It's crucial to take care of your eyes as well as your skin as summer approaches. Due to their sensitivity, eyes can develop a number of disorders from prolonged exposure to the sun, dust, and pollution. Numerous eye issues, including corneal burns, retinal damage, chemical conjunctivitis, and corneal infections, are known to be brought on by hot weather, excessive UV exposure, and chlorinated water.
According to Dr. Vandana Jain, Regional Head - of Clinical Services, Dr. Agarwals Eye Hospital, Vashi, Mumbai, "Summer is the time when we enjoy the outdoors, but we often forget to take care of our eyes. Summers can be very challenging for our eyes, as excessive exposure to UV rays can cause cornea burns, retinal damage, and other eye problems. Also, spending too much time in air-conditioned environments can cause eye dryness, while chlorinated water in pools can lead to chemical conjunctivitis and corneal infections.
Moreover, the swinging temperature during summer can cause viral and allergic conjunctivitis, leading to eye discomfort and irritation. Therefore, it's essential to take necessary precautions to protect your eyes from these potential threats during the summer.
Dr. Jain suggests the following eye care tips to protect your eyes during summer:
Wear Larger Sunglasses with 100 percent UV Protection: Invest in sunglasses that provide full protection against harmful UV rays. Wraparound frames are the best as they give protection even from the sides.
Use Wide Brimmed Hat: In addition to sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat will give you additional protection from the sun.
Stay Hydrated: Drink at least two liters of water to prevent your skin and eyes from getting dehydrated.
Apply Sunscreen Carefully: While applying sunscreen, ensure that it does not get into your eyes as it can cause discomfort.
Avoid Mid-Day Sun: The sun is at its strongest between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and it's best to stay indoors during these hours. If you must go out, don't forget to wear sunglasses and a hat.
Protect Your Eyes in the Pool: Chlorinated water can irritate your eyes. Wear swimming goggles every time you jump into the pool and wash your eyes with fresh clean water after swimming.
Use Lubricating Eye Drops: The increased use of air conditioning can cause dryness in your eyes. Use preservative-free eye drops to give comfort to your eyes.
Wear Protective Eye Gear: During outdoor activities, always wear protective eye gear to prevent eye injuries from flying debris.
Dr. Vandana adds, "These simple eye care tips will help you enjoy summers without any eye problems. Remember, prevention is better than cure, therefore, scheduling regular eye check-ups to detect and treat eye problems early is very important. Also, people should avoid smoking, as it can increase the risk of various eye problems, including cataracts and macular degeneration. So, this summer, protect your eyes and enjoy the outdoors with caution. (Agency)
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Obesity is not a disease, but a lifestyle disorder that has emerged from the choices we make in terms of what we consume and how much we exercise.
It is a challenge that has been evolving rapidly in recent years and is now ranked among one of the primary causes of preventable deaths across the globe. What's surprising is that 50 years ago, there was no disease as obesity, presumably because at the time individuals led more active lives, and did not have access to the high-calorie, processed foods that we have at present.
Decoding the Primary Causes of Obesity
One of the primary reasons for this disorder in the current generation is the absence of physical work on a day-to-day basis, individuals have become increasingly lethargic.
Another major cause for a considerable surge in obesity rates is unorganized eating habits. There is not adequate awareness about the nutritive value of the meals we consume, and individuals usually eat without considering the effects on their health.
Today, individuals frequently consume more calories than their body requirements, resulting in weight gain and gradual obesity. However, despite the significant challenges that our current lifestyle and obesity pose to our health, they can be overcome by following these simple strategies in our day-to-day life:
Keep your Calorie Intake in Check
To combat obesity, we must comprehend that our calorie intake should be proportional to our physical activity. This implies that we need to lead more active lives and consume meals that are nutritious and healthy. A healthy lifestyle is built on two pillars- Good nutrition and regular exercise. Disregarding either of these pillars will negatively influence our overall health.
Aim for Natural Weight Loss
It is also essential to note that the emphasis should be on natural weight loss strategies rather than opting for cosmetic surgeries like liposuction. While these surgeries may yield temporary results, they can be detrimental in the long run. Rather, we must focus on weight loss techniques that are sustainable and healthy.
A Proficient Fitness Coach Can do Wonders!
Another important element of fighting obesity is picking a fitness coach who has the required knowledge and expertise. Here, it gets crucial to understand the difference between a trainer and a teacher. While a host of individuals in the market claim to be fitness coaches, they lack the essential qualifications and experience. Hence it gets pivotal to shortlist a coach who possesses the necessary experience to advise us on the right path.
