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Navratri Special: This festival how to keep in shape

The festivals are here and that means eating lots of goodies – be it fried vrat wala khana or sweets for Diwali. Here’s what you can do to eat all you want and yet stay in shape. Read on

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Here’s what you can do to eat all you want and yet stay in shape.
Source: Conde Nast Traveller

We all want to be fit and stay in shape. Unfortunately, some of us love food more than what we look like. Foods like fried aloo tikki, vrat wali puri, sabudana khichdi and Ramdana ladoo call to you and you can’t help but gorge on these tasty treats.

The need to lose fat and stay trim around the stomach is a dream for many. But not all are able to lose belly fat. Sadly, just as there are many tasty treats, there are just as many exercises that will help you shed the extra calories that you will consume. Let’s take a look at them.

Exercises that have worked to lose body fats

Ride a bike: Do this regularly to lose belly fat when you are in a gym. It may look difficult and challenging to some to begin with, but it greatly helps as an excellent belly workout. If you know how to cycle, go cycling in the morning.

But to avoid the outdoor pollution which most cities have, an exercise cycle in a gym is a good way to trim belly fat. Pedal in a gentle and continuous motion condition the legs as well and are a good cardio-vascular workout. Stair steppers, rowers and treadmills are excellent ways to lose belly fat too.

Sit-ups:

Most people have had great success in losing belly fat while doing normal sit-ups. Starting with three sets of 10 to 15 sit-ups each help many lose belly fat. A rule of thumb — gradually increase the sit-ups and start off with half crunches.

Sit-ups help not only to make the lower abdomen region stronger and healthier, but when followed up with side crunches, exercise helps to lose fat from belly in the sides also.

Ball crunches:

There could be no better exercise to shed fat around the belly than ball crunches. Lay your feet flat on the floor with your back shoulder blades on the ball. Make sure that your thighs and torso are parallel to the ground, contract your abdominal muscles by raising your torso to about 45 degrees slant each time. Hold this position each time for a few seconds before returning back to normal flat position.

Yoga and pilates: Not only does it strengthen the body’s core muscles, it also improves balance, stability and flexibility. Introducing a variety of exercises to lose belly fat could help you keep motivated to achieve your goal of losing belly fat.

Sometimes, women find it tougher to lose belly fat. The best way forward is to begin with toning exercises that are safe. Here are some simple toning exercises for women that you can perform anywhere at any time.

These toning exercises for women are simply to do when you’re standing around at work or when you’re in line at the post office. The more toning exercises you do, the more benefits you will receive in return. So, if you only have a few minutes to spare, try to fit in as many exercises you can.

Wall pushups

Place your hands in front of you and slowly lean into the wall. Push back off with your arms and chest. Repeat.

 Squats

Stand with your feet a little more than shoulder’s width apart. Slowly bend your knees and come to a sitting position. Don’t let your knees extend past your toes as you do so. Your upper body should be as straight as possible. Lower until almost at a 90-degree angle and then lift back up.

Suck it in

It may look easy but try holding your stomach in as tightly as you can for as long as you can. You will work out all of the muscles in your abdomen. Do this whenever you can. You can perform the same tightening motion for your buttocks too to increase their tone.

Calf raises

In a standing position, try to lift your heels from the floor and hold in that position. Slowly lower yourself down. There are many exercises that provide no benefit however much you do them. It is better to trade these with those that work. Here’s what you need to avoid.

Sitting abdominal crunch machine

This machine does nothing. You are not targeting the abdominal muscles effectively with this piece of equipment. Skip this machine and grab a mat. Floor exercises like abdominal crunches, reverse crunches, or toe reaches, going in a slow and controlled manner, will be a better use of your time to get a flatter stomach.

Lat pulldown behind head

Studies have shown that if the exercise is performed pulling the bar behind your head, you could be doing damage to your rotator cuffs. You have to do it absolutely perfectly to avoid that, which hardly anyone does. Pull the bar down in front of you and you will get the same benefit for your back, without potential damage to your shoulders.

Side bends

All it will do is build the muscle and push your body fat out further so that everybody can notice your love handles. The obliques are small muscles and just a little stimulation can really develop them.

