Monthly Archives: January 2015

Yoga 4 You

Yoga can be a great way to treat depression naturally and help fight the winter blues.

Pranayama-2Kapalbhati pranayama steps are usually very straightforward. However, it is important to ensure that you perform it properly or you may end up hurting yourself. Sit straight with your spine erect and cross your legs in front of you.

  1. Take in a deep breath and exhale quickly and suddenly, making a puffing sound while you do it. Focus on exhaling forcefully and not on the inhalation.
  2. While exhaling, draw your abdominal muscles inward simultaneously. Your abdomen should rise when you inhale and fold when you exhale.
  3. Continue for 10 breaths and then take a break. Perform two more similar sets.

Some people perform this technique simply for its relaxing benefits, while others perform it for the physical benefits it offers. Some of them are:

  1. Weight loss because it works up the respiratory system and the abdominal muscles, helping you tone out your musculature and improve body tone.
  2. Kapalbhati clears the respiratory passages, minimizing risks of infections and allergies in the respiratory system.
  3. The exercise technique also helps improve the flexibility of the diaphragm. With the breathing technique used for this yogic kriya, the diaphragm gets plenty of exercise, becomes more pliable and improves circulation.

Beating Winter Blues

1374-beat-the-winter-bluesWinter is that time of the year when Chai with a plate of piping hot pakodas and Samosas or eating heavy carbohydrate rich food is what our body urges for. In our last edition we talked about the food that is recommended during winters to avoid the weight gain. But there are other aspects of health that need to be looked into in order to stay healthy during winter.

First let’s look what are some of the things that we do differently in winter. Comparing our lifestyle at the moment, to what it’s like in summer, there is a big contrast.

The things we do differently in winter

In summers most of us are very active; with a lot of time spent outdoors in the morning and evening. Whether it’s going for an early morning walk or a swim in the pool; kids and elders are elders are seen more often enjoying outside. Plus in summer most people drink more water and eat lighter foods.

In contrast, during winters it’s dark in the mornings and days are shorter. That’s a good enough reason to stay tucked in our blankets. It’s hard to get motivated to go for the normal walk and it’s much easier to spend the evening huddled on the couch, in front of the TV with the heater on.

To add to this – we face the winter woes where people start coming down with winter colds. Everyone is coughing and sneezing on the bus in the morning and work colleagues are either off sick or quite under the weather. It’s little wonder so many people spend the winter feeling tired, lethargic and constantly sick. This is also called as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD

If this is you, then a few small changes to your normal winter routines can make a huge difference and keep you well over winter.

1. Be active

Rather than staying inside and dropping all exercise, it’s better to at least maintain some level of activity:

  • If it’s too cold and dark to do your morning walk, then get out during your lunch-time for some sun-light. Stretch your legs for 20 minutes.
  • Office goers can take stairs instead of the usual elevator.
  • Avoid sleeping during day time as it promotes sluggishness

2. Drink and be hydrated

During summer we drink lots of water as the body clearly indicated that to us. However in winters- while our skin and body is hydrated we seldom feel thirsty. Also ,plain water doesn’t seem as attractive in winter.

But rather than dropping your liquid intake entirely, why not opt for tea, or keep those colds and flus at bay with a big pot of fresh ginger tea or green tea?

3. Nurture your health

It’s not a foregone conclusion that you’ll catch every single cold and virus that goes round. Instead, being well over winter is possible, but it involves looking after yourself. We had shared some food related tips in our last newsletter and it might be a god idea to look at them once again!

Marathon Season is here. Tips to avoid post-marathon aches & pains

thumbThe Marathon season is here and you must be participating in one or the other events in your town. While running keeps you healthier and this special sport is one of the best ways to keep you alive and kicking, there is something that might bother you once the event is over.Yes, we are not talking about the awesome benefits of running like a horse, but we are concerned about post-marathon issues. Here, we come up with tips to avoid post-marathon aches and pains.

Tip #1: Do not go for a post-marathon massage immediately after finishing the race. You should give a gap of minimum 2 hours for this. Some researchers have revealed that during heavy running, there is lactic acid build up in the muscles. The muscles
require some time to neutralize and to get back to its original pH. The post-event soreness and muscle damage is prevented by giving muscles the time to restore their original physiological state.

Tip #2: After you finish marathon, do not try with new stretches. Also, do not let anyone
stretch you out within 72 hours. Experts opine that your body’s soft tissues require time to get healed and thus, no stretching or straining is allowed.

Tip #3: Avoid taking a bath with hot water. A hot shower is said to contribute in inflaming
the already stressed muscles and joints. Most of the physiotherapists say that a cool shower or ice bath (adding ice-cubes to bathing water) helps cooling down the muscles and brings down the inflammation.

Tip #4: Once settled, have nice food. The meal is expected to have a well-balanced diet
which should include the main calories from carbohydrates. However, keep in mind that you must consume at least 20 percent of the total calories from food containing protein.

Tip #5: You can have massage for sore areas after two hours of having the race finished. Medical experts do favor massage to get rid of pain at various body sites. You
may apply some medicated liniment for better and quicker relief. Medicated liniment contains ingredients that serve as analgesics. Even preferable treatment is massaging the area with natural liniment that gets you the most powerful natural herbs at work. Knivitol Liniment Plus is one such product that helps you avoid further post-marathon aches and pains.

Tip #6: Avoid exposure to extreme dry cold. For instance, an air-conditioned room. Maintain normal temperature because coldness causes blood vessels to constrict and as a result of that, the muscles do not receive enough blood supply. This further
ends up in more pain and sprain.

Tip #7: Folk practitioners also recommend hot-packs for post-marathon aches and pain sites. According to Ayurveda, what works best on the pain is sudation which is
achieved by medicated steam.

By following these simple tips, you can avoid post-marathon aches and pains without having any complications.