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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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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Many factors can contribute to your high stress levels, lack of sleep, and getting sick. But did you know that all three of these actually go hand-in-hand? Here's how stress, sleep, and immunity are linked when considering one's general well-being.
"Stress, sleep and immunity are closely linked. When you miss out on sleep, you miss out on time for your body to recharge and prepare for the next day. In fact, sleep is quite vital for our cardiovascular and immune systems to function properly, as well as our ability to think clearly, learn and retain new information, and manage our emotions.
If an individual continuously deprives themselves of getting enough sleep each night, they create more stress on their bodies physically and mentally, which in turn affects the immune system, and essentially creates a negative downward spiral," says Nora Tobin, performance enhancement and executive coach, nutrition specialist, and CEO of Nora's Naturals Coffee.
How can optimising stress, sleep and immunity improve your professional performance? Here's what she has to say:
"Other than a strong work ethic and a high level of drive, your professional performance too, is connected to your overall health and well-being. Practicing healthy habits such as getting consistent sleep and managing your stress, can help you stay healthy and maintain a strong immune system. When you get into a healthy routine you will feel more productive and ready to produce high-quality results that you wish to see in your professional life."
Here are Tobin's top 3 tips for optimising stress, sleep, and immunity:
Result of Stress: When the body is under chronic mental or physical stress, the production of cortisol becomes unbalanced. This leads to excessive fatigue, brain fog, and the storage of fat in the abdominal region. In order to produce enough cortisol to keep going throughout the day, the body pulls from the thyroid (lowered metabolism).
The Solution to Stress: Guided breathing, vitamin D and adaptogenic herbs balance cortisol (stress hormone) as well as regulates the amygdala part of your brain that controls anxiety. Try to incorporate one or all of the below daily.
1-minute Meditation: take an inhale for 3 counts, hold your breath at the top for 3 and exhale for 3. Repeat for 1-minute.
Vitamin D: The precursor to serotonin (a feel-good hormone) and strong immune defence for the body. Get outside for 10 minutes without sunglasses or try this quality source of Vitamin D daily.
Herbs: Adaptogenic Herbs have been utilised in India for thousands of years and help support the body's energy and naturally protect against cellular stress. The top two herbs to utilise to lower stress and anxiety are Reishi and Ashwagandha. Mix into tea or water before bed.
Result of Sleep: During sleep, cerebral spinal fluid runs through the brain to clear toxins and create new neural connections crucial for retaining information and slowing down aging. This process is called glymphatic drainage. The lymphatic system primarily works during sleep so to successfully create new cerebral pathways and clear waste products, it is essential to get at least six hours of sleep.
A solution to Sleep: Legs up the wall, temperature changes and minerals help the body shift into a parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) and out of flight or fight mode.
Legs up the Wall: Lying for 5-10 minutes with legs up the wall will reset circadian rhythm and improve the body's ability to drop into deep REM sleep. Simply lie with legs resting on the wall with feet above hips taking deep breaths.
Change Temperatures: Alternating between hot water and cold in the shower (20 seconds hot, 10 cold) for two minutes before bed will greatly improve the body's natural ability to regulate its own production of melatonin.
Result of Low Energy: The body has two forms of energy-burning -- glucose and ketones. When the body is primarily burning glucose, it goes through rapid spikes in blood sugar, leading to cravings, energy crashes and weight gain. When the body is burning ketones, it's receiving steady-state energy while burning its own fat stores.
Solution to Sustained Energy: Interval workouts, whole foods and eating healthy fat allow the body to burn more ketones for energy without feeling deprived. This leads to rapid cellular turnover, efficient weight loss/management, and high energy levels all day long.
High Intensity Interval Training: Raises post workout oxygen consumption, elevating metabolism for 24 hours post-workout. The form of training is suitable for all levels, takes less than 20 minutes, and requires no equipment. This allows the body to burn fat much more efficiently and supply adequate energy to the brain. Alternate with days of low-intensity training like yoga or walking.
Increase Anti Inflammatory Foods: Lowering inflammation in the body will optimise and help sustain energy throughout the day, help fight off pathogens and generate rapid cellular turnover. Pick any foods from the attached list to incorporate daily as well as spices and herbs (the more the better).
Incorporate the 8-Hour Eating Window: Shortening the time window of our meals increases autophagy and allows the body to burn ketones (fat stores) for fuel instead of glucose. Eating in this window a few days per week will rapidly increase cellular turnover, boost irisin and enhance cognitive function.
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Do your children wake up late every day? Then, you should be happy as it is a good sign that your child is sleeping well. But you have to worry when the child fails to wake up even after several alarms and you literally have to drag your child out of the bed. There are many children who fail to get sound sleep at night and feel lethargic and are unable to focus on studies during day time.
