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Archive for September 3, 2013

Fantastical

Fantastical Review: Apple, Please Make this app the Default Calendar app on the iPhone

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APP NAME: Fantastical
PLATFORMS: iPhone
PUBLISHER(S): Flexibits
VERSION REVIEWED: 1.0
GENRE(S): Productivity
RELEASE DATE: November 16, 2012
PRICE: $1.99
DOWNLOAD Fantastical - Flexibits Inc.

Calendar apps are aplenty in the App Store and depending upon your taste any one of them may be better than the stock Calendar app. I’ve never found one that ultimately dethroned the built-in convenience of the stock app; but now that I’ve tried Fantastical for iPhone, my days with the stock app are over. Fantastical nails the calendar experience in a way that’s so good, I wish Apple would buy them out and make Fantastical the core iOS Calendar app.

In terms of basic functionality, Fantastical works like any other calendar app. You can enter events, set them up to alert or repeat, sync with things like Google calendars and iCloud, etc. Where it really shines is in two areas: in the way you enter your event data, and in the way information is delivered.

Event data is entered through a useful and well-honed “natural language function”. You type in a real-world sentence like “Meeting with Chip from 9am to 11am” into the entry field, and Fantastical automatically figures out you want to schedule a Meeting with Chip in the 9am – 11am slot that day. If you’re in a hurry, that’s it — type one line and the item is there for you later.

Using Fantastical’s easy entry feature is the typing equivalent of telling Siri to schedule the appointment. Like Siri, it will assume things by default (set the meeting for “Busy,” set it for an hour if no end time is specified), and you can change or add details once the item is created. But for on the fly scheduling, it’s a great convenience, especially in situations where talking to Siri isn’t practical or desirable. [And if you do want to talk to the app, just use the dictate function on the keyboard.]

The second standout here is the so-called DayTicker, the name of Fantastical’s way of delivering calendar info. This split-screen display gives you the days of the week along the top, along with colorful bubbles indicating scheduled events (the longer the bubble, the longer the event) while a color-coded list of event details appears beneath it. Scrolling either one scrolls the other with it, and tapping on any day or event brings up those details. Want to see a whole month? Tugging down on the days automatically pulls down a monthly calendar. Want to go back to the day view? Tug down the calendar.

I’m finding it difficult to express the ease with which this thing works in words, but trust me, it does. It’s fluid and intuitive and visually appealing.

Now, if only Apple would see this app for what it is and buy it outright; this needs to become the default calendar for iOS. Because if there’s one complaint I have with this, it’s just that: I can’t use it as my default calendar app. Calendar alerts will always open up Calendar by default; Siri will function through Calendar first; It doesn’t show the current date in the app badge. I want Fantastical to be my only calendar app; but Apple always keeps Calendar in there as my iPhone’s middleman.

I also wish the app integrated Reminders. I would like to have everything in one list without having to fake work-arounds like setting an “All Day, Open” event for a reminder that I know is in my Reminders app. There’s got to be a way to make this happen, Flexibits!

Despite the few limitations, I love Fantastical. Eventually, everyone falls in love with a third-party calendar app, and this one is mine. It’s definitely worth a look.

Our Score: 4.5 out of 5

Fantastical - Flexibits Inc.

via Fantastical Review: Apple, Please Make this app the Default Calendar app on the iPhone | App Chronicles.

Seaweed and Tofu Beignets with Lime Mayonnaise

seaweed-and-tofu-beignets-with-lime-mayonnaise

INGREDIENTS

LIME MAYONNAISE

1 large egg yolk*

1 tsp. finely grated lime zest

2 tsp. fresh lime juice

1 cup grapeseed or vegetable oil

Kosher salt

LEMON-JALAPEÑO PASTE

1 large lemon

1 jalapeño, with seeds, chopped

Kosher salt

SEAWEED AND TOFU BEIGNETS

½ cup dried wakame (seaweed)

1½ cups all-purpose flour

1½ tsp. baking soda

1½ tsp. kosher salt plus more

1 large egg yolk

3 oz. soft (silken) tofu (about ⅓ cup)

1 cup (or more) club soda

Vegetable oil (for frying; about 3 cups)

PREPARATION


SPECIAL EQUIPMENT:

  • A deep-fry thermometer

LIME MAYONNAISE

  • Whisk egg yolk and lime zest and juice in a medium bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly add oil, drop by drop at first, and whisk until mayonnaise is thickened and smooth; season with salt.
  • DO AHEAD: Lime mayonnaise can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

