Tuesday, April 3, 2012

8 Tips For Managing Stress

Feeling the pressure? Chronic stress isn't just bad for our emotional well-being, it also has serious ill-effects on our physical health. Start taking control of stress right now -- with these eight tips to cope and manage stress.

1. Say "om"

Learn and practise relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga or tai-chi, which are a great way to de-stress. "Through breathing fully and deeply, this helps the nervous system to calm down," explains Nathalie Bennett, who runs Live Love Yoga.

2. Get active

Regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to tackle stress and burn up stress hormones, says Philip Weeks, an expert in natural medicine. What's more, your body can fight stress better when it is fit. Aim for half an hour of brisk exercise five times a week, and make it fun by working out with a friend -- or two!

3. Cut your caffeine intake

When you're stressed, your body is already 'on edge' so you'll want to cut down on your consumption of caffeine and other stimulants, advises Weeks. He suggests swapping with a cup of soothing herbal tea, such as lemon balm and camomile. If you find it difficult to stay away from caffeine altogether, go for green tea, which also contains health-boosting antioxidants.

4. Get plenty of rest and breaks

Make sure you have enough sleep, says Weeks, as this is the time your body recuperates the quickest. How much zzs is optimum? Studies show it's important to catch around 7 hours of sleep every night. In the day, take regular short breaks from your work by stepping away from the computer every hour or so to stretch and move around. (Try this office workout!)

5. Retrain your brain

There's no point in worrying about situations that are outside of your control, says Weeks. Learning to accept situations that you can't change can go a long way towards improving your stress levels. CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) techniques can be extremely useful for changing your thinking patterns and is used a lot in counselling. Get into the habit of talking to yourself positively, adds stress expert Dominic Knight. "Any human behavior that you rehearse continuously for approximately three weeks becomes habit forming."

6. Aim to eat better

This will keep your body in the best shape to fight stress. Include more wholesome vegetables, fruits and whole foods, and drink plenty of water. Look to eat more vitamin B-rich foods, too, says Weeks, as these are known to help the body process stress hormones more efficiently. Sources include chicken, beef, liver, salmon, sardines, spinach, peas, broccoli, asparagus and whole grains.

7. Make time for hobbies

Doing something that you enjoy is a great way to wind down and lift your mood. Whether it's gardening, arts and craft, reading a novel, or just taking a long soak in the tub, set aside a little quiet time each day to indulge in your favorite activity and relax.

8. Seek help

If stress has become too much to handle, professional help and support can be very beneficial in reducing stress levels. This may involve seeing a psychologist or attending counselling sessions. You'll learn more healthy ways to deal with stress from the pros, and "anything that promotes your sense of wellbeing can help reduce your levels of stress," says Weeks.


