Easy Effective Steps Towards Heart Health!

We all know that ‘Health is Wealth’!

But how many times do we behave irresponsibly towards this immeasurable treasure of ours?

We all are guilty of postponing our exercising plans at some point in time or of giving into temptations of tasty food over the healthier options, conveniently forgetting our resolutions for healthy lifestyle.

It is our duty to keep our body health as only a healthy body can have a healthy mind.

And the epicenter of our overall health is our heart. This good old ticker of ours bears a big responsibility to keep our body in mint condition and functioning well.

So what should be our strategy to keep it in optimum health?

 
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NO need to worry guys! nothing of mammoth proportions needs to be done to plan your cardiac care strategy. This job can be achieved through small steps taken on a regular basis-#chotte chotte kadam.  Just follow a healthy lifestyle in a disciplined manner regularly to keep your heart fit and strong.

Here are some simple tips that can help you in improving your lifestyle:

 

1.Say goodbye to smoking or chewing tobacco:

These are major risk factors when it comes to heart disease. Smoking exponentially increases the chances of suffering from heart disease. It is harmful for lungs, heart, causes cancer and many vascular diseases. Be careful about passive smoking as well. Never fall prey to it. So, bid it a hasty adieu right away!

 

2.Follow a balanced and a healthy diet plan:

Consume foods that are packed with optimum nutritional value like whole grain cereals, legumes, fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts. Fresh fruits are rich in antioxidants.

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Also Keep a close watch on the total calorie intake. To regulate calories, one can reorient the dietary pattern by cutting down on carbohydrates and increasing proteins. High carbohydrate diet with lots of rice and products like white flour, starch results in extra calories, leading to obesity, which can cause diabetes and extra calories get deposited in the body as fat.

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Go for carbs that have low glycemic index. Diabetes and hypertension are major enemies of the heart. You can do yourself a world of good by reducing the intake of fried foods and sweets. Fat can be taken in moderation and try to curb your sweet tooth. Avoid egg and red meats. Egg yolks have been proven to have high levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. Chicken, fish and white of eggs are safe. Try to include lots of salads in daily life.

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Choose healthy cooking oils that contain monounsaturated polyunsaturated fats that prevent cancer and heart diseases. The polyunsaturated fats reduce the risk of heart diseases.

Aim for a balanced diet that contains 30% carbs, 20% fats, 30% proteins, vitamins etc.

 

3.Reduce salt and sugar intake:

Keep the salt consumption to about 5 gm per day. One does not need to completely avoid salt. Even if one is hypertensive, 3-5 gm of salt daily should be fine. Keeping a check on salt helps to control BP and reduce the load on heart. Avoid adding extra salt in your food. Eat pickles and papads in moderation.

Do you know even sugar has an effect on blood pressure?

According to a 2014 study, sugar is also responsible for high blood pressure and heart disease. Most often, doctors recommend a low salt diet to control blood pressure, but they forget to mention sugar. But, latest research suggests that it is prudent to reduce sugar consumption as well to regulate blood pressure.

 

4.Exercise regularly:

Human body has been designed in such a way that it needs constant exercise to keep it in top condition and optimum level of functioning.

So, light exercise every day, all days should be included in the daily routine. Be active and stay fit. Walk as much as possible, join a gym or a yoga class.

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Whatever people eat, they should keep a close watch on their calorie intake. Keeping one’s weight under control and exercising every day will definitely help in keeping the heart healthy. These days, many youngsters are getting heart diseases and it’s important for the 20-30 age group to keep a close watch on their weight and play some games regularly.”

~ Dr I. Sathyamurthy  (Senior cardiologist, Apollo hospitals)

We totally know and understand this, but given our fast-paced lives, there is common complaint of lack of time for exercise.

Don’t worry, there is a solution for this malady too!

Manage it by including constant action in your daily routine without allotting too much separate time to exercise through these easy tricks:

a) Move around a lot: Ditch the lift, take the steps. This helps your body stay active and help your metabolism.

b) Walk more: Park your car away and walk to your destination to give your legs a workout.

c) Do spot jogging: This is a good trick to exercise in office or home, while you’re busy in some other task

d) Lift weights: No, not the big ones, but you can easily lift small weights while you are talking on phone or watching TV

e)Join group activity: like zumba, yoga or tai chi to keep you motivated and self driven to exercise regularly.

f) Do more outdoor activities: like gardening, playing with kids or taking a brisk walk in the park.

