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» 051 Avoid prohibited drugs  » 052 Avoid being angry  » 053 Learn to be happy always  » 054 Avoid shops that allow smoking  » 055 Don't get overheated  » 056 Avoid touching your face  » 057 Fasten your seatbelts  » 058 Have a pet  » 059 Avoid phone when driving  » 060 Eat soy bean products

051 Avoid prohibited drugs

              Some drugs are prohibited for use or for casual use for a good reason, to protect you from its bad effects. Inappropriate use of drugs can harm you and even cause death. When use of these drugs are illegal, using them can also cause you trouble with the law which will eventually lead to health problem and risk of dying.


Temporary benefit with long term bad effect

              Most of the prohibited drugs that are commonly abused are addicting. Drugs such as hallucinogens provide temporary euphoria characterized by extreme good feeling of happiness. Because of such "beneficial effect" people who have tried it would love to have it again. Depending on the level of emotional and clinical dependence, people get addicted to it. These "beneficial effects" are actually temporary but the long-term effects of dependence and withdrawal are more permanent unless treatment is instituted.


Direct and secondary effects of drugs

              Prohibited drugs are not for common use and their use without physician's prescription is illegal. One reason is that use of these drugs has the potential to be abused and once abused they have bad effects. Marijuana damages DNA and may cause cancer. Marijuana smoke is now on the list of hundreds of substances known to cause cancer.

              Early cannabis use is associated with psychosis-related outcomes in young adults.183 A new study shows that long term use of marijuana can lead to increased risk of developing psychosis. Young adults who had six or more years since first use of cannabis were twice as likely to develop psychosis as with those who had never used cannabis.

              Other more potent drugs such as heroin, morphine and methamphetamine can cause sudden death from overdose, heart related problem related to prolonged use, and many other mental problems.

              The risk of accidental death also increases with drug abuse and so is the risk of fatal infection.


Table 51. Common causes of death associated with drug abuse

1. Drug overdose

2. Suicide

3. Gang related violence

4. Common infection

5. Malnutrition

6. Cancer

7. Sexually transmitted diseases

8. Common accidents (e.g. drowning)

9. Traffic accident

10. Heart disease


Death associated with drug abuse

              By far, the most common cause of death directly related to drug abuse is accidental drug overdose. Accounting for about 65% deaths among teenage addicts, according to a study.184 This is followed by suicide (11.4%). Drug abuse can also be associated with increased risk of accidental death such as traffic accident, gang-related violence, and other common accidents such as drowning and fall. Increasing the risk of other health problems such as heart disease, infection, and cancer has also been reported among drug users.


How to prevent drug addiction

              Drug addiction is characterized by strong drug-seeking behaviors in which the person addicted to the drug persistently craves and seeks out the drug, despite the knowledge of harmful effects and consequences.

              The only effective way of avoiding addiction to drugs is to avoid them and never start using them.


052 Avoid being angry

              Emotions can be your response to any threat to your wellbeing. Anger is one of these emotions. But if too much and too often, anger can have bad effects on your mental and physical health. Aim to avoid being angry. Chill out!


Anger and health

             When needed, anger can stimulate your body giving you energy to take action. Chronic anger, though, can lead to heart diseases,100 diabetes and other health problem. Not to mention that anger temperament gets you in trouble with others.

              Although some form of expressive anger is associated with lower blood pressure,185 a study showed that anger and hostility are associated with higher risk of developing coronary heart disease in healthy population and aggravation of the condition in patients with coronary heart disease.186

              Expression of anger and hostility may also affect glucose metabolism, particularly among women,187 that may contribute to an elevated risk for diabetes among individuals with anger temperament.188


Physiology of anger

              Just like other emotions, anger is experienced in our bodies as well as in our minds. The emotion center of our brain, called the amygdala, is so efficient at warning us about threats, that it gets us reacting before the cortex of our brain can thought-process and judge the situation. However, this is not an excuse for getting angry easily and unreasonably, because there is a way to learn how to manage anger.


