Why did I feel writing something about walking? Firstly, I believe in this form of fitness, and secondly, off course, for its incredible health benefits. Without stepping inside the gym, the concept of exercise and physical fitness in today’s time doesn’t seem to work. Either you are running the treadmill or using high-end gym apparatus to strengthen and shape your muscles. Unless you do such exercises, you feel you are not doing the right kind of exercise regime for your fitness. Such psychology commonly revolves around us.
Therefore, walking has been most underrated as an exercise form for fitness. Enough studies have been done in the past, which goes to show that walking can be an effective form of a workout as exercise. A simple walk around nature gives you enough mental and physical boost and can be helpful to reduce the anxiety and stress in our everyday life. A good 20- 30 mins of a walk at a moderate pace every day is enough to give you the immense health benefits, your desired fitness level and reach your weight loss targets. Though running utilizes a more exaggerated level of energy, more pressure on the muscles but walking at a medium pace for a longer duration can give you the same desired results. Health markers have effectively shown the fitness and endurance level that can be attained by an everyday walk.
Every day, in our environment, we breathe in loads of pollutants, allergens, pathogens like viruses, bacteria and fungi, which enter into our system.Once they enter, the interaction of our immune system starts responding. So the process of filtration, defence and lubrication takes over. That’s how the mucus comes into play.
Mucus is a slimy secretion which is produced by the mucus glands on the tissue lining of many organs in the body. Its primary function is protective. It protects the particular organ from drying, catch hold of dust particles, foreign bodies, germs, microbiomes from getting inside our body. It also contains specific enzymes to kill the bacteria and pathogens and prevent us from getting infected. We produce at least 1.5 litres of mucus every day. Therefore, every day, mucus is created and perform its function of protection and hydration.
We start experiencing mucus in our throat, mouth, sinuses when produced in excess. The organs that usually produces mucus are:
Nose Throat Sinuses Lungs Gastro intestinal tract.
Facts related to mucus:
1. Mucus excess production is usually not a medical problem unless associated with other symptoms in the body or abnormal colour of the ooze. When you have a yellow to greenish mucus, it is usually due to cold. When you have blood-tinged mucus in the nose, it is generally due to dryness or scratching or forcefully blowing of the nose. Mucus, when produced in the lungs, is called phlegm. When you have blood in the mucus or phlegm, it is mainly infection or irritation in the lungs. It is usually not that serious. But, when there is excessive and frequent blood in the mucus, you need medical attention. 2. Excessive mucus produces common symptoms like sneezing, nasal irritations, nasal stuffing, nasal blockage, sore throat and headache. In such cases, slime is usually slippery and watery. 3. When mucus gets thickened in the throat and lungs, this is mainly due to congestion in the lungs and upper respiratory tract. The person may have breathing difficulty or problem in swallowing.
4. Sometimes, thickened mucus is produced due to conditions like smoking, air pollution, not drinking enough water, drinking too many caffeinated drinks like tea or coffee and alcohol, or being in airconditioned air for a long time. 5. Certain medical conditions which cause overproduction of mucus are Allergies, Sinusitis,Common cold, acid reflux, certain lung conditions like COPD, chronic bronchitis and asthma.
Simple measures to get rid of mucus are :
1. The best home remedy to clear the throat from mucus is the saltwater gargling which I recommend as this measure is very helpful for me too. 2. Keep yourself hydrated by consuming enough water. 3. Over the counter medicines, the expectorant, mucolytics, liquorice tablets are useful to some extent. 4. Elevating the head by using an extra pillow while lying down has been effective in some people.
5. Having certain kind of food items like Pineapple ( contains an enzyme bromelain which has anti-inflammatory properties), ginger, turmeric, apple cider vinegar are helpful to reduce the mucus.
Hello everyone! Have a wonderful day and stay safe 🙋🏻
Vagus Nerve, is the body’s unique nerve which is by far the most important nerve to be stimulated in today’s time of crisis, threat, anxiety, innumerable stress, pain, tensions. Especially in times of crisis like this Coronavirus Pandemic where people are continuously under the anxiety and fear of falling sick, hospitalization, death.
Anatomically, this is the 10th cranial nerve which starts in the brain and runs entirely throughout the body till the reproductive organs. Therefore the name ‘Vagus’ comes which means a wanderer which wander through every organ of the body. It is also the longest and most complex nerve. Just to simplify, it runs from the brain and branch as dorsal and ventral branches with numerous sub-branches running through both front and back of our body touching almost every organ.
