Learn How to Breathe – Yes, There Is A Right Way!

One of the functions of our body which we rarely, or probably never, pay attention to is breathing. Breathing is a sub-conscious activity which our body carries out for 24 hours every day. But did you know that there is a particular type of breathing pattern which is right? Yes, breathing wrongly can cause side effects to your body and has the capability to cause a lot of disadvantage to it in the long run. Without being aware of it, you may be harming your sleep, mood, digestion, brain, muscles, nervous system, heart and even your teeth and face structure!

In order to avoid these problems and keep your body feeling healthy and fit, you need to learn the right way of breathing. Once you learn the right technique, you will inevitably feel less anxious, stress-free, relaxed, in harmony with yourself and lead an overall happier life. Firstly, you need to breathe in a manner that is physiologically optimal for your body. The problem is that no one ever teaches us how to. Most of us end up over-breathing, holding our breath or engaging in shallow breathing. This leads to a shortage of oxygen and energy in the body.

The human body takes approximately 25,000 breaths per day. The better you take each of these breaths, the more positive will be the effect on your body. Here are some steps you can follow to ensure that you are doing it right:

Rhythmic Breathing

Just like the ocean, breathing also has a particular rhythm which your body follows. The rhythm is measured by getting an EEG (Electroencephalogram) of the body and is similar to the rhythm of your heartbeats or hormones in the human body. When this rhythm gets affected or disrupted, it causes some strain on the body. Activities like coughing, snoring, sniffling can tend to do that. When these occur for long periods, the natural breath falls out of pattern and becomes irregular. The right way to deal with this would be to breathe consciously as much as possible and be aware of how you breathe during different parts of the day. If you want to keep a proper check, set an alarm for every hour on your phone and check your breathing every time it rings. This will help you breathe in a relaxed and silent manner throughout the day.

Breathe using the diaphragm

It is important that the air you breathe through your nose should go all the way down to your stomach. It is only then that your body will feel at sync and you will feel an overall cleanse in your system. Your breathing pattern consists of not only the nose but even your neck, chest, abdomen and shoulders. Almost 70-80% of your breathing should be done through your diaphragm so that it is deep. This will positively affect your lungs, liver, stomach, and intestines and give them a rhythmical balance.

Extended Exhale

When you exhale, try to extend it as much as possible as this helps make your breathing deeper and more rhythmical. The right kind of breathing will involve an inhale that is 2-3 seconds long and an exhale that is 3-4 seconds long, followed by a pause for 2-3 seconds. Extending the exhale also helps make the inhale deeper, further making your breathing more efficient and relaxed.

Body Consciousness

Be aware of your body and keep a check on how tensed or relaxed it is an any given point of the day. The more you are aware, the more you will be able to feel the breathing and regulate it on your own. Always try to maintain a straight posture. Upright posture provides a body with healthier breathing since the diaphragm gets more space to function. It makes it easier for the body to breathe through the nose and also affects your thoughts and feelings in a positive manner.

Deep Breathing

Doctors recommend 10-20 minutes of deep breathing on a regular basis. But even if you manage to practice it for a minute every hour, it can show a considerable change in your body and provide you with a feel-good factor. If you manage to do it right, you will see great changes in your mental and emotional state. Deep breathing also provides a lot of physical benefits to the body, it reduces acidity and makes the body more alkaline. Chronic acidity in the body tissue can be avoided by regulating your breathing and maintaining its level.

While knowing how to breathe properly is the first step, implementing it in your life on a daily basis is what is important. The right amount of practice and determination can help you achieve it and provide all the health benefits your body can acquire.

 

14 Tips to Stay Fit and Healthy This Monsoon Season

We are always happy to welcome the monsoons! The first showers that bring in the smell of fresh rain, soaking up dry mud are a welcome break from the scorching heat we have to face for the months before that. While the rainy season comes in with a lot of positivity, the one thing we need to pay attention to in this season is our health. Cold, cough, running nose, or viral fever become a common phenomenon during this season. Water-borne diseases such as diarrhea, dengue, malaria, cholera and typhoid are also seen to spread among the masses easily. All this and our eating habits adversely affect our workout routines as well, leading to an overall disruption in our health routine. So how do we ensure that we do not become victims of the diseases floating in the air this season? How do we know that we are making healthy choices? Here’s a quick guide to some of the things we must and must not do to stay healthy and fit this season:

1) Eat only when you feel hungry. This is a universal mantra for food all year round but holds a lot of relevance during the rainy season. Overeating causes ingestion problems and other illnesses.

