Many young and middle-aged people today are dying of sudden heart attacks. Studies show that cardiovascular diseases (CVD) strike Indians a decade earlier compared to their Western counterparts.
Why is this happening? How can we prevent it? Are we just focused on post-heart attack action? Or should we be focused more on prevention?
Luke Coutinho, Holistic Lifestyle Coach Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine shares an input that could prevent heart attacks at a young age:
Cholesterol is not the culprit, inflammation is: Many people believe that high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides are the sole culprits behind their heart attacks. The main reasons behind most heart attacks are inflammation and oxidative damage in the heart, blood vessels, endothelial lining, arteries, and more. While maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is important, we cannot blame heart attacks on cholesterol levels alone.
What then can you do to keep inflammation in check and your heart strong? Adopt simple lifestyle changes.
Switch From Ordinary Substandard Cooking Oils to Cold-Pressed Oils: Refined oils are highly inflammatory and a threat to your heart. Using refined oils just to save some money isn't a wise idea. Choose the right quality and quantity of oil to boost your heart health. It might cost you a few extra bucks, but remember, your health is not a cost but an investment.
Switch From A Sedentary Lifestyle to An Active One: Even if you don't engage in a full-fledged workout, just stay active. Walking and yoga are the most effective exercises. Choose fun workouts that you enjoy -- dancing, aerobics, Zumba, swimming, whatever it is, but keep that body moving. People who live a sedentary lifestyle are at high risk of heart attacks. Having said that, over-working out with little or no rest or recovery period is equally harmful. So, figure out the adequate level of activity your body needs and stick to it.
Don't Take Matters to Your Heart: Before renting out your heart space and mind space to a person, event or experience, ask yourself if it is worth it. While stress is inevitable, what sets a happy person apart from a stressed person is their capacity to diffuse and navigate stress and see things in a positive light. You can continue attending stress management classes and workshops, and while all of them can help you feel better for some time, the real change happens when you start changing your perspective towards life and how you relate to stress.
Learn to accept and let go. Build your self-worth, create a beautiful inner world, reflect inwards, and allow these teachings to slip into your daily living.
Fix Your Sleep Routine: There is nothing cool about pulling an all-nighter to work or socialize more. Your body only cares about survival. Remember, your sleep is your heart's free drug. The chronic deprivation of it can increase your risk of a heart attack. Your heart is a muscle that needs recovery. Lack of sleep increases your insulin resistance and makes you more prone to type-2 diabetes and a gamut of metabolic conditions. So, adopt a fixed sleeping schedule and sleep deep.
We cannot wait for more misfortunate incidents to realize the importance of lifestyle and start prioritizing it. We must wake up and work towards prevention. Many of us may go through heart disease later in life, no matter how well we exercise or eat clean. So, identify risk factors and work towards tackling them. Even if one of your risk factors is genetic predisposition and there is nothing you can do about it, you can still alter your lifestyle. Our intelligent human body was designed to fix and heal itself. The least we can do is invest in it and help it do its job effectively. Lifestyle can help you bridge this gap.
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Migraine is a debilitating neurological disease, ranking consistently among the top 10 leading causes of years lived with disability, worldwide. The main symptom of migraine is an enduring headache, along with symptoms such as severe pain on one side of the head or throbbing pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea. Despite being a very common headache disorder that affects roughly 15 percent of the adult population worldwide, it remains inadequately understood and most neglected.
In Delhi, approximately 25 per cent of the population suffers from migraines, every year.
While migraine is an invisible condition, it can severely impact individuals across personal, professional and social domains, thus affecting the overall quality of life and productivity. Work-from-home, or the 'new normal,' has drastically impacted the lives of people suffering from migraines from an inability to concentrate at work to missed workdays. It has become even more urgent to ensure that individuals have the understanding and tools to effectively manage migraines.
