*Motivational Tip* Get fit ANYTIME, don’t wait for the new year

 

Why wait until a “special” occasion or the new year to get healthy. Being healthy is not a destination but should be a life long journey for your overall physical and mental health.

Below are a few tips you can use to guide you make lasting lifestyle changes. And the great thing about it, you can start them at anytime of the year.

  • Get an annual medical checkup if you don’t have any underline condition. Visit your doctor more regularly if you have any chronic illness like Diabetes or High Blood Pressure. Be sure to get the go ahead from your doctor before starting any strenuous exercise program if you are not a very active person.
  • Stay active with an exercise routine, even if you are not with a group or going to a gym.
  • Write down your short term and long term fitness goals and Keep a food journal so you can track your progress.
  • Stay motivated, get help if you are having a hard time by yourself. Most of all  have fun how ever you decide to stay active. Try to do things you enjoy, bike riding, swimming, dancing, aerobics, boxing just to name a few.
  • Drink at least 2 liters of water daily. Drink at least 1 glass first thing in the morning and at least 1 glass last thing at night
  • When exercising always warm up and cool down before and after your routine.
  • To improve your overall health increase your fruit and vegetable intake, preferably fresh (not from a can or package).
  • Avoid or decrease stress, alcohol and smoking as these can affect your body and your mood.
  • Try to eat regular, healthy meals and snacks. Limit animal fat, dairy products and refined starches. Never skip breakfast as it is the most important meal of the day.
  • Get adequate sleep every day, at least 6-8 hrs sleep nightly to maximize your overall health.

 

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Cricket lovely cricket!

cricket

cricket

“How is that?!”

The greatest game of ALL time “cricket”. You have not seen a ‘real’ cricket match until you have experienced one in the West Indies. I’m sure some of you can attest to that, those of you who watch the game at least. The song writer says “there’s nothing sweeter than salt fish,” but I disagree. There is nothing sweeter than a cricket match.

For those who are not familiar with the game and its rules, let me shed a little light, so you can better understand the game and how it is played. Cricket is a team sport that is played with a bat and ball between 2 teams, 11 players on each side, made up of a captain, bats men, bowlers, a wicket keeper and fielders. The game is played on a field also called a ground. In the middle of the field is a rectangular space of 22 yards called a pitch with 2 wickets placed on the farthest ends. Each wicket comprises of 3 stumps (vertical stakes) and 2 bails (horizontal stakes) that sits on top of the stumps. After a coin toss, the captain of the team that wins the toss, decides whether he or she wants to bat or field. The game may be 50 or 20 overs for each team for a days play, 6 balls per over. Some games however can run as long as 5 days in the case of a test match. The objective of the game is for the batting team to make as many runs in the allotted time with 2 bats men at a time while the fielding or bowling team attempts to dismiss the bats men in the same time given, using all 11 players on the field. There are 3 umpires in all who oversea the games play, 2 on the field and a 3rd umpire or video umpire who is situated off the field and adjudicates the game. I wouldn’t want to confuse anyone with all the positions on the field like the gulley, 3rd man, 2nd slip, mid off, fine leg, deep backward point, silly point, cover, extra cover, anybody confused yet? I still am at times!

But a true West Indian knows that all of that is not what is really important. Anyone who has ever been to a cricket match in the Caribbean knows that it’s all about the atmosphere of the game. It’s all about the entertainment, it’s about the personalities and characters that you see and meet. It’s about the people you greet and the bonding experience with other West Indians and persons around the world. Certainly we want our team to win but we all enjoy the music that ‘chickies hifi’ (a local musical DJ) plays when a West Indian hits that new ball over and out of the stadium. We know it’s about the bar-b-que chicken that is hot and sizzling and local drinks readily available for purchase from any of the many vendors selling both inside and outside of the grounds. It’s about jumping for joy and screaming at the top of your lungs when a bats man hits a 4 or 6 or when the wicket keeper gets that crucial stumping just when the bats man looses concentration and steps out his crease. It’s about watching gravy (local entertainer) entertain the crowd as he displays his acrobatic skills on the stands during the breaks.

I can remember going to the school boys stand with my brother when we were in primary school. I would always get excited as we settled in with our lunch and snacks in our nap sack, water and juice on hand. Of course it was more exciting if West Indies was winning but if they weren’t, it was still ok because we were enjoying the atmosphere. I don’t remember knowing too much about the rules back then, neither was I ever keeping score. Good thing there was a score board, unless I would have been completely lost with who was winning and who was losing. Even without the score board you would be gently reminded of the winning team by the crowd’s reaction. If there was a lot of noise, laughing, happy faces and smiles, you know we were winning for sure. But if you heard more than your share of choice words, gloomy faces and arguing, then you know we were on the losing side.

