Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Evolution led to obesity
According to Kate Steinbeck, co-chair of the 10th International Congress on Obesity in Sydney this is the first generation in history where children may die before parents.

Obesity had become an insidious killer and the major contributing cause of preventable diseases such as diabetes and heat disease.

Evolution and the environment has led to a global obesity pandemic with an estimated 1.5 billion people over weight.

Too little sleep and fat rich fast food is also to be blamed for altering a person's biology. No wonder girls as young as five are sensitive about their bodies in a "weight-hostile" environment that equates popularity and attractiveness with thinness.

It was suggested that the governments should consider taxing sugary beverages to protect Americans from consuming hundreds of excess calories a day.
 
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posted by jack at 10:20 AM | Permalink | 19 comments
Monday, August 28, 2006
Computer Related Injuries revisited
Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by damage to the median nerve, which passes through a "tunnel" of bones and ligaments at the base of the hand. This happens when repeated motions, such as typing, causes the tunnel to swell, compressing the nerve. This can cause shooting pains, radiating up the arm. It's part of a family of ailments called repetitive stress injuries caused when body parts are used regularly beyond their capacity.

The delicate wrist can be protected against carpal tunnel by exercise. It's been observed that carpal tunnel was rarer in the days of manual typewriters, which required far greater force to operate than computer keyboards. This slowed down the rate of typing. Also manual typewriters, for those old enough to remember them, required frequent breaks from typing for carriage returns, inserting paper and for corrections.

Carpal tunnel symptoms can be reduced by splinting the wrist at night, according to a study published in the January 2005 issue of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. The study was performed by researchers at the University of Michigan Health System and the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System.
 
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posted by jack at 10:52 PM | Permalink | 4 comments
Friday, August 25, 2006
Preventive Tips for Computer Related Injuries
Prevention, of course, is much better than treatment. San Diego State University's Social Science Research Lab has assembled a list of tips to reduce the chance of getting carpal tunnel syndrome or other repetitive stress injuries. They are:

  • DON'T rest your hands on the edge of the desk or wristpad as you type.
  • DON'T type while leaning elbows on a desk or arms of your chair.
  • DON'T slouch/slump. It compresses your spine, throws head forward leading to neck/shoulder problems.
  • DON'T hit keys any harder or longer than necessary.
  • DON'T grip mouse tightly.
 
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posted by jack at 10:54 PM | Permalink | 1 comments
Thursday, July 27, 2006

deep vein thrombosis (DVT )"I had absolutely no warning symptoms and I had no idea there was anything wrong at all," he said.


"I was sat at my desk and suddenly I was hit with the most excruciating pain in my lower back, I collapsed at the desk with my head on the keyboard, the pain was just so severe."


Freelance computer programmer Chris Simmons, from Whitchurch, Bristol, collapsed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT )after an eight-hour shift at home.



source BBC News

This news may not be new but that doesn't reduces the risk involved in a desk job. If you are have a doesk job that involves sitting in front of computers for 6-8 hours you might be at risk.

All it takes to avoid such problems is just a few minutes break and little exercise. You don't have to go to your company or your local gym for that. some stretching, little walk and regular short breaks would be enough.


Now Mr Simmons, 42, is calling on other desk-bound workers to get up and move around to cut the risk of DVT.


related articles
working out in your office space - my leg routine
4 Simple stretching exercises for back-pain relief
5 health problems common among bloggers.


 
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posted by jack at 12:10 PM | Permalink | 6 comments
Friday, May 05, 2006
Food for high productivity
"Snacking on high-sugar items such as candy, soda and fruit juices will cause a surge in energy. But this spike is short-lived and leaves your body more tired than you were prior to eating." said registered dietitian and American Dietetic Association (ADA) spokeswoman Tara Gidus. "But many people don't realize that what, when and how much we eat and exercise can significantly influence productivity, morale and safety.

