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Broad chest, weak lungs - Are men more prone to respiratory diseases?The long-standing, chronic afflictionof the respiratory disease is called as COPD, i.e., Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. COPD is the obstruction within the lung tissue, causing improper circulation and entrapment of air. This limits the space for air to move in and out, directly affecting the quality of inhalation. A small reminder here may be necessary - breathing is synonymous with life, why? Because that's how we get oxygen, which is vital for the functioning of each and every cell within the body. With COPD, the ability to take in oxygen gets compromised increasingly. Continued cough, sputum, and shortness of breath are the main symptoms. COPD is more common in men. Does it have to do anything with being a male? Not necessarily. No specific link has been established to say that COPD risk is higher for you solely because you are a man. Then, what could it be? A study conducted in 2011 in USA showed that the number of men who smoke is 5% more than the women who do. To understand the reason behind this, let us see the primary causes of this disease. Air pollution, some genetic predispositions, frequent acute infections, exposure to harmful chemicals for a long time (usually occupational) - are some of the main causes, and the number one cause is smoking, owing to almost 80-90% of the cases. Park this thought. Next piece of information is simply revisiting some facts you may already know: #The gender classification ofsmokers - Men are known to smoke more than women all over the world, not only in numbers, but also in quantity. Whether it is a developing country or a developed one, 2011 studies say there are more male smokers everywhere than female smokers. Not only there are more men who smoke, they smoke for longer periods and more number of cigarettes than female smokers. This may vary from country to country, like India has much less women smokers than USA does, but the difference between the two genders holds true everywhere, only the ratios differ. #Occupational exposure to harmful chemicals and gases - These are industries of mining, textile, chemical engineering, welding, etc. The number of men working in such industries is way higher than women. #Air pollution - Men are more exposed to air pollution since they are outdoors more than women. This may not apply to all countries and societies, but is generally true. Now, we can put the pieces together and understand why COPD is more common in men? Yes, they are at a higher risk because of higher exposure to smoking, pollutants and irritants. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of lung diseases and male smokers outnumber women across the world. You can figure out the math here!
Ways to look handsome!One disclaimer before reading "Looking good is not age/weight/family specific." Now we can start off with understanding what does handsome means. Does it mean wearing good clothes? Or having a good face? Or having a good body? What is it actually? Well, a simple definition could be "being handsome means being confident and having loads of style and poise." It's not dependent on somebody's face or body specifically. So what makes a person handsome? Will his attitude count? Do we need a lot of money to get that look? Let's answer all such questions in the article. Personal care: The first and the foremost cornerstone for getting a perfect look is to look after yourself well. This includes- Hygiene - Personal hygiene is most important. Dental hygiene, managing body odor, cutting your nails on time, removing hair in the underarms, nose, and taking care of overall body hygiene is of utmost importance.Skin care - Taking care of one's skin is no more a girly thing now; men need to do the same as well. Applying moisturizers, lotions that are readily available, tailor-made for men.Hair care - Men do not need to spend a lot of time managing their hair as women do, but that doesn't mean they can get all complacent about them. Try and wash and shampoo your hair at least twice in a week. You could use natural or artificial conditioners in the hair to make it soft. Get a trim every month or else they can become too long to manage. The suave and debonair look, along with the above indicated personal care methods; one important pointer is to take care of one's facial hair. Agreed that the rough and rugged look is good with some clothes and skin colors, but try and avoid it as 'a regular' and get a good shave. You can either keep a clean shaven look or keep a beard which is well trimmed. This will give you an urbane and classy look. Clothes cabana - An important factor for your looks is your clothes as well. One needs to understand that there are particular kinds of clothes which shall look good on them and there is a section which they should never try. Once you understand this thin line, you can do wonders with your clothes. Try to understand which shades look good on you. The bright colors or pastel shades. After this, you need to choose your formal and casual wears as well. Try and understand what kind of clothes make you look good and what are the options you can always try. The must have checklist is given below - A pair of good dark blue jeans. A white shirt. A colored T-shirt. Jacket and waist coat. Dinner jacket or tuxedo (whichever suits you). Pair of black trousers. Sweatshirts. A full pastel shade sweater. Accessorize your look - Along with good clothes you need a few more embellishments:Shoes - Get two different pairs - one leather and the other sports for formal and informal occasions. The shoes should be buffed with shoe wax regularly and you can wash off the dirt on your sports shoes once every couple of weeks.Belts and Tie - A good and well-fitting tie and a sober choice in belts