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Stay Healthy, Stay Fit

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1. Quit Smoking
while a lot of people don’t know this, smoking is directly related to a series of heart problems. Avoiding tobacco might be one of the best steps one can take to protect health and blood vessels. Smoking might be one of the most controllable factors when it comes to the risk of heart diseases. Quitting smoking is the smartest decision for one’s overall health and not just for the heart

2. Pay Attention To the Inches!
Studies all around the world have linked excess belly fat to higher blood pressure and unhealthy blood lipid levels. That puts your heart directly at risk. Hence, if you see yourself carrying extra weight than necessary, now would be an excellent time to apply yourself to a routine to shed it.

3. Don’t shy away from the bedroom
Having sex can be extremely good for the heart. While catering to your conjugal needs and adding pleasure to your life, sex also helps lower stress levels and hence your blood pressure. The oxytocin released as a result of sexual activity keeps you in a better mood too! Lower frequency of sexual activity has been associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

4. Top Up On those Antioxidants
Be on the lookout for antioxidant and fiber rich foods. Beans, Salsa etc are an unexpectedly yummy source of antioxidants. A diet rich in soluble fiber can help lower your level of low-density lipoprotein, or “bad cholesterol.” Oats, barley, apples, pears, and avocados are other rich sources of soluble fiber.

5. Use your hands more
usually putting your hands to work helps your mind unwind. Activities like cooking, puzzles, board games, help stimulate the mind enough engaging other senses while relaxing you. This practice goes a long way in maintaining one’s heart health.

6. Some inexpensive wildly beneficial therapy!
Who would’ve thought, our pets offer more than good company and unconditional love. Owning a pet may help improve your heart and lung function. They also provide other numerous health benefits. Having a pet may also help lower your chances of dying from heart disease.

7. Put on your Dancing Shoes!
No matter the type, dancing makes for a great heart-healthy workout. Like other forms of aerobic exercises, it raises your heart rate and gets your lungs pumping. In addition to dancing, yoga, aerobics or even routine stretching have an immense potential to keep your heart healthy.

8. More Salt? Think Again
Coronary Heart Disease can easily be sidestepped if each individual cuts down on his or her daily salt intake to half a teaspoon. There is a multitude of salt substitutes that are available in the market for anyone with a heart condition.

9. Know Your Cholesterols
Keep in mind the cholesterol that you need to avoid and the good cholesterol that needs to be accommodated in your diet. Consume Wine, in moderation, Fish and Nuts for good cholesterol. Avoid heavy intake of saturated fats.

10. Be Positive
A sunny outlook may be good for your heart, as well as your mood. According to studies, chronic stress, anxiety, and anger can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Maintaining a positive outlook on life may help you stay healthier for longer.

The keto diet is a low-carbohydrate, fat-rich diet that has been gaining popularity not just in the fitness community, but all around the world. This weight loss plan is derived from the Atkins Diet (a commercially successful low carb, high protein diet which started the buzz around Low Carb diets). Today, other low-carb diets including the Paleo, South Beach, and Dukan diets are all high in protein but moderate in fat. On the contrary, the ketogenic diet adopts a different approach towards the content of protein and fats that need to be consumed. The fat content is its exceptionally high, typically 70% to 80%, though with only a moderate intake of protein.

The basis of a Ketogenic diet is to deprive the body of its main source of energy- glucose. In place of it, an alternative fuel is created from the fat stored in the body. This fuel is called Ketones, which is where ‘Keto’ Diet is conferred from. The body requires glucose – derived from starchy/ carb rich foods, in a steady supply. Since it cannot store glucose, this glucose needs to be supplied daily. When that doesn’t happen, the body uses the stored glucose present in the liver. If the condition continues, the insulin levels in the blood declines and fat is automatically substituted as primary fuel.

The liver produces ketone bodies from fat, which can be used in the absence of glucose. In the state of ketosis- a state even healthy people experience during fasting or strenuous exercise, ketone bodies accumulate in the blood. The duration it takes for a person to reach the state or the number of ketones accumulated, all differ individually. however if not done right, one can reach a harmful state called ketoacidosis, which is caused by the formation of dangerously toxic levels of acid produced in the blood by excessive ketone bodies.

