Lifestyle and Health

Medical practitioners define nicotine as 'the major addictive substance in tobacco products and the most addictive substance known to man. Passive smoking which is the inhalation of tobacco smoke where other people are smoking is also considered among the leading causes of smoke related deaths and disease in South Africa and the world abroad. The US Department of Human Service, also adds that the effect of cigarette smoking on America's health is tragic'.

As has been indicated in the diagram below, specialists exert that exposure to tobacco smoke and other lung irritants over a prolonged period of time can lead to inflammation in the airways that deliver air into the lungs (bronchial tubes). As a result, the airways produce more mucus than they would normally. This increase in inflammation and extra mucus production reduces air flow in the lungs and cause coughing. Mucus production and inflammation over many years may lead to progressive and permanent lung damage.

A normal human has a set of lungs which are lined with millions of tiny hair called cilia. The cilia functions as brooms that protect the air tubes by sweeping dust, tar as well as other foreign materials gradually upward until they can be spit out; however when a 'blast' of tobacco smoke hits the cilia, specialists claim that the cilia slows down and soon they stop moving. This becomes hazardous as the trapped impurities from the tobacco smoke begin to permeate the cells which are lining the air tubes and as a result over a period of time some of the cells become cancerous.

The nicotine and carbon monoxide smoke in tobacco smoke are culprits that promote vascular disease. Nicotine constricts the small arteries (veins that transport blood) thus depriving the heart, lungs, and other organs the necessary oxygen that is needed by the red blood cells to transport the oxygen to the various organs, this in turn causes shortness of breath as well as the formation of atherosclerosis (the hardening of and narrowing of the arteries).

Since the issue of smoking is not a new one anymore, some of the already known effects of smoking will be mentioned. Smoking is not only dangerous to health but it is considered to be a major cause of absenteeism from work due to sickness. Smoking is among many diseases that can be prevented by avoidance, it causes premature death and cardio vascular diseases like strokes, oral cavity, chronic bronchitis, and heart attacks among others.

Smoking draws calcium out of the skeleton and thus accelerates the bone thinning process known as osteoporosis. All these diseases lead to the death of either the one smoking or the passive smoker at one stage or another. As a result children are robbed off their parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and many other family members. In the workplace it leads to lower productivity rates by institutions due to frequent sickness.

Love your Heels
The human brain is one of the most amazing computer ever created, it has the ability to send messages in a rate that a man-made machine cannot process information. In this our day, innovation is the name of the game, from skyscrapers to aircrafts, elevators, iPads you name it, the world is rapidly changing. It has to be bigger, better, flatter and more fashionable. Amongst the inventions of man are “high heels.” The name is quite descriptive; it has something to do with elevating our heels (back part of the foot below the ankle).

In most cases, fashion shapes most of our closets, if it isn’t in fashion; ‘I ain’t wearing it!’ this is sometimes heard from even the youngest of children. You know how it is; high heels make us look confident and refined, elevated, classy, sassy and powerful. We can’t do without them, our legs look longer, and our feet appear smaller, though they throw our pelvis forward, we wear them anyway. 

Heels are not exactly a good alternative for our health. New innovations like the 6-inch Louboutins and ‘sky-high’ Prada pumps are doing great harm to our bodies, from in-grown toe nails, bunions, callouses, blisters, corns you name them! Most likely if we would be given a choice between nice feet and high heels, most women would choose high heels. Podiatrist Dr B. Little, states that heels put “the body in a very unnatural position.”

Furthermore, in one of the studies conducted by specialists in The Journal of Applied Physiology, wearing high heels for a long-term period has been “associated with substantial increases in muscle fascicle strains and muscle activation during the stance phase compared with barefoot walking…the observed neuromuscular behaviour is consistent with the reports that high heel wearers often experience discomfort and muscle fatigue and suggests that high heel use may increase the risk of strain injuries.”

According to Chiropodist and CEO of Canadian Federation of Medicine, Stephen Hartman, “heels that are 2 inches or higher propel the body forward, they also point the foot downward leaving the knees, hips and joints to pick up the weight which sometimes lead to arthritis.” At this point you’re probably wondering, what’s a girl supposed to wear? Hartman continues to say that wearing a “two-inch heel in moderation is okay for a special occasion or at most once a week.” Flat shoes are comfortable and can be stylish and easier on our feet than high heels, however; most indeed not all do not offer arch support and oft the feet have to arduously labour in order to keep the shoes on. 

So in sense ‘kitten’ heels (1.5) are best for the feet and body, we can still look great without compromise to our God-given health J be balanced, love your heels (back part of the foot below the ankle), love your health.



Skinny Jeans
  1. Do you wear tight jeans often?
  2. Have you ever experienced a tingly or burning sensation on your thighs?
  3. Do your feet feel like they are floating and cannot be felt when wearing tight jeans for a long period of time?
If your answer has been positive to two or all the questions, you are definitely a victim of meralgia paresthetica, also known as “tingling thigh syndrome.” Researchers say that this condition is prompted by constant pressure from the tight item of clothing and as a result cuts off the lateral femoral cutaneous nerve, thus causing numbness and a tingly sensation.

Neurologists claim that this cutaneous nerve, runs from the outside of the pelvis and through the thigh and is a sensory nerve. Furthermore that anything tight around the area could compress the nerve. As modern day fashion demands, tight jeans like skinny jeans are paired with a snazzy pair stilettos. A chiropractic physician Dr W. Madosky, says that high heels increase the chances, since the shoes tilt the pelvis forward, thus increasing the pressure on the nerve.
For this reason, practitioners say that shoes should have low heels (kitten heels) and should not require gripping the toes in order to maintain position on the foot. A strap or tie which keeps the shoe on, and allows the toes ample room is considered the most healthful shoe.

Research indicates that in the late 90's and the early 2000's, jeans were considered to pose a health hazard especially the then so popular low rise cuts. In the 1970, rumours had been circulating that close fitting jeans were causing infertility in males and yeast infections in women. Men’s pants that are too tight in the crotch endanger the delicate testes. Their injury from compression and excessive heat has been compared to receiving a certain quantity of X-radiation.
“The key” lies in removing the pressure. Skinny jeans are fashionable, however they pose a potential threat to the health of your leg nerves. Most people suffer from varicose veins because of such and indeed majority of women admit to suffering for the sake of fashion and most claim they buy what they know hurts, but will make them look good.
When purchasing clothing make sure that it:
  1. is durable
  2. is free fitting
  3. does not leave marks on the skin due to tightness (e.g. tight bands, bras & other under clothing)
  4. does not need endurance, hence must be comfortable
  5. provides warmth and covers extremities (legs and arms)
Health does not stop at just eating, our practices and what we choose to wear, directly affects our health. 

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