All posts in Fitness

Fishing as an enjoyable and healthy exercise

Fishing as an enjoyable and healthy exercise

Lifestyle modification involving adequate physical activity is a cornerstone in the management of diabetes. It complements the effect of the medicines used in the management. There are different forms of physical activity both indoors and outdoors which can be followed towards reaching the goal.

Fishing is a popular outdoor recreational activity which can be followed by any person or any age or gender irrespective of how fit you are. There may be parts of the world where fishing is not practical due to paucity of fresh water lakes. Going fishing has often not considered as an exercise.

There are different types of fishing- it can be a leisurely type where one casts the line and waits for the catch while sitting on a chair probably reading a book or drinking beverages or snacking which might be rich in calories or can be as part of a sport or can be fishing while kayaking which are demanding.

The benefits of fishing are many such as the following:

family-fishing-from-a-bridge-622x420 fisherman-fishing-in-a-peaceful-forested-area-631x420

  • It is an enjoyable pastime where one can liaise with the beauty of nature in silence except for the sound of the water rhythmically rapping against the hull of the boat or the rocks and the sound of the sea gulls, crickets or frogs depending upon the location.
  • This translates into a wealth of emotional, mental and physical benefits due to the relaxation involved.
  • The absence of television, computers or even phone range signals might even relax one even further.
  • The relaxation lasts long after the fishing is over.
  • This can be made enjoyable by going along with friends or families or classmates. These days one spends a lot of time on the screen that prevents face to face contact, laughter and discussions in a real world setting.
  • Even if going alone, one can use the time to reflect, listen to songs or even make decisions which would not have been possible in a regular day to day life.
  • Generally the air will be pollution free which is good for the lungs and health. It also helps those with respiratory problems.
  • One will get plenty of sunshine if fishing during the day which is good for vitamin D as well as for the body rather than spending time indoors.
  • While fishing, one may have to move up and down the bank of the water body to set an ideal place for the catch. Sometimes one will have to wade in the water knee or waist deep which involves core muscles as one fights to regain balance against the water current which helps as a passive strength training for the lower abdominal and leg muscles.
  • Fishing is a low impact exercise. Casting the line, rowing the kayak or climbing rocks to reach a better position all help to strengthen the arm muscles as well as the back. A lot of muscles which are rarely used in day to day living are used while fishing.
  • Some even cook their catch and make the whole day affair very enjoyable.

While embarking on fishing it is wise to have someone experienced in this field to help tide over a crisis or unpleasant surprise. One will need to also be familiar with the local geography and possible currents and weather changes. Certain areas might need the use of means of communication other than the regular mobile network.

However as with any exercise or sport, injuries while casting, threading the bait, reeling in as well as injuries by the bite of the fish or slipping while wading are possible.

The above article was taken with permission from https://outdoorempire.com/11-reasons-fishing-makes-you-healthier-happier/

 

 

More

Updates in insulin delivery devices and glucose monitoring

Updates in insulin delivery devices and glucose monitoring

New insulin delivery devices .

  • LifeScan One Touch Via®

index

This is a super slim pump device which delivers only bolus (rapid acting ) insulin. The cartridge can store 200 units which means less frequent refilling of the insulin. Squeezing 2 buttons simultaneously on the pump allows 2 units bolus dosing.

  • Companion Medical`s InPen®
  • In pen

This is the first insulin pen with in-built Bluetooth- sends the dose data to a phone and app automatically. This calculates and recommends the optimal dosing of insulin, tracks the history and timing of the dose, monitors the temperature of insulin, displays the last dose and insulin on board available. This can even send reports to the health care team if synchronized.

  • OneDrop Premium®-

One-Drop 2

 

This a Bluetooth enabled meter which helps in diabetes education by paying an annual fee besides monitoring sugar levels and administering insulin.

 

  • Tandems T Slim X2, OmniPod Dash System also are soon to hit the markets.

Image Slim X2     Omnipod 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some new glucose monitoring devices:

  • Abbots Lifestyle Libre Pro®-

LibrePro 1   LibrePro 2

 

After the sensor is applied on to the body, there is no need for the patient to interact with the system. There is no need for the finger stick calibration. This can monitor 2 weeks of continuous glucose monitoring.

