Walking is the most common physical activity among adults across all age groups. Feasible for everyone without any cost, be it children, elderly, people with disabilities or even those on crutches, walking is an excellent way to be more active. If you have never tried any physical activity previously and is eager to pursue one, start with walking.
Why Should You Walk?
Brisk walking helps an individual in umpteen ways. It aids to:
While walking is the simplest physical activity that can be performed by any individual, there are certain individuals who need to meet their physician before starting to walk. This includes:
How Long Do I Walk?
Brisk walking is a moderate-intensity aerobic activity that increases your heart rate and breathing. Adults need about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity workout every week to stay fit and healthy. Try to walk briskly for 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week to meet your target of 150 minutes per week. Slowly try to increase it to 300 minutes per week, which equals to 1 hour of walk every day on at least 5 days of the week.
It is always better to finish an activity in one stretch. But, when under time constraint, you can split your activity into three 15-minute slots or three 10-minute slots.
Walking needs no preparation and no allocated time or place. People can walk wherever they want to walk and at whichever time they feel like walking. Following these four steps can make walking simpler and enjoyable:
Make Smart Small Goals to Reach Your One Big Goal
You cannot cover 10 km in one hour simply because you have started to walk. Initially, walk for 15 to 20 minutes at least thrice a week. Gradually increase this time duration to 30 minutes on 5 days/week. Plan on reaching a specific target weight or covering a target distance in 6 months or 1 year of time and work towards this target.
The most essential thing for a good day’s walk is a pair of flexible shoes that fit right. Wear loose-fitting clothes that help you stay comfortable. On windy days, wear a scarf to cover your ears and a jacket to keep yourself warm.
How to Go About the Walking Process?
You should not start walking at a rapid speed just like that. Warm up by walking slowly for 5 minutes, increase your pace into a brisk walk and again cool down slowly during the last five minutes of your walk.
Introduce Twists and Challenges
After some time, when you feel that you can easily cover your target without any pressure, bring in some self-imposed targets and challenges. You can try to walk in a hilly area or climb steps in between your walks to make it challenging.
Walking Should Become a Daily Routine
Walking should become a daily ritual just like brushing your teeth or eating food. To keep it lively and doable:
The history of the ketogenic diet dates to the 1920s where it was used to treat epilepsy. But presently, the diet is used for all purposes other than its main objective.
The ketogenic diet is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that is similar to the Atkins and other low-carb diets in various ways. The reduction in carbs puts the body into a metabolic state called ketosis (fat instead of carbs provides energy for the body) and hence, the name ‘ketogenic diet’. The macronutrient composition of a ketogenic diet has 70-80% fat, 10-20% protein and 5-10% carbohydrates. One might wonder looking at these statistics on the efficiency of this diet which stresses on increased fat intakes. But various studies have compared this diet with the traditional low-fat/high-carb diets and the results show that the ketogenic diet is effective.
When a person consumes less than 50 grams of carbs per day, production of insulin hormone is reduced drastically. Insulin helps glucose from the bloodstream to reach the cells where it is used for energy. When carbs consumption is high, insulin is constantly produced and much of the glucose is converted into body fat, leading to increased risk of diabetes and heart disease. But a ketogenic diet makes your body produce less insulin and prevents any of these health risks.
What you ‘Can’ & ‘Cannot’ Eat?
Allowed are fresh salmon, pastured eggs, beef, nuts and seeds, non-starchy veggies, avocados, grass-fed butter and ghee, cheese and healthy oils such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil.
Disallowed are sugary foods such as soda, cakes and ice creams, all kinds of fruits, grains, low-fat or diet foods, alcohol, beans or legumes, tubers and root veggies and anything that increases insulin and blood glucose levels.
Eliminating processed carbs from your diet eliminates the bad gut bacteria and eating foods allowed in the ketogenic diet provides a thriving ground for the good gut bacteria which helps to clear the digestive tract.
How Do You Benefit from a Ketogenic Diet?
