October 16 is World Food Day – “Our Actions Are Our Future”

Smart Ways to Research Keywords for SEO Though an adequate amount of food is produced to feed everyone on the planet, hunger is on the rise in some parts of the world. According to a new report released by United Nations, even after nearly a decade of progress, the number of people who suffer from hunger has slowly increased over the past three years, with about one in every nine people globally suffering from hunger today. October 16 is observed as World Food Day to tackle the issue of global hunger. The focus of this observance is that food is a basic and fundamental human right. The collective action observed across 150 countries has made World Food Day one of the most celebrated days of the UN calendar.

World Food Day is celebrated every year around the world on 16 October in honor of the date of the founding of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 1945. The day is celebrated by many organizations concerned with food security, including the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. People around the world, come together to declare their commitment to eradicate worldwide hunger from everyone’s lifetime in this special day. The event organized on this special day also promotes worldwide awareness and action for those who suffer from hunger and for the need to ensure food security and nutritious diets for all.

According to World Health Organization, an estimated 820 million people did not have enough to eat in 2018, up from 811 million in the previous year, which is the third year of increase in a row. This emphasizes the immense challenge of achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger by 2030, says a new edition of the annual The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World report.

For a #ZeroHunger world, this year, FAO has adopted the same theme of last year – “Our Actions are Our Future”. The theme is aimed at making us understand how healthy diets play a major role in our life.

Globalization, urbanization and income growth has drastically changed dietary habits. People have moved on to diets that are high in refined starches, sugar, fats, salt, processed foods, meat and other animal-source products, shunning seasonal, plant-based and fibre-rich dishes. Busy lifestyles lead people to spend less time preparing meals at home and increasingly rely on supermarkets, fast food outlets, street food vendors and take-away restaurants, which in long-run, can have detrimental effects on health and wellbeing.

To make healthy eating and #ZeroHunger a way of life, FAO offers a simple recipe which includes the following:

  • Diet choices: FAO supports countries in the development, updating and implementation of dietary guidelines to make sure people get enough nutrients to be healthy and prevent chronic disease. These guidelines also used to develop nutrition policies and education programs:
    • Eat plenty of fresh, ripe and seasonal vegetables
    • Add more legumes, nuts and whole grains to your diet
    • Reduce your intake on refined starches, sugar, fats and salt
    • Try not to eat excessive amounts of meat and other animal-sourced products.
    • Include nutritious ‘brown’ foods instead of refined ‘white’ foods
    • Be careful while having fatty foods, because, unsaturated fat are better than saturated and trans-fats
  • Planet Choices: While having healthy foods, it’s also important to consider the environmental impact of the foods we eat. According to FAO, the planet choices to follow are:
    • Try to avoid buying foods that have excessive amounts of packaging
    • To support biodiversity, diversify your diet – go traditional, local and seasonal
    • Eat sustainably sourced fish – it is an indispensable source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, which are generally not found in staple foods.
    • Avoid wastage
  • Life Choices: The following life choices can lower rates of obesity and eating disorders in youth:
    • Eating in company and cooking at home are important for your health and that of your children.
    • Learn to read labels – understanding labels can help you choose a healthy diet. Food labels provide information on energy, salt, sugar, fat, etc. and help us to determine how nutritious a product is. They also tell us whether it’s safe to eat or not by mentioning “best before” date or “use by” date
    • Be a critical consumer and don’t let packaging or advertising sway you
    • Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day
    • Ask for healthier meal choices
    • Share your knowledge and respect for food

Celebrate #WorldFoodDay by sharing your individual action for #ZeroHunger or join the call by developing a group event or activity.

