December 30, 2011

5 Pointers for the Party

A lot of times you would have heard tips from your elders or ‘Health freaks’, when your standard response would have been a mental smirk – “Is this what they have come up with, after years of studying?” or “This is so basic – I know it without even reading up about it”. If you can relate to it, then you are the right person to read this article. 

Big Deal!
5 basic tips that would come handy for your new Year Bash! Well, this note might elicit a similar response, but wait – let me add a bit more credence to it – ALL of these pointers are results of various studies, and more so, each of them has a certain effect on you as well – spare a minute to read through – am sure you might pick up atleast a thing or two.

Imagine yourself to be the uber-confident guy whose response to 90% of the things told to him are “So What! Big Deal!” And you have two more people joining you – the Happy Watchman who does not really interfere too much in your life, but every time he passes by your side, he puts in one or two pieces of relevant friendly advice. And of course, walking right in front of you is also the gorgeous nutritionist, who, somehow never ages at all – our dear Aunt Nutrition, who supports your point with science!

Tip #1 - Don’t Keep Sitting All the time
Big Deal-Guy: Yes – that’s obvious, else I will become fat and a couch potato!
Happy Watchman - Sitting for long hours can make your bum bigger. As per a study (mentioned in TOI few days back), the pressure put on areas of the body ‘used for sitting’ produces upto 50% more fat in those parts! This impacts not only ones who have a sedentary behaviour, but even those with a healthy diet and exercise habits are prone to be affected, if they spend long hours behind a desk. More so, it also raises your risk of developing cancer. 
Researchers have found a strong connection between inactivity and unregulated cell growth, which could finally raise a person’s risk of developing breast and colon cancer. They have recommended that one should indulge in some activity for one-two minutes for every hour of sitting! There is about 25-30% reduction in risk with higher levels of physical activity.

Aunt Nutrition – When subject to prolonged periods of ‘mechanical stretching loads’, the preadipocyte cells – the precursors to fat cells – turn into fat cells and produce even more fat – leading to fat replacing muscles / tissue in the body. For the cancer risk, parameters such as indicators of cancer risk, including sex hormones, insulin resistance, inflammation and body fatness – show improvement in women taking brisk daily walks [Via]

Tip #2 – Whatever you Eat, Eat Slowly
Big Deal-Guy: “Yeah Yeah, else food will not be digested and I will get fatter, right? Big Deal!
Happy WatchmanIf you want to reduce your risk of developing diabetes later in life, eat slowly. Study shows that fast eaters have a higher chance of developing diabetes. 40% of Cancers are caused by Factors we can change, including how we eat!
Aunt Nutrition: Study done in Japan found that people who eat food quickly are twice as likely to develop impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), known as pre-diabetes. Some 40-50% of the cases that develop IGT develop Type 2 diabetes within 10 years [Pic]

Tip #3 – Stay hydrated
Big Deal-Guy: "What?? I am drinking Alcohol for hydration, and maybe, soda as well!"
Happy Watchman: Water makes up approximately 60 to 70 percent of the human body by weight, so all of us need to stay hydrated to keep our bodies running smoothly. Avoid dehydration, while having alcohol.
Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it makes you pee alot and drains your body of fluids. After a night of drinking too much......have a glass or 2 of water before bed. You will feel less dehydrated. And your kidneys will thank you.
Aunt Nutrition: Consumption of ethanol has a dehydrating effect by causing increased urine production (diuresis), which causes headaches, dry mouth, and  lethargy. This can be mitigated by drinking water before, during and after consumption of alcohol. [Pic]

Tip #4 – Don’t Consume High Calorie Food with Alcohol
Big Deal Guy: “Why? Because I’ll puke if I eat too much?”
Aunt Nutrition -  It is not Alcohol per se, which adds to your calories, but it is what you have along with Alcohol that matters. Your body processes alcohol first, before fat, protein, or carbs. Thus drinking slows down the burning of fat. This could account for the weight gain seen in some studies.What you eat is important—if you consume a lot of cheese or other high-calorie snacks while drinking, you’ll most likely gain weight. [Via Shapefit]

Tip #5 – Gossip, Dance and Have Some dark Chocolate
A study published few months back establishes a strong correlation between coronary heart disease and satisfaction levels in four life domains—job, family, sex life and self. And that stress and depression increase the risk of heart disease.

Happy Watchman- “Love a little” – It includes gossiping with friends every once in a while, watching a movie or play that makes you laugh, or even joining a laughter club. Also, include the occasional bite of dark chocolate, black tea or coffee, and even some wine, in your diet. In fact, Chocolate is good for your skin as well (Via)

Aunt Nutrition - “When we’re under stress, our body releases ‘fight or flight’ hormones called catecholamine which increase heart rate, blood pressure and blood glucose levels, and all these increase the risk of heart diseases,”.
Way out - There is a factor of gratification which is important in everyone’s life. This releases some endorphins which are cardio-protective. Activities that give gratification, like gossiping, laughing, watching a movie, etc, release ‘feel good’ hormones in our body, called endorphins, and these help quieten the apprehension surge in the body. This results in a surge in heart rate and a lowering of blood pressure.

Also, sex is good for the heart - Sex is anti-ageing. Making love is a way for couples to come together and connect.It’s a stress buster. In fact, touching each other and indulging in foreplay releases the same cardio-protective hormones, and couples who are intimate well into their 60s and 70s live longer and are more healthy [Via Live Mint]

These are few basic things that might help. The Happy Watchman went back to his work, and Aunt Nutrition is smiling at the Big Deal Guy, hoping that the “Big Deal” guy also took out something from this, except, of course, the last bit!

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