Health Promotion. Part 3

18. Researchers at the University of Arizona found that some of the worst bacteria levels in the home were found in the kitchen. Reduce bacteria by 99 percent by using cleaning products containing bleach, and wash sponges with hot soapy water, rinse well, squeeze and let dry thoroughly. Also, discard sponges every few weeks.

19. Many doctors recommend that before starting medication for hypertension (high blood pressure), people should reduce body weight, reduce sodium intake to less than 2,000 milligrams a day, eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and begin a regular exercise program.

20. Although brushing your teeth after a meal is the most effective way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, rinsing with water will help to neutralize the acid created by eating, and help to reduce plaque-causing bacteria that may stick to your teeth.

21. Scientists report that eating an extra 200 milligrams of cholesterol per 1,000 calories a day can take approximately 3.4 years off the life span of a middle-aged man. Likewise, lowering the amount of cholesterol eaten to less than 200 milligrams per deciliter of blood can add about five years to the life of the average middle-aged man.

22. Since the Environmental Protection Agency mandated drastic reductions in the lead content of gasoline, it is estimated that approximately 5,000 fewer heart attacks and 1,000 fewer strokes occur each year. And, because pollution in the home can also be a public health hazard, be “pollution conscious” inside your homes: Investigate the quality of your drinking water, test for radon levels and minimize the use of pesticides.

23. Several “old-school” calisthenic-type exercises should be either avoided or performed in a slightly different manner to prevent injury. Instead of straight-leg sit-ups, perform bent-knee curls. Rather than deep knee bends, perform quarter or half squats and make sure that your knees never go beyond a 90-degree angle. Finally, instead of neck circles, perform slow head turns to the left and right.

24. The health benefits of drinking plenty of fluids daily are relatively well known. Plain water, milk and juice are good sources, as are fruits and vegetables.

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