But it’s not all fun and games for everyone, there are the die-hard fans, those persons who are very serious about the game and not interested in frolicking or chit chatting. These are the persons who would have their eyes fixed on the field, watching the players every move and criticizing or commenting every stroke of the ball and every over bowled. You would definitely know these fans as they sport off their small fm radios, that would constantly blast in their ears as they hang on to the commentators every descriptive words as the game progressed.

As the players take the tea break, the kiddy cricketers appropriately and smartly dressed for the occasion would take center stage as they mimic the adults they just saw with their tiny bats in hands, hopping and skipping around the field until it was time to resume the real game.

Definitely, no real game would be complete without seeing a visitor prance across the field dressed in nothing but their birthday suit, dodging the police officer with their many twist and turns, until they are eventually caught.

So you see, you can appreciate that watching a game of cricket is not limited to just watching the game but it’s about enjoying everything that surrounds it, from the entertainment on and off the field, from those in the party stand to the serious fans. It’s about the mouth watering food, great music and company. Watching cricket in the West Indies is a well rounded experience packed with a little of everything for everyone. Cricket lovely cricket!

The calypso below was written after the West Indies won the

 test match in 1950 against England at Lords

VICTORY CALYPSO – Egbert Moore (“Lord Beginner”)

Cricket lovely Cricket,

At Lord’s where I saw it;

Cricket lovely Cricket,

At Lord’s where I saw it;

Yardley tried his best

But Goddard won the test.

They gave the crowd plenty fun;

Second Test and West Indies won.

 

Chorus:With those two little pals of mine

Ramadhin and Valentine.

 

The King was there well attired,

So they started with Rae and Stollmeyer;

Stolly was hitting balls around the boundary;

But Wardle stopped him at twenty.

Rae had confidence,

So he put up a strong defence;

He saw the King was waiting to see,

So he gave him a century.

 

Chorus:With those two little pals of mine

Ramadhin and Valentine.

 

West Indies first innings total was three-twenty-six

Just as usual

When Bedser bowled Christiani

The whole thing collapsed quite easily;

England then went on,

And made one-hundred-fifty-one;

West Indies then had two-twenty lead

And Goddard said, “That’s nice indeed.”

 

Chorus:With those two little pals of mine

Ramadhin and Valentine.

 

Yardley wasn’t broken-hearted

When the second innings started;

Jenkins was like a target

Getting the first five in his basket.

But Gomez broke him down,

While Walcott licked them around;

He was not out for one-hundred and sixty-eight,

Leaving Yardley to contemplate.

 

Chorus:The bowling was superfine

Ramadhin and Valentine.

 

West Indies was feeling homely,

Their audience had them happy.

When Washbrook’s century had ended,

West Indies voices all blended.

Hats went in the air.

They jumped and shouted without fear;

So at Lord’s was the scenery

Bound to go down in history.

 

Chorus:After all was said and done

Second Test and the West Indies won!

 Want to know more about the game, click the links below to find more details

http://www.cricket-rules.com/

http://www.wikihow.com/Play-Cricket

Think you know about cricket, play these fun trivia games

http://www.funtrivia.com/playquiz/quiz3010232276590.html http://www.funtrivia.com/playquiz/quiz19175315f5140.html

Health Tip: 10 things you can start today to help shed pounds

1. Accept the fact that you are over weight: many persons are in denial about there weight and body images and avoid the scale at all costs. They ignore the fact that their clothes are fitting tighter or they are purchasing a size higher every other trip to the clothing store. Most time when reality hits it’s almost too late or they encounter health problems. Don’t be another statistic! Face the facts head on and get a reality check. By realizing where you truly are, you are better able to determine where you need or want to be.

2. Make and write down your weight loss goal. When goals are made, it is easier to visualize where you want to go, that goes for any goal or journey and weight loss is no different. Create your personal goal(s) and write them down on paper, paste it in your bed room in clear vision as a daily reminder of what you want to achieve. If possible get pictures of persons with similar weights with which you hope to obtain and place it next to your written goals. Look at your notes and pictures everyday and visualize yourself at that weight. This should give you the extra motivation and encouragement you need in obtain that goal.

3. Take baby steps: Many people start off with a bang when they take on a weight loss journey but seem to loose their way or the stimulus at some point before arriving at their goal. Its not a race so take small steps making small changes gradually. Eventually you can realize all the things you are aiming for once you are focused on exactly what you intend to achieve. At times you may need encouragement from a friend or relative. Reach out to someone who is supportive in your journey to help you get back on track. You can also track your progress with a journal, with pictures or video logging. It is a great way to see how far you have gone and how much more you need to go in your weight loss journey. If you can literally see the progress you are making, you will be more encouraged to continue to the end.

4. Reduce your soda intake: Soda can be addictive, especially those with caffeine like coke. The truth of the matter is that soda is nothing short of carbonated water, sugar and artificial colour. It has no nutritional benefits and can be used as an energy booster in high performance athletes.  It is never advisable to go cold turkey because you will end up craving it. If you are used to drinking 7 sodas a week try cutting it down by 1 or 2 gradually over a few weeks and over time you will notice that you desire for it will start to decrease.

