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Top 5 health benefits of cycling

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Top 5 health benefits of cycling

We all know that physical fitness should be everyone’s priority and one cannot compromise on the same. While squeezing in some exercise into our busy schedules might be herculean task, it shouldn’t be ignored for sure. One among the many forms of exercises, cycling is considered as a low impact aerobic exercise that offers a wealth of benefits. Also, it can help shape the mental and physical health.

Top 5 health benefits of cycling:

Weight management: Cycling at a high intensity helps lower body fat levels, which in turn promotes weight management and also increases your metabolism and build muscle, which allows you to burn more calories.

Boosts mental health: Cycling can ease feelings of stress, depression, or anxiety.

Improves balance and posture: Cycling improves your overall balance, coordination, and posture as you stabilize your body and keep your bike upright.

Strengthens leg muscles: Cycling improves overall function in your lower body and strengthens leg muscles without over stressing them. Also, it targets your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.

Helps with cancer: Cycling may reduce your risk for certain types of cancer, including breast cancer.

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Physical Fitness

5 stretches to ease back and knee pain

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5 stretches to ease back and knee pain

After long days spent sitting at a desk, running errands and taking care of chores at home, it’s common to feel aches and pains. Knee pain affects about 25% of adults and back pain is the leading cause of work limitations — a whopping 65 million Americans report a recent episode of back pain. So if you’re feeling achy, you’re not alone. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with it every day.

Low lunge

The low lunge helps stretch and relax the back while also loosening up the hips. Start in a kneeling position; step your right foot forward bending your knee and placing the bottom of your foot flat on the mat. Move your left leg behind you so that the top of your left foot is resting on the mat. Shift your left knee as far back as you’re comfortable. Extend your hands over your head and breathe.

Forward leg lifts

Forward leg lifts help loosen up the legs and knees. Standing straight, begin swinging your right foot forward while keeping the leg straight. Swing it up as high as you can before swinging down and behind you as far as you can. Feel free to hold onto a chair or the wall to remain steady. Switch legs after 10 swings.

Hamstring stretch

The hamstring stretch is a great way to relieve tension in your leg muscles, including your knees. Sit up with your legs straight out in front of you and bend your left leg so the bottom of your left foot is resting on the inside of your right thigh. Reach forward toward your ankle as far as you can until you feel the stretch in your hamstring. Hold for 10 seconds and then switch so the left leg is out in front of you and repeat the movements.

Wide leg forward fold

The wide leg forward fold stretches the whole back of the body, including the knees and back, making it the perfect stretch to incorporate into your routine. Standing up straight, spread your feet about 3-4 feet apart. Make sure your toes are facing forward and that your feet are parallel. Lift your arms above your head and breathe in before hinging at the hips and reaching your hands down toward the floor. You should feel a stretch in the back of the legs and a release in the low back.

Knees to chest

Knees to chest helps relieve back pain while stretching your glutes and hips. Lie down with your back on the ground, your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Using your hands, pull your right knee toward your chest while keeping your left foot on the floor. Hold before releasing and switching to your left leg.

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9 reasons you’re tired and sore all the time after working out

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9 reasons you're tired and sore all the time after working out

Exercise is hard work, but it also contains its own antidote: The harder you work, the easier things should feel, and the more often you lift, the less often you’ll get sore. That means if you feel tired and sore all the time after working out, something is going wrong. Let’s figure it out what that it—and what to do about it—together.

1. You keep skipping workouts.
Consistency is the most important thing to get right when it comes to fitness. It’s better to follow an okayish routine four days a week, every week, than to do day 1 of a really great program and never get around to day 2.

2. You keep trying to set personal records on your training days.
It’s fun to set a personal record—your heaviest bench press, your fastest mile. But these PRs are your reward for putting in hard work; they’re not the work itself.

3. You don’t have a structured training program.
So now you know that you need to be consistent, but you also shouldn’t be pushing yourself to the limit every day you hit the gym. So what should you do? Follow a program.

4. You’re not eating enough
Food is fuel, and healthy athletes end up eating a ton. But if you’re trying to lose weight at the same time you’re exercising, or if you’re avoiding high-calorie foods because you have this idea that they aren’t “healthy,” you could be sabotaging your progress in the gym.

