“To keep the body in good health is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear” – Gautama Buddha.
Of course you’re not lazy! But perhaps you’re so caught up in work, travel, and partying with your friends that you have had a hard time following any kind of dietary plan. But if following a healthy lifestyle is, ‘A journey of a thousand miles’ than it will begin with your ‘First step’. Only then can the vision of a #HealthyIndia can be realized. All you need to do is eat from the right food groups every day, surround yourself with people having a positive attitude, exercise regularly, and most important of all- Be aware and listen to your body.
Below are a few steps suggested by experts across the country:
1. Gym / Exercise: “Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal- a commitment to excellence- that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”
You should know that a little perseverance on your part can give you unbelievable results. Regular workouts are one of the best ways to turn fit and healthy, and scale your energy levels. A good workout fights obesity and heart problems by improving blood circulation to your heart. It also does the same for your brain, making you mentally fit and reducing the degeneration of your central nervous system, which controls coordination.
A #HealthyWorkout can improve your creativity, help you lose weight and ensure better posture, revealing a fitter and healthier version of you, thus boosting your self-esteem and confidence on a different scale altogether. It also helps in reducing the stress levels, as exercise releases increased amounts of endorphinsan endogenous (internal) opiate, and calming hormones like serotonin and dopamine, which regulates anxiety levels. In case of men, it also increases the level of testosterone, a quintessential hormone which maximizes muscle growth and increases the sex drive. And ladies, lifting weights won’t make you big and bulky. You won’t look like a man; you don’t produce enough testosterone for that to happen. It will actually enhance your feminine curves. Stop believing false rumors.
2. Yoga: “Health is a state of complete harmony of the body, mind and spirit. When one is free from physical disabilities and mental distractions, the gates of the soul open.”- B.K.S. Iyengar
#Yoga is proved to be the best way to attain the healthiest life- both mental & physical health. At the physical level, yoga and its cleansing practices have proven to be extremely effective for various disorders. It has helped to introduce innovative practices for the prevention, management and cure of a number of ailments which do not respond well to conventional treatment. At the mental level, it aims at developing a higher awareness and better understanding of the self, helping to evolve oneself. Yoga practices, pranayama and auto suggestion techniques- when used meticulously can help you to deal with stress and enhance your quality of life on a day to day basis.
Yoga is perhaps the only form of activity which thoroughly massages all the internal glands and organs of the body ensuring optimum blood supply, thus leading to complete detoxification. It also acts upon improving the flexibility of the body, increasing lubrication of various joints, ligaments & tendons. Spare at least half an hour for yoga & meditation each day to maintain a good health.
So you think you can’t dance? Well, you couldn’t be more wrong. There’s no right or wrong way to shake that booty—and doing it might very well be the health boost you need, finds new research. Swedish researchers, writing in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, studied 112 teenage girls who were struggling with problems including neck and back pain, stress, anxiety, and depression. Half of the girls attended weekly dance classes, while the other half didn’t. The results? The girls who took the dance classes improved their mental health and reported a boost in mood—positive effects that lasted up to eight months after the classes ended.
“According to these results, despite problems such as stress and other potential challenges in being an adolescent girl, dance can result in high adherence and a positive experience for the participants,” says lead study author Anna Dubert, of Sweden’s Center for Health Care Sciences, in a press release. “This might contribute to sustained new healthy habits.
” Of course, you don’t have to be a teen (or a professional dancer) to reap these benefits and of course, you could push “play” and flail around in your underwear. Or you can take it up a notch. “The beauty of dance is there are so many kinds to choose from,” says dance medicine specialist Elizabeth Larkam of San Francisco. “There’s a type for everybody and every need.” Consider taking up one of these varieties of dance, and shimmy your way to a better mood:
#Ballet: If you prefer methodical exercise like Pilates, consider giving ballet a try.
