It seems that the racial and communal propaganda that stems from our urge to ‘purify’ India doesn’t come as a surprise anymore; given our history of chasing absurd agendas such as ‘ghar wapsi’ and ‘love jihad’. With that being said this incessant desire to ‘purify’ is now targeting the unborn child in an attempt to transform the next generation to suit its racist and supremacist ideology.
The most recent set of bizarre instruction came bundled in the form of a booklet released by Minister of State for AYUSH Shripad Yesso Naik during the National Health Editors’ Conference on Yoga on June 9 in the run-up to the International Yoga Day.
The ministry’s lofty and pious advice, given in a booklet, includes that pregnant women should read life histories of great personalities, stay calm, and avoid anger or lust.
Here’s what other unsubstantiated information the booklet put out
– “Pregnant women should detach themselves from desire, anger, attachment, hatred, and lust,” the booklet published by AYUSH Ministry-funded Central Council for Research in Yoga and Naturopathy says.
– “Hang some good and beautiful pictures in the bedroom, which will have an effect on the (unborn) child also… during pregnancy, women have to do self-study, should have spiritual thoughts, should read the life histories of great personalities and should keep themselves in peace,” it added.
– The booklet has a list of items that it believes pregnant women should steer clear of, including tea, coffee, sugar, white flour products, garam masala, fried and oily items, egg and non-veg.
– “The booklet puts together relevant facts culled out from clinical practice in the fields of yoga and naturopathy. It also contains wisdom accumulated over many centuries of yogic practice,” Naik told PTI.
Medical experts, however, have contradicted what the booklet says.
– Professor Alka Kriplani, Gynaecology Department head at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here, said that unless there is a specific reason, a pregnant woman should continue with all activities she routinely indulges in, including sex, “unless there is a high-risk factor”.
– Regarding consumption of non-veg food, she said fish and chicken are good for health while (red) meat increases cholesterol levels.
– “But there is no such thing that one should avoid meat during pregnancy. It is a good source of protein and those who consume it can continue to do so,” she told IANS.
– “Also, protein intake should be higher during pregnancy. While I’m not saying that those who are vegetarians should start consuming non-vegetarian protein, but those who usually consume it should continue to do so to fulfil their protein intake,” Dr Kriplani added.
What’s even more bizarre was the resurfacing of a decade-old project by RSS’s health wing, called the Garbh Vigyan Sanskar: a project that was undertaken to create the ‘perfect’ baby. A newborn that’s ‘tall’, ‘fair’ and with a higher IQ.
A report in the Indian Express last week that reported that top office bearers associated with the Garbh Vigyan Sanskar, was back in the news trying to bring back to life their decade-old ambitious programme with the agenda for Indian women to deliver what they have termed as ‘uttam santati’- the perfect customised child.
The project was disturbingly inspired by Germany’s attempt to purge the country, which they claim resurrected itself by having signature children through Ayurvedic practices within two decades after World War II”
Here’s what they proposed needs to happen for their plan to succeed:
– Three months of ‘shuddhikaran (purification)’ for the parents followed by intercourse according to planetary configurations.
– Complete abstinence after the baby is conceived and a certain set of procedural and dietary regulations.
– Following proper procedure can give people with dark skin and lesser height babies that are fair and tall.
– Following proper procedure can also give parents that lower IQ and from poor backgrounds an extremely bright child.
– According to Ayurveda, the desired mental and physical qualities of a baby can be achieved in six months of pregnancy if the mother follows specific procedures, including what to eat, listen and read.
– The project claims to have already customised 450 such babies and hopes to have a Garb Vigyan Anusandhan Kendra centres in every state by 2020 and at least a 1,000 such babies.
If everything else fails there’s always the ‘Purtrajeevak Beej’; an Ayurvedic product purported by Baba Ramdev that promises a male child!
Whether you think of yourself as active or not, squeezing in an hour or two a day to workout a day does not make you any less sedentary; especially if you spend the rest of the day parked in front of a desk.
A study published in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure stated that men who sit for five hours or more during the day had a 34% increased chance of heart failure compared to people who were not that sedentary; regardless of the fact that they worked out or not.
