Enjoying Autumn Activities while Social Distancing

Social DistancingWith lockdown and social distancing, people are wondering how they can enjoy their favorite fall activities. The good news is that there are a lot of fun things that you can do even if you are social distancing, staying indoors, or going outdoors. However, to enjoy those activities this year, it’s crucial that you take measures to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19 as well as flu.

In a recent MarketWatch report, Centre for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr.Robert Redfield said the things people can do to stay safe and healthy in this fall include wearing a face mask, washing hands, social distancing, avoiding crowds, and importantly, getting a flu shot. Getting vaccinated against the flu can reduce the risks of hospitalization at a time when hospital beds are necessary for COVID-19 patients. The news report also notes that following safety measures for the coronavirus can help minimize the spread of viral respiratory illnesses like rhinovirus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) this autumn.

So, with all these safety measures, there are many activities that you can enjoy this fall:

  • Apple picking and pumpkin patch visits: Go apple picking and visit that pumpkin farm. Farms now require reservations so as to limit the number of visitors at one time. Before you visit the farm, call and ask for guidelines and precautions. Choose a nonpeak hour to visit, wear your face mask, and carry a sanitizer.
  • Sporting events: If guidelines and safety measures are followed, attending these activities will not be a problem. Many schools and organizations have limited the number of fans to sporting events, says www.popsugar.com. Parents should use a face mask and social distance to while watching a live event. If the school offers a virtual option , you and your family can watch at home.
  • Enjoy the fall foliage: This is one of the best activities you can do during the lockdown. Tak a walk through your neighbourhood or drive around to admire the autumn fall. Don’t forget to follow safety measures when you’re outdoors.
  • Engage in fall crafts at home: Encourage your kids to engage in DIY fall crafts at home. There are so many ideas on the internet and this is the best time to bring out the creativity in your kids!

Get your flu vaccine and stay safe and healthy as you enjoy your fall activities. As Dr. Redfield notes, “If people follow the CDC’s social distancing and hygiene recommendations and get their flu shots, it will bring this (COVID-19) outbreak down”.

 

10 Ways to Protect and Improve Heart Health

Heart Health

The heart is the center of the cardiovascular system. There many ways you can protect your heart and health. Following a healthy diet, staying happy and stressfree, and exercising regularly routinely are key strategies for a healthy heart. This is also vital for your overall health.

To protect and improve heart health, you need to know the things that you should do and avoid. Here are some simple ways to protect and improve heart health:

  • Avoid Stress: Long-term stress can increase the levels of cortisol, which can cause blood cholesterol, blood pressure, sugar levels, and triglycerides to increase. Stress reduces the blood flow to the heart muscle, and more, and has been identified as a risk factor for heart disease. So, identify the cause of your stress and learn to manage it.
  • Take steps to resolve constant depression or anxiety: Studies have found that anxiety or long-term emotional stress can increase the risk for sudden cardiac death. Try activities like yoga, meditation, or other methods that make can you feel good and improve your health. Also, share your problems with someone you feel comfortable. Discuss matters with your provider and follow his/her guidance on addressing depression and anxiety.
  • Reduce excess body weight: Excess fat, especially belly fat, increases risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and harmful forms of cholesterol. It leads to plaque deposits in the arteries and can cause a heart attack. Obesity reduces the capacity of the heart to pumping enough blood to meet the body’s needs. A recent study found that people of normal weight who have belly fat have a higher risk of dying. To avoid fat build-up, focus on foods that keep your daily calorie intake low naturally, such as
    • Vegetables
    • Water-rich whole grains
    • Beans
    • Whole fruits

    Women should maintain a waist circumference of less than 35 inches, men, less than 40 inches. To learn whether you at a healthy weight, calculate your Body Mass Index by entering your height and weight and see if it ranges between the normal value 18.5 and 25.

    body mass index
    ImageSource:https://4.bp.blogspot.com/nBF9Z1tFGhI/W3MqbdD0j7I/AAAAAAAAAIs/UdyXTIxsBT8Pl8usABxEK_Fusj5S0SnBQCLcBGAs/s1600/HOW%2BTO%2BCALCULATE%2BBODY%2BMASS%2BINDEX%2BBMI.jpg

    If you find you are not at a healthy weight, do what’s necessary to achieve it.

