Watch out for winter!

Winter is here! Misty mornings capped with hot cocoa in our cozy jumpers and fluffy woolen hats make us feel good. But health care doesn’t come as easily in winter. The dry wind and chilly weather can make you ill. Here are the most common health issues you need to look out for and a few tips to get you through the chill with a smile.


Cold is a viral infection of the nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways. It’s quite common and usually clears within a week or two. The main symptoms of cold include sore throat, blocked or runny nose, sneezing, cough with mild temperature and headache. Being a viral infection there’s no cure for a cold, but you can take good care to let it pass easily:

  • Rest, drink plenty of water and stick to a healthy diet with more fruits and vegetables.
  • Take over-the-counter medicines (if only necessary) such as paracetamol, to reduce any fever or muscle pain/headache.
  • Using decongestant sprays or tablets to relieve a blocked nose.
  • Trying remedies such as gargling salt water and sucking on menthol sweets.
Tip: Prefer disposable tissue paper in place of a single towel/handkerchief to reduce infection through your hands.



Cold air is a major trigger for Asthma attacks. Increased pollution and pollen content of atmosphere during winter is another cause of concern.

  • Keep your reliever/inhaler on your person at all times and keep taking your regular preventer inhaler that is doctor prescribed.
  • In case you feel the need to use your medication at shorter intervals, do consult the doctor as this may be because the prescription needs to be revised.
  • It is very important to keep warm and dry – gloves, scarf and mufflers go a long way.
  • Try breathing in through your nose instead of your mouth as your nose warms the air you breathe in.
Tip: Try to remain indoors on really cold or windy days. If unavoidable, use a scarf loosely over your nose and mouth.


Painful Joints

With winter come painful joints. Arthritis is a major concern for the aged and young alike. As per studies, changes in temperature and barometric pressure can trigger joint pain, though the cause behind this is still unknown. But, we can make sure that the pain can be avoided or lessened.

  • Dressing warmly during winter.
  • Always be sure to pay special attention to your head, hands, and feet.
  • It’s also important to keep up with regular exercise.
Tip: A massage once in a while will help increase your body temperature and blood circulation.


Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

Hey lazy head! It’s normal to feel a bit sluggish in winter. It takes extra effort to get out of the bed. But if you’re feeling moody and completely zapped of energy, it might be more than just “winter blues.” You could be affected by seasonal affective disorder, also known as SAD, which hits most people with the drop in the temperature and continues throughout the winter months. Most studies point the finger at reduced sunlight as the primary cause for this issue. Reduced sunlight can disrupt your internal clock and lead to a drop in chemicals such as serotonin and melatonin, both of which play a role in mood.

  • Exercising regularly
  • Getting outside and spending some time outdoor (when it’s not so cold).
Tip: Get a dog; cheers up anyone!


Dry Skin

This is the biggest issue of every winter morning! Dry skin is nothing a little moisturizer can’t fix. But at times, it can lead to serious cracks that are not only painful, but can even lead to infection if they’re not properly cared for. Our hands are often hit the hardest because we use them so often.

  • When washing your hands, use mild or moisturizing hand soap before drying them thoroughly.
  • After each hand-washing, apply a good hand lotion that contains petroleum jelly to lock in moisture.
  • Wear gloves in cold weather or when using harsh cleaning products, and to moisturize your hands overnight.
  • Drink plenty of water.
Tip: You can use coconut oil as a home remedy to rejuvenate dry skin.
Words by Akash Kaimal
Photographs from Various Internet Sources

Smile Bright

Our teeth help us in eating food, talking, and give our face its distinctive structure. Hence it is quite important that we take care of our teeth.



Tooth decay can blowout to become a major issue if not treated timely. The decay can expose the underlying nerves causing it to be infected and forming an abscess. Such condition will require treatments like root canal and capping.

Gum disease

Continued neglection of gum diseases can cause bone loss around your teeth. This condition can lead to  loose teeth or loss of teeth. Gum disease is preventable with regular monitoring, which will be talked about further in this article. In case of loss of teeth the gap needs to be filled with bridges, dentures or implants.

The plaque

A thin and sticky film of bacteria that is continuously formed on your teeth is called plaque. The bacteria present in the film reacts to sweet and starchy food particles and secretes certain acids that are harmful to the enamel covering of your teeth. This breaking down of enamels causes formation of cavities.


 A few tweaks in your daily routine can bring much change in your dental health. Though consulting your dentist can help in cleaning any plaque buildup or gum diseases, regular cleaning and caring has to come from you.

