Get With the (10,000 Step) Program

Kung Hei Fat Choy!!


One of my many goals which I’m working on starting this January is be fit and trim… in the most frugal way possible.    


I recently learned of 10,000 Steps Program.  Studies have shown that a person who walks 10,000 steps a day will burn between 2,000 and 3,500 extra calories per week, resulting in a vastly better health profile and longer lifespan.  Two recent studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association have confirmed that this lifestyle approach can be as effective as a traditional exercise program.


It should be noted that 10,000 steps is the recommended daily step goal for a healthy adult.  If your goal is to lose weight, start slow and gradually work yourself up to walking 12,000 to 15,000 steps a day. Walking is a great way to lose weight—and keep it off.   


For the past few days, I wore the pedometer I recently bought at JHC and discovered that I walk less than 5,000 days a day, placing me firmly in the “sedentary lifestyle index” bracket.  I suppose the continued advances in technology (and the continued popularity of high heels) makes our lifestyle more sedentary:  it will require a concerted effort to make active choices.


What equipment will you need?

1.     A pedometer.  It does not need to be fancy.  I found a perfectly functioning one at the Japan Home Center for only P88. Tip:   The pedometer should be worn in a location above the hip so that it can detect the leg movement.  I also learned that you can’t just stick it in your pocket but rather,  should firmly clip it to a belt or waistband around your waist in order for it to work properly.

2.     Sturdy shoes.  Preferably with plenty of cushion. If you have any concerns about your joints (ankles, knees or hips) discuss your exercise plans with your doctor.


These shoes were made for walking.. that’s just what we’ll do.

·         Start out by wearing the pedometer each day for two weeks and don’t do anything to change your normal routine.  Log your steps at the end of each day for the entire two-week period. What’s your daily average?

·         Take the highest number of steps you have walked on any given day and use that number of steps as your daily step goal.  Aim for your goal each day for the next two weeks. Let’s assume your first step goal is 2500 steps. That means that for the next two weeks, you are going to try to walk 2500 steps each day. Before bedtime each night, be sure to log in the number of steps you actually took.

·         At the end of that two-week period, review all the steps you took each day and decide if you are ready to add another 500 steps to your goal. Your new step goal is now 3000 steps a day for the next two-week period.

·         Continue in that manner, working up as slowly as you wish, until you finally reach the goal of 10,000 steps a day.

·         Check with your physician if you experience any pain or discomfort that concerns you. Remember, the goal is to keep you active for the rest of your life.  It’s better to be the tortoise than the hare.  =)

·         Be prepared to dedicate yourself to your daily goal each day for a minimum of six months. If you do that, you are much more likely to maintain this goal permanently.

But it’s soooo hard!!!!  Here are a few ideas on where to find those extra steps:

  • Park the car further away from the entrance to shops
  • Walk to get your lunch or go for a walk during your lunch break
  • Get up and do something…  walk to the water station to get more glasses of water…. walk and talk with a colleague instead of emailing.
  • Get your family and officemates involved. I’m reviving an old family tradition and going out for a walk with my son after dinner.  It solves the problem of looking for more steps but also provides a priceless bonding opportunity.

Well there you have it, a frugal way to achieve good health or to lose weight.  Just remember, put your pedometer on when you dress in the morning, and don’t take it off until bedtime. Every step you take counts!


For more information on the 10,000 Step Program go to:



Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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Sick? Know your HMO entitlements

Here are a couple of things I learned from my son’s confinement:

1.  Know your medical benefits.
Even though our employers use the same HMO,  the benefits were very different – mine (higher room rate – all incidentals must be paid upon discharge),  his (no cash out – subject to deferred payment via payroll deductions).  We had to sit down and compare line by line before deciding to use mine.

2.  Know your rights under the contract signed between your employer and the HMO.
All HMOs have liason officers at the hospital.  Ask them the nitty gritty so that you won’t be unpleasantly surprised when you get the bill.
For example:  My employer has an agreement with the HMO that if a regular private room cannot be provided within 24 hours,  I am entitled to an automatic upgrade to the next class, so long as it isn’t a suite.  Now,  did you know that in MMC,  the next class to a regular private room is not a large private room but a suite?  I went ballistic when I called the call center and they said that I had to pay extra for the large private because it was within the same “class/category”.  
Also,  did you know that the 24 hour count is used according to the hospital’s billing cycle?  So even if I had been admitted at 4pm on the 19th,  since MMC’s billing cycle starts at 9am,  I needed to find another room by 9am on the 20th or be charged extra.  Weird.

3. ER is convenient but will cost you extra.
When we rushed Andre to the hospital on the 19th,  he was suffering from dehydration.  His pedia recommended that he be admitted right away.  Rather than wait for a room to be found,  I requested that he be sent immediately to the emergency room so that he could be hooked up to an IV, and have his blood extracted and Xray taken.  Anyway, the ER costs were covered by our medical plan.  I’m glad I did because it took me some time to get a room for us (there’s a lot of sick children).

4. Make HR your BFF.
I don’t think that I would have been able to process our medical papers or get the kind of attention from the HMO that we got it if it hadn’t been for the help provided by HR.  We were able to get discharged even at the extremely odd hour of 945pm yesterday because all the paperwork had already been accomplished.

Being hospitalized is mentally and emotionally draining.  It is good to know your entitlements before *knock on wood* you, or a loved one,  needs to be confined.

