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How to get your best body and mind

This week's Lounge roundup focuses on mental and physical well-being

Being happy on social media isn't real happiness
Being happy on social media isn't real happiness (Unsplash)

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Hello and welcome to another edition of the Lounge wellness roundup. Every Saturday, we bring you our pick of the wellness stories we have published over the past week, lest you've missed any of them.

This week, we address three critical components of well-being: mental health, nutrition and exercise. From Jen Thomas's story on exercising while pregnant to Bhumika K's take on a gut reset and Divya Naik's focus on Instagram and validation, we've got you covered.

Read on to know more.

How to reset your gut

The gut, as we all are beginning to find out, doesn't just help you regulate your digestion. It offers a ton of other benefits, including metabolism regulation, better clarity and mental health and immunity. And as this awareness of gut health and metabolism grows, more and more people are jumping onto gut reset programmes that promise to reverse bad gut health. "Most of us on a traditional Indian diet, eating rotis, milk, yoghurt, cheese, refined sugars, and leading a sedentary lifestyle coupled with poor sleep and bad stress management have "gut dysbiosis" – more bad and less good bacteria," writes Bhumika K, adding that a gut reset is now being seen as an answer to these nagging physical and mental health problems. She then delves into the specifics of a gut reset by conversing with proponents, nutritionists and doctors before concluding that while a gut reset has its benefits, it also needs to be okayed by your doctor. 

Can you exercise when you are pregnant? 

Fitness coach Jen Thomas tells us about how her fit friend is struggling to stay that way during pregnancy and then delves into the question that many to-be mommies are struggling with today."Can I exercise when I am pregnant?"

Yes, believes Thomas, adding that it needs to be done mindfully and after medical clearance."The American Council of Sports Medicine (ACSM) indicates that a woman should avoid risky exercises that may result in falling or high-impact sports such as hockey, gymnastics, horseback riding, and skiing when pregnant," she cautions. Approved activities for pregnant women, writes Thomas, are walking, jogging, modified yoga and Pilates programs, stationary cycling, resistance training, and some racquet sports (providing these were done before pregnancy)."Exercising during pregnancy can be a rewarding activity. As long as you approach it with self-compassion and continual conversation with your doctor, report on how you feel during exercise as you progress throughout your pregnancy," concludes Thomas. 

How Instagram can influence your self-esteem

Are you the sort of person who worries about not being "liked" enough on Instagram or Facebook or stresses about the number of followers or friends you possess? Then, Divya Naik's story on self-validation and social media is especially for you.According to her, the mechanics of external validation, especially in this age of social media, have become complex and potentially harmful. She lists out the hormones--dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphin--that cause us to crave external validation and offers advice on how to stop being a slave to these. “Social media is just a slice of how life is today and doesn't show the skeletons in our closets, ” writes Naik, indicating that one needs to stop seeking validation from others both in the real and in the virtual world. 



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