August 11, 2009

Okay, so I’ve been scarce for a while…apologies for that. I’ve been away for a very good reason.

It brings me great pleasure to announce that this blog has officially been moved to:

That’s right, I’ve finally registered my very own domain and exported the contents of this blog to the new one. Thank you all for your support and hope you will continue to visit support me at the new site. I will still run this blog for a few months before deleting it completely. Still trying to figure out a way to redirect traffic from here to the new domain.


7 Really Good Reasons to join Twitter

July 29, 2009

I joined Twitter a couple of months ago, but only recently have I been really using it to its full potential. I have thoroughly enjoyed this service and will definitely keep using it.

Don’t know what Twitter is? Check out my first post on this topic, where I explain it in “plain english”.

Ok, so you must be wondering why in the world you should even consider joining. Here are seven great reasons why I think you should join:twitter_logo1. It will improve your writing skills

With Twitter you are only allowed to post 140 characters at a time, kinda like an sms. Therefore you are forced to be concise and to the point. According to Michael Hyatt, CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, this is one of the hallmarks of good writing.

2. It is quicker than normal text-messaging

Twitter is kinda like a universal messaging system where you can broadcast to all your followers collectively or you can send them direct messages. 

3. Helps you stay connected to the people you really care about

This indeed is one of the few technologies which I think actually encourages community-building. You can follow the thoughts of your friends and family and in today’s busy world, it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with others. Twitter makes it easy—and fun.

4. It will introduce you to new friends

I have now met several new people via twitter. I think it is a great networking tool. You can find people with similar interests to you and who knows, you may even find the right people you are looking for to collaborate with on a new project or business venture you want to pursue.

5. It makes you think about life

When you answer the question, “What am I doing?” you start becoming more conscious of what you really are doing and also start seeing your life through the lens of your followers. This really has made me more thoughtful and intentional about my life, as well as more productive.

6. It helps you build your “personal brand”

What comes to mind when people think of you? When they hear your name? The truth is that brands are build one step at a time, one interaction at a time. With Twitter, you have another great way to build your brand, one tweet at a time.

7. It’s just plain fun!

Following the people you know and care about on Twitter is fun. You see another side of them. It’s also another way to interact with them online. To be honest, since joining Twitter, I have not had this much fun interacting with people online.

Give it a try and see for yourself!

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Twitter Explained in Plain English

June 17, 2009

A couple of months ago, I started hearing about this thing called Twitter. Little did I know that this web phenomenon has been around for quite a while. I decided to join and so far I have thoroughly enjoyed this service.


So what exactly is Twitter? Well, Twitter’s home page says it best:

Twitter is a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?

The art of Tweeting/Twittering is not complicated and requires very little time. You can only enter 140 characters at a time, kinda like an sms. This means that you must keep your post very short and be as brief as you can. You can then update several times a day.

If you want to “follow me” you can do so by joining and click on follow me. Just sign up and follow the directions. It’s easy as pie!

Below is a video which explains Twitter in plain english. This will give you an overview of Twitter in about two minutes.

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7 Health Habits That Will Help You Live To 100

May 21, 2009

100In today’s world most people want to live to a ripe old age and will do almost anything to slow down the aging process. One of the biggest factors that determines how well you age is not your genes but how well you actually live and take care of yourself from day to day. A recent study of 20,000 British folks was published in the British Medical Journal and it showed that you can cut your risk of having a stroke in half by doing the following four things: being active for 30 minutes a day, eating five daily servings of fruit and vegetables, and avoiding tobacco and excess alcohol.

Although those are some of the obvious steps you can take to age well, researchers have discovered that centenarians tend to share certain traits in how they eat, move about, and deal with stress, which are the sort of things we can emulate to improve our own aging process. Bear in mind that getting to age 100 is enormously more likely if your parents did. Still, researchers believe that assuming you’ve sidestepped genes for truly fatal diseases like Huntington’s, there’s nothing stopping you from living independently well into your 90s. so go ahead and shoot for those triple digits. Follow these 10 habits, and give yourself a shot at shooting for those triple digits.

Health Habit 1:- Don’t retire, stay active

Luigi Ferrucci, director of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging says, “Evidence shows that in societies where people stop working abruptly, the incidence of obesity and chronic disease skyrockets after retirement.” There is a region in Italy known as the Chianti region which has a high number of centenarians. This is because when they retire they spend most of their time working on their little farms cultivating grapes and vegetables. So when you reach retirement age, find something to do that will keep you active and be worth your while.

Health Habit #2:- Floss every day

I was just as puzzled as you when I first heard this one! Believe it or not, but flossing everyday keeps your arteries healthy. A study in 2008 by New York University showed that daily flossing reduced the amount of gum-disease-causing bacteria in the mouth. This bacteria is thought to enter the bloodstream and trigger inflammation in the arteries, a major risk factor for heart disease. Other research has shown that those who have high amounts of bacteria in their mouth are more likely to have thickening of the arteries, another sign of heart disease.