2) Make fruits an important part of your daily diet. Fruits such as apples, mangoes, pomegranates, and pears are great. You can avoid summer fruits such as watermelon and muskmelon.

3) Foods such as brown rice, oats, and barley are the best foods you can have during this monsoon.

4) Try to have as less salt as possible by using it in average amounts in your food. Salt causes high blood pressure and water retention.

5) Opt for dry foods such as corn, gram flour, chickpea and stay away from watery foods like lassi and or heavy food items like rice.

6) Hot foods like soups, stir fries, and curries will be a treat to your throat as well as your body in this season. Add a dash of garlic to these – it will help in increasing immunity.

7) Avoid too much milk in your diet and try inculcating yogurt, curd, and almonds instead. Consume a lot of water each day to keep your body hydrated and try to stick to boiled or purified water to keep yourself away from the harmful germs and bacteria.

8) Your body is very prone to infections of different kinds in this season. Eating bitter vegetables such as bitter gourd and bitter herbs such as neem, turmeric powder, and methi seeds will make your body stronger and help in preventing infections.

9) Stay away from sesame oil, peanut oil, and mustard oil as they can invite infections. Instead, choose drying oils such as corn oil or light oil.

10)If you have sensitive skin or skin that is prone to rashes and other such problems, the monsoons can have adverse effects on your skin. To avoid skin allergies, skin irritation, boils,

change in skin colour dullness, rashes and pyoderma, refrain from eating spicy foods. Take care of your skin by using a good moisturiser and a good sunscreen lotion.

11)Don’t include large quantities of sour foods such as tamarind, tomatoes and lime in your diet since these can also be the cause of water retention in the body.

12)Ginger tea with hot pakodas this season feels great! You can also try having herbal teas, which have anti-bacterial properties. Try different variations such as ginger, pepper, honey, mint and basil.

13)While the rains and gloomy weather may make you lazy to hit the gym, a great alternative to losing calories would be to indulge in household chores. Sweeping and swabbing the floor proves to be the best exercise. You can try different yoga techniques at home too.

14)Another great alternative for workouts is using the stairs. Choose them over the lift every time you step outside the house. An average of ten rounds up and down the stairs will make you feel pumped up and re-energized.

Follow these simple guidelines, carry an umbrella to avoid getting wet in the rains every time you step out, and get ready to enjoy a healthy monsoon this season!

Dieting or Exercising – What Will Help You Lose Weight?

Wanting to be fit and healthy is a universal thought that comes to everyone’s mind at some point in time or the other! You might want to lose weight to fit into that beautiful dress you saw on the mannequin or to look good in the photo album of your best friend’s upcoming wedding. Whatever be the reason, losing weight and working out is great for your body. It makes you feel fresh, relaxed and pumped up and also gives a boost to your confidence and self-esteem.

The moment you decide to go ahead with the idea of losing some calories, the big question arises. Should you diet or should you exercise? If you decide to go on a strict diet, but don’t have time for any physical activity, will it be effective? Or if you spend hours at the gym but do not put any restraints on your diet, will you still be seeing your body get slimmer? The funny bit is that there is no definite answer to this question. The solution is that your weight-losing technique should involve a blend of both. What you need to focus on is how you can balance the both out based on your body type, in order to achieve maximum results!

If you think about it logically then you can very easily see why diet plays a crucial role when aiming for weight loss. Rather than spending hours at the gym trying to burn calories, not consuming them in the first place would be a far easier option. One pound of weight is approximately equal to 3500 calories. 30 minutes of exercise can burn off a maximum of 350 calories. To burn 3500 calories, you will have to walk at least 35 miles! This doesn’t seem to be an easy or sustainable plan. The easy option, therefore, is to reduce the number of calories you consume. To do so, stick to a nutritious diet with a right mix of carbohydrates, protein and fat. If you’re going for meat, look at lean meat for protein such as fish and chicken. Switching to a diet that is low in calories, high in protein and fiber will make sure that all the extra fat on your body is being cut down. Small things like having an early dinner, cutting down on salt and sugar, drinking lots of water, having loads of fruits are some of the tricks which can go a long way in your weight loss journey. At the same time, you will look good and feel good too!

