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Fitness - Health News

 Jul 15 2014 : The Times of India (Chennai)

Want to prevent Alzheimer’s? Exercise
Altering lifestyle habits and exercise can help prevent Alzheimer’s in millions of people across the world. Lack of physical activity has been found to be the biggest risk factor causing Alzheimer’s globally. Researchers say that even one hour’s exercise a week can reduce the chance of the disease by almost half.

A study which ranks the seven lifestyle threats fuelling rising levels of dementia has found that physical inactivity increases the risk of Alzheimer’s by 82% followed by depression (65%), hypertension (61%), obesity (60%), smoking (59%), low educational attainment (59%) and diabetes

(46%). The study authors from Cambridge University and King’s College London say that a third of those destined to get Alzheimer’s could avoid the disease by modifying these known risk factors. Current estimates suggest that by 2050, more than 106 million people will be living with Alzheimer’s disease, a huge increase on the 30 million people affected by the disease in 2010.

Carol Brayne from the Cambridge Institute of Public Health estimates that by reducing the relative risk from each of these risk factors by 10%, it will be possible to reduce the prevalence of Alzheimer’s in 2050 by 8.5%, preventing 9 million cases.

Deborah Barnes from the University of California said, “It’s important that we have as accurate an estimate of the projected prevalence of Alzheimer’s as possible, as well as accurate estimates of the potential impact of

lifestyle changes at a societal level. Alzheimer’s is placing an ever increasing burden on health services worldwide as well as on both patients and their carers. Our hope is that these estimates will help public health professionals and health policy makers design effective strategies to prevent and manage this disease.” The study published in the Lancet Neurology identifies exercise as the most significant protection against the condition.

Those who did not achieve three 20-minute bursts of vigorous exercise per week such as jogging or football or five 30-minute sessions of moderate activity such as walking were 82% more likely to go on to develop dementia.




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Jul 22 2014 : The Times of India (Chennai)
With 5.5L deaths/yr, TB is a bigger killer than AIDS, malaria
Fewer Indians might be dying from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, but it is still estimated that almost 5.5 lakh non-HIV positive people died of TB last year, making it the biggest killer among the three.

Malaria is estimated to have killed about 1.2 lakh people out of over 6 crore cases recorded last year.
Though India's fight against HIV/AIDS is said to have made the greater progress, the disease still killed 78,600 Indians of which 50,000 were males. Over 31,000 new cases were recorded.

This was revealed in a study published in the journal Lancet. The study, led by the Institute for Health Metric Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington and the research consortium, included 20 experts in India.

The researchers found that the expansion of interventions to prevent motherto-child transmission of HIV, anti-retroviral therapy programme and the promotion of condom use have helped to keep HIV/AIDS under check. Globally, there were 30 million people living with HIV/AIDS, with 1.8 million new cases and 1.3 million deaths.

India is far behind the rest of the globe when it came to reducing prevalence of TB. Around the world, prevalence of TB in people without HIV/AIDS infection in 2013 was 160.2 for every lakh people but in India it was 275.3. Globally, there were 7.1 million new TB cases in people without HIV/AIDS and 1.3 million deaths. South Asia, dominated by the population of India, accounted for half the global TB deaths.

In the case of malaria, India has managed to halve the number of deaths per lakh between 1990 and 2013 to 11, which is still among the highest in the world. In comparison, among India's neighbours, the malaria mortality rates are between one to two deaths per lakh. India, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo accounted for half the malaria deaths in 2013. Worldwide, there were 164.9 million malaria cases and 854,568 deaths due to it in 2013.