always adds to the look of the "complete man."Watches - A good analog watch is a "must have" on every guy's wrist for that added attraction. Work out regimens - Now workout does not only mean joining a gym or keeping a personal trainer. You need to just keep your body fit, which can be done by jogging, yoga, or even a morning and evening walk. Try to be active, which in turn will help you stay in shape. You can even pick up a sport for that matter. When your body is fit, you will have a relaxed mind and soul too. Eat healthy - Having a hamburger everyday will make you only lethargic and fat and certainly far from handsome. Try to follow a diet regimen which nowhere means you need to have nightmarish boiled vegetables only. You just need to avoid eating outside which means no junk or oily food. This shall not only help you look good, but will let you be young and fit. Try to have more leafy vegetables and fish in your daily diet rather than red meat and spices. Once in a week you can dig into your favorite foods and pig out. Say no to cigarettes and alcohol - Working out or eating healthy and getting the best clothes and accessories will never help you get in good shape until you say no to all the habits which shall prove deadly for you in the future. Try and quit smoking and drinking as they affect your health and stamina in the most adverse ways possible. Along with that they also have a very bad effect on your mental health as they become an addiction and hamper your concentration and thinking abilities as well. Million dollar smile - Wearing good clothes do not have a prerequisite of behaving like a supermodel anywhere. Try to wear a good and sweet smile which shall give you a nice and attractive look at the same time. A straight face might end up making you look unapproachable and arrogant, so remember smiling always to complete your attire and style. Good stance - Wearing all the best outfits and looking a million bucks might go all in vain if you have a bad body posture. Try and walk and sit straight. Having an erect stance always makes you look more confident, attractive, and masculine, so always have that poise in your posture which shall make you look awesome. Wear your confidence and attitude - Last but not the least is this most important pointer and that is - be comfortable and confident with whatever you wear and however you look. Being confident makes you win half your battle, always. So, have that debonair attitude and head to the floor, you will always be the head turner of the show. So what are you waiting for? Start your preparations, as being handsome does not require any occasion!        
Yoga to strengthen women's lifeEveryone expects from a women for all their necessities. The husband needs to go to office and she has to prepare for this, the son or daughter needs to go to school, tiffin needs to be packed, and the in-laws need her attention for the morning tea and breakfast. Along with this she has to rush to office on time. Then while returning, she has buy vegetables and other things for household, then go home and cook, and sleep late after all the chores are done. For such a multi-tasking working-women, the time available is very less to replenish the energy she uses to do such work. Multitasking leads to stress and tension and causes headaches, stiff neck, tight shoulders, poor posture, shortness of breath, clenched teeth and fatigue. What is the solution for this? The only solution is YOGA.  We all know that yoga has many positive effects on ones well-being; it brings about both physiological and psychological benefits. It is beneficial for body, mind, and spirit. It needs only 10 minutes. Yoga helps to relieve your stress and tension. Yoga in Sanskrit means 'YOG' that is to join or unite. It is the union of mind, body, spirit, and breath with our surroundings and our universe. One should start yoga gradually with a comfortable speed and limits. Breathing exercises are excellent way to reduce stress and tension. It can be done along with asanas. For this you have to sit comfortably with relaxed shoulders and with your chin level at the floor. Inhale through the nose expanding your abdomen, rib cage, then expand your chest, then begin to exhale by contracting your abdomen, ribs and then lastly relax your chest. Now continue to breath in this fashion, this improves the quality and quantity of oxygen that enters our body and helps to relieve the shortness of breath and relieves the tension. The yoga mudra is helpful to relieve the stress, for this sit down crossed legged on the mat and keep the back straight, then take the arms behind your back and hold the left wrist with the right hand. Then by exhaling, bend forward to touch your left knee, while doing this focus on the feeling of surrendering to God, which protects you all the time, then while inhaling come back to the normal position and repeat this on the right side. Then finally, complete this pose by touching the forehead to the ground in front in the centre, while doing this exhale, then when you feel like inhaling come back to the normal position. This posture increases the energy and stimulates your respiration, improves your digestion calms your nerves. But this should be avoided by pregnant women, hernia patients, and patients with retinal disorder. The shavasana also helps you to relax your body before you get to work. In this you have to lie down on your back on the mat. Keep your arms a foot away from your body and your feet separated two feet apart.  Then close your eyes and focus on your breathing and feel free of thoughts and tension. Breathe normally and focus on your body parts, toes, legs, abdomen, head and finally the scalp and try to relax each muscle group. It improves your breathing, concentration, gives inner peace. You should avoid this if you are suffering from low blood pressure.  