Make Sustainable Changes in your Lifestyle
One of the most efficacious methods to fight obesity is to enlighten ourselves about the significance of healthy living. We need to be conscious of the nutritional value of the food we consume and comprehend the impact of our choices on our health.
A result-yielding strategy here would be to make short, sustainable changes in our lifestyle. For instance, we can begin by making minor changes in our diet, like lowering the intake of high-calorie, processed foods and increasing the consumption of fruits and vegetables. We can also begin by including more physical activity into our daily routine, such as walking or cycling to workplaces.
By encouraging healthy lifestyles and making healthy choices easier, we can prevent and address obesity, enhance overall health outcomes, and lessen the burden on healthcare frameworks. (Aminder Singh, Fitness Guru and founder of Team Aminder)
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Summer is just around the corner! As the weather gets warmer and the sun shines brighter, it is also the time to shake up your skincare routine a little bit.
After all, the heat and the humidity will warrant some extra love to your skin to keep it healthy and glowing. It will become important to protect, nourish and hydrate your skin as the heat can really be unforgiving. This is the right time to start the transition to your summer routine, so it becomes all the easier for you to maintain skin health.
Here are five important tips that will help you get (and keep!) that summer glow.
Sunscreen is your Best Friend
We cannot stress this enough! Sunscreen is your skin's best friend. It is a must-have all year round but becomes especially important when you are going out during the peak summer months. UV rays can damage the skin causing premature aging, tanning, and hyperpigmentation. It is important that you use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 daily.
Make sure you apply your sunscreen a good 15 minutes before stepping out and keep reapplying throughout the day. In fact, dermatologists suggest replying every 2-3 hours during the day when you are exposed to the sun. A good investment here will be a sunscreen stick that can be used to easily touch up, even on your make-up. Also, do not forget your body; apply a decent amount to protect your body as well, along with your face.
Switch to a Lighter Skincare Routine
Summers mean that you can swap out your heavier cleansers and moisturizing creams (which worked great in dry winters) for lighter products. Go for gentler cleansing and moisturizing options which will not clog your pores while also keeping you hydrated and your skin nourished. The same goes for your makeup, instead of full-coverage heavy foundations, go for lighter ones and you can opt for a bit more concealer for your problem areas. Always take a closer look at your makeup and choose products that are noncomedogenic and will not occlude your skin.
Make Sure to Moisturize and Lock that in
Did you think you can skip moisturizing in the sultry heat, even when your face feels oily? Absolutely not! Moisturizing your skin daily is as important in summer as it is in winter. Your skin needs hydration for that plumpness and radiance. Choose a light moisturizer that can team well with your cleanser and toner.
Apart from moisturizing skin externally, it is also extremely important to not use products that strip the skin of its natural oils as they can eventually disrupt the skin barrier and weaken it. Using harsh soaps is one of the biggest culprits which can cause loss of moisture and make the skin dry and irritated. The best way to prevent this is to use a soap with a humectant such as Glycerine which will ensure that the skin's own moisture is not lost.
A great option is the Savlon Glycerine soap with natural origin glycerine which makes the skin soft and protects it from 100 disease-causing germs. This translucent soap is dermatologically tested and suitable for all skin types. With a fresh, citrusy fragrance, it will also make you feel refreshed and the creamy lather will make bathing all the more enjoyable.
Exfoliation is Essential
Exfoliation has been one of the most important skincare tips since way before TikTok made it popular. Exfoliating your skin once a week helps to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores which can lead to breakouts and dull-looking skin. It is also important to choose the right chemical exfoliant based on your skin type and your skin needs. It is best to consult your dermatologist for the right one and the adequate frequency of usage.
Exfoliants can make your summer-stressed skin feel nice, and fresh giving you a soothing feeling. Remember, exfoliated skin is more prone to sun damage, so skipping on sunscreen while you are also using chemical exfoliants is blasphemous! Sunscreen application becomes all the more important for exfoliated skin.
Add Antioxidants to your Regime
Antioxidants for your skin are what mimosas are to your beach holiday. They will definitely up your skincare game. Antioxidants fight free radicals which damage your skin causing aging and dullness. While you ought to include foods like carrots, spinach, berries, etc, in your diet which are natural sources of antioxidants, you can also incorporate topical products to give your skin additional benefits. Using an antioxidant serum with Vit C can be beneficial but consult with your dermatologist for usage and frequency based on your skin type and your problem areas.