5 Reasons Skipping Breakfast is a Bad Idea

Why breakfast really is the most important meal of the day

January 23, 2012 | By Kevin P. Donoghue, Editor, Peak Health Advocate
In the rush to get up and out the door each morning, for goodness sake, don’t skip breakfast! More than just good advice your mom used to pound into your head, eating breakfast every day has been shown to significantly help protect against cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes and dysmenorrhea (acute pain during a woman’s menstruation), among other conditions.
Not only does eating breakfast help ward off these chronic health conditions, it also has been shown to help improve body weight, boost energy and heighten mental acuity. Pursuit of these benefits has guided much of the research conducted on breakfast consumption, specifically in relation to children and adolescents. That said, a host of research studies has also shown both short-term and long-term negative health impacts among adults who regularly forgo a morning meal.
If true, why does 1 out of every 4 adults and 1 out of every 3 children regularly skip eating breakfast?
Common excuses include: don’t have enough time to eat, forgot to eat, and trying to control weight by cutting out a meal. Folks, if you fall into one of these traps, let us enlighten you with findings from a sampling of recent studies:
1. In a new research paper published this month in The Journal of Nutrition, University of Minnesota researchers discovered that adults participating in the study who ingested a daily breakfast meal had more than 50% lower levels of glucose coursing through their veins up to five hours after eating breakfast than people who did not consume breakfast. High blood glucose levels are strongly associated with diabetes and obesity.
One would think eating a meal would naturally boost glucose levels, especially compared to not eating at all, but apparently our bodies put breakfast calories to work immediately, quickly clearing sugar from the bloodstream. By comparison, researchers believe the absence of a morning meal causes the body to release stored sugars to compensate.[1]
2. In a separate study published in December 2010, a group of Japanese researchers found that college-aged women who frequently skipped breakfast experienced significantly higher incidences of constipation, painful menstrual symptoms, and other reproductive cycle complications than women who regularly consumed a morning meal.
While scientists do not have a firm handle as to why skipping breakfast disrupts reproductive cycles among women, the researchers in this particular study speculated that the timing of food consumption (particularly early-in-the-day food consumption) is strongly correlated with healthy menstruation cycles.[2]
3. In 2003, a group of University of Massachusetts researchers found that those who regularly skipped breakfast had a 4.5 times higher risk of obesity versus everyday breakfast eaters. The researchers noted that those who skipped breakfast ate significantly more calories during the day than consistent breakfast eaters, leading the study team to conclude that skipping the morning meal leads to more ravenous eating (hence weight gain) later in the day.[3]
4. UK-based researchers in 2005 reported that women participating in the study who skipped breakfast daily had significantly higher total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, oxidized LDL and triglycerides in comparison with women in the study who ingested breakfast every morning. In fact, over the course of the study, women who omitted breakfast saw their blood lipid measures rise notably, while regular morning meal consumers saw theirs drop.[4]
5. A 2009 Japanese study showed that current cigarette smokers who skipped breakfast (and 55% of the current smokers in the study did not eat breakfast) had a 4.7 times higher risk of developing diabetes than either current smokers who regularly ate breakfast or never-smoking regular breakfast consumers. That’s not a misprint — 4.7 times higher odds of developing diabetes![5]
There are many other studies echoing similar results in different groups of adults, adolescents and children. Therefore, if you are at risk for one or more of these conditions and you don’t regularly eat breakfast, you would be well served to reconsider your decision to pass on a morning meal.
Getting More Out of Your Breakfast
Healthy advice for regular breakfast eaters
Alright, presuming we’ve now convinced those of you who haven’t been eating breakfast regularly to add a morning meal to your daily routine, we’ll bet you’d like to know what breakfast foods offer the healthiest start.
Unfortunately, it’s not a whopping Belgian waffle with copious butter and syrup. It’s not even a bagel with cream cheese or butter paired with a glass of OJ, milk or cup of coffee. Nope, the No. 1 breakfast food correlated with better health is ready-to-eat cereals made from whole grains combined with low-fat milk. For those wishing to spice it up a bit, add some fresh fruit into the mix. [Insert pick of cereal topped with fruit]
Cereals made with whole grains typically have a higher fiber content, lower glycemic index value (glycemic index is a measure applied by dieticians to assess the blood sugar raising effects of various foods), and less harmful fats and oils. Before you start to groan imagining eating tasteless, coarse cereals, check out this list of healthy and unhealthy cereal choices developed by Dr. Diana Mirkin.
If you can’t see yourself chomping on bran flakes to start the day, at least try to avoid breakfast foods that have been shown to possess a high glycemic index. High glycemic index foods are strongly correlated with obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors. Some of the biggest breakfast offenders on this list include doughnuts, waffles, bagels and toast made from white bread.

Telesales and Cold Calling Techniques

1-day intensive practical workshop to prospect, improve and close
more sales over the phone
Course date: 23 April 2012
Time: 9 am to 5 pm
Venue: River View Hotel
Havelock Road.
Nearest MRT: Outram Park
Program Overview
It can be a frustrating and fearful experience for
those who rely on the phone as their main tool
of communication for sales. Phone selling is
often viewed as more difficult than face to face
selling. An effective cold-calling and business
plan can make the difference between landing
a deal and waiting for the phone to ring.
Effective phone selling skills can be honed with
the right techniques and lots of practice.
Course outline
Telephone: Tool or Nuisance
Major Errors in Using the Telephone
Qualities of A Successful Telemarketer
Clear Speaking Techniques -
- Alertness, Pleasantness, Conversational tone, Distinctness & Expressiveness
Manage Positive Customer Perception
- Is not What we say?but how we say it
Listening Skills
- In-and-out listening
- Literal listening
- Empathetic listening
- Probe, Listen, Clarify
30 Seconds telephone rules
Overcome call reluctance
Know your objective of the
Sales call
Getting pass gatekeeper
- Receptionist
- Secretary
- Clearing Roadblocks
Getting the appointment
- Techniques to get appointment
Main points for tele-prospecting
Questioning Techniques
- High gain questions
Turning Enquiries into Sales
Handling and responding to objections
Features & Benefits
- Features tell, benefits sell
Obtaining commitments
Sales Negotiation Techniques
Program Objectives:
At the end of the one-day workshop, participants will be able to:-
- Understand how to deal with different telesales situation
- Use questioning techniques to gain commitment & set priorities
- Navigate through different departments to reach decision makers
- Build chemistry to develop referral strategy
- Handle objections
- Increase purpose-driven calls to achieve sales
- Build prospect database
Early Bird Discount
$60 off per pax
Group Discount:
2 pax additional 10% discount.
3 pax or more additional 15% discount
Tel: 9241 4209 (Enquiries) Fax: 6884 7640 (Registration)
Email: Contact Benson
(Enquiries or Registration)