Inspiring fitness goals for womenBeing fit comes with the benefit of enhanced mood and lowered hormonal rages. Coupled with right proportion of sleep, hydration, and a job you love, you will be nearing towards a perfect body. Goal 1: WorkOut Your Body to A Song! Make a playlist of all the songs you love and choose to execute your regime through it. Goal 2: "Be Yourself" Challenge Holistically develop your body by acknowledging what you love to do. Choose a sport that you love and join a group. If you love animals, then walk your dog which will let you lose weight and enjoy the company of pets. If painting or photography interests you, then trekking along landscapes of beauty should be your weekend getaway. Goal 3: Become the Hourglass with 1-Month Workout Regime Evaluate your body type and create a month-long regime to gradually progress towards animpeccable body shape and continue it beyond the initial 1 month. Start with small steps and do not go in for crash diets. Choose healthier snacks. Add a bit ofsleep to your daily dose in case you tend to sleep less. Begin with 15minutes of workout containing exercises recommended by your trainer to suit your body. Goal 4: Be the Health-Smart Mom! Lose the extra pounds you brought on during pregnancy and set a role model for your children. Go to the park with your children and play games with them. Pick up sports that you all can share and do together! Goal 5: The Yoga Guru Pick up yoga and start from the first step. Did you know that the initiation of anyone into the system of Yoga occurs through stage of Yama? Yama refers to the ethical principles that will guide your life while you move towards taking control of your life. The five Yamasin yoga are non-violence, truthfulness, non-stealing, celibacy, and non-possessiveness. They form the ground for your body to start on a healthy path. Move yourself towards following these principles and pick up the following asanas (body-postures) to lose weight: setu band (the bridge pose), bhekasana, dhanurasana, shalabhasana, chakki chalan, nauka chalan, and sarvangasana. A healthy lifestyle is the framework for any fitness goal. Do not go for unrealistic or transient goals. Start by making preparatory changes in your lifestyle: Lower your junk food intake, sleep adequately, drink at least two liters of water daily and hydrate your body sufficiently. Goal 6: Going Back to Nature Plan a trekking trip to your dream destination and walk your fat away. Bring back home a healthier body and a more peaceful mind. Goal 7: Master Your Body Make a journal of all activities you do in a day. The intention is to become aware of your habits that might be hurting your body unknowingly. Trace habits like binging on a snack while watching TV, sitting in a bad posture while on the desk and reading a book at a dimly lit place may be few pointers. This is a long-term challenge (4 months) to bring your body under your control through self-awareness. Goal 8: Green Regime Go for a diet which involves vegetables, fruits, and grains. Detoxify your body by being off junk food for at least two months. Goal 9: Bony to Healthy Increase your weight to become the inspiration for underweight people and guide them towards a healthy body. Goal 10: Run for the World Join marathons and runs for different social causes. Commonly known as 'Run for a Cause,' be the torchbearer to a certain cause by joining organizations that work on the same and initiating a run or marathon. This will not only prepare your body and move it towards healthy living; you will also be doing your part for the others.