To eliminate the extra fat around the obliques, watch your diet and burn off your body fat with aerobic work. Then utilise the abdominal exercises mentioned and they will indirectly work your obliques. This will be a far better approach to getting rid of those love handles than doing side bends.

Inner and outer thigh machine

This is one of the most popular exercises for women who want to tone up inner and outer thighs. In most gyms there is a huge line of women waiting to use this machine. This is because women do hundreds of sets and repetitions to achieve the leaner leg.

This machine does nothing. What people don’t realise is that because of the design of this machine and limited range of motion, you are really only hitting a very small portion of the leg. You should perform lunges and or squats and eliminate this exercise from your workout. You are much better off hitting your inner and outer thighs during those exercises, then spending 15 minutes on this machine. Just because everybody is doing it, doesn’t mean it is right.

Russian twists

This is the exercise where an individual is standing with a broomstick on his/her shoulders and the person twists side to side. As a warm-up, this might be alright, but as an exercise to reduce the love handles. It doesn’t do anything.

Make efficient and good use of your time when you work out and avoid these exercises like the plague. Use the alternatives, it will ultimately get you to your final goal – A fitter you!

Disclaimer: This article is not to provide health advice. Always seek professional help before starting any exercise programme.

 

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Lifestyle

What you need to know about Transient Ischaemic Attack

Winter is here. Therefore, it is important to diagnose Transient Ischaemic Attacks. This can help to identify a patient who is at risk for subsequent stroke and prevent the same

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Transient Ischaemic Attack
Source: @Oklahoma Heart Hospital

An episode of stroke in any family is devastating. The sad part is that it can result in premature death and lifelong disability. In India, the incidence rate of stroke is estimated to be 119-145 per lakh. This means that there are 1.44 to 1.64 million cases of strokes annually. Unfortunately, when we do not heed the warning signs of stroke, we end up becoming victims of this devastating episode.

One such sign is a Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA) or a mini-stroke. The risk of stroke in the first three months after a TIA is 2-17%. About 33% of those with a history of TIA have a major stroke within a year if not treated. Hence, it is important to raise awareness about TIA so we can alert ourselves regarding the subsequent stroke.

TIA cause

When the blood flow to the brain cuts off for a short while (less than 5 minutes) it causes transient neurological symptoms. This is similar to observed in stroke but is rapidly reversible. This is known as TIA. TIA is also referred to as mini-stroke because it is like a miniature version of a full-blown stroke. It causes less damage but it sure needs emergency care without delay.

The difference

When an artery that is supplying blood to the brain gets blocked due to a blood clot, it causes oxygen starvation resulting in TIA. In a TIA, such a temporary clog is generally pushed along and is broken down. The normal flow of blood to the brain returns quickly.

Symptoms of a TIA usually subside within an hour (typically less than 15 minutes) but may last up to 24 hours in some cases. In an ischemic stroke, the brain goes oxygen-deprived for a longer period. This causes more damage and brings long-lasting effects that can be fatal and cause permanent disability or death.

Risk

Apart from the risks that are not under our control like age and family history, generally, women have a higher risk of stroke/TIA than men. Obesity, carotid artery disease, high BP, high cholesterol, Diabetes, and preexisting heart conditions are also found to increase the odds of stroke/TIA. Excess smoking, alcohol consumption, eating foods high in cholesterol, and using drugs such as amphetamines, cocaine and heroin can increase the risk.

Symptoms

We must attempt to remember the term FAST — Face, Arms, Speech, Time. These are seen if a person is having a TIA. These include:

The facial droop may be observed where the eyes or mouth may droop to one side. One may also experience trouble smiling.

Problems related to speech such as slurred, garbled, or difficult to understand. Also, one may find it difficult to gather the right words.

Weakness or numbness of limbs may be experienced.

There might be trouble lifting or holding up the arms.

One may also notice balance and coordination related troubles, blindness or transient blurring of vision, inability to move one side of the body, dizziness, confusion, and difficulties in understanding others.

Changes to make

After knowing about TIA, it is important to make efforts to have a better lifestyle and adopt preventive measures to reduce the risk of experiencing a TIA/stroke. These include:

  • Quitting smoking and avoiding exposure to second-hand smoke from tobacco.
  • Eating a healthy and nutritious diet that includes a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Having a check on the excessive intake of salt and fats
  • Exercising regularly
  • Keeping away from recreational drugs.
  • Maintaining ideal body weight.

