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Health, Fitness and Weight Loss



Welcome to this week’s Femail page. Our recently retired “Redneck” columnist - take a bow, Michael - has returned for one last blast - this time on a subject dear to the hearts of many of us - CATS! It’s good to know that someone is now taking care of at least some of them.
To those of us who managed to get to one of the first two performances of The Gin Game last week, we hope you enjoyed it s much as did our temporary drama critic, who has decided to wait until he has seen both the casts’ interpretation of this tragi-comedy, and will write a no-doubt very positive review in next week’s Mail. He has already reported “powerful acting and a true sense of theatre”, so watch this space! Try to see the performance by the Gate Theatre Group of this highly-regarded and much-performed play. This week’s performances are on Friday and Saturday at the Studio Theatre, Kad Suan Kaew. Doors open at 7, curtain is 7.30.
Interesting items keep catching our attention - try this one. A source, formerly, it would seem, protected by the planet Mercury until it was eclipsed by the God of Darkness, (?), has claimed that the current political tension is caused by and unfortunate planetary conjunction, that of Mars moving close to Saturn. Those concerned by this are advised to be patient, as Mars will leave its unfavourable position on July 2. That’s all right, then!
To those of us who are refugees from Fortress Britain, you’ll be pleased to know that a researcher has discovered the reason behind the regular weekend drunken riots on our streets. It’s not the fact that youngsters these days have a seriously nihilistic approach to their future in a country which is resembling a police state more each day, nor the fact that the education system is down the drain, making it difficult for them to get jobs as they can neither write acceptable English nor add up, it’s - Red Bull! The researcher may actually have a point - the energy drink, based on a Thai drink much loved by long-distance lorry drivers, does have some rather odd ingredients as well as a load of caffeine, but we think it’s far more likely to be the double vodkas with which it’s mixed which are causing the problems! And if that isn’t depressing enough - two attempted, (and totally unsuccessful, of course), robberies carried out by a man in a Zimmer frame waving first a stick and then a knife, have resulted in a UK judge sentencing the unfortunate individual to prison for an indefinite time, in order to protect the general public! The cashiers in the two small shops he targeted apparently told him to go away - and he did! Glad you’re here, guys?

Health, Fitness and Weight Loss

Osteoporosis - the exercise route to improvement

John Bailey
Osteoporosis, as most women these days are probably aware, is a degenerative condition resulting in reduced bone density causing fragility. In extreme cases, fractures of the ribs can be caused by coughing, and a knock or minor fall can cause the classic hip or wrist fractures. The condition occurs in two forms; type 1, which is related to oestrogen loss, is fairly common amongst post-menopausal women, is never seen in men and also can be related to other problems such as alcoholism and lifestyle. Type 2 is though to be related to a vitamin D deficiency and secondary hyperthyroidism. Whatever the cause, the result is loss of bone density and vulnerability to fractures, especially of the spine, hips and wrists.
Prevention, unfortunately, relates to awareness of the possibility that the condition may develop, and needs to begin at a younger age by adopting a more vigorous and active lifestyle. Even when the condition has developed, its debilitating effects can be at least reduced by selected exercise, the secondary and essential effect of which is to increase cardio-vascular efficiency, which has usually deteriorated due to inactivity. Correctly focused exercise will strengthen supporting muscles, giving more movement, flexibility, balance and confidence. A careful examination of diet can also be helpful, as can the use of medical therapies which slow the bone loss itself. Any exercise regime should be approved by a doctor before inception.
Relevant exercise therapy basically consists of stretching, resistance work and cardio-vascular, (aerobic) exercise, including walking, cycling and especially water-based activities. The stretching movements are undertaken either standing, sitting or on the floor; work with weights is undertaken in the same manner. The two main consideration are, firstly, to avoid forward flexion, (stretching), as this affects an already weakened spine, and secondly, sudden movements of any kind. Any stress should be gradual and progressive.
Is all that effort worthwhile? Certainly, if the sufferer can motivate themselves to exercise 3-5 days each week, with the stretching exercises performed daily. It has been noted that, after some months, real improvements to actual bone density are possible as a result of an exercise regime of this type in most cases. Also, the resulting benefits to general health and the subsequent effects on lifestyle can be surprising and rewarding. It must, however, be emphasised than any exercise regime must be planned, and must have a doctor’s approval.


OPINION: G8 - Time to Lead in Climate Change

Tess Itura
Whether we believe Al Gore’s take on this or subscribe to the “sunspot” or other theories, whether we believe we are actually able to do something to help or not, we can’t deny that something unusual is happening right now, and that even the present change in the earth’s climate is provoking damaging ecological effects. Contrary to the concepts of mega-businesses and the oil industry, the human race doesn’t “own” the planet; we share its blessings with innumerable other interdependent organisms, for whom we all, as the prime species, have at least a degree of responsibility.
As usual, world governments are talking the talk and failing to walk the walk; witness the farce of the Kyoto agreement some years ago. Whilst this writer considers that the possibility of their listening to their electorates on this or any other matter of concern appears remote, we have to try, we have to keep making our opinions known, as well as regulating our own lifestyles as much as we can. Every day, due to communications and transport technology, the world gets smaller; we all get closer to one another. “Citizen of the World” used to be a “hip” description - in the 21st century it’s becoming the only description worth using.
The 2008 G8 summit, presided over this year by the Japanese Prime Minister Fukuda, will, no doubt, discuss this, (hopefully not with commercial agendas in mind!), but is it even possible that the countries involved could put aside their differences and agree to activate policies which would have a real effect? The citizens of the world will have to wait and see., an organisation concerned with many different problems as well as with climate change - please check their website for information - have organised an online petition which will have been presented to PM Fukuda on June 18, unfortunately too soon for readers of this article to sign. In it they state that,
“The world can’t wait for urgent action on climate change, and it is your responsibility to take the lead. We urge you to set binding targets to cut greenhouse gases by 2020, in line with what scientists say is needed to avert a climate catastrophe. Rich countries must help developing countries adapt and embrace a clean-energy future, and all must do their fair share to reduce emissions in time. Our common humanity demands nothing less”.
They are, of course, absolutely right. They also note that with the Japanese proposal and the US and Canada seeking to exploit loopholes in any agreement, there is a danger that all the progress which was made towards a new global treaty at the UN climate meeting in Bali last December will be lost. Governments, it seems, will continue to fiddle whilst the world burns. And it’s not just governments. Millions are now being made by manufacturers who use clever advertising to sell “green” products without mentioning the carbon footprint of the manufacturing and transportation process. The nuclear industry is rubbing its hands at the number of new reactors being planned or commissioned, without a thought as to the problems of safe storage and disposal of its waste products. Howe green is that? Major shareholders and city institutions see the situation as a license to print profits. They’ll all be dead by the time the **** hits the fan, after having lived very comfortable lives at the expense of our fragile environment. So why should they care? And, of course, the politicians involved with decision making right now will also no longer be with us. Will their successors be any more concerned? Or will it be too late?