Few Ways to Measure Your Fitness Level

You might see it difficult to evaluate your overall fitness level in case you want to know how healthy you are, or if you are planning to start a new workout goal. Fitness level of every person varies in terms of muscular strength, aerobic fitness, flexibility as well as body composition. If you gauge your fitness level merely based on how fast or how much distance you can run, how heavy weights you can lift or if you look attractive in a bathing suit, that won’t be sufficient. You need to assess your fitness level with some tests that will give you complete picture.

  1. Resting Heart Rate (RHR)- Your Resting Heart Rate or pulse tells you how many times the heart beats per minute so that you can decide how hard it needs to work to pump the blood around body. This is a simple indication of the overall fitness level of a person. You can assess your aerobic fitness capacity with the RHR count. In relaxed and resting physical state a lower RHR indicates a strong and healthy cardiovascular system as well as higher aerobic fitness level.
  2. Heart rate after physical exercise or brisk walk– Usually heartbeat goes up when you are doing any sort of physical activity. After 15 minutes of exercise or 1 mile brisk walking this number should go down in case of healthy cardiovascular system.
  3. Push Ups- Push-ups are known to be wonderful exercise for general fitness. It can measure well the strength of upper body along with its muscle endurance levels. Many people find it difficult to perform even one single push up as it involves the shoulder muscles, chest muscles triceps as well as abdominals and some legs. This workout helps to measure your upper body endurance level depending on how many pushups you can perform to complete the test.
  4. Wall Sit– This exercise helps to assess the lower body and leg muscle strength and endurance. It’s like “sitting” in a chair posture with back resting on a wall to see how long you can hold the position.
  5. Flexibility– To assess your body flexibility, just sit on the floor with legs stretched out and try to touch your toes. Just work harder on stretching every day to increase flexibility and fitness.
  6. Balance – To achieve a well balanced health, try standing on one foot for one minute. If you feel you may fall due to lack of balance try practicing yoga or pilates that helps improving your body balance.
  7. Plank– This helps to assess the core strength and stability of an individual. If you can hold the plank for as long as you can, then it indicates your strength and overall fitness level is quite good.
  8. Waist to Hip Ratio – To measure the body fat distribution, this test is essential. If you hold more weight in abdomen area, there are chances that you will suffer issues like cardiac disease and diabetes including lower fitness level. For a healthy woman, the waist to hip ratio should be less than 0.8, and for men less than 0.9 is good.

New level for type 2 diabetes redefined

Diabetes is the fastest growing disease in the world. Recent research figures show that around 30 million people in the US are suffering from diabetes. This is around 9% of the total population in the US and the amount is quite alarming.

Whenever a patient is diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, he or she is advised to go for glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) test with the assumption that this test can keep the type 2 diabetes under control.  The test takes the blood sugar figure of past two or three months and takes the average of it. An average score of 6.5 of HbA1c shows that the person is suffering from type 2 diabetes.

Recent research has shown that HbA1c test has been too much used in the USA, which has lead to overtreatment of the patients. Accordingly, too much of hypoglycemic drugs have been applied to these patients over a long period of time. It has been observed that these drugs have many types of side effects like weight gain, gastrointestinal problems, sometimes very low blood sugar and also a congestive failure of the heart.

Observations by the same researchers have pointed out that if the test is done excessively, the growing problem of waste in healthcare may come up. On the other hand, it may create a huge burden on patients in the healthcare industry, leading to mismanagement of diabetes management in the long run.

In this context, American medical authorities have come out with a new set of guidelines for better treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Applying diabetic drugs to people diagnosed with HbA1c of 6.5 may lead their cardiovascular problems in the long term. Hence they have suggested to considering the range of 7 to 8 of HbA1c for declaring a patient in the diabetic range. This may reduce his risk of cardiovascular activities in the long run.

Medical research has shown that patients having HbA1c in the range 7 to 8 offers the most effective balance between control of diabetes and fighting against the long-term harms which include the cost of medication, ill health, cardiovascular diseases and other ill effects.

People with old age, especially 80 years of age or above, must be treated with caution. If the patient falls in this age range and is suffering from other diseases like cancer or dementia, the harm of use of diabetic drugs for a long-term may outweigh its advantages.

