Risks of Tobacco Use

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We should always help educate youth about tobacco use and its risks. One of the many reasons why is because many people die each year due to using or smoking or being exposed to tobacco. According to www.cdc.gov, more than 480,000 deaths occur annually (including deaths from secondhand smoke). Here are some risks of tobacco exposure:

  • Being second handy exposed to tobacco can cause you to develop health risks as a normal person using tobacco
  • Tobacco can increase the risk of cancer which can form in most of your organs. The highest death rates are found in patients who developed lung and heart cancer.
  • Nicotine is found in cigarettes and it is proven to be an addictive substance (http://www.drugabuse.gov). A stimulant can make the user feel adrenaline and become more alert. In this case, cigarettes can do the same and even produce a calming effect on the user.
  • Many youths are influenced to use or smoke tobacco due to their social environments such as peers, families, stress, genetics, and more.

Comparing the lungs between a non smoker to a smoker, you can see the drastic difference in their health and conditions.

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http://www.drugabuse.gov/

One of the best thing to do is avoid using or being exposed to tobacco. Don’t let anyone influence you to put yourself at risk. As a growing person, you may be influence to make decisions that you personally don’t want to. So be aware of who is a positive and negative influence in your life. Sometimes the best thing to do is just say “No”.

Postcard of the week: “Peace Of Mind”

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Being at peace is truly a relaxing experience. But we are all busy with our own schedules and stress can get the best of us. So whenever you can, do something positive for yourself and just enjoy your life as it is now. We weren’t created just to work, but do things that we find happiness in also.

  • Go somewhere where you can enjoy the view, become surrounded by nature, read a inspiring book, take a walk or a drive around the block, or take a nice bubble bath. Some quiet time can allow you to process and think on a deeper level. You will have a better understanding of your situations and life.
  • Have a partner or friend or a family member to go somewhere or talk with you. Having someone to talk to can help you better understand issues you have and want to solve. Most importantly, having someone listen to you is very comforting.
  • Interact with animals can help you de-stress and forget about your worries. They offer you warmth, curiosity, and entertainment. If you have a pet yourself, even better. If you don’t, you can go visit a local zoo or aquarium or a pet store.

Most importantly, take every day as a chance to improve and to become a better you. Every day is a opportunity to do something for others, ourselves, and for the greater good.

Playing vs. Exercising

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Sometimes we are active in playing and it can even result in a smaller version of the body exercising. But playing and exercising are two different activities. Playing is for the enjoyment of the moment, being entertained and can even be social. Exercise is rigorously being active and burning body energy/fat. So if you want to be active instead of ‘playing’, allow your body to feel the burn.

How do you know when you actively exercising? It is quite easy to tell from these common signs that your body gives off in response:

  • Sweating frequently
  • Heart rate increases and remain at a high rate for the moment of working out
  • Muscles are used more than usual
  • Feel thirsty and the intake of water increase

You don’t have work out like the traditional ways if you like being entertained at the same time. Sometimes, people say that exercising is boring and yes, it can be so boring just doing the same thing over again. But finding ways to preoccupied your mind can help you get started. Like for example:

  • Listen to music that pumps you up
  • Mix exercise routines from jogging to yoga to dance, etc.
  • Take advantage of technology and watch your favorite shows while jogging, step climbing, etc.
  • Best thing to make it easier: Work out with a partner or a friend!

So remember to play frequently and exercise daily. Both are good for the body and the brain. Being active and sociable is always a plus!

Building a Better Community

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Our environment impacts our life in many ways that we are unaware of. Sometimes, the environment we live in can do good or bad thing to us such as our health, perspective, feelings and more. If you grow up in a neater community with a more nature, pedestrian, and family friendly environment you are more likely to have better health and a positive outlook on life. The same applies if you grew up in a poor condition community with little sidewalks, greens, and pollution you are more likely to have a poorer health and less likely to have a positive perspective.

There are things we can do to make our community a better place. It is about teamwork and commitment to make healthy change occur where you live. So how can you help your own community?

1. Attend community meetings. The most informative way to know what needs to change and improve about your community is understanding the problems. Get to know your community members and share your ideas on how the community can be improved.

2. Organize a team effort. Whether it is planting more trees or picking up trashes or starting a community garden, a small difference can make the community change. When people start to see improvement in their community, they are more willing to participate and be involved in their community.

3. Raise awareness. Try publishing interesting topics in your neighborhood newspaper, campaigns, and charity events where you can allow the residents and other people to know about the change you are pursuing.

The Healing Powers of Dance

A patient who has the chronic autoimmune disease, was experienced the point of immobility and debilitating pain. She took a modern dance class even though her doctor told her that she wasn’t going to get well. At the beginning, she could only watch, but she was emotionally impressed by its beauty. She never gave up and finally she could participate in the modern dance class. First, she began the simple action such as the deep breathe during the class, then she stand for longer periods during the class. After many years of dogged practice, she became physically stronger, mentally clearer. It was so transformative and healing to me.

