How Fit Are You?

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TESTING your overall fitness level is easy and can be done without using any special equipment or machine. The following are some assessments you could do to know where you are now and how far you could go.

Check your weight 
Keeping your food intake and energy output in balance is the key to controlling weight. This means that weight loss is affected not just by what you eat but by the physical activity you are engaged in.

There is a standard height and weight chart for men and women to determine your healthy weight range.

Get your target heart rate 
By calculating your target heart rate, you would know how much effort you need to exert for your workout. Target Heart Rate (THR) is the heart rate you should maintain when you exercise. It is more accurate to get it during an aerobic activity.

Before calculating it, you need to determine your Resting Heart Rate (RHR). This can be taken manually at your wrist or neck.

When training, aim to keep your heart rate above 142 but below 170.75. If you train above your optimum zone, your body won’t be able to keep up with the demand for oxygen and you will be exhausted quickly. A workout that does not raise the heart rate to a certain level will not contribute significantly to a cardiovascular fitness.

Know your BMI
Body mass index (BMI) is a height-weight system of measurement that is applicable to all gender. It is a number that reflects the percentage of body fat in proportion to lean body mass. It determines if you are underweight or overweight.

Test your aerobic fitness
Aerobic fitness refers to endurance or the ability to sustain walking, running, swimming, or climbing uphill for prolonged periods. It is dependent on age and sex, and can be improved by training. It is highest at ages 18 to 19 years in males, and 15 to 20 years in females. It also decreases with age.

Determine your muscular fitness
Push-ups can help measure muscular strength. Do as many push-ups as you can until you need to take a rest. Count each time you return to the starting position as one push up.

Record the number of push-ups. The number is an indicator of your upper body and shoulder endurance and muscular strength. A low number would mean poor muscular strength and may lead to shoulder pain.

A good muscular fitness level allows an individual to perform tasks with less physiological stress and make everyday activities easier to do.

Check your flexibility 
Flexibility is the ability to move a joint through its full range of motion. It is affected by the condition of the joint and the muscles and connective tissues surrounding the joint. It is essential not only for sports engagement but also for daily activities. Persons who are not flexible are prone to injuries.

To check your flexibility, put a yardstick on the floor, and secure it by putting a tape at the fifteen inch mark. Place the soles of your feet even with the mark. Using you arms, reach towards your toes as far as you can, without bending your knees. The test gives you the idea of how flexible you are. –Jinoe Gavan for Unilab Active Health

Oral Implants for Healthy Smiles

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By Dr. Joseph D. Lim


MRS. Manolita S. Silvestre, a businesswoman from Alabang, has a lot to smile about nowadays. Her speech has improved, she looks a lot better than before, and her confidence is up by a hundred percent, “I’m having a good time. I’m not ashamed to face people anymore and my self-esteem is high,” she said. Her secret? Dental implants—artificial teeth that are surgically implanted in the jawbone with the use of tiny screws. This device has helped over two million toothless people worldwide.

The availability of dental implants in the country has improved the quality of life of many Filipinos since they provide a better and more aesthetically pleasing alternative to dentures. Silvestre is one of the many Filipinos who has benefited from dental implants. Her success story has inspired other people to try out this new technology. Prior to her discovery of dental implants, Silvestre had been wearing dentures for years when she decided one day that they were not for her. “I’ve seen people who have lost their teeth and developed facial deformities because of ill-fitting dentures. I couldn’t accept that. I couldn’t imagine myself with an elongated face so I believed dental implants were the answer to my problem, I had read about them in some American journals when a friend of mine said they were being done here,” she recalled.

Although the technology is new, dental implants were used thousands of years ago by the ancient Egyptians. The technique was refined in the 1950s by Swedish orthopedist Dr. Per-Ingvar Branemark. While working in his lab, Branemark observed that titanium could integrate with living bone tissue – a process called Osseo integration. His discovery led to the development of modern dental implants which are widely used today.

Dental implants can be used to replace a single tooth or an entire set of teeth. In the surgical phase, the jawbone is drilled to accommodate the implant. After a few months or sufficient time for the bone cells to grow around the implant and hold it in place, a small metal post or abutment is attached to the implant to serve as an anchor for new teeth. The final stage involves creating new teeth or a prosthesis which is attached to the abutment.

What happened during the operation and how did it change Silvestre’s life? Find out in the second part of this series on Friday. Don’t miss it!
Dr. Joseph D. Lim is the Dean of the College of Dentistry, National University, President/CEO of Dr. Smile Dental Care & Laser Center and honorary fellow of the Asian Oral Implant Academy and the Japan College of Oral Implantologists. For questions on dental health, e-mail or text 0917-8591515.