In that case, a lower treatment type is prescribed for patients who are in 6.5 range of HbA1c. Doctors have been suggested to advise the patients go for lifestyle modifications and follow a proper diet to keep the type 2 diabetes under control. Patients are also advised to go for regular exercise and must see that their weight is under control. Association wants the patients to go for natural therapy for the cure of Type 2 diabetes if the blood sugar range is in the 6.5 HbA1c. This will save the health of the patients from ill health that may generate from the drug due to ill health.

Know the basics of natural ethnic skin care

Skin is the body’s largest organ and it acts as a protective barrier. However, it is certainly not impenetrable or impervious. Therefore it is important to be cautious of what we are exposing it to. If we put harmful and toxic ingredients on our skin, they get into our body causing unwanted health issues. When our skin comes in contact with potential irritants like chemical-laden cosmetics, hygiene products, fragrances, deodorant, they cause harm that we cannot see.

Sometimes they cause skin rashes, chronic headaches, even skin cancers, breathing disabilities and so on. In order to avoid such symptoms, it is best to abide by organic skin care practice and putting natural skin care products that help our skin feel and look attractive and healthier than ever before.

Herbal Skin Care: Best for Natural Skin Care

When we say natural skin care, herbal skin care products come first due to its positive impact on all types of skin. Herbs contain several active constituents that offer necessary nutrients to our skin. These multiple compounds together effectively address skin issues more effectively. Since herbs are extremely gentle on the skin they do not cause any type of harmful side effects on the skin.

Natural skin care products are either purchased from the store or home-made using natural ingredients. Both of them work better than conventional personal care products offered by the mainstream cosmetics industry.

Which one to use – Herbals or Modern Drugs for Skin Care?

Modern drugs consist of conventional skin care substances like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, benzoyl peroxide, kojic acid and so on. These substances are manufactured in chemical laboratories and produced in huge volume in factories.

Before it becomes available at the market, those drugs have to be tested a large number of users to ensure that they work. On the contrary, the effectiveness of herbal products is mostly supported by generations of experience collected as fact-based evidence. Thus their value is cherished for years across various cultures.

Unfortunately testing herbal beauty remedies are not conducted as thoroughly and rigorously as the mainstream beauty industry does with modern drugs and skin care products. It is not much cost-effective for conventional cosmetic and skin care product manufacturers to produce herbal and organic skin care products compared to chemical laden beauty products.

Modern personal care and drug markets spend so much money on developing and marketing the product, at the end of the day, it becomes all about earning money and more profit. They do not take much responsibility

So much money has been put into funding the analysis of modern drugs (also contained in many skin care products) that they should be able to produce evidence for the benefits of herbal treatments. In the modern drug and personal care markets, it’s all about the money.

While buying natural, one must also take care of the companies which sell herbal products. Some companies claim that they sell products which are ‘organic’ and at the same time, ‘natural’. In a nutshell, one should use only those products which are natural as only those products are good for the skin.

Alcohol Consuming Causes Harmful Bacteria in the Mouth

A study says heavy drink causes a greater level of harmful bacteria than good bacteria. According to the latest research, consuming alcohol disturbs the natural balance of good and bad bacteria in our mouth that leads to several diseases. In fact, research has shown that the changes in oral microbes can cause several diseases.

In a study published in the Microbiome journal on 23rd April 2018, NYU School of Medicine’s scientists stated that regular alcohol drinkers tend to have a disturbing combination of oral microbes. This can cause several oral problems, gum infection and even more serious diseases like cardiovascular disease or cancer.

According to JiyoungAhn, Ph.D., senior research investigator, the composition of oral microbes gets disrupted in the heavy alcohol drinkers’ bodies. The good bacteria get replaced by several inflammatory bacteria. Heavy-drinking causes several risks and one must avoid heavy-drinking to maintain a healthy oral microbiome, he added. Women having more than one drink per day and men having more than two drinks per day are marked as heavy drinkers in this study.

Good V/S Bad Bacteria:

Human mouth contains more than 700 species of bacteria and some species of fungi. Our several health factors, immunity system, digestion and even cancer prevention to some extent are managed by these micro-organisms.