And lastly, hydrate, hydrate hydrate. Drinking plenty of water (at least 8-10 glasses) will keep your skin hydrated from within. Incorporate foods with high water content such as watermelon, cucumber, and celery in your diet. Keep up with your daily movement and exercise regularly.
Taking care of your skin in summer isn't as hard as it seems to be. Follow these tips and embrace the sunshine to flaunt that naturally plumpy, healthy summer glow. (Agency)
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For many people in India, especially those in the older age groups, diabetes is a lifestyle condition that they live with on a daily basis. However, diabetes is becoming more common in younger age groups as well, raising issues of public health. After China, India is the country with the second-highest prevalence of diabetes, with an estimated 77 million individuals - or roughly 1 in 11 Indians - having the disease.
Pre-diabetes is a condition or stage that precedes diabetes, where the body's blood sugar levels are elevated but not yet high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. The National Urban Diabetes Survey estimates that our nation has a startling 14 per cent prevalence of pre-diabetes, commonly known as borderline diabetes. Due to the absence or minimal visibility of symptoms, many people in their 30s and 40s may be pre-diabetic without even being aware of it. If diabetes runs in your family, you are at an increased risk of developing it yourself. Nevertheless, by making dietary and lifestyle changes, pre-diabetes may still be somewhat reversed and treated.
Here are some precautions and tips one can be mindful of to stay healthy as a pre-diabetic:
Move About More
Sitting is the new smoking. A sedentary lifestyle is known to increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes. Regular exercise and workouts approved by a trainer or doctor help manage pre-diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels. Moreover, being active can improve insulin sensitivity throughout the body. It can also help you manage your weight which is crucial to not slip into diabetes. Try brisk walks, jogs, and runs and gradually move to more aerobic exercises such as dance and biking/bicyling.
Did you know that being overweight, or having a body mass index over 25, can increase one's risk of developing type 2 diabetes? If you are diagnosed for pre-diabetes, gradually losing 5-10 per cent of your body weight can significantly improve your chances of delaying or reversing diabetes prevalence. Ask a trainer to help you focus on your midsection for belly fat, as a large waist circumference is known to put a person at an increased risk of diabetes.
Keep Stress at Bay
Stress can make you sick, but it can also make you pre-diabetic, or at least make your condition worse. An imbalance of stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline - known for the fight or flight response - can trigger blood glucose levels to shoot up and remain high. Make time for adequate rejuvenation on your schedule, and make sure to not pressure yourself to work like a machine. Make time for laughter and time with friends and family. Schedule time for walks, gardening or other hobbies that help you decompress.
Watch What's on Your Plate
Consider the composition of your meals. Is there an adequate balance between protein, carbohydrates, fats and necessary vitamins and minerals? For a healthy portion, pre-diabetics should fill half of their plate with non-starchy vegetables and leafy greens, and the rest with healthy carbohydrates, whole grains and lean protein. Stocking up on fibre will ensure satiety without raising blood sugar. Snack on nuts and fruit, even if they seem to be sugary. One must remember they have natural sugar.
Avoid Drinking Your Sugar
Added sugars must be avoided at all costs to avoid escalation into diabetes. Sweetened beverages can spike blood sugar levels and provide little nutritional diversity, such as protein. This includes energy drinks, soft drinks and any syrups or liquid desserts. Research says that substituting one daily serving of a sugary drink with low-calorie alternatives such as water, coffee, or tea is linked with a 2-10 per cent lower risk of diabetes. (Dr Vivek Srivastava, Senior Vice President, Zeon Lifesciences)
The number of people with diabetes is rising globally. India itself experienced the greatest increase in numbers over the past few years. The most prevalent type of diabetes is type 2 diabetes mellitus. According to Diabetes Atlas 2021 of the International Diabetes Federation, the estimated number of persons with diabetes in India in the age group of 20-79 was 74.2 mn in 2021 and is likely to increase to 124.9 mn by 2045.