 

  • Google Contact Lens®-

google contact

This is a contact lens with a reader device which can check the sugar levels from the eye tears. The lens has a wireless chip and a miniaturized glucose sensing device. A tiny pin hole in the contact lens helps the tear drop to seep in for glucose sensing. The electronic connections lie outside of the normal eye thus not harming the normal eye. There is a wireless antenna inside the contact which is thinner than the human hair and this helps to communicate the information to the wireless device.

  • Medtronics MiniMed Pro Infusion®-

MiniMed

 

This has a very small catheter and has lesser tendency for blockage. The tubing has a side port which be used for insulin delivery even if the main port is blocked.

  • Medtronics 630G®-

MiniMed 630

 

This calculates and recommends precise bolus dose. This prompts the patient to take action by predicting low levels. This has an inbuilt continuous glucose monitoring devise. The insulin can be delivered every 5 minutes, if set to deliver so.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More

Exercising the brain

Exercising the brain

                                                                                    exergames-2brain-games-2

exergames-2Forgetting things has always been a matter of concern for most of the people. Most are concerned about the scare of Alzheimer’s as well. It has to be emphasized that our forefathers had been much better off during their days. Just as the body ages, the brain too ages and so also a decline in cognitive power can ensue. That is inevitable, but one can delay the onset and slow the progress of the decline with some efforts.

Now- a- days with the advent of improved technology, people are able to communicate better and faster and people from across the globe can be connected easily, but it has caused other problems as well. People are so busy peering into their mobile phones or electronic gadgets, they get frequent eye strain issues and dry eyes, neck and back pain due to the hunched posture, finger pain and wrist pain due to punching the buttons and have the lost of communication and eye contact. There are, however, a lot of people who use the mobile devices as an organizer which stores telephone numbers or helps schedule their appointments or remind them of things to be done. It has reached a point where people have almost stopped taxing their brain or mental capabilities to a point where they do not even recollect their families phone numbers !!! Strangely, many pharmaceutical companies have started capitalizing on this weakness and have brought about “magic cures” to help boost memory. Some medicines being taken for regular ailments have also been implicated in loss of memory !

Most of the time, the brain is not stretched to use its full potential causing it to be dull and lazy.

There are some good and harmless ways to get over this handicap before it gets out of control.

  • Reading a book
  • Learning a new language
  • Play games
  • Visiting a museum

 

There are good steps which can be done to help wake up the “sleeping brain”. There are the right handed and the left handed people. For the right handed people the right side of the brain is not used much and likewise for those who are left handed.

Neurobics is a type coined for the exercises which help the brain.

Playing Sudoku, chess, solving crosswords or the Rubiks cube  are effective neurobics. Writing or drawing with the non dominant hand helps wake up and fire the sleeping side of the brain.

Sudoku

brain-games

Trying to guess the dish by tasting it while blindfolded also helps to stretch ones imagination. You can add up fun by asking to guess the ingredients used in the cooking of the dish.

Playing exergames ( video games which involve exercise as in X box, play station, Kinect or Wii Fit ) helps creative skills and burns calories as well. These are particularly useful for those staying in places of extremes of climate, for the aged, for those shy to go outdoors and for those who do not have many friends. These also help the younger generation to bond well with the elders and people with joint problems can get moving as well. I do agree a walk in garden or beach side or a park will have its own benefits, but if unfavorable, this is a good alternative.

exergames

It goes without mentioning that adequate sleep, getting enough sunshine, exercise, having a good social support and a healthy diet all help in boosting brain power.

Try remembering phone numbers or appointments without the help of the mobile gadgets or the organizer.

Socialising and staying calm also help boost the brain functioning. Being stressed out does jolt your brain to standstill. When you are stressed, the brain refuses to think straight.

Though there are medicines which do claim improvement of brain ability, I am not competent enough to comment on those. I would rather you try boosting the mental power the natural way.

 

 

More

Exercises- how to start

Exercises- how to start

fitwatch sit-up

 

You must have been tired listening to doctors mentioning do some exercises …… but not many go into details of how to exercise, which exercises to do, how frequently one is to exercise or about the intensity.  The important thing is to get started in case you have not. Any small step is better than no step at all.

