Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

There is no doubt that exercise is the only salvation for the health problems that are overwhelming Indians. Women hold the key to their family’s health. By exercising regularly, they can set an example and get their family members to follow a healthy life style.

Reading about the advantages of exercise is not enough. We all know that exercise tones our body and adds flexibility and balance, but many women do not realize that exercise has long-lasting effects. Chronic aches and pains disappear.

Regular, moderate exercise reduces the chances of developing diabetes, hypertension and ischemic heart disease. For those who already have these conditions, exercise helps control the disease and prevents further complications.

Get up and get going
Set the date when you are going to start exercising, and stick to it. Let your family and friends know the date so that you will be embarrassed if you are going to do so don’t treat it as a chore: look at as a gift to yourself.

Make it easier to exercise
Keep your exercise shoes in a bag that you take to work. On your way back from work, you can go to a park nearby. Or leave them near the door so that you can set out for a walk whenever you feel like.
Good shoes matter. Make sure your shoes have good cushioning and arch support. This will make exercising fun for your feet. Badly fitting shoes can actually cause heel and calf pain.

Set yourself sensible goals
If you start off on the first day wanting to walk, run or jog for an hour, you might get disheartened if you get exhausted in the first 15 minutes.
Begin with 10-15 minutes of activity, several times daily. Just fit it in whenever you can. Plan to go for a 20-minute walk three times a week and then increase it gradually to at least 45 minutes a day, five days a week.

Make it a group activity
Except for professional athletes, most of us do not have the mental discipline to keep exercising by our- selves. Join a group, a gym or get your husband to go with you. If a bunch of your friends get together to exercise you will be motivators and conscience-keepers for each other.
Exercising with your husband is not only a great bonding experience but also gives you both time together to discuss the day’s events or plan the next day.

Exercise does not have to be high-tech
Many people believe that they need expensive equipment such as treadmills and stationery bicycles to exercise. It is a well-known truth that in many homes, these machines quickly get converted into clothes hangers or storage areas! More and more professional trainers are turning away from elaborate exercise machines and getting back to basic exercises such as aerobics, weight training and gym balls.
The staircase at home is a great way to exercise. Walking briskly up and down the stairs will burn up those calories. Give yourself 20 to 30 minutes of stair-climbling in a day. You will have to build up your stamina by starting with 10 to 15 minutes, and then gradually increasing the duration.

“Exercise is boring!”
It doesn’t have to be. Turn on the music and exercise. If you like to dance, play your favourite songs and dance! It is all about being active, using various muscles and burning calories. Mix and match various forms of exercise. Walk three times a week and do aerobics on three days. Strength training is particularly good as you grow older, to prevent your muscle mass from turning into fat. Exercising regularly will make you a happier person.
Start today!

In this Summer try to avail of a variety of wonderful summer foods which the summer brings along. The secret is that these summer foods will help you to stay fit and healthy. Heavy, high calorie foods as it is seem less appealing in summer so you can easily eat light, healthy food.

Listed below are some cool summer food suggestions, which are healthy, refreshing and most importantly will help you to stay energized and avoid the ill effects of summer.

Watermelon – Watermelon has more than 80 percent water, so this summer fruit is an excellent way to satisfy your thirst and keep you hydrated during summers

Grilled vegetables – Keep your refrigerator stocked with a plate of prepared grilled peppers, grilled onions, carrots, garlic and celery. The antioxidant properties present in these summer. vegetables can help to minimize skin damage caused due to sun exposure during summer days.

Chilled soups – Chilled soups are great appetizers to start your meal. Choose chilled soups like cucumber-dill or gazpacho which are loaded with crunchy vegetables. Moreover soups also account to your total fluid intake and thus can help you stay hydrated.

Vegetable salads – Like chilled soups, salads are also great way to kick start your meals. Almost all the salads need minimum preparation time and are considered healthy, quick meals provided you don’t load them with heavy dressings. Remember the more the number of fresh vegetables in the diet the healthier you will be during summer.