There is always a way to exercise if you have the will to do it. So, exercise and fitness are a lot about attitude!

 

5. Let go of stress:

In today’s world, we almost always find ourselves living in stress. It has become an inevitable part of our life.

But, beware as it can have a negative impact on our heart!

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According to certain health studies, there is a strong connection between stress and heart diseases. How exactly this occurs is not yet established. Is stress an independent risk factor or whether it affects other risk factors is not completely known.

Senior cardiologist Dr. Tilak Surarma says, “Studies have shown that long term stress results in a higher incidence of leading an unhealthy lifestyle. Many people with long term work related stress end up exercising lesser, follow an unhealthy diet, smoke and drink alcohol, which leads to obesity.” This in turn, increases chances of having hypertension, diabetes mellitus and high cholesterol.

So, stress makes one prone to have risk factors for coronary heart disease. Apart from this, chronic stress exposes one’s body to unhealthy elevated levels of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol, which can be detrimental for the heart.

Many people smoke a lot when in extreme stress conditions or consume a lot of alcohol. Both of these are major risk factors for heart ailments. Excess alcohol consumption can lead to cardiomyopathy, a condition in which heart muscles get weakened.

To reduce the harmful effects of stress on one’s heart, one can follow these easy tips-

a) Practice Yoga, Meditation and Pranayama:

Yoga is a good form of exercise and it can also be useful to combat stress. Meditation can calm you down. Practice it regularly for 15-20 minutes daily. Deep breathing exercises like pranayama help in controlling stress.

b)Maintain a Positive Attitude:

Everyone goes through stress, but each one of us handles it in different ways.

Let go of bad experiences and avoid anger, guilt, fear, hostility, anxiety. Face life’s challenges with a smile.

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Learn to FORGIVE AND FORGET easily to maintain your inner peace and tranquility ! 

Unforgiveness and holding onto anger and resentment kills your calm and harms you manifold. It is like a parasite which you hold on to and that keeps gnawing at your own health.

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c)Listen to your favorite music:

This helps in mental relaxation and helps decrease stress.

d)Take adequate sleep:

Early to bed and early to rise is the best option.

e)Take periodic breaks:

Go for vacations with friends and family. Enjoyment increases your happiness quotient and decreases stress.

 

6. Get Regular Checkups:

It is mandatory to monitor your blood pressure, sugar level, cholesterol, Triglyceride, and lipid profile on a regular basis. If there are warning signs, don’t ignore them and seek medical advice.

It is important to note that diabetic patients may have advanced heart disease and not show any symptom at all.

 

Warning signs can be:

  1. Chest pain
  2. Breathlessness with even minimum activity
  3. Palpitation
  4. Giddiness
  5. Insomnia
  6. Cold sweat
  7. Dizziness

You can reap great benefits towards good overall health by following these #chhote kadam(small steps).

Persistence is the  main key here.

So, Be Active , Eat Better and Stay Happy to keep your heart healthy and enjoy a blessed life! 

 

“I am joining the Saffolalife #ChhoteKadam initiative in association withBlogAdda and follow these small steps for a healthy heart.”

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The Mermaid Greenie !

Since the last few days, i had noticed my son staring at the TV screen with wide eyed wonder and excitement whenever the Colgate advertisement appeared during breaks. On closer look, i realized that he was inquisitive about the sea animals showed in the ad and their cutouts which were available free with the Colgate strong teeth toothpaste packs.

On noticing his curiosity and eagerness for these sea animal figurines, I promised to get him the Colgate toothpaste at the earliest if he brushed his teeth properly, following the method and correct brush strokes advised by his dentist and that too without fail. He quickly agreed to the deal.

In the evening when i brought him the Colgate packs with the magical sea world creatures printed on the inner side, he was full of enthusiasm and immediately set out to cut them and arrange them on a board to create the magical sea scene. He was completely engrossed in the fun and learning activity. Along with figurines, there were small snippets of information about those sea animals which greatly added to his knowledge.

After he had finished displaying the cut outs and created a wonderful scene which looked straight out of the recent movie ‘Finding Dory’ he invited all the family members for a story session. We all were made to sit around his sea scene display and witness him unlock his imagination and creativity. We were taken into the fascinating world of mermaids, pirates, treasures and dolphins.

Are you ready to sail along with him into this amazing  wonder world?  Hop on!