What’s worse that sitting for an extended eventually leads to mortality over time.
According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine sitting for more than three hours a day can leads to 4% of all deaths! Now, that’s a scary number for activity that is classified as a ‘low-risk’ activity.
There’s enough evidence to back up this claim as well, with research such as one published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, which shows that sedentary behaviour for a prolonged period of time can not only lead to early death but also a host of diseases; including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and cancer in adults.
Knowing what you now know you can assess if you have a ‘siting disease’; a sedentary lifestyle that brings with it a host of health issues. But, we understand that for most of us sitting for prolonged periods during the day may be unavoidable.
Here’s what you can do if you can’t help the fact that you’re desk-bound:
Perform activities that come under the classification of NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis)
This includes activities like stretching, turning and bending for at least 5-10 minutes every hour. Any activity, except sleeping and exercise, where energy is expended can be categorised as NEAT. You can even stretch out your entire body on your chair a few times a day and notice a difference.
The more water you drink, the less hungry you feel
The same part of your brain is responsible for hunger and thirst cravings, which results in mixed signals, according to Livestrong. Drinking enough water to stave off dehydration is likely to curb those sugar cravings as well.
Using a standing desk to keep the weight off even if you eat 1,000 calories extra in a day!
James Levine, the leading standing desk researcher for the Mayo Clinic, conducted a study on a group of office workers who were asked to add 1,000 calories in day to their diet. The workers who sat 2.5 hours lesser than their peers and spent some time walking or stretching did not gain weight. Standing at your workstation can burn 50 more calories per hour than sitting anyway.
Standing desks can improve your overall posture and core strength
Make sure your computer screen in is 15 to 30 minutes away from your eyes, with the screen at or slightly below your eye level. Make sure your wrists and elbows are at a 90-degree angle. The same rules apply while you’re sitting in on your desk as well. But when transitioning to a standing desk, start with 20 minutes at a time to allow your body to get used the strain being put on your muscles and skeletal system.
Perform seated belly vacuums to burn belly fat and improve your posture
The simple manoeuvre of drawing your belly button in and upward towards your spine can help strengthen your core and better your posture considerably. Sit up straight inhale deeply and exhale while drawing your belly button all the way in and squeeze and hold that position. Perform at least 20-second hold or more to begin and work towards a minute. Aim to perform 10 vacuums in a row.
Move at least 3-5 minutes every hour to add amp up your cardio
Although this fact that been overstated, its needs reinstating. 3-5 minutes of movement every hour can add up to 25 to 40 minutes of movement every day! This can count towards your daily cardio goals; especially if you pick the pace/intensity.
Walk as you talk to burn up to 500 calories or more in a day
Whether it’s receiving or making calls; if you walk as you speak on the phone you’ll be well on your way to burning 500 calories and achieving the milestone of 10,000 steps in a day! Remember, you can burn up to one calorie every 20 steps you take.
Use equipment that can be utilised at the comfort of your seat
Equipment like dumbbells, resistance bands and hand grippers can be used from where you are seated. There a countless number of ways you can use them for a few reps here and there. In fact, there are a number of ways you can even use the office chair as a piece of exercise equipment, such as the ones shown in the video above.
Sit on an exercise ball occasionally to relieve yourself of persistent back pain
It’s a known fact that sitting on a stability ball can improve your core stability and balance. But stronger ab muscles can also help relieve you of lower back pain and improve your posture. A study in the Journal of Canadian Chiropractic Association revealed that people who suffered from lower back pain experienced relief when they began sitting regularly on a stability ball. Avoid sitting on it for too long to negate discomfort.
Fidget all you want on your workstation, as it beats not moving at all!
Sometimes you just can’t get away from your workstation or do too much on your chair, given the environment that you might be in. Research conducted by The University of Missouri suggests that fidgeting while being seated can help prevent vascular diseases by preventing arterial dysfunction. So tapping your feet or hands, extending your limbs and performing any can of movement can be beneficial to your health. So go crazy!
