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Stress is the most important cause of heart disease. One can hardly pick up a newspaper or magazine or watch TV without seeing or hearing some reference to stress. Why all the sudden fuss and fascinating? After all, stress has been around since Adam and Eve were evicted from the Garden of Eden.
Is it because there is much more stress today? Is it because the nature of contemporary stress is somehow different and more dangerous? On the other hand, is it because scientific research has increasingly confirmed the crucial role stress can play in causing and aggravating different disorders and the diverse mechanisms of actions responsible for mediating its multitudinous effects? The answer to all of these questions is a very resounding “Yes!” The body may contain its own best pharmacy. We are committed to developing a better understanding of how to tap into the vast innate potential that resides in each of us for preventing disease and promoting health. Good health is more than just the absence of illness. Rather, it is a very robust state of physical and emotional well-being, that acknowledge the importance and inseparability of mind/body relationship. We want you to harness stress, so that it can work for you, and make you more productive, rather than self-destructive. Stress is an unavoidable consequence of life. Too much tension makes a shrill, annoying noise or snaps the string. However, just the right degree can create a magnificent tone. Similarly, we all need to find the proper level of stress that allows us to perform optimally and make melodious music as we go through life.
It controls/has ability to increase:
- Blood pressure
- Blood sugar
- Cholesterol, Triglycerides
- It decreases HDL
- It increases Smoking, Alcohol intake
Talking of stress management, we must warn you that you cannot expect to go to zero stress. That is an impossible target for any of us. Some stress is required for you to stay in this society, to fulfil your responsibility. Without it, you will become an outcast of the society or have to leave everyone and stay alone. Stress can be graded into four grades, for the sake of understanding, though any watertight division is impossible to make. As the measurement of stress is not available, we cannot quantify the stress. But the following grading can still be possible:
- Minimum Stress
- Optimum Stress
- High Stress or Sub Maximal Stress
- Very High Stress
Mental stress is as major a trigger for angina as physical stress. Incidents of acute stress have been associated with a higher risk for serious cardiac events, such as heart rhythm abnormalities and heart attacks, and even death from such events in people with heart disease. Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system (the automatic part of the nervous system that affects many organs, including the heart). Such actions and others negatively affect the heart in several ways:
- Stress causes blood to become stickier (possibly in preparation of potential injury), increasing the likelihood of an artery-clogging blood clot. Sudden stress increases the pumping action and rate of the heart causes the arteries to constrict, thereby posing a risk for blocking blood flow of the heart.
- Stress signals the body to release fat into the bloodstream, raising blood-cholesterol levels.
- In women, chronic stress reduces oestrogen levels, which are important for cardiac health.
- Stressful events cause men and women who have relatively low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin (and therefore a higher risk of depression or anger) to produce more of certain immune system proteins (called cytokines), which in high amounts cause inflammation and damage to cells, including possibly heart cells.
- Association between stress and hypertension (high blood pressure) is known to all. People who regularly experience sudden increases in blood pressure caused by mental stress, will, over a period, develop injuries in the lining of their blood vessels.
- People who work under demanding conditions are prone to heart disease, including high blood pressure, attributed to work stress.
Stress and Lifestyle Related Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Heart Attack, Angina
- Gastritis Peptic Ulcer
- Tension Headache
- Bronchial Asthma
- Cough and Cold
- Diarrhoea (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- Shoulder Ache
HOW IS STRESS PRODUCED?
The stress response of the body is somewhat like an airplane readying for take-off. Virtually, all systems (e.g., the heart and blood vessels, the immune system, the lungs, the digestive system, the sensory organs, and brain) are modified to meet the perceived danger.
The production of stress
Stress is the interaction between two major factors:
1.External Stressors (ES) : We would like to call it the stressor. An external stressor has an almost equal contribution to stress. Even recognition of these is of great help in the management of stress.
2.Internal Conditioning (IC) : This is the result of our previous experiences, training, values and expectations. Our beliefs, hopes, attitudes and aspirations influence the internal factor.
EXTERNAL STREASSOR (ES)
External stressors are the causes or occurrences which are the reasons of production of stress. These are happening around us. If we react with them well, they may be good in reducing stress. If we know how to handle them better, we may be able to produce even happiness out of them. External stressors are occurrences, which are mostly out of our control. Something like corruption, trains running late, a difficult boss, an aggressive family member, overcrowding, traffic jams are examples of external stressors.