5. Your low-carb diet doesn’t agree with you.
Beyond the issues that come with not eating enough food, there can also be problems if you’re not eating enough carbs. The carbs we eat become blood glucose, which we use while we exercise; they can also become muscle glycogen, another important fuel.

6. You don’t take your strength training seriously.
If your main form of exercise is something like running, you probably know you should be strength training too. But runners often make the mistake of training with light weight for high repetitions, because that sounds like it should be more specific to running than lifting heavy weights.

7. You keep deloading.
If you take a break from lifting, or if you lift lighter weights for a little while, your body will be less fatigued and you may be able to lift more, or set a new PR. Sounds great, right?
The problem is that this phenomenon—called a deload—gives you the illusion of short-term progress while hurting your long-term progress.

8. You’re not sleeping enough.
Exercise is hard on your body, but food and sleep help you build back up. If you’re not sleeping enough, you’ll be tired all the time, both because you’re sleep-deprived and because you’re not doing enough to let your body physically repair itself.

9. You’re tired, but not from the gym.
Stress can make us feel “blah.” If you had a hard day at work, your pet is sick, and your relationship with your significant other isn’t going great, you might not feel up to exercise. That’s fine—take care of your mental health however you need to.

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Fit yet vulnerable: How young people are falling prey to serious cardiac issues

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Fit yet vulnerable: How young people are falling prey to serious cardiac issues

The words ‘Heart Attack’ can send a nervous shiver down everyone’s spine. This, unfortunately, common condition is defined as the ‘blockage of blood flow to the heart muscle.’ Its causes include excess smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc. Not only that, but lack of physical activity also leads to severe cardiac problems that can prove fatal in the future. According to Mayo Clinic, men and women who are 45 or 55 years or older are prone to having a heart attack. While some causes may be hereditary in nature, some are attributed to them leading a predominantly sedentary lifestyle.

However, recent times have seen a rise in young people suffering from serious heart conditions. The deaths of actors Siddharth Shukla and Puneeth Rajkumar in their 40s started a discussion about this problem as well. Many wondered the cause behind it, as both of them were known for their rigorous fitness regime that they followed religiously.

‘Indians Have Heart Attack A Decade Earlier Than Europeans’

This is a very well-documented issue that South Asians, especially Indians, have heart attacks decade or a decade and a half earlier than the Europeans, as their genetic constitution makes them more prone to such attacks. We fall in the higher risk category. I treat heart attacks of people coming between 30 to 40 years of age every year. This fact comes as a surprise to the public, not to the medical fraternity.

Most of the time, this has to do with smoking. Largely, the young people having a heart attack is due to tobacco misuse, that is either consuming ‘zarda’ or smoking. Excessive usage of protein supplements while working out and doing more than your endurance, like sprinting, can trigger arrhythmia.

Due to COVID-19, most of our work has now been confined to a chair and a screen in front of it. A majority of us have to be in front of our laptops for over 6 hours in order to make ends. This kind of lifestyle is harmful in the long run as well. Like diabetes and smoking, sedentary habit, sitting 6 hours a day is as bad as smoking one pack of cigarette. Coronavirus has made us more digital, which results in our physical inactivity which adds to our risk factor in terms of heart, sugar and blood pressure. Another factor both the cardiologists also mentioned was stress and mental health as well, which ends up wreaking havoc on us.

Preventive Care: Physical Activity, No Smoking

Physical Activity is important not just to keep ourselves hail and hearty, but for our mental health as well. However, all of this should be done in moderation and with caution. Moderation is the key. One should not overdo their exercise. Avoid taking supplements and energy boosters because they all have a detrimental effect on our hearts. Sometimes, those who have recovered from COVID-19 become over-enthusiastic as well. Therefore, they should go through a gradual process before going into an intense workout session. How weight control is important, along with eating food with anti-oxidants as well as lean meat such as fish and chicken.

While taking care of ourselves is one aspect, yearly health check-ups are also important. However, We do not have a culture of preventive check-up in the country. Doctors come into the picture when you fall sick, not when you are healthy. That is the paradox. No health insurance gives you money for a preventive checkup. Companies should make a provision for those who are healthy as well. Our healthcare infrastructure and the society’s mindset is treatment-centric, not focus on prevention.

 

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