There is a lack of understanding amongst people about the severity of migraines. In a study we recently conducted, about 50 to 60 per cent of migraineurs were undiagnosed, despite recurrent headaches. Because migraine falls on a spectrum, ranging from infrequent or mild attacks to recurrent ones, many pass it off as merely a headache'. With busy work-from-home schedules, paired with fear of contracting COVID-19 infection and difficulty in accessing in-person care, people are avoiding seeking medical help for the condition, instead attributing symptoms to associated comorbidities, such as stress or depression."
He continued, "Financial worries due to job loss or salary cuts also contribute to aggravated migraine attacks, which is more noticeable recently. The effects of migraine on one's quality of life also reportedly worsened, particularly for many migraineurs working as essential healthcare workers at this time.
Symptom neglect and failure to treat the condition can lead to migraines becoming chronic. A fundamental need is to recognize migraine as a serious condition with severe disability and adopt a holistic treatment approach. Early detection can be a key enabler of a smoother patient journey and an improved quality of life."
Here are 5 ways to manage your migraine while working from home:
Identify Risk Factors and Monitor Triggers
Migraines can begin at any age but tend to peak during one's prime productive years. Moreover, women are three times more likely to be affected than men, with prevalence peaking between the ages of 25 and 55 years.
Long hours of working from home, along with longer screen times, disrupted sleep schedules and irregular eating habits can increase stress levels. For migraineurs, such changes can become migraine triggers, exacerbating their condition. Identifying personal triggers can help individuals manage their migraines better.
Make The Right Choice for Diet and Lifestyle
Working from home can be hard, but a daily routine that optimizes your physical and mental health can help keep your migraine at bay. Eating healthy meals at appropriate times or consuming small, frequent meals throughout the day are associated with less frequent migraine headaches. Taking breaks from work at regular intervals can help you eat right and reduce eye strain owing to excessive screen use. Making modifications to your lifestyle, including smoking cessation and reduced alcohol consumption, and maintaining optimal sleeping habits and exercising regularly can be key to manage migraines. These also benefit migraine prevention and treatment.
Talk to An Expert
It is important to consult a medical specialist when you are experiencing severe headaches that disrupt your daily routine. A lot of migraineurs hesitate to seek medical help. This could be due to several reasons lack of understanding of migraine severity, lack of time due to hectic work-from-home schedules, or recently, due to a reduction in-person clinic consultations owing to the fear of Covid-19 infection. However, consulting a neurologist, even via teleconsultations, is a necessary step to diagnose your condition and understand the available options for acute and chronic management of migraine, including preventive treatment. With evidence-based information on effects across migraine intensity reduction, quality of life and ease of use, neurologists can guide you on the most suitable treatment option to prevent or reduce your migraine episodes.
Track Your Migraines
It is a good idea to maintain a diary (or download a migraine tracker app), to record the time and severity of your migraine attacks, symptoms, daily diet, exercise routines, and medications and side effects. This can help identify triggers and patterns. It can also prompt meaningful conversations with your doctor, contributing to a more holistic treatment plan, personalized to suit your work schedule.
Seek Support From Your Family, Friends or Colleagues
Living with migraines can make one feel helpless, distressed and misunderstood. But talking to your friends and family will help them understand your condition better. Having an open conversation about your migraine with your employer is a good idea, particularly to work out a schedule, with specific routine adjustments to mitigate triggers. This can help you be productive and healthy while working from home. Employers can also take the initiative -- arranging wellness programs for employees to raise awareness about migraines and how to effectively manage them at work and enhance productivity.
Migraine attacks can be challenging. Changes to your daily routine and active communication about your condition with your employer, after consulting a neurologist, can help you better manage migraines as you work from home.
