Poor lifestyle and dietary choices are two of the primary causes of coronary heart disease. While Covid-19 has impacted healthcare delivery across all specialities, cardiologists and heart surgeons have been cautioning regarding the virus' impact on a person's heart health, with or without surgery.
According to Sanjeeb Roy, senior intervention cardiologist, Jaipur, cases of poor heart health are increasing rapidly in the country. If the patient sees symptoms like shortness of breath, chest pain, fatigue, then the patient is at a risk of a cardiac arrest or heart attack, if there is a severe blockage in the arteries, it is treated by angioplasty or bypass surgery.
An angioplasty is an interventional procedure in which a stent is implanted in the patient without surgery. But sometimes even after having a stent implant, the patient may have to face some complications. According to one study, after implanting a normal metallic frame stent, there is a 15 to 30 per cent chance of it coming back. Apart from this, the patient has to take blood-thinning medicines for life, which also affects their quality of life.
However, to reduce all these complications, new technology like implanted stents will dissolve in the artery after two to three years. Biodegradable scaffold stent technology is very effective in reducing complications after angioplasty. This stent will dissolve in the artery two to three years after it is implanted and the patient's artery will return to its natural position, says the doctor.
"The biggest advantage of this to the patient is that there is no problem of affecting the functionality of the artery due to the placement of the stent. On the other hand, if there is a blockage back in his artery, then he can have angioplasty again. The biodegradable scaffold stent is a technology that does not use a metallic frame. This stent is made of polymers that will automatically dissolve in the body after two to three years of implantation."
"Advantages of biodegradable scaffold stents are: After the stent has dissolved, the patient will not need to take blood thinners for a long time; If there is a need to do angioplasty back in the same artery in the future, then there are no problems related to having stents already; Due to metallic stent implant, there will be no problems in tests like MRI, CT scan in this stent; The patient will feel psychological relief that there is no implant in his body," says Sanjeeb Roy, while mentioning a new technology.
Here's what to keep in mind for good heart health post angioplasty:
Avoid driving for a few weeks, and even riding in the car for long distances. As your body needs time to recuperate, make sure you're using pillows to prop yourself up and are supporting the delicate parts of your chest post-surgery.
Do not be in a rush to head back to an intense, high-stress life. Make sure your day has periods of activity interspersed with adequate periods of rest. Make sure you are working in an environment that can allow you to lie down if need be.
Shortness of breath may be experienced for a few days. Avoid exerting exercises and climbing stairs, and if this continues, speak to a family member and your doctor or surgeon.
It is likely that your doctor has recommended a change of diet for your post-surgery days. Make sure you follow it religiously and include greens and fruits as much as possible. This will aid recovery. Strictly avoid smoking and alcohol intake.
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Yoga can help you manage stress, and the best part is it does not take a lot of time. You don't have to spend hours on the mat or invest years in learning complicated postures. Instead, by simply taking out a few minutes every day, you can reduce your stress levels and improve your quality of life. A key component of yoga is that it empowers you to manifest these changes in your breath.
By changing the speed, pace, and quality of your breath, you can calm down your nervous system, thereby moving your body from a state of stress to one of relaxation. Namita Piparaiya, Yoga and Ayurveda Lifestyle Specialist, Founder -- Yoganama, shares three simple techniques that can help you:
1. Start with the Palming Technique
Palming is very useful for eye fatigue and stress from looking at a screen for long hours. Rub your palms together to find some heat, and then gently cup your eyes, creating a hollow dark space around them. Relax your forehead, eyes, and neck as you hold this for a few breaths.
You can follow this up with a gentle head massage, particularly focusing on the eyebrows, temples, and forehead. Then bring your hands in front of you as you open your eyes with a few gentle blinks looking directly at your palms. If you're doing this outdoors, you can also look far into the distance. Taking a few moments to look outside, preferably at some greenery or standing by the window and looking outside in natural light, is also very helpful.