A baby - proofed guide to childcareCaring for kids is an important task. Everyone wishes to nourish kids in a loving and caring yet protective atmosphere. Initial stages of development call for more care and attention. Health, hygiene and safety at home and outside are important when it comes to kids. Here are a few helpful tips to all the parents: Nurture your infants with massage. Learn a right way or get it done from a professional. It is a great therapy to make muscles strong and bond with the baby. Prolonged crying bothers parents a lot. Usually continuous crying for long hours is suggestive of colic or stomach ache. It is the most common problem in kids, the reason being immature gastric system. Do not panic. Keep medicines at hand and give them as per instructions by your kid's doctor. Toddlers often insist on being carried even when they know how to walk well. Make sure to hold them comfortably. Diapering a baby is a skill that must be mastered especially when the baby is fidgety. Holding baby in right position flat on the back simplifies the task. Parents adapt to doing the job effortlessly with practice. Transition period of swapping from breastfeed to bottle known as weaning is a tough task for most of the babies. Consider gentle weaning strategies advised by the doctors. Do not be abrupt. Go slow! Some Safety Tips: Cap and lock the medicines, detergents, chemicals etc. in containers keeping them far away from the children. Bathingwater should be always checked before bathing the baby. Do not leave kids alone near water tub or any water source alone. Avoid leaving baby in a highchair to prevent injuries such asbaby climbing out, falling, or sliding. Lock up all the knives, matches, and plastic bags away from children to prevent poisonings, bleeding injuries, burns and suffocation.
Is circumcision a healthy ritual?Religious rituals and practices have been carried out since ancient times. Circumcision is a religious ritual that involves surgical removal of the prepuce of the human penis. Prepuce is the foreskin of the penis and during the procedure; the person performing the ritual opens, inspects and separates it from the glans. The process is painful and hence local or topical anesthesia is used to reduce physiological stress and pain. Circumcision is performed for religious as well as personal reasons and many times recommended medically for prophylactic or therapeutic reasons as well. Today's medical science makes use of this treatment for treating chronic urinary tract infections, refractory balanoposthitis and pathological phimosis. Circumcision is performed as ritual in many parts of the world. However, it is also recommended medically as protection against HIV infection. Circumcision-Is it Legal and Ethical? In the world over, the ritual or practice of circumcision is carried out on all types of people from neonatal stage to adulthood. While no significant risks have been noticed due to the practice of this ritual, rather some modest health benefits have come to the fore. The World Health Organization has recommended circumcision for male infants in parts of Africa where the children are more vulnerable to urinary tract infections. However, no other medical organization in the world has supported or banned the procedure. Over past few years, legal and ethical questions have been making rounds and many believe that consent should be taken before carrying out neonatal circumcision. HIV and Circumcision Benefits A Cochrane meta-analysis conducted in 2009 on sexually active African men have revealed that the ritual of circumcision reduces the risk rate of HIV infection by 38 to 66 percent among heterosexual men in a period of 24 months. That is why WHO has recommended circumcision in sub-Saharan African areas having high rates of HIV infection as a part of the comprehensive HIV program. Moreover, this process is more cost-effective as compared to other treatments and preventive measures recommended for HIV. Circumcision reduces the risk rate of HSV-2 infections and oncogenic HPV prevalence along with the risk of penile cancer and UTIs. Until now, there have been no concluding reports on the protective effects circumcision offers against other types of sexually transmitted infections. Circumcision is also recommended medically to children suffering from pathological phimosis and refractory balanoposthitis. Contraindications The literature worldwide review conducted in 2010 reveals that around 1.5 percent of the newborns face median complication when the process of circumcision is performed by trained medical providers. Only 6 percent children face severe complications with the common complications being infection, bleeding or removal of too little or too much of foreskin. However, the process does not cause any negative impact on the sexual functioning of an individual. Contraindications due to circumcision are also cited in infants having genital structure abnormalities right from the birth such as misplaced urethral opening, ambiguous genitalia or chordae. In such cases, the foreskin may require reconstruction through surgery.  It is contraindicated in premature babies and clinically unstable infants and it should also be avoided in children with family history of hemophilia (bleeding disorders). In such patients, it is important that the blood should be checked for its coagulation properties before attempting the procedure.
