Habits to incorporate in our lives after COVID19 lockdown

COVID19 has brought the world to a standstill. Countries are in lockdown, travel has stopped. People are not on the roads. Indian went into lockdown on 25th March and the changes this brought about in how we live and operate were dramatic. People were standing far away from each other. Wearing masks and washing their hands often.

On April 14th, the lockdown was extended for another 19 days up to May 3rd. It was taken as a preventive measure to stop the spread of the virus. With strict measures in place, India may have avoided a huge health calamity. However, the end of lockdown doesn’t mean you can go back to your old lifestyle. Some habits have to be changed and some have to be incorporated to avoid further virus spread. Here are a few habits that can be incorporated into our lives for a healthy future. Until there is a cure for COVID-19, a vaccination, there are certain habits one has to ensure to take care of.

1. Personal hygiene

This one is for life. It is very important to continue washing your hands on a regular basis. It is also advisable not to stop the use of hand sanitizer for protecting yourself from the virus. Apart from these, make sure you take a bath after coming back from outside, before touching anything. Spitting outside, touching surfaces in public areas and blowing nose without cover, etc. should be completely avoided. You should also stop touching your face unnecessarily.   While vaccination and treatments are happening, good personal hygiene will help ward off any risk of infection, not just Coronavirus.

2. Masks 

Masks are the heroes of this period. Wearing a mask not only protects you from catching the disease but it also helps in stopping the spread, if you are a potential carrier. Mask also acts as a barrier between your hand and your face. Very simple cloth masks are essential. A mask is essential, think of it as your phone, wallet, or keys.

3. Learn to shop local

Lockdown might have taught us many things. The importance of food might be one of those lessons. Grow a small kitchen farm and start eating healthy if you have space. It is recommended to continue local shopping, at least for a while. Shopping local not only reduces your exposure to the virus but it also helps the local vendors to get back on their track financially.

4. Social distancing

The end of lockdown doesn’t mean that it is the end of social distancing too. Hugs and handshakes can wait. Let us stick on to namaste for a little more time because social distancing is crucial to avoid the spread of the infection.

5. Eat Healthy and calm your body and soul with exercise and meditation

Never go back to a lazy lifestyle after the lockdown ends. The world is healing and you have to continue your meditation to cope up with things happening around you. Similarly, adults are expected to have 2.5 hours of moderate exercise every week. Exercising and eating healthy foods not only help you in staying fit but it also helps in increasing your immunity

6. Quarantine yourself

Respiratory problems, cough, high fever, etc. are the usual symptoms of Covid19. Seek immediate medical assistance in case of these symptoms. It is also important to quarantine yourself to avoid the spread within the family too. Consult a doctor and follow their advice without fail.   Even in the future don’t write off a cough as an allergy; monitor your health and get tested.

Break the chain with your new habits. We have been united in this fight on Covid-19, but it is far from over. Staying ahead of the disease is the way to combat it.

The right diet: What should we be eating everyday?

A question that most people have on their mind is -Is there a perfect diet? Is there a quick list that one can follow of the foods one must eat? Well, there is no quick list. Diets are based on a variety of factors like current health, current weight, family history or susceptibility to various health conditions.

When one talks about food, it is better to approach it as a wholesome activity rather than meeting a ‘calorie count’ at the end of the day. The first and most important thing is to understand that diets are not synonymous with ‘fasting’ or worse starving. While there are many diets like Keto or Atkins or GM diet, intermittent fasting it is very important to do some research before you jump on the diet bandwagon.

But more than a diet plan, what you need to focus on is the basic ingredients of your plate. Carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals, and fiber. While most people think that Indian food is oily and greasy, the fact is that it is entirely in your control how spicy or oily you want to make it. If you can bake a dish instead of fry it, then opt for baking. Varieties of papads can be dry roasted instead of deep-fried. Be very conscious of the choices you are making. Make room for some cheat meals as well, but the fact is, if you relish food, get inventive and engage in the process of making food, every day will be a special meal. But even for your cheat meals, don’t go overboard with chips and junk food.

Most people have rice, dal, vegetables, salads, Rotis and yogurt on their plates on a daily basis which is essentially indicative of what your meal should look like.

