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1458 Five-Ways-to-Stay-Fit

Five Ways to Stay Fit

Five Ways to Stay Fit

Striking a balance between eating for health and eating for pleasure can be very tricky. Here's how you can do it.

Run Safely

If you think you have allergies, seek help before you run. As almost 40,000 runners get set to take part in this year's London Marathon, a new study has found that one in three will suffer from allergies after the event. Researchers at Northumbria University have shown how far symptoms such as itchy eyes, a runny nose and congestion can be attributed to allergic reactions.

About 150 runners who had competed in last year's marathon were asked to report on the symptoms they experienced up to three days after the event. Around 61% of them reported eye and nose problems. Blood tests showed the presence of immunoglobulin E antibodies - the telltale sign of an allergic reaction.

Remember that asthmatic athletes need to take medication regularly. Consult your doctor on whether you need to take additional medication if you are training in polluted environments.

Cold Drinks = Hypertension!

Soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages are linked to higher blood pressure. According to a study published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association, for every extra, sugar-sweetened beverage drunk per day, the systolic blood pressure of the participants increased on an average by 1.6 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) while their diastolic blood pressure increased by 0.8 mm Hg.

Higher blood pressure was more pronounced in people who consumed high levels of both sugar and salt. The researchers found no consistent link between diet soda intake and blood pressure levels.

Eat a Good Breakfast

Start the day packed with complex carbohydrates and proteins. It will help you stay energized and alert. Just keep an eye on the quantities. For example, an egg, a slice of toast and a glass of soy milk is good enough; or one parantha and curd. If you have more toast or paranthas, you'll feel lethargic. So, stick to smaller quantities and larger varieties of proteins and carbohydrates to keep it nutritious and energetic.

Take A Multi-Vitamin Pill

Pollution, pesticides, both active and passive cigarette smoke, stale air-conditioned air and stress - strip our body of nutrients. Just dieting will not help to strike a correct nutritional balance. A good, all round multi-vitamin and multi-mineral pill after breakfast is a must for all those who work in urban office conditions. It provides an energy balance and a nutrient balance.

Follow the 80-20

Say no to junk food on weekdays. And then on weekends, reward yourself. Carry three small boxes of food instead of a large one. It might keep you away from ordering outside food. Pack the boxes with:

A jar of mixed cut fruits for having at 11 am once your coffee/tea and emails are out of the way.

Two sandwiches or roti rolls, one to be eaten at 1 pm for lunch with some probiotic yoghurt. You could keep the yoghurt in the office fridge.

A handful of nuts for having at 3.30 pm when the afternoon slump makes you reach for the samosa. Keep a jar of mixed nuts in your office cupboard.

The second sandwich or roti roll to be eaten at 5 pm when the entire office is teeming with snacks, and the aromas are driving you nuts. In the air-conditioned office, the sandwich is unlikely to get spoilt, so don't worry. Alternatively, keep it in the fridge as soon as you get into the office, and microwave it later.

Quick Dining

Have dinner as soon as you reach home. This will keep the weight off, and keep your digestion healthy. Dinner should be a mix of one vegetable, dal or chicken/fish, and one roti or a small bowl of rice, with a large bowl of salad. Do not forget the salad, since you need the roughage and fiber to flush out fat and toxins. If you enjoy a drink two to three days a week, drink after your dinner. And don't exceed two 30 ml or three glasses of wine (for men) and one 30 ml or one or two glasses of wine (for women).

Weekend Binges

So, through the week, you have been getting all essential nutrients, fiber (salad, roti), roughage (salad, roti, dal), protein (dal/chicken/fish, yoghurt, soy milk, eggs), antioxidants (fruits, nuts) and good fats (nuts). Now the weekend's here, so indulge in junk food - but moderately. Make sure your binges aren't really binges, as excess alcohol, junk food and preservatives can strip your stomach lining. Remember the joy of junk food is in small quantities. Stick to that. Savor the taste - it's got to last you till next Saturday.

Reproduced from Outlook Business's Wellness Column by Rachna Chhachhi.

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