Ayurveda Herbal Medicines

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The ability to synthesize a wide variety of chemical compounds that are used to perform important biological functions, and to defend against attack from predators such as insects, fungi and herbivorous mammals is called herbal medicine.

Chemical compounds in plants mediate their effects on the human body through processes identical to those already well understood for the chemical compounds in conventional drugs; thus herbal medicines do not differ greatly from conventional drugs in terms of how they work. This enables herbal medicines to be as effective as conventional medicines, but also gives them the same potential to cause harmful side effects

Natural medicines provides clinically relevant, bottom-line-focused information and ratings on dietary supplements, natural medicines, and complementary alternative and integrative therapies in evidence-based monographs.

Plants have been used for health and medical purposes for several thousands of years. The number of higher plant species on earth is about 2,50,000. It is estimated that 35,000 to 70,000 species have, at one time or another, been used in some cultures for medicinal purposes. A majority of the world’s population in developing countries still relies on herbal medicines to meet its health needs. Herbal medicines are often used to provide first-line and basic health service, both to people living in remote areas where it is the only available health service, and to people living in poor areas where it offers the only affordable remedy. Even in areas where modern medicine is available, the interest on herbal medicines and their utilization have been increasing rapidly in recent years.

Medicinal plants are important sources for pharmaceutical manufacturing. Medicinal plants and herbal medicines account for a significant percentage of the pharmaceutical market. For example, in China, medicinal plants and their products had a 33.1% share of the pharmaceutical market in 1995. In Malaysia, the market for traditional medicine is estimated at about 1 billion Malaysia rinngit annually.

Click here for WHO’s Policy on herbal medicines –

The World Health Organization is fully aware of the importance of herbal medicines to many of its Member States and supports the use of medicinal plants and their products. In early 1978, the World Health Assembly, the WHO governing body, adopted a resolution on drug policies and management of medicinal plants, which recognized the importance of medicinal plants in the health care system. The World Health Assembly proposed coordinating efforts through the preparation of an inventory of medicinal plants, the development of criteria and methods for proving the safety and efficacy of medicinal plant products, and the dissemination of relevant information. In 1987, 1988 and 1989, three more resolutions were adopted covering the identification, evaluation, preparation, cultivation, utilization, regulation and conservation of medicinal plants.

Based on those resolutions, WHO’s policy on herbal medicine may be summarized as follows:

(1) WHO is fully aware of the importance of herbal medicines for the health of a large number of the population in today’s world. Herbal medicines are recognized as valuable and readily available resources, and their appropriate use is encouraged;

(2) To promote the proper use of medicinal plants, a comprehensive programme for their identification, evaluation, preparation, cultivation, recognition as valuable and readily available resources, and their appropriate use is encouraged;

(3) It is necessary to make a systematic inventory and assessment (pre-clinical and clinical) of medicinal plants; to introduce measures on the regulation of herbal medicines to ensure quality control of herbal products by using modern techniques, applying suitable standards and good manufacturing practices; and to include herbal medicines in the national standard or pharmacopoeia.

(4) As many of the plants that provide traditional and modern drugs are threatened with extinction, WHO endorses the call for international cooperation and coordination to establish programmes for the conservation of medicinal plants, to ensure that adequate quantities are available for future generations.

Medicinal herbs – Medicinal herbs treated most of the health ailments when there was no use of intricate medicinal instruments and drugs. These herbs worked wonders with their juices, extracts, barks, leaves, flowers, and sometimes the entire plant. They have been popularly known as medicinal herbs and their applications were passed on through many generations. However, before using any herb for medicinal reasons, it is essential to know about the plant and the related research. For instance, comfrey was used as an anti-inflammatory agent for treating bruises, sprains, and other wounds, bladderwrack being a good source of iodine, was used in many medications for thyroid conditions, aloe vera was used for minor burns, kava-kava treated depression and anxiety, while milk thistle treated a host of liver diseases.

Click here for Guidelines for use of herbal medicines-

Use of Herbal medicines in health care – In many communities and families in the Region, herbal medicine is an available, affordable, effective and culturally-acceptable health care modality. The use of herbal medicine can meet certain primary health care requirements of the people, particularly in less developed, rural and remote areas. The existing community-based traditional medicine projects in several countries have demonstrated the vital role that can be played by herbal medicine in primary health care. In more developed countries, it can complement modern pharmaceutical medicines.

The knowledge available in communities about the use of medicinal plants should be collected and collated, preferably with the participation of the communities themselves. Medicinal plants commonly used in the communities should be selected. The basic criteria in the selection of plants should be: (1) locally available; (2) useful for common health problems; and (3) availability of references on their safety and efficacy. Educational and training materials on these selected plants should be prepared and disseminated. Community health workers should be trained in the identification, collection, processing, storage and utilization of the plants. Villagers should be encouraged to plant medicinal plants in their gardens or backyards.

The herbal medicine practices should be coordinated and integrated into the country’s health care system. They can be components of health care establishments at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels or can stand alone. Countries are encouraged to be aware of recent developments in herbal medicine throughout the world and to adopt such treatments into their health care services as and when appropriate if it is beneficial to the community.

Conservation of medicinal Plants –

The use of plants as medicines has been taken for granted on the assumption that the plants will be available on a continuing basis. However, many medicinal plants face extinction or severe genetic loss. The forty-first World Health Assembly (1988) adopted a resolution which endorsed the call for international cooperation and coordination to establish a basis for the conservation of medicinal plants to ensure that adequate quantities are available for future generations. Each individual country is encouraged to develop programmes to preserve the continuing existence of local medicinal plants and, if applicable, to introduce additional plants through appropriate processes.

Medicinal plants are valuable natural and genetic resources and an inventory and survey of medicinal plants should be conducted in each country regularly. A list of endangered species of medicinal plant in each country should be prepared and actions for their protection and conservation should be taken, preferably by the Government, including the establishment of seed banks.

The cultivation of plants needed for medicinal purposes should be encouraged to ensure adequate local supply. Incentive schemes could be devised to support this.

Herbal Medicine –

Did you know that about 25 percent of the drugs prescribed worldwide are derived from plants? Of the 252 drugs in the World Health Organization’s essential medicine list, 11 percent are exclusively of plant origin. In fact, about 200 years ago the first pharmacological compound, morphine, was produced from opium extracted from the seed pods of the poppy flower.

Since then, scientists have been studying plants to create the pharmaceutical products we know today. But after years of overmedicating, facing resistant bacteria in the microbiome and treating the illness rather than the root of the problem, people are beginning to pay more attention to natural, herbal medicine.

Millions of dollars have recently been invested in looking for promising medicinal herbs. These substantial research investments in traditional herbal medicine are still relatively modest when compared to the overall pharmaceutical industry, but it proves that researchers are beginning to steer away from conventional drug development and look toward more alternative and natural forms of treatment.

Natural plant products have been used throughout human history for various purposes. In fact, written records of the use of herbal medicine date back more than 5,000 years, and for much of history, herbal medicine was the only medicine.

Today, plants are being used to treat a number of health concerns and conditions, including allergies, arthritis, migraines, fatigue, skin infections, wounds, burns, gastrointestinal issues and even cancer — proving that it’s true that food is medicine. These herbs are less expensive and they’re a safer means of treatment than conventional medications, which is why so many people are choosing to go back to this traditional idea of medicine.

What Is Herbal Medicine?

Herbal medicines are naturally occurring, plant-derived substances that are used to treat illnesses within local or regional healing practices. These products are complex mixtures of organic chemicals that may come from any raw or processed part of a plant.

Herbal medicine has its roots in every culture around the world. There are many different systems of traditional medicine, and the philosophy and practices of each are influenced by social conditions, environment and geographic location, but these systems all agree on a holistic approach to life. Well-known systems of herbal medicine like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine believe in the central idea that there should be an emphasis on health rather than on disease. By using healing herbs, people can thrive and focus on their overall conditions, rather than on a particular ailment that typically arises from a lack of equilibrium of the mind, body and environment.

Although botanical medicine has been practiced for thousands of years, it continues to be of use in the modern, Western world. The World Health Organization recently estimated that 80 percent of people worldwide rely on herbal medicines for some part of their primary health care, and the worldwide annual market for these products is approaching $60 billion. People in many countries have become more interested in herbal medicine because of the rising cost of prescription medication and the returning interest in natural or organic remedies.

Whole herbs contain many ingredients that are used to treat diseases and relieve symptoms. Herbal medicine, also called botanical medicine, uses the plant’s seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark or flowers for medicinal purposes. The biological properties of these plants have beneficial effects. Other factors are responsible for their benefits as well, such as the type of environment in which the plant grew, the way in which it was harvested and how it was processed. The plant is either sold raw or as extracts, where it’s macerated with water, alcohol or other solvents to extract some of the chemicals. The resulting products contain dozens of chemicals, including fatty acids, sterols, alkaloids, flavonoids, glycosides, saponins and others.

Herbal Medicine Precautions

Herbal supplements are classified as dietary supplements by the U.S Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, which means that they’re not tested to prove they’re safe and effective, unlike prescription drugs. This is why some manufacturers can get away with selling herbal products that aren’t completely pure. When buying herbs to be used for medicine, make sure to purchase 100 pure-grade products from a reputable company. This ensures that you get the highest quality product that’s not weakened with less expensive additives and isn’t grown with pesticides or contaminated with heavy metals.

Botanical medicine may also cause allergic reactions or interact with conventional drugs, which is why you should consult your health care provider before beginning any herbal treatments. Herbalists, naturopathic physicians, pharmacists, medical doctors and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners can provide information about herbal medicine and help you to choose what herb is best to address your health concerns. Be sure to do your own research on the herb you use and check for possible side effects and appropriate dosage.

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Click here for Benefits of Herbal Medicine

 

Herbal medicine is the oldest form of medicine in the world. Although it is the most commonly practiced form of medicine throughout the world, it is only in relatively recent years that it has gained popularity in western culture. Herbal medicine is valued as an alternative medicine in that it offers gentle treatment to a range of illnesses and ailments. Benefits of herbal products are limitless.

1. More Affordable than Conventional Medicine

Modern medical science certainly comes with a high price tag, and pharmaceuticals are no exception. One reason why herbal medicine is becoming more popular recently is because people simply can’t afford to pay for their medication month after month.

A systematic review published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine evaluated whether or not natural health products provide a cost-effective choice in the treatment of disease. Researchers found that natural health products show evidence of cost-effectiveness in relation to postoperative surgery and complications. More research is needed to determine the cost-effectiveness in other areas of modern medicine, but the preliminary data suggests that herbal products are more affordable than pharmaceuticals.

2. Easier to Obtain than Prescription Medications

Herbal products, such as herbal extracts, essential oils and herbal teas, are available in most health food and even grocery stores, so you don’t have to see a doctor to get prescriptions before purchasing them. This certainly makes it easier to obtain herbal products and avoid additional health care costs.

Herbs are classified as dietary supplements, so they can be produced, sold and marketed without going through the FDA. Although this makes it easier to purchase and use these beneficial products, it’s our job as consumers to choose among the competitors. Make sure to read the ingredients and labels carefully before using any herbal supplement. Purchase from a reputable and trustworthy company that verifies the product is 100 percent pure-grade.

3. Hold Beneficial, Healing Properties

Herbs are used for the treatment of chronic and acute conditions and various ailments, including major health concerns like cardiovascular disease, prostate problems, depression, inflammation and weakened immune system. Herbs are used around the world to treat conditions and diseases, and many studies prove their efficacy. In fact, of the 177 drugs approved worldwide for the treatment of cancer, more than 70 percent are based on natural products or chemical imitations of natural products.

4. Balancing benefits and risks 

Herbal medicines are preparations containing exclusively plant material. Their efficacy can be tested in clinical trials much like synthetic drugs but numerous methodological and logistical problems exist. For several herbal medicines, efficacy has been established; for many others, this is not the case mostly because the research has not been done. Many consumers believe that herbal medicines are natural and therefore safe. This is a dangerous simplification. Some herbal medicines are associated with toxicity others interact with synthetic drugs. The often under-regulated quality of herbal medicines amounts to another safety issue. Contamination or adulteration of herbal medicines are possible and can cause harm. In order to conduct a risk-benefit analysis of a specific herbal medicine for a specific indication, we require definitive efficacy and safety data. This is currently the case for only very few such preparations. It follows that, in order to advise consumers responsibly, the gaps in our present knowledge require filling.

5. Reduced risk of side effects

Most herbal medicines are well tolerated by the patient, with fewer unintended consequences than pharmaceutical drugs. Herbs typically have fewer side effects than traditional medicine, and may be safer to use over time. While the side effects of any herbal medication depend on the drug in question, many have fewer side effects than conventional medicine.

6. Effectives with chronic conditions

Herbal medicines tend to be more effective for long-standing health complaints that don’t respond well to traditional medicine. One example is the herbs and alternative remedies used to treat arthritis. Vioxx, a well-known prescription drug used to treat arthritis, was recalled due to increased risk of cardiovascular complications. Alternative treatments for arthritis, on the other hand, have few side effects. Such treatments include dietary changes like adding simple herbs, eliminating vegetables from the nightshade family and reducing white sugar consumption.

7. Lower cost

Another advantage to herbal medicine is cost. Herbs cost much less than prescription medications. Research, testing, and marketing add considerably to the cost of prescription medicines. Herbs tend to be inexpensive compared to drugs.

8. Widespread availability

Yet another advantage of herbal medicines are their availability. Herbs are available without a prescription. You can grow some simple herbs, such as peppermint and chamomile, at home. In some remote parts of the world, herbs may be the only treatment available to the majority of people.

9. There is a choice on how to use them 

Medicinal herbs can be used in a variety of ways, depending on the kind of herb that is to be used. Some herbs can be mixed with food. Some can be made into tea, and there are some that are available in capsule or tablet form.

10. They are good for more than one condition 

Most prescriptive drugs are designed for one specific health problem. By contrast, many herbal medicine act on several parts of the body at once. For example Ginko (Ginko biloba) is good for circulatory disorders, but it also helps enhance memory.

Other benefits 

  • Time proven – herbal medicine has been with us for millennia
  • Natural, non-toxic when taken as prescribed by a qualified herbalist – our bodies comfortably metabolise plants and plant extracts
  • Holistic – treats the whole person; physical, mental, emotional and spiritual
  • Safe and gentle – but at the same time powerful and effective
  • Uses natural plant extracts – innate synergy and balance
  • Multidisciplinary – combines study of western medicine, anatomy, physiology, pathology, herbalism, phyto-chemistry, nutrition, traditional medicines….
  • Uniquely tailored to each patient – diagnostic approach based on specific individual constitution
  • Not big business – you can’t patent herbs or traditional knowledge!
    – But many synthetic drugs are based on altered herb-extracts
    – However this loses the natural balance – dose sensitivity / side-effects increase
  • Alive, widespread, and vibrant
    – The majority of the world’s population still relies on herbal medicine as its primary form of treatment
    – Every known culture that has existed on this planet has used herbal medicine

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Click here for Top herbs used in medicines –

 

1. Raw Garlic

Garlic contains vital nutrients, including flavonoids, oligosaccharides, selenium, allicin and high levels of sulfur. Consuming cooked or raw garlic, by adding it to food or taking a capsule, can help treat diabetes, fight inflammation, boost the immune system, regulate blood pressure, fight cardiovascular disease, relieve allergies, fight fungal and viral infections, and improve hair loss.

Studies show an inverse correlation between garlic consumption and progress of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Research published in the Journal of Nutrition shows that garlic reduces cholesterol, inhibits platelet clustering, reduces blood pressure and increases antioxidant status.

2. Ginger

Ginger is the most widely used dietary condiment in the world today. The therapeutic benefits of ginger come from gingerols, the oily resin from the root that acts as a highly potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Gingerol, among other bioactive agents present in ginger, are able to relieve indigestion and nausea, boost immune and respiratory function, fight bacterial and fungal infections, treat stomach ulcers, reduce pain, improve diabetes, prevent malabsorption, and may even inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

According to a 2013 review of evidence published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, the anticancer potential of ginger is well-documented, and its functional ingredients like gingerols, shogaol and paradols are the valuable ingredients that can prevent various cancers. Researchers also found that ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties for controlling the aging process.

