Articles on mental exercise

Regular Exercise Can Affect Your Health for Up to 20 Years

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Most people include exercise in their daily routine when they want to shed some weight or gain some muscle. But did you know that regular exercise today can affect your health for up to 20 years from now.According to a study published in the journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise, new research from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany suggests that your health and fitness habits can predict the outcome of your overall fitness and health almost 20 years later. The researchers analyzed 243 women and 252 men who were an average age of 45. The researchers used a four-stage "biopsychosocial model" to pinpoint factors that could have an impact on future health and fitness. The first stage included environmental factors, such as socioeconomic status and migration background. The second stage consisted of personal factors, including social support, stress management strategies and the feeling of coherence. Behavioral factors, such as smoking, physical exercise and nutrition habits made up the third stage, while the fourth stage consisted of physical fitness and health. The researchers found that nutrition and physical exercise habits reported at the baseline of the study affected the fitness of participants during the following 18 years.To keep yourself healthy follow the following steps:1. Eat healthyInclude fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. This will provide you with fiber, antioxidants and other trace elements which are necessary for overall health. Choose grilled, roasted, sauteed or steamed food over fried.2. Take enough sleepRest is really important for your body because lack of sleep can lead to disturbed physiology of your body. When you do not get enough sleep it may lead to cravings and an over-consumption of calories.3. Do your workoutMake a routine of working out at least 5 times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes. Exercise has many health benefits such as helping you in avoiding sugar cravings, giving you a toned body, burning fat, keeping your body’s organs functioning well, etc.4. WaterWater keeps your body hydrated which is really important for proper functioning of your internal organs. Drinking 10-12 glasses of water a day will keep your body hydrated and when fully hydrated, your body eliminates waste more effectively, which can quicken your digestive system and help you lose weight.So, make exercise a habit. It might start with the goal of losing weight or gaining muscle, but make it a permanent lifelong routine for its holistic lifelong benefits.

7 Steps You Can Take for Mental Well-Being

Akshata Bhat, Psychiatrist
Take care of yourselfAs simple as it may sound, the mere act of taking care of you is the first step to good mental health. Eat healthy, exercise and get adequate sleep every day. These are the building blocks to good physical health, which translate into mental well-being.Prioritize It is not possible to do everything. The constant effort to do so creates unrealistic expectations. It eventually results in disappointment. Life is too short to waste on unnecessary things, so figure out what your priorities are and focus on them.Invest in yourselfEnvision yourself as a company set up and funded by you. Whatever you invest, you will get the returns accordingly. Give yourself the best; whether it is moral support, top notch grooming or courses to equip you with skills in the field of your choice. Hold nothing back when it comes to you.Let it goHolding on to anything, be it anger, pain, jealousy, failing relationships, dead end jobs or toxic friends will only bring you unhappiness. Let it go. Cut the cord. Break the cycle. Letting go will make you receptive to newer and better opportunities in your life.Take a breakGetting caught up in the daily grind leave you with little time for yourself. Your mind and body need to recharge from time to time. Take time out for yourself everyday to do something you enjoy. ‘Me’ time will help you relax, and motivate you to meet your daily challenges.Be ridiculousLaughing helps to reduce stress and is an instant mood elevator. Having a good sense of humor helps you see the bright side in difficult situations. It makes you optimistic and hopeful. Humor is also a very attractive quality, and it will draw people towards you.Ask for helpOften people feel that asking for help is a sign of weakness; or that by doing so, it lowers your prestige. Thus, even in very tough times, we tend not to ask for help and try to handle everything by ourselves. The truth is that it takes immense courage to admit that you need help, and there is nothing wrong in asking for it.

Today Is Mental Health day.use Intuitions and 6th Sense.

