It costs nothing to take up a resolution, but it takes up all your might to fulfill it and reap benefits. Weight loss and anger management are included in most of your to-do list but given here are many others that we would love to perform every day of our life to stay happy and remain peaceful.
Exercise: 5-minute therapy: It might seem like doing an exercise just for the sake of doing it, but it is far better than not exercising at all. An article published in a magazine shows that exercising in fresh air could be beneficial to mental health. A 5-minute walk, cycling, biking or gardening improves self-esteem and brings in a happy mindset. It’s not necessary for a mountain trail or lush greenery to exercise in the open. Find a green space in your locality-it can be garden or a park next to your house too.
Fruits & Veggies are your besties: You have been trying one or the other fad diet and none had worked to your advantage until now. If your goal is to eat healthy food and become healthier the straightforward recommendation is to eat fresh produce as much as possible. The first thing to do after taking your meal plate is to load it with colorful fruits and veggies. Doing this leaves you with less room for unhealthy foods. It is always better to add something onto your plate rather than to delete something else from it.
Speak your feelings: Many things remain universally known but speaking them solves a lot of problems and brings about many solutions. Spouses too love each other and feel their actions speak their love for the other. There is no harm in telling ‘I love you’ to your spouse every day which helps to keep the bond stronger and above all, easy and doable. Bringing in small little gestures such as picking your husband’s favorite deo or writing a small little note for your wife can add charm to life.
Note down the beauties of life that you come across: Its human nature to keep cribbing about things that they don’t have rather than enjoying the ones that are available to them. If you make it a point to note down those things that you have been ignoring or taking for granted all the while the list would be endless.
Be a good listener: Generally, all of us love to give suggestions or talk about something rather than listen. If you are one of those who spends all the time thinking about giving the right reply to the speaker its high time to stop doing it and start paying 100% attention to the topic of conversation. Its recommended to clear your doubts and question the speaker to understand the agenda of the meeting and take it to your heart completely. A relationship becomes stronger and goes to the next stage of commitment only when you start caring about what the other person is saying.
Stay in touch with friends: We celebrate friendship days and cry during farewell ceremonies at schools and colleges, but we move on and keep making new friends. It’s often easy to stay in touch with those people whom we meet regularly but lose track of those who are not near. Technology prevents us from giving such silly excuses as we are able to connect to those who stay far away on the other side of the globe. Revive old friendship and keep it going by texting or calling up at least one old friend every week/month. It would make both of you extremely happier.
Play your way to cognitive skills: We’ve seen people with their newspapers and a pencil solving crossword puzzles while waiting for something/someone. It might be a way to spend their time but in real life this offers the person with numerous benefits as well. A 2017 study that asked more than 15,000 healthy adults aged over 50 years on their frequency of playing word games and solving crossword puzzles. Results showed better cognition skills in those people who solved more puzzles and played more board games compared to the rest of the population. Keeping your brain active and exercising daily also prevents/delays the attack of Alzheimer’s disease. For more information on this please visit the website www.firsteatright.com.
Have a hearty laugh: Laughter is the best medicine but the most-often forgotten one! Be it watching your favorite comic show in television, reading jokes online or talking to your bestie who cracks jokes every single time, laughing out loud releases the feel-good hormone endorphin that brings abundance joy to you. Moreover, laughter decreases stress, reduces inflammation and elevates well-being.
Sit idle: An idle mind is the devil’s workshop but now we insist on sitting down without doing anything for at least 5 minutes daily to refresh your memory and help you refocus on the things that need to be done quickly. In this modern work we don’t have time to sit down and enjoy a cup of tea or a good laugh with friends in between our hectic work and travel affairs. Sit down with your eyes closed and focus on your breathing which would improve memory and decrease stress.
Don’t take your phone to bed: Its inevitable to play something or watch a video with our smartphones before we hit the pillow. Its been seen that people who spend time with smartphones or any light-emitting device take a longer time to fall asleep, get less REM sleep and take longer to wake up comparatively. Just keep your phones restricted to the bedroom and never bring them to the bed. Instead choose to read a book or listen to some soothing music before falling asleep.
‘You are only as old as you feel’ stands by its words and proves to be right! Growing old is a natural process. I remember my child asking me ‘When will I grow up like you Mama’? every time I do something for her that requires adult supervision. As children we are eager to grow up, as teenagers we are much eager to explore the world around us, as youngsters we are ready to jump at every opportunity possible and settle down. Beyond this phase is where the desire to grow up stagnates and we wish to stay young forever. Salt-and-pepper hair, stuttering energy and lack of interest follow through our late 40s and 50s after which people become even more frustrated with life. This is the common feeling experienced by many (not by all!). There are a few who take control of their life and enjoy the ageing process as much as they enjoyed the growing up process! So, what plays a major role in ascertaining our thoughts and actions as we grow old?
Subjective Age Defines Physical & Mental Health
A majority of the population feel younger or older than their age and this feeling termed as subjected age predicts overall well-being. For example, if you were to guess your age without any proofs of birth the answer you give would be your subjective age. It might be the result of your looks, maturity, height and growth but people in their 22s or 28s look alike sometimes. The answer you share with others defines your thoughts about growing old. Its also not uncommon to see some people becoming more charming and enthused with life as they grow old. Apart from mental feelings and health subjective age also predicts your risk of death!
People generally feel younger than their actual age after their mid-20s and there are studies showing feeling younger puts you at a lesser risk of depression, greater mental well-being, lesser chances of falling ill and better overall health. A team of researchers analyzed data of more than 17,000 individuals (middle-aged and elderly) and found that most people felt younger by 8 years or so compared to their actual age. Those who felt almost 8-13 years older than their actual age were at an 18-25% greater risk of death/disease.
Ageing: Roller Coaster Cycle
Its been shown than children and adolescents generally feel older than their age, more than 50% of 20-year-old individuals want to grow up but once they cross 26 more than 70% would like to grow younger. Psychologists theorize that people feel younger than their age to distance themselves from the negative thoughts that surround aging but again we feel of a different age every time we are in a different surrounding. For instance, someone might feel older at work but at home in the company of cousins the same person might feel younger (at heart!). People with a lower subjective age look forward to a brighter and positive future compared to others.
A recent research has found that when older people have a younger subjective age or feel younger than their chronological age, they were at a higher chance of experiencing positive outcomes. The study included 116 older adults (aged 60 to 90) and 106 younger adults (aged 18 to 36) who took up a survey each day for nine days. Each of them was questioned about their level of control on the day’s daily activities every day and were asked to answer questions of how old they felt that day. Researchers could find that the participant’s perception of his/her subjective age varied greatly among people belonging to the older adult group every day during the study based on the level of control exercised on that particular day.
Researchers predicted that allowing a certain degree of control on the day’s activity could increase overall well-being and help older participants feel younger. Apart from control, doing a certain amount of physical activity and leading an active lifestyle every day are sure shot ways to make someone feel young at heart. Read more about leading an active lifestyle and eating healthy food by visiting the website www.firsteatright.com. The same research team conducted another research on 59 adults aged between 35 and 69 who were devoid of any physical activity. These people were given a fitness tracker and asked to monitor their steps for 5 weeks at the end of which results showed that people with an increase in step count displayed lower subjective age comparatively. Although this is a study done on an extremely small population it provides us with clues to move forward in the right direction.
Feel Young, Stay Young
Subjective age holds a greater power on our health and researchers feel that doctors should start questioning patients about their subjective age. This helps them to identify the set of patients at a higher risk of future health problems and plan for their health effectively. Individuals predict their subjective age depending on multiple factors such as aches, pains, illnesses, physical activity, social engagement and energy. Hence, it is smarter to focus on these factors, improve them and feel younger than the actual chronological age.
Asking each other about weight loss programs has become as common as asking something like ‘Hey, which school is best for ICSE or CBSE?’ Knowingly or unknowingly we spend thousands or even lakhs of rupees on weight loss programs and products but ironically obesity rates are only increasing! Each of us have been trained since birth by our parents and grandparents on the do’s and don’ts of eating. Still, humanity has reached a pitiful state where we need experts to suggest/monitor our food habits and supervise our eating schedules because of our capricious eating styles and personal choice of foods.
Some of you might have faced bitter experiences with your weight loss trials by choosing a random program after coming across advertisement in social media sites, books or newspapers. Its high time but we are not at a point of no-return when it comes to health and fitness. If you are one of the hundred million expecting to lose weight you have hit the bull’s eye by stumbling upon this article. Reading further gives you a clear picture on how to go about choosing the right weight loss program and stay healthy thereon.
A One-on-One with the Family Doc
You can approach any physician for a health-related problem but its always advisable to have a family physician who cares about your well-being beyond medications and injections. Even if the physician doesn’t bring it to the table it upon you to voice your concerns. Talking about weight corrections is embarrassing but ignoring to change is even more discouraging. Its better to write your concerns in a piece of paper/smartphone and read it to your doc. Before visiting the doc, make a note of the medicines/supplements you consume, any attempts of weight loss during earlier times, all queries you have on a piece of paper and if you face any restrictions in eating/doing any weight-loss related activities.
Take a while to understand your requirement, analyze whether it would be beneficial to meet a registered dietitian nutritionist and relate to different physical activities that can help you become fitter and lose weight. The physician might question you on food habits, lifestyle and exercise schedules after assessing your weight and determining BMI ranges. Be prepared to answer them accurately. If the physician suggests for a weight loss, its better to ask him/her for a referral. If you have thought upon some program it is 100% essential that you discuss about it with the physician before enrolling.
Hitting the Bullseye
There are endless weight loss programs available but be careful to choose one that offers healthy weight loss goals, is suitable for your health and lifestyle and seems to offer goals and restrictions that can be followed every day of your life. Simply put, look for the following elements in a program:
Sensible results: Programs that promise clients in helping them lose 10 kilograms in 10 days seem out of the world, but healthy and effective weight loss is when the individual loses not more than one kilogram in one week. Don’t be misled by ‘before’ and ‘after’ photos of clients. We are well-aware of the filters, cropping options and techniques available to beautify pictures these days. I don’t mean to say that all such pictures are misleading but use logical skills to decipher the truth.
Right nutrition composition: Don’t choose a program that asks you to eat too much of certain foods, ignore any of the food groups altogether or seem to have more foods listed in the ‘disallowed list rather than the ‘allowed’ list. These programs might enable weight loss, but they are missing out on essential nutrients and relying on certain foods for weight loss. Such food habits cannot be followed for a lifetime.
Behavioral changes: Any valuable program includes counselling on eating healthy, sticking to portions and exercising regularly which chisel your lifestyle for the better. Please note that alongside food habits daily physical activity is crucial for better quality of life. An ideal weight loss program balances both food and exercise equally and ensures that you exercise every single day of life. The client is motivated to think positively and work hard towards his/her health goals. Also, any good program motivates clients to maintain a food journal recording day-to-day eating and exercise schedules with weekly weight measures entered. Even studies support the fact that individuals who use food journals lose more weight compared to those who don’t.