  • Quit Smoking: Smoking can cause irregular heart rhythm, increase heart rate, and constrict the major arteries. All this will affect the heart’s functioning. Smoking raises blood pressure and increases the risk of stroke. Other life-threatening conditions that smoking can cause are lung cancer, breathing problems, kidney cancer, emphysema. If you have problems quitting, consult your doctor for proper advice.
  • Limit alcohol intake: Excess consumption of alcohol can lead to an increased risk of hypertension, weakened heart muscles, and irregular heartbeat.
  • Control food portion size: While maintaining a proper diet, it is equally important to regulate how much you eat. Consider having larger portions of low-calories foods that are rich in nutrients such as fruits and vegetables, and smaller portions of high-calorie food high in sodium such as processed, refined, or fast food. Always keep track of your food intake. Consult your healthcare provider before you start any new diet.
  • Foods to avoid: For a stronger, healthier heart, stay away from foods that are high in trans fat and saturated fat. Avoid or limit the following foods:
    • Crackers
    • Fried foods
    • Doughnuts
    • Processed foods
    • Non-dairy creamer
    • Baked goods

    The American Heart Association recommends not consuming more than 14 grams of saturated fat and 2 grams of trans fat daily.

  • Foods to include: To minimize the risk of heart disease, stick to a balanced diet that includes omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, vitamin B/folic acid, and fiber. Foods to eat:
    • Walnuts, Soybeans, Lake Trout, and Salmon are omega-3 fatty acids content foods that reduce inflammation, decrease blood pressure and prevent plaque buildup, the American Heart Association recommended to consume fatty fish at least two times a week.
    • Spinach, Bananas, Sweet Potatoes, and Avocados are potassium content foods, it reduces blood pressure and balance the sodium effect. 4700milligrams per day recommended by the American Heart Association.
    • Broccoli, Spinach, Kale, and Asparagus are rich in Vitamin B/ folic acid, lowers levels of homocysteine in the blood. It is good if you include it every day in your diet.
    • Oatmeal, Apple with skin, Lentils, and raisins are rich in fiber. It lowers blood pressure and bad cholestrol, and also reduces inflammation. Experts said that women should consume 25g and men should consume 38g of dietary fiber.
  • Exercise regularly: Exercise helps to improve blood circulation throughout the body and strengthens the heart muscles just like it strengthens the muscles of other parts of the body. It pushes more blood with each beat, allows the heart to beat slower, and keeps blood pressure under control. It reduces the risk of diabetes and also improves mood and mental functioning thus improves heart health and overall health. Do exercises like:
    • Aerobic Exercise
    • Resistance Training
    • Swimming
    • Yoga
    • Cycling
  • Laugh more often: The American Heart Association cites research which shows that laughing every day can manage stress hormones, decrease inflammation in your arteries, and raise the level of good cholesterol. So for a healthy heart, consider watching funny movies, crack jokes with your friends, or do anything that will make you laugh.

Follow these simple tips to boost heart health. Seek expert advice from your healthcare provider before beginning activities like yoga, exercise, and also about your diet. Get early treatment for health problems. Remember to maintain a healthy lifestyle by following a proper diet, avoiding stress, and exercising regularly, and stay happy, motivated, and cheerful.

September Is Observed as Pain Awareness Month

Pain Awareness Month

According to the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), pain is an annoying sensation and emotional experience that is associated with actual or potential damage of tissue. It is a personal feeling that is affected to varying degrees by social, psychological, and biological factors. For every person the way they feel and describe pain varies. Pain can be long-term or short-term, and can remain in one place or spread the whole body.

Pain awareness month was the development as a part of Pain Awareness Campaign launched by the American Chronic Pain Association. As a part of pain awareness month, The U.S PAIN FOUNDATION has given a theme for the year 2020 which is called “MyPlainPlan”. It will concentrate on the need for a personalized approach to pain treatment involving physicians from different medical disciplines, and the barriers patients are facing in getting this kind of care. The foundation is offering new resources and tools to people with pain throughout the month. It includes the launch of MyPainPlan.org, that will help users learn about a wide range of treatment options and choose any of them to add to their customized plan, free online events, a survey report, a social media campaign, and heating pad giveaways.

This pain awareness month the focus will be on raising awareness about the different types of pain and pain management. It will help improve the treatment and also reduce pain-related suffering.

The different types of pain are:

  • Acute Pain: It often begins immediately and feels sharp. It is caused by something specific. It usually does not stay more than six months. Acute pain is temporary pain that goes away if there is no underlying cause for the pain. The typical causes are labor pain, surgery, accidentally touching a hot stove, etc. If the acute pain is not relieved, it can transform to chronic pain.