Health Habit #3:- Exercise

Jay Olshansky, a professor of medicine and aging researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago says “Exercise is the only real fountain of youth that exists.” It’s like the oil and lube job for your car. You don’t have to do it, but your car will definitely run better.” Numerous studies have documented the benefits of exercise to improve your mood, mental acuity, balance, muscle mass, and bones. Don’t worry if you’re not a gym rat. Those who see the biggest payoffs are the ones who go from doing nothing to simply walking around the neighbourhood or local mall for about 30 minutes a day. Building muscle with resistance training is also ideal, but yoga classes can give you similar strength training effects if you’re not into weight lifting.

Health Habit #4:- Get at least six hours of sleep

Instead of skimping on sleep to add more hours to your day, get more sleep to add years to your life. “Sleep is one of the most important functions that our body uses to regulate and heal cells,” says Ferrucci. It’s calculated that the minimum number of hours of REM sleep needed is about six hours. So if you want to reach the century mark your sleep should be a priority.

Health Habit #5:- Eat whole foods, not supplements

Strong evidence suggests that people who have high blood levels of certain nutrients—selenium, beta-carotene, vitamins C and E—age much better and have a slower rate of cognitive decline. Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that taking pills with these nutrients provides those anti-aging benefits. “There are more than 200 different carotenoids and 200 different flavonoids in a single tomato,” points out Ferrucci, “and these chemicals can all have complex interactions that foster health beyond the single nutrients we know about like lycopene or vitamin C.” Avoid refined, nutrient-lacking white foods (breads, flour, sugar) and go for all those colourful fruits and vegetables and dark whole-grain breads and cereals with their host of hidden nutrients.

Health Habit #6:- Be a creature of habit

Centenarians tend to live by strict routines, says Olshansky, eating the same kind of diet and doing the same kinds of activities their whole lives. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day is another good habit to keep your body in the steady equilibrium that can be easily disrupted as you get on in years. “Your physiology becomes frailer when you get older,” explains Ferrucci, “and it’s harder for your body to bounce back if you, say, miss a few hours of sleep one night or drink too much alcohol.”

Health Habit #7:- Live like a Seventh Day Adventist (SDA)

Americans who define themselves as Seventh Day Adventists have an average life expectancy of 89, about a decade longer than the average American. One of the basic beliefs of the religion is that it’s important to cherish the body that’s on loan from God, which means no smoking, alcohol abuse, or overindulging in sweets. Followers typically stick to a vegetarian diet based on fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts, and get plenty of exercise. SDA’s are also very focused on family and community activities.

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Take Advantage of Audio Learning

May 6, 2009

audio-learningBooks on tapes, audio books, and other audio learning devices are fast gaining popularity in the education field. According to a US Marketdata Enterprises market report, more than $2 billion in audio books were sold during the course of 2005 in the USA alone. One should make a habit of listening to educational audio programs every day. You can even listen to audio programs while you are shopping, exercising, preparing meals, or just walking around. Load up your iPod/MP3 player to capacity, so you’ll always have them on hand.

One of the best ways to listen to audio programs is in your car while you drive from place to place. The average person sits in his/her car 500-1000 hours per year. This is the equivalent of 12-24 forty hour weeks, or as much as 3-6 months of working time that you spend in your car. This is also the equivalent of 1-2 full time semesters at the university. Turn your car into a learning machine; turn it into a university on wheels. Never let your car motor be running without an educational audio program playing. Many people have become millionaires through the miracle of audio learning. This is why audio learning is often called the greatest breakthrough in education since the invention of the printing press.

You don’t even have to pay for audio learning programs. There are tons of free educational podcasts online. Your local public library should also carry a selection of audio programs that you can check out for free.

By adopting this simple habit, you can gain the equivalent of multiple college degrees. This habit is an absolute must if you want to expand your knowledge and skills. It doesn’t even cost any extra time if you combine audio learning with some of the physical activities as already suggested.

The benefit of listening to educational audio programs goes far beyond the content. The simple act of feeding your mind with positive information will help you stay motivated and upbeat as well. If you feel depressed, lazy, or unmotivated, it’s a safe bet you aren’t taking advantage of daily audio learning opportunities. They will help you feel much more positive and driven. So the benefit of audio learning is not just for the educational content; it’s also for the attitude adjustment.

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Work In A Field You Love

April 24, 2009

“Do what you love to do” is one of the most basic productivity tips of all.  The fact is that you’ll be much more productive when you do work you enjoy. Unfortunately, this tip is as obvious as it is ignored.

Doing work you love is not remotely the same thing as doing work you find moderately pleasant either. When you’re working in a field you love, your motivation is usually high because you feel passionate about what you’re doing. You don’t have to push yourself just to get going each day. You wake up in the morning already motivated and certain that you are going to do something you love.

