Fitness

What to do when you are not working out?

Are you someone who workouts regularly? If you answered yes to that, you have already done most of the task right. However, sometimes, in the excitement to be working out, people often forget that they need to give their bodies a break.

Our bodies are a lot like machines and overworking them is as bad as not using them at all. This is why most places recommend that you take one day from your workout off to relax and rejuvenate.

When people take a day off from their workout, they often end up feeling guilty and negative – DON’T!

These breaks from your workout are something you most definitely deserve and needless to say, there is no need to feel guilty!

Here are a few other things you can do on your rest days to help you prepare better for your workouts.

1. Plan

What better than going back to the drawing board on the days you don’t have to work out? This day can be the perfect day to assess your plans, see where you are lacking and plan well in advance for the week ahead.

 

2.Stretch

Maybe you are not stretching enough during your workout days – now is the perfect time to stretch and devote time to help your body get better!

 

3.Foam Roller

On rest days, using a foam roller to help relax your tight muscles can really make you ready for the next few days ahead.

 

4.Massage

A break from workout means pampering your body – it could be a professional massage or a simple hot tub treatment! Do whatever makes you feel alive and kicking for the next workout.

 

5.Walk

A rest day is meant to give you a break from strenuous exercise – this does not mean that you cannot do ANY exercise. Do go for a simple relaxing stroll to keep the momentum going.

 

6.Hydrate

Not working out is not an excuse to cut out on the good nutrition or water. Ensure you drink enough water and follow your healthy diet to compensate for not working out.

7.Sleep

This is the perfect day to catch up on all the sleep you might be missing because of your workouts. Ensure you get enough sleep so that you are awake and rejuvenated for the next workout day!

6 Bad Habits That Ruin Your Workout

guide to a vegetarian pregnancy!

Are you someone who is fairly committed to your workout routine? Do you exercise regularly or miss only a few classes? Do you find that you are not seeing the results you should be seeing given the effort you put in?

If those are things you relate to, here are 6 things that people like you commonly do that can ruin a good workout plan and our suggestions on how you can work around them:

 

1.Not having a clear vision

It is important to know exactly what it is that you are working towards – General fitness? Weight loss? Muscle building? Defining your goals and not treating exercise as random movements on a daily basis will go a long way in defining your workout.

 

2.Eating too much after a workout or eating too little in general

It is a given that you will be hungry after a tiring workout – however, eating too much and gorging on food and especially junk food after a workout can completely negate the good effects a healthy workout will have. Ensure you are very conscious of your pre and post workout eating routine to make the best of your workout!

The same way if you are on a “diet” thinking that it is the best thing you can do while working out, beware because even eating very little can be detrimental to your fitness goals. Ensure you eat enough and you eat healthy to supplement your training in the right way.

 

3.Not drinking enough water

Water has a huge impact on your performance levels and surprisingly it is not just about being dehydrated; water also aids weight loss! Ensure you drink enough water through the day!

 

4.Over-training

Those who are enthusiastic about training often make this mistake – over-training! Ensure that you are giving your body enough rest to recoup from training because this is very crucial for your body to actually experience the good effects of training.

 

5.Not including variety

Doing the same routine over and over again will kill your workout! It is important to include a good mix of cardio, strength training, and different exercises to ensure your workout gives you maximum impact.

 

6.Being distracted during a workout

Whether it is your phone or it is just you thinking about office while you are doing your reps – they are absolute no-nos during your workout! Being fully present mentally at an exercise class is as and if not more important as showing up.

 

References

http://www.msn.com/en-gb/health/mindandbody/6-surprising-habits-that-ruin-your-workouts/ar-AAo3eTY?index=1&li=BBoPWjQ

https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/8-habits-that-could-wreck-your-fitness-goals

 

Mid-Year Workout Motivation Goals

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Time does fly quickly and before we know it, 6 months of 2017 has gone by!

In the beginning of the year, we are super enthusiastic about the fitness goals we set for ourselves. In January we take out our cheque books and enrol for fun fitness classes. We are enthusiastic and like everyone who wants to jog at the beach we are convinced that this is the year our life will turn around and we will finally get fit.

However within a few months, the motivation drops. This is why it is even more critical to do a mid-year review of where your fitness goals are and how you have progressed!

Here are a few things you can do to keep the enthusiasm intact and continue your fitness journey:

 

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  • Do an honest review

Take stock of how this year has been – how many classes did you miss and why? Analysing your reasons and understanding what the reasons are can help you fix your schedule accordingly to eliminate these excuses. For instance, if you are a morning person, there is no point doing an evening fitness class!

  • Is your current workout helping you?