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Nutrition is the cornerstone of good health and development. From September 1-7, National Nutrition Week is being observed to spread awareness about good nutrition diet and healthy lifestyle. The nutrition week is observed to make people understand the importance of a nutrition filled diet so they can maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Apricots are a great supply of vitamins and minerals that are required for a healthy body. Eating apricots as a part of a diet rich in fruits is a great way to prevent cancer, low cholesterol, and heart disease risk. Apricots also enhance vision and improve digestion. Besides, it also aids in weight loss and improves skin health. The dietary fibre in Apricot increases the metabolism which improves the human body's digestion and prevents constipation. Apricot is also a good source of iron making it one of the curing food for anaemia.
It is a shrub from China and areas of Europe. It contains many medicinal compounds and nutrients like vitamins, amino acids and fatty acids which are good for a healthy immune system. The leaves and the berries of sea buckthorn are all used for their medicinal and nutritional qualities. Sea buckthorn is also used as a cosmetic treatment like sunscreen or any other remedy for skin problems. In herbal medicine, sea buckthorn is used to stimulate the digestive system and enhance heart and liver health as well. It is helpful for other health issues like diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, inflammation, and arthritis. According to Aseem Sood, Managing Director, Proveda India, their new nutritional powerhouse 'Sante Sea buckthorn Juice' is useful for all parts of human health.
Giloy has been used in Indian medicine for a very long due to its medicinal properties. Giloy is a powerhouse of antioxidants that attacks free-radical and prevents diseases. It helps in cleansing the blood and ward off liver diseases and urinary tract infections. Consuming Giloy is very beneficial as it improves digestion and treats bowel-related issues like constipation. Giloy is for excellent health and regular consumption of Giloy juice helps to reduce the high level of blood sugar and respiratory problems. It is also beneficial in treating arthritis.
Amla also known as gooseberry is powerful than any other fruit and is considered as one of the superfoods. Vitamin C, one of the nutrients in Amla, is easily absorbed by the body to combat the common cold. Studies have proven that carotene in Amla improves vision and regular consumption leads to improved eye health. One of the most exciting advantages of Amla is that it burns fat. Consuming Amla before a meal makes one feel full and help them eat less. Amla also boosts metabolism that will help in faster weight loss. This superfood also prevents dandruff and strengthen the hair follicles making hair look beautiful.
Ginseng is a light coloured, fork-shaped root herb that boosts energy and controls blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It helps to promote physical and mental activity for those who feel weak and tired most of the time. Some initial studies on cancer patients receiving treatment have shown that ginseng help reduces cancer-related weakness. Due to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, Ginseng reduces inflammation. Ginseng also benefits brain functions like memory or mood swings.
Blueberries are incredibly healthy, nutritious and widely popular and often known as a superfood. Blueberries are low in calories. These berries are among the most nutrient-packed berries containing fibre, Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese along with a small number of other nutrients. The king of antioxidant foods, blueberries protect your body from free radicals preventing early ageing and other diseases like cancer. People with high blood pressure issues can consume blueberries as a part of their daily diet. Alongside, it also prevents heart diseases and helps in maintaining brain functions and also improving memory.
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Lifestyle plays a huge role in your fitness and health. Often a sedentary lifestyle along with unhealthy eating habits contribute to weight gain or other lifestyle diseases. With discipline and patience, you can work on your lifestyle to reach a fitness level you have always desired. Always remember that whatever changes you implement should not be focused on temporary results, but rather on a long and sustainable lifestyle.
A good fitness level is more important than just fat loss. However, you can lose fat by practising these things:
1. Make Your Diet A Lifestyle:
Most people tend to focus on diet as a destination, rather than a journey. Your nutrition should not be a trend or a plan for short-term results, but rather a lifestyle that you can follow effortlessly. Although easier said than done, implementing a positive lifestyle can have tremendous long-term results. Tweaking your food habits and incorporating essential macro and micronutrients can aid your fat-loss journey. A good way to include the right food components in your diet is through a good diet plan which you must follow with discipline. Eat good food every day. It's as simple as that. Don't divert even if you have to eat the same food every day, you can always innovate your dishes with the help of spices and other preparation methods.
