Take a walk, says Michael Moore

He just didn’t know it at the time: He would go out for a brisk walk. The ‘revolutionary’ bit here is what the creator of controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 about the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks did with that idea: He posted it on the micro-blogging website Twitter to his audience, comprising over 1 million ‘followers’, people who had signed up to regularly read his posts or tweets.

Pics/ AFP

The origin of the idea can be traced to March 18, 2012 when, during a television interview, Moore commented that ‘more Americans take antidepressants than go to the movies’. He would later go on to tweet saying that he realised why that was — because most movies “suck” and tickets are “too expensive. “Take the pills instead. Or go for a brisk walk,” he posted on his Twitter account. “Actually, that’s a good idea — a brisk walk! And that’s what I need. I think I’ll go for a walk. Anyone want to join me? #MikeTakesaWalk”. Before he knew it, Moore had kick started the ongoing online campaign, encouraging followers to join him by walking or exercising for at least 30 minutes every day, using the hashtag #MikeTakesaWalk.

If you’ve been thinking about taking up some form of activity in your life, walking is a great place to start, believes certified trainer with the American Council on Exercise (ACE) Daniel Vaz. “Age, stressful jobs and smoking are all lifestyle factors,” says Vaz, adding, “The possibility of developing a lifestyle-related disease is therefore inevitable.” Lifestyle-related diseases, include hypertension, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and osteoporosis, so prevention works as a great incentive. “Any place which is an open space,” says Vaz, is a good place to start the programme. “Avoid risky places, in terms of both traffic and pollution.” If you’d rather walk on a treadmill, Vaz suggests making one change: “Increase the gradient. or incline by one per cent,” he says, explaining, “When you are walking on a treadmill, the belt moves below your feet, which makes it slightly easier to work out, as opposed to if you were walking on the road.”

If you’re concerned about making any changes to your diet, common sense still prevails: Eat smaller, more frequent meals and stay well hydrated. “Diabetics need to be cautious of exercising on an empty stomach, as this may result in hypoglycaemia, if sugars dip,” says Purwa Duggal, nutritionist with Fortis Hospitals. Expert don’ts include not skipping breakfast and avoiding fruit juice just before exercising. “Soft drinks do not give electrolytes. Look for healthy options,” says Duggal. “The good thing is that you don’t need a gym,” says Vaz, adding, “You just need a good pair of shoes to boost cardiovascular fitness and to lose weight. It sets you free.” 

Remember to
>> Invest in a good pair of walking shoes and wear clothes that allow the skin to breathe
>> Drink 200 ml every 15 minutes while working out
>> Use the first 10 to 15 minutes to warm up before you start to brisk-walk or jog
>> Avoid walking in ‘risky’ areas, in terms of both traffic and pollution
>> Eat both carbohydrates and protein in your meals to maximise workout benefits

Actress Jessica Biel’s exercise regime includes walking herdogs
I’m comfortable with my body and who I am because I work out a lot. I walk my dogs for 30 to 45 minutes each day. I do yoga and I like to play soccer,” said American actress Jessica Biel in an interview, who also swears by one-legged squats with an exercise ball with one’s tail bone up against a wall. “You should do at least 12 of those and three sets.”

Trainer Daniel Vaz advises eating a small carbohydrate snack like an apple or a banana, before heading for a workout. “Post the workout, you will need a carb-protein combo to build back potential muscle breaks,” he says. A smoothie or a glass of milk laced with a little chocolate syrup make for goodoptions.

In summer, I shampoo my hair and oil it 2 to 3 times a week. Please suggest hair care and diet for oily hair. 
In hot and humid weather, the hair can even be washed daily, in order to remove sweat and oil deposits. Use very little shampoo. A hair rinse can also be used after shampoo. Add the juice of a lemon to a mug of water and use it as a last rinse.  Diet is very important. Have a small bowl of sprouts daily. Include fresh fruits, raw salads, sprouts and yogurt in your daily diet. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water daily. Add the juice of a lemon to a glass of water and have it first thing in the morning.

My hair becomes very rough when I go swimming. Please suggest solutions.
Chlorine is used in swimming pools to disinfect the water and keep it clean. It can have a detrimental effect on the hair, in terms of its health and beauty. For one thing, it strips the hair of oils and makes it extremely dry. The hair also becomes matted and rough.  It is a good idea to wet the hair thoroughly before a swim. Hair is porous and it can absorb that much and no more. Wet hair will absorb less chlorinated water.

Shahnaz Husain Beauty and hair expert

Apply a conditioner or hair serum and wear a cap before swimming. Conditioners and serum coat the hair and protect it. The hair should also be rinsed thoroughly with water after a swim. This helps wash out the chlorine to a great extent. Condition the hair once a week. Take two teaspoons of pure glycerine, one tablespoon sesame seed (til) oil and one egg yolk. Mix together and apply on the scalp and hair. Apply on the ends too.  Wear a plastic shower cap and leave on for an hour before washing hair.

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