MANILA, February 24, 2005 (STAR) By Rebecca C. Rodriguez  -  As the cliché goes, health is wealth. True, true. However, some people tend to indulge in an unhealthy lifestyle of eating too much sweets, fatty food, and not exercising. This couch potato lifestyle can lead to health problems and getting treatment is often expensive. So, it is definitely a wise investment to take care of one’s health.

The hearty news is that men and women today are more health-conscious. They are seen pumping iron at the gym, working the treadmill, or getting the latest slimming treatments. Also, they are eating more green leafy veggies and cutting down on the bad stuff to keep the unwanted pounds away.

But what really makes a man healthy?

Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan says, "To find out if a man is healthy, measure his body fat in terms of the waist circumference and the waist-to-hip ratio." The waistline should not be over 40 inches. If you bend over and see your toes, you are fine. Fat is accumulated mostly in the midriff. So, if your waistline is 36 and your hips are 36, that is a ratio of one. Be careful because a ratio of more than one is unhealthy. "

An awfully obvious truth: Oily food makes people fat. So, it is time to cut down on cookies and fast foods made from transfatty acid and hydrogenated oil. Dr. Galvez-Tan explains that these are the worst source of fat. They cause diabetes and cancer. Instead, use corn oil, canola oil, and soya oil. Now, the best oils to use for the household are extra-virgin coconut oil, olive oil, and sunflower oil because they do not raise bad cholesterol that makes a person obese.

Here are a few things you should know about fat and obesity: You do not have to look fat to be obese (fats are hidden in different parts of the body unknowingly). Recent studies show that obesity is responsible for heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Plus, obesity is more of a fat scare for men than women (since women carry more fat to protect themselves during pregnancy).

On a positive note, fat is also important to the body. It builds membranes that surround cells that help the blood to clot. And when fat is digested and absorbed, it makes the body absorb vitamins. Another good thing about fat is that it "cushions vital organs and protects the body from hunger as well as extremes of temperature."

The bad thing though is that when people have a bad diet and do not exercise, fat becomes dangerous. It can kill. Sometimes, men tend to concentrate more on their outward appearance. For them, it is important to have a flat tummy, buffed arms, lean legs, and toned muscles. Obesity is not just a matter of physical appearance; it is the "actual proportion that fat occupies in relation to the free fat mass of the body." Fact is, it does not matter how fit you look from the outside because internal health is more important.

Slimming treatments can be embarrassing for men. Some resort to crash-dieting and popping weight-loss pills, which can be more traumatic for the body. On the other hand, liposuction and tummy tuck procedures are expensive and entail long healing periods.

To cater to the evolving health concerns of men, the Institut Santre recently opened in Makati. This is the first upscale body slimming and toning treatment center exclusively for men that provides a holistic approach to getting rid of fat. It offers face- and body-toning treatments using non-invasive techniques and weight reduction.

Joy Siao, managing director of Institut Santre, says, "Institut Santre was created only for men and their comfort. They can enjoy private and clutter-free rooms for body and facial courses." Body courses include customized non-invasive equipment applications combined with centuries-old Chinese massage treatments, designed to restore the body’s youth and vitality. The facial courses include 12 special treatments that gently erase the effects of aging through painless technology.

However, Institut Santre’s most popular treatment is the Omnivital Therapy system. It was designed with the belief that the body has the inherent ability to regulate itself. There is no need for drugs or surgery. Sadly, as we age, burning fat is more difficult because the body’s metabolism slows down.

So what the Omnivital Therapy does is that it takes the body through a three-step process by improving lymphatic circulation to enhance metabolism, releasing and burning fat, and refining the body through muscle toning.

Siao adds, "We take the best of Eastern massage techniques to improve blood and lymphatic circulation as well as break down and loosen fat, and use them in combination with the most advanced European equipment to improve body circulation, burn, and shrink fat cells to tone the face and body."

But going through this treatment religiously for 36 to 180 sessions is not enough. Men still have to do their share of exercising and observe good eating habits. The most amazing thing about Omnivital Therapy is that it beats fat naturally and tones the body. Muscles will be oxidized. The liver will be detoxified. The kidneys will be filtered. Say goodbye to fat since it will disappear through sweat and feces.

That should result in a healthy body inside out.

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Institut Santre Inc. is located at 22 Jupiter St. corner Galaxy St., Bel Air Village, Makati City. For inquiries, call 759-5599 or 759-5588.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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