Sunday, March 30, 2008

First Aid: RICE

RICE is a treatment that can be done for soft tissue injuries such as sprains, bruises, strains. It also works well on pulled muscles and muscle spasms. RICE treatment reduces inflammation that comes with acute injury, inflammation that causes redness, heat, swelling and pain. The earlier the treatment, the earlier and better the results.

R: Rest
the injured area. If moving the injured area causes pain, your body is telling you to stop.

I: Ice
applied to the injured area will help to reduce swelling. Swelling causes more pain and slows healing. A package of frozen corn or peas makes a good ice pack. It is lightweight, conforms to the injured area, and is inexpensive and reusable. Cover the ice pack with a wet cloth and apply the ice for 10 to 30 minutes intermittently for 48 to 72 hours.

C: Compression
or use of a pressure bandage, also helps to prevent or reduce swelling. Use an elastic bandage. Wrap the injured area with the bandage, but not so tightly that the blood is cut off. It should not be painful. Fingers or toes beyond the bandage should remain pink and not become "tingly."

E: Elevation
means raising the injured area above the level of the heart. Prop up a leg or arm while resting it. You may need to lie down to get your leg above your heart level. Elevation may also reduce the throbbing pain that may be present.


Friday, March 28, 2008

Skin Fold Test

Measuring body fat is an easy method of finding your correct body composition. The normal percentage of women are higher than men due to the demands of childbearing and other hormonal functions. Women norms range from 18 - 22% while men range 15 - 17% body fat. Elite athletes on the other hand can range from 12 - 20% for women and 6 - 12% for men. Certain points of the body can be measured by taking the skin fold at selected points.

Measurement of body fat can be from 3 to 9 different standard anatomical sites around the body. The right side is usually measured (for consistency). The calipers are placed to pinch the skin at the appropriate site to raise a double layer of skin and the underlying adipose tissue, without the muscle. The calipers are then applied 1 cm below and at right angles to the pinch, and a reading in millimeters (mm) taken two seconds later. The mean of two measurements should be taken. If the two measurements differ greatly, a third should then be done, then the median value taken.

Measurement Sites:
Tricep: The skin fold is located midway on the back of the upper arm. The arm hangs freely and the skinfold is lifted parallel to its long axis.

Subscapula: The skinfold is lifted vertically and measured below the tip of the scapula.

Suprailiac: The skinfold is located immediately above the crest of the ilium. The fold is lifted at a slight angle to the vertical along the normal fold line.

Abdomen: The skinfold is located to the left of, adjacent to, and in line with the navel. The fold is lifted parallel to the long axis of the body.

Front Thigh: The skinfold is located midway on the front of the upper leg over the quadriceps. The foot is placed on a six-inch step with the knee slightly flexed and muscles relaxed. The fold is lifted parallel to the long axis of the leg.

Chest (Males only): The site is located above and slightly to the right of the right nipple. The skinfold is taken at a 45-degree angle of the horizontal.

Rear Thigh (Females only): The skinfold is located midway on the back of the upper leg. The leg is held in the same position as the front thigh measurements. The skinfold is lifted parallel to the axis of the leg.

For a body fat calculator (to get results): Body Fat Calculator

Yuhasz Skinfold Test

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Waist-To-Hip Ratio (WHR)

The waist-to-hip ratio is important to know because it not only tells you how much body fat you have, but also where your body fat is stored that impacts on your health. People who store more fat around their waists have an increased risk of chronic disease (high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease & stroke) compared with people who have their fat stored around their hips and thighs.

The waist-to-hip ratio measures the proportion of your waistline (the narrowest point; usually around your belly-button) to the widest circumference around the hips (usualy around the bony prominences).

How to calculate:

Waistline (inches) / Hips (inches) =
e.g 24 in. / 34 in. = 0.70 or 70%

Women Norms:
= 0.7 or 70% [correlates strongly with general health and fertility]

Men Norms:
= 0.9 or 90% [shown to be more healthy and fertile]

Dangerous Level:

= 1 or 100%

For an online test go to:

Friday, March 14, 2008

Height and Weight Test (Body Mass Index)

Many people think it is very difficult to check whether you are healthy or not. Some think you have to go to the doctor to take some tests to see if you are doing fine or not. But here are a few simple steps you can do at home with the minimal amount of tools to figure out if you are living the healthy life or living the life which would lead you to earlier morbidity.

* BMI Test

BMI = weight (kg)/ height[squared] (meters)
e.g. 65kg/ 1.80 m squared = 20.06

or check an online BMI test


Underweight = > 19
Healthy weight = 20 - 24.99
Overweight = 25 - 29.99
Obese = 30 <

The BMI test is a test that measures your body fat based on height and weight. It is not advisable to be used in children and adolescents due to constant growth, and body composition which is different to that of an adult. The BMI test is just a standard test, it does not mean if you are a body builder you carry a lot of fat because the results show you weigh too much for your height, it is just because muscles are heavy.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Marijuana Found Good For Alzheimer's

An ingredient found in marijuana, cannabinoids, has shown to suppress the abnormal clumping of malformed proteins which is the cause of Alzheimer's. It has shown to also prevent inflammation and helps protect the brain. Plaques, which are seen in the brain tissue of Alzheimer's disease are protein clumps that are seen outside brain cells, and they have shown to activate inflammation see in in brain tissue of patients.

Researchers found a reduced functioning of cannobinoid receptors in diseased brain tissue. This was due to the lost capacity to experience cannobinoid's protective effects. When tested on animals, those that were given a dose performed much better in their mental functioning tests. Researchers found that amyloid protein activated immune cells, but showed no sign of microglia activation. Using cell cultures, the researchers confirmed that cannabinoids counteracted the activation of microglia and thus lowered inflammation.

For more info:

Does champagne expire?

I was a bit worried because while cleaning my food cabinet I found out that I still had the bottle of champagne I won in a competition several years ago. Taking a lucky guess, I would say champagne, just like wine, is made out of grapes, and therefore the longer you keep it, the better it would taste. My hypothesis can be wrong, so lets leave it to the experts.

What experts say:

* Your wine will not expire for many years if kept in a cool dark place -- but it will change slowly. Some people think that this change in flavor is beneficial, others prefer Champagne fresh.

* As long as they are left unopened, they will be fine for years.

* Stored properly, champagne will be fine for 3-4 years, but may begin to deteriorate if kept longer. Some champagnes retain their quality even after being stored 10 years or more, but it is not recommended.

So I'm guessing it is fine to keep champagne for a few years, depending on the brand and make. I guess the best way to find out is open it, see if it smells/tastes fine, and if I don't end up with a bad stomach ache then I guess its all good!