How exercise keeps us young

Some of the biggest news in exercise science this year concerned the tiniest impacts from physical activity, which does not mean that the impacts were inconsequential. It means they were microscopic.We learned this year, for instance, that exercise changes how our cells communicate with one another, as well as how rapidly they age. This new research began to detail the many, pervasive ways in which working out alters the inner workings of our bodies and contributes to better health.There were other, broader themes, too, in 2018’s fitness-related science, including about how older people can be enviably youthful if they are active and the unexpected roles that weight training may play in our health.


But for me, the most exciting exercise research in 2018 went small. A study that I wrote about in January, for instance, found that people’s blood contained more of certain vesicles, which are tiny bubbles filled with biological material, after aerobic exercise.When the scientists subsequently isolated these vesicles in mice and tagged them with a dye that glows, they tracked where they went and discovered that most homed in on the liver. There, the vesicles entered the organ, dissolved and delivered a load of biological stuff, including snippets of genetic material that can supply messages to other genetic material.

In this way, the scientists speculate, the vesicles probably delivered a biological alert to the liver, letting it know that exercise was underway, and it might want to start releasing stored energy for use by other, working tissues, like the muscles.This study is a bracing reminder that multiple far-flung bodily systems are involved when we move and they all must communicate, but the process is bogglingly complex and, for the most part, still to be mapped.

But we do not fully understand the many underlying biological steps involved. A study I wrote about just last week examined one small piece of this puzzle, involving the levels of hundreds of different proteins in the bloodstreams of people who regularly exercise or not.And there were differences. People who exercised had more and less of multiple proteins, which matters, since proteins spur other biological operations throughout the body. In effect, aspects of the exercisers’ everyday physiology appear to be unlike those of people who are sedentary.So, too, the look and to some extent the “age” of their chromosomes may be different, according to another study I covered this year.It found that sedentary, middle-aged people who took up aerobic exercise for six months developed longer telomeres in their white blood cells.If that finding doesn’t motivate all of us to want to move more, several other studies from this year that looked at exercising and aging using a wider lens probably should. One, from March, showed that older cyclists had immune systems that resembled those of much younger people, as well as muscles that retained a youthful size and fiber content, even among the riders who were well into their 70s.So, too, older recreational athletes displayed the muscles of much younger people in another study I covered, this one from November, and it found, too, that people who had been working out for decades had the aerobic fitness of whippersnappers 30 years their juniors.



Sugar-sweetened beverage consumption linked to kidney disease risk: Study

If you love indulging in fruit drinks or soda, you might want to have a look at this. Higher collective consumption of sweetened fruit drinks, soda, and water is associated with a higher likelihood of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD), a recent study suggests.As part of the study, researchers studied 3003 African-American men and women with normal kidney function. The investigators further assessed beverage intake through a food frequency questionnaire administered at the start of the study in 2000-04, and they followed participants until 2009-13.


Among the 3003 participants, 185 (6%) developed CKD over a median follow-up of 8 years. After adjustment for confounding factors, consuming a beverage pattern consisting of soda, sweetened fruit drinks, and water was associated with a higher risk of developing CKD. Participants in the top tertile for consumption of this beverage pattern were 61% more likely to develop CKD than those in the bottom tertile.The findings, which are published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN), contribute to the growing body of evidence pointing to the negative health consequences of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages.


Study finds harmful risk factors of violent sleep disorder

Kicking and yelling during sleep? You may want to know the risk factors of a violent sleep disorder.According to a recent study, taking antidepressants for depression, having post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety diagnosed by a doctor are risk factors for a disruptive and sometimes violent sleep disorder called rapid eye movement (REM) sleep behavior disorder.The study was published in the journal of ‘Neurology’, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. The study also found that men are more likely to have the disorder.


Researchers screened participants for a variety of health conditions and asked them about lifestyle, behaviour, social, economic and psychological factors.

In addition, every participant was asked, “Have you ever been told, or suspected yourself, that you seem to act out your dreams while asleep?”Researchers then identified 958 people, or 3.2 percent, with possible REM sleep behavior disorder, after excluding participants with Parkinson’s disease, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease or sleep apnea.

