With the outbreak of global pandemic COVID-19, the demand for sanitizers, disinfectants, handwash and masks rose in the market. Out of these, the demand for masks rose at such a high rate that even the domestic production of masks began. Many people began to use N-95 mask to protect themselves from the grave dangers of this pandemic. From designer to domestic handmade masks, masks have become an integral part of our lifestyle in COVID-19 era. It has been almost six months since the outbreak of the virus and every day we get to learn something about new. The latest learning is about N-95 masks with valves which according to the Government are not the safest measure to prevent yourself from COVID-19.
What are valved N-95 masks?
N-95 respirator masks are a type of medical masks which are highly efficient infiltration of airborne particles. These masks are generally close fit to the face so as to provide a required seal to the one who wears it. As Coronavirus came up, many people began to use N95 masks as the safest measure to the virus. Among N-95 masks, the valved N-95 masks are the part of recent controversy. An N-95 mask with valve is made up with a raised plastic disk which is embedded in the fibre. The main function of the valve is to filter the air that the wearer inhaled so as to ensure comfortable breathing and restricting the entry of pathogens. These masks are the most common masks to use during smog, pollution and other such conditions.
Controversy with N-95 valved masks
The valve present in any N-95 masks is to filter the air and restrict the entry of pathogens suspended in the air. However, these valves do not filter the air exhaled by the wearer. The risk is increased when the wearer is asymptomatic or infected by the virus. The N-95 valved masks hence act as a carrier of the virus which might prevent the wearer but can infect the others in turn. The Government has recently warned to reduce the inappropriate use of N-95 valved masks.
Then which masks should be worn?
According to health experts, the use of valved N-95 masks can lead to release of virus in the air as they do not filter the air the wearer is exhaling. Thus, to prevent all this, it is better to encourage the use of homemade masks and face covers. Doctor Rajiv Garg, Director-General of Health Services has written letters to all the states and Union Territories to address this issue and also advised them to encourage the use of homemade masks and face covers. In his words, “It is to bring to your knowledge that the use of valved respirator N-95 masks is detrimental to the measures adopted for preventing the spread of coronavirus as it does not prevent the virus from escaping out of the masks, I request you to instruct all to follow the use of face/mouth cover and prevent inappropriate use of N-95 masks”.
Some other Guidelines to keep in mind
The Government advisory has restricted the share of masks or face covers with anyone else. The use of masks should be personal. Every family member should have their own masks or face cover. Along with this, Government has also advised keeping some pointers in mid while making masks at home such as the fabric should be washed well in boiled water for around five minutes and then dried completely before making the face cover. Government has also advised adding salt to the water. The masks should fit well the face of the wearer and there should not be any gaps on either side.
Toxic Habits That You Need To Say Goodbye
Living in a free world, giving time to your hobbies and doing work from home seems the coolest idea ever. But unfortunately, our routine also includes some toxic habits which are needed to be said goodbye as soon as possible. These habits might seem small but these small toxic habits might affect your lifestyle tremendously. These effects would be negative concerning your mental and physical health. Let us have a look at these toxic habits:
Excessive Social Media Usage
Using social media is a nice way to refresh your mind until it does not turn into a compulsive habit. The concept of digital addiction can also be applied to the excess use of social media compulsively and excessively. The major impacts of this habit would affect both your physical and mental soundness. To get rid of this habit you can take help from the social media platform itself such as Instagram inform the users about their usage time and also allows user to set a time limit for their usage. Also, you can try diverting your mind to get rid of the urge to use pick up your cell phone.
On social media or peer discussions, binge-watching sounds quite cool and trendy. But if you think about it rationally, Binge-watching is indeed an unhealthy practice. Sitting in front of a screen for hours will result in negative impacts on your health. To get rid of this habit, you can create a proper schedule. Instead of watching all four seasons of a series in a single day, you can divide episodes per day including break within more than two episodes to ensure if you are not spending a very long time in front of the screen.
Peer Pressure is something which most of the teenagers and young adults face. Peer Pressure can reduce your efficiency, confidence and self-respect. Peer Pressure is good if it is for healthy for you in the sense if it motivates you to achieve something or bring out your hidden talent. But peer pressure is extremely wrong if you are forced to take wrong decisions or negatively impact your mental health in the purview of it. To get rid of toxic pressure the first step is self-acceptance which is the key to contentment. Once you will accept and appreciate yourself the way you are, you will never feel any urge to be accepted by a certain set of people or a fancy group at your school, college or workplace.
Excessive eating of Junk Food
Say No to Junk Food sounds like a perfect slogan for a perfect and healthy lifestyle but no one is asking you say complete no to junk food if you love it badly. You just need to control your excessive eating of junk food which is forbidden. The reason is that it is not easy to control your eating habits suddenly. How funny it sounds to be a junk food addict at night and suddenly being able to forget all about it the next morning. Not only funny it is impractical to. You can begin it by fixing two or three days a week to eat junk food and not to even touch it on other days.