The toothbrush

Many are confused about what kind of toothbrush to use. I’ve seen people picking out the hardest brushes hoping to clean out their teeth as hard as they can. This is an unfortunate misconception that does much harm than good. The toothbrush should be of medium or soft in nature with a small/medium head size so as to access all corners of your mouth. Try selecting brushes with round ended soft filaments. There are electric toothbrushes available in the market which is proven to remove plaque more effectively through its oscillating (2-way) head movements.

Floss away!

People tend to miss the area between the teeth. It is hard for normal brushes to reach such areas and hence it is advised to use dental floss. Missing out on such areas can fester thick plaque building and cavity formations. There are also interdental brushes that you can use.

The paste

You should use a paste that suits your teeth and gum type. In general, select pastes with fluoride content as it is proven that fluoride content helps reduce tartar formation, improve gum health and prevent dental caries.

It is quite easy to increase your dental health and maintain it so. Here are some quick tips before us part.

  • Brush every morning and night before sleep and if possible once during the day.
  • Floss regularly.
  • Avoid too much sugary drinks and food.
  • Regular dental check up.
Words by Akash Kaimal
Photographs from Various Internet Sources

Healthy Diet helps lose weight

A healthy eating plan combined with a regular physical activity is the ultimate technique for a successful   weight loss process. The healthy meal plan for weight loss is usually low in fat and saturated fat, which raises the amount of cholesterol in your blood, thereby increasing your risk of developing coronary heart disease.

According to the scientists from the universities of Aberdeen and Auckland, weight-reducing diets – usually low in fat and low saturated fat – with or without exercise, may cut premature all-cause mortality in adults who are obese.

The American Heart Association also recommends limiting saturated fats, found in butter, cheese, red meat and other animal-based foods. There are many alternatives to lessen or replace saturated fats in your diet by choosing lower fat or low-fat dairy products, leaner cuts of meat like turkey breast without skin, fish, nuts, etc.

So, if you’re trying to lose weight, try swapping saturated fats for small amounts of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.

Apart from aiding weight loss, a low-fat diet could lower death risk by 18 percent in obese persons. It could also help prevent a number of diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

Aerobic exercise: ‘A maintenance program for the brain’

A new study finds that aerobic exercise slows down decreasing brain health in older age, helping to maintain cognitive function.Brain health decreases with age, with the average brain shrinking by about five per cent per decade after the age of 40.

Researchers from the Western Sydney University in Australia examined the effects of aerobic exercise on a region of the brain called the hippocampus, which is critical for memory and other brain functions.

Aerobic exercise is a type of workout that increases the heartbeat and stimulates it to pump more oxygen through the body, yet it doesn’t immediately produce shortness of breath. Some examples of aerobic exercise include running, cycling, and swimming.

Among the many health benefits that aerobics brings, some notable ones are weight loss, boosting cardiovascular health, reducing anxiety, and regulating moods.

The researchers’ findings were recently published in the journal NeuroImage.


Pistachios, Peanuts Strengthen The Brain

A new study found that daily consumption of nuts and seeds have long been linked to promoting health, boosting memory, slowing ageing, reducing inflammation and promoting cognitive health. Researchers at Loma Linda University in the US have found Nuts and seeds are loaded with essential fatty acids and antioxidants that help boost immunity, rev up metabolism and help in maintaining heart, skin and brain health.

Pistachios were found to be capable of producing the greatest gamma wave response critical for enhancing cognitive processing, information retention, learning, perception and rapid eye movement during sleep.

Peanuts produced the highest delta response associated with healthy immunity, natural healing, and deep sleep. Walnuts were found to have the highest antioxidant concentrations of all. The team had participants consume six varieties of nuts including almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, cashews and peanuts.

Electroencephalograms (EEG) were taken to measure the strength of brainwave signals. EEG wave band activity was then recorded from nine regions of the scalp associated with cerebral cortical function.

For a Radiant Honeymoon

Every bride seeks to look perfectly radiant on her special day. Months of polishing and curating make that flawless maiden as all eyes gaze upon her. But what about after ‘I do’? Somehow, after a patient skin and hair regime for the wedding day, the new missus tends to ignore the dos and don’ts for glowing skin and sleek hair. And there, all that soft charm gives way to break-outs, frizz, and tan. Let’s not have that, shall we?