Tips to Keep You Healthy in Autumn

Tips to Keep You Healthy in AutumnAutumn has arrived! As the temperature becomes cooler and the days get shorter, making some changes in your lifestyle can prevent many diseases and help you healthy. Here are tips to boost mental and physical wellness in the fall:

  • Eat healthy: Make sure you eat nutritious food. Include lots of seasonal fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet. Try plant based protein (such as black beans or soy) which is a good substitute for animal protein. It is recommended that you eat at least 3 cups of beans a week. Beans are rich in protein, iron, folic acid, fiber, and potassium. Including lima beans, green beans or any other variety of beans in your diet in the fall can help you stay fit and healthy.
    Fall is the perfect time to try healthy soup recipes. Experiment with nutritional powerhouse spices like turmeric, Ceylon cinnamon and ginger. Cut back alcohol intake and limit sugary soft drinks as can lead to obesity and other health problems. Include seasonal items such as apples, Brussels sprouts, parsnips, pears, rutabaga, cauliflower, squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, turnips, pomegranates, dates, kiwi, grapefruit and tangerines in your diet.
  • Stay active: Whatever the season, don’t ever skip your exercise routine. Even as the weather becomes cooler, avoid being lazy and exercise regularly. Physical activity can keep your heart and lungs in good condition, reduce the risk of many illnesses, and even ease pain. Exercise protects the bones by strengthening the surrounding muscles and improves balance, both of which reduce risk of falls. According to the CDC, the ideal amount of exercise for health is 5 hours per week of moderate activity, such as brisk walking, or 2.5 hours of vigorous movement, such as jogging, along with resistance training at least twice a week.
  • Enjoy the great outdoors Spend time on outdoor activities – options include taking a nature walk, jogging, running, cycling, and swimming or in mind-body workouts such as yoga, Pilates or tai chi. Being outdoors provides a way to stay active, energizes you, and boosts vitamin D levels.
  • Take a Vitamin D supplement: We get most of our Vitamin D from the sun. However, we tend to spend more time indoors in the colder season, and have less contact with the sun’s rays. If you find you are not getting outside much, talk to your doctor about taking a Vitamin D supplement.
  • Keep your immunity up: When it’s cold, drinking enough water will help you stay hydrated and boost your immune system. Wash your hands often to avoid falling sick and spreading germs. To protect against flu, get your flu shot each year in the fall.
  • Get enough sleep: Get at least 7 to 8 hours of solid sleep. Lack of sleep can affect the immune system and increase the risk of illnesses and falls.
  • Moisturize: Colder temperatures can make your skin dry. So use a good moisturizer. Also don’t forget to wear sunscreen and take other protective steps when you are outdoors.
  • Don’t miss your regular health check up: Check your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. Knowing your numbers will help you understand your risk for many serious medical conditions and take early action.
  • Dress in layers: We have to be well-prepared for a weather change, especially if it’s colder climates. Wear layers and protect your body from the dropping temperature. Make sure you have gloves, a scarf, ear muffs, a winter coat, warm socks, and boots.

Autumn and winter are considered nature’s way of telling us to slow down. So take time out for yourself, relax, and practice self-care.

Importance of Personal Hygiene at the Workplace

Importance of Personal Hygiene at the WorkplaceFrom a young age, we all are taught to practice good personal hygiene because it can help us in many ways and is also necessary for personal, social, health, and psychological reasons or simply as a way of life. Upholding hygiene at the workplace is also very important. The impact of poor hygiene on a workforce is not only unfortunate for the individuals affected, but can also have a negative effect onthe business as a whole. Absence of hygiene is believed to account for most new-world sicknesses. Keeping a decent standard of hygiene can prevent the development and spread of contaminations, illnesses, and infections.

Here are the reasons why every employee needs to take workplace hygiene seriously:

  • Unhygienic habits will affect others: Workplaces with a large number of people are generally crowded. If an employee does not have good hygiene, it can affect them as well as others by leading to the spread of infections across the office.
  • Good hygiene increases your productivity: “A healthy body is the home of a healthy mind”. A person with proper personal hygiene will be efficient at work also. They would be highly organized employees. They will find time to maintain a personal hygiene routine and make sure that they look neat, clean and confident. On the other, people who do not practice good personal hygiene are usually lazy and might make a lot of mistakes and not meet the deadlines. Following workplace hygiene policies would act as a catalyst to improve the productivity and would make you an organized employee.
  • Earns you respect: A person who keeps himself/herself neat and clean all the time tend to have an appealing personality. Poor personal hygiene can affect other employees in the office and affect your personality and how others perceive you. Moreover, if you show respect to the environment where you and other employees work, you will be appreciated for your behavior and earn everyone’s respect.
  • Promotes a good physical appearance: With a proper personal hygiene, your physical appearance will be polished and professionally appealing.
  • Protects you against various diseases: Many infections and diseases can be prevented by maintaining appropriate personal hygiene.