Dr. Neelam Nath Bhatia, General Physician
There is No person with 100% correct mental /physical health. Every test carried out in blood has a range. A person is labeled diseased only if the limits exceed normal range or fall below the rangeThere are 3 types of personalities according to Ayurveda.Type A is like Air , Flighty ,always on the go , multitasking ,and result oriented. Type A need not be physically active all the time to achieve their goals. A racing mind is also associated with type A personality. Creative people ,leaders , intellectuals are Type A and the world is dependent on Type A types because They are the Leaders.Type B is like Water, flowy but slowly , working but without much strain on body or mind & We can call them Cool !Type C is like Earth , steady, accepting , not keen or adventerous ,dependent ,ready to please or get pleased.It is a colorful world consisting of all of the 3 types of people.Be Careful of manipulative people who can read the mind and trap the person , knowing well his/her vulnerabilities , exploit them and label the supposedly 'weak ' person as Mad.Remember the programme- Kamzor Kadi Kaun ? ( Who is the Weakest in the link ?)Bottled up Stress can make any normal human behave like Mad.Every Mental Illness does not require Medicines . A good counsellor can do a wonderful job.Who is a good counsellor? An MD doctor, An MA Psychology or an elder in the family or a close friend?It can be any of the above. I am sure one retains some of 6th sense / intuition to know about whom to confide without getting exploited More to get really Mad.Stay away from medicines for anxiety if possible.If none of the above is available as in our country Mental Disease is still a tag , unlike other physical diseases like heart and lung disease or the ones the person is borne with.Start writing a diary about positives and negatives that has happened in life so far. Write a page daily. It is like cleansing our souls. Give a pat to self for good job done daily and a slap for being bad and nasty.One has to maintain both Physical and Mental Health & we take care of physical health by going for a walk /exercising /eating the right food etc. Similarly Mental Health needs to be Protected by each one of us through our own ways.Know yourself before knowing others and analyse self before being Judgemental.Social isolation can increase the risk of both cardiac and mental illness and sometimes it can be a Deliberate attempt to Isolate Seniors of family for Selfish purposes. Do Not Yield in. Remain connected with like minded people and do contribute to society like volunteering,mentoring,joining a civic club or scheduling outings with friends.Medicines should be the last resort of cure of mental disease for a person of any age, a mother can read her child and analyse the demands,adult child of same mother can be able to read the mind of mother. Never mind if child is settled well far away.Dementia or forgetfulness are 1st stages of routine mental illnesses and these are preventable by just doing simple Self Analysis.

How Exercise Prevents Dementia and Alzheimer's

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Leading a physically active lifestyle helps you live a longer and healthier life.Researchers from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, claim that dementia sufferers benefit greatly from regular exercise, demonstrating improvements in cognitive functioning and their ability to perform daily activities.Dementia is an umbrella term that covers a range of cognitive disorders characterized by memory loss and changes in personality. Since vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia (after Alzheimer's disease), by reducing the risk of cerebro-vascular disease it is possible to reduce the risk of dementia.Some studies say Alzheimer's and other dementias may be caused by high blood pressure, since it can cause blood vessel damage through constriction.Physical exercises help in maintaining good blood cholesterol levels, healthy body weight and normal blood pressure, all of which indirectly help in lowering the risk of developing dementia. An active lifestyle can almost halve the risk of dementia, compared to a sedentary lifestyle. The effect of physical activity is not limited to vascular effects. For instance, exercise can give rise to new neuron in the brain, as well as release a substance that protects the brain. Exercise is beneficial for physical and mental health and can help to improve the quality of life for people in all stages of dementia. It includes a wide range of physical activities from walking across the room to gardening to high-intensity workouts.Exercise helps to improve cognition. Recent studies have shown that exercise may improve memory and slow down mental decline and even improves strength and balance, which helps to counteract the fear of falling.A healthy lifestyle includes physical activity as part of a daily routine which will help to maintain well-being for as long as possible. Physical activity creates valuable opportunities to socialize with others and can help improve and maintain a person's independence, which is beneficial both to people with dementia and their caregivers.Every person is unique and will have different levels of ability and certain specific physical activities that they enjoy.Even though dementia is common among the elderly, make exercise a regular part of your life, irrespective of your age and mental health.

Exercise 101!