Communicate to strengthen the family tiesA family that talks to each other stays together. Sounds easy? But how often does your family sit down together in the week to spend time with each other? How about breakfasts and dinners? Are you all able to match your meal times or are you catching each other by the end of the coats in the fast paced world that has us spinning us on our heels constantly? As the family members run in and out of the house, like in a hotel, engulfed in their daily routines they slowly start drifting away from each other. Somewhere pushed to the depths of the heart are old connections and affections with the family. Ideal conversations during childhood, encouragements received during tough times, sibling squabbles in adolescence and many a wonderful memories tug at the heart keeping the family from disintegrating altogether. On the contrary, improper communication and bottled feelings singe the heart in such circumstances and lead to the tumbling of the family ecosystem. Understanding how to build effective communication within the family is important as it helps build a stronger, inseparable family. Here are some effective practices: Communicate Frequently:With the limited time that you have with your family, make communication a common and frequent activity.  While traveling in the car, during meal times, replace TV time with talking, talk to your young ones at bedtime. Keep designated time for informal family meetings and encourage conversations among the family members. Keep the cell phones and laptops in the other room when the whole family is sitting together. Communicate Clearly and Directly:Develop an environment where the family members feel okay to communicate clearly and directly. Allow them to express their thoughts and feelings without having to mask and filter them. This is important in a parent-child relationship and sibling-sibling relationship. It also helps build confidence, family intimacy and bonding among the family members. On the other hand, veiled, indirect or vague communication is ineffective and harmful as it increases confusion and communication gaps. Active Listening:Open and free communication flows only when it is received well and the other person's perspective is acknowledged and respected. Active listening is the cornerstone of effective communication. Whether listening to your partner or child, it is necessary to pay attention to not just the words but tell-tale signs in the tone of communication and non-verbal messages too. Nodding of the head, or words of acknowledgment like, "I understand" make the other person feel that what they are saying is valued and received. Asking questions and requesting clarifications for the parts of the message you do not understand is a very important part of active listening. Trust and Honesty:Only when the family members feel that they can trust each other, can they communicate honestly. Trust is the key for strong familial relationships. Trust is propagated through openness and honesty. Understanding the Individual:The way each individual of the family feels and communicates is different. The way you communicate with the different family members should vary accordingly. Especially in case of young children, as their maturity levels are different than the young adults and adults in the family. The unspoken messages:Not everything might be said in words. Learning to read non-verbal communication such as expressions and body language are very important in understanding the entire message being conveyed to you or the parts being held back. Stay Positive:Many complications and problems between family members can be avoided or solved by effective communication. When dealing with undesired or negative situations, it is important that the words and tonality of the communication is positive. Avoid engaging in negative communication like criticism, defensiveness or contempt. Such negative communication patterns discourage communication.Communication is essential to successful family functioning. Taking inventory of how well the family is doing and readjusting course and practices will help improve the family environment and build a happy family that shares openly and honestly with each other.