There are several things you can do to ensure personal hygiene at work:

  • Washing hands before eating or serving anything
  • Keep hand sanitizer and facial tissues near your work desk
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after each restroom visit, to prevent contaminating your hands.
  • Bathe or shower regularly – every day before work, or every night before you go to sleep.
  • Wear clean clothes
  • Regularly wash and cut your hair to keep a neat appearance. If your company’s personal hygiene workplace policy has hair-specific rules, follow them.
  • Visit the dentist at least once a year to diagnose and correct any oral health issues you have, as it might lead to bad breath, and some can cause serious health problems.
  • Motivate your colleagues to keep the environment neat and clean
  • If you tend to sweat a lot, wear deodorant or antiperspirant daily, instead of smearing on perfume.
  • Avoid wearing too much perfume or cologne; though it may smell nice to you, it may cause the allergies in people working near you.

Maintaining personal hygiene in the workplace will help promote a positive working eco-system in the workplace, where employees are themselves comfortable and it is more comfortable for other people to be around them.

Celebrate World Heart Day on September 29

Celebrate World Heart Day on September 29World Heart Day (WHD) is observed on the 29th of September every year in order to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease (CVD), including heart disease and stroke. CVD is the world’s leading cause of death claiming 17.9 million lives each year. Created by the World Heart Federation, WHD highlights the actions that individuals can take to prevent and control CVD.

This year, the theme of WHD is “My Heart, Your Heart”. We need to make a promise to ourselves, our family, our loved ones and our children to live longer, better, heart-healthy lives.

  • A promise to our families: To cook and eat more healthily
  • A promise to our children: To exercise more and help them to be more active, to say no to smoking and help our loved ones to stop
  • A promise as a healthcare professional: To help patients give up smoking and lower their cholesterol
  • A promise as a policymaker:To support policies that promotes healthy hearts
  • A promise as an employee: To invest in heart-healthy workplaces

In short, cook healthier, quit smoking and other harmful activities, exercise more and say yes to a better life for you and your family.

An estimated 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2016, representing 31% of all global deaths. Of these deaths, 85% are due to heart attack and stroke. World Heart Day aims to drive action to educate people that by controlling risk factors such as tobacco use, unhealthy diet and physical inactivity, at least 80% of premature deaths from heart disease and stroke could be avoided.

So, for MY HEART, for YOUR HEART, for ALL OUR HEARTS, make simple promises such as:

To eat healthy and drink wisely

  • Add plenty of fruits and veggies, grains, and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids to your diet
  • Cut back on sugary beverages and fruit juices, instead drink water or unsweetened juices
  • Keep the amount of alcohol you drink within recommended guidelines
  • Try to limit processed and prepackaged foods that are often high in salt, sugar and fat
  • Make healthy school or work lunches at home
  • Reduce intake of salt, saturated fats, sweets, and red meats

To get more active

  • Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity 5 times a week or at least 75 minutes spread throughout the week of vigorous-intensity activity
  • Involve in day-to-day activities such as playing, walking, housework, dancing, because they all count.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk or cycle instead of driving
  • For more motivation and fun, exercise with friends and family
  • Note down or use a pedometer to keep track of your progress

To say no to smoking

  • This is one of the best decisions to improve heart health
  • Risk of coronary heart disease is substantially reduced within 2 years of quitting,
  • Exposure to secondhand smoke is also a cause of heart disease in non-smokers. So quitting will not only improve your health but that of those around you
  • Ask for professional advice if you’re having trouble stopping

To maintain a healthy weight:

  • Being overweight increases your risk of heart disease.
  • Calculate your body mass index (BMI) and take steps to reduce weight.
  • Ask your doctor what your weight should be and how to get there.
  • Regular exercise and a balanced diet can help you reach your ideal weight.

“Make a Promise and Be a Heart Hero”. For more information, visit www.world-heart-federation.org.