Flexibility: This is extremely essential in any program for the client to stick to it for long-term. If any plan seems too rigid or commands intense exercising or too much time, they are never going to accompany you for life. What each of us expect from a weight loss program is a lifestyle change that they can sustain for a lifetime. Look for those that connect with your food choices and exercise possibilities.
Reliability: A credible weight loss program offers the support of registered dietitian nutritionists approved by the concerned dietetic association. Such programs never rely on a quick-fix for weight loss and hence never recommend clients to buy or use supplements, weight loss pills, powders or superfoods. Keep it a thumb rule to walk away from those programs that persuade clients to buy their pills/powders/weight loss shakes or use machines to decrease body fat.
Follow-up: A good weight loss program is one that keeps offering support to the client in terms of monitoring and supporting their program, appreciating their efforts, motivating the client to work harder and stays with the client until weight loss occurs. This can be done either through face-to-face contact, online support, phone call or by combining all these together.
Maintenance: Losing weight is a strenuous task as you are aiming to take something off your body that has piled up for years together. Maintaining your weight loss is an even greater task which many programs fail to offer. Ensure to choose a program that comes with weight maintenance instructions to follow. Also probe whether the team of dietitians/nutritionists would be following-up on your maintenance for some time after the program ends.
Weight loss is no magic and losing even 5-10% of your body weight within 6 months of a program is a great start for overweight/obese clients. There are some programs that are also 100% online programs. There is no harm in taking up such programs but ensure that these programs too offer regular support from credible staffs, monitor weights weekly, encourage/give feedbacks on your improvements, send modified changes via mails/chat, track your eating habits, exercise schedules and lifestyle improvements via phone, mail or chat and follow-up your efforts until you reach the goal. For effective weight loss programs that enable individuals to lose weight in the scientific way without any gimmicks or so-called superfoods please get in touch with reputed dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com.
Apart from the above-mentioned points, check whether there are feedbacks from clients, information about the programs and the charges for them mentioned transparently in the concerned website. Use your discretion and choose a program that suits your requirements. Good luck with your choice!
Young or old, man or woman, thin or fat, none can escape from the clutches of knee pain. Try to sit down on the floor and your knee doesn’t pave way for it, wish to ride a bicycle or climb the stairs as an exercise, you are unable to do it and worse, walking for quite sometime can leave you with agonizing pain. This is not something new and people around the world suffer from knee pain. What is surprising is the fact that internet-based programs are now becoming popular and increasingly used in helping people overcome knee-related problems.
Individuals with osteoarthritis are victims of severe knee pain. Often a result of aging or prior injury there might be a few other reasons behind its occurrence. The affected individuals suffer from unremitting pain that can impact well-being, cause psychological distress and diminish quality of life. Such people try to find relief by trying out various treatment methods available. It all starts with exercise, physiotherapy, weight loss and medications to practicing yoga, trying Ayurvedic medicines and practicing virtual-reality gaming for reducing the intensity of pain. Despite various efforts, the results are not so great and finally, some individuals plan for knee replacement surgeries for treating severe osteoarthritis. We do know that results might not be 100% positive but that’s the best option we’ve got until now to treat severe osteoarthritis of the knee. Osteoarthritis can leave a person with debilitating side effects as elaborated at www.firsteatright.com.
A Rare Approach to a Regular Phenomenon
An out-of-the-box approach by a research team to treating people with arthritis has given us surprisingly positive effects. The team categorized 148 people with osteoarthritis into two teams. One team accessed regular material on osteoarthritis which included a host of information on diet, exercise, medications and physical activity from the research website. The other team too accessed the same information but along with:
Benefit from the Net
The study had nothing new in its research but what mattered was the mode of delivery-internet. Telehealth or interacting with the physician from thousands of kilometer distance is becoming a regular affair nowadays. The physician can examine some body parts such as the skin or eyes and deliver proper diagnosis. This helps thousands of patients who will not receive treatment otherwise owing to immobility or other such issues. Even ECG reports of patients arriving in an ambulance are transmitted to the physician before the patient reaches hospital to enable quicker treatment and after-care.
Exercise, internet-based pain management techniques and physical therapy might help but these are not going to help the patient avoid replacement surgery in times of emergency. Telehealth can be of great help to people worldwide as many countries lack basic healthcare facilities.
The way your child holds onto his/her pencil can convey a lot more than his/her ability to write well or finish homework. This small act of gripping conveys a large chunk of information regarding your child’s future health. Parents duly focus on a nutritional diet and daily activity for their children but sometimes forego the fact that muscle strength is an equally important factor in a child’s development. Basically, every kid loves to play out in the open amidst green trees, numerous peers and chirping birds. It is us, who have misdirected our younger generation to depend on electronic gadgets and indoor activities to occupy themselves due to our heavy workloads, restricted spaces and our obsession with smartphones. Only when we understand that muscle strength forms the basis for easy movement of our children helping them to play around and socialize with others, our focus will shift towards nurturing kids who are physically strong too.
Slipping Out of Grip
Schools might be the place where your kid first learns to write, but home is where he/she holds the pencil initially. Sitting at the table busy keying in your work one day you might notice your 2-year-old baby scribbling her way through the walls of your home. Don’t you think this looks lovelier than your wall patterns or paintings? This is when you realize that your little one is growing up!
The widespread prevalence of obesity emphasizes the fact that today’s generation kids are at an increased risk of cardiovascular problems and diabetes. Observing the way he/she holds the pencil conveys plenty of inside information. A new study shows that weak grip strength in children are clear indications of impending health problems such as heart disease and diabetes. This study followed-up on children from their 4th grade through their 5th grade. These kids underwent a grip-strength test using an instrument known as the handgrip dynamometer from which researchers identified that 27.9% of boys and around 20% of the girls were categorized into the ‘weak grip strength’ category. Students falling under this category were three times likelier to suffer from failing health or maintain poor health compared to other kids.
Despite considering other factors such as lean mass, cardiorespiratory fitness, blood pressure, fasting blood lipids and blood sugar levels, the researchers could still establish a strong link between grip strength and body health. On the positive note, knowing that our child has a weak grip strength can be used positively by taking extra care on the kid, nurturing him/her with nutritious lifestyle practices and strengthening body muscles. All that it takes is a simple, non-invasive test by the pediatrician to help us groom our children into healthier adults.
‘Sink’chronized Muscle Strength
There are a group of people who argue that children these days are not in dire need of muscle strength as they spend less time outdoors and more time indoors. While the fact remains true, the core of the problem needs to be addressed failing which a child’s physical fitness and ability hangs in the air. The need for muscle mass might seem unnecessary presently but as children grow up, they do need it to withstand the numerous chores and activities every person’s body is subjected to day in and day out.
Encourage kids to participate in muscle strengthening activities such as cycling, dancing, weight training, swimming, compete with your kids doing sit-ups/push-ups and help them get their daily required 60 minutes of activity by helping them play out with friends. Don’t make them sit with a smartphone only because you aren’t free to take them to the ground. They might seem healthy and fine presently, but all these are sure to have an impact later in life. Despite these, if you still feel that your child needs a diet that can boost her nutritional quotient, please get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com.
Some achieve success working hard and some others by working smart. Ultimate goal of many individuals remains the same-in life, it might be to earn well, in school, it might be to pass exams with flying colors or during interviews, it might be to secure a first-class job! When it comes to physical healthy, many people wish to remain slim, be chic and stay young while for some others its all about fitness and resistance. Hitting the gym, exercising hard, eating a disciplined diet and losing off kilograms is the right approach to weight loss and being healthy. Relying on fad diets, so-called superfoods, vibrator machines and unreal slimming pills/shakes to lose weight is another approach tried and failed by many individuals. There is another category of people who are neither ready to work hard nor foolish to choose weight loss via unethical ways but they still wish to slim down. Here are some very different approaches to weight loss that might grab such people’s attention:
Laughing Loud: Even a general physician hangs a board in his/her patient’s waiting room that ‘Laughter is the best medicine’ which shows his/her magnanimous approach to life and acceptance to things around him/her. Some say that laughing your way out through some comedy act or performance releases the feel-good hormone serotonin which makes anyone cheer up and be happy. Laughing to your heart’s content for anytime between 15-45 minutes can help you lose anywhere between 10 and 40 calories.
Put up near a gym: A study in the Lancet journal shows that individuals who live within a kilometer from gyms, parks, swimming pools or sports grounds weight less (especially true in the case of women) compared to others. Some research also shows that more walkable and movable a neighborhood is, lower is the weight of its individuals. Opposite is true in the case of fast food joints and restaurants-those people living farther away from such places are much slimmer compared to others.
Moving around: There are a few people who can’t stay without doing anything. Either it’s got to be some activity or they simply keep fidgeting around. Its been shown that walking, cooking or even standing are ways to stay trim without being the couch potato. While these activities were a regular part of daily living sometime back, they have become a mandatory act nowadays with improvements in technology, latest devices to do our chores and our modern environment. One study in 2003 found that such a lifestyle that includes elevators, cars to drive and dishwashers to do our dishes led to a 111-calorie reduction lacking in our daily calorie expenditure.
Living in elevated areas: An article in the International Journal of Obesity found that people living in higher elevated areas are comparatively slimmer. Decreased oxygen levels, higher metabolic demands and increased functioning of the sympathetic nervous system that plays a major role in reducing appetite may support this theory which needs more practical proofs.
Eating spicy food: Does your best friend who stays slim always eat food with an additional serving of chilli flakes or spicy sauce? There is a study that shows that capsaicin, a bioactive compound present in chili peppers, plays a prime role in decreasing appetite and using fat as the primary source of energy. Even a large-scale Chinese study found that people who ate spicy food six to seven times a week compared to those who ate once a week were at a 14% reduced risk of death from any cause comparatively. There are other theories supporting the fact that eating spices such as turmeric, oregano, cinnamon, rosemary and ginger too keep a person slim and trim as these ingredients reduce inflammation and improve gut bacteria composition.
These are only additional ways that can improve your health quotient and one cannot rely on these as the only means to weight loss. They are theories that don’t hold solid proofs. The best way to lose weight or stay healthy is to eat a well-balanced diet rich in all food groups, control portion sizes, exercise regularly and minimize stress. Get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com to help you lose weight in the right way, maintain your lost well and reap benefits for a lifetime of healthy lifestyle.
Parents play a pivotal role in bringing up children at home, teachers occupy primary roles at school in molding a child and once these kids grow up and reach adulthood, they begin depending on their employers for guidance, channelizing their work and climbing up the workforce. Talent, time and smartness are certain characteristics that help an individual succeed in his/her workplace which is further ameliorated by a thoughtful, supportive and just employer.
