Hope you had a great Diwali celebration with your friends and family. Happy to share the second issue of the newsletter. Thank you all for the great response to the first one.
I have always seen the hardware guys resetting to fix computer or phone. Anne Lamott once said, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” 10 year back I decided to reset my life. Overworked, suffering from various lifestyle diseases. I decided to reset the many unhealthy habits that were present in my life.
Last 18 months or so have been challenging. Some people lost a lot. For many it was a year which made them rethink their priorities. Time to reset. We were put to many tests and challenges. And in the end if you are still standing, you have won big. It may be time to assess the trajectory of your life and what direction are you heading. If you do not like the direction you are heading, it is within your power to reset your life.
It is my attempt to pull out best practices proven by science and my and other peoples experiences to benefit all who want to have a good lifespan, enjoying with their full energy till the last day of their life in this beautiful world.
Do share your feedback and also any specific topic you would like us to cover.
Lets get fit together
Mail – me@SandeepMall.com
Twitter/Instagram – @SandeepMall
The UK approved a pill that treats Covid.The first pill designed to treat Covid-19 has been approved by the UK medicines regulator.
The drug – Molnupiravir – will be given to vulnerable patients who have recently been diagnosed with the disease.
In clinical trials Molnupiravir cuts the risk of hospitalisation or death by about half. The treatment was described as a ‘game changer’ by UK health secretary Sajid Javid.
(Credit for Both Illustrations from The Science of Nutrition – Precision Nutrition)
What is Stress?
A stressor is something that disrupts homeostasis. For every stress, our body produces a stress response. Say, if we are in too warm condition, our body will be stressed and will sweat, get thirsty trying to return to our original body temperature and hydration level.
A stressor can be external like environment, injury or internal that we perceive or imagine. Life is full of many different kinds of negative situations and twists and turns, which keep us unsettled and stressed at times. Stress is primarily caused by too many whys, whats, whens and hows -which are questions in our minds. The effect of these thoughts on our physical health is well established. A large number of diseases today are psychosomatic, which means persistent negative emotions like stress, anger, hurt and mistrust manifest in the form of disease.
Here is a Wheel of stress diagram.
Notice where your stressors are at this time. Colour the wedges of the wheel to measure how much stress you feel in a given area. Notice that many stressors are about what your experience and how you perceive them.
A Stressor can be positive and negative. When we respond, recover and adapt well, stress makes us better. Good stress is short lived, infrequent and is over quickly. It can inspire us to take action, leaves us better than we were before. Bad stress lasts for long time, is toxic, negative, depressing and breaks us down.
Here are some tools that you can use to work on your stress.
1) Sphere of control – Start filling in it. What in your life do you have control over? What do you have some control over? What do you have no control over?
Sphere of Control
Highlight the items under total control. You are the boss of these things. Think about the items in ‘some control’. What could be done to bring them into control sphere. Let go of the items under ‘no control’. All you can do is manage and dynamically respond to these, using behaviours and other factors that you can control.
2) For chronic stress, ie. stress which is short term that we keep encountering throughout the day, Jack Feldmans lab at UCLA has done a great research and Physiological Sigh is a great tool to calm yourself down. Here’s how it works.
Take a deep breath with your nose preferably. Inhale again. That’s double inhale. And exhale everything through your mouth or nose. Make exhale longer than inhale. Or more vigorous. This is real time tool. So whenever you feel stressed – someone overtook you car badly or you have a presentation to make, take 5-6 Physiological Sighs. Your heart rate will go down and you will feel better.
3) Gratitude Diary – Before you go to bed every night, write down three things that you are grateful for, on that day. Gratitude journaling is a great way to relieve stress, as it will make you naturally more grateful and happy, which will lead to lower stress levels. Before going to bed, I write down three things I am most grateful for that day and also next day’s three most important tasks. This keeps me focused next day at my work.
4) Be part of a community. Whether you’re looking for motivation, support, or advice, your community will always be able to help you. Twitter is a great platform for this. The #100Days challenge is a live example as how collectively we logged 15000 workouts and motivated each other. Knowing that you’re in a community of like-minded people that share the same goal as you, allows you to talk about your journey and know that others are going through, or have been through the same things.
5) Build your Immunity. Stress often comes in the form of bacterial and viral infection and stress response is important. Release of Adrenaline is good for combating short term stress. And studies have shown that Wim Hof breathing primes the whole system for better cognition, makes system immune to combat infection. I have been doing it for last four years and have not fallen sick, or even a bad throat or fever. This is just a 11 minute breathing protocol and I would recommend to do this every day. Don’t do it while driving or near water. Here’s the link to do along with his instruction https://youtu.be/0BNejY1e9ik
6) Increase Stress Threshold – Do some physical activity that takes your heart rate to 80% of your Maximum Heart rate (Ask your doctor if you can do it). I do sprint to take my heart rate to that level. When we are at that threshold our pupils dilate and we literally have a tunnelled vision. That narrows down our field of vision. Deliberately go from tunnel vision to a panoramic vision. Observe more of your environment. See yourself in the environment you are in. It creates a calming effect on the mind. Doing this will increase your stress bearing threshold. Try doing once a week.