INTERNAL CONDITIONING (IC) OR MINDSETS
Internal conditioning is the second item in the production of stress. Internal conditioning can also be called the Mindset for better understanding. A new born does not have any mindset. So, he does not have any objection to many to the happenings. The gradual build-up of internal conditioning makes people happy or unhappy. if I am a vegetarian by internal conditioning then serving of non-vegetarian food will produce stress. On the other hand, a non-vegetarian will have no stress. The difference is because of the internal conditioning. The external stressors can be interpreted according to the internal conditioning of the mindset to produce or not to produce stress.
Your mindset means:
- Your likes, dislikes, beliefs and views
- Your value system and mortality
- Your priorities
- Our social expectations
- Your disposition towards perfection and responsibilities
- Our training in communication
- Our materialistic expectations
- Your disposition for the protection of your ego
MEASUREMENT OF STRESS
How to Identify a Stressed Person?
A good number of individuals we have met over the years do not agree that they are stressed. Mentioned here are some of the changes and responses produced by the human body to stress. As you will shortly observe the maximum of these responses of the human body to stresses are harmful to the individual, his personal, as well as social and professional life.
- Loss of sense of humour.
- Loss of common sense
- Undue fear
- Loss of memory
- Lack of clear thinking
- Loss of creativity
- Making unnecessary mistakes
- Speaking incoherently
- Changes in facial expression
- Body expression
- Sweaty palms
- Cold fingers
- Dry mouth
- Shaky hands
- Frequency of urination
Increased Blood Pressure, increased Heart Rate, increased Blood Sugar, increased beta-waves in brain, increased acid secretion in stomach, increased muscles contraction, increased cholesterol, increased triglycerides, increased HDL
- Short tempered
- Undue haste
- State of anxiety
- Irrational fear
- Feeling of insecurity
- Undue aggression
- Bad dreams
HEALTHY MOONG SOUP RECIPE
Digestive capacity goes down as weather changes, during illness, during stressful periods etc. Easy to digest refreshing foods are recommended in such situations. Foods difficult to digest need to be avoided. Many protein rich foods fall in this category. But Moong soup becomes the best choice as it is easy to digest yet provides good proteins! It also provides vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin B complex and minerals as well as electrolytes. This soup is also good for toddlers and kids.
Ingredients (serving size:240 ml)
♦25 gm yellow moong dal
♦250 ml water
♦80 gm 3-4 chopped veggies (carrot, lauki, pumpkin, spinach)
♦Salt as needed
♦Black pepper powder
♦1 pinch dry ginger
♦½ t jeera powder
♦½ t kasuri methi
♦1 pinch ajwain
How to make the recipe?
♦Heat the pressure cooker, dry roast cumin till it begins to brown.
♦Add ginger and sauté without burning.
♦Add washed and soaked dal to the pressure cooker.
♦Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
♦Add the veggies and cook for about 2 more minutes.
♦Pour water and cook on a low flame to medium for 1 to 2 whistles.
♦When the pressure releases, mash the dal and add desired spice powders. If adding kasuri methi then boil the soup till it begins to bubble.
Stress is a part of our life; all of us always be in stress because of one or the other reason. Stress is very dangerous to our heart. Stress cannot be completely avoided by us, some stress is even required to keep the pace of life normal, and zero stress can block the development and growth.
♦If you are 50% stressed then you are in safe zone.
♦If you are 75% stressed then you have some chances of heart attack.
♦If you are 100% stressed then you are in danger and more chances of heart attack.
As soon as the level of stress escalates to a point that it becomes dangerous for the well-being of the individual, stress management becomes important. People have to learn to manage stress and lead happier and healthier lives.
♦Five important points to cover to reduce stress:
⋅Solve your overloads
⋅Balance the sector of life
⋅Understand Stress production
⋅Release and manage stress
♦Sectors of Life
HOW TO IMPROVE SECTORS OF LIFE?
⋅It is a medium of exchange
⋅What to do: Income > Exchange
⋅Self-sufficient, don’t give your money till the last contentment.
⋅Start loving your work. All professions are lovely if you set your mind in it.