But, why is this nerve so important when it comes to wellbeing ? The reason is that this particular nerve is the cynosure of Parasympathetic Nervous system, the ‘rest and digest’ stimulation or the relaxation of the body. It is this nerve which helps the body to self regulate and maintain the homeostasis. It is this nerve which maintains the brain-gut communication. The immune system is rejuvenated and work efficiently. There are the body’s recovery and healing.
The Autonomic nervous system has 2 main areas: Sympathetic Nervous system: This system is mainly responsible for mobilization, high energy state, vigilant state. So, the heart rate, blood pressure, alertness, breathing rate are increased. In such state, there is no energy left for growth, repair and regeneration.
Parasympathetic Nervous system: The vagus nerve is mainly responsible for this system. This is the ‘rest and digest’ state where the metabolism is optimized, heart rate lowers, breathing slows down, blood pressure lowers and the body is relaxed. There is a restoration of growth. repair and the immune system is regulated to it’s highest potential. The body is in recovery and the healing state from any damage that it went through.
Ideally, there is a balance of harmony between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Whenever, there is an alert state, a threat, there is an automatic switch-on of the sympathetic system. Once, the threat is gone, there is a switch-off of the sympathetic and parasympathetic system takes the centre-stage. But in today’s time, we, people are so caught up with the day to day stress, anxiety, fear, that throughout the day, the sympathetic system remains in action. There is hardly the switch off. As a result, there is less potential for growth, repair, regeneration, rejuvenation of the body. The immune system is compromised and we become susceptible to disease. Most of the time, or even during an entire lifetime, we remain stuck in the high tone state which is not good for the body at all. We, end up, suffering from various chronic conditions and diseases. Therefore, it’s high time that we realise this default habit in our system and start taking measures to activate the Vagus Nerve (parasympathetic) tone daily for our overall wellbeing.
There are various ways by which the Vagus Nerve get stimulated to maintain the calm relaxed state:
1.Social connection: The ventral vagus branch is mainly stimulated by social connection and engagement. By keeping ourselves connected to loved ones, people around with positive emotions like love, gratitude, joy, empathy and compassion, there is the self-regulation of the body-mind connection and the homeostasis is maintained.
2.Deep breathing: Baroreceptors present in the heart and upper body around the neck get stimulated by slow deep breathing. Therefore, regulating the breath with slow deep cycles of breaths can instantly stimulate the vagus and lowers the heart rate and blood pressure bringing the vitals to a relaxed state. There are different breathing exercises like the Pranayama in yoga, Win Hoff method and other helpful breathing techniques.If you want to learn more about diaphargmatic breathing, you can listen and understand from audio CD of Dr Andrew Weil
3.Meditation: Meditation and deep relaxation can naturally put our body in the parasympathetic tone. Chanting or humming words, mantras can directly stimulate the Vagus nerve. The singing and chanting in the chorus (like the choir in Church), can increase the heart variability rate and naturally causes relaxation waves in the body. Prayers are highly effective in increasing heart variability rate and maintaining calmness.
4. Cold exposure: Exposing the body to cold like cold water shower, splashing cold water in the face, drinking ice cold water, sudden cold exposure can naturally stimulate the Vagus Nerve. 5.Message: Having messages like a foot, hand, neck messages along the carotid arteries can naturally stimulate the Vagus Nerve. It also lowers heart and blood pressure.
6.Gargling: This is a simple technique where the muscles of the pallet are stimulated by gargling which inturn stimulates Vagus nerve instantly.
7.Exercises: Usually mild low-intensity exercises like stretching, Yoga, Tai Chi stimulate and improves the brain-gut axis and helps in relaxation. High intense training should always be done in short intervals followed by relaxation so that the body learns to fluctuate from sympathetic to parasympathetic tone in a quick recovery state.
8. Food rich in omega 3 fatty acids and probiotics,fermented food can naturally stimulate the gut which in turn stimulate the gut-brain axis.
9. Music: Relaxation and listening to the music of your choice can naturally increase the heart variability rate, gives your pleasure, joy which enhances immunity and stimulate the Vagus Nerve. 10. Intermittent Fasting: Intermittent fasting provide the much-needed break, the rest to the digestive process. The metabolism slows down and improves the vagus nerve activity.
