Did you know that over 40-year-olds might lose up to 8 per cent of their muscle mass every decade? After the age of 70, the pace of decrease may double.
Sarcopenia, or advanced muscle loss, affects roughly one-third of persons over the age of 50. Muscles are crucial for organ function, skin health, immunity and metabolism, as well as for common physical acts like picking things up, reaching for something, opening a jar or getting out of a chair. To put it another way, keeping muscle mass as you become older is critical to living a happy and healthy life.
"Muscle loss is an ageing factor that is rarely discussed, and people accept its signs, such as a loss of strength and energy, as a natural part of ageing," says Ganesh Kadhe, Associate Director Medical and Scientific Affairs at Abbott Nutrition.
"However, muscle fitness can often predict how we will age and remain active and independent."
The good news is that you may assist, prevent or delay muscle loss by taking the appropriate precautions. While muscle loss is unavoidable as we age, it does not have to be.
To stay strong as you age, start following the tips below to fuel and keep muscles fit for years to come!
1. Engage in regular exercise, including resistance training, to maintain muscles and strength.
2. Eat good source of protein from lean meats, eggs and beans; aim for 25-30 grams of protein at every meal.
3. Choose a balanced diet full of veggies, fruits, whole grains, proteins, healthy fats and key vitamins and minerals like calcium and vitamin D.
4. Consider taking other muscle health ingredients, like HMB.
5. Talk to your healthcare provider about nutrition, especially if you are ill, hospitalised or recovering from surgery, to manage illness-related muscle loss.
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Heartfulness meditation, a simple heart-based meditation practice aimed at attaining a balanced state of mind, helps in reducing stress and improving the quality of sleep, revealed a study.
The mixed-method study was conducted by US researchers during the Covid-19 pandemic and was published recently in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, said Heartfulness Institute, which has its global headquarters in Hyderabad.
Heartfulness meditation was associated with significant reduction in perceived stress and improvement in the quality of sleep of participants who completed the online-based meditation programme.
Kamlesh Patel, also known as Daaji, the guide of Heartfulness meditation, underlines the need to immediately address stress in one's life.
"The simple focus of life is to become better and better each day. To achieve this we need to be in a state of complete awareness about our self and raise our consciousness in tune with our true nature. Stress is the modern day ill created by our inability to focus on things that matter. Stress and its negative impact on our overall wellbeing has slowly but steadily taken control of every individual," he said.
"While we know Covid-19 as the pandemic, the build-up of stress and its ill impacts is the bigger pandemic and equally a bigger health crisis. Stress needs our urgent attention as well and in consistent practice of meditation we have the most effective vaccination to ward off stress and is the visa for living your life in joy," he added.
The study was conducted by Dr Kunal Desai, Dr Priti Parikh and Dr Alpa Desai of the Department of Internal Medicine, Boonshoft School of Medicine at Wright University, Ohio, and Prof Dr Pratibha Gupta, Food Nutrition and Health Agricultural Research Development Programme, Central State University, Ohio.
Stress and lack of quality sleep are considered serious public health challenges despite modern lifestyles, comforts, and technological advances. The Covid-19 pandemic has genuinely brought attention to this pre-existing stress problem by making it significantly worse.
The study aimed to investigate whether using a virtual heart-based meditation program is associated with improved stress levels and quality of sleep. The researchers enrolled 63 participants to receive an eight-week virtually conducted Heartfulness meditation program. Of these, 36 (57 per cent) completed the entire eight weeks of the Heartfulness meditation programme.
The participants were recommended to attend a minimum of two out of a total of eight virtual trainer-guided group Heartfulness relaxation and meditation sessions each week. These sessions, conducted by one of the authors and a Heartfulness trainer (KD), included 5-7 min of relaxation followed by 20 min of meditation.
They were also provided instructions on using the phone application called 'HeartsApp' on their phones. They could connect as an anonymous seeker with a Heartfulness trainer through the application and meditate without any audiovisual interaction. They were also suggested self-practices to the best of their abilities.
"Our study showed that following Heartfulness meditation practice, PSS and PSQI improved significantly in the participants from different parts of the United States. About 31 per cent were healthcare professionals, and the entire programme was conducted virtually. Based on these observations, we propose that meditation programmes offered via virtual platforms can offer a convenient, helpful, and easily accessible tool to a large community at once to help improve the psychological wellbeing of individuals," said Dr Kunal Desai, who led the study.