Bean and sprout salads – Toss some beans or sprouts along with sliced or diced vegetables and fruits to increase the protein content of the salads.

Herbs and low calorie dressings – Choose fresh herbs from your garden and low fat dressings for your salad like basil, parsley, saga, dill, thyme, mint, lemon juice and vinegar instead of heavy fat dressings.

Low fat drinks – Generally we tend to drink sweetened and creamy coffees, teas, sodas and smoothies in summer to such an extent that we forget about the calories we take in. Remember, any liquid will only help to quench your thirst and not your hunger. So choose wisely –orange dream float, root beer and ice skim latte are some good choices.

Fruit based desserts – Forget your creamy heavy desserts, instead satisfy your ferocious sweet tooth with healthy fruit based desserts. Get your vitamin A and lycopene dose from tomato sauce, tomatoes, ketchups, papaya and peppers. Save the apples, bananas and oranges for the fall, instead satiate your appetite on a variety of fresh summer fruits like different berries and melons.

Cool cucumber – Cucumber is rightly called cool as it is about 20% naturally cooler than other vegetables. A chilled or fresh cucumber slice in your salads or vegetables can be truly refreshing.

Mangoes – This fruit is available only in summers and is loaded with beta carotene, vitamin C and fiber.

Walnuts – Try to include a small handful of healthy nuts including walnuts. Walnuts are a good source of heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Oats – Oats are rich in fiber and also provide a good amount of proteins. They can be an excellent choice for your morning cereals.

Whole cereals, grains and its products – Ditch the refined ones and go for the whole options.
Beans and legumes – Substitute animal protein (mainly red meats) with beans. This change can not only add fiber to your diet but also help lower total calories, cholesterol and saturated fat from your diet.

Greasy and fried foods can actually increase the thermal effect of your system causing discomfort. So summer is the best time to avoid junk and fried foods.

Carrots – Carrots are rich in vitamin A and heart and skin healthy carotenoids. Especially great for your eyes.

Red, orange and yellow vegetables like pumpkin, butternut squash, potatoes, sweet potatoes and peppers are loaded with vitamin A and vitamin C, vital antioxidants.
Water – Lastly nothing can be as refreshing and satisfying as a glass of water on a hot summer day. Keep yourself well hydrated.

Water – Lastly nothing can be as refreshing and satisfying as a glass of water on a hot summer day. Keep yourself well hydrated.

Eat healthy. What you eat and drink and what you don’t eat and drink can definitely make a difference to your health. Eating five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day and less saturated fat can help improve your health and may reduce many health risks. Have a balanced diet, and watch how much you eat.

Keep a healthy weight. Those who are overweight or obese have increased risks for diseases and conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Eat better, get regular exercise, and see your healthcare provider about any health concerns to make sure you are on the right track to staying healthy.

Get moving. For adults, 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most, preferably all, days of the week is recommended. It doesn’t take a lot of time or money, but it does take commitment. Start slowly, work up to a satisfactory level, and don’t overdo it. You can develop one routine, or you can do something different every day. Find fun ways to stay in shape and feel good, such as dancing, gardening, cutting the grass, swimming, walking, or jogging.

Be smoke-free. Smoking triples the risk of dying from heart disease among those who are middle-aged. Second-hand smoke – smoke that you inhale when others smoke – also affects your health. If you smoke, quit today!

Don’t Skip Breakfast or Any Other Meal. “Studies show that folks who eat breakfast report being in a better mood, and have more energy throughout the day,” says Heller. Her personal theory, she says, is that breaking the fast soon after rising supplies your body with a jolt of fuel that sets the tone for the whole day.

Eat lots of berries. Especially berries that are blue, red, or purple. The color comes from anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant, that boosts energy. Any kind of berry will contain tons. All types of berries help fight fatigue and are delicious to boot!

Wear brighter colors. This trick is related to the mood you project to people, and the reciprocating mood they project towards you. If you wear dark, somber colors, you project a dark, somber attitude, and people will respond to you with a somber attitude. If you wear bright, happy colors, you’ll get that attitude projected towards you, which will boost your own mood and energy levels.

