Fitness

The Best Ab Exercises for Women in 2018

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What motivates you to do your ab workout? Sure, it would be nice to have a sculpted stomach or six pack abs, but we all know that the real motivator is being able to pull off that summer swimsuit with confidence!  Since women tend to be wider through the pelvis and have a longer waist compared to men, this can make it challenging for them to get flat, firm abs. So how can you do it? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Muscles to target:

 

 

  • External abdominal obliques – These muscles are present on your sides. You can feel them just beneath your arms, along your ribcage.
  • Internal abdominal obliques- These muscles lie underneath your external obliques.
  • Transversus abdominus –  These are the deepest muscles. They run horizontally around your midsection.
  • Rectus abdominus – They help flex your spine and help you walk.

 

 

How do you work out these muscles? Here are a few exercises for some serious ab strength building that will target all these muscles.

 

Plank Crawl Out

 

  1. Stand up tall and keep your feet together.
  2. Bend your hips and touch the floor. Walk your hands out until you reach a push-up position.
  3. Crawl your way back up to the starting position by inching your hands backward. Bend at the hips again and lift yourself back up to the standing position, when your feet are flat on the floor.crocodile-walk

Side Plank

 

  1. Begin from your left side, place your elbow directly below your shoulder and your forearm perpendicular to your body.
  2. Contract your abs and lift your hips off the floor until your body makes a diagonal line from your shoulder to your feet.
  3. Try to hold this position for 30 to 45 seconds.
  4. Switch sides and repeat.sideplank-thumb-960x540

Boat Pose

 

  1. Sit upright with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lean back and lift your legs off the floor.
  3. Extend your arms out straight, palms up. Your body will form a V shape.
  4. Hold for 30 secondstoned-woman-doing-the-boat-pose-in-fitness-studio_13339-202921

The takeaway

Exercises like these will help you strengthen your ab muscles and improve your posture. These workouts are only effective when combined with a balanced diet. Have any favourites? Let us know below!

References:
https://www.healthambition.com/best-ab-exercises-women/

Top 4 Strengthening Exercises after Shoulder Dislocation

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Shoulder Dislocations are caused when the ball and socket of the shoulder joint are dislodged. Once the shoulder has been restored to its normal position by a professional, you can do the following exercises to strengthen and maintain the fitness of your shoulder.

 

Note: Start off each exercise slowly and ease off in case of pain.

 

#1 Shoulder Flexion

 

For this exercise, you will need a pipe/stick about 30 cms wider than your shoulders.

  • Lie down on your back, holding the stick/pipe with both your hands (palms facing down). Make sure you hold the stick/pipe near its end on both sides, so that your arms are slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Keeping your elbows straight, slowly raise your arms over your head until you feel a stretch in your shoulders, upper back, and chest.
  • Hold 15 to 30 seconds.
  • Repeat 2 to 4 times.

#2 Wall Push-ups

Stand against a wall with your feet about 30 – 60 cms away from the wall. If you feel any pain when you do this exercise, move closer to the wall.

 

#3 Isometric Extension

Stand with your back against the wall with your arms down by your side

  • Keeping your elbows and wrist straight, push into the wall and hold for about 5 seconds
  • Repeat this a couple of times and slowly build up to holding the position for 10 seconds
  • Repeat the process with a 10-second hold for about 5 rounds 

#4 Isometric Adduction

You will need a newspaper or a small pillow

With these simple exercises, build back your shoulder strength in a safe and easy way. If you feel any discomfort, be sure to consult with your doctor to ensure you don’t cause additional damage.

​How Much Cardio Do You Need To Do To Lose Weight?

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If you plan on hitting the gym to burn calories and shed a few kilos, it’s good to have a game plan in mind. But if you’re trying to figure out how many minutes on the treadmill you’ll need to clock before seeing a difference on the scale, here is what you should know!

 

Before we get there, the golden rule of cardio is that you should be expending more calories than you’re taking in. So if you’re not already tracking the cals you’re consuming, start doing it.

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Health experts believe that 3,500 is the number of calories in a single pound of fat and therefore the number required for you to burn in a week to lose one pound a week.