Name 1: ________________________Job title: ___________________

Name 2: ________________________Job title:___________________
Name 3: ________________________Job title:___________________


Contact Person___________________Job title:___________________
Tel: ___________________________ Fax: ______________________

Email:___________________________ Co Stamp:________________
Fees: $ 399 only-Include course notes, training certificate,
refreshment and sumptuous indigenous International buffet
lunch at River Garden Coffee House
(Halal & Vegetarian meal are also provided)
Pay to Corporate Training Development
Mail: 25A ,Jalan Membina, #06-102, Singapore 162025

Walk Away High Blood Pressure in Half an Hour a Day

Just 30 minutes of aerobic walking was enough to lower blood pressure in the over-60 crowd

March 27, 2012 | By Larissa Long, Contributing Editor, Peak Health Advocate
Walking is one of the best forms of exercise, bar none. Not only is it easy to get started (just strap on a pair of sneakers and go), it is the safest and simplest way to get in shape and lose weight. And pretty much anyone can do it — young or old, thin or overweight. Even those with debilitating health conditions like arthritis can greatly benefit from walking, often experiencing relief from joint pain and other bothersome symptoms.
Exercise such as walking is especially important as we get older. Many significant changes happen within our bodies as we age, one of the biggest being increased blood pressure. Studies prove without a doubt that exercise is an effective way to lower blood pressure naturally, but few studies have examined how aerobic walking, in particular, affects the blood pressure of elderly adults. Researchers in Brazilaimed to learn precisely that.[1]
Twenty-three volunteers aged 60 and older participated in this study. On day one, they each had their blood pressure measured six times on each arm using two methods: oscillometric (electronic monitor) and auscultatory (using a stethoscope and sphygmomanometer, or cuff). On day two, blood pressure was measured again in the same manner, but only on the right arm.
Participants were considered to have high blood pressure if their mean blood pressure was 140/90 mmHg, or if they were already taking medication for high blood pressure. In total, 11 study participants had high blood pressure, and 12 had normal blood pressure.
Next, all participants had their aerobic capacity and maximum heart rate assessed, then they were divided into two groups: exercise or rest. Exercise sessions with the exercise group were conducted at one-week intervals. Researchers instructed those in the exercise group to take their regular medications and eat a light breakfast before their workouts.
Before starting their exercise sessions, blood pressure was measured every five minutes for a period of 20 minutes while participants were seated. They then began walking on a track. After a five-minute warm-up, participants started walking at their usual speed, then increased their walking speed to reach and maintain their unique maximum heart rates for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, they had a five-minute cool down, followed by 40 minutes of seated rest.
At the end of the exercise sessions, blood pressure was measured every five minutes for one hour. A blood pressure monitor was also placed on each participant’s non-dominant arm for 24 hours to measure blood pressure throughout the day and night.
Walk for Lower Blood Pressure
As predicted, the walking group did experience a reduction in blood pressure. Specifically, they saw an average of 14mmHg (auscultatory) and 12 mmHg (oscillometric) reductions in systolic blood pressure after exercising. (Systolic pressure is the top number of a blood pressure reading, and measures the blood pressure in the arteries when the heart is beating.)
Diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number, and the pressure in the arteries between beats, when the heart is relaxed) decreased by 4 mmHg after exercise, using both blood pressure measurement methods.
Additionally, both systolic and diastolic pressures during wakefulness were lower in the exercise group, as was systolic pressure during periods of sleep.
Just 30 Minutes a Day
The message here is clear: Just 30 minutes of walking leads to significant reductions in blood pressure in the over-60 crowd. (Research has also shown that it can significantly lower your cholesterol.)
And whether you’re 20 or 70, strapping on a pair of good sneakers and going for a brisk walk for 30 minutes, most days of the week, can lead to incredible changes in your health.
If you haven’t exercised in a while, start slow. Walk for 10 minutes at a moderate pace, and as your fitness levels improves, pick up the pace and increase your time. As you get into better shape, you may want to add variety to your walking routine, perhaps by trying Nordic walking or eccentric exercise like walking downhill or bench steps.
Whatever you choose, just stick to it and reap the countless health benefits — lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, weight loss, and so much more.

