Clean and conscious living 

Reminding us all over again that health is wealth, the coronavirus scare inspired us to watch what we eat, and not just weight-wise. Here’s how health became a priority in 2021.
Representational Image
Representational Image

HYDERABAD:  Covid attacked the best of us, and every household looked to consuming immunity boosters to keep the virus at bay. While some took the supplements route, others milked (or juiced) oranges and other citruses to their full. People then started taking workouts and healthier diets seriously. From home workouts to fitness challenges, Hyderabadis went all out to meet their fitness goals. Fad diets had their time but slowly began to fade out in the face of people realising the goodness of natural foods from their mum’s kitchen. 

Then came the concept of biohacking your body that continues to trend. We learnt that exercise, diet, medication, supplements and even fasting can alter the chemicals in your body to enhance your health, cognition and longevity. Experts spoke about why this is emerging as a major health and lifestyle trend. 
In an attempt to make the planet more livable, people then looked to vegan alternatives. From dairy to meat, Hyderabad came up with successful innovations to make life less damaging to the earth. 

With many worried that they would be depriving their bodies of essential protein, scientists at CCMB (Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology), who are working on making nature-identical proteins in their lab, said that it is possible to satisfy the craving for umami, which is essentially the taste and texture of meat, in a sustainable way. 

Not to forget the growing awareness about the importance of mental health that was long overdue. Some of the most prominent people in the city like Deputy High Commissioner to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Andrew Fleming, Padma Shri Dr Manjula Anagani, UrbanKisaan co-founder Sairam Reddy, etc., opened up about the importance of a sane mind. Many big names shared about their struggle with their mind that went a long way in breaking the stigma around mental health. 


Obsession with health data
This year saw fitness trainers, nutritionists and psychologists caution people about the obsession with health data generated by wearable devices. According to them, this could lead to orthorexia and an addiction to exercise. If one is not in shape and lacks the motivation to exercise regularly, these trackers can help them meet their fitness goals. But, if overused, these can have adverse effects

Learning CPR
This year, the death of actor Puneeth Rajkumar made us realise that many lives could be saved if the right emergency aid is administered in time. The time between a cardiac arrest and hospitalisation is crucial. It is important to be aware of life-saving techniques such as CPR

Covid and diets
The prevalence of Covid has indirectly affected our eating habits. People began searching on the Internet about different diets that can help them stay fit. Many even switched to a calorie-deficit diet, due to which physicians saw a surge in anorexia cases. 

Fitness first

Padma Shri Dr Manjula Anagani, obstetrician-gynaecologist 
Conquering stress will lead to half of our health issues vanishing, believes Padma Shri Dr Manjula Anagani. The simple-at-heart doc is no diet freak and eats almost everything a foodie would. But, she eats in moderation. For someone who also suffers from autoimmune disease, she tackles with the problem with the prescribed medications, coupled with a good lifestyle and no worries  

Mani Shankar, filmmaker  
While most people, who go on diets, have a weekly cheat day, filmmaker Mani Shankar is firmly against the concept. He relies on a strict paleo diet which allows him to eat only those foods that the early humans ate when they first roamed the planet about 2.5 million years ago. The diet comprises grains, fruits and meat

Dr Sairam Reddy, co-founder of UrbanKisaan
Dr Reddy is all about a simple South Indian diet. The fit 50-year-old never skips breakfast. He does not prefer a fancy spread — just the good old South Indian breakfast menu comprising idli, vada and dosa with sambar and chutneys. He ends his day with a session of meditation and a short prayer not just for himself, but for others too

Dr Andrew Fleming, British Deputy High Commissioner to AP and Telangana 
Andrew has seen a major transformation this year, thanks to keto. He started his keto journey strongly believing that it would not reap much result, but was able to shed a lot of weight in just weeks and months. He had no other reason to start keto other than to be able to see his feet when he stood up! 

What trended

Blood test for depression
Towards the second half of 2021, psychiatrists got some good news —  a research team developed a blood test that can detect mood disorders! The Indiana School of Medicine in the US found that an RNA marker can diagnose whether or not a person is suffering from depression 

Mall walking 
The pandemic lifestyle and the eventual work-from-home got many of us used to a sedentary way of life. A walk in the park or the neighbourhood no longer excited us. But, a stroll in the mall did. Simply called ‘mall walking’, the interesting form of exercise made its way into Hyderabad. Many realised the value of mall walking after the city went into lockdown. They started to keep track of their steps in order to stay fit

Destruction therapy
This has been doing the rounds on social media. A quick search on the Internet would show you videos of people taking out their resentment on an object, preferably a ceramic plate, and breaking it so as to release their stressful emotions. According to psychologists, the therapy helps distress and has a calming effect 

Animal flow workout
This form of fitness took India by storm. Though a fairly old concept in the West, it picked up in Hyderabad and became a style statement for many in the city. Animal flow workout is a mixed bag of exercises from gymnastics and yoga

Moon water
Just as how the moon affects the tides, its magnetic energy also impacts our health and well-being. In fact, every full moon day, there are ceremonies which help people channel this energy for their benefit. Sacred Earth Cafe in Madhapur is one such venue in Hyderabad which regularly hosted such ceremonies, wherein people gathered, sang songs and basked in the rays of the full moon. One of the most common ways to use the moon’s energy is through water or tea 

Blue tea
This year, blue tea, which is made of butterfly pea flowers, trended on Instagram. This magical tea with medicinal properties instantly changes its colour from blue to purple when a few drops of lemon juice are added to it. Before this, hibiscus and rose teas were popular

Fitness parties
Hyderabadis moved over late night Saturday jamborees and made way for fitness parties. Quite a rage of late, they woke up early on a Sunday, put on their gym shoes and showed up at a pub or studio hosting one. These fitness parties also have food, not the usual junk, but wholesome, healthy meals

The fitball or exercise ball became a must-add to home fitness regimes this year. Known to help with core gym workouts, core yoga and stretches, it is also a great tool for crunches and push-ups. The fitball also become popular among the celebs in town

Covid nails
Mid this year, there was talk on ‘Covid nails’. Social media was abuzz with posts warning netizens of some visible changes in the nails of patients in recovery. It all started when British epidemiologist and science writer Tim Spector posted a picture of a person’s fingernails bearing horizontal ridges and a red half moon at the tips

‘Invisible’ braces
Invisible braces, or clear aligners, changed the market dynamics and become popular in Hyderabad. Thanks to 3D digital scanning, orthodontists could get an accurate digital mould of the patients teeth and create a customised clear aligner for them. The digital workflow of the clear aligner system reduced the number of clinic visits for patients and improved clinical efficiency by using high-end technology

One of the many prominent lessons that the pandemic taught us is to take health seriously. Reminding us all over again that health is wealth, the virus scare inspired us to watch what we eat, and not just weight-wise. From organic foods to cold-pressed oils, we tried them all. Here’s how health became a priority in 2021

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The New Indian Express