SPORTS & WELLNESS
 

Daredevils and duds
The World Cup not only proved doomsayers wrong about the 50-over format but also threw up its share of heroes...
Sunil Narula
While his batting has been quite explosive in the past as well, it was Yuvrajís bowling that came as a revelation.This World Cup has, in a way, proved wrong the skeptics, many of whom had felt for some time now that the 50-over format had become redundant with the advent of T20 cricket. The closeness of contests in this World Cup, the sheer unpredictability of matches involving the England team, Indiaís tied game, Irelandís strong showing and the home teamís ultimate triumph at Mumbai have all gone ahead and sealed the deal in favour of 50-over cricket. Also, this World Cup ó like in all such tournaments ó has thrown up some heroes.

While his batting has been quite explosive in the past as well, it was Yuvrajís bowling that came as a revelation. Photos: AFP

Yoga, yeah
Yoga can reduce the incidence of heart disorder, says a study
A
new US study has revealed that yoga can halve the number of episodes of a potentially dangerous irregular heartbeat, known as atrial fibrillation, and improve the symptoms of anxiety and depression often associated with the condition. Previous research has demonstrated the positive impact of yoga on overall heart health, like lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, but this is the first study to examine its benefits, specifically on patients with atrial fibrillation.

 





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Daredevils and duds
The World Cup not only proved doomsayers wrong about the 50-over format but also threw up its share of heroes...
Sunil Narula

This World Cup has, in a way, proved wrong the skeptics, many of whom had felt for some time now that the 50-over format had become redundant with the advent of T20 cricket. The closeness of contests in this World Cup, the sheer unpredictability of matches involving the England team, Indiaís tied game, Irelandís strong showing and the home teamís ultimate triumph at Mumbai have all gone ahead and sealed the deal in favour of 50-over cricket. Also, this World Cup ó like in all such tournaments ó has thrown up some heroes. At the same time, it has also shown us that some big names were unable to handle the heat when the contest reached boiling point.

The heroes first:

YUVRAJ SINGH: Man of the Tournament

At the start of the tournament, if someone had mentioned to this feisty Punjab player that he was going to end up as the biggest star of the World Cup, itís quite conceivable that even he would have had a hearty laugh about it. But as the tournament unfolded, Yuvraj showed myriad facets of his talent, like a much-layered onion. In nine matches, Yuvi scored a century, four half-centuries, took 15 wickets and fielded brilliantly. While his batting has been quite explosive in the past as well, it was Yuvrajís bowling that was a revelation. Even some of the better players of spin bowling found him hard to negotiate.

M. S. DHONI: When a team wins the title after a gap of 28 years, itís only natural that the captain gets most of the accolades. But, in Dhoniís case these plaudits are spot on. He took most of the flak for not playing Ashwin in the earlier games. His own form with the bat was, at best, lukewarm. His bowlers were finding it difficult to defend even big targets. In short, in the league phase, Dhoni was a harried man and his hands were full (literally, with the wicket-keeping gloves on). But he remained calm, took all the criticism in his stride and when it mattered most, played a breathtaking knock in the final.

Kevin Oí Brien: Irelandís beefy all-rounder Kevin OíBrien scored the fastest hundred in World Cups as his team went on to create the biggest upset of this event when they defeated England. Kevin was also impressive with the ball and itís quite a shame that such talented players will be missing from action in the next World Cup in 2015, with the ICC announcing that it will only be a 10-team affair. Ireland seems to be worst hit by this decision, as some of their players showed lot of guts and determination in the tournament.

Lasith Malinga: This sling-arm paceman from Sri Lanka became the first bowler to claim two hattricks in the World Cup when he took six wickets against Kenya in one of the league matches. Malinga had a hattrick in the last World Cup in 2007 as well. In the final against India, Malinga again was threatening when he sent back Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar early, causing anxiety in the Indian camp. He could not finish on a high though, with India winning the match by six wickets in the end.

Ross Taylor: This explosive batsman from New Zealand had already given enough evidence of his power in the IPL, playing for Bangalore Royal Challengers and he gave further proof of his abilities when he tore into the Pakistan bowling attack to score a thrilling 131 in the league phase. Such was the strength of the hitting that the Kiwis piled up more than a hundred runs in the last five overs.

There were some more impressive performances ó from fast bowler Tim Southee (NZ), all-rounder Ryan Doeschate (Holland), spinner Imran Tahir (SA) and Shahid Afridi (Pak). And, almost all players of the Irish team, led by their skipper William Porterfield, showed that they were hardly minnows and deserved their place in the big league.

Some players were expected to shine at this event but came a cropper and how!