There are several ways to use ginger. It can be eaten raw, taken in powder or supplement form, consumed in liquid form by making a tea, or used topically in oil form.

3. Turmeric

Turmeric is a plant that has a very long history of medicinal use, dating back nearly 4,000 years. Modern medicine has begun to recognize its importance, as indicated by the over 3,000 publications dealing with turmeric. This powerful plant can be added to any recipe or taken as a supplement. There are a range of turmeric benefits, including its ability to slow and prevent blood clotting, fight depression, reduce inflammation, relieve arthritis pain, manage diabetes, treat gastrointestinal issues, regulate cholesterol, and fight cancer.

Several studies indicate that turmeric has potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antimicrobial and anticancer properties. As an antioxidant, turmeric extracts can scavenge free radicals, increase antioxidant enzymes and inhibit lipid peroxidation.

 4. Ginseng

Ginseng is one of the most popular herbal medicines in the world, and it’s been used in Asia and North American for centuries. Native Americans used the root as a stimulant and headache remedy, as well as a treatment for infertility, fever and indigestion, for instance.

A study done at the Brain Performance and Nutrition Research Centre in the U.K. was conducted to gather data about ginseng’s benefits and its ability to improve mood and mental function. It involved 30 volunteers who were given three rounds of treatments of ginseng and a placebo, and the results found that 200 milligrams of ginseng for eight days slowed the fall in mood but also slowed the participants’ response to mental arithmetic. The 400-milligram dose improved calmness and improved mental arithmetic for the duration of the eight-day treatment.

Ginseng is also used to reduce stress, help with weight loss, treat sexual dysfunction, improve lung function, lower blood sugar levels, boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. Ginseng is available in dried, powdered, tea, capsule and tablet forms.

5. Milk Thistle

Milk thistle extracts have been used as traditional herbal medicine remedies for almost 2,000 years. Milk thistle contains high levels of lipophilic extracts from the seeds of the plant, which act as bioflavonoids that increase immunity and slow down oxidative stress. The herb is also used for its anti-inflammatory properties. It can aid digestive function, increase bile production, boost skin health, fight the appearance of aging, lower cholesterol levels and help detoxify the body.

A review of clinical trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of milk thistle found that the herb has protective effects in certain types of cancer, and data shows it can also be used for patients with liver diseases, hepatitis C, HIV, diabetes and hypercholesterolemia. Milk thistle extracts, which are commonly sold in capsules, are also known to be safe and well-tolerated.

6. Feverfew

For centuries, feverfew has been used for fevers, headaches, stomachaches, toothaches, insect bites, infertility, and problems with menstruation and labor during childbirth. Feverfew’s pain-easing effect is said to come from a biochemical called parthenolides, which combats the widening of blood vessels that occurs in migraines. The herb is also used to prevent dizziness, relieve allergies, reduce arthritis pain and prevent blood clots.

Several impressive human studies show the positive effects of using feverfew to prevent and treat migraines. A systematic review completed by the School of Postgraduate Medicine and Health Science in the U.K. compared the results of six studies. Researchers found that feverfew is indeed effective in the prevention of migraine headaches and does not pose any major safely concerns.

Feverfew is available in capsule form, as tablets and liquid extract. Supplements should be standardized to contain at least 0.2 percent parthenolide. The leaves of feverfew can be used to make tea, but they have a bitter taste and may be irritate the mouth.

7. St. John’s Wort

St. john’s wort is a flowering plan in the family Hypericaceae. St. John’s wort has been used as a medicinal herb for its antidepressant and anti-inflammatory properties for over 2,000 years. It produces dozens of biologically active substances, but hypericin and hyperforin have the greatest medical activity. St. John’s wort uses come from its antidepressant activity, ability to relieve PMS symptoms, improve mood during menopause, fight inflammation, relieve skin irritations and improve symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder.

8. Ginkgo Biloba ( Maidenhair Tree )

Ginkgo biloba, which is also known as maidenhair, is an ancient plant extract that has been used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to heal various health ailments for thousands of years. Current research shows that it’s linked to improvements in cognitive function. When researchers from Beijing University of Chinese Medicine reviewed evidence from 14 randomized controlled trials involving brain injury patients, it reported that ginkgo biloba extract had positive effects on patients’ neurological impairment and quality of life in nine of the trials.

Other ginkgo biloba benefits include its ability to improve concentration and memory, reduce the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, fight anxiety and depression, help maintain vision and eye health, relieve ADHD symptoms, improve libido, and fight fibromyalgia.

9. Saw Palmetto

Saw palmetto is an extract of the fruit of the saw palmetto. Its supplements are some of the most commonly consumed supplements by men with prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia. Saw palmetto has been shown to slow the production of the enzyme 5-alpha reductase, which converts the male hormone testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a sex steroid and androgen hormone. While DHT is important because it plays a role in male development, it also contributes to many common health issues in men, such as loss of libido, an enlarged prostate and hair loss.

Aside from its ability to relieve conditions triggered by DHT, saw palmetto is also known to fight inflammation, boost immune function, treat respiratory conditions and promote relaxation.

10. Aloe Vera

In traditional Indian medicine, aloe vera is used for constipation, skin diseases, worm infestation, infections and as a natural remedy for colic. In Chinese medicine, it’s often recommended in the treatment of fungal diseases, and in the Western world, it has found widespread use in the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industries. Aloe vera is considered to be the most biologically active of the aloe species; astonishingly, more than 75 potentially active components have been identified in the plant, including vitamins, minerals, saccharides, amino acids, anthraquinones, enzymes, lignin, saponins and salicylic acids. It provides 20 of the 22 human-required amino acids and all eight of the essential amino acids.

Studies have proved the antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antifungal properties of aloe vera. The plant has also proved to be non-allergic and very good in building up the immune system. One study reported in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences found that 30 milliliters of aloe vera juice twice a day decreased the level of discomfort in 33 patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Flatulence also decreased for the participants, but stool consistence, urgency and frequency remained the same.

Other aloe vera benefits include its ability to soothe rashes and skin irritations; treat burns and cold sores; moisturize the skin, hair and scalp; provide antioxidants; and reduce inflammation. Aloe vera can be used topically or orally, and it’s available in most health food stores.

11. Peppermint

Peppermint offers benefits to the respiratory system, including for coughs, colds, asthma, allergies, and tuberculosis. In terms of digestive health, peppermint oil capsules have been described as “the drug of first choice” in IBS patients, and peppermint oil is an effective alternative to drugs like Buscopan for reducing colonic spasms.

It may also relax the muscles of your intestines, allowing gas to pass and easing abdominal pain. Try peppermint oil or leaves added to tea for gas relief. Inhaling the peppermint aroma may offer memory enhancement and stress relief, and peppermint oil acts as an expectorant and decongestant, and may help clear your respiratory tract.

12. Lavender 

lavender Oil has a chemically complex structure with over 150 active constituents. This oil is rich in esters, which are aromatic molecules with antispasmodic (suppressing spasms and pain), calming, and stimulating properties. The chief botanical constituents of lavender oil are linalyl acetate, linalool (a non-toxic terpene alcohol that has natural germicidal properties), terpinen-4-ol, and camphor. Other constituents in lavender oil that are responsible for its antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties include cis-ocimene, lavandulyl acetate, 1,8-cineole, limonene, and geraniol.

Lavender oil is known for its calming and relaxing properties, and has been used aroma therapeutically for alleviating insomnia, anxiety, depression, restlessness, dental anxiety, and stress. It has also been proven effective for nearly all kinds of ailments, from pain to infections.

13. Chamomile 

Chamomile is most popular in tea form for use to calm upset stomach and help support restful sleep. Germany’s Commission E (a government organization) has even approved the use of chamomile for reducing swelling on your skin and fighting bacteria. Chamomile is a powerful anti-inflammatory that also has antibacterial, anti-spasmodic, anti-allergenic, muscle relaxant, and sedative properties. It is used to treat psoriasis, eczema, chickenpox, diaper rash, slow-healing wounds, abscesses, and gum inflammation.

14. Dandelion

This flowering plant has traditionally been used as a liver tonic, useful for detoxification and improving liver function. Dandelion is known as a stimulant that is typically used for kidney and liver disorders. It is also traditionally used to reduce the side effects of prescription drugs, as well as to treat infections, gallbladder problems, water retention and swelling. Dandelion greens, which you can prepare simply by blanching them in boiling water for 20 seconds to help remove their bitter flavor (they can also be added to vegetable juice), contain many nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, calcium, iron, potassium, and manganese. They are a particularly good source of vitamin A and may also have cancer-fighting properties.

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Click here for List of Plants used for herbal medicines

 

Modern medicine now tends to use the active ingredients of plants rather than the whole plants. The phytochemicals may be synthesized, compounded or otherwise transformed to make pharmaceuticals. Examples of such derivatives include digoxin, from digitalis; capsaicine, from chili; and aspirin, which is chemically related to the salicylic acid found in white willow. The opium poppy continues to be a major industrial source of opiates, including morphine. Few traditional remedies, however, have translated into modern drugs, although there is continuing research into the efficacy and possible adaptation of traditional herbal treatments.

