Good health
Heat busters
Feeling sluggish, lethargic, fatigued as well as poor hair and skin days are all part of summer travails. A few precautions are a must to stay cool this season 
Mickey Mehta

AS the mercury soars and the harsh blazing heat of the summer begins to affect our health and stamina, it is time to take stock of ways to keep the energy levels soaring too. Summer heat can affect us in many ways. Feeling sluggish, lethargic, fatigue, poor hair and skin days are all part of the travails of summer. Hence, precautions must be taken before these turn into serious health issues.

We are now in the peak of summer. Listed below are a few exciting ways to exercise and to address common health concerns of this season:

Swimming and aqua aerobics

Any type of water activity is recommended for its overall physiological and spiritual benefits and can be recommended to kids and people of all ages. Water activities are safe forms of exercise to stay fit in the holidays.

Water is a spiritual and cosmic element, a symbol of purity and plays a dynamic role in healing of the mind and body. No matter, what stroke you learn or practise, it provides a full-body workout. The soft resistance of water makes it non-injurious and minimises any harmful impact on joints, bones and muscles. Water-based exercises have rehabilitative effects and are therefore highly recommended for people suffering from polio, arthritis, osteoporosis or other joint and muscle disorders.

It is a fine cardio activity, boosts stamina and improves the sleep pattern, improves stamina, strength, tackles obesity and is an ideal alternative for beating the monotony of working out in gyms. Water exercises also work on the abdominal muscles, provides a soft massage-like effect on the lymphatic systems; helping to eliminate toxins from the body thus improving the immunity. Those with any medical condition, pregnancy etc must do these exercises under supervision.


Walking offers a plethora of benefits over the structured exercises that one resorts to. Even a 30-minute walking or cycling instead of driving or using elevators or watching TV helps to keep you fit. Pursuing more than one type of activity will help alleviate boredom from doing the same routine activities. These offer variety and can add challenges in court or field sports. All these are very beneficial as they help you bond with nature also which creates a deep connection with your inner being and cosmic energy.

Yoga and Pilates

Water-based exercises are non-injurious and minimise the harmful impact on joints and bones (L) and Keep yourself hyderated by drinking six to eight glasses of water

Yoga/Pilates are two of the best forms of exercises that benefit both the creative as well as the analytical side of the brain and helps to make these work in tandem. The feel-good hormones generated by yoga help you stay focused, positive and upbeat. Regular practise of yoga/Pilates regulates normal functioning of the glands, nerves and other internal vital organs, improves digestion, activates the musculo-skeletal system, promotes flexibility and neuromuscular coordination, improves balance and stability and strengthens the core muscles.


These are dynamic exercises that promote muscle tone, strength, stamina and promote weight loss. These can be done with props or minimum equipment or even without equipment making them an ideal indoor exercise regime in the summer.

Summer means heat strokes, skin rashes, digestive problems, heart burn, lethargy, prickly heat etc and loss of appetite. According to ayurveda, summer is the season for aggravating the pitta element. So care must be taken to incorporate foods and liquids that are hydrating, nutritious and replenishing.

The writer is one of the leading holistic health gurus and has a health portal

Some season-specific tips on summer foods

1 Always consume natural foods that have disease-fighting, healing and regulatory properties like fruits, vegetables, sprouts, nuts, seeds, whole grains etc. These are rich in antioxidants required to cleanse and nourish the body. 

2 Opt for seasonal foods like berries and water-based foods like melons, sprouts, salads etc. Squashes and fruits like berries and citrus fruits etc are ideal for this weather. These foods are also a better alternative to junk foods, ice creams, soft drinks, etc.

3 Keep yourself cool with buttermilk, coconut water, lemon juice, vegetable juices and pure water. Avoid hot drinks and hot water.

4 Snack on apples, melons, cucumbers etc instead of unhealthy chips, biscuits, cookies or soft drinks. 

5 Ensure that you eat five to six meals a day. These can include fruits, nuts, vegetable juices, sprouts and salads as fillers in between meals. 

6 Avoid cooking heavy meals with liberal use of spices and oil, refined or white flour products like breads, pasta, white rice etc. Have more of steamed vegetables, khichdi, salads and sprouts are pitta-pacifying foods.

7 Avoid salty, sour, pungent, greasy foods, heavy spices, junk foods and sugars.

8 Avoid starvation. Eating everything in moderation is the key to mental and physical health as starvation and deprivation can lead to mood swings and irritability. 







Health Capsules

Sugary drinks raise diabetes risk

Drinking just one can of sugar-laced soda drink a day increases the risk of developing diabetes by more than a fifth, according to a European study. Using data from 350,000 people in eight European countries, researchers found that every extra 12 fluid ounce (340 ml) serving of sugar-sweetened drink raises the risk of diabetes by 22 per cent compared with drinking just one can a month or less. Dora Romaguera, who led with study with a team at Imperial College London, said a 12-fluid-ounce serving is about equivalent to a normal-sized can of Coca-Cola, Pepsi or other soft drink. The findings echo similar conclusions from research in the US, where several studies have shown that intake of sugar-sweetened drinks is strongly linked with higher body weight and conditions like type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes affects more than 310 million people worldwide according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). It was published in the journal Diabetologia.

New synthetic oil may make arthritis less painful

Researchers led by a Boston University Biomedical Engineer have developed a new joint lubricant that could bring longer lasting relief to millions of osteoarthritis sufferers. The new synthetic polymer supplements synovial fluid, the natural lubricant in joints, and works better than comparable treatments currently available. The available fluid supplement offers temporary relief but provides inadequate lubrication to prevent further degradation of the cartilage surfaces that cushion the joint. To achieve both objectives, Professor Mark W. Grinstaff, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre/Harvard Medical School orthopaedic surgeon Brian Snyder and a team of experts from Boston University chemistry and engineering departments have advanced the first synthetic synovial fluid, reports Science Daily.With the use of this new polymer, the friction between the two cartilage surfaces was lower, resulting in less wear and surface-to-surface interaction. The results were published in Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Unsupportive spouses increase risk of depression

People who have unsupportive spouses are more likely to develop depression, says a study. After analysing data from nearly 5,000 American adults, University of Michigan researchers found that the quality of a person’s relationships with a spouse, family and friends predicted the likelihood of major depression disorder in the future; regardless of how frequently their social interactions took place. Individuals with strained and unsupportive spouses were significantly more likely to develop depression, whereas those without a spouse were at no increased risk. And those with the lowest quality relationships had more than double the risk of depression than those with the best relationships. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE. A major depression disorder can increase the risk for and worsen conditions like coronary artery disease, stroke and cancer. Social strain and a lack of support, especially in spousal relationships and to some extent with family members, were both risk factors for developing depression later, said psychiatrist Alan Teo, study’s lead author. “Health care providers need to remember that patients’ relationships with their loved ones likely play a central role in their medical care,” Teo said.

Office kitchen dirtier than toilet

People having meals prepared in office canteens, beware. A study has found most workplace kitchens are dangerously dirty, to the point that these could cause illness. The study has revealed that half of surfaces in workplace kitchens are contaminated by dangerously high levels of coliforms—the bacteria present in faeces which can lead to outbreaks of gastrointestinal disease, Daily Mail reported. The swab results showed that 75 per cent of kitchen work surfaces are home to more bacteria than an average sanitary bin. It also showed that over a quarter of draining boards were found to have four times the safe level of coliforms. The research also revealed that the handles of shared fridge-freezers were bacteria-rife, with a third carrying high levels of coliforms, while 30 per cent of shared microwaves were also shown to be contaminated around the handles and buttons. Tea drinkers are not any more hygienic — more than 40 per cent of kettle handles were revealed to be contaminated with higher levels of bacteria than are found on toilet doors.

Gut bugs implicated in heart attacks, stroke

Thousands of heart attack victims have no notorious risk factors like high cholesterol or unhealthy triglycerides. A search for the mystery culprits has turned up some surprising suspects: the trillions of bacteria and other microbes living in the human gut. Scientists discovered that some of the bugs turn lecithin, a nutrient in egg yolks, liver, beef, pork and wheat germ, into an artery-clogging compound called TMAO. They also found that blood levels of TMAO predict heart attack, stroke or death, and do so “independent of other risk factors,” said Dr Stanley Hazen, chairman of cellular and molecular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute, who led the study.

Fruit, Mediterranean diet tied to fewer hot flashes

Women, who eat diets high in fruit, certain vegetables, pasta and red wine, are less likely to have hot flashes and night sweats during menopause, a new study from Australia suggests. Researchers followed about 6,000 women followed over nine years. Those who ate a lot of strawberries, pineapple and melon and most closely followed a Mediterranean-style diet were about 20 per cent less likely to report those common symptoms. — Agencies