Boasting about working in a multinational company, food and medical perks, wearing a posh attire to workplace, partying during weekends and eating out from McDonald or Burger King is the current trend. Our bank jobs, teaching professions, public sector company offices and other state/central government jobs have their own pros and cons but at any time pros outweighed cons. There were not many studies about employee depression or employer thoughtfulness when these types of jobs dominated the market. Once IT sector boomed in India and MNCs invaded our markets, individuals’ health is at stake in many cases.
Presently, almost 1 in 6 employees is experiencing mental health problems such as anxiety, stress and depression which puts an individual’s performance at stake. An organization is not built of bricks and cements but of people and workforce. With employees existing as the pillars of an organization, we can assure the success of a company only when its staff are healthy, focused and with a positive frame of mind. Every organization wishes for smart employers who take authority in supporting employees suffering from mental stress and help them outgrow the problem in due course of time. Such kind of support decides how quickly and efficiently the employee can bounce back with improved performance and willpower. For a quick guide on decreasing depression and outgrowing stress, try the tips from www.firsteatright.com that are practical and also give you positive results.
Fiction or Fact?
Employers supporting employees and helping them perform better has been a topic of discussion for decades together, but a new study has taken it to the next level and proven it to a certain extent. The study insists on the fact that a supportive employer might prove useful in helping employees with depression miss fewer days at office. While previous studies reinstated the fact that depression among employees increased economic losses at workplace, the present study focuses on the reason behind this.
Researchers at the London School of Economics and Political science analyzed data of 16,000 employees and managers from 15 different countries. Questions were thrown open to the employers on how they handled mental health concerns and how often employees with depression took time off their job owing to their health issue. In countries where managers accepted on avoiding talking to employees with depression, these workers missed on an additional four days of work whereas in places where employers were genuinely interested in talking about mental health problems with their employees, there were less cases of missed days of work recorded. Available resources also pave way for mental health policies to support employees suffering from depression which the study confirmed-countries with a lower GDP saw an increased number of leave days from employees. Under GDP-controlled environments, the research proved that countries with supportive managers witnessed decreased days of leave despite a lower or higher GDP.
Organization Value Besides Value for Money
Standing by an employee during times of distress not only saves the company the loss of a valuable staff but also proves the organization’s value. Any company thrives on trust and integrity. An employee’s loyalty and commitment towards the organization depends on the organization’s support it extends towards its workforce. Some general tips for managing depressed employees include:
Gone are the days when heart disease, diabetes and blood pressure were confined to the ageing population. Ironically, present world witnesses more cases of juvenile diabetes, adolescent cases of increased BP and younger adults becoming a prey to heart diseases. Call it inactive lifestyle, stressful work atmosphere or competitive academic life, ultimately a vast majority of the younger generation is succumbing to numerous illnesses that were unknown to our previous generations in their younger ages. Most common among them is heart disease. A 30s guy, 40s woman or a 70s grandpa-all of them are clean victims to heart attacks!
Cardiovascular problems exist as the leading cause of death worldwide. Although it is recommended that every adult goes for a regular check up to the physician and keeps himself/herself updated on his/her body conditions, most individuals confine such master check ups to people aged above 55+ or 60. Wake up, heart attack or stroke do not strike us after confirming the age of the person. It can hit any individual at any age depending on multiple factors and conditions. Common reasons that trigger a heart attack in an individual before the age of 50 include:
This is one of the most common yet completely avoidable risk factors that can cause a heart attack. Studies show that smoking increases the risk of heart attack by as much as 8 times. Governments take much steps to caution people against smoking, hoardings show the ill effects of the habit and above all, people are by themselves aware of the dangerous health effects such as lung cancer and cardiovascular problems. Despite all these, desire stops not an individual from smoking. Young people who wish to stay healthy and avoid a heart attack must refrain from smoking.
Pregnancy is the most joyous period in a woman’s life until she faces complications. People regard childbirth as rebirth of the mom too! When such is the case, issues such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, excess weight gain and preterm labor pushes the woman into yet another problem-increased risk of heart disease. That’s primarily because, these conditions trigger artery-related heart issues to a great extent. Also, mothers who deliver preterm babies do so primarily because blood vessels could not withstand the pregnancy pressure any longer and serve as an indicator for future vascular problems in the mother involved.
Familial Hypercholesterolemia (FH)
Usually high cholesterol is a serious risk factor for heart diseases and FH is no exception. It is a genetic disease in which the individual involved suffers from extremely high cholesterol ranges (above 190 mg of LDL or bad cholesterol) since a younger age. A major population of individuals with FH are affected by heart problems-almost 50% men with undiagnosed/untreated FH suffer from a heart attack before they turn 50 and 30% of women with FH are sure to suffer from a heart attack before turning 60. It is required that people with a family history of FH meet a physician and get their exact heart condition diagnosed. Know more about FH by visiting the website www.firsteatright.com.
This is not only a mental disorder but one that impacts physical health too. That’s because, a stressed/anxious mind does nothing but brood over-you don’t exercise, you don’t eat food regularly or maintain proper meal timings, avoid socializing and above all, don’t sleep regularly. Such haphazard lifestyle practices affect your physical health and it is advisable to meet a physician. Teens or young adults with depression should try counselling as mental depression increases the risk of heart disease even sooner than normal.
Your race could determine your risk of heart disease. Although an irreversible risk factor, if you take all the necessary action to knock off all other risk factors to an extent, it is possible to minimize the risk.
Common assumption is to treat migraine as an intense headache but only those who experience the pain can justify the falsity of this claim! Migraine is a neurological disease that is third most common and sixth most disabling in the world. Still we treat it as simple as a common headache and ask the affected person to take rest with some basic medications that are prescribed usually for cold and cough! Headache disorders are common across the world and India has a high prevalence rate of migraine and other headache disorders comparing global statistics.
Migraine is characterized by recurring throbbing pain on one side of the head although in 1/3rd of the cases the pain occurs on both sides. It is generally accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dizziness, temporary visual imparity, sensitivity to light, touch, smell or sound and general weakness. The intensity and effect of a migraine attack can be so severe that it calls for the patient to stay in bed without movements for hours together.
Quality of Life
A simple cold/headache affects work performance, concentration and impairs 100% deliverable efforts. A migraine does all these and much more-it cripples a person’s quality of life depending on the intensity and frequency of the condition. Most people suffer from an attack between 4 and 72 hours and remain devoid of any symptoms between attacks. Migraine disrupts family, social and work life. Sadly, this condition affects one in five women and only one in every fifteen men. Statistics show a greater number of boys suffering from the disease before puberty but the tide turns favorable to them post-adolescence as the prime sufferers become girls right from this period. Even kids suffer from migraine and worse is that, half of the migraine sufferers witnessed their first migraine attack before the age of 12.
Chronic migraine is even more debilitating in which the affected person suffers from at least 15 migraine days every month and 85% of people suffering from chronic migraine are women. That’s because varying fluctuations in estrogen levels impact frequency and severity of attacks. Despite such severity, side effects and pain, migraine remains as one of the most under-diagnosed conditions in the world.
Migraine is basically of three types namely migraine with aura in which there are various symptoms indicating the onset of the condition such as flashing lights, migraine without aura in which the migraine starts without any prior warning symptoms as in the case of most people and migraine aura without headache where the person experiences any prior warning symptoms of migraine, but the headache never develops after these symptoms. It also happens that some people suffer from migraine multiple times a week while some don’t suffer from a migraine attack even for years together before another one strikes.
The actual/primary cause of migraine is not clear although there are several causes attributed for the disease. Basically, it hits a person due to changes in chemicals, nerves and blood vessels in the brain. Also, many people suffering from the condition usually have a genetic cause suggesting that migraine is hereditary. A child who has one parent suffering from migraine has a 50% chance of inheriting the condition and if both parents suffer from migraine, the chances of inheritance increases to 75%. Common reasons that can induce migraine include stress, bright or flashing lights, anxiety, noise, strong smells, fluctuating weather conditions, menstruation, too much or too little sleep and certain foods and beverages.
Common foods that can trigger the onset of the condition include chocolate, alcohol, certain nuts and fruits, yeast, fermented or pickled goods, aged cheese, certain medications, shift work, strenuous exercise (when a person is not used to it), emotional triggers such as shock, depression, excitement and tension, monosodium glutamate, missed/delayed/fluctuating meal timing and processed meats.
Nothing can cure migraine, but we can treat the disease effectively to reduce pain and recurrent attacks. Some effective steps to manage migraine include:
Migraine attacks can worsen over time, but they do improve over the years and provide relief to the patient. Until then, taking good care of yourself during the attack, ensuring that you take every step possible to minimize pain or an attack and following a healthy lifestyle that ensures mental health too can keep migraine under control.
UNICEF’s revelation that half of the world’s teens aged between 13 and 15 years are subjected to peer-to-peer violence in and around schools comes as a shocking news to people worldwide. Children are already victims of violent attacks and sexual assaults by adults which leaves each of us with heavy hearts. This news comes as another heavy blow to humanity leaving us all wondering whether humans, even kids have lost their humanity! This initiates the one-important query in each of our minds-How safe are the schools that we have sought admission into after sleepless nights standing in the queues and petty fights with our spouses regarding choosing the best school for our little ones.
Every School at Par in Inducing Peer-to-peer Violence
Whether an international school, luxury residential school or the lowly-considered government schools provide standard education to kids remains an unanswered question until now whereas we can be assured of the one fact that all of these educational institutions do nothing much to encourage amicability among fellow students. Moral science classes exist as a period in every school-going kid’s diary but often these are converted into math or science classes due to impending test cycles. Kids who rank high in marks and scores are left with not much values and culture instilled in them.
These violent attacks do not exclude physical punishments by teachers, some of which are even approved by the school committee-almost 720 million school-going children live in countries where such corporal punishments are not prohibited. Schools hailed to be a safe recluse against the outside corrupt world are proving themselves to be not safe anymore! Violence in any form-physical, sexual, mental-leaves a child with shattering side effects such as mental agony, stress, depression and a feeling of worthlessness. A kid unable to bear these succumbs to suicide finally. It’s usually kids who are victims of domestic violence, physical abuse or from economically low backgrounds who often end up being victims of peer violence at school. Suicide rates are steadily climbing up worldwide, but we keep neglecting the statistics. At www.firsteatright.com we have come up with workable ways to break away from the clutches of suicide and continue life in a positive frame of mind.
Globally, 1 in 3 students between the age group of 13 and 15 years are bullied and also, 1 in 3 of them are involved in physical fights. Three of every 10 students in 39 industrialized countries owe responsibility to bullying their peers. Without any discrimination both girls and boys experience buying. Difference lies entirely in the way these children take it to their minds. Girls deal with it much more emotionally as they are mostly victims of psychological forms of bullying whereas boys seek out vengeance in return of physical violence and threats, which they are primary victims of!
There are evidences showing how younger children are victims of physical punishment from teachers compared to adolescent students. Perfect examples of this come from the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in India where 78% of 8-year-old students were physically punished by teachers compared to 34% of 15-year-old students.