Breathe to let go anxiety or restlessness, burn some extra calories and refocus
Breathing has more benefits than you can imagine; including increasing your energy levels, boosting your brainpower, elevating your mood, burning calories by increasing your oxygen intake and helping you refocus. Take in 20-50 deep breaths while drawing your thoughts to something that make you happy. Breathe through your nose and mouth to make sure you get in as much oxygen as you can.
IKEA who has been on a mission to simplify everything to make it understandable enough to do it yourself, has now ventured into the food space as well. IKEA Canada in its latest endeavour has taken out a poster series, Cook This Page, with recipes printed on a single piece of parchment paper with stepwise instructions.
The illustrations of each ingredient are drawn on different spots of the paper with exact measurements. Once the ingredients are placed directly onto the designated spots the paper can be rolled up and placed directly in an oven to cook.
Cook This Page is yet to hit IKEA stores but these recipe teasers are appetising enough to have you smacking your lips and looking forward to getting one for yourself.
Ravioli with Swedish meatballs recipe
Place each of the ingredients listed on the paper into its designated spots
Roll up the paper with all the ingredients in it
Place the paper inside the oven
The same procedure needs to be followed with the ‘salmon with lemon and herbs’ recipe
The same procedure needs to be followed with the ‘cocktail party shrimps’ recipe
Here’s a little demo of what cooking on the page looks and feels like
FYI, this video can kill your appetite! Most of us have seen a stinky greenish colony of bacteria and fungi on our food when left outside for days. Together called saprophytes, these microbes are the main decomposers of all dead organic matter. They are airborne or may be transferred to food by contact.
Some foods have a smooth, dry skin that is an ordinary barrier to bacteria and fungi and unspoilt fruit may not decompose visible for several days, even at room temperature. But if the skin is wrecked by bruising or cutting, microbes have an entrance into the moist interior of the fruit. Decomposition then occurs fast. TEMPONAUT Timelapse has shaped a sequence of videos that explore these procedures. They have spent days (for example, 19 for strawberries) and months (2 for pineapple) recording these time lapses. It is advisable to consume fruits as soon as you get them, and after seeing this you will know why.
Mc Donald’s burger feels incomplete without French fries, doesn’t it? With a very heavy heart, we have to tell you that munching on those golden sticks which have the ability to give you immense happiness can actually accelerate your demise!
An eight-year study on the regular consumption of french fry, has come out with this devastating result, that too much of the fried potato snack can lead to your speedy death, reports Sputnik.
Acrylamide forms in starchy foods fried at high temperatures and are termed a carcinogen by US government health agencies. The dangerous chemical compound has been shown to cause tumours in adrenal glands, the thyroid and the lungs.
Making the ominous observation that the risk of death from eating too many french fries is double than those who do not consume the delicious yet greasy food, the new study has called on potato lovers to prepare their favourite tuber another way, perhaps by steaming or boiling.
Those who regularly eat the delicious treat twice or more in a week, in comparison to those who do not eat french fries at all, have twice the chance of suffering death by heart attack due to a circulatory system overloaded with cholesterol and other toxins, says the Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
The study included 4,440 participants between the ages of 45 and 79, who were examined over a period of eight years; 236 of those participants died. The research indicated that those who died were the ones who ate the most fried potatoes, and not just french fries either, as any form of potato seared in boiling hot oil – including hash browns and tater tots – was found to be the main reason for early death.
“The frequent consumption of fried potatoes appears to be associated with an increased mortality risk. Additional studies in larger sample sizes should be performed to confirm if overall potato consumption is associated with higher mortality risk,” the study said.
Another frightening fact about French fries revealed from the study is that the frying process itself forms a new and deadly chemical within your meal, according to the research.
Although both running and swimming are great ways to burn calories, like most exercises they have their own pros and cons. What you need to ask yourself first, however, is what your priorities are? One of these is bound to suit your needs just that little bit better.
Here are some of the key differences that may make all the difference when it comes to picking an activity:
First, the commonalities between the two that you may want to consider
They are both great for losing weight, improving your cardiovascular health and helping in disease prevention in the long run.
How do they individually impact your body?
While running comes naturally to most, it puts more emphasis on the muscles of the lower body and the core muscles. You can add weights to your legs or your arms to target certain muscle groups while running.
