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Friday, Oct 30, 2009
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Swim towards health
A regular and restful lifestyle re-sets body rhythms and ensures health and well-being.
Dive into in: Swim for a relaxing, energising experience.
I’m 5 ft 6 inches tall and weigh 63 kg. I have a small belly. My hands and shoulders are thin. I plan to swim daily and exercise at home (not too keen on gymming). Please advise how to remain fit and healthy.
Surendar V. The beautiful thing about swimming is that it will not only improve your stamina with its cardio-effect, but also tone your shoulder and arm muscles. So, go for it! In addition, at home, you can do the three exercises given below:
Flexing abs. In standing position, harden your stomach. Tense and relax 20 times. Practise while walking too. Soon, you’ll have a tight belly.
Frontal curls. Lie on your back, knees bent, feet flat on floor. Place your hands lightly behind your head. Tighten abs. Raise head and shoulders up and forward off the floor. Hold briefly. Return to lying down position. Repeat 10 times. Increase to 30 over the weeks. This tautens the area around your navel.
Push-ups. Lie on your stomach, palms flat beside shoulders, toes tucked under. Push up as far as possible by straightening arms. Lower to a couple of inches above floor. Repeat five times. Over the weeks, increase to 10, then 20… This strengthens and tones arms, shoulders, back and chest.
My husband is 43, and is 5 ft 9 inches tall. He was 73 kg when we got married. After a certain incident, he suddenly lost weight. Ever since, he hasn’t regained his weight. Now he is 63 kg and looks extremely thin, though he says he feels quite healthy. We follow a fairly healthy diet with lots of vegetables, fruits, water and a little oil. Since we live in Bangalore, and he sneezes too much, he prefers drinking warm water. Most days, he takes half-hour morning walks. Could you suggest some healthy way in which he could gain a few more kilos? He doesn’t like hitting the gym for strenuous routines. He is otherwise quite healthy with his cholesterol, blood pressure, etc. under control.
The good news is that your husband may not be underweight. If his left wrist has a circumference of 6.5 to 7 inches, his ideal weight should be 64 kg; if his wrist measures over 7 inches, then his ideal weight should be 71 kg. Sometimes, a loving eye perceives a dear one as looking undernourished, so please don’t worry as he sounds healthy. What I can do is give a few fine-tuning pointers to further boost his health.
Tackle his sneezing in four ways:
Start the day with this brew — half teaspoon methi seeds boiled in water. Strain, add honey and drink it hot. Chew the methi seeds.
Give him an adequate dose of Vitamin C daily (after consulting his doctor).
Add ginger to tea.
At bedtime, heat milk with haldi (turmeric). Add honey and drink.
Tips: If the sneezing doesn’t stop, consult a Homeopath. Sneezing is also brought on by tobacco irritation. So, if he is a smoker, he must quit cigarettes.
Avoid draughts as they aggravate sneezing.
He should get ample rest. Relax for five minutes every one-and-a-half hours. Get adequate sleep at night. Tip: Listen to soothing instrumental music for half-an-hour before sleeping. And meditate to experience profound relaxation.
He must have warm, substantial meals 3-4 times a day. Foods recommended are hot milky cereals for breakfast; hot rotis and sabzi for lunch; sweet biscuits (provided he doesn’t have diabetes) with ginger tea; and hot rice-rasam and jaggery-sweetened kheer for dinner.
Prefer: green beans, bhindi, carrots, beet, onions, sweet potatoes, garlic; mango/banana milkshakes; dates, figs, oranges, lime; anise, tulsi, hing, bay leaf, black pepper, ajwain, elaichi, cinnamon, clove, jeera, and mustard.
Avoid: cold salads; cold desserts like ice-cream; deep-fried foods (aggravate throat and set off sneezing); and vegetables such as cabbage and cucumber.
Avoid stressful people and situations. Stay warm. Take hot showers. Read humorous books, view TV comedies. Avoid violent literature/films.
Continue walking half-an-hour daily. If the weather is cold, it would be worth investing in a stationary cycle and continue exercising indoors. Exercise rids and prevents build-up of body toxins.
Remember, a regular and restful lifestyle re-sets body rhythms — that may have got disrupted by the incident you mentioned — and ensures a steady improvement in health and well-being. Together, create a loving, stress-free, healing environment and have a great life.
Recently I tried walking daily, but my thighs rubbed against each other and gave me a painful rash. What should I do? I’m keen to continue walking. Please advise.
Good for you that you want to continue exercising! Chafing thighs are easier to deal with than a chafing spirit! Some simple tips:
Wear light 100 per cent cotton tracks while walking.
Sport firm elastic bandages around the spots that rub. They will shield your skin.
Sprinkle the sore spot with talcum powder and keep it dry all day. At night, before sleeping, apply an antiseptic cream.
Until your skin heals, pedal on a stationary bicycle. In time, you could walk three days and cycle three days of the week to get a mini dual cardio-training.
Discard all exercise wear that is made of coarse material. And wash new outfits to soften the fabric before you wear them.
The writer is co-author of the book, ‘Fitness for Life’.
Queries may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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