Thursday, May 05, 2011

How Sport Climbing can help you keep fit

Written By Apoorva Prasad for our content partner Men's Life Today -- Handpicked for you by our team.
Sport Climbing for Fitness!

At first glance, rock climbing seems complicated, difficult and dangerous. But climbers also look seriously fit, ripped, flexible... and insanely cool. Luckily for the average guy, there's also a very safe, accessible and regulated version of rock climbing – it's called sport climbing, and it's easily do-able in practically every Indian metropolis.

Artificial climbing walls have sprung up all over India in recent years, and top Indian athletes have been competing worldwide. But how can you get started? Ganesh Chettri and Mohit Oberoi are two climbers from wildly different backgrounds and generations. They both have the same advice for young Indians looking to get into the climbing game.

Climb to get fit... Get fit to climb: Climbing itself will get you fit, but you can't start climbing if you're overweight or otherwise physically unprepared for strenuous activity. ”Physical fitness is the most important aspect of sport climbing competitions,” says 28-year-old Chettri, formerly the country's top-ranked sport climber and member of India's national team. A cool head is also important. “Mental preparation is also critical,” adds Chettri, who's now dropped competing in favour of coaching younger climbers to better compete internationally. But starting out doesn't need Olympic levels of fitness or preparation – good old running and swimming are good enough ways to build a base. And mentally, just be ready for something a little out of the normal... and trust your instructor.

But don't over train: Like in any sport, “be careful of overdoing it,” says Mohit Oberoi, who's possibly the country's most experienced rock climber, former national team coach, and the writer of Delhi's only climbing guidebook. “Lots of competition climbers get fatigued when coaches push them to climb till they drop dead. [Figuratively, of course!] That's pointless,” he says.

For Chettri, yoga is a great way to stretch, cool down and balance out sport climbing's twitchy power bursts. “Yoga is both physical and mental,” he says. Just like the sport.

Join a club or your local wall: If you can jog down your street without collapsing, and aren't prone to panic attacks, head over to your nearest sport climbing wall. “Find a local wall, at stadiums, schools or even camps,” says Oberoi, who's also the owner of Outdoor School, which builds international-level competition walls across the country. Most large Indian cities and towns have excellent artificial climbing walls, with a readymade group of people to hang out with and learn the ropes from, so to speak. There are also open groups on Facebook that take first-timers out. At the very worst, you'll make a new group of friends.

Be safe: Safety is pretty crucial for rock climbing. All artificial sport walls come equipped with bolts as well as top rope anchors. As a beginner, you won't be expected to do anything requiring technical rope skills. “I took young people climbing outdoors too, and we just rigged a lot of top-ropes. They don't do any leading,” says Oberoi. 'Leading' is a technical term denoting the practice of a climber clipping a rope to anchors as he climbs to protect him, but still leaving him (or her) open to falls twice the distance to the last anchor. While this is also done on sport climbing walls in India, “beginners don't have to do anything except follow instructions and just climb up”, says Oberoi.
Get a sporting culture: Chettri comes from the Darjeeling, home to India's Sherpa community. India's northeast regularly takes in a large haul of medals in any competition, says Oberoi, because these states have a sporting culture. So it's up to you to get in the spirit and surround yourself with people who think likewise. Rock and sport climbing are addictive, and have a subculture all of their own – once you get immersed, it's hard to get out. And who'd want to?!

Have fun!
Climbing comes instinctively to human beings. We're all 96% monkeys anyway – watch any fearless two year old in a jungle gym. As adults, we've forgotten what came naturally to us as kids. Sport climbing is safe, easy and the funnest way to get fit. So get on the wall and have a blast!

Photo: Apoorva Prasad

Various forms of cancer in Men and the reasons

Data from population based cancer registries show that the most frequently reported cancer sites in males are lung, oesophagus, stomach, and larynx. Here is a list of cancers that are seen in men:

1) Lung cancer: Smoking remains the major cause for lung cancers. However, lung cancer has also been seen in people who have never smoked. The reasons for this could be secondhand smoke (breathing the smoke of others), air pollution, radon gas, asbestos, exposure to cancer causing chemicals among others.

2) Oesophagus cancer: The oesophagus is the wind and food pipe that runs from the throat to the stomach. The cancer cells affect the inside of the esophagus. Though it is not clear what causes esophageal cancer, it is believed to occur when cells in the esophagus develop errors (mutations) in their DNA.

3) Stomach/Gastric cancer: Thesecond most frequent cancer and a leading cause of death from cancer. It can develop in any part of the stomach and spread to other organs. Though the actual cause is still being researched, it has been seen that there are certain risk factors like smoking, family history, poor diet, obesity; lack of exercise, infection with H. pylorican are the known risk factors associated with stomach cancer.

4) Larynx cancer: The larynx which is called the voice box, is a 2-inch-long, tube-shaped organ in the neck. It has been seen that men are four times more likely than women to get cancer of the larynx. The risk factors for this cancer are age, smoking, alcohol, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD- which causes stomach acid to flow up into the esophagus), occupation (workers exposed to sulfuric acid mist, nickel , asbestos )have an increased risk of laryngeal cancer.