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Magical sea world cut out display

 

A long, long time ago, there was a mermaid with beautiful, shiny green eyes. Her name was Greenie. She lived inside the deep blue sea with her family. They lived happily and Greenie had lot of friends who lived in her neighborhood. They studied with her in the Seakids Academy, where they played together and also had lots of fun.

Sometimes, she liked to visit the sea shore to watch people on the beach, especially the little kids, whom she found so cute and adorable. Greenie would watch them making sand castles, looking bewildered at the splashing sea waves and soaking the warmth of the sun. Some of them frequented the ice-cream selling cart which was always surrounded by the merry making munchkins eager to try out different flavors.

One day, as she sat on a rock near the beach, lost deep in her thoughts, the pirate named Blackbeard saw her through his binoculars. The rock where she was sitting was quite a distance from the beach and hidden from public view by the bushes. Blackbeard was in his ship approaching the coast to anchor it at the harbor nearby. He had sailed the sea for years looking for treasure hidden at a secret location; but he had failed in all his attempts and always returned empty handed. This time too, success had eluded him. He was deeply frustrated because of his repeated failures.

The cunning Blackbeard had heard from some folks about the mermaid who knew about the secret location of the treasure. He also knew that this mermaid had green eyes and she often visited the shore to watch the human world and the playing kids. He immediately hatched a plan to kidnap her so that he could find the huge hidden treasure with her help.

Blackbeard, stealthily put a net near the shore to capture her when she returned to the sea to swim back home.

Greenie was completely oblivious of the devious plan of Blackbeard and had no idea of the trap. The sun had started setting on the horizon and soon darkness would spread its wings every where, so she decided to return back home. As soon as she entered the water to swim back home, she got badly entangled in the net and was completely trapped in it. Within minutes, she was dragged towards a ship through the ropes attached to the net.

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Blackbeard pulled her up into the ship and tied her with heavy chains to prevent her from escaping. His assistant Sadie was assigned the duty of keeping a constant watch on Greenie.

Greenie was very frightened and worried. Although she knew the secret location near the coral reef where the treasure was hidden and even the exact location inside a shipwreck where it was safely kept, she had no intention of divulging the truth to Black beard as the treasure was the rightful property of her friend  ‘Orange’-the octopus. Orange guarded his treasure with all his strength and might. Greenie would never let any harm approach her friend or his property.

On the second night of her capture, Greenie woke up with a startle by a sudden poke on her ear. As she looked around to check what it was, she saw a parrot hiding near- by and trying to convey her some message. Soon, she deciphered that the parrot, Peeku had been sent to search for her by her family and her friends- the sea horse, lion fish, tortoise and swordfish. They were really concerned about her well being when they found she was missing.

Peeku and Greenie thought of a plan to  free her from captivity. Soon enough, they found an opportune moment when Sadie dozed off on her chair from where she was keeping a vigil. Quickly, Peeku opened the lock of the chain around Greenie with his beak. He was an expert at this task having practiced it regularly.

Greenie silently freed herself from the chains and jumped into the inviting water of the sea and started swimming rapidly towards her home. Peeku flew over her to guide her and show her the way. On the way, she met her friends- the puffer fish, sword fish, smiley crab and blue dolphin who guarded her throughout her journey till she reached home safely. She thanked her friends wholeheartedly and invited all of them for a fun party at her home on the weekend.

After all, friend in need is a friend indeed !

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With this , my son ended the amazing story telling session with a promise to share another story the next day.

Along with having fun, getting inspired to create his own stories, this activity also taught him interesting facts about sea creatures like – crabs can walk sideways, octopus has three hearts and can change its color quickly, some starfish species can regrow limbs, sting ray uses it’s stinger for self defense, lion fish can be dangerous as their needle like spines and teeth can poison you, dolphins are smart and very friendly and many many more like these.

The four packs of colgate strong teeth toothpaste with different themes- Treasure hunt, Pirate ship, Sea magic and Coral reef are a wonderful way to unlock children’s imaginative abilities along with protecting their teeth and gums. So, get going and grab them all for your little ones and watch them having fun as they embark on the journey to the fantasy land of sea creatures.

 

 

 

 

 

Catch up on lost growth for your kids!

Health is wealth. We all know how true this statement is, and try our best to follow all possible guidelines to ensure that we and our family members stay always healthy. But in today’s time when the food available is deficient in nutritional factors due to various reasons like uncontrolled use of pesticides and insecticides, synthetic fertilizers and long days and distance of transportation, we need to put in extra efforts to achieve optimum health and to maintain it.