Hello everyone 🤗 Have a wonderful day and stay safe 🙋🏻
Today, I am going to write about an amazing mineral called Selenium. This mineral is present as a trace mineral in the body’s skeletal muscles. It is an essential mineral which acts as a coenzyme to some almost 25 proteins in the body. Its main function is that it is a powerful antioxidant, protects our body from the damage of oxidative stress caused by free radicals, helps in maintaining a healthy immune system, also improves our cognitive functions.The ideal dose of Selenium as a daily intake is 55 mcg. The therapeutic dose is usually recommended as 200 mcg. A person can tolerate safely up to 400 mcg of selenium daily but beyond that, there are chances of selenium toxicity. Researches have shown that there are 2 forms of Selenium: Organic as selenomethionine and inorganic as selenite or selenate. So, the sources of selenium can be both dietary and supplementation.
8 amazing benefits of Selenium are :
1.The most powerful benefit is that selenium is involved in the synthesis of glutathione which is a powerful antioxidant and protects the body from oxidative stress caused by free radicals, heavy metals, harmful chemicals, or too much sugar causing damage to the nerve, muscle cells in the body. This is why selenium is very useful for people with chronic conditions like Diabetes, heart issues, peripheral neuropathy. It also helps in reducing the complications of such chronic conditions. It protects the brain and nervous system.
2.Another important benefit of selenium is that it helps in the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and the synthesis of the thyroid hormones. Therefore, a person with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune thyroid diseases where the production of thyroid hormones become low, selenium is of great help. It also helps in reducing significantly the thyroid peroxidase antibodies. This is why, selenium is recommended as therapeutic supplement in such conditions.
3.Selenium has a high impact on our immune system. It helps in the increase production of activated T cells and natural killer cells making the immune system strong and reduces the susceptibility to viral infections, diseases and tumours. It also reduces inflammation in the body.
4. It helps to protect us from the damage of mercury. Consuming fishes and shellfish, we are exposed to Methylmercury, an organic form of mercury which isn’t good for the body at all. It may have a toxic effect on the nervous system, kidney, lungs, skin and in eyes. Selenium which is also present in fishes counteract with the mercury and make it inactive thereby protecting the body from the toxicity.
5. Anti Cancer effect: Since it reduces the oxidative stress in the body , therby reducing the damage to DNA Mitochrondria. This effect can counteract the carcinogens of harmful chemicals and toxins that enters the body through various sources.
6. Liver disease: Selenium helps to prevent or rather helps in reducing liver damage caused like alcohol use, obesity and liver scarring called Cirrhosis.
7. Prostate : It helps to reduce certain condition of prostate like Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy.
8. Arsenic: It helps to reduce the effect of Arsenic Poisoning.
Though selenium has some amazing benefits, it is wise to take the appropriate amount daily. Just as the deficiency can cause certain problems in the body, the excess quantity can cause certain toxicity.
Deficiency of Selenium: Compromised immune system causing us more susceptible to disease. Cognitive problems like difficulty in thinking and concentrating. Infertility. Hair loss Weight gain.
Some effects of Selenium toxicity : Skin rashes Nervous system abnormalities. Fatigue Diarrhoea.
Finally, the dietary sources of Selenium:
Brazil nuts: Though brazil nuts are highest in selenium concentration. They have another substance called Phytic acid which makes the selenium difficult to absorb in the body. So, brazil nuts should be soaked overnight so that the layer of Phytic acid is removed and the selenium can be absorbed properly.
Fishes like tuna, salmon, sardines, halibut. Poultry. Eggs.
Amidst Nature, there is always stillness, calmness, the kind of peace which reaches the deeper insight, the soul connection. Enough researches have been established which goes to show that you and I are genetically programmed to find nature scenes, trees, rivers, water, plants, flowers, birds chirping to be naturally engrossing. That is the reason, Nature has a great impact on both physical and mental wellbeing.
When we are experiencing Nature, with our senses like seeing, hearing, touching, not just it charges our mood but also has an impact on all the systems of our body like the nervous, endocrine and immune system.
Therefore, the different ways by which Nature can have an impact on our physical and mental wellbeing are:
Nature reverses:In an unpleasant environment in our day to day life, we build up stress, negative emotions like anger, fear, stress which elevates the stress hormones like cortisol, increases the heart rate, elevates the blood pressure. So, when the body is in fight or flight response, all our muscles become tensed up, the body goes in a defensive mood. Then, there is no energy left for growth and regeneration and the immune system gets suppressed. Therefore, we become vulnerable to disease. Spending time in Nature every day, heals this body’s unpleasant state, lowers the stress hormones level and bring out the calmness in us. The body’s heart rate, blood pressure get stabilised and the immune system starts working normally. Nature reverses our body back to the parasympathetic mood which is relaxation.
