Category Archives: Health


Gynecomastia is a common ailment affecting a lot of men. It causes excess fat buildup in the chest, leading to breast enlargement, which can be a huge blow to a man’s self-esteem. Excess fat in the chest results from hormonal imbalance, a buildup of too much estrogen in the body. Obesity is also a leading cause of gynecomastia. Malfunctioning of the adrenal gland and regular usage of certain medications and drugs can also lead to enlarged breasts in men. Apart from surgery, exercise combined with a healthy diet can help you get rid of this condition, which is usually benign in nature. You need to target your chest muscles to tone them up and to lose all that extra flab, so you no longer need to hide yourself in public.

Effective Exercises for Gynecomastia

Incline Bench Press
The incline bench press is one of the best exercises you can perform for gynecomastia. Lie down on the incline workbench, feet on the floor, and lift the weight bar in a vertical manner. Gradually lower the weight bar to your upper chest and lift it again. Do this set at least 6-8 times, and repeat a set thrice.

Incline Dumbbell Press
The above exercise can be modified to an incline dumbbell press. Tilt the workbench to a 45 degree angle and lie face up on the workbench. Instead of the weight bar, use a pair of dumbbells. Hold a pair in each hand, exhale, and raise them upwards. Now take a deep breath, and lower the dumbbells simultaneously, keeping your arms slightly away from your body. Similar to the exercise mentioned above, do each set of this exercise thrice.

These are an effective way to tone your chest muscles. Place your feet together, and kneel down on the floor. Bend and position your arms on the floor, placing them as wide as shoulder-width apart. Extend your legs and shift yourself into a position so your chest almost touches the floor and your shoulders are directly above your palms. Keep your back straight. Now press your weight into your palms and push off, raising your body to the same position where you started off. Repeat this push-up a few times. You can eventually graduate to placing a 10 lb weight on your back between the shoulders, which will offer more resistance and compel you to push yourself up harder.

Use a Seated Rowing Machine
One of the best ways to get rid of enlarged breasts. This workout tightens your chest muscles, so they do not sag. Sit on the rowing machine, knees bent slightly forward. Straighten your shoulders and back, exhale, and begin pulling the handles toward you. Then inhale and slowly return your elbows to where you started from. Throughout the exercise, keep an upright posture and do not lean forward or backward.

Interval Training
This kind of training, where few minutes of intense exercise is followed by a few minutes of easy exercise kick-starts your metabolism and is a quick way to eliminate fat buildup.

Use a Stationary Bike
Alternate between a minute of cycling and a minute of sprinting, and continue to do it for 15 minutes. Cycle at your regular pace. This will help shed the extra fat and calories.

Sprinting up the Stairs
All you have to do is run as quickly as you can up a flight of stairs, and then walk back down. Repeat this running up and walking down at least a dozen times to shed those extra pounds.


You’ll often hear bodybuilders being meticulous about their protein intake. They also tend to avoid fats like the plague. But are they as exacting about their calcium intake? How many times have you heard a bodybuilder fuss about calcium consumption? It’s most likely to be never. Calcium, by far, always tops the list of the most ignored mineral amongst the lot.

A calcium deficiency only comes to the fore with symptoms like aching joints, muscle aches and cramps, rheumatoid arthritis, tooth decay, and brittle nails. Most of these, unfortunately, tend to be ignored, escalating your health troubles.

For a bodybuilder, it is extremely essential to know the significance of calcium in maintaining bone health, and overall well-being. But first, here are the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) figures for men and women.

Recommended Calcium Intake for Adults
Men aged RDA
19 – 50 years 1000 mg – 2500 mg
51 – 70 years 1000 mg – 2000 mg
71 and older 1200 mg – 2000 mg
Women aged RDA
19 – 50 years 1000 mg – 2500 mg
51 and older 1200 mg – 2000 mg

Calcium and Bodybuilding
As steadfast as they are about their protein intake, bodybuilders often seem to forgo minerals by undermining their importance. As a result, the consequences of doing so come as a rude shock.