Before embarking on a fitness program, especially if you have never done exercises regularly, get a medical checkup done by the doctor which will include an assessment of the heart as well. Though exercises are beneficial, they can cause problems for some with certain problems like eye, kidney, joint, nerve or heart problems.

If all is okay, assess how fit you are by these simple steps:

  • Check pulse rate before and immediately after walking 1. 6 km or a mile. The pulse rate should not be racing away. The time taken for the heart rate to come back to normal level before you started walking is equally important.
  • How long does it take you to walk a mile or run 2.41 km or 1.5 miles.
  • Waist circumference
  • Body mass index

Once you have assessed how fit you are, then design a plan:

  • Define the need for the exercise plan- to don dresses that had been in the shelves for long, to look and feel good, for weight reduction, to do a marathon or to look good at a function.
  • The activity must be of at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week
  • Include different activities so you do not get bored. You can walk, cycle, jog, do water exercises, skip the rope, do the hula hoop, aerobics, zumba dance and so forth.
  • Remember to start slow and progress slowly.
  • Stretching before exercises is very important.
  • Allow time for recovery.
  • You need not do all the activities at one go. You can conveniently space them out in intervals.
  • Be flexible. Do not punish your body.

Now that all is set, get the right footwear , get the right apparel, use a fitness app in your smartphone or use a fitness watch. The apps in the smartphone now-a-days gets one to be motivated to carry on.

Keep a diary to record the progress you made.

Reassess yourself every month.

Set new goals

Push outside your comfort zone as the body gets adjusted to the exercise quite soon and you will notice that the body needs to be pushed further to achieve more.

Do “listen” to your body. If weak or paining, do give a break and make sure all is okay. The injuries related to exercise too had been detailed in an earlier newsletter.

 

More

Exercise tips in cold weather

Exercise tips in cold weather

 

Tai chi

It is a welcome change in the climate after months of scorching heat in the middle East. This might last for a couple of months before the scorching heat picks up again. It is the time for outdoor partying, smell of inviting barbeques and probably increase in bad cholesterol levels !!!!! It is also the time for contracting viral fevers. Have you had your annual flu shot? The Flu Vaccine at least helps against many of the strains of virus which are getting more complex with each passing year.

Losing weight is something the doctor always stresses on. Interestingly, you might notice that the males are generally reluctant to address the obesity as well as their female counterparts. Moreover, weight loss is slower among those with diabetes due to the medicines they are on and also due to diabetic dysregulation. But , that cannot be used as an excuse for losing weight or even trying to.!!!! There is always a weight loss plateau that is to be expected and that should not deter yourself from continuing, but will need a self assessment as how to overcome the plateau.

Many now blame the cold weather and cold breeze and wish to remain cuddled under the blankets or remain indoors and try eating more to keep the body heat.

Impulsive eating can occur when stressed ( positive stress is during a vacation and negative stress during a personal tragedy) , when angry, when depressed or when worried about an upcoming event or even when stewing over a conflict at office or work. This often leads to impulsive eating followed by the guilt and again feeling low followed by eating again which gets you nowhere healthy !!!

Bed time snacking

People might keep on snacking to give them the so called energy while staying up awake while working late hours. There are certain occasions when you are allowed to snack especially when having an early light dinner and sleeping late. But, there are certain things to be known while snacking.

  • Warm milk contains tryptophan and helps in sleep
  • A bowl of cereal with milk or a glass of labaan( butter milk) , crackers or bread and cheese all can cause sleep due to the carbohydrate content.
  • Sources of hidden caffeine and fatty food such as burgers can impair with sleep.
  • Alcohol ( nightcap) might cause nightmares, frequent awakening, night sweats  and headache for some which can impair with sleep. Drink plenty of water after the sleep.
  • Protein rich and high fat food will cause problems in digestion which can impair sleep.
  • Spicy food and smoking can impair with digestion.

So make healthy choices while snacking. Snack is just a small meal and not another meal.

The winter months are a cause for celebrations and family outings . The smell of barbeque fills the air after the sun sets. People might eat more of meat and prawns which might increase the cholesterol levels. You can however go a walk outside as the climate is much better than the hot humid summer climate.

Generally sugar levels and cholesterol levels rise with the increased food and alcohol consumption during the winter months.