Too Long Without

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By Isabella San Gabriel

Dear Isabella,

I HAVEN’T had sex for so long and it’s driving me insane!
I’ll tell you why when it is so easy these days to pick up someone or even ‘purchase’ someone for an hour or two of vigorous sex.
I am 33 and I married my husband 10 years ago. This year he just turned 70.
I know for a fact that his age contributes a lot to his sexual performance or the lack of it for the past few months. Occasionally, inspired by my not so subtle insistence, he takes Viagra. When I say occasionally this means two or thrice a year. Of course I want him to take the drug more often but I worry that it could harm his overall health. I just want to have sex with the guy and not drive him to his grave early!
Aside from this, overall my relationship with my husband is amazing. He is the kindest person I know and treats me like the queen I deserve to be.
What should I do? Can you please say something?


Dear Linda,

First of all, I am not a medical doctor. I don’t even carry any PhD after my name. I suggest that you consult a medical doctor to verify the following:

Impact of Viagra on your husband’s health if taken with other medications. You didn’t mention in your letter whether your husband is indeed taking any additional medications so I can’t even ask my medical doctor friends. Those I have. A lot. I emphasize that the consultation should be done in a doctor’s office and NOT over the Internet.

The amount of time your husband needs to take Viagra before having sex. And also how many mg he needs to take. As you said you only want to have sex with him and not kill him. Viagra overdose can kill.

Second, rumor has it that a woman reaches her sexual peak at around age 35. You’re almost there and probably your hormones are more active than usual. You may also want to check with your Ob-gyne about that. Your hormones I mean and not on whether or not you are nearing your sexual peak age. Knowing this can help you manage your sexual activities.

Third, I have two alternatives for you. One, open marriage. Two, sex toys.

As Open As You Want It

In a study I read recently, the result of which was published by Huffington Post, I believe, about 5% of marriages in the US are classified as open marriages where one or both parties are with other people with the spouse ‘open’ about this.

From your letter, I guess yours is not in this 5%. How about exploring this type of marriage with your husband? Who knows this may even titillate him enough that he doesn’t need to ingest Viagra a time or two.

Personally, I have never explored the idea of an open marriage, but I will do so now with you. I think it is not bad as long as everyone involved knows what they are getting into and open about what they want from this kind of relationship. A marriage is foremost based on trust and that trust extends to knowing that your partner will do everything in his or her power, as long as it is not illegal, to ensure that you are satisfied in all aspects of your relationship.

Toys for Pleasure

Now, if both of you are averse to having an open marriage. I assume that your husband can use all his other extremities well – his hands and by extension his fingers, his tongue. With all those extremities, I bet both of you can enhance both your sexual experience with the aid of some toys.

There are so many out there to choose from for every pleasure imagined and conceived by men and women.


Dental Therapists Put on Test

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By Dr. Joseph D. Lim

DENTAL therapists are oral health providers almost similar to nurses.

And the first class of dental therapists and advanced dental therapists in Minnesota took their licensure examinations last April 2-3. Although Minnesota is among the top five states in United States with high oral health care coverage, regular dental care reportedly doesn’t cover about 350,000 low-income people while 80 percent of tooth decay is found in 25 percent of children, many of them in poor families. Minnesota’s two-tiered Dental Therapist Legislation of 2009 requires dental therapists to have a bachelor’s degree; they are licensed to practice tooth extraction and fill cavities under the supervision of dentists.

Advanced dental therapists are licensed to practice with an off-site dentist supervisor provided they have a master’s degree and has completed 2,000 clinical hours. While similar schemes are in place in other countries, Minnesota’s – and a similar program in Alaska – is unique in the United States. A dental therapist is essentially a licensed dental auxiliary who specializes in treating children’s teeth and oral hygiene. Local dental regulations determine the duties therapists are able to perform. Typically, therapists under the prescription of a dentist are licensed to examine children’s teeth, administer restricted techniques of local anesthesia, take x-rays, provide sealants, scaling and cleaning in children.

Alaska and Minnesota allow dental therapists to practice basic dental procedures under the supervision of a dentist.
The difference in the two states is that Alaskan dental therapists are taught in Washington State and can only practice on tribal rural areas. An October 2010 evaluation of the Alaska dental therapist program found that they provide safe, effective and competent care.

In the United Kingdom, a dental therapist working from a prescribed treatment plan can treat children and adults, with direct restorations, gum and oral hygiene treatment and extraction of teeth. They can also place pre-formed stainless steel crowns on teeth. They can apply medications and administer local anesthetic. Dental therapists can work independently and without the supervision of a dentist. Training is usually by dual diploma in dental hygiene and dental therapy but a few dental schools offer full degree training in combined hygiene/therapy.