Building self confidence by improving body languageSo what have they told you? That only physically attractive people have the right to self-confidence? That you either have it in you or you don't? Let's face it, confidence is the key to anything and everything. Right from driving a car to handling work to dating, confidence is what separates the proverbial wheat from the chaff. What you need to remember is that the mind speaks the body language. Conversely if you change your body language, then it has an impact on the mind as well. Mr.Hunched Over This guy is the classic example of a person who just doesn't like himself. The world is a mighty dangerous place for him. Just look at the way he walks. Shoulders all hunched over, head down as he shuffles rather than walk. Mr. Hunched Over generally finds it difficult to look people in the eye as he speaks and he last is handshake is as limp as his mind. He crosses his arms tightly, touches his nose all the time to see if it has grown since he lied through it. Mr. Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk This chap is diametrically the opposite of the first kind. He exudes an air of confidence in his walk, manner and speech. He has a confident stride which is helped by the fact that he stands to his height with his head held high, chin tucked in and shoulders squared back. This is what gives him the confidence as this posture is designed for efficiency. Mind you, he isn't ram rod straight, just straight enough so that his ears are in line with his shoulders and hips. The chest is also out since the shoulders are drawn back towards the hip. This facilitates deep, even and diaphragmatic breathing which prevents anxiety. His hand shake is firm. As he offers his hand, he exerts just the right pressure on the other person's hand to indicate a strong grip. This is no wrestling bout, so the confident man always exerts just the right kind of pressure in a hand shake.  He maintains eye contact with the person he is talking to; not a staring about, but normal eye contact, one which won't make the other person conscious of being stared at. He looks away from time to time to give his eyeballs a rest. This is why he comes across as genuine and not shift eyed and restless. To be Mr.-Or- Ms. Walk the Walk Always square your shoulders and keep your head held high when you walk. You might seem imperious or high handed at first, but then it will work wonders on your self-esteem and you will begin to feel differently about yourself. You needn't even be a tall person to come across as cool and confident-just stand up to your own height and see the miracle. Breathe slowly steadily and deeply. Use your abdominal muscles to draw in your breath rather than engaging your neck muscles which end up making you a shallow breather and plus you also tend to hunch easily if you don't feel your rib cage and stomach expand as you breathe in. Practice standing and speaking in front of the mirror. It will show you exactly how you appear to others. Practice your walk in front of a video camera and keep a record of your metamorphosis.
Muscle build up dietYou may think that you need fatty foods to bulk up, but this is not true. Fatty foods will do just that make you fat. Lean meats, fruits and vegetables will actually build muscle. Take a balanced diet of vegetables and lean meats to achieve your muscle building goals. Changing your diet to build muscle will help with your overall health. Eating food that helps build muscle will ensure that you are not wasting all that hard work you are doing in the gym. Workout utilizes considerable energy. Food is the only way to replace this energy. So what happens if you fail to eat the right type of food to build muscle mass? It will take longer to build muscle, and it may even prevent muscle building altogether once you reach a certain point. Is protein important or not? You bet it is. Protein provides the building blocks to build that muscle. What types of protein are best? Chicken, eggs, steak (with the fat cut off), fish, cheese (especially cottage cheese), and nuts are all great sources of protein. Finding out how much protein to eat when you are interested in building muscle fast is actually not difficult. First, you will need to find out your lean body mass weight in kilos, and then you simply multiply that figure by 2.75 to determine your daily protein requirement. Calculating your lean body mass uses some complex formulae, so ask a professional at the gym if you do not already have this figure. Carbohydrates, in moderation, are also essential when finding foods that build muscle. Do not eat too much, though, unless you choose high fibre carbohydrates, and then you can indulge in much larger amounts. High fibre carbs include rice, potatoes, oatmeal and bananas. Reducing fat in your diet is of course necessary to build bigger muscle on a body that appears lean and has a low body fat ratio. If you are focusing on what foods build muscle mass, you also need to bear in mind that it pays to reduce fat as well. Although proteins are essential, it is really important to select proteins that are low in fat, or that you can cut the fat off. So eat your chicken without the skin, and go for lean steaks rather than more fatty cuts of meat. Opting for cottage cheese or other reduced fat cheeses, and low fat milk also helps reduce your fat intake. You may argue that drinking has no effect on what to eat to build muscle. But you would be wrong. Hydration is