LEMON-JALAPEÑO PASTE

  • Finely grate lemon zest; then, using a small knife, remove peel and pith and discard. Halve lemon; remove seeds from flesh. Pulse lemon zest and flesh and jalapeño in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a fine-mesh sieve and press out liquid; discard liquid. Place paste in a small bowl; season with salt.
  • DO AHEAD: Paste can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

SEAWEED AND TOFU BEIGNETS

  • Place wakame in a small bowl; add warm water to cover. Let stand until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain; squeeze wakame to remove excess water and coarsely chop.
  • Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in wakame, egg yolk, tofu, and 1 cup club soda, adding more club soda if batter is too thick (it should be the consistency of pancake batter).
  • Fit a medium saucepan with thermometer; pour in oil to measure 2”. Heat over medium-high heat until thermometer registers 350°. Working in batches and returning oil to 350° between batches, drop tablespoonfuls of batter into oil and fry, turning occasionally, until crisp, cooked through, and deep golden brown, about 4 minutes. Transfer beignets to a paper towel–lined plate; season with salt.
  • Dot serving plates with lime mayonnaise; place beignets on plates and dab each one with lemon-jalapeno paste.
  • DO AHEAD: Batter can be made 1 hour ahead (do not add baking soda and club soda). Cover and chill. Bring to room temperature and whisk in baking soda and club soda just before frying.

ADDITIONAL INFO

  • *Raw egg is not recommended for infants, the elderly, pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems…or people who don’t like raw egg.

via Seaweed and Tofu Beignets with Lime Mayonnaise – Bon Appétit.

秋天多燥氣 養肺必按4個穴道

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肺功能不僅影響呼吸道疾病,還關係到肺循環、體循環。

 

這幾天天氣轉涼,不少人才感覺到秋天真的來了,而秋天是季節轉換的時候,氣溫仍不穩定,許多人容易呼吸不順、或出現氣管症狀,中醫師指出,因秋天乾燥度提升,易傷肺,呼吸道疾病也容易在秋天發作,所以中醫強調秋季養肺,可多吃白色食物如川貝、山藥,平時也可多按保健穴道提升免疫力。

中醫師陳旺全表示,許多人會在秋天感到口乾舌燥、呼吸不順,是因肺部受燥氣影響所致,不僅口、鼻不舒服,連皮膚也乾癢,在中醫觀點中,肺除了呼吸功能外,還包含體外的防禦力、體內免疫力、水分代謝、呼吸道等等,所以肺功能不僅影響呼吸道疾病,還關係到肺循環、體循環。

秋天多「燥氣」,而在中醫裡,身體器官對應五行,肺屬於金、脾胃屬於土,土能生金,所以養肺也要調理脾胃,因脾胃功能健全,才可吸收食物營養、免疫系統功能維持好,身體不容易出毛病,肺部問題也可一起說掰掰,飲食方面可多吃百合、蓮子、芡實等養肺潤喉食品,平時也要多運動,維持身體免疫力,陳旺全中醫師也推薦4保健穴道。

養肺4穴道

曲池穴

位置:肘關節彎曲成直角,在肘橫紋的外側頭凹陷處。

功效:曲池穴排毒功能強,可清熱瀉火,對免疫力異常引起的過敏性疾病也有療效,但此穴容易造成流產、孕婦禁用。

 

曲池穴排毒功能強,可清熱瀉火,對免疫力異常引起的過敏性疾病也有療效。(攝影/楊伯康)

曲池穴排毒功能強,可清熱瀉火,對免疫力異常引起的過敏性疾病也有療效。(攝影/楊伯康)

 

合谷穴

位置:在手大拇指與食指相會凹陷處。

功效:合谷穴可疏通血氣、散風邪、退熱消炎、治療鼻過敏,可緩解秋燥症狀;頭痛或經痛時也可按合谷穴止痛,還可調理腸胃、鎮靜神經。

 

合谷穴可疏通血氣、散風邪、退熱消炎。(攝影/楊伯康)

合谷穴可疏通血氣、散風邪、退熱消炎。(攝影/楊伯康)

 

三陰交穴

位置:在腳踝骨的最高點往上約四根手指橫著的寬度。

功效:三陰交穴可調治脾胃虛弱,消化不良,排除體內濕氣、濁氣、毒素,舒緩過敏症狀,女性月經不調,也可按此穴。

 

三陰交穴可調治脾胃虛弱,消化不良,排除體內濕氣、濁氣、毒素。(攝影/楊伯康)