    The different types of acute pain include:

    • Somatic pain: It normally feels like a constant aching on the skin.
    • Visceral Pain: It refers to the pain in the body – in the lungs, heart, pelvic, and abdominal organs.
    • Referred pain: It is the pain that is felt from an internal organ in a different part of the body, that means if the liver is enlarged it leads to pain in the right shoulder. It happens because the pain messages that the liver generates travel along the same nerve route that is taken by messages from the skin. Due to this, the brain is confused and think that the pain is arriving from a different location.
  • Chronic Pain: It is the pain that generally lasts longer than six months even after the original injury has healed. It can last for years and the pain scale can change from mild to severe. If proper care is not given, it can affect the quality of the person’s life. Arthritis pain, low back pain, migraines etc are examples of chronic pain.
  • Neuropathic pain: When the peripheral nerves that link the brain and spinal cord are injured, this pain occurs. It can cause tenderness, discomfort, numbness, or tingling. It feels like an electric shock.
  • Central Pain: This pain is typically due to bleeding in the brain or spinal cord, or due to tumors, degeneration, infarction, and abscesses. This pain is ongoing and can scale from mild to very painful. Aching, pressing sensations, and burning are reported by people who experience central pain.
  • Phantom Pain: It is the pain that originates from a missing body part, that means it occurs after amputation of a limb. Earlier, doctors believed that this is a psychological issue, but experts now recognize that it is occurring in the spinal cord and brain.

Pain Management and Treatment

For different types of pain, the treatment may vary to ensure effective results. It is always important to have medicines and follow the exact dosage that is prescribed by the doctor.

  • Acute Pain Treatment: For acute pain treatment, proper medications are needed. They are:
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs): It is a type of analgesic or pain reliever that can help a person regain daily-function. This is suitable for acute pain like backaches, headaches, and that caused by light sprains. It reduces localized inflammation and pain due to swelling. It may have side effects that affect the digestive system, including bleeding. Persons who are prescribed a high dosage will be monitored by the doctor.
    • Opioids: For extreme acute pain, that is the pain following surgery, cancer, bone fractures, and burns, doctors prescribe opioids. These are highly addictive, and give rise to withdrawal symptoms, and lose effectiveness over time.
  • Chronic Pain Treatment: There are nondrug therapies available for people experiencing chronic pain. The following therapies are alternative to medications:
    • Psychotherapy
    • Acupuncture
    • Nerve blocks
    • Relaxation techniques and exercises
    • Surgery
    • Rest

So, understand the pain cause by continuously monitoring the pain, consult a doctor if you notice something out of the ordinary. That means, if you feel a pain that cannot be managed and that shouldn’t be happening, seeing a doctor will help you receive the right treatment at the right time. Doctors use pain scale tools to assess a person’s pain, which help to measure the intensity of pain experienced. Pain scale tools help determine the severity, type, and duration of pain.

With a better understanding of pain using the tools, doctors can make an accurate diagnosis, plan a treatment schedule, and have an understanding about the effectiveness of the treatment. During this pain awareness month, understand the types of pain and follow the correct treatment for pain management. It will help reduce the severity of the pain by avoiding the transformation of acute pain into chronic pain, enable you to get back to your daily activities and improve the quality of your life.

12 Amazing Self-Care Tips While Working from Home

Working from Home

It’s not easy to maintain a work-life balance when you work remotely for a long period of time. The arrangement can affect your mental health as you may feel lonely and isolated at times. Working remotely take some time to get used to as this new way of life would have affected the routine you followed before. It can be easy to slip into bad habits when spending all day indoors. If you don’t set a boundary between your personal life and work, it will become difficult to find time to take care of yourself. Paying attention to your mental and physical health can increase your productivity and efficiency.

Here are some expert tips to help you set a new routine to take care of yourself:

