Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A verse from the Tao Te Ching

Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench
Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner.

Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Why shouldn't we eat after Swimming?

There are different kinds of versions in regard to eating after a swimming exercise. Is it harmful to eat after swimming ? In such a case what is the right time to eat once the swimming workout is over ?

What happens when one swims after having food ?
The physicians and trainers used to advise the learners not to consume any food immediately before swimming or after swimming. The minimum waiting period for getting into the pool after a meal is at least 30 minutes.
The following are some reasons put forth by the experts in the field:
·         Once we get into the pool right after eating, we could develop cramps and risk drowning because the body works to take care of its energy needs and that conflicting needs can cause certain problems
·         During the course of exercise, the sympathetic nervous system, a part of the automatic or autonomic nervous system consisting of brain, stem and spinal cord stimulates the nerves to the heart and blood vessels.
·         The above nervous stimulation causes the blood vessels consisting of arteries and veins to contract or constrict – the process called vasoconstriction increasing the resistance of the blood vessels in the tissues and reducing  blood flow to those tissues
·         The working muscles also receive the command from the brain, however, the metabolic byproducts produced within the muscle override the commands and cause vasodilatation.
What are the side effects of swimming after food ?
The following are some side effects by attempting  swimming immediately after having a food:
·         Once the food is consumed the stomach needs sufficient energy  to get the food digested  and normally the bowel takes a minimum of thirty to sixty minutes to digest the food and thereafter it sends the digested food to the intestines for further processing
·         Under the above situations, when an exercise like swimming is undertaken, the parts of the body viz., hands, legs, stomach, shoulders, head etc are getting the message to boost the blood flow and the blood that would have gone to some of the organs especially the bowel will start proceeding to the above parts to provide required energy.
·         Because the blood flow is restricted or almost blocked to the innermost parts of the stomach, the process of digestion is hampered and the stomach muscles start creating cramps and pains resulting in un digestion of the food inside the stomach.
How long one should wait after eating a meal ?
There are some pressing circumstances or situations during which time, a learner or a participant may need to go in for swimming after having his food.
This depends upon the following factors:
·         The time gap between the meal and the exercise
·          The quantum of food consumed by the person.
·         The part of the day during which time the exercise is undertaken
1.    As we had seen earlier, the safest time to go in for swimming after having a meal is 30 minutes and more. However, if a person feels, that he had consumed only very little food required for undertaking a swimming exercise, it is recommended  that there is no harm in going for swimming subject to the  kind of food consumed. by the person.
2.    The bigger/heavier the meal, the longer the person needs to wait. In case of light foods like snacks,   a juice, half a bagel or a few low-fat crackers, he can go almost immediately.
3.    If a person wants to have his exercise as the first thing in the morning, a small amount of fruit juice and water is sufficient because the energy need during the morning time is very low. If he wants to do the exercise mid morning then a breakfast high in carbohydrates will provide him enough energy. If it is late morning but before lunch, a little snacks before working out and a lunch rich in carbohydrates and protein is a must after the work out. However, after the lunch but before t late evening, an empty stomach is better
Eating before or after the workout wholly depends upon the time gap and energy level of the person concerned and no strict guidelines can be specified in this regard.



Help the needy

One of our close relatives aged more than 70 years was suffering from diabetes. He used to get fainted often and at any moment. One day while he was on his way to a shop, he fainted and fell near the shop and was on the platform for more than ten minutes. Even though it was a busy street and many people were using the area for their regular shopping, no body paid any attention to him. The watching onlookers were moving from the scene without coming forward for extending any help to the man.
A little school going girl aged around twelve years went nearer to him, took the water bottle from her bag and sprayed the water on his face. The elderly person came to consciousness, got up from the platform,  appreciated the efforts put forth  by the little girl and thanked her.
Nowadays, we are moving very fast and nobody can deny that people are having very less time and rarely  they can take care of others.
However life is precious for everybody – for young and old. Under certain circumstances, whatever may be the pressing circumstances, by sparing some time to save a person will not harm anybody.


Recently I read one news item from a local newspaper. I reproduce here below the contents of the news item for the benefit of the readers.
“It was during one midnight by around 12.00 p.m. everybody was sleeping in the house in different bed rooms. Suddenly I heard the voice of my father. On hearing his loud cry, everybody started moving into his bed room. The ceiling fan in the bed room had fallen on his head; however, there was not much damage to him. We immediately took him to the nearby hospital and he was given first aid treatment and after completing various tests like X-ray and scanning, the doctors informed that there was no need to get panicky over the incident. He was in the hospital for a week and after a fortnight he became normal and started attending to his duties.
Once the ceiling fan is fitted, people are rarely servicing the fan and many people are not evincing much interest in taking care of the fans.  We switch on the fan when we require its services and then switch it off. At least once in six months, the fan should be removed from its place checked and serviced properly and has to be fitted in the ceiling thereafter in order to protect the interests of everybody in the house.”


Recently I had been to a friend's house. While we were talking about various business matters, I found  his wife handling some old shirts of my friend and his son.
She was removing the buttons from the shirts and keeping  them in a small container.
I enquired her reasons for the same.
She replied: “We used to donate the old shirts to deprived persons residing in various orphanage homes. However, we use the buttons as and when we require them while replacing the old buttons in the shirts which are in use at present.”
At the first instance, I was astonished to find her action in paying much attention to even small things.
However, I was shocked to imagine the fate of the old shirts without buttons donated to the poor people. Without buttons, how the shirts can be used by any person.
Unless and otherwise a product which is in usable condition is donated to a person, the activity is like  mere disposal of old goods out of the house.
I made my friend and his wife understand the concept. They realized immediately and from that day onwards, they started donating the  shirts which were in usable condition to others.

How to help others?

I wish to share an incident for the information of the readers. I went to a hotel along with one of my friends and by the time we were leaving the hotel after finishing our breakfast, an old lady approached us and demanded some money.  I was searching my pockets for some coins; In the mean time, my friend took the old lady inside the hotel.
He placed an order for required number of food items for the lady and  was patiently sitting near the lady till she completed eating her food. He paid the bill and came out and joined me for further discussions.

He started telling me the concept behind his action. “Whenever, we pay the old people in cash, the miscreants threaten old people and remove cash from them. Once we feed them, the question of losing their money will never arise”.

This information is an eye opener for many of us who have the desire to help others.