Brand new you! Health experts answer your questions – part three
Life in Dubai can move at 100mph, as work and social follow each other seamlessly from one day to the next without a moment’s pause. So there’s very little ‘you time’, and sooner or later those things catch up with you. Luckily What’s On is here to help with a special three-part series designed to help you restart your life.
I FEEL TIRED ALL THE TIME
Do you feel like one massive, “Ugh”? Victoria Tipper from Dubai Herbal and Treatment Centre has some suggestions.
Examine your diet and stick to three square meals a day. Eating regularly prevents sugar cravings. Visit a nutritionist to rule out any deficiencies such as a lack of vitamin D or iron. Also rule out the possibility that your fatigue might be down to a food allergy. Getting to sleep before 10pm is important to avoid getting a ‘second wind’ late at night where you keep working and will eventually lead to crash and burn.
Victoria Tipper, Dubai Herbal and Treatment Centre, Oud Metha Road, Dubai
Tel: (04) 3351200. Taxi: Opposite Latifa Hospital.
I AM NOT SLEEPING WELL
XY Clinics focus on different forms of insomnia, mild to severe forms of narcolepsy (the irresistible need to sleep) and sleep apnoea (snoring). They run sleep analysis courses at their lab. Program Director Sam Rao tells us how to get a good night’s kip.
• For deep sleep, keep out artificial light. It reduces the production of melatonin, which promotes deep sleep.
• Physical exercise should be completed three to four hours before bedtime. Remember: evolution conditions us to stop physical work at sundown.
• A bath or shower relaxes us and can induce sleep. Do this an hour before bedtime.
• Drinking alcohol right up to bedtime leads to wake-cycles three to four hours after sleeping.
XY Clinics, Al Wasl Road, Umm Sequim 1, Dubai
Tel: (04) 3807554.
The Sleep Laboratory at the American Hospital Dubai will analyse your sleep during an overnight stay. Director Ronn Delfin gives us some tips on diet that will help, too.
Good foods: Warm milk, nuts, bananas, eggs, honey, cereal with milk
Bad foods: Fatty foods, caffeine, alcohol, spicey food, protien-rich foo
American Hospital Dubai, Oud Metha, Dubai
Tel: (04) 3776650.
I CAN’T GET RID OF MY POTBELLY
Be consistent with your workout: Do weight training three days a week on alternate days and cardio on the other three alternate days. Do 30 minutes of light activity on your day off.
Boost your metabolism: Building muscle can increase your metabolic rate. Do bench presses, tricep dips, bicep curls, step-ups. Perform 12 to 15 reps and do three to four sets of each exercise.
Reduce your calorie intake: To lose weight in your stomach, you must create a caloric deficiency. To lose one pound, your deficiency must be 3,500 calories. Cut your daily total back by 500 calories and you can lose a pound a week.
Try interval training: Interval training is cardio (running, cycling, rowing and rope jumping all work) that alternates intensity, improves aerobic capacity and burns more calories than regular training. Start with a five-minute warm-up at a light intensity. Then put in maximum effort for 30 seconds. Come down to 50 per cent effort for 60 seconds. Alternate back and forth for 30 to 45 minutes and finish with a five-minute cool-down.
Ritz-Carlton, Gate Village, DIFC, Dubai
Tel: (04) 372 2222. Metro: Financial Centre.
I CAN’T CONTROL MY ANGER
Follow the advice of clinical psychologist Dr McCarthy
How do I know if I have an anger problem? We have to show our anger, but in the right proportion, and it has to be directed at the right target. If you are angry with A, but you are taking out your anger at B, that is not good. Admitting you have a problem means it is 50 per cent solved. The next step is looking for help.
How do I find out what is causing my anger? First, have an evaluation (Dhs500) to see where the anger is coming from. Sometimes beneath our anger is an unsolved issue in the past, which is now triggered by current situations that are not directly connected. It can also be related to biochemistry and the way our brain functions.
What sorts of issues cause anger? It could be that a person is unable to express him or herself. They might be afraid of authority within their family, within their relationship or in work. It could be that a person comes from a family where anger was the only way of expressing themselves. Stress, especially work-related stress, is often the cause.
How do I deal with the problem? Following the evaluation, I would advise booking a weekly appointment to deal with the anger in a proper way. We try and discover the trigger. We give people an anger log, so they can keep a record of the external and internal triggers of the anger. I teach them how to control their anger. I teach them how to relax, using muscle relaxation exercises.
What techniques can be used to control anger? We have 20 or 25 kicks we use, which are phrases a person can say to themselves when they feel they are becoming angry: “Mo matter what is said, I know I am a good person”; “No matter what they say, I am in control”; “It’s not worth being angry”. It’s important to develop a calming routine: talking slowly, walking away or counting down from ten. I teach people how to breathe properly. I teach them to laugh at themselves in the state of attacking. Anger is an emotion that must come out.
Counselling & Development Clinic, Villa 415A, Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai
Tel: (04) 3946122. Taxi: Jumeirah Park. Dhs500.
HOW TO MEDITATE “When you calm the mind you’ll smell the roses.” That’s the promise of meditation coach Jan Maddern, who teaches at The Osteopathic Centre. “The key to meditating is natural, rhythmic breathing which your mind finds soothing.” Here are her breathing tips to take you into a meditative state.
• In the morning in bed, expand and relax your stomach as you breathe in. Flatten it as you breathe out. Do this for seven breaths.
• When driving, inhale, put your tongue behind your teeth and slowly hiss out the breath until your lungs feel empty. Repeat for seven breaths.
• When lying down, inhale for a count of four and exhale for a count of four. Then inhale for four and exhale for five. Inhale for four and exhale for six and so on. Continue until you find a comfortable exhalation count then repeat this count seven times. This rids your lungs of stale air.
• Shallow, erratic breathing is exhausting. Deep, rhythmic breathing activates the relaxation response and takes you into a meditative state.
Al Wasl Road, Umm Sequim (next to Choithrams).
Tel: (04) 3487366.
I HAVE A BAD MEMORY
Have you ever felt like… sorry, what was I saying? Forgetfulness, poor concentration and slow thinking – it happens to the best of us.
“We mostly forget things because our mind is thinking about other things,” says Pooneh Rooney from The Brain & Learning. “In order to remember something you must pause and really encode the information into your mind. Sleep deprivation is also a big cause of memory loss so try and get eight hours of sleep a night. Memory tuition and brain training can help significantly so get back to school and dust the cob webs off your grey matter.”
The Brain & Learning, 1103 Grosvenor Business Tower, Tecom 3, Dubai
Tel: (04) 4534170. Taxi: Emirates NBD Bank, Tecom.