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.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.