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 way, we have three very different but equally relevant stories. The first, by Medha Dutta Yadav, reiterates the importance of protein, especially for older adults. In another compelling story, Jen Thomas breaks down the body transformation myth, while the third, an extract from a recently-released book, explores the science and art of mindfulness.
Read on to know more
Indians do not eat enough protein is a well-known fact; our diets are very carb-heavy to start with. And as we age and our appetite reduces, the situation may worsen. "According to medical experts, we lose 30 to 50 per cent of our muscle mass between ages 40 and 80. Also, the body's requirement for protein goes up due to inflammation from chronic age-related infections and other medical problems," writes Medha Dutta Yadav, pointing out that while people may continue to consume the same amount of protein as they did in their younger years, their ability to process the protein well reduces.
Since protein is essential for muscle repair, hormone creation and regeneration, among other things, it makes sense to up our intake. And if it is hard to get it by consuming natural foods, a supplement may be in order.
The word mindfulness gets tossed around frequently nowadays, more often than not. A new book by life coach Tanuja Sodhi decodes what exactly it entails. According to her, mindfulness speaks of intentionally observing and being aware of what is happening within or around us 'in the present moment, without passing any judgement, good or bad. "It trains our minds to reach a place of peace and calm by attempting to bring a positive shift in our thought process and belief system," she says, pointing out that mindfulness helps us become more 'present' in our lives rather than stressing over what happened in the past or what may happen in the future. She adds that being mindful also helps us develop a deeper and more authentic relationship with ourselves. "It is critical because the relationship we have with our own selves sets the tone for every other relationship we have in our lives," she says, going on to list some tips to get there.
Do you spend your time trawling through body transformation stories, perusing diet plans and workout routines that made someone lose fifty pounds in two months? Stop now, writes Jen Thomas, our fitness expert. "It is so easy to believe it, too and develop unrealistic expectations regarding weight loss or getting ripped in the gym," says Thomas. Unfortunately, "most people underestimate the amount of time a physical transformation takes and overestimate the effort they are currently putting into achieving it."
Thomas, who blames celebrity culture and the fitness and nutrition industry for constantly propagating this myth, points out that being consistent and setting out realistic expectations is the only way to change your body. She concludes on a positive note. “Although it takes time and effort to see the transformation that you’re hoping for, the longer you adopt healthy habits into your life, the more they become autonomic. You may even begin to like doing them. And if that happens, you’ve just changed your life, not just your body," says Thomas.