Discrimination is a way of life to students these days. The son/daughter of an affluential person is given special treatment while children belonging to lower-economic classes are tossed and tormented by teachers themselves. Abstinence from completing pending work or failure to perform well in tests/examinations too are considered with a different mind frame while punishing each student. Some schools advocate the use of severe punishments by staff to improve school results without thinking about the child’s emotional well-being. A crying child who fears to attend school is either whacked by parents at home who are unaware of the conditions existing in school or forcefully pushed into the school campus the very next day. Finally, these kids end up getting addicted to drugs, might join a terrorist group or find some low-paid jobs whose income falls short of survival needs too! One might call this exaggeration, but this is how tiny little children who enter adolescence with dreams end up with unfulfilled wishes.
As the child ages, the degree of physical violence decreases but conflicts arising due to emotional violence remains unaltered. Meanwhile, disability increases the risk of emotional violence compared to physical violence.
UNICEF’s report also claims that violence involving weapons in schools such as knives and guns in school premises claim lives of numerous kids. Social media too plays its part by simplifying peer bullying by enabling teenagers to post humiliating, violent and hurtful contents with the tap of a button.
Movies, series, games and magazines-all of them play a vital part in stimulating a kid’s mind. Children believe in what they see. When you maintain a peaceful aura at home and school, kids are sure to grow up into disciplined adults who focus on their future. Else, we are giving them plenty of scope to let their minds wander into the wild!
We, as a community must help children open up and speak frankly about the violence they face at school. This is not feasible in a day or two but by gradually building a sense of trust, we can surely help our next generation overcome peer pressure and violence attacks. Schools hold ownership of coming up with preventive measures to end violence and maintain harmony among kids. Only when all of us work together can we stop cases of peer pressure and bullying.
Thank your pollinators before you eat another mouthful of food as one of every three bites of food comes from them. We can almost say that pollinators rule our food supply as more than 30% of the world’s flowering plants and cereals (this includes more than 130 types of produce plants) depend on insect pollination.
Pollination is the process of transferring pollen grains from the male anther of a flowering plant to the female stigma of the same flowering plant or another flowering plant by pollinating agents. Simply put, it is the transfer of pollen to the part of the plant containing the ovules. This process is a critical part in the reproductive process of more than 3,00,000 flowering plants as it is involved in the production of seeds. Seeds are produced when pollen is transferred between flowers of the same species and producing seeds is one of the multiple ways in which a plant can reproduce. The ultimate requirement of any organism, including plants, animals and insects, is to give birth to an offspring and continue the survival of the community generations after generations. Flowers act as the tool used by plants to produce seeds.
Flowering plants supply humans and animals with food, shelter and fiber, put us at a decreased risk of chronic diseases when we consume fruits and vegetables and they can also serve as fuel sources. Pollination can be done by means of wind or water but more than 80% of the flowering plants (Angiosperms) rely on animals such as bats, bees, flies, beetles, butterflies and many other insects, most conspicuous of which are bees. Bees alone comprise of more than 30,000 distinct species worldwide.
Honey bees are one of the best pollinators for different reasons. They are blessed with a hairy body that trap pollen and carry it between flowers. These pollen as well as nectar from flowering plants are required by bees to rear young ones and hence, the insects frequently visit flowers in large numbers to obtain sufficient food. By flocking onto the same species at a time they serve as good pollinators for this reason. Yet another advantage these tiny insects hold is that, their body size enables them to pollinate flowers of many different shapes and sizes.
A bee picks and chooses flowers that are enriched with nectar, consists of colored petals that are blue, yellow or a mix of both, have a sweet aroma, bilaterally symmetrical, flowers are tubular with nectar at the base, open during daytime and consist of a correct landing platform. Bees locate the nectar with the aid of ultraviolet light present at the center of the flower unlike humans to whom this light remains invisible. The bee’s UV ray-sensing ability proves to be of dual benefit-the bees can rapidly collect nectar and the flower is also pollinated much effectively. Crops such as apples, apricots, cherries, cloves, cucumber, pear, peach, pumpkin, watermelon, sunflower, squash, muskmelon, plums and cranberries must be pollinated by bees to produce fruits or seeds.
Using bees for pollination is a specialized practice that needs different management skills from that of honey production. Farmers too can contribute towards pollination by enabling pollinator-friendly tweaks on their lands such as hedgerows and field borders. One can call it a good pollinator habitat when the habitat comprises of high-value pollen and nectar plants. Farmers can also substitute flower beds for lawns, minimize pesticide use and set up houses for bats and native bees.
A Farmer’s Best Friend
Honey bees are often quoted to be a farmer’s best friend as they have the potential to increase or even double the yields of crops at no extra cost or effort. Honeybee pollination help farmers produce maximum yield of oilseeds, fruits, vegetables and pulses. Know your pulses and their richly-present nutrients from the website www.firsteatright.com. Normally, a beehive of 50,000 insects pollinates half a million plants in one day making the rest of the pollinators diminish into insignificance.
Our heart flutters and goes out for people, places, events and things that we are in love with. Cricket is an anthem for many of us in India and we don’t mind giving our heart and soul to cheer our Men in Blue towards victory. College goers bunk classes, companies set up big-screen viewing of matches sometimes and most retired men love nothing better than an interesting test/one-day match between India and any other country in this world. Seeing the stadiums filled with colorful tri-color flags, face paintings done representing our beloved sports heroes and pluck cards and banners displaying our thoughts and passion for the sport bring about energy and a positive aura to all of us out there.
Worldwide too, every country has a special sport that makes people go crazy watching it. One cannot miss out the FIFA World Cup, French Open, Wimbledon, Rugby World Cup and of course, ICC Cricket World Cup. The tension builds up slowly through the qualifying rounds and peaks through the quarter finals and semis- with the finals setting the grounds for ultimate tension.
Don’t Brood Over a Lost Game!
It has been known since a long time by scientists that major sporting events induce unhealthy behavioral indulgence in fans. All the tins/bottles of soft drinks, alcohol, potato crisps, cheese dips, burgers and mithais are more than enough reasons for a heart problem in these die-hard fans. It isn’t new for us to sit with bowls of cheesy popcorns in front of our HD television screens or lie down all day in our bed watching our favorite sporting team slashing their way through the football match. These are paired with bed-fed foods and beverages by our loving mommies, dadis and nanis.
If such disoriented lifestyles and food habits aren’t enough reasons for a heart attack, studies now show that sporting events such as the World Soccer Cup, FIFA and Rugby World Cup can cause arrhythmias in certain die-hard fans and rarely, heart attacks too (according to the American Heart Association).
Basically, the causes for a heart attack include increased BP levels, cholesterol, obesity and diabetes but the underlying causes for these problems include an inactive lifestyle, unhealthy food habits and above all, stress. Stress can be the sole reason for several diseases erupting out of our body which have no specific root cause. The same rule becomes applicable in the case of sports too. There have been several instances during which spectators inside the stadium have tweeted about getting warning signs of increased heart rates through their smartwatches during matches. According to scientists, this kind of spike occurs when the individual connects with the match emotionally. This can cause emotional stress which in turn acts as a primary factor for triggering cardiovascular diseases. This is specifically true when the match is in between core rival countries or when the competing teams are equally efficient and stand equal chances of winning the trophy. During such times, adrenaline levels peak, our hearts flutter rapidly and we are glued to the match in a state as though we ourselves are the players. Hormones called catecholamines (just like adrenaline) are released, heart rate and blood pressure spike up, all of which elevate oxygen requirements and lead to heart problems.
A small study published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology found an increase in individuals’ pulse rate by as much as 75% while watching a hockey game on television and by 110% when watching it live. Another valuable example is the 1996 European championship where the Dutch football team was eliminated due to a penalty shootout against France. On this day, there was a 50% increase in deaths due to heart attack and stroke in Dutch men.
After Second Thoughts
Scientists quote various reasons for such increased risk of heart attacks during sporting events:
Every household today boasts of a microwave oven set in the corner of the kitchen. Those without an oven are probably the ones who cannot afford one. Such is the widespread presence and availability of a microwave in today’s homes. A utility of importance in American homes since many years, the electric oven occupies prominence in Indian homes too nowadays. Not many kitchen appliances can surpass the convenience and fulfill our needs like our very own microwave. A cup of tea turns lukewarm, just reheat it for 20-30 seconds in the oven to drink to your convenience, boil some sweet corn pellets for snacks, steam yummy broccolis or make delicious cookies to fulfill all your desires and needs. Despite this versatility, some people are still doubtful to cook things using an oven (especially when cooking for children) and constantly worried that cooking/heating in a microwave can negate any nutritional effects of the food on the individual.
Myth or Fact
Its not something new when we hear that microwaving food can pull off nutrients, especially with innumerable blogs, articles, social media sites and we humans constantly supporting/denying this theory. The regular accusations include loss of nutrients and vitamins but there are no scientific evidences supporting the same. To understand whether microwave ovens remove nutrients from cooked foods and whether eating the cooked food is healthy, first and foremost one must have a clear picture of how the microwave works.
Understanding Hard-core Mechanical Stuff!
The invention of a microwave is an exemplary one that works on an extremely simple concept. The very word ‘microwave’ has the word ‘wave’ which conveys the message that microwave ovens cook food using waves of energy that are similar to but shorter than them. These waves specifically attack water and electrically asymmetrical molecules meaning that one end is positively charged and the other end is negatively charged. Microwaves initiate vibration in these molecules thereby building up heat. Microwaves have a frequency that can penetrate water, fat and many other molecules and excite them. These molecules reach an excitation state when the electrons orbiting the nucleus jump up energy levels. Once this happens, the atoms jump faster than usual. For example, when the same idea is implemented on a glass of water, the atoms that make up water start to move against each other and cause friction. This friction causes energy to be dissipated in the form of heat.
Any Method Lands You with Some Nutrient Losses
What if I tell you that any type of cooking technique causes nutrient losses? Some feel relieved while some others feel even more frustrated. Actually, its only the degree of loss that changes with each cooking method used. Contradicting most of your beliefs is the fact that microwaving food causes minimal nutrient loss comparatively. This brings us to yet another important issue-factors that affect these nutrient losses: time, temperature and liquid quantity used to cook foods. Increase in any of these causes increase in nutrition depletion.
To help you understand practically, lets take the example of broccoli. Serving your 6-year-old kid with boiled broccoli involves the challenges of not only making them eat it but also cooking it without much nutrient loss. There are some nutrients such as vitamin C that break down when exposed to heat and this is a process that happens regardless of whether the food is cooked in a microwave or on a hob. Compare microwaving broccoli to boiling it in a pot of water. Immediately your thoughts go back to the green-colored water pot that remains after you boil those crucifers in it. That’s your water-soluble vitamin C that stealthily moves onto water from the broccoli. Broccoli is robbed of glucosinolate, a compound that possesses cancer-fighting properties. Rather than poring it into the sink, try using it as a vegetable stock in some other dish.