Drink lots of water. Dehydration is a sinister cause of fatigue because it slowly creeps up on you. If you consistently drink less than 8 cups of water a day, you may be sluggish all the time. Get a 32 oz (1 quart, 4 cups) water bottle. Your goal is to polish off 2 of those a day. Try it for a week and see if your general energy level increases.

Use caffeine wisely. Coffee and caffeinated sodas can boost your alertness, but be careful about letting it be a habitual crutch. The temptation to drink more caffeine to get even more energy will be strong. Eventually you’ll be downing 5 double-shot espressos a day just to function. Drink coffee earlier in the day to avoid insomnia, which will make the next day worse. Coffee in moderation. Caffeine can give you a quick boost of energy, but can also be a counterproductive crutch.

Take a power nap. But do it in your chair. Don’t lie down on the sofa or you won’t get back up. Keep it short: 5-10 minutes max. Any longer and it will have the opposite effect of knocking you out for the rest of the day.

Avoid energy drinks. Energy drinks provide a near-instant hyperactivity boost, but they always result in a crash. Energy drinks are like energy credit cards — you’re spending future energy to get short-term energy. The resulting energy deficit gets worse until you hit energy bankruptcy.

Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Snack throughout the day. By eating smaller but more frequent “meals”, you will maintain a steady dose of energy instead of experiencing food comas. Don’t snack on fatty and sugar laden junk food though. You may get a short 30 minute burst of hyperalertness, but it’ll be quickly followed by a debilitating crash.

Splash some water on your face. Just letting the cool water hit your face washes off the grime and stresses of the day. You could also jump in the pool or take a shower for the same effect. Showers stimulates the circulatory system and metabolism. Get wet to feel more energetic.

Stand up, stretch and take a couple of deep breaths. Stretch your arms, back, legs, and neck. Take a deep breath through your nose, hold it, and let it out slowly and forcefully. Repeat several times. This will take 30 seconds and will be an instant fix. When you sit back down, you’ll have the clear head and fresh feeling needed to power through the tough/boring task in front of you.

Take a mini-vacation. Take one day and just do whatever you want. No work, no chores, no errands. Enjoy your one full day of vacation, then come back to work more motivated and energetic.

Listen to tunes while you work. It’s well known that our brain’s pleasure centers light up when we hear music. Throwing on the headphones and listening to any music you like while working will give you a productivity boost.

Start exercising. If you have a fairly sedentary life, just the idea of starting an intense exercise program is exhausting. But if you go slow, literally taking one step at a time, you can go from being sedentary to becoming a runner just like Leo.Get moving! Getting some exercise will lift your energy levels all day. Get moving! Getting some exercise will lift your energy levels all day.

Get a massage. Loosen up those tight muscles and you’ll feel more relaxed. A more relaxed you means a happier and more productive you. Trade a quick shoulder rub with a coworker after lunch to perk both of you up for the rest of the afternoon.

Have a laugh. Laughter is great medicine for exhaustion. Make sure you laugh regularly to keep your mood up. Seek out funny people or subscribe to a daily email joke.

Take up yoga. The stretching, slow controlled movements, and focus on breathing reduces tension (and stress). The benefits include better sleep, feeling more relaxed, and being mentally sharper.

Dress up. Feeling better about yourself has a magical way of giving you more energy. Put just a tad more effort into looking your best for work, and you’ll get compliments from coworkers that will make you feel better — and make you a perkier, more energetic worker bee.

Get a good night’s sleep. We need 7-8 hours of sleep to be fully rested. Consistently sleeping less than 6 hours a night builds up a “sleep debt” that is hard to recover from. If you’re getting enough sleep, it should take you up to 30 minutes to fall asleep. If you’re falling asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow (or while sitting at your desk), that’s a symptom of sleep deprivation.

Socialize. Turn off the Internet and go socialize with friends. Humans are social animals, and we need regular socializing to keep ourselves in peak health and energy.
Go out and play with your friends!