August is National Wellness Month

August is National Wellness MonthAugust is observed as National Wellness Month and is all about focus on self-care, managing stress and promoting healthy routines. The goal of self-care is paramount because today’s lifestyles lead to intense stress and most people are too consumed with technology to make time to care for themselves.You need to make it a habit to take good care of your body, mind, and soul to stay healthy, fit, and resilient. Even small, daily acts of self-care can contribute to a lifetime of wellness.

National Wellness Month was an initiative founded by Lisa Michaelis, the creative, entrepreneur behind the B2B spa trade show Live Love Spa. Completing its second year, this initiative wanted to connect consumers to amazing spa and wellness experiences and products at accessible prices. Research has shown that self-care helps manage stress and promotes happiness. People who neglect their own needs and forget to nurture themselves are at danger of deeper levels of unhappiness, low self-esteem, and feelings of resentment (www.verywellmind.com). So, make your wellness a priority this August. Here are some activities and practices that support your wellbeing and help you to sustain positive self-care in the long-term.

August is National Wellness Month

Whether you challenge yourself to a new yoga pose or try a different spa treatment, making a small change and impact your health in positive ways. See which self-care tactics work best for you, learn how to use these strategies, and include in your regular routine-not just this month, but always.

To show your participation in National Wellness Month, proclaim “I choose wellness” with a photo and post it on social media.

12 Best Practices for Teeth and Gum Care

12 Best Practices for Teeth and Gum CareOral health is not about just preventing tooth and gum cavities. It is well known that there is an association between the health of a person’s mouth and their overall health (www.medicalnewstoday.com). Poor dental hygiene leads to tooth decay and gum cavities, which without treatment, can lead to pain, tooth loss and problems with self-confidence. It can also take a toll on your overall health by causing malnutrition, speech problems, and other challenges in work and personal life.

Usually, tooth decay and gum diseases are caused mainly due to a sticky substance that forms on your teeth called Plaque. When this substance stays on your teeth too long, it can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Proper and regular brushing and flossing can help get plaque off your teeth and keep your mouth healthy.

With proper care, your teeth and gums can stay healthy throughout your life. Here are 12 best practices for healthy oral care:

  1. Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride helps harden tooth enamel and reduces risk of decay.
  2. Try to brush after every meal. Wait 30 minutes after eating before brushing, because this will allow any enamel that softened from acid during eating to re-harden and not get brushed away.
  3. Brushing teeth should at least take 2 to 3 minutes. Choose a toothbrush with a small head for better access to back teeth. Also give your tongue a few gentle brush strokes, brushing from the back of your tongue forward to remove bacteria – this freshens breath.
  4. Try to use soft bristles, as they are kinder on your gums.Remember to change your toothbrush with a new one every 3 to 4 months to avoid spread of bacteria.
  5. Rinse your mouth with an antiseptic mouthwash at least once a day to kill bacteria that cause plaque and early gum disease. Use a fluoride rinse as it can help prevent teeth decay and cavities.
  6. Another important practice in oral care is flossing. It can remove plaque and bacteria from between the teeth, where a toothbrush is unable to reach. It can also help prevent bad breath by removing debris and food that has become trapped between the teeth (www.medicalnewstoday.com).
  7. Cut back on dark drinks such as coffee, cola, black tea or red wine and other acidic foods, because these drinks or foods can cause teeth stains and color changes. Food acids soften tooth material and dissolve the minerals in tooth enamel, causing cavities. So keep an eye on your eating habits.
  8. Minimize the intake of candies and caramel sweets that stimulate the growth of bacteria in the mouth.
  9. Quit smoke or chewing tobacco.
  10. Protect your teeth from injury by wearing a mouthguard or full-face helmet when playing sports.
  11. Avoid using your teeth to crack nuts, remove bottle tops or rip open packaging, because such practices can cause chipping and even breakage.
  12. Get your routine dental check up and cleaning. This will tell if you have any dental or oral condition and help you get timely treatment. You should also visit your dentist if you have a dental problem such as a toothache or bleeding gums.

Practicing good dental care from childhood to later life is important to keep teeth and gums healthy. Along with regular brushing and flossing, maintaining a healthy diet can also help prevent cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues. Include calcium-rich food, such as dairy products and high-fiber vegetables, to keep your teeth strong and healthy.

