Issue#27 – Good Vibes – Toolkit to raise a reader at home, toolkit to save yourself from environmental allergen & more…
Reading has had a huge impact on my own life. I’ve had my world expanded by reading. Reading not only enhances a child’s academic performance and cognitive development, but even more importantly, reading is simply one of life’s most enriching and edifying activities.
Keep a well-stocked home library. When I read the biographies of eminent personalities, who were voracious readers, so many of them talk about growing up in households that were filled with books. It’s not only that keeping a home library allows your kid access to lots of books, the library also acts as a potent signal that reading is important to you as parents, and is an important aspect of your family culture. This is one of the reasons paper handbook libraries are far more superior and impactful than digital libraries in kindle. Of course, a home library isn’t going to have a big effect, if its books are merely decorative, and your kids never see you actually opening them.
Be a reader yourself. Your kids are always watching you. They’re more likely to do what you do than do what you say. So set an example for them and be a reader yourself. Let your kids catch you reading. I am grateful to my grandparents for many things but specially thankful for them being readers. Growing up I always saw them reading. Many times reading to each other. And Mom would read many books to them as they aged. They never lectured my sister and me to read, but we all followed their lead and read ourselves.
Read out loud to them when they’re little (and beyond). Just because your kids are too young to read themselves, doesn’t mean you can’t start inculcating the reading habit in them. Read out loud to your kids when they are little. It will set a practice for them that reading is as much a part of life’s routine, like brushing your teeth and having your meals. Even when your kids are old enough to read on their own, keep reading aloud to them. It’s a great way to spend time with your kids, and it reinforces the idea that reading is just something you do in your family.
Let your kids read what they want. Some parents (ofcourse with good intention) have this idea that if their kids are going to be readers, then they’re only going to read the Great Books or only the classics of children’s literature. So they put their kids on some reading program and make their children slog through books they have no interest in. That’s a great way to turn your kids into non-readers. Instead, let your kids read whatever they want…that’s age-appropriate. You want them to learn to enjoy reading.
Buy your kids’ books in abundance. When we go to shopping malls, we more often take them to the bookstore and let them pick books of their choice which we then buy for them. There seems to be something about buying a book for your kids that gets them more pumped into reading it. I’m guessing it’s the dopamine that comes with buying stuff. Buying books also helps your children build their own home library.
From my experience, books are the most value added purchase that will give your kids hours of entertainment, all sorts of cognitive, emotional, and academic benefits, and another nudge along the path to becoming lifelong readers.
If you’re an allergy sufferer, you understand how upsetting and sometimes frightening it is to react to something that doesn’t seem to bother anyone else. Whether you have hay fever, asthma, food allergies, or allergic skin disorders, allergic diseases often hold an element of mystery because they seem to affect only certain people and often develop out of the blue.
Why are you allergic?
Allergic reactions are inappropriate, overblown responses mounted by the body’s immune system against a harmless substance.
- Your genes. Someone with a genetic predisposition to allergies is said to be atopic, and is more likely to suffer from allergies
- Your environment. The circumstances of your early childhood also influence how likely you are to develop allergies. Exposure to a wider array of germs early in life may “train” the immune system to distinguish harmful germs from harmless substances and thus dampen the body’s tendency to turn on the allergic response. This idea is known as the hygiene hypothesis. We try to keep children away from any possible germs and that works against, many a times.There has been ample evidence for the hygiene hypothesis over the past several decades. Experts do not recommend that parents purposely expose their children to germs. But a sterile environment may not be desirable either.
- It’s also wise to use antibiotics only when truly needed, not every time a child has an infection. Viral infections won’t be helped by antibiotics. And by killing off both good and bad bacteria in the body, antibiotics can disrupt the microbiome.
Pinpointing your allergic reactions
The first step in allergy control is pinpointing the substances that trigger allergic reaction. Allergy testing is effective only when you and your allergist have some idea of what you are testing for. A detailed description of your symptoms and the situations that trigger them is invaluable in whittling down the possibilities.
Source : Harvard Health Education
The best way to treat allergies is to reduce exposure to the allergens. Avoidance is the best medicine. The four major causes of environmental allergies are pollens, molds and fungi, pet dander and dust mites. Here are some of the things you can do to reduce exposure to these allergens:
- Stay indoors on days pollen count is high, specially dry, windy days.
- Don’t hang bedsheets or clothing outside during high pollen season.
- Wash your hair before bed if you have spent your day outdoors.
- Wear mask when going outdoors.
- Don’t bring your outdoor shoes inside your home.
- Wash your linen at least once a week in hot water and dry them in a dryer, if possible.
- Maintain humidity level below 50%.
- Make sure your home has adequate ventilation and proper exhaust in bathroom and kitchen.
- If you have house plants, don’t over water them.
- Throw away anything that has mold or fungi on it.
- Buy washable stuffed toys for your kids and wash them often in warm water.
- Damp mop dust. Dry mop will stir up mite allergen.
- Avoid keeping a pet, if you have allergy to pet dander.
- If you must have a pet, avoid bringing them to your bedroom.
- Vacuum and sweep after every meal (don’t forget under the refrigerator and stove) and make sure no food is left uncovered— including all garbage.
- Get rid of your carpets. They are store house for allergens.
- Routinely wash your pet’s bed.
- Regularly vacuum and use a good vacuum cleaner.
The World Heart Federation says that even moderate alcohol consumption harms your cardiovascular health.
Red wine actually isn’t good for your heart. Really.
For the past 30 years, health experts have touted red wine (in moderation) as a heart-healthy beverage. But a January 2022 policy brief from the World Heart Federation (WHF) aims to set the record straight. No type of alcohol — including wine — is a friend to your heart.
It increases the risk of
- heart failure
- cardiomyopathy (a disease of the heart muscle)
- aortic aneurysm (a dangerous bulge in the wall of the aorta)
- atrial fibrillation (an irregular heart rhythm)
Alcohol and your heart – some thought-provoking data
The World Heart Federation included some statistics about alcohol and health in its January 2022 policy brief, “The Impact of Alcohol Consumption on Cardiovascular Health: Myths and Measures.” Here are some of the highlights:
- Globally, alcohol use contributed to 2.4 million deaths in 2019 — 4.3% of all deaths.
- Some 230 diseases are linked to alcohol use.
- Alcohol, even in small amounts, is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer. It’s also a risk factor for cancers of the mouth, throat, and liver, among others.
- People who drink moderately are about 14% more likely to have a stroke compared with those who don’t drink at all, and also 15% more likely to suffer a fatal aortic aneurysm.
- Alcohol use is linked to narrowing of the carotid arteries and the coronary arteries, which may lead to stroke or heart attack.
Many people have been washing more diligently since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While good hand hygiene is important, it can quickly dry out the skin on your hands.
To keep your skin hydrated, turn down the water temperature when washing. Use cold water, as long as you work the soap into a lather. Also, moisturize your skin with a heavy hand cream right after washing. Apply the cream when your skin is still slightly damp. To help your dry and cracked skin heal, also consider an extra nighttime treatment. Apply a thick moisturiser or Vaseline to your hands before bed. Then put a pair of cloth gloves, or even a pair of clean socks, on your hands. This allows the moisturizer to work as you sleep.
Good Vibes Space
The second episode of Good Vibes Space Series on Deep Health was an interesting exchange of experiences and insights on strength training and body transformation between Nachiketh Shetty, fitness coach and nutritionist, and his mentee, Vivek Gupta, a financial planner by profession, a passionate weight lifter, moderated by Sandeep Mall, on 23rd April’2022. Click here to listen to the recording of this Spaces session on Strength Training, Weight Loss and Physical Transformation