Calcium is the most abundant mineral found in our entire body. It regulates the heartbeat and helps in keeping blood pressure steady. It is also facilitates blood clotting, maintenance and formation of bones and teeth, and the conduction of electrical impulses in the nervous system.

A major share of the calcium present in our bodies is stored in the bones and teeth. The rest is usually found in blood, muscles, and other bodily tissues and fluid. In case your meals lack adequate amounts of calcium, the body will source the mineral out of your bones, weakening them in the long run. As a consequence, you may become susceptible to osteoporosis, which is the loss of bone mass. Since bones continually undergo repair throughout your lifetime, adequate calcium intake is necessary, irrespective of your age. Female bodybuilders, in particular, need to carefully monitor their dietary calcium intake, since low levels of estrogen can decrease calcium absorption and supplement its loss.

Calcium plays the vital role of aiding muscle contraction and relaxation. It enters into the muscle cell due to nerve stimulation and biochemical processes in motion. These processes cause the proteins myosin and actin to be drawn together, which contract the muscle cells by making them shorter and thicker. Clearly, the importance of this mineral cannot be stressed enough, especially in the case of bodybuilders.

Diet Statistics

Fad diets are the best choice when you want to lose lots of weight desperately. You wouldn’t mind staying on liquid for days, eating only one vegetable for weeks and gulping down breakfast cereal like a maniac, all to lose weight. These are the principles of some of the most well-known and often sought after fad diets across the world. According to the statistics, there is about 68% of American population which is over their ideal body weight and are trying to lose it with the help of these fad diets. These are those diets which are designed for a particular period of time, during which, a specific set of foods are to be consumed. These foods can be either low carb, low fat or detox which change the metabolism of the body to reduce the fat content.

Fad Diet Facts

Today there are many fad diets used as weight loss diets, which are patterned for a specific period of time. They have a particular menu which is advised in specific quantities, so that they fill your stomach and help you lose weight at the same time. Hunger is generated at the satiety center in the brain, and when we are full, you get a feeling of satisfaction. Many a time, these fad diets contain particular foods which have the ability to satisfy our satiety even with lesser amounts, giving us a feeling of fullness. According to the statistics, there are a few shortlisted diets, which have worked for a number of users, which are;
Atkins Diet: The Atkins diet is a low carbohydrate diet which was introduced by Robert Atkins. Statistics say that out of the 25 million Americans who practice this diet for a given period of time, 50% succeed to achieve their goals.
Cabbage Soup Diet: The Cabbage soup diet is also tried by millions of users throughout the world annually but the success rate of this diet is less than 40% because of its side effects.
Low Fat Diet: The Low fat diet is a harmful diet due to its unhealthy side effects on the body, and thus there are not many Americans who try this diet.
3 Day Diet: This diet shows positive results but only after you have followed it regularly. There is no statistical information about this diet.
South Beach Diet: The South Beach diet is one diet which has worked for a number of dieters in the past and still does, thus the success rates are close to 50%.
Zone Diet: The zone diet recommends that 40% calories should be obtained from carbohydrates and 60% from fats and proteins which are provided through this diet. Therefore, it is a well-known diet.
Grapefruit Diet: There are many health problems which are caused due to this diet and thus, the success rate is less than 30% in America.
The Juice Diet: Similar to the above fruit diet, this one is also with more risks than benefits. They all help lose weight easily but lead to weakness, Hb and energy problems.
Liquid Diet: The liquid diet (high fiber, low calorie shakes and juices) mainly consists of shakes and juices, which are semi liquids in nature. Though they have required nutrients, they are lesser in amounts. Success rate is about 40% with side effects.

Balanced Diet Importan

Wonder why celebrities look the way they do? How some people manage to maintain that fab body while most of us wear only the clothes which manage to hide our belly fat and bulky arms? Why some people never have to see the doctor while some are wasting half their salary in clearing up long hospital bills. The answer lies in their diet. Not just some fad diet that they are following, but a proper, healthy diet, where they don’t starve, but eat. Contrary to the belief of avoiding specific food groups, a balanced diet actually means eating all kinds of foods so as to provide the body with all the nutrients that it needs for its day-to-day functioning.