7) NSDR and Self Hypnosis – Meditation is a great tool but very difficult to do for most people. I do NSDR to destress and relax from time to time. This is a science based proved way to calm yourself and zero risk as you basically lie down and do what the instructor is saying. I use this protocol https://youtu.be/pL02HRFk2vo
8) Acute Stress or Long term stress should be dealt with immediately using medical advice. Consult a good Doctor.
9) Searching www.examine.com I found that Ashwagandha is a great supplement to take in case of acute stress. A number of studies suggest that it has anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects; studies are mostly supportive of a notable effect of ashwagandha for this purpose, and it seems to reduce cortisol levels. Here’s the link https://examine.com/supplements/ashwagandha/ ( Always consult your doctor before supplementing )
10) Accept a higher power – You may or may not believe in God. But still, you have to believe in something. You just have to. Something bigger than us. Something bigger than we can even comprehend. There is an anchor in our life called Faith. You will realize, you have so little control over most of the things happening around you or to you. You only control how you react to the situation. You have to believe that there is a deeper purpose behind your suffering. The point of this belief is some way to override the mind. This technique changes our attitudes and feelings, which influences positively the situations we are in, as well as how others respond.
The Caterpillar – Dr Sudipto Chakravarty
“The state of your health is just like a caterpillar larva. The moment you shed your cocoon; you turn into a strikingly beautiful creation.”
Hello readers. My name is Sudipto Chakravarty. I am a doctor. As an integral part of my practice, I have to come up with quips and examples like the one above, conjured on the spot, to convince care seekers about the virtues of healthy living and a moderately disciplined life. Today as well, I’m not here to sermonize on health, but the idea is to share a very general script about why we should begin to think about adopting a plan that will ensure we stay reasonably fit until ripe old age. Just like a retirement plan, you see, but not the financial one, which I’m sure, you already have stoutly in place.
If I were to suddenly throw a diet plan or an exercise regimen at you, many of you will, in all certainty, get up and walk away. That’s because most of you are fairly fit and do not face challenges in carrying out routine chores that our present lifestyle demands of us. Yes, you can climb a flight of stairs easily, maybe getting slightly breathless only towards the end. Yes, there’s some flab around the waist and on the abdomen, but then it should be okay. Parties and all. Understandable. Of course, you are very particular about food, but then, you cannot refuse the occasional pizza or samosa, or the couple of gulab jamuns that find their way into your fridge every once in a while. Yes, the ice-cream too. And sundry gravies. Groovy Friday nights too. Certainly, this should be normal, you feel, and the very idea of regulating your favorite stuff early in life strikes you as being a very unreasonable demand. “Yaar! Ye bhi koi baat hai?”
C’mon! Don’t go yet. There’s some interesting discussion ahead. Let us take a look at the life expectancy charts. Can you guess what the life expectancy of an average Indian was in 1947, the year we got our independence from the British? Thirty one years. Unbelievable? Yes, I too had rubbed my eyes in disbelief when I first read this, but that’s true. Those with access to nutrition and healthcare would live longer, even up to old age, but the teeming millions would simply perish in their thirties or forties. Cut to 2021. Today, the average life expectancy in India is 70 years. And in the next 20 years, it is expected to touch 80. Medical science is rapidly progressing to a stage where life would be actively preserved until very old age. Simply said, modern medicine will be adding years to your life with consummate ease.
What does it all mean though? Life expectancy of 80 sounds jolly good! Why should there be a problem in that? Won’t you get a lot of time to enjoy your years? Trips. Cruises. Adventure. With life’s responsibilities largely taken care of, and with some money to spare, won’t it be a very exciting time in your life?
Of course, it will be. And here lies the catch. To enjoy the years that modern medicine would afford you, you need to stay fit. Fit enough to carry out activities of daily living, unassisted. You can’t let yourself be restricted to a bed or a chair, having to depend on someone to even bring you a spoon or a glass of water. Your bones, joints and muscles would need to stay strong and reasonably free from pain, injury, or erosions. Mentally, you should remain alert and in command of a good memory. You may need medicines for blood pressure, but your heart should still be in good shape. There may be an acceptable range of age-related changes, but otherwise you should be able to chug along comfortably. And who knows, if you are fit enough in your later years, you may even care to indulge in a bit of romance every now and then! Now don’t stare at me!