Anger management

              Getting control over your anger means learning ways to help your brain override your emotional reactions, or in other words help that part of your brain that handles judgment, specifically the prefrontal cortex get the upper hand over your amygdala.

              There are many ways to make this happen. Relaxation techniques and cognitive control techniques are among them. Any kind of positive social interaction such as a sport club may also help.

              However, some people whose anger developed during childhood that are based on mistrust of other people might need professional help in dealing with such anger.

              In dealing with an "angry child", you might need to look at the child's family background. Evidences suggest that children who are angry often come from families where there is lot of high emotion and anger expressed.


053 Learn to be happy always

              Being always happy is living a life free of stress, filled with satisfaction and a lower risk of disease.


Happiness and learning to be happy

              While everyone wants to be happy, on many occasions things in life make us worry, stressed, dissatisfied, threatened, depressed, sad, or unhappy.


Table 53. Possible health benefits from happiness.

1. Lowers blood pressure

2. Decreases stress

3. Increases threshold for pain

4. Boosts immune system

5. Improves sleep

6. Positive life outlook

7. Improves concentration

8. Good relationship with others


              Feeling happy lowers your blood pressure, slows down your heart rate, and decreases emotional, mental and physical stresses. Laughing also stimulates release of endorphins that increases your tolerance to pain.

              Learning to live a happy life means finding ways to be happy and to avoid things that makes you unhappy. Along the way, you will know what you can and what you can't by discovering your potentials and realizing your limitations. This will help you lower your threshold for satisfaction and happiness at the same time increasing your tolerance for failure and misfortunes. This will eventually make you happier and in return healthier.

              Happiness while young may be related to long life; while satisfaction in life is an important determinant of happiness when you grow old, according to a study.189


Things that can keep your spirit up

              Whether itfs the little things in life that make you smile, or the joy of working very hard toward a goal, being always happy not only will protect your emotional well-being but also your physical health.

              Although different cultures and different family backgrounds modify ones happiness profiles, most people experience happiness when they are, 1. being optimistic on something, whether real or imagined, 2. expressing gratitude to someone, 3. counting their achievement for the day, and 4. doing an act of kindness to others.


Health and happiness

              Health problems, such as a disease, a disorder, an injury, and a physical or mental disability, are a major cause of unhappiness. A disease itself can be associated with pain, discomfort, lack of appetite, depression and confusion. Avoiding a health problem is a major strategy to promote ones happiness.


054 Avoid shops that allow smoking

              Avoiding shops that allow smoking prevents you from getting exposed to the health hazard of second-hand and third-hand smoke.


Second-hand smoke

              The smoke you get from someone smoking close to you is called second-hand smoke. Secondhand smoke causes immediate and long-term adverse health effects in nonsmoking children and adults, including heart diseases and lung cancer.190 Secondhand smoke exposure occurs primarily in homes, workplaces, and close spaces such as restaurants that allow smoking.

              Avoid shops, sports facilities, disco houses, schools, public vehicles, hospitals, and clinics that allow smoking inside their facilities, even if ventilation is installed. Even enclosed smoking rooms with properly working ventilations were found to leak out secondhand smoke exposing the people who are in the nonsmoking area.191


Third-hand smoke

              Despite being a non-smoker and away from someone smoking, you may still get the risk from smoking if you stay in a place frequented by smokers. The invisible yet toxic brew of substances, gases and particles left behind by the smokers linger long after second-hand smoke has cleared from a room. This is called third-hand smoke, and the residues in the third-hand smoke were found to pose significant health risk, particularly to young children.


Avoid doctors who smoke

              Avoid having a doctor who smokes, he is not the right person who can give you an objective advice on good health habits. Smoking physicians have less positive attitude towards anti-smoking campaign and cessation.192 Though they might give you a good and honest advice but seeing them smoke can greatly influence your attitude towards the habit.


Prevent your kids from smoking

              There are several things, which could be hard or easy, that you can do to help prevent your kids from smoking (see Table 54).


Table 54. Things you can do to prevent your kids from smoking.