2. Do Some Deep Breathing
When you are emotional, stressed, or physically tired, your breath becomes shallow and loses its rhythm. The good thing is that this is a two-way street. By consciously relaxing your breath and bringing it to an even pace or rhythm, you can reduce your stress levels. This is important because we spend a lot of our modern-day life in a stressed and hyper state, making it even more necessary to make time for activities that counter stress. Deep belly breathing or Diaphragmatic is just the technique you need as you can do it anytime you're on an empty stomach. Just remember not to become overly conscious of the breath and start forcing it to breathe deeply. By paying attention to the breath, you will naturally slow it down. Immerse yourself in the beautiful experience for 3 minutes, three times a day.
3. Practice Stillness
After some deep breathing, the mind naturally comes into a calmer state, and that's a great time to practice meditation. You can do this by choosing an object of meditation; it could be a deity, a symbol, an affirmation, a mantra, a chant, or even your breath. And try to spend at least 3 minutes observing the nature of your object, introspecting on its meaning, or simply trying to maintain your attention on it. For example, if you've chosen the breath as your object of meditation, try to take five slow breaths without getting distracted. If you do get distracted, which is very normal, start again at one and repeat till you've taken those five breaths with your attention intact.
In this way, you can integrate yoga into your everyday life. These techniques are simple, don't require any equipment, and can be done anywhere. But they are immensely powerful, and you will start to see the difference within a couple of weeks of practice.
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Yoga provides one with various physical, mental health and well-being benefits; it requires a tiny investment in equipment compared to other forms of exercise.
A yoga mat is one of the most versatile essentials you need to have, especially in these challenging times where the predictability of gyms opening or closing is incalculable. Practicing on a yoga mat allows one to properly perform different poses while remaining safe and free from unnecessary stresses such as slipping or experiencing pain from uncomfortable body support.
Whether you are a hardcore yogic or someone about to embark on your fitness journey, a Yoga Mat will help you elevate your performance and keeps pains and aches at bay.
Pallav Bihani, Founder Of Boldfit, shares some tips on how to select the best Yoga Mat for home workouts:
There are several yoga mats in the market with varying thicknesses. You need to factor in comfort, portability, and safety before you narrow down on few products. If you love the extra cushioning or are purchasing for senior citizens, opt for mats with 10-12 mm thickness. While if you are someone who loves to connect with the ground while you move from one asana to another, then a yoga mat with a standard thickness of 6mm is the ideal fit for you. Opting for anything below the 10-6 mm thickness range won't provide you with the benefits of stability, comfort, and cushioning that you are factoring in.
Size is one of the most important factors when looking out for a yoga mat. 6 feet by 2 feet is the standard size in the market, which is more than enough to perform all the asanas and exercises. If you are tall or big stature-wise, you should opt for a larger mat. Consider how much room and portability is also required before fixing the size of the yoga mat. Portability is a crucial aspect of purchasing a yoga mat; buying a large yoga mat that you can't carry around easily defeats the purpose. On the flip side, purchasing a small one will have your limbs touching the ground.
The texture of the yoga mat is quite essential for proper movements. The yoga mat's surface provides traction and prevents slipping; everyone has different preferences: some like their mats with manufactured texture, while some prefer a smooth cushioned mat.
This might be a surprising one, but people who perform Yoga regularly know the importance of stickiness in a mat. A sticky yoga mat will keep you from sliding all over the place and help you maintain your alignment as you move from one pose to another, as well as when you hold asanas. Make sure you purchase a mat that provides just the right amount of stickiness for you.
Last but not least, factor in the material when planning to purchase a yoga mat for your home workouts. Most budget yoga mats under Rs 600 are made of recycled plastic such as EVA or PVC, leaving a nasty odour and can cause skin allergies. Although these are yoga mats, they are not optimized for performance to perform an asana that may require your mat to hold your grip during the movement.