Steaming your broccoli is much better than boiling it in water. This ensures better retention of sulfur-containing glucosinate and even vitamin C. The same holds good for spinach which loses around 70% of folic acid when boiled on the stove. Microwaving it with minimal water helps to retain most of the folic acid present in the leafy green.
The best cooking method is one that uses minimal water, cooks quickly and heats food as soon as possible. A microwave oven helps us fulfill each of these requirements as much as possible, keeps vitamins and minerals intact and finally, proves that microwaving is definitely a healthy means of cooking/heating under certain defined conditions and settings.
Fruits and vegetables are nutritious however you consume them. Understand that consuming them is the foremost priority. Once you start doing this, check out the various nuances to keep them as healthy as possible. Use the microwave wisely to steam, bake or boil foods to keep them nutritionally intact.
Tiny drops of perspiration dropped from my hands due to brisk walking while my friend was literally drenched in sweat from head to toe. Her feet skidded against the hard surface where we were walking even though she was wearing a wonderful pair of walking shoes and socks. On enquiring I got to know that she suffers from hyperhidrosis.
Sweaty feet are common and most of us have experienced it some time or the other, especially during summer or after a gym workout. Rarely, a small proportion of the population suffers from excessive sweating to the point that sweat literally falls off their feet or palms due to no valid reason. Medically termed as hyperhidrosis, this condition is present in almost 3% of the population more commonly among men than women and targets the younger population more often than elderly people. Individuals with sweaty feel also suffer from sweaty palms.
Sweat is the body’s way of cooling down and is an essential element in life. Sweat glands produce sweat that makes itself visible on the skin when the surrounding temperature rises, due to fever, exercising, stress or nervousness. In the absence of any of these factors the sweat glands are rested. But hyperhidrosis is sweating that happens even when the body does not require cooling at that point of time. Strangely, these people sweat even while seating inside an air-conditioned room or swimming in the pool! Though harmless mostly, people experiencing it are often embarrassed and troubled being among groups of people.
Till today we have not been able to track down the cause of hyperhidrosis, but it is generally said to be inherent. Still, it can be managed with the tips given here:
Stock the Right Socks: Choosing the right material socks can help you greatly. Go for cotton socks during summer and woolen ones during winter avoiding nylon socks as they never absorb sweat. Sporting outlets sell moisture-wicking socks that can help you take away moisture from the skin. Some socks also come with chemicals that help reducing bacteria on the feet. Always have a spare pair of socks to change into when required. This helps to keep your feet fresh.
Wear the Right Shoe: Buy shoes made of leather or canvas to accommodate proper airflow. Avoid plastic-based ones. It is better to wear shoes that have insoles, specifically those that are absorbent or deodorizing. This helps to avoid foot odor and also excess moisture.
Change Shoes: Don’t wear the same pair of shoes on consecutive days. Switch between pairs as this gives enough time for the shoes to dry. Leave it under the sunlight for some time.
Maintain a diary: Every time you feel that you sweat excessively on the feet write it down in a diary. Also think of the day’s episode rewinding on the foods you ate, activities you did and the situations that you encountered looking for a definite pattern that triggers such excess sweat every time. In case you find one, it is better to avoid/reduce these triggers.
Drink water: Stay hydrated with water, specifically after exercising or on a hot day to maintain body temperature and reduce bouts of excessive sweating episodes. Know how much is the right quantity of water needed for your body with the help of www.firsteatright.com.
Use Foot Deodorants: Our feet contain more sweat glands per inch than any other part of the body amounting to more than a lakh on each foot. There are various foot deodorants stocked in shoe shops or available online which are an easy way out to combat sweaty foot as they block sweat glands temporarily. You can try applying it before going to bed and wash it off in the morning. These deodorants can also be sprayed to your feet before wearing your shoes. Anti-fungal powders can also be used to keep away odor and also help our feet stay dry.
Wash your feet: Wash your feet thoroughly in water along with some antifungal soap or essential oils at least once or twice a day. Wipe off water from the feet using a dry towel especially between the toes to prevent bacteria and fungi from thriving. Apply some antifungal powder before putting on your socks.
Try out iontophoresis: This technique uses water to pass current through the skin of the feet blocking sweat temporarily. A small study showed a positive effect of using this technique where around 88% participants showed reduced sweating on their hands and feet after undergoing this therapy. Only concern is that the results are temporary and the individual needs to repeat it at least once a month.
When any of the above don’t yield positive results, it is better to meet a podiatrist who specializes in managing sweat in your body. The doctor first confirms the diagnosis using a small starch test where he/she applies some iodine solution on the feet. After this, the physician applies some cornstarch over the feet and waits for the color change. When the skin turns dark blue it indicates an excessive amount of sweat. Once confirmed, the doctor might suggest antiperspirants, medications or Botox treatment which is not a permanent solution but relieves the individual for at least 9-12 months. Also, leading a healthy lifestyle eating nutritious foods can minimize foot odor to some extent.
Its not a rare sight to witness children faint at school while standing under the scorching sun during assembly time, securities guarding shops, apartments and other places day and night are prone to fainting and even any individual can lose consciousness and fall down owing to various reasons. It seems frightening to watch a person fall down unconsciously suddenly but in reality, fainting is not as dangerous as it seems. Almost a third of people have experiences fainting at least once. One minute they seem to be normal but the next moment we see them lying on the floor. Cinemas revive an unconscious person by sprinkling water on the person’s face. How different is fainting from unconsciousness? In real life, what causes fainting and what are the precautionary measures we can take to protect ourselves?
Fainting-Far Better than Unconsciousness
Seeing a person faint right before you is scary as it seems as though the person has died but this is only a phenomenon that happens for a temporary period due to inadequate blood flow to the brain. This inadequacy in blood flow might be owing to reasons such as stress, grief, overheating, dehydration, exhaustion, illness, side effect of certain medications and inactivity. Stay active and refrain from a couch-potato lifestyle to avoid the risk of resulting health conditions, list of which is given at www.firsteatright.com. Its common for prolonged standing in hot conditions to induce fainting but how does inactivity trigger fainting-by restricting blood to pool up in the lower parts of the body thereby diminishing the amount of blood flowing into the brain.
A person who faints can be brought back to normalcy in a couple of minutes but its not the same with unconsciousness as the individual does not respond so quickly and can even face greater dangers due this.
Common Risks that Induce Fainting
Vasovagal syncope or common faint is one due to excessive stimulation of the vagus nerve-a part of the nervous system regulating blood pressure and heart rate. Blood vessels in the legs relax and heart rate slows making it difficult for the blood to get back to the heart. This causes a decline in blood pressure and in turn, drops you to the floor. This type of fainting is very common in people aged below 35 years as a response to negative news, blood, panic, claustrophobia, long coughing spells, strained bowel movements or standing for a long time. The vasovagal syncope attacks younger people because as an individual grows old the nervous system doesn’t react as quickly as before and hence, the frequency of fainting too decreases.
Low BP Can Heighten Risk of Fainting
On the other extreme is a 70+ person who faints right after getting out of bed in the morning due to sickness. A person fails to eat or drink normally which causes haphazard blood pressure numbers further aggravated by a person’s age, medical conditions and diseases. The elderly population suffer from stiffened blood vessels and the body’s ability to detect BP changes also diminish. Adding to this, these people might take beta blockers (reduce heart rate) and alpha blockers (reduce blood pressure), are more susceptible to dehydration as water consumption decreases and the chances of diseases such as diabetes and Parkinson’s increase all of which enhance the risk of orthostatic hypotension.
Irregular Heart Rate
If the heart rate is extremely fast there is a drop in BP levels which in turn causes fainting. Likewise, the converse-a very slow heart rate-also causes fainting. Heart attack or any other condition that disrupts normal heart functioning, thyroid problems and certain medications can lead to abnormally slow or fast heart rate.
While the action of fainting is sudden some people experience any of the following before the fall:
If you are familiar with fainting and you feel like it, lie down with your head low and your legs raised to accommodate blood flow to the brain. If lying down is not possible sit with your head between your knees. Fainting is not dangerous when the person recovers in a matter of minutes. But when there is loss of consciousness for more than a couple of minutes it can be indicative of a serious medical condition such as heart attack, head concussions, diabetic coma, epilepsy or other conditions.
If you suspect heat as the cause for fainting, the first step is to move the person to a cooler place, elevate the legs, wipe the forehead with a wet cloth, loosen clothes around neck and waist and if the person is awake, it is advisable to give a glass of water or energy drink to consume. If there is suspicion of carbon monoxide poisoning it is advisable to check if there is normal breathing happening without any disruption. If not, immediately take the victim to a hospital.
Never slap or throw water on the victim, give him/her something to drink when unconscious except for diabetic patients who might have fainted due to low sugar levels, never move the person unless needed or leave the unconscious person unattended. Fainting isn’t always dangerous, but it is recommended to meet a GP when:
Right now, the world is filled with people suffering from deficiencies, malnutrition and starvation but there are a certain group of people who suffer from excess nutrition. Weird but worrisome! Hypervitaminosis A is one such condition wherein the individual suffers from too much vitamin A in the body. Eating vitamin A-rich foods is rarely a cause for the condition whose primary root cause lies elsewhere.
Known as vitamin A toxicity this condition develops in individuals who have too much vitamin A in their body. Hypervitaminosis A can be acute or chronic depending on its course of development. Acute hypervitaminosis A is when the condition develops after consuming excess amounts of vitamin A in a few hours’ time. Chronic hypervitaminosis A occurs when vitamin A levels increase slowly over a course of time.
Symptoms vary depending on the type of the condition. While rashes and headaches are common symptoms of both conditions, other symptoms vary.
The major symptoms for acute hypervitaminosis A include drowsiness, irritability, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. A person with chronic hypervitaminosis A might experience loss of appetite, dizziness, sensitivity to sunlight, nausea, vomiting, itchy skin, jaundice, bone pain, cracked fingernails, swollen bones, hair loss, confusion and respiratory infection. Children might experience additional symptoms such as coma, soft skull, double vision, absence of weight gain, bulging eyeballs and a small bulge on the baby’s head.
As hypervitaminosis A is an excess of vitamin A it is necessary that individuals consuming too many vitamin supplements speak to their physician and ensure that they are not taking too much of vitamin A. Liver is where vitamin A is stored and hence, jaundice is an effective symptom of the condition. Liver damage is also possible sometimes and a liver function test can confirm the presence of the condition.
Acute vitamin A poisoning occurs in individuals who consume several hundred thousand international units (IUs) of vitamin A and chronic vitamin A poisoning might occur in adults who take more than 25,000 IU a day.
Prolonged use of medications/creams for controlling acne that contain vitamin A can lead to hypervitaminosis A in some people. Sometimes babies/small children might accidentally consume large amounts of vitamin A when they pop in some supplement or cream that contain large amounts of vitamin A accidentally.
