Archive for January, 2016

Republic Day Special: Pledge for Better Health

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

Republic Day honors the date (26th January 1950) on which the Constitution of India came into force and our country formally became a republic. Every year, this day brings with it the promise of a better tomorrow with endless new possibilities. Let’s derive inspiration from this positive Republic Day mood and take tiny steps to make big improvements

Follow these simple guidelines and pledge your commitment to a better and healthier life

  • Ditch unhealthy fad diets
  • Never skip breakfast
  • Go to bed at the right time & wake-up early
  • Spend less time with mobile phones and electronic gadgets
  • Go for regular healthcheck-up
  • Welcome positive thoughts
  • Make exercise a part of your routine
  • Sit less/Stand more
  • Take a break occasionally/Make time for yourself
  • Stay hydrated
  • Cut down of tea & coffee consumption
  • Sleep an hour extra
  • Maintain a clean & hygienic surrounding
  • Snack smart
  • Switch to a healthy mode of cooking
  • Eliminate bad habits like smoking cigarettes & drinking alcohol
  • Load your plate with an extra serving of fruits & veggies
  • Eliminate stress from life
  • Make time for family

January being the first month of the year is also the same time when people make a bunch of health resolutions but rarely manage to keep up with it. Preventing sickness is not a difficult task. It comes down to adopting healthy habits that you can develop and follow for life. During the initial stages, it could be extremely challenging to make sudden/drastic changes in your lifestyle but once you establish new healthy behaviors, they will become your new norm.

When most people look at others with a fit and healthy body, they often find it impossible to imagine themselves in that form but the fact remains that achieving a high level of health and fitness is infact just about engaging in healthy behaviors on a daily basis. It is important to understand that getting unhealthy was not a one-day process therefore getting permanently healthier will take time and demand certain lifestyle changes.

The sooner you get on it, the sooner you can reap the sweet, sweet benefits of healthy living.

For those who are still finding it difficult can always turn to healthcare experts for guidance related to their mental/physical well-being.

Having said that, Are you ready to bring a positive change in your life?

Let’s face it; we can all pledge to be a little healthier

Health Mistakes to avoid during Winter

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

Winter is a fantastic time to enjoy the weather outside. Dry and frosty climate instigates a plethora of health issues like cough, cold, pneumonia and acute bronchitis. What’s more… as the temperature drops, the possibility of our appetites spinning out of control increases. You may not have noticed but certain behavioral changes are triggered during this season.

In addition to lazy mornings and blanket hideouts, winter also brings with it an array of bad habits that have to be avoided in order to stay healthy.

Swear off these bad habits and promote winter health

  • Not drinking enough water – Since people tend to sweat less during winter, they feel less thirsty thus resulting in reduced consumption of water. Experts believe that regardless of seasonal changes, the human body requires atleast 2 litres of water a day in order to stay hydrated. That being said, it is equally important to reduce the intake of caffeinated beverages during winter as it tends to extract water from the body. You may enjoy sipping a hot cup of tea or coffee when its cold outside but less water & more caffeine could prove to be a recipe for disaster during winter.
  • Avoiding exercise – Getting out of bed during winter often seems to be a challenging task, not to mention the mere thought of exercising, going for a morning walk/jog or hitting the gym when it’s freezing outside could give you the creeps. It is important to note that any form of workout releases happy hormones that helps you stay active for most part of the day. Your winters will not be gloomy if you include some or the other form of physical activity in your daily schedule.
  • Satisfying untimely hunger pangs – Untimely hunger pangs suddenly seem to spike up during winter and unfortunately most people fail to resist the temptation for fat/fried/junk food. It is essential to be more watchful about your weight during this season as most people turn to comfort food in an attempt to beat the winter chill. Having more of starchy sweets could give you momentary pleasure but this indulgence spikes the blood sugar levels, leaving your body struggling with the stress to handle the excess glucose. One way to stay healthy during winters is to eat more fresh/seasonal produce, fruits and vegetables
  • Staying indoors – Frosty weather often compels people to spend most of their time indoors. People rarely feel the urge to leave their home and go outside for a stroll when the best thing they could do to warm up the body is soak up some winter sun
  • Sleeping in excess – Sleep is actually the best way to recharge the batteries of your body but as experts say, excess of anything is bad for health. The cold weather naturally makes you lethargic which is why people end up spending more time in bed. It is important to note that sleeping too much during winter disrupts the normal sleep-wake cycle which is why it is detrimental to your overall well being
  • Having long hot showers – Long hot showers are soothing and could give the desired effect of warming up the body during winter but it is important to know that hot water dries and damages the skin leaving it dry, scaly and itchy at times. Switch to lukewarm water instead and do not forget to apply a good quality moisturizer after every shower, while your skin is still semi-wet. This will help in keeping the moisture intact.
  • Over consumption of alcoholic beverages – Most people believe that enjoying a drink or two is the perfect way to beat the winter chill but as per recent findings, excess consumption of alcoholic beverages lowers the core body temperature hence is bad for the overall health. This isn’t the only bad thing about drinking alcohol when it’s cold outside.  Another study indicates that drinking alcohol in cold weather also reduces the body’s ability and tendency to shiver, taking away yet another method your body uses to help keep warm when it is cold.
  • Omitting sunscreen – 80% of women’s wrinkles is caused by excessive sun exposure. As compared to any other season, UVA rays during wintertime are almost equally intense during daylight hours.  Apply a generous portion of sunscreen and cover up the exposed areas of your skin before stepping out in the sun.
  • Practicing Self-medication too often – The habit of popping cough & cold medicines like dietary supplements isn’t good for the overall health. Although these drugs may give you temporary relief from your symptoms, they harm the immune system to a large extent.

