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.
AVOID FRAUD. EAT SMART.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.