What's the Best Breakfast for Your Heart?

Choosing the right morning meal could help you fight off hypertension, as well as diabetes

March 27, 2012 | By Kimberly Day, Contributing Editor, Peak Health Advocate
Ask any nutritionist or health expert and they will tell you that breakfast may very well be the most important meal of the day. But what they may not agree upon is why.
Some say it is critical for your body to “break” the “fast” that occurs when you sleep. Others say it restarts your metabolism and keeps your body from going into starvation mode. Still others feel that your breakfast meal sets the tone for the day in terms of food choices.
Given this, what is the best choice for breakfast?
One Meal, So Many Choices
To help answer this, Korean researchers recruited 371 people to answer questions about their breakfast habits, as well as their current health status.[1] All subjects were between the ages of 30 and 50, with 268 women and 103 men.
In all, there were more than 20 food groups represented in the participants’ breakfast foods. These included:
· Rice
· Eastern grains
· Western grains
· Cookies and cakes
· Potatoes
· Vegetables
· Kimchi (pickled or fermented vegetable side dishes flavored with seafood and spices;Korea’s most popular food)
· Fruit and fruit juices
· Seaweed
· Meat
· Processed meat
· Fish and shellfish
· Eggs
· Legumes
· Milk and dairy products
· Sweets
· Seasonings
· Nuts and seeds
· Coffee and tea
The researchers identified three different breakfast patterns:
1. Rice, kimchi, and vegetables (more typical Korean breakfast)
2. Potatoes, fruits, and nuts and seeds
3. Eggs, breads, and processed meats (a more American-style breakfast)
You Are What You Eat
Once the researchers identified the foods and food patterns, they tested participants for a variety of biological markers. These included:
· Height and weight
· Blood pressure
· Triglycerides
· LDL cholesterol
· HDL cholesterol
· Serum-fasting glucose
· Waist circumference
· Metabolic syndrome
When comparing these biological markers with breakfast choices, researchers found that men eating a breakfast of rice, kimchi and vegetables tended to have higher blood pressure levels, while the women eating this morning meal had higher triglyceride levels.
When it came to a breakfast of potatoes, fruits, and nuts and seeds, researchers saw a decrease in risk of both high blood pressure and high glucose levels.
Lastly, the typical American breakfast of eggs, bread and processed meats was associated with elevated triglycerides and increased weight and BMI in men specifically.
Given these findings, researchers concluded, “Reducing the intake of eggs, refined grains and other salty foods and increasing the intake of fruit, nuts and vegetables in a breakfast based on rice (including whole grains) as the staple food could have preventative effects against metabolic syndrome in Korean adults.”
The Breakfast of Champions
According to this study, the key to a healthy breakfast appears to be fruits, vegetables, and nuts, as well as whole grains. To capitalize on this, here a few breakfast options to start your day right.
· Quinoa with crushed walnuts and fresh berries
· Apple slices with almond butter
· Tofu scramble with onions, tomatoes and asparagus
· Pureed cauliflower with Brussels sprouts and pecan halves
· Oatmeal with 1/2 cup pureed sweet potatoes, cinnamon and pears

A Good Game for Testing and Exercising your Vision and Dexterity Skills

A Good Game for Testing and Exercising your Vision and Dexterity...
Try this out! It is quite testing!

Move your mouse pointer over the numbers starting with 1, then 2, etc. until you have TOUCH all the 33 numbers consecutively.
You don't need to click on the mouse to score -- just touch the numbers with the mouse pointer.

If your score is less than 100 seconds you may be considered to be above average

how is your score? I took 83 seconds.