Impact of Toxic Air Pollutants on little ones

Tuesday, January 12th, 2016

Deteriorating air quality in India, especially in cities like Delhi and Mumbai has been a hot topic for discussion since the past few weeks. As per recent reports, Air quality in Delhi improved considerably on Saturday, mainly due to strong winds and sunny conditions.

But what happens when the weather condition comes back to normal?

Will the pollution levels go up again?

The government needs to take permanent measures against increasing levels of air pollution in our country. It is estimated that on an average, a human being breathes 20,000 liters of air each day, which means that the more polluted the air is, the more toxins we inhale into our lungs.

Did you know…?

Air pollution affects kids more than adults because they have high respiration rates and inhale far more air in proportion to their body weight as compared to adults. Inhaling polluted air not only puts people at a dangerous risk of respiratory diseases but also cuts down their life span by 1 to 2 years.

What’s more disturbing is the fact that the air that school children in Delhi breathe is four times more toxic than the required safety limit.

The Impact of Toxic Air on your little ones could be life threatening

Damaged Lungs – While healthy adults at rest breathe in 12 to 16 times in a minute, babies less than a year old inhale 24 to 30 times a minute, toddler under 5 years breathe 20 to 30 times, while children aged between 6 to 12 years do it 12 to 20 times a minute. Since most kids lead an active life and spend far more time outdoors, they end up breathing more pollutants per kg of body weight compared to an adult. Experts believe that short-term ozone exposure not only reduces lung function but also causes breathing problems and lung inflammation in both children and adults. Kids are therefore more prone to suffering lung damage in addition to a host of other illnesses due to polluted air.

Cellular Damage – Together with ozone, sulfur dioxide, sulphate aerosols and suspended particles cause cellular damage to the airways and lungs and impair their function permanently. Sulphur dioxide is also known to constrict the airways, thus resulting in reduced lung cell permeability and development of scar tissue in the lungs. As per recent reports, the air pollution levels in Delhi have put its residents at the highest of risk of lung cancer.

Allergies and Asthma – Approximately 30 million people including children in India suffer from Asthma. Ozone, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter in the air has shown to trigger asthma attacks resulting in extreme use of medicines and increased hospitalization for children living next to busy streets. What’s more… it also puts kids at a dangerous risk of respiratory diseases.

Attention Deficit

Research shows that the impact of toxic air has a severe impact even on the womb, with pollutants leading to brain changes, developmental delays and behavioral problems after birth. Furthermore it is also believed that if a pregnant woman is exposed to high levels of polluted air, it could result in the baby being born with depression, withdrawal syndrome, aggressive and disruptive behavioral traits. What’s more…it also increases the risk of low birth weight. Pollution not only triggers minor allergies but also causes life-threatening diseases in kids which have tripled the cases of little ones being hospitalized with respiratory illnesses. In India, approximately 1 lakh premature deaths are caused yearly by air pollution. It’s about time strict measures are undertaken by the Indian government to curb this problem

Ring in the New Year with Heart Healthy Habits

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Every year we promise to bring a positive change in our lifestyle but rarely manage to keep up with it. In the year 2016, let’s shift our focus on heart health and shelter it against potential dangers.

During winter months, the Heart has to work harder in order to maintain body heat. What’s more… there’s also something about the holiday season that takes a toll on the heart

Did you know…?

During the average human lifetime, the heart beats roughly 2.5 billion times. Such a hard-working muscle definitely deserves a little extra attention. Don’t you think…?

A healthy heart is a happy heart. Here are five things you can do every day to keep your heart healthy:

Never skip your breakfast – According to a new study, starting the day off with a healthy meal not only gives the body sufficient energy to carry out day-to-day activities but is also known to reduce the risk of a heart disease

Get Moving – Stay heart healthy by including some form of physical activity in your daily routine. Just 30 minutes of workout, three or more times a week will shed those extra pounds and promote better functioning of the heart

Make smart food choices – Preventing heart disease isn’t just about avoiding unhealthy food items. Your diet should also include foods that are rich in nutrients, fiber, and healthy fats. Most fruits & vegetables, nuts, seeds, & legumes, whole grains, like brown rice and other unrefined carbs are good for your heart

Quit smoking – Experts believe that smokers are 3 times more likely to die from Heart Disease as compared to Nonsmokers. Tobacco injures blood vessel walls and accelerates the process of hardening the arteries. People who smoke tobacco are at risk for several cancers, heart/lung diseases, circulatory disease and stroke.

Manage your weight – Excess body weight increases your risk for heart disease, among other disorders

Cut back on junk food, oily/greasy munchies, sugar-laden drinks, salty food items and nibbles that are high in saturated or Trans fats. The key is to reduce your portion size of every meal and consume 4 to 5 small-sized meals throughout the day

Sleep like a baby – Sleep is the body’s way of healing and refueling. Sleep deprivation has shown to have a disastrous impact on the overall health, not to mention the pressure it puts on your heart. Researchers believe that lack of sleep raises the risk of developing or dying from heart disease and stroke

De-stress/ Take a break – Over 90% of diseases are caused or complicated by stress. A stressful relationship or a highly demanding job could be doing more than just wearing you down each day. It could also be increasing your chances of having a variety of serious medical conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease. One way to de-stress is by signing up for a hobby class or indulging in some or the other form of recreational and fun activity.

Find more reasons to smile – Research shows that laughter reduces stress hormones, lowers blood pressure, boosts immune system and even gives the body a fun and enjoyable cardio and abdominal workout.

Reduce your alcohol intake – Excessive consumption of alcohol accelerates the heart rate and increases blood pressure which in turn doubles the risk of a heart disease.

Schedule a periodic health test – Do not let your health take a backseat. Getting tested regularly will not only keep a tab on your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar etc. but also give you a better understanding of your current heart health