Slow Down! Life is not a race!

Todays life is fast paced!

Everyone wants everything fast: Meals delivered at a click of a button! Things delivered within minutes. A rush to reach their destinations within seconds. No patience to wait in queues. Everything at a click of a button. Even meals are cooked fast. Even expect our kids to grow up fast and achieve more in a short time. Surfing channel to see whats being played in different channels at the same time. No time to stand in grocery queues.

However, nature does not want us to live our lives so fast paced..

Living fast paced can give rise to anxiety, high blood pressure and stress.

It wants us to slow down!

Enjoy the things around us!

Even in cities there is so much of nature around us.

We should be watching the sunrise through our windows.

Listen to the birds chirping and the wind blowing.

Listen to the dogs barking.

Listen to the rain drops falling on a tin roof.

Enjoying our morning cuppa of coffee at an leisurely pace.

Enjoying its aroma.

Strolling leisurely in a park.

Not be bound by time.

Read the hard copy of “A Book of Simple Living: Brief Notes from the Hills” by Ruskin Bond!

Cooking a slow meal and enjoying the process of cooking the meal.

Eating leisurely with kids and family.

Lazing on a sofa with your favourite novel.

Going for a slow jog without attention to timing or pace.

Practising mindfulness in our lives!

Keeping our electronic gadgets shut for a day!

What a life that would be.

It would add Chi to our daily lives.

So SLOW DOWN!

Make your day pleasant!

 

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What works for weight loss? Data from the National Weight Control Registry

Some very interesting data revealed by the National Weight Loss Registry

A total of 2886 participants who had lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for at least one year were enrolled.

Data was collected in 1993-2010 and analysis was conducted in 2012.

It was a 10 year observational study and recently got published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

FINDINGS OF THE REGISTRY!!!

  • The “average” woman is 45 years of age and currently weighs 145 lbs, while the “average” man is 49 years of age and currently weighs 190 lbs.
  • Registry members have lost an average of 66 lbs and kept it off for 5.5 years.
  • These averages, however, hide a lot of diversity:
      • Weight losses have ranged from 30 to 300 lbs.
      • Duration of successful weight loss has ranged from 1 year to 66 years!
      • Some have lost the weight rapidly, while others have lost weight very slowly–over as many as 14 years.
  • We have also started to learn about how the weight loss was accomplished: 45% of registry participants lost the weight on their own and the other 55% lost weight with the help of some type of program.
  • 98% of Registry participants report that they modified their food intake in some way to lose weight.
  • 94% increased their physical activity, with the most frequently reported form of activity being walking.
  • There is variety in how NWCR members keep the weight off. Most report continuing to maintain a low calorie, low fat diet and doing high levels of activity.

 

    • 78% eat breakfast every day.
    • 75% weigh themselves at least once a week.
    • 62% watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.
    • 90% exercise, on average, about 1 hour per day. 

 

CONCLUSIONS:

The majority of weight lost by NWCR members is maintained over 10 years. Long-term weight-loss maintenance is possible and requires sustained behavior change. 80% of persons in the registry are women and 20% are men.

 

Research Findings.

Healthy Diet in middle aged women = Healthy Aging

 

Middle-aged women following a healthy Mediterranean-type diet — with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fish, moderate amounts of alcohol, and little red meat — have much greater odds of healthy aging later on, a new study reports.

“In this study, women with healthier dietary patterns at midlife were 40% more likely to survive to age 70 or over free of major chronic diseases and with no impairment in physical function, cognition or mental health,” said lead study author, Cécilia Samieri, PhD, Institut pour la Santé Publique et le Developpement, Université Bordeaux, France.

This new study adds to growing research on the health benefits of the Mediterranean diet recently reported. Various studies have shown that this diet may contribute to reduced fasting glucose concentrations and lipid levels in those at risk for diabetes, may lower the risk for cardiovascular events and stroke, and improve cognition.

The new study was published in the November 5 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

The analysis included 10,670 participants in the Nurses’ Health Study, which began in 1976 when female nurses aged 30 to 55 years completed a mail-in survey. Since then, study participants have been closely followed on a regular basis.