Experts say that aside from genetics and family history, the risk factors for diabetes include ethnicity, age, obesity, physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, and behavioural habits. The onset of diabetes complications can be prevented or delayed by good control of blood sugar, blood pressure, and blood lipid levels. It is crucial to carefully sort through the burgeoning information on food and nutrients to determine what each recommendation means for you, and which one is helpful. Here are 3 snacks that you could add to your diet to manage type-2 diabetes better:
Almonds aid in managing blood sugar levels for people with uncomplicated type-2 diabetes; a daily serving of almonds (30 grams/23 almonds) may improve both short-term and long-term markers of blood sugar control. Eating almonds as part of a healthy diet has been shown to improve glycemic and cardiovascular risk factors in Indians with Type 2 diabetes, according to a study led by Dr. Seema Gulati, PhD. There are several ways to include almonds in your diet: having a handful of almonds as a snack, sprinkling oven-toasted almonds on top of salads or chopping almonds and adding them to sauteed vegetables for extra crunch.
Channa or chickpeas is a staple of the Indian kitchen. According to a research study, consumption of chickpeas helps to improve post prandial blood glucose control, suppress appetite, and reduce the quantity of food consumption in the subsequent meal. In another study, 19 adults who ate a meal made of chickpeas every day for six weeks experienced lower blood sugar and insulin levels than those who ate a meal made of wheat. Roasting chickpeas makes them convenient and crunchy, making them a good snack option. Alternatively, you could boil them and add them to your salads as well. Boiled chickpeas with seasoning is a popular snack in southern parts of India.
Dahi made at home has long been a staple of Indian cuisine. Yogurt has become very popular recently due to its many health advantages. A study found that yogurt consumption as a part of a healthy diet, may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes in older adults who are healthy and at high cardiovascular risk.
When comparing yogurt consumption of 80-125 g/d to no yogurt consumption, there was a 14% lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Yogurt's high protein and favourable effects on gut health make it a potential aid in the management of diabetes. Buy plain yogurt without added sugar instead of flavoured yogurt. You could top it with nutritious ingredients like strawberries or banana slices or sliced almonds to make a delicious dessert. (Sheela Krishnaswamy, Nutrition & Wellness Consultant)
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Every person's body contains three active energies, according to Ayurveda. These energies control various processes, including controlling the mind, the body, and diseases you are likely to contract or the diet you ought to eat.
One of these energies is the Vata dosha, which controls bodily motion and motion-related processes. Ayurveda holds Vata accountable for our capacity for both physical & mental adaptabilities. It controls our nervous system, bones, and hearing. It is the energising force of the body and mind. Here are three lifestyle tips:
Include almonds in your diet: In general, sweet, sour, and salty foods are excellent for balancing Vata. These tastes are regarded as a medicine for correcting Vata imbalance in Ayurveda because they increase qualities of warmth, moisture, and heaviness/groundedness to encourage regular digestion and balance Vata.
For a healthy body constitution, it's generally advised to consume foods that satisfy all six tastes (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent). Almonds are one of the foods that can help balance Vata Dosha.
Almonds are typically referred to as "Vatada," "Badam," or "Vatma" in Ayurvedic texts. They are considered "madhura," or sweet, and have "Snigdha," or unctuous properties, and are known as "Vatahara" and "Pitta kara" in terms of their action on doshas (Dosha Karma).
Almonds work best to calm the Vata dosha due to their after-digestion sweet and warming qualities. In addition, they support all seven dhatus (tissues), especially Shukra dhatu, and lubricate the skin and microcirculatory channels (reproductive tissue).
Practice Yoga: Yoga that calms the Vata dosha can balance all the doshas and provide radiant and beaming health. The asanas that are better suited for Vata balance should naturally becalming. These poses help alleviate anxiety symptoms and correct imbalances, such as bodyaches and constipation.
Some of the asanas you could practice every day include Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose), Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend Pose), Balasana(Child's pose), Supta Virasana (Reclined Hero Pose), Dhanurasana (Bow Pose) and Ustrasana(Camel pose).
Adding Ashwagandha to your diet: Several naturally occurring herbs have Vata-optimisingproperties. The herb ashwagandha is renowned for its many Ayurvedic health advantages. Vata dosha imbalance is typically the cause of stress, which frequently manifests as irritability, insomnia, and fear.
According to studies, by balancing Vata, taking Ashwagandha powder lessens the signs and symptoms of stress and anxiety. Ashwagandha, usually taken as a powder, can be diluted with water or warm milk and honey. Although it is always recommended to consult your ayurvedic physician for its accurate dose before consumption. This combination supports the reproductive system, builds strength, and balances Vata when taken before bed. It also promotes sound sleep patterns. (Dr. Nitika Kohli is an Ayurveda Expert)
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