Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Regular exercise can keep lifestyle diseases away

Kler said with increasingly hectic lifestyles, most Indians in urban areas nowadays do not walk to the neighbourhood store but rather order groceries on phone for home delivery or drive down


Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis - Indians are facing an unhealthy future burdened with a slew of lifestyle diseases. But instead of expensive medication and therapy, the cure lies in making exercise a compulsory part of everyday life, health experts say.
"Indians are increasingly leading a sedentary and machine-dependent life, which may seem comfortable but has extremely adverse effects on health," T.S. Kler, Head of the Department Cardiology, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, told IANS.
Kler said with increasingly hectic lifestyles, most Indians in urban areas nowadays do not walk to the neighbourhood store but rather order groceries on phone for home delivery or drive down.
"We do not climb stairs any more, with lifts being omnipresent. Riding bicycles to work or to school is not cool in urban areas any more. Forget adults, this conditioning begins with children who prefer to stay indoors watching television or playing video games rather than spending time in the playground," he added.
"We all know that cardiovascular diseases are today a major health concern in India. They are the single largest leading cause of deaths in the country, and relatively younger people are today afflicted by coronary artery disease," the noted cardiologist said.
Various surveys done in India have shown that the incidence of coronary heart disease is 8-10 percent in urban areas and 5-6 percent in rural areas.
Kler said regular exercise can help prevent risk factors for cardiovascular diseases such as hypertension and type II diabetes. It also keeps the weight in check.
"Incidences of coronary artery disease can be reduced substantially if the entire Indian population religiously takes to physical exercise. Even 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily can be immensely beneficial. We need a national focus on this less-talked about subject," Kler said.
According to Rajeev K. Sharma, senior consultant orthopedics and joint replacement surgery, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital: "Adequate levels of physical activity decreases the risk of a hip or vertebral fracture and helps control weight. In fact, exercise is very crucial for maintaining good bone health, besides adequate intake of calcium."
"WHO estimates that globally, one in four adults is not active enough while more than 80 percent of the world's adolescent population is insufficiently physically active. This is a dreadful scenario as all these inactive people are making themselves vulnerable to several health issues," he said.
Osteoporosis-related injuries such as vertebrae fractures not only cause pain but also degrade the quality of life, curtail movement and increase dependence. Since the bone is a living tissue, it becomes stronger when subjected to exercise, Sharma said, adding that loss of bone mineral density that begins during the 30s can be curtailed by exercising regularly.
"People who exercise are found to have greater peak bone mass as compared to people who do not exercise."
According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, the malaise annually causes more than 8.9 million fractures around the globe.
"Though exercising can, to a large extent, help in building strong bones, there is a general lack of an exercise culture in India. This needs to change. Schools, colleges and other institutions should take the lead in nurturing an exercising culture."
Harvinder Singh Chhabra, medical director and chief of spine services at Indian Spinal Injuries Centre, Vasant Kunj, said Indians generally do not realize the importance of exercising unless hit by an ailment.
"Many patients start walking regularly after back pain or osteoarthritis has already set in their bodies. We tell them they could have delayed it by being active all their lives," he added.
According to Chhabra, in the West, there is a lot of focus on physical activity and people are moving away from sedentary ways of life. "They are junking television and going for cycling, running, or adventure sports such as rock climbing. This shift is yet to take place in India."
To make exercise a national culture, apart from awareness, many enabling policy measures are also needed.
"In urban areas, several environmental factors discourage people from leading more active lives even if they want to. Lack of public spaces such as parks and grounds, safety issues on the roads, pollution and irksome traffic do not allow many people to step out of homes to run or walk. This needs to change," he said.
The latter half of the 20th century has brought substantial progress in disease control due to expansion of health infrastructure. With food and nutritional consumption also improving for a vast majority of population, life expectancy in India has gone up over the years. Experts say that deaths due to communicable diseases have decreased while those from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have risen.
NCDs at present account for 53 percent of all deaths and 44 percent of disability adjusted life-years lost. Projections indicate a further increase to 67 percent of all deaths by 2030. Cardiovascular disease is the major contributor to this burden, attributable to 52 percent of NCD-associated deaths and 29 percent of total deaths.
(Sreeparna Chakrabarty can be contacted at [email protected] )


Evolve inbuilt correction system, PM urges judiciary

Modi also called for "qualitative changes" in the judiciary, which, he said, could be achieved by taking recourse to digital technology