三陰交穴可調治脾胃虛弱,消化不良,排除體內濕氣、濁氣、毒素。(攝影/楊伯康)

 

足三里穴

位置:正坐,讓大腿、小腿成直角,將四指併攏放在膝蓋外側凹陷處正下方,小指下方與小腿骨外側交界的凹陷處。

功效:足三里穴可補脾健胃,促進吸收,增強免疫力,可疏通經絡、調和氣血。

 

足三里穴可補脾健胃,促進吸收,增強免疫力。(攝影/楊伯康)

足三里穴可補脾健胃,促進吸收,增強免疫力。(攝影/楊伯康)

 

【中醫師小叮嚀】:

陳旺全中醫師提醒,想要呼吸通暢,秋季肺部健康,除了多吃白色食物、勤按穴道保健,還要避吃過於寒涼的瓜類,油炸、辛辣的食物也要少吃,運動方面盡量維持每個星期3次、每次30分鐘,並達心跳每分鐘130下原則,才可趕跑秋咳,身體免疫力提升後也不怕即將到來的冬天。

via 秋天多燥氣 養肺必按4個穴道 | 20130903 | 華人健康網.

每日喝1小杯紅酒 揮別憂鬱症

41020
西班牙研究指出,每日喝一小杯紅酒,有助於降低憂鬱症可能。(圖片/取材自英國《每日郵報》)

過去曾有不少報導討論法國人高油、高熱量飲食習慣,但國民肥胖率、慢性病卻沒有其他國家來得高的矛盾現象,原因就在於法國人習慣每天喝適量紅酒,幫助保障心血管健康;而近來西班牙研究更發現,每天喝1杯紅酒對於心理健康也有幫助,憂鬱症機率比不喝酒的人低了32%。

根據英國《每日郵報》報導指出,在5505名55~80歲參與地中海飲食與心臟疾病關聯的受試者中,進行長達7年的飲食習慣、情緒等多方面觀察分析,在7年後有443名受試者罹患憂鬱症。

50毫升紅酒抗憂鬱

發表於「BMC醫學期刊」(BMC Medicine journal)的研究報告指出,每周攝取酒精量5~15克,也就是約喝2~7杯紅酒的人(每杯約50毫升),在罹患憂鬱症的機率上比完全不碰酒的人低了32%。

 

想要保持心情開朗,多參與社交活動、保持運動習慣也有所關聯。

想要保持心情開朗,多參與社交活動、保持運動習慣也有所關聯。

 

這樣的研究結果與過去普遍認知的「飲酒會更憂鬱」現象的說法有所出入,主導此研究的米格爾(Miguel Martinez-Gonzalez)教授表示,紅酒中的「白藜蘆醇」已知是預防心血管疾病、心臟病的有益物質,而憂鬱症有部分成因其實也與心血管雷同,都與體內炎症有所關聯。

淺酌有益健康 勿飲酒過量

除了與紅酒抗氧化成份有關以外,也有另外一種推測指出可能與日常社交有關,研究顯示有適量飲酒習慣的族群,也較常有運動習慣、休閒社交活動,因此也有助於減低罹患憂鬱症的機率。不過酒精攝取過量,卻反而會使憂鬱症情形更為嚴重,須自行小心斟酌。

via 每日喝1小杯紅酒 揮別憂鬱症 | 20130903 | 華人健康網.

止肌膚的渴!秋季保濕喝蔬果精力湯

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當季的新鮮蔬果含有豐富的水分、植物化合物和維生素,可幫助身體正常運作,讓肌膚保持水噹噹。

秋天天氣轉涼,不少愛美女性抱怨皮膚變乾燥,脫屑甚至細紋橫生,選擇購買昂貴的滋潤型保養品,由外而內加強肌膚保濕,不過營養師認為多吃當季的新鮮蔬果,也能補充肌膚所需水分和營養,改善乾燥和老化的困擾,使肌膚變得細嫩又有光澤。

肌膚水噹噹 吃得營養健康很重要

嘉義聖馬爾定醫院營養室主任侯玟伊表示,秋季的空氣乾燥,中醫養生之道建議多吃當季蔬果,可緩解因秋燥所引發的身體和肌膚不適,而以營養學角度來說,蔬果含有豐富水分、維生素和多種礦物質,是人體所需營養的主要來源,在生活作息正常的情況下,足夠的營養素可維持人體機能正常運作,促進肌膚正常代謝,保持水嫩的健康好膚質。