2. Workout Regime To Increase Activity:
Even if you can't do a heavy workout every day, it is essential to include some kind of activity in your lifestyle. Find a physical activity that suits you. Some people despise gyms, but love jogging or playing a sport. Some like strength training and lifting weights. Whatever you choose, follow through without any excuses. Your daily physical activity plays a huge role in your metabolism and fitness level. It's not just about burning calories; it's about setting a pattern for your body to undergo positive stress. When you exercise, your body is already doing half the work required for losing weight and becoming fit.
3. Don't Compromise on Your Sleep and Hydration:
People underrate the importance of a good night's sleep. Your body requires sleep to recover, to balance the cortisol hormone level which is responsible for your binge eating. Sleeping is our body's natural way of balancing the stress level and rectifying any errors in its system. Fix a sleeping time and don't change it no matter what. This is one of the most important changes you must incorporate. The other being hydration water is extremely important for your system. Not only does it help in passing the nutrients throughout your system, but it also helps the body detox and shed the pesky water retention habit. You'll be surprised by the number of times your body confuses thirst for hunger, so always drink adequate water. Set a reminder through a phone app, it can be helpful.
(The author Pranit Shilimkar is a Health and Fitness Entrepreneur, Digital Content Creator and Founder of Fitnesstalks)
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How one can lose weight is a hot topic, but a lot of people also face an underweight problem. They try different methods with little or no success. Advice from friends and family members may not be helpful. To gain weight, choosing the right method is difficult.
For thin people, it is very easy to start eating food full of fat to gain weight quickly, but it's an unhealthy and dangerous way. Lakshita Jain, Certified Clinical Dietician, Lecturer, Diabetes Educator, Meat Technologist, and Founder of NUTR shares a complete weight gain meal plan that should consist of whole multi-grains, vegetables, fresh fruits, protein and dairy products.
Body Type: There are three types of bodies, and one is ectomorph. Ectomorph individuals can eat any portions and still find it difficult to gain weight and muscles. No amount of food helps them put on weight. A slight modification can help them.
Calories: Increase calories in your diet. Add 500 plus Calories to your daily meals. From your regular food start adding one more portion. For example, if you eat two chapatis per meal -- eat three and stuff it with high fibrous vegetables like bottle gourd, spinach, potatoes etc. You can also stuff it with paneer or combine chapati with two sabzi, one lentil and curd.
Early morning: Have two spoons of ghee with turmeric and black pepper. Ghee is calorie-rich which helps to increase your daily calories and the combination will help you with digestion, joint pain and improving skin.
Breakfast: Protein based smoothies (Dairy/ nut milk + oats + Nuts and seeds + protein supplement + honey) + 4 whole eggs + 2 Banana Or Stuffed potato chapati (3) + Mix veg sabzi + Mix veg achar + Milk
Brunch: 4-5 servings of fruits + nuts and seeds + 1 Tall glass of buttermilk
Lunch: Any 2 sabzi + Dal + Stuffed chapati (3)
Evening: Grilled paneer/ chicken/ Boiled eggs + Saute veggies + Protein shake
Dinner: Oats Uthappam (3) + Sambhar (2 cups) + Coconut Chutney
1 Hour After Dinner:
Banana Shake: 1 Banana + 2 whole eggs + Full cream milk (Blend)
How to gain weight?
Eat small, frequent meals to help build a healthy appetite. Plan for 3 meals and 2-3 snacks each day.
Quick Snack ideas- Rajma rolls, paneer rolls, soya rolls, Cheese, yoghurt and fruit, peanut butter toast, fruit and nut mixes, hard-boiled eggs, tuna or egg salad
Quick Meal ideas- baked potato topped with chilli, vegetable and rice stir-fry, chicken or taco, quesadilla, Dal soup.
Between Meals and Snacks:
* Save your appetite for planned meals and snacks. Avoid eating little bits of food all day long.
* Drink water between meals and snacks. Beverages fill you up and leave no room for food.
* Limit candy, chips, cake, cookies, and sweetened beverages. These foods provide little nutrition and can ruin your appetite for meals.