Following is a list of plants used or formerly used as herbal medicine  –

      Scientific Name Common Name                                                    Description
Achillea millefolium Common yarrow Purported to be a diaphoretic, astringent, tonic, stimulant and mild aromatic.
Actaea racemosa Black cohosh Historically used for arthritis and muscle pain, used more recently for conditions related to menopause and menstruation.
Ageratina altissima White snakeroot Root tea has been used to treat diarrhea, kidney stones, and fever. A root poultice can be used on snakebites.
Alcea rosea Common hollyhock Believed to be an emollient and laxative. It is used to control inflammation, to stop bedwetting and as a mouthwash in cases of bleeding gums.
Alisma plantago-aquatica Water-plantain Used for the urinary tract.
Allium sativum Garlic Widely used as an antibiotic and, more recently, for treating cardiovascular disease Garlic is a monoamine oxidase inhibitor and has antidepressant-like effects on mice so might be used as a herbal antidepressant or anxiolytic in humans.
Aloe vera Aloe vera Leaves are widely used to heal burns, wounds and other skin ailments.
Althaea officinalis Marsh-mallow Used for over 2,000 years as both a food and a medicine
Amorphophallus konjac Konjac Significant dietary source of glucomannan, which is used in treating obesity, constipation, and reducing cholesterol.
Anemone hepatica Common hepatica Historically used to treat liver diseases, it is still used in alternative medicine today. Other modern applications by herbalists include treatments for pimples, bronchitis and gout.
Angelica sinensis Dong quai Used for thousands of years in Asia, primarily in women’s health.
Arctium lappa Burdock Used traditionally as a diuretic and to lower blood sugar and, in traditional Chinese medicine as a treatment for sore throat and symptoms of the common cold.
Astragalus propinquus Astragalus Long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to strengthen the immune system, and is used in modern China to treat hepatitis and as an adjunctive therapy in cancer.
Atropa belladonna Belladonna Although toxic, was used historically in Italy by women to enlarge their pupils, as well as a sedative, among other uses. The name itself means “beautiful woman” in Italian.
Azadirachta indica Neem Used in India to treat worms, malaria, rheumatism and skin infections among many other things. Its many uses have led to neem being called “the village dispensary” in India.
Berberis vulgaris Barberry Long history of medicinal use, dating back to the Middle Ages particularly among Native Americans. Uses have included skin ailments, scurvy and gastro-intestinal ailments.
Borago officinalis Borage Used in hyperactive gastrointestinal, respiratory and cardiovascular disorders, such as gastrointestinal (colic, cramps, diarrhea), airways (asthma, bronchitis), cardiovascular, (cardiotonic, antihypertensive and blood purifier), urinary (diuretic and kidney/bladder disorders).
Calendula officinalis Marigold Also named calendula, has a long history of use in treating wounds and soothing skin
Cannabis Cannabis Used worldwide since ancient times as treatment for various conditions and ailments including pain, inflammation, gastrointestinal issues such as IBS, muscle relaxation, anxiety, Alzheimer’s and dementia, ADHD, autism, cancer, cerebral palsy, recurring headaches, Crohn’s disease, depression, epilepsy, glaucoma, insomnia, and neuropathy among others.
Capsicum annuum Cayenne Type of chili that has been used as both food and medicine for thousands of years. Uses have included reducing pain and swelling, lowering triglyceride and cholesterol levels and fighting viruses and harmful bacteria, due to high levels of Vitamin C.
Capsicum frutescens Chili Its active ingredient, capsaicine, is the basic of commercial pain-relief ointments in Western medicine. The low incidence of heart attack in Thais may be related to capsaicine’s fibronolytic action (dissolving blood clots).
Carica papaya Papaya Used for treating wounds and stomach troubles.
Cassia occidentalis Coffee senna Used in a wide variety of roles in traditional medicine, including in particular as a broad-spectrum internal and external antimicrobial, for liver disorders, for intestinal worms and other parasites and as an immune-system stimulant.
Cayaponia espelina São Caetano melon It is a diuretic and aid in the treatment of diarrhea and syphilis.
Centaurea cyanus Cornflower In herbalism, a decoction of cornflower is effective in treating conjunctivitis and as a wash for tired.
Chrysopogon zizanioides Vetiver Used for skin care.
Cissampelos pareira Velvetleaf Used for a wide variety of conditions.
Citrus × aurantium Bitter orange Used in traditional Chinese medicine and by indigenous peoples of the Amazon for nausea, indigestion and constipation.
Citrus limon Lemon Along with other citruses, it has a long history of use in Chinese and Indian traditional medicine. In contemporary use, honey and lemon is common for treating coughs and sore throat.
Citrus trifoliata Trifoliate orange, bitter orange Fruits of Citrus trifoliata are widely used in Oriental medicine as a treatment for allergic inflammation.
Cnicus benedictus Blessed thistle Used during the Middle Ages to treat bubonic plague. In modern times, herbal teas made from blessed thistle are used for loss of appetite, indigestion and other purposes.
Crataegus monogyna and Crataegus laevigata Hawthorn Fruit has been used for centuries for heart disease. Other uses include digestive and kidney related problems.
Curcuma longa Turmeric Spice that lends its distinctive yellow color to Indian curries, has long been used in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine to aid digestion and liver function, relieve arthritis pain, and regulate menstruation.
Cypripedium parviflorum Yellow lady’s slipper The Cypripedium species have been used in native remedies for dermatitis, tooth aches, anxiety, headaches, as an antispasmodic, stimulant and sedative.
Echinacea purpurea Purple coneflower This plant and other species of Echinacea have been used for at least 400 years by Native Americans to treat infections and wounds, and as a general “cure-all” (panacea). It is currently used for symptoms associated with cold and flu
Equisetum arvense Horsetail Dates back to ancient Roman and Greek medicine, when it was used to stop bleeding, heal ulcers and wounds, and treat tuberculosis and kidney problems.
Eriodictyon crassifolium Yerba Santa Used by the Chumash people to keep airways open for proper breathing.
Eschscholzia californica Californian poppy Used as an herbal remedy: an aqueous extract of the plant has sedative and anxiolytic actions.
Eucalyptus globulus Eucalyptus Leaves were widely used in traditional medicine as a febrifuge. Eucalyptus oil is commonly used in over-the-counter cough and cold medications, as well as for an analgesic.
Euphorbia hirta Asthma-plant Used traditionally in Asia to treat bronchitic asthma and laryngeal spasm. It is used in the Philippines for dengue fever.
Ferula assa-foetida Asafoetida Might be useful for IBS, high cholesterol, and breathing problems.
Frangula alnus Alder buckthorn Bark (and to a lesser extent the fruit) has been used as a laxative, due to its 3 – 7% anthraquinone content. Bark for medicinal use is dried and stored for a year before use, as fresh bark is violently purgative; even dried bark can be dangerous if taken in excess.
Fumaria officinalis Fumitory Traditionally thought to be good for the eyes and to remove skin blemishes. In modern times herbalists use it to treat skin diseases and conjunctivitis, as well as to cleanse the kidneys. However, Howard (1987) warns that fumitory is poisonous and should only be used under the direction of a medical herbalist.
Geranium robertianum Robert geranium In traditional herbalism, it was used as a remedy for toothache and nosebleeds and as a vulnerary (used for or useful in healing wounds).
Ginkgo biloba Ginkgo The leaf extract has been used to treat asthma, bronchitis, fatigue, Alzheimer’s and tinnitus.
Glechoma hederacea Ground-ivy It has been used as a “lung herb”. Other traditional uses include as an expectorant, astringent, and to treat bronchitis. The essential oil of the plant has been used for centuries as a general tonic for colds and coughs, and to relieve congestion of the mucous membranes.
Glycyrrhiza glabra Licorice root It has a long history of medicinal usage in Eastern and Western medicine. Uses include stomach ulcers, bronchitis, and sore throat, as well as infections caused by viruses, such as hepatitis.
Hamamelis virginiana Common witch-hazel It produces a specific kind of tannins called hamamelitannins. One of those substances displays a specific cytotoxic activity against colon cancer cells.
Hippophae rhamnoides Sea buckthorn The leaves are used as herbal medicine to alleviate cough and fever, pain, and general gastrointestinal disorders as well as to cure dermatologic disorders. Similarly, the fruit juice and oils can be used in the treatment of liver disease, gastrointestinal disorders, chronic wounds or other dermatological disorders.
Hoodia gordonii Hoodia The plant is traditionally used by Kalahari San(Bushmen) to reduce hunger and thirst. It is currently marketed as an appetite suppressant.
Hydrastis canadensis Goldenseal It was used traditionally by Native Americans to treat skin diseases, ulcers, and gonorrhea. More recently, the herb has been used to treat the respiratory tractand a number of other infections.
Hypericum perforatum St. John’s wort Widely used within herbalism for depression. Evaluated for use as an antidepressant, but with ambiguous results.
Hyssopus officinalis Hyssop It is used for digestive and intestinal problems including liver and gallbladder conditions, intestinal pain, intestinal gas, colic, and loss of appetite. It is also used for respiratory problems including coughs, the common cold, respiratory infections, sore throat, and asthma.
Ilex paraguariensis Yerba mate It has been claimed to have various effects on human health and these effects have been attributed to the high quantity of polyphenols found in mate tea. Mate contains compounds that act as an appetite suppressant, increases mental energy and focus,and improves mood. Yerba mate also contains elements such as potassium, magnesium, and manganese.
Illicium verum Star anise It is the major source of the chemical compound shikimic acid, a primary precursor in the pharmaceutical synthesis of anti-influenza drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu).
Inula helenium Elecampane It is used in herbal medicine as an expectorant and for water retention.
Jasminum officinale Jasmine It is used in dermatology as either an antiseptic or anti-inflammatory agent.
Knautia arvensis Field scabious The whole plant is astringent and mildly diuretic. An infusion is used internally as a blood purifier and externally for treating cuts, burns and bruises.
Laurus nobilis Bay laurel Aqueous extracts of bay laurel can be used as astringents and even as a reasonable salve for open wounds. In massage therapy, the essential oil of bay laurel is reputed to alleviate arthritis and rheumatism, while in aromatherapy it is used to treat earaches and high blood pressure.
Lavandula angustifolia Lavender It was traditionally used as an antiseptic and for mental health purposes. It was also used in ancient Egypt in mummifying bodies. There is little scientific evidence that lavender is effective for most mental health uses.
Lawsonia inermis Henna The plants exhibits potential antibacterial activity. The alcoholic extract of the root has antibacterial activity due to the presence of flavonoid and alkaloids. Henna is also thought to show anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, and analgesic effects in experimental animals.
Leucojum aestivum Summer snowflake It is known to contain Galantamine (Nivalin, Razadyne, Razadyne ER, Reminyl, Lycoremine in pharmaceutical format). It is used for the treatment of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease and various other memory impairments, in particular those of vascular origin.
Linum usitatissimum Flaxseed The plant is most commonly used as a laxative. Flaxseed oil is used for different conditions, including arthritis.
Magnolia officinalis Magnolia-bark The bark contains magnolol and honokiol, two polyphenolic compounds. Preclinical studies have evaluated their various potential applications including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, and antimicrobial properties.
Malva sylvestris Mallow The seeds are used internally in a decoction or herbal tea as a demulcent and diuretic, and the leaves made into poultices as an emollient for external applications.
Matricaria recutita and Anthemis nobilis Chamomile It has been used over thousands of years for a variety of conditions, including sleeplessness, anxiety, and gastrointestinal conditions such as upset stomach, gas, and diarrhea.
Medicago sativa Alfalfa The leaves are used to lower cholesterol, as well as forum kidney and urinary tract ailments, although there is insufficient scientific evidence for its efficacy.
Melaleuca alternifolia Tea tree oil It has been used medicinally for centuries by Australian aboriginal people. Modern usage is primarily as an antibacterial or antifungal agent.
Melissa officinalis Lemon balm It is used as a sleep aid and digestive aid.
Mentha x piperita Peppermint Its oil, from a cross between water mint and spearmint, has a history of medicinal use for a variety of conditions, including nausea, indigestion, and symptoms of the common cold.
Mitragyna speciosa Kratom Kratom is known to prevent or delay withdrawal symptoms in an opioid-dependent individual, and it is often used to mitigate cravings thereafter. It can also be used for other medicinal purposes. Kratom has been traditionally used in regions such as Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia.
Momordica charantia Bitter melon The plant is used as an agent to reduce the blood glucose level.
Morinda citrifolia Noni It has a history of use as for joint pain and skin conditions.
Moringa oleifera Drumstick tree It is used for food and traditional medicine. It is undergoing preliminary research to investigate potential properties of its nutrients and phytochemicals
Nasturtium officinale Watercress It may be diuretic and antibacterial.
Nelumbo nucifera Lotus Sacred lotus has been the subject of a number of in-vitro and animal studies, exploring its pharmacologic effects, including antioxidant, hepatoprotective, immunomodulatory, anti-infective, hyperlipidemic, and psychopharmacologic activity although clinical trials are lacking.
Nigella sativa Nigella, black-caraway, black-cumin, and kalonji It has efficacy as a therapy, mainly using the seed oilextract, volatile oil, and isolated constituent thymoquinone. One meta-analysis of clinical trials concluded that N. sativa has a short-term benefit on lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
Ocimum tenuiflorum Tulsi or Holy Basil It is used for a variety of purposes in medicine tulasi is taken in many forms: as herbal tea, dried powder, fresh leaf or mixed with ghee. Essential oil extracted from Karpoora tulasi is mostly used for medicinal purposes and in herbal cosmetics.
Oenothera Evening primrose Its oil has been used since the 1930s for eczema, and more recently as an anti-inflammatory.
Origanum vulgare Oregano Used as an abortifacient in folk medicine in some parts of Bolivia and other northwestern South American countries, though no evidence of efficacy exists in Western medicine. Hippocrates used oregano as an antiseptic, as well as a cure for stomach and respiratory ailments. A Cretan oregano (O. dictamnus) is still used today in Greece as a palliative for sore throat. Evidence of efficacy in this matter is lacking.
Papaver somniferum Opium poppy The plant is the plant source of morphine, used for painrelief. Morphine made from the refined and modified sap is used for pain control in terminally ill patients. Dried sap was used as a traditional medicine until the 19th century.[citation needed]
Passiflora Passion flower Thought to have anti-depressant properties. Unknown MOA. Used in traditional medicine to aid with sleep or depression.
Pelargonium sidoides Umckaloabo, or South African Geranium It is used in treating acute bronchitis
Piper methysticum Kava The plant has been used for centuries in the South Pacific to make a ceremonial drink with sedative and anesthetic properties. It is used as a soporific, as well as for asthma and urinary tract infection
Piscidia erythrina / Piscidia piscipula Jamaica dogwood The plant is used in traditional medicine for the treatment of insomnia and anxiety, despite serious safety concerns. A 2006 study suggested medicinal potential.
Plantago lanceolata Plantain It is used frequently in herbal teas and other herbal remedies.  A tea from the leaves is used as a highly effective cough medicine. In the traditional Austrian medicine Plantago lanceolata leaves have been used internally (as syrup or tea) or externally (fresh leaves) for treatment of disorders of the respiratory tract, skin, insect bites, and infections.
Platycodon grandiflorus Platycodon, balloon flower The extracts and purified platycoside compounds (saponins) from the roots may exhibit neuroprotective, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-allergy, improved insulin resistance, and cholesterol-lowering properties.
Polemonium reptans Abscess root It is used to reduce fever, inflammation, and cough.
Psidium guajava Guava It has a rich history of use in traditional medicine. It is traditionally used to treat diarrhea; however, evidence of its effectiveness is very limited.
Ptelea trifoliata Wafer Ash The root bark is used for the digestive system. Also known as hoptree.
Quassia amara Amargo, bitter-wood A 2012 study found a topical gel with 4% Quassia extract to be a safe and effective cure of rosacea.
Reichardia tingitana False sowthistle Uses in folk medicine have been recorded in the Middle East, its leaves being used to treat ailments such as constipation, colic and inflamed eyes.
Rosa majalis Cinnamon rose It yields edible hip fruits rich in vitamin C, which are used in medicine and to produce rose hip syrup.
Rosmarinus officinalis Rosemary It has been used medicinally from ancient times.
Ruellia tuberosa Minnieroot, fever root, snapdragon root In folk medicine and Ayurvedic medicine it has been used as a diuretic, anti-diabetic, antipyretic, analgesic, antihypertensive, gastroprotective, and to treat gonorrhea.
Rumex crispus Curly dock or yellow dock In Western herbalism the root is often used for treating anemia, due to its high level of iron. The plant will help with skin conditions if taken internally or applied externally to things like itching, scrofula, and sores. It is also used for respiratory conditions, specifically those with a tickling cough that is worse when exposed to cold air. It mentions also passing pains, excessive itching, and that it helps enlarged lymphs.
Salix alba White willow Plant source of salicylic acid, white willow is like the chemical known as aspirin, although more likely to cause stomach upset as a side effect than aspirin itself which can cause the lining in your stomach to be destroyed. Used from ancient times for the same uses as aspirin.
Salvia officinalis Sage Shown to improve cognitive function in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease
Sambucus nigra Elderberry The berries and leaves have traditionally been used to treat pain, swelling, infections, coughs, and skin conditions and, more recently, flu, common cold, fevers, constipation, and sinus infections.
Santalum album Indian sandalwood Sandalwood oil has been widely used in folk medicine for treatment of common colds, bronchitis, skin disorders, heart ailments, general weakness, fever, infection of the urinary tract, inflammation of the mouth and pharynx, liver and gallbladder complaints and other maladies.
Santolina chamaecyparissus Cotton lavender Most commonly, the flowers and leaves are made into a decoction used to expel intestinal parasites.
Saraca indica Ashoka tree The plant is used in Ayurvedic traditions to treat gynecological disorders. The bark is also used to combat oedema or swelling.
Satureja hortensis Summer savory Its extracts show antibacterial and antifungal effects on several species including some of the antibiotic resistant strains.
Sceletium tortuosum Kanna African treatment for depression. Suggested to be an SSRI or have similar effects, but unknown mechanism of activity.
Senna auriculata Avaram senna The root is used in decoctions against fevers, diabetes, diseases of urinary system and constipation. The leaves have laxative properties. The dried flowers and flower buds are used as a substitute for tea in case of diabetes patients. The powdered seed is also applied to the eye, in case of chronic purulent conjunctivitis.
Sesuvium portulacastrum Shoreline purslane The plant extract showed antibacterial and anticandidal activities and moderate antifungal activity.
Silybum marianum Milk thistle It has been used for thousands of years for a variety of medicinal purposes, in particular liver problems.
Stachytarpheta cayennensis Blue snakeweed Extracts of the plant are used to ease the symptoms of malaria. The boiled juice or a tea made from the leaves or the whole plant is taken to relieve fever and other symptoms. It is also used for dysentery, pain, and liverdisorders. A tea of the leaves is taken to help control diabetes in Peru and other areas.Laboratory tests indicate that the plant has anti-inflammatory properties.
Stellaria media Common chickweed It has been used as a remedy to treat itchy skin conditions and pulmonary diseases. 17th century herbalist John Gerard recommended it as a remedy for mange. Modern herbalists prescribe it for iron-deficiency anemia (for its high iron content), as well as for skin diseases, bronchitis, rheumatic pains, arthritis and period pain.
Strobilanthes callosus Karvy The plant is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-rheumatic.
Syzygium aromaticum Clove The plant is used for upset stomach and as an expectorant, among other purposes. The oil is used topically to treat toothache.
Tanacetum parthenium Feverfew The plant has been used for centuries for fevers, headaches, stomach aches, toothaches, insect bites and other conditions.
Taraxacum officinale Dandelion It was most commonly used historically to treat liver diseases, kidney diseases, and spleen problems.
Teucrium scordium Water germander It has been used for asthma, diarrhea, fever, intestinal parasites, hemorrhoids, and wounds.
Thymus vulgaris Thyme The plant is used to treat bronchitis and cough. It serves as an antispasmodic and expectorant in this role. It has also been used in many other medicinal roles in Asian and Ayurvedic medicine, although it has not been shown to be effective in non-respiratory medicinal roles.
Tilia cordata Small-leaved linden In the countries of Central, Southern and Western Europe, linden flowers are a traditional herbal remedy made into an herbal tea called tisane.
Trema orientalis Charcoal-tree The leaves and the bark are used to treat coughs, sore throats, asthma, bronchitis, gonorrhea, yellow fever, toothache, and as an antidote to general poisoning.
Trigonella foenum-graecum Fenugreek It has long been used to treat symptoms of menopause, and digestive ailments. More recently, it has been used to treat diabetes, loss of appetite and other conditions
Triticum aestivum Wheatgrass It may contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.
Turnera subulata White buttercup It is used for skin, gastrointestinal, and respiratory ailments. Laboratory tests showed it has some inhibitory activity against various fungi, such as Candida glabrata, Aspergillus flavus, A. niger, A. fumigatus, Penicillium chrysogenum, and Candida albicans.
Uncaria tomentosa Cat’s claw It has a long history of use in South America to prevent and treat disease.
Urtica dioica Common nettle, stinging nettle It has been used in the traditional Austrian medicine internally (as tea or fresh leaves) to treat disorders of the kidneys and urinary tract, gastrointestinal tract, locomotor system, skin, cardiovascular system, hemorrhage, influenza, rheumatism, and gout.
Vaccinium macrocarpon Cranberry It was used historically as a vulnerary and for urinary disorders, diarrhea, diabetes, stomach ailments, and liver problems. Modern usage has concentrated on urinary tract related problems.
Vaccinium myrtillus Bilberry It is used to treat diarrhea, scurvy, and other conditions.
Vaccinium spec. Blueberries They are of current medical interest as an antioxidant and for urinary tract ailments.
Valeriana officinalis Valerian It has been used since at least ancient Greece and Rome for sleep disorders and anxiety.
Verbascum thapsus Common mullein It contains glycyrrhizin compounds with bactericide and potential anti-tumoral action. These compounds are concentrated in the flowers.
Verbena officinalis Verbena It is used for sore throats and respiratory tract diseases.
Vernonia amygdalina Bitter leaf The plant is used by both primates and indigenous peoples in Africa to treat intestinal ailments such as dysentery.
Veronica officinalis Veronica The plant is used for sinus and ear infections.
Viburnum tinus Laurustinus V. tinus has medicinal properties. The active ingredients are viburnin (a substance or more probably a mixture of compounds) and tannins. Tannins can cause stomach upset. The leaves when infused have antipyretic properties. The fruits have been used as purgatives against constipation. The tincture has been used lately in herbal medicine as a remedy for depression. The plant also contains iridoidglucosides.
Viola tricolor Wild pansy It is one of many viola plant species containing cyclotides. These small peptides have proven to be useful in drug development due to their size and structure giving rise to high stability. Many cyclotides, found in Viola tricolor are cytotoxic. This feature means that it could be used to treat cancers
Viscum album European mistletoe It has been used to treat seizures, headaches, and other conditions.
Vitex agnus-castus Chasteberry It has been used for over thousands of years for menstrual problems, and to stimulate lactation.
Vitis vinifera Grape The leaves and fruit have been used medicinally since the ancient Greeks.
Withania somnifera Ashwagandha The plant’s long, brown, tuberous roots are used in traditional medicine. In Ayurveda, the berries and leaves are applied externally to tumors, tubercular glands, carbuncles, and ulcers.
Xanthoparmelia scabrosa n.n It is a lichen used for sexual dysfunction.
Youngia japonica Japanese hawkweed The plant is antitussive and febrifuge. It is also used in the treatment of boils and snakebites.
Zingiber officinale Ginger The plant is used to relieve nausea.

