HEARTBEATS : Obese, Are You?

Weight management is a multi-million business opportunity.  Sedentary life-styles as a result of technological development reducing physical exertion and increasing convenience, in the midst of changing food habits leading to rampant indulgence in deprivation of sleep, and overall change in the physical intake of food, makes the health-care process a complicated affair in the modern society.  Today we have to compulsorily rely on external help to maintain our health like a gym, health equipments, a guided and scheduled exercise programme, a proper diet preferably on the advice of a professional dietitian, and so on, have become imminent, because it has almost become impossible to have a disciplined, and a controlled life to keep obesity away.

In fact obesity is a psychological problem rather than physical.  Firstly you may be a person loving tasty food, and you are not able to control your longing for it.   It is not generally governed by appetite, but rather a psychological problem.  Secondly when you control your intake of food as a part of a diet programme, when you take food after a long gap of dieting, you naturally tend to have acute inclination to consume more. Thirdly, when you munch junk food for one reason or the other, they wont generally fill your stomach, they end up becoming actually additional quota over and above the regular intake.

Today’s life-styles demand your routines making you so busier that there is no time to maintain a schedule of sleep, food intakes, and an exercise programme.  People who spend hours in the gym, are also getting fatal heart attacks.  Findings are that it is due to the deprived sleep and excessive stress level.  A small study in the US reveals that deprivation of sleep activates the chemical pattern in the brain enhancing the attraction towards junk food enjoyment with intake of marijuana. Study shows that restricted sleep may trigger longing for munches later in the day, activating the chemicals that regulate hunger and pleasure.

A simple formula we can follow is to restrict intake of food items to a total of ten in a day, with average 100 calories each.  This of course is a thump rule calculation which has more practical value than scientific.  This may suffice the energy requirements of a sedentary life style, and another 500 calories if you follow an active life-style, of course, a dietician may be consulted to fix your diet in accordance with the activity level involved.  On top of this, we can follow the 6s principle of good health by avoiding (1) Sweet, (2) Saturated fat (fried items), and (3) Salt Moderation, while including (1) Salads, (2) Sports (exercise), and (3) spiritual activities (meditation/prayer/visit to holy places) in our daily life.  In fact avoiding consumption of sweet, fried items, and regulated consumption of salt intake, will automatically control your weight, and including a regular exercise programme, at least half an hour walk, and following a meditative and vegetarian life-style to keep stress levels under control, will be more effective and yielding better results than any other external dependency.

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HEARTBEATS : The Irony Behind Women’s Day.

naduvathery's Blog

We just celebrated International Women’s Day on the March 8th.  A number of tremendously inspiring stories of women achievers all over the world were brought out by the visual, print, and social media encyclopedia like twitter, facebook, watsapp, and so on.  Social media has become an ocean of knowledge, so I call it social media encyclopedia.

The earliest womens’ day observance was held on February 28, 1909, the last Sunday of February in New York.  It was organised by the Socialist Party oif America in rememberance of the 1908 strike of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union.  Americans continud to celebrate Womens’ day on the last Sunday of February for some time.  Later it was recognised by UN as 8th March to bring in awareness of equality, justice, respect, and honour for women like men.  The major point raised by women initially was the discrimination of sex for employment purposes.  

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HEARTBEATS : The Irony Behind Woman’s Day.

We just celebrated International Woman’s Day on the March 8th.  A number of tremendously inspiring stories of women achievers all over the world were brought out by the visual, print, and social media encyclopedia like twitter, Facebook, watsApp, and so on.  Social media have become an ocean of knowledge, so I call it social media encyclopedia.

The earliest womans’ day observance was held on February 28, 1909, the last Sunday of February in New York.  It was organised by the Socialist Party of America in remembrances of the 1908 strike of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union.  Americans continue to celebrate Womans’ day on the last Sunday of February for some time.  Later it was recognised by UN as 8th March to bring in awareness of equality, justice, respect, and honour for women like men.  The major point raised by women initially was the discrimination of sex for employment purposes.  

Whenever the Divine wanted to enter the planet, the entry point invariably has been woman only, be it mother Mary, Devaki, Shakuntala, Jijabai, or anyone else.  The list is endless. Can you show a single man who came to the earth directly from heaven, other than through a woman, created history here, and has been instrumental in transforming our society?  It is not possible.  

