#Health Fix: Quick Tips To Boost Your Mind & Body
Perks of running, how to manage migraine, and more
Your Body on Running
One workout, a zillion benefits: Here are just a few of the amazing things you are doing for yourself each time you pop in those earbuds and go.
- Mood: Even a slow 30-minute jog has been shown to lift mood and ward off stress.
- Longevity: Research suggests that just an hour a week can extend lifespan by an average of 3 years.
- Sleep: When study participants logged 30 minutes a day for 3 weeks, they fell asleep faster and stayed asleep longer.
- Heart: People who averaged 9.5 km a week lowered their risk of death from cardiovascular disease by 45%.
- Weight: Running at 9.5 KMPH for 30 minutes 5 times a week burns 340 calories. That amounts to a loss of 12 kilos in 1 year.
- Memory and Focus: Research shows that 30 minutes a day 4 times a week protects the area of the brain responsible for memory and helps boost concentration and focus.
- Metabolism: A regular routine expands lung capacity and increases blood flow, which results in better metabolic function.
- Diabetes: Thirty minutes a day 5 times a week reduces diabetes risk by 12%.
Eat to Live Longer
Talk about being the fountain of youth. Omega-3 supplements seem to slow the ageing process by lengthening telomeres, found researchers at the Ohio State University. Telomeres are caps at the end of chromosomes that shorten with age. This may unravel the DNA spelling bad news for your cells. The study also found that Omega-3s lower inflammation levels. What does this mean for you? Reduced risk for health conditions associated with ageing like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, and Alzheimer’s disease. So how much do you need? In the study, participants took a supplement containing 2.5 g or 1.25 g of active Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Good food sources include fatty fish such as sardines, tuna, salmon and mackerel; canola and soyabean oil and walnuts, flaxseeds and pine nuts.
Lower Your Brain Age
Give your mind a promotion: Doing any kind of job—paid or unpaid—that uses creative thinking can shave up to six years off your brain age, says a study by University of Texas at Austin. “Creative” can even mean crunching numbers or writing memos, just so long as it involves questioning, problem solving and learning. Find a new hobby that you’re passionate about; it will provide the same anti-ageing benefits.
Migraine is a severe headache which could involve either sides, or the whole head. The exact reason is not known, though the commonly seen triggers include hormonal changes in women, acidity and hunger, exposure to the sun, stress, strong smells, sharp lights, loud noises and inadequate sleep. Knowing what the triggers are and avoiding them is the best prevention. However, when you do get an attack, the following could help.
- Take rest, preferably in a dark, quiet room. Don’t go out in the sun and avoid crowded places.
- Since food plays a big role, it’s advisable to avoid aerated drinks, fermented foods, bakery products, chocolates, coffee, wine, cheese and too much sugar. Also, avoid skipping meals and eat at regular intervals.
- Have fibre-rich foods that ensure regular bowel movement. Constipation could cause migraine.
- Avoid late nights and get at least 7 hours of sleep daily. The room should be well-ventilated as reduced oxygen often triggers migraine.
- Pranayama—like kapalabhati, nadi shodhana, bhramari and ujjayi—are recommended, as are deep breathing and yoga nidra. Simple movements of the neck and shoulders can help too. Keeping the sinuses clear is also equally important and yogic kriyas like the jal neti and sutra neti are effective therapies.
- You may try naturopathic treatments like the cold abdomen compress, alternate hot and cold foot bath and mud pack on the forehead and eyes.
Lay off Infections
The connection between your mind and body is indeed a strong one. According to a study published in the journal PLoS One, serious infections could have a negative effect on a person’s IQ. Researchers believe the diminishing brainpower is due to our immune response to infection—inflammation which changes the way cells communicate with the brain.
Collated from articles previously published in Prevention magazine
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