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Splash, Frolic, Swim


Let’s start first with some swimming instructions and how you can keep yourself, your loved ones and even your gadgets safe while swimming. The sweltering heat is enough motivation to drive one to the embrace of the cool and crystalline waters of a swimming pool and there is no doubt that it is great fun and much needed relief from the fiery sun. However, those who lead a sedentary lifestyle, and may not have undertaken swimming as an exercise before and tend to have sensitive skin and weaker bodily functions, must consult their doctor before swimming. The fact is that the chlorinated water and presence of sub-products often leads to skin irritation, respiratory problems and even eye infections. Protect your eyes especially by using water-proof swimming goggles. Using a swimming cap also protects the hair from harmful agents. Often people go directly from work to have a swim and carry their gadgets along with them. Leaving them in the change rooms could get them stolen – take them with you for a swim – make them waterproof by encasing them in easily available and robust waterproof carriers.

Swimming is Fun

We live in fast moving times – even families hardly get time to spend together during the day. Go swimming – the whole family together! It’s a great way to share laughs, unwind and sharing a common activity strengthens bonds. The whole family has their share of exercise and remains happy and active. Even if you are not great swimmers, playing water games, splashing each other with the water and having that time together does wonders for the spirit of unity and oneness for a family. As the cool water caresses the skin, even the older members of the family feel fit, rejuvenated and I say younger too! Is your family next?

Swimming is Exercise

Despite being an intense workout and exercise, swimming is so much fun that the effort rarely seems present. What better ambiance to exercise in than in cool water splashing around you, a soft light breeze wafting across the water and birds flitting past in the cerulean sky – it’s an uplifting and joyous feeling. No matter how bad or hard a day you have had, I guarantee that a few minutes in the water will wash away all the fretting and regrets of the day. It’s almost like magic – I speak from experience – after a few laps around the pool there is no way you won’t be smiling despite being exhausted from the exercise. In fact, I would say that swimming as an exercise should be used proactively – engage in this exercise at least once a day and you will find your mood more buoyant and your head a lot clearer, which in turn will keep you feeling great all day.

Lose weight and Get Fit

As an aerobic exercise swimming is a great way to burn some calories – combine it with a sensible diet and overtime you will have a slimmer you. Every muscle in the body is put to work when you swim, improving the overall feeling of well-being and also serving to keep you fit. It increases the circulation of blood and also improves respiratory control and lung function. Keeping fit is not just a bodily function – having mental agility counts for fitness too. Swimming as a sport is demanding and builds a person’s self-esteem and confidence. It inculcates the spirit of teamwork, being competitive in a controlled manner and instils discipline in the person undertaking it. Swimming is good even for older people – they do not necessarily have to swim around but just moving their hands and legs about in the water lets them feel energized and relieves aches and pains. Plus it makes them feel like children again!

Summer is here – splash, frolic, swim!

The Heat is on – Preventing Heat Strokes


While summer may bring with it the chance to splash around in cool swimming pools, go on the much awaited vacation and of course the widest variety of juicy mangoes, it also brings with it sweltering heat that can cause serious health problems if proper precautionary measures are not taken. Heat strokes are the most common complaint during this time of the year and are a result of a person becoming dehydrated and the bodily temperature rising. Heat strokes can prove fatal and people have been known to go into a coma. If your work keeps you out in the sun for long periods or you are part of large event such as a sports function, ensure that you take the necessary precautions to save yourself from becoming seriously ill. To prevent heat strokes, apart from drinking enough fluids – keep a water bottle handy, use safety products such as a sun block, use a Water purifier (Ultra Filtration), wet wipes, carry an umbrella, wear sunglasses and remain calm.

Signs of Heat Stroke

The first and most obvious sign is that the person does not perspire. This means that your body is unable to keep itself cool through its natural cooling mechanism of sweating. It is important to be extra vigilant for elderly, infants and children. People who are on certain kinds of medication are also at risk of heat stroke. Other high risk groups are athletes and people who work outdoors for long and sustained periods of time.

Keep a look-out for these tell-tale signs:

 Shallow and rapid breathing
 Pale and dull skin
 Extreme tiredness and weakness
 Feeling of nausea and dizziness
 Higher than normal pulse rate
 Muscle cramps
 Unnatural and profuse sweating

What you should do

It is absolutely crucial to take the necessary preventive measures to keep a normal body temperature despite the blistering heat and unbearable humidity. If you know that you will be exposed to the extreme temperature it would serve you well to keep the precautionary measures in mind:

– Take regular breaks in the shade
– Continually sip on water or other healthy fluids (steer clear of aerated beverages and caffeine)
– Don’t push yourself beyond a point. The body can endure only so much.
– Wear airy and loose clothing in light colours.
– Use a hat or parasol and most definitely use a sunscreen
– Wipe your face with a moist cloth or use the more hygienic wipes available in the market
– Avoid eating foods laden with calories like fast foods, fried foods and such. Stick to healthy food options as these will keep up the energy levels of your body and provide the required nutrition.

Who is most at risk?