  • Set boundaries between work and home life: There is a chance of such as working late into the evening when you are working from home. To maintain a healthy balance between work and play, you have to set clear boundaries between them. This will allow you to find time to take care of yourself and do your work as well.
  • Set a consistent sleep schedule: As a part of self-care, it’s important that you maintain the wake time and bedtime that you followed before this transition. This will help maintain sleep quality. If you don’t get enough sleep, you will become tired and confused throughout the day, with big fluctuations in energy. You will also feel tempted to take a long nap in the afternoon. If you feel like you need rest, set an alarm for a 20 min power nap. If you want to get away from your desk, go outside and take a brisk walk.
  • Dress up as if you’re going to work: Christine Carter, PhD, a sociologist and senior fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at University of California in Berkeley recommends taking a shower, combing your hair, and maybe even putting on your shoes before you start work in the morning. Doing this will help get your mind ready and also help you transition more easily to the work mode. It will prepare you for your day by sending a message to the brain that it is not weekend!
  • Take time to move around: Fitting in time for exercise is important to ensure that you stay fit and healthy. If possible, get outside or sit in the garden for 10 minutes, stretch your arms and legs, and get some much-needed fresh air.
  • Take a break: Prolonged sitting can create many health problems. Walk away from your laptop and move your body. Just walk up and down the stairs, simply stand or do a loop around the block.
  • Prepare a to-do-list: One challenge when you work from home is that you have to rely on yourself for motivation to get through the working day. Start each morning by preparing a to-do list pf everything that needs to be done. Prioritize the things should be done immediately. Tick off things in the list as you get them done.
  • Organize your work space: Make sure that you have a space or environment that is productive and conductive to work and does not have a negative impact on your body or posture. Avoid sitting on sofas and keeping laptops on your lap, this will have an adverse impact on your body. Create a proper environment that will allow you to work effectively by positioning your laptop, chair and table to maintain good posture. Also ensure that the lighting is appropriate and doesn’t strain your eyes.
  • Eat healthy and stay hydrated: You may feel like eating junk food or snacks while working from home, especially if you are stressed. Avoid this and eat healthy lunches that will give you the nourishment and energy that you need. Keep a bottle filled with water on your desk and stay hydrated. You can keep track of whether you are drinking sufficient water using an app like Water Minder or Hydro Coach.
  • Wake up a bit early: Waking up a bit early will make sure that you have time to get things in the house done before you begin office work. This includes preparing your breakfast, or washing clothes or cleaning. Use your time before work as productively as you can.
  • Consider meditation: Find time to meditate before you start work. It will help you to relax, readjust and concentrate. Online mediation organization Headspace has a free meditation collection called “Weathering the Storm”, which includes meditations, and sleep and movement exercises.
  • Listen or watch something that makes you happy: Watch or listen to something that will make you laugh. Laughter is a good stress buster and can improve your mental health and also overall well-being.
  • Don’t let work spill your leisure time: Don’t hesitate to bring your work to a close and don’t let it spool out into the evening. Free yourself after the work, avoid overworking and recharge yourself so you can wake up feeling fresh the next day.

So, working from home doesn’t mean working all the time. Consider working from home as an opportunity to look after yourself. Following these tips will help you maintain work-life balance and boost your mental health and physical health. This will help to make working from home productive and enjoyable.

Tips to Maintain Good Posture Throughout the Day

Good Posture

Maintaining good posture is as important as following a healthy diet and doing regular exercises for good health. The body is designed to be symmetrical. So, the use of muscles on the left and right sides should be balanced. “if you are not maintaining a good posture you are bringing improper alignment into everything you do and this will reduce your efficiency of everything from your workouts to your energy levels”, says well-known physiologist Pete Egoscue.

The most common causes of posture problems are:

  • Spending a lot of time hunched over while seated
  • Putting more weight on one leg while standing
  • Usage of smartphones
  • Whiplash
  • Sleeping in the wrong position
  • Carrying a heavy bag on the same side of the body for a long period of time

Here are some tips to improve posture:

