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Wellness | Health & Wellness

The below post is a compilation from Kiran Mehta of Mumbai Mirror. This is a very good resource and would be a very useful personal guide for health & wellness.
Below are the wellness experts from Mumbai Mirror:

  • Neesha Maria Bukht: Registered dietician and ISSA trainer at Talwalkars, Bandra
  • Dr Shashank Joshi: Endocrinologist at Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre
  • Khursheed Kanga: Psychotherapist and wellness coach at Metro Nirvana
  • Bipin Salvi : Chief personal trainer at Talwalkars, Mahim

Tips for health & wellness:

1. Practice Mindfulness
“Wherever you go, there you are,” is how Jon Kabat-Zinn, Ph.D, founder of the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University Of Massachusetts Medical Center, summed up mindfulness. Mindfulness is paying attention to the present moment and not thinking about what happened in the recent past nor worrying about the future. It might be difficult and require you to screen your thoughts initially, but with time mindfulness will come naturally.

2. Invest time in you
Create a daily ritual where you take 20 to 30 minutes for any activity that you enjoy and find relaxing. Pick up a book, listen to music, have a cup of tea etc.

3. Put yourself first in order to serve others
It's only when our own needs are fully met that we can generously and whole-heartedly give of ourselves. It's not selfish to look after ourselves, it's essential!

4. Cultivate new attitudes
Change is integral to life. In fact, one of the best ways to deal with difficult situations is to change the way we think about it. Living a healthy life often means challenging our old patterns of functioning and thinking.

5. Meditate
Know that meditation means different things to different people. For some practicing mindfulness is meditation for others it involves chanting. Find what method of meditation works for you and go with it.

6. Strike a balance
Strike a balance between physical development and the spiritual aspects. There is a tendency for people who are more spiritually focused to ignore, avoid, or dismiss their bodies. Similarly, many individuals are entirely engrossed in physical growth and pay no attention to the needs of the soul. In both cases, an adjustment is in order. We are whole only to the degree that we embrace both sides of our being.

7. Pain is positive
Physical and emotional pain serves the purpose of signalling us that something is amiss. Take it as a sign that something needs to come to awareness and perhaps needs to change.

8. Cry your heart out
Crying is not a sign of weakness. In fact it is a means cleansing the heart, whether it comes from laughter so intense that it flows into tears; or from sadness that overwhelms us with sobs of grief. Karl Menninger, in his book The Vital Balance writes, "Weeping is perhaps the most universal of all relief measures." Indeed, this process of letting go may well be a natural source for healing that many have denied themselves.

9. Forgiving is liberating
Start by forgiving yourself. For instance, if something you say causes misunderstandings or may be interpreted as hurtful, don’t beat yourself up over it. Apologise or build an affirmation to get past it. Then move on to forgiving others because blaming others for your shortcomings doesn’t let you off the hook, it only makes you feel helpless and hints to self-confidence issues.

10. Eat when dieting
If you’re dieting you need to continually fuel your body. This means a minimum of four but preferably six meals each day. This way you’ll have the energy to exercise and won’t crave any large unhealthy meals.

11. Don’t avoid fat
If you think you can lose weight and keep it off by avoiding all fats, you’re sadly mistaken. Your body (and your brain) needs fat to survive! This is why the scientists call them essential fatty acids – Omegas 3, 6, and 9. So, make sure you put fat back into your dietary plan.

12. The fork is not a shovel
Even if we are not hungry, most of us have a tendency to finish our meals in 10 minutes. The problem is that the brain doesn't know the stomach is full until 20 minutes after it actually is. You could stuff yourself silly before realising you didn't need to consume as much as you did. Try eating half of what's on your plate, wait a couple of minutes, then continue to eat if you're still hungry. In short, eat slowly. If you want a real hunger-stopper, try an Omega 3 supplement twenty minutes before a meal.

13. Satisfy cravings
If you're hungry for something, eat it. Don't deny yourself the simple pleasures. If it's possible, eat only half of what you want. Is your craving satisfied or are you addicted to the flavour? Losing weight shouldn’t be torture for anybody. Give yourself a small treat or two during the week. Any diet that leaves you feeling deprived will ultimately fail. Enjoy a small piece of dark chocolate or one scoop of ice cream during the week.

14. Know your diet pitfalls
To improve your eating habits, you first have to know what's wrong with them. Write down everything you eat for three days. Then check your list. Do you add a lot of butter, creamy sauces or salad dressings? Rather than eliminating these foods, just cut back your portions.

15. Make changes gradually
Just as there are no “superfoods” to a healthy diet, don't expect to revamp your eating habits overnight. Changing too much too fast can intrude into success. Remedy excesses or deficiencies with modest changes that can add up to positive, lifelong eating habits. Like, if you don't like the taste of skimmed milk, try low-fat. Eventually you may find you like skimmed milk too.

16. Be careful with shopping trips
Eat a healthy breakfast, lunch or snack before you go to the mall. If you go hungry, you are much more likely to give in to the temptation of unhealthy foods at the food court.

17. Train wrecks will happen
One of these nights, you're going to go out with friends and overeat. Instead of repeating the overindulgence, just put your self back on track the next day. You're allowed to "mess up" every now and again, so long as you don't make a habit out of consuming an excessive amount of food.

18. Go back to your roots
Eat the food that your ancestors survived on. And since fast food restaurants weren't around back then, this automatically implies you stay away from processed and fatty foods.

19. Eat right on time
One of the leading causes of heart-disease, hypertension and diabetes is the fact that all too often we skip meals and it is this gap between meals that reduces immunity.

20. Juices are no substitute for water
While fruit juices are healthy and need to be part of your diet, they are no substitute for water. When you keep track of your daily consumption of water, don't include any other beverages there.

21. Don’t pop vitamin pills
Unless prescribed by a doc, don’t consume vitamin tabs. While some such as Vitamin B are water-soluble and will be automatically flushed out of your system, such is not the case with Vitamin A and D. Therefore if you self-medicate you run the risk of suffering from toxicity.

22. Don’t overlook the mind-body connection
Only if you are mentally fit will you be able to concentrate on your work-out and thereby get the most out of it.

23. Don’t skip the warm-up stage
All too often people skip their warm-ups due to lack of time. It is dangerous to exercise cold-muscles and increases the risk of muscle injury and joint pain.

24. Taking the steps is not a substitute for a workout
In fact this could lead to knee injury, particularly if you lead a sedentary lifestyle.

25. Get creative with your workout
If a closed gymnasium is not where you'd rather be, then try joining a sport or take up salsa or Bollywood dancing classes instead.

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