To achieve this, you have three options:

  • 7 days of 30-minute cardio sessions + a diet of average calorie intake
  • 5 days of 30-minute cardio sessions + a light calorie-restricted diet
  • 3 days of 30-minute cardio sessions + a medium calorie-restricted diet

It is important to keep in mind that overdoing cardio can be unhealthy as it can leave people famished. When your body has done too much cardio it can result in adrenal fatigue, which can result in weight gain.

Couple running together in a race

Also remember that a healthy diet, strength training and cardio go hand-in-hand. No matter which way you choose to do cardio, it will help you shed a few kilos and help you maintain a healthy weight.

 

References:

https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/How-Much-Cardio-Do-I-Need-Do-Lose-Weight-43853148

 

6 Tips For Staying Fit While Traveling

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For many of us, we rely on our exercise routine to help us stay fit. But what happens when we can’t stick to our routine? What happens when we have to travel?

 

Travel can throw even fitness fanatics off track. But once you learn certain tricks, you’ll realize you can stay fit anywhere. Travel is just another excuse!

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So what are these tips?

 

  1. Start your day with a healthy breakfast – This will kickstart your metabolism first thing in the morning, and give you energy to last the entire day. Many hotels also offer complimentary breakfast as well, helping you save money on an entire meal for the day.
  2. Include some form of yogurt in your diet – Yogurt is a natural probiotic, and regulates your digestive system, preventing diarrhea and bloating
  3. Drink lots of water through the day – Water will help you stay full, hydrated, energetic and will keep you from drinking unhealthy products like sodas.
  4. Commute by walk whenever possible – If you’re going somewhere nearby, walk and whenever you can, take the stairs instead of the elevator. You’ll save money on cabs in the process!
  5. Keep a stock of healthy snacks – When you’re traveling, you may not always make it back to the hotel on time to eat. Instead of eating out, keep granola bars, protein bars, or dried fruits and nuts with you at all times. Snack on these until you can get back, and eat a proper cooked meal.
  6. Buy groceries and cook your meals – Rent a hotel with provisions for a refrigerator and a stove. This way you can buy simple groceries, and cook small meals to ensure you eat health.

 

Not too bad right? Try out these tips during your next trip, and you’ll realise that it’s not too difficult to stay fit during your travels. Have any other helpful tips? Comment below and let us know!

 

References:

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/20-tips-for-staying-fit-while-traveling-from-a-full_us_57c7fa39e4b0b9c5b73757fc

 

Good fats and bad fats: Know the basics!

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Indian food is known for its diversity. The variety of masalas, spices and ingredients we use make it the most wholesome cuisines in the world. Most often, Indian food is categorised as unhealthy as it contains high carbs and high sugar content.

 

Unsaturated or natural fats are necessary for you as they keep your heart healthy and help your nervous system function at its best. On the other hand, saturated or trans fat are categorised as unhealthy.

 

In this article, we try to help you understand the difference between the two to better assess your nutrition habits. Are you ready?

 

Good fat and bad fat: The difference

 

Good fat:

Also known as unsaturated fats, they come in two forms: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated. Polyunsaturated fats consists of omega-3 and omega-4.

 

They keep your arteries clear, improve heart health and produce good cholesterol that moves around the body.

Vegetables Salad on wooden table

 

Bad fat:

Also known as trans fat, produces bad cholesterol and reduces good cholesterol in your body. If consumed in huge quantities, this can increase the risk of obesity and heart disease.

chocolate-and-coconut-donuts_449-19325415

 

Good fats: Where you get them

 

  1. Monounsaturated: Olive oil, lean meat, nuts and seeds
  2. Polyunsaturated: Fish, soy products, tofu ,vegetable oils, green leafy vegetables and legumes

 

Bad fats: Where you get them

 

  1. Processed foods
  2. Full dairy products
  3. Take away foods
  4. Ready-made meals
  5. Snack foods like chips,biscuits, donuts etc
  6. Energy bars

 

Quick facts:

 

  • Trans fats are important to include as part of your diet, but should be consumed in less quantity.
  • Replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats can improve blood cholesterol levels.
  • Vegetarians can opt for other foods fortified with omega-3 to get enough essential fatty acids in their diet.

 

Knowing the difference can help you determine which foods to eat frequently and which to consume in moderation. Try replacing unhealthy fats with healthy fats to improve your health in the long run. Its an investment that’s definitely worth it.

 

References:

https://www.parentcircle.com/clipbook/good-and-bad-fats-for-children/

Walking vs. Running – Which is Better?