Once a person doubts vitamin A overdose or suffers from related symptoms he/she should meet a doctor immediately. The physician enquires about the symptoms, supplements or medications consumed and does a physical examination. The doctor might suggest for any of the below-given tests to confirm hypervitaminosis A:
Treatment includes putting a full stop to the intake of vitamin A supplements and the individual is advised against vitamin A supplements or multivitamins henceforth. Very rarely, even foods rich in vitamin A are excluded from the patient’s meals. For the list of foods rich in vitamin A please visit the website www.firsteatright.com. With this, people mostly recover and there is no need for further treatment. If liver or kidney damage is doubted the physician treats it differently. One must understand that it is always not possible to reverse liver damage due to hypervitaminosis A.
Get the Dose Right!
Vitamin A requirements differ based on various factors such as age, sex and pregnancy factors. Vitamin A recommendations are as follows:
Women planning for pregnancy must discuss with their physician and get the vitamin A doses right to avoid any complications.
Until a person does not develop any complication from hypervitaminosis A he/she can expect total recovery. Hypervitaminosis A is the perfect example for the risks a person might encounter when they take supplements without consulting a physician. Each of you who want to take a supplement must consult a physician or nutritionist before starting and get the proper doses prescribed.
I an allergic to a monotonous routine and I guess, so are many others. Don’t mix this up with the daily chores and routine each of us follow to lead our lives. Its not about doing something different every day but doing the same things differently by introducing small changes to them. We need to get up, finish with morning chores, cook, eat, work at office, sleep and repeat the same the next day. The routine remains the same but why is it that some people enjoy it while some others dislike it? Its mostly those who handle things/people with passion and interest who treat every day as a blessing while it is a chore for those who see life as a ringmaster and do their work for the sake of duty. Exercise too follows the same principle. Its not wrong to get up at 6’o clock in the morning and go for a walk every day in your life irrespective of rain or sun until you enjoy doing it. If you are one of those who gets easily demotivated or distracted doing the same stuff repeatedly you surely need fresh ways to motivate yourself and accomplish goals.
Self-motivation is a gift and not everyday do you see people encouraging themselves to achieve bigger feats in life. Obesity/overweight is raging high everywhere and most people worldwide are into sitting jobs that don’t require much movement. Advertisements promoting fitness, apps that stare right into your face while you surf through Instagram/Facebook and people around who exercise and eat healthy are blatant examples that insist upon the importance of a healthier you. We are strong as a rock when it comes to such issues and we don’t give heed to anything around until danger strikes. So, how do we motivate such people to exercise and make them literally workout?
A group of researchers have come up with a solution that calls for turning everyday exercise into a game. They designed a web-based game that can be played by anyone with a smartphone and a Fitbit called as MapTrek. Data is synched between the fitness device and the game. The web-based game moves a virtual avatar along a map depending on the number of steps taken by the participant. Participants were split into groups and they competed against each other in weekly walking challenges every week. The race is virtually held at different places on the map such as the Appalanchian Trail, the Grand Canyon and likewise every week. The participants also use the map feature to view their current position in the map and fasten the pace to walk or race through different locations. The game reminds users to wear the fitness band, provides encouragement and gives them the option of taking part in daily challenges to earn bonus steps.
On the whole 14 participants took part in the study. All of them were sedentary workers aged between 21 and 65 years who spent their day at work sitting for at least 75% time. These people were split into two groups and both the groups were given the Fitbit band but only one of the two groups used the band along with the MapTrek game. Each of their activities were monitored in the Fitbit’s activity monitor. When results were compared some 10 weeks after the study it was seen that the Fitbit and MapTrek group walked 2,092 more steps per day (equivalent to almost 1.5 kilometers) and accomplished 11 more active minutes of per day compared to the other group. Active minutes are defined as those that got the participants take more than 100 steps.
Researchers feel that 2,000+ increase in steps every day improves overall health and reduces risk of cardiovascular disease by as much as 10% in the long run. Heart health is not only based on physical fitness but depends a lot on mental well-being too. Keeping your mind and body healthy is the best way to protect your heart and there are even studies supporting this theory which have been elaborated at www.firsteatright.com.
Gamification is the process of using games to tackle problems such as inactivity and smartphone engagement. Nowadays people are taking a particular workout regimen and fusing it with game mechanics to motivate and encourage people. This activity-cum-game concept has become popular with people.
The foremost question here is sustaining the health improvements. But we are well-aware that humans love to engage in things that they enjoy doing. Gamification is growing to be a great choice and people are loving it already. Work stress and lack of time prevents people from working out, but gamification makes them feel like they are playing a game instead of working out. Wearing wearable activity trackers for gamifying exercise and fitness is encouraging, advantageous and motivating.
‘Love handles’ might sound alluring and seductive but there isn’t much to love about love handles. Rather, they are a pain to hang around with! Any wild guesses on what part of the body does ‘love handles’ refer to? If your thoughts didn’t go anywhere beyond the hands, thighs, legs or muscles, you are absolutely mistaken.
Love handles refers to the excess fat that sits on both sides of your stomach resulting in a ‘muffin top’ appearance. It hangs over the top of your pants dangling around and dancing to its own music. This is one of the few places in our body that is extremely challenging to conquer. If you think that you are smart enough to dissuade it with ab workouts and abdominal crunches, sorry but this will lead you nowhere. Approach any fitness expert on sorting out this issue and his/her first advise that no amount of abs workout will do the trick if you don’t focus on your diet and exercise would surely sound discouraging. Another false hope that encourage most individuals is the term ‘spot reduction’. Fat loss is never possible with spot reduction and there is not the minutest chance of targeting a specific area.
Not As Bad As Visible
Though quite detestable, your love handles contain subcutaneous fat that are way far better than the visceral fat that hangs around internal organs and causes health risk. These love handles dangling from your abdomen sides look like a muffin top and act stubbornly. Alas, even the cunning visceral fat gives away to your demands with consistent exercise and diet but the extra fat around your hips don’t budge easily. Even if your waist size is greater than 35 (in case you’re a woman) or 40 (in case you’re a man) it is the deep visceral fat that dissolves first. One needs abundance of patience, perseverance and discipline to help your love handles (including excess fat around your buttocks, hips and thighs) to hate your body and run away from it.
There is no one specific diet for losing love handles but it is always recommended to follow a meal plan that you can follow long-term, but this is hard stuff, especially for the men whose weight loss efforts are seen lastly around the hips. Some clear-cut ways to enable fat loss around your love handles include:
Clean Eating: Eating healthy food is one of the most critical and result-oriented steps while trying to lose fat anywhere in your body. Added sugars are capable of increasing fat portions, especially belly fat. Your sweetened beverages that contain fructose have the tendency to increase belly fat greatly. Rather than adding empty calories to your body, try indulging in healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, olive oil and fatty fish for a narrow waistline as such fats keep you full for longer periods resulting in fewer calories consumption through the day. The same holds good for fiber too as eating fiber-rich foods keeps you fuller by slowing down digestion. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, beans and oats.
Active movement: Staying active and finding ways to keep moving around as often as possible keeps you healthy and fit. With most people nowadays involved in desk work, long sitting hours and a sedentary lifestyle are bad influences on your waistline. While trying to focus on specific body parts is normal, it is always advisable to exercise for the entire body which also takes care of the love handles. Rather than wasting time on spot training, add aerobic exercises that take care of your whole-body movements.
Cardio & Weights: Cardio workouts don’t necessarily involve vigorous-intensity exercises such as running or spinning. Start gradually from low-intensity aerobic exercises, go for a brisk walk or swim to get your required 150 minutes of workout every week. While aerobic activities help you burn more fat during your workout, resistance training helps the body build lean muscles and burn more calories at rest. Try doing weight training exercises along with your cardio workout to reap greater benefits in a short time. Cardio along with strength/ resistance/weight training leaves you with the best results.
Stress & Sleep: Stress and sleeplessness can increase weight gain due to the increase in cortisol levels in the body. Studies have proven that people who sleep for 7-8 hours are at lesser risk of weight gain compared to those who sleep for lesser than 6 hours. Avoid stress too as it triggers the release of cortisol (stress) hormones which in turn causes negative side effects such as anxiety, headache, digestive issues and weight gain. Do meditation or involve yourself in some activity that you enjoy to stay peaceful and rest your mind. There are various other options at www.firsteatright.com which can help you relax your mind and body.
Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water for staying healthy. Many people indulge in sports drinks, sugar-sweetened beverages and juices to quench their thirst and finally gain fat around the waistline. This is more dangerous as liquid foods don’t restrict our quantity intake and we might drink more quantities adding up too much of calories to our body. Refrain from alcohol as this is one of the major reasons for belly fat and fat around the midsection.
Become fit and stay chic losing your love handles. Lead a healthy lifestyle by sticking to a healthy diet plan, exercise schedule and an active lifestyle. Follow the above-given tips to lose your love handles as fast as possible.
A hero munching a chewing gum and lashing criminals is often the introductory scene shown in movies. Since long, chewing gums have been idolized as a symbol of style. Kids often challenged against each other on making the biggest bubbles using these gums and children loved showing off this talent to their friends. Otherwise, people pop in a chewing gum when they are restless, bored, relish eating one or even as a style statement. This universal product has faced many controversial comments and still continues to surprise us with different results that support as well as deny their benefits.
We’ve heard our parents complain against our usage of gums as they are laden with sugars and artificial colors. At the same time, we have also heard that munching on these gums are an excellent jaw exercise, also keeps us from feeling hungry, freshens breath, improves memory and even overcome food cravings. Feeling stressed? Munch on a chewing gum as this increases blood flow to the brain. This explanation is only theoretical and there is no solid proof backing it up. Research even suggests that sugar-free gum is good for the teeth as it prevents tooth decay and plaque formation. Despite such research and news, we are still unsure whether chewing gums are good or bad for health.
Healthy Gummy Bears
There are studies denouncing the use of these gums as they are likelier to reduce the consumption of healthy snacks but also highly unlikely to prevent the consumption of junk food. The latest of all is a study that shows the effects of chewing gum while exercising. This study focused on the physical and physiological functions of munching chewing gums, especially on middle-aged and elderly men.
The study involved 46 participants both male and female aged between 21 and 69 years who took part in two different trials. In the first trial the participants were asked to chew on two pellets of chewing gum of 1.5 grams and 3 kilocalories each while walking normally for around 15 minutes (after an hour of rest). The second trial was a control situation where the group was asked to repeat the same procedure with the only difference that instead of the gum, they swallowed a powder containing the same ingredients as the gum. During both the trials the participants’ resting heart rate, mean heart rate and distance covered were measured. Each participant’s energy expenditure was also calculated from their walking speed and body mass. Results showed that mean heart rate of every participant increased while walking when they munched a chewing gum meanwhile.