According to a survey conducted by ADA and the ConAgra Food Foundation showed that with the working hours extending well after dinner timing, more and more workers starts eating junk food - 30% consumes snacks from vending machines while 20% look for other leftovers.

"To function optimally, your brain and central nervous system need a steady energy source from food. A recent study found that when workers miss at least one meal, feelings of lack of energy and motivation are more pronounced at the end of the work day." Skipping the meals or eating high calorie, less nutritious diet would not give you that energy.

A well balanced diet should consists of fruit, fresh vegetables and low-fat meat. Deep fried food should be avoid. You should drink 10-12 glasses of water daily. And if you take coffee in excess then make sure you drink one extra class of water for every cup of coffee. Water not only helps in washing out the toxins from the body but also keeps you fresh all day long.

Unbalanced diet can lead to illness like high blood pressure and heart problems but by avoiding high calorie junk foods and doing regular physical activity risk of developing such illness can be reduced. Other benefits of regular workouts are reduced workplace absenteeism, reduced health costs and medicine bills.

Related links (external)
American Dietetic Association ADA
 
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posted by jack at 1:24 AM | Permalink | 2 comments
Monday, May 01, 2006
can dirty computer screen make us sick?
A survey by computer cleaning specialists Durable researched the cleanliness of office desks nationwide and found out that:
  • 90% of office workers eat lunch at their desks
  • 22% of do not wash their hands before preparing food at the office
  • 72% pick our noses at work
  • 75% have dirty PC screens
  • 65% share colleagues’ phones and computers – and spread germs
  • 65% think office cleaners do not clean computer areas enough

Given these facts and figures there is no doubt that our habit plays a very important role in making us sick and here I am not taking about just a day's sick leave but millions of dollars of loss that companies face every years in terms of lost man power, working ours and more.

This can be avoided by maintaining good hygiene. All it takes is less then five minutes to wash your hands and regular cleaning of your surrounding.

Here are some facts I read in last few days that might be of your interest:

  • In one study it was found that mor ethen 70% of people don't wash their hands after using toilet. So even if you clean your hand make sure you don't touch that door handle with bare hands. Use some tissue paper to open it or you might be catching the germs without knowing.
  • Thats one more reason why one should not eat free peanuts available in the bar. (This reminds me of a movie I saw some days back)
  • Using public telephone is another big source of spreading germs. You never know who sneezed into that phone a minute back. Its better to hold a paper towel between the handset and your face.
Related articles (external links)
Fear the phone, not the doorknob
 
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posted by jack at 5:45 PM | Permalink | 3 comments
Wednesday, April 26, 2006
Exercise for fingers, wrist and palm of the hand
WE all know the bad effect of computers on our health and most of us even workout regularly to prevent such problems. Ok, I might be exaggerating when I said "most of us" but at least we all "think of" working out or take other measures like taking regular breaks to prevent such problems which are known as Computer Related Injuries(CRI). So what exactly you do when you take that break? Let me guess - you raise you hands and stretch your back because your back is tired, you rub your face and runs your fingers in your hair because your head feels heavy. And you take a little walk to give those legs some exercise. You are feeling relaxed, and now you get back to work. Break is over. But wait a minute. What about them which did all the work. Yes your fingers which actually typed those keys and wrote those papers. Please don't neglect them.

Wrist, fingers, palm and back of the hand are "the most" neglected part of your body. Hands are not just bones, they are made of nerves and muscles which produces lactic acid and which also gets tired. So the next time you take a break do your hands some favor by doing following exercises. And yes, just like all other exercises from me these are also simple and very less time consuming AND you won't need any equipment either.

Squeeze and release.
This is the very first exercise I do because it helps in relaxing the muscles and thus prevents any muscles and nerve damage. Start with both the hands, hold them straight in front of you with palm facing down and finger pointing straight. Now Clinch your hand and make a fist with your fingers (thumb on outside). Release and repeat 10 times.