critical to general health and wellbeing. Two litres of water a day is what most experts recommend for maintaining optimal health. To drink that amount, you need to drink up to 12 glasses of water a day, which is quite a lot. So start early in the day, and space your water consumption out throughout the day. Foods that build muscle are great and an essential component of your bodybuilding program. But do not be lulled into a false sense of security and think you can slow down on your workouts. Both bodybuilding exercises and bodybuilding diets are required to get a body to die for as quickly as you possibly can. Even if you are working on improving your physique slowly, you should combine a bodybuilding diet with bodybuilding workouts for best results. Sample Diet: 7:00am: Breakfast: 4 eggs + toast or oatmeal + milk with protein powder mixed in (a lot). 9:30am: Snack: 1 Meal replacement supplement + milk. 12:00: Lunch: Tuna sandwich (1 whole can) + green apple. 3:00pm: Snack:  2 Meal replacement supplement + milk. 5:30pm: Workout: Have water (or carb drink if you want), within 30 mins of end of workout (on workout days only) Meal replacement supplement + milk. (If you are going to have Creatine - put it in this Meal replacement supplement at the end of your workout). 8:30pm: Dinner: A chicken breast (aprox 8 oz + some rice or other starch carb + if you want also eat some veggies) Before Bed:  Meal replacement supplement + milk.
A quick guide to high blood pressureWhat is blood pressure? Blood pressure is the force or pressure exerted by blood on the walls of arteries while flowing through it. What is normal? A blood pressure value of 120/80 mm Hg is ideally said to be the normal. The upper value (systolic) reads the pressure when the heart beats (squeezes to pump the blood). The lower value (diastolic) computes pressure at rest in between the heartbeats when the heart refills with blood. What is hypertension or high blood pressure? The condition in which the pressure of blood in the arteries is persistently high.More the pressure, harder the heart has to work to pump the blood. The prolonged and too high blood pressure (BP) raises the heart's work persistently and can lead to grave damage to the arteries. This eventually leads to uncontrolled high blood pressure raising the risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease in the long run.A blood pressure above 130/90 mm Hg is said to be high. What are the symptoms of hypertension? Hypertension can go unnoticed without any symptoms and thus remain untreated for years altogether. Thus, it is also called as silent killer sometimes. What causes hypertension? The cause of hypertension is unknown in most of the cases. Sometimes, hypertension occurs secondary to kidney disease or adrenal gland disease. Who are at risk of getting high BP? The risk of developing high blood pressure is more in people above the age of 45, those who have close relatives already suffering from hypertension, and who have history of diabetes, Many people consistently have blood pressure above normal, yet not so high to be called as hypertension (130-140 /80-90). These people are at more risk of developing hypertension. Is salt and blood pressure are related? Sodium content of salt causes water retention thus putting more burden on heart and raising blood pressure. So watch the foods you eat for sodium content and stick to a low-sodium diet. Stress and high blood pressure Stress can increase the blood pressure, but no scientific facts to suggest that it causes hypertension. Stress can lead to addictions, poor diet, lack of sleep which can indirectly contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease. Obesity and hypertension Obesity strains heart and raises the risk. Losing every kilo makes a huge difference. Alcohol  Alcohol can surely raise blood pressure and limiting it mandatory. Pregnancy and hypertension High blood pressure during pregnancy is called as gestational hypertension. It can cause serious complications like preeclampsia. It can harm both the mother and baby. It can compromise oxygen flow to the baby. The blood pressure normalizes after child's birth. Medicines and hypertension Some medicines, like pain killers, birth control pills, steroids, flu medicines etc. can cause the blood pressure to rise. Be careful with the medications. Avoid over-the-counter medications and take doctor's advice before consuming any medicine. "White coat" phenomenon Some people show high blood pressure in doctor's clinic due to nervousness. This is called as white coat phenomenon. These people are at risk of developing high blood pressure. Kids and hypertension Kids who are obese and have a family history are more at risk. How to control high blood pressure? Eat healthy: Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, whole-grain foods, low-fat dairy products, and nuts. Say no to sweets, saturated fats, and excess salt. Exercise: Regular physical activity lowers blood pressure. Atleast 150 minutes of exercise per week is essential. Activities like brisk walking, swimming, cycling or gardening, all count. Reduce stress: Add yoga, meditation, deep breathing. All have proven to lower the blood pressure and keep it normal. Hypertension is usually a chronic life-long condition. It's very essential to take medications, make lifestyle changes and regularly monitor blood pressure. Keeping it under checkwillreducethe potential riskof heart disease, kidney diseases, and stroke.