 

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

August is National Immunization Awareness MonthGetting immunized is very important children, adults, and the elderly. Sponsored by National Public Health Information Coalition (NPHIC), National Immunization Awareness Month (NIAM) is observed in August annually across the USA. This annual observance highlights the importance of protecting patients of all ages against vaccine-preventable diseases through on-time vaccination. The month also celebrates the successes of the different immunizations that have been created in the 20th century and beyond.

Immunization is considered one of the greatest public health achievements of the 20th century, and experts agree that immunization is key to staying healthy. In one year, vaccines prevent more than 8,500 child hospitalizations in Colorado, 33,000 deaths in the U.S., and between 2 and 3 million deaths worldwide (http://www.immunizeforgood.com).

Every year, the NPHIC, in collaboration with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, develops a communication toolkit for both communicating with healthcare professionals and for communicating with parents and patients. These toolkits encourages people to become involved, raise awareness and most important of all, to stay up to date on vaccinations and get immunized. The 4 key messages of the toolkits are:

  • Vaccines has power to protect against serious and deadly preventable diseases
  • Vaccine-preventable diseases still exist and outbreaks do occur
  • Get your vaccine on time as it is the best way to protect against serious diseases
  • Vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious diseases

There are many debates around the safety of many of the vaccinations available. Governments and organizations across the world, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, strongly support protecting children, adults, and elderly with recommended vaccinations. Acting upon the advice of leading scientists and medical professionals, they overwhelmingly support immunization schemes.

On-time vaccination throughout childhood is essential because it helps provide immunity before children are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. These vaccines are tested to ensure that they are safe and effective for children to receive at the recommended ages. Childhood immunizations in US begin when a child born and its continued until the child is 4 to 6 years old. After that, an annual vaccination from 7 to 18 years old is recommended. Additional immunizations are recommended for adults, seniors and those deemed high risk.

Some diseases such as polio and diphtheria are becoming very rare in the U.S. However, it is very important to keep immunizing, unless the diseases are eliminated. Even if there are only a few cases of disease today, not vaccinating can result in more and more people becoming infected and spreading disease to others. Stopping vaccinations can actually make diseases that are almost unknown to stage a comeback. So, vaccinate on time.

The key benefits of immunization are:

  • Saves lives
  • Protects the people you care about
  • Cost effective and safe
  • Protects future generations

The risks of natural infection outweigh the risks of immunization for every recommended vaccine, according to www.immunizeforgood.com.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) offers various tools and resources on the importance and power of immunizations. You can use these tools to share messages about immunizations on your social networks using hash tag #Ivax2Protect.

Celebrate National Breastfeeding Month in August

Celebrate National Breastfeeding Month in AugustOne of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival is through breastfeeding. August is observed as National Breastfeeding Month and August 1-7 as World Breastfeeding Week (WBW). The World Health Organization (WHO) states that World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated to promote, protect and support breastfeeding. To build a landscape of breast feeding support, the United States Breastfeeding Committee has announced the theme of National Breastfeeding Month 2019 as “Support Changes Everything”.

According to WHO, If all children of 0-23 months were optimally breastfed, then over 820 000 children’s lives could be saved every year among children under 5 years. However, as of latest global statistics, only 40% of infants under six months of age are exclusively breastfed. As the world observes Breast Feeding Week this year, WHO, UNICEF and partners are working to promote the importance of family-friendly policies to enable breastfeeding and help parents nurture and bond with their children in early life, when it matters most. This includes

  • Enacting paid maternity leave for a minimum of 18 weeks
  • Paid paternity leave to encourage shared responsibility of caring for their children on an equal basis
  • Mothers need access to a parent friendly workplace.

A parent friendly workplace is the place that helps new moms to protect and support their ability to continue breastfeeding upon return to work by having access to breastfeeding breaks; a safe, private, and hygienic space for expressing and storing breast milk; and affordable childcare.