5. Drink more water: Water has many benefits for the body including keeping the skin well hydrated, helping to rid the body of potential harmful toxins and when substituted for soda and drinks full of sugar can promote weight loss. It is recommended that we drink 8-12 glasses of water daily to help keep our skin supple and soft.

6. Reduce the carbohydrate intake and Increase fruit and vegetable portions: There is a misconception that meat causes weight gain but that is a myth. Meat especially white lean meats like chicken breasts and turkey are full of protein which is essential particularly for persons who are lifting weights and those who play high intense sports. The actual culprits of weight gain are the carbohydrate rich foods like white bread, rice, pasta, white potatoes called the complex carbohydrates and sweets, jams and jellies known as simple carbohydrates. Why are they the culprits? The reason is that carbohydrates are sugars which will eventually be converted to energy. The problem with this is if the energy is not being properly used up, it will be stored in the body. If you are not an active person or not exercising  then you will be gaining weight. That is why these are the types of food that should be drastically reduced as much as possible, in turn you will see the weight changes. You can substitute protein intake with peas, beans and eggs

7. Make healthier food choices: Food full of trans fat and salt are bad for your body in more than one ways. Staying clear of fried foods, processed and tin foods can make a big difference in your health. They foods mentioned are usually loaded with fat, cholesterol and salt and can contribute to serious health problems like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack and stroke. Making healthier choices for instance eating more raw foods like carrots and lettuce, unsalted snacks like nuts and fresh fruits will significantly help you not only with loosing weight but getting a healthier body.

8. Read the labels: This is one thing we can all do that must people don’t do. Just because the front label says all natural that doesn’t make it so. You must read the back label for the fine prints, as it were, for especially the sugar, salt, fat and cholesterol levels. For an adult based on a 2000 caloric intake you should use the follow as a guide line:

Total Fat grams (g) 65
Sugar grams (g) 40
Cholesterol milligrams (mg) 300
Sodium milligrams (mg) 2400

9. Take the stairs: stair climbing is an easy but an effective form of exercise that can assist you in loosing a few extra pounds. Research has shown that stair climbing can be more effective than jogging thus burning more calories in the same time period. Try using the stairs instead of the elevator to get the heart pumping, burning more calories at the same time.

10. Ten minute exercises can make a big difference. There is no specific time to exercise. It all depends on the individuals preference and lifestyle that will determine the time of day. But it has been proven that as little at ten minute of exercise each day can make a big difference in the pounds you shed. Of coarse if you are heavier than you ought to be you will need to step it up a notch of at least 30 minutes everyday. Exercises can include playing a sport, cardio or aerobic work outs, weight lifting, bike riding, swimming and the list goes on. The trick is to find an activity that you will enjoy so that it doesn’t become a chore or task to do. If you are excited about the exercise you are going to do, you will be more willing to take the time out to get it done while getting fit at the some time.

Remember losing weight is not just about getting rid of the extra pounds but it is a life style change with a mind and body shift that is a healthier root to take. It wouldn’t always be easy, especially at the beginning but I urge you to stick with it and in time it will become routine for you.

Health Tip: High Blood Pressure

Hypertension

Hypertension (HTN), or high blood pressure, is a common but serious chronic disease where there is an abnormal increase in pressure in the arteries of the body. Generally HTN does not have symptoms but some people may experience headache or vomiting, or may feel unwell, weak, or even faint when their blood pressure is elevated. A normal Blood pressure (BP) reading is less than 120 over 80 and varies throughout the day and with activity.

Who is at risk:

·     Persons who are overweight or obese

·     Smokers

·     Persons with heart problems, high cholesterol levels,  diabetes

·     Persons with a lot of stress

·     Older persons (although you can get HTN at almost any age)

.     Women on birth control or some diet pills

·     Persons with a family history of HTN

.    Chronic kidney diseases or some other chronic illnesses


How to reduce your risk:

·     Eat a balanced diet by incorporating proteins, carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables

·     Exercise

·     Drink a lot of water

·     Quit smoking

·     Reduce your stress levels

·     Reduce fat and salt intake

How to control your BP if you are hypertensive:

·     Visit your doctor regularly

·     Check your blood pressure as needed

·     Reduced your salt intake

·     Take your medication as prescribed

·     Do some form of exercise like mowing the lawn, climbing stairs, playing a sport, etc. unless otherwise indicated by your physician

·     Reduce stress

Treatment:

Lifestyle change, for instance a change in eating habits and exercising, is the first step in controlling your blood pressure. If it is still not controlled with these changes, your doctor will determine what medication is best for you depending on your age and other underlying illnesses, if any. ALWAYS consult your doctor before deciding to change or stop any medication that was prescribed to you.

It is therefore recommended that you visit a doctor at least once a year if you are not hypertensive and more often as indicated by your health care provider if you are to ensure that your BP is controlled.