In order to confirm whether age and sex affected physiological results the research team split the participants into groups of male and female, and young or middle aged (18-39) and above (40-69). Study found that:
Some say that chewing gums leads to weight loss. There is no direct effect and one research that looked into the walking speed of participants who chewed a gum showed that speed increased while chewing a gum. This in turn led to greater weight loss due to burning more calories. But this is feasible only when the individual eats a nutritious diet in recommended portions and does his/her physical activity daily. For the right advice on eating healthy food and exercising regularly please get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com.
While going for a chewing gum it is always recommended to choose sugar-free ones. While some research say that chewing gums burns about 5% more calories comparatively and reduces calorie intake by 50-60 calories the tried and tested method is to follow a well-balanced diet plan, stick to your exercise schedule, lead a healthy lifestyle and minimize stress in life. There is no harm in chewing a gum or two for the love of its taste but don’t try too much of it.
New Year is fast approaching and all of us are gearing up for another round of goals and targets to be implemented in the forthcoming year. We are never short of promises and oaths but what we lack is the consistency in staying true to our words and accomplishing them. Losing weight or staying fit is a mandatory goal that’s taken up on January 1st of every year but loses its charm even before the month of March sets in. Amidst all the promises and failures to abide by our health-related goals, fitness centers, health studios and gyms are the ones that experience a boom in their business and enjoy a steady flow of income during the months of Dec-Jan-Feb. Its good to wish for something positive and take the first step (investing money in memberships, clothes or gears) towards it but in case of most individuals it stops with this. They don’t move forward anywhere beyond it.
A Big Dent in your Life Owing to a Sedentary Lifestyle
Exercise is good for the heart, health and longevity but what we have been unaware until now is the fact that a sedentary lifestyle garners outputs far worse than smoking, diabetes or heart disease. According to the study, procuring results that declare a person as unfit on a fitness test has negative results equivalent to hypertension and diabetes. It can be termed as a disease whose medicine is exercise. This comes as a shocking news as we have known until now that a sedentary lifestyle or being unfit has some risks but never has any of us imagined that it could be compared to a disease. Even more troubling is the fact that comparing those who lead a sedentary lifestyle with those who excel in exercising leaves the first group at a 500% increased risk of death comparatively and comparing between those who don’t exercise much to those who exercise regularly leaves the first group at a 390% increased risk of death. This leaves us with one solution-get up and exercise regularly. Walk, jog or run-do whatever you can to stay fit and keep moving.
With such a disheartening news on one side we have better news that’s sure to raise your hopes and motivate yourself to workout more. There are results showing that even short bursts of physical activity can be good for the health, according to the U. S’s physical activity guidelines. While old guidelines insisted on being active at least 10 consecutive minutes to stay healthy the latest guidelines nullify this. According to it, even simple things such as climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator or walking while talking over the phone is sure to elicit benefits. There is an advantage in doing something rather than doing nothing at all. The same guidelines promote doing moderate-intensity exercise between 150 and 300 minutes a week and vigorous-intensity exercise between 75 and 150 minutes a week for substantial health benefits.
Its not only walking, treadmill or cycling that’s mandatory in your exercise list. It can be a group dance class or a game of frisbee in the backyard with your spouse to trigger your urge to workout and garner benefits. On a cold winter day, it can even be as simple as taking a walk inside a mall and doing window shopping without burning a hole in your purse. The only prescription to a healthy body and mind is exercise. The only difference is that this prescription can be taken at your pace and frequency rather than following doctor’s instructions. Customize the activity duration recommended as per your lifestyle, schedule and work culture. All that you need is a will and you will surely find a way to achieve it. Get in touch with reputed nutritionists and dietitians at www.firsteatright.com to get hold of the perfect diet plan and exercise sets suitable for your body type and work towards success right from day 1.
Which mode of transport best suits your preferences? Flights are a fantasy for many, some are passionate about car travels, few love the seas and look forward to the soothing waves that stay throughout the cruise trip while for a limited few travelling is sickening. Vacation trips are the perfect gateway to relaxation and spending quality time with your beloved ones. More than the trip itself, it’s the prior planning and purchasing of stuffs that’s even more exciting and refreshing. Children are busy listing down their needs, moms are busy visiting Zara and Mango for their Western outfits and dads are of course busy sorting financial needs while buying a shirt or two for themselves. On the day of journey, you start your vacation in high spirits and board the car. You feel a bit dizzy but stabilize yourself looking forward to your trip. But once you board the flight for the journey, you feel sick in your stomach and start puking. Motion sickness has got the better of you!
Any mode of transportation-car, bus, train, sea or air- can cause motion sickness. Though sickness caused when travelling by boat or ship is called as sea sickness, in large it is motion sickness only. There are no prior indications and it strikes you suddenly starting with uneasiness and cold sweats resulting in dizziness and vomiting but stops as suddenly as it started once your travel stops. Serious symptoms include short breaths, sweating, pallor and nausea. Motion sickness can affect any person who has a functional vestibular system but is more common in pregnant/menstruating women, children and people under certain medications.
Any disturbances in the inner ear causes motion sickness. Our brain senses any movement via signals from the ears, eyes and muscles. When the signals don’t match it results in motion sickness. Any person who lacks the motion-sensing organs of the inner ear can never be victimized to motion sickness. For example, sitting inside a train your ears sense movements around you but your eyes don’t see any movements miraged by a static view. This conflict between sensory organs triggers motion sickness.
There are effective ways in which we can reduce motion sickness and they include:
Treatment generally includes prescribing medications depending on different factors such as intensity of sickness, duration of stimuli and the individual taking these medications. Any medication for soothing motion sickness works better when consumed before the actual symptoms of the sickness begin. Antihistamines are the commonly prescribed medications for motion sickness although these are not approved by the FDA for dispensing them to children.
We might not be Cristopher Columbus on a voyage mission around the world. But each of us love to explore the world around us, meet people from different cultures, visit beautiful places, experience different cuisines and bring home memorable memories. Taking prior care to reduce/prevent motion sickness helps us enjoy or trips and tours without much discomfort and pain.
It feels good to exercise, sway your hips to some music during the Zumba class or jog around your building after taking up a challenge to lose weight or become healthy. All the positive energy surrounding you lift your determination a notch higher. But after a few hours or a day, every part of the body starts aching, muscles feel sore and even walking down the stairs or brushing your teeth seems to be a strenuous task after lifting weights at the gym. All the determination and challenge seem to crumble down before your eyes as you are unable to even get out of bed the next day! Most individuals would have gone through this experience soon after embarking on their fitness journey. What exactly is the process that happens inside our body when we exercise for the first time or after a long time?
Muscles that Do the Trick
According to any fitness expert muscle soreness/ache that starts after exercising is normal and is a good sign of your improving fitness level. When the body is subjected to any new physical activity the muscles are also subjected to stress and the soreness that comes along is a natural reflection that exists at the start of any new exercise routine. This soreness, ache or discomfort that occurs between 24 and 48 hours after activity is termed as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and is extremely common when an individual starts a new exercise routine, changes the routine or jumps over to a difficult one that involves more repetitions or intensity.
Muscles are used to the way in which individuals utilize them. When there is some deviation from the normal and they are required to work harder it causes microscopic damage to the muscle fibers resulting in muscle soreness/stiffness. Many believe it to be due to the work of lactic acid buildup which is actually untrue.
Don’t Doom the DOMS Effect
While the DOMS effect might perturb the first timers, it is essential to understand that even elite athletes experience it at times. The onset of the effect is an indication that the body is adapting itself to increased stamina and strength and the muscles are recovering. Any action or movement that you are not used to can cause DOMS. It might be as simple as starting to exercise or increasing your workout intensity to extreme levels. It is basically an effect of any exercise that causes the muscles to lengthen when under tension termed technically as ‘eccentric exercise’. This effect decreases as the body adapts to the new physical routine.
There are many speculations and theories surrounding DOMS. Its been said that the forces generated during the eccentric movement damage the muscle structure and connective tissues and causes imbalance of calcium that leads to the soreness. The person might also experience inflammation which triggers the pain nerves within 48 hours of the activity along with swelling as well, both of which cause extreme discomfort to the individual. The soreness is sure to decrease as the muscles get used to it. DOMS can last anywhere between 3 and 5 days starting after a day or 2 after exercise. The main problem with individuals who start exercising for the first time is that once pain starts after the first day or so, they start worrying that they have not done their exercise properly or that they have hurt themselves. Some even feel that its better to stop exercising altogether rather than experiencing more trouble. Its better to be aware of the DOMS effect before starting to exercise as this prepares you mentally. The gym instructor or the fitness coach can also intimate the new member about it.
Soothe Your Muscles the Smooth Way
While no single way has proven to be a 100% cure for treating DOMS, many of the solutions given here are said to be much effective than the rest. It is recommended to choose anything between heat, ice pack, massage, anti-inflammatory medications and rest to reduce pain. While some studies deny the advantages of using ice as a treatment method some studies show that wearing pressure garments after workout, drinking milk protein after workout or using foam-roller massages can help to alleviate pain. To stay on a healthy diet while following your exercise routine get in touch with reputed dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com.
In most cases there is no requirement for medications and the pain subsides gradually with enough rest. Its better to start off with a fitness program gradually in a subtle way such that the muscles are given enough time to adapt to the new movements. At the same time, there are not many evidences that support that warming up before exercising will prevent DOMS from striking. Stretching is helpful in reducing your chance of injury and improving performance.
The initial few days it is better to take things easy as your body is still adapting itself to the changes imposed. There is no harm in exercising with DOMS although you might feel uncomfortable initially, but the aches and pains disappear once your body gets used to this routine. While resting between exercising is allowed it is better to focus your exercises on the less-affected muscles giving time to the other affected muscle groups to heal and become normal.
Having taken up an activity that helps you become healthier, it is better to face the small hurdles that occur in between bravely and continue with your activity.
There are not many who are unaware of the worldwide hit of the Old Spice advertisement ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ primarily owing to its surprise ending. This brings us to a much more important topic of debate about body odor. While the cosmetic market is predominantly a woman’s affair, most deodorants and body sprays advertised are for the male population which again makes one wonder whether men are likelier to have profound body odor comparatively. Also, have you ever wondered why kids don’t use deodorants while every adult goes crazy over the latest ones advertised and has them stockpiled in their cosmetic shelves? That’s because our body produces body odor starting only from puberty due to the growth of the apocrine sweat glands. Until then, they are present in the body (even in a 6-month-old fetus) in an inactive state and hormonal changes in puberty triggers these glands to start functioning in a full-fledged way.
I hate it when someone talks to me the first thing in the morning without brushing his/her teeth. Not even the most beautiful lady or the most handsome man on this Earth smell good after getting up from a good nights’ sleep. And, it’s absolutely humane when your breath smells a little bad in the morning, especially when you have slept with your mouth open as dry mouth are thriving places for bacteria. Bad breath is often the work of bacteria sticking to your teeth and tongue. These parasites are capable of making compounds that have sulfur. Don’t let your minds wander to the chemical labs during school days as indeed you are right. These compounds are stinky smelling like rotten eggs or onions. Brushing your teeth and using a mouthwash is the best way to flush away these parasites but if your breath still smells bad despite this, its better to consult your dentist immediately. It might be clues of decaying teeth, gum disease, sinus, throat infection or lung infection which needs to be diagnosed by a physician.