秋季常見的當令蔬果,包括胡蘿蔔、蘿蔔、甘薯、冬瓜、花胡瓜等,皆富含大量水分,可對肌膚產生「喝水補水」的作用,其他各類植物化合物和維生素如A、B、C等,以及礦物質如鈣、鎂、磷、鐵、鉀等,則可以促進肌膚新陳代謝,維持透亮膚色。

維生素A可從深綠色和深黃色蔬菜攝取,有助於維持上皮組織的型態和機能,使細胞水分不致減少;維生素B群則可幫助細胞肌膚再生;維生素C和E具有抗氧化的作用。其他維生素各有其不同的營養價值。

養顏美容 天天4水果5蔬菜

依據衛生福利部的每日飲食指南建議,國人每日應攝取2至4份水果,每一份約1個拳頭或棒球大小,相當於半根中大型香蕉、1顆水梨、10至13顆葡萄、1小顆蘋果(約110克)、3片文旦柚、1碗切塊木瓜、1.5顆奇異果、1/4顆酪梨。攝取時應以多樣化為原則,避免同一天吃單一種類水果。

蔬菜部分,侯玟伊營養師建議每天應攝取3至5份。她提到,蔬菜不像水果有單醣和雙醣、攝取過量會發胖或血糖升高等問題,所以可多吃一點,但應兼顧多樣化原則,建議每天蔬菜攝取量中,一定要有1份菇蕈類,新鮮的重量約100克,其主要作用不在於補充膠原蛋白(因沒有植物性膠原蛋白的說法),但其豐富的免疫多醣體,可調整免疫力,促進身體和肌膚新陳代謝,進而養顏美容。

 

每天攝取一份菇類,可補充免疫多醣體,增強肌膚免疫力,促進肌膚新陳代謝和健康。(圖片/本網站資料照片)

每天攝取一份菇類,可補充免疫多醣體,增強肌膚免疫力,促進肌膚新陳代謝和健康。(圖片/本網站資料照片)

 

推薦蔬果汁1:葡萄抗老精力湯

  • 食材:紅蘿蔔 50g、深色蔬菜50g、葡萄 50g、香蕉1根、亞麻仁籽2茶匙、冷開水300c.c.。
  • 作法:深色蔬菜洗淨,燙煮1分鐘,再將所有食材至入果汁調理機,打勻即可飲用。

推薦蔬果汁2:黃豆養肌精力湯

  • 食材:蘋果1粒、煮熟的黃豆1米杯、開水約600c.c.。
  • 作法:將蒸熟黃豆、開水放入調理機打勻;再將蘋果丁放入,打勻,即可飲用。

推薦蔬果汁3:輕蔬美顏精力湯

  • 食材:苜蓿芽半碗、綠色葉菜1碗、蘋果1個、奇異果1個、腰果5粒、海帶芽(乾品)1g、黑芝麻粉3g、蜂蜜10c.c.、開水約200c.c.。
  • 作法:
    1. 深色蔬菜洗淨,燙煮1分鐘後備用。蘋果和奇異果洗淨去皮切塊。
    2. 腰果、海帶芽用沸水泡10分鐘,軟化後瀝乾。
    3. 所有材料加水200c.c.入果汁機,充分拌勻,即可食用。

【健康小叮嚀】

上述精力湯中的腰果可以用堅果類取代;蔬菜和水果,只要是當季新鮮食材,都可以洗淨後相互替代,但若是腸胃功能不好或免疫力較差的民眾,使用的蔬果務必先汆燙殺菌,以免感染而引發菌血症。

via 止肌膚的渴!秋季保濕喝蔬果精力湯 | 20130903 | 華人健康網.

徐力盼南方大學學院成領頭羊‧帶動中醫腫瘤治療

455x310.2013.09.03.b826e01
南方大學學院開辦中醫腫瘤教研室,加強中醫對腫瘤科的教學和研究工作。(圖:星洲日報)

由於癌症屬高發性病症,中國著名中醫藥腫瘤治療專家、南京中醫藥大學腫瘤研究所副所長徐力教授期許南方大學學院,及早發展為馬來西亞中醫腫瘤治療基地,在有關宣導、醫療、教學和科研4方面精進,成為國內中醫腫瘤治療的領頭羊。