Why You Really Should Eat an Apple a Day

Apples protect against four of the most common and dangerous diseases
March 15, 2012 | By Larissa Long, Contributing Editor, Peak Health Advocate
We’ve all heard the expression, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” And it turns out it’s true — apples have many health benefits that could potentially keep you out of the doctor’s office. Thanks to a clinical review conducted by researcher Dianne A. Hyson from California State University in Sacramento, we now have a much broader understanding of the sheer number of health advantages that come along with consuming apples and apple products.[1]
What Makes Apples So Nutritious?
Apples are a rich source of dietary polyphenols, which are one type of free radical-fighting antioxidants in the body. This high polyphenol content in apples is what makes them so protective, nutritious, and delicious.
The two biggest subclasses of polyphenols in apples are flavonoids and phenolic acids. Flavonoids are further broken down into more than 4,000 categories, three of the most abundant in apples being flavanols, flavonols and anthocyanidins.
Let’s take a look at how this high polyphenol content translates to protection against some of the most common and dangerous health conditions out there — cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.
The American Institute for Cancer Research estimates that one-third of all cancer cases could be prevented by an improved diet, especially higher fruit, vegetable and whole grain consumption. Several studies have shown that apples, in particular, are associated with reduced risk of cancer.
In one such study, researchers examined fresh apple intake and cancer risk of more than 6,000 Italian participants.[2] They found that eating one or more medium-sized apples (approximately 166 grams, or just shy of 6 ounces) per day was associated with a decreased cancer risk compared to eating less than one apple per day.
The biggest risk reduction was seen in cancer of the larynx (41 percent), colon/rectum (30 percent), breast (24 percent), ovary (24 percent), and esophagus (22 percent).
Cardiovascular Disease
Most recent estimates state that 80 millions Americans have some type of cardiovascular disease, including hypertension (high blood pressure), coronary artery disease, myocardial infarction, angina, heart failure and stroke.
Oxidative damage appears to be a top cause of cardiovascular disease due to the destruction of DNA and other cellular components. Antioxidants, such as those found in apples, are so important because they scavenge free radicals and counteract oxidative damage.
In one Turkish study, 15 participants who ate fresh apples (on average one a day) every day for one month were shown to have had increased antioxidant enzymes in their bodies.[3]
And in another study, 10 participants in Japan were given 150 mL (about 5 ounces) of apple juice, and then had antioxidant levels checked in their blood. Researchers found that apple juice was among eight fresh fruit juices tested to exhibit an antioxidant effect within 30 minutes of consumption that lasted for up to an hour and a half![4]
Elevated “bad” LDL cholesterol levels are a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease, and apples have also been shown to improve lipid profiles.
In one study, hamsters were given either apples to approximate human intake of 600 grams (21 ounces) per day, or apple juice to approximate 500 mL (17 ounces) per day. After 12 weeks, both the apples and the apple juice significantly reduced cholesterol (11 percent and 24 percent, respectively) and lowered the ratio of total cholesterol to “good” HDL cholesterol (25 percent and 38 percent, respectively).[5]
The incidence of type 2 or “adult onset” diabetes is rising at an alarming rate, thanks to poor diet choices, lack of exercise, and the resulting obesity.
To see what effect apples had on diabetes risk, researchers examined women in a large, ongoing trial called the Women’s Health Study.[6] They identified apples as the only flavonoid-rich food that could potentially have protective capabilities. Compared to no apple consumption, the consumption of two to six apples per week led to a 27 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes, while one apple per day decreased the risk by 28 percent.
Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis, and fruits and vegetables are thought to provide many of the nutrients necessary for strong, healthy bones. Only a few studies have examined apples and apple products specifically in relation to bone health, but preliminary results show great promise.
In one crossover study, 15 female participants each consumed a meal on three different occasions that consisted of either fresh, peeled apples, unsweetened apple sauce, or candy.
Urine samples collected at 1.5, 3, and 4.5 hours after consumption showed that the meals that included apples and apple sauce resulted in less calcium loss compared to the control (candy) meal.[7]
Develop an Appetite for Apples
In addition to these four conditions, the author of this review also determined that apples and apple products have beneficial effects on Alzheimer’s disease, cognitive decline associated with normal aging, weight management and asthma.
What’s most exciting about all of this research is that achieving these great results is so simple. It really does take about one apple a day to experience the wonderful protective benefits against cancer, heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis.
Not only that, but your choices for apples are practically endless: Granny Smith, Macintosh, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Pink Lady, Cameo, Braeburn and Gala are just a few of the literally thousands of choices available to you. And, unlike many fruits, apples are always “in season” and available year-round. Just try to purchase certified organic or pesticide-free apples whenever possible, as apples tend to have higher pesticide residue levels than other fruits and vegetables.
Whole fruits are always the best option when it comes to nutritional value, but as many of these studies showed, even processed apple foods like applesauce and apple juice had antioxidant capabilities. But remember, if you choose to eat or drink processed apple products, be sure to choose sugar-free or reduced sugar versions because these options are often high in sugar.