Happy Dussehra: Fighting your health demons for a healthy life!

This Vijaydashmi, people should find ways to beat key lifestyle evils like stress, depression, insomnia, obesity, smoking, alcohol and drugs.Dussehra is one of the most important Hindu festivals, which marks the triumph of good over evil. During the festival, devotees worship Lord Rama, who ended the rule of Ravana thereby reinstating goodness in the World. Likewise, this Dusshera, each one of us should try and fight the evils within us for a healthy and long life.

A balanced state of mind and a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in preventing lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cardiac ailments and obesity. The life of the 21st century Indian is found plagued with evils such as unhealthy eating habits, a sedentary lifestyle, excessive stress, consumption of tobacco and alcohol. The time has come to reverse this trend and make necessary lifestyle changes. Simple everyday lifestyle modifications can do the trick.

Speaking about these, Padma Shri Awardee Dr A Marthanda Pillai – National President Indian Medical Association and Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal – Honorary Secretary General IMA and President Heart Care Foundation of India said, “This Dusshera, we must take a pledge to eliminate evils like smoking and drinking from our lives. To restrict the consumption of food containing high levels of trans fat, sodium and refined sugar. We must deal with stress through a holistic approach and to do away with anger and negativity from our lives. Most lifestyle diseases are preventable and manageable, only when necessary precautionary measures are taken. We must work towards beating obesity, heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. Only when we do, will the true meaning of a victory of good over evil can be achieved.”

Some healthy alterations that one can make:

• To avoid stress, you should start taking short breaks at regular intervals whenever working at the office or even at home. Eat foods like brown bread for carbohydrates instead of white bread, oranges and lemons for vitamin C and spinach for magnesium. A healthy diet and sufficient sleep help release chemicals like serotonin, which helps to reduce stress

• More often than not, people think that smoking helps in reducing stress, which is nothing more but a myth. Excessive smoking aggravates blood pressure, increases heart rate and reduces the supply of the oxygen to the brain. You should immediately quit smoking for a disease free life

• Alcohol is one of the most dangerous evils prevailing in our society; it is responsible for a plethora of medical ailments. Alcohol can worsen heart problems and cause cirrhosis of the liver. It triggers obesity and depression.

• The majority of lifestyle diseases stem from our irregular and unhealthy eating habits. People who indulge in overeating and consume primarily junk food can develop long-term chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart issues due to increased cholesterol and obesity. A balanced diet is a key; consume healthy meals, which have the required nutritional meals you body needs to function efficiently. Consuming small but frequent meals, which contain a sufficient quantity of fruits and vegetables, is key. One should reduce the intake of high trans fat, sugar and sodium laden food.

• Exercise daily; include a 5-minute brisk walk and a 10-minute stretching in your things to do list whenever you get time. Regularly exercising also helps keep a check on hypertension and obesity.