Ms. Tehzeeb, Dietitian/Nutritionist
YES, the benefits of exercise are written on, heard about and perhaps all too overdone. Yet, here we are doing a quick and dirty summary for all you readers about 10 exercise basics.1. First things first, you need one! Yes, no matter your age, sex, geographical location, social status, body composition, we all need to workout. Exercise is an anti-ageing tool which means that it would make us look and feel younger. Now who doesn’t want that?2. It can be broken down into 3 components: endurance, flexibility and strength and a good workout would encompass all of these 3 componentsEndurance – In simple terms, how much your body can ‘ensure’ without reaching a point of fatigue. Examples include walking, jogging, running, dancing, swimming, tennis, squash to name a fewFlexibility- Flexibility training includes exercises for the purpose of increasing one’s range of motion and making the muscles more tensile. Excellent examples of activities that improve flexibility are yoga and stretching exercisesStrength- The maximum amount of force a muscle or muscle group can develop during a single contraction. Examples are lifting weights, using a resistance band, using your own body weight3. Pre-workout – Want to get the most out of your workout? Then you need to plan a healthy, nutritious pre-workout meal to better fuel your body for the exercise. Best to consume a fruit 30 minutes prior to working out. If working out post breakfast, lunch or a bigger meal, a gap of 90 minutes is recommended4. Post workout – Eating a meal after the workout is just as important as a pre-workout meal as it helps to replenish the glycogen stores that are used up during the workout. Also, a meal would help repair and recover our muscle tissues which have gone through damage during the workout. What you eat would largely depend on time of workout completion. If you workout in the mornings, then a breakfast immediately post workout would be a good idea. If evenings, then dinner5. Warming up – This is the first step to a successful exercise. It helps to raise the total body temperature and muscle temperature that is required for vigorous exercises and to prevent injuries6. A cool down – This allows for the gradual return of heart rate, respiratory rate and core body temperature back to pre-exercise levels. It also ensures that you don’t go through post-exercise stiffness thereby allowing for a more efficient exercise7. Consistency – 2 days a week for 3 months is better than 7 days a week for 1 month and 2 months of doing nothing and eating in front of the TV. No, we’re not telling you to workout less, we are asking you to be consistent with whatever it is that you commit to. This forms the basis of a healthy, lifelong exercise plan8. Drink up! Your body needs the good old H20 to refill back the fluid loss we experience due to sweating. So drink enough water during and after your workout9. Even if it’s 15 minutes a day, it counts. Some exercise is better than no exercise and 15 minutes spent on exercise would be 15 less minutes spent on your iPhone which is a complete win10. Baseline diet – So here’s where we actually come into the picture. A good baseline diet will serve many purposes (replenish glycogen stores, counter damage that body cells go through during workout). Below are a few elements that comprise of a good baseline diet:A fruit pre-workoutA wholesome meal within the first hour of finishing the workoutMinimal consumption of foods which are packaged, processed and deep-friedNo blanket bans on carbs and fatsSensible eating—no restriction, limitation, starvation.

Mental illness, Time to Talk About It!

Dr. Anamay K. Bidwai, General Physician
Today is mental illness day.Incidences of mental illness are going up in India, a recent study shows that every fourth Indian might be having some symptom or might have had some symptoms like depression, anxiety, panic attacks, phobias etc.The reason for increase in the number of patients with mental illness is change in life style, increasing day to day stress, break down of joint family structure resulting in less moral support.Another reason is increasing awareness about mental illness, more and more people are coming out to get treated, more and more are being diagnosed, so those who were hiding their disease and suffering in silence are now getting treatment and enjoying better quality of life.Mental illness has been the taboo associated with it, time has come that we understand that brain too is an organ like any other organ like heart, liver or kidney.So if heart, liver, kidney can develop malfunction why not brain? Like other organs brain too might have some problem, like heart, liver, kidney diseases, even brain can be treated with medicines and other measures.There is nothing wrong if you have depression or anxiety, talk to your family members or close friends about it, see a psychiatrist, if you neglect your problem it will only increase with time.There was a time when any one who went to a psychiatrist was considered " pagal" or " mad", it is not so any more, we must remove the taboo created around mental illness and accept it as any other health issue.Many great people who had mental health issues like schizophrenia, dyslexia, autism, bipolar disorder, organic depression have gone on to win noble prizes, have made great inventions, gone to become heads of states, all this because they got treated in time, used their will power to come over the problem and made best use of their potential.If you suffer from loss of sleep, unexplained loss of weight, loss of apatite, urge to remain alone all time, loss of interest in work, loss of interest in sex, mood swings, anxiety of going to crowded places, lethargy, unwillingness to meet new people, you must see a doctor and seek advice.It is always very important to have a person with you during the steps of treatment, it may be your wife, mother, father, close friend or some one you trust. Today, lets resolve  not to treat mental illness as taboo, lets open up and understand that a person with mental illness can be treated, with treatment he/she can enjoy a good quality of life and contribute positively to family and community.

6 Ways to Maintain Your Everyday Mental Health

Dr. Mehak Nagpal, Psychiatrist
When we feel physically unwell, most of us visit the doctor. But many of even when we feel we are in the wrong frame of mind, have bad moods, feel sick of ourselves,etc. we simply get on with life, not really being aware of the effects our behaviour and thoughts might be having on our general sense of wellbeing. With that in mind, here are six steps aimed at keeping you in top psychological condition. These are the areas that are important for building self-confidence and living a life that is not thwarted by anxiety or low moods. Where to focus your efforts and to seek help if that doesn't work. Work on accepting your situation: Accept what you don't like in your life. That doesn't mean you can't try to change it, but acceptance helps everything feel far more bearable as you work towards a happier situation.Be nice to yourself: Every human deserves the same kindness, love and understanding, even you.Make the effort to stay fit: There exists a definite link between mind and body. Your ability to cope with life is improved by a nutritious diet and a regular exercise programme.Connect with others: Lonely people are at greater risk for immune and cardiovascular system disorders, and sleep is often more of a problem for people affected by loneliness. Making connections with new people as well as tending to family ties is extremely important.Take time out for yourself: Work out what truly interests you and make sure it is a genuine decision, not one forced by anyone else's desires or limitations.Stay organised so you have to worry less.