 


      image 3                                                    aqua aerobics 2

You can safely exercise indoors if the weather outside is not to your liking. Tai Chi, Pilates, using the Hula Hoop, dancing to music,  yoga, skipping rope or just spot jumping helps burn calories. Zumba or kick boxing are options that needs a trainer to help you out. For the fitness freaks who like to sweat it out in a gym, try something new at the gym or use resistance bands. You can swim or do any exercise in the pool as water is kind to the joints. Aqua aerobics is catching up in a big way as it is entertaining and kind on the joints as well. One can enjoy shopping by walking in the malls and doing window shopping !!!! Walking is still a good exercise. Take care of your footwear and use proper clothing if walking outdoors. Cover your head and neck if very chilly. The new form of play station using the X box helps you engage in interactive games and helps you combine entertainment with exercise and it can be enjoyable when performed with either family of friends.

For those who are interested in resistance training using small weights, remember to always warm up, stretch and do repetitions of ten to twelve in a smooth controlled motion. The muscles might ache at the beginning, Give a rest in a between and try these on alternate days to help the muscles to recover.

How to overcome barriers to exercise?

  • Break the times of exercise to smaller periods if it not practical to spend 30 minutes a day for five days a week.
  • Identify causes of waste of time such as watching the television, lying on the sofa. See if these can be overcome.
  • Reframe the concept of exercise such as walking the dog or taking the kids for playing, playing ball on the beach or even dancing, walking in a mall, walking around a large airport terminal while waiting for the flight.
  • Join a group who can motivate you.
  • Watch the television or listen to music while exercising.
  • Take stairs instead of the lift or escalators.
  • When ill, do not exercise.

There are numerous apps which can be downloaded from the app store if you have a smartphone. These can monitor the progress and can even motivate you to get moving.

Ask yourself why you want to lose weight:

Questions Yes No
Look better
Feel better
Feel comfortable in clothes
Improve self image and confidence
Improve physical stamina
Improve energy levels
Improve sleep
Be a role model for my family
Improve the blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes
Reduce joint pain
Improve life expectancy

 

You might want to add more…..such as want to look good at a function or don those clothes which you outsized and so on…..

 

Write down the challenges and obstacles you face towards achieving the goals. The more honest you are with yourself, both in recognizing the obstacles and coming up with realistic strategies, greater are your chances at succeeding. Let that be your New Year resolution.

More

Artificial sweeteners – the facts

Artificial sweeteners – the facts

artificial sweeteners

 

Diabetes is on the rise the world over. Just about anybody can become a diabetic whether you are rich or poor or a male or female or whether your parents are diabetic or not. It is largely attributed to the disordered lifestyle habits and increased stress levels in day to day life that has caused this to blow out of proportion.

People turn to shortcuts such as the great number of diets available each one claiming superiority over the others, a great number of holistic medications or alternate medicines and of course, sugar free substitutes. It has taken the markets by storm and you have so many available in the market today which has been incorporated into carbonated soft drinks, chewing gums, baked goods, cakes, fruit juices, candies, ice cream and even yogurt.

There are natural sweeteners such as Agave nectar, date sugar, fruit juice concentrate, honey, maple syrup and molasses which are available in the market.

The artificial sweeteners are always artificial though some products such as those containing stevia are claiming themselves to be natural. But it has to be either refined or processed to be marketed. These are intensely sweet and are many times sweeter than natural sugar. All the sweeteners leave an aftertaste.

There are different types of sweeteners such as :

  • Low calorie or no calorie sweeteners
  • Non nutritive sweeteners
  • Sugar substitutes
  • Reduced calorie sweeteners

Some of the sweeteners can be used for either baking or cooking as well. These can come in different forms such as tablets, or sachets containing powder or in liquid forms.

Sugar alcohols do not contain alcohol and do not contain ethanol which is seen in alcoholic drinks. These are naturally seen in certain vegetables and fruits, but can also be manufactured. These help to increase the bulk and improve texture when added during cooking or baking. These are seen in toothpastes, mouthwashes, chewing gums, frozen desserts, fruit spreads and chocolate. It is labeled as Xylitol or sugar alcohol in the nutrition labels.