  • While sitting: If you have a desk job, it is hard to maintain a correct position throughout the day due to too much sitting. To maintain a good posture, be mindful – keep reminding yourself to ensure good posture. Here are some tips for good posture:
    • Keep your back straight and prevent your shoulders from rolling forward.
    • Do not cross your legs. Adjust the chair height and keep your feet on the ground by maintaining a 90-degree angle by bending your knees.
    • Take breaks in between to reduce the stress on your spine and to prevent muscle fatigue and stiffness.
    • Relax your shoulders.
    • Ensure that your back is fully supported. If there is no backrest on your chair, place a pillow on the back side or any other back support to support your lower back’s curve.
    • Have a well-padded seat to support your hips and thighs. It should be parallel to the floor.
    • Keep your elbows close to your body and bent between 90 and 120 degrees.
    • Get up and walk around a few minutes every hour or so.
  • While Standing: If a busy schedule keeps you standing for long periods of time, it’s more likely that you will lean forward and hunch over while standing. Following these tips can help you maintain good posture while standing:
    • Keep your shoulders back.
    • Let your arms hang down naturally at your sides.
    • Pull your stomach in.
    • Position your legs straight not locked.
    • Try to keep your weight on the balls of your feet.
    • Push your feet into the floor and lengthen your spine.
    • Keep your feet about shoulder width-apart.
    • Your head, shoulders, hips and knees should be in straight line.
  • While sleeping in bed: Lying on your back with a pillow under your head to level with your spine is the good posture while you sleep. Ensure that your spine is aligned and avoid twisting of your waist. Avoid sleeping on your tummy, as it can create tension in the lower back. Sleeping on your side or back is helpful for back pain. Place a pillow between your legs if you prefer sleeping on your side, and place a pillow under your knees if you sleep on your back. It will also increase the effectiveness of your sleep.
  • While lifting: Reduce the strain on your spine to prevent the injury while lifting. Avoid bending and twisting at the same time when lifting an object. Instead, face the object, then bend at the knees not the back. Before lifting the object, move close to and directly in front of the object, your feet should be flat on the floor and shoulders are apart. Lift the object smoothly by bending the knees. Repeat the same to put the object down.
  • While driving: Always position your seat close to (not too close) the steering wheel and keep your knees a little higher than your hips. Adjust the lumbar support of the car to support the curve of your back. After driving or while you are sitting in a heavy traffic, don’t forget to stretch yourself, you can rotate your trunk to one side for five seconds while keeping your back straight and then rotating it to the other side.

Poor posture can affect your entire skeletal system and also your health as you age. According to bicrad.com, poor posture can lead to changes in spine alignment, misalign the musculoskeletal system, digestion problems, chronic back pain, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, nerve constriction, and subluxations. Maintaining good posture throughout the day is a very crucial part of taking care of yourself. There are also various exercises that you can do to improve your posture, such as Child’s Pose, Forward Fold, Cat Cow, etc.

Chronic Illnesses Linked to Sleep Disorders and Their Treatment

Chronic Illnesses

Sleep is a vital part of our lives. It improves overall health and well-being. Getting enough sleep or proper rest can improve physical and mental health and quality of life. Sleep helps the body repair itself and helps it get ready for another day. Many factors such as smoking, special diet, shift-based work, caffeine consumption, etc affect sleep. Chronic illness and some health conditions can also have a negative impact on sleep.

Chronic illnesses are those that cannot be cured, but can be controlled. Examples include Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, diabetes, lupus, HIV, cancer, asthma and multiple sclerosis. These chronic conditions can lead to sleep disorders. Other common conditions such as heartburn, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, thyroid and musculoskeletal disease also cause sleep disorders.

How does chronic illness lead to sleep problems?

People with chronic illness feel pain and fatigue, and this can lead to sleep problems. Some medicines that use to treat chronic illnesses can also cause sleep disorders. The stress and anxiety that occur due to the chronic illness cause insomnia and daytime drowsiness, and this can worsen a person’s pain and quality of life.

How are sleep disorders treated?

To get enough sleep, the first thing you need to do is follow your doctor’s advice regarding how to control your pain linked to chronic illness. If you need any pain-relieving medicine, your doctor will prescribe that. When you are able to control your pain, sleep may not be a problem. But if you are still experiencing sleep problems, these simple strategies may help:

  • Avoid caffeine content foods and drinks.
  • Avoid daytime naps.
  • Keep the room temperature as comfortable as possible.
  • Eat or drink foods that induce sleep.
  • Keep down noise in the bedroom and surrounding areas.
  • Practice meditation.

Non-medicinal approaches can also help with the issue, so consider consulting a psychologist who specializes in sleep disorders. Therapies used may include:

  • Relaxation training.
  • Cognitive behavioural therapy.
  • Biofeedback – harnessing the power of mind and becoming aware what happens inside your body and will help to gain more control over your health and promote relaxation.
  • Sleep restriction techniques.

If it is not the pain, the depression and anxiety linked to chronic illness can cause sleep disorders. Try to stay positive and confident and allow your body to rest. Not taking steps to get enough sleep can worsen your illness. It will also cause lack of alertness, decline in productivity and memory, and trigger hormonal changes that will lead to mood swings, and more. Here are some ways to relax your mind:

  • Do something small for someone.
  • Do little things for yourself.
  • Make plans with friends and talk with them.
  • Exercise.
  • Watch programs that make you feel good.
  • Eat good food.

All this can help you to stay positive and motivated, and reduce your depression and anxiety, which will ultimately help you get enough sleep and rest.