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called upon the judiciary to evolve an inbuilt dynamic mechanism to address its deficiencies while Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu urged both the judiciary and the executive to respect the constitution -- both in form and in substance.
"Do we need a powerful judiciary or a perfect judiciary. We are becoming powerful, there is nothing wrong about it. The pace at which we are becoming powerful it is necessary that at the same pace, we should also become perfect. Our judiciary should be powerful... our judiciary should also be perfect," he said at the inaugural session of a conference here of chief ministers and chief justices of high courts.
Calling for an "inbuilt dynamic mechanism to address the deficiencies in the judicial system", Modi said: "If we make a mistake, though we have no right, there is remedy in judiciary.
"But if you (judiciary) make a mistake, then there is no remedy as there is nothing above you. We have to repeatedly make self appraisal."
The conference is aimed at addressing issues relating to the administration of justice in India. The previous one was held on April 7, 2013.
Modi also called for "qualitative changes" in the judiciary, which, he said, could be achieved by taking recourse to digital technology.
Emphasizing the importance of inbuilt mechanism for self-correction, he pointed to criticism that people in the government face for their mistakes and added that judges were lucky not to be exposed to such situations as they enjoy a lot of credibility among the people.
Cautioning the judges on the absence of such mechanism, Modi said: "Howsoever good a person (occupying a position) may be, but in the absence of institutional mechanism there are always dangers of slide."
Every care has to be taken so that people's confidence in the judiciary was not dented as that would cause great damage, he said.
"People have a lot of faith in the judicial system of India. We need to look at the manpower that is coming in this field in the coming years.
"We have to think how can we create good law institutions, keeping in mind the needs of the future," he said. 
Noting there was great responsibility on the judiciary, Modi went on to term it "divine".
"...people in the judicial system, what they do is divine. God has sent you to carry out this divine responsibility."
Modi also the apex court judges to review the working of tribunals whose performance he said was dismal. A lot of budgetary allocation was being made on tribunals but their rate of disposal was a matter of concern.
Calling for the simplification of laws, Modi said the statute book had to be cleared of web of laws which were redundant.
Noting the central government had decided to erase 700 antiquated laws and another 1,700 laws were being reviewed, he said his wish was to erase one law a day in his five-year term.
Calling for judicial officials' training in forensic sciences, Modi said there was need for trained legal people to draft law to ensure bare minimum gray areas.
About pending cases, he said: "We all talk about pendency of cases in courts but have we ever thought the number of hours the judiciary has to spent on them and problems they go through?"
In his address, CJI Dattu said the administration of justice can't be achieved by the judiciary alone without the government's full co-operation and support.
He also urged chief justices and chief ministers in states to uphold the constitution in "letter and spirit" for their "ultimate goal" of serving the people.



Vaibhav Dhoka

2 years ago

It is common man perception that tribunals and inquiry commissions are appointed for retired judges.There is no end to commissions and huge amount of public money is spent on this which fruitless.There is no accountability of judiciary towards public harmony.

States to gain Rs.3.35 lakh crore on coal auctions

Till the conclusion of the auctions held so far, a revenue of nearly Rs.20 lakh crore has been generated


Citing the ongoing coal auctions as a "true example of federalism", union Coal Secretary Anil Swarup on Sunday said the states will be getting a whopping Rs.3.35 lakh crore on account of the coal auctions.
"Of the 67 (coal) blocks auctioned and allotted so far, the states will be getting Rs.3.35 lakh crore revenue and another Rs.69,000 crore will be unlocked by way of tariff benefit to the consumers," Swarup told media persons on the sidelines of an interactive event organised here by the Coal Consumers' Association of India.
Till the conclusion of the auctions held so far, a revenue of nearly Rs.20 lakh crore has been generated.
"This is a true example of federalism. The entire money generated from the auctions is going to the states while the union government is organising the auctions," he said.
Swarup said that although washeries are featuring in the list of possible bidders for the auction, they will soon be struck off in a forthcoming amendment to the coal bill.
Until now, 29 blocks have been auctioned and another 38 has been allotted to the state-owned entities.
"We will also allot mines to the individual states for commercial mining," he said.
Further, the coal department will allot Chhattisgarh and Odisha dedicated mines to meet their requirements for the sponge iron industry.
For the next round of auctions due in the third week of April, a total of 16 blocks will be put up for bidding of which 11 will be for the power sector and the remaining for the "non-regulated sector".


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