1. Don't smoke

2. Keep your home a "no smoking" place

3. Send your kids to a "smoke free" school

4. Don't go to restaurant that allow smoking

5. Don't let your kids watch movies featuring actors smoking

6. Prefer a non-smoker doctor for your kids

7. Don't let your kids sleep over homes with smoker

8. Teach your kids the bad effects of tobacco use

9. Encourage your kid to be involved in team sports

10. Always reserve a nonsmoking hotel room for the family



             Setting a good example is very important. This means that you should not smoke nor allow anyone in your house to smoke. Make your message clear why you are against smoking. A more difficult part is to avoid your kids being influenced by other people especially from peers, movies and television. Most young people find it fashionable for famous people, seen in the media, smoking193 as a result this increases their chances to light up.

              Additional strategy would be to allow your kids to participate in team sports. Taking part in a team sport lowers the odds of children smoking, according to a study.194


055 Don't get overheated

              Overheating can lead to injury and illness and may aggravate pre-existing illnesses or can even cause sudden death.




              Overheating may present a variety of signs and symptoms which include the combination of the following: dizziness, headache, thirst, nausea, muscle cramps, lack of coordination and cold clammy skin.

              Injury from overheating is potentially lethal but is considered to be completely preventable. Overheating or heat shock kills thousands of people every year and have caused permanent disability to some of those who survived the heat injury.           Overheating is more lethal to older adults because the aging body has a harder time regulating its internal temperature.


Hot weather & humidity

              Hot weather is the major cause of overheating. This can be aggravated by the rise of humidity during hot weather conditions.


Table 55. Effects of humidity

Humidity (%)



Dry skin; thirst; discomfort

30 to 60

Ideal humidity


Preferred to control dust mites


Less effective sweating & may lead to heat stroke


              We control our body temperature by sweating and shivering. At high relative humidity, sweating is less effective so our body is unable to release heat and we then feel hotter which may lead to overheating or heat stroke (see Table 55).


Preventing heat injury

              Monitor the local weather reports [092] to know when it's too hot for you to go outside or when to make appropriate preparations to avoid overheating at home or when going out.

              There are ways you can do to avoid overheating in hot weather conditions. At home, if you don't have fan or air-conditioning, you can still keep your home cooler by opening the windows to create air circulation while windows under direct sunlight should be covered with curtains [083] that effectively block sunlight. When going outside, wear cool light colored clothes preferably made of cotton.

              In addition, it is important to increase your intake of water and other healthy juices. Avoid drinking coffee and alcoholic drinks. Caffeine in coffee and alcohol act as diuretics and cause your body to lose more fluids.

              In outdoor sports, overheating among athletes is not uncommon. Although fatal heat injury is relatively rare, non-fatal incidence is common. Educating the whole team is very important to prevent heat injury. Additional preventions include gradual acclimatization of the athletes to hot conditions, wearing of light-colored clothing, reducing activity in hot humid conditions, and careful monitoring of athletes for sign of overheating to facilitate immediate cooling down of affected athletes.195


056 Avoid touching your face

              If you are going to massage your face or apply moisturizers, by all means touch your face. Be sure to wash your hand and dry it with a clean towel before doing so. Otherwise avoid touching your face with unclean hands.

              With our day-to-day work, our hands are exposed to many things that can cause skin infection,196 skin irritations, and allergic reactions. Habitual touching of our face is a common cause of acne breakouts. Unlike the skin in our hand which is tough and resistant to many of these harmful agents, the skin covering our face is more sensitive to most of these.


Use back of your hand

              If you need to touch your face, wash your hands thoroughly first. In cases that you experience itching in your face, try to use clean tissue to softly scrub it or if no tissue is available try to use the back of your hand. The back of the hand is seldom used in handling objects and is likely to be cleaner.

Touching your face may also deposit oil from your hands onto your face and this oil can clog pores, resulting in blemishes.


Don't scratch

              Even with a clean hand, scratching your face may cause secondary infection and eventual scarring and discoloration.