In 1980, participants completed a food-frequency questionnaire (FFQ) that asked how often on average they consumed standard portions of various foods. This questionnaire was repeated in 1984 and 1986 and then every 4 years.

To assess dietary quality at midlife, researchers averaged information from the 1984 and 1986 FFQs. They calculated scores on 2 diet indexes.

In 1992, 1996, and 2000, participants completed the Medical Outcomes Short-Form 36 Health Survey, a questionnaire that evaluates 8 health concepts, including mental health and physical functioning.  Scores from the Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status, an adaptation of the Mini-Mental State Examination, were used to evaluate cognitive health. From 1995 to 2001, a cognitive study was administered to participants aged 70 years or older.

Investigators separated “healthy” from “usual” aging on the basis of 4 health domains.

Overall, 11.0% of the participants were considered healthy (and so were free of chronic diseases, such as cancers, myocardial infarction, and diabetes, and with no limitation in cognitive function, mental health, and physical function), and the remaining participants were considered usual agers.

Several health domains were typically impaired among the “usual” agers, said Dr. Samieri. “For example, 33% had both chronic diseases and limitations in cognitive, physical, or mental health; 64% had only limitations in cognitive, physical, or mental health; and 3.4% had only 1 or more chronic diseases.”

The analysis revealed that greater adherence at midlife to the mediterranean diet was strongly associated with greater odds of healthy ageing.

 

via Healthy Diet, Healthy Aging.

Exercise: The Best Medicine.

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By the way, Exercise happens to be the cheapest of all medicines.

Exercise? And why is that?

Exercise has lots of benefits!

  1. Exercise decreases blood pressure.
  2. Exercise reduces blood sugar levels.
  3. It decreases the incidence of diabetes.
  4. It improves lung and heart capacity.
  5. It improves exercise tolerance.
  6. It increases bone density making them stronger.
  7. Prevents age related osteoarthritis.
  8. It reduces joint problems, especially arthritis of the knees.
  9. It strengthens the spine.
  10. It improves mental health and elevates the mood.
  11.  It reduces anxiety.
  12. It reduces incidence of heart attacks and debilitating strokes.
  13. Reduces progression of dementia.
  14. It reduces frequency of angina in patients with coronary heart disease.
  15. It improves cardiac capacity in patients with heart failure (weak hearts).

The list of benefits is endless!

 And What is the best part?

It is totally FREE unlike a visit to the doctor or buying medicines. Does not cost a penny!

You just need to walk (brisk walking preferable) 30-45 minutes at least 5 times in a week!

So why would one not exercise! Its free and has so many benefits. So put on your walking shoes and move out of the door! Just walk! Just do it! And experience the benefits!

Good Luck! I am sure you will do well and soon start motivating others!

48% Mumbaikars at risk of heart attacks!

Forty-eight per cent of Mumbaikars face the risk of heart attacks because of obesity, more than 50% have unhealthy cholesterol levels while around 64% lead a sedentary life and avoid exercise.

These are some of the disturbing findings of a mega study, conducted across nine Indian cities among 1.8 lakh people, including 29,017 respondents surveyed in Mumbai.

It showed that 70% of urban Indians are at the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The study found people in various cities with different sets of risk factors.

Dr Akshay Mehta, senior cardiologist from Asian Heart Hospital, said, “Sedentary lifestyle, stressful work conditions and compromised diet are leading factors in precipitating the risk of heart disease. This has affected the heart health of the young work force in the 30 to 44 age group.”

In comparison to other cities, Mumbai appears to have fared moderately well when it comes to percentage-wise risk factors. Those in Delhi and Chandigarh, for instance, were found to be more obese at 54% each. Mumbai fared slightly better at 48% whereas all the others, except Kolkata—Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune–have people between 49-52% who suffer the risk of heart problems because of obesity. Obesity factor was lowest in Kolkata at 47%.

The study conducted by Saffolalife, also factored in faulty eating habits. Delhi and Chandigarh, again, topped the chart in consumption of processed foods such as noodles, chips and packaged juices. Forty-four per cent of Mumbai’s respondents consumed processed or preserved food more than twice a week.