他認為,相關進修班的開辦,對本地腫瘤病黎非常有利和重要。他期許南方大學學院在這領域成為中心點,帶動國內中醫腫瘤治療向全國“輻射”。

徐力從事中西醫結合臨床和科研逾20年,也曾經應我國衛生部之邀,在新山的班蘭醫院的傳統醫藥部門指導過中醫醫療部門的醫生。

很多西藥從中藥提取

“中西醫治療都有它的優缺點,重要的是我們如何有機的將它們組合起來。在美國一些著名的大學已在研究針灸治療。”他補充,現在很多相關西藥都是從中藥提取的。

他認為,南方大學學院開辦中醫腫瘤教研室,因應時勢的需求,該校儘早成為這個基地,即可成為這領域的領頭羊。

而他建議,該校必須先著手的就是宣傳,加強中醫治療的知識,再者是醫療、教學和科研。

“第一,要宣傳中醫腫瘤治療的療效,讓民眾知道中醫腫瘤治療的內容,目前甚至連西醫也不知道到底中醫治療腫瘤可以起哪些作用。”徐力首先點出了中醫理念宣傳的問題,。

所以,他認為南方大學學院能多辦類似的講座,教育更多人瞭解中醫腫瘤的治療。

在有關教育方面,他說,在南京中醫藥大學裡面,中醫腫瘤就專門開一堂課,院方對指導病人的醫師要求非常高。他在班蘭醫院擔任指導時,院方也讓徐力辦相關培訓班。

將中醫腫瘤治療規範化

徐力認為,最重要的是,讓本科生學習中醫腫瘤治療,而已在業界但沒有接觸過這門學問的醫師進行在職培訓,繼續教育,將中醫腫瘤治療充份規範化。

“中國衛生部已在2008年出了中醫治療指南,我也在指南的培訓團隊中,醫生不能隨心所欲按照自已的理解去行事。”

他認為,中醫治療也不能只掌握在少數核心專家手中,而應讓整體醫師在中醫腫瘤治療的領域提昇,才會對病黎有利。

不同種族
臨床研究空間大

科研方面,徐力指出,在大馬臨床研究方面有很大的空間。大馬有馬來人、印度人,不同的人種,到底甚麼方案是合適的?

此外,他說大馬有本土的草藥,這些草藥有沒有用?效果如何?這些本土草藥到底是作用,還是副作用?這都是科研要做的部份,它不能靠在職的醫師去做,因為他們沒有這方面的時間、資源與支援。

徐氏表示,上述種種都必須由大學配合其他單位一起動工才行,例如與區內的中醫學院、或藥業,只要理念契合就可以合作,而南方大學學院可以提供這個平台。

中藥研發難著手

南方大學學院中醫藥與腫瘤教研室顧問陳期發表示,在我國的中藥研發方面,民間想做,但是很難做到。

陳期發表示,目前,該校已著手召集所有人才,將過去分散的資源整合起來。

via 2013年09月03日 – 徐力盼南方大學學院成領頭羊‧帶動中醫腫瘤治療 – 大柔佛 – 頭條新聞 – 地方.

職業婦女調適心理‧平衡家庭事業

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一個職業婦女在追求完美的工作和家庭生活的過程中,往往會出現生理、心理和人際關係方面的不適應症狀。因為她們需要同時充當多種角色,而且總想儘量完美地扮演好這些角色,所以難免會產生內心上的緊張和壓力,以及生理和心理上疲勞。

若職業婦女偶然有緊張、不安、憤怒或悲傷的情緒,皆屬於正常現象。但當一種或數種心理症狀成為你生活中的主導現象時,便需要予以重視。

 

壓力來源

角色負荷:必須同時扮演母親、妻子、媳婦、女兒,還有工作上的角色,過度負荷多種角色的結果,常陷入“蠟燭兩頭燒"的困境。

角色衝突:多重角色裡,每一個角色都有被期待的行為型態,角色之間常會有對立與矛盾的情形,如欲在工作上力求表現,常易影響對母親、妻子角色的承拒,因而帶來壓力。

壓力下的行為反應

◆身體不適:頭痛、腰背酸痛、失眠,甚至出現一些症狀,例如腸胃不適或呼吸不順暢等。

◆焦慮不安:心頭煩悶常坐立難安。

◆沮喪:好像有一股東西壓於胸口無法輕鬆。

◆脾氣暴躁:容易發脾氣,且將白天勞累的情緒帶回家中。

◆冷漠:當壓力過大無力克服且不得不工作時,乃將工作視為例行公事而興趣索然。

心理調適

‧不做完美主義者:要多看到自己的長處並自我獎勵,不要把他人的批評看做是對你個人的指控。

‧適當地與他人分擔工作:一個人獨攬責任會極大地消耗當事人的精力,而且也未必能產生實效。所以,適時恰當地與他人分擔責任和工作,充份調動起周圍人的主動性和創造性,從而高效率地完成各項事務。