While there are different versions of the diet that can be followed, all of them ban carb rich foods. These range from the obvious bread, cereal, pasta, rice to some non-obvious foods like beans, legumes and most fruits. Instead this diet promotes food high in saturated fat like lard, butter, fatty cuts of meat, processed meats as well as unsaturated fats such as nuts, seeds, avocados, plant oils, and oily fish.

Programs suggest following a ketogenic diet until the desired amount of weight is lost. When this is achieved, to prevent weight regain one may follow the diet for a few days a week or a few weeks each month, interchanged with other days allowing a higher carbohydrate intake. The amount of protein in a ketogenic diet is kept moderate in comparison with other low-carb high-protein diets, because eating too much protein can come in the way of ketosis as the amino acids present can also be substituted for glucose. A ketogenic diet specifies enough protein to preserve lean body mass, including muscle, but that will still cause ketosis.

It is important to keep in mind that while there is research present in favor of the effectiveness of this diet, it is only for the short term. It is also known to bring about other positive changes that come with being overweight such as insulin resistance, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol and triglycerides.

However the diet comes not without its drawbacks. One may experience hunger, fatigue, low mood, irritability, constipation, headaches, and brain “fog.”- A cognitive dysfunction involving memory problems. While these conditions may subside, restricting oneself from eating all these readily accessible items on a daily basis may be challenging. Other not-so-good effects of a long-term ketogenic diet have arisen, which include an increased risk of kidney stones and osteoporosis, increased blood levels of uric acid (a risk factor for gout). Other Possible nutrient deficiencies may appear if a variety of recommended foods on the ketogenic diet are excluded. Therefore it is integral to not only concentrate on eating high-fat foods, but also to combine in one’s diet, a variety of the allowed meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds regularly to ensure adequate intakes of fiber, B vitamins, and minerals (iron, magnesium, zinc)—nutrients typically found in foods like whole grains that are restricted from the diet.

Since whole food groups are not included, guidance from a registered dietitian may be helpful in maintaining a ketogenic diet that minimizes nutrient deficiencies.

1. Arrest your slouch
Slouching increases the stress on your spine. That in turn strains your bones muscles and joints required to hold the backbone in place. However the problems that come with a bad posture are more deep rooted than one imagines it to be. A constant hunch pushes your internal organs together, and eventually making it harder for your lungs and intestines to work. This in turn affects digestion and respiration.

2. Stand Up Straight
Standing up tall not only makes you feel better and look better but makes you look slimmer, even, in addition to all its health benefits. A quick tip to check your posture is to stand against a wall briefly to revisit the right spinal alignment. Your ears should be over the middle of your shoulders with your shoulders back, knees straight, and belly tucked in. Elongating the head towards the sky also pulls the body to its optimum resting posture.

3. Beware of the Comfort of a Desk
It’s natural to give into a slouched posture especially when seated, with your shoulders curving inwards towards the screen you’re facing. Sometimes it’s even comfortable to lean back. Try this instead: Sit all the way back in your chair. Place a small, rolled-up towel or lumbar cushion behind your mid-back to protect your spine’s natural curve. Placing your feet flat on the floor, knees at a ninety degree angle can do wonders.

4. Watch Out For ‘Text Neck’
On your smartphone all day long? Take a minute to stretch your neck. When you tilt your head down to check messages it really strains your spine. Over the course of a day — or year — that can add up. For a better view, lift the phone up and move your eyes, not your head.

5. Don’t Be a Low-Rider
Sure, it’s cool and comfy to recline during a long drive. But it isn’t great for your posture. Instead, pull your seat close to the steering wheel. Try not to lock your legs. Bend your knees slightly. They should be at hip level or a tad above. Don’t forget to put a pillow or rolled-up towel behind you for support.

6. Save Heels for a Big Night Out
Fashion over comfort? Maybe. Fashion over health? Never. Pumps and stilettos shift pressure right onto the base of your spine by over-arching your back. That can change the way your backbone lines up and put pressure on your nerves, which causes back pain. Sky-high shoes also puts more weight on your knees. Choose a lower, chunky heel for daily wear.