Breastfeeding is definitely the best nutrition a mother can give to her baby. WHO and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommend that babies should be exclusively breastfed starting within one hour after birth and until the baby is 6 months old. Nutritious complementary foods should be provided along with breast milk for up to 2 years or beyond.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that breast milk is a nutritionally balanced meal that provides essential nutrients as well as antibodies to protect newborns against infectious disease. Breastfeeding can also help protect mother and baby against some short- and long-term illnesses and diseases. Breastfed babies have a lower risk of:

  • Asthma
  • Diabetes (type 2)
  • Eczema (a skin disease)
  • Gastrointestinal infections (diarrhea/vomiting)
  • Ear Infections and respiratory Infections
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) for preterm infants
  • Obesity
  • Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)

Some studies also indicate that breastfed babies have higher intelligence scores and are less likely to develop problems with behavior and learning as they grow older compared to formula fed babies.

Breastfeeding also offers many benefits for mothers, such as having a lower risk of

  • Breast and ovarian cancers
  • Diabetes (type 2)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)

The scientific-based benefits of breastfeeding for mothers are as follows:

  • Weight loss: According to Healthline, mothers who breastfeed tend to lose weight after the first 3 months of delivery. Your body stores fat during your pregnancy to provide the extra calories needed for milk production, and while feeding, these fats are burned, resulting in weight loss. Beginning around 3-6 months after delivery, mothers who breastfeed have been shown to lose more weight than mothers who don’t breastfeed.
  • Helps with uterus contractions. Breastfeeding encourages postpartum uterine contractions, which can minimize bleeding and help your uterus shrink back to its pre-pregnancy size.
  • Promotes mother-baby bonding: Research also shows that breastfeeding may have physical and emotional benefits for both mother and baby. It is said that while the baby is snuggled close to the mother’s breast, it can quickly recognize the mother’s heartbeat, which invokes a feeling of calmness and protection in the baby. Oxytocin, the ‘love hormone’ that helps nurture emotional bonding, is also higher in breastfeeding moms.

Join the campaign – Pledge your support for women to breastfeed anytime, anywhere.

Simple Exercises for Postpartum Fitness

Simple Exercises for Postpartum FitnessPregnancy usually brings about pretty drastic changes to your body, your emotions, and your life. If you are a new mom, you may have gained a lot of weight during your pregnancy and might be wondering how to get back your pre-pregnancy body. The answer is simple: exercise. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, resuming exercise activities or incorporating new exercise routines after delivery is important in supporting lifelong healthy habits. However, you would need to get clearance from your doctor before you start any exercise program.

Maintaining fitness through exercise the following benefits for new moms:

  • Helps get your body back in shape
  • Strengthens and tones abdominal muscles.
  • Boosts energy.
  • May help prevent postpartum depression.
  • Promotes better sleep.
  • Relieves stress.

The 2008 guidelines of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or brisk walking for healthy postpartum women.

There is a right way to start postpartum exercise. The first step in postpartum fitness is talk with your doctor to see when it’s safe for you to reincorporate exercise into your daily routine. A postpartum fitness professional can properly assess what exercise routine is appropriate for you as the postpartum journey is different for everyone. What’s most important is to take it easy at first. Since your body has undergone massive physical changes during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum, everything is likely to look and feel different during your initial workout after having a baby.

Experts recommend starting off with the following exercises:

  • Pelvic floor strengthener (Kegels): Kegel exercises involve contracting and releasing the pelvic muscles and can be done almost immediately following childbirth (www.babycenter.com). They improve circulation to the pelvic area and help avoid problems such as incontinence. As the pelvic muscles tire easily, it’s best to do several contractions repeatedly throughout the day rather than in one session.
    • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
    • Tighten the pelvic floor muscles.
    • Hold for a count of ten, then release. Repeat ten times. Try to work up to three or four sets about three times a day.
    • Don’t tighten leg or abdominal muscles.
  • Lying March: This workout is mainly for the abs.
    • Lie face up with knees bent 90 degrees and aligned over hips, arms extended at sides and palms on the ground.
    • Pull abs in, then slowly lower right foot, stopping just before it touches the ground.
    • Raise right leg to starting position and repeat on left side to complete 1 rep.
    • Twice a week, do 1 set of 12 to 15 reps, resting 30 to 60 seconds between sets.
  • Head and shoulder raises: These help tone your abdominal muscles, though it can take weeks to recover your strength. Progress depends on how fit you were before getting pregnant.
    • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your hands behind your head.
    • Take a breath and, as you exhale, tighten your abdominal muscles, flatten the small of your back against the floor, and raise your head and shoulders off the floor. Keep your core muscles tight.
    • Slowly lower and repeat the entire sequence eight to ten times.
  • Pelvic tilt: This is another good exercise for strengthening the abdominal muscles.
    • Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
    • Inhale and expand your abdomen.
    • Exhale and lift your tailbone toward your navel, keeping your hips on the floor.
    • At the top of the tilt, tighten your buttocks, then release.
    • Repeat eight to ten times.