Delhi and Chandigarh were also high in consumption of fried or fat-rich foods. Ahmedabad, meanwhile, was the biggest defaulter when it came to consumption of vegetables, fruit and salad whereas people from Chennai were found to have the least affiliation with whole grains.

“Diet has undergone major changes depending on convenience. Preference for processed, preserved and fried foods has gone up noticeably. High dependence on the same and a menu devoid of vegetables, fruits and whole grains will only make people more vulnerable to cardiovascular diseases,” said dietician Niti Desai.

Lack of physical activity, too, makes Indians prone to heart problems. The study found that 70% of those who live in Ahmedabad indulged in little physical activity. Those in Pune and Bangalore were found to be most active of all, but only marginally more than others.

 

“No more eyebrows are raised these days when one hears about people below the age of 40 getting a heart attack. While Mumbai is seeing an increase in the ageing population—which, in turn, directly affects the heart—there are also many attacks in the younger working population,” said Dr Ganesh Kumar, chief interventional cardiologist, Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital.

Its high time we recognize this and eat well and exercise to prevent heart illnesses.

via 48% Mumbaikars at risk of heart attacks – The Times of India.

ESH/ESC publish hypertension guidelines: Lifestyle changes reduce BP!

The European Society of Cardiology and the European Society of Hypertension released Guidelines for Physicians to treat Hypertension (high BP). The joint guidelines are designed to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with hypertension.

Worldwide, 1.5 billion people currently have high blood pressure, according to the World Health Organization.

Dr Robert Fagard, the chair of the ESH/ESC writing committee, reiterated that treatment decisions for patients should be dictated by their overall level of risk and a holistic approach to treatment should be advised by physicians.

 

Lifestyle changes for treatment!.

 

The new guidelines make a host of lifestyle recommendations for lowering blood pressure.

1. Salt intake:  The Guidelines recommend salt intake of approximately 5 to 6 g per day, in contrast with a typical intake of 9 to 12 g per day. A reduction to 5 g per day can decrease systolic blood pressure about 1 to 2 mm Hg in normotensive individuals and 4 to 5 mm Hg in hypertensive patients.

2. Lower BMI:  While the optimal body-mass index (BMI) is not known, the guidelines recommend getting BMIs down to 25 kg/m2 and reducing waist circumferences to <102 cm in men and <88 cm in women. Losing about 5 kg can reduce systolic blood pressure by as much as 4 mm Hg.

3. Exercise: Aerobic endurance training in hypertensive patients can reduce systolic blood pressure by 7 mm Hg.

 

Fagard said that physicians can typically give low/moderate-risk individuals a few months with lifestyle changes to determine whether they’re having an impact on blood pressure. They should be more aggressive with higher-risk patients, however, noting that drug therapy is started typically within a few weeks if diet and exercise are ineffective.

 

via ESH/ESC publish hypertension guidelines | theheart.org.

Four Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors Lower Risk of Death.

Adopting a healthy lifestyle, one that includes not smoking, eating right, daily physical activity, and a healthy weight, is associated with a low incidence of calcium in the coronary arteries, as well as a slower progression of coronary artery calcium as measured over a three-year period, according to the results of a new study.

This study was published online June 4, 2013 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

This is the first study to look at biological progression every step of the way in a single longitudinal fashion.

The study included 6229 US adults aged 44 to 84 years old. All patients were given a lifestyle score, ranging from 0 to 4, based on whether or not they followed

1. a Mediterranean-style diet,

2. their exercise habits (achieving 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week),

3. body-mass index (BMI), and

4. smoking status.

One point was awarded for each healthy lifestyle behavior. The patients also underwent coronary artery calcium screening at baseline and a follow-up scan was performed 3.1 years later.

 

Overall, just 2% of the participants met all four healthy-lifestyle criteria!

The median annual progression in coronary artery calcium for individuals with a score 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 was 25 Agatston points/year, 20 points/year, 18 points/year, 18 points/year, and 14 points/year, respectively.

