Friday 12 April 2024, 05:58:25

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  • TO THE FINISHING POINT

    Look at your life as a whole - use a holistic perspective. Take all factors including work and family commitments into account when planning your week/month. Take into account the time and energy you have available but also your fitness level and what you are aiming to achieve.
    Become a creature of habit. Work out when you are best able to train and get yourself into that routine. Your body thrives on routine. It may be the same time each day you run or you may have a weekly routine.

    Choose your routes. Discover different venues and work out which fit best for what you are doing after dark means it needs to be safe, a longer run may mean going in search of softer surfaces.
    Find a training partner. You may already have a friends you can run with. If not try to find someone. Running with someone is safer, more enjoyable and more likely to make you committed. Don´t fit it all into a week. There are many different distances, speeds and types of training. Don´t cram it all into a week.

    Cross train.You can fit other types of training at the gym, on a bike or even team sports into your training. Running is the single best exercise mode for boosting your fitness and making you quicker at running but other activities will boost your ‘general conditioning’ and therefore your performance. Be dedicated to resting. You need to rest between runs. We mean build your training up, slowly. Be patient.
    Take small steps.No, we don´t mean in terms of how you run.Learn yourlimits.Everyone has gone out on a run, felt great, gone fast, got tired,struggled home. Learn to pace yourself in training, and also in any races you do. Even paced running is best. We all make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them.

    Get a goal. These need to be measurable but could range from completing an event to losing a certain amount of weight, or from running a fast time to completing a set number of training runs a month. Set some targets that are short term and others that are long term.

    Choose a ‘race’ and build up to it.Use ‘stepping stones’. Use low-key events or challenges to see how your fitness is progressing. These can be races or ‘time trials’ around routes you know or on the treadmill.Progress the distances you race. If your aim is to run a marathon build up through the distances, from five to eight to 10 miles and soon.

    Control your running, don´t let it control you. A routine is good for you, running is good for you. But every so often take a look at your training diary and ask yourself ‘Am I doing what I want to or just forming habits’. Take control of your running and make changes to help you achieve your goals.

    Be properly equipped. Whether it is poorly cushioned shoes, a T-shirt that chaffs or a winter jacket that does nothing to keep the cold/wind/rain out bad equipment will affect your enjoyment and performance. Give yourself every chance to succeed. Feeling good in your kit encourages you to go for a run.

    Stay safe. Whether it is crossing the roads, being aware of personal safety issues or making sure you have reflectors on your kit for night running make sure that you are always going to be able to go out on your next run.

    Make the most of the golden hour. We don´t mean listen to ‘oldies’ on the radio. We mean your body is best able to absorb energy rich foods ie carbohydrates within 30-60 minutes of training. If you don´t get home soon after training pack a sandwich, fruit, or energy bar with you. It is also worth eating an easily digestible meal three hours before training and racing to make sure you are fuelled.

    Stay hydrated. Try to drink 3 litres of water per day. Spread this through the day. If you lose as little as 2% of your body weight in fluids, your performance can be severely impaired. Get in the habit of having a water bottle close to you throughout the day and sip away. You will feel and perform better when hyd rated.
    Stretch. Stretching should be done before and after your runningto help your mobility.
    Don´t run if you are ill. There are two good reasons for this. The first is that running with a cold or worse can be dangerous. You can do yourself real damage. Secondly it will mean you take far longer to recover from whatever it is you have picked up. Get healthy first. Then take as long to get back to ‘normal’ training as you have had off.

  • KERALA THE EMERGING HEALTH TOURISM DESTINATION

    Health or Medical tourism is actually thousands of years old. In ancient Greece, pilgrims and patients came from all over the Mediterranean to the sanctuary of the healing god, Asklepios, at Epidaurus. In Roman Britain, patients took the waters at a shrine at Bath, a practice that continued for 2,000 years. From the 18th century wealthy Europeans traveled to spas from Germany to the Nile. In the 21st century, relatively low-cost jet travel has taken the industry beyond the wealthy and desperate.
    Countries that actively promote health tourism include Cuba, Costa Rica, Hungary, India, Israel, Jordan, Lithuania, Malaysia and Thailand. Belgium, Poland and Singapore are now entering the field. South Africa specializes in medical safaris - visit the country for a safari, with a stopover for plastic surgery, a nose job and a chance to see lions and elephants.

    Patients going to a different country for either urgent or elective medical procedures are fast becoming a worldwide, multibillion-dollar industry. The reasons patients travel for treatment vary. Many medical tourists from the United States are seeking treatment at a quarter or sometimes even a 10th of the cost at home. From Canada, it is often people who are frustrated by long waiting times. From Great Britain, the patient can´t wait for treatment by the National Health Service but also can´t afford to see a physician in private practice. For others, becoming a medical tourist is a chance to combine a tropical vacation with elective or plastic surgery.

    And more patients are coming from poorer countries such as Bangladesh where treatment may not be available. India is considered the leading country promoting medical tourism-and now it is moving into a new area of “medical outsourcing, ” where subcontractors provide services to the overburdened medical care systems in western countries. Health and medical tourism is perceived as one of the fastest growing segments in marketing ´Destination India´ today. While this area has so far been relatively unexplored, we now find that not only the ministry of tourism, government of India, but also the various state tourism boards and even the private sector consisting of travel agents, tour operators, hotel companies, hitech hospitals and other accommodation providers are all eying health and medical tourism as a segment with tremendous potential for future growth. India´s National Health Policy declares that treatment of foreign patients is legally a few thousands for treatment.