You Exhale More than Just Air!
The human body is a great work of art interconnected from head to toe intricately. Just as how two different organs residing in very different places, the brain and gut, are revealing to be interconnected in various ways, the breath from your nose or mouth might also be indicative of diseases present elsewhere in your body. Gassy compounds from different other organs in your body reach the lungs through the bloodstream and you exhale more than just air.
Fruity breath might just not be the papaya or jackfruit you had as dessert but might be an indication of a very serious health problem such as diabetes. This is quite popular in individuals suffering from type 1 diabetes in which a condition called diabetes ketoacidosis (DKA) occurs. Due to DKA the body lacks sufficient energy to function properly and because of which it breaks down fatty acids for energy. This creates a buildup of acidic chemicals called ketones one of which is acetone causing the fruity smell. This condition can sometimes be lethal resulting in death. So, when you notice a fruity smell more often accompanied by dry mouth, breathing difficulty and abdominal pain it is better to meet your physician immediately.
Other common triggers for bad breath include:
Kidneys: Kidney failure can make your breath smell like urine or ammonia due to improper excretory functioning.
Liver: Liver disease gives out rotten egg smell, garlic smell or musty smell
Armpits: This is one of the most common places that smell bad. Stress often causes smelly compounds to be released as sweat in your armpits and skin. Even in the absence of stress, our armpits can smell due to the presence of hair and moisture, both of which are thriving places for bacteria. This makes it essential that you bathe, shave and use deodorants to maintain hygiene
Sleep apnea: Interrupted breathing can make your mouth go dry-a very common reason for bad breath. Sleep apnea leaves a person with decreased energy due to lack of proper sleep and also at a greater risk of diabetes, stroke and heart problems. Read more about sleep apnea at www.firsteatright.com.
Feet: Increased sweatiness due to tight-fitting shoes, unexposed feet or contamination via towels etc. can lead to stinky feet surrounded by dry skin with rashes all of which are indications of an athlete’s foot.
Urine: Urination produces a pungent smell sometimes giving clues of a urinary tract infection (UTI). E.coli is mainly responsible for UTI which needs a physician’s attention.
Stinky stools: Most commonly due to lactose intolerance. Stools are more odorous after drinking or eating dairy.
Self-monitoring Body Odor
Maintain personal hygiene by taking a bath regularly and keeping your armpits clean. Wear clothes that are clean. When it comes to food habits, it is advisable that people prone to body odor refrain from eating foods that are spicy, dominated by garlic or rich in red meat. Despite all these efforts, if you still smell bad, it might be due to an underlying medical condition for which a physician is the right person to judge your case.
Obesity epidemic has swept across nations, age groups and sex against which people strive incessantly. The world has witnessed an alarming rise in obesity levels paving way for numerous health risks. But, researchers, scientists and physicians are still bothered by the one vital question-what defines obesity, especially in post-menopausal women whose body composition is drastically different from the rest of the women population. A couple of decades back, NIH (USA) decided to bring down BMI cutoff point for defining overweight from 27 to 25. Despite this, obesity rates and waist circumference measurements amongst people in the United States continued to rise sharply. Since then, it is only now that another team of researchers have come up with a requisition to bring down BMI cutoff points ever lower for postmenopausal women. This is mainly because wrongly assuming overweight postmenopausal women to be of normal weight can sometimes even obstruct physicians from starting such people on treatments for reducing obesity-related health problems, especially cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Decades back, physicians made use of weighing scales to measure up a person’s health based on his/her weight. Now, the scales are same, but the results vary categorizing people into different sectors based on BMI values. The word ‘BMI’ became an instant hit among the common man as it enabled you and me to realize our health status and take definite precautionary steps to save our health. Body Mass Index (BMI) is an estimate of body fat based on weight relative to height. Despite its popularity, people in the medical fraternity doubt the reliability of this measure on older adults as it does not take into account the location of body tissue used for storing fat, fails to differentiate between fat mass and lean mass nor bothers to include variations in body composition. These variations become even more conspicuous once a woman experiences physical changes in the postmenopausal stage such as redistribution of body fat tissue, decreased muscle mass and height and increased weight, especially around the abdomen.
WHO’s decision to introduce BMI as a one-size-fits-all solution to classify people might really not work practically. While it can be a measure for calculating population-based overweight and obesity (as BMI values are common for both sexes and corresponds to all age groups), it can never be used for determining body composition of an individual accurately as every individual has varying fat stores inside.
Weight Remains Constant But Fat Percent Changes
‘Where’ fat is located plays a great role in determining health despite BMI’s ignorance of the body shape of a woman (individuals with a pear-shaped body whose fat stores are concentrated in the hips and thighs are treated in the same way as those with an apple-shaped body whose fat predominantly resides in the midsection). A group of researchers collected information from more than 1,300 postmenopausal women aged between 53 and 85 years. The study group defined obesity as a BMI of 30 or higher or a body fat percentage greater than 35%.
Women lose greater bone and muscle mass as they grow old and these are heavier than fat. Hence, a lady who weighs the same as she weighed two decades back must probably account for more fat-induced weight compared to bone and muscle weight. Even fat distribution does not remain the same as it used to be during her previous years. The woman possesses more visceral fat (riskier type that is associated with higher total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein and insulin resistance) in the abdomen compared to subcutaneous fat stores. The research team found that most women who had a BMI lesser than 30 had body fat percentage values greater than 35% or more. There is no denial that men too account for some portion of visceral fat in their body but the increase in this type of fat stores is drastic in the case of women. A woman starts with lesser visceral fat stores compared to a man but between her 25th and 65th birthday she loses around 6 kilograms of bone and muscle mass while her visceral fat stores increase by four-folds. In contrast, a man’s visceral fat stores only double between the same age bracket.
Some researchers feel that moving BMI range even further might cause panic among postmenopausal women and even discourage them greatly. It’s not a small deal to ask a postmenopausal woman to lose 9-13 kilograms suddenly. Rather, these women should focus on a healthy lifestyle which includes daily physical activity and a well-balanced diet regimen. If you are confused about your calcium and vitamin nourishments needed post-menopause, get in touch with a registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com. Any woman whose waistline does not change much over the years and does her exercises regularly can stay devoid of BMI fears and fat deposits. While it might seem favorable to lower BMI cutoffs for obesity in postmenopausal women, there are no strong evidences portraying their advantages strongly.
Social media gave us friends, relationships, recipes, knowledge and above all, reasons to perform delivery of a child at home by referring YouTube videos and naturopathy practices. A couple in Tamil Nadu, India after deciding to attend to labor at home successfully delivered a healthy baby with the help of social media and naturopath friends but finally lost the new mum as they were unable to stop excess bleeding after delivery. One can name it insanity, foolishness or anything but the harm caused cannot be reversed! People perform ceremony rituals online, treat patients through chat sometimes and now, even deliver babies. Social media exists as the most reliable source of information to people nowadays who don’t even think of seeking guidance from experienced professionals, families or friends. Suffering from back pain, just google the symptom and perform the exercise suggested; undergoing some operation-thoroughly check the procedure, imagine the whole episode and get scared about it even more before the actual procedure happens; before delivery what a pregnant woman does not experience is only the actual labor process apart from which she reads through every case of delivery pain, complications and hurdles that could happen throughout pregnancy term and delivery.
Mental Pain but No Labor Gain
Pregnancy is a special period in every woman’s life which she looks forward to! What should be a joyous and rewarding journey turns out to be a frightening and bothering experience for some women due to self-induced problems. Anxiety and fear during the pregnancy term is common among women as they bear a life inside them. But when the fear of pregnancy heightens such that it leads to avoidance of pregnancy and pathological fears of the same, it is termed as tokophobia. Tokophobia can be primary or secondary. Primary tokophobia is morbid fear of pregnancy in women who don’t have prior experience of pregnancy and secondary tokophobia is extreme fear in a woman who faced traumatic pregnancy complications during first pregnancy but also possible due to stillbirth, miscarriage, termination of pregnancy or even after the delivery of a normal and healthy baby.
People use social media to update others on their everyday activities: birth of a child-announce it immediately on FB; vacationing abroad-click random pics with funny captions and post it on Instagram; check-in your current location and activity every time on your favorite social media platform and even announce break-up too! The same media uploads the details of heart-breaking pregnancy complications and problems shared by millions of new moms regarding pregnancy and childbirth experiences. A woman planning for pregnancy or the one already pregnant and surfing the net for advises/ideas on delivery gets anxious, starts fearing about unwanted complications and lives under constant fear until the baby plops out! Social media could be a major source for rising rates of tokophobia. Just Google the term ‘pregnancy’ and you are met with unending number of horror experiences. To-be moms join forums and keep posting questions on each and every trivial issue. Every person’s journey to parenthood is different and each replies her own experiences which could never match your physical health or parenting journey. Yet, we compare, debate and start matching these experiences with our own!
Common to Every Woman
Pregnancy is fearful due to the extreme labor pain involved and almost 75% women report fear of childbirth and pregnancy. Different reasons that elevate fear include talking to women who have experienced traumatic births, changes in the anxiety regulating mechanisms of the body, lack of belief in proper medical care by physicians and hospitals and psychological factors such as childhood experiences of depresses and absence of confidence. While these fears are common, some women take the drastic step of avoiding pregnancy by resorting to contraceptive pills or even don’t hesitate to abort the growing fetus. The happiness and joy associated with pregnancy quickly vanishes in some women once they realize that they have to undergo the dauting pain of labor and delivery sometime in the future.
Rarely do we come across stories of encouragement or positivity about labor and pregnancy across social media sites. True that giving birth is a tedious process but don’t we need to pen down the actual experience rather than our feelings and emotions that blocked our minds while the experience happened? Talking about loss of blood, losing consciousness or suffering from 72 hours of labor pain continuously is not going to encourage woman to become pregnant or those nearing labor to stay positive. Rather, also discuss about the fruits of such hard labor pain and the joy experienced the very first time you saw your infant. This would bring a smile on each person reading about your experience and look forward to delivery visualizing her baby in mind!
Googling for each and everything regarding your pregnancy too is not good. Our mothers and grandmothers delivered babies without the existence of social media. Then why are we so addicted in reaching out to it for help every time rather than discussing with them? Take pregnancy in your stride, stay positive throughout, surround yourself with good thoughts and deeds, look forward towards a nice labor pain (only then will your infant come out fast!) and stay focused on delivering a healthy baby. If you would like to seek the guidance of a professional in eating the right kind of food and staying healthy, get in touch with registered dietitian nutritionists at www.firsteatright.com. Ignore all other things that try to lure you. Mainly, just shun away from these pregnancy groups, forums and sites as you might get addicted to it and spend your time reading endless experiences of people online.
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