Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 21, Tuesday October 21, 2003







Add years to your life

Lifestyle likes to look after its readers. Your health and well being are important to us, and that's why we're giving you some handy hints for keeping the doctors at bay.

Most chronic diseases can be stomped out with the following steps. In addition to maintaining a healthy weight, you should:

Eat a variety of foods, with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables.

Choose whole grains, and avoid processed grains and sugars.

Limit red meats, especially high-fat sources.

Physical activity is an important prevention step too. Try to get in 30 or more minutes of moderate exercise most days if you're trying to maintain a healthy weight, more if you're trying to lose.

Women should be caring for the special demands of their bodies during pregnancy, by being physically active and by being sure their diet includes enough folate, which is crucial to pregnancy outcomes. You can get folate with a multivitamin, but a generous intake of brightly coloured fruits and veggies helps, too.
In addition, be sure you're covering these bases with your doctor:

In Your 30s:
Women: Be sure you're getting enough calcium (800 to 1000 mg per day), whether from supplements or from non-fat dairy. Bone density peaks in the mid-30s, so now is the time to build strong bones.

Watch out, men: Marriage and kids mean a substantial change in lifestyle, and regular physical activity declines. "Make physical activity a commitment," suggests Katz. "It won't take care of itself anymore. Remaining active now is the key to weight control, and to long-term health."

In Your 40s:
Women: starting in your 40s, you should be getting annual mammograms and clinical breast exams, and you should be doing a self breast-exam every month. Good health is a great start, but early detection is crucial, and only takes a few minutes.

Men: Especially if your lifestyle has not been healthy up to this point, heart disease and diabetes are a real threat. Follow the smart eating and exercise steps above to control your cardiac risk factors and defend against diabetes. Things to avoid: Saturated and trans fats - stop eating them to minimise your heart disease risk. Salt - limit it to lower your blood pressure. As for refined starches and simple sugars - avoid them to avoid high insulin demand.

In Your 50s:
Cancers affected by overweight include (but aren't limited to) cancers of the colon and rectum.

Men and women: Talk to your doctor about an appropriate test schedule for colon cancer. Men, start getting your prostate checked at age 50.

Menopause typically occurs around age 50, women, and it is generally associated with changes in metabolism that make weight gain even easier than it was before. It is also associated with an increase of chronic disease and osteoporosis. "That's why a heart-healthy, bone-healthy, weight-controlling lifestyle is especially important right now," says Katz.

Women, up your calcium intake to 1000 to 1200 mg per day, whether through your diet or in a supplement.

Start taking smaller portions, men. It's the key to avoiding an increase in body fat, since you have to accommodate a decline in muscle mass.

Men and women: If you haven't been taking a multivitamin, start now. If you're making changes to your eating habits, your body might not be getting the optimal dose of micronutrients every day without a supplement.


Reader's Chit

Snaps of the past

The large portrait doubles the splendor of the modern living room where it hangs. It had been taken some 30 years back…a frozen moment from three decades back that doesn't seem out of place in this fashionable household amongst all the state-of-the-art accessories.
The picture holds the image of a young woman, gorgeously dressed in some brightly colored georgette saree, her hair done exquisitely in a style not seen today.
It's a picture similar to the kind that we have in our homes. They reside in our age-old family albums. These albums embrace the youthful days of our mothers and aunts. These were probably taken as long ago as the '60s or the '70s, yet their captivating power is unrivaled. The times that were held still by the clicks of some antiquated camera were different from the times we are currently in.
The women in these pictures are clad in sarees. It was a popular style of the '60s to embellish oneself in a saree that firmly clutched its owner. Elaborate rituals of fastening safety pins in different parts of the saree followed to bring the final look.

The anchal was worn short unlike today. The blouses varied from high-neck to round or boat-necks. Fashionable women wore sleeveless blouses too. The Bangladeshi girls were inspired by local film stars, often copying their styles. Bangla cinema was a prime mode of entertainment for the girls and women of the middle, upper middle class and the rich households.

The perverted practice of vulgarism was absent in the movies back then. Times were different during the '60s and 70's. Everything reflected the healthy mentality of the people back then; something that is barely conceivable today.

Flip a few pages of an old family album and you'll discover the females in the photographs have their eyes lined thickly with kohl and mascara, with little wings at the end. Their brows are plucked into thin lines, giving them a doe-eyed look.

They wore their bindis almost at the center of their forehead. The bindis were drawn from kumkum. These kumkum sets contained variety of liquid colors. There were colored powders as well, in which the women would dip their fingers in these colors and draw round bindis on their temples.

Their lips were lightly coloured in glossy lipsticks; some loved pink and nude while others preferred the deeper shades. Matt lipsticks were ages away from their reach. Guess what, the styles of the '60s are returning; glossy lipsticks are rocking the fashion arena once again. History repeats itself and so does fashion.

Girls and women used to go the shops of Baitul Mukarram and New Market for their dress materials, cosmetics, jewelry, shoes and other accessories. Popular brands of cosmetics ranged from Max Factor to Revlon and Medora. Yes, they were available in Dhaka even some 30 years back. Women from the well off families actually had access to these international brands. Intimate and Jasmine were two favorite brands of perfume among many.

Small gold studs were all the rage back then. Stones were popular too. Dangling earrings weren't that prevalent during the '60s and '70s, except the small dangling ones commonly known as jhumka worn on bridal occasions. They loved bangles too. The most common ones were made from glass and called Reshmi churi. Steel bangles were also popular. Another particular type was available where the bangles were made from a hard, white material with designs made in golden embossed on them. The tingling sound of their reshmi churi filled the eyes of young men with infinite dreams and love. Such was the bewitching power of such simple yet stylish jewelry.

It was customary in those days to wear long hair. Short hair was unfashionable. "Short" hair at that time would reach halfway between the waist and the shoulder, and was worn free. Some girls tended to gather the hair or fold it leaving some curled locks over the ear to give them a delicate touch of beauty. A woman's beauty was reflected in the length of her hair. Haircuts were pretty simple. No razor, layers, blunt or bob cut existed. The mid- sixties witnessed the appearance of raised hairstyles with middle partings, which were very common among women. Long hair was styled in the form of small cookies at the nape of the neck. The women in those albums of memory had fluffy hairstyles created by intense back-brushing sessions. They usually parted their hair in the middle. In the sixties, femininity was in, and hairstyles had to look delicate, no matter what length or shape they were.

Women are seen in flat sandals and high heels too in those frozen moments. Platform heels that we wore even last year weren't present then. Women wore narrow heels, their shoes and sandals had pencil heels, and these were the hip trends 3 or 4 decades ago. Long thin heels highlighted their figures.

Take out a family album from your shelf and flip the pages, and many untold truths and tales, moments and beauty will be unveiled before you. Some have probably become worn and faded over the years. Try to restore them by making several other copies before they tear apart. They are glimpses of the past that you and I can never see and savor in our lifetime.

By Wara Karim


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