Avoid unnecessary contact with your face

              If you need to keep your hands away from your face, other people need to keep their hands away as well. Don't allow others to just touch your face. Keep things that will make contact with your face clean all the time. Use clean handkerchief, towel, pillow case and blanket.

Your age through your skin

              Skin attributes influence how people estimate your age. These attributes have a different weight in the evaluation of the perceived age, depending on the age of the observer. The most important attributes are eyes, lips and skin color uniformity.197 Any scar, blemishes, wrinkles also affect skin color uniformity.


Surgeries on your face

              Plastic surgeries to augment your face to look good or better are becoming popular and commonly performed (see Table 56). With the advent of modern medicine, advances in technology and medical knowledge, these types of procedure if properly performed by well-trained medical professional are generally safe and have changed many lives. However, most of these remain to have considerable amount of risk. Cases of disfigurement or failure to attain the desired results are still a considerable issue.


Table 56. Common plastic surgeries involving the face.



1. Nose job (Rhinoplasty)

Nose reshaping

2. Eyelid surgery (Blepharoplasty)

Alleviate dropping or puppy eyelids

3. Face lift (Rhytidectomy)

Remove excess fat; tighten muscle; redrape skin in the face

4. Dermabrasion

Rub out wrinkles and facial blemishes

5. Forehead lift


Skin and forehead muscle tightening

6. Ear surgery (Otoplasty)

Ear reshaping or resizing

7. Lip augmentation

Insert implant for a full lip

8. Chin augmentation (Mentoplasty)

Chin reshaping


              Considering the risk and the usually high cost involved, cosmetic surgery should only be considered when deemed necessary and there are no other safer means to attain the desired results.


Avoid sleeping on your face

              Avoid sleeping with your face down on the pillow. If you do, try to make it short as possible by changing position from time to time.


057 Fasten your seatbelts

              Wearing seatbelts whenever it is recommended protects you from being killed or seriously injured in case of accidents.

              Seatbelts definitely save lives.

Wear your seatbelt

              Death from car accidents is a major cause of accidental death and accidental death is one of the leading causes of death today. According to Car-Accidents.com, one in 13 people die in a car accident in the U.S. every day and 63 percent of them were not wearing a seatbelt.

              The most important thing you do when riding in a car is buckle your seatbelt. A seatbelt keeps you from flying around inside a car or from being thrown out if it should crash.


Keep your seatbelt fastened

              Sudden and unexpected turbulence while in flight can be dangerous. Keeping your seatbelt fastened while in flight is recommended. Minor accidents during takeoff and landing are common. These minor accidents can still cause a major injury to you if you donft wear your seatbelt.198


Seatbelt for kids

              Choosing a child safety seat is important for it to work properly. Make sure your child's safety seat is a good fit, not too small or too large.

              A history of bad behavior as a kid raises a man's risk of dying or becoming disabled by the time he is in his 40s, according to a study.199 Teaching your kids good behavior, including safe practices when riding a vehicle, will help them eventually acquire habits that help them live a longer life.


058 Have a pet

              People who own pets, especially dogs, have been shown to be less stressed and require fewer visits to their physicians than non-owners. Survival rates for heart-attack victims who had pets have been shown to be 12% longer than for those who did not have one, according to one of the first studies dealing with the impact pets can have on our health, led by researcher Erica Friedmann. Pet owners have also been shown to have lower blood pressure. The reasons are most likely related to an array of psychological factors, such as the facts that owning a pet decreases loneliness and depression, encourages laughter and nurturing, and stimulates exercise.

              There are many choices for a pet and it would depend upon ones personality. Still, there is a difference between acquiring them and opening onefs heart to them.200

Pets as family members

              When you or a member of your family is feeling vulnerable, depressed, lonely, distant, and unable to relate to others, and when other family members or friends are preoccupied, pets offer comfort, affection, and a sense of security.201 Pets like dogs and cats are not human but you need to learn to understand how they feel and how they react to build a mutual healthy relationship with them.