What were your fitness goals at the beginning of the year and how much progress have you made? Taking stock of this will help you understand if you are progressing in the right direction or if there is another way that you have to take.

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  • What should I be doing different?

After sticking to an exercise routine for 6 months, it is the perfect time to think about what it is that you could be doing different. Perhaps you need to eat differently or you need to get more sleep or reduce your stress! Adding other lifestyle changes at this point can help you get the most out of your exercise routine.

  • Plan the rest of the year

We seldom plan the second half of the year with the same enthusiasm as the first half! However, going back to the board and chalking out plans again is equally important. Think of this as a fresh start and start planning how your workout routine would look for the rest of the year.

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  • Keep going irrespective of how you have done

Did you stick to every fitness goals you have? Did you slack and not do anything? It doesn’t matter! Now is a good time to say that I can still make the most of the year if I start right now. So, keep that enthusiasm intact and start over again or use the enthusiasm to keep the momentum high.

4 Dumbbell Exercises For A Full Body Burn

guide to a vegetarian pregnancy!

It does not matter whether you are at home or traveling – with a pair of dumbbells, there are a whole bunch of exercises that you can do which will give you a full body workout.

We often believe that to exercise, we need sophisticated equipment and fancy routines. The power of simplicity, however, is that exercise has nothing to do with the equipment you own!

Here are 4 exercises that you can do with just a pair of dumbbells and still get a full body workout!

1.Squats

Hold the dumbbells to the side of your body, bend your knees and ensure you are comfortable with the weight. Now imagine you are sitting in a chair and have to go all the way down for it. Do this until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Make sure your knees are relaxed because you don’t want to be too stiff for this exercise.

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2.Lateral Rise

This exercise is really simple – you just have to hold the dumbbells and lift your arms up until they reach your shoulder height and then drop your arms down. While doing this, you have to ensure your knees are not stiff but slightly bent. This is important so that you don’t hurt yourself in the process!

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3.Bicep Curl

With a dumbbell in each hand, stand up straight. Exhale and curl the weights while you contract the biceps. Now keep raising the weights until the dumbbells are at shoulder level and your biceps are fully contracted. You can do variations of this exercise while standing up or sitting down on a bench!

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4.Overhead Press

Stand up straight with your feet apart and knees comfortably bent. Now lift the dumbbells and place them above your shoulders. Once you have done this, lift your hands all the way up to above your head. Get back to the starting point and ensure that you do all of these moves in a controlled manner while breathing normally.

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Refernces

https://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/main/popup/name/dumbbell-bicep-curl

Why Bodyweight Training Is Better?

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When it comes to training, the first thing that gets us all excited is the new stuff we can buy. Whether it is the brand new equipment that promises to get you in shape or the shiny new pair of dumbbells, there is something about shopping for fitness that makes us feel good.

However, did you know that bodyweight training which barely requires you to do any shopping for fitness is one of the most effective ways to train?

Here are a few reasons why body weight training can be so much better for you.

1. Requires no equipment
Unlike any other exercise, body weight training requires you to have no equipment! Whether you are traveling or heading to the park where there is just a bench or even in the comfort of your own room, these exercises can keep you fit. This not only means that it is much less effort to prepare but also means that you have no excuses!

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2. Save Money
With no equipment and the comfort to work out from just anywhere, body weight training is one of the most affordable ways to keep yourself fit. Actually, it requires no money at all!

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3. Helps your body move
Body weight training which is basically training without any equipment promotes functional movement in your body – this means that your body moves exactly the natural way it is supposed to! What better than this to keep yourself fit?

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4. Improves your mood and helps maintain cognitive function
Exercising helps your body release endorphins and also biologically reduces stress and promotes well-being. This helps you get that natural high! Not just this, strength or body weight training is linked to better cognitive health which means there is a high likelihood that disorders like Alzheimer’s, dementia etc. can be prevented by regularly indulging in strength training.

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5. Keeps you injury free
Muscles and workouts are often talked about– what about joints and working out? Body weight training keeps your joints fit and prevents you from injuries! This is very critical especially as one is growing older.

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6. Builds muscles
Although you might think that building muscles without weight training or fancy equipment is not possible, body weight training can help you build muscles. From push-ups to squats to a hard pull-up, these exercises really promote strength, make you stronger and most importantly help you build muscle.

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Reference

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/9-reasons-why-bodyweight-training-rocks.html

5 foods that help in muscle growth

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Muscle growth is usually a gradual process that takes a lot of dedication to achieve. It is not just about trying to get those bulging biceps like all those body builders who are probably your inspiration; besides, trying to ape their fitness routines and diets may lead to a quick burn out. Ditch those exorbitantly expensive protein shakes and supplements and try some naturally available foods that are sure to help you with your fitness goals.