Following the advice of the specialist and or timely treatment plan for heart disease, Diabetes and other health conditions can go a long way in managing TIA. A person can live a healthy life for a long time.

Management

Diagnosis is generally established through a full body physical examination. Neurological tests and various imaging techniques (MRI, Angiography), medications like blood-thinners, anti-cholesterol medications with or without the use of minimally invasive procedures (carotid angioplasty/stenting) and surgical procedures (Carotid endarterectomy) may be advised depending upon the severity of TIA.

When the symptoms of a TIA strike one should get medical help immediately. It must be remembered that there is a lot of uncertainty about whether the blood flow will restore on its own or not. It is impossible to predict if one is having a TIA or stroke because the symptoms are more or less the same. Given the present pandemic, it can lead to blood clots in the vessels supplying the brain. This can subsequently progress to TIA and stroke.

Disclaimer: The article is meant only to create awareness among the people. For any treatment one must always consult a qualified and certified health professional.

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Lifestyle

Top 5 online learning tools for your children

Today, parents re looking for overall development of their child. Let’s look at some of the tools that can help sharpen the child’s mind

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Learning Tools
Source: @Pew Research Center

Technology has really changed the way we learn today. From a face-to-face tutor to a tutor online to offline classes to online, technology is playing a big role in the education sector. It is providing them with various opportunities.

Not only this, the benefits of e-learning are tremendous. For this reason alone, there has been an exponential boost in the use of online learning platforms.

Learning becomes interesting if the learner enjoys the process. There are many learning tools that make this process effective. E-learning platforms enhance children’s education. It helps them to engage with edutainment videos, fun-packed kits, innovative teaching, and several practical co-curricular activities.

These online courses have an attractive design, suitable graphics, animations, clear instructions and easy language that makes learning fun. The companies provide flexibility to the kids. They can learn at their own pace. Kids are rewarded once they compete in quizzes or chapters. This motivates them to study without outside pressure.

Let’s look at a few such companies.

Class Monitor

It is an Indore-based ed-tech start-up. It caters to today’s needs and provides world-class, comfortable home-based learning. This is an interactive way for early learners in India (0-8). Early childhood development is vital for developing socio-emotional skills. The firm offers fun-packed kits that let you play, teach and bond with your children.

The start-up provides effectively-researched early childhood education programmes blended with traditional and modern learning techniques. It focuses on developing your child fundamentally. It focuses on five core areas: Linguistic skills, logical thinking, sensory and motor skills, cognitive skills, and creativity. The firm’s hybrid early childhood programmes connect real-life learning experiences and hands-on activities with an app designed to help strengthen your children’s learning.

Flintoclass

It’s considered to be a market leader in early childhood education. It transforms homes and classrooms into interesting collaborative activity spaces. The company has innovated the early education industry. It follows the e-commerce subscription model. All learning products and tools are intensively researched. The research center works with parents and early childhood teachers to create an ecosystem conducive to realising each child’s true potential.

Kutuki

It is one of the first early learning apps in India. It uses proprietary stories and song-based lessons to appeal to the youngest students. This interactive app aims to change the minds of young people by creating contextual and multilingual content.

This makes it easy for parents and children to identify with. With over 1 lakh-plus user and over 130 kindergarten subscribers, the firm is entering tier I, II, and III with its regional language content.

Kangaroo Kids

It is an online preschool that balances learning and development suitable for children 2 to 6 years old. Its programme aims to help young children develop critical skills in literacy, emotional intelligence, and social and physical development. The goal is to provide children with a safe and well-structured learning environment. This allows them to develop in a fun and exciting way.

They can explore their curiosity and learn at their own pace. Its unique curriculum helps children learn in a friendly environment while giving parents peace of mind.

Ocky Pocky

It is one of the first interactive English learning apps for preschool children. It has been created by Whizkids in India. It uses Artificial Intelligence/natural learning processes to help children meet their English learning needs. It provides feedback and allows children to build an early vocabulary base through voice, video, and vernacular. It is primarily for non-English speaking families.