Thumb Stretching.
Hold your left hand straight in front of you, thumb pointing up and palm facing right. Now with your right hand fingers hold the left hand's thumb and squeeze gently. Then slowly bend it toward left hand's wrist until you feel the stretch in your thumb and palm muscles.
Release and repeat 10 times with both hands. Just remember that while doing any kind of stretching exercises don't over do it, listen to your body and stop it if you feel pain because the aim of stretching exercises is to stretch the muscles and not harm them.

Wrist flexing.
Hold both hands in front of you, palm facing down. Now make tight fists. Slowly start moving your wrists up and down. Do it for 30 seconds. Now move your wrist to the left side and right side. Do this for 30 seconds. And in the end rotate the wrists clockwise and anti-clockwise and reverse (you will notice that it’s easier to rotate wrists in opposite direction with done with both hands together :-)

Hand Massage.
Finally you have given enough workout for your wrist and fingers. Now its time to give then some rest. Sit comfortably on a chair or sofa. Keep your left hand on your left thigh, palm facing down. Now place your right hand on left hand just between the wrist and the elbow. Slowly start rubbing your left hand with right palm by moving it straight towards the finger tips and back (do not try to rub the wrist and forearms in churning motion because nerves can get damaged). Now repeat for right hand.

Just include these 4 exercises in your daily routine; it doesn't take more then 5 minutes to do them all.

Related posts
"5 minute" Wrist exercise.
 
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posted by jack at 1:52 PM | Permalink | 1 comments
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Yoga for stress management and good heath
Yoga

Yoga is not just a collection of workouts to keep the body flexible and healthy but it’s a way of life adapted by Ancient Indian Gurus to balance mind, body and spirit and to maintain harmony between mind, body and nature. Yoga was used in ancient India as a mean to enlightenment. And it is still practiced in many parts of the world for different purposes like moving closer to god by attaining wisdom and for attainment of liberation from the cycle of life.

Stress

From doctors point of view stress is a response to strong external changes that affects us. Stress can be positive or negative like getting married and performing badly in an exam. But you should remember that these two opposite stress do not cancel each other, they both can have major impact on our body. Short term effects includes increasing heart rate, blood pressure etc while results in long term illness like heart problems and stroke.

Yoga and stress management

Like you read above, yoga has much higher purpose then just being used as some workout routine. But if you are busy and really cannot find time for regular yoga sessions then you can practice it in your home and office at any time to relieve pain and stress without any risks.

Relaxation is a state of mind where you are calm, fresh and free from stress and yoga can help your attain that state much faster. Yoga also helps you stay in that state much longer.

Some of the yoga asanas (pose) that are effective for stress management are:
  • Pranayama
  • Bhastrika
  • Sudarshan Kriya
All these are different forms of deep breathing exercises and my favorite is Sudarshan Kriya by Sri Sri Ravishankar. My choice may be biased given the fact that I have been practicing Sudarshan Kriya from last 5 years and have attained couple of workshops organized by Sri Sri Ravishankar himself.

Finally I would like to end this small post of mine by saying that you should find at least 1 hour everyday from your daily routine to take care of your body because in the end you will only have your body. The best way to practice yoga is from a guru but if you don't have that much time and money then join a small course and then supplement it with a good book or video.

Related posts
Get rid of that abdominal fat with 3 yoga techniques
15-minute simple yoga technique to relax
Palming - the simple yoga technique for eye relaxation
2 Yoga techniques for relieving neck pain
 
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posted by jack at 11:20 AM | Permalink | 2 comments
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Can stress lead to Chronic fatigue syndrome?
Chronic fatigue syndrome(CFS) is a complex and debilitating chronic illness that affects the brain and multiple body systems. The patient experience profound, overwhelming exhaustion, both mental and physical and muscle and joint pain. More information on CFS can be found in here and here.

According to experts the people with chronic fatigue syndrome are unable to deal with everyday challenges and adversity, including injuries, illnesses, divorce and stressful jobs.