Just like without touching fire we can’t feel the heat, without touching ice we can’t feel the coolness, love, compassion, humbleness, forgiveness, and similar qualities of human beings cannot be felt and understood by reading books or Vedas, had there been no women in our life.  Even in the Vedas and scriptures the role of woman is exemplary.  

Look at the picture of any God, be it male or female, you can always feel a mix of feminist qualities signifying beauty.  Can we think of beauty without womanhood? Pick up any handsome man, be it an executive, a sportsman, a model or a star, the beauty behind the handsomeness is from the feminine features like the shape, softness, the fairness, and so on, whether you agree or not.  

To understand the true meaning of hope, patience, positive attitude, and unconditional love in life, only one full-fledged teacher is available on the face of earth, the mother.  No management institution, teacher, or coach, can match her.  imagine her patience for nine and odd months, and another nine years she spends to make the child think independently.  Only and only one person exists in this world who will always love you irrespective of your status or conditions in life, your mother.  Glory to the woman, the mother.  

Not checking gender status during pregnancy, not longing for a male child when you are gifted with the gem of a daughter, not sending the mother to the old age home, giving the best of education, best of freedom, best of responsibility to your daughters, not treating your daughter as if she belongs to someone else, giving respect, care, and honour to every woman, and protecting her dignity around us, in the family and the society, understanding the meaning of silence behind a woman, giving your seat in a bus or a train to a woman passenger, fighting for the woman who are left alone in the society, fighting the violence against women in the society, treating daughter-in-law like your own daughter, making women economically, emotionally, and socially independent of any man, is the real celebration of womanhood.  

Women’s day celebration should not only be on the 8th March, but it should be throughout the year, every day, every hour, and every second in our life, because women are something beyond celebration.  It will not be an exaggeration if we say that they are the gifted ones by the divine.  The divine dwells in their body and soul altogether.  

The male ego may curse me for saying this. “It will always be a wishful thinking” few of you may say, and you may have your own valid reasons therefor.  All said and done, however, I strongly believe that if women are made equal to men in all respects, the economy will take quantum jump in development, as so many families, old people, and children will be saved and looked after across the world.  When they represent almost 50% of the population, and the role of women has changed altogether through the ages, it has to come one day, whether you like it or not.  

    (Courtesy: Wikipedia and WatsApp)

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HEARTBEATS – Don’t Make Your Eyes Useless.

Eyes are one of the wonders of human body.  They help you see and enjoy the things around you.  But eyes without connectivity with brain do not function.  Often you must have experienced that when you are angry, when you are over-anxious, when you are too much in a hurry, you are unable to see the things physically present in front of your eyes, not because you are blind but only because at that moment your eyes are not connected with your brain.  The wonderful eyes, however, are required not only to see things around you but also to observe and learn from what you see, which is again a function of our consciousness.

The world is a university and life is an MBA course, for which you are neither required to write any admission test or pay any fees, which teaches you her how to maintain your relation with others, how to discipline yourself, how to prosper, and become successful, how to progress in life, what to do and what not to do.  Enrollment in this MBA is natural and automatic.  Yet, only a few will be able to derive maximum benefits out of this course, because only and only if you have an attitude of learning from what you see, and keep yourself focused on self-development, you can really experience progress from this course.

Life is a learning experience.  Firstly you learn from your parents, then teachers, peers, colleagues, friends, and your constant interaction with them, and other institutions in the society make you feel what you are.  At home as a child, in school as a school boy or a girl, in college a student, and in office or workplace you become a citizen, and identify yourself as somebody.  In fact anything and everything in life is actually learned from others by observing and experiencing.  In fact others make or un-make your life.  The other things you learn from schools, colleges and other professional courses help you enhance your merits and add quality to your life.

Human beings are blessed with the special capability to transform their lives the way they want.  The other living beings are just meant to mate, eat, and survive.  A lion remains a lion till death, and does not possess aspirations.  Only human beings can add value to others, develop and transform their lives, and can become a servant, a ruler, or anyone else. As a matter of fact, the degree of value addition to others determines the degree of success and development of a human being, and nothing else. All other analytical assessment or evaluation technique is superfluous.

Today’s world throws up a bigger challenge on us.  The challenge is competition in every field.  You have to be better than others as a choice. Right from day one, be it in your house, office or anywhere, you have to compete with others in order to push yourself ahead.  You have to take competition seriously, and special efforts are required to make yourself more and more competitive for which learning things from others, upgrading your talent on a continuous basis has to be a constant endeavour., rather than fighting and also using tactics.