In Canada, dental therapists may practice basic dental surgical procedures only in certain communities and only under the supervision of a dentist. In Australia and New Zealand, therapists mainly work for state governments (public clinics) and school dental programs, treating children’s teeth. But they cannot restore adult teeth in children above grade 10 and cannot restore non-vital teeth.
Dr. Joseph D. Lim is the Dean of the College of Dentistry, National University, President/CEO of Dr. Smile Dental Care & Laser Center and honorary fellow of the Asian Oral Implant Academy and the Japan College of Oral Implantologists. For questions on dental health, e-mail or text 0917-8591515.

Say Cheese

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by Dr. Joseph D. Lim

WHILE food may be seen by many as the culprit in bad teeth, it is not so. Brushing your teeth and flossing regularly prevent tooth decay and gum disease. A regular visit to the dentist is also a must to maintain healthy teeth. Having said that, it is pleasant to note that some foods may actually help in oral health care.

According to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago, for example, chemical components in black tea inhibit the growth of glucosyltransferase, an enzyme that helps plaque adhere to tooth enamel. Eating crispy fresh fruits and vegetables stimulates the gums and enhances saliva secretion that helps rid sugars and food particles.

If water is food, then it is glorious food in maintaining good oral health. Water prevents stained and discolored teeth caused by drinking all those tea, coffee and red wine. But here’s the really good news, for spaghetti, pizza and pasta lovers: cheese reduces the demineralization of enamel and neutralizes acids formed in plaques and, much like fruits and vegetables, helps flush out the sugar by encouraging the secretion of saliva.

Cheese also contains alkali which neutralizes the acid left by the food on your teeth. Cheddar cheese reportedly has the highest alkali content. Cheese, according to nutrition and dietetics instructor Katie Eliot at the Saint Louis University Medical Center, “is actually one of the most concentrated sources of key nutrients including protein, calcium and vitamin A and can be found in many reduced fat versions.”

Portion control is, however, essential. This is because cheese is high in saturated fat. Eating cheese the size similar to, say, two diced tofu or tokwa is already equivalent to one-third of the daily recommended saturated fat. Not all cheeses are created equal, Eliot says. She recommends serving harder cheeses, which are aged longer and typically more flavorful. This means a little will go a long, saving you fat and calories.

Mozzarella, because it is made of water buffalo (carabao) milk naturally contains less saturated fat than most other cheeses; mozzarella is also the most popular cheese in the United States. There are many ways to enjoy cheese, says Eliot who recommends, among many others, fondue. Use different flavors and combine some reduced-fat cheeses with regular varieties, she says, adding that ideal dippers are vegetables and fruits.

In making the classic macaroni and cheese, use whole grain pasta and mix in reduced fat and strong flavored cheeses like Gouda and cheddar. Place small bites of cheese and vegetables in barbecue sticks and grill; to reduce fat, use mozzarella. Cottage cheese is another low-fat food ideal for dips. So there you have it. Not only is cheese a good ally in oral health care, it is also delicious food in many ways.

This is one instance when you can have your cake, or cheese, and eat it too – without pangs of guilt.
Dr. Joseph D. Lim is  the Dean of the College of Dentistry, National University, President/CEO of Dr. Smile Dental Care & Laser Center and honorary fellow of the Asian Oral Implant Academy and the Japan College of Oral Implantologists. For questions on dental health, e-mail or text 0917-8591515.

Brushing Prevents Heart Attacks

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by Dr. Joseph D. Lim

(image credit:
(image credit:

At the annual meeting of the European Society of cardiology in Vienna, Austria, French researcher Dr. Nicolas Amabile said that patients with artery disease often had bad teeth caused by periodontitis or periodontal disease.
In this condition, the gums become swollen due to the accumulation of plaque around the teeth. As the gums become irritated they recede and there is pain when eating hot, cold or sweet foods. Untreated, teeth loosen and fall out. This can be prevented with good oral hygiene in the form of brushing, flossing and regular visits to the dentist.

“Your mouth is normally teeming with bacteria. Usually you can keep these bacteria under control with good oral health care, such as daily brushing and flossing. Saliva is also a key defense against bacteria and viruses. It contains enzymes that destroy bacteria in different ways. But harmful bacteria can sometimes grow out of control and lead to periodontitis, a serious gum infection,” warned Mayo Clinic doctors.
Amabile found that the more severe periodontitis is, the greater the risk of heart disease. He arrived at this conclusion after he and his team of French dentists and cardiologists studied 131 patients who were referred to their hospital in Marseille, France.

“The most severe teeth disease was associated with the most widespread arterial lesions. Since periodontitis is easily accessible to treatment with antibiotics and dental care, one might think its treatment could also be beneficial for coronary artery disease. This has to be confirmed with larger studies but may represent a new original approach to handle heart disease in the future,” he told Jenny Hopes of the Daily Mail.
Researchers have yet to discover how gum disease triggers heart disease but they suspect that bacteria from gum disease can enter the bloodstream and travel through the arteries to the heart, posing a risk to cardiovascular health.