If these methods don’t have the desired effects, prescription pills may help. But doctors generally don’t prescribe sleep medicines for long periods of time as these products come with side effects and can be addictive. It can also be unsafe to take sleeping pills if you have certain health problems. So, try the simple strategies listed above and it they don’t help, follow your doctor’s advice on how to deal with your sleep problem.

Exercise at home to stay fit this summer

Exercise

Regular exercise helps you stay fit, maintain a healthy body weight, lower the risk of many diseases, and maintain a safe body temperature. With the ongoing the public health emergency, exercising outdoors is challenging during this pandemic. Gyms and fitness studios are also closed due to the lockdown, and if you went to one, you need to find another way to continue your workout.

It is very important to maintain a safe body temperature in the summer to avoid the risk of heat stroke or heat exhaustion. The good news is that you can exercise at home to stay fit, boost your immune system and maintain a safe body temperature. Here are some exercises that you can do indoors this summer:

  • High Knees: Stand straight and the objective of this exercise is to get your knees up as high in the air as you can.
    • Briskly start with your right knee up and then the other knee.
    • Alternate back and forth.
    • Keep the shoulders back, core engaged, and gaze forward.
    • Pump the arms.
    • Continue for 60 seconds.
  • Standing Scissors: Stand straight with your feet together, place your arms by your side and your palms should face your hips.
    • Jump up, and land with your right leg forward and left leg back.
    • Jump again to bring back the feet to the starting stance.
    • Finally, jump and land with your left leg forward and right leg back.
    • Push off and land lightly on the balls on your feet to encourage a fast pace and less impact on the joints.
    • Continue this for 60 seconds by switching your legs.
  • Jumping Jacks: Stand straight with your legs together and arms on your sides.
    • Lightly bend your knees and jump into the air.
    • Spread your legs to be about shoulder width-apart and stretch your arms out and over your head as you jump.
    • Come back to the starting position, once you get comfortable increase the speed.
    • Repeat for 60 seconds.
  • Sumo Squats: Have your feet wider than shoulder width and the toes facing out. The knees and the toes should be facing the same direction.
    • Shift your weight to your heels.
    • Lower your body until your thighs parallel to the ground.
    • You will feel a stretch in the inner thighs,
    • Hold for 2 counts and stand up by pushing through the heels.
    • Repeat 10 times.

Exercising regularly improves physical and mental health. These indoor exercises are the ideal option during these times of social-distancing and stay-at-home orders

Easy Tips for Indoor Walking, A Highly Beneficial Exercise

Indoor Walking

People who have integrated walking as a regular exercise into their life could find it very challenging to walk outside when the weather is unfavorable or when there are other inconveniences. If you are forced to stay at home for some reason or other, the only solution is to take your walking program indoors. By doing so, you can continue to maintain a 30-minute moderate-intensity physical activity on most days without difficulty, burn those calories, and get fit.

Walking can help improve your overall health by increasing cardiovascular fitness; it also strengthens the bones, reduces excess body fat, and gives more power to the muscles. Without any equipment or any great effort, you can continue your walking exercise indoors.

Here are some tips you can follow for successful indoor walking:

  1. Walk around your house: Walk inside your home if you have got a big enough space. Try walking fast for 2 laps and then easier for 2 laps at least for 20 mins. Walk through your rooms, and you can switch directions if possible. Loop through around tables and furniture and do some stretching for the top part of your hip.
  2. Use the Stairs: Make it a habit to go up and down the stairs, it helps to
    • reduce cardio risk by more than 30%
    • build muscle tone
    • burn more calories per minute than when jogging
    • amp your core muscle strength
  3. Walk while you talk: Don’t forget to walk when you talk on phones. You can use a portable phone or a Bluetooth headset and walk around the house as you carry on conversations.
  4. Assign one particular exercise to each room and do each one as you walk from room to room, some examples are:
    • Walk to the kitchen and do at least 10 squats against the counter.
    • Walk to the living room and do 10 push-ups.
    • Walk to the bedroom and do 10 crunches on the bed.
    • Walk to the front door and do 10 jumping jacks.
    • Walk around the house a few times and repeat the circuit.

    Involve your arms to burn even more calories.

  5. Mall walking: If you feel bored walking inside your own home then there are plenty of ways to walk indoors outside of the home. You can call malls to enquire about mall walking and ask whether the shopping mall opens early or stays open late, for walkers. Avoid walking around food courts. If you have a choice of malls, pick one with wide halls so you can move briskly even when there are shoppers. You can also google “indoor walking tracks near me” to find places other than malls.
  6. Use a pedometer: Use a pedometer to keep track of how many steps you are taking daily. Increase the number of steps gradually.