Motherhood has a very humanizing effect. Everything gets reduced to essentials. ~Meryl Streep

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10 Kids’ Health Issues to Watch in 2008

Kids’ has recently published its list of Top 10 Kids’ Health Issue to Watch in 2008.

  1. Bullying: Not Just Kids’ Stuff
  2. Overtraining Little Athletes
  3. The Growing Reach of Retail Health Care
  4. Keeping Child’s Play Safe
  5. Food Allergies: Outlawing PB&J
  6. Lost Childhoods
  7. Obesity: Beyond the Body
  8. Covering Kids’ Health Needs
  9. Battling the Superbug
  10. Rethinking a Pill for Every Ill

To read the full details go to

St. Luke’s: Great Expectations Package

[from Manila Bulletin]

St Luke’s recently launched it’s “Great Expectations Package” for expectant moms.
For expectant mothers who will be undergoing uncomplicated normal spontaneous delivery, the Great Expectations Package (GEP) offers a two-day ward room stay with the package cost varying according to the following categories: a) under General Anesthesia with rooming-in P40,000; b) under General Anesthesia without rooming-in P41,000; c) under Spinal Anesthesia with rooming-in: P40,000; d) under Spinal Anesthesia without rooming-in: P41,000; e) under Epidural Anesthesia with rooming-in P48,000; f) under Epidural Anesthesia without rooming-in P49,000; and, g) Lamaze Delivery with rooming-in P36,000.Besides the two-day room and board, the Great Expectations Package also includes: a) service for a maximum of 20 hours labor period; b) three-hour recovery period at the Recovery Room; c) nursery accommodation for up to two days; d) medicines and supplies related to normal delivery starting labor up to the 2nd day; e) Hepatitis B Vaccine, Newborn Screening and the use of Otoacoustic Emission (OAE); and professional fees for the obstetrician, anesthesiologist and pediatrician.

“The Great Expectations Package recognizes the predicament of many Filipino mothers who may want nothing less than the best for their newborn, but fear that they may not be able to afford it. This package assures them that the services we provide are well within their reach, and they do get value for every hard-earned peso,” said Dr. Marietta Sapaula, St. Luke’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Chairman.

Find Out Your Risk For Diseases

As we go through the various life stages, there is an increased consciousness of our mortality and predisposition for certain illnesses. The Harvard Center for Cancer has developed a easy to use metrix to help people find out their risk for developing five of the most important diseases in the United States. What is your risk for Cancer? Diabetes? Heart Disease? Osteoporosis? Stroke? Go to , find out and most importantly, get personalized tips for preventing them.

Breastfeeding Week: August 1-7

What is Children for Breastfeeding?The organization aims to….
· Preserve the Filipino indigenous way of nurturing our children guided by a deep respect for life and the environment.
· Mobilize parent and children advocates and other sectors of the society to promote, support and protect breastfeeding through the *Seven Acts of Kindness to Support Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mothers.*
· Revive indigenous healthcare and nurturing practices like cooperative or shared nursing and the use of baby slings, strengthen family and community support and other traditional practices that sustained breastfeeding in the past.
* *
· Initiated the Presidential Proclamation of the annual celebration of World Breastfeeding Week from August 1-7, 2006 in Malacanang, the official residence of the Philippine President last August 2005.
· Established the First Breastfeeding-friendly Mall in the Philippines with SM SuperMalls that will put up Breastfeeding Stations in all SM Malls throughout the country within this year.
· Official Guinness World Record on Simultaneous Breastfeeding that mobilized 3,541mothers with the City of Manila.
· Established the first Breastfeeding Clinic in a Private Hospital in the Philippines
· Conducted trainings on Infant and Young Child Feeding and Care

Our organization, seeks to mobilize children to promote earth-friendly parenting through the Seven Acts of Kindness to Pregnant and Breastfeeding Mothers.

The Seven Acts of Kindness:
1. Represents the issues that breastfeeding addresses.
2. Develops respect for life in the womb and instill in children the value of breastfeeding.
3. Revives indigenous healthcare and nurturing practices that sustained breastfeeding in the past.
4. Provides support and inspiration all women need in these crucial stages of motherhood.
5. Develops social consciousness and social responsibility by guiding children on how they can help in their own little way.

Download: The Seven Acts of Kindness:
A PowerPoint Presentation

Suggestion: Please attach a native lullaby while you are playing the presentation.

The Seven Acts of Kindness was conceptualized by two breastfeeding advocates Elvira L. Henares-Esguerra, MD, FPDS, RPh, IBCLC and Director, Children for Breastfeeding and Nona D. Andaya-Castillo, IBCLC and Director, Nurturers of the Earth, two of the only three Filipinos who are International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC). They have observed that parents are unaware of the risks of bottle-feeding and even if they are made aware of it, many will resort to mixed feeding and consequently, full bottle-feeding.

Alarmed by the realization that the bottle-feeding culture is so deeply ingrained, they saw the need to educate children, the future generation of parents on the superiority of breastfeeding. The exposure of children to mothers who breastfeed will help them internalize that breastfeeding is the norm. A concrete example is when children breastfeed their dolls when they see their mothers breastfeed. Hopefully, this will instill in their young minds that breastfeeding is the most natural and beautiful way of nurturing, when they become parents themselves.

For more information on breastfeeding and the hazards of cow’s milk, visit the following websites:

For more information on WBW activities and downloadable materials, please visit: