SPORTS & WELLNESS
 

In Adam Gilchrist, Kings XI Punjab have a captain who already knows what it takes to win the league Kings need crowning glory
The new-look Kings XI Punjab outfit has to deliver better than the previous edition to get back into the IPL big league
Vaibhav Sharma

In the previous three years of the Indian Premier League, the Kings XI Punjab have seen it all. Among the top teams in the first edition, the team fell out of the big league in the subsequent two seasons. Then, before the fourth edition, the entire squad was dismantled. New faces came in, a new coach and training staff was brought in, and finally the team has taken shape. In Adam Gilchrist they have a captain who already knows what it takes to win the league.


In Adam Gilchrist, Kings XI Punjab have a captain who already knows what it takes to win the league Photos: Vicky Gharu

Fitness mantra
FAST TRACK

Nancy Sahni

Yes, this has been the season of fasting, from the Navratra fasts to the fasting by Anna Hazare.
What is fasting? And what are its varied types? While Hazareís fast meant subsisting just on water, the festive fasting allowed consuming fried pakodas and puris?? Letís discuss some interesting facts about fasting and its kinds. Willingly not consuming some or all food, drink or both, for a period of time is called fasting. Medical terminology of fasting may refer to the status of a person who has not eaten overnight, or the state achieved after complete digestion and absorption of a meal. We are aware that keeping a fast or vrat is an integral part of Indian culture.

 





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Kings need crowning glory
The new-look Kings XI Punjab outfit has to deliver better than the previous edition to get back into the IPL big league
Vaibhav Sharma

In the previous three years of the Indian Premier League, the Kings XI Punjab have seen it all. Among the top teams in the first edition, the team fell out of the big league in the subsequent two seasons. Then, before the fourth edition, the entire squad was dismantled. New faces came in, a new coach and training staff was brought in, and finally the team has taken shape. In Adam Gilchrist they have a captain who already knows what it takes to win the league. In Michael Bevan, they have a coach who, during his playing days, was considered to be a specialist of the shorter version of the sport. More importantly, it seems, the Australian duo will not be wasting any time trying to understand each otherís tantrums or stuff. They have played together and will ideally be well suited to ensure that the team stays focussed.

But does this mean that things are all set to turn for the better for Kings XI? That, it seems is a different matter altogether. The most glaring thing, as has been pointed out by all and sundry, is that the team lacks big names. There is no iconic player, after they failed to retain Yuvraj Singh. Surprisingly, there arenít many players from the Punjab Ranji setup in the team as well.

But what is Punjabís loss, has been other neighbouring statesí gain. The franchise has picked players from Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and during the trials earlier, had called in players from Jammu and Kashmir as well.

The absence of star players does not mean that they do not have performers in the side. In international players like Shaun Marsh, David Hussey and Ryan Harris they have what are being termed as T20 specialists. Even in domestic players, they might not exactly be buzzing with the brightest of players, but the likes of Abhishek Nayar, Dinesh Karthik and Praveen Kumar have the experience to calm a few nerves down.

There is definitely room for a lot of improvement in the performance of the Kings XI, and considering the fact that they had hit rock bottom last year, the team will know that the only way to go from here is up. But how exactly can the Kings XI do what they have been consistently failing to do in the past two seasons?

For starters, the World Cup delayed all IPL preparations. There was no time for players to get used to each other and any camp that goes on for only two-three days before a tournament, which stretches over more than 50 days, just doesnít make sense. The franchisees could not have helped it, and the fact that all of them have a new-looking squad didnít particularly help matters.

Still, Kings XI had a preparatory camp in Dharamsala, where a lot of the domestic players went through the paces and must have had ample time to try and get to know each other. The coaching staff, too, must have had ample chance to gauge their players and work out a possible pecking order for when the big boys were to come in.

All in all, it seems that the real challenge for the Kings XI will not be just winning matches, but also convincing their fans that they have what it takes to fight for the league. Last yearís performances, and the subsequent controversies that they were surrounded in meant that the teamís image took a major hit in the public eye. Another sloppy performance this time around might just take away the faith the fans have in them. Momentum is often the key to winning matches, and in this case, a positive momentum will be required to win over the fan base as well. They may not have started the league on the best possible note, but belief is something they cannot fall short of. The team has to fight till the end, and believe that they can turn around its fortunes.


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Fitness mantra
FAST TRACK
Nancy Sahni

Yes, this has been the season of fasting, from the Navratra fasts to the fasting by Anna Hazare.

