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It can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer by up to 50% and lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.
It’s free, easy to take, has an immediate effect and you don’t need a GP to get some. Its name? Exercise.
Click on the links below to find out if you're doing enough for your age:
early childhood (under five years old)
young people (five to 18 years old)
adults (19 to 64 years old)
older adults (65 and over)
Exercise is the miracle cure we’ve always had, but for too long we’ve neglected to take our recommended dose. Our health is now suffering as a consequence.
This is no snake oil. Whatever your age, there's strong scientific evidence that being physically active can help you lead a healthier and even happier life.
People who do regular activity have a lower risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers.
Research shows that physical activity can also boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy, as well as reducing your risk of stress, depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
“If exercise were a pill, it would be one of the most cost-effective drugs ever invented,” says Dr Nick Cavill, a health promotion consultant.
Given the overwhelming evidence, it seems obvious that we should all be physically active. It's essential if you want to live a healthy and fulfilling life into old age.
It's medically proven that people who do regular physical activity have:
up to a 35% lower risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
up to a 50% lower risk of type 2 diabetes
up to a 50% lower risk of colon cancer
up to a 20% lower risk of breast cancer
a 30% lower risk of early death
up to an 83% lower risk of osteoarthritis
up to a 68% lower risk of hip fracture
a 30% lower risk of falls (among older adults)
up to a 30% lower risk of depression
up to a 30% lower risk of dementia
A modern problem
People are less active nowadays, partly because technology has made our lives easier. We drive cars or take public transport. Machines wash our clothes. We entertain ourselves in front of a TV or computer screen. Fewer people are doing manual work, and most of us have jobs that involve little physical effort. Work, house chores, shopping and other necessary activities are far less demanding than for previous generations.
We move around less and burn off less energy than people used to. Research suggests that many adults spend more than seven hours a day sitting down, at work, on transport or in their leisure time. People aged over 65 spend 10 hours or more each day sitting or lying down, making them the most sedentary age group.
Inactivity is described by the Department of Health as a “silent killer”. Evidence is emerging that sedentary behaviour, such as sitting or lying down for long periods, is bad for your health.
Not only should you try to raise your activity levels, but you should also reduce the amount of time you and your family spend sitting down.
Common examples of sedentary behaviour include watching TV, using a computer, using the car for short journeys and sitting down to read, talk or listen to music – and such behaviour is thought to increase your risk of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, as well as weight gain and obesity.
“Previous generations were active more naturally through work and manual labour, but today we have to find ways of integrating activity into our daily lives,” says Dr Cavill.
Whether it's limiting the time babies spend strapped in their buggies, or encouraging adults to stand up and move frequently, people of all ages need to reduce their sedentary behaviour.
“This means that each of us needs to think about increasing the types of activities that suit our lifestyle and can easily be included in our day,” says Dr Cavill.
Crucially, you can hit your weekly activity target but still be at risk of ill health if you spend the rest of the time sitting or lying down. For tips on building physical activity and exercise into your day, whatever your age, read Get active your way.
Many people nowadays with a craze of health and fitness scroll their eyes on different ideas to eat healthy. Some take professional help, some opt for for Dr. Google, some believe on their own knowledge and idea and end up feeling that 'eating healthy is not easy' end up choosing any possible shortcut to be healthy and fit. Now we need to think is it really so hard to eat healthy? Well the answer is 'Yes'. We need to cross a lot of hurdles to practice a healthy eating habit. Do read this article to know the hard truths about eating healthy.
Reasons why healthy eating is tough to maintain:
1. You need a good market: By 'market' I mean a place from where you can buy fresh, seasonal, affordable, whole foods. And, if you are in a small town or on a budget, then forgot about fancy foods like broccoli, red cabbage, lettuce, salmon, tuna, multigrain bread and so on etc. When you can't get all this latest stuffs it comes in your mind that you can't get health with local foods at all, as you are seeing guacamole recipe for your salad or multigrain sandwich. In this frustration you will chose to have pizza, or a street side roll, full cheese sandwich, which might be similar to all the fancy meals read or suggested to you to be healthy. And the results are problems, such as overweight or underweight or other health disorders. It is just the first reason why eating healthy is hard and even if you cross this hurdle, there are others.
2. You need time for shop: In this 21st century our lives are in superfast mode. Some of us work for 60 hours a week and come back home with all the tiredness, irritability and basically with the need to sleep and rest. At that moment healthy food shopping in budget is nowhere in life. As a lot of us stay alone or both the partners working along with a child for homework or different classes. A lot more examples are there. So time is a big hurdle too.
3. You need time and energy to cook: Now if you can are able to buy fresh foods in your budget, you need to have time to cook all this for you or for your family. That again needs time and energy from you. Now how you cross this hurdle?