Image result for images of plants of herbal

How to use Medicinal Plants – 

  1. Learn to identify three medicinal plants you don’t already know that grow in your region and learn their uses.
  2. Add at least one of these herbs to your garden or to pots on your windowsill.
  3. Make a tincture, tea, syrup, or salve. Or make one of each!
  4. Harvest and dry mint, lemon balm, calendula, nettles, or any other plant growing in your region.
  5. Find a plant to sit with quietly each morning for a week; draw the plant.
  6. Identify one healing skill you would like to have but don’t, and find a way to learn it—perhaps by taking an herb or aromatherapy class.
  7. Make an herbal first aid kit.
  8. Organize local healers for emergency response in your community.
  9. With medicinal plants grown in your region, learn how to treat one condition that you and/or someone in your family struggles with.

Final Thoughts on Herbal Medicine

  • Natural planet products have been used throughout human history for various purposes. In fact, written records of the use of herbal medicine date back more than 5,000 years.
  • Herbal medicines, or botanicals, are naturally occurring, plant-derived substances that are used to treat illnesses within local or regional healing practices.
  • Today, herbalism is being noticed for focusing on overall wellness and prevention rather than treating a disease or ailment once it arises.
  • Herbal medicine is more cost-effective than modern medicine, it’s easier to obtain and it has several health benefits that are comparable to modern pharmaceuticals.
  • Some of the most well-known and most used herbs include garlic, ginger, turmeric, saw palmetto, St. John’s wort and aloe vera.
  • While research suggests that herbal products have less adverse side effects than conventional medications, it’s important that consumers choose pure, high-quality products. If you’re planning to take herbal products for an extended period of time, see an herbalist or health care provider for guidance.

 

World Health Day

world health day

World Health Day

World Health Day seeks to draw attention to a major global health concern each year. The day attempts to increase awareness about the major health concern and the repercussions of this concern while providing countries and organizations with materials and ideas as to how to best handle these global health concerns.

The World Health Organization (WHO) was founded on April 7, 1948, to better address the needs of global health issues. Every year, the WHO Assembly meets in Geneva, Switzerland to choose a major global health concern and promote it through World Health Day in the hopes of increasing awareness and preventing more cases.  This day is celebrated annually on April 7. It was first celebrated worldwide in the year 1950 as World Health Day. Varieties of events related to the particular themes are organized on the international and national level by the WHO.

WHO is a  vast health organization working under the UN for addressing health issues on a global basis. Since its establishment, it has addressed serious health issues including chickenpox, polio, smallpox, TB, leprosy and etc from various developing countries. It has played a significant role in aiming to make the world a healthy world. It has all the statistics about global health reports.

Primary health-care workers know the traditions, cultures and practices of their communities, making them indispensable especially during outbreak or emergencies.

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Universal Health Coverage: Universal health coverage is WHO’s number one goal. The key to achieving it is ensuring that everyone can obtain the care they need, when they need it, right in the heart of the community. Progress is being made in countries in all regions of the world.

But millions of people still have no access at all to health care. Millions more are forced to choose between health care and other daily expenses such as food, clothing, and even a home.  This is why WHO is focusing on universal health coverage for this year’s World Health Day, on 7 April 2019.

About the campaign – This campaign aims to help people better understand what universal health coverage means – what services and support should be available and where. We will provide visual material that helps people who have access to quality, affordable health care to understand what life is like for people without it and to advocate for equal access to care, everywhere.

Health-care workers will have an important role to play in the campaign, helping decision-makers for health recognize what people need in terms of care, particularly at the primary care level.

The campaign also presents an opportunity for ministers of health and other government decision-makers to commit to taking action to address gaps in universal health coverage in their countries, as well as to highlight the progress that has already been made.

For World Health Day, we will release WHO’s annual publication of health data, the World Health Statistics Report. The report will include information on health trends in specific areas such as newborn and child health, non-communicable diseases, mental health and environmental risks, and also data on universal health coverage and health systems.

Universal Health Coverage – the bigger picture : World Health Day 2019 falls midway between the Global Conference on Primary Health Care held in Astana, Kazakhstan in October 2018 and the High-level Meeting on universal health coverage to be held at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2019. The day is one of many opportunities to communicate about the importance of equity in health-care services, for not only the health of individuals but also for the health of economies and society at large.

Key Messages :

  • Health is a human right; it’s time for health for all.
  • We know universal health coverage is possible, let’s make it happen!
  • Universal health coverage means that all people have access to the quality health services they need, when and where they need them, without financial hardship.
  • At least half of the people in the world do not receive the health services they need.
  • About 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty each year because of out-of-pocket spending on health.
  • But who are these people and how can we help them? To get a better picture of who is missing out, we need data that is broken down by gender, age, income, location, education, and other factors that affect access to health services.
  • Health is a human right; everyone should have the information and services they need to take care of their own health and the health of their families.
  • Quality, accessible primary health care is the foundation for universal health coverage.
  • Unsafe and low-quality health care ruins live and cost the world trillions of dollars every year, we must do more to improve the quality and safety of health services globally.
  • Primary health care should be the first level of contact with the health system, where individuals, families, and communities receive most of their health care—from promotion and prevention to treatment, rehabilitation, and palliative care—as close as possible to where they live and work.
  • At its heart, primary health care is about caring for people and helping them improve their health or maintain their well-being, rather than just treating a single disease or condition.
  • Primary health care covers the majority of your health needs throughout your life including services such as screening for health problems, vaccines, information on how to prevent disease, family planning, treatment for long- and short-term conditions, coordination with other levels of care, and rehabilitation.
  • Primary health care is a cost-effective and equitable way of delivering health services and helping countries make progress towards universal health coverage.
  • A health system with strong primary health care delivers better health outcomes, is cost-efficient, and improves the quality of care.
  • Health workers have a crucial role to play in educating patients on how to take care of their health, coordinating care, and advocating for their patients’ needs to health facility managers and policy-makers.
  • Primary health-care workers have a continuing and trusted relationship with their patients and know their health history; knowing the full picture helps improve their care and saves money.
  • Primary health-care workers know the traditions, cultures, and practices of their communities, making them indispensable during an outbreak or emergency.
  • To make health for all a reality, we need individuals and communities who have access to high-quality health services so that they take care of their own health and the health of their families; skilled health workers providing quality, people-centered care; and policy-makers committed to investing in primary health care.

Primary health care can address the vast majority of people's health needs throughout their lives.

Key Messages  – 

General Public : Health care is your right and the right of your family, let’s tell our leaders all people deserve quality health care. Talk to your local health worker about getting the information and support you need to take care of your own health and the health of your family.

Quality health care is good for our health, good for economies, and good for society. Let’s call on world leaders to make health for all a reality!

Health Workers :  You are the voice for your patients. Unite with your peers and let local leaders know that you support health for all. Health workers have the power to change people’s lives with quality health advice and care. Let’s make sure everyone can access the skills and expertise of health workers like you.

Empower your patients to take care of their own health. You play a vital role in learning about their needs and teaching them what they can do to get and stay healthy.

Policy Makers : Health is a political choice; make sure it is considered in all government policies. More investment in primary health care is needed to make universal health coverage a reality; you can make it happen. This year, commit to gathering better health data so we can target resources and make changes where they are needed most.

Universal health coverage means...

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How?

World Health Day is celebrated worldwide by the government, non-government, NGOs including various health organizations at many places by organizing programs relating to the public health issues and awareness. Participated organizations highlight their activities and support through the media reports by means of press releases, news and etc. Health authorities from different countries take part in the celebration with their pledges in order to support health issues worldwide.

Varieties of activities are done in the conference of health workers to encourage people to maintain their health in the presence of media coverage. Debates on the related topics, art exhibitions, essay writing, competitions, and award ceremony are organized to fulfill the aim of world health day.

WHY ?

World Health Day celebration focuses on increasing life expectancy by adding good health to the lives of people and promoting healthier living habits. Youths of the new era are also targeted by this event to prevent and make them healthy to make the world healthy and free from AIDS and HIV.

Disease spreading vectors like mosquitoes (malaria, dengue fever, filaria, chikungunya, yellow fever and etc), ticks, bugs, sand flies, snails and etc are also spotlighted by the WHO to make the world free from a wide range of diseases caused by parasites and pathogens. It provides better prevention and cure from the vector-borne diseases spread by vectors and travelers from one country to another. WHO supports various health authorities on a global basis to make their own efforts for the public health problems to enhance a better life without any diseases.

Some of the objectives of why it is being celebrated yearly are listed below:

> To increase the public awareness of various causes and prevention of high blood pressure.

> To provide detailed knowledge of getting prevented from various diseases and their complications.

> To encourage the most vulnerable group of people to frequently check their blood pressure and follow medications from the professionals.

> To promote self-care among people.

> To motivate the worldwide health authorities to make their own efforts in creating healthy environments in their country.

> To protect families living in the disease vulnerable areas.

> To teach travelers and send them a message about how to get protected from vector-borne diseases while traveling.

WORLD HEALTH DAY THEMES

> The theme of World Health Day 1950 was “Know your Health Services”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1951 was “Health for your Child and World’s Children”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1952 was “Healthy surroundings make Healthy people”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1953 was “Health is Wealth”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1954 was “The Nurse: Pioneer of Health”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1955 was “Clean water means better Health”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1956 was “Destroy disease-carrying Insects”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1957 was “Food for All”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1958 was “Ten years of Health progress”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1959 was “Mental illness and Mental Health in the World of today”.

>  The theme of World Health Day 1960 was “Malaria eradication – A world challenge”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1961 was “Accidents and their prevention”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1962 was “Preserve sight- prevent Blindness”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1963 was “Hunger= Disease of millions”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1964 was “No Truce for Tuberculosis”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1965 was “Smallpox – constant alert”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1966 was “Man and his Cities”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1967 was “Partners in Health”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1968 was “Health in the World of Tomorrow”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1969 was “Health, Labor and Productivity”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1970 was “Early detection of Cancer saves Life”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1971 was “A full life despite Diabetes”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1972 was “Your Heart is your Health”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1973 was “Health begins at Home”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1974 was “Better food for a healthier World”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1975 was “Smallpox: Point of no return”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1976 was “Foresight Prevents Blindness”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1977 was “Immunize and protect your Child”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1978 was “Down with High Blood pressure”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1979 was “A healthy Child: A sure future”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1980 was “Smoking or Health: Choice is yours”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1981 was “Health for all by the year 2000 AD”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1982 was “Add life to years”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1983 was “Health for all by the year 2000 AD: Countdown has begun”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1984 was “Children’s Health: Tomorrow’s Wealth”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1985 was “Healthy Youth- Our best Resource”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1986 was “Healthy living: Everyone a winner”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1987 was “Immunization: A chance for every Child”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1988 was “Health for All: All for Health”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1989 was “Let’s talk Health”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1990 was “Our Planet our Earth: Think Globally Act Locally”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1991 was “Should Disaster Strike, be prepared”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1992 was “Heartbeat: A rhythm of Health”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1993 was “Handle life with care: Prevent violence and Negligence”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1994 was “Oral Health for a Healthy Life”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1995 was “Global Polio Eradication”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1996 was “Healthy Cities for a better life”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1997 was “Emerging infectious diseases”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1998 was “Safe motherhood”.

> The theme of World Health Day 1999 was “Active aging makes the difference”.

> The theme of World Health Day 2000 was “Safe Blood starts with me”.

> The theme of World Health Day 2001 was “Mental Health: stop exclusion, dare to care”.

> The theme of World Health Day 2002 was “Move for health”.

> The theme of World Health Day 2003 was “Shape the future of life: healthy environments for children”.

> The theme of World Health Day 2004 was “Road safety”.

> The theme of World Health Day 2005 was “Make every mother and child count”.

> The theme of World Health Day 2006 was “Working together for health”.

> The theme of World Health Day 2007 was “International health security”.

> The theme of World Health Day 2008 was “Protecting health from the adverse effects of climate change”.

> The theme of World Health Day 2009 was “Save lives, make hospitals safe in emergencies”.

> The theme of World Health Day 2010 was “Urbanization and health: make cities healthier”.

> The theme of World Health Day 2011 was “Anti-microbial resistance: no action today, no cure tomorrow”.

> The theme of World Health Day 2012 was “Good health adds life to years”.

> The theme of World Health Day 2013 was “Healthy heartbeat, Healthy blood pressure”.

> The theme of World Health Day 2014 was “Vector-borne diseases”.

> The theme of World Health Day 2015 was “Food safety” (with 5 keys; Key 1: Keep clean, Key 2: Separate raw and cooked food, Key 3: Cook food thoroughly, Key 4: Keep food at safe temperatures, Key 5: Use safe water and raw materials).

> The theme of World Health Day 2016 was “Diabetes: Scale up prevention, strengthen care, and enhance surveillance”.

> The theme of World Health Day 2017 was “Depression: Let’s talk”. 

world health day 2019 poster making uhc reality tn

World Health Day top events and things To Do –

  • Get your blood pressure checked! High blood pressure is a silent killer known to massively increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Reduce salt, oil, animal food, and alcohol consumption. Alcohol consumption in large amounts has been associated with an increase in heart diseases, brain damage, cancers, and liver diseases. Salt consumption in large amounts has been associated with heart diseases, decreased brain functions, and kidney problems.
  • Play sports or exercise. Exercise raises the heart rate, burns calories, releases endorphins, and helps lead a healthier lifestyle to combat diseases.
  • Book an appointment for your annual check-up with your family doctor and Dentist.
  • Learn to recognize the symptoms of diabetes. See your doctor and discuss your risk of diabetes.

Throughout 2019 aim is to Inspire, Motivate, and Guide UHC stakeholders to make commitments towards UHC.

  • Inspire—by highlighting policy-makers’ power to transform the health of their nation, framing the challenge as exciting and ambitious, and inviting them to be part of the change.
  • Motivate—by sharing examples of how countries are already progressing towards UHC and encourage others to find their own path.
  • Guide—by providing tools for structured policy dialogue on how to advance UHC domestically or supporting such efforts in other countries (e.g. expanding service coverage, improving quality of services, reducing out-of-pocket payments).

Calling Global Attention –
World Health Day is an international day commemorating the founding of the World Health Organization (WHO), the agency of the United Nations directing international health projects to help all people attain the highest possible level of health. World Health Day has been held every year since 1950. The globally recognized day presents an opportunity to mobilize support for awareness, action, and research on global health priorities.

Good Health and Well-being for all : Half of the world’s population does not have access to essential health services. Half are at risk of malaria. There are close to two million infant deaths a year that could be prevented by expanding access to existing vaccines.

The Preamble of the WHO Constitution defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” and the WHO Constitution claims the highest possible standard of health as a fundamental human right for all people (HealthforAll), deeming the healthy development of children of basic importance.

Health and medical care are often taken for granted in high-income countries. Many sicknesses are easily treated within a week and with a trip to the pharmacy. But in many low-income countries, access to convenient and rapid treatment is not the norm. When families are unable to afford necessary health services, even minor illnesses suddenly become life-threatening, especially for the most vulnerable children.

All children deserve access to the health services necessary to ensure their well-being. Proper health care and treatment are essential for establishing a firm foundation from which children can grow to their fullest potential, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Without proper medical services, a child can get caught in a repetitive cycle of sickness that impedes healthy development.

Ensuring that all children, especially those in low-income countries, are properly treated and cared for from an early age, is a pillar of holistic development. Donating to our Medical Assistance Initiative allows a child to receive preventative health measures and emergency treatment when needed.