7. Are you sleeping right?
A soft mattress is really detrimental to a good posture. A firm one that retains the spine’s natural shape. Side sleeper? No problem. Keep a check on how inward your knees are bent. A pillow is not extremely necessary for a good snooze but if preferred, place a pillow under your head so it’s level with your spine. Back sleepers should ditch the thick pillow and opt for a small one under the neck.

8. Abs attention
Too many pounds around your belly puts added stress on your back. Often people with back problems are the ones suffering from mild to severe obesity. It is important to pay attention to the abdomen region to keep these back problems at bay.

Coffee has become an inseparable part of our lives. But is it a wise decision?
A growing body of research shows that coffee drinkers, compared to nondrinkers, are less prone to certain cancers, heart problems, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s Disease and Dementia.
While there’s a widespread belief in its health benefits, coffee isn’t proven to prevent those conditions. There isn’t solid proof for the benefits of regular caffeine intake, hence researchers don’t advise on whether to have it at all or not, but they do take an interest in individual coffee habits and the consequent effects such as a better diet and mental capacity or sleep problems. There are cases of both potential health perks and a few cautions.

1. Improves energy levels and making one smarter and more alert

Coffee can help people feel less tired and increase energy levels. The psychoactive stimulant called caffeine once absorbed into your bloodstream, travels to your brain. There it blocks the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine. This results in an increase in the amount of other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine, leading to enhanced firing of neurons. This directly leads to improved brain functioning, which manifests itself in memory, mood, vigilance, energy levels, reflexes and general thinking and multitasking capacity. Caffeine blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in your brain, which causes a stimulant effect. This improves energy levels, moods, and various aspects of brain function.

2. Increased Fat Metabolism

In almost every form caffeine acts as an excellent fat burning supplement. It’s probably one of the few natural substances that can boost one’s metabolism rate by 3-11%.

3. Boosts Physical Ability

While it is mentally stimulating, caffeine also spikes the adrenaline levels (epinephrine) in the blood. This fight or flight hormone prepares the body for physical exertion.
As previously mentioned, the coffee aids the breakdown of body fat allowing fatty acids to be treated as fuel. This instantly results in an improved physical performance, almost by 15-20%. A lot of people prefer having a cup of strong coffee before a workout.

4. Provides Other Nutrients

Coffee Beans while being rich in caffeine also contain essential nutrients like Manganese, Magnesium, Pantothenic Acid, Niacin, Potassium, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B5 in small percentages of the Reference Daily Intake. Having multiple cups of coffee allows the amounts to add up significantly.

5. Reduced Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
A massive health problem, Type 2 Diabetes is currently affecting millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by elevated blood sugar levels caused by insulin resistance or a reduced ability to secrete insulin. Coffee drinkers are proven to have a significantly lesser chance of suffering from type 2 diabetes. Studies observe that people who drink the most coffee have a 23–50% lower risk of getting this disease.

6. Protection from Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia
Alzheimer’s is a disease common amongst people over 65. A neurodegenerative disease, it is the leading cause of dementia worldwide and a cure is yet to be found. In addition to eating healthy and exercising, there are several steps that can be taken to prevent the onset of disease. Drinking coffee has known to be incredibly effective, almost upto 65% in preventing the disease.

7. Reduced Risk of Parkinson’s
The condition of the death of dopamine generating neurons in the brain is known as Parkinson’s disease, the second most common neurodegenerative condition, right behind Alzheimer’s. Much like Alzheimer’s, there is no known cure, which makes precaution even more important. Drinking coffee allows a risk reduction range from 32–60%In this case. The benefit is actually attributed to caffeine itself and this risk prevention does not apply to decaffeinated drinks.

8. Liver Protection
An amazing organ that carries out hundreds of important functions, the liver is prone to several diseases including hepatitis, fatty liver disease, and many others. Almost all of these diseases lead to a condition where the liver is largely replaced by scar tissue- it’s known as Cirrhosis. Interestingly, coffee may protect against cirrhosis — people who drink 4 or more cups a day have up to a considerably lower risk.

