Six things To Know About Walking After Meals

Walking After Meals

Most of us are obsessed about what we should be eating. Relative little attention is paid on how to eat and what to do AFTER you eat. It has generally been regarded as a good thing to go for a walk after meals. Here are six things you may want to know about this:

1. Walking after meals aids digestion
A study in 2008 showed that walking after consuming a large meal sped the rate at which food moved through the stomach.

2. It regulates blood sugar levels
Another study in 2009 showed that a 20 minute walk after a meal helped regulate blood sugar levels.

3. It can be a short walk
The good news is that your walk can be as short as 15 to 20 minutes. Ayurveda has long been a proponent of walking after meals, and it indicates that even a ten minute walk can be very effective.

4. It should not be strenuous
The walk after meals should be a leisurely stroll. No jogging and no power-walking. Your body needs to focus its energy on the process of digestion. This is not the time to engage in any activity that needs a lot of energy.

5. If you cant walk don’t sit
If for some reason you cannot go for a stroll after your meal, see to it that you do not remain seated for the next 20 to 30 minutes. Do some light work that needs standing and/or moving about.

6. It should not add to your stress
If the temperature is too high or too low, or if going out adds to your stress, then it may be better to skip the walk. For about 30 minutes after your meal, you may also want to skip any activity that adds to your stress level, including activity that needs strenuous or stressful mental effort.

Related: NY Times article on walking after meals

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Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.

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Why Thirty Is Not The New Twenty

The Twenties of a person’s life is a defining period. The first ten years of a career has an exponential impact on our lifetime earnings. Eight out of ten defining moments of our life happen by our mid thirties. In the twenties our brain undergoes rewiring that defines us as a person. Most personality change takes place in our twenties. And by our thirtieth birthday we would have most likely met and known the person we get married to. Female fertility peaks at age 28 and things get complicated after 35.

Meg Jay is a clinical psychologist who specializes in working with people in their twenties. She is author of the book “The Defining Decade”. In this wonderful and wise talk she warns that by telling people in their twenties that “30 is the new 20″, we are telling them that they have extra time in their hand. This is a dangerous message to give and leads to life altering results on the downside. If the twenties are lost then it builds too much pressure in the thirties. This increases the likelihood of mistakes and when things go wrong there is little time for correction. Luckily for those in their twenties, things can be turned around much more easily than in their thirties. That is why it is important for those in their twenties to pay heed to Meg Jay’s message: Thirty is not the new Twenty.

Please pass this on to those who are in their twenties or know somebody in their twenties.

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Five Things You Want To Know About Turmeric

Turmeric

Turmeric

Scientists are puzzled over some facts: Why are cancer rates less than half in India as compared to the US? Why is the rate of Alzheimer for people aged 70-79 less than a quarter in India as compared to the US? One suggestion is that the difference is due to the widespread use of Turmeric in India as opposed to the US. Here are five things you want to know about Turmeric:

1. How does it help?

The benefits of Turmeric cast a wide net. It is an antioxidant. It is anti inflammatory. It has anti-biotic and anti-viral properties. It is said to work against different types of cancers (Prostate, breast, skin, and colon). It is said to benefit Alzheimer patients. It reduces blood sugar levels in laboratory mice so it can help diabetics. It can help with indigestion. It may help with arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is said to be a natural liver detoxifier. It has been used in Chinese medicine as an anti-depressant. It has been shown to slow down progression of multiple sclerosis in mice. Because of its excellent anti-inflammatory properties it could also help with allergies, asthma, and bronchitis. It may also have a positive impact on Cardiovascular Diseases. In addition it is supposed to help with inflammatory skin disease. There are even reports that it can help in the treatment of AIDS.

2. What does the Science say?

The biggest rap against Turmeric is that its effects have not been proved in human trials. This is true in most cases, but human trials are expensive and this is to be expected. This is because no big pharmaceutical company is going to throw dollars in proving Turmeric’s benefits as it is not going to be patentable. But there is now 30 years of science supporting most of the claims. There are plenty of in-vitro studies on cells and studies on mice that indicate the benefits listed.

3. What are the downsides?

There are very few downsides of Turmeric. However please note the following: Turmeric should not be consumed by people with Gall bladder disease. It should not be consumed in high doses (More than 8 grams per day) for prolonged periods. It has also been suggested that those on blood thinners may not want to consume Turmeric in high doses and consult their doctors if they still want to do so at lower doses. Those undergoing Chemotherapy should also consult their doctors before consuming Turmeric.

Here is another warning: Please do not use Turmeric as an agent of primary cure. Its role should be better viewed on the preventive side rather than the curative side.

4. How much should I take?

The FDA has declared Curcumin (the active ingredient of Turmeric) as safe. (It is classified as a GRAS, Generally Regarded As Safe.) A daily consumption of 1-2 grams of Turmeric is considered to be safe.

5. How do I take it?

Turmeric is known to have poor bioavailability. This means most of the active ingredient of Turmeric does not get absorbed. This is why Turmeric powder is usually consumed in India along with “Masala powder”. One of the key ingredients of “Masala Powder” (also known as “Garam Masala“) is black and white pepper. The active ingredient of pepper is Piperine. This is known to increase manifold the bioavailability of Turmeric’s active ingredient. So your best bet to consume Turmeric is to take it as a spice along with other spices such as Cumin seed and Masala Powder. The other option is to take it as a supplement. (Most supplements include Piperine along with Turmeric powder in the capsules.) If you use Turmeric in your cooking be sure you do not burn it by cooking it at high temperatures. Instead sprinkle it on top after the cooking is done. If you want to consume Turmeric as a tea, please be sure to add crushed black pepper to the mix.