When children are healthy, they can participate in life. They are able to play, grow, and learn. They can attend school and church. They can become who God made them be.

Health and Poverty : Health and poverty are closely intertwined. In low-income countries, diseases infect a greater number of people due to inadequate access to sanitation and health service. Illnesses that are treatable and easily managed in high-income countries are still widespread in nations without the ability to provide treatment to all citizens.

Diseases such as AIDS, Ebola, malaria, and tuberculosis are of high concern and consistently kill a large number of people who don’t have access to preventative training and proper treatment. When communities have access to health services, each individual is better protected from the spread of disease.

Even widespread and deadly diseases can be protected against. The World Health organization made history in 1979 when it declared that smallpox had been eradicated. Though a campaign of global cooperation, countries used prevention activities, mass vaccination, and containment measures to stop the disease outright.

But even when vaccinations and treatments are available, they aren’t always affordable. About 100 million people are still being pushed into “extreme poverty”  because they have to pay for health care.

A cyclical pattern of sickness and debt takes hold, making increasingly important health care less and less attainable. Ultimately, low-income families have to go without health services to economically survive, at the expense of treating long-term health problems.

A child’s ability to receive basic health care then depends on his or her parent’s economic standing. Through no fault of their own, children may have to forgo even basic medical check-ups throughout their childhood.

Diseases that can be treated in their early stages remain undetected, and the consequences expand as the child remains undiagnosed and untreated.

Medical Assistance : Medical Assistance Initiative provides a wide range of help for whatever a child’s specific need may be. This assistance offers:

  • Basic and specialized medical care for children facing temporary or chronic illness
  • Emergency medical care for children with urgent medical needs, including broken bones, intestinal infections, and other conditions that require immediate attention
  • Therapeutic feeding for children suffering from moderate to severe malnutrition
  • Food stability assistance to improve and maintain nutrition levels through meal planning and sustainable farming
  • Counseling for children and caregivers dealing with life-altering events such as trauma or major illness
  • Oral health care, including dental screenings, fillings, extractions, and education
  • Vision testing and provision of eyeglasses, which are closely linked to stronger educational performance
  • Vaccinations to prevent diseases such as hepatitis, meningitis, tuberculosis, and typhoid

These services are both prescriptive and preventative. By treating existing diseases and conditions, and proactively working to promote individual well-being and healthy practices, we reduce the future number of cases that will need treatment. Instilling healthy practices from an early age and screening for disease throughout childhood lessens long-term effects and makes it easier to provide

HealthForAll.

Our health always seems much more valuable after we lose it.

We must not allow other people’s limited perfection to define us.

One eye donation can make two blind people see.

Good health is not something we can buy. However, it can be an extremely valuable savings account.

Pain is real but so is hope

Dieting is the only game where you win when you lose

Hope you enjoy good health…

Tips for Good Health-II

Tips for good health

 “SLOW PROGRESS IS BETTER THAN NO PROGRESS”

Healthy living is not just what you eat or how much you exercise… It is also mental health

How healthy are you? Do you have a healthy diet? Do you exercise regularly? Do you drink at least eight glasses of water a day? Do you get enough sleep every day? Do you live a healthy lifestyle?

Our body is our temple and we need to take care of it. Do you know that globally over 50% are either obese or overweight? That’s insane! Think of your body as your physical shell to take you through life. If you repeatedly abuse it, your shell will wear out quickly.

Life is beautiful and you don’t want to bog yourself down with unnecessary health problems. Today, your vital organs may be working well, but they may not be tomorrow. Don’t take your health for granted. Take proper care of your body.

Good health isn’t just about healthy eating and exercise — it’s also about having a positive attitude, a positive self-image, and a healthy lifestyle.

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Click here for Tips for Personal Development –

Tips for good health

Meditate: Meditation quietens your mind and calms your soul.

Purge negative people from your life: Positive mental health is part of a healthy life. You don’t need toxic people in your life. If you feel that a friend is overly critical or negative, let him/her go.

Purge negativity from yourself: You don’t need negativity from yourself either. Listen to the thoughts that come up and get rid of your negative thoughts. One great way to remove your negativity is to brain dump when you feel frustrated. Ask yourself and write out your deepest thoughts so that it can be addressed. Don’t keep these thoughts pent up inside you — it’s not healthy.

Breathe Deeply: Oxygen is vital for life. You may know how to breathe, but are you breathing properly? Most of us aren’t breathing properly — we take shallow breaths and breathe to 1/3 of our lung capacity. Athletes are taught proper breathing techniques to get their best performance. A full breath is one where your lungs are fully filled, your abdomen expands, and there’s minimum movement in your shoulders.

Live life for a purpose : Blue Zones are regions of the world where people live the longest and healthiest lives. There are nine shared characteristics of these regions, and one important characteristic is to have a purpose. The Okinawans call it ikigai and the Nicoyans call it plan de vida. Are you living a life of meaning? Are you living in line with your purpose each day? Once you start living with purpose, you will always be happy.

Practice good dental hygiene: Good dental hygiene makes you a lot more desirable and it is linked to better health. Brush your teeth twice a day, rinse your mouth after each meal, and floss after each meal if possible. Use a fluoride-free toothpaste to protect your gum health.

Prepare your meals: When you prepare your meals, you control what goes into them rather than choosing between sub-standard options in a restaurant. Get quality kitchen equipment — it will be your best investment ever. Having a blender makes it a breeze to make your fruit/vegetable juices! Having an instant pot and an oven makes cooking much easier too.

Learn to say no: Don’t eat just because you’re out with friends or because other people offer you food. Simply say no and say you’re not hungry if you don’t feel like eating.

Eat what you need: It is better to eat less and in line with your energy needs, rather than eat excessively and work off excess calorie intake through exercise. When you eat excessively, you strain your digestive system by making it digest more food than you need, and when you exercise excessively, you strain your body.

Have healthy snacks: If you’re hungry at work, eat healthy snacks like fruits, vegetable juices, and yogurts. These are nutritional and don’t give you that sugar rush. Have them readily available so that you can get a munch and stop when you have your fill. Stay away from cookies and candy bars.

Get regular check-ups: Some diseases don’t show up as symptoms until it is too late. Get regular blood tests for blood sugar, vitamins, and minerals, along with urine tests. More elaborate tests like mammograms (for women), PAP smear (for women), colonoscopy, visit dentist, etc. should be done at the recommended intervals.

If the test results are not optimal, that means that you can quickly take corrective action. If they are great, that’s fantastic and you can have peace of mind!

Supplement your Diet: Even when we eat healthily, there will be times when we lack certain vitamins/minerals because of many man-made processes have permanently altered our food supply chain. Common nutrient deficiencies are iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium.

Experiment: The best way to know what works for you is to experiment. Rather than subscribe to one diet, try different foods, and see how your body reacts. Most importantly, research and tweak your diet based on what you learn.

I enjoy reading stories and research by people who have successfully reversed health diseases rather than what’s reported by the medical establishment since many medical conclusions today are flawed and learning how to implement positive changes into diet and life.

Hang out with healthy people: You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with, so the more time you spend around healthy people, the better it is. Dine with people who are health conscious and get workout buddies. It makes healthy living more fun!

Practice the art of appreciation: Modern-day living tends to be aspirational and we can easily find ourselves chasing an ever-growing list of goals, many of which can be material. Some of us could do with spending more time focusing not on what we don’t have, but on what we do. Our mood can be lifted by giving thanks for anything from our friends and family to a beautiful landscape or sunset.

Don’t multitask during lunch: Do you habitually eat lunch at your desk or in front of the TV? A study found that people who multitask while eating lunch felt less full and ate more food 30 minutes later than those who were not distracted during lunch. Next time you sit down to eat, do just that—and nothing else.

Taking 10 minutes to focus on and enjoy the food you’re eating will leave you more satisfied and more in control of your appetite.

Love Yourself: Self-love is a crucial part of living a healthy life. When you have a negative self-image, it naturally weighs down on your mental outlook and health. 

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Click here for Hygiene habits that you shouldn’t miss in your daily routine

Hygiene is one of those things everyone is expected to know but no one ever talks about it, and there’s more to it than just wearing deodorant and rinsing with mouthwash.

Proper grooming and healthy personal habits can help you ward off illnesses and feel good about yourself. Following personal hygiene habits should be part of your regular routine –

Good personal hygiene is essential for good health: Personal hygiene habits such as washing your hands and brushing and flossing your teeth will help keep bacteria, viruses, and illnesses at bay. And there are mental as well as physical benefits. Practicing good body hygiene helps you feel good about yourself, which is important for your mental health.

Healthy habits include good grooming: Minimize your risk of infection and also enhance your overall health.

  • Bathe regularly: Wash your body and your hair often. You should clean your body and shampoo your hair at regular intervals that work for you. Your body is constantly shedding skin. That skin needs to come off. Otherwise, it will cake up and can cause illnesses.
  • Brush and floss: Ideally, you should brush your teeth after every meal. At the very least, brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily. Brushing minimizes the accumulation of bacteria in your mouth, which can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Flossing, too, helps maintain strong, healthy gums.
  • The bacteria that builds up and causes gum disease can go straight to the heart and cause very serious valve problems. Unhealthy gums also can cause your teeth to loosen, which makes it difficult to chew and to eat properly. To maintain a healthy smile, visit the dentist at six-month intervals for checkups and cleanings.
  • Brush your tongue: Buildup on your tongue not only looks disgusting, but it’s the number one cause of bad breath. Giving your tongue a good scrub when you’re brushing your teeth can nix this.
  • Wash your face with honey: If you have extremely sensitive skin, or are just looking for a cheap organic face wash, try this: Wash your face with honey. Get raw honey (commercial honey is often too processed to have the same benefits). Honey is a natural humectant (e.g. moisturizes without leaving oily residue) and exfoliant. It even has natural antibacterial qualities. Wet your face in the shower and massage it into your face. Leave it there as you wash the rest of your body and rinse it off the last thing before getting out.
  • Trim your nails: Keeping your finger and toenails trimmed and in good shape will prevent problems such as hangnails and infected nail beds. Feet that are clean and dry are less likely to contract. Fingernails should be trimmed straight across and slightly rounded at the top whereas toenails should be trimmed straight across. The best time to cut your nails is after bathing when they are soft and easy to trim.
  • Take care of your hair: Washing your hair at least every other day is important to keeping your hair and scalp healthy and in good shape. If you suffer from lice or dandruff, then take necessary action at the earliest. Also, it is critical that you get a hair cut frequently for healthy hair. The longer you wait to get your hair cut, the more frail and brittle your hair can become, especially if it is longer
  • Wash your hands: Washing your hands before preparing or eating food, after going to the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing, and after handling garbage, goes a long way toward preventing the spread of bacteria and viruses. Keep a hygiene product, like an alcohol-based sanitizing gel, handy for when soap and water aren’t available.
  • Clean your ears: Clean your ears with your fingers while having a bath. The daily cleaning of all hearing devices is essential to remove germs that can be introduced into the ear. Earrings should be kept clean and should be removed daily so the piercing can be attended to.
  • Sleep tight: Get plenty of rest — at least 8 hours a night — so that you are refreshed and are ready to take on the day every morning. Lack of sleep can leave you feeling run down and can compromise your body’s natural defenses, your immune system.
  • Fighting bad breath: Drink plenty of water. Brush and floss regularly. Treat any existing oral diseases. Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables.
    Cut out coffee. Chew sugarless gum. Eat yogurt. Get your vitamins. a, but can also help prevent two other causes of bad breath—gum disease and gingivitis. Avoid tobacco products.
  • Shower daily: This is the best way to get rid of any dirt, sweat, and/or germs that your body may have accumulated throughout the day, and prevents hygiene-related diseases. As a plus, showering daily helps you feel, look, and smell your best throughout the day. Cleaning your body is also important to ensure your skin rejuvenates itself, as the scrubbing of your arms, legs, and torso will slough off dead, dry skin and help your skin stay healthy and refreshed, and will prevent acne, blemishes and other skin eruptions.
  • Wear Deodorant: Antiperspirant helps control excessive sweat, while deodorant covers up unpleasant body odor caused by sweat. Consider using a natural, aluminum-free deodorant to reduce potential health risks associated with conventional deodorants.
  • Wear clean clothes: Wear a fresh set of clothes as often as possible.
    Dirty clothes are a source of contamination and can cause very serious skin disorders if worn over and over without washing them. Also, try wearing a clean pair of socks every day (especially after athletic activities) as this keeps your feet dry and not smelly. Wash clothing and linens on a regular basis as the longer it takes you to clean them the smellier they become.
  • Go for alcohol-based sanitizer: Clean your hands every now and then by using hand sanitizers. This is because alcohol is a drying agent and kills all the viruses and bacterias immediately. However, alcohol is liable to make your skin dry, thus always go for a branded alcohol-based fragrance-free hand sanitizer, which has a good amount of moisturizer in it.
  • Cool off before hopping out of the shower: This may sound masochistic, but right before you get out of the shower, turn it on full blast cold. There are numerous benefits to this, chiefly in the hair and skin department. But in the summer, it also prevents you from sweating the moment you step out of the shower and getting stinky all over again.
  • With all of the above being said, the last thing you should do is follow any hygiene advice blindly. Each person’s body is different. Some of us sweat more, some of us have oilier hair, some of us have sensitive skin or deep belly buttons or hairy armpits. You may need to adjust some of the advice of the above points to suit the way your body works.
  • Good habits help keep you healthy: For most people, good hygiene is so much a part of their daily routines that they think little about it. They bathe, brush their teeth, visit the dentist and doctor for regular check-ups, and wash their hands when preparing or eating food and handling unsanitary items. To keep those you care about healthy and safe, help them learn, and be sure that they are practicing, good personal hygiene.
  • For Food Storage; Store and prepare raw meat, poultry, and seafood away from other foods. Store food in the fridge at 5°C/41°F, do not overfill, and allow cold air to circulate. Prevent raw food juices from dripping onto other foods.
  • While preparing food: Cut meat and vegetables with separate knives and chopping/cutting boards. Soak, scrape, brush, scald, peel or wash all fruit, salad, and vegetables. Do not wash raw meat in the sink prior to cooking as this spreads germs around the sink area. This is also not necessary as proper cooking of the meat will destroy any harmful bacteria.

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A healthy lifestyle is one that helps to keep and improve your health and well-being. There are many different things that you can do to live a healthy lifestyle, such as eating healthy, being physically active, maintaining a healthy weight, and managing your stress.

However, a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about healthy eating and exercise, it also about taking care of the “whole you” – your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. And, that means taking care of you from the inside out.

Even though there are many common ways to live a healthy lifestyle, actually doing it looks different for everyone, and means something different from one person to the next. Regardless of what you choose to do, living a healthy lifestyle is a key component of disease prevention, wellness, and longevity.

Being mindful of your diet, physical activity and stress levels allow you to effectively balance all aspects of your life and the “whole you”.

Click here for Fitness tips and strategies

Are you tired of putting in the effort at the gym and not seeing results?

