A Salute to the Underdogs

A note on the achievements of a Pakistani lad who brought laurels with his work on Electric Honeycomb.

Mr Niazis success is truly remarkable, not for discovering the electric honeycomb but for the innovation that comes in the absence of a milieu. Dr Ambedkar’s success is far more than Pandit Nehru’s from this same perspective. Driving innovation or achievements far different especially in the absence of milieu is a rare landmark.

We never realize how our milieu defines and shapes not alone our fate and destiny but it also modulates and rewrites our own thinking. The milieu has such a global footprint and impact that we as a cohort think the way we think, never realizing that two way cross talk with our milieu. So many amongst us are achievers and those achievements can be handsomely credited to one unique aspect – that milieu. Of course, you all may argue that individual human efforts and fate too has a place. However, amongst these confounding factors, despite our best efforts, I weigh in favor of milieu.

The success is starkly driven by him rather than the milieu offering the ripe environment for achieving those laurels. In fact, the milieu was a great distractant but despite, he achieved with a singular focus. That’s the differentiator. Milieu drags and offers fertile ground. In his case, despite the drag, he achieved this which makes it several times commendable. Salute to those unique souls who achieve despite this odds.

Please note, i transcend nationality, religion, ethnicity, culture and material factors while I appreciate these iconic class.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41548203

The Ravan within Rowlett

We all have a Ravan within us, either infesting us individually or pervasively proliferating within the system. An educated sane correspondent of a reputed news outlet, tried insane things at the spur of the moment, without any thought to the consequences of this glorified insanity. This blog is not about Rowlett, it is about we all, going through these Ravan phase during some pervert ill defined moments during our lifetime. It is exactly such insanity that sometimes defines and significantly influences the course of the future. 

We all have a Ravan within us, either infesting us individually or pervasively proliferating within the system. Justin Rowlett, a BBC correspondent based in Delhi is a sane man trying insane things at the spur of the moment, without any thought to the consequences of this glorified insanity.

The Story refers to a reporter, Justin Rowlett’s narrative on BBC blaming the street tattooer. Justin, a married man with a two kids, went for burning the effigy of Ravan, a demon depicting the evil within – society and individually within us. While at the Dusshera celebration, he tattooed himself from a street vendor. I would never excuse an educated, married man with two daughters, trying this vernacular pleasure.

Rowlett should blame the Ravan within him, that exactly is the concept behind the ritual of Dusshera celebration. So what if he was offered an assurance on tattoo? He has to own his decision to get the tattoo on the street side, exposing himself to all those diseases plus the unblemished permanent mark. Ravan, nor India or its custom can be blamed. Of course not the poor man who put that tattoo.

It is not about Rowlett, it is about we all, going through this Ravan phase during some pervert ill defined moments. It is exactly such insanity that sometimes defines and significantly influences the course of the future.

A permanent reminder of my own stupidity
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-41510293

Why Stairs?

Walking Stairs – One of the most potent, no cost, no frill, ubiquitous, climate tolerant, readily available exercise that provides potential benefits. Though seemingly innocuous, walking stairs helps tone the core muscles plus enhance your stamina and build your endurance, in addition it also provides an easy means of burning three times extra calories as compared to walking or taking a stroll.

This blog provides an understanding about the benefits of walking stairs, calorie consumption, options while walking stairs and the tips for engaging in correct mechanism while doing so. It provides illustrations and reputed citations at the end of the blog.

Someone said it right, ‘The elevator to health is out of order, you need to take stairs’.

Disclaimer:

Before you embark on ‘Climbing Stairs’ as a form or exercise, I presume you have consulted your physician or cardiologists and you have their authorization to do these. If not, I strongly advise you to consult your doctor and get his approval before you initiate this.

Benefits of Stair Climbing

Where can I find Stairs?

Obviously an absurd question, you can almost find stairs anywhere – at home, work, recreation, shopping mall, schools, public places, or even walking up/down the knoll. Despite being ubiquitous, there is no money involved in enjoying climbing stairs. Running up and down a flight of stairs can raise your heart rate quickly.

Climbing Stairs – What does it offers?