Lower Risk of Death

Clinically, a healthier lifestyle also translated into a significant reduction in all-cause mortality and a trend toward lower coronary heart disease risk over a seven-year follow-up period.

Individuals who adopted all four healthy behaviors had an approximate 80% lower risk of death than those with no healthy behaviors.

 

“The benefits were cumulative, meaning the more healthy behaviors, the better,” commented Ahmed, one of the investigators. “So if you maintained a normal weight and ate healthy but weren’t exercising, this shows you can still have even more benefit from adding exercise to your life.”

Of the behaviors investigated, however, smoking was the most devastating. “In fact, if you exercised, ate healthily, and maintained normal weight, but smoked, you still were worse off than people who did nothing else right but stayed away from cigarettes. This really highlighted how important it is to stay away from smoking. It is probably singlehandedly the best thing you can do for your cardiovascular and overall health.”

You can’t pick your family history or change your age, but you can start exercising today, and you can start changing your diet today. All these interventions are things that cost us very little to nothing and are 100% in our hands. With these we have the ability to control our own wellness and health.

via Four Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors Lower Risk of Death.

Don’t Gain Weight on Vacation This Year – some tips!

When you’re on vacation, it’s all too easy to abandon everything you know about eating healthfully — and then return home unable to button your pants!

Here are some tips to avoid putting on those extra pounds!

So before you order that extra pina colada at the swim-up bar, consider these simple strategies to avoid vacation weight gain:

Vacation Tip No. 1: Plan Ahead to Fit in Fitness/ go walking!

Opt for locations that will allow you to engage in physical activities you enjoy. Keep in mind that physical activity is the ticket to enjoying extra calories without weight gain.

If running is not your style, consider places where you can take walks or hikes, ride bikes, do water sports, or use the hotel tennis courts or gym.

Without work schedules making demands on your time, you should be able to fit in fun fitness activities every day.  Walk the golf course, play basketball, swim, walk, kayak, bicycle, play tennis — you name it, just do it for at least an hour each day.

Vacation Tip No. 2: Be Prepared

When you travel, whether by plane, train, or automobile, be prepared with healthy food so you won’t have to eat whatever is available.

Start the day with a nutritious breakfast, then pack easy and satisfying snacks or a small meal, such as a turkey sandwich with lettuce and tomato on whole-grain bread, a piece of fruit, and some cut-up veggies with hummus.

Vacation Tip No. 3: Avoid Dining-Out Disasters

Eating out may pose the biggest challenge for avoiding vacation weight gain.

The key is to order simply prepared foods, such as baked, broiled. or grilled meats and fish.

Stay away from fried, crispy, or creamy foods; hold extras such as cheese and mayo; top salads with low-fat dressings; drink water instead of sodas — simple things that can shave calories and make room for the special treats.

You can snack on healthy, shelf-stable foods like:

  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Trail mix
  • Cereal
  • Dried fruit
  • Low-fat crackers.
  • Single-serve containers of fruit
  • Peanut butter
  • Popcorn
  • Granola or cereal bars
  • Rice or popcorn cakes
  • Graham crackers

Vacation Tip No. 4: Indulge in Moderation/ Pare Down Portions

Have one scoop of ice cream instead of the sundae, or split that decadent dessert with a dining companion.

When you drink alcohol, the calories add up fast, especially if you are downing those fancy drinks that come with an umbrella. So make a plan for when you’ll drink alcoholic beverages and how much you will consume.

Alternate alcoholic drinks with nonalcoholic, noncalorie beverages, so you’ll stay well-hydrated and reduce your total calorie intake. And when ordering alcoholic drinks, opt for lower-calorie choices such as light beer, wine spritzers, wine, champagne, or spirits mixed with water or diet mixes.

“Enjoy small portions of whatever you like, [and] eat slowly so you taste the food and feel a sense of satisfaction, enjoyment, and relaxation of the vacation,”

Don’t keep lingering around the table as that can lead to overeating.

 

Sounds Easy? Doesn’t it?

via Don’t Gain Weight on Vacation This Year – 5 Tips.