If performance is one of your concerning parameters, then TPE material is the perfect match for you. TPE yoga mats provide you the confidence and quality to perform your exercise while lasting for years without degrading in nature. This is the ideal investment you can make in your fitness.
If late, there are advancements and innovations around rubber as well as cork yoga mats, these are pricey, and they lack performance. Though they are a boon for the environment, these mats don't provide the bang of your buck.
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A workout doesn't mean spending hours in a gym or sweating on a treadmill. The foundation of working out should be laid at a young age. Delhi-based fitness and sports nutritionist Hasti Singh shares top five reasons to include workout in a child's daily routine.
* Stronger muscles and bones
* Fit and lean posture
* Lower risk of becoming obese
* Lower chance of attracting diseases
* Controlled B.P and cholesterol
Singh says, to start with, parents can ask their child to do yoga or meditation for at least 1 hour daily. The trick is that parents should also do with them as then they will try to imitate and will enjoy doing the exercise.
Kids can also do aerobics as it strengthens the heart and helps in circulating oxygen to the cells. Aerobics can be done at home and parents can also participate in these exercises like playing basketball, swimming, jogging, running, cycling.
Singh points out: "When I say workout, don't confuse it with weight-lifting. Kids could do push-ups, crunches with stomachs, stretching, and other exercises to give a shape to their physique and gain strength. These exercises don't include much hard work and are also good from the kids' perspective. By doing push-ups, the child would learn to tackle weight and it will improve his shoulder and arm connection."
Rope Skipping is another good workout activity that you can introduce to your child. Skipping strengthens hand and leg muscles.
Kids can also join any dance classes which is an ultimate form of exercise. It helps in the complete movement of a kid's body and hence gives a complete opportunity to work out.
Exercise not only improves a child's abilities but will also help him/her to gain concentration. Kids nowadays spend a lot of time taking online classes and hence expose themselves to uncalled problems like strain, headache, and health issues.
Taking out time and doing workouts daily can save your child from these issues. Also, a regular workout helps in better sleep and makes your child energetic.
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Yoga is often mistaken as an 'exercise' that only caters to the body. But the most important thing we forget, is that the central dogma of yoga is breath. Life is breath.
"We breathe in oxygen and release carbon dioxide, it's simple biology," is what some said. But breathing is a very powerful way to control the mind.
Here's an example, if you breathe slowly and deliberately, you begin to feel sleepy. Your heart rate normalizes and you feel calmer. But when you are stressed, your breath quickens, it increases blood pressure. It increases heart rate and so on. If we flip the situation here and breathe easy while stressed, we're training our body to react calmly to situations of stress! I'd say breathing is not just inhaling and exhaling, it's actually a complex combination of intricate internal processes that lead to life!
Here are five things you can practice for better breath control and easier breathing. (Inputs are from Sarvesh Shashi, Founder, SARVA, yoga-based wellness platform.)
The first pose is Bhujangasana or the Cobra pose. Designed to open the chest muscles, the Bhujangasana is a beginner-friendly pose that not only provides relief in asthmatic conditions but also allows one to calm the mind and promotes an overall feeling of happiness.
The second pose is the Ardha Matsyendrasana or the half-fish pose. Designed to be a great twist for the upper body, this induces deeper breathing than usual and enhances the muscles of the Lungs to perform better. It also aids in better circulation to the body and provides relief in times of stress.
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The third pose is the toughest. No, it's not an elaborate twisting and balancing exercise, it's Shavasana. We carry tension around our bodies for several days/weeks and some of us even years! This can really affect our breathing patterns. Shavasana helps regulate these in a resting pose. Clearing your mind of the chaos and the body of all the tension is a challenging task for us, who live every single conscious moment thinking or doing something!
The last two are breathing techniques that one must practice to breathe better. Not just this, there are a host of other benefits that are attached to these.
The concept of pranayama is often mistaken for deep breathing. The difference is, In pranayama, the movements are so slow that there is adequate time for every part of the lung to absorb oxygen. Breath retention is a powerful way to energize the body.
