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Air Pollution May Affect Physical and Psychological Health: Study

Air pollution may affect psychological health in kids

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Researchers have found that the children who are exposed to a high level of air pollution while growing up, have an increased risk of developing schizophrenia. Pixabay

Air pollution may affect our physical and psychological health in the long run as researchers have found that the children who are exposed to a high level of pollution while growing up, have an increased risk of developing schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves.

“The study shows that the higher the level of pollution, the higher the risk of schizophrenia. For each 10 µg/m3 (concentration of air pollution per cubic metre) increase in the daily average, the risk of schizophrenia increases by approximately 20 per cent,” said study researcher Henriette Thisted Horsdal from Aarhus University in Denmark.

“Children who are exposed to an average daily level above 25 µg/m3 have an approx. 60 per cent greater risk of developing schizophrenia compared to those who are exposed to less than 10 µg/m3,” Horsdal added.

According to the study, published in the journal JAMA Network Open, the research team included 23,355 people in total, and of these, 3,531 developed schizophrenia.

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The association between air pollution and schizophrenia cannot be explained by a higher genetic liability in people who grow up in areas with high levels of air pollution. Pixabay

“The risk of developing schizophrenia is also higher if you have a higher genetic liability for the disease. Our data shows that these associations are independent of each other,” Horsdal said.

The association between pollution and schizophrenia cannot be explained by a higher genetic liability in people who grow up in areas with high levels of air pollution, the researcher said.

According to the study, the researchers combine genetic data from iPSYCH with air pollution data from the Department of Environmental Science for the results.

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Though the results demonstrate an increased risk of schizophrenia when the level of air pollution during childhood increases, the researchers cannot comment on the cause.

Instead they emphasise that further studies are needed before they can identify the cause of this association, they concluded. (IANS)

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Top Tips to Personalize Your Fitness Routine

Find a personalised exercise routine for your body

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Fitness
With so many options available in the fitness space, finding the one right for you can be a task. Pixabay

With so many options available in the health, lifestyle fitness space, finding the one right for you can be a task.

Amaresh Ojha, CEO and Founder, Gympik shares his top tips.

1. Assess your fitness level- To assess your fitness progress, calculating the number of beats of your resting heart rate (RHR) is a beneficial way. The RHR should reduce as your fitness improves.

To calculate your RHR, place two fingers on your wrist (radial artery), and then count the number of heart beats you feel in a period of 60 seconds. Make sure to count the first beat as ezero’.

More than 101 is unusually high and not good. Between 81 and 100 is high, but acceptable, between 61 and 80 is average and 60 or less is good.

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Assessing your fitness level can be very helpful. Pixabay

2. Choose what form of exercise works best for you- While any type of physical activity is beneficial for you, different physical activities present different results.

Yoga is a discipline that focuses on breathing methods, meditation, and physical postures. It has a low-impact structure and hence is gentler on the joints. Yoga helps in improving muscle endurance, flexibility and body balance.

Zumba is an amalgamation of both fast and slow dancing, so it works on your whole body, helping you to lose weight and tone every muscle group, predominantly your back and abdominals. It also improves your posture, balance and flexibility. So, if you wish to develop a flamboyant body shape along with enhancing your dance moves, Zumba will be the right choice for you. One concern with this exercise form is that the best result for Zumba comes while working out in groups, so you will have to join a Zumba class to get the best out of this exercise form.

Pilates is largely focused with core strength. It improves muscle tone and strength along with obtaining a leaner look. This exercise form promotes balanced muscle development, flexibility and helps you in gaining a beautiful posture. Hence, the gateway to a graceful personality is through regular Pilates workout. One disadvantage of this type of exercise form is that it misses out on cardio, so it’s not very effective for steady weight loss.

Walking is one of the best exercises that must be an integral part of your fitness schedule. Regular brisk walk can help in preventing heart diseases and managing high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes along with improving the mood. No matter how many hours you spend in the gym, walking is the best way to lose weight and stay healthy. This is one of the exercise forms that can be practised by all.

Cycling is an activity that is gentle on the joints. It burns fat and improves your cardiovascular health. If you wish to increase your stamina and at the same time tone up your muscles, cycling is the best way of doing so. You can easily make it a part of your routine by building it in your day as a means of transport.

Fitness
Consult with your doctor before incorporating a fitness routine in your lifestyle. Pixabay

3. E-Fitness learning platforms can help you analyse the pros and cons of any form of exercise and you can choose the correct type of exercise for yourself once you know the benefits of each type. There are several E-Fitness channels that you can subscribe to and work with a virtual instructor, who will guide you through your fitness journey.

4. Exercise safe and focus on the health concerns. Pre-exercise screening will help you to identify any medical conditions that may put you at a higher risk of enduring a health issue during physical activity. Consult with your doctor before incorporating a fitness routine in your lifestyle. Certain exercises like running on the treadmill, sprinting, heavy weightlifting etc. can prove injurious for heart patients. Similarly, certain breathing exercises in Yoga can prove harmful for asthmatic patients.

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While there are several options available, the most important thing to keep in mind is to choose an exercise that you find fun and can stick to for the long haul. Choose from your preferences and make your exercise time fun. Do you wish to spend time indoors or outdoors? Alone or with friends/people?

If you choose an activity that seems like a burden after some time, you are more likely to abandon a healthy lifestyle. (IANS)