When consumed in large quantities the use of sugar alcohols can cause a bloated up feeling, loose stools and abdominal fullness

I have seen many people who had a craving for sweets after consumption of the artificial sweeteners which in turn, causes the sugar levels to fluctuate. This in turn, leads to an increase in either the doses of medicines or injectables with the hope to control sugar levels. Just being off the artificial sweeteners bring about so many changes and reduces the cravings as well.

Some of the common brands available in the market are:

  • Sweet N low®      contains sachharin
  • Equal®                  contains aspartame
  • Sweet one®          contains Acesulfame potassium
  • Splenda®              contains Sucralose
  • Fruit juice concentrates contain Neotame

 

How sweet are these artificial sweeteners?

Sachharin is 300 times sweeter than sugar, aspartame is 180 times sweeter, acesulfame is 200 times sweeter, sucarlose is 300 times sweeter and Neotame is 7000 times sweeter than sugar.

When artificial sweeteners are used there are some health concerns to be careful of- these can attribute to weight gain, tooth decay, probable increase in incidence of diabetes, cancer and troublesome numbness of the hands and feet, muscle spasms, giddiness and cramps. Generally people who are diabetic or those at risk to develop diabetes tend to rely more on ingestion of the so called sugar free containing food items. Besides having a lot of artificial sweeteners, the rest of the ingredients are the same which do add to the calories. Also it is worth bearing in mind that the taste has to be modified to enhance the flavor and also help it being sold off the racks at the supermarkets. The enhancement of flavor is done with the help of adding more hydrogenated oils or butter or fats which leave an excellent buttery taste and can help increase cholesterol levels !!!! People in this mad frenzy, tend to overeat their portions because of the false security given by the artificial sweeteners.

Being a diabetic does not mean you should be off sugar in totality. Your body needs a balance of sugar, salt, fats, carbohydrates, proteins and fat to make a complete meal which can be taken as small frequent meals to prevent cravings later on. Combine this with adequate physical activity and all will be well.

 

 

The solution to sugar needs:

You can substitute the white sugar with brown sugar or cane sugar which is the unrefined version of sugar. It is extremely hygroscopic and hence absorbs water from the atmosphere once the cover if opened. Store this in air tight containers. Roughly 3 spoons of brown sugar equals one spoon of white sugar.

Remember that people of the previous generation did not rely on artificial sweeteners.

More

Treadmill ….not dreadmill

Treadmill ….not dreadmill

treadmill 4Treadmill is the commonest equipment bought for the home gym and is also one of the commonest equipment used if one frequents the gym. It is often believed that the cardio exercises such as running, jogging or cycling help lose weight and also to keep one fit. But, it is worthwhile to note that the low intensity exercises help the body to adapt over a period of time thereby losing its efficiency at reducing the calories burned per minute.

 

Most of the people buy the treadmill and it soon becomes a dread mill- some use it as a storage space for books and other commodities.  Some use the treadmill as a stand for hanging clothes.

 

treadmill 3

There are, however, some points to ponder before buying one.

The advantages of a treadmill:

  • Can exercise indoors despite adverse climate
  • The smooth cushioned belt is kinder to the joints than when running on hard surfaces outside.
  • Those who have no baby sitter or those who cannot leave home can benefit having this at home.
  • This can be folded and kept aside if space is being compromised.
  • Can listen to audio or see videos while on the treadmill.
  • The programmable workout can be done to make the treadmill more interesting

 

The disadvantages:

  • Can be monotonous
  • The force of impact while stamping on the belt can cause injuries or pain to the knee, ankle or hip joints for some.
  • While running or walking outside, the muscles make small adjustments to improve the co-ordination and balance which is not there while on the treadmill.
  • While walking or running outside, the hamstring muscles ( muscles of the back of thigh and calf) help to propel the body forward. This does not take place while on the treadmill as the machine pulls the body forward.
  • There is no wind resistance which can be encountered while exercising outdoors.
  • There is nothing to match the downhill running on treadmill. While running downhill, there has to be a good co-ordination between the muscles of the front of thighs and lower leg muscles.
  • Can fall off the treadmill with injuries if not concentrating while on the treadmill
  • Adequate footwear is essential as the footwear can wear and tear easily due to the friction.
  • Cannot enjoy the sights outside, no fresh air and also change in pace is not possible.