A balanced diet focuses on two main aspects:

– Eating the right type of foods.
– Eating in right quantity.

None of the above two are mutually exclusive. A diet which discourages you from omitting a particular food group should never be followed. Each food group contains different kinds of nutrients, and our body definitely needs all of these, but in different amounts, and it varies from person to person. When it comes to adopting a healthy diet, one size does not fit all. Everyone leads a different lifestyle, comes from different backgrounds, has different professions and fitness levels. All food is good when eaten as per your body’s needs. Yes! Even fats and carbs. How? Let’s see.
What It Includes
We all know that carbohydrates are classified as simple and complex. But what you also need to know is that they are also classified depending upon their glycemic index as fast and slow carbs. Fast carbs are the ones that get converted to fat quickly, while slow carbs don’t get stored as fats and provide us with energy. Slow carbs have a high fiber content and a low glycemic index. These are found in oats, barley, whole-wheat bread and pasta, all the lentils, as well as in brown rice. These provide the body with all the energy that it needs for carrying out the day-to-day functions. Fast carbs have a low fiber content and high glycemic index. It is highly recommended that you do not eat these along with a meal, but eat them as a meal by itself. These are found in biscuits, cakes, pastries, white rice, cold drinks, and sugar. Keep these limited to twice a week. However, some fast carbs like fruits, fruit juices, and white bread sandwiches, can be consumed within ten minutes of your workout to boost your energy levels. A well-balanced diet includes ⅓ of carbohydrates in each meal, i.e. about 225 to 325 grams. You need carbohydrates (read: slow carbohydrates) because:

– They regulate the bowel movement due to their high fiber content.
– They keep the hormones balanced.
– They stimulate the functioning of the immune system.
– They generate powerful antioxidants that protect the body cells from getting damaged.

Proteins play various roles in the functioning of our body. Their primary function is to build and repair the body cells. Proteins are as necessary as carbohydrates when it comes to maintaining a proper diet. Not only do they help you lose unnecessary fat, they also help in increasing the circulation and mobilization of the stored fat. They also help in making antibodies that help us fight against infections. Proteins are found in high quantity in eggs, chicken, fish, milk and milk products. You should include about 50 to 175 grams of protein in your daily meals.

IMS is the psychological, physiological, and chemical

IMS is the psychological, physiological, and chemical changes that occur in all men around the age of 40-55 years. This syndrome is also sometimes referred to as the male menopause, andropause, or midlife crisis. IMS can cause a number of mood swings, ranging from happy to sad, lethargic to full of energy, and sensitive to irritable. These mood swings are said to be stronger than those generally seen in women. IMS has broken the myth that only women have mood swings and are emotional.

Bouts of anger
Flushes and sweats
Decrease in bone mass
Weight gain
Defensive behavior
Demanding nature
Childish tantrums if demands are not met immediately
Unloving and sarcastic nature
Decreased libido
Erectile dysfunction
The main reason behind IMS is a fall in the testosterone levels of the body. It is very important for individuals suffering from this problem to seek medical help, as the mood swings make them irritable and decrease their ability to see things rationally.

In addition to the above symptoms, many hormonal fluctuations also occur in a male body that affect mental, emotional, and physical health of the individual. One may also experience memory lapses and bowel problems. Men suffering from IMS also face many prostate problems, frequent urination, and low stamina. Other symptoms that result due to low testosterone levels include cold hands and feet, constipation, dry skin, and intolerance to cold temperatures.