  1. Let your hair down

After all the styling and pluming for pre-wedding receptions, the wedding, post-shoots and parties, your hair has gone through much heat and product. It’s time to let your hair down, literally. Follow the deep oil conditioning-shampoo-serum regime and let your hair dry naturally or with a cool blow dryer. Take care to de-tangle each night and secure the bunch into a comfortable knot or pony tail. A natural spa is just what your hair needs to remain stylish, yet healthy.

  1. Hydrate

There is no stressing this enough, drink lots and lots of water! It keeps you fresh, healthy, and beaming! A glass of lukewarm water with honey and lime in the morning keeps you hydrated throughout the day. And no, juices (fresh or packed) are no substitutes for the magic that water has on your skin and hair.

  1. Masks and packs

To keep the radiance last longer, follow ups are necessary. Consult your beauty expert and get a face and body spa to lock the moisture. Papaya and honey masks can be whipped quickly at home for an instant moisturiser. Add a gentle walnut scrub, a soothing toner, and voila! That entire glow is back!

  1. Shades and screens

All excited to ride off to your much awaited honeymoon destination? Don’t forget a sunscreen of minimum SPF 50, a pair of shades that match your petite-face, and scarves or hat to protect your precious tresses. Even if you’re going to the hills, and not the beach, experts recommend sun blocks to avoid tanning and skin damage. Precaution is better than cure, huh?

  1. Sleep and supplements

Sleep is the key to good hair and skin and to make sure you have none of those oh-so-ugly dark circles. To look fresh, radiant, and happy you need at least six hours of sleep a day. Consult your dermatologist and take vitamin supplements to balance the lack of vitamin E, group B vitamins, and the likes necessary to keep the radiance unbound.

Enjoy your Honeymoon with No Worries!

From the spectacle and awe of wedding to the quiet bliss and passion of honeymoon! Every couple takes a few days off for themselves in those early days when joy is unbound and pleasure is all they seek. Destinations are plenty, so are tour packages. It’s the perfect way to explore each other and get closer to the person you’re going to spend your life with. The touches, the sparks, and the desire for each other makes honeymoon the most exciting time in any marriage.

But this excess happiness may be damped by health problems, especially urinary tract infections. They are more common than we think and, as they say, prevention is better than cure. Here are a number of mishaps and tips on how to avoid them so that you can enjoy your honeymoon with no worries.

Honeymoon Cystitis

Rightly names the “Honeymoon Disease”, Cystitis usually occurs in females who are engaging in sexual activity for the first time. The symptoms include burning sensation while peeing and frequent urge to go to the bathroom. It is caused by the transmission of E-Coli bacteria into the urethra.


It is a physical or psychological condition that affects a woman’s ability to engage in any form of vaginal penetration.  In men, the inability to successfully engage in sexual intercourse may be due to penile dysfunction.

Honeymoon Rhinitis

It refers to a nasal congestion which occurs during sexual intercourse .In the same context, it is also important to note, that nasal congestion is a reported side effect of Viagra use.

Sexual injuries

Sexual injury occurs in women as vaginal laceration and as penile fracture in men. It is caused by the use of aggressive sexual technique by the males and disproportionate genital size between the partners.

Skin diseases

This happens as a side effect of excess use of cosmetics and other products. Existing infectious genital skin diseases in one partner may be transmitted to his or her partner.

Tips to avoid some issues:

  • Drinking plenty of water will prevent and help cure cystitis.
  • Going to the bathroom as often as you need to will reduce your risk of getting an infection.
  • Peeing right after sex will help to get rid of any bacteria that might have got into the urethra.
  • Try to maintain a healthy immune system. Take supplements if you need to.
  • Avoid drinking too much coffee, soda and fruit juice (e.g. citrus) which can irritate your bladder.
  • Drink cranberry juice on a regular basis, as it appears that it can protect from cystitis by preventing bacteria from sticking to the walls of the bladder. However, cranberry juice can’t actually cure an existing bladder infection once you’ve got one.