9. Mood Elevation
Depression is a serious mental disorder that causes a significantly reduced quality of life. Four or more cups of coffee a day reduces the tendency for depression by almost 12%. This in turn arrests suicide rates and also delinquent behaviour.

10. May Lower Risk of Certain Types of Cancer And Heart Conditions
Uncontrolled cell growth in your body which is commonly known as cancer, is the biggest cause of deaths in our country. Coffee appears to be effective in cases of two types of cancer: liver and colorectal cancer. Liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in the world, while colorectal cancer ranks fourth.Studies show that coffee drinkers have up to a 40% lower risk of liver cancer including a lowered risk of suffering a heart stroke.

11. May Help You Live Longer
Given that coffee drinkers are less likely to get many diseases, it makes sense that it could increase longevity. Several studies show that coffee drinkers live longer and have a lower risk of premature death.

12. An indispensable source of antioxidants
For people who eat a standard Western diet, coffee may be one of the healthiest components. That’s because coffee is quite high in antioxidants. Studies show that many people get a higher amount of antioxidants from coffee than from fruits and vegetables combined. Coffee might just be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.

In conclusion
Coffee is a highly popular beverage around the globe that boasts of a number of impressive health benefits. Right from an energy booster, to helping burn fat and improving physical performance, it also lowers the risk of several conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, alzheimer’s and parkinson’s disease. In fact, coffee may even boost longevity. If you enjoy its taste and tolerate its caffeine content, don’t hesitate to pour yourself a cup or more throughout the day.

Postoperative care is what should be observed after any surgery. While different types of surgeries call for different procedures, it often includes pain management and wound care. This begins immediately after surgery. Post- op spans the duration of ones stay at the hospital and may continue post discharge. The health specialist ideally informs the patient of the precautions and steps that need to be taken with regard to one’s unique situation. Before you have surgery, ask your doctor what the postoperative care will involve. This will give you time to prepared beforehand.

While many hospitals provide written discharge instructions, it’s always wise to be informed pre and post-surgery regarding the way forward.
Here are some standard questions to help you out:
● How long will I be expected to remain in the hospital?
● Will I need any special supplies or medications when I go home?
● Will I need a caregiver or physical therapist when I go home?
● What side effects can I expect?
● What complications should I watch out for?
● What things should I do or avoid to support my recovery?
● When can I resume normal activity?

This exchange will inform you of all the preparations you need to do ahead of time in addition to arranging for a caregiver. This will also prepare you for any complications that may arise and help you prevent them.
Surgeries often expose patients to the risk of infection, bleeding at the surgical site, and blood clots caused by inactivity. Try to stay in the loop about all the changes that are happening in your body as a result of surgery, including what to expect and what to report.

Postoperative care in the hospital
Post Surgery, you’ll find yourself in the recovery room. If you’ve had a general surgery, you will have been placed under general Anesthesia. It can cause an allergic reaction in some people but that is uncommon. Waking up feeling groggy, or even nauseated is normal. Your vitals will be periodically monitored and you will be closely observed for development of any allergic reaction. In addition to this, lung function through breathing will be checked. This will be done till you’re stable, post which you’ll be moved to a hospital room.

Outpatient surgery
Outpatient surgery is commonly known as same-day surgery. Unless you show signs of postoperative problems, you’ll be discharged on the same day as your procedure. You won’t need to stay overnight. However before you’re granted discharge you’ll have to demonstrate ability to breathe, drink, and urinate normally. Because of the anesthesia, you will not be allowed to drive immediately. Therefore, do make sure you take care of your transport beforehand.

Inpatient surgery
In cases where a continued post operative care is required, you’ll need to stay in the hospital overnight or longer. In some cases, patients of outpatient surgery are retained for longer if they show any complications or the doctors feel you must be kept under observation.