IMS patients also suffer from many chemical and hormonal imbalances that occur in the adrenal, thyroid, pituitary glands and pancreas. The imbalance in the adrenal glands can lead to arthritis, various allergies, high blood sugar, weight gain, and sugar craving. The symptoms associated with high thyroid function are anxiety, vision changes, fatigue, hair loss, insomnia, sweating, and weight loss. The pancreas monitor the blood sugar levels in the body, therefore, fluctuations in the pancreatic secretions may lead to high blood sugar levels, high triglycerides and cholesterol, weight gain, increased hunger, poor circulation, and type 2 diabetes. The pituitary gland is the most important gland in the body, as it regularizes the hormones in the body. If there is imbalance in the workings of this gland, the entire endocrine system goes haywire.
The symptoms that men suffering from IMS experience may not be just limited to mood swings and decrease in hormones. The changes may be subtle, causing the individual to experience a rush of emotions never expressed before. Empathy and care suddenly ooze out of him from nowhere. A simple choir song may bring tears in the eyes of a grown man suffering from IMS. There have also been situations where people suffering from IMS have suddenly opted for a change in lifestyle, bought a new sports car, or have even withdraw from society.

High BPA Levels and Child Obesity

Bisphenol A, better known as BPA, is an industrial chemical that has long been used in the manufacturing of plastic bottles and food containers. For years, BPA was also used in making baby bottles, until a USFDA report in 2010 identified the possible health hazards of BPA exposure. This resulted in the FDA outlawing the usage of BPA in all baby and children’s useables, including sippy cups and baby bottles.

Although USFDA does not permit the presence of BPA in infant formula packaging and other children’s useables, the ban does not extend to other products, such as canned food and beverage cans. So, children and juveniles are still at a risk of potential BPA exposure most of the time. In fact, blood samples of quite a few children show high BPA levels

Correlation Between High BPA levels and Childhood Obesity

There appears to be a correlation between the amount of BPA accumulated in the body and childhood obesity. A new study reported in the recent edition of the medical journal Pediatrics links higher BPA exposure to an increased risk of obese tendencies in children. The study was conducted by scientists of the University of Michigan who examined urine samples to measure BPA concentration in children within the age group of 6-18. Body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference of the participants were also recorded and taken into consideration. The scientists took this information from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey that was conducted from 2003 to 2010.

After investigating the data of around 3,370 children in great detail, the researchers noted that the likelihood of children becoming obese increases with higher urinary BPA levels in the body. The study also noticed that children with high BPA levels tend to have an abnormally high waist-to-height ratio as well as an alarmingly high body mass index, both pointing towards excess body fat.

Previous studies have confirmed a correlation between soaring urinary BPA levels and increased chances of getting cardiovascular problems and diabetes in adults. However, in the University of Michigan study involving children, no such link was observed. To be precise, this study did not detect any association between elevated BPA levels and abnormally high cholesterol or insulin levels that are considered to be biomarkers of chronic ailments.

BPA and Excess Body Fat

BPA is said to boost the storing of fat within the body by stimulating the production of fat cells. Also, the hormone insulin is known to hinder fat utilization and its actions help fat cells to accumulate more fat. In the presence of BPA, the insulin appears to be more effective in preventing fat stores from getting depleted. All this may contribute in making a person obese. So, although eating unhealthy food and leading a sedentary lifestyle are the primary culprits behind childhood obesity in the United States, exposure to such industrial chemicals is turning out to be an important factor in increasing the risk of obesity in children.

Improve Your Creativity Through Meditation

Everyone with a creative passion knows that the worst part is not the critiques, not the constant practice, but the blank page. No matter how creative, skilled or inspired you might be, there is something about sitting down to work and feeling that vast expanse of nothing stretch before you and erase everything you are as a writer, painter, illustrator or sculptor.

Know what makes it worse? The fact that we know the opposite side of the coin, too. We know what we’re capable of. How many times have you lost yourself in the midst of creation, time slipping by and your emotions seeming to flow effortlessly from your fingertips? That feeling is the reason we create – it’s like a high, and we are just junkies after our next fix.

Sometimes, that fix doesn’t come. It’s usually only temporary, but it can turn chronic as well – even turn you from your passion for good. It is absolutely imperative that you break the dry spell and allow inspiration to flow, and meditation can help.
Set the Scene

Get out the tools of your trade. Place everything you need to create within easy reach. Don’t be stingy – get out all of your paints and brushes, canvases, paper, clay, stone, or whatever. Get out your best pens, your laptop, your dictionary, thesaurus, or any reference book you might use. Get ready.