Following a ketogenic diet helps in:
No single diet works favorable for everyone. The best diet plan is the one that works advantageous to your body type. Although the initial side effects of a ketogenic diet are less hazardous ones such as mild low blood sugar, constipation and indigestion, sometimes, low-carb diets can lead to kidney stones or acidosis (high acid levels) in the body. Also, starting on a ketogenic diet and going back to a normal diet for an obese person is tricky as you can develop diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure.
The best diet plan is the one that offers a well-balanced mix of foods from all five food groups along with active physical exercise every day. If you are a health-conscious person who wants to become fitter or lose weight in a healthy way, you can get in touch with a registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com to help you plan a healthy diet plan for weight loss or any other purpose of yours in the healthiest way.
Almost 18 percent of Indian women are affected by a hormonal disorder called polycystic ovarian syndrome. Women affected by PCOS have too much insulin in the body as their body does not use insulin well. This excess insulin increases the production of androgen – a male hormone made in fat cells, ovaries and adrenal glands.
PCOS is hereditary although the exact reason is unknown. Common symptoms include:
Diet and PCOS
Lifestyle modification is the only way to manage PCOS. Research proves that altering eating habits and exercising more are the best lifestyle adaptations to fight against PCOS. A moderate weight loss (5-10 percent of total body weight) can alter everything-normalize menstrual cycles, regulate blood sugar and increase fertility. Changes in eating habits include eating more whole-grain foods, fruits, vegetables, lean meat, low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt to lower blood sugar, improve body’s use of insulin and normalize hormone levels. A registered dietitian nutritionist is the apt person to guide you and alleviate your PCOS symptoms with diet modifications. Get in touch with an RDN at www.firsteatright.com to plan a well-balanced diet plan to suit your hormonal disorder.
Given below is a healthy eating plan for women with PCOS:
Daily exercise definitely lowers the symptoms of PCOS. Start with at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most days of the week. People planning to lose weight must perform additional physical activity. Include strength-training exercises at least two times a week.
Eating nutritious foods and doing exercise are not good enough to live disease-free. You also need to follow hygienic practices to stay healthy. Handwashing is the first and foremost hygiene technique to be followed before preparing food or doing any kind of activity. It is simple, quick, effective and prevents us from becoming victims to germs.
When do you Wash your Hands?
We use our hands often during the day and it is practically impossible to keep them germ-free. But at least, we can try to keep our hands as clean as possible to restrict bacteria prevalence. Take care to wash your hands:
You may find it silly discussing about an everyday practice that each one of us is familiar with. But, do all of us take care and wash our hands perfectly rubbing them between finger joints and taking the pain to use a disinfectant every time? The answer is definitely a ‘no’. So, what does a proper hand wash involve: Wet, lathe, scrub, rinse and dry.
Wet your hands with running water (hot or cold). Lathe your hands with soap after closing the tap. Lathe well on both sides of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails. Scrub these parts for at least 20 seconds (just count from one to twenty). Rinse your hands thoroughly starting from the wrist to the fingertips to prevent germs from reentering your hands. Dry your hands with a towel (paper or cloth) or an air dryer.
Even young children should be taught this five-step hand washing technique. An ideal way to make children wash their hands for 20 seconds is to make them sing the ‘Happy birthday’ song twice. If your kid is unable to reach the wash basin on her/his own, surprise him/her with a colorful stool onto which they can climb over to reach the sink.
Alcohol-based sanitizers, that contain at least 60% alcohol, are the best options when there is no soap and water available right then. All you need to do is take a small quantity of the sanitizer and rub your hands together, spreading the product until your hands are dry.
Insist on Washing Hands Whenever Possible
Promote the advantages of hand washing to your children and ask them to wash their hands several times a day and not just before and after a meal. If your child is using an alcohol-based sanitizer, be sure to stay besides your child to ensure that the sanitizer completely dries before touching anything.
Though a simple habit, you can reap the great reward of preventing illness and protecting health when you follow proper hand washing techniques. If you are further interested in uplifting your nutrition quotient for a healthy life, get in touch with a dietitian/nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.