The heavy drinkers lack good bacteria like Lactobacillales (found in probiotic foods) which helps to prevent sickness. On the other hand, they get higher levels of harmful bacteria like Bacteroidales, Actinomyces, Neisseria etc.

According to Ahn, they found in their prior research that how oral bacteria composition influences oral and upper digestive tract cancers (oral cavity, esophagus and pancreas cancers). Heavy-drinking disrupts the normal bacteria composition that leads to the heart disease, periodontal disease as well as head and neck cancer.

Ahn and her team studied over various mouthwash samples and alcohol-consumption data of 1044 adults, aged between 55-87 years, involved in two ongoing cancer studies. The researchers carried on an extensive study of oral bacteria and compared the microbe composition among 270 persons who are non-drinkers, selected around 160 persons who are over heavy-drinkers, and finally conducted the study among 614 persons who were considered as moderate-drinkers. The current research was, however, unable to mark the differences in oral health among beer, wine, and other liquor drinks.

“Potentially Significant” Finding:

He didn’t give any accurate statement whether better oral hygiene maintenance can help drinkers to maintain a healthier oral bacteria composition or not. Till now the research couldn’t find out if any changes in the microbiome can increase healthy oral bacteria levels in drinkers, similar to the non-drinkers, or not.

According to Ronald Burakoff, a well known name in the field of dental research, the researchers has done an impressive discovery about how changing the oral flora affects your health and immunity, though till now they don’t know how to increase the good bacteria content to develop health.

Researchers recommend drinking very less alcohol, or better not at all as this damages health. Also, he agrees with this study.

Importance of being fit and healthy

The importance of good health should never be underestimated. It helps a person to be physically as well as mentally fit and live their life to the fullest. Unhealthy lifestyles affect the wellbeing of a person in many ways. So it is important to maintain a healthy and good lifestyle. This can be done by indulging in exercising and eating healthy food. These help a person stay fit both physically and mentally.

Being healthy and fit helps one to stay active and also elevated their power of concentration and their confidence.  If a person stays fit and healthy, he or she can set an example for others to follow and help them become fit and healthy too.

The main reasons for which fitness of health deteriorates are:

  • Intake of harmful substances like preserved food, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. These harm the mental and physical health and fitness of a person a lot.
  • Intake of junk food instead of properly balanced nutritional diet, resulting in degradation of one’s health as well as fitness.
  • Daily stress also acts as another factor. Students feel stressed about things related to their school like exams, school work etc and professionals feel stressed because of their work and their life. This leads to an imbalanced mental health.
  • Depression is one of the major causes of deteriorating health. Prolonged stress about something or the other, leads to depression and many health problems.
  • Lack of sleep also results in an unfit lifestyle. Constantly using phones and working all night etc. leads to imbalanced sleeping cycles which affect the health of a person. It is important to sleep at a defined time for each individual
  • Natural phenomena such as pollution also make us unhealthy and unfit.

 

To maintain a healthy and fit lifestyle, a person should eat a nutritional diet, indulge in yoga and exercise, maintain the balance of thoughts and have an optimum level of sleep. All these are the most important factors which contribute towards healthy and fitter lifestyle.

Some points which are crucial for maintaining a healthy and fit life are:

  • Intake of balanced nutritional food – Having a diet which is nutritionally balanced with essential proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals etc. help a person in staying fit and healthy.
  • Drinking lots of water is also important as it helps in releasing the toxins present in one’s body and helps in improving the metabolism
  • Exercising regularly affects both the physical and the mental health of a person. Every individual should dedicate a particular time of the day for exercising.
  • Sleeping for an appropriate amount of time is also important. Every individual should get at least 8 hours of sleep
  • Having a clean and tidy environment is important for us to survive
  • Maintaining proper sanitation and hygiene helps in being healthy and fit
  • Thinking positive and having a positive outlook towards life is the key factor which helps one stay healthy, fit and happy.

We ourselves create conditions which result us in being unhealthy and unfit. By developing good habits and maintaining a good lifestyle can keep ourselves happy, healthy and fit.