Set up for a meditation. Get out your mat, your pillow, your comfy chair. Light the candles and incense, turn down the lights. Or, turn them up – create the feeling you want to see in your work. Turn on the colored lights and disco ball if that’s what you want to express. Involve all your senses.

Play some music. Maybe something quiet, maybe something loud. Maybe something structured, like a march, maybe something more ephemeral, like a whale song. The music should reflect what you’re feeling about what you’re about to create.
Settle In
Get comfortable and begin the journey within. Instead of blocking out the scents and sounds around you, let them guide your mind. Or, block them out initially, to get deep within yourself, and allow them to creep back in one at a time.

Pay attention to how you feel, what you see, and any sudden pictures or flashes that occur. They may be pieces of old memories associated with the mood you’ve set, or they may be totally irrelevant. Either way, they can be inspiration.

Meditate as long as you need to. Don’t try to keep to a schedule, because ending the session too early will only make the creation process take longer. Take your time and absorb everything you’re experiencing as if you were a tourist on an alien planet. Allow the feelings to get inside, rip you apart and build you up.

Can Help You in Fighting Fat With Triphala

The magic herb here is ‘Triphala’. It is a mixture of three dried berries or fruits—amalaki (Emblica officinalis), haritaki (Terminalia chebula), and bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica). Interestingly, triphala also has many other health benefits. It is an excellent cleanser with rejuvenating properties. Ayurvedic practitioners suggest taking triphala for losing body fat and weight. They have highlighted the properties of this mixture, that helps burning fat faster.

How Triphala Helps in Burning Fat

Along with the benefits that triphala blesses your body with, it is the fat-burning properties of triphala that makes it more important. The three berries in triphala are excellent in flushing toxins from your body. It is this mechanism that works wonders, and helps the body get rid of fat.

When your digestive system gets rid of toxins, it is clean, which makes it more efficient. The result—your digestive system works at its best. The long-term benefits of an effective and healthy digestive system is, that your body gets all the essential nutrients easily. So, the stimulus for hunger gradually reduces. It also enhances bile juice secretion.

On the contrary, if your digestive system does not function effectively, it will not be able to extract nutrients from a sufficient amount of food. This will make your body stimulate hunger for more food, so that necessary amount of nutrients are derived.

Let us see how the different berries that make triphala, aid in burning fat.

✣ Amalaki – Also known as the Indian gooseberry, this berry has a major role in making triphala an effective fat-fighting herb. It has excellent antioxidant properties. Amalaki reduces any inflammation in the body. It is also known as the ‘fat blocking berry’, as it helps in maintaining proper blood sugar levels. This prevents the body from storing sugar, which could later get stored as fat. It makes sure that all the sugar is metabolized to glucose, preventing any fat storage. Amalaki also helps in increasing lean muscle in the body. Along with these, it is also a rich source of vitamin C.

✣ Bibhitaki – Also known as ‘bahera’, this berry could literally be nicknamed the ‘fat magnet’. This berry has properties which grab and extract all the fat and extra water in your body. Bibhitaki has a good amount of linoleic acid. This is actually a fatty acid that helps reduce excess fat in the bloodstream. It also helps in lowering the LDL, also known as bad cholesterol, and increases HDL or good cholesterol.

✣ Haritaki – Also known as Chebulic Myrobalan, this berry is the prime reason why triphala makes for an excellent cleanser. The most important organ in our body for getting rid of toxins is the colon. Haritaki works on the colon and gets rid of all the toxins in it. A healthy colon makes a healthy digestive system. Along with this, it also helps your body by reducing inflammations, and in effective heart functioning.

Acupuncture to Relieve Migraines

Migraines are severe and chronic headaches, which can last for 3 to 72 hours. Apart from the throbbing and pulsating pain, which is usually experienced on one side of the head; the affected person may also have symptoms, like nausea with or without vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Some people perceive warning symptoms, called auras; which include visual or olfactory experiences, like flashes of light and blind spots in vision.