⋅Understand their interest, understand their problems and help.
♦Love (Emotional Support)
⋅When people really want your welfare.
⋅Whole heartedly. Without selfish motive.
⋅Yours friends, relations, people you know.
⋅How to improve: Do things for them but don’t except anything in return.
⋅Your demand for recognition/appreciation.
⋅Your urge to show your good qualities, which may make you superior to others.
⋅What to do: Separate. Realize your one’s coming and appreciate others goodness.
⋅Without health No happiness.
⋅What to do: Education, preventive care, exercise/food/stress reduction.
♦God or spiritual
⋅Have faith in Almighty. He will get you out of trouble.
⋅He is the greatest. He is your hope.
Black pepper or kali mirch (in Hindi) is extremely beneficial for health. Black pepper is one of the most commonly used spices worldwide. It has a sharp and mildly spicy flavour that goes well with many dishes. But black pepper is more than just a kitchen staple. It has been deemed the “king of spices” and used in ancient Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years due to its high concentration of potent, beneficial plant compounds. It’s very useful in relieving nasal and throat congestion, increases metabolism so aids in weight loss, good for digestion and nutrient absorption, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and loaded with anti-oxidants, prevents gas formation and accumulation of fat in the body.
- Black pepper is rich in a potent antioxidant called peperino, which may help prevent free radical damage to your cells.
- Peppercorns contain an impressive list of plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have disease preventing and health promoting properties. Black peppers have been in use since centuries for their anti-inflammatory, carminative, anti-flatulent properties.
- Black pepper extract may improve blood sugar control, but more research is needed.
- Black peppercorns contain a good amount of minerals like potassium, calcium, zinc, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is essential for cellular respiration and blood cell production.
- They are also an excellent source of many vital B-complex groups of vitamins such as Pyridoxine, riboflavin, thiamine and niacin.
- Peppercorns are a good source of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-C and vitamin-A. They are also rich in flavonoid polyphenolic anti-oxidants like carotenes, cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin and lycopene. These compounds help the body remove harmful free radicals and help protect from cancers and diseases.
DECODING THE NUTRITION LABEL
All food companies introduced the nutrition label on their packaged foods. The main part of the label is the Nutrition Facts Table, which gives you the following information: Calories and 13 nutrients: Fat, Saturated fat, Trans fat, Cholesterol, Sodium, Carbohydrate, Fibre, Sugars, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron.
Five easy steps to help you read the label.
Step 1: Look at the serving size
Compare the serving size on the package to the amount that you eat. If you eat the serving size shown on the Nutrition Facts Table, you will get the amount of calories and nutrients that are listed.
Step 2: Look at the calories
Calories tell you how much energy you get from one serving of a packaged food.
Step 3: Look at the percent Daily Value (% Daily Value)
% Daily Value puts nutrients on a scale from 0% to 100%. This scale tells you if there is a little or a lot of a nutrient in one serving of a packaged food. Use this percentage to compare the nutrient content of different foods.
5% DV or less is a little
15% DV or more is a lot
Step 4: Try to get more of these nutrients
Fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium
Step 5: Try to get less of these nutrients
Fat, saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, cholesterol
You can use the Nutrition Facts to:
- Compare products more easily
- Find out the nutritional value of foods
- Better manage special diets, such as one that is low in sodium
- Increase or decrease your intake of a particular nutrient (for example, increase fibre, decrease saturated fat)
HOW TO REDUCE/MANAGE STRESS WITH COMMUNICATION SKILL
How to talk to others: Do not insult others.
Points that should not do while communicating with others:
- Criticize or Judge
- Accuse, co accuse
Grades of Bad Communication
♦COMPLAIN: Like, why are you late, you are late again, I have told you I never like waiting in the public place alone, my legs are paining I have been waiting for half an hour.
♦CRITICIZE OR JUDGE: Like, you are always late for any appointment (all past carrier is rubbed), I am waiting for the past one hour and I can see you have no concern for me. Why can’t you be in time?
♦INSULT: Like, I know you never come in time, and you have never come in time, you don’t know the importance of time and this is why you are not successful. I will make you wait one day and then only you will learn.