Is your child cranky? Is your kid unable to concentrate on studies or do their daily chores with ease? Then, he/she must encounter sleep problems. Yes, you have heard right! Many children become night owls, and that takes a toll on their overall well-being. Sleep is vital for young children. Early in life, one experiences tremendous development that impacts the brain, body, emotions, and behaviour and sets the stage for their growth through childhood and adolescence.
Having a sound sleep at night can help children lead healthy lives. Thus, from babies to school-aged kids and teenagers, parents might be keen to know many hours of sleep is essential for their child.
New-borns' need to get around 14 hours of sleep, infants need around 15 hours of sleep, toddlers need approximately 14 hours of sleep, pre-school children need around 10-13 hours of sleep while school-going children of 6-13 age need around 9 hours of sleep.
Here are a few foolproof tricks to help your child get sound sleep at night:
* Allow your child to get at least 10 to 11 hours of sleep every day without fail. If your child has a habit of sleeping late then make bedtime earlier half-an-hour as doing so will help your child wake up on time, and he/she will not have to miss online classes.
* Try to maintain the same schedule and your child will be able to sleep peacefully and complete his/her sleep properly. Create a consistent bedtime routine to calm down the child and make him/her sleep on an immediate basis.
* You will have to limit your child's exposure to electronic gadgets at least 1 hour before sleeping. Do not allow your child to play games on the mobile or watch television before hitting the sack as doing so can snatch away the child's sleep.
* Avoid caffeine and sugary drinks, particularly in the second half of the day as it hampers good sleep. Don't let your child drink a lot of water before sleeping as he/she will have to make continuous trips to the loo and the sleep will be disturbed.
* Maintain good lighting and temperature in the kid's room. Don't fill up the child's bed with toys and heavy blankets that will suffocate the child and make him/her uncomfortable. Use a good pillow and mattress that will support your child's back and neck. Improper mattress and pillow can lead to back and neck pain.
If your child has any sleep problems such as loud or heavy breathing, snoring, and even waking up after regular intervals then you need to consult the doctor. Make sure your child gets enough sleep on a regular basis so that he/she can stay healthy and hearty.
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New York, One night of sleep loss is enough to disrupt your day-to-day mental and physical well-being, according to a new study.
The study, published in the journal ‘Annals of Behavioral Medicine', also indicted that consecutive days of sleep loss can increase these negative impacts, CNN reported.
"Consecutive sleep loss was associated with decrease in positive emotions, increase in negative emotions, and greater frequency of severity of physical symptoms," said lead author of the study, Soomi Lee, from the University of South Florida.
The study examined daily diary data for eight consecutive days from 1,958 adults who took the Midlife in the United States Survey (MIDUS) conducted between 2004 and 2006.
The analysis found that sleep loss for even one night resulted in increased negative well-being and decreased positive well-being, both physically and mentally.
Additionally, with multiple consecutive nights of sleep loss, especially after three nights, these effects were amplified.
"When sleep loss occurs almost every day, which means (it's) chronic, that's when our body and mind cannot tolerate anymore," Lee said.
"The research shows that consecutive sleep loss results in incomplete recovery and stress pile-up and so it degrades our daily well-being," Lee added.
As the number of consecutive days of sleep loss increased, the severity of adverse physical impacts -- including body aches, gastrointestinal issues and respiratory symptoms such as a sore throat and runny nose -- also increased, the study indicated. (IANS)
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Sydney, July 3 (IANS) A team of researchers have successfully repurposed two existing medications to reduce the severity of sleep apnoea in people by at least 30 per cent.
Sleep apnoea is a condition where the upper airway from the back of the nose to the throat closes repetitively during sleep, restricting oxygen intake and causing people to wake as often as 100 times or more per hour.
Those with untreated sleep apnoea are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease, dementia and depression, and are two to four times more likely to crash a car than the general population, indicates the study published in The Journal of Physiology.
"We were thrilled because the current treatment options for people with sleep apnoea are limited and can be a painful journey for many," said researcher Danny Eckert from Flinders University in Australia.
Previous research showed two classes of medication -- reboxetine and butyl bromide -- were able to keep muscles active during sleep in people without sleep apnea and assist their ability to breathe.
By repurposing the medications, researchers used a multitude of recording instruments to measure whether reboxetine and butylbromide could successfully target the main causes of sleep apnoea.
This included balancing the electrical activity of muscles around the airway, preventing the throat from collapsing while people were sleeping, and improving the regulation of carbon dioxide and breathing during sleep.
The results from the study showed these medications did in fact increase the muscle activity around participants' airways, with the drugs reducing the severity of participants' sleep apnoea by up to one-third.