Researchers found those with the disorder were over two-and-a-half times as likely to report taking antidepressants to treat depression, with 13 percent of those with the disorder taking them compared to 6 percent of those without the disorder. People with the disorder were also two-and-a-half times as likely to have post-traumatic stress disorder.

“Our research does not show that these risk factors cause REM sleep behavior disorder, it only shows they are linked. Our hope is that our findings will help guide future research, especially because REM sleep behavior disorder is such a strong sign of future neurodegenerative disease. The more we understand about REM sleep behavior disorder, the better positioned we will be to eventually prevent neurologic conditions like Parkinson’s disease,” concluded Postuma.


‘Simmba’ review: A masala entertainer and a bonafide comedic masterwork

Critical opinion on a Rohit Shetty film may vary wildly, simply because it is a masala entertainer where one expects the magic on screen, the magic of entertainment, albeit, sans rationality, and that is where the opinions differ.Some may find “Simmba” silly to a point but overall, most would agree that this film is pretty good, artistic and a bonafide comedic masterwork; produced as a matter of form but not-without-its-innovations and pleasures.The film is about a cocky, orphan Sangram Bhalerao (Ranveer Singh) from Shivgad, who grows up to be a corrupt police officer. It is his journey from being a bad man-of-the-law to a good one.


Picking up nuggets from real life events, the film mirrors society. If the first half is light and frothy that evokes constant laughter, the second half is equally intense and serious. It delivers middle-class life lessons in a blatantly effective manner.What really engages you in this over-stretched film are Rohit Shetty’s characteristic melodrama and over-the-top comedy, fast-paced action sequences, witty dialogues replete with puns and spontaneous performances by its ace cast.

Ranveer Singh as Sangram Bhalerao aka Simmba is the lifeline of the film. He carries the burden of being the corrupt police officer squarely on his shoulders and he portrays Sangram effortlessly. He is charismatic and charming as he forges new relationships or draws horns with the antagonist Dhruva Ranade (Sonu Sood). His cockiness hits an all-time high when he tells Dhruva, “Je mala mahit nahin, te mala sangh,” which means, tell me something, I don’t know.Sonu Sood as Dhruva Ranade is formidable. He has his moments when he shines but is not outstanding. With a miniscule role as Simmba’s love interest, Sara Ali Khan is lost in the narrative. She hardly has anything to do in the film.Ashutosh Rana as the righteous head constable Mohile is intense and Siddharth Jadhav with an expressive visage as Constable Santosh Tawde is comical. The rest of the supporting cast deliver sincerely.

The script loosely adapted from the Telugu film “Temper”, is actually a spin-off of Shetty’s previous franchise, “Singham”. What’s commendable about the script is how the writers have effortlessly weaved in “Singham” into the narrative. So you do get to see a good chunk of Ajay Devgan delivering his distinctive action stuff.The film has ace technical values with excellent production values, brilliant cinematography, skilfully choreographed action sequences, fine editing and intensely dazzling background score. The songs mesh seamlessly into the narrative. They are melodious with catchy tunes and are well picturised.While the film ends on a high note with the criminals being condemned, no matter how sentimental and selfless the reasons behind it, a crime is a crime, and covering it up implicates everybody in the corruption and that’s where the thinking classes’ opinion differ – Singham appears flawed.

But overall, “Simmba” shines and the film is worth your ticket price.


Give a colourful twist to your winter wardrobe

Winter has finally arrived and for most people, this means layering up in all blacks or greys and hibernating till the season is over. While there is nothing wrong with these colours, one can also experiment with different hues to add freshness to this gloomy winter.

Some amazing tips to incorporate colours in your otherwise monochrome winter wardrobe.


* Statement coats and blazers in bright hues: Statement coats are one of the biggest winter trends. Opt for a statement coat in a bold colour that not only brightens your wardrobe but also keeps you warm. While traditionally blazers do fall under formal category, they look great for casual looks too. Throw a bright colour blazer over a simple outfit to give an instant boost to your outfit. With temperatures decreasing, you can choose from seasonal fabrics wool and tweed to keep you warm.