We are all tactful and strategic, one has to be, to make life more and more effective. However, a pair of eyes with support of an imaginative brain, ability to analyse your existing competence, taking measures to improve the existing talents, and acquiring new ones, focusing on contribution rather than consumption, and making yourself competitive, are the criteria to make you come out with flying colors in the MBA called life.

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HEARTBEATS – Social or Super animal?

Narayan Poudel, 32, a temporary teacher at a Primary School in Pokhara, 200 kms. from Kathmandu, Nepal, killed Dehila Yehia, a 25 year old American woman, who was on a mission to help earth-quake victims, with hammer blows inside his room, wrapped her body in a bed sheet, and threw into the seti river.  A person who was on a noble deed, becomes a hapless victim of a criminal minded individual!

A girl was picked up from a BPO in Bangalore, and raped by two people, and within a few days another girl was picked up, and raped by four people, again in Bangalore. There are a plethora of such incidences around the world, where man turns against man, much against the acceptable belief systems of normal human beings.  If it is a wild animal surviving on the flesh of other animals, we can understand that presence of an element of kindness, may prevent it from making the kill, and has to suffer.  Is it so with a human being, who is blessed with compassion, kindness, and ability to reason?

Every individual is possessed with an inherent drive to project oneself ahead of others, to undertake any activity to enhance comforts, and reduce pain, use strategy, or tactics to convert any situation favourable to the self, probably for a secure future for the self, the family, or even for satisfying a greedy desire.  The intensity of this self drive, availability of direct or indirect support from key persons in the society, resulting in overall fearlessness of the prevailing law, and a state of mind overwhelmed by egoistic temperament, may make people blind towards the harmful effect of the crime towards others, and ultimately even toward the self. Or is it fate, ill-luck or misfortune, simply greed, fear out of insecurity, over-ambition, or act of God behind such crimes?

Around 20% of the population are criminal minded, and all the police, the army, the administrative machinery, and its entire network, are actually for this 20% people.  The rest 80% are law-abiding citizens who do not require these legal, moral or social compulsions, or controls of any kind.  The institutional and organisational efforts to tackle crime have increased tremendously over the years, but unfortunately, the crime rate has not shown any sign of reduction.

The compulsions of life consisting of human deficiencies of various nature, the longings for comforts, actually intensify our attachments to the world of possessions, which appear to be a perpetual reality, especially in the modern society.  In spite of the presence of common sense, intelligence, and the ability to reason, mind never agrees to turn away from comforts in real life, making us more and more entangled in even immoral activities, often leading to crimes.

On top of it, relatives, friends, and well wishers keep on motivating you to be tactical, strategic, and ambitious to achieve more and more, even if you have to adopt the path of aggression, disharmony, and even annihilation.  The process of annihilation appear to be a necessity and various compulsive attempts will have to be resorted to, to cover up the activity with duty bound devotion towards some ideology, or out of fear of someone more powerful.  Such continued persistence compels you to get entangled in irrational, illogical, and even activities harmful to others.  Ultimately making you feel that in spite of variety of achievements, you feel, you have reached neither the top nor the bottom, and somehow struggle to survive, actually like a living dead body.

Constant failures, and self deficiencies stare at you, wherever you go, the burden of life becomes unbearable, and you are left with empty stomach, empty pockets, leaving you with nothing but emotional disturbances.  This situation compels you to resort to some action to ensure your escape from it.  Negativity fills our mind and we land up in a situation where we undertake the job with a firm self commitment to face any consequences, often leading to daring criminal activities.

Coping with life somehow becomes a compulsive necessity, and you tend to ignore the illegality, and the antisocial nature of the activities, even though there are ample opportunities to introspect and become conscious.  A criminal by nature, internally motivated to be a criminal of high order, of course, can be brought under control or diverted from his mission, only if there are checks and balances in the society to make his mission futile, and to inflict fear of law in his mind.

The religious sentiments, cultural compulsions, and group effects, make the situation worst, and uncontrollable, and a need arises for making attempts to establish harmony in the society.  Usage of discretion, intelligence, and the faculty of reasoning, never become practical, and knowingly or unknowingly, in the absence of individual and group value systems, criminality becomes a way of life.

HEARTBEATS – Few make it, many fail!