Graeme Smith: The South African captain failed to inspire his team either with the bat or his strategy. He could not get the big runs and his team suffered from yet another bout of stage-fright when the knockout stage began.

He himself quit the captaincy and SA will have to wait for another four years to prove to the world that they can really win matches when it matters most.

Shoaib Akhtar: This Rawalpindi Express wanted to go on its final journey with all cylinders firing but that was hardly to be. Ross Taylor bludgeoned Akhtar in that game and captain Afridi was forced to drop him from the side. In the middle of the World Cup, Shoaib announced his intention to retire after the event. He was not even included in the important semi-final match against India at Mohali. All in all, it proved a highly forgettable World Cup for this fast bowler.

Michael Yardy: England teamís left-arm spinner Yardy left the squad mid-way through the tournament and returned home because of depression. Yardy was dropped from the team for a couple of games in the league stages and before the quarterfinal against Sri Lanka in Colombo, came the news that he was unduly depressed and did not want to play in the World Cup any longer.

Michael Clarke: Australian teamís vice-captain Clarke had nothing to show in this World Cup. He was unimpressive with the bat and contributed zilch with the ball. Australia needed him to fire but Clarke disappointed in a big way as the Kangaroos were knocked out of the World Cup by India in the quarters at Ahmedabad. `A0Strangely, the Australian selectors named Clarke captain when Ricky Ponting relinquished his role after the World Cup loss. This Australian team is in real decline and the days of their supremacy are truly over.

There were some others as well who failed to live up to expectations. Englandís Ashes hero James Anderson flopped miserably, Aussie Mike Hussey could not make his last World Cup count and Sreesanthís was a case of misplaced zeal. But when the team wins the World Cup such blemishes go unnoticed. So, Sreesanth might still get another opportunity to redeem himself, but the likes of Shoaib Akhtar and Mike Hussey wonít.


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Yoga, yeah
Yoga can reduce the incidence of heart disorder, says a study

A new US study has revealed that yoga can halve the number of episodes of a potentially dangerous irregular heartbeat, known as atrial fibrillation, and improve the symptoms of anxiety and depression often associated with the condition. Previous research has demonstrated the positive impact of yoga on overall heart health, like lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, but this is the first study to examine its benefits, specifically on patients with atrial fibrillation.

"These findings are important because many of the current conventional treatment strategies for atrial fibrillation include invasive procedures or medications with undesirable side-effects," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy, lead author of the study and an associate professor with the University of Kansas Hospital, as saying.

The study involved 49 patients with the heart rhythm disorder who had no physical limitations and no prior experience with yoga. Their episodes of irregular heartbeat were measured for a six-month period by researchers at the hospital.

During the first three months, patients were allowed to participate in any physical activity they liked. For the remaining three months, they underwent a supervised yoga programme that involved breathing exercises, yoga postures, meditation and relaxation.

Fortyfive-minute yoga sessions with a certified professional were held three times each week, and patients were encouraged to practice daily yoga exercises at home.

Heart monitors measured episodes of irregular heartbeat throughout the trial.

On an average, yoga cut episodes of the irregular heartbeat to half, while also significantly reducing depression and anxiety scores and improving scores in physical functioning, general health, vitality, social functioning and mental health, the researchers found. Considering its low cost and benefits, Lakkireddy said yoga should be considered in overall treatment of atrial fibrillation and other heart rhythm problems. The findings were presented recently at the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology being held in New Orleans. ó ANI

 

 

Overwork oh!

Pause a while to read this news ó travelling an extra mile in office could take a toll on your health, say researchers.

A new study by University College London has found that those who spend more than 11 hours at work, compared with seven or eight hours a day, increase their chance of having a heart attack by two thirds.

For their study, the researchers tracked 7,095 civil servants, aged 39 to 62, over a period of 11 years and established how many hours they worked on an average a day. Over the period, a total of 192 persons had suffered a heart attack. But the study found that those who worked more than 11 hours a day were 67 per cent more likely to have one than those who had a nine-to-five job.

The study concluded that information on working hours could be useful to GPs (general practitioners) alongside other factors like blood pressure, diabetes and smoking when deciding on the mode of treatment. Professor Mika Kivim`E4ki, who led the study, was quoted by the British media as saying, "We have shown that working long days is associated with a remarkable increase in risk of heart disease. "Considering that including a measurement of working hours in a GP (general practitioner) interview is so simple and useful, our research presents a strong case that it should become standard practice.

"This new information should help improve decisions regarding medication for heart disease. It could also be a wake-up call for people who overwork themselves, especially if they already have other risk factors." The findings have been published in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal. ó PTI

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