"The results of qualitative analysis in our study bring a unique perspective to this aspect as we were able to show that the participants' subjective experiences strongly supported the results of the survey findings. Thus, these results enhance our understanding of how Heartfulness meditation practice helps reduce stress and improve the quality of sleep. Our qualitative analysis suggests these effects could be because a simple heart-based meditation brought a 'calming effect' in our participants, resulting in an 'inner peace'. Such an effect also resulted in inner changes in our participants, including positive thinking, accepting and empathic attitude, and an increase in awareness of one's own emotions and the needs of others."
This study adds to the existing literature supporting the benefits of Heartfulness practice, as reported by some previous studies showing the benefit of Heartfulness relaxation and meditation to reduce stress, burnout, loneliness, and improve the quality of sleep.
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US researchers have discovered a gene that may help explain why some people who lead enriching lives are less prone to Alzheimer's and age-related dementia.
Many people develop Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia as they get older. However, others remain sharp well into old age, even if their brains show underlying signs of neurodegeneration. Among these cognitively resilient people, researchers have identified education level and amount of time spent on intellectually stimulating activities as factors that help prevent dementia.
The study, led by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, showed that this kind of enrichment appears to activate a gene family called MEF2, which controls a genetic programme in the brain that promotes resistance to cognitive decline.
The researchers observed this link between MEF2 and cognitive resilience in both humans and mice. The findings suggest that enhancing the activity of MEF2 or its targets might protect against age-related dementia.
"It's increasingly understood that there are resilience factors that can protect the function of the brain," said Li-Huei Tsai, Director of MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory.
"Understanding this resilience mechanism could be helpful when we think about therapeutic interventions or prevention of cognitive decline and neurodegeneration-associated dementia," Tsai added. The study appears in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
The MIT team set out to try to figure how the environmental factors, such as education level, type of job, number of languages spoken, affect the brain at the neuronal level. They looked at human datasets and mouse models in parallel, and both tracks converged on MEF2 as a critical player.
In two human datasets comprising slightly more than 1,000 people all together, the MIT team found that cognitive resilience was highly correlated with expression of MEF2 and many of the genes that it regulates.
To study cognitive resilience in mice, the researchers compared mice who were raised in cages with no toys, and mice placed in a more stimulating environment with a running wheel and toys that were swapped out every few days.
As they found in the human study, MEF2 was more active in the brains of the mice exposed to the enriched environment. These mice also performed better in learning and memory tasks.
The findings suggest that enhancing MEF2 activity could help to protect against dementia, but, because MEF2 also affects other types of cells and cellular processes, more study is needed to make sure that activating it wouldn't have adverse side effects, the researchers said. (Agency)
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Many people believe that heart disease typically affects men. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Coronary heart disease is the leading cause of mortality not only among men, but also among women. But women are actually at greater risk if not detected early, and this exacerbates the issue.
Signs of poor heart health do not appear as visibly in women as it does in men. What this means is that if a man has a heart issue, there are specific symptoms like angina which can be spotted easily and the right course of action be recommended. The same issue in a woman may not result in a sign or symptom that can be easily spotted. So often, their symptoms go ignored or unrecognised and they do not receive timely intervention to correct the problem. The issue is so acute that today 1 in 3 deaths among women is due to coronary heart disease.
There is also a significant lack of self-awareness among women about risk factors and the prevention of CVDs. Women don't only attend to matters of the home, but they hold positions at leading companies, and continue to rise to the occasion and meet impossible demands on their time. Through all of this, they take care of the emotional needs of their family members and loved ones; and still culturally are predisposed to putting the needs of others before their own. The stress they experience, among other common risk factors, often goes unnoticed by those around them. And stress has a greater influence on CVD risk in women vs men. Along with stress, other factors like diet quantity and quality also have a greater influence on CVD risk in women vs men. Additionally, women are also impacted by female-specific risk factors for CVD like polycystic Ovarian syndrome PCOS, preeclampsia, pregnancy induced hypertension and gestational diabetes.
In such a situation where symptoms of a heart problem do not manifest visibly, it is extremely important for women to be aware of their own risk factors and adopt proactive measures to take care of their heart health. For example, one risk factor, stress has been linked to a greater intake of energy and nutrient-dense foods, mainly sources of sugar and fat, and to poor diet quality. Women can take simple steps like reducing unhealthy fats and products with high content of sugar and salt to improve the quality of their diet. Choose ingredients that are good for the heart, like oatmeal, wholegrains, fiber rich vegetables, blended oils with the right balance of fatty acids, legumes, soy products, and the like. Regular and consistent exercise, adequate sleep, and other such lifestyle modifications can help maintain heart health in the long term.