#Salsa: A low-impact, high-intensity workout, salsa combines precise, fast-paced Latin choreography— merengue, mambo, cha-cha, samba—with traditional aerobic dance steps (such as the grapevine), repeated lunges, and arm raises. Much of the action is centered on the glutes and core, with plenty of booty shaking and side-to-side hip rocking to sculpt your rear view.
#BellyDance: One certain fact is that, nothing looks better than those smooth hip movements. But before you roll your eyes, hear me out: Fitness-based belly dancing is about plenty more than wearing cropped tops and shaking, well, everything. Jazz and ballet moves such as relevé, plié, and pirouettes are added to flesh out the dance combinations and tone your entire body.
#HipHop: Believe it or not, fresh, funky hip-hop moves can improve both flexibility and coordination. A class will keep your body moving, get your heart pumping, and tone muscles.
#SwingDancing: Swing dancing is done with a partner, and that “touch factor”—along with high-energy music—helps trigger a rush of the mood-elevating hormone oxytocin.
#PoleDancing: Yes, really. Most types of dancing are ace at toning your lower body, but doing it at the pole also gives you added upper-body and arm strength.
4. Sex & Relationship: “A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.” -Ingri Bergman.
Let’s state the obvious: Having sex is fun. Couple it with a loving relationship, physical touch and sex can bring health benefits such as lower blood pressure. Of course, no relationship can guarantee health and happiness, but cupid’s arrow can send you some health boosts — mentally and physically. While sex will never equal a session of parkour or weight training, the fact that you’re getting some sort of an overall muscular workout is undeniable. Arms, butt, legs and core muscles — they’re all getting used. And while some positions have better toning payoffs than others, as long as you’re putting some effort into it you’ll be burning calories from start to (ahem) finish.
Having sex is definitely pleasurable on a physical level, but chemically it has been suggested to elevate mood and reduce depression. One theory is that vaginal tissue is very absorptive, and semen contains a host of mood-elevating chemicals, like endorphins, oxytocin (the love hormone – that helps you feel bonded to your partner, develop empathic connections and improve the quality of sleep), serotonin, and prolactin. For women, sex is literally a jolt to your system, and if you’re getting it on regularly you might be on cloud nine for quite a while. Sex also increases blood flow to the brain, delivering an extra boost of glucose that it uses as energy. So, if you’ve got a buildup of e-mails to read or really want to finish your crossword puzzle, sex might just be the jump-start you need.
Those after-sex smiles on both your faces are signs of a fun night and also a job well done. It boosts your self-esteem and gives you a sense of being attractive, desirable, proficient, and confident.
People who have sex frequently (one or two times a week) have significantly higher levels of immunoglobulin A (IgA). Your IgA immune system is your body’s first line of defense. Its job is to fight off invading organisms at their entry points, reducing or even eliminating the need for activation of your body’s immune system.
An orgasm triggers a rush of endorphins and growth hormones, like DHEA, that help heal damage caused by the sun, smoking, and cortisol buildup, which is associated with the thinning of the skin. In fact, a Scottish study showed that people who have sex every other day look dramatically younger (up to seven to 12 years!) than their compatriots. If your crow’s feet are a growing concern, make sure to get some alone time in with your partner — your face will thank you.
Those after-sex smiles on both your faces are signs of a fun night and also a job well done. It boosts your self-esteem and gives you a sense of being attractive, desirable, proficient, and confident.
As far are relationships are concerned, here’s a perk you’ll both enjoy: increased intimacy. Embracing someone special can lower blood pressure, according to researchers. A study shows that, those with more loving physical contact showed the highest amounts of oxytocin. Released both during sex and even while kissing, “oxytocin is the hormone that creates the urge to merge and bond,” explains Britton. “There’s a surge of it after sex and that’s where the desire to cuddle and hold each other comes from.”
5. Eat Healthy: “The food you eat can be either the safest & most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” – Ann Wigmore.