Comparing yourself with others
Most of the people spend half of their day by comparing their life with others whom they find to live a better and easy life. But to be frank, this is delusional. Everyone has their struggles which you might not even be aware of. Even the top celebrities whom we find most successful and happy are also struggling with their problems. Hence, be grateful for what you have and work hard for achieving what you lack without comparing yourself with others.
These Toxic habits are the sole cause of the suffering of men. These are needed to be addressed as soon as possible. These habits take time to form but take more time to leave you. It is your self-determination and strong will for a healthy living which in turn motivates you to get rid of toxic habits.
Human Clinical Trials Of Covaxin, The Indigenous COVID-19 Vaccine To Begin By Monday In AIIMS Delhi
AIIMS Ethics Committee has approved human clinical trials of Covaxin, the indigenous COVOID-19 Vaccine. The human clinical trials will be conducted by AIIMS Delhi from Monday. The trials will be conducted on 100 volunteers falling in the age group of 18 to 55. These volunteers will be kept under observation for about 150 days.
Statement by Professor at the Centre of Community at AIIMS
Dr Sanjay Rai, professor at the Centre for Community Medicine at AIIMS has recently said, “Today, we got approval from AIIMS Ethics Committee for starting the human clinical trials of the indigenous developed Covaxin. We are launching the enrollment process from Monday. We are going to select healthy participants with no comorbidities and without a history of COVID-19. The age group of the study population is 18 to 55 years. This would be randomized. Double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial.”
Registration of Volunteers
AIIMS has set up email id and phone number for the volunteers who want to register themselves for this project. But as mentioned by Rai, these volunteers must be healthy and falling in the age group of 18 to 55. Rai has also added that the volunteers will be followed by phone number after the vaccine will be administered. These volunteers will be first tested for COVID-19 and other comorbidities. Only those volunteers who will be stated as healthy after the tests will be allowed to take part in this project. These volunteers will be kept under observation for nearly 150 days. The email id provided by AIIMS for registration of volunteers is firstname.lastname@example.org. The volunteers can also call or send SMS at phone number: 7429947499
What is Covaxin?
Covaxin is an indigenous vaccine designed for COVID-19. It has been developed by Bharat Biotech in collaboration with Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and National Institute of Virology (NIV). It has received assent from Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for Phase 1 and Phase 2 human clinical trials in the month of July. According to the company, once the virus is injected in the body, it has no potential to infect and replicate. It is a killed virus and serves to the immune system as a deadly virus. It will act as an antibody to the virus.
Other Centers selected for Trial of Covaxin
For human clinical trials of Covaxin, 12 sites have been selected by the Indian Council of Medical Research. According to Bharat-biotech, 375 volunteers will be selected for human clinical trials of Covaxin out of which a maximum number of volunteers that are 100 will be from AIIMS. The first institute to begin with the human clinical trials on Wednesday was AIIMS-Patna. Along with this, in Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Science (PGIMS)at Rohtak in Haryana has also conducted human clinical trials for the same.
On Thursday, Bill Gates claimed the Indian Pharmaceutical industry is not only able to produce a vaccine for its own country but also for the whole world. Another indigenous Vaccine, ZyCoV-D, developed by Zydus Cadila has also got permission from DCGI to begin its human clinical trials. The company has also confirmed that it has also begun with a trial. After phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials, the potential of the vaccines will be revealed. These vaccines, if pass the trials, can serve as a boon not only for Indian but also for the whole world.
Yoga Asanas that are tried and tested to strengthen your immunity
With the International Yoga Day, knocking our doorsteps a few weeks ago, we cannot stress enough on the fact that Yoga is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy body and a healthy mind. It provides you with increased flexibility and muscle strength, along with a balanced metabolism. It is an efficient way for weight reduction and improvement of cardio and circulatory health.
Yoga has been diversified and implemented in various ways since ages to support and boost your immunity. Hence, we bring to you, the power yoga asanas you can practice in this quarantine to achieve a healthier self, inside and out. Let’s take a read,
Garudasana- Eagle Pose
This balancing pose is to be done by standing in a fixed position where your breath should be controlled to maintain body stillness and to be grounded. The increase in breath allows smooth circulation throughout the body and also to your brain. Thus, your energy is channelized to be positive and all your tensions are released.
Garduasana helps stimulate fresh blood flow by exerting pressure at a point along with the squeezing motion within arms and legs to release toxins. It improves the digestion process and improves mental focus. It opens up and strengthens joints, legs, arms, and knees, along with creating a smooth space between shoulder blades.
