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Tag Archives: Obesity
Living in the 21st cent is fraught with stress for the majority of individuals, regardless of age, gender, and nature of occupation or profession. The maximum stress results from trying to achieve the perfect work-life balance which seems elusive for almost all of us. Your normal lifestyle goes awry as you make every effort to establish the equilibrium that is appropriate for you.
In the process, you end up cultivating bad habits that you find very difficult to get rid of. But if you are a health-conscious individual, you are acutely aware of the significance and indispensability of healthy living. You know that neglecting your health will cost you heavily in the long run and in the worst case scenario might compel you to take premature retirement.
Healthy living is the sum total of healthy habits including consumption of balanced meals, exercising regularly, and abstaining from smoking or drinking. Developing good habits and sticking to them calls for nurturing a strong will and altering the mindset which many find an uphill task. Nevertheless, you must be prepared to make some degree of sacrifice if you wish to live healthy and live long. Following are the five ways you stand to benefit by leading a disciplined lifestyle.
1. You stay healthy and feel good
You will not be able to work efficiently if you do not feel good and vice versa. That there is a psychosomatic connection between the mind and the body has long been established. Healthy living promotes the smooth release of endorphins which are cerebral chemicals responsible for making you feel relaxed and spirited.
In order to encourage the production and secretion of endorphins, you’ll need to take nutritious and balanced diets, indulge in physical activities, and keeping yourself socially active. If you follow the abovementioned healthy habits on a regular basis, you’ll not only look better but feel better as well. And feeling good about yourself can go a long way in boosting your self-esteem and confidence.
2. Your weight is kept under a leash
It does not need to be emphasized that working out routinely and eating right not only prevents you from becoming obese but also lets you stay fit and trim. If Mayo Clinic is to be believed, staying in good physical shape keeps you from becoming overweight. Walking, cycling, swimming or jogging for 45 minutes to 1 hour daily will keep you slim as well as help stimulate the immune system, boost energy levels, and better cardiovascular health.
There are a few habits you can cultivate easily and will require a minimum effort like climbing the stairs rather than rushing into an elevator, walking the last 2-3kms to your home and so on. On the other hand, never skip breakfast which is the most important meal of the day but instead feast on fruits and vegetable preparations. Limit intake of fast and processed foods as much as you can.
3. You feel energetic throughout the day
The necessity of sticking to a balanced and nutritious diet and exercising habitually are also essential for keeping yourself energetic all through the working day. Include generous amounts and portions of vegetables, fruits, lean meats, whole grain preparations, and dairy products containing minimal fat in your everyday meals. Alternatively, maintaining a consistent workout program comes in handy for furthering endurance and building lean mass which in turn furnishes you with sufficient energy for healthy living.
4. Boosts the capacity of your immune system in combating diseases
Consuming healthy and wholesome foods regularly implies that your metabolism is good and the immune system functions effectively thereby keeping lifestyle diseases and disorders at bay. Routinely exercising means the cells, tissues, muscles, cartilages, and bones in your body remain consistently mobilized.
5. Existence is prolonged
Healthy living is tantamount to leading a disciplined life which in turn implies holding onto good habits that ultimately betters your longevity.
Image credit: silviarita
Studies recently published by the American Heart Association in combination with scientific findings by Michael Bancks, Ph.D., of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL have tested and found that how you treat your heart today, can significantly impact your quality of life and your brain functionality as you age.
Anyone serious about maintaining a healthy heart – and mind – should first consider the following seven steps which might “guarantee” a healthier life, you, and increased overall happiness.
1. Firstly, watching and maintaining a healthy blood pressure is at the top of the list. This means not only watching the foods that you eat, but also your physical activity levels (see more below), overall stress levels, and how you manage each.
2. The advice of properly managing your cholesterol is not something new, although it is a piece of health advice that is being pushed on the public and broadcasted more aggressively in recent years. And believe us, this deserves a place at the top of the list, as it can mean the difference between life and death – or your susceptibility to a heart attack!
3. Monitoring and taking care of your blood sugar we know it sounds simple, and unfortunately, a lot of people assume that if they just avoid sweets, coffee, and soda that they’ll be just fine. But the truth is, there are plenty of fruits and other healthy foods that can just as easily raise your blood glucose (sugar) levels to unhealthy heights. Worse, doing so consistently over the years can harm both your heart, and in turn your brain reducing performance, and overall longevity of the human body aging process.
4. Being more active – Who could forget this? Research has shown that those who exercise more frequently, even a simple 15-30 minute walk once a day or every other day will dramatically their overall health, and happiness. Walking also serves as an excellent way to reduce stress or even quit bad habits like smoking and drinking (see more on this below.) Taking care of your muscle and bone growth today can make the aging process and your body all the more happy, and likely to be still properly functioning by the time you’re 40 or 50 years old.
