Warm-up should precede strength training
5/1/2012 1:41:51 AM
A certain routine before the workout prepares you mentally for it, says
Ingo Froboese, a professor at the Health Centre of the German Sport
University in Cologne.
Strength training should be preceded by a 10 to 15 minute warm-up on a treadmill, stationary bicycle or elliptical trainer.
is according to Ingo Froboese, a professor at the Health Centre of the
German Sport University in Cologne. “A brief aerobic activity gets your
circulation going,” supplying more blood to muscles and improving their
performance, he said.
“You can compare it to oil in
an engine,” Froboese remarked. The engine has to be well lubricated to
function properly, but the oil has to be properly distributed first.
With muscles the process is similar, “The individual muscle fibres have
to move past each other smoothly so that they can deliver top
performance during strength training.” Mental preparation, too, should
not be underestimated. “A certain routine before the workout prepares
you mentally for it. You concentrate on your body and the movement
patterns,” Froboese said.
This helps in performing the movements correctly and minimizes the risk of injury.
your favourite exercise machine,” Froboese said, adding that it was
also possible to combine an aerobic activity with stretching or to
regularly vary the machines and routines. And finally, he noted, “It’s
very important not to overdo the warm-ups.” The focus, after all, is on
the strength training, he said, for which sufficient energy must be
Every heartbeat counts
5/1/2012 1:45:07 AMEvery heartbeat countsDr. Leslie Saxon believes in the transformative power of technology. The founder and executive director of the Center for Body Computing (www.uscbodycomputing. org) — an independent wireless health centre at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles — she recently launched www.everyheartbeat.org, meant to record the heart rate of every beating heart in the world. While this may seem to be an audacious goal, through this data, scientists and health researchers can better understand the workings of this complex organ and predict problems before they arise. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), coronary heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Dr. Saxon says: “We are trying to synthesise medicine and everyday technology — most people in the world have access to a cell phone — to enhance everyone's quality of life, especially for the two billion people worldwide who lack access to healthcare. We have discovered that if you open up continuous health data to the network, people live longer. We are creating a platform that will be accessible to anyone around the world. We want to use this data to study life patterns, identify disease, solve endemic health problems, and give people control over their health.” The idea is to enable people from any part of the globe to log their heart rate data with a mobile phone and a sensor. Cardiac care usually consists of monitoring heart health after disease or a cardiac arrest. But Dr. Saxon and her team have been working on ways of continuously monitoring and checking patterns that emerge. This has certain immediate and obvious advantages. Most strokes that occur unpredictably are usually followed by a change in heart rhythms. Announced on April 13 this year at the TEDMED conference in Washington D.C., the idea has already generated interest. During Dr. Saxon's speech, she talked about one device, AliveCor ECG case, which she has studied at the Center for Body Computing. AliveCor ECG is an iPhone case with two electrodes that gives an ECG reading. The ECG can then be emailed or stored. “I personally reviewed all the tracings. In one situation, I was able to diagnose acute cardiac ischemia in a Nigerian gentleman in Mumbai from my home in Los Angeles by reviewing a 30-second ECG collected on the iPhone. This was personally gratifying and represents a brilliant example of leveraging our experts across the globe,” says Dr. Saxon. How can people in resource-poor areas participate? “Theeveryheartbeat.org initiative is still in an early stage, but we have a lot of smart and dedicated people working on the project. There are five billion mobile phones in the world. Even in the poorest areas, mobile phones are sometimes more cheaply available than food. We calculate that two billion people have no access to healthcare. We believe that mobile phones can play a part in helping people in resource-poor areas. Imagine a mobile phone telling you when you need to see your physician, rather than the other way around, and then helping you access a specialist anywhere in the world,” says Dr. Saxon
Viral infections on the rise
5/1/2012 1:46:39 AM
The evening rains and fluctuations in the city's weather have brought
with them a slew of infections. Hospitals in the city are recording a
rise in the number of people suffering from various viral infections and
allergic respiratory disorders such as bronchial asthma, lung and upper
respiratory tract infections. This is apart from gastroenteritis,
malaria and typhoid, say doctors.
Doctors, who advise adequate precautions, say an outbreak of dengue and
chikungunya is about to happen. “We are already treating a positive case
of dengue from Vijayanagar apart from two suspected cases in our
hospital. These fevers are likely to aggravate in the coming days,” says
R Janardhan, a retired ESI doctor now consultant physician in a private
nursing home in Seshadripuram.