Dhanurasana- Bow pose
Dhanurasana is an efficient yoga pose that facilitates the improved flow of white blood cells by exerting pressure on the digestive system. It can be counted as excellent stress and fatigue buster along with the other innumerable health benefits it offers. Scientifically, this pose helps as our digestive system is filled with lymphocytes, the tiny white blood cells that fight illnesses and sharpen your immunity and health. Thus, this pose adds to the effective working of these cell organs and makes the digestive system cleaner and stronger.
It adds blood flow to abdominal organs and stimulates the organs around the abdomen and neck. It improves posture and flexibility as it stretches the complete front of the body which includes parts like ankles, thighs, groins, throat, and deep hips.
Trikonasana – Triangle pose
This is one of the most famous yoga poses that is widely practised to achieve innumerable benefits. The basic tip is to strongly bend your front knee, and slowly exhale while you move your leading hand on the mat. It helps you to strengthen your legs and the core, along with the opening up and flexibility of the hips. This pose is predicted to be therapeutic overall and helps to ease the tension around the shoulders and enhance breathing by stretching the fascia around the lungs.
It is important to be gentle on your ribs when you roll them open. Since we carry a lot of stress and in-built tension in our hips and torso, this pose helps you release all the negative energy. It works as an opening aasan and allows your muscles to equalize the feeling of calmness everywhere.
Vrikshasana- Tree Pose
Commonly known as tree pose, due to the visuals of it when you do this aasan, Vrikshasana is an age-old yoga pose that is known to do wonders for your immunity. All you need to do is keep your spine straight and keep taking long breaths while you stand in the pose. The longer you hold it, the better it boosts your balance and stability in legs.
This pose not only works for the physical balance but also helps in maintaining a mental balance and focused attitude in your daily life. It makes your ligaments and tendons strong and increases firmness in the entire standing leg. It also helps you achieve pelvic stability.
Salamba Bhujangasana- Sphinx Pose
While you begin lying flat on your stomach and lift your shoulders, you need to extend your hands forward and bend at the elbows. Your body feels relaxed in this restorative pose when you ease the glutes and lift your neck. This pose teaches you the right way of breathing and is highly healing for your nervous system. It helps you calm down your anxiety, battles your sense of depression by invoking a calm and positive demeanour.
The promising part is that it does not require your body to undergo any strenuous stretching and easily energizes your body and mind with positivity. It acts as a massager to the lower abdomen and lightens stomach ailments.
Yoga has been a powerful weapon to combat the physical battles your body poses to ensure an overall healthy physical and mental self. It is useful in curbing the dangerous effects of chronic inflammation and efficiently boosts the immune system. It lowers the stress within hormones and backs up the effective functioning of the circulatory and respiratory system.
Thus, medically proven Yoga ensures an optimum working of the body and its immune system. We hope you have a fruitful time while trying out these power poses.
Stay Fit With These Online Fitness Trainers
In these days of lockdown, it seems amazing just how much we normally move about as we go through our everyday life. Since we’re all confined to our homes and to largely sedentary lives, it’s become even more necessary to stay fit and healthy. If you depend on gym workouts for your fitness, well, they aren’t going to open anytime soon. And if you’re a new to personal fitness, then now is as good a time to start as any. Whatever your fitness level, we’ve made a list of six great fitness trainers to follow online. Not only are they a great resource for stay-at-home workouts, some also offer fully personalised fitness plans as well as tailored meal ideas to get you fighting fit.
Joe Wicks is all about positivity. A global fitness phenomenon, he is better known as The Body Coach. Wicks’s High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts are perfectly suited to get you moving and improving your fitness and strength. You can sign on for his 90-day plan, which is individually tailored (along with meals), or, like me, you can just do his workouts. Right now, Wicks is hosting a daily P.E. With Joe, which is great if you want to raise your functional fitness levels. If you have weights at home, you should also try out Wicks’s free-weight HIIT routines.
A fitness model and personal trainer, Valentina Lequeux began posting fitness videos on Instagram in 2016, and soon became a online phenomenon. Since covid-19 hit and her gym and outdoor workouts ceased, Lequeux has started posting home fitness videos. Her daily workouts focus on specific muscle groups, and are great fun to do. If you’d like to follow her fitness plan in a focused way, you can check out the 6 weeks at home fat loss programme that she’s just started. If you already have a fitness regimen, you can, like me, add some of her reps to your daily workouts and keep things interesting.
Fitness instructor Senada Greca’s fitness mantra is what she calls the Mind-Muscle Connection. If you’re looking to go beyond short term fitness to what she calls a ‘transformation’. Then you could do much worse than to enrol for one of her CRUSH IT programmes. If on the other hand, you would like to get some workout tips, follow her daily Insta posts for focussed muscle group workouts. They’re absolutely great (one particularly amazing workout involves exercising with a cushion) and a fun way to add variety to your daily exercises.