Dog owners and physical activity

              Dog walking is common to dog owners in Japan. This activity adds up to the owners' physical activity that was shown to have health benefits.172 There was also an increased social interaction among pet owners than non-owners.202

Risk with pets

              To protect you from zoonosis, diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans, you need to keep your pets healthy.

              Never allow children age 5 or younger to play with pets without adult supervision. Always wash hands carefully with soap and water after touching an animal.


059 Avoid using your phone when driving

              Anything that distracts attention when driving or operating heavy equipment and machineries may lead to accidents. In driving, it is called "distracted-driving". Distracted-driving is becoming a more frequent cause of accidents that have led to deaths and have become a major health and legal issue. Some countries are banning the use of cellphones while driving.

Use hand-free phones

              In this modern communication age, our job and way of life may sometimes require us to use phones while driving. Hands-free dialing technologies are available. Instead of scrunching your head to your shoulder to hold the phone, get a headset. This way you may not only avoid an accident, it may also avoid injury to your neck and shoulders. Voice-operated phone system equipped with speakers and microphone is becoming an option with modern cars where you can connect your mobile phone and operate your phone by just giving a voice command.


Avoid distraction

              Other sources of distraction can be smoking, drinking bottled drinks, manipulating a stereo or CD player, watching TV or DVD while driving.

              Driving with something in your lap (including a dog, etc.) is a risk particularly when safety bags open during an accident.

              If you are that type that is easily distracted, then avoid talking while driving. Talking requires you to think; and thinking while driving may sometimes distract your attention from the road. Yelling or deliberate distraction is reported to be common among adolescents.203


Fun driving

              Driving is fun, but risky driving is certainly not. Experts say that younger drivers are more likely to do foolish things when other young people are in the car.204 So if you are a young driver, don't be carried away by the risk-taking coaching of your friends.


Drive safely

              Drive at or below the safety limit, put on your seatbelts and wear proper foot wear when driving.


060 Eat soy bean products

         Consumption of soy products has many health benefits. Soy food consumption could lower your risk of prostate cancer,205 breast cancer,206 lung cancer,207 and may also modulate serum lipid with beneficial results.208

Soy products

              Several lines of soybean-based products are available in the market today, from food to drinks, from sweets to sports drinks, and from diet supplements to medicinal products. Table 60 lists some common products that are internationally known and are widely used in Japan.



              Genistein and other isoflavones are known to inhibit formation of new blood vessels essential in the progression of cancer. Various studies suggest that isoflavones in soy food play a major role in inhibiting cancer.

              Isoflavone intake was associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer in non-smokers,207 according to a large-scale, population-based study in Japan.

              Eating soy bean products may help breast cancer patients improve their survival.206


Breast milk is best for babies and mothers

              Although soy milk can be a good substitute for cow's milk, for babies however, there is no better substitute for breast milk.

              Babies can get several health benefits from breast milk that other milk sources are not capable of providing. The antibodies in breast milk can help protect the baby from infection and allergy.


Table 60. Example of common soybean-based products.




Ground soybeans soaked in water

Soy sauce

Fermented soybeans along with roasted grain, water and salt


Coagulated protein from soymilk


Fermented soybeans and rice or barley, with salt


Soybeans fermented with Bacillus subtilis


Baby soybean pods boiled with salt


              Children who are breastfed for longer than six months could be at a lower risk of mental health problems later in life particularly during adolescence.

              Breastfeeding improves emotional bonding between mother and the child. In addition, mothers who breastfeed is at a lower risk, in the long run, for diabetes and heart disease. To women with a family history of breast cancer, a significantly lower risk of developing breast cancer has been observed if they breastfed their babies.206


» 051 Avoid prohibited drugs  » 052 Avoid being angry  » 053 Learn to be happy always  » 054 Avoid shops that allow smoking  » 055 Don't get overheated  » 056 Avoid touching your face  » 057 Fasten your seatbelts  » 058 Have a pet  » 059 Avoid phone when driving  » 060 Eat soy bean products

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