    But, things are going to change drastically in favour of India, especially in view of the high quality expertise of medical professionals backed by the fast improving equipment and nursing facilities and above all, the cost-effectiveness of the package.

    Why is India most suitable? Indian corporate hospitals excel in cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery, joint replacement, orthopaedic surgery, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, transplants and urology to name a few. The various specialties covered are Neurology, Neurosurgery, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Rheumatology, Endocrinology, ENT, Pediatrics, Pediatric Surgery, Pediatric Neurology, Urology, Nephrology, Dermatology, Dentistry, Plastic Surgery, Gynaecology, Pulmonology, Psychiatry, General Medicine & General Surgery The various facilities in India include full body pathology, comprehensive physical and gynaecological examinations, dental checkup, eye  checkup, diet Consultation, Audiometry, Spirometry, stress & lifestyle management, pap smear, digital Chest X-ray, 12 lead ECG, 2D digital Chest X-ray, 12 lead ECG, 2D Echo Colour Doppler, Gold Standard DXA Bone Densitometry, Body Fat Analysis, Coronary Risk Markers, Cancer Risk Markers, Carotid Colour Doppler, Spiral CT Scan and high strength MRI. Cosmetic Dentistry and Plastic Surgery are two areas gathering momentum.

    There is also a gamut of services ranging from General Radiography, Ultra Sonography, Mammography to high end services like Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Digital Subtraction Angiography along with intervention procedures, Nuclear Imaging. The diagnostic facilities offered in India are comprehensive to include Laboratory services, Imaging, Cardiology, Neurology and Pulmonology. The Laboratory services include Biochemistry, Hematology, Microbiology, Serology, Histopathology, Transfusion Medicine and RIA. All medical investigations are conducted on the latest, technologically advanced diagnostic equipments. Stringent quality assurance exercises ensure reliable and high quality test results. All these at a cost which is about 40 to 60% what it costs in developed countries. It is not just cost but competency that is India´s selling point.
    As Indian corporate hospitals are on par, if not better than the best hospitals in Thailand, Singapore, etc there is scope for improvement and the country may become a preferred medical destination. In addition to the increasingly top class medical care, a big draw for foreign patients is also the very minimal or hardly any waitlist as is common in European or American hospitals. In fact, priority treatment is provided today in Indian hospitals.

    Why Kerala has become the hottest health tourism spot in India? Kerala is popularly known as ‘God´s Own Country’. 
    With the Arabian Sea on the west, the Western Ghats towering 500 - 2700m on the east undoubtedly it is so. Keralais networked by forty-four rivers. Kerala is a very easy place to simply sit back and enjoy. The name means “land of coconuts” and the palms shade nearly the entire state from the tropical sun; many call the beach at Kovalam the best in India, tranquil stretches of emerald backwaters, lush green hill stations and exotic wildlife, Ayurvedic health resorts, enchanting art forms, magical festivals, historic and cultural monuments, an exotic cuisine all of which offers a unique experience.


    Kerala is one of the ten ‘Paradises Found’ declared by the National Geographic Traveler, for its diverse geography andoverwhelming greenery. It is a land much acclaimed for the contemporary nature of its cultural ethos, and much appreciated for the soothing, rejuvenating paradise that it is.
    Kerala, or God´s Own Country as its corporate slogan goes, has pioneered health and medical tourism in India. Kerala has made a concerted effort to promote health tourism in a big way, which has resulted in a substantial increase of visitor arrivals into the state. Kerala and Ayurveda have virtually become synonymous with each other. However, though Kerala has strongly focused on Ayurveda and its wide array of treatments and medications, good facilities are also available inthe other traditional forms of medicine as well as in modern medical treatment.

    The bias towards health tourism in Kerala is so strong that Kerala Ayurveda Centres have been established at multiple locations in various metro cities, thus highlighting the advantages of Ayurveda in health management. The health tourism focus has seen Kerala participate in various trade shows and expos wherein the advantages of this traditional form of medicine are showcased.
    The northern part of Kerala known as Malabar is a land of rich culture and heritage. It is the land which attracted foreigners from time immemorial. Calicut, the richest of ports along the lush Malabar coast was a centuries old market place into which Vasco da Gama stepped in and created history in 1498. The sheer beauty of nature captures everyone´s eye. Moreover, it is the land of Kathakali, Kalirippayattu and Theyyam. The must-see tourist destinations like Beypore, Kappad and Wayanad are all approachable from here.

    A large number of health resorts have come up all over Kerala in exotic locations offering one day package to 60 days total treatment schemes. Since Kerala Tourism Department has classified these treatment centres with ´Green Leaf´ and ´Olive Leaf´ classifications according to the facilities offered, the tourists can be sure of required facilities and care at these places. A number of multi-speciality hospitals and sophisticated diagnostic centres with art-of-the-state facilities exist in Kerala to offer professional healthcare with personalised service affordable to all medical tourists of all income groups. 

    Through merging of medical expertise, rich tradition of Ayurveda and admirable tourism potentials Kerala is fast emerging as a “global health destination”.

  • FITNESS TO BE MADE A WAY OF LIFE

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