Some things to consider before starting indoor walking:

  • If you decide to start indoor walking, consult a doctor first to find out whether you are fit to perform indoor walking exercise. This is especially important if you have health issues, are a beginner, or a person that leads a sedentary life.
  • Set your goals and be realistic. Once you start doing exercise you can scale your goal up and down accordingly.
  • Maintain a proper posture by keeping your head up and eyes forward, and your spine should be aligned. Pump your arms a bit as you walk, let your arms pass by your body at about hip height. Follow toe-heel pattern when you walk.
  • Monitor your walking and level up according to your ability.
  • Take time to cool down as you approach the end of your walk; also, do some simple stretches.

Start your indoor walking exercise as soon as possible. Whether it’s good weather or bad weather, you can follow these tips to improve your health and lead a healthy and happy life.

Whether outdoors or indoors, walking is a great exercise that will benefit your body. Experts point out that walking is as beneficial as aerobic exercises. It helps boost your immune system, reduces the chances of diseases such as diabetes and cancer, and ensures a longer life than those who lead a sedentary or inactive life.

Misconceptions and Facts About COVID-19

COVID-19

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), most people infected with COVID-19 experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without any special treatment. Older people are likely to be seriously affected if they have underlying medical problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer. The best way to protect yourself and others is to maintain social-distancing, wash your hands with soap or alcohol-based rub frequently, and avoid touching your face.

The WHO’s COVID-19 MythBusters page brings up some misconceptions and facts that you must know about COVID-19 to avoid panic and stay safe.

Misconceptions about COVID 19

  1. Wearing mask is necessary while exercising

    While exercising, it is not necessary to wear a mask. If you wear a mask while exercising, it will reduce the ability to breathe comfortably. The mask may also get wet quickly and promote the growth of microorganisms. The only thing you should take care of during exercise is to maintain physical distance of 1 meter from others.

  2. COVID-19 can spread through shoes

    The chances of COVID-19 spreading through shoes is very low. However, as a precaution, people who have infants and small children in their homes, are advised to leave their footwear outside their home. This will prevent contact with dirt and waste that could be carried on shoes.

  3. Drinking alcohol can protect you from COVID-19

    Drinking alcohol cannot protect you from COVID-19. In fact, it can be dangerous. Too much alcohol consumption increases your risk of having health problems.

  4. Exposing yourself to the sun can reduce the risk of COVID-19

    Exposing yourself to the sun or temperature above 25C degree cannot prevent COVID-19. No matter how sunny or hot the weather is, you cannot the reduce the risk of getting infected with COVID-19. Countries with hot weather have reported COVID-19 cases. To protect yourself, maintain personal hygiene by washing your hands frequently and thoroughly. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.

  5. COVID-19 spreads through food

    There is no evidence to prove that COVID-19 can spread through food. COVID-19 causes respiratory illness and the primary transmission mode is person-to-person contact and droplets transmission when a person comes in direct contact with someone has respiratory symptoms like coughing or sneezing.

  6. COVID-19 is airborne

    Based on a review of available evidence, the WHO has clarified that coronavirus is not airborne. The only way you can get the infection is after coming in close contact with an infected person or by touching surfaces that have respiratory droplets of a coronavirus patient. No cases of airborne transmission were reported in an analysis of 75,465 COVID-19 cases in China.

  7. If you can hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without difficulty means you are free from COVID-19

    If you are able to hold your breath for 10 seconds or more without any difficulty such as coughing or any other discomfort, it doesn’t mean that you are free from COVID-19 or any other lung disease. The most common symptoms of the disease are dry cough, tiredness and fever, with some people developing more severe forms of the disease like pneumonia. The best way to confirm whether you are infected is to get a laboratory test done.

Other Facts About COVID-19

  • COVID-19 is caused by virus not by bacteria

    COVID-19 is caused by the virus that present in a family of viruses called coronaviridae. Antibiotics will not work against COVID-19. Some people who are infected with the COVID-19 can also develop a bacterial infection as a complication. Here, antibiotics may be recommended by the healthcare provider. Till now there is no licensed medication to cure this disease. Call your healthcare provider or COVID-19 hotline for assistance, if you have any symptoms.