What is fasting? And what are its varied types? While Hazareís fast meant subsisting just on water, the festive fasting allowed consuming fried pakodas and puris?? Letís discuss some interesting facts about fasting and its kinds. Willingly not consuming some or all food, drink or both, for a period of time is called fasting. Medical terminology of fasting may refer to the status of a person who has not eaten overnight, or the state achieved after complete digestion and absorption of a meal. We are aware that keeping a fast or vrat is an integral part of Indian culture.

What happens during fasting

During the first 12 to 15 hours of absolute or water fasting, the liver is going to predominately supply glucose to the body through a process called glycogenolysis. Once these stores have been depleted, proteins in the body will be utilised to produce energy for the body, which will increase the production of protein waste products in the urine. While this is going on, breakdown of fat tissue will begin. By this point, your body will now be mostly running on a substance called ketones (produced by fat tissue breakdown), for fuel and glucose use will be very limited. Muscle protein will also be spared, as your body will pretty much solely be running on fats for fuel. If fasting continues beyond a month, then fat stores are likely to be exhausted and the body will need to resort to protein for fuel. Since all that is left now is the rest of your lean muscle and organ tissues, it will most likely result in death.

The right way to do it

The duration and type of the fast (absolute, partial or intermittent), however, is what will determine the type of weight which is lost and how detrimental it is to your health. It is not advisable to go on long-duration fasting because a person will only lose a lot of muscle mass, and as soon as normal eating begins, the body will add back most of the weight and the worst is that it will be fat mass rather than the initial muscle mass, which was lost during fasting.

Remaining hungry for too long can also lower blood glucose levels and reduce the body's supply of nutrients to vital organs and areas in the body.

Too much fasting can lead to the depletion of important nutrients in the body, thereby causing many deficiency diseases and also affecting the immune system that is the bodyís capacity to fight against diseases.

Excessive fasting for calorie restrictive purposes, accompanied by intense fears of becoming overweight, are associated with mental disturbances, including anorexia nervosa. A person may feel weak and fatigued, suffer from acidity and headaches. Changes in blood chemistry during fasting, in combination with certain medication, may have dangerous effects.

Medical complications associated with fast-induced starvation include electrolyte imbalances, thinning hair, disturbed cardiac rhythm and kidney failure.

So, the right way would be to go in for short intermittent fasting periods like once or twice in a week, especially on Mondays after a weekend. Fruits, fresh vegetable soups, lime juice and coconut water will help in giving rest to the GI tract and balance out the calories of a weekend party. So, a Shivaji fast on Mondays will also help you to detoxify along with His blessings and a Thursday fast of eating one meal only and fruits, milk and its products is also good self-control device. Even a full moon fast is a healthy way of calorie restriction.

Water fasting, as kept by Anna Hazare (which was of course for a specific cause), should make sure that the initial nutritional status is up to the mark and blood glucose levels should not fall 25 per cent below its normal range. This fast requires lots of physical and emotional rest. It should not be extremely hot, as the body will get dehydrated quickly, so that is why the Karva Chauth fast always comes in pleasant season, if you had to keep it in June or July, the mere thought of it will make you faint.

By fasting sensibly, according to your body type and requirement, the body organs get rest. Research claims that there may be benefits that include reduced risks of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, insulin resistance, immune disorders, and more generally, the slowing of the aging process, and the potential to increase the maximum life span. Serum fats are lowered. Fat stored chemicals such as pesticides and drugs are released.† Some researches show improvement in the blood lipid profile, including a decrease in total and LDL cholesterol. Detoxification of the body occurs since you wonít at least be eating junk, which has become an integral part of food nowadays.

Last but not the least, avoid overeating. Yes, some people do tend to lose self-control when eating the different foods they have chosen for the fast. For example, in the Navratra fast, people tend to stuff themselves with fried kuttu atta puris, potato chips, pakodas etc. The oily and heavy foods, in particular, defeat the very purpose of fasting. People actually end up eating more than normal. Instead try healthy low-fat recipes.

Who should not fast

Fasting by people already suffering from chronic diseases may lead to worsening of the disease and have further ill-effects on the health.

Diabetics should never fast as both feasting and fasting can lead to blood sugar level fluctuations. Underweight or malnourished people should fast only after seeking medical advice, as they may have some deficiencies, which may be aggravated due to fasting.

Pregnant women and children should avoid fasting, as frequent nourishment is required in both the cases.

People with bleeding ulcers should never fast; rather they should eat small and frequent meals.† This condition is caused by increased acid secretion in the stomach and an empty stomach will only worsen the situation.

Remember, there is an important difference between fasting and starving. Fasting is a period of avoiding some or all food during which the body's nutrient reserves are adequate to meet the body's nutritional needs. Starvation can occur only if you abstain from food beyond the point where you have sufficient nutrient reserves. So, enjoy your fasts and remain healthy.

The writer is a dietician with the Department of Dietetics, PGI 

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