The disease control agency estimates that more than one million Americans have the condition, with women suffering at four times the rate of men.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS at nytimes recently posted "Genetics and Stress Are Found Linked to Fatigue Disorder"- a finding by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Its an interesting research result that offers scientific explanations that stress combined with genetics can bring on CFS.

Related articles
Palming - the simple yoga technique for eye relaxation
15-minute simple yoga technique to relax
 
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posted by jack at 9:11 AM | Permalink | 9 comments
Saturday, April 22, 2006
Neck pain and you. Part 1 - Bad Postures : Good Postures

Most experts believe that neck pain starts with bad postures. So what can be a better way than tackling the problem at its origin.
BAD Posture: Holding the phone between your ear and shoulder is sure way of inviting the pain (commonly known as phone neck). This position causes the neck shoulder and back muscles to contract. Long duration calls can cause these muscles to spasm.

Good Posture: Use a handset.

BAD Posture: Using laptop or reading in bed. You won't believe me but one of my professors have to wear neck supporter 24 hours because he is suffering from severe neck problem. He used to work with is laptop in his bed.

Good Posture: So the word from the wise is -do not use laptop in bed if you don't want to end up looking like a giraffe. And if you must then use proper pillow or portable desk to support your neck and arms.

BAD Posture: Slouching in your chair. Remember that there is a constant weight of 10-12 pounds on your neck. Picture holding a big, round fruit on a small stick. Now try holding the stick slightly slanted. You get the picture? You may find slouching comfortable but it’s a nightmare for your neck.

Good Posture: Sit straight. Buy an ergonomic chair or put a small pillow or rolled up towel behind your back.

Bad posture: Are you waking up with a neck pain? If yes then your sleeping position is the culprit. Bed with poor back support and too high or too low pillow positions are common cause of neck pain.

Good Posture: If your pillow keeps your neck at an angle then its time to invest in a new pillow, make sure that your neck remains straight. Do not sleep on your stomach.

Bad Posture: So you have to clean your desk and you are in hurry. But shifting that monitor and printer carelessly can cost you your neck - literally. Lifting doesn't hurt just your lower back but it can also hurt your neck badly.

Good Posture: Here is the correct way to lift -

  • Stand up close to the object
  • Keep your back and neck straight, bend your knees.
  • Hold the object and lift it by pressing the floor with your leg muscles (standard way of doing leg squats ;-)
  • While moving the object keep it close to your body.
  • Repeat in reverse order to drop (I mean place) the object back.

Few more tips before wrapping up:

  • Avoid carrying all your bags and other stuffs in one hand.
  • If possible hold laptop carry bag in your hand and in place of slinging onto your shoulder.
  • Listen to your body. Don't ignore the warning signals.
Keep these few things in mind and you will never have that neck pain.
 
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posted by jack at 9:51 PM | Permalink | 6 comments
Thursday, April 20, 2006
10 warning signals for bloggers

Do you feel that tingling sensation in your fingers? Or that strange itching feeling on the back of your thumb? Does your hand shakes when you tries to keep it steady in front of your eyes? Does your hand muscles feel like burning? Do you feel the need to shake your hands every few minutes?

If your answer to any of the above question is Yes then I suggest that you pay very close attention to what I am going to say next because what you do in next 5 minute can change you life for ever. First let me tell you about myself in brief.

I was 12 years old when I received my first computer. It was the best gift I ever had. I still remember how I used to sit in front of the pc for hours and hours to play my favorite games.But now I regret doing that, because only if someone had warned me about computer related injuries like carpal Tunnel Syndrome I would not have had to go through all that pain misery.

Yes, it all starts with a funny tingling sensation in your fingers but if ignored it can become a permanent and unbearable pain which can cost you hundreds of dollars. If you happen to spend more then couple of hours on pc daily then you can be in danger because of your daily routine.