“Knowledge is power” we all know this well.  Awareness of this fact persuade most of us to strive for acquiring maximum knowledge in life.  We do everything possible and attempt even the seemingly impossible methods to make sure that our knowledge level is always at the peak, so is our anxiety to make our near and dear ones also more and more knowledgeable and talented.  See where the education sector has taken human society.

This knowledge mission has made us enter into a fiercely competitive age, and the process has undergone a wide variety of experiments and methods, and landed us in a situation where information and data have taken over theories completely.  We have of course become proficient enough in the field of acquiring, imparting and making use of knowledge.  In fact proficiency is at our finger tips.  What about efficiency?  As against proficiency which is the expertise in the area of our focus, efficiency is our talent or ability in life to make use of our proficiency in a nutshell.

Where both efficiency and proficiency meet, success emerges on its own.  Although life does not go the way we want, and at times, we experience the presence of some invisible energy, we may call it luck, fate, or whatever, yet the role of personal efforts, and the impact of environment cannot be overestimated.  In Psychology we call it the effect of nature and nurture.

The incidences of people who are highly proficient in their professional field, but a failure in practical life, are the people who gave their life to their professions, but ignored the life lessons, of loving, sharing, and caring.

Naduvathery

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HEARTBEATS – The Golden Age

It’s a fact beyond doubt that age brings in tremendous changes in our life, affecting all of us without any exception.  While physical changes happen in front of our eyes, there are changes happening in our cognitive abilities, which largely depend on the biological changes happening in our brain.  Research findings reveal that while physical abilities do decrease as we age, the person gains more experience, maturity, practical knowledge of handling life situations, and acquires a wider knowledge base as the age goes up.

On nearing the sixties people start looking at you differently, naturally creating a feeling in you that you are getting old, and perpetuating your perception that you are likely to enter the last phase of your life “retired”.  The surroundings also makes you feel that you are actually becoming good-for-nothing, and your age, health conditions, and old age predicaments in general, will be a talk of the town in your circles of friends and relatives, and often there will be reprimands as well demanding you to take more care, and you may be  naturally needing more and more attention, but actually appear to be receiving less and less of it, sometimes have to face rejection, and may be even ultimate abandonment, in reality.

Research findings suggest that while there may be some decline on the episodic memory (memory of experiences associated with a particular time and space), the semantic memory (general knowledge) largely remains in tact.  Procedural memory or the knowledge level of performing any skilled tasks, generally remains in tact.  You may have seen some old people performing some specified tasks very accurately like cycling, yoga, walking, running etc. which of course are related with the physical ability of the person.

Unless the person suffers from some serious illness in the brain like Alzheimer’s disease or any other malfunctions of the brain, people will generally be able to retain the cognitive abilities in tact.  There are increasing evidence to show that even the decline in memory that happens with age, can be substantially compensated by mental exercises, like meditation, activities that require thinking, reading, reasoning and memorization.

The weight of the brain does decrease when age advances, 5% by age 70, 10% by age 80, and 20% by the age 90.  Also the frontal lobe of the brain, that plays a major role in maintaining our working memory, gets weakened over time.  As we go up in age, maintaining overall ability will be possible by maintaining proper vegetarian diet, physical (exercise, walking, running etc.), and recreational activities.   Education and life style of the person in general will play a vital role.

There are so many evidences to show that the intellectual abilities do appear to be in tact, until the person enters age 60, 70, 80, and beyond.  Only tasks requiring physical activities may decline in speed drastically as we age.  There may be slow reaction time, but this can be amply compensated by enhanced maturity level, experience and knowledge, which can be far superior to youngsters.  It has been found that intelligence (an ability to think and reason) increases upto the early twenties, and then start declining, whereas crystallized intelligence or the accumulated knowledge increases over the life span.

It is said that creativity declines as we grow older.  However, creativity is not the exclusive domain of the youth.  There are famous artists, inventors, and composers, who have completed major works of art very late in their lives.  Michelangelo continued his designing and painting until his death at the age of 83.  In the recent past, MF Hussein continued to shine till very late in his life, and we can see many more examples which explains that creativity does not actually decline as we age.

Along with steps to maintain physical and mental abilities, maintaining your contributions to your surroundings in such a way that your surroundings will really miss you will go a long way.  In fact old age is the time, when you can indulge in the activities you have always wanted to do, and be happy.  It can really be the golden age, with a little extra care to remain active..

Naduvathery

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