Here is a list of simple, no-fuss foods that can get you from flat to fab:

1. Quinoa

A good source of carbohydrates, a 100 grams serving of Quinoa also packs 14 grams of protein along with essential amino acids. This gluten-free food is also easy to digest and is high in fiber, magnesium and iron.

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2. Almonds

Just 1/4 cup of almonds contains nearly 8 grams of protein — that’s nearly 2 grams of protein more than your typical egg! Almonds are also an excellent source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and magnesium. Magnesium is specifically known to be involved in energy metabolism and protein synthesis.

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3. Paneer

Just 1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese packs a whopping 14 grams of protein in only 80 calories with less than 2 grams of fat. The protein also breaks down slowly, leaving you feeling fuller for a longer time.

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4. Banana

Bananas have three types of sugars. Fructose, sucrose and glucose, these sugars are prime for pre/post training. Bananas are fat and cholesterol free, extremely portable, and nutrient dense.

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5. Olive oil

The monounsaturated fat in olive oil helps prevent muscle breakdown and protects joints. Olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fats. These good fats are heart healthy. Olive oil is anti-inflammatory and helps with muscle pain and inflammation, aiding recovery, making it a perfect muscle building food.

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References:

https://stronglifts.com/20-super-foods-you-need-to-build-muscle-lose-fat/

http://www.menshealth.com/nutrition/muscle-food/slide/3

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2015/04/01/10-best-foods-for-muscle-growth.html

Calorie Burning Yoga Variations

So many types of yoga, so little calories

Yoga has always been considered to be advantageous – both physically and mentally helpful. It has many health benefits, including fighting off stress, building muscle, improving flexibility, boosting immunity, and more. But people often wonder if yoga really helps one lose weight.

Here are few yoga variations that get your heart pumping and your body sweating.

Hatha Yoga
This is the most standard and generic form of yoga that you may find at your gym or local studio. It combines a work out and mental discipline, with the goal of integrating and refreshing both body and mind. It consists primarily of poses to extend strength and adaptability and controlled breathing (pranayama).
Calorie count in 60 min: 175 – 298

 

Ashtanga Yoga
It’s a notably intense and physically athletic kind of yoga, with difficult, fast movements. It’s both cardiovascular and meditative, and depends on the strength of your own muscles to perform the movements. It is supposed to purify the body by cultivating an “internal heat,” that burns off toxins. It additionally builds great strength, flexibility and is known for reducing stress and keeping the mind focused.
Calorie count in 60 min: 450 – 550

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Bikram Yoga
This type has a set structure consisting of 26 poses and two breathing techniques. Heated environments increase your pulse rate and metabolism. Though you get hot, the act of sweating helps to manage the inner body heat, and additionally assists in ridding the body of toxins and enhances flexibility within the muscles.
Calorie count in 90 mins: 330

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Vinyasa Yoga
Vinyasa is a flowing form of yoga that additionally links the breath with movement. It is a strength-training method and also the completely different poses particularly the standing, arm balances, back-bends and inversions utilize body resistance. The body doesn’t have time to be told, adapt or return to expect what comes next.
Calorie count in 60 min: 550

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Reference:

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/fitness/cardio/calories-burned-for-yoga-is-it-enough-for-weight-loss.html

https://www.simplemost.com/how-many-calories-you-burn-in-each-type-of-yoga-class/

https://www.yogatraveltree.com/blog/article/which-yoga-burns-the-most-calories

How does mountain climbing help with fitness?

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Planning to try mountain climbing for a fitness adventure? It’s not enough to just show up with your gear and guidebook, you’ve also got to be physically prepared to go the distance, as there aren’t any quick exits from the side of a mountain. Your planning must include spending an appropriate amount of time and energy on getting your body’s physical systems prepared for any kind of obstacle.

Keeping that in mind, here are a few tips you need to keep in mind:

1. Building Strength
Mountain climbing requires a lot of strength.  Since it’s not only your body that you need to pull up the mountain but it’s also, a large backpack that your body needs to carry along. Start 3 months prior. Include exercises such as pushups, pull-ups, dips, squats, and lunges. Once your body gets used to this, add extra weight with a weighted vest or a loaded pack on your back. Strength training is a must to build stamina and have control of your weight. Best choice exercises are dead lifts, front squats, bench press and military presses.

 

2. Increasing Stamina
Most people aren’t going to ‘bag a peak’ in an hour or 2, therefore increasing your stamina is a vast piece of coaching for mountaineering. Having the ability to stay moving and alert, for hours and hours, is a key talent for mountaineers. Any mountaineering exercise plan should include both aerobic endurance (running, cycling, and aerobics classes) and anaerobic endurance coaching (High intensity interval training), which might include both continuous movement and high intensity interval coaching. You need to keep moving your body upwards, activities like step climb (with a pack) and hiking steep terrain are nice for operating those lower body parts which can bear the force of the work once you are truly out on the mountain.

