Month: September 2017

Clean Water: Why It’s the Elixir of Life

Clean drinking water is a basic human right. And yet, in this world where pollution and chemicals abound, clean water is becoming more and more of a rarity. Humans need water to survive. Without enough water, our bodies would get dehydrated which could turn out to be fatal if left untreated.
Clean drinking water could be the difference between sickness and health. Unclean water acts as a breeding ground for germs and bacteria, spreading illness and causing deaths in many cases. There are a lot of different water treatment processes available to filter and clean water, making it safe and drinkable.

glass of clean water

Water Treatment Processes

Filtration

Water is filtered through layers of sand and gravel to remove sediments and other impurities. The result is clean water that is free of particles that could cause ill health. Regular usage leads to the filter getting clogged and a thorough backwashing is required to clean the filter.

Coagulation

Coagulation is a water treatment process where liquid aluminium sulphate is added to water, causing the sediments or dirt particles in the water to coagulate (congeal together). Once these coagulated particles are big enough, they’re then removed through filtration.

Sedimentation

Water is cleaned by allowing it to slowly flow through sediment basins where the sediments, or particles, in the water settle down at the bottom. The ‘’sludge’’ thus collected is then flushed out, leaving behind treated water.

Chlorine Disinfection

Chlorine is used to treat the water, disinfecting it against disease-causing bacteria, viruses and other pathogens. This water treatment process is carried out before the water even enters the distribution system. And since Chlorine is a highly effective disinfectant, this water treatment process has been very successful in curbing the spread of diseases through water in developing countries.

Health Benefits of Drinking Clean Water

Girl drinking water in glass

An average adult human is made up of almost sixty percent water. Every cell in our body requires water to function at its optimum level. Dehydration can lead to a lot of complications, right from something as innocuous as constipation to much more severe side effects, such as your organs shutting down.
Here are some of the top health benefits of drinking water.

Better Mood

Research shows that staying hydrated can have a positive impact on your mood. Dehydration can cause mood swings, negatively affecting your mood and cognitive function. Conversely, being well hydrated has a very definite impact on your cognitive abilities and helps stabilise your moods.

Helps Weight Loss

Drinking plenty of water can also help you in your weight loss goals. Often, one of the biggest challenges when it comes to weight loss is curbing the need to eat. When you’re used to eating unhealthy food, your body craves it and keeps signalling the brain to feed it. But this type of ‘’hunger’’ is not real hunger and should be curbed. And what better way to do that than to drink water to fill your stomach and stop the hunger pangs? A bonus is that water also aids the breakdown of fat cells, helping your body to burn fat faster.

Get Rid of Toxins

Over time, our bodies can accumulate toxins which in turn can affect our organs. To avoid this scenario, drink clean water to help your body flush out the toxins. When you up your water intake you help regulate your bowel movements, promote kidney function and keep your skin looking soft and supple.

Relief from Headaches and Migraines

If you are prone to frequent headaches or migraines, try increasing your water intake. Research has shown that consuming more water helps reduce the frequency of headaches and migraines. Increased water intake also has a detrimental effect on the intensity of the headaches.

Relief from Fatigue

If you’re feeling tired, try drinking some water. Scientific studies have proven that dehydration could cause fatigue and drinking water can counter that effect, making you feel energised.

Boosts Immunity

Our bodies crave water. When you starve them of it, you’re leaving yourself open to a host of other complications that arise as a result of dehydration or lack of water. Similarly, when you drink a lot of water and keep your body satiated, you are rewarded with a stronger immune system that keeps diseases and illnesses at bay. And who wouldn’t want that? So, get on the healthy people bandwagon and start drinking water throughout the day.

Prevents Muscle Cramps

Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps and joint pains. When your joints and muscles are not lubricated enough, they tend to be more susceptible to inflammation and sprains. Counteract that by drinking a lot of water to keep your muscles and joints working like a well-oiled machine.

Prevents Hangovers

So, you overindulged last night and now had to deal with the hangover from hell. We’ve all been there. There’s nothing worse than waking up with a hangover and having to face the day when all you want to do is crawl back into bed. While the jury is still out on the best hangover cure, scientists do agree that water helps reduce the symptoms of a hangover. Symptoms such as dry mouth, fatigue and headache can be resolved by drinking a lot of water.

Keep Your Heart Healthy

Heart shape red tree

Research shows a definite link between water consumption and risk of death from coronary heart disease. When you increase your water consumption, you lower your risk of death from coronary heart disease. It should also be noted that you increase your risk is you consume a lot of energy drinks (such as sodas).
Clean drinking water is a vital commodity for human life. We need water to function at our best, live a healthy life and to keep not just our bodies but also our minds happy. We often take water for granted not even realising how important its role is in our daily lives. Think about the world without clean drinking water. What a terrifying scenario that is. Water is life. And clean drinking water is as precious as liquid gold.