Remember, a child learns the most in his first five years of age. In the first five years, experiences and relationships stimulate children’s development, creating millions of connections in their brains. A child’s brain develops connections faster in the first five years than at any other time.

It is therefore important to give the child the best that there is so that he has an all-around development. It will help him get the edge that this competitive world needs today.

Disclaimer: There are several other such platforms in the market today. The attempt here is to introduce a few of them and not to be considered as gospel truth.  Parents can choose whatever is best for their children.

 

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Job Portal

Looking to get recruited? Here are 5 newage technologies for recruitment

There are a few companies that are using newer technological advancements that can be used to solve hiring issues.

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Recruitment

The present pandemic has made it tough for everybody looking for a job or for a fresher to get hired. It is just as tough for recruiters looking for the right man for the right job. But there are a few companies that are using newer technological advancements that can be used to solve hiring issues.

It is not just the people who are looking for jobs that find it tough to match their skills with the job. Even recruiters are constantly looking for skilled people to match the job description. Therefore, sourcing and acquiring top talent has always been essential and involves a lot of time and cost for the companies.

However, now, newer technological advancements have made it possible for recruiters in making better hiring decisions and thereby breaking the chain of traditional methods of recruiting. These technological innovations are helping recruiters to plan their hiring processes better and provide the best-fit candidates for the required roles. Several start-ups are using Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Analytics to meet the needs of companies.

Artificial Intelligence is one of the most disruptive technologies today. Its potential to evolve and enable innovations is now being leveraged by several industries across the globe, HR is no exception. Integration of AI is aimed at making life easier. This allows HRs to play an increasingly strategic role.

Here are 5 platforms that are leveraging technology to simplify the HR processes.

GetWork

This is a SaaS-based HRTech and EdTech platform. The idea is to democratise job opportunities and empower college placement cells in Tier II and III cities in India. It is a technologically advanced two-way marketplace. It trains students and gives universities access to companies and startups. It connects corporates to over 18,000 placements cells across colleges and private institutes.

Today, there are several challenges. There is also a huge skill gap in students. The challenges faced by talent acquisition and campus recruiters make it tough to hire the right people. GetWork founders managed to recognise the potential of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to build this company as a solution and scale it up through college placement cells.

ReferHire

It was started in 2016. In the last five-six years, it has managed to create a peer-to-peer (P2P) networking platform. It brings together organisations and those seeking new career opportunities on one platform. The Delhi-based firm aims at building transparency and efficiency.

The entire process involves hiring the right candidate. Once the user identifies the companies they are interested in, the firm starts introducing them to peers in those organisations so that they can look out for an opportunity.

iXceed Solutions

This is a talent and workforce solutions services company. It is a service provider to Fortune 500 companies. It primarily focuses on these domains globally: Technology, IT consulting and Engineering Consulting.

The company uses Artificial Intelligence-based recruitment solutions. It creates an in-class experience for both clients and candidates. Its list of clients is impressive and hence those looking for a change in their job or freshers looking to get recruited should at least come here to check out the options. Some of their clients are: Infosys, HCL, Oracle, Mindtree and NIIT.

InCruiter

This was established in 2018. It is an online recruitment platform based on SAAS in the B2B space. It provides an online recruitment marketplace for recruitment agencies and independent recruiters to speed up the hiring process 10 times.

The platform connects specialised recruiters. They have the best track records for matching jobs. Multiple agencies working on a single job with a single point of contact makes hiring fast and efficient. This enables employers to hire accurately. It also saves them cost and time.

The firm helps in finding companies with the best candidates in the shortest time without any hassle of phone calls, emails, invoices, and agreements from multiple vendors.

Instahyre

This is another Delhi-based HR-tech start-up. It is an advanced hiring platform that uses Artificial Intelligence. This means that recruiters can hire top talent effortlessly. Getting the talent and the employer on the same page has never been an easy task.

This is so true in the present scenario of innovation and competition. With revamped technology, it is easy to find a suitable job or suitable candidate. Finding jobs or source talents has become much easier with the help of this firm.

There are several other companies that are in the business of hiring and recruitment. The idea here is to just give a sneak peek into a few of them and not to be considered as a rule of thumb.

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