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Looking for the best types of cardio workouts? Walking and running are probably the best types of exercise you can do when it comes to staying fit. If you want to keep your heart healthy, make sure you do cardio on a regular basis. Not only does it help you stay healthy, it also helps uplift your mood.

 

But, which one is more beneficial – walking or running?

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Comparing the two

 

While walking can provide many of the similar health benefits that running provides, running may be the better bet.

 

People expend twice as more energy running than walking – be it in a park, on a track or on the treadmill. A recent study has found that running is more beneficial for weight loss than walking. Even when runners and walkers expend same amounts of energy, runners see more results when it comes to maintaining their body mass index, maintaining their waist size and naturally regulating their appetite.

 

If running just isn’t in the cards for you, walking is the next best option for you to get a good cardio workout. Try walking with weighted vests to increase your metabolism rate and to shed some extra kilos.

young-woman-running-outdoors_23-2147600466 (1)

 

Building a routine

 

Before diving into a routine, try both to see how your body reacts each kind of exercise. Doing cardio regularly at your own comfortable speed helps keep your body healthy and active. Your routine can also include a mix of both types of workouts. This will help you stay motivated and by adding short sprints to your walking, you get a calorie-burning boost. Before you start your workout, always be sure to do a proper warm-up to keep your energy levels up and prevent any kind of injuries.

 

References:

https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20170504/walking-vs-running—-which-is-better
https://greatist.com/fitness/walking-good-workout-running

How Exercise Improves Productivity and Your Brain Function

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We all want to be more productive – flying through our t-do list with a breeze, increasing our creativity and effortlessly multitasking. However, more often than not, nothing seems to work. You feel exhausted and burnt out.

 

Is there an answer? Studies have shown that exercise does, in fact, help you improve your productivity. Here’s how it works!

 

How does exercise increase your productivity?

Exercise increases your energy capacity. Every time you exercise and push your limits, your body recovers with a higher energy capacity.

In addition to this, exercise is also proven to reduce stress, reduce fatigue, improve performance and lead to fewer workday absences. It is a natural stress reducer, and with exercise, your sleep quality also improves, ensuring you wake up rested and ready to tackle your day.

 

What is the best exercise for productivity?

 

 

  • Walking

 

Walking gets those creative juices flowing, and is an exercise that you can easily fit into your schedule. Studies show that walking increases your creativity. Walking for 30 mins after lunch can also beat your afternoon slump.

hands-tying-trainers-shoelaces-on-the-autumn-pave_1163-2702

 

  • Yoga

 

Practising yoga has a positive effect on self-esteem and motivation. In-turn, it increases a person’s ability to cope with stress.

group-of-people-sitting-in-lotus-position_1170-2886

 

  • Low-intensity aerobic exercise

 

While high-intensity workouts are geared towards weight loss, low-intensity workouts increase your productivity.

woman-exercising-abs-in-gym_23-2147778449

 

How do you build a good exercise routine for yourself?

Research suggests that it is most beneficial to exercise in the morning or at lunchtime to enhance your brain power and productivity. Health experts generally recommend that exercising for 30 mins, 5 days a week is necessary for a healthy lifestyle. If you are exercising to increase productivity, also remember that progress and consistency is necessary.

 

Choose an exercise you like. You’re more likely to keep up something you enjoy rather than seeing your workout as another chore. Everyone functions differently, so build a routine that works for you.

 

So, what are you waiting for? Start this week, and you’ll see a difference in no time!

 

References:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/regular-exercise-changes-brain-improve-memory-thinking-skills-201404097110

How to Make Exercise Fun for Kids

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Kids are increasingly tech-savvy these days. Though technology has its many benefits, televisions, iPads and video games have made it even more difficult to motivate children to be active. Now, more than ever, parent’s need to ensure that their children stay on the move, learn about the importance of fitness and have fun along the way!

 

How can we help children get healthier? It’s all about making exercise fun for your kids and incorporating movement into your everyday life in fun and playful ways.

 

Here are some ways by which you can get your kid to stay on the move!