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Is exercise safe during pregnancy? Best ways to do workout during the pregnancy

Pregnant woman performing yoga

Throughout the pregnancy, a regular exercise regimen can be helpful to keep you feeling at your best and healthy. Your posture can also improve with regular exercise across your pregnancy as well as decrease some of the common discomforts like fatigue and backaches. Further, the evidence is also available to indicate that exercise could prevent gestational diabetes, build more stamina and relieve stress. For women who were used to physical activity before their pregnancy, continuing such activity in moderation should not pose any problem. However, they should not attempt exercising at the same level they were used to before pregnancy. Instead of high impact aerobics, it is desirable to choose low impact aerobics. If you are a competitive athlete who is pregnant, an obstetrician should be closely following you throughout your pregnancy.If you have never been used to exercise before getting pregnant, starting an exercise program during pregnancy is wholly safe when undertaken in consultation with your obstetrician or health care provider. However, this would not be an ideal period to try out any kind of strenuous new activity. The safest way to start an exercise regimen during pregnancy is to walk. For women who are not experiencing any specific complication, about 30 minutes moderate exercise every day is recommended.
Exercise is contraindicated for women who have a history of heart disease, asthma and diabetes. Similarly, all types of exercise should be undertaken only under medical advice in the following instances:-

  • Spotting or bleeding
  • Recurrent or threatened miscarriage
  • History of premature births or early labour
  • Weak Cervix

You should always take your health care provider into confidence before starting any type of exercise program during your pregnancy.

Safe exercises during pregnancy

During pregnancy, most exercises are safe so long as caution is added to it and you do not tend to overdo your exercise. Brisk walking and swimming are among the outdoor activities you can undertake safely while low-impact aerobics, elliptical machines, stationary cycling etc. are among the indoor activities that you can beneficially engage in. Most of these activities have very little injury risk and can benefit the whole body and can continue till your labour starts. Racquetball and tennis are also considered safe activities. However, rapid movements and balance may be impacted due to this, and therefore you must be pretty careful. Moderate jogging and other activities that call for minimal coordination and balance, particularly around the third trimester are also considered beneficial. You can also check out some sample exercises advised by Dr Shelley Rowlands, who is a pregnancy doctor at East Melbourne Obstetrics and Gynaecology (EMOG).
These exercises are best avoided during pregnancy
While exercising during pregnancy is generally desirable, you are better off avoiding the following exercises during pregnancy.

  • Holding the breath during any type of activity
  • Activities that present the potential for a fall (horseback riding for instance) are best avoided
  • Contact sports like football, volleyball, basket ball etc.
  • Exercises that can potentially cause abdominal trauma like a rapid change of direction, jarring motion etc. should be avoided.
  • Activities calling for extensive hopping, jumping, bouncing skipping or running.
  • Full sit-ups, deep bending of knees, raising of both legs and touching the leg toes from a straight up position
  • Bouncing during stretching
  • Movements that call for waist twisting from a standing position
  • Heavy spurts of exercise and no activity for long after that
  • Exercising in hot and humid weather.

An ideal pregnancy exercise program should consist of:-

pen and dairy

An ideal pregnancy exercise program should consist of:-
To achieve total fitness, your pregnancy exercises should focus on strengthening and conditioning your muscles. For this, you should always start with warming for about 5 minutes and stretch for another five minutes. A minimum of 15 minutes cardiovascular activity is also recommended. At the peak of your activity, your heart rate should be measured. Aerobic activity can then follow with 5 to 10 minutes of gradual and slower exercise ending with gentle stretching.

Exercise guidelines for pregnant women

The following are among basic exercise guidelines for pregnant women:-

  • Wear comfortable loose fitting clothing with a bra that offers good support
  • Choose shoes designed for the particular type of exercise that you do. Proper shoes afford the best protection against potential injuries
  • Choose a flat and level surface to keep off injuries
  • Ensure that your diet contains adequate calories to cater to your pregnancy. Add at least 300 calories more before you became pregnant.
  • Your exercise should start at least one hour after you have eaten
  • Drink plenty of fluids before, after, and during the workout
  • Get up gradually and slowly after floor exercises to prevent potential dizziness
  • Do not exercise till you get exhausted. If you experience difficulty in talking normally, possibly you are exerting beyond limits and should immediately slow down the activity.

How pregnancy changes can impact exercise

Your body may make extra demands due to the physical changes that occur during pregnancy. These changes are listed below and you should bear them in mind to listen to the dictates of your body and adjust your exercise and other activities accordingly.

  • Internal changes and the developing baby need more energy and oxygen.
  • Ligaments supporting the joints tend to stretch due to the hormones produced in the course of your pregnancy and that can enhance the injury risk.
  • The additional weight you carry on your body and its uneven distribution shifts the centre of gravity. Your joints also under greater stress due to the extra weight particularly around the pelvic area and lower back and that could impact your ability to balance yourself.

Warning signs about exercising during pregnancy

First aid kit

If you experience any of the following symptoms during your exercise regimen, you should immediately stop all forms of exercise and consult your doctor:-

  • Feeling pelvic or abdominal pain or contractions that persist
  • Feeling chest pain
  • Headache
  • Decrease or absence of foetal movement
  • Feeling nauseous, dizzy or light-headed
  • Feeling clammy or cold
  • Experiencing vaginal bleeding
  • Fluid gushing suddenly from the vagina or steady leak of fluid in trickles
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Sudden swelling in hands, face, ankles or calf pain
  • Short of breath
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Muscle weakness.

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