5) Breast cancer: Men can also develop breast cancer as they also have breast tissue. There are 5 different kinds of breast cancers seen in men: Ductal carcinoma, Invasive ductal carcinoma, Invasive lobular carcinoma, Lobular carcinoma and Paget disease of the nipple.

6) Prostate cancer: The prostate is a small, walnut-sized structure that makes up part of a man′s reproductive system. It is the most common cause of death from cancer in men over age 75. Diet and genetics have been implicated in the development of prostate cancer.

7) Oral cancers: Oral cancers account for four in ten of all cancers in India.Chewing tobacco is one of main risk factors for the development of oral cancer. This is because of the popularity of chewing betel quid’s, tobacco and, a mixture of tobacco, leaves and spices among the Indian population.

Brought to you in association with Desi Dieter

Antioxidants -- How it helps prevent Cancer

While we are talking about cancer there are few terms which we need to understand. Free radicals, antioxidants, oxidative damage, malignant cell growth, metastasis etc. initially it was thought that cancer is caused due to some virus but over the years researchers studied the damage at cellular level and spread of the disease mainly due to free radicals.

In today’s life we are exposed to free radicals which cause oxidative damage leading to unhealthy cell growth. The simple example of oxidative damage is cut apple. If you cut an apple and keep it open for some time, it turns brown in color. If you will apply lemon juice or sugar on the cut side of an apple, it will not turn brown. As application of lemon stops or hiders oxidation activity. Free radicals are very reactive particles which initiate chain reaction causing damage to the cell.

The same principle is applied to our body. Cancer, heart diseases, aging etc is caused due to free radicals also. Harmful ultraviolet rays from sun, X-ray, gamma rays; cigarette smoke, car exhaust, industrial fumes etc expel free radicals. Human body undergoes about 10,000 free radical hits every day. This is where antioxidants play major role and we can lower the chances or prevent the life threatening disease.

Antioxidants are the substance which interferes in the chain reaction of free radical at cellular level. They bind with the unstable atom of free radical and prevent the damage (known as oxidative damage) to the target cell. They are natural substance present in fruits and vegetables, grain, green leafy vegetables. They also improve immunity, decreases chances of plaque formation, aging process etc. Studies have also suggested that consuming antioxidants can revert male infertility.

Top three vitamins which have effective role as an antioxidant are Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E. Selenium is potent antioxidant with beneficial effects on skin and hair. Need to incorporate these nutrients in our daily life to fight against cancer and live long young!!

Brought to you in association with Desi Dieter

Super Foods - Tomato

Tomato is an important ingredient in Indian cooking and food preparation. Any curry without tomato is incomplete. This fruit- vegetable has many benefits to fight against different health conditions. It contains Lycopene which fights against diseases. This product is more acceptable for versatile options to process or cook around. Tomato is not a vegetable but a fruit.

Lycopene is a potent anti oxidant that fights against free radical activity. Anti oxidant prevent changes caused at cellular level due to free radicals. So it lowers risk for cardiovascular disease, cancer, plaque formation, aging etc. Lycopene is not produced in the body, so needs to be provided by the diet or supplements. Some other fruits and vegetables do contain Lycopene but tomatoes are the richest source. Rich redness of tomato is due to presence of Lycopene. In today’s life exposure to free radical is difficult to control. Lycopene binds with free radical and excretes it from the body.

A review article of ‘The American journal of lifestyle medicine’ says eating more tomatoes and tomato products can make people healthier and decrease the of conditions such as cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. Researcher found that Lycopene is powerful anti oxidant, unlike all other nutrients available in fruits and vegetables. Its bio availability is high after cooking and processing. Tomatoes are abundantly available throughout the year and are accepted by young kid to elders in the home. Recently they are recommended by USFAD in dietary guidelines for American 2010. It is moved to ‘red and orange’ category with suggestion to increase the consumption.

Tomato is frequently studied by the researchers suggest it is not only beneficial in preventing cancer, heart diseases but also helps in managing cholesterol levels. Cancers such as prostate cancer, cervical cancer, colon, rectum, stomach, mouth, pharynx and esophagus have proven to be staved off from increased consumption of Lycopene. Studies suggest that introduction of Lycopene in pre existing cancer cell can prevent the growth. It takes only 540 ml liquid tomato juice to provide benefits of Lycopene. It means daily one glass of tomato juice or tomato soup will help you to fight against diseases.

Many studies and researches are done on health effect of tomato, but still some findings are working on its effect on lipid oxidation and macular degeneration. There are many products available in the market which contains tomato. It is not difficult to fulfill your daily requirement for this food.

Research indicates that Lycopene from tomatoes gets more easily assimilated in the body when available in cooked form. Hence, ketchup is considered as a most bioavailable form of digesting Lycopene as it is processed and in combination with oil.

Ketchup is high on salt and sugar so t may not advised in excess for individuals watching weight or having high B.P. But, you smoke and want to boost you antioxidant capacity than consider a teaspoon of ketchup with a healthy snack. Cut down on your salt and calorie in the next meal. Include plenty of tomato soup and juice in the day.

Brought to you in association with: Desi Dieter