‧勇於表達情緒:勇於公開表達自己的消極情緒,對不同意見敢於否決,尤其是要學會擺脫干擾和拒絕那些自己不想答應或無法答應的請求,才能讓家庭和工作之間取得平衡。

‧學會很好地照顧自己:長期處於疲勞和精神緊張狀態會降低工作效率,並且會產生各種消極的心理反應。所以,為了同時兼顧家庭和事業,要先做的就應當時時學會很好地照顧自己,滿足自己的各種基本需要。

‧短暫休息:每經過一段腦力或勞力活動後,都應暫時放下家務和工作,短暫休息將有助於舒解壓力並使頭腦清醒。

‧規律運動:無論家庭或工作事務多麼繁忙,職業婦女都得在空閒時進行一項喜愛的運動,以鬆弛緊張的神經,幫助入眠來舒解煩惱與憂悶。

‧學習放鬆目己:忙完工作和家務事後,職業婦女可在晚間做肌肉鬆弛運動、靜坐和瑜珈來放鬆身心。

‧每日列出隔日的日程表:預先規定每日工作項目,以妥善運用時間,使家庭和事業都可以取得平衡。

‧多與人討論所面臨的困擾:學習對家人、伴侶和朋友表達並討論困擾,除了可舒解壓力,也有助於解決問題。

‧儘量避免同時作多項改變:重大事件往往帶來壓力,只要事件不接踵而至則較易解決。

‧維持健康社交生活:發掘家庭與工作外的興趣很重要,不要為了工作或家庭的承諾而忽略朋友,應該與朋友建立良好的聯繫。

‧尋求專家的協助:當壓力過大時,及早求助於心理諮商機構或精神科的協助。

光明日報/良醫‧編輯:張芷瓊

via 職業婦女調適心理‧平衡家庭事業 – 健康人生 – 粉紅手記 – 生活誌.

Weight alert

obe
People who are obese have a BMI of over 30.

Are you obese, fat or skinny? Check your body mass index and body fat reading

THE New Straits Times-Cyberjaya Green Ride 2013 is all about encouraging a healthy lifestyle. Physical activity and balanced meals will help you maintain your ideal weight.

One way to find out if your weight falls within the healthy range in relation to your height is by using the body mass index (BMI). You can calculate your BMI by dividing your weight (kg) by the square of your height in metres (BMI = kg/m2),
Due to its ease of measurement and calculation, it is the most widely used diagnostic tool to determine if a person is underweight, overweight or obese.

With the World Health Organisation giving its endorsement for the use of BMI to determine a person’s appropriate weight to their height, it has been used extensively by health practitioners around the world.

A person with BMI of  30 and above is considered obese and those between 25 and 29.9 are overweight. Healthy weight is between 18.5  and 24.9, and underweight is below 18.5.

There are health risks associated with people with underweight and overweight problems. Illness associated with being underweight ranges from simple tiredness due to inadequate energy intake, reduced immunity, infections, anaemia, vitamin deficiencies, thinning of the bones, infertility and heart rhythm irregularities.

While those with high BMI are at risk of high blood cholesterol or other lipid disorders, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, certain cancers, gall bladder disease, sleep apnea and snoring, premature death, osteoarthritis and joint disease.

The classification enables health professionals to recognise that people with low BMI may have an eating disorder, or alert them to certain health problems in  a person with high BMI.

To maintain an ideal weight, it is advisable to start on a healthy diet that has a balance of food groups, vitamins and minerals as well as engaging in physical activity.

If you are in the overweight and obese range, losing at least 10 per cent of body weight may bring about desirable health benefits and improved feelings of well-being.

Come to  the Health & Style booth at the New Straits Times-Cyberjaya Green Ride 2013 on Sept 14 at Cyberjaya Lakeside and check your BMI reading.

BP Healthcare Group will set up a mobile diagnostic centre equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for audiometry test, lung function test, resting ECG, body composition analysis, bone mineral density check and body mass index test.

Read more: Weight alert – Health – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/life-times/health/weight-alert-1.348014#ixzz2dq9LjpKQ

via Weight alert – Health – New Straits Times.

Helping patients change their mindset

depression
Some patients develop depression because they have to go through difficult treatment methods.

Psychologists can help patients cope better with their illnesses, writes Sushma Veera

WHEN a person is diagnosed with a medical condition or a physical illness, it is not just the physical symptoms that need to be treated.