After being moved out of the recovery room, you are likely to have an intravenous (IV) catheter in your arm, a finger device that measures oxygen levels in your blood, and a dressing on your surgical site. Depending on the type of surgery you had, you may also have a breathing apparatus, a heartbeat monitor, and a tube in your mouth, nose, or bladder.
Your vitals will still be checked including your response to the administered medicines. You will receive pain relievers in addition to these medicines through your IV, by injection, or orally. You may be asked to get up and walk around, with or without assistance. This helps with curbing blood clots and strengthening the muscles. To prevent respiratory complications you’ll be made to breathe heavily or forcefully cough. The time and date of discharge will be finalised by the doctor.

Postoperative care at home
It’s imperative to follow the doctor’s instructions after leaving the hospital. Take the prescribed medications, watch out for potential complications, and keep your follow-up appointments.

Follow rest instructions carefully. Avoid exerting yourself, on the other hand, don’t neglect physical activity. Resume your routine work as advised. It’s best to however, do it gradually.

In some cases, you’ll have an assigned caregiver to tend to your wounds, prepare food, keep you clean, and support you while you move around. If you don’t have a family member or friend who can help, caregiving services are easily available.

Keep in mind that you can always contact your doctor if you develop a fever, increased pain, or bleeding at the surgical site.

Bottomline
Appropriate follow-up care can help reduce your risk of complications after surgery and support your recovery process. With a little planning and proactive care, you can help make your recovery as smooth as possible.

Contrary to what a fast paced lifestyle has led us to believe, a good night’s sleep isn’t a luxury only few can afford. Here are some simple tips for a better sleep.
There are multiple factors that can interfere with a good night’s sleep— from family matters, work responsibilities to unexpected challenges, such as illnesses and other stressors, quality sleep is sometimes elusive.
While factors that interfere with your sleep can’t always be controlled, you can adopt habits that encourage better sleep. Start with these simple tips.

1. Follow a Night Routine

A sleep schedule goes a long way. The recommended amount of sleep for a healthy adult is at least seven hours. Most people don’t need more than eight hours in bed to achieve this goal. So, set aside eight hours in a day to sleep.
If you find difficulty in sleeping, and are unable to do so in the first twenty minutes, leave your bed and indulge in doing something relaxing, till you’re tired. In a more regular scope, you must try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Limit the difference in your sleep schedule on weeknights and weekends to no more than one hour. Being consistent reinforces your body’s sleep-wake cycle.

2. Monitor your intake of food

Eating late keeps the digestive system busy and interferes with one’s sleep. Make sure you’re adequately hydrated before you call it a day. In addition, avoid having big meals right before bedtime. Feeling stuffed/ discomforted would only make it harder for you to fall asleep.
Nicotine, caffeine and alcohol should be paid attention to, too. The mental stimulation from nicotine and caffeine takes hours to wear off and can wreak havoc on quality sleep. And even though alcohol might make you feel sleepy, it can disrupt your sleep cycle later at night.

3. Create a Corner

The space that you sleep in should be made ideal for sleeping. A perfect space would be cool, dark and quiet. Light Exposure usually makes it more challenging to fall asleep. As an extension to keeping the room dark it would be a huge plus to make it a screen free space. Light emitting screens keep you mentally active for a longer time therefore delaying much needed rest.
Doing calming activities before bedtime, such as taking a bath or using relaxation techniques, might promote better sleep.

4. Take daytime naps only as required

Understand your body clock. Cater to its needs once you learn to pick up on the signals your body gives out. Once on a schedule, daytime naps are only required to recharge and make you feel refreshed. Longer naps, however, make you feel lethargic and can interfere with nighttime sleep.
If you work nights, however, you might need to nap late in the day before work, to help make up your sleep debt.

5. Exercise

Routine physical activity is much needed in all aspects of life. It greatly helps with securing a good night’s sleep. Morning walks or an evening stroll goes a long way in helping you sleep.
Spending time outside every day might be helpful, too.

6. Stress Management

Write down what’s on your mind and remember to attend to it the next morning. Having a more organized outlook with regards to tackling worries is instrumental in keeping the mind at ease.
Start with the basics, such as getting organized, setting priorities, and delegating tasks. Meditation can also ease anxiety.

7. Seek Help When Required.

Nearly everyone has an occasional sleepless night — but if you often have trouble sleeping, contact your doctor. Identifying and treating any underlying causes can help you get the sleep you deserve.