Tag Archives: happy hormones

Is being inactive altering your brain cells?

Many studies have shown that including some physical activity in your daily routine can alter your brain cells in a healthy way. But did you know that remaining inactive can actually work the other way round?

Doing any physical activity or exercise prompts the creation of new brain cells and induces other changes such as release of the hormone –endorphin, which is considered to be the ‘happiness’ hormone. But according to scientists at the Wayne State University School of Medicine conducting a new study, which was recently published in The Journal of Comparative Neurology, research done on rats proved that being inactive can also change the shape of certain neurons cells in the brain.

The study was done on dozens of rats in which researchers put half of them in cages with running wheels and let the animals run at will and the other half were housed in cages without wheels and were left inactive. After almost three months, the animals in both sets of cages were injected with a special dye that colors certain neurons in the brain. This was done to mark neurons in the animals’ rostral ventrolateral medulla, a portion of the brain that controls breathing and other unconscious activities central to our existence.

When the scientists looked inside the brains of the rats they found noticeable differences between the two groups. There was a difference in the shape of some of the neurons in that region of the brain. The scientists established that the neurons in the brains of the running rats were still shaped much as they had been at the start of the study and were functioning normally. But many of the neurons in the brains of the sedentary rats had changed their shape.

Being inactive also increases the risk for heart disease, diabetes, and various other chronic disorders. To continue remaining active, try to include some of the following habits in your daily routine:

1. Instead of using an escalator or lift, use stairs.
2. Keep moving at regular basis, if you have a desk job. Instead of spending hours sitting at a same place, take a break in between and go for a small walk.
3. If you have a sedentary working style then instead of shooting an email or text message, get up and go and meet the concerned person if that’s possible.
4. Standing helps you in burning more calories as compared to sitting. So make a habit of standing or moving while you talk on the phone.
5. If not a workout, at least include a brisk walk or light run in your daily routine. Or play an active sport of your choice.

Also, always include healthy and balanced diet in your routine to keep your brain healthy.

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo
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How to Control Sugar Cravings

Need to eat sugar is triggered by our body. This is body’s naturally tendency to tell you that blood sugar levels are dropping and need to be replenished. Over a period of time this physiological reaction becomes psychological and we start to mistake this desire as need. This is when most of the trouble begins that traditionally transforms into weight gain and then eventually lifestyle diseases like high blood sugar & diabetes type 2.  Sugar cravings can be controlled and managed  with some effort.

Sugar is a carbohydrate and quickly breaks down in our body providing energy and releases happy hormone serotonin which makes us feel good and reduces stress and anxiety. The sweet taste of sugar is liked by most people from birth and indulge in eating them for sugar cravings. Sugar is also known to release endorphins also known as “happy hormones” that is the reason why we also crave them when we are sad or generally stressed.

How do we control this urge? First we should start with understanding what is your daily sugar intake and what are the main sources of it. Let us explain this through an example of the common sugar foods consumed by us on a daily basis like a cup of tea/coffee,  sweetened cereals like cornflakes, musselli aerated drinks or sweetened drinks like packaged juices & lemonade along with one or two desserts/chocolates through the day.

Here is a quick list of a calories per serving:

Sugar coated cereals- 127 kcal (3/4 cup)

Tea spn of sugar- 20 kcal

100 ml aerated drink/soda- 37 kcal

1 chocolate- (plain Bar , 49 g of chocolate) 250 Kcal

Packaged juice-110 kcal (250 ml)

Energy drinks-152 Kcal (350 ml/one can)

All this roughly mounts upto 700 calories if you have one of each of these things listed. Incase you are looking to lose weight than you just require 2 tea spoons of sugar in a day. Besides processed sugar doesnt have any health benefits . Read here to know how it affects our health. (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo

I Got A Dream Body

A man’s quest towards a healthy lifestyle while he attempts to get the physique he always dreamt of. Here is a success story of Jeetu Soni who lives in Africa and has lost weight and gotten into a better physique to look better than he has ever before.

Jeetu, at 33, was shocked to be told by that doctor that he is suffering from High BP and high cholesterol.The seriousness of his health struck him when his cholesterol levels rose to 250 range. The doctor confirmed that due to bad eating habits, irregular lifestyle and high consumption of alcohol Jeetu had managed to push his body in this unfit state of affair.

Jitu Soni, after the 6 month Fitho Weight Loss/Body Toning Plan

Just like anyone else that hardest part was reversing the lifestyle by taking a control of their eating habit and starting a regular exercise routine.Jeetu struggled each day to start eating right and exercising but each day lead to another and he found it extremely difficult to get things going in his favor.

After some struggle Jeetu stuck out and started off on a slow pace. Gradually his body started to respond to the healthy lifestyle shift. All the stuff that he had heard about body releasing “happy hormones” when you exercise seemed to come true. Besides the weight loss Jeetu was beginning to feel good about himself. This new transition kept him motivated to continue this new healthy lifestyle routine. Hard work eventually paid off and in less than six months his cholesterol levels were down to 180 range.

Now that his lifestyle was in check and he felt comfortable with his new routine Jeetu started to gradually develop a desire to push himself to get a better physique. With just controlling his lifestyle he was able to control his BP and cholesterol but the challenge was to go from his current physique to his dream physique.

Jeetu then decided to seek professional help to get a model like body. Keeping his medical history in mind experts at Fitho started work on him. After understanding his complete medical history and lifestyle Jeetu was put on a combination of diet and exercise program. The diet worked at two levels, first it regulated the nutritional intake and secondly it complemented the workouts that had been specifically designed keeping his target body in mind.  Jeetu saw results in just six months.

You can see the difference too from the before and after images shared by Jeetu post the success of the program.

Jeetu Soni

Jeetu Soni

Jeetu Soni comments after being with Fitho for 6 months on his physical and mental state of being: (more…)

— this article is written by a dietitian @ FitHo