Most patients experience anxiety when told they have a life-threatening illness. Others may become depressed because of the difficult treatments they have to undergo.

Then there are patients who are in denial, who do not take care of themselves with appropriate behavioural changes.

Clinical psychologist Dr Hariyati Shahrima Abdul Majid says psychological treatment can help patients change the way they perceive or view their illness in terms of symptoms and severity, what it entails and the types of treatment.

“There are many people who associate psychological treatments with mental disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar or borderline personality,” she says. “But psychological treatments also help patients who are mentally healthy but have one or more physical conditions.

“It teaches patients to manage the distress, anxiety and depression among others issues associated with living with a medical condition. In other words, the treatments help patients find new ways of dealing with the illness effectively.”

THE WAY WE THINK
Not many people know that psychologists can help those with physical or medical conditions. It can come in the form of basic emotional support such as counselling.

“For patients who are resistant to treatment or are in denial, we have what is called motivational interviewing,” she says. This is a counselling approach to engage intrinsic motivation so that a person can make behaviour changes.

“For example, if I have diabetes, I have to start exercising and to manage my stress better. I also have to change my eating habits. Motivational interviewing makes patients less resistant to change and start thinking of behavioural changes,” she says.

“Another type of psychological treatment that is widely used is cognitive behavioural therapy, which helps patients change the way they think about a stressful event and consequently, the way they behave or respond to it.

“There’s also mindfulness therapy where patients are taught to develop gratitude and be thankful for what they have as well as to be aware of their surroundings and people. This ultimately changes the way they think, so they become more positive.”

There are also treatments for stroke patients and to help patients quit smoking.

“It is not like a wishy-washy thing. It’s not just us saying ‘we understand your problem’. We use different techniques to address the way patients think, which results in behavioural changes so that their anxiety or depression can be managed,” she says.

QUALIFIED PROFESSIONALS
Trained and qualified psychologists — ideally with a clinical or health psychology background — will work with the patients.

“We help patients deal with emotional distress, with the shock of being diagnosed with a certain medical condition and to help them with behavioural changes, such as quit smoking, change their diet or manage anxiety and depression,” says Hariyati, who is also an assistant professor of psychology.

THERAPY FOR ALL
Psychological treatment is not confined to any particular illness, but  everything from light urinary leakage (LUL), diabetes, stroke and cancer to other debilitative illnesses.

“Even for those with less severe medical conditions, there are changes that may affect patients in different ways,” sayd Hariyati.

For example, she adds, those who have LUL may  not want to attend events with a longer time frame. “Their self-esteem suffers because they feel they have no control over their condition. If they don’t have someone to talk to, they may become depressed. They would see LUL as a barrier to an active social life.”

Hariyati was on the expert panel for the recent Poise event, Embracing The Realities Of Light Urinary Leakage Workshop For Women.

TREATMENT TIME
Psychological treatment has no exact time frame. It takes longer to work on people with severe medical conditions if they are without the support of family and friends or have mobility problems.

“Sometimes, it takes just two sessions but on average, if I deal with someone who also has social anxiety about attending programmes, it may require more sessions,” says Hariyati.

“Working with a patient diagnosed with terminal stage breast cancer  may take about five to six sessions. However, if a patient has borderline personality disorder or a psychological disorder or diabetes and cancer, it may take up to six months.”

LOCAL TAKE
Sadly, Hariyati says psychological treatment is not a common practice here. “Many people do not understand what it is. Sometimes we think a motivational talk will be enough  but that is only at a basic, superficial level.”

On whether local doctors pay attention to the link between illnesses and psychological treatments, she says: “It depends on their training and whether they’ve had experience with a mental health professional. If they have, they will be more open to work with a psychologist. I think younger doctors are more open as it is part of their training as well.

“I take it as a challenge and I like that there is evidence to show that psychological treatment has significantly impacted patients’ health.”

She thinks it will take years before hospitals start providing and implementing psychological treatments for medical patients.”

She adds that there is definitely progress because there are private sectors who hire psychologists to work with medical patients.

“There is still work to be done before people accept that psychologists are part of the multi-disciplinary team for patients that include doctors, nurses, dietitians and physiotherapists,”  she says.

Read more: Helping patients change their mindset – Health – New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/life-times/health/helping-patients-change-their-mindset-1.348019#ixzz2dq8mqb6L

via Helping patients change their mindset – Health – New Straits Times.