It has been observed that, women are more prone to migraine; and may start showing symptoms during childhood, adolescence, or adulthood. The symptoms, severity, and frequency of migraine headaches may vary from one person to another. The exact cause for migraine is still not known, but it is believed that, genetics and environmental factors play an important role in causing the condition. There are some triggering factors, like certain foods, weather changes, stress, hormonal changes in women, and changes in sleep pattern.

The conventional treatment involves use of drugs to relieve the symptoms, and to prevent migraine attacks. Even abortive medication is prescribed, to abort impending migraine attacks. Such medications should be taken before the onset of the symptoms, in order to be effective. Most often, it happens that such conventional treatment may turn ineffective in preventing migraine attacks. Treatments for migraine are offered by almost all wings of alternative medicine. Acupuncture is found to be effective in treating migraine, to a certain extent.
Acupuncture Treatment
Acupuncture is a popular therapy, which comes under the umbrella of traditional Chinese medicine. It involves stimulation of specific points of the body using various techniques. Among them, insertion of hair thin needles into the strategic points in the body is one of the most widely-accepted technique. These points are positioned along the meridians through which energy flows.

As per the theory of acupuncture, any blockage in the free flow of energy through the meridians leads to diseases, and acupuncture aims to restore the balanced flow of energy in the body. Acupuncture is used for treating various diseases, and is said to be very effective in providing relief to people with back pain, high blood pressure, and headaches.
How is Migraine Treated with Acupuncture
Finding the location of pain
An acupuncturist has to find out the exact location and type of pain, experienced by the patient. Migraine pain may develop on different locations, like behind the eye, above the eyebrow or one side of temple. Migraine pain is often described as throbbing or shooting type. Some may experience dull pain too. Once the exact location and nature of the pain is determined, the acupuncturist can find out the area where the flow of energy is blocked.

Frustration Among Youth in Today’s

Studies show that the overuse of technology can prove to be extremely harmful to one’s mental health. A question we should ask ourselves: Are our smartphones and other smart gadgets making us dumb and emotionally void?
Why to tame the roaring mind?
Good or bad, all turned blind,
The roses are all black,
In darkness, losing track,
The world is all fabricated,
Here we lay,
Frustrated and devastated …
“I am frustrated with my life!” This term has come on the tip of the tongue of almost everyone that we meet today. Today’s youth are most prone to frustrations. It is not surprising that suicide rates have increased by leaps and bounds all over the world. What is the reason that the generation today is so weak-hearted? Why is our life filled with frustrations? Why does a single negative comment or an incident that happens against our wish tend to irk us so much? Be it waiting at a traffic light, or a long line at the eating joint, everything gets on our nerves.

The Virginia Tech Shooting in 2007, where a student gunned down several students and faculty members, including himself, proves the rising amount of frustration and violence among youth these days. Where does this anguish stem from? What are the possible reasons of this frustration and anger? While a lot depends on socio-economic factors, the reasons can be different for different places. For a developing country, the major concern for the youth might be unemployment. For a radically modern culture, frustration might stem from obsession with technology, fashion, bullying, etc. On the other hand, in a culture where there is less freedom, youngsters might be frustrated over the fact that their voice is unheard, and they do not have the liberty to live life as they want.

Common Causes of Frustration Among Youth
Time Management

Time management is the biggest issue today. Though machines have automated so many things, yet, we always find ourselves running out of time. We all have lost the ability to have patience, want things to move quickly, and detest a slow-paced life.


This is the greatest cause of frustration among youngsters, especially in developing countries. When education does not guarantee jobs, it is certain that the youth is going to be disturbed. Well, again, a lot depends on the political and economic status of that nation. An empty mind is a devil’s workshop indeed. This is a grave cause of why crime rates can increase and disrupt the civil life of that country.
Feeling of Worthlessness

Lack of confidence is one of the major issues of the youth today. When they’re not accepted in their schools, are bullied, or do not manage to reach the top position, a feeling of worthlessness immediately crops up. Moreover, this also leads to depression.