It is this state of health that we need to keep in mind while drawing up our retirement plans. And just like our retirement corpus, our health corpus too needs years of diligent planning. Do I have your attention now?
Good. Then go to sleep. Yes. You read that right. Go to sleep. On time. Every night. A good 7 to 8 hours daily. That’s the single most important behavioral change you should strive to achieve before we can even hope to talk about fitness plans. Remember, it took us 15 million years to evolve from apes to humans. And we, as a race, have slept through one third, or 5 million of those years in this period.
So! Wish to ace that trek in the Himalayas in your sixties? Or enjoy that cruise in your seventies? Start sleeping 7-8 hours daily. I can guarantee you that you’d be halfway there already if you can manage a good night’s sleep consistently and make it a habit. Yes, you’ll have to sacrifice your late-night texts and bid an early good night to your WhatsApp groups, but it will be a small price to pay.
In my next story, I shall be dwelling some more upon sleep. Chit chat. Interesting anecdotes. Quick takeaways. That’s all. No scientific mumbo jumbo. I wouldn’t want you to sleep through my article on sleep, really.
Dr Sudipto Chakravarty, from Jaipur, Rajasthan, is a medical professional with 20+ years of clinical experience. As an innovator and entrepreneur, he has been at the forefront of introducing and adopting the latest in technology in his chosen field of expertise, gastroenterology. An avid writer, and one of the most followed doctors on Twitter, Dr. Sudipto loves to work closely with organisations, advocacy groups, and NGOs for spreading health awareness. You can follow him on twitter at @SudiptoDoc
If you think about it then exercise is all about movement . The ability to move all your body parts for it to be able to do things you need or want to do .For most part of our history movement was so heavily integrated in our lives that we did not need gyms or a special space for fitness. But in today’s setting , most of us are living a sedentary lifestyle stuck behind a desk , sitting on a couch or a car most of our day.
What if you had just one movement given the time and space constraints that you could do which would hit all your joints and muscles .
Here in this video is one such movement(actually it’s basically a bunch of movements ) that you can do to get vitality and keep yourself healthy and energetic.
Try it out.
One movement for Health & Strength by Nishant ( Twitter : @NishantPTrainer)
Nishant Mandal is a certified Personal trainer/Online fitness coach based out of Delhi NCR. He is ACE-CPT, Crossfit L-1, PN-L1 certified and Calisthenics enthusiast, Deadlift Junkie, Movement & Mobility expertise
Getting people to move and better themselves since 2010 through individualised and challenging routines but not much than what one can’t handle. You can connect with him at
Mail @ firstname.lastname@example.org
twitter handle @NishantPTrainer
instagram : nishantfit
About the book
The global market for fitness-focused apps and devices around $30 billion today. This means that more than ever, we’re looking at our wrists not only to check the time, but also to see how much we’ve moved, monitor our heart rate, and see how we’re stacking up against yesterday’s tallies.
As a result of our fitness tech addiction, we’ve lost awareness of what we’re doing, how we’re feeling, and what’s going on around us. This is bad enough in the gym, but when we get outside, the constant checking of a tiny screen truly wreaks havoc, downgrading what should be a rich experience into yet another task we need to complete to meet our daily goals. And if we fall short, we feel inadequate. There’s also the issue of data inaccuracy, with many device makers now admitting that their gadgets provide only estimates. So why do we continue to obsess over data and treat it as gospel truth?
It’s time to stop, take a breath, and hit the reset button in a big way. Unplugged provides a blueprint for using technology to meet your health and performance goals in a much smarter way, while reconnecting to your instincts and the natural world. In addition to sharing the performance expertise of Brian Mackenzie and the scientific insight of Dr. Andy Galpin, Unplugged features exclusive stories and advice from elite athletes and world-renowned experts like Laird Hamilton, Tim Ferriss, Kai Lenny, Kelly Starrett, Steven Kotler, Erin Cafaro, Lenny Wiersma, Dr. Frank Merritt, and Brandon Rager.
About the Authors
Brian Mackenzie is a world-renowned strength and conditioning expert and the author of the New York Times bestseller Unbreakable Runner. He is the founder of the training program Power Speed Endurance and the cofounder of the complete fitness lifestyle system XPT Life.
Dr. Andy Galpin is a professor of kinesiology at the Center for Sport Performance at California State University, Fullerton. He has a PhD in human bioenergetics and is the founder and director of the Biochemistry and Molecular Exercise Laboratory.
Phil White is an Emmy-nominated writer and the coauthor of Waterman 2.0 and Flight Plan with Dr. Kelly Starrett. He also contributes to The Inertia, SUP the Mag, and Canoe & Kayak.”