By Shilpa Nangali

“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” – Henry David Thoreau, US writer and naturalist.

A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for me when I’m unhappy than any medicine in the world! Most of us work mechanically, like robots, without any physical exercises. If I work like that then that puts me into a kind of depression! In fact, even I was one among them, who have no physical workouts but now I have realized how important is walking or any other physical exercises in our lives. Walk and be happy; walk and be healthy. Trust me, when I work out, I feel happiest! After my aerobics class, I will be so joyous and that joy will be carried through out my day!

Make your feet your friend. Our legs are considered as secondary hearts of our body. Help these secondary hearts to beat properly, do not make them numb!!!

If the air quality is bad, you are more likely to have serious heart disease related events. Gokhan Mutlu, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the Northwestern’s Feinberg School and a physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, said: “Being exposed to higher levels of pollution may unmask heart disease even if you’ve never had any symptoms.”

Mutlu published a study in 2007 that showed how pollution triggers heart attacks and strokes. He found that microscopic air pollution, particles less than one-tenth of the diameter of a human hair, makes the blood thicker and sticky. So people, please see to that your blood will not become thicker & sticky!!!

A morning walk in greenery – the real oxygen park!!! 😉

When lungs are inflamed by pollution, they secrete a substance, interleukin-6, which causes an increased tendency for blood to clot. People who live in polluted areas are more likely to have blood clots in their legs. Traveling long distances by car or plane is known to put people at risk for these clots.

For people in certain risk groups, breathing high levels of pollution can cause heart attacks and strokes within 24 hours of exposure and increase the possibility of having blood clots in their legs on the plane home, according to a warning given by two researchers in pulmonary medicine and critical care at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.

It’s not just Olympic athletes who need to worry about the heavily polluted air in Beijing, for the dirty air may cause serious heart problems for some spectators too!!! Spectators could suffer serious health problems from traveling to China for the games.

People who are at most risk include those who already have known cardiovascular disease or risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, lung disease, a current smoking habit or a family member diagnosed with heart disease before age 55. If you spend a few weeks in Beijing, your blood might become thicker and sticky and then when you fly 12 hours back to the US that further increases your risk. If clots migrate into the lungs and cause pulmonary embolism, that can kill you,” Mutlu warned.

The Chinese government has been scrambling to cut down on air pollution before the world’s best athletes compete in the Olympics next month at Beijing; they’ve closed down factories near Beijing and allowed people to drive their cars only every other day.

Even if you have a healthy visit to China, you’re not off the hook—Mutlu says the same pollutant particles can cause blood clots, especially if you spend too much time sitting down on one of those marathon flights back to the States.

So what’s a globe-trotting sports fan to do? Men over 40 should take aspirin, the researchers say, and everyone would do themselves a favor by staying inside during rush hour, when cars in traffic jams are spewing forth exhaust. And what about that lengthy flight home? Make sure you get up occasionally and walk around. That’s probably good for you no matter where you’re flying to or from.

I feel that in every walk with nature we receive far more than we seek. I am right now connecting to the silence within..which is clearing most of the mental cob webs…it is in the silent mind that the true consciousness can be built…!

Economic Times & Discover magazine