* Include physical activity each day. Light exercise improves appetite.
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Our hair goes through a lot during the day. Without any hair care routine your hair can become damaged, tangled and dry, especially if you have hair colour or any other chemical hair treatments. There are numerous overnight hair treatments and hair masks you can prepare in the comfort of your home which magically repair your hair and maintain its health.
Throughout the day, hair gets subjected to pollution, rain, sun and sweat causing some amount of damage. We shy away from using oil and forget to use a heat protector before styling on many occasions. There are many ways to tame and nourish your locks it's worth the investment, time, products and energy, says Sargam Dhawan Bhayana, Director, Tressmart.
"The first step is to identify your hair type and hair concerns. You may buy the best products and be diligent with your day and night time hair care routines, but using the wrong products will most likely damage your hair further instead of doing it any good. If you remove your make-up at night and use products to rejuvenate your skin through the night to wake up to happier, healthier skin in the morning, why aren't you doing the same for your hair?" is what she asks.
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According to Naina Ruhail, Co-founder, Vanity Wagon, dedicating some time to her tresses before hitting the bed is her secret mantra for good hair. "Oiling helps keep the hair follicles nourished, soft and shiny at the same time. The best thing to do for your hair is to massage your scalp with some organic hair oil and leave it overnight. This will give the oil enough time to get absorbed by the roots and repair the hair shaft. Next morning wash your hair with a mild paraben and sulphate free shampoo."
Santosh Kumar, DGM, Kiehl's India suggests ways to help keep your hair healthy and damage-free overnight:
This overnight hair mask works best for dry and damaged hair. Mixing two teaspoons of olive oil, some aloe vera gel and two egg yolks in a bowl, massaging your scalp with this mixture for 10-15 mins, leaving it on overnight by tying it into a loose bun and wearing a shower cap and washing it with a good shampoo in the morning can help nourish your hair and scalp.
Serum it Right
To get your hands on the serum that is just right for you could be challenging but once you do, it's also life changing. And when you do get the correct one, you want to use it efficiently to obtain the best results in terms of solving your biggest hair problems such as frizz, dryness, etc. For gorgeous hair with megawatt shine, it's important to distribute a serum to the part of the hair that needs it the most, the ends. That way, it benefits your hair the most and you could also avoid annoying product build-up near your roots. Serum it right before bed and voila! Just like that, wake up to the most soft and shiny tresses ever.
Best of Braids
The key is to braid it correctly. Many choose twists as they help them achieve a more natural and carefree look. To have amazing beach waves the next day, braid your hair before bed and that will do the trick. Also make sure the braids are not too tight. Stressing your hair is never a good idea. Braiding will also help keep your hair in place so as to avoid too much friction which eventually causes breakage and hair fall.
Did you know silk pillowcases keep your hair hydrated? It also helps with brittle hair. People traditionally use cotton pillow cases as they are unaware of the fact that cotton is more permeable and hence absorbs all the moisture from your hair. But silk is known to do the exact opposite. It keeps the moisture right where it belongs. Hence, sleeping on a silk bed sheet and a silk pillowcase at night is highly recommended.
Old School Massage
If you are looking for a full proof way to grow your hair in a healthy manner, a scalp massage before bed is the way to go. Scalp massages are known to increase hair thickness by stretching the cells of your hair follicles. This encourages the follicles to produce thicker hair in return. It also helps dilate blood vessels beneath the skin thereby encouraging hair growth.
Vitamins are Your Best Friend
Healthy diet helps in keeping the locks luscious, a mix of vitamins and healthy fats is helpful. Like any other body part, our hair also needs the correct amount of nutrients in order to stay healthy. While factors such as age, genetics and hormones also affect hair growth, optimal nutrient intake is key. Vitamin A, C, D, E and B -- vitamins help our hair the most. Therefore 'eating right' all day, and eating food which contains vitamins is a good idea.
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