Some of the warning signals you should look out for are:
  1. Numbness of fingers and thumb.
  2. Burning sensation on the back of the hand.
  3. Tingling sensation on the back of fingers.
  4. Thumb's grip loosing its strength and things slipping out of your grip.
  5. electric-shock like feeling in hand.
  6. Increase in the pain and weakness during the night.
  7. Visible shaking of hands, more prominent in dominant hand.
  8. Feeling the need to "shake-out" hand every few minutes.
  9. Becoming clumsy in day to day tasks like buttoning the shirt.
  10. Degeneration of hand muscles.
These are few of the common symptoms of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. And if you notice any of these in yourself then I suggest that you should see your physician as soon as possible because as this problem becomes serious the pain would become permanent and there would be a visible wastage of muscles. And don't forget to tell you friends and family too. Afterall prevention is better then cure.
 
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posted by jack at 10:01 PM | Permalink | 2 comments
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Morning routine for eye care. Also helps in reducing headaches and stress.
This is a simple morning routine that I perform daily to relax my eyes and keep them health.

In the morning upon waking up but before having anything like morning tea or juice I go to the bathroom and fill my mouth with fresh cold water. Then I close my eyes and splash cold water on them 20 times.

You can do this not only in morning but in the evening too to reduce eye stress and headaches.

This simple routine benefits my eyes by increasing blood circulation in my mouth and eye area.
It is said that on doing this exercise daily for a month you can even improve your eye muscles strength and get rid of spectacles altogether.
 
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posted by jack at 11:26 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Monday, April 17, 2006
Get rid of that abdominal fat with 3 yoga techniques

Today I am going to tell you three simple yoga asanas (pose) - Bhujang-asana, PavanMukt-asana and Urdhva Dhanur-asana, that will help you reduce your body fat specially targeting the your abdominal area. And yes, just like all the workouts given here you can perform these three in your office itself WITHOUT any equipments except a Yoga mat.

Bhujang-asana

This is the simplest of the three yoga asanas (pose) that we are going to learn today. In Sanskrit Bhujang means king cobra, a huge and poisonous snake found in India, and so as the name suggest Bhujang-asana is the position that depicts the king cobra.

Technique:
  • Lie down on your stomach. Keep your hands next to your chest folded on the elbows.
  • Take a deep breathe.
  • Now raise your upper body, apply force from the back and not from the hands. Keep head straight. Exhale while you raise your body.
  • Maintain the position for 15 seconds. As you develop the stamina, increase this period to two minutes.
  • Now slowly lower your body to the ground and relax.

Other Benefits: Reduces neck pain and makes back muscles strong.

PavanMukt-asana

Pavan comes from the Sanskrit word "air", Mukt from "free". PavanMukt means freeing or releasing the trapped gas from the stomach. There are two variants of this asana -Ardha PavanMukt and PavanMukt. Both are effective in improving the digestion.

Ardh PavanMukt - Technique:
  • Lie on your back. Legs straight. Arms on the side.
  • Take a deep breathe in.
  • Now while exhaling, fold the left knee, touching your chest.
  • Hold the knee with both your hands.
  • Now hold this position for 15 seconds. Breathe normally.
  • After 15 seconds release the knee and bring it down.
  • Repeat with the right knee.

PavanMukt - Technique:
  • lie on you back as you do for Ardh PavanMukt.
  • Take a deep breathe in.
  • Now fold both the knees and hold them with your hands.
  • Hold the position for 15 seconds.
  • Release the knees and relax.
  • Repeat 10 times.

Other Benefits: Keeps the digestive system healthy ,relieves constipation and indigestion, keeps and lungs healthy.

Urdhva Dhanur-asana or Chakar-asana
In sanskrit Urdhva means "upward" and Dhanur means "to bow". This pose looks like the performer is bending upwards towards the sky. By far this is one of the most difficult asana . So don't loose heart if you are not able to perform this in first try.