1. Pulses: Grams, pulses of any kind are very high in protein and contain vitamins and minerals including B vitamins, iron, and zinc. You could whip up some classic Indian recipes like Chole, Rajma, Masoor, peas, dals. Use oil and butter with discretion and you can have tasty food that’s also healthy.  Pulses possess antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic qualities meaning they help build immunity against cancer. Their low glycemic index makes it perfect for those with diabetes.

2. Whole Grains: Whole grains like jowar, rice, and wheat are very good for your health. They are good sources of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Brown rice, oats, millets are versatile and you can whip up a range of Indian dishes including pulaos, dosas, and bread, bajra rotis, jowar rotis. They offer you  Vitamins B1, B2 and B3, iron, dietary fiber and essential minerals.

3. Dry fruits and Nuts: Go nuts over nuts! Peanuts, walnuts, pistachios, almonds, dates. Nuts are loaded with healthy fats, minerals, and protein. Dates are rich in iron, calcium, and potassium. From anemia to constipation, nuts will help you overcome it all.  If not during lunch or dinner, make dates your evening snacks. Those hunger pangs are about to become healthy!

4. Greens: Even as kids green leafy vegetables were the dreaded substance on the plate. But greens like spinach, broccoli, methi, french beans, Bhindi, bitter gourd are among the top green vegetables that one must eat regularly. Loaded with Vitamins A, B, C, and K, Omega 3. Green leafy vegetables are essential to maintain your health.  Apart from muscle building, green vegetables keep your gut happy. The roughage helps regulate bowel movements and thus keep you healthy!

5. Vegetables: Apart from green leafy vegetables, there is a world of colorful vegetables that are waiting for you. Carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, beetroot, brinjals, pumpkin, onions, garlic. Rich in minerals, carbs, antioxidants, and of course fiber. An innumerable combination of vegetables is possible if you try!

6. Fruits and Berries: Fresh fruits and berries are very important to stay healthy. Nature’s sweet treats! Bananas, apples, mangoes, pineapples, strawberries, papayas, pomegranates, oranges to name a few. Apart from the sweet and delicious taste. Fruits are loaded with Vitamin C, vitamin C, manganese, iron, and potassium, antioxidants. Of course, as with anything else is subject to your health.

7. Probiotics: Chass, lassi, dahi, and of late many probiotic drinks in the market have become hugely popular. Probiotics like yogurt promote the growth of good bacteria that are absolutely essential to good health.

8. Meats: If you are a nonvegetarian or pescatarian, meats like chicken, pork, fish are rich in protein. Finding the right meat and cooking it the right way are critical to how it helps your body. But meat has to be cooked with a side helping of vegetables and pieces of bread like rotis. Avoid processed meats and control the portion of the meat you eat.

9. Eggs: If you eat eggs, eggs are an excellent source of protein. They also contain selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12, and minerals such as zinc, iron, and copper. Boil them, make an omelet, or add them to a gravy.

Diets should not be decided by the latest trends but by what your body wants. Losing weight or gaining weight should not be a primary concern when going on a diet. You must think of a diet as an ongoing choice and not something that you do for 3 months or 10 days. Drastically losing weight or gaining it is also not advisable. But before going on a diet, consult your doctor and work on what feels good for you. List down food that you enjoy, see which elements you can include in your diet. A healthy diet is very important.

 

Hand Hygiene to Stave off Coronavirus

The right way to wash your hands: A step to protect yourself against Coronavirus

According to The World Health Organization, Coronaviruses are large family viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). With the outbreak of the Coronavirus in China and subsequently in other parts of the world, people should be aware of the basic protective measures against the Virus.

One of the most important measures is to wash one’s hands frequently. Washing hands can slow down an epidemic. Since hands come in contact with so many different surfaces, it is one of the main sources of cross-contamination. Good hand hygiene can fight viral infections. Public health officials’ top advice when it comes to controlling the infections is to regularly wash hands with soap and water and with alcohol-based sanitizers when the hands are not visibly dirty. One should always remember to wash hands before eating or preparing food, after using the lavatory or taking care of someone who is sick and after getting off public transport.

Most of us are aware of hand hygiene but rarely pay attention to the correct steps that should be followed. Wetting the hands before applying soap is important because it helps in creating a good lather. It is preferable if the temperature of the water is 35 to 45 degrees Celsius. After creating the lather, thorough rubbing of the hands is instrumental in proper cleaning. Rubbing of the hands includes rubbing of the palms, the back of hands, interlinking the fingers, and cupping of the hands-on each other, cleaning of the thumbs and nails. Drying hands with disposable paper towels or automatic hand dryers are more hygienic than using a cloth and fabric towels.