Stair Climbing Exercise

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Running is a great exercise, but many people who don't like to run for multiple reasons: its too hot, its boring, don't have a good place to run, too polluted to run outside, running is not for me (even though they haven't tried it after they turned 8) and our favorite, 'I do not like to sweat'.So, try stair climbing as an exercise. Stairs are easy to access. Most of us live in cities with plenty of high rises around us. Even a 5-6 story building is a good place to start, or a stadium. Our homes, offices, malls all have stairs. So, there are plenty of opportunity to use them.Stair Climbing as an exercise: Walk up the stairs briskly. Take the elevator down and repeat. If you're in good physical shape, try running them. When you can't run anymore, keep a brisk pace walking up those stairs.  Its one of the best cardio exercises and its a great muscle builder. Running stairs or even climbing them briskly is a serious workout. Gets your heart pumping and builds those ignored leg muscles- the calves, quads, hamstrings and even the glutes. Stair climbing gives you great calves to show off your hot legs in shorts or a skirt and gives you a great butt. We all love a good butt :)Stair Climbing a complete fat scorching exercise and calorie burning exercise. Its short and intense- burns fat, builds muscle.Even if you enjoy running, try stair climbing for cross training. Since it really pushes you leg muscles, it helps to build them and improve speed.Stair climbing sounds daunting- try going up a couple of floors. Its not easy to start, but keep at it. When you see yourself getting hotter, you won't need motivation from anyone else!

Why Exercise Is Even More Important in Old Age

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Regular exercise can help boost energy, manage and prevent most ailments and even reverse some of the symptoms of aging. As you grow older, an active lifestyle is more important than ever. Exercise is good for your body, mind, mood, and memory.Starting or maintaining a regular exercise routine can be a challenge as you get older. There are many reasons and excuses to slow down and take it easy as you age, such as: • There is no point in exercising. You are anyway getting old. • Older people should not exercise to save strength and energy. • Exercise puts the elderly at the risk of falling or injury. • It’s too late to start. • Disabled elderly cannot exercise sitting down.The above excuses and reasons are all untrue. No matter what your age is or your current physical condition, you can benefit from exercise. As you age, regular exercise is more important than ever to your body and mind. Exercising has many health benefits, such as the ones mentioned below:Physical Health benefits:• Exercise helps older adults maintain or lose weight: Due to the effect of aging, body metabolism slows down naturally, which may lead to weight gain. Exercising can help boost metabolism and maintain body weight.• Exercise reduces the impact of illnesses and chronic diseases: Regular exercise improves the body’s immune response, helping in keeping illnesses and chronic diseases at bay. Along with benefitting the immune system, exercise also aids in better heart health and blood pressure, better bone density,and better digestive functioning. Exercise even leads to a lowered risk of several chronic conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and colon cancer.• Exercise enhances mobility, flexibility, and balance in adults over 50. Exercise improves your strength, flexibility and posture, which in turn will help with balance, coordination, and reducing the risk of falls. Strength training also helps alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis.Mental Health Benefits:• Exercise improves your sleep: Poor sleep is one of the consequences of aging and quality sleep is important for your overall health. Exercise helps you fall asleep more quickly and a sound sleep.• Exercise boosts mood and self-confidence: Exercise leads to the production of a hormone called Endorphin which is also known as the happy hormone. This hormone can actually help you feel better and reduce feelings of sadness or depression. Being active and feeling strong helps you feel more self-confident as you age.• Exercise is good for the brain. Exercise benefits regular brain functions and can help keep the brain active. Exercise may even help slow the progression of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.Here are some tips mentioned to get started safely:• Ask your doctor before starting an exercise program and identify what needs to be avoided, especially if you have a pre-existing condition.• Keep in mind how your ongoing health problems affect your workouts. For example, diabetics may need to adjust the timing of medication and meal plans when setting an exercise schedule.• Divide the workout into two 10 minute sessions separated by 8-10 hours.• Force yourself to stick to an exercise schedule.• Stay motivated by focusing on short-term goals, such as improving your mood and energy levels and reducing stress, rather than goals such as weight loss, which can take longer to achieve.• Stop exercising immediately and call your doctor if you feel dizzy or short of breath, develop chest pain or pressure, break out a cold sweat, or experience pain.