You’re not alone—many people show the drive, determination, and consistent effort, but don’t reach their goals. Check out our insightful tips and strategies specifically designed to help you build strength, gain muscle mass, lose fat, enhance your endurance, and maintain healthy eating habits. If this sounds familiar, the next logical step is to follow the tips given below :

  • Be true to form: It doesn’t matter how many push-ups you can do in a minute if you’re not doing a single one correctly. There is no point in performing any exercise without proper form. Perfect your technique, then later add weight and/or speed. This is especially important if your workout calls for performing as many reps as possible during a set amount of time. Choose quality over quantity, and you can stay injury-free.
  • Multi-Goal: Popular belief says if you really want to make a big change, focus on one new healthy habit at a time. Working on your diet and fitness simultaneously may put the odds of reaching both goals more in your favor.
  • One day at a time: Long-term goals are imperative, but they can make you feel overwhelmed or discouraged at times. Instead of thinking about how many dresses sizes smaller, you want to be in four months, focus on small everyday victories. For example, today you are going to eat breakfast, fit in a workout, and drink more water. Stay focused on the present, and your future will be successful.
  • Eat more clean food: Eating only three daily meals? Not a great idea. Half the people aren’t losing weight because they don’t eat enough. Eat five times a day, about every three hours, to stimulate your metabolism including two mini-meals between three basic meals. With activity levels decreasing throughout the day, eat less as the day goes on.
  • Find a fit friend: A workout partner not only keeps you accountable, he/she also may help you clock more time at the gym and torch more fat. Those who exercise with others tend to train six minutes longer and burn an extra 41 calories per session compared to solo fitness fanatics. They push themselves harder and are more motivated than when they hit the gym alone.
  • Seek out text support: If you thought texting changed your love life, imagine what it could do for your waistline. When people received motivational text messages promoting exercise and healthy behaviors twice a week, they lost an average of about 3 percent of their body weight in 12 weeks. Participants showed an improvement in eating behaviors, exercise, and nutrition self-efficacy, and reported that the texts helped them adopt these new habits. Find health-minded friends and message each other reminders, or program your phone to send yourself healthy eating tips.
  • Eat with purpose: Everything you consume should have substantial nutritional value. You want the most nutritional bang for your buck. Everything you eat should serve some sort of nutritional purpose in your body, fuel your workouts, and (be) geared toward optimizing your body.
  • Dig Deeper: It takes a lot of discipline to turn down a cupcake or roll out of your warm bed for a cold morning run. To make staying on track easier, it’s important to make a real connection with your motivation. So think less about fitting into your skinny jeans or spring break bikini and more about emotional ties to the people you love. Your relationships will grow stronger when you are physically healthy and taking care of yourself.
  • Be here. Now. : Before you convince yourself that you’re too busy to meditate, consider this: Adding mediation to your daily fitness routine can be a crucial part of body transformation. Find five to 10 minutes once or twice a day to focus on your breath. Taking the time to do this can help your body and brain de-stress and recover better from all your hard work at the gym and the office.
  • Consider retail therapy: Whenever you buy a new pair of athletic shoes, and enthusiasm comes over. You are eager to wear them. So occasionally buy new kicks or gym clothes if it helps revitalize your passion for the gym.
  • Understand the basics of building muscle: Talk to any personal trainer and they’ll tell you there are certain muscle-building basics. First, increase your caloric and complete protein intake, so your body has enough building blocks to get bigger. Then, when you enter the gym, focus on your form. Perform compound movements and train with weights on average around four times a week. Never underestimate the importance of rest. Remember, muscle tissue grows outside of the gym when you’re giving your body time to relax and recover following your workouts.
  • Be true to yourself: When trying to adopt new healthy habits, it’s important to work around other long-standing practices that could sabotage your efforts if overlooked. For example, if you are a morning person, working out in the a.m. is likely best, but if you’re a night person, exercise after work, don’t try to become one or the other if it’s not natural to you. You’re more likely to stick to it if you like the time of day and the whole experience.
  • Memorize a Mantra: Whatever you tell yourself to get through a grueling workout, don’t stop.  An innovative study found that motivational self-talk can significantly help reduce the rate of perceived exertion (how loud your muscles are screaming) so you can go further for longer.
  • Hydrate properly: An often-overlooked factor is to make sure that your GI tract is healthy because that’s how you absorb all your nutrients. Do so by consuming vitamins, fiber, minerals, a probiotic, and water. The study suggests you drink “ice-cold water first thing in the morning” adding “you’ll naturally boost your metabolism by up to 24% for 90 minutes.
  • Choose supplements intelligently: Some trainers and lifters feel supplements can play a key role in boosting muscle gains. If you subscribe to that theory, then chances are, you’re already taking protein supplements—but what else? Creatine, for one, seems to be about the most effective strength- and size-building supplement.
  • Learn the ropes: The best training tool you’re not using: a jump rope. It may seem a little juvenile until you think of all the hot-bodied boxing pros who jump rope every single day. Not only is it inexpensive, portable, and easy to use almost anywhere, you’ll burn about 200 calories in 20 minutes and boost your cardiovascular health while toning.
  • Work your full range of motion: Don’t take any shortcuts. Aim for the largest range of motion you can achieve in your exercises. Your muscles will do more work per rep, and it will result in your breaking down more tissue by the end of the workout.
  • Take it outside: A study found people could burn up to 7 percent more calories outside. So if you’re torching 268 calories during a half-hour indoor run at a 12-minute-mile pace, you may hoof off closer to 300 calories if you head outdoors.
  • Don’t go too heavy: Wondering how to get the most out of lifting weights? Use a weight that will have you failing on the set between the 30- and 40-second mark. Time under tension causes the muscle to grow. If you’re failing at 20 seconds, you know that weight was too heavy.
  • Put on more weight: You know strength training is the best way to trim down, tone up, and get into “I love my body” shape. But always reaching for the 10-pound dumbbells isn’t going to help you. Add two or three compound barbell lifts (such as a squat, deadlift, or press) to your weekly training schedule and run a linear progression, increasing the weight used on each lift by two to five pounds a week.
  • Perform three to five sets of three to five reps, and you’ll boost strength, not bulk. The short, intense training will not place your muscles under long periods of muscle fiber stimulation, which corresponds with muscle growth.
  • Carefully consider cardio: If getting huge is your goal, then throttle back on your cardio workouts, chances are, you’ll be burning far too many calories. So what should you do if you still want to get in some cardio? a light jogs a few days per week for 20 minutes is adequate. If you’re aiming to burn fat, of course, then focus on getting enough protein every day (usually one gram of protein per pound of ideal body weight), while still keeping your overall caloric intake low.
  • Exhaust for endurance: To further your endurance training, you need to put in the total effort. You’re going for muscle exhaustion, so remember to fully exhaust the muscles. How can you do that? Get good at the bodyweight staples—pullups, chin-ups, pushups, inverted rows, (and) squats. If you can master these movements for high reps, your muscles will get well-conditioned.
  • Work it for every angle: Most traditional fitness plans happen in predictable patterns that usually involve moving in two planes of motion—up and down or forward and backward—ignoring the third plane of motion, lateral. Move your body in all directions to create the fittest, functional, and athletic physique.
  • If you’re a runner, cyclist, or walker, remember to include movements such as jumping jacks, side shuffles, side lunges, and carioca (the grapevine-like move) in your warm-up or cool-down.
  • Never do the same workout: The reason most people don’t see changes isn’t that they don’t work hard—it’s because they don’t make their workouts harder. Create a challenge every time you exercise. Use a little more weight, rest five to 10 seconds less between sets, add a few more reps, or do another set. Incorporating these small variations into your routine is a recipe for change.
  • Take a selfie to visualize: Picture your perfect self with your flat abs, firmer butt, and slim thighs every day. Seeing really is believing: You become consciously and acutely aware of everything that can help you achieve the visualized outcome that you desire when you impress an idea into the subconscious part of you. It eventually becomes ‘fixed,’ and you automatically move toward that which you desire.
  • Let life happen: It’s better to go with the flow then to move against it. Things come up in life that we can’t control, which makes our workout both a physical and mental challenge Listen to your body and be aware of each moment’s circumstances while you push forward toward your goal.
  • Scale back: Weighing yourself too often can cause you to obsess over every pound. Stepping on the scale or putting on a pair of well-fitting (i.e. not a size too small) pants once a week. Both can be used as an early warning system for preventing weight gain, and the pants may be a better way to gauge if those workouts are helping you tone up and slim down.
  • Give fat a chance: Trimming some fat may eliminate some guilt, but be warned: Buying foods labeled “low-fat,” “non-fat,” or “fat-free” may encourage you to eat up to 50 percent more calories. Fat’s not the issue when it comes to your weight since most of these foods only have about 15 percent fewer calories than their regular counterparts. Go for the full-fat version and eat less—you probably will naturally since they taste better.
  • Prepare yourself for endurance training: When it comes to training for endurance, you’ll need to be hydrated and be sure you’re eating properly because, by its very nature, this form of training is very demanding on your body. You should be doing a good mix of cardio and weight training. And, to increase your aerobic capacity, you should incorporate high-intensity interval training or HIIT. You’ll likely be sweating buckets and burning calories galore, so be prepared.
  • Learn how to fight fatigue: Fatigue may be your biggest enemy when endurance training, but there are some ways to combat it. First, drink beet juice, which is packed with healthy nitrates that can improve your cardiovascular functioning. Beets can actually increase stamina by up to 16%, and it helps your muscles produce more energy, more efficiently, making exercise less exhausting. Another way to boost your performance is by carefully selecting your music. When people listen to favorable music their blood vessels expanded 26%.
  • Understand the basics of fat loss: Forget calorie counting, and start thinking of food as fuel for your body. Getting six-pack abs is usually a function of fat loss, not a lack of muscle definition—and burning fat all boils down to a simple equation: Calories in versus calories burned. That means going beyond calories and studying your macronutrient intake—fats, protein, and carbs—to understand how much you consume relative to how much you burn during a workout.

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Click here for Best Nutrition Tips:

A healthy diet has been scientifically proven to provide numerous health benefits, such as reducing your risk of several chronic diseases and keeping your body healthy.

However, making major changes to your diet can sometimes seem very overwhelming. Instead of making big changes, it may be better to start with a few smaller ones.

  • Slow down: The pace at which you eat influences how much you eat, as well as how likely you are to gain weight. In fact, studies comparing different eating speeds show that fast eaters are up to 115% more likely to be obese than slow eaters. Your appetite, how much you eat, and how full you get are all controlled by hormones.

These hormones signal your brain whether you’re hungry or full. However, it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to receive these messages, so eating more slowly would give your brain the time it needs to perceive that you are full.

Studies have confirmed this, showing that eating slowly may reduce the number of calories you consume at meals. Eating slowly is also linked to more thorough chewing, which has also been linked to better weight maintenance. Therefore, simply by eating slower and chewing more often, you can reduce your risk of eating too much and gaining excess weight.

Crowd out bad habits: Those rock hard abs won’t be built in a day—they’ll be built in staggered days. Staying on the diet is the hardest part, and has a trick for sticking to the program: Alternate days of your new diet plan with your normal eating habits.

For example, do the new plan Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, and observe your regular habits Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. You can also apply the same principle when it comes to adopting a healthier exercise routine.

At the end of the first seven days, you will have improved your eating habits over half of the days of the week and will feel ready to launch into week two! The high you get from keeping it going for several weeks—not to mention the better body image—will eventually help you crowd out the bad eating patterns with even more good ones.

Call food ‘Healthy’ and less ‘Healthy’ instead of ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’: When people label food as ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ it carries over into a judgment of themselves—if you eat ‘good’ food, you’re a good person, if you eat ‘bad’ food, you’ve badly behaved.

That couldn’t be further from the truth, so stop putting yourself in an emotional timeout just because of what you eat. Truly, no foods are really bad and no foods are really good—some are healthier than others. Reframing your thinking like this will likely help you learn the art of indulging in moderation instead of bingeing on “bad” foods, plus it’s just a better way to treat yourself.

  • Eat vegetables: Vegetables are the source of many nutrients and minerals like folate, vitamin K, folate, vitamin A, manganese, and potassium, not to mention dietary fiber which is important for good gut health. There are two types of vegetables: Starchy vegetables like potato, sweet potato, yam, and pumpkin; and non-starchy vegetables like kale, arugula, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, long beans, tomato, cucumber, and mushroom (technically a fungus). Some vegetables are slightly starchy and hence fall in the middle: Corn, green peas, carrot, artichoke, beetroot, cauliflower, and beans (technically legumes). All vegetables are important and enrich our diet.
  • Pick different-colored fruits/veg: Always consume a wide variety of fruits and vegetables of different colors. Firstly, fruits and vegetables with different colors represent different anti-oxidant content, which removes free radicals that damage our cells and fights inflammation in our bodies.
  • Secondly, when we eat a large diversity of fruits/vegetables, it creates a wide variety of good bacteria in our gut, which creates a strong defense line between us and the environment, improves our immune system, and strengthens our long-term health. Eat fruits/vegetables of different colors: White (Bananas), Yellow (Pineapples, Mango), Orange (Orange, Papaya), Red (Apple, Strawberries, Raspberries, Tomatoes, Watermelon), Green (Avocado, Kale, Lettuce, Cucumber), Purple/Blue (Blackberries, Prunes).
  • Choose intact grains over refined grains: Intact grains contain all the essential parts of the grain seed; in other words, they contain 100% of the original kernel, which includes the bran, germ, and endosperm. Because these layers are intact, the grain contains a richer nutritional profile of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals than refined grains (which are grains stripped of the bran and germ layers through processing).
  • Mix up your greens: If your go-to green for salads is spinach or romaine, that’s great—they’re both packed with tons of nutrients. But a varied diet is a healthy diet, and there are tons of other greens out there that are equally delicious.
  • If you like lighter leafy vegetables, try swapping your spinach for some arugula, leaf lettuce, watercress or parsley, or combine a few different greens to get an incredible mixture of vital nutrients that will power you through the rest of your day.
  • Choose whole-grain bread – not refined: You can easily make your diet a bit healthier by choosing whole-grain bread in place of traditional refined-grain bread. As opposed to refined grains, which have been linked to many health issues, whole grains have been linked to a variety of health benefits, including a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
  • They are also a good source of fiber, B vitamins, and several minerals, such as zinc, iron, magnesium, and manganese. There are many varieties of whole-grain bread available, and many of them even taste better than refined bread.
  • Eat your way lean : Remember: A lean muscle is simply one with less fat covering it, which means leanness is accomplished mostly through your diet. Yes, proper training will help speed up the process, but slimming down starts at the mouth so make cleaning up your diet a top priority.
  • Increase your protein intake: Protein is often referred to as the king of nutrients, and it does seem to have some superpowers. Due to its ability to affect your hunger and satiety hormones, it’s the most filling of the macronutrients. One study showed that simply increasing protein intake from 15% to 30% of calories made people eat 441 fewer calories per day, without actively restricting their intake.

What’s more, protein helps you retain muscle mass, which determines the rate of your metabolism. High protein intake may increase the number of calories you burn by 80–100 per day. This is especially important for preventing the loss of muscle mass that can occur during weight loss and as you age.

Aim to add a source of protein to each meal and snack. It will help you feel fuller for longer, curb cravings, and make you less likely to overeat. Just make sure to read the label to ensure that your bread is made with whole grains only, not a mixture of whole and refined grains. It’s also preferable that the bread contains whole seeds or grains. Good sources of protein include dairy products, nuts, peanut butter, eggs, beans, and lean meat.

  • Bake or Roast instead of Grilling or Frying: The way you prepare your food can drastically change its effects on your health. Grilling, broiling, frying, and deep-frying are all popular methods of preparing meat and fish. However, during these types of cooking methods, several potentially toxic compounds are formed, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and heterocyclic amines (HCAs).

All of these compounds have been linked to several diseases, including cancer and heart disease. Healthier cooking methods include baking, broiling, simmering, slow-cooking, poaching, pressure cooking, stewing, and sous-vide.

These methods do not promote the formation of these harmful compounds and thus make your food healthier. Nevertheless, there is nothing to say you can’t enjoy the occasional grill or deep-fry, but try to use those methods sparingly.

