Often we hear people complaining about how they don’t get enough time to indulge in any kind of physical activity or are too tired to do anything after a hard day’s work. But what most people tend to forget is that regular physical activity can reduce the risk of contracting any serious disease and if gymming is not your cup of tea, then one of the easiest ways to keep fit is to ride a bicycle.
Even though the United Nations declared June 3 as World Bicycle Day last week during the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly in New York, April 19 is also considered as Bicycle Day according to pop culture in honour of the Swiss scientist Albert Hofman. Apparently, on this day in 1943, the father of LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) ingested the chemical compound and then rode home on his bicycle.
While the debates might never end, you can always catch up on the health benefits of cycling.
Obesity and weight control
Cycling can help reduce weight as the muscles get a good amount of exercise and one tends to burn body fat. It also helps raise the metabolic rate, so if you are trying to shed some extra kilos, then cycling is the best option. “Riding a bicycle regularly is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle. It’s a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages”, says Dr Paritosh Baghel, consultant physician at SL Raheja Hospital.
Staves off depression
Cycling is a good way to have a healthy mind and stave off depression. It gives time for introspection and also helps to lift up the mood owing to the rush of adrenaline and endorphins.
A recent study shows that people who use cycling for commutation get exposed to less dangerous fumes than those who travel by car. The Healthy Air Campaign, Kings College London, and Camden Council issued the study and fitted air pollution detectors on a driver, a bus user, a pedestrian and a cyclist and asked them to ply through a busy route through central London. The results showed that the driver experienced five times higher pollution levels than the cyclist, three and a half times more than the walker and two and a half times more than the bus user.
Cut heart disease and cancer risk
It won’t be an exaggeration to say that people who ride a cycle daily have less risk of suffering from heart diseases and cancer. A recent study conducted by the University of Glasgow found that cycling to work can cut a riders risk of developing heart disease or cancer in half.
Provides better sleep
Insomnia is not a rare thing in this day and age. For those people who find it difficult to sleep, cycling can be their remedy. Tiring yourself out on the bike will help you sleep better.
Cycling can improve your immune system by increasing production of essential proteins and stimulating the white blood cells. “Exercise of any form helps boost the immune system, cycling does it the same way. It also helps increase the body’s stamina and gives a boost to the endurance capacity of a person”, said Dr Baghel.
While riding, several thoughts gush into our mind, consciously or unconsciously. Negotiating those thoughts and navigating your way home back from unfamiliar roads is like solving a Sudoku puzzle, but at warp speed. These kinds of experiences help build our brainpower and increase problem-solving capacity.
These Nutritious Breakfasts Can Give A Kick Start To Your Day: Do Try Them!
Breakfast is undoubtedly the most important meal of the day. It is the meal which kick-starts your metabolism and helps you burn calories throughout the day. Not only is it important for people who are trying to lose weight, it is simply important for a person to stay fit and healthy. Breakfast is the one meal which can give you the energy to do things and focus at your work and school. WebMD says that including breakfast in your diet can have positive effects on your memory and concentration.
Following are some breakfast options suggested by Delhi-based nutritionist Pooja Malhotra, which can give a boost your energy and also keep you warm during the chilly winter months.
Try these healthy breakfast options right now!
1. Stuffed rotis
Winter is the time when a variety of vegetables are in season. Stuffed rotis or paranthas made from methi (fenugreek), mooli (radish), gobi (cauliflower), matar (peas) or gajar (carrots) can all make for a delicious and wholesome winter breakfast. You can cook them with ghee (make sure you use it in the right quantity) and eat them with pickle and curd. Stuffed rotis are essentially the traditional Indian breakfast which people have been having for years. Prepare them as your grandmother used to prepare and enjoy them throughout winter.
2. Palak or beetroot roti with mint raita
Palak or spinach is a leafy geen veggie with more health benefits than you can count in your fingers. Similar is the case with beetroot, which is a root vegetable which is incredibly low in calories and is a great source of essential nutrients like fibre, folate and Vitamin C. Beetroot also contains nitrates and pigments which can help in controlling your blood pressure and may improve your overall athletic performance.