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Jul 28 2014 : The Times of India (Chennai)

With yoga centres enrolling kids between the ages of two and 12, here's your guide to getting your child to practise exercises for overall development

Though the tradition of yoga day goes back 5,000 years ago, it is getting younger by the. With several yoga classes that enroll children as young as two years old, tots are all about doing pranayams and surya namaskars.
Says fitness expert Althea Shah, “Many schools are now teaching yoga to young children. They offer many choices for after-school, including weekend yoga classes for kids and their families.“

While yoga is known to benefit the elderly, it is a positive practice for children too. From improving their concentration to helping increase their height, yoga has several benefits for kids. Says creative dance movement therapist Hashmin Currimbhoy , “Kids need a way to manage anxiety . Yoga is a great way to teach them how to be calm, while gaining an awareness of their bodies, self-control and dis cipline. As children encounter emotional, social, and physical challenges or conflicts, a dedicated yoga practice that includes breathing techniques, behavioural guidelines, and physical postures can be valuable for them.“


With new-age gadgets, television and smartphones vying for your child's attention, it is quite likely that he/she will shy away from exercise, especially yoga. However, there are ways with which you can make yoga routine more interesting for your child. “Ask your child to make sounds for every movement. For example, airplane noise in the airplane pose, cow and cat sounds in the respective poses, etc,“ says Shah.


While a teenager may have higher threshold for stretching the muscles, younger children's bones are still in developmental stages. As a result, it is important to supervise the moves of kids below 10 years of age. Currimbhoy elaborates on it, saying, “Leave out poses with a higher risk of injury (for example, headstand and shoulder stand). Breathholding can also unintentionally turn into a competition of who can hold the breath the longest.“

Here's looking at some yoga exercises for kids between the ages of five to 12 years.


Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

Benefits: Helps your kid stay calm and relaxed. You can ask your child to meditate for a few minutes after games.

Sit straight with legs crossed.

Relax your hands on your knees. Close your eyes and concentrate on breathing.
Monkey Movement Benefits: Works to increase balance and strengthen legs and arms.

Stand straight and then jump with your legs out wide.

Bend your knees and inhale.

Exhale and straighten your legs, swinging your arms to one side.

Lower knees again and rise up as you swing your arms to the opposite side.

Repeat several times.


Instills confidence.

Improves powers of concentra tion.

Develops brain and intellect.

Good for strengthening of mus cles, joints and increasing height.

Promotes balance, flexibility, coordination and strength.

Helps cope with anxiety.

Helps develop creativity and imagination.


“If you are sending your child to a yoga class, select a trained profes sional who is also great with kids,“ says Currimbhoy. On the other hand, if you are doing yoga with your child at home, perform the move before your kid attempts it, so he/she gets the exact idea.

Though children are more flexible, their joints are not as strong as yours. So, start with easy poses and teach your child to go slow.

“Teach your child to breathe prop erly to get maximum benefits from the yoga routine. Avoid talking dur ing the session,“ says Shah.

Opt for yoga routine outdoors too.


Benefits: Stretches upper and lower body With your hands and knees touching the floor, look straight ahead with your back off the ground.

Straighten your knees and lift hips.

Exhale and bring your knees back to the floor.

TREE POSE (Vriksasana)

Benefits: Helps build alertness, concentration and development of the brain. Strengthens thighs, calves and ankles. Stand straight with your knees touching each other.

Extend arms out to either side.

Lift your right foot, turn your knee out and place the heel on the other leg, at a place where your child is comfortable.

Stretch out your hands wide on either side. You can also raise them above the head and look up to your hands.

Return hands to your chest and relax.

COBRA POSE (Bhujangasana)

Benefits: Helps stretch the kid's back and aids digestion.

Lie on your stomach with legs stretched straight and palms resting on the yoga mat.

Slowly, lift your chest off the ground and stretch your upper body.

Raise your head towards the ceiling.

CHILD'S POSE (Balasana)

Benefits: Stretches hips, thighs and ankles.

Kneel on the floor, with your legs touching each other.

Sit on the heels and bring your head down.

Try as much as possible to rest it on the floor in front of you.

Place your hands on your knees or your head, wherever comfortable.

Relax and hold the pose. TABLE POSE

Benefits: Works to strengthen bones and to increase co-ordination and balance.

Get down on your hands and knees. Keep knees and feet hip width apart and palms on the floor.

Keep your back flat like a table. You could either look straight ahead or look down. Hold for 30 seconds.

CAT COW POSE (Marjaryasana Bitilasana)

Benefits: Works to stretch the torso and neck.

With your knees and hands on the floor, inhale and look up towards the ceiling.

Let the belly sink in and fall downward towards the floor in a cow pose. Round the back towards the ceiling and look between your hands, towards the belly in a cat pose. Repeat.










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