People, during the face of an epidemic, should not be scared but informed and mindful. Knowing the prevention methods and educating others helps in staving off the spreading of infection. Knowledge of the symptoms and prevention methods will help individuals to cope with the spreading of infection and crisis.

Is there any truth to ‘Early to bed, early to rise’?

Being a morning person has been advised by our parents and grandparents alike. Does the saying ‘Early to bed, early to rise’ have a meaning? Yes, scientifically, getting up early and sleeping early helps in keeping stress levels in check. Not only stress early risers feel more energetic, efficient and confident to face the world. Here is a quick check on how the saying stands true.

Keeps you Positive - Waking up early makes you manage your time well and save in efforts in stressing about making it to work or a meeting. Planning a night before can save you the last minute horrors. Also, sleeping late can bring repetitive thoughts in mind bringing in negative thoughts too which do not do any good to stress levels and anxiety.

Ignites the Chances of Success - A person who sleeps well at night feels fresh in the morning. As many have experienced studying in the morning or making a to-do list in the morning – planning the day well in advance motivates in doing a great job at the set goals. A morning person becomes proactive resulting in good job performance, high career success and much more appraisals and appreciations.

Sleep promotes Good Health - A busy person like a Millennial today is on the go every minute and falling sick is not an option for anyone be it the new moms, entrepreneurs or anybody else for that matter. Sleeping on time guarantees plenty of good sleep which helps strengthen the immune system.

No Procrastinations - Early risers tend to not procrastinate work since they have a lot of time on their platter to invest it on working proactively. On the contrary fussy sleepers and late risers wait till the last minute to complete tasks resulting in stress and then a worrisome sleep.

Sleeping on time not only makes you plan your day better but also helps in making you look better. When tired and stressed one looks unhealthy and less attractive since the lethargy reflecting on the face and this is not at all a good sign if you are in a client-facing job or if you are on a lookout for an investment in your start-up. Up the game with your strong first impression by sleeping on time and waking up early. It is easy to switch to be a morning person all you need to do is keep putting in efforts to keep off-screen one hour before sleeping, plan a sleep schedule and stick to it to manually make it a practice for the body to wake up without an alarm and yes, keep that confidence intact and you will achieve your goals real soon. You must experience the change to believe in Ben Franklin’s old saying “Early to bed, and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

Myths about yoga: How early can you start your yoga journey?

Yoga is not a compulsion but practice. Yoga is a philosophy that needs to be understood to attain eternal bliss. As the saying goes you are as old as your thoughts; there is no fixed age as to when you can start your yoga journey. Let your age be any number, you can still relax and practice yoga with ease. Look for a great motivating yoga instructor and walk the path of positivity with yoga. Yoga comes with a lot of myths along with it and you must believe in one of the following if you have not yet started practicing yoga. Here’s to busting the myths!

 - Yoga means flexibility - Yoga is an art that needs a lot of patience and a tender heart to practice. Everyone is flexible to the point that one can practice yoga basic yoga asanas easily and as you practice the better you keep getting at the postures. A perfect combination of strength and balance can make for a great concentration that will automatically work on the flexibility of the body.

- Yoga is for youngsters – Yoga is an art form for everyone be it any age or gender. Yoga needs to be done with a great concentration and regularity which is very do-able for anyone with a strong might and this is not limited to gender or age. Anyone can practice Yoga that’s the truth!

- Yoga seems time-consuming – Yoga does not demand a lot of time initially. One can start any time of the day but the most efficient timing is to practice 30 minutes in the morning and evening respectively and later when one has more time at hand more of asanas, pranayama and meditation can be added.

- A Lifestyle change is a must – Yoga demands practice and a commitment towards it. Yoga does not demand an immediate transformation to a vegan diet or a complete lifestyle change. A clean vegetarian diet is recommended and yes a little moderation in consuming junk food and laid back attitude is highly expected while practicing yoga.

Yoga is a complete package of wonderful feeling in and out, a better and healthy life and peace of mind with a committed meditation. The myths about yoga are many but the only truth that stands tall is the fact that yoga is a must to do an activity to keep sane in this stressful life where everything has turned into noise and everyone is competing in this materialistic world. Keep calm and practice yoga!