 

Spend time outside and activity will follow

 

Getting outside and connecting with nature is necessary and an easy way to build a healthy lifestyle. Let your kids play without an agenda. Stop by a park for 15-20 minutes on the way home from school or work, and let them just run around, make friends & play.

child-cute-little-girl-riding-bike-in-park_7186-26

The family that exercises together stays together

 

Parents set the tone for mostly every part of their child’s life. Healthy habits are passed along from parents to children. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the adult to initiate an active lifestyle to make exercise fun for their children. Taking family walks together, riding bikes and playing at the pool are things that can be easily incorporated into your lifestyle.

family-of-four-in-park_1398-4779

Show your kids exercising is not something to dread

What do kids love the most? Games! If the weather is good or bad, there are always games that are active enough to do inside or out to get your kids off the couch and moving. Some active games include: Playing catch, balloon fights, hide and seek, flying kites, soccer or jumping on a trampoline.

Neighbourhood Fun

Encourage your children to play outdoors with kids who live nearby. Let your children and their friends run through in the park or play with a ball. The more friends they make, the more they will automatically want to get outside themselves.

feet-of-children-sitting-relaxed-on-the-park_1150-3910

Support them

Whatever physical activity your child chooses, be sure to encourage them. If they enjoy what they’re doing, they’ll do more of it

When your kids grow up learning that an active lifestyle is advantageous, they will automatically adapt healthy habits that will benefit the rest of their lives.

References-

https://www.thepragmaticparent.com/create-active-lifestyle-and-get-kids-to-exercise/

4 Yoga Tips for Women Over 60

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If you’re over 60, the very thought of starting practicing yoga can seem a little daunting. You might be thinking… “There’s no chance that my knees can handle IT!” The most wonderful thing about yoga is that ANYONE of any age and experience level can do it. The key is to practice it on a regular basis.

If you’ve taken the plunge and decided to start practicing, kudos to you! You’re going to love the way you feel after you’ve been doing it for a while. Here are some tips to start your new yoga practice safely!

Sixty-and-Me_Energizing-Yoga-for-Seniors

1. It’s How You Do It, Not How Much or How Often

 

The quality of time you spend on the mat is way more important than how much time or how long were you able to hold on to a pose. Try doing all kinds of poses you feel comfortable with at your own pace.

2.Find the right studio or teacher

Some yoga studios offer gentle yoga and classes for seniors. It might be helpful, though, to start with a class that’s geared towards senior citizens. It will take time for you to get comfortable and learn the basics of yoga. You could later move into a regular class after you get a hang of it.

3. Go easy on yourself

Give your body time to get comfortable with the basic poses and to build up strength in muscles you probably haven’t used in a long time.

4.Practice with a smile

It can be hard to learn something new, and most of the time when we are doing a new type of exercise, we strain, fuss, and groan. So, put a smile on your face because that is the right way.

Seniors-Doing-Yoga

If you enjoy yourself while you’re doing yoga, you’ll probably stick with it. Life is short, so find joy in everything you do, including yoga! Feel free to leave a comment below if you liked this article or if you have any more yoga tips to share for women over 60!

          

 

Guide to hydration during sports!

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Proper hydration is necessary during your workout session. Learn how to drink enough before, during and after your workouts to give your best performance. #SliceOfHealth provides a guide on how you can stay hydrated while playing sports or during your workouts.

 

Pre-workout hydration

Make sure that your body is hydrated before you engage in any form of physical activity. This will help maintain the fluid levels in your body as you keep up with your activities.

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During-workout hydration

A considerable amount of fluid from your body is lost during sports or workouts. Whenever you get short breaks when playing, take that opportunity to hydrate yourself. The intensity at which you lose body fluids most often depend on the intensity of your sport or exercise. Activities that exceed more than 40-60 minutes will need one to hydrate during the process.

girl-drinks-water-and-holds-barrels-in-her-hands-after-a-work-out-in-gym_8353-5547

 

Post-workout hydration

After a practice or a workout session, drink to quench your thirst and then drink some more. Drinking after intensive or a powerful workout is also essential for the body to recover as a lot of fluid is lost through sweating when working out.

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Best Drinks for Hydration

There are a couple of fluid options you can try with water being the most popular fluid you will find. It is also advisable to drink fruit juices and milk, which are also useful when it comes to body hydration as they contain nutrients that are good for fitness. Drinks that contain caffeine can also be consumed.

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Reference: https://www.active.com/nutrition/articles/how-to-hydrate-before-during-and-after-a-workout

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