Furthermore with signs of poor heart health not manifesting visibly in women, it is crucial that they get regular health check-ups done to assess their risk proactively. Self-awareness and early identification of cardiovascular risk factors can lead to better prevention of CVD in women.
This World Heart Day, let's choose self-care. Get a simple heart check-up done and encourage other women in yourselves too, to get the same done. Take proactive steps for heart health today.
(By Brajesh Kunwar)
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हैदराबाद- विश्व हृदय दिवस पर डॉक्टरों का कहना है कि 50 साल से कम उम्र के करीब 75 फीसदी आबादी को दिल का दौरा पड़ने का खतरा है, ऐसे में दिल की जटिलताएं एक बड़ी बीमारी है, जिसे नजरअंदाज नहीं किया जा सकता है। देश भर में चिकित्सा पेशेवरों द्वारा किए गए अध्ययनों से संकेत मिलता है कि 40 वर्ष से कम आयु के कम से कम 25 प्रतिशत भारतीयों को दिल का दौरा पड़ने या दिल से संबंधित किसी अन्य गंभीर जटिलता से पीड़ित होने का खतरा है; और यह जोखिम 40 से 50 वर्ष की आयु के बीच 50 प्रतिशत आबादी तक बढ़ सकता है।
डॉक्टरों का मनाना है कि भारतीय युवाओं और मध्यम आयु वर्ग की आबादी के बीच स्वस्थ भोजन और सक्रिय जीवन को प्रोत्साहित करना चाहिए। यह सुनिश्चित करने के लिए कदम उठाए जाने चाहिए कि अपेक्षाकृत युवा आबादी में दिल के दौरे के मामलों में वृद्धि को तत्काल नियंत्रित किया जाए। तनाव के स्तर में वृद्धि और अनुचित जीवनशैली दिल से संबंधित बीमारियों के बढ़ने के दो प्रमुख कारण हैं।
चीफ इंटरवेंशनल कार्डियोलॉजिस्ट,ग्लेनीगल्स ग्लोबल हॉस्पिटल के एम साई सुधाकर ने कहा,कई सामाजिक मानकों पर भारत की रेटिंग खराब है, और यह हर गुजरते साल के साथ अधिक से अधिक लोगों को तनावपूर्ण स्थितियों में और अधिक गहराई तक धकेलने का एक प्रमुख कारण है। व्यक्तिगत मुद्दों के साथ ये सामाजिक समस्याएं मानसिक तनाव से पीड़ित लोगों के लिए प्रमुख कारण हैं। उनके दिल पर सीधा प्रभाव पड़ता है। जबकि अधिक पुरुषों को इस समस्या का शिकार माना जाता है।
सीनियर इंटरवेंशनल कार्डियोलॉजिस्ट, एसएलजी हॉस्पिटल्स के वी.हरिराम ने बताया कि भारतीय ट्रांस फैट के अभ्यस्त उपभोक्ता हैं, और यह खराब जीवनशैली, अनियमित कामकाजी समय, शराब, धूम्रपान तंबाकू के साथ-साथ हृदय रोग का खतरा बढ़ाता है और ऐसे व्यक्ति अत्यधिक कमजोर होते है।
अचानक दिल के दौरे के मामलों की संख्या में काफी वृद्धि हुई है। जो हार्मोनल असंतुलन के कारण हो सकता है। मधुमेह, उच्च रक्तचाप और हृदय रोग वाले लोग इसकी चपेट में आ सकते हैं। यह महत्वपूर्ण है कि लोग संभावित हृदय समस्या के किसी भी प्रारंभिक चेतावनी संकेतों को अनदेखा न करें और समय पर चिकित्सा की सलाह ले।
राजीव गर्ग, सीनियर कंसल्टेंट इंटरवेंशनल कार्डियोलॉजिस्ट, अवेयर ग्लेनीगल्स ग्लोबल हॉस्पिटल का मानना है कि कुछ सरल लेकिन अत्यधिक प्रभावी कदम संभवत: युवा भारतीयों में दिल के दौरे के जोखिम को कम कर सकते हैं। भोजन की आदतों में नियमित रूप और संयम सबसे सरल लेकिन शक्तिशाली आदतें हैं, जिन्हें लोग अपने दिल के जोखिम को कम करने के लिए कर सकते हैं। प्रत्येक व्यक्ति का शरीर अलग होता है और तनाव को कम करने की एक अलग क्षमता होती है लेकिन उचित जीवन शैली को बनाए रखना और शारीरिक रूप से सक्रिय रहना है। इस जोखिम को कम करने के लिए सबसे अच्छा हो सकता है।
डॉक्टर ने सलाह दी हैं कि लोगों को शुरूआती चेतावनी के संकेतों जैसे सांस फूलना, सीने में दर्द, अत्यधिक पसीना, चक्कर आना आदि को नजरअंदाज नहीं करना चाहिए और समय पर चिकित्सा शुरू कर देना चाहिए। यह भी महत्वपूर्ण है कि मोटे व्यक्ति और पहले से मौजूद स्वास्थ्य जटिलताओं वाले लोग धूम्रपान छोड़ दें और शराब का सेवन बंद कर दें (यदि उनमें ये दोनों आदतें हैं)। यह भी कहा कि 30 वर्ष से कम आयु के युवा, जिनका हृदय रोगों का पारिवारिक चलता आ रहा है,उनको नियमित रूप से चिकित्सा जांच करवाना चाहिए हैं।
यह भी पढ़े► मधुमेह वाले कुछ लोगों के लिए कोविड क्यों अधिक घातक?
