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Dr K K Aggarwal

Four of the best exercises you can do

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Swimming. It is the perfect exercise. Swimming is good for those who have arthritis as it is less weight-bearing.
  • Strength training. Lifting light weights will help keep your muscles strong. Our muscles tend to lose their strength over time if we don’t use them.
  • Walking. Walking is a simple exercise. It can help one stay fit, improves cholesterol levels, strengthens bones, keeps blood pressure under control, elevates the mood and decreases the risk of diseases like diabetes and heart disease.
  • Kegel exercises. These exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles that support the bladder. Strong pelvic floor muscles and vital for preventing incontinence. These exercisescan benefit both men and women.

What is the correct way of doing a Kegel exercise? Squeeze and release the muscles that you would use to stop urination or prevent yourself from passing gas. Alternate quick squeezes and releases with longer contractions that can be held for 10 seconds, and then released for 10 seconds. Do about three sets of 10-15 Kegel exercises every day.

(Source: Harvard HealthBeat)

Thinking Differently

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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There are three ways to manage stress. One is to think opposite, second is to think different and the third is to think positive.

Thinking opposite was advocated by Patanjali, thinking differently by Adi Shankaracharya and thinking positive by Gautam Buddha. Out of three approaches, the Indian Vedic philosophy focuses on thinking differently. Thinking positive and thinking opposite may not be feasible at the time of any adversity.

Thinking differently has been emphasized in mythology at multiple places. Ten heads of Ravana, five heads of Brahma, elephant head of Lord Ganesha, Fish incarnation of Lord Vishnu and third eye of Lord Shiva remind us of the principle of thinking differently.

We can see or analyze a person or a situation with the eyes of our physical body (physical eye) or eyes of the mind (thinking and analyzing) and eyes of the soul (conscious based decision).

Lord Buddha once said that a good action should be based on truth, should be necessary and bring happiness both for the person doing it and the society.

The 3H principle advocated in the West is also based on the same which means before any action think from your Head and from multiple options available, choose from the Heart and then order the Hands to do the job.

The first incarnation of Lord Vishnu Fish indicates the capacity of swimming against the stream. The third eye of Lord Shiva means thinking from the mind and choosing the right answer from the heart. The ten heads of Ravana and five heads of Brahma also indicate thinking to get multiple options.

The example of thinking differently comes from the dialogue between Urvashi and Arjuna. Once Urvashi in a mind full of Kama went to Arjuna and said “If you are not going give me a son like you today, I am going to give you a curse”. Arjuna was in a dilemma but he thought differently and said – “Why do you want to wait for 25 years to get a son like me from today I am your son: Mother.”

4 ways to put off joint replacement

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Lose weight: For every extra pound you carry, you put about three pounds of additional pressure on your knees and multiply the pressure on your hips by six. If you have arthritis, losing just 15 pounds can cut your knee pain in half. If you do eventually need a joint replaced, losing weight beforehand can reduce your risk of having complications from surgery. Swimming, walking, or riding a stationary bike are the way to go. • Take care when using your joints: By standing up straight instead of slouching you can protect the joints in your neck, hips, and knees. Also use the proper technique when lifting or carrying anything heavy. If any activity hurts, stop doing it right away. • Try nonsurgical approaches before turning to surgery: Treatment with steroid injections is one approach. Benefits can last anywhere from 4 to 6 months. However, it doesn’t work for everyone. Viscosupplementation involves injecting a lubricating fluid into damaged knee joints to treat osteoarthritis. • Get pain relief: Use NSAIDs. There is also some evidence that the dietary supplement glucosamine chondroitin can lead to subtle improvements in arthritis pain. “It doesn’t rebuild joints, but it does seem to help with the pain. • If you can’t escape from joint pain even while at rest, your pain is only relieved by narcotic medications, or your function is severely compromised, it’s time to consider a joint replacement.

Exercise impact on the knee

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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Different exercises produce different impacts on the knee joints. The best and safest exercises that cause minimum impact on the knee in patients post knee replacement or knee arthritis are walking, biking, hiking, riding an exercise bike, riding an elliptical trainer and walking on the treadmill. In sports, one can play doubles tennis but not singles. One can also participate in downhill or cross–country skiing. Jogging and golf swings produce maximum stress.

• Biking generate the least force, producing impact of about 1.3 times the body weight.

• Treadmill walking is the next best, producing forces of 2.05 the body weight.

• Walking on level ground generate forces of 2.6 times the body weight.

• Tennis produces forces of 3.1 to 3.8 times the body weight, with serving producing the highest impact.

• Jogging produces forces of 4.3 times body weight.

• Golf swings produces forces of 4.5 times body weight on the forward knee and 3.2 times body weight in the opposite knee. Positions and activities that place excessive pressure on the knee joint include:

• Squatting and kneeling

• Twisting and pivoting

• Repetitive bending (multiple flights of stairs, getting out of a seated position, clutch and pedal pushing, etc.)

• Jogging

• Aerobics, dancing

• Playing stop and go sports (basketball, sports that use racquets)

• Swimming using the frog or whip kick Exercise equipments that place excessive pressure on the knee include:

• Stair stepper

• Stationary bicycle

• Rowing machine

• Universal gym utilizing leg extensions

The preferred exercise equipment for the knee should provide smooth motion of the knee, maximal toning of the front and back thigh muscles (quadriceps and hamstring muscles), minimal jarring and impact to the joint and the least amount of bending to accomplish toning.

Activities that are acceptable alternatives to the above include:

• Fast walking

• Water aerobics

• Swimming using the crawl stroke

• Cross country ski machines

• Soft platform treadmill

• Trampoline