Tag Archives: health tips

Consult your doctor before starting an exercise program. Here’s why!

Exercise should be an important part of our daily routine. It helps strengthen the bones and muscles, while reducing the risk of heart disease by controlling the weight. However, many of us find it a little difficult to include exercise in our schedule. Most of us spend our free time on gadgets, rather than performing physical activities to keep ourselves healthy and fit.

However, many people have started to realize the importance of a healthy lifestyle. They get started with different exercise programs to regain the fitness without knowing the physical state of their bodies. This is where they face a number of challenges to maintain the energy levels and consistency, due to the lack of practice, unhealthy routines, etc.

According to the medical practitioners at AMRI Hospitals Kolkata, it is important for people to consult a doctor before starting an exercise program, especially if they have pre-existing health conditions. People who are completely healthy and do not have any underlying health issues can get started with the exercise right away.

Here are some of the major health conditions that make it important for the people to visit a doctor before starting an exercise program:

  • Asthma and lung disease
  • Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer

Other than these major diseases, there are various other health conditions that may require consultation with a doctor before starting the workout. Some of the symptoms that may indicate a severe medical condition are:

  • Pain in the chest, neck and arms, during any physical activity
  • Breathing problem while lying down or sitting
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness while exercising
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Ankle swelling during the night
  • Leg pain while walking

Some of the leading health practitioners at AMRI Hospitals suggest that every individual must include exercise in his daily routine. Healthy people can choose any of the exercise programs, whereas people with pre-existing conditions need to follow the exercise program recommended by their doctor to ensure safety as well as fitness.

Tips To Keep You Healthy through the Winter

Here are a few tips to incorporate into your winter routine until the March equinox heralds the beginning of spring.

Stay Physically Active

Despite the strong urge we all have to curl up on the couch on those cold winter days, we all need to keep physically active. If you already have a workout routine, try to stick to it. If you must, exercise at home instead of the gym. Exercise strengthens your immune system and lowers your stress levels. Stress can make it harder for us to fight off infections, like a cold or the flu, which are especially prevalent during the winter months.

Treat Hypothermia & Frostbite

Always treat hypothermia and frostbite immediately. Hypothermia occurs when the body’s core temp drops to below 95 °F. Frostbite, on the other hand, occurs due to the freezing of the skin and underlying tissue. Of note, even skin that is protected can get frostbitten—it’s the most common injury caused by severe cold. At the first sign of any cold injury, remove any wet clothing, and move the person to a protected environment.

Wash Your Hands Regularly

A simple, basic tenet of infectious disease control is regular handwashing. Handwashing can reduce the incidence of respiratory infections in the general population by 16% to 21%.

Eat Right

Eating right is a must to stay healthy all winter long, and with the holiday season past us, it may be easier to do so. Here are a few tips on which food choices may help you stay healthy.

  1. Eat more fiber.
  2. Eat more dark green and orange vegetables.
  3. Spice up your cooking.

Get Enough Sleep

Did you know well-rested people who get the flu vaccine often go on to develop better immunity against the flu than those who are sleep deprived? Indeed, it has been clinically shown that a lack of sleep could jeopardize the effectiveness of vaccines. Sleep is especially important in the winter when the cold temperatures, drastic changes in climate, increased physical requirements of just getting around can use up all of your energy.

Winter is a beautiful season, but it can take a toll on your health. Remember these tips, and try to incorporate them into your winter routine to stay healthy and better enjoy the season to the fullest.

Signs of Unhealthy Gut and Tips to Improve Gut Health

Gut health is one crucial element of our overall health, hence having an unhealthy gut is something that requires our attention. There are many factors affecting gut health. Some of these are a diet that is high in sugar and processed food, sleep deprivation, and elevated stress levels.

An unhealthy gut manifests itself in different ways. Here are 5 signs to watch out for:

1. Digestive Issues

A healthy gut won’t have chronic problems digesting foods and eliminating wastes. So, if you frequently experience constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, or heartburn, then it is time to seek medical attention. Any of these stomach disturbances signals gut issues.

2. Unplanned Weight Changes

Unintentionally gaining or losing weight even when you don’t alter your diet or exercise routine may also be another sign of an unhealthy gut. Bacteria that is imbalanced in the gut impairs its ability to absorb nutrients, store fat, and regulate blood sugar. Unplanned weight loss can be caused by the overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestines. On the other hand, weight gain or extra fat around the abdomen may be the result of your body’s resistance to insulin. This is because the gut cannot completely absorb nutrients.