Anulom vilom is a specific type of controlled breathing (pranayama). It involves holding one nostril closed while inhaling, then holding the other nostril closed while exhaling. The process is then reversed and repeated. Alternate nostril breathing is said to have many physical and psychological benefits, including stress reduction and improved breathing and circulation.
And lastly, Bhramari Pranayama. Bhramari word is made from the Hindi word "Bhramar" which means Bumble Bee. Brahmari (Bee Breath) is a very effective pranayama for calming the mind. The activity of this respiratory exercise helps to induce a calming impact on the mind rapidly. Brahmari Pranayama edges in reducing high vital signs, fatigue, and mental stress. This Pranayama is one of the great breathing exercises to release the mind of disquiet, anxiety, or frustration and get rid of anger.
There is research that corroborates the fact that Yoga is very beneficial for breathing. While the universe of Yoga is endless. It speaks of asanas, pranayamas, mudras, meditation techniques that have several benefits from their practice, the above are suitable for beginners to start their journey to yoga. We must remember that breath is life and life is breath.
SARVA's latest campaign #StarttohKaro is a call to action for people to start on their physical and mental health journeys with any style of activity that suits and excites them.
Consistent daily exercise, breathing techniques to boost immunity and good nutrition can do the trick, just like it did for me during the time I suffered from Covid. June is celebrated as International Day of Yoga Month, as it lauds a practice that ensures holistic well-being. We want people to start their tryst with good health and utilize our platform towards helping communities thrive and work towards feeling healthy, physically and mentally.
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Starting a fitness routine is a tough and overwhelming choice. Especially if you are a beginner and can barely differentiate between a bench press and a cross trainer, let alone know what goals you can achieve with either. Staying motivated to work out may very well be hard, but not impossible. A personal trainer may be able to help you on this journey, yet the motivation comes from no one but yourself.
If you want to see the change in your body and are ready to make serious changes to your lifestyle while stuck at home again, Niraj Puran Rao, fitness icon and the Indian candidate on the iconic business reality show the Apprentice e ONE Championship edition, shares some cardinal rules to help your fitness expedition take off today.
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You need to understand that this is a process that will require full commitment at your end. You need to be absolutely ready for taking on this challenge since fitness is all about finding the perfect balance. It will get difficult to reach your desired goals with a lack of self-commitment.
Set A Clear Goal
The first step before getting into a fitness routine is to understand what your aim is. Whether it is to lose weight, improve cardiovascular health, build flexibility or build muscle power. Determining what you want will lead you to taking up a fitness routine in alignment with your goal.
While your body is very capable of change, it is impossible to expect that you will be able to do 3 repetitions with heavy weights on the very first day that you begin your fitness journey. You could try a class that will help you find the best exercise routine based on your fitness goals. It may not necessarily be working out in the gym but could also be Pilates, yoga or even Zumba.
Keep It Going
The process of fitness can be tiresome and may even make you give up. That is when you need to spring up and get back into the routine. You need not do the same exercise every day, instead could try brisk walking or doing 5-10 Suryanamaskars to keep the momentum going.
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Find A Friend
A workout buddy who has similar fitness goals like yours can be of great support in this journey. They can be your cheerleaders when you feel low and demotivated, and you can also hold each other accountable to your fitness goals. After all, who doesn't like a partner- in-fitness.
Now that you have started on your fitness journey and have gotten the motivation to exercise, it's time to watch what you eat. Without the right kind of food, your fitness routine will go for a toss. Healthy food and plenty of water is the fuel that your body needs. It is essential to consume carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats in equal amounts.
Be Kind To Yourself
This project you have taken up is just for yourself. It is important to celebrate the small wins like increase in the number of sets you do or the number of miles you ran and treat yourself. You could even buy those cool athleisure outfits that you were eyeing to sustain the excitement and make it a fun experience. You must reward yourself for all that hard work that you put in.
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