Breathe Easy to Live Happy

One among the ‘Ashtanga’ (eight limbs) of Yoga described by Patanjali in Yoga Sutra, meditation aids in controlling our mind and discovering ourselves. It is a way to recharge our soul and to calm our mind, devoid of all unnecessary thoughts. The end is a blissful and balanced life, a state of absolute comfort.  Ardent practice of meditation fulfills the natural tendency of human mind to look for joy that does not diminish and love that is eternal. It is an innate tendency for us, as we have all been in meditative state before our birth. Getting back to that pre-birth state is a primal instinct in this world of hustle and bustle. With meditation, physiology is said to undergo change as well by enriching every cell in our body with ‘prana’ (basic energy of life). A continuous flow of positive energy is thus ensured. Hence, the body, the mind, and the soul benefits from the practice of meditation:

  • improves sleep
  • lowers high blood pressure
  • lowers levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks
  • decreases tension related disorders such as headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle, and joint problems
  • increases serotonin production that improves mood and behavior
  • improves the immune system
  • decreases for postpartum blues
  • delays menopause and brings stability in menopause
  • attains emotional stability
  • sharpens the mind by gaining focus

While these benefits are much desirable, it is a key to practice meditation regularly for continued results. It is especially beneficial to students and highly stressed professionals. Awareness of the self through meditation leads us to better quality living in a world of chaos.

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Sweet-sooth for the Sweet-tooth

A silent killer, diabetes is more often revered than feared. Most people with prolonged high blood sugar levels surrender to the disease and live a life of abstinence. The diabetic deny themselves sweet treats, are restricted access to timeless favourites by kin, or use artificial sugar substitutes in chai. Oh, Nestle and Cadbury have shown us many endearing snippets where the diabetic sweet tooth discreetly gains access to forbidden treats! Doctors recommend exercise and healthy diet to combat the disease. Yet, patients often suffer further complications like silent heart attacks and incapacity to clot bruises.

Happy tidings from researchers in UK to those affected by type 1 diabetes! Researchers at King’s College London and Cardiff University have revealed that injecting patients with tiny protein fragments prevent immune cells from targeting insulin. Type 1 diabetes, in which body does produce insulin but is mistakenly attacked by patient’s immune system, requires regular administration of insulin injections. The trials in UK have shown considerable improvement in patients, with apparently no toxic side effects. The news is indeed joyous for patients, as there no cure yet for type 1 diabetes.

Here’s a Sanjeev Kapoor diabetes friendly recipe to escalate your joy in the festive season!

Oats with Dried Fruits:

  • Porridge oats 85 gram
  • Skimmed milk 600ml
  • Whole almonds slivered 4-5
  • Dried apricots chopped 20 gram
  • Prunes chopped 40 gram
  • Honey (optional)

Put the oats in a pan and roast for 2 minutes.

Add the milk and bring to boil.

Stir in the almonds and cook for 10 minutes, or until the mixture becomes thick.

Add the apricots and prunes, mix well.

Add honey, if desired, and serve hot!


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Yoga: Harmony in mind and body

Hibernation for Yoga

Unlock the dearth of opportunities by practicing Yoga through simple and easy steps from a qualified expert. Don’t put Yoga to hibernation till next International Yoga day. They are easy to learn, and you can do them at home, in your office or while travelling, so there is no excuse to avoid them! I am sure you will enjoy when you start practicing it.

Yoga helps you to know yourself. It brings you to reality. Yoga is one tool that can help us to uplift our mind, body and emotions. Yoga is for holistic wellbeing. It’s meaning ranges from arrangement, charm, care, contact, combination, diligence, discipline, endeavor, trick,union, zeal etc.

Who can do yoga

Anyone can do yoga, anyone who is interested to get connected to oneself. Yoga is not just asana. Yoga is part of a life journey were we apply the principles in appropriate ages. There are 8 limbs of yoga.

  • Yama [moral codes], Niyamas [self purification], in simple words do’s and dont’s, kids up to 10 years of age has to be taught yamaniyamas for them to have a better foundation of life. That is yoga.
  • Asana, pranayama, prathyahara has to be taught to teenagers, because that’s one group who is going through immense stress, due to hormonal influence, peer pressure.
  • During old age we need to meditate, so the latter limbs of yoga- dharana and dhyana are applicable here.

Relevance of Yoga

  • Yoga can combat stress and can get rid of anti-depressants.
  • Helps to lose weight
  • Increases awareness and vitality.
  • Improve relationship with colleagues and helps to perform well at workplace.
  • The scenario of not in speaking terms gets wiped off from the society and family.
  • Tones up the digestive system by the alternate stretching and compression of abdominal organs. It activates digestion and gets rid of constipation and dyspepsia.
  • Strengthens abdominal muscles.
  • Thoroughly ventilates the lungs and oxygenates the blood.
  • Acts as detoxifying agent by getting rid of enormous quantity of carbon dioxide and other toxic gases.
  • Promotes sleep and calms anxiety.
  • Tones up the nervous system & improves memory.
  • They are also easy to learn, and you can do them at home, in your office or while travelling, so there is no excuse to avoid them


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