Swimming, on the other hand, works on the lower body and the core, as well as the muscles of the upper body; including your arms that you use to pull yourself through the water.
Which activity gives you a better caloric burn?
Swimming has an edge over running; due to the caloric burn, it gives you while using your entire body to wade through the water. Swimming for 30 minutes using the butterfly stroke, for instance, will burn 409 calories if you weigh approximately 70 kilograms.
Running in comparison for 30 minutes at 9 kmph can burn up to 372 calories. Upping the ante up to around 12 kmph can burn up to 465 calories.
Both activities can give you an increase in caloric burn as long as you perform them with intensity.
Other benefits of running:
– Strengthens your musculoskeletal system
– Strengthens joints such as the knee in the lower body
– Boosts your immune system
– Builds core strength
– Builds mental strength and endurance
– Improves balance
– Builds bone density and helps battle conditions like osteoporosis
Other benefits of swimming:
– Loosens up joints and helps enhance your mobility
– Builds muscle and endurance across all the muscles in your body
– Enhances coordination and balance
– Tones and sculpts your entire body
– It’s the ideal low-impact activity for people with arthritis
– Water has a natural rejuvenating effect
So what’s better, running or swimming?
Swimming is the ideal full-body workout as it works your entire body and is easier on your joints; this works well especially if you have joint or other chronic disorders. It does, however, take a certain amount of skill to learn how to swim and you do require a pool that is convenient enough for you do so regularly.
Running, on the other hand, can be performed anywhere and as mentioned before it works heavily on your lower body and core muscles. It doesn’t require a huge amount to skill to perform but is not the ideal exercise for people with achy joints or chronic musculoskeletal diseases.
Either way both running and swimming are some of the best cardiovascular exercises out there, so pick whatever fits your bill.
We all need a silent moment alone occasionally, but it is difficult to find an empty space at times. But this new invention, the Pause Pod is here to help us all to enjoy our “me” time.
The Pause Pod is a foldable, portable tent that you can carry with you anywhere. You can sit down in the pod, or spread your legs out through an extension on one side and can even take a full-on nap. Thank us later!
For an exercise as simple to perform as the plank, it has too many benefits to not be doing. All you need is your own bodyweight and enough space to get down on all your fours at full stretch for an ideal plank workout.
Read more: From Running In A Saree To Doing Planks On Mother’s Day, Milind Soman’s Mom Is An Inspiration!
Here are some of the key benefits of performing planks:
Strengthens core muscles
Planks hit all the major muscle groups of your core, including transverse, straight, and oblique abdominal muscles and the buttocks (glutes). Not will it help you shed fat from your waistline but also help you functionally perform better while performing other activities.
Read more: Abdominal Exercises: All You Need To Know About The Plank
Reduces your risk of back and spine injuries
Planks help build strength without straining your spine. In fact, according to the American Council on Exercise performing planks regularly reduces back by strengthening the muscles around it, which provide more support for your back.
Enhances your metabolism
As a rather simple movement planks are a great way exercise for people who lead a sedentary lifestyle. Performing them for a few minutes a day can boost your metabolism through the day and even during the night.
Improves your posture
Since planks work on all the muscles of your core it helps your ability to stand straight and maintain better posture because the muscles of your core are vital for your overall posture.
Unlike what some people believe, standing on one leg or even having better balance while walking/standing/running requires better core strength and stability that planking can provide.
Flexibility is not just the by-product of stretching but also can be achieved by performing exercises such as planks. Planks help expand and stretch all the posterior muscles of your back as well as your legs.
Improves your mood
Although most exercises are capable of boosting your mood, the strengthening and stretching effect of planks help release muscles that have become stiff from prolonged sitting. The release of tension relaxes and helps de-stress.
Here’s how to perform a plank according to the American Council on Exercise:
• “Hold your elbows directly under your shoulders and place your wrists in line with your elbows.
• Push your body up into your upper back and hold your chin close to your neck (like you’re holding an egg between your chin and your throat).