One usually works at a fast tempo when you enjoy your work. You’ll also do better quality work, and high-quality work is more efficient than low-quality work. Low-quality work generates inferior results and often has to be redone.

It’s a waste of time trying to be productive in a field you don’t enjoy. Such a struggle is a complete waste of your life. Why subject yourself to such punishment? You deserve better!

I’ve heard hundreds of different excuses for why people claim they can’t do what they love — not enough money, no time, not good enough, wife won’t let me, etc. They can all be condensed down to two words: “I’m scared.”

The people who are doing what they love were also scared. They could all come up with the same excuses. But at some point they decided it was unacceptable to have their lives dictated by fear, so they opted to face their fear and push through it. They decided to overcome their problems instead of turning them into excuses. Those who remain stuck still allow their fear to rule them.

Ultimately it’s a choice. Either you commit to doing what you love, or you don’t. Which side do you think involves the most suffering?

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April 8, 2009

hypertensionToday I’m gonna be talking about “The Silent Killer”.

A couple of years ago our domestic worker got really sick and eventually died a result of high blood pressure. It was really sad because he had been around since we (my brother and sister) were kids and was basically part of the family. I was young at the time and did not understand the negative impact hypertension has on one’s health. That is why I am writing this post to make people sensitive to this silent killer which is known as hypertension.

A high percentage of adults all over the world have high blood pressure. These hypertensives are three times more likely to have a heart attack, five times more likely to develop heart failure, and eight times more likely to suffer a stroke than people with normal blood pressure.

So, how do you know if you have hypertension?

Hypertension is defined as the systolic blood pressure reading, which is the top number, consistently being over 130, and/or a diastolic reading, the lower number, being 85 and above. The optimal level is now below 120/80. Even though high blood pressure has no symptoms (that’s why it’s called the silent disease), it can cause progressive changes in the blood vessels until the first sign hit, which is usually a stoke or heart attack.

What causes blood pressure to go up?

Well, certain kinds of tumours will do it; also diseases within the kidney itself. But in 90 percent of everyday hypertension no specific organic causes can be determined. For this reason this kind of hypertension is called essential hypertension:

  • High salt intake. Surprisingly, hypertension is uncommon in 80 percent of the world’s population where salt intake is also very low. In places where salt intake is high, like in Japan, the disease is epidemic, affecting approximately one half of adults there. Americans consume an average of 10 to 15 grams of salt per day. That’s two to three teaspoonfuls, which is about 10 to 15 times more than the body actually needs!
  • Low Potassium. The potassium/sodium ration is of critical importance. Eating more vegetables while reducing salt intake would generally increase this ratio and lower elevated blood pressures.
  • Obesity. Nearly everyone who is significantly overweight will eventually experience high blood pressure. It’s just a matter of time.
  • Arterial Plaque. Narrowed and plugged arteries force the body to boost the blood pressure in order to deliver necessary oxygen and food to body cells.
  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol. Scientific studies have demonstrated that even moderate use of alcohol may account for 5 to 15 percent of all hypertension.

So why do people eat so much salt?

Well, in today’s western lifestyle, it’s hard to get away from salt. About 75 percent of our salt intake comes from fast and processed foods. A taste for salt is easy to develop, and salty snacks and foods abound to accommodate us.

Medications and hypertension

The past couple of years have produced an avalanche of new drugs that are effective in lowering blood pressure. Some are lifesaving. Most produce prompt results which is the quick-fix that people love.
But a closer look at hypertension medications reveals some disquieting facts, that is, the drugs do not cure hypertension; they only control it. In some cases the medications need to be taken for life. Unpleasant side effects may include fatigue, depression, and lack of sexual desire and impotence. While the drugs help protect against strokes, they do not protect against coronary atherosclerosis which is the plugging of heart arteries. They may actually promote atherosclerosis, diabetes, and gouty arthritis.

So what are the alternatives?

A number of major scientific studies have shown that simple dietary and lifestyle changes can reverse most essential hypertension in a matter of weeks without drugs.
A large percentage of people are sensitive to salt and would benefit from its reduction in their diets.
When weight goes down, blood pressure levels usually fall. Reducing excess weight is often the only treatment needed to correct a rising blood pressure.
A diet very low in fat yet high in fibre lowers the blood pressure about 10 percent even without weight loss or salt restriction.
Deleting alcohol form the diet will lower blood pressure and do the body a favour in several other areas as well.
Physical exercise lowers blood pressure by reducing peripheral arterial resistance. In addition, regular exercise promotes health and well-being.

People taking blood pressure medications should not play doctor and change doses or stop medicines on their own. But those who are willing to make healthful lifestyle changes will usually find their physicians glad to help them eat and exercise their way out of hypertension.

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