Pulling out - Is it an effective option for contraception?What is the 'Pulling out' method? 'Pulling out', 'Withdrawal' and 'Coitus Interruptus' are all the different names for probably one of the safest methods of contraception. It involves the male partner withdrawing or pulling out his penis just before ejaculation. This ensures that no semen has been ejaculated into the vagina or vulva of the female partner. Since there are no sperms travelling inside, the result is - No Pregnancy! Is this method really effective? Like all methods of contraception, the effectiveness of the pulling out method also depends on how correctly it is done. This method requires a lot of mutual understanding between the partners. The male partner must also exercise great self-control and accuracy in knowing when he will reach the highest point of sexual excitement so he can pull out at the right moment. Statistics have the following things to say Of women whose partners use withdrawal, 4% become pregnant each year if they always do it correctly, and 27% become pregnant each year if they don't always do it correctly. Ejaculating close to the vagina or vulva would mean that the sperms still have a way to travel inside the vagina. At times the pre-ejaculate fluid may also contain a few sperms from the previous ejaculation that may end up causing pregnancy. As a precaution against this, experts suggest the male partner pass urine before the sexual act. Withdrawal method of contraception is the best option for members of religious groups in which using contraceptive devices like pills, condoms or IUDs are a form of sin. Withdrawal method does not protect you from HIV/AIDS and other STDs. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this method? Advantages It is simple, safe and convenient. It is the best method when no other contraceptive method is available. It has no side-effects It does not require a medical prescription. It does not alter the menstrual cycle. It does not affect future fertility. Disadvantages Requires great self-control, experience and trust. Not suitable for men who suffer from premature ejaculation Not suitable for teenagers and sexually inexperienced people. Does not ensure protection from sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS. Less effective than other methods of birth control. May interfere with sexual pleasure due to nervousness and anticipation of pulling out at the right time. The pull out method is thus one of the safest methods of contraception, provided one has a thorough understanding of one's body, trust in the partner and a huge amount of self-control.
Busting misconceptions about homosexualityIn the past few years, homosexuality has become a subject of public discourse in India. Thanks to gay pride marches and the Delhi High Court's historic ruling decriminalizing same-sex intercourse in 2009, more people today are willing to accept homosexuality as normal. However, there are still a large number of people who are still confused about whether homosexuality is normal. Homosexuals are people who get attracted to people of the same gender. Gay is a term used for both male and female homosexuals, but some prefer the term 'lesbian' when it comes to women homosexuals. Some misinformed people consider homosexuality as a purely decadent western phenomenon which is far from the truth. Homosexuality finds its place in recorded history throughout the world. So is homosexuality abnormal? A few decades ago a gay person would have ended up on a psychiatrist's couch where attempts would have been made to re-orient him/her towards the heterosexuality. However, as the American Psychology Association notes, "No, lesbian, gay, and bisexual orientations are not disorders. Research has found no inherent association between any of these sexual orientations and psychopathology. Both heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality." Some scientists are trying to find a genetic link to homosexuality. Results so far have not established a definite link. A whole lot of factors could play a role in deciding sexual orientation - genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural. One cannot safely conclude that being "gay" is in one's genes and is therefore, hereditary. Legalizing gay marriages Same-sex marriage is legally recognized in several jurisdictions within the United States. As of April 2013, nine states—Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington—as well as the District of Columbia and three Native American tribes[1]—have legalized same-sex marriage, representing 15.7% of the US population.
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