Along with these exercises, cardiovascular workouts such as brisk walking are also recommended. Start out with five minutes, two or three days per week, and work up to 20 minutes or more.

It’s very important to consult your doctor before you start any kind of exercise postpartum.

July is UV Safety Month – Protect Your Eyes from the Sun

July is UV Safety Month - Protect Your Eyes from the Sun
July is observed as Ultraviolet Light (UV) Safety Awareness Month to raise awareness about how important it is to protect your eyes and skin from harmful UV rays. Through its EyeSmart campaign, the American Academy of Ophthalmology reminds public of the importance of protecting their eyes from the sun’s harmful rays and urges them to shield their eyes from the sun’s harmful rays with 100% UV-blocking sunglasses and broad-brimmed hats.

UV radiations are invisible rays that are part of the energy that comes from the sun. We all know long-term exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause damage to the skin, but it can also severely damage the eyes. These rays are responsible for causing corneal damage, cataracts, melanoma of the eye, macular degeneration, growths on the eye, and a rare form of eye cancer. These eye diseases can impair your sight and eventually cause complete vision loss. Even short-term exposure of UV rays can damage the eyes, resulting in photokeratitis which causes redness, blurry vision, sensitivity to bright light, and in rare cases, even temporary vision loss.

Taking the necessary precautions when you are outdoors in summer can help prevent these diseases. Here are the steps you can take to protect your eyes from the sun:

  •  Limit Exposure: Avoid too much exposure to the sun on warm summer days.
  • Ensure proper protection: Wear sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation and/ or wear a hat and cap with a wide brim. When you are outdoors, take breaks in the shade.
  • Get regular checkups: Many eye diseases are treatable if diagnosed early. So, get regular eye checkups done. This protect your eyes from developing diseases, and also provide you with an accurate prescription for glasses or contact lenses.

When buying sunglasses, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends choosing substance over style. Here are some tips to choose the right option:

  • Look for a sticker or tag indicating that the product can block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation.
  • Buy sunglasses that provide more coverage. Choose oversized glasses or wraparound-style glasses, which help cut down on UV entering the eye from the side.
  • Remember that dark lenses may look cool, but may not necessarily block more UV rays.
  • Don’t focus on color or darkness of sunglass lenses or be deceived by cost. Select sunglasses that block UV rays. The ability to block UV light is not dependent on the price tag or how dark the sunglass lenses are.
  • Use your sunglasses even if you wear contact lenses with UV protection.
  • Consider polarized lenses. Polarization reduces glare coming off reflective surfaces like water or pavements. This does not offer more protection from the sun, but can make activities like driving or being in the water safer and more enjoyable.
  • Athletes who play sports such as baseball or golf should consider getting sunglasses that come with amber, green or gray lenses. These lenses do not block more sun rays, but they can increase contrast, which may be useful when playing such sports.
  • Don’t be fooled by clouds because the sun’s rays can pass through haze and thin clouds. Sun damage to eyes can occur anytime during the year, not just in summer.
  • Avoid exposure to the sun during peak hours (between 10 am and 4 pm when the UV radiation is the strongest). Avoid higher altitudes, where UV light is more intense.
  • Never look directly at the sun, especially during an eclipse, as it can lead to solar retinopathy – damage to the eye’s retina from solar radiation.

Adults and children share same level of risk if eyes are not protected. So make sure to protect your kids’ eyes with hats and sunglasses. Keep children indoors during peak sun hours.