Technique:
  • Stand straight, now sit on the floor by bending your knees. Your buttocks should be touching your heels.
  • Lie down on you back without moving your legs.
  • Keep your arms on the side, folded on the elbows.
  • Inhale.
  • Now slowly raise your pelvis and shoulders by pushing your arms against the ground, exhale while doing this. Try getting your forearms perpendicular to the ground.
  • Maintain the position for 15 seconds or as long as you can.
  • Lower the body slowly by bringing down your pelvis.

Other benefits: Makes lungs, joints and abdominal muscles strong and reduces back pain.

All these Asanas are difficult in the beginning, so try to maintain each pose for 10-15 seconds only. With practice you should be able to increase this duration to 2 minutes.
 
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posted by jack at 7:23 PM | Permalink | 4 comments
4 Simple stretching exercises for back-pain relief
Please remember that breathing in a proper manner is very important for all stretching exercises. Messing up the breathing pattern can lead to stomach pain.

1. Bending forward while sitting on the chair:
  • Bring your hands in front.
  • Take a deep breath in.
  • While breathing out lower your body bending forward. Bend as low as you can and try to touch your toes.
  • Now slowly breathe in and bend your body up to the original position.
  • Repeat this 10 times.
2. Bending backwards, very effective for someone who is sitting all day long:
  • Stand straight with 5-8 inches gap between your feet.
  • Inhale. Now bend forward while breathing out and try to touch the floor.
  • Maintain that position for couple of seconds.
  • Now bring your body to vertical position, breathe in as you do that.
  • Place you hands firms behind on your lower back.
  • Now bend backwards slowly and breathe out as you do that.
  • Maintain that position for couple of seconds.
  • Now bring your body to vertical position and breathe in as you do that.
  • Repeat this 10 times.

3. Knee Press:
  • Stand straight.
  • Breathe in.
  • Now start bending your knee and bring it up towards your chest, breathe out as you do that.
  • Hold for a count of 3 and release.
  • Repeat this again for a total of 10 steps.
  • Now repeat with other leg.

4. Stretching middle back:
  • Stand straight and place palms on your hips.
  • Breathe in.
  • Now gently twist your upper body to the left while breathing out, feel the stretch. Hold for a count of 10.
  • Repeat this for your right side.
  • Perform a total of 10 sets.
 
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posted by jack at 6:27 PM | Permalink | 1 comments
Sunday, April 16, 2006
2 Yoga techniques for relieving neck pain
Just a small advice. Do not over do these exercise and avoid using excess force. Do not try to produce neck cracking sounds produced by wrestlers and gangsters in some movies.

Ok now thats out of our way we can finally get on with our exercises.
Just sit in your usual chair/sofa/floor or stand upright.

exercise 1
  • Bring your hands in front and hold them together as in locked condition.
  • Now close your eyes slowly.
  • Take a deep breath in.
  • Turn your head to the left breathing out slowly.
  • Now slowly turn your head back to the centre breathing in.
  • Repeat the same for your right side.
  • Do 5 such sets.
  • Open your eyes slowly and relax.

exercise 2
  • Bring your hands bing your head. Hold your head in your hands.
  • Close your eyes slowly.
  • Relax. Take a deep breath in.
  • Now lower your chin to the chest (as if you are trying to see the ground) and breathe out slowing as you do that.
  • Next, bring your head up, take it all the way to the top (as if trying to see the roof) while breathing out. While you do this apply some resistance to the head with your hands.
  • Now breath out and as you do this bring your head down.
  • Repeat this 4 more time.
  • Bring your hands down, open your eyes slowly. And relax.

disclaimer: Neck contains many delicate nerves. Be gentle while doing these exercises. Very mild feeling of dizziness, similar to that we get when we stand up after sitting for long time is common in these exercises but if you feel any pain, numbness or any abnormality while doing these exercising, immediately stop doing it.
 
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posted by jack at 8:31 PM | Permalink | 3 comments
Palming - the simple yoga technique for eye relaxation
There are many eye exercises and yoga techniques, some works and some doesn't. No one knows. But you can check if this exercise works for you in next 10 minutes. If it does you can visit this page again and if it doesn't you don't have to. fair enough? Ok lets try then.