5. Finally, quit smoking. We know it sounds easier said than done, but stopping today can make a world of difference for how you feel, and the ways which you grow tomorrow. Protect yourself from a wide range of various likely cancers you can develop by smoking, and breathe better in just a matter of weeks by quitting today!
Be Happy, and Be Healthy!
Picture Credit: ElisaRiva
There is a growing body of literature that shows the damage that carbohydrates can have on our bodies, especially when overconsumed. There is growing concern that it is sugar and carbohydrates that have actually driven the increasing obesity levels in Western countries. This is in stark contrasting to the previous sentiment that fat was the culprit and the implications are tremendous. Carbohydrates are so heavy in many foods, particularly processed foods where high fructose corn syrup is often one of the top three ingredients. Now, research suggests that the detriment of carbohydrates extends beyond just metabolic diseases into potentially cancer risk as well.
A new study shows that people who consumed sugar drinks like soda or even juices had a rate of prostate cancer almost three times that of those who did not drink the same sugary liquids. Furthermore, people who ate processed lunch foods including pizza, burgers, and processed meat had twice the prostate cancer risk as those who did not. People who ate lean meats and healthy carbohydrates like vegetables and legumes, on the other hand, had a much lower risk of breast cancer than those who did not eat these nutritious foods.
NourMakarem, the lead author on the new study, explains that they looked at health records for 3,100 volunteers who offered up information beginning in the early 1970s. Diets began to be tracked in 1991. Makarem and her colleagues looked at the glycemic indices of the foods that were in the diets and used this to calculate the glycemic load in people’s diets. They then look at the retrospective data on cancer in the same patients and were able to assess potential associations between diet and cancer incidence.
The results showed very strong correlations. It should be stressed that this type of retrospective data research while growing in popularity, does have its limitations. In the end, it is only an association that can be drawn and not a causal conclusion. That being said, however, strong associations often have some underlying scientific mechanisms and in this case, the study is hypothesis-generating. Future research including randomized clinical trials (if possible and ethical) should be done to look at the impact that diet and carbs have on cancer risk. One of the other major limitations of the Makarem study was that the vast majority of patients were Caucasian.
Cancer is a very complicated set of diseases and the causes for each type are multifactorial. That being said, certain things seem to really drive the incidence up and trying to adjust our lives to avoid these risks may make sense in the overall assessment of our health prospects. Considering the synergies in avoiding the risk of other metabolic diseases by avoiding too many and bad carbs, it makes sense to cut back. When it comes to the metabolic diseases, such as diabetes, there are many studies that show causal relationships between carbohydrate consumption and the development of disease, so it is wise to cut back even if the cancer hypothesis turns out not to be true.
Image Credit: ArtsyBee
It is quite intriguing to note that more and more Americans have gone on record iterating that they don’t consider themselves to be obese, and hence not likely to be interested in weight loss programs. The chances of the present day US population expressing their desire to shed pounds and lose weight are less if the results of a recent poll or survey conducted on a section of American adults are to be believed. The survey was carried out by Gallup which revealed that more than 50 percent of Americans who were surveyed in the years between 2010 and 2016 had shown a desire for weight loss.
However, the corresponding figure for opinion polls conducted between 2000 and 2009 was 59 per cent which clearly establishes the aforementioned generalization that presently less number of Americans might be eager to slim up or melt the fat around their waists. Perhaps the inducement or stimulus for toning up the muscles or torching fat is in some way connected with the generation perception Americans have about obesity. Just about 44 percent of Americans felt that they were obese or overweight in the nineties. This figure came down to 41 percent in the initial millennial years and in the last seven years from 2010 to 2016, only 37 percent of the adult US population considered themselves to be obese.
The findings of the obesity perception of Americans were in sharp contrast compared to data collated from numerous other surveys indicating that the rate (of obesity) were on the rise in the US. In the last decade and a half, the obesity rate of/in the country demonstrated a steep 30.5 per cent spike in the year from 1999 to 2000. Then again, the rate heightened to 37.7 per cent in the year 2013-2014. These data were released by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. The exact reasons behind such findings that were at odds with each other are ambiguous but Gallup-the organization behind the survey also discovered that Americans’ insight or opinion about what constitutes ideal weight is also undergoing a sea-change.
Americans who were polled in the nineties considered 153 lbs to be the figure for ideal weight. Nevertheless, for polls that were carried out in the first decade of the new millennium, the corresponding figure was 159 lbs and for surveys conducted in between 2010 and 2016, the figure was `161’ lbs. Gallup, therefore, concluded that the benchmark or yardstick for an individual’s ideal weight showed a slow and steady increase.
Image Credit : Don Purcell