It's all about choices

Lifestyle diseases
Last Updated 24 September 2014, 14:43 IST

Lifestyle diseases are triggered by changes in diet and one’s routine.

 Doctors point out that the increase in consumption of junk food, indisciplined sleeping patterns and long working hours aggravate these illnesses among youngsters.  

Dr KN Ramesh, general physician of Fortis Hospitals says, “Earlier, diseases like diabetes,hypertension, heart attack affected those above 60 years of age. Now, it’s very common among those who fall in the age group of 20 to 45 years. This is because of long working hours, late night conference calls, frequent travel and stress of deadlines and working in air-conditioned rooms. It’s also because of deteriorating relationships and adaptation of a western lifestyle.”

He further adds,“Adaptation of a western lifestyle is not good for the Indian setting. Young professionals are highly stressed and they want to see instant success. So, in an effort to achieve that, youngsters set overrated goals which cause hormonal changes, affects metabolism and trigger other bodily changes.” 

“Women are equally stressed these days and I’ve observed increasing cases of smoking among them. This is causing a lot of damage to their body. Lower backaches, giddiness, computer vision syndrome are common diseases detected in young professionals,” says Ramesh.

Another physician, Dr Shanthkumar Muruda, says that regular exercises can prevent the onset of lifestyle diseases. “Youngsters must carry out regular tests for sugar, blood pressure, thyroid,cholesterol levels, calcium and magnesium levels and bone density levels. Men and women get stressed in various ways. We see a decline in level of testosterone in men which can reduce muscle mass and woman undergo drastic hormonal changes such as an early onset of menopause and wrinkling of the skin.”

How do you prevent these changes? “Exercise is one of the best ways. A moderate exercise routine can help maintain strength and flexibility. Exercise increases your metabolism, bone density, helps strengthen muscle mass and provides oxygen to your organs,” adds Shanthkumar. 

Yoga will not only keep your health in check but also helps strike a balance. “Yoga works directly on your glandular system unlike any other exercise. Artistic yoga is powerful, dynamic and immediate. It’s an innovative system of yoga that combines ancient yogic techniques like ‘asanas’, ‘pranayam’, ‘kriyas’ and ‘mudras’ with modern cardiovascular training and partner-stretches into a unique approach that works on the individual at every level,” says Uma Gautam from Bharat Thakur Artistic Yoga.

Keeping a close watch on food in take helps a great deal. “Home-cooked food must be encouraged and one must cut down on the intake of high-calorie food. A balanced diet consists of vegetables, fruits, green vegetables and sprouts. Social eating must be minimal. There is an increase in consumption of meat, dairy products, oily items, and alcoholic beverages and a reduction in consumption of starchy staple foods such as bread, potatoes, rice and maize flour. Individuals must make a healthy choice and strike a balance between food intake and exercises,” says Jyothi Prasad, a fitness expert.

She further adds, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. One must never skip breakfast. Lunch should be of moderate quantity and dinner must be small. Those of you who are overweight should not drastically reduce the intake of food, it’s a gradual process, so go slow on your diet. Both men and women should focus on eating small portions with the right amount of nutrition. This will help to limit weight gain with the advance of age.”

(Published 24 September 2014, 14:43 IST)

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