Our heart is the key organ in the circulatory system pumping oxygenated blood to various organs. People mostly ignore or are not aware of the symptoms of an approaching heart attack or cardiac ailment. With an increasing prevalence of a sedentary lifestyle, monitoring heart health becomes even more essential. Hence, one should be aware of the newly observed symptoms and complications that signal towards an unhealthy heart.
Chest Pain is Just One of The Many Overlooked Signs
Chest pain is one of the most common signs of an approaching cardiac ailment. Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, burning, tightness, or pain in the centre of the chest should be reported to the doctor. Many times these symptoms are confused with gastritis and heartburn.
Snoring and interrupted sleeping patterns
Snoring and sleep-related problems like insomnia and sleep apnea, a disorder where breathing get disrupted while you sleep, have a direct link with heart diseases and other cardiovascular ailments.
Shortness of Breath
Unexplained shortness of breath while doing small amounts of physical activity, at rest or while sleeping (that can wake you up) may indicate an underlying cardiac ailment. Women are more likely to suffer/report shortness of breath when dealing with heart troubles.
Waking up tired, restless and noting higher blood pressure levels in the morning, signals towards an unhealthy heart. Though, one should get a clinical assessment done for ensuring a clear diagnosis.
Sweeting more than usual or without any physical activity, especially if one is not exercising or being active can be an early warning sign of an approaching heart-related ailment. If someone is sitting and suddenly starts sweating profusely, it could be a sign of an oncoming heart attack.
An irregular heartbeat or more formally known as "arrhythmias", is a condition where the heart doesn't pump blood at its normal rhythm. Anyone who is relatively healthy and still has an irregular heartbeat, also indicate a chronic heart condition.
Pain in the chest and upper arm area is what most people typically associate with heart problems. However, pain in the neck or jaw is a potential point of angina pain or discomfort when the heart lacks oxygen-rich blood. Women are more likely to exhibit these symptoms than men, but if the symptoms persist it is advisable to consult a doctor.
A persistent cough is not always a sign of a heart problem, as it's a common symptom of various other common illnesses like cold, flu, and bronchitis. But a never-ending cough can be a sign of fluid building up in the lungs, which signals congestive heart failure.
When the heart isn't able to pump efficiently, blood can back up into the veins that take blood through the lungs. When there is excessive pressure in these blood vessels, fluid is pushed into the air spaces (alveoli) in the lungs. Hence, an unending cough can be caused by the irritation and fluid in the lungs, which is similar to what can cause shortness of breath.
With the current lifestyle patterns, it is very important to monitor your heart health. There can be various hidden symptoms contributing towards an unhealthy heart, hence a timely diagnosis and an active lifestyle should be given attention to. The above-mentioned symptoms can be a few of many symptoms denoting an approaching heart ailment, as a reason being aware towards your own health and consulting for timely clinical interventions become essentially important.
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