  • Thermal scanners cannot detect COVID-19

    Thermal scanners cannot detect people who are infected with COVID-19. It can detect fever (if the body temperature is higher than normal). There are many causes of fever. So, if you have fever seek assistance from a healthcare provider. If you live in an area with malaria or dengue seek medica care immediately.

  • Most people affected by coronavirus recover from it

    Most people who are affected with COVID-19 develop mild to moderate symptoms and can recover from it. If you find difficulty in breathing, have cough and fever seek medical care early. You can call your health facility by telephone and ask for help.

  • COVID-19 is not transmitted through houseflies or through mosquito bite

    To date, there is no evidence that COVID-19 spreads through houseflies or through mosquito bite. As mentioned earlier, the virus is transmitted when you have direct contact with infected person through the respiratory droplets when he coughs or sneezes and through fomites in the immediate environment or surfaces around the infected person.

    To date, there is no specific vaccine or medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19. Several drug trials are on and there is no proof yet that any drug can cure or prevent COVID-19. WHO is organizing efforts to develop and evaluate medicines to treat this disease.

The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to maintain good hand hygiene, good respiratory hygiene, physical distance of at least 1 metre from others. Wash your hands frequently using soap or handwashes or alcohol-based rub and avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth.

Important guidelines that can reduce risk of cancer

cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer is the second leading cause of death among both men and women in the United States. The most common causes of cancer are:

  • Smoking and tobacco
  • Genetics
  • Lifestyle choices
  • Environmental factors including excessive exposure to the sun and radiation
  • Infectious agents

One half of cancer cases are preventable through a healthy lifestyle. You can reduce your risk of cancer by following these recommendations:

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of several types of cancer. By maintaining your body weight in healthy range and avoiding weight gain in adult life, you can reduce your risk of cancer.
  • Eat a plant-based diet: Eating a healthy diet that are high in nutrients and by including colorful vegetables and fruits that can help you to stay lean. Fill two-thirds of your plate with vegetables and whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal, whole-wheat bread, etc. Avoid sugar-sweetened beverages and alcohol, and reduce the amount of red meat and processed meats like ham, sausages, hot dogs, pepperoni, etc., in your diet. Processed meats can cause cancer substance to form when they are preserved.
  • Stay active: Adults should engage in 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. Achieving or exceeding the upper limit of 300 min is optimal. Children and adolescents should engage in one hour of moderate-intensity or vigorous-intensity activity per day. Avoid being sedentary.
  • Avoid smoking: Don’t smoke and if you do, quit as fast as possible. Medical oncologist and researcher Dr.Steven Clinton says, “Data shows more than up to one third of all cancers are linked to tobacco”.
  • Vaccinate your children against cancer: The HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccine is the best protection against HPV related cancer. All boys and girls between the ages 11 and 12 years old should get the HPV vaccine.
  • Protect yourself from sun: The best way to protect yourself against skin cancer is to limit your exposure to sun’s UV rays. You can use sunscreen with a min SPF 30 or higher whenever you go out.
  • Know your family history: If you have a family history of cancer, you may be at increased risk. Talk to your family and doctor about your medical history, so that the doctor can assess your risk of having cancer and help you to take precautions.
  • Screening exams: Screening exams can help to detect cancer early, when it is most treatable. Talk to your doctor about the appropriate screening exams for you based on your gender, age and risk factors.

There’s nothing that can bring your cancer risk to zero, but you make many modifications in your lifestyle to reduce your risk. Be cautious about these things:

  • When your car is parked outdoors under the sun in temperatures above 60 degrees F, the dashboard and the seats are heated up. According to a research study, the dashboard, air freshener and the seats emit a cancer-causing toxin called benzene, and if it goes up to 40 times the acceptable level, inhaling this can cause cancer. In addition to this, it also affects kidney, liver and poisons your bones, causes anaemia and reduces WBC. So, when you get into your car, open the windows and doors, and allow some time for the interior air to go out.
  • When you are cooking or reheating food using microwave, don’t let plastic wrap, plastic utensils touch food during the microwaving because it may melt, and eating the food will cause carcinogen to enter your body.
  • Avoid putting hot water in plastic bottles, and water in plastic bottles stored in warm environments. Plastic bottles can release harmful chemicals into the water if stored in a hot vehicle. This can increase breast cancer risk.
  • Use cosmetics that are paraben free. Paraben it is a chemical that affects the mechanisms of normal breast cells and potentially influence their abnormal growth, which leads to increased risk of breast cancer.

Following these guidelines and making simple lifestyle changes can bring down your risk of cancer.