 

Points to ponder while buying one:

 

treadmill5

  • There are two types-  manual and motorized type. The manual needs one to use force to start it moving and some need even an inclination, but once it gets moving, the inclination cannot be adjusted unless you come off the machine. The manual one costs lesser than the motorized one.
  • Stand on the belt and see if there is any jerky movement or instability of the base of the machine
  • Look for a continuous duty rating of > 1.5 HP
  • The belt size must be at least 48” long and 16” wide.
  • The control panel must be easily accessible
  • There must be an emergency stop button which can be used if there is a mishap.
  • Look for the programmable versions available where the pace and inclination can be adjusted.
  • Addition of audio and video plug ins cost more
  • Water bottle holders are another option.
  • Look for the warranty period
  • If any other person besides you are planning on using the machine, please buy the high end machine. Those who are heavily built need a better machine.
  • Regular servicing or maintenance is needed.

 

Before using the treadmill, do the following:

  • Proper attire including good shoes
  • Make sure you are fit to undergo the exercise. If a first timer, make sure the doctor clears you of any heart, eye, kidney or nerve problems. If having back pain, ask the doctor before starting the treadmill.
  • Make sure the sugar levels are not too high or too low. Correct the sugar levels before the exercise.
  • Carry with you an ID card mentioning you are diabetic. Have fast acting carbs with you. Carry either orange juice or water which can be had midway between a heavy work out if the duration lasts more than an hour. If you feel dizzy or complain of difficulty breathing, do consult a doctor before continuing.
  • Adequate warm up is essential, start slow and then build up the pace or inclination and also stop slowly. Do not suddenly stop unless it is an emergency.
  • Leave a space behind while on the belt, it is safer you have some space behind in case you slip.
  • Hold on to the side railings while using an inclination or losing balance.
  • Swing arms if possible as in natural walking.
  • The short bursts of fast pace followed by slow pace improve the fitness levels as well do not exhaust the body.
  • Keep back straight and not slouched over.

treadmill 2

More

Let us walk to good health

Let us walk to good health

From time immemorial, man has been walking for traveling to reach one place, to hunt and gather food for self and family and also in search of a better place to live. Those were the days when there was no transport. God gave humans the legs so they could walk upright which is a feature not common among the animals by nature, though some animals can walk upright with training. Unfortunately, with the advent of modern transportation facilities as well as time pressures and deadlines to be met, people have literally forgotten to use their legs for the use they were meant to be used.

 

Benefits of walking
This is probably the safest form of exercise which can be done by anybody provided the eyesight is good and there is no neuropathy ( affection of the nerves which can cause lack of sensation on the feet making the person unaware of where the feet are planted on the ground).
The farther, faster and more frequently one walks can definitely improve the benefits by many folds. Walking also improves the balance and strengthens bones and muscles besides improving circulation.
Walking is proven to prevent the onset of diabetes, depression, cancer, joint problems, osteoporosis ( fragile bones) and heart ailments. This also helps the worsening of the above. The swinging action of the arms, the strides taken while walking, the fresh air , the sights to enjoy ( one does not get these benefits while walking the treadmill in the confines of either the gymnasium or home) and change in pace while walking navigating the turns all help in improving the muscle power and co-ordination.
Walking in groups with either your colleagues or with friends and family all could be entertaining as well you could even do long distances without being aware of the distance covered at all.

Walking at a speed of 6 km/hour , which amounts to a brisk walk, can burn up to 600 Kcals. But, may be not all can walk as fast. Some may be having either knee or back problems which needs a slower pace. But walking at any given speeds whether unaided or with the help of a walking stick is much better than not walking at all. Parking the car away from where you wish to go and just walking to your destination helps. You may still park close to your destination ( especially during the summer time when the heat maybe quite strong) and take a longer route rather than choosing the shortest route or just walking along the aisles in the malls are good options.
Walking with small children and pets is also a good option.

Ensure the following before walking:
• Check the blood sugar before walking.
• Ask your health care provider if it is safe to embark on a regime.
• Go at a pace comfortable. Walking should not leave one gasping for breath.
• It is okay to rest in between.
• It is okay to take sips of water in between the walk and before the walk.
• If you experience feeling of nausea, chest discomfort, pain in the arms, jaw or back while walking, please seek medical help immediately.

