A woman in her 20’s and 30’s

Women in their 20’s 

As we age our body changes naturally. Many factors like genetics, lifestyle, nutrition, and environment affect how people of either gender age, but the rate and way that men and women age is completely different.

Between the ages of 10 and 12 girls usually reach puberty. By the age of 21 she is a young woman who has sailed through adolescence and entered adulthood. It is also commonly considered as the social age for child bearing years. 

Establishing healthy habits in your 20s is an essential building block for a healthy life. Big transitions happen during this decade. The body is producing the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and androgen at peak levels, adding both fat and muscle. 

Women in this age group may be busy forging their way in the workplace, establishing relationships, raising a young family, studying, travelling or several of these things at once. All of this takes a great deal of energy and attention. A busy lifestyle can sometimes affect health-conscious decisions, and can contribute to the trend of young women becoming heavier and unhealthy. Therefore it is important to make sure you look after your body and your mind. 

Being overweight can increase the risk of serious health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and some cancers. Obesity also reduces female fertility and it can affect emotional health and confidence. Being underweight, following diets that eliminate food groups, reducing calorie intake more than what is essential for the body, etc can all lead to negative health repercussions. 

Eating the right foods in the right proportion and exercising regularly have never been as important as they are now. It not only helps in feeling better but also helps function better and stay healthier in this crucial stage as well as in the years to come. 

Women in their 30’s 

During this decade there is gradual bone and muscle loss in women. It can lead to slowing down of metabolism especially in women who do not exercise. Maintaining a healthy weight becomes more challenging post 30. The ability to add bone density slows and eventually stops post mid 30’s. Weak bones can lead to Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis which can increase risk of fractures and breaks in the senior years.

Focussing on exercises that help in building bone density and maintaining good bone health is very important for women. It is a  busy decade with work, kids, family and home which can leave you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Letting regular workouts slide can be easy, but women must make nutrition and exercise as much a priority as work, friends, and family. Maintaining an exercise program that includes aerobic activities, like walking, jogging, or biking, also helps to stimulate the slowing metabolisms.

Excessive ultraviolet exposure to the sun causes unstable melanocyte activity, which in turn causes hyperpigmentation in the 30s and onward. Regular use of sunscreen is therefore important from an early age. Fertility in women usually decreases after the age of 35. It may take longer to get pregnant particularly after the age of 35. So for women who are waiting well into their 30s to have children, it becomes more important than ever to be in good health, eat healthy and have early prenatal care to ensure a normal pregnancy and a healthy baby.

20 to 40

Hormonal fluctuations and medical conditions arising due to the same are common during these two decades (ages 20 to 40).  It can lead to issues like Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and thyroid issues arising due to the same. Women are more likely than men to have thyroid diseases, especially right after pregnancy and after menopause due to the drastic changes in hormones within a woman’s body.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS): This is common among young women of reproductive age. It is also one of the most common causes of female infertility. It can occur as early as teenage soon after reaching menarche or later in the twenties or thirties.

Common symptoms of PCOS:

  • Irregular periods or no periods
  • Excessive facial and body hair
  • Thinning of hair
  • Weight gain
  • Skin tags
  • Mood swings

Nutritional Guidelines for PCOS:

  • Consume wholegrains that are rich in fiber
  • Eat a variety of coloured vegetables as they are rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants.
  • Reduce intake of caffeine as high caffeine can worsen the PCOS condition and symptoms.
  • Avoid refined and processed foods as they contain unhealthy fats.
  • Include regular physical activity in daily routine, with a balance of cardio and resistance training.
  • Get sufficient sleep (min 7-8hrs) each day.
  • Refrain from smoking and alcohol intake.

Taking good care of oneself through good nutrition and lifestyle habits, will give women the opportunity in these years to extend their life as a ‘young’ woman, age gracefully and improve the likelihood of being an active and vital mid-age and older woman in the years to come. 

