Image credit: Istock You probably know that high blood pressure, or hypertension, is a major risk factor for heart attack, stroke, vision problems, even dementia. But did you know this? Hand-grip exercises – squeezing one of those V-shape devices with a resistance spring – can lower your blood pressure by about 10 percent. That's one of the "15 Things You Better Know About Your Blood Pressure" that AARP reports in the June issue of its Bulletin publication and at aarp.org. It cites a "landmark" paper published in 2013 in Hypertension, a journal of the American Heart Association, which said that while all exercise did good things for blood pressure, "some of the most impressive improvements" came after four weeks of hand-grip squeezing. AARP suggests squeezing the gripper for two minutes at a time for a total of 12 to 15 minutes, three times a week. You can get one at a sporting goods store for about $10 or $20. AARP is interested because blood pressure typically rises as we age, and two-thirds of Americans older than 60 are in the "high" zone (140/90 and up.) But about a third of people in their 30s and 40s have hypertension, too. Some other items from AARP's list of things to know: 1. New blood pressure medications may not be much better than old standbys. Diuretics, or "water pills," which remove excess sodium and water through urination, are "some of the oldest hypertension medications around," the article says. "Newer medications called ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) inhibitors prevent the body from producing a hormone that raises blood pressure. Angiotensin II receptor blockers, or ARBs, block the action of the same hormone. Research shows that the newer meds may be no more effective than diuretics, though they often have fewer side effects." 2. Some over-the-counter medications can raise blood pressure by several points. These include cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrine and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen. 3. Deep breathing – slowing down to about six breaths in 30 seconds – can take three points off your systolic pressure. That's the top number in your blood pressure reading. It's the one to watch as you get older, because the bottom number, your diastolic pressure, peaks at about age 55 and gradually falls. 4. High blood pressure often has no symptoms. You probably knew that, too, but it's the kind of thing you forget because – well, because you have no symptoms. So get it checked. (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
Summers in India are every beauty conscious person's nightmare
Sun tans the skin, hot winds cause skin damage, and dust clogs the pores
It's time to raid the kitchen and follow some grandma's tips
Summers in India are getting hotter year-by-year, meaning every beauty conscious person's nightmare. The
sun tans the skin severely, hot winds cause skin damage and the dust and grime clog the pores. Beauty products abound in the market, each claiming to be the best for you. But, hold on! Before you loosen your purse strings for those oh-so expensive products, it's time to raid the kitchen and follow some grandma's tips.
Wash your face frequently with cold water to remove the sweat and dust that tends to accumulate on the face. Using cold milk on a cotton ball is also an option.
It is important to protect our skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Keeping our skin safe in the sun is quite important. So, don't forget to apply sunscreen, at least 30 SPF, before you step out in the sun.
Don't forget to apply sunscreen, at least 30 SPF, before you step out in the sun.
The skin needs to be exfoliated, at least twice a week, particularly in this season to keep the glow intact. A paste of besan and milk or malai/cream with some oatmeal or turmeric and lemon will do wonders. Just rub this paste on your face and neck gently in a circular fashion and see the difference yourself. Better still, use a paste of multani mitti, or Fuller's earth, rose water and sandalwood powder for acne prone skin; whereas take sandalwood powder, curd and add a pinch of turmeric powder for mature skin for the same purpose.
Cleansing your skin is equally important. There are many home remedies that are known to give good results like yogurt and honey, if applied on the face for 10 minutes will give you a nice and clean skin. Also, don't forget to moisturise your skin regularly. Take a good moisturiser and apply it daily to keep your skin healthy and hydrated. Use a gel-based moisturiser for oily skin and water-based moisturiser for normal skin.
Tanning is another big problem in summers that takes a lot of our effort and time to be treated. But, not anymore! To remove tan, reach out for tomato juice. Tomato and lemon juices are good for all skin type. Mix a little sandalwood powder with these juices if your skin is too dry; multani mitti if it is oily and prone to acne; and curd and sandalwood powder if it is mature. Leave the paste on for about ten minutes and then wash it off with cold water. You could also use a mixture of honey and lime to remove tan. Apply it on your face for 15-20 minutes and then wash it off.
Another remedy to treat tanning is quite easy. Make a paste of raw milk and gram flour. Add a few drops of lemon juice and apply on the face. Wait till it dries off somewhat, then wash it off. Lemon juice alone acts as a natural bleacher. But, it dries the skin. Therefore, make sure you apply a lot moisturiser after that.
Aloe vera is also a great remedy for summers. Freeze aloe vera juice into small cubes. You can use these frozen aloe vera juice cubes to rub your face when you come in from the sun, or before you apply make-up and even at night. It will leave your face fresh and glowing.
Banana is another very skin friendly fruit. Mash a banana to pulp and add some milk or egg white to it. Apply it evenly on your face and keep it for about 20 minutes. Then wash it off with cold water. Get ready to have a smooth skin.
Rose water is a good friend of our skin during summers. You can dab it on the face using a cotton ball in order clean and cool the face. Alternatively, you could spray rose water on your face for an instant fresh look.
Papaya is another wonderful option for your skin. Mash papaya to make a paste and add some lemon juice to it. Apply the paste on your face and leave it on for 20 minutes. You could also add egg white and honey to the papaya paste and apply it for 20 minutes. And, that's it. Get ready for a soft and glowing skin.
Watermelon juice, coconut juice and cucumber juice are known for their cooling properties. Apply these juices regularly on your face to calm your skin from the outside heat.
Watermelon juice is known to have cooling properties.
Other Useful Tips:
One needs to eat right during summers. Eat light meals, green vegetables and fruits that are high on water content like watermelons and melons. It is always good to avoid oily, spicy food and salty, fried snacks.
Drinking plenty of water is a must. Six to eight glasses or 2 litres is the recommended amount. Avoid tea, coffee and aerated drinks, instead opt for fresh fruit juices, coconut water, or butter milk. If you find the taste of water little boring, then infuse it with fruits like apple and strawberries. Alternatively, you could even add lemon or cucumber slices, ginger and mint to your water and drink it throughout the day.
Summer maybe a difficult season, but these tips will definitely help you have a glowing complexion.