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Eat healthy food, take short frequent breaks and exercise to score well

Sitting for long hours, negligible amount of exercise or physical activity and munching fatty snacks are the most prominent causes of weight gain especially during examinations. Here are some health tips.

education Updated: Feb 10, 2014 20:06 IST

Dr. Anoop Misra is chairman, Fortis-C-DOC centre of excellence for diabetes, metabolic diseases and endocrinology. He is also the Director, Centre of Internal Medicine (CIM), Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi.

Rajat: I’ve put on 6 kgs in two months of staying home for preparation leave. I study eight hours a day. What should I do to stay healthy.

Sitting for long hours and negligible amount of exercise/physical activity is the most prominent cause of weight gain especially during examinations. You could try the following health tips:

• During exams the appetite goes up and you might want to snack, so have small and frequent meals

• Rather than taking snacks loaded with fat/refined sugars prefer fruits/salads/nuts and sprouts as your snacks.

• To avoid munching on the wrong food (biscuits/chips/namkeens/other junk food) instead prefer munching carrots/cucumber/fruits etc.

• Avoid heavy meals specially late at night

• Expose yourself to sunlight at least 15 minutes a day to imbibe vitamin D, a good vitamin for regulation of weight and for the brain.

• Regular green tea (3-5 cups/day) is also a metabolic booster

• Prefer toned milk and nimbu-pani as these will help you get rid of those untimely hunger pangs

• Focus on consumption of fresh fruits rather than fatty foods (fried food items)

However, losing weight is a combined action of diet and physical activity both. The fact is that exercise is all the more necessary during exam time because not only is it a “stress buster” but also has many other health benefits needed to keep fit during exams. Taking short activity breaks helps the mind to refocus and gain concentration. Take a 5-7 minutes short activity break after every 2 hours of sitting work. During this time you can indulge in any of the following:

• Stretching exercises (can be done in your room itself)

• Walking up and down the stairs

• Small sets of aerobic exercise

• Try incorporating small bouts of physical activity in your schedule, ideally after every 2 hours (e.g. on the spot jogging, jumping, skipping rope, walking for 5 minutes etc.).

Prerna: I get headaches if I study at a stretch. My eyesight is fine. What can I do to prevent it?

Occurrence of headaches can be due to the following reasons:

• Stress or worry/anxiety

• Depression

• Overwork

• Lack of sleep

• Skipping meals

• Too much caffeine

• Sudden changes in sleep patterns

• Incorrect sitting posture

• Excessive strain to the eyes

• Change in power of specs (in case you are using specs)

Taking too much of any painkiller may not be safe. There are a number of other things that you can do to help avoid it.

• The best way to prevent headaches is to learn what triggers it and then try to avoid those things. Take a note of all such activities which tend to increase your headache.

• Take a break from activities that provoke headaches, such as using the computer for a long time or studying for long stretch at a time.

• Lighting of the room and the chair should be proper.

• Have regular meals; prefer having small meals at frequent intervals, do not skip any meal as it can lead to low blood sugar and headaches.

• Rather than taking snacks loaded with fat or refined sugars prefer fruits/ salads/ nuts and sprouts as your snacks.

• Do regular exercise

• Try reducing the amount of coffee/energy drinks containing caffeine being consumed throughout the day.

• Use correct sitting posture to study i.e. sit upright and do not lean or study while lying on bed.?