This is one of the many small "tips and tricks" given by my guru for relaxing our body when we are short of time and space.

  • First just sit comfortably in any position you like. Chair is fine.
  • Close your eyes. Keep them closed for a minute.
  • Cup both your eyes with your palms.
  • Don't press on the eyes. Just make a cup shaped envelop over the eyes.
  • Make sure that the palms are not letting any lights.
  • Don't worry even if you don't get perfect darkness on first try. Its not rocket science and eventually you will get it. Just open your eyes to adjust your palm and fingers if you want.
  • Now that you have perfect darkness around your eyes, open your eyes slowly.
  • Feel the darkness. Don't try to focus on anything. Just relax your eyes.
  • Take long deep breath. Relax.
  • Maintain the position for next 5 -10 minutes or as long as your hands are comfortable.
  • Then Close your eyes again. Bring down your hands.
  • Open your eyes slowly. Have a look around.

How do you feel. I can bet your stress is gone and you feel more relaxed then you were 10 minutes before.
Do this exercise couple of times a day and don't forget to post your experiences.
 
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posted by jack at 10:19 AM | Permalink | 3 comments
Saturday, April 15, 2006
15-minute simple yoga technique to relax

During my 3rd year in college I was introduced to one of the spiritual guru from india. Though spiritual teaching was the topic of our conversations, he also taugh us some meditation techniques to improve our focus and relax ourselves during exam times.

His concept was very simple but effective. First we were asked to sit straight, on floor or even on a chair (he was very flexible and practicle and thats why students liked him). Then we closed our eyes and relaxed. Allow the thoughts to come freely. According to the guru, if we try to block some thought from entering our mind then that thought would just try to enter our mind with twice the force. If you don't believe then just do this simple test, it will take a minute only. Close your eyes. Now think of anything. Anything in this world except monkeys. Just try! Think of any image you like but don't think of monkeys.

I am sure the only images that came to your mind was monkeys- small, big, black, brown- all sorts of monkeys.

So you see, the key to meditation and relaxation is to allow the thoughts to wash you through. Just close your eyes and relax. Don't think of anything in particular. Don't try to block the noice coming from next cubicale, or from streets.
Now focus on your breathing. Keep them long and strong. Deep breathing is the key. "Let Go" any thought that comes to your mind.

I am sure by following this technique for 15 minutes daily you will find yourself much more peaceful and relaxed.
 
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posted by jack at 9:16 AM | Permalink | 4 comments
Friday, April 14, 2006
working out in your office space - my leg routine
Being a software engineer I spend most of my time in front of my computer. There was a time when I used to go for jogging in a park nearby. But now its all work and only work. I always used to tell myself that I am going to start jogging by the end of this month, but as usual it never happened. So finally I dropped the idea of going to park and started doing few minutes workout in my office itself and in no time I started feeling really satisfied with my efforts (15 min workout is better then 30 min of thinking about going to park ;-)).

This is what I do on a normal day:
I start with 5 minutes of warm-ups and stretching exercises (going down to the lower floor and coming back is a good way to warm-up ).
After warm-up I do 3 sets of 15 squats, with 1 foot gap between both the feet.
Then I use my chair(without wheels) and do some press ups.
Again I do 3 sets of 20 squats, but this time with wider gap between both the feet.
And finally I do some streching by touching my finger toes (shoe tips actually) with my fingers by bending to the floor(without bending the knees).
After that I take one last round of that lower floor to warm down my body.

All this takes less then 15 minutes of time. And my whole body feels much relaxed, specially my back and legs. Just remember one thing, don't do this workout (or any workout for that matter) just before or after lunch time.
 
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posted by jack at 2:19 AM | Permalink | 0 comments
Thursday, April 13, 2006
"5 minute" Wrist exercise.
Lets start with a simple one here. Why don't you do this exercise with me. Yes! that would be great idea.

