Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Foot Care

Foot Care - Our feet keep us standing and allow us to reach all kinds of places. It is only necessary that we keep in mind some words of advice regarding the care of our feet.

Choose comfort over vanity. It is certainly flattering for our height to wear high-heeled shoes or sandals. However, it also places undue pressure on our heels and ankles, which are elevated and stretched at an angle, respectively. In fact, varicose veins and early rheumatism are highly attributable to high-heeled shoes. Because of this, such footwear must be reserved only for formal events and other gatherings in which high-heeled shoes are quite required.

The material of the footwear must also be considered for evaluation. The general rule is for the shoes to allow the feet to “breathe,” or at least ensure that the sweat is not kept inside but absorbed by socks. In this case, cotton sneakers are preferable over leather pumps.
Soft, smooth materials such as velvet, wool, and fleece must be chosen over hard, textured ones such as snakeskin or synthetic leather.

Keep the feet clean. Before wearing socks, be sure to wash the feet and pat them dry so as not to keep the dirt inside. This will stop the germs from proliferating. Before going to sleep, wash your feet, apply lotion, and wear socks to keep them smooth and soft. Occasionally, go to a foot spa or make an improvised one at home, using lukewarm water, two tablespoons of shampoo, and five tablespoons of liquid soap to scrape off the dirt which cannot be removed by daily bathing. Get nails cleaned thoroughly once in a while by using nail brush and soap at home. However, be careful not to wash them immediately after a long day of wearing rubber shoes or high heels, and definitely not after a strenuous activity that tires out the feet, such as driving, jogging, or walking. The feet must be allowed to rest before washing.

Maintain good physical health. Exercise. It is healthy to walk briskly for at least ten minutes a day to ensure a regular flow of blood not just in your feet, but also in the whole body. Moreover, eating a healthy diet will ascertain calcium for the bones in your feet and protein for your muscles. Maintaining a good posture is also beneficial since it eases the feet’s burden of supporting your whole body weight.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Homo Nocturnos: Understanding Your Insomnia...

Have you met a homo nocturnos?

Maybe you meet him every night...

We have met those types during our college days – guys and girls who burned the midnight oil literally, not because they are the diligently studying, but because they just couldn't sleep.

They would flip over in bed from edge to edge, making annoying noises and disturbing our sleep, then they would get out of bed and turn the lights on, and create more annoying noises and an even greater disturbance.

The next day, these people get raccoon eyes and take pills with long and difficult to spell names. Who can claim that he has a life when he's losing sleep for no apparent reason? Even nocturnal animals like the night owl would certainly look unglamorous with raccoon eyes.

Most people get catatonic over the littlest things. Some do after ingesting mushrooms, chocolates, breads and pasta, beer, and other so-called poisons. It is probably the mold. To avoid insomnia, you can try avoiding such foods and answering crossword puzzles and the like.

Let us take the example of Linda, a young accountant. Her main problem is that she has preconditioned herself about insomnia. She says it has been that way since she was still in school, driven by her desire to be at the top of her class. She just had to study all night through. Eventually, the habit caught up with her and even though she has long left school, the sleeplessness remained.

Those who do the graveyard shift understandably look at insomnia as an advantage – they are paid for it. Other folks, likewise, would rather stay awake. Linda took advantage of it to graduate cum laude. Some people even go as far as justifying insomnia, calling sleep a waste of time because they do not really accomplish anything.

There is no exact pathophysiology for insomnia because it has a variety of causes. Extrinsic insomnia results from transient situation insomnia or inadequate sleep hygiene. Emotional stress triggers such type of insomnia. Then there is drug or alcohol dependent insomnia, altitude insomnia, restless legs syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder, insomnia associated with mental disorders, and the list goes on.

There are no definite answers even from those who prescribe Valium, Dormicum, and Lexotan themselves, perhaps its time for extreme measures?
Hey, if you are really desperate, maybe breeding tse-tse flies could be the answer? You know, tse-tse flies… sleeping disease… Good luck!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Turbo Boost Your Brain Power

Finally, people are starting to understand!

Brains matter. Despite the negative stigma on the intelligent and “nerds”, society now understands that intelligence counts more than muscle power, especially in this day and age.

People want to develop brainpower these days. This is just not being smart in the sense of having tons of raw knowledge, but smart in the area where it matters - practical application.

Here are five tips you can do to increase brainpower and increase your mind's capacity to absorb and process information faster:

1) Choose supplements wisely
Yes, these actually do work. These may include memory-enhancement pills or anti-mental fatigue medications for adults, or the IQ enhancement milk supplements for children. A good number of these supplementary products out in the market can actually grant an edge to learning. Keeping a good balanced diet and avoiding cell-destroying vices, such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and using illegal drugs, are also ways to avoid the mind’s deterioration over time.

2) Try speed-reading
This is a good way to bump up your learning curve. Speed-reading courses not only allow you to cover data faster; these also train your mind to pick up visual details at a greater rate.

Another good thing about learning to speed read is that you train your brain to pick up the important details on the written text. Contrary to claims of some self-help courses, you cannot learn to get photographic memory EVER! Speed-reading is the next best thing for those of who were not born with good memory.

3) Test yourself often!
Here is a good drill for enhancing your memory. A study conducted by several colleges separated students into two groups. One group was given 5 minutes to study a text, then they were immediately given three 5-minute tests. Another group was given four 5-minute periods to study the same text, but were not immediately given a test afterwards.

A week later, they were all given a test on the same subject. The group, which studied only once but took three tests, outperformed the group, which had studied the text 4 times over. The results are clear: don’t learn by just reading. Apply the knowledge and test yourself repeatedly.

4) Do some basic Math drills
Basic math drills using flashcards may seem like a grade school thing, but even adults can benefit from it. Let's face it, we are all spoiled by having calculators to do our addition and subtraction. At its core, math embodies the purest form of logic. Letting your basic math skills rot is like letting your logical and deductive reasoning take a similar downslide.

5) Take Abstract Logic Tests
There are test books available in bookstores that give extensive tests for abstract logic. These come with sets of 3 pictures and you have to extrapolate from the first three pictures what the fourth logical concluding picture will be.

Buy these books and do them all! Abstract logic may not directly help much in terms of "real" learning, but it actually improves your brain's deductive reasoning capacity.
Try any of these activities and boost your brainpower. Increase your mind's capacity to absorb and process information faster.