Running is one of the best exercises you can do to maintain your health and wellbeing. However, it’s important to ensure you are comfortable when you run; otherwise you could end up with injuries, blisters and muscle pain. Here, Exercise Physiologist Caitlin Reid provides you with tips to ensure you run in comfort.

Running shoes: Choosing the right running shoes is a must whether you’re a beginner, social runner or professional athlete. Purchase your sneakers from a running specialty store so they can help you find a pair that’s perfect for you. Look for shoes that match your foot shape – flat, normal or high arch – as well as ones that match the surface you plan to run on.

Choose the right socks: Instead of running in your cotton favourites, look for modern fabrics that are designed to ‘wick’ the moisture away from your feet, keeping them dry and blister free. Avoid running in socks with holes in them.

Choose the right running clothes: Running clothes can make the world of difference to your performance and comfort during your run. While cotton t-shirts and shorts are comfortable and soak up the sweat, they retain moisture and therefore become heavy. Some cotton pieces of clothing can also causes chafing, which can make the run uncomfortable. Today, high tech clothing materials are designed to ‘wick’ sweat away from the skin to the outer surface so that it can evaporate, helping to keep you comfortable during your run.

Choose the right bra: Bras keep a woman’s breasts supported, reduce the amount of jiggling and help to prevent injury to breast tissue when running. A bra should fit firmly, however the rib band should not restrict breathing and the straps should be wide enough to support the breasts without causing ridges on your shoulders. When choosing a running bra, try on several sizes and brands to make sure you find the one most suited to your body. Sports bras with specific cup sizes are preferable to the generic one-size-fits-all offerings. Make sure your sports bra is flexible, by bending forward and backwards and moving side-to-side to check that it doesn’t roll up.

Limit the accessories: Running accessories such as water bottle belts and iPods can affect your running stride. If you’re concentrating on not losing your accessories while you run, then your body will inevitably adjust to make sure it doesn’t happen. The best stride is one that is smooth and natural, so if your accessories are getting in the way of this, then it’s best to leave them at home.

Fiction: Lifting weights makes women too bulky
This myth has resulted in a lot of women avoiding strength training, when in reality they don’t need to. Women lack the testosterone needed to bulk up. Ironically, two to three days per week of strength training helps improve strength and endurance.

Fact: Exercise improves sleep
Exercise can reduce the likelihood of waking during the night, helping you enjoy a deeper sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, as this can have the opposite effect, disrupting your sleep instead of improving it.

Fiction: No pain, no gain
Many people hold the view that if they don’t feel sore after a workout they haven’t done enough. This is completely untrue. While exercise can be intense and sometimes leave you with some muscle aches, pain is not required for a successful workout. Pain can actually be your body’s way of warning you that you have done too much and injured yourself. Always listen to your body and rest when it tells you to.

Fact: It’s OK to get bored with exercise
Just like your mind, your body and muscles need a challenge. Doing the same exercises everyday is likely to result in boredom. Keep your workouts interesting by mixing them up – try running and swimming, cycling and yoga. Variety can reduce the likelihood of boredom, it will also ensure your muscles keep adapting to the training.

Fiction: Exercise is too expensive
Anyone can afford to exercise – you don’t need expensive gym memberships or a personal trainer to improve your fitness. There are plenty of parks to run, jump, hop and skip through, while it doesn’t cost a cent to take a swim in the ocean. If you’re looking for motivation, grab a friend and use each other for support.

Fact: Exercise takes time
Exercise may take time, but that’s well-invested time. While it’s recommended to include structured moderate-to-vigorous exercise regularly, you can also increase incidental exercise by standing up. Stand up from your desk each hour and stretch. Take the stairs instead of the lift, offer to go on the office coffee run or walk to speak to your work colleagues instead of emailing. Remember to sit less, move more and move often.

* If you experience any pain or dizziness during or after exercise, discontinue exercising and see your health care professional. Only start exercise again when your health care professional has given you the all clear.

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