* Solid knits: Solid colour knitted pullovers word under a blazer or over a shirt looks great. They are lightweight and warm and the colour options are ample. Amplify your winter look with a coloured knitted quirky sweater. Wear them with track pants and loafers for a full-on lazy-weekend look or pair it one with more sophisticated items to balance things out. Stick to basic colours and let your outfit make the statement. Add bold colour zipper jackets in your wardrobe they look great for both party and casual look

* Splash colours with accessories: Brighten your mood and outfit by adding a splash of colour to you winter wardrobe. Accessories your dark outfits with bright colour scarves, hats and gloves to make your outfit pop. Even if you like wearing all black clothes colourful accessories can surely give a spring update to your winter wardrobe.

* Say hello to winter sun with striking shades: Sunglasses in striking shades are definitely inn this season. Make a chic statement with shades in brighter shades like blueberry or orange (if you can pull off). Though make sure you choose frame that are in proportion to your face.

* Experiment with bold pants to give effortless spring update to your outfit: Punch up your attire by slim cut well-tailored bright colour trousers. The bold colour will instantly amp up your outfit and will help you grab those extra eyeballs. Pair it muted with a nice neutral colour to offset the brightness.


Tips, trends for the party season

With New Years Eve fast approaching, it’s time to look your best and let your hair down at the end-of-the-year bash. If all of the holiday planning and shopping caused you to leave your New Year strategy sidelined, don’t worry – there’s still time to get that perfect make-up look and find that fabulous hair-do.

Some quick fixes to not just look great but also impress many with your flawless face and hair.


“Women are now understanding the importance of good skin care and the role it plays in make-up. Well hydrated skin is the trend of the season. Luminous looking skin with soft metallic sheen has been popular. For those who prefer matte skin, gently flushed cheeks mixed with soft colour and gloss on the eyelids is a great look., ” says Khan

For the eyes, liners are always great and soft infused liners have been very popular this year as it simple and effortless. Pop colours have also been popular on the eyes with a well blended finish. Fresh hues of pinks, oranges, blues.People these days are experimenting with makeup focusing majorly on the eyes.

“In India, the most common makeup trend that can be seen are experimentations with eye makeup, especially winged eyeliners and eye shadows using colours not only limited to classic black but also vibrant colourful shades. Another trend is playing with different textures like metallic and glitter shades”, added Khan.

She also lists down some do’s and don’ts when it comes to make-up.

* To avoid eyeshadow fallout apply loose powder right on top of the cheekbones and remove the excess after completing the eye make-up.

* Apply glitter over the eyeshadow as it works as a good base for the glitter to show.

* Use minimum products as it makes blending with softer strokes when working on the delicate eye area

For hairstyling for the party season, Soni lists down some pro-tips

* Go for a mild shampoo and no conditioner for people with finer hair. For coarser hair, you may use light amounts on the ends. Stay away from creams or oils (emollients) as this will reduce retention and weigh the hair down.

* Make sure your hair is properly nourished to give it that healthy shine.

* Avoid using extreme heat while drying your hair. The pre-styler helps you achieve the perfect amount of dampness needed to style hair.


Viral and violent: The year of fake news mob attacks and lynchings

Hate crime in the form of lynching — related to cow protection or fake texts spreading rumours about child abduction — continued unabated this year, forcing the government and private parties to respond with strong measures.


The government has been asking WhatsApp, Facebook and other messenger services to store their data in India; there is also a new telecom policy on the cards that aims to regulate how data is transmitted.

WhatsApp has also limited the number of forwards of a text to five at one time, to check false messages from going viral, and has also started an advertising campaign to make users more aware of how the medium can be misused.

Actual instances of violence, however, have only seemed to gain in intensity as the early December incident in Bulandshahr, which claimed the life of police inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, showed.

Violence engulfed the city in north Uttar Pradesh over rumours of alleged cow slaughter. The pro-Hindutva attitude of the authorities is evidenced by the fact that three suspects were arrested for killing cows, while the killers of the cop are yet to be identified.