♦ACCUSE, CO ACCUSE: Like, you are irresponsible all your life you have escaped responsibilities, your children are also learning these bad habits from you, not only time problem you are equally irresponsible everywhere but it spending money, accumulating useless items, making so many people unhappy.
♦ABUSE: Like, your life is a failure; you are a useless person, I have not met anyone as useless as you are.
♦CONDEMN AND CONTEMPT: Like, you are impossible, I don’t know how your parents has raised you, your parents are also like you, my life has become hell with you, I wish I was never married to you, I don’t know how shall I spend rest of my life with you.
THE YOGA EXERCISES
Keeping both heels and toes parallel and 10cm apart; arms by the side.
Inhale. Raise the arms up expanding the chest and abdomen slowly. Put the back of the palms together, raise the body on the toes. Hold the posture looking at a point at eye-level. Keep the knees straight, bring the heels and arms down while exhaling as in the starting position.
Persons with slipped disc should not do this posture.
Stand erect with both feet together.
Raise the arms, palms facing forward over the head while inhaling. Exhale slowly while you bend forward, bring the palms down to hold the ankles and touch forehead to the knees. Try to keep the knees and ankles straight. While you bend your body up to the level where you can bend easily keep in mind that the goal is to touch the forehead to the knees. Slowly raise your body while inhaling and taking the arms up exhale and bring the arms down.
Persons with slipped disc should not do this posture.
MEDICAL TESTS TO CONFIRM HEART DISEASE
There are various tests available for the confirmation of coronary heart disease:
There is a great debate in the medical field on this topic. Dieticians and doctors would usually call obese people, who visit them, as my patients – rather than “my clients”. Are they really patients or not?
To my mind, they can be considered as patients when their bodyweight is very high or when they report to the doctors for complications of obesity.
Let us now consider what weight can be considered as “very high” and what may be the complications that obesity results in.
Weight of a person mainly depends on height. Of the height is more the weight will also be more? Different kinds of charts are available to know the ideal body weight-which varies from country to country, race to race. For the gents and for the ladies the charts vary. They also allow the weight for a particular range-which also varies. Then there may be charts for the small, medium and large frame people. This not only confuses people, but many obese persons only try to follow the charts where he has a big range.
Anger takes its origin from the destructive part of the brain. In today’s world, most of our sufferings are because of anger and the product of anger is called hostility, the destructive attacking behaviour.
In our daily life, anger is manifested more often these days. Have you ever thought what leads to this increased quantum of anger in our life? It is “Stress”. When the number of stress increases, it decreases our tolerance power. Our ability to understand things rationally goes down. Our analytical mind is suppressed and our emotional mind overtakes. Anger occurs readily. Some people have a habit of continuously expressing anger are called “Type A” persons.
The instinctive, natural way to express anger is to respond aggressively. Anger is a natural, adaptive response to threats; it inspires powerful, often aggressive, feelings and behaviours, which allow us to fight and defend ourselves when we are attacked. A certain amount of anger, therefore, is necessary for our survival.
On the other hand, we cannot physically lash out at every person or object that irritates or annoys us; laws, social norms, and common-sense place limits on how far our anger take us.
People use a variety of both conscious and unconscious processes to deal with their angry feelings. The three main approaches are: expressing, suppressing, and calming. Expressing your angry feelings in an assertive, not aggressive, the manner is the healthiest way to express anger.
Unexpressed anger can create other problems. It can lead to pathological expressions of anger, such as passive-aggressive behaviour, or a personality that seems perpetually cynical and hostile. People who are constantly putting others down, criticizing everything, and making cynical comments have not learned how to constructively express their anger.
Controlling Anger Before It Controls You
Anger is an emotional state, prompted by happenings not liked by a person, resulting in irritability, annoyance, fury and/or rage.
We all know what anger is, and we’ve all felt it: whether as a fleeting annoyance or as full-fledged rage.
Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. Bit, when it gets out of control and turns destructive, it can lead to problems: problems at work, in your personal relationships and in the overall quality of your life. And, it can make you feel as though you are at the mercy of an unpredictable and powerful emotion.
Anger is “an emotional state that varies in intensity from mild irritation to intense fury and rage”. Like other emotions, it is accompanied by physiological and biological changes; when you get angry, your heart rate and blood pressure go up, as do the levels of your energy hormones, adrenaline, and noradrenaline.