3. Skin problems

Eczema and rosacea may be signs of a damaged gut. Whether from a poor diet, food allergies, or a combination, inflammation in the stomach or on the skin may result. Other skin conditions, such as dermatitis, acne, and psoriasis may also be caused by an unbalanced or unhealthy microbiome in your gut.

4. Food intolerances

Food intolerances can develop for many reasons, one of which is thought to be poor quality of gut bacteria. If this is the case, one experiences difficulty digesting the trigger foods. This then causes issues like stomach pain, bloating, gas, nausea, and diarrhea.’

5. Autoimmune diseases

Intestinal microbiota play a crucial role in the immune system. An unhealthy gut causes systemic inflammation, leading to altered functioning of the immune system. Worse, this may even lead to autoimmune diseases, wherein the body attacks itself instead of harmful invaders.

Some Tips to Improve Gut Health

1. Quality sleep

Making sleep a top priority promotes gut health. Aim to get at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep nightly, which offers other health benefits as well. A study involving healthy young adults revealed that being sleep deprived for 2 consecutive nights decreases the good bacteria in the digestive system by close to 50%. It is also observed that the subjects decreased their insulin resistance by 20%. Their gut bacteria also started to resemble those of obese people.

2. Healthy diet

Have a healthy diet to boost beneficial gut bacteria. Decrease intake of processed, high-sugar and high-fat foods. Substitute these with lean protein and plenty of plant-based foods. Eating foods that are high in fiber also promotes gut health as well as consuming probiotic-rich foods.

In A Nutshell

The gut is more than just a part of the body. It has a huge impact in our general health; therefore, it deserves nothing but our utmost attention. A healthy gut is key to a healthy heart and brain, good digestion, and improved mood. It can even prevent certain diseases. Take the necessary lifestyle changes today to promote gut health and sow the benefits of holistic health.

3 Tips to Prevent Neck Pain

Without knowing it, you may be encouraging neck pain by the way you perform everyday activities. How you carry yourself can invite neck pain or help keep it at bay. In general, try to keep your head balanced directly over your spine, so it is not leaning forward or cocked to one side. That’s because your neck’s principal job is to support your head, and your head weighs a lot—about 10 to 12 pounds.

Here are some hints for achieving a healthy neck posture in common activities.

At the computer or desk

When working at your computer or at a desk, keep your head balanced directly over your spine as much as possible. That means setting your chair height so both your feet can rest on the ground, and sitting with your buttocks far back in your chair, using a small pillow to support your lower back if needed. Properly adjusting the keyboard and monitor may be difficult or impossible with a laptop, notebook, or tablet computer. You can plug in a separate, full-size keyboard to help you achieve better positioning. If that’s not an option, placing your laptop or notebook computer on a desk of standard height and propping it to about a 12% incline (a one-inch book or ring binder should do the trick) keeps your head and neck in a healthier position. The downside is that it does place slightly more stress on your wrists.

No matter how perfect your office chair posture, it’s important to get up and move around every half-hour, as prolonged sitting has been linked to worsening of neck pain and other health problems. If you tend to get lost in your work, program your computer to flash a reminder, or set an alarm on your smartphone. Stretching can help, too. Shrug your shoulders up and down or lean your head to each side while pulling the opposite shoulder down.

Telephone use

If you spend a lot of time on the phone, try to avoid leaning your head to one side. This is also important when you use a cellphone and aren’t sitting at your desk while you speak. A headset, earbuds, or speakerphone are good options to help keep your head in a neutral position for hands-free talking. Headsets are available for both your desk phone and cellphone.

Reading at home

If you are sitting in a chair, try to maintain an upright posture. Hold the book so that you don’t have to lean down or forward to see it. A pillow on your lap may help. If you must read in bed, sit up straight or use a specially designed wedge pillow. Or lie on your side with your neck straight and hold the book in front of you.

Self-Care Tips for Eating Disorder Recovery That Don’t Involve Food

Proper nutrition is undeniably one of the most important factors of physical health, but when you’re living with an eating disorder, it is also the most overwhelming factor. Trying to stay healthy sometimes seems like a lost cause altogether, but as someone who has been through recovery and come out on the other side, I’m here to tell you there are tons of other ways to take care of your body while you’re sorting out the nutrition piece with your treatment team. Don’t get me wrong — no matter how hard it is, nutrition is extremely important and should be worked on at all times, but while this piece is lacking, it is important to do all you can to stay as healthy as possible.