 

3. Altitude Training

Climbing mountains isn’t like too many different adventure sports, even apart from the danger factors concerned. Sure, the fitness requirements are somewhat kind of like other activities (such as strength and stamina), however with mountain climbing, the higher you get, the tougher your body needs to work. Additionally, it will take days for a body to conform to high altitude, thus it isn’t enough to easily head for the hills and begin coaching. However the nice news is that for shorter length climbs, the potency of your body may be raised through your stamina coaching, and a body that uses oxygen more with efficiency tends to try and do higher at altitude.

 

4. Climb, Climb, Climb

After all the intense level training, the real test is when you actually step on the rock. And one of the best ways to train is, you guessed it, to go climbing. Climb often, climb hard, and climb smart. Motivate yourself and continue motivating till you reach the top!

Reference:

https://www.seeker.com/how-to-prepare-for-mountain-climbing-the-exercise-regimen-that-will-ge-1765466422.html

http://www.alpineinstitute.com/articles/physical-conditioning-for-mountaineering-expeditions/

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/health-benefits-of-climbing-and-hill-walking

How to keep hydrated for a summer workout

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When the temperatures are rising, it can drive some crazy or make them too lazy to get out of the bed for a workout. After exercising in cooler temps, hot and humid days can feel overwhelming. The hotter the temperature, the more risk for dehydration, especially during an intense workout. Running, biking, hiking, even walking feels harder in the heat.

Here are some tips to help you get through your summer workouts:

1.Hydrate yourself –
This goes without saying but the first and foremost thing to keep in mind is hydrate yourself. The more liquids you fill yourself with, the lesser you are prone to fall sick or dehydrate yourself. When to do it? Two hours before workout and sip 4-8 ounces every 15 minutes during exercise. This will also help you stay away from dizziness, cramps and headaches.

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2.Wear the right clothes –
Clothing plays a big role during summer workouts. Wearing tight fitting and full sleeve clothes will only make you feel irritated. Lightweight and breathable clothes will are sure to comfort during workouts. They pull moisture away from your skin, so you really do feel cooler.

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3.Take cold showers –
It might sound odd, but showering before a workout with cold water not only helps you freshen up but also, helps your body to cool down. Carry a spray bottle with cold water and try spraying every now and then on your face and neck to feel less sticky and refreshed. You can also spray some on your hands, legs and body.

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4.Change workouts –
Since the hot weather is going to be around for a few months, adapt your workout accordingly. On hot and humid days, choose cooler cardio activities like biking in the wind, swimming in cold water, jumping rope, running up and down your stairs, or doing strength training routines at home.

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 Reference:

https://greatist.com/fitness/how-rock-summer-workout-despite-heat

http://www.shape.com/fitness/tips/tips-working-out-summer-heat

 

How to deal with tight Hamstrings

Deal with hamstrings

The hamstring is the muscle at the back of your thigh. When you strain it there is a sudden sharp pain in the area that can render you immobile for a couple of minutes. You’re likely to get a hamstring strain during activities that involve a lot of running and jumping. It is common among athletes and individuals who indulge in sports.

Medically, hamstring strains could also be caused due to dehydration, muscle fatigue, poor blood circulation in legs or due to potassium deficiency.

Although mild hamstring strains may not hurt too much, severe ones can be agonizing. The next time that muscle cramps, try out these easy strategies to help ease them.

1. Stretch out the muscle

To stop the pain, gently lengthen the muscle. Stretch the muscle out encouraging it to let it go. Don’t go too fast or hard, or it could tear the muscle.

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2. Drink

Grab yourself an isotonic drink. Isotonic drinks delay the fatigue in your muscles and bring up their performance by 20%.  Coconut water and fruit juices may also help.

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3. Icing the muscle

Ice application can reduce pain caused by a hamstring cramp. It reduces pain by making nerves in the area less sensitive. Wrap ice in a damp towel and apply it to the injured area for 15 to 20 minutes every two to three hours throughout the day.

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4.Warming the muscle

Using heat on the muscle cramp may also be an effective way to relax the muscle and alleviate pain. A warm bath and heat rubs on the affected area can also help reduce the pain.

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5. Watch your diet

Including enough nutrients in your diet may minimize how often you experience muscle cramps. Bananas and oranges are rich in potassium. Consuming yogurt, milk and other dairy products that are rich in calcium can be highly beneficial.

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References:

https://gmb.io/hamstring-flexibility/

http://optimalsoccer.com/tight-hamstrings/

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