Heat stroke, like any other ailment can strike anyone. However, there are some people who are more at risk of suffering a heat stroke and if you know of such people in your family and surroundings, help them to keep safe.

– The elderly – especially people over 65 years of age. Make sure their surroundings remain cool and airy
– Infants and young children – simply because they have lower immunity and would be unable to care for themselves
– People who have medical conditions like heart ailments, suffer from high blood pressure or lung disease and use medications for these ailments

– Certain medications also put their users at higher risk of catching a heat stroke:
• Allergy medicines
• Diet drugs
• Laxatives and irritable bladder relief medicines
• Cough and cold medications
• Anti-depressants and other mental health medication
• Medicines to control thyroid and seizures

The sensitivity to heat continues for as long as a week post the rest and medication for a heat stroke. Check with your doctor to know when it is safe for you to begin an exercise regime or even go back to work. Prevention is the best way to avoid heat stroke – just like a lot of other ailments and problems. Be Cool – be safe!

Business Networking


“Networking means the act of exchanging information with people who can help you professionally.” – Michael Jennae

Networking is not just a skill – it is an urgent requirement for both individuals and companies. The rise of social media then, is not surprising since the very basis of these sites is networking. Smart business networking allows companies to attract more customers and receive great testimonials from existing customers, thereby increasing profitability and market reputation. The only reason that we see a surge of new companies and the success of many of them, it is due to their business networking skills. In fact, even large and well established companies cannot hope to survive without consistently applying the art of business networking – there is too much competition to let your guard down! It would be useful to understand some of the reasons why business networking has become even more crucial than before and is not going to be less important any time soon.

1. In my experience, business networking is most crucial to remain an influential part of the market and company groups and industries. People are able to generate leads for themselves and even their associates using the art of networking. There is a huge potential of gaining more business and leveraging your business’ strengths by these interactive activities.

2. Business networking is a form of communication. When businesses ‘communicate’ with each in this manner, there is a world of opportunities that opens up and this is how new ventures, joint endeavours, fruitful partnerships, gaining of assets and whole other set of lucrative deals come about. While it is true, that no one can be successful by operating alone or remaining in a silo, it is also equally correct to say that it is not prudent to grab every opportunity that comes about. Business networking brings on market intelligence too and makes people choose wisely and profitably.

3. No one who is anyone today became so by working alone. It is the power of business networking that has made so many people and businesses more successful than they would have hoped or expected. Networking with relevant people and opportunities can make even individual entrepreneurs and business owners relevant and capable of leaving their mark. Business networking paves the way to getting ‘influential’ people in one’s network which in turn opens up more possibilities and opportunities, as these influencers attract others towards them. Be smart and sharpen your communication skills to succeed in the arena of business networking.

4. No one person can have all the good ideas. Business networking opens up the realm of communication and ideas exchange as like-minded people talk and speak of things that are of common interest. It is a huge learning opportunity and must be leveraged to gain optimum advantage for oneself and the company. As you garner advice and help from industry experts, it is not long before you are seen as a subject matter expert and soon people are attracted to you for advice.

5. Business Networking raises both an individual’s and a company profile and influence. As more people become part of your network, you get noticed, are spoken about and also get invited to high profile events and functions. These events in turn raise the number of leads you can get and also attracts more people to be part of your network. Great business networking then, works almost like a huge magnet!

On the personal front, I know business networking has boosted my confidence and made me a better listener and learner. I can now engage in smarter conversations, beyond business, and have been able to make some strong and lasting business connections even with people who are completely unlike me. It may seem daunting at first, but through consistency the new connections you build and the proficient relationships you foster will only serve to strengthen your business and you as a person.

Business Etiquette


“No matter who you are or what you do, your manners will have a direct impact on your professional and social success.” – Anonymous

It would not be incorrect on my part to say that business etiquette, though seemingly a clichéd topic is often also the most ignored. Displaying restraint and exhibiting manners in a corporate / business environment are extremely crucial to a congenial and professional work setup. The world is shrinking given the surge in globalization and digitization. Boundaries are transcended and people from varying cultures, demographics and beliefs are getting in touch at the click of a button and therefore understanding how to work with this diversity is becoming more important in order to maintain business etiquette.

Maintaining business etiquette allows people from any background and culture to work collaboratively and communicate respectfully to their fellow-workers. Paying attention to good manners in a professional setting creates an atmosphere of trust, integrity, helpfulness and all those other niceties that make working together a lot of fun. Business etiquette is about looking beyond our limitations and those with whom we work and instead focus on creating stimulating synergies irrespective of many obvious differences.

Business etiquette, in my opinion, has a rather vast scope. Under its realm fall a number of factors which I believe are often overlooked, limiting people’s view of the subject. Displaying good manners is as simple as dressing appropriately to the more complex subject of communication. To show respect and consideration for the views of co-workers is also business etiquette. Spoken and written communication, body language and other expressions form a vital part of corporate manners. Taking the trouble to understand how people of different cultures prefer to dress or eat, refraining from speaking on topics that could be sensitive issues, respecting the time and space of those around you and many other such factors fall under the umbrella of business etiquette.