OK! so take you hands of the mouse and keyboard. Good!

Exercise 1:
  • Extend your left hand out, with back of your hand facing you and fingers pointing up.(just like the traffic cop tells you to stop ;-)). Good.
  • Grab the top of your left hand's fingers with your right hand.
  • Bend the fingers by pulling the fingers towards you.
  • Hold this position for 5 seconds. Then release slowly.
  • Repreat 4 more time with same hand.
  • Now repeat with right hand.
  • Do 3 sets with both hands.

Exercise 2:

  • Extend both the hand in front of you, palm facing eachother.
  • make fist with fingers of left hand, thumb outside.
  • Grab the fist of left hand with your other hand.
  • Bend the fist to inside with your right hand, while trying to resist with your left hand.
  • Do this for 5 seconds. Then relax for a second.
  • Repeat again.
  • Now repeat the same exercise with right hand.
  • Do 3 sets with both the hands.

Done. See! it didn't take much time. Did it? Now remember to do these two exercises atleast twice a day.

 
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posted by jack at 10:05 AM | Permalink | 4 comments
5 health problems common among bloggers.
When a blogger writes 5-10 articles per day, most of his time is spent in front of the computer. As the time passes by the hardworks starts showing in the shape of increasing bank balance. But alone with big pay comes big health problems(spiderman?) and the sleepless nights starts taking toll on the bloggers health. But he keeps ignoring the uncomfortable feeling in his hands and fingers for the sake of blogging down that last paragraph untill the pain becomes unbearable. But by that time the damage has been done. You may have heard about Carpal Tunnel Syndrome which just one of many dangerous typing injuries. Cubital Tunnel Syndrome, Trigger Finger, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and many others are typing related problems all of which are in advance stages can cause unbearable pain and irrecoverable damage and even permanent damage. It is said that prevention is better then cure. And prevention is possible only with awareness. So remember these 5 problem everytime you sit in front of the screen and take necessary precautions:

  1. Computer Related Repetitive Strain Injury(R.S.I). RSI occurs from the excess and nonstop use of hands which causes damage to nerves, muscles, and tendons. Improper typing techniques and body position which places unnecessary stress on the hand and wrist can accelerate the damage. Lack of adequate rest is another factor affecting the tendons and nerves.
  2. Osteoarthritis(O.A). Of all the forms of arthritis, O.A is the most common and it would be misleading to say that its a disease of old age because it can occur in children too. In short OA is just wear and tear of the joint surfaces. Many insidious factors like long working hours without breaks, poor posture, repititious work and prolonged postures can all accelerate this wear and tear of the joints. Poor nutrition, insufficient amount of sleep or poor sleeping pattern can all cause joint damage because of the fact that joint repair occurs while we sleep.
  3. Dry Eye Syndrome. Over ten million Americans suffer from dry eyes. It's one of the most common problem. It is usually caused by a problem with the quality of the tear film that lubricates the eyes. It can be caused due to aging process.Other common factors are hot and dry climate, air-conditioning and cigarette smoke. If you find your eyes irritated when reading or working on a computer and need to stop periodically to rest and blink then you are at risk.
  4. Back Pain and numbness of legs. Deep, aching, dull or burning pain in one area of the back or traveling down the legs. Person may experience numbness, tingling, burning, or a pins-and-needles type sensation in the legs. Even the regular daily activities may prove difficult or impossible and he may find it difficult or unbearable to work, for example, even when the job does not require manual labor. Such pain tends to last much longer. Poor body mechanics, prolonged activity and fatigue are major contributors to these injuries.
  5. Neck, Shoulder,Elbow pain. Though not a permanent or serious problem but very uncomfortable. Bad posture and working on bed are then main culprits here.

Almost all of these problems either results from poor posture or lack of rest. Taking 10-15 minutes break every hours can not only prevent these problem but can also slow down the already injured ones.

 
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posted by jack at 8:49 AM | Permalink | 1 comments
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