Yes, it’s almost impossible to resist junk food as it gives you the perfect taste sensation, it’s affordable, easily reachable and makes you to keep coming back for more. Filling your diet with junk food causes an array of problems in your body. Junk food is often high in sugar, fats and calories, while providing very few nutrients. You can treat yourself to some ice cream or your favorite candy bar once in a while, but keep your portions to a minimum. Some of the problems associated with following a junk food diet are, stroke risk, weight gain, tooth decay, gastrointestinal problems and even obesity which further affects your psychological state and also your sex life. The only way to avoid this problem is to stop eating junk and follow a clean and green diet.
Just 21 days, 21 days of healthy eating and working out, and it will become a habit. A #HealthyDiet not only helps in maintaining or reducing the body weight and offers your body the energy and nutrition that it needs to function, but offers several health benefits as well. Below is a list those foods that are the best for your body, and the health benefits that those foods provide.
Fruits and Vegetables: Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables as an overall healthy diet may, Reduce risk for stroke, other cardiovascular diseases and coronary artery disease.
Reduce risk for type 2 diabetes.
- Protect against certain cancers, such as mouth, stomach, and colon-rectum cancer.
- Help decrease bone loss and reduce the risk of developing kidney stones.
- No fruits or vegetables have cholesterol, and most are naturally low in fat and calories.
- Vegetables are a great source for potassium, dietary fiber, folic acid, vitamin A, vitamin E, and
- Fruits are a great source for nutrients such as potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C and folic acid.
- Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure.
- Dietary fiber helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fiber is important for proper bowel function. Fiber-containing foods such as vegetables help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories.
- Folic acid (folate) helps the body form red blood cells. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant and those in the first trimester of pregnancy should consume adequate folic acid, including folic acid from fortified foods or supplements.
- Vitamin A keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps to protect against infections.
- Vitamin E helps protect vitamin A and essential fatty acids from cell oxidation.
- Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds and keeps teeth and gums healthy.
- Vitamin C also aids in iron absorption.
Whole Grains: Grains, especially whole grains, provide several health benefits. Grains provide essential nutrients and helps reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases. Eating a diet high in grains, especially whole grains, as an overall healthy diet may,
- Help with weight management.
- Reduce constipation.
- Reduce the risk of coronary artery disease.
- Grains provide many nutrients such as dietary fiber, B vitamins and minerals.
- Dietary fiber may help reduce blood cholesterol levels and lower risk of heart disease.
- B vitamins are essential for your metabolism by helping your body release energy from protein,
fat and carbohydrates.
- Folic acid helps the body form blood cells and is especially important for women of childbearing age who may become pregnant.
- Magnesium from whole grains helps build bones and release energy from muscles.
Green Tea: #GreenTea, native to China and India, has been consumed and hailed for its health benefits for centuries globally, but has only recently gained popularity. Tea is considered the most consumed beverage in the world behind water, however 78% of the tea consumed worldwide is black and only about 20% is green. Green tea is made from un-oxidized leaves and is one of the less processed types of tea and therefore contains one of the most antioxidants and beneficial polyphenols. Here are some health benefits of green tea that have been confirmed in human research studies:
- Green Tea Contains Various Bioactive Compounds That Can Improve Health.
- Compounds in Green Tea Can Improve Brain Function and Make You Smarter.
- Green Tea Increases Fat Burning and Improves Physical Performance.
- Antioxidants in Green Tea May Lower Your Risk of Various Types of Cancer.
- Green Tea May Protect Your Brain in Old Age, Lowering Your Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
- Green Tea Can Kill Bacteria, Which Improves Dental Health and Lowers Your Risk of Infection.
- Green Tea May Lower Your Risk of Type II Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease.
- Green Tea Can Help You Lose Weight and Lower Your Risk of Becoming Obese.
- Green Tea May Decrease Your Risk of Dying and Help You Live Longer.