4. You need cooking equipments and more than anything else you need cooking skill: It is tough to cut veggies on a plate with butter knife or eat a curry with no salt n spice or make idli without idli mold. And, in that situation you decide to leave healthy eating and opt for a pizza or dine out, all these hurdles after 50 to 60 hours of weekly work will get on your nerves. Let me tell you, your feeling is absolutely normal.
Now what next? Here are some possible solutions:
1. Respect your struggle: Be realistic and learn from your failure. Almost each of us knows fruits and vegetables are good, sugary foods are bad, even you know about portion control. But whatever suggestions you have received is not at all easy to maintain, you need to admit that. You need to know, practice makes you perfect and you can fail in between. Not to worry, start again. Find new strategies to work on eating healthy challenge.
2. Make a kitchen toolkit collection: With smart choice of kitchen toolkit can make your work easy
- A good knife, chopping board, peeler, slicer, dicer and easy vegetable chopper (cost around Rs.350/- onwards)
- Silicon coated cooking utensils (kadai, pan etc., cost around Rs.1000/- onwards)
- A steamer pot (costs around Rs.500/- onwards)
- Basic OTG and utensils (costs around Rs.2500/- onwards)
- Roti maker (costs around Rs.1000/- onwards)
- Hand blender ( costs around Rs.1000/- onwards)
3. Make a schedule for shopping and cooking: Make a smart grocery shopping list (with minimum preservatives) with pre planned meal for a whole week. Choose locally grown foods if you are in a small town or order online if your area is covered for delivery by grocery stores. You can consult a qualified dietician for a healthy menu and recipes also. Nowadays it is very easy as online clinics are there. In this way you can avoid scrambling your plan to eat healthy and save money by minimum food wastage.
4. Reduce your stress: Eating healthy will help in relaxing you and you can properly utilize your resources of money, time, energy and skill. If you are in stress you can't use any of it. So, go for walk; relax with music or book, go for vacation with your family and friends to manage your stress.
5. Simplify your cooking: You must not elaborate your meals all the time. Think smartly and make one pot meal with maximum nutrition.
6. Ask for help or help each other: It's ok if you ask for help to eat healthy. So help your partner or mom in cooking or shopping or ask for help from a professional. As in India it's quite easy to get a cook at your place. You can hire a cook for yourself or to save money jointly with some friends.
7. Learn new strategies of healthy eating: Healthy cooking needs more effort than you think. So before you leave healthy eating, stop and re-examine. Search Dr. Google or learn from your mom or family or society for new recipes and customize recipes for healthy eating or for relaxation join cooking class.
8. Eat out once a week and eat smartly: Fond of eating out? No problem. Choose a day in a week and eat outside food in one meal. But choose less oily, less fried, less preservative, maximum nutrition options. Like you can opt for thin crust whole wheat pizza with or sub wrap or sandwich with all veggies, baked or grilled filling with no extra cheese, Idli with sambar, yellow dal with whole wheat tandoori roti (no butter), grilled or baked or steamed options according to your choice. Learn about your healthy meal.
After reading all possible solutions I am sure you will start eating healthy, learn and help others to eat healthy.
While having sexual intercourse with my husband I get blood from vagina. What is the reason behind it? Am I having some serious issues or the penis is just going in the wrong hole? Please guide.
The widespread misuse of skin creams and lotions that contain steroids in india is harmful and out of control, warns dermatologist.
Corticosteroids, also known as steroids, are anti-inflammatory medicines used for a range of conditions. However, these can lead to substantial and permanent damage, especially on thin skin, such as on the face and groin.
Side effects include pigmentation and breakdown of the skin, small and widened blood vessels on the skin, as well as bacterial and fungal infections.
Misuse can lead to resistance of infections that can make these difficult to diagnose and treat.
" indian doctors are witnessing a pandemic of adverse effects induced by topical corticosteroids" consultant dermatologist shyam verma said in an article published in the journal the bmj, formerly the british medical journal.
A study of 2, 926 dermatology patients in 2013 showed that 433 (14.8 percent) were using topical steroids and 392 (90.5 percent) had harmful effects, verma pointed out.
" the public, as well as doctors of all specialties, need to be informed and educated about safe use of topical corticosteroids" he said.
As required by law in india, strong steroids can be sold only with a registered medical practitioner's prescription.
However, topical steroids are exempt and can be purchased over the counter.
" this needs urgent revision" he said.
Another problem that leads to the inappropriate use of topical steroids is that too few specialist dermatologists are available.
The majority of india's some 8, 500 dermatologists are based in cities, while most of india's population are dispersed in villages, verma said.
" so many patients seek treatment for skin disease from primary care providers, including thousands of ayurvedic and homeopathic practitioners and unqualified charlatans" he explained.
" although it is illegal, they may prescribe topical corticosteroids with little or no knowledge of dermatology" verma said, adding that many pharmacists" sell steroid creams without a prescription, ignoring the box warnings"