Nature Relieves: Physician Robert Ulrich conducted a study, quite sometime back showed that patients who view Nature scenes, trees can get pain tolerated better, healsfaster and leaves the hospital earlier. Similar results are also found by some very recent studies conducted on patients who viewed Nature scenes from hospital rooms.
Mental Wellbeing: Studies carried out in Mind, has shown that majority of the people who were depressed, stressed out after spending time amid Nature, have dramatically improved their mood, became more calm and balanced. Even children with ADHD, have improved their attention time after spending time with Nature. Human finds Nature very engrossing and interesting, therefore, spending time in Nature also improves the power of concentration and focus.
Connection: Spending too much time in front of computer, TV screen make us Nature deprived. Not only it increases the stress level but also lack of physical activity can cause a rise in mortality rate due to various chronic illnesses. According to Human-Environment Lab research, the people who have more trees, plants and green spaces around their buildings made a better connection with fellow beings, more unity, helping and supporting each other. Nature evolves the spirit of connection and empathy in human.
We have 50 to 75 trillion cells in our body. Believe it or not, each of them has a nucleus which has a DNA strand of about 6 feet. Now, how such long length of DNA strand fit inside the small nucleus of a tiny cell. The DNA strand is wrapped around a cluster of proteins called the histones. Histones are like molecular spools. These molecular spools form the chromatin, where there are the sequencing of proteins. These chromatins form the complex structure of DNA, that is the chromosomes. There are about 30 million spools in each of the cells. So just imagine, how much of genetic material, we carry in each of our cells. The functional unit of DNA are the genes encoded in it. It is this genetic codes which tell the cell how to function and who to become. That is how a muscle cell differs from a neuron or a skin cell.
Epigeneticsmeaning above the genes.So, epigenetics are chemical tags that sit on the chromatin. Some epigenetic marks can condense the chromatic making the cell unable to read the genes underlying, in other words, they turn the genes off. Again, some epigenetic marks can decondense the chromatic making the cell accessible to read the underlying genes. So, then the genes are turned on. Therefore, these epigenetic marks are responsible for influencing our cell biology. So, in our body, though each cell has the same DNA, it is these epigenetic marks which instruct the cell to turn on or off the particular genes. This is how a muscle cell or a neuron function differently from a skin cell. Now, the question is when do the epigenetic marks laid down the information or instructions to the cells. Most of it occurs during the embryonic development inside the womb. Initially, when the embryo is only a few cells big, there are very less epigenetic marks on the cells, As the days pass by, the influence of environment slowly increases the epigenetic marks on the cells.
In a pregnant lady, the growing embryo inside her womb has been influenced by the food she eats, behaviour, her stress level, habits (like smoking alcohol). That’s how the epigenetic marks are laid on the chromatin of each cell. That is how the foetus genes are affected and also the long term health effect of the child. Even as the child grows into an adult, the habits, behaviour, disease pattern does not entirely depend on the hereditary genes. Researches have shown that the environment continues influencing the epigenetic marks of the chromatins.Throughout life, the genes keep turning on and off depending on the environmental choices, pattern or the kind of environmental responses, the person perceives.
We keep making choices on the perception of this world, thoughts, emotions, lifestyle habits, eating habits, stress responses and other environmental influences. Depending on all these choices, our body’s nervous system influences the chemical pathways (neurohormonal pathways) instructing the genes through receptor responses (some genes get turn on while some get to turn off) in different cells of our body leading to different changes that occur regarding health, ageing, longevity, diseases, stress levels and wellness. Improving our choices ( being in a positive environment), positivity, reducing stress levels, healthy eating, active physical life all can affect our genes greatly. Have an impact on our overall wellbeing ,can reduce disease prospects, or can make healing faster.
So, the concept of “we” being the victims of hereditary genes doesn’t completely hold the truth. We still hold our magic stick depending upon the choices we make. We are still the “masters” of the body in terms of our health and wellness. If you wish to know more about this topic, I recommend the book “Change your Genes, Change your life” Creating optimal health by the New Science of epigenetics. by Kenneth R. Pelletier
I am sharing with you today, a beautiful talk by Dr Lissa Rankin MD, which gives you the idea how powerful is our mind, which has the ability and the enormous capacity to heal the body from any disease and illness.