Nuts & Seeds: Most nuts are rich in healthy monounsaturated fats. Although good for you, these fats are high in calories (almost double the calories per gram as carbs and protein), so you’ll want to carefully watch how many nuts you eat if you’re trying to lose weight. The good news is that eating the right portion of nuts and seeds (about one handful each day) can help you lose or maintain weight by satiating your appetite. All nuts and seeds are rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps keep your skin beautiful and may help protect your eyesight. The omega-3 fats, selenium, and zinc in some nuts and seeds offer similar benefits to the skin. Zinc, in particular, helps maintain collagen, which keeps your skin smooth, supple, and firm, and zinc also keeps your nails strong. Along with vitamin B6 and biotin, zinc contributes to healthy hair. With the aid of nutrients like omega-3 fats, zinc, and niacin (as well as vitamin E), nuts and seeds can help boost eye health, reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration, and slow the progression of vision loss.
- Almonds: Almonds are an excellent source of healthy monounsaturated fats, a crucial nutrient for improving cardiovascular health and reducing your risk for type 2 diabetes. Containing fiber, magnesium, calcium, vitamin E, and protein, almonds help you feel full longer, so add them to oatmeal or nonfat yogurt or eat them as a snack — in moderation, since they’re high in calories.
- Cashews: Cashews are a good source of monounsaturated fat (healthy fat) and magnesium, nutrients that can improve cardiovascular health and help to manage type 2 diabetes. In addition, magnesium may help to improve PMS symptoms. Because cashews contain the mineral zinc, they can also help maintain healthy eyes, hair, and skin. Like other nuts, cashews should be eaten in moderation since they’re calorie-dense (stick with just one handful of nuts per day). Nuts may also trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive.
- Peanuts: Peanuts are a good source of monounsaturated fat, a healthy fat that can improve cardiovascular health and help to manage type 2 diabetes. They also provide vitamin E, which can help reduce risk of cataracts and macular degeneration and maintain healthy skin, as well as magnesium, which may help lower blood pressure and improve PMS symptoms. Like other nuts, peanuts should be eaten in moderation since they’re calorie-dense (stick with just one handful of nuts per day). Nuts may also trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive.
- Walnuts: Walnuts are a good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated and omega-3 fats, nutrients that can improve cardiovascular health, help to manage type 2 diabetes, prevent and manage arthritis, and maintain healthy eyes and skin. Manganese in walnuts may reduce PMS symptoms. Like other nuts, walnuts should be eaten in moderation since they’re calorie-dense (stick with just one handful of nuts per day). Nuts may also trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive.
- Pistachio Nuts: Pistachios are a good source of monounsaturated fat, a healthy fat that can improve cardiovascular health and help to manage type 2 diabetes. Pistachios in the shell are a terrific nut choice for individuals who are trying to lose or manage their weight, since removing the shell on each nut will slow down your eating. Because all nuts are calorie-dense, you’ll want to keep portions in check (25 pistachios provides about 100 calories). Pistachio nuts are also an excellent source of vitamin B6, which may help improve PMS symptoms. Nuts may trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive.
- Pumpkin Seeds: Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, a mineral that may help lower blood pressure promote bone health, and improve PMS symptoms. Pumpkin seeds also contain zinc and vitamin E, nutrients that help maintain healthy eyes, hair, and skin. Because pumpkin seeds are low in carbohydrates and rich in healthy fat, they make a healthy and delicious snack for people with type 2 diabetes looking to manage their blood sugar. Like other seeds, pumpkin seeds should be eaten in moderation since they’re high in calories, and look for unsalted seeds to reduce sodium intake. Pumpkin seeds may trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive to nuts and seeds.
- Sesame Seeds: Sesame seeds are often added to breads and crackers and sprinkled on a variety of Asian dishes. Sesame seeds are rich in magnesium, a mineral that may help lower blood pressure, promote bone health, and improve PMS symptoms. Like other seeds, sesame seeds may trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive to nuts and seeds.
