Regarding intake of too much simple sugar, it should be avoided so that if you are prone to having diabetes mellitus, you will avoid having it, or—at the very least—you will delay its full development. Restriction of salt intake is encouraged so that you will not develop hypertension, and the same reason applies to restricting the intake of cholesterol-rich foods.

“Start each day with a healthy breakfast”[1]

When you take your breakfast, you are actually breaking your fasting because from the time you took your dinner up to the time you take it—your breakfast, the time difference is around twelve hours. Therefore, if you miss it, you will be depriving your body with the much needed nutrients, which were not supplied to it in the last twelve hours. Take your breakfast before you hit the road!

“Eat regular meals”[1]

You have three regular meals, and you need to take them on time. There are occasions, though, when you are so busy that you do not have the time to prepare or buy your meal(s). Your tendency will be to replace your breakfast or lunch with crackers or some drinks or some fast foods. Of course, you will feel full after eating or drinking them. However, it is not balanced. It may not contain the three food groups and the right number of calories that you need. Regular meals imply that they are balanced!

“Maintain a healthful weight”[1]

When you meet the phrase “healthful weight”, it is referring to the so-called ideal body weight (IBW). Your IBW depends on the following: (1) height, (2) sex, and (3) degree of daily activity. The higher you are, the greater will be your IBW. If you are male, your IBW is greater; and the more active you are in your daily chores, yourIBWneeds to be higher [Consult Powertec (20) on how to compute for yourIBW].

Your IBW is so important because it serves as an indexof predicting what diseases you will have if not corrected at the soonest time possible. If you actual weight is greater than your IBW, then you are prone to have hypertension, heart diseases, diabetes mellitus, joint and bone problems, and possible bone fractures.

“Sleep seven to eight hours a night”[1]

The positive role of adequate and solid sleep is undeniable. Surely, you have experienced lack of sleep, and you know very well the consequences! The following day, you cannot concentrate on your work because you feel drowsy! Until and after you have gotten the right number of hours of sleep, you will not be effective. Thus, do not miss your sleeping time!

Reference:

  1. Glover, Bob, Shepherd, Jack, and Glover, Shelly-lynn Florence. The Runner’s Handbook. New York: Penguin Books USA Inc., 1996.