If Turmeric was a drug produced by a Pharmaceutical company its benefits would have been blasted from every roof top. It is cheap and safe. Incorporating it into your diet is painless. Given the wide range of its potential benefits it may be a great idea to make Turmeric a part of your daily diet.

Related:
Turmeric Research
The Magic Of Chia Seed

Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.

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Makes Me Think

Makes Me Think

Makes Me Think is an online community where people share real daily life stories that provoke deep thought and inspire positive change. Here are a few gems:

Today, I interviewed a woman who is terminally ill. “So,” I tried to delicately ask, “What is it like to wake up every morning and know that you are dying?” “Well,” she responded, “What is it like to wake up every morning and pretend that you are not?” MMT

Today, I waited on an elderly woman at the local restaurant where I work. She left me a $90 tip on a $10 tab with a handwritten note that said, “I’m 86 and I can’t take this money with me. So please spoil yourself with it.” MMT

Today, I asked my 6 year old son what he wants to be when he grows up. He said, “Mommy, all I want to be is happy.” MMT

Today, while I was driving my grandfather to his doctor’s appointment, I complained about hitting 2 red lights in a row. My grandfather chuckled and said, “You always complain about the red lights, but you never celebrate the green ones.” MMT

Today, my father told me, “Just go for it and give it a try! You don’t have to be a professional to build a successful product. Amateurs started Google and Apple. Professionals built the Titanic.” MMT

Today an old woman at the gas station came up to me and said, “I’m so embarrassed, but could you help me?” I thought she was going to ask for money, but she told me that last week her husband died and she had never pumped gas before. She had no idea what to do. MMT

Today, I put 2 hours worth of coins into a Chicago street parking meter on my way into a business meeting. The meeting lasted nearly 4 hours. I expected to see a $120 parking ticket on my car when I returned, but instead the meter read ’27 minutes remaining.’ Someone paid my meter for me. MMT

Credits: All the above have been posted on Makes Me Think website. Please click on the MMT link next to each post to get the link to the original post.

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Six Ways Not To Aggravate A Bad Back

Six Ways Not To Aggravate Back Pain

Tired of a back pain that will just not go away? Here are six things that may be preventing your back from healing or causing you to have recurring back issues:

1. Be aware of your posture

If you have poor posture with a head thrust forward or a slump in the back with the pelvis pushed forward, this is likely to aggravate any back issues you may be already having. Correcting a bad posture is not easy but it may be the single biggest thing to reduce the back issues you may be facing.

2. Get ergonomic chair and sofa

Ergonomic furniture is another key that may help you keep your back healthy. Finding Ergonomic chairs is easy but the same cannot be said for sofas. Sadly most sofas sink in and make it hard to sit properly. If you cannot find a good sofa avoid them and use a chair instead. Even if you are sitting on an ergonomic chair does not mean that you are guaranteed to sit properly. Please follow these guidelines:

a. Feet flat on the floor
b. Rear is up against the back of chair
c. Arch of your back is supported. (Use pillow if needed)
d. Sit up straight

The above guidelines apply while sitting at work, or at home, or while driving. In addition take care of the following when working at a desk while using a computer:

e. Elbows at 90 degrees
f. Monitor straight ahead with top of the monitor at eye level.

3. Do not sit for long periods

If you have back issues, one likely cause is that your sitting posture may not be perfect. But it is not easy to correct this overnight. Since an incorrect sitting posture may put stress on your lower back, it makes sense not to remain seated for long hours. Make sure to get up and walk about every 30 minutes to relieve pressure on the back.

4. De-stress

A widely quoted source for back issues is stress. This happens because we tend to clench our muscles tight when in stress. Sooner or later our muscles give way. When this happens with the muscles in our back we get muscle spasms and back pain. Also weakened muscles may not be able to support our back well and this may lead to more pressure on our spinal column. The best way not to aggravate back issues is to reduce stress in your life. See funny movies and shows, meditate, practice yoga, do breathing exercises that elongate your breath, and make sure you get adequate sleep.

5. Avoid forward bends, lifting and pushing weights

Another reason why a persistent back ache may not be going away or getting worse is that it may be aggravated by incorrect motion. If you have a back ache you may want to avoid forward bends. You may also want to be extremely careful while pushing or lifting weights. Keep the weight close to your body. If possible you may want to avoid such activity altogether. If this is not possible at least avoid asymetric weight lifting or twisting motion while lifting weights. Yoga is great for strengthening your back and relieving stress. But you want to avoid certain postures or do them with modifications. Most of these are postures related to forward bends while standing or seated.

6. Sleep well and rest your back

You must be able to rest your back. This happens when you sleep so getting adequate sleep is critical. Be sure that your back is well supported while sleeping. Avoid sleeping on your stomach. If you cannot sleep otherwise at least put a pillow underneath to relieve the pressure in the arch of your back. Also be careful that you are not stacking up too many pillows under your neck to cause upper back pain. While getting up from a lying down position be careful to roll on your side and then get up.

A great back is important for a good quality life. Given proper care most backs will heal on their own with time. Yoga and/or Physio Therapy can help strengthen your back but you have to make sure that you follow some of the tips in this article to make sure your back issues do not return.

Credits:This has been written by Raj Shah and edited by Ketna Shah.

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