With only two weeks left for board exams, Dr Anoop Misra is dispensing advice on nutrition, stress busting and exercise-related queries.
Student: I am a class 12 commerce student. Although I am quite good at studies but I have been unable to concentrate. Each time I sit to study, my mind wanders off.
Misra: Both psychological and physical stress may affect your concentration. Physical fitness, the right kind of blood elements, and healthy blood circulation in mind and body will help increase in concentration. The following health tips will benefit you.
Have small meals at frequent intervals. Do not skip any meal. Avoid heavy meals especially late at night.
Rather than taking snacks loaded with fat, prefer fruits, juices, salads, nuts and sprouts. They improve the body’s oxygen-delivering capacity.
Drink toned milk with crushed almonds, pistachios, etc. Sometimes, having this milk laced with a small amount of dark chocolate will also help.
Eat vegetable sandwiches with small amount of cheese
Drink buttermilk, jaljeera and lemonade with salt throughout the day
Incorporate foods high in long chain poly essential fatty acids such as fish, almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, rajma, green leafy vegetables in every day diet as enhance concentration.
Mothers should cook food in healthy oils such as olive, mustard, rapeseed, soyabean etc.
Inadequate levels of blood iron and B12 are also known to affect nerve functions and may decrease concentration and energy. Adding lemon in the diet increases absorption of iron. Good sources of iron are green leafy vegetables, eggs (whole), fish and soy milk.
Exercise regularly, even if it means simple stretching exercises every 2-3 hours. It stimulates brain function and improves oxygen rich blood supply to the brain.
Student: I often experience unexplained aches and pains. I also feel restless at times.
Misra: Try following these suggestions:
For the aches, try doing some simple stretching exercises as sedentary lifestyle can often result in such problems.
Massage over the painful areas with any warm oil over the painful areas may help. You can also use pain-relieving gels.At least 15 minutes of exposure to sunlight daily may help.
Further, sometimes vitamin tablets (B12, vitamin D), or calcium becomes necessary; but do consult your physician.
Student: I am unable to wake up early in the morning. Stress does not allow me to sleep in the night and sleep does not allow me to wake up early. Afternoon naps are not helping much either.
Misra: Maintain a regular schedule of getting up early and going off to bed in time along with proper and nutritious diet and regular exercise. These tips may also help:
Have an early dinner.
Sleep early by 10-11 pm, so you can get up early and not compromise on your sleep Make sure the room is dark and noise-free.
Don’t take naps during the day.
Limit your caffeine intake in a day. Avoid energy drinks.
Avoid heavy meals especially late at night.
Have less of fried foods; rather prefer fruits, salads (preferably green), nuts, sprouts, grilled vegetable sandwich with little cheese and cucumber.
Take regular breaks every 2-3 hours. Utilise them for short bursts of exercise of 5-7 mins such as stretching, skipping, jogging, etc
Take a glass of warm milk before going to bed
Adequate intake of water (6-8 glasses per day) is essential.
Try listening to some soothing music before going to bed.
Mentally dealing with the day’s unfinished business is also helpful. Write down all your worries before you go to bed. This may help to clear them from your mind and help you sleep better.