Healing Through Breathing

We All Breathe

Breath is what gives life to every living thing. We cannot exist without breathing. Breathing is something that happens automatically,  an involuntary process controlled by the autonomic nervous system. However, we are capable of controlling our breath. There are different ways and techniques of breathing intentionally. So, it can also be done as a voluntary action by controlling our central nervous system. Conscious breathing techniques can make it possible for us to change the way we feel internally. Proper breathing techniques and awareness of breath can have dramatic implications on our health. 

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That Gut Feeling!

Gut bacteriaOur gut plays a major role not only in our gastrointestinal health, but also in the health and well-being of the entire body. There is a strong connection between the brain and the gut. Improving gut health therefore, subsequently improves not just our physical health but our mental health as well. Stomach which is part of our Digestive System, is also referred to as the gut. The importance of gut health can never be emphasised enough. There are thousands of species of gut microbes/ gut flora that live in our gut. This includes many different species of bacteria.  Continue reading

Do Massages Aid Weight Loss?

The weight loss industry is a thriving one. With the increase in busy schedules, hectic lifestyles and easy availability of fast foods, weight gain and obesity are on the rise. Instead of focussing on eating healthy, with a calorie-controlled diet and getting enough physical activity each day, people are looking for easy and quick fixes in order to lose and maintain weight.  

Mechanical massages and many other non-invasive body contouring and weight loss techniques have gained popularity to cater to those looking for quick fixes and immediate results. They use tools that stroke, create friction or vibrate against the skin of the area that it is working on. For example, vibration belts, ultrasonic techniques, electro lipolysis machines, radio frequency, etc. But do they really help? Experts and researchers suggest that such massages can work great as a temporary solution but are not a permanent fix. So, if you are hoping that a massage will help you get rid of  your cellulite, decrease your belly fat or shrink your arms and thighs, you are likely to be disappointed.

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Dimpling of skin is a result of accumulation of fat, better called cellulite. A massage may help to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Vigorous massages combined with laser energy or radio waves can improve blood circulation as well as stimulate the movement of lymphatic fluids within the treated area. This may reduce the dimpled appearance of the skin associated with cellulite, but the results are only short-lived. These massages cannot fix the problem permanently. It is believed that mechanical stimulation on the surface of the skin sends a signal deep down to the fat to provoke a physiological response like activation of lipolysis. However, based on the current research evidence, the myth that mechanical massage is an effective treatment for fat loss is busted. It may aid weight loss, provided you cut back on calories.

Improvement in the appearance of cellulite cannot be linked to fat loss. This is because, the massage is not really doing anything to break up the fatty deposit or reduce your body fat percentage. Fat cannot be targeted like in the idea of spot reduction. Massaging a certain area of the body may help to improve the contour for a short period of time, but it is not doing anything to stimulate fat loss. Reducing body fat is another story. The only way you can do this is by a caloric deficit and exercise.

Staying Healthy During the HolidaysWhen it comes to weight loss, what you eat matters the most. Losing weight  is the perfect combination of a healthy diet and a regular workout. There is no substitute to that for long term weight loss and overall health. Whether manual or mechanical, a massage does nothing to change the way in which your body metabolises food. So, you are not experiencing any increase in the calories you burn. Since calories are key to weight loss, a massage is not able to reduce the size of your waist, thighs or buttocks.

Massages simply knead your skin, muscles and other bodily tissue. There are many wonderful benefits to a massage. They are:

  • Reduction in stress levels
  • Relaxation of the muscles, lowering muscle tensionmassage 1
  • Relief from sore muscles after a workout, reducing stiffness
  • Improved blood circulation leading to better metabolism
  • Stimulating endorphins resulting in improved mood
  • Improved range of motion
  • Better sleep
  • Keeps the skin firm and supple

Massages done by trained specialists are considered safe. However, in some rare cases, they may cause nerve damage if pressure and technique used is incorrect. It is advisable that people who have a history of medical issues like osteoporosis, fractures, etc. should first consult their doctor before deciding to take any kind of massage. 

 

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Civility costs nothing yet Incivility is all pervading

The human race has superior intellect over every other living creature and our values guide our behaviour. They provide us with a personal code of conduct. Treating people with respect is a core value that should simply be a part of the fabric of society. Having respect for those around us is Civility. However, there is so much chaos in today’s world because of the absence of the same. Continue reading