Stretching before any exercise program:
Proper stretching before any exercise or even walking can help tone up the body and prevent joint problems.
Some of the commonly done stretches:

 

Calf stretches- calf stretch

 

Stand at an arms length distance from the wall. Keep one leg forward with knees slightly bent. The other leg with knee straight and heel down. Keeping back straight, move hips towards the wall and feel the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, relax and repeat with other leg.

 

Quadriceps stretch- quadriceps stretch

 

While supporting a fixed structure, grasp the ankle with one hand and pull the heel up and down till one feels the stretch in the front of the thighs. Hold for 30 seconds, relax and then repeat with other side.

 

Hamstrings stretch-

hamstrings

 

Sit on one chair, and keep the other leg on another chair in front. Keeping the back straight, bend the pelvis forward till a stretch is felt in the back of the thighs.

 

Low back stretch- lying on the back with the feet kept flat and knees bent, bend the knees ( both together or separately) towards the chest using both hands. If one has knee problems, one can hold hands behind the thighs instead.

 

Chest stretches- chest stretches

Clasp hands behind the head. Pull elbows gently by pinching the shoulder blades together.

How to walk?

The ideal way of walking involves walking upright, head held up eyes looking forward, chest pulled out, shoulders thrown back, landing the feet on the heel and taking the stride on their toes. Swing the arms freely slightly bent at the elbows. Walking with small weights held in the hands further enhance the calories burned.
The neck, shoulder and back must be relaxed and not stiff. While walking the treadmill one usually does not maintain these as people have to be holding onto the side railings and the back is usually arched back and stiff to prevent slipping.
Please make sure the footwear is of a good quality and have the insoles and heels checked for wear and tear. View the shoes from behind. If the shoe is tilted to one side, it is time to change the shoes. Change the shoes after it has done 400-600 km.

walking to good health 17
One should dress appropriately in attire that suits the climate, a comfortable and well padded pair of shoes, a scarf or hat as the case may be and some music if needed to be played and listened with an ear phone if needed. Generally the pavements are safe, but it still pays to look ahead and down as well.
150 minutes of any exercise a week is recommended. You can do 30 minutes 5 days a week or split that every day in some form like three sessions of ten minutes each or two sessions of fifteen minutes each.
The long term goal is to make 10000 steps a day. This is ideal for maintaining good health.
One needs to walk at least 30 minutes a day to maintain his or her weight and at least 45 minutes a day to have some weight reduction.
A pedometer is a small device which can be clipped on to the belt or kept in your pocket close to your body. This will count the steps one takes during the course of your daily chores such as walking, climbing stairs, jogging and even adventure sports. But, pedometers vary in their function.

clipped on pedometer

pedometer

 

Get to know your pedometer

 

Ease of use: Some of the pedometers just have to be clipped and it starts. These will be needed to be reset to zero the next day so you could count the number of steps taken.

All pedometers have a battery which needs to be replaced depending on the life.
Some pedometers need to have the data fed in such as date and time, the weight of the person, the length on ones stride which will be calculated and input fed in.
The extra benefits: Some just give the number of steps taken during the day till one resets it back to zero. Other pedometers count the calories burned during the activity, the distance walked and some even upload the data to a remote computer which will maintain a log book of the progress.
Accuracy: generally all pedometers are accurate. However change of strides such as a sudden increase in pace ( or decrease) , jogging in between or even climbing stairs in between the walk may not be counted by the machine( after all it is a machine) and so the calories counted may not be very accurate in that way.
Get a pedometer that has good back lighting so it could be easy to use both indoors and outdoors and also during either the day or night.
Some pedometers are small, others are big. Go for a size that suits you.
The pedometer must have a sturdy clip to help attach on the waistband or have a strap.
Price is also of major concern.
The recent smartphones have an app which could be downloaded for performing the same function as that of a pedometer.
Before you use the pedometer regularly the following are to be noted:

 

  • Please attach the pedometer on yourself for three days in succession whenever you are awake. The total number of steps covered in 3 days divided by three will give the average steps in a day. This is called the baseline steps. ( This will also give you an idea how many steps you had taken in a day which might be embarrassing)
  • Once you know the baseline steps, set up short term goals such as adding a thousand steps a day, for example, to your baseline number which you do target for a week.
  • Once you have achieved this short term goal, you could set yourself another goal. You could reward yourself and make this interesting.

 

More