- Sunflower Seeds: Sunflower seeds are a good source of heart-healthy fats and fiber, nutrients that can improve cardiovascular health and help manage blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. Sunflower seeds also contain zinc and vitamin E, nutrients that help maintain healthy eyes, hair, and skin. Sunflower seeds in the shell are a smart snack option for people who are trying to lose or manage their weight, since removing the shell on each seed will slow down your eating. Like other seeds, sunflower seeds may trigger migraines and IBS in people who are sensitive to nuts and seeds.
- Ground Flaxseed: Flaxseeds are dark amber-brown seeds that are a terrific source of hearthealthy omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber, nutrients that can improve cardiovascular health and mood, manage type 2 diabetes, prevent and manage arthritis, and maintain healthy eyes and skin. Omega-3s may even reduce the frequency and severity of migraines. Flaxseeds also contain magnesium, which may help to improve PMS symptoms. To get the most nutrients from flaxseeds, grind them before use. Ground flaxseeds should be refrigerated or frozen to maintain freshness.
In a nutshell, aim to consume a variety of nuts and seeds, as they all contain different vitamins, minerals and ratios of healthy fats. This will not only give your taste buds a treat but also ensure that your body is getting adequate amounts of all the different nutrients, nuts have to offer. Opt for nuts or seeds in their most natural state, without added oils or salt. So next time you crave something crunchy, skip the potato chips and indulge that craving guilt-free by grabbing some nuts or seeds. All things said and done, you should know one most import rule… Abs are not made in the gym. They are made in the kitchen!!!
6. Role of the Government: “The health of people is the foundation upon which all their happiness and all their powers as a state depend” – Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister.
The practice of public health has been dynamic in India, and has witnessed many hurdles in its attempt to affect the lives of the people of this country. Since independence, major public health problems like malaria, tuberculosis, leprosy, high maternal and child mortality and lately, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have been addressed through a concerted action of the government.
Role of the Government within the Health Sector:
- Health Research System – There is a need for strengthening research infrastructure in the departments of community medicine in various institutes and to foster their partnerships with state health services.
- Regulation & Enforcement in Public Health- A good system of regulation is fundamental to successful public health outcomes. It reduces exposure to disease through enforcement of sanitary codes, e.g., water quality monitoring, slaughterhouse hygiene and food safety. Wide gaps exist in the enforcement, monitoring and evaluation, resulting in a weak public health
- Health Promotion- Stopping the spread of STDs and HIV/AIDS, helping youth recognize the dangers of tobacco smoking and promoting physical activity. These are a few examples of behavior change communication that focus on ways that encourage people to make healthy choices. Development of community-wide education programs and other health promotion activities need to be strengthened. Much can be done to improve the effectiveness of health promotion by extending it to rural areas as well; observing days like “Diabetes day” and “Heart day” even in villages will help create awareness at the grassroot level.
- Health System Strengthening- Important issues that the health systems must confront are lack of financial and material resources, health workforce issues and the stewardship challenge of implementing pro-equity health policies in a pluralistic environment. The National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) launched by the Government of India is a leap forward in establishing effective integration and convergence of health services and affecting architectural correction in the health care delivery system in India.
- Health Information System- Health profiles published by the government should be used to help communities prioritize their health problems and to inform local decision making. Public health laboratories have a good capacity to support the government’s diagnostic and research activities on health risks and threats, but are not being utilized efficiently. Mechanisms to monitor epidemiological challenges like mental health, occupational health and other environment risks are yet to be put in place.
The ultimate goal of great nation would be one where the rural and urban divide has reduced to a thin line, with adequate access to clean energy and safe water, where the best of health care is available to all, where the governance is responsive, transparent and corruption free, where poverty and illiteracy have been eradicated and crimes against women and children are removed – a healthy nation that is one of the best places to live in.
By: Neeraj Raja