Dengue symptoms include intermittent fever and headache, pain in the
joints, rashes all over the body and pain behind the eyeballs, he says.
Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health Director Shivananda says a rise
in dengue and chikungunya was imminent in the coming days. “We are now
seeing a few children suffering from mild viral fever, apart from
wheezing and upper respiratory tract infections. There is likely to be a
spurt in infections once the summer vacation ends,” he says.
Most people affected by viral infections have common symptoms such as
running nose, body pain, headache, sore throat, fever for three or four
days, cough and in some cases, wheezing. Those suffering from
gastrointestinal infections have diarrhoea, vomiting and dehydration.
Uma Rakesh, senior medical officer at the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of
Chest Diseases, says the hospital has seen a rise in the number of
asthma cases. “We have at least one or two cases who have suffered a
bronchitis attack in the last few days. This is apart people suffering
from A(H1N1) symptoms,” she says.
The change in weather with extreme heat followed by rains in the evening
has also resulted in a rise in cases of chronic obstructive airway
“Rain triggers bronchial spasms in people who are susceptible to
allergic reactions. The best thing is to keep warm, avoid fumes, dust
and also keep inhalers handy,” says Dr. Uma.
K.R. Ravindra, Assistant Professor at the Department of Medicine in
Bangalore Medical College and Research Centre (BMCRI) says the incidence
of viral and allergic conditions is usually high during this season
when the summer is merging with the onset of monsoon. “We are also
seeing patients with typhoid and viral fevers these days.”
“Viral fever is contagious. People are susceptible to it during the
first few showers of the season. The best thing is to take precautions
to stay fit. People should keep warm and eat properly cooked food,” he
What about the right to exercise?
5/1/2012 1:48:14 AM
Once you get hooked to working out, it becomes a habit, a healthy one you don't need to kick.
“When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no tomorrow. Tomorrow is Disease”, said Terri Guillemets.
election, the Election Commission releases figures of how many came out
to vote. Often the figures aren't too great; considering our population
is more than one billion over 60 per cent turning out to exercise their
right to vote is not something to cheer about.
take a look at the number of people that actually use gym memberships to
work out and you'll think the EC has something to be happy about.
Despite taking membership for a whole year only 20 per cent — sometimes
even less — actually turn up at the gym. Come to think of it, do we
actually exercise our right to exercise under article no. 19 of the
fundamental rights? Just kidding! How many of us take this seriously
until the day we stare at posters that say “Right to medication”, Right
to Health Care”, Right to Medical Services”? I mean the day we sit in
the hospital and wait for results of innumerable tests and their bills.
the case of Mr. X. He had an annual membership at a fitness studio.
Three months later: Mr. X is MIA (Missing In Action) and an unknown
figure at the fitness studio. So he dropped the gym and opted for a club
membership. He could play tennis or go for a swim and spend time with
the family too. One month later: After one or two visits, the club knows
him no more.
But Mr. X is not willing to give up.
He buys a treadmill, a fairly inexpensive option given the many EMI
options. And he also decides to install it in the living room so that he
can watch TV and walk at the same time. One week later: The treadmill
sits dormant in the corner of the living room and is used to dry wet
Leon Eldred once said, “If I'd known I was
going to live so long, I'd have taken better care of myself.” But if we
aren't self-motivated then we just have to force it on ourselves. Until
the day when the change happens and we start enjoying our workouts. Till
then perseverance will pay, and it isn't too far, that day. Force these
five on yourself till that day happens.
Goal: Keep it specific, Easy and Measurable like to run 5 km at one stretch to be achieved in one month, or to lose 4 kg in a month.
Daily Log: Keep a daily log of your workout. This will make you take your workouts seriously and show you the progress you've made.
Build up your own peer pressure. Talk about your workouts with your
colleagues and friends. The pressure to keep it up will help get you
into the habit.
Precursor: Workouts should
precede something you do every day. Say you watch TV before going to bed
or take a shower before heading to work. Schedule your workout, say,
before your morning shower and make believe that the activity that
follows cannot be done without completing the workout itself.
Try and find ways to motivate yourself with things that will make you
exercise — music, clothes, shoes, rewards — whatever works till the
habit of working out takes over.
Once you get hooked
to exercising, it becomes a habit and we know that habits are hard to
kick. And who wants to kick a healthy habit like working out anyway? And
remember, “If you can't make time for fitness, then you need to make
time for sickness.”