Here are four ways to honor and care for your body that do not involve food.

1. Nourish your skin.

Your body’s largest organ, your skin, is undoubtedly affected during your eating disorder. Find a skincare routine that makes you feel good both physically and mentally. Find that face wash that makes you feel cleansed, find that lotion that smells and feels heavenly, and find that face mask that makes you feel like a new person.

2. Give your hair some love.

However you like to maintain your hair — whether that’s short, long or bald — there are always ways to make it look and feel beautiful, even if your eating disorder has affected it. If your hair is dry and brittle, research homemade masques that promote strong, nourished hair. If you wear your hair the same way every day, look on Pinterest for some new styles that are easy to do and make you feel more confident. If you’re feeling adventurous, maybe even dye your hair a fun color or get a new cut. If you don’t have hair, look into ways to maintain your scalp health.

3. Massage!

Massages can definitely be scary when you’re uncomfortable with your body, not to mention expensive. If getting one professionally is not an option for whatever reason, invest in a self-massager — you can find them inexpensively at department stores. Alternatively, you can ask a friend or significant other to do it, or do it yourself! Research hand massages, scalp massages, leg massages or find a way to massage an area you hold tension in. Massages stimulate blood flow, which in turn makes you feel more alert and happier.

4. Stretch

This can be a tough one if you deal with compulsive exercise or your exercise is restricted, so talk to your treatment team first. Maybe come up with a list of stretches that work for your body and your recovery. Stretching can be anything from standing on your tip-toes and reaching up to the sky in the morning, to doing one or two of your favorite yoga poses, to practicing yoga for 20 minutes. Stretching is a good way to move and learn to honor yourself and your body. It helps to release tension and to recognize all your body does for you. If you can, explore what feels good to you and try to commit to a regular routine of stretching that is appropriate and healthy for you. It’s a simple way to promote your health both physically and mentally!

Make a list of ways you like to care for and honor your body, and on days you are grieving the ways your eating disorder has affected your body, refer to the list and remind yourself that health has many factors. There is always something you can do to help yourself.

Five ways to keep your kidneys healthy

The kidney is one of the most important organs in our body as it plays a crucial role in removing waste products from the blood and regulating the fluid levels. Every day these organs, which are placed below your rib cage on either side of your spine, filter about 180 ml of blood to sift out about 800 ml of waste product and excess water. Hence, it is very important to keep the kidneys healthy.

While preventing the build-up of wastes and excess fluid, kidneys also keep electrolyte levels stable and produce hormones that make red blood cells. People who have high blood pressure, diabetes or a family history of kidney failure are at increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease. Here are five simple lifestyle changes one can make to ensure the healthy functioning of the kidneys:-

Drinking plenty of water

Drinking plenty of water will help the kidneys function properly. An individual weighing about 70 kg requires around 2500 ml water to avoid dehydration. Your body is well hydrated if your urine is straw-coloured; if it is darker, it is an indicator to increase your fluid intake.

Regular Health Checkups

As per a report, diabetes and hypertension account for about 40-60 per cent cases of chronic kidney disease in India. Therefore, if you have a history of any of the co-morbidities, get yourself screened regularly and keep the levels under control. Get your A1C test at least twice a year, but ideally up to four times a year. If your blood pressure is high, get it checked frequently and keep it under control to make sure your kidneys stay fit. Following a DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet also helps reduce blood pressure.

Eat Healthy Food

Eating a healthy, balanced diet ensures you are getting ample vitamins and minerals for the proper functioning of the organs. No single food provides nutrients in the right quantity for good health so avoid monotonous diet; eat a variety of seasonal foods. Choose natural foods as they more nutritious than their preserved counterparts. Remember to eat well, but do not over eat as it can lead to obesity. Regular exercise can also help keep your blood pressure and sugar levels under control. Exercises such as walking, cycling or swimming also help maintain your kidney health.

Quit Smoking

Smoking can damage blood vessels and raise the chance of high blood pressure, which is a leading cause of kidney failure. People with high blood pressure should talk with their health care provider about available therapy and treatment to quit smoking.