That being said we cannot write off the importance of exercise when it comes to weight management. A lot of studies suggest that people who exercised when they were on their diets found it far easier to lose weight than those who decided to simply choose a diet plan. Exercising keeps you feeling light, helps in increasing your metabolism rate, and keeps your mind and body fresh. You will already be maintaining your calorie count, and when you team it with the right exercises, you will be able to lose weight much faster and in a more effective manner.

It is natural that the more weight you lose, the more you will be motivated to keep going at it. Your body will feel great after the workout. You will start counting calories subconsciously and will automatically refrain from eating junk and unhealthy food. You will also feel more energetic and productive throughout the rest of your day. Remember, gaining a healthy body requires lifestyle changes. It’s not a one-time activity.

The feeling of being able to pick up a small size from any rack in any shop and knowing that you are going to fit in it is amazing! And if you want to experience that feeling, all you

have to do is give your body that first push. Be determined in your head to achieve the goal that you have set out to. A little more precaution and the right balance of exercise and diet will make you looking and feeling fit and fabulous!

5 Reasons you should take control of your Personal Health Records

Personal Health Records – Helping Patients be in Control of their Health and Wellness

 

With your every visit to a physician, hospital or healthcare provider, you add a new record paper in your medical file. Your file cabinet is filled with your medical files, reports, X-rays, and prescriptions. Whenever you want to access any old report, you dig out all the files to find the right information. Any follow-up visit to the doctor or a consultation with a new doctor needs an hour of preparation because you need to collate all the past reports, prescriptions and other such details.

Today’s smartphone savvy generation has got all the things in control through their phones. They also have a lot of fitness apps installed on their phones which track their fitness goals, calorie count, tablet reminders and all such things. But somehow maintaining a consolidated medical health record online has slipped through the cracks. For many of us, a complete record of all the personal health information still cannot found in a single location at any given time.

Let’s look at some of the advantages of maintaining a personalized digital health record, also called as Personal Health Record (PHR), and that will convince you to look for options to use your smartphone for your healthcare needs as well –

1. Manage your Health and Wellness

Having one place to access the healthcare records and information helps you stay on top of your health. You can maintain a list of your medications, health history, lab results, scans and X-rays, and all such details at a single location. It makes it easy to search and look for information – anytime, anywhere. You don’t need to have physical access to the report files in case you need some information urgently. With PHR, you can track patterns and better manage your health and wellness.

2. Better Inform your Doctors

Whenever you visit your doctor, you can get the most from the visit by updating your doctor with your latest health information. You can share the up-to-date list of medications, reports, or allergies. If you are tracking blood pressure, blood glucose, or weight at home, then you can easily share the latest information with your doctor. Such up-to-date information can help the doctors in improving the quality of care.  With such readily available information, you also reduce or eliminate duplicate tests, and receive faster and safer treatment.

3. Be Better Prepared for Medical Emergencies

In case of emergencies, it is important that the doctors know your previous medical history, the medicines or foods you are allergic to, your current medications and dosages, immunization records, a record of your surgical procedures, results of your recent medical tests and even emergency medical contacts etc.  During a crisis, it can get difficult to remember such important information and easily accessible PHR can be life-saving in such situations.

4. Chronic Health Management

Living each day with chronic ailments or medical conditions like blood pressure, obesity, depression, anxiety, or diabetes, is very difficult to deal with. There are many things which need to be done to properly track patterns and manage these conditions. PHR apps which can assist you in keeping track of medications, appointments, readings etc. can be very beneficial.

5. Set and Achieve your Fitness Goals

PHR apps help you track your activity, fitness activity, weight, diet, set goals, and track progress. One can easily monitor such information through interactive graphs and visualizations and keep track of the progress. This kind of self-motivation helps individuals in doing the right changes in the diet and activity to get the desired results.

Technology is undoubtedly bringing in a paradigm shift in the healthcare space – gone are the days when patient data and doctors notes were residing in silos at multiple, difficult to access places. Consumers today are looking to have complete information about their health data on their mobile devices with an option to share it with doctors as per the need.

दुर्बिणीतून गुडघ्याची शस्त्रक्रिया

दुर्बिणीतून गुडघ्याची शस्त्रक्रिया

An article on Knee Surgery published in a Marathi Magazine, Prabhat Aarogya Jagar on December 10, 2013

Author: Dr. Hrushikesh Ramesh Saraf, Orthopedist, Pune

(Dr. Hrushikesh Ramesh Saraf is an orthopedist practicing in Pune since 2004. His clinic is located in City Centre, 1st Floor, Opposite Ayurveda Rasashala, Next To Garware College, Karve Nagar, Kothrud)