It becomes an even more tough and herculean task when we consider the question of optimum health for children. Most of the kids are fussy eaters, specially in regards to nutritionally rich vegetables and fruits. It is very difficult to make them understand the importance of nutrition rich foods and then to convince them to eat those. In such a scenario, nutritional supplements which can be added to milk come in handy. But, in some case, even these added supplements are not able to provide the growing child with sufficient requirements of nutrition. Many factors are responsible for this ,like child being too finicky and irregular in food habits or the low nutritional level of food being provided.

The growing children need extra doses of minerals and vitamins for optimum weight gain and height increase. When this is not available they fall behind in these parameters compared to their peer group. Lacking in height can be very emotionally traumatic for kids as they are prone to being bullied about this matter in school or socially. I have personally noticed some such cases.So, it becomes very important to address this issue for the best overall development of the child not just physically and mentally but also emotionally.

A new heath supplement Horlicks Growth+  has been specially formulated by child health experts keeping all these factors in mind. It has advanced nutrition for proper growth and development of growing children in the age group of 3 to 9 years. It contains added vitamins, minerals, proteins and other nutrients to help the child to catch up on lost growth in height or weight by providing extra boost of required nutrition to the body systems. According to surveys, it’s consumption has shown clinically proven visible growth in six months .

Is your child behind his peers in height or weight gain ? Then Horlicks Growth can be the right solution for him as it also contains high quality proteins. Please consult your pediatrician at the earliest to discuss the right amount of dosage of Horlicks Growth to be given to your child. The correct dose can vary from child to child depending on child’s metabolic rate, types of food items consumed and meal timings.

To check your child’s parameters of height and weight, try out the horlicks growth calculator at this site – https://growthplus.horlicks.in/.

This will help to check if your child is growing well.

Horlicks growth+ is available in two yummy flavors- chocolate and vanilla which are sure to be favorites of even the most finicky and choosy kids. It can be added to hot or cold milk or water. It is also suitable for vegetarians.

It is a nutritional supplement and not meant to replace meals. Therefore continue regular nutritional diet for your kids along with it.

Horlicks growth+ also  provides vitamin A, C and D which are important to build up healthy immunity for children and guard them against several diseases. So, take the right decision and choose this wonderful health aid.

 

Go Gaga On Yoga !

Today, on international yoga day, the enthusiasm in everyone to practice and follow yoga is infectious. Millions are stretching and doing the yoga postures. Let us know some more about it.

Yoga is a very ancient science of holistic style of living  which was developed in India around 5000 years ago.It is a discipline which integrates mind, body and soul. The techniques and wisdom of yoga have been used since Vedic age in India. It is not just a method but a complete way of life.

Yoga promotes all round development of personality of an individual as it helps to achieve fitness at all levels- physical, mental and emotional. Yoga is also completely natural. It creates harmony between humans and nature.

Some of the benefits of yoga are :

  1. Overall good health
  2. Increased flexibility
  3. Increased immunity
  4. Peace of mind
  5. Glowing healthy skin
  6. Increased discipline in all aspects of life

There are several forms of yoga practices with varied benefits. Some are

  1. HATHA YOGA– Hatha means ‘to be adamant’ in hindi language. This form of yoga involves techniques that help in being adamant to achieve total control over one’s body and mind through constant discipline. It helps to increase focus, patience and concentration.
  2. IYENGAR YOGA-This concept of integrating one’s mind and body was developed by Yogacharya BKS Iyengar. In this form, props, like wooden gadgets, ropes are used during asanas. It is therapeutic in nature and has been successfully used to treat several illnesses.
  3. PATANJALI YOGA- This is one of the most popular form being followed these days, promoted by yoga guru Baba Ramdev. It focuses on asanas and breathing exercises which help to strengthen one’s core. It helps in rejuvenating the whole bodyh and keeping it disease free.
  4. KRIYA YOGA-This meditation technique was brought in focus by Paramhansa Yoganand. Kriya is a method to control energy or pranayama. It accelerates one’s spiritual growth.
  5. BIKRAM YOGA This form was started by Bikram choudhary. In this, there is a sequence of 26 postures, which are designed to work systematically on each part of the body. Thus it helps in attaining optimum health.

There are around 84 classic asanas of yoga.

According to mythology, Lord Shiva is considered the Supreme Lord of yoga and he was the first yogi. Swami Vivekananda was the greatest proponent of Yoga in the west.

Let us make a decision to try and start practicing yoga regularly and achieve optimum health and efficiency in a Natural way!