“When your gums are healthy, bacteria in your mouth usually don’t enter your bloodstream. However, gum disease may provide bacteria a port of entry into your bloodstream. Sometime invasive dental treatments can also allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream. And medications or treatments that reduce saliva flow or disrupt the normal balance of bacteria in your mouth may also lead to oral changes, making it easier for bacteria to enter your blood stream. Some researchers believe that these bacteria and inflammation from your mouth are linked to other health problems in the rest of your body,” said Mayo Clinic doctors.

To preserve your good health, don’t forget to brush daily, especially after meals. Make it a daily habit to save your heart.
Dr. Joseph D. Lim is the Dean of the College of Dentistry, National University, President/CEO of Dr. Smile Dental Care & Laser Center and honorary fellow of the Asian Oral Implant Academy and the Japan College of Oral Implantologists. For questions on dental health, e-mail or text 0917-8591515.

Globe Telecom Cell Sites Certified Radiation-Safe

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GLOBE Telecom cell sites have been issued radiation-safety certificates by the Department of Health, another indication that radio frequency signals coming from such facilities do not pose any adverse health impact.

Globe for web

“The radiation-safety certificates for every cell site that we have in the country are a proof that concerns over potential health hazard coming from base stations are without basis,” said Emmanuel Estrada, Globe Head of Network Technologies Strategy.

The radiation-safety certificates issued by the health department are based on guidelines issued by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) on maximum human exposures to radio frequency fields.

“Radio signals follow the so called ‘inverse-square law of physics’. This means that the signal level from a cell is radically reduced as the distance from the antenna increases. Thus the radiation at ground level is substantially lower compared to radiation levels emitted by the two-way radio of security personnel or a cell phone,” Estrada emphasized. #OpinYon #Health #Globe

read cont | — with Globe Phil.

Gum Care

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by: Dr. Joseph D. Lim

THE gum is more important than we think.

This is because, contrary to popular belief, it’s not tooth decay that is the major cause of tooth loss – it’s gum disease. About eight out of 10 American adults, for example, have some form of gum disease.

(photo source:
(photo source:

One gum disease, gingivitis, is caused by toxins from the bacteria that accumulate in the plaque that turns into yellow-colored tartar. The bacteria attack the bones beneath the gums. As a result, an unhealthy gum starts to lose teeth.

The symptoms of gingivitis include swollen, red gums, bad breath, bleeding and sore gums when brushing. When the gums are swollen, red, tender or bleed easily and the teeth looses, see the dentist as soon as possible.

Left untreated, the supporting bone may dissolve, and when this happens, your teeth may fall out.

Dentists recommend special attention when brushing to where the teeth meet the gums and along the gum line and the tongue and hard-to-reach areas such as the backs of the teeth. To reach small gaps, use dental floss. #OpinYon #Health

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Gums Are Just as Important as Your Teeth

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by: Dr. Joseph D. Lim

IF you are age 40 or over, chances are you will have gum disease.

While it is commonly experienced during middle age, gum recession actually starts during the teenage years.

When a tooth appears longer than normal or the spaces between teeth seem to grow, you are likely to have the malady.

(photo source:
(photo source:

Symptoms include teeth that are very sensitive to stimuli (hot or spicy food for example), visible roots of the tooth, notched tooth at the gum line, tooth dislocation and cavities below the gum line.

It is easy to prevent gum disease with simple habits like flossing and brushing, avoiding tobacco, eating properly and not piercing the lip or tongue.

Over-aggressive brushing that cause gum recession may be evaded with gentle brushing with a soft toothbrush.

Regular professional dental cleanings prevent plaque buildup that also causes gum recession. Scaling and root planning may be necessary to clean the teeth and heal the inflammation in the gums caused by tartar.

It is necessary to avoid gum disease because it leads to other serious ailments. #OpinYon #LifeStyle #Gums

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Breastfeeding is ‘In’ in Baguio

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MANY mothers in urban areas still shy away from breastfeeding their babies in public, but mothers in Baguio City openly and proudly bared their breasts to feed their babies and toddlers as national breastfeeding awareness month came to a close.

Ladylin Abalos, 28 years old, was one of the 300 lactating mothers who openly breastfed her 3rd child, a 4 month-old baby.


“Lahat ng anak ko exclusive breastfeeding. Malayo sila madapuan ng sakit. Mas daig pa nito ang vitamins,” (All my children are exclusively breasfted. They don’t get sick often. Breastmilk is really healthier and better than vitamin supplements), said Abalos, adding that she no longer had to set aside money for infant formula.

The simultaneous breastfeeding event was held during the opening program of the DOH’s Lakbay Buhay Kalusugan: Kalusugan Pangkalahatan on Wheels (LBK-KP) health caravan, which made its 27th stop in Baguio City last August. #OpinYon #Lifestyle #Baguio