Health Promotion. Part 4

25. Know the early warning signs of heart problems: pressure or pain in the chest behind the breastbone that often spreads to the arms, shoulders, back and even the jaw, feelings of weakness, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, nausea, dizziness or faintness.

26. The American Council for Headache Education says to call your doctor if you have any of the following problems: three or more headaches a week, a need to take something every day to relieve headache pain, a fever or a stiff neck accompanying the headache, unsteadiness on your feet, slurred speech and weak or numb arms or legs (possible stroke), or a characteristic change in a familiar headache.

27. To get the most out of a walking program, keep good posture with your head up and eyes forward, bend your arms at the elbows and swing your arms gently at your sides, take quick but comfortable steps, let the foot roll smoothly from heel to toe and push off strongly with the toes, wear comfortable walking shoes, and walk daily, even if for 10 or 15 minutes.

28. On average, people spend almost a quarter of the workday on their feet and, in a lifetime, each individual walks enough to have completely circled the globe four times. To minimize foot pain, wear proper-fitting shoes and avoid weight gain.

29. The American Academy of Ophthalmology states that individuals may strain or tire their eyes by working long hours at a computer, but they probably won’t damage their eyesight. If you experience computer-related eye strain, take short, frequent breaks to rest your eyes and focus on distant objects for a few minutes. Also, remember to blink regularly when concentrating on the screen to avoid drying out the eyes.

30. Cold and flu viruses are usually spread by shaking hands with an infected person, or by touching something that the infected person has just handled. You can then infect yourself by touching your mouth, nose or eyes. Wash your hands frequently when around people with colds or flu, and maintain a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing, since these viruses can also be transmitted through the air.

31. Heartburn occurs when gastric juices, designed to digest food in the stomach, come up into the esophagus. Chronic heartburn can leave the esophagus with scar tissue and even change the type of cells that line it to cells that may be more likely to develop cancer.

32. A recent study found that taking Orlistat (a weight-loss medicine that is designed to prevent absorption of about 30 percent of dietary fat) for a year or more led to a 5- to 10-percent weight loss. However, since Orlistat interferes with fat absorption, it also has the potential for inhibiting the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K).

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