  • Ditch your food rules: When nourishing your body with foods, listen to what it needs. Discard dogma and food rules, and eat for fuel and energy, whatever that may be for that day. As much as you can, choose whole, unprocessed foods, but also allow for an occasional splurge or two to help maintain a healthy mindset. Our bodies are intelligent and always asking for what they need to function optimally, whether it’s vegetables or even a bit of sugar; there’s the reason behind the craving.
  • Be practical not perfect: So what exactly, you ask, should you eat? Improving your eating habits is a process of being practical, not perfect. There are some specific foods that, realistically you know you will not live without. So, work with that. Keep that food to once a week or once a month instead of failing at never [eating it].
  • Replace your favorite fast food restaurant: Eating out does not have to involve unhealthy foods. Consider “upgrading” your favorite fast food restaurant to one with healthier options. There are many healthy fast-food restaurants and fusion kitchens offering delicious and healthy meals. They may just be a great replacement for your favorite burger or pizza joint. What’s more, you can generally get these meals at a very decent price.
  • Try at least one new healthy recipe per week: Deciding what to have for dinner can be a constant cause of frustration, which is why many people tend to use the same recipes again and again. Chances are you’ve been cooking the same recipes on autopilot for years.
  • Whether these are healthy or unhealthy recipes, it’s always healthy to try something new. Aim to try making a new healthy recipe at least once per week. This can change up your food and nutrient intakes and hopefully add new and healthy recipes to your routine. Alternatively, try to make a healthier version of a favorite recipe.
  • Use the 1 in 10 rule: For every 10 grams of carbohydrate listed on the label, look for at least one gram of fiber. Why 10:1? That’s the ratio of carbohydrate to fiber in a genuine, unprocessed whole grain. Foods that met the 10:1 ratio had had less sugar, sodium, and trans fats than those that didn’t. Speaking of magical ratios.
  • Eat your fruits instead of drinking them: Fruits are very healthy. They are loaded with water, fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Studies have repeatedly linked eating fruit to a reduced risk of several diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
  • Because fruits contain fiber and various plant compounds, their sugars are generally digested very slowly and do not cause major spikes in blood sugar levels. However, the same does not apply to fruit juices. Many fruit juices aren’t even made from real fruit, but rather concentrate and sugar.
  • They may even contain as much sugar as a sugary soft drink. Even real fruit juices lack the fiber and chewing resistance provided by whole fruits. This makes fruit juice much more likely to spike your blood sugar levels. It also makes it way too easy to consume too much in one sitting.
  • Cook at home more often: Try to make a habit of cooking at home most nights, rather than eating out. For one, it’s easier on your budget. Second, by cooking your food yourself, you’ll know exactly what is in it. You won’t have to wonder about any hidden unhealthy or high-calorie ingredients.
  • Also, by cooking large servings, you will also have leftovers for the next day, ensuring a healthy meal then, too. Finally, cooking at home has been shown to reduce the risk of excessive weight gain, especially among children
  • Stay away from Diet food: So-called “diet foods” can be very deceiving. They‘ve usually had their fat content reduced dramatically and are often labeled “fat-free,” “low-fat,” “fat-reduced” or “low-calorie”. However, to compensate for the lost flavor and texture that the fat provided, sugar and other ingredients are often added. Therefore, many diet foods end up containing more sugar and sometimes even more calories than their full-fat counterparts. Instead, opt for whole foods like fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat before you eat: Eating an appetizer of a broth-based soup or even an apple can reduce total calorie intake over the course of the meal by up to 20 percent. The average restaurant meal contains 1,128 calories. A 20 percent savings, just once a day, is enough to help you shed more than 23 pounds in a year.
  • Scope before you scoop: This simple trick can save you hundreds of calories: Scan the buffet line strategically before you even pick up a plate. Studies show that individuals who are overweight tend to go through the line and fill their plates as they go through it.
  • Meanwhile, people at a recommended weight tend to be more strategic and take inventory, decide what they’re going to eat and then grab a plate. If you’re contributing to the buffet offerings, be the one to bring a fruit or veggie dish to ensure you’ll have a healthy choice.
  • Eat popcorn instead of Chips: It may be surprising that popcorn is a whole grain that’s loaded with nutrients and fiber. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of air-popped popcorn contains 387 calories and 15 grams of fiber, while the same amount of chips contains 547 calories and only 4 grams of fiber.
  • Diets rich in whole grains have been linked to health benefits, such as a reduced risk of inflammation and heart disease. For healthy popcorn, try making your own popcorn at home (not microwave popcorn varieties) or purchase air-popped popcorn.
  • Eat from smaller plates: It has been proven that the size of your dinnerware can affect how much you eat. Eating from a large plate can make your portion look smaller while eating from a small plate can make it look bigger. Studies have supported this and shown that people tend to eat as much as 30% more when their food is served in a large bowl or on a large plate. Also, if you don’t realize that you’re eating more than usual, you will not compensate by eating less at the next meal.
  • By eating from smaller dinnerware, you can trick your brain into thinking that you’re eating more, making yourself less likely to overeat.
  • Remind yourself to lose weight: A recent study published online found that people who received weekly text reminders of their daily “calorie budget” and motivational emails made healthier meal and snack choices. A simple hack to help you slim down: set up reminders on your smartphone, so when 6 a.m. rolls around, it’s: You make 1200 calories-a-day look so good! And at lunchtime: Salad for the six-pack, baby!
  • The bottom line: Completely overhauling your diet all at once can be a recipe for disaster. Instead, try to incorporate some of the small changes in this post to make your diet healthier. Some of these tips will help you keep your portion sizes reasonable, while others will help you add nutrients or adapt to something new. Together, they’ll have a big impact on making your overall diet healthier and more sustainable, without a huge change in your habits.
  • Don’t smoke or do drugs, and only drink in moderation: If you’re a tobacco smoker or abuse drugs, then diet and exercise are the least of your worries. Tackle those problems first. If you choose to include alcohol in your life, then do so in moderation only, and consider avoiding it completely if you have alcoholic tendencies.
  • Don’t eat a lot of refined carbohydrates: Not all carbs are created equal. Refined carbs have been highly processed, and have had all the fiber removed from them. They are low in nutrients (empty calories), and can be extremely harmful. Studies show that refined carbohydrates are linked to overeating and numerous metabolic diseases
  • Use plenty of herbs and spices: There are many incredibly healthy herbs and spices out there. For example, ginger and turmeric both have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, leading to various health benefits. You should make an effort to include as many different herbs and spices as you can. Many of them can have powerful beneficial effects on your health.

 

Click here for Simple Habits to Kickstart a healthier lifestyle

A total transformation of your health surely sounds appealing, but too many drastic lifestyle changes at once usually aren’t the recipe for long term success. Research shows we only have a limited amount of willpower each day.

So when you want to improve your health, it’s much easier to focus on creating small, doable habits  –  those automated, healthy behaviors you do without thinking about it. Some points are repeated here but it’s advisable to reiterate to emphasize and remind once again.

Start small: pick one tiny health habit at a time, until it’s a natural part of your routine.

  1. Spice up your food with herbs: Adding herbs and spices to your meals is one of the tastiest ways to boost your health. Not only are these seasonings packed with antioxidants and other nutrients that protect your health, but herbs and spices can also be used to replace salt and sugar in recipes without sacrificing flavor. Spicy food may even help you control your weight, as studies show people eat smaller portions of meals with fat-burning chili peppers than of bland-tasting dishes.
  2. Go for a walk in the park: Going for a 20-minute walk every day, especially in green environments, has many health benefits. Besides the more obvious invigorating effects of physical activity, moving around outdoors provides you with fresh air and exposes your skin to sunlight, which helps your body to produce vitamin D. A stroll through green surroundings is even an effective way to ease brain fatigue and to boost your happiness. Make walking outside a regular part of your day: go for a stroll through a nearby park on your lunch break or after dinner, or explore nature with a leisurely Sunday hike.
  3. Mind your mental diet: Since ‘we are what we eat’, we all know we have to choose wisely what we put into our bodies. But have you ever stopped to think about what you put into your mind every day? According to the Buddha, “we are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think.”  The first step to cleaning up your mental diet is to become aware of what you fill your mind with. Notice how the books and magazines you’re reading, the articles you’re browsing online or the TV shows you watch every week make you feel. Take a good look at what kind of people you surround yourself with, both in real life and on social media. The goal is to spend less time with media and people that suck away your energy or create pointless drama and focus more on those who inspire and motivate you.
  4. Give yourself a bedtime: Waking up feeling energized after a good night’s sleep is high on most of our wish lists, and yet it can be so challenging to head to bed in time to make that happen. Just one more email to check, one last chore to do, just five more minutes staring mesmerized at the screen…Pinpointing when it’s time to go to sleep can help you get in sync with your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle and keep a more regular sleep schedule. Giving yourself a bedtime is one of the secrets to more happiness and energy.
  5. Practice gratitude: Being thankful for the little things that are going well in your life is one of the most powerful techniques to feel happier. Studies have shown time and time again counting your blessings every day trains your mind to focus on the positive  – and being optimistic in turn is strongly related to overall better health.
  6. Set up your surroundings for success: Sticking to new habits can be challenging. We’re used to automatically respond to everyday cues in our living environment  – just think of checking your phone each time you’re waiting for the bus or buying popcorn at the cinema even when you’re not that hungry. But you can also use this principle to your advantage, by designing your surroundings in such a way that it triggers the desired behaviors.
  7. Fit several short bursts of physical activity into your busy day: Get into the habit of gently stretching yourself as you get out of bed, doing standing push-ups as you’re waiting for the tea to boil or knee-bends when you’re brushing your teeth. At work, take the stairs and try to get up from your chair every hour – even a short walk over to the printer or coffee machine will get your blood flowing again. Come up with out-of-the-box and fun ways to fit in some gentle exercises every day!
  8. Schedule buffer time: Are you often rushing from appointment to appointment? Somehow things like getting ready for work, commuting, or meetings always take longer than we expected. But being late can be pretty stressful. Your days might run a lot more relaxed if you plan extra pockets of time into your busy schedule. Try getting up 5 minutes earlier, plan extra time just in case you get stuck in traffic (again) and don’t schedule appointments back-to-back but leave a little space between events. Less stress!
  9. Develop meaningful connections: Modern technology enables us to communicate with friends and strangers all over the world. And although I love using social media to stay up-to-date with loved ones who live far away and meet new friends online, nothing replaces real-life meet-ups with deep conversations, hugs, and laughter. Make time each week to deepen your relationships with your family or hang out with your friends. Put down your phone, be fully present, and really listen to your loved ones when you’re together. Laugh! Be kind to everyone you meet: looking people in the eye, smiling and a genuinely friendly attitude can make all the difference in their day – and yours. spending time with friends and receiving social support during tough times boosts your happiness and overall health.
  10. Create a healthier home:  Think of small ways how you can make the place where you spend so much time just a little healthier:
    • Keep toxins out of your home. Aim to use natural materials like wood and organic fabrics.
    • Take off your shoes when you get inside.
    • Bring the outdoors inside! Open your windows regularly to let in some fresh air and buy air-purifying plants.
    • Rearrange your cupboards so your healthy staples are always within sight and within reach. Over time, replace your standard, not so healthy ingredients for wholesome alternatives – like swapping white rice for brown rice or quinoa.
  11. Get out of your head: We spend such a large part of our days consuming and analyzing information, planning and thinking about all kinds of problems and possible solutions. But being inside our heads all the time can lead to informational overload and mental fatigue, not to mention rumination – a major risk factor for depression and anxiety disorders. Let go of your worries for a while and get back in touch with your body. You can refresh your mind by pottering around in the garden or going for a run. Working with your hands is also an effective way to get out of your head – take up knitting, baking wholesome cakes, or doing odd jobs around the house. Maybe now’s a great time to pick up that hobby you always want to do?
  12. Enrich your life with little wellness rituals: Do you dream of having a luxurious and relaxing spa holiday, but you can’t find the time or money? Create the same uplifting effects from your own home with little wellness rituals. Think of dry brushing your skin before your morning shower to stimulate your circulation or adding a few drops of essential oil to your warm bath. When you come home from a stressful day, you could put on some soft music and gently give yourself a reflexology foot massage. Seek some inspiration online about which holistic rituals you can start fitting into your schedule!
  13. Unplug: Taking a digital detox is related to many healthy habits on this list, like getting enough sleep, preventing information overload, and deepening your connections with others. Set little rules for yourself: maybe you want to set your phone on airplane mode after 9 pm or you turn off all your electronic devices one hour before bedtime to help you sleep quicker and deeper. Or perhaps a technology-free rule at mealtimes or an unplugged Sunday work wonders for your wellbeing – whatever works best for you! Just know when it’s time to forget your phone and enjoy life as it’s happening in front of you.
  14. Focus on ‘crowding out’ instead of ‘cutting out’: Do you get that rebellious feeling in your gut when someone advises you to quit eating junk food for good, stop watching TV and get off the couch? So why not focus on adding healthy habits to your routine instead of thinking about all the things you supposedly can no longer do?  You can practice ‘crowding out’ by picking one healthy swap or trying one new healthy ingredient each week, which automatically leaves less space for unhealthier options.

“Quotes for Good Health——“ 

The First Wealth is Health

It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of Gold and Silver

A Healthy outside comes from Inside

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live in

Health is not valued till sickness comes

Your body is your most priceless possession so go take care of it!

You are what you eat

You don’t have to eat less you just have to eat right

Being healthy and fit isn’t a fad or a trend. It’s a lifestyle

The food can be either the safest & most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of medicine

Don’t focus on losing weight, focus on being healthy

Health care is a right, not a privilege

If you think wellness is expensive…. then try illness

Health required healthy food

Happiness is the highest  form of Health

Create healthy habits, not Restrictions

Motivation is what gets you started; Habit is what keeps you going

Small changes can make A Big Difference

I’m not losing weight, I am getting rid of it.  I have no intention of finding it again

I CAN AND I WILL

“Life Philosophies”

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Tips for Good Health-I

tips for good health

Tips for good health 

In this post we give tips about how they can improve or augment actions in their life to have a healthy lifestyle; it is not meant to be all-inclusive but will include major components that are considered to be parts of a lifestyle that lead to good health. In addition to the tips about what people should do for healthy living, the article will mention some of the tips about avoiding actions (the don’ts) that lead to unhealthy living.

“Healthy living” to most people means both physical and mental health are in balance or functioning well together in a person. In many instances, physical and mental health are closely linked, so that a change (good or bad) in one directly affects the other. Consequently, some of the tips will include suggestions for emotional and mental “healthy living.”

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Click here for Diet Tips -

More and more research is showing that the key to lifelong good health is what experts call “lifestyle medicine” — making simple changes in diet, exercise, and stress management. To help you turn that knowledge into results, we’ve put together this manageable list of health and wellness suggestions.

A. Eat a variety of foods – For good health, we need more than 40 different nutrients, and no single food can supply them all. It is not about a single meal, it is about a balanced food choice over time that will make a difference! A high-fat lunch could be followed by a low-fat dinner.

B. Base your diet on plenty of foods rich in carbohydrates – About half the calories in our diet should come from foods rich in carbohydrates, such as cereals, rice, pasta, potatoes, and bread. It is a good idea to include at least one of these at every meal. Wholegrain foods, like wholegrain bread, pasta, and cereals, will increase our fiber intake.

C. Replace saturated with unsaturated fat – Fats are important for good health and proper functioning of the body. However, too much of it can negatively affect our weight and cardiovascular health. Different kinds of fats have different health effects, and some of these tips could help us keep the balance right:

  • We should avoid the consumption of total and saturated fats (often coming from foods of animal origin), and completely avoid trans fats; reading the labels helps to identify the sources.
  • When cooking, we should boil, steam, or bake, rather than frying, use vegetable oils.

D. Enjoy plenty of fruits and vegetables – Fruits and vegetables are among the most important foods for giving us enough vitamins, minerals, and fiber. We should try to eat at least 5 servings a  day. For example, a glass of fresh fruit juice at breakfast, perhaps an apple and a piece of watermelon as snacks, and a good portion of different vegetables at each meal.

E. Reduce salt and sugar intake – A high salt intake can result in high blood pressure, and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. There are different ways to reduce salt in the diet:

  • When shopping, we could choose products with lower sodium content.
  • When cooking, salt can be substituted with spices, increasing the variety of flavors and tastes.
  • When eating, it helps not to have salt at the table, or at least not to add salt before tasting.

Sugar provides sweetness and an attractive taste, but sugary foods and drinks are rich in energy and are best enjoyed in moderation, as an occasional treat. We could use fruits instead, even to sweeten our foods and drinks.

F. Eat regularly, control the portion size – Eating a variety of foods, regularly, and in the right amounts is the best formula for a healthy diet.

Skipping meals, especially breakfast, can lead to out-of-control hunger, often resulting in helpless overeating. Snacking between meals can help control hunger, but snacking should not replace proper meals. For snacks, we could choose yogurt, a handful of fresh or dried fruits or vegetables (like carrot sticks), unsalted nuts, or perhaps some bread with cheese.

Paying attention to portion size will help us not to consume too many calories, and will allow us to eat all the foods we enjoy, without having to eliminate any.