Climbing stairs is one of the most potent aerobic exercises that I see after running, swimming, jogging and high intensity sports. Our lifestyle or other constraints often forbid us from participating in these high intensity sports, however, it is possible to engage in climbing stairs in our day to day life. Often, I see folks reside in two storied homes or live in apartments or work in office or offices with multiple floors. If you don’t have one, find one.

While I walk down the Valley Ranch trail, the entire hillock rolling down to the flat terrain, amounts to 13 floors. If you are working or live on the higher floor, may be walk couple of those. Stairs help you increase the heart rate faster than walking, providing 3 times increase in workload in a similar period of time.

Why Stairs?

Stairs exercises the core and antigravity muscles; it helps keep them healthy plus the bigger antigravity muscles such as the thigh and abdominals burn significant calories. Remember, antigravity muscles are the cornerstone of all our daily activities. Weakness in these causes us to slouch, get tired or even change our body contour. Walking stairs enhances and reinforces your core muscles such as abdominals, hamstrings, quadriceps, and soleus (calf muscles). Remember, it is utmost important to keep these muscles healthy for sustaining energy and long periods of work. Mere bulky muscles are not a strength of healthy muscles. Gyms and resistance training keeps your muscles ‘BIG’, whereas climbing Stairs keeps those healthy.

Calories burned – Walking and Stair Climbing compared

For 150 lbs. person, 30 minutes of walk on an even surface burns 90 calories. It is 30 calories extra for the one weighing 200 lbs.

For those amongst us who are 150-160 lbs., can use below approximation to count calories burned while climbing stairs

  • 3 flights of Stairs = 15 calories
  • 60 minutes, four days a week – could burn roughly 532 calories per session
  • 532 x 4 = 2218 calories/week
  • You lose about one pound in a week and a half

Stair options

Nanoworkouts Stair Options

  1. Climbing two stairs at a time increases not alone calorie consumption but also provides an additional exercise to the core muscles and the antigravity muscle.
  2. Increments of 10 minutes will offer sudden bursts in metabolism and help with possible weight loss.
  3. Walking down the stairs requires you to control your body from sliding down. This effort initiates your quadriceps and hip flexors to control the downward movement. They have to stabilize the torso from rolling down.
  4. You can almost blend other exercises such as raising your arms, carrying dumbbells, or twisting your body while walking down. Blending increases the calories burned. However, blending is to be avoided while walking downstairs
  5. Try to tuck your tummy in while climbing up and down the stairs, these will increase the tone of your abdominals (which help you sustain an erect posture) and also burn more calories

Remember these six tips while climbing stairs

  1. Put your entire foot on the step, leaning slightly forward, engage your core and tuck your tummy.
  2. Keep your toes straight rather than splaying them right or left.
  3. Though it sounds easy, give enough time while you are climbing down
  4. Always be well hydrated and adequate on calories, too much loading is bad, as is walking too many stairs while fasting.
  5. If you feel tired, skip a day but take an easy walk on an even surface.
  6. Fatigue sets in quickly and it’s important to maintain good form. Completing steps using bad form will stress/overload your body and potentially injure you. Always start small and increase gradually.

Summary:

One of the most potent, no cost, no frill, readily available exercise available that provides great benefits. It helps provide tone to the core muscles plus enhance your stamina or endurance in addition to providing an easy means of burning three times extra calories as compared to walking or strolling.

This and other health blogs are written for increasing an awareness within the community. There are no direct or indirect material benefits from this blog/s.

Illustrations are taken from StepJockey and Nanoworkouts.com.

Citations:

8 Way climbing Stairs

Exercise Tips for Harvard Stadium Stair Workout

Interesting Articles

Fitness for less: Low-cost ways to shape up

Barriers to fitness: Overcoming common challenges

Exercise Activity Calculator (American Cancer Society)

How Many Calories do I need? Calorie Counter (from American Cancer Society)

Calorie counting made easy

Walking: Your steps to health (Harvard Health Publishing)

How to Burn About 150 Calories (Harvard Health Publishing)

Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights

List of skeletal muscles of the human body

Build Anti-Gravity Muscle

Abdominal fat and what to do about it: Are you Pear Shaped or Apple Shaped?

Improving Sleep: A guide to a good night’s rest

Stretching: 35 exercises to improve flexibility and reduce pain (Harvard Health)

Marching orders: How to start a walking program