• In this position, brace your abdominals—contract them like expecting a punch in your stomach, squeeze your gluteal (tailbone) and thigh muscles simultaneously while continuing to breathe normally.
• Hold a plank at least 20 to 30 seconds. (When using correct form, it is not necessary to hold it for longer than this amount of time.) Rest for approximately one minute and repeat three to five more times.
• Start doing the plank using your elbows and toes (feel free to drop to your knees if necessary) and progress up to a high plank when you feel you have developed the necessary strength.”
We all know that there is no such thing as “Perfect”, it is just a word! Even our so-called modern society is so not perfect and has its own flaws, even if we know the flaws we are either too lazy to fix them or we don’t want to fix and wait for others to do it.
Al Margen, an illustrator from Buenos Aires, Argentina, has created some thought provoking illustrations that pinpoint the flaws of our modern times. His illustrations are larger than words, just take a look at some of his sardonic works below and get inspired:
As a moody species experiencing periods of sadness has been part of our being since time immemorial. Dysphoria, as they used to call it back in the day was a part of everyday life, which was associated with short spells of sadness or mood swings were credited were some of the greatest achievements.
Ancient philosophers such as Epicurus and Artists such as Shakespeare created their theories, ideologies and writings, based on tragedy and misfortunes. Our culture does not value the power of sadness, unfortunately, and treats sadness or depression as a disorder. The self-help industry that thrives on literature promoting ‘positive thinking’ and ‘positive attitude’ on the pretext of labelling sadness as a ‘problematic emotion’; one that needs to overcome or eliminated.
Despite all the manipulative marketing that has come about in the last few decades against sadness it still remains an integral part of our existence. Evolution has sowed the seed of sadness deep into our existence because just like any other emotion it is here to serve a purpose.
Here’s what psychologist and brain scientists reveal about the purpose or role of sadness in our life:
Sadness makes us more focused and attentive in difficult situations
Studies such as one published in Sage Journal reveal that mildly bad moods work as an automatic subconscious alarm that triggers off a specific style of thinking that is more detailed in nature. This kind of thinking helps us become more attentive and focused; while taking us out of our comfort zone in order to adapt and survive in challenging situations in our daily lives.
Sadness helps better our memory
A study conducted in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology about the effect bad mood caused by bad weather helped them better remember details the shop they were just in is proof of the effects on sadness on our memory. Sadness can also help us decipher from falling for false or misleading information that can be distracting.
Sadness can help us make more accurate judgements
A bad mood can also reduce biases and distortions that lead us to form opinions on people. For instance, a study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology revealed how mildly sad judges were able to form more accurate judgements because of the fact that they processed information more efficiently and effectively. It also helps reduce gullibility and see through the deception.
Sadness can improve interaction with others
Since a bad mood enhanced thinking and attentiveness it has also shown to help improve communication. People who were mildly sad were able to understand, assimilate and communicate better while talking with people. They also showed more ability to hold persuasive arguments with people.
Sadness can better your social decision-making abilities
A mildly bad mood can help in paying more attention to societal norms and treat people more fairly, according to the journal Social Cognition. Unlike a positive mood, a negative mood increased the rejection of unfair offers and increasing concerns regarding fairness.
Sadness can add an extra dose of motivation
Sadness, unlike happiness, pushes us to put in more effort and motivation to work harder, introspect more deeply, persevere with the task at hand. This helps produce better results and more accurate evaluation of the situation. People in a negative mood were more motivated to push themselves towards action, compared to someone in a happy state of mind, to change their state-of-mind.
Sadness helps us taps into our creative essence
Since sadness increases our empathy, compassion, sensibility, morality and connectedness it has long been touted as a trigger for artistic creativity. It was Aristotle who stated in the 4th-century B.C.E, “that all men who have attained excellence in philosophy, in poetry, in art and in politics, even Socrates and Plato, had a melancholic habitus; indeed some suffered even from melancholic disease.”
Don’t confuse sadness for depression, though
While mild temporary states of sadness are beneficial as mentioned above depression, especially prolonged depression can be debilitating and requires help. The idea is not to sideline sadness, but to embrace it like all other emotions; it’s there for a good reason.