Get fit at the workplace

work-exercise

To get their employees to live healthier, more companies are setting up fitness programmes and facilities, writes Lili Lajman

Although I rarely used the gym as I was already frequenting another closer to home on weekends, it was comforting to know that the facility was just a few steps away in case I needed to work out on weekdays, to sweat away the unwanted-but-always-there calories and work stress.

But this bank is not unique. Many banks  provide gym facilities for staff in their headquarters. And from the looks of it, this healthy trend is growing in all industries in the country.

More and more companies are getting their office premises fitted with a gym. This positive move may just help boost the health and fitness level of a huge percentage of the working population.

The New Straits Times Press too has a well-equipped gym at its main office in Jalan Riong, Bangsar. It has also gone a step further in its bid to promote a healthier lifestyle among its employees by organising weight management programmes, periodic health talks and Health Awareness Day.

WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAMME
NSTP launched its weight management programme, called the Lose Big Win Big Contest, in 2011. It ran for six months, with participants working out at the in-house gym under the supervision of personal trainers.

Last year, the company and Media Prima Berhad (MPB) took a different approach by introducing the Kilos For Cash (KFC) programme where participants were given the freedom to formulate their own exercise and diet regime.

Overseeing the programme is Dr Rohaya Ramli, director and family physician at the Bakti Healthcare. She says:  “NSTP-MPB embarked on this programme to encourage the workforce to lose weight the healthy way — that is through regular exercise and a low calorie healthy diet.”

The KFC contest, which ran for 100 days, was open to NSTP-MPB staff who registered a BMI reading of 25 and above. However, they must be fairly healthy, not pregnant or suffering from any serious medical condition or injury. They must also not be on any concurrent weight loss medications or slimming programmes.

“Following last year’s success, the management has decided to continue it this year. The programme, which started in mid-June will be ending on Sept 13 and lucrative cash prizes awaiting the winners,” adds Dr Rohaya.

Interestingly, KFC has its own Facebook page to provide an easy communication channel between participants and the  committee members.

Additionally, healthy cooking demonstrations are also carried out for the benefit of the contestants. Clearly, proactive employer engagement has proved to be valuable in ensuring employees’ fitness and health.

DIETARY INFORMATION
According to independent researcher Dr Mageswari Rajoo, employees with desk-bound jobs generally tend to have a weight problem. When a company takes the initiative to undertake work wellness programmes, these employees may be encouraged to lose weight the healthy way.

Dr Mageswari conducted a study to investigate the effectiveness of 20-30 minutes of physical exercise as part of the wellness programme. Her study focused on a six-month programme at an oil and gas company in Terengganu. It began in 2009 and is still ongoing,

“The company showed its commitment to the cause by providing gym facilities. In 2009, there was only one treadmil. Today, there are four,” she says.

The programme consists of simple exercises such as aerobics, squats or walking on the treadmill. Over the years, there were different groups of participants from the pre-retirement group aged 40-55, with a BMI of 25 and above.

Presenting her findings at the recent 2nd International Congress in Sports and Exercise Medicine 2013, Dr Mageswari  said that when people were at work, they generally did not exercise. However, when companies make it easier for them to work out in the office, some are more inclined to do so.

“We also found that those provided with dietary information tended to lose more weight compared with those who only focused on exercise. This was mainly because they were made more aware of what they eat, especially the calorie content,” she said.

“Our lifestyle is different from that of our grandparents. Apart from the food factor, we live a sedentary lifestyle, which contributes to obesity.”

Recently Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya  said that there are about three million obese Malaysians and that the number is increasing. Also, there are about five million people who have varying degrees of diabetes.

The numbers are alarming, to say the least.

Professor Datuk Dr Mydin Musa, president of the Society Of Sports and Exercise Medicine Malaysia, said: “Healthy Malaysians would mean a healthy productive population and healthy wellbeing can be achieved through sports and exercise. Corporate companies and government bodies should take the initiative to provide proper gym equipment and trainers as well as organise sustainable wellness programmes, including awareness talks and campaigns at the workplace.”

With the recent launch of the Youth and Sports Ministry’s Gym Makes Me Fit & Healthy 2013 programme for its employees, perhaps more ministries and government bodies as well as the corporate sectors will jump on the health bandwagon.

Read more: Get fit at the workplace – Health – New Straits Timeshttp://www.nst.com.my/life-times/health/get-fit-at-the-workplace-1.348045#ixzz2dq781uLZ

via Get fit at the workplace – Health – New Straits Times.

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