There are many Indian celebrity trainers to choose from. But one trainer to follow for simple but effective fitness is Yasmin Karachiwala. A trainer to Bollywood stars, Karachiwala is an expert in pilates as well as a certified instructor. Her Yasmin Karachiwala’s Body Image studios are spread out across the country (the main one is in Mumbai) as well as in Dhaka and Dubai. With all gyms shut right now, you can follow Karachiwala’s daily Instagram posts for basic workouts to maintain your functional fitness. If you’re a little daunted by the idea of exercising, fear not, because Karachiwala has exercises that you can do without leaving your bed, or your couch!
The Hyderabad-based Minash Gabriel was a state-level cricketer when injury forced him to retire from the game in his early twenties. Using his own rehabilitation as a fitness motivation, he became a fitness instructor, a rehab trainer and an osteopathic manual therapist. When the Indian lockdown began, he started the 21 Day Quarantine Challenge. Although the challenge has ended, you’ll find his detailed day-by-day workouts for beginners, as well as for those with intermediate and advanced fitness levels on his Insta account. A mix of functional fitness, HIIT and movement, these workouts are perfect to increase your fitness and strength in a steady, graded way. Especially check out the Animal Flow moves!
Training with Nam
The Mumbai-based Nam is a Bollywood fitness instructor as well as a Taekwondo black belt and a certified trainer. Like Gabriel, Nam too puts a lot of focus on movement and his Training With Nam videos on Facebook and Instagram are a great fitness resource for some great body-weight workouts (you might need some towels and bedsheets as props!). A brand ambassador with Under Armour, Nam too has started a daily lockdown training session. His workouts are great for flexibility, stamina and strength and are recommended if you’re prepared to sweat. Some of his Animal Flow moves are wicked!
Let’s Gorge On Some Healthy Snacks This Quarantine
Working from the comfort of the home is a satisfying idea with no commute involved and the added perks of working in sweatpants or other comfortable clothing of your choice. However, working from home or “Remote working” can present a unique set of challenges including distractions, unhealthy timelines and eating habits and even a lesser productive work environment for some. Here are some healthy snacks options :
Roasted chickpeas are a non-perishable healthy snacks that’s high in protein, fiber, and several vitamins and minerals. A 1/2 cup of chickpeas has 5 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein. What’s more, they contain most of the amino acids your body needs, so their protein is considered to be of higher quality than that of other legumes. Vacuum Fried Tangy Chickpea are super healthy and very low on calories and can make for a delicious indulgence.
Popcorn is a healthy whole grain healthy snacks that has fiber and protein. The best thing about popcorns is that you can choose from a variety of flavours to satiate your hunger pangs.
Right from butter popcorns to piri piri masala, popcorns with flavours can make your munching way more delightful! Munching on popcorns will not only satiate your taste buds during work from home, but at the same time its gluten free compostion makes it a perfect binge-worthy delight.
Dry fruits work as any other kind of healthy snacks and are also good for building one’s metabolism while helping in curbing one’s appetite. Prepare your nuts dabba with badams, dates, dry grapes along with two or three cashews. Nuts boast of several health benefits that are good for our body. A minimal quantity of nuts consumed every day also helps in weight loss. They aren’t all that healthy in large helpings, but definitely better than sugary sweets for the high-fibre content that they bring.
An ideal breakfast option for the health-conscious, it’s a superfood with high fibre content. It keeps you fuller for longer, saving you from potentially eating something unhealthy especially the meal in-betweens. It is designed to boost your energy levels. Leading a healthy snacks lifestyle has never been easier.
5.Makhana/Fox nuts/Popped lotus seeds
Usually a winter snack for those welcome warmth of the sun, fox nuts have been a staple in various North Indian households in a snack form and now are a favourite world-over, across seasons. Makhanas or fox nuts are used for cooking rich curries and even puddings.
6.Kale Chips, Khakra
Every time you plan on reaching for the bag of potato chips when hunger pangs strike, tell yourself that kale is the go-to option for a healthy snacks lifestyle. Kale contains zero cholesterol and trans fats, making it a good choice for cardiovascular health.
A serving of kale chips with a teaspoon of oil, preferably olive oil, will add about 40 calories and 4.5 grams of fat, which is far less than potato chips consumed in the same amount.
If you find kale revolting, fret not, you could also try other vegetable chips options (Jackfruit, beetroot, carrot) as alternatives. Try khakhra (sheet-thin crisp tortillas) which is readily available in various flavours at departmental stores or can be bought online in a variety of flavours to please all palates.
Read More:Corona Virus Do’s and Dont’s