The healing power of dance may not be the answer to every health crisis, but there is no doubt that it can benefit the body and mind in many ways.

Here are some obvious physical effects of dance:

1) boost cardiovascular health and bone strength

2) improve balance and flexibility

According to a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine investigated the effect leisure activities had on the risk of dementia in the elderly. Researchers found that frequent dancing was the only physical activity of the 9 studied that appeared to lower the participants’ risk of dementia considerably. Joe Verghese, who is the lead author of the study and the professor of  neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, explained that he didn’t know the reasons for the unique effect of dancing, but he guessed that, “compared with other physical activities, dancing involved many significant mental effort and social interactions.” Both intellectual and social stimulation have been shown to reduce the risk of getting dementia.

According to Citlali Lopezortiz, the research scientist at the rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, dance can also help Parkinson’s patients. She concentrated on helping the patients find new ways of moving and to improve the speed at which they move. For example, Llopez-Ortiz taught the students slow, ballet-like movements. Sometimes, she took the class to see the Joffrey Ballet for inspiration. With time, her students often become more mobile, and more confident.

White Rice or Brown Rice?

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There are many articles that debates whether it is healthier to eat white rice or brown rice. It is a controversial topic as many people do share different opinions about their risks and benefits. But at the end of the day, it really just depends on the individual. Here are some important points that you should know because not exactly one is worse than the other.

1. If you have been eating white or brown rice since young and on a daily basis, it won’t cause a dramatic difference in your health. Compare this situation as opposed to those who just or recently started consuming rice on a daily basis. Their bodies may not be showing great responses, but it doesn’t mean that rice is bad for everyone. It could be how their bodies process rice differently (which may cause weight gain/loss, etc.) or the brand of the rice that they’re consuming. So don’t assume that just because eating rice isn’t well for others, it doesn’t mean that it’s a bad food.

2. Many other cultures rely on different based carbs (besides rice) like wheat, oatmeal, grains, and more. They come in many varieties as breads, noodles, bagels, pasta, and more. So if you want to cut out rice completely from your diet, there are other available options for you to choose from.

3. Brown rice is really not that much ‘better’ than white rice in terms of fiber and health benefits as the media like to say. When brown rice is produced, the outermost layer is the only layer removed which still leaves some of its nutrients and fiber behind. It is an healthier alternative to white rice since white rice are basically stripped of everything besides the starchy component. But don’t rely on brown rice as source of fiber because “each cup of brown rice contains only 3.5 grams of fiber for every 45 grams of complex carbohydrates.This means you would have to eat FIVE cups of brown rice (225 grams of extra carbs) just to get HALF of your daily fiber intake”. – http://4cyclefatloss.com

Instead, try to consume more vegetables and fruits daily. They contain more fiber without you eating too much calories. The best part is that you can put them into many different kinds of foods and dishes such as stir fry, salads, side dishes, spices, and more.

4. It’s not about what you eat only, but what you do to stay active. Just by switching out one type of food out isn’t going to help you lose weight or maintain a healthy lifestyle. Sure, it’s okay to eat better and you may even see results. But it has been provender by people and data that exercise and diet really does go hand in hand together. When you are consistent and doing both at the same time, you are bound to be more healthier than just doing one.

5. Just mix both! If you really can’t decide between the two and don’t want to give up either, eating them together solves it easily. Mix rice is another great alternative for people to try because it can help the body adapt to the different types of rice better. Suddenly switching out one kind of rice to another won’t let your body have the time to process the rice and it can cause a negative reaction.

Making Future Decisions

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Are you wondering what is your next goal or step to take at the moment? Well, making an decision can help you in ways that could be either or both positive and negative. But don’t worry too much because every choice you make should reflect what you want/need at the moment. It doesn’t mean you’ll always get what you want, but you will at least the after effect of your decision. Here are some advises on how to make your future decisions:

1. Weigh the outcome. If you are looking for a result, make sure you are aware of any consequences. Are there going to be more positive than negative results? Or otherwise? Sometimes, some decisions requires you to think more deeper.

2. Who is going to be affected? Sometimes your decisions may not just affect you, but other around you as well. Such as friends, family, teachers, and more. So if it’s going to be about yourself it would be easier, but it involves many people than go to 3.

3. Talk to others about it. If it’s a hard decision that may affect others, it is probably best to hear about other people’s perspective that you value. They could influence to make better choices or help you avoid making mistakes.

4. How will it change you? So will your choice give you the opportunity/chance that you are looking for? Is it to change, to deliver, to make new friends, to get a better grade, or become a better athlete? You may want to think about the different outcomes of how your decision in different ways.

5. Be true to you. Remember that at the end of the day, your decision should reflect who you are as person. Don’t make a choice that you wouldn’t want to do. It will never be the way that you want it to be or have a good outcome. So think about what you want and how you would it to be like.