Times are changing and so are a number of personal and professional preferences, but basic business etiquette have not changed to match these. They seem to run across businesses, industries and demographics – but it is best to observe what the acceptable norms are before-hand in order to avoid embarrassment to yourself and inconvenience to others.

– The most basic is probably a firm (not death grip) handshake. It is a simple yet polite and confident gesture and lets the person before you understand that you are open and approachable and would like to maintain a healthy professional relationship.

– We have been taught since our childhood to say please and thank you. This has not and in my view, will not change irrespective of how much more progress the humankind makes. These are basic courtesies that should be non-negotiable.

– Everyone wants to be heard and each one of us is sometimes over-zealous to express our views. Business etiquette demands that one should never interrupt or speak when someone else is talking. It is just plain rude and shows a very high level of disrespect.

– Mind your language – even if your company culture is friendly and relaxed there is no excuse to use derogatory, cuss or outlandish language.

– An oft repeated mistake is firing off emails or other written communication without re-checking. The fact is that when you send out communication that is rife with errors, you are showing disrespect to the receiver. It tells them that you did not bother to take time or make the effort to send them quality work. Very poor business manners!

– Even if your company has an open door policy, it is exceedingly impolite to assume that you can interrupt a person’s work just because you have something to discuss. Ensure that you ask for permission to walk-in or better still schedule time in advance with the person.

– The most common one – engaging in gossip. It is human nature to be curious, but speaking badly of someone behind their back is very disrespectful to the person and it also shows your character in a poor light.

– Respect people’s space and the need for privacy. Trying to eavesdrop on a conversation or reading from the screen of another person’s computer, is for me among the top irritants and excruciatingly annoying habits.

– It is common courtesy to acknowledge a person who approaches you or even if you see someone at a distance. Being busy can never and must never be a reason to ignore people.

– The two topics that people can never seem to agree on are politics and religion. Business etiquette demands that topics that can be potential problems should be avoided at all costs. Keep your views on these topics in the confines of your mind.

– Irrespective of your position and work schedules, if you have committed to being somewhere at a certain time, be there on time. Reaching late shows lack of respect and you wouldn’t want it done to you.

– You know that you are part of a meeting and the time is blocked off for the purpose – so where is the need to continually take calls or respond to messages and emails. Doing so shows lack of concern and respect for the others present in the room.

Unprofessional mannerisms and a lack of business etiquette could not only drive customers away but also let your employees and co-workers respect you a lot less. Grasping the basics of business etiquette will facilitate communication and increase productivity in the workplace.

Winning Instinct


“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up.” – Vince Lombard

The Winning Instinct is better known as the ‘killer instinct’. Whatever you call it, this instinct is a mind-set that you can either be born with or cultivate and refine over time. It has to do with confidence in yourself and your capabilities. A person with this winning instinct is almost impervious to outside force and pressures as he or she is encased in what seems like indestructible armour. As this instinct becomes stronger there is enhanced acceptance of things that are human and therefore bound to happen. There is no shying away from fear or rejection and one admits to feeling low and ashamed at times. The winning instinct allows a person to forge ahead without hesitation despite some negative and maybe even painful emotions. Soon this instinct becomes natural and effortless – an expression of your most innate being. How amazing is that! I am not implying that you would always win or that you need to win at ‘any cost’ – having a winning instinct gets you past obstacles and problems faster and with renewed confidence.

How do you know whether you possess the winning instinct – the killer drive that you so envy in others? Given below are a few points, which in my opinion a person with this winning desire would have.

– Each person has some objectives and goals in life. A person with the killer instinct has a keen sense of what his or her ambitions are and would be willing to stretch their physical and mental limits to achieve success. Such a person not only accepts that situations would be incompatible with their goals but would also know what to do in order to survive the onslaughts of nature and fellow humans.

– A person with a winning instinct displays amply the courage, steadfastness and obstinate resolve to succeed. They have the ability to accomplish tasks well and in the shortest possible time. Killer drive enables the person to conquer one’s own limitations and bad habits and by removing them, make place for positivity and winning in their lives. Those who wish to cultivate the winning instinct must consciously work towards ridding themselves of their own personal stumbling blocks.

– It is a misconception that a person who is shy or timid cannot possess the winning instinct. Such people can be inherently strong through facing a number of instances of rejection, ridicule and even lost opportunities. They can over time develop a state of mind that not only ignores these adversities but also overcome them time and again. You don’t need to be ‘vicious’ to possess the killer instinct.

– In a structured and modern world, the killer instinct does not mean actually killing to secure one’s needs and interests. Successful and wealthy people are held in high esteem and it is assumed that would have used this instinct to move ahead and would have refused to fall prey to the scheming designs of their adversaries.

The winning instinct is about being in touch with your innate courage and strength and the ability to gain complete control for the fulfilment of one’s goals. It is the power to take action and make things right, despite stumbling blocks and situations and people who tell us that we cannot.