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Creating a healthy lifestyle

It’s a natural desire to get better whenever we feel sad or sickened, and nevertheless it’s an uncommon concern to have in daily life the desire to remain healthy.

But in reality it is far easier to stay healthy than it is to get healthy after one’s sick.

With some simple habit changes it’s possible to prevent the leading causes of death in USA (and possibly in the modern world).

Eat Right

The food you eat impacts directly in the “lifespan” of your arteries. That is to say that depending on what you eat, your arteries will clog more easily, and will contract less efficiently, and will have formed inner lesions of calcium stones that will prevent the correct flow of blood.

When this happens, every organ in your body (including brain, heart and kidneys, to name a few) will start to suffer. But some organs, like the brain and the heart are very dependent on the correct flow of blood in order to stay active and disease-free.

This is one of the most important components of staying healthy: to eat right in order to maintain our blood vessels healthy – and thus to prevent cardiovascular diseases, like hypertension and stroke, the leading causes of death in most countries.

So, to keep a healthy eating habit it’s important to choose foods that are rich in iron and calcium, in proteins, in good fat (yes, there is good fat!), and to balance the calories ingestion with the calories spent by the body.

The usual recommendations of dietary intake are: eat a variety of food.

But what kind of food?

  • Vegetables – including green leafs, and legume.
  • Fruits – they are usually filled with good sugar, and have lots of fibers.
  • Grains – whole grains such as rice, wheat and corn, and it’s derivatives (whole grain breads, for instance).
  • Consume less fat – with foods low in fat and cholesterol, like fish, and poultry without skin.

Control Your Weight

In direct relation with preventing diseases from eating habits, the ways at our disposal to help us control our weight are an invaluable arsenal to stay healthy through life.

By controlling the amount of calories spent we can stay lean and in shape, but this goes beyond any external beauty.

Everything we eat, being proteins, sugars, or lipids, if in excess, the body stores. In some cases, it can store more easily, and in others it can store with a bit more difficulty, but in every case our bodies evolved to store energy.

In modern life, when the acquisition of food and energy isn’t (in most cases) difficult any more, we have to regulate our bodies by intake.

When we eat more than we spend, we store. This is the simple principle behind one of the most dreadful scenarios seen in the modern world: overweight and obesity.

With obesity, our risks of being hypertensive, diabetic, and thus to have an infarction or a stroke increase considerably. And to maintain or lose weight the balance has to be: spend more, store less.

It’s the inverse of a bank account: we don’t want any deposits (which will become the lesions that will clog latter on in our blood vessels).

It’s important to balance the amount of exercise, too, or we can develop lesions – so it’s important to have your body assessed if you’ve never exercised before starting any form of exercise. But, in most cases, it’s pretty safe to recommend light exercises (like walking) at least three times a week, and for a period superior to 30 minutes at a time – which will result in, at least, 1 hour and a half per week.

By exercising we can boost our metabolisms, and we regulate the important endocrine system (that controls the glands), and we even start to bump endorphins in our body – that regulate sleep and mood.

BMI (Body Mass Index)

In general terms, the most used index to know if you’re in the right weight is the BMI (Body Mass Index), which is calculated by dividing your weight by the square of your height (in kg and meters).

  • BMI = W (in Kg)/ Height * Height ( in meters).
  • If the result is <18,5, your BMI is compatible with malnutrition and you should check it with your doctor.
  • If the result is >18,5 and <24,9, you’re in average weight, with no increased risk of disease because of your weight.
  • If the result is >25 and <29,9, you’re overweight. Watch out, you’re entering the risk zone.
  • If the result is >30, you are obese, and the risks are high of developing a cardiovascular disease in the future – if maintained the condition of obesity.

Remember: This is merely an advise and does not pretend to be a medical recommendation – to assess your health you should seek the opinion of a capacitated professional.

Only have safe sex

This article does not pretend to determine one better form of sex than other, nor to discriminate or indulge any practice. But, if and when you’re having sex, let it be safe.

What this means is: don’t be easily exposed to sexually transmitted disease of any kind. The most common are hepatitis, HIV, gonorrhea and syphilis. But there are many forms of sexually transmitted disease - some of them you could carry for the rest of your life if contaminated.

Each disease cited here possibly have it’s own book of how to prevent the disease, and how it manifest itself. The truth is: the better treatment is prevention.

In order to prevent 100% any sexual disease there’s only one way: to not have sex. For most of us, this is not a possibility, so, in order for us to be safely guarded it is important to follow a few recommendations:

  • Try not to have too many sexual partners. (it’s up to you how many, but the more partners the more the exposure to sexually transmitted diseases).
  • Do not start too early. If you feel unprepared, or have second thoughts, you probably are starting too early. This increases the chance of getting a sexually transmitted disease.
  • Use protection, like a condom (male or female). Most of the sexually transmitted diseases are in the fluids exchanged by partners, and if you prevent the contact, you can minimize the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.

Drink lots of water

The last recommendation to maintain a healthy lifestyle is to ingest an astounding amount of water.

When we are born our bodies are constituted of approximately 70% of water. When we grow old, and start to have all those wrinkles and inelastic skin, we are still made of approximately 40-45% of water.

In order to maintain the functioning of blood and organ tissues, drinking water is essential – it is with water that the body regulates itself.

Other than that, the filters of the body – the kidneys – are totally dependent on water in order to function, making the ingestion of water a very important factor in maintaining health.

It’s a very basic thing to worry, but most of us do not drink enough water, and with age, we start do not feeling as thirsty any more.

So, make an arrangement with yourself and drink water like you would a medicine – in regular intervals. Aim for drinking at least 0,5 a gallon of water a day. Unless you have some form of nephropathy – then do as your doctor says.

Take control of your life

The most important thing when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle is to gain control over your life.

In two, maybe three decades from now, how do you want to be? Infarcted? Obese? Diabetic? Hypertensive? Probably not.

But the prevention of all this starts now – with little changes made in life in the early days.

It’s never too late, but the most effective changes are those made early on.

To be healthy in your old days, it’s important to be healthy today.

Healthy | Lifestlyle


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