3. Egg parantha or scrambled eggs with chapati
Now that is a protein-rich breakfast which can help you keep full for longer. Prepare egg paranthas or eat scrambled eggs with roti for the perfect blend of protein, fat and carbs in your breakfast. Also, do not separate the yolk from egg white. A whole egg will provide you with all essential nutrients.
4. Bajra roti with beetroot raita/bajra khichdi
Bajra is a healthy grain which can be included a weight loss diet as well. You can either make a dough of bajra flour or prepare bajra khichdi as a healthy breakfast option. Bajra or millets has properties that can help in stabilising cholesterol levels in the body. Being rich in fibre, the grain is great for digestion and makes for a healthy breakfast option during winter.
(Pooja Malhotra is a nutritionist based in Delhi)
5 Super Healthy And Warm Drinks To Keep You Hydrated During Winter
Are the teas and coffees failing to keep you warm during the chilly winter? Then need not worry as we are right here with multiple options for warm and comforting drinks during winter. Warm drinking options are important to keep you hydrated during winter. Staying hydrated during summer seems to be way easier as cold and healthy drinks are aplenty. The easiest way to stay hydrated during summer is to simply gulp down a bottle of water. But in winter, the body is usually in need of something which keeps us warm and on-the-go. Keep reading if you want some alternative warm drinks instead of sipping on a third our fourth cup of coffee.
Drinks to keep you warm and hydrated during winter
Well, this is nothing but our very own haldi doodh. It is the traditional drink which is taken when a person is suffering from cold or fever. It is a healing drink which can naturally detox your body and even strengthen your bones.
Ginger, honey, lemon tea:
Yes, this is another traditional drink which can be taken in warm form as well. You can create a tea concoction by adding ginger, honey and lemon to water and bring to a boil. It can make for a refreshing and warming drink during the chilly winter months.
Hot mulled cider:
All you need to do is add cardamom, peppercorns, star anise, ginger, lemon and cloves to apple cider vinegar. Add a tinge of all these ingredients in a cup of ACV and heat it in low flame. The drink is going to make for a flavourful companion to you and your favourite book by the fireplace.
Vegetable/chicken/bone broth or soup:
Soups or broths are filling and extremely warming during the cold winter months. You can either prepare steaming hot vegetable soup or broth or chicken soup or bone breath. Broths and soups are fluids which can help you hydrated during winter while also boosting your immunity and protecting your from catching a cold or infection. Just make sure that their preparation is light and healthy.
Now this is a toasty treat you all have been craving! All you need is some warm milk, cinnamon, vanilla and some almonds. This velvety winter drink is going to be your all time favourite! What’s more is that you can prepare it beforehand and have it when you’re ready for a warm treat for yourself.
Fasting can improve overall health, study suggests
Fasting influences the circadian clock and fasting-driven cellular responses, which together work to achieve fasting-specific temporal gene regulation.
Fasting can lead to improved health and provide protection against ageing-associated diseases, a recent study suggests.
According to the research, fasting affects circadian clocks in the liver and skeletal muscle, causing them to rewire their metabolism, which can ultimately lead to improved health and protection against ageing-associated diseases. The study was published recently in Cell Reports.
The circadian clock operates within the body and its organs as intrinsic time-keeping machinery to preserve homeostasis in response to the changing environment. And, while food is known to influence clocks in peripheral tissues, it was unclear, until now, how the lack of food influences clock function and ultimately affects the body.
“We discovered fasting influences the circadian clock and fasting-driven cellular responses, which together work to achieve fasting-specific temporal gene regulation,” said lead author Paolo Sassone-Corsi.
“Skeletal muscle, for example, appears to be twice as responsive to fasting as the liver,” Paolo asserted.
According to the researchers, fasting is able to essentially reprogram a variety of cellular responses. Therefore, optimal fasting in a timed manner would be strategic to positively affect cellular functions and ultimately benefiting health and protecting against ageing-associated diseases.