  • Cooking the right amount makes it easier to not overeat.
  • Some reasonable serving sizes are 100 g of meat; one medium piece of fruit; half a cup of raw pasta.
  • Using smaller plates helps with smaller servings.
  • Packaged foods, with calorie values on the pack, could aid portion control.
  • If eating out, we could share a portion with a friend.

G. Drink plenty of fluids – Adults need to drink at least 1.5 liters of fluid a day! Or more if it’s very hot or they are physically active. Water is the best source, of course, and we can use tap or mineral water, sparkling or non-sparkling, plain or flavored. Fruit juices, tea, soft drinks, milk, and other drinks, can all be okay – from time to time.

H. Maintain a healthy body weight – The right weight for each of us depends on factors like our gender, height, age, and genes. Being overweight increases the risks of a wide range of diseases, including diabetes, heart diseases, and cancer.

Excess body fat comes from eating more than we need. The extra calories can come from any caloric nutrient – protein, fat, carbohydrate, or alcohol, but fat is the most concentrated source of energy. Physical activity helps us spend energy, and makes us feel good. The message is reasonably simple: if we are gaining weight, we need to eat less and be more active!

I. Get on the move, make it a habit! – Physical activity is important for people of all weight ranges and health conditions. It helps us burn off the extra calories, it is good for the heart and circulatory system, it maintains or increases our muscle mass, it helps us focus, and improves overall health well-being. We don’t have to be top athletes to get on the move! 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity are advised, and it can easily become part of our daily routine. We all could:

  • use the stairs instead of the elevator,
  • go for a walk during lunch breaks (and stretch in our offices in between)
  • make time for a family weekend activity.

J. Start now! And keep changing gradually – Gradual changes in our lifestyle are easier to maintain than major changes introduced all at once. For three days, we could write down the foods and drinks we consume throughout the day, and make a note of the amount of movement we made. It won’t be difficult to spot where we could improve:

  • Skipping breakfast? A small bowl of muesli, a piece of bread or fruit, could help slowly introduce it into our routine
  • Too few fruits and vegetables? To start with, we can introduce one extra piece a day.
  • Favourite foods high in fat? Eliminating them abruptly could fire back, and make us return to the old habits. We can choose low-fat options instead, eat them less frequently, and in smaller portions.
  • Too little activity? Using the stairs daily could be a great first move.

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Click here for Tips for Healthy Living –

  • Eat three meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner); it is important to remember that dinner does not have to be the largest meal.
  • The bulk of food consumption should consist of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products.
  • Choose foods that are low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars; look at the labels because the first listed items on the labels comprise the highest concentrations of ingredients.
  • Control portion sizes; eat the smallest portion that can satisfy hunger and then stop eating.
  • Snacks are OK in moderation and should consist of items like fruit, whole grains, or nuts to satisfy hunger and not cause excessive weight gain.
  • Avoid sodas and sugar-enhanced drinks because of the excessive calories in the sodas and sugar drinks; diet drinks may not be a good choice as they make some people hungrier and increase food consumption.
  • Avoid eating a large meal before sleeping to decrease weight gain.
  • If a person is angry or depressed, eating will not solve these situations and may make the underlying problems worse.
  • Avoid rewarding children with sugary snacks; such a pattern may become a lifelong habit for people.
  • Avoid heavy meals in the summer months, especially during hot days.
  • A vegetarian lifestyle has been promoted for a healthy lifestyle and weight loss; vegetarians should check with their physicians to be sure they are getting enough vitamins, minerals, and iron in their food.
  • Cooking foods (above 165 F) destroys the most harmful bacteria and other pathogens; if you choose to eat uncooked foods like fruits or vegetables, they should be thoroughly washed with running treated (safe to drink) tap water right before eating.
  • Avoid eating raw or undercooked meats of any type.

Tips to create a healthy lifestyle – 

  1. Maximize with nutrient-packed foods: Give your body the nutrients it needs by eating a variety of nutrient-packed food, including whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables, and low-fat or fat-free dairy. Eat less food high in solid fats, added sugars, and sodium (salt).
  2. Energize with grains: Your body’s quickest energy source comes from foods such as bread, pasta, oatmeal, cereals, and tortillas. Be sure to make at least half of your grain food choices whole-grain foods like whole-wheat bread or pasta and brown rice.
  3. Power up with protein: Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle. Get your protein from seafood twice a week. Quality protein sources come from plant-based foods, too.
  4. Mix it up with plant protein foods: Variety is great! Choose beans and peas (kidney, pinto, black, or white beans; split peas; chickpeas; hummus), soy products (tofu, tempeh, veggie burgers), and unsalted nuts and seeds.
  5. Vary your fruits and vegetables: Get the nutrients your body needs by eating a variety of colors, in various ways. Try blue, red, or blackberries; red and yellow peppers; and dark greens like spinach and kale. Choose fresh, frozen, low-sodium canned, dried, or 100 percent juice options.
  6. Don’t forget dairy: Foods like fat-free and low-fat milk, cheese, yogurt, and fortified soy beverages (soymilk) help to build and maintain strong bones needed for everyday activities.
  7. Balance your meals: Use MyPlate as a reminder to include all food groups each day.
  8. Drink water: Stay hydrated by drinking water instead of sugary drinks. Keep a reusable water bottle with you to always have water on hand.
  9. Know how much to eat: Get personalized nutrition information based on your age, gender, height, weight, current physical activity level, and other factors. Use some App to determine your calorie needs, plan a diet that’s right for you, and track progress toward your goals.

Tips for special situations:

  • People with diabetes should use the above tips and monitor their glucose levels as directed; try to keep the daily blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible.
  • People with unusual work schedules (night shifts, college students, military) should try to adhere to a breakfast, lunch, and dinner routine with minimal snacking.
  • People trying to lose weight (body fat) should avoid all fatty and sugary foods and eat mainly vegetables, fruits, and nuts and markedly reduce his/her intake of meat and dairy products.
  • Seek medical advice early if you cannot control your weight, food intake, or if you have diabetes and cannot control your blood glucose levels.

Click here for Tips for being Super Healthy –

Super Healthy Spices –

Oregano  – helps soothe stomach muscles

Mint – Can ease hiccups

Ginger – Anti Nausea remedy

Garlic –  Natural Antiseptic

Fenugreek – helps flush out harmful toxins

Fennel – Can reduce bad breath and body odor

Clove – Anti-microbial

Sage – Antiseptic and antibiotic

Thyme – Relaxes respiratory muscles

Turmeric – Anti Cancer

Basil – Can relieve gas and soothe stomach upsets

Black pepper  – helps relieve indigestion

Cayenne – Can stop a heart attack

Cinnamon – Helps lower blood pressure

Dill – Treats heartburn. Colic and gas

Rosemary – Antioxidant

Reasons to eat Fruits –

Cherries – help calm your nervous system

Peach – rich in potassium, fluoride, and iron

Watermelon – helps control your heart rate

Strawberries – Can potentially fight against cancer and aging

Pineapple – Helps fight arthritis

Kiwi – Increases bone mass

Grapes – Relaxes your blood vessels

Apple – Helps your body resistance against infections

Oranges – Helps maintain great skin and vision

Bananas – are great for athletes because they give more energy

Blueberries – Protect your heart

Mangoes – Protect against several kinds of cancer

Healthy Food Tips –

  • Starchy food should be your base
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
  • Cut down on saturated fat and sugar
  • Eat less salt
  • Get active and maintain a constant weight
  • Don’t skip breakfast

General Important tips-

Don’t take your medicine with cold water

Don’t eat heavy meals after 5 pm

Drink more water in the morning, less at night

Don’t lie down after immediately after taking a meal

Best sleeping time is 10 pm to 4 am

Answer phone calls from the left ear

When the phone battery is low to the last bar, don’t answer the call because of the radiation 100 times stronger.

Salads before meals

Tips for weight loss –

Apple – Your tummy friend

Eggs – Your heart friend

Oats – healthful

Lentils – Belly flattener

Kale – Meal by tossing

Blueberries –  Fiber-rich

Pomegranate – Low in calories

Chilies – Burns extra calories

Yogurt – Perfect food

Avocado – A weight loss of food

Olive oil – Taming your appetite

Five Colors of phytonutrients –

Red – Supports prostate, Urinary tract, and DNA health. It protects against cancer and heart diseases.

e.g. Pomegranate, Watermelon, Cherries, Strawberries, Beets, Tomatoes, Apples, Raspberries,  cranberries, Red grapes, Red Onions

Purple – Good for heart, brain, bones, arteries, and cognitive health. Fights cancer and supports healthy aging

e.g. Eggplant (Brinjal), Purple grapes, Plum, Figs, Blueberry, Raisins

Green – Supports eye health, arterial function, lung health, liver function, and cell health. It helps wound healing and gum health.

e.g. Avocado, Kiwi, Broccoli, Cucumber, Celery, Asparagus, Cabbage, Green Apple, Lettuce, Spinach, Sweet Pepper

White –  Supports healthy bones, circulatory systems, and internal functions. Fights heart disease and cancer. e.g. Cauliflower, Onion, Garlic, Potatoes, Ginger, Radish,

Yellow –  Good for eye health, healthy immune function, and healthy growth development.

e.g. Pineapple, Carrot, Banana, Lemon, Grapefruit, Pear, Corn, Papaya, Oranges, Mango, Peach.

GOAL – Eat two foods from each color group daily.

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Click here for Super Tips for Healthy YOU –

Don’t drink sugar calories: Sugary drinks are the most fattening things you can put into your body. Sugary drinks are strongly associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and all sorts of health problems.

Eat Nuts: Despite being high in fat, nuts are incredibly nutritious and healthy. They are loaded with magnesium, vitamin E, fiber, and various other nutrients.

Copy your kitty: Learn to do stretching exercises when you wake up. It boosts circulation and digestion and eases back pain.

Bone up daily: Get your daily calcium by popping a tab, chugging milk, or eating yogurt. It’ll keep your bones strong. Remember that your bone density declines after the age of 30. You need at least 200 milligrams daily, which you should combine with magnesium, or it simply won’t be absorbed.

Don’t fear Coffee: Coffee has been unfairly demonized. The truth is that it’s actually very healthy. Coffee is high in antioxidants, and studies show that coffee drinkers live longer, and have a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and numerous other diseases.

Drink some water especially before a meal : Drinking enough water can have numerous benefits. One important factor is that it can help boost the number of calories you burn.

Avoid bright lights before you sleep: When we’re exposed to bright lights in the evening, this disrupts the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. An interesting “hack” is to use a pair of amber-tinted glasses that block blue light from entering your eyes in the evening.

Take vitamin D3 if you don’t get much sunlight: Back in the day, most people got their vitamin D from the sun. If adequate sun exposure is not an option for you, then supplementing with vitamin D has been shown to have numerous benefits for health. This includes improved bone health, increased strength, reduced symptoms of depression, and a lower risk of cancer, to name a few. Vitamin D may also help you live longer.

Make sure to eat enough protein: Eating enough protein is incredibly important. Protein is particularly important for weight loss and works via several different mechanisms.

High protein intake can boost metabolism significantly while making you feel so full that you automatically eat fewer calories. It can also cut cravings and reduce the desire for late-night snacking. Eating plenty of protein has also been shown to lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels.

Curry favor: Hot, spicy foods containing chilies or cayenne pepper trigger endorphins, the feel-good hormones. Endorphins have a powerful, almost narcotic, effect, and make you feel good after exercising.

I say tomato: Tomato is a superstar in the fruit and veggie pantheon. Tomatoes contain lycopene, a powerful cancer fighter. They’re also rich in vitamin C. The good news is that cooked tomatoes are also nutritious, so use them in pasta, soups, and casseroles, as well as in salads.

Eat your stress away: Prevent low blood sugar as it stresses you out. Eat regular and small healthy meals and keep fruit and veggies handy. Herbal teas will also soothe your frazzled nerves. Eating unrefined carbohydrates, nuts, and bananas boost the formation of serotonin, another feel-good drug. Small amounts of protein containing the amino acid tryptamine can give you a boost when stress tires you out.

Load up on vitamin C: We need at least 90 mg of vitamin C per day and the best way to get this is by eating at least five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day.

Use extra virgin olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil is the healthiest fat on the planet.

It is loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and powerful antioxidants that can fight inflammation. Extra virgin olive oil leads to many beneficial effects on heart health, and people who consume olive oil have a much lower risk of dying from heart attacks and strokes

Don’t eat a lot of refined carbohydrates: Not all carbs are created equal. Refined carbs have been highly processed, and have had all the fiber removed from them. They are low in nutrients (empty calories), and can be extremely harmful. Studies show that refined carbohydrates are linked to overeating and numerous metabolic diseases.

No folly in folic acid. Folic acid should be taken regularly by all pregnant mums and people with low immunity to disease. Folic acid prevents spina bifida in unborn babies and can play a role in cancer prevention. It is found in green leafy vegetables, fruit, and bran.

Lift heavy things: Lifting weights is one of the best things you can do to strengthen your body and improve your body composition. It also leads to massive improvements in metabolic health, including improved insulin sensitivity. The best approach is to go to a gym and lift weights, but doing bodyweight exercises can be just as effective.

Take care of your relationships: Social relationships are incredibly important. Not only for your mental wellbeing but your physical health as well. Studies show that people who are close to friends and family are healthier and live much longer than those who are not.

If you have excess belly fat, get rid of it: Not all body fat is equal. It is mostly the fat in your abdominal cavity, the belly fat, that causes problems. This fat builds up around the organs and is strongly linked to metabolic disease.

For this reason, your waist size may be a much stronger marker for your health than the number on the scale. Cutting carbs, eating more protein, and eating plenty of fiber are all excellent ways to get rid of belly fat.

Burn fat during intervals. To improve your fitness quickly and lose weight, harness the joys of interval training. Set the treadmill or step machine on the interval program, where your speed and workload varies from minute to minute. Build up gradually, every minute, and return to the starting speed. Repeat this routine. Not only will it be less monotonous, but you can train for a shorter time and achieve greater results.

Cool off without a beer. Don’t eat carbohydrates for at least an hour after exercise. This will force your body to break down body fat, rather than using the food you ingest. Stick to fruit and fluids during that hour, but avoid beer.

Stop fuming. Don’t smoke and if you smoke already, do everything in your power to quit. Apart from the well-known risks of heart disease and cancer, orthopedic surgeons have found that smoking accelerates bone density loss and constricts blood flow.

Don’t go on a diet: Diets are notoriously ineffective, and rarely work well in the long term. In fact, “dieting” is one of the strongest predictors for future weight gain. Instead of going on a diet, try adopting a healthier lifestyle. Focus on nourishing your body, instead of depriving it. Weight loss should follow as a natural side effect of better food choices and improved metabolic health.

Asthma-friendly sports. Swimming is the most asthma-friendly sport of all, but cycling, canoeing, fishing, sailing, and walking are also good, according to the experts.

Laugh and cry. Having a good sob is reputed to be good for you. So is laughter, which has been shown to help heal bodies, as well as broken hearts. Studies in Japan indicate that laughter boosts the immune system and helps the body shake off allergic reactions.

Avoid Steamy hot water: Showering or bathing in water that’s too hot will dry out your skin and cause it to age prematurely. Warm water is much better. Apply moisturizer while your skin is still damp – it’ll be absorbed more easily. Adding a little olive oil to your bath with help keep your skin moisturized too.

Here’s the rub. Improve your circulation and help your lymph glands to drain by the way you towel off. Helping your lymph glands function can help prevent them from becoming infected. When drying off your limbs and torso, brush towards the groin on your legs and towards the armpits on your upper body. You can do the same during gentle massage with your partner.

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Vegetarianism

vegetarianism

Vegetarianism

The earliest records of vegetarianism come from the sixth century B.C.E., in India, Greece, and the Greek civilization, and it stemmed from a desire not to harm animals.

Early traces of vegetarianism in Europe disappeared with the introduction of Christianity to the Roman Empire. Many orders of monks in medieval Europe either banned or limited meat consumption as a gesture of personal sacrifice or abstinence, but they ate fish.

In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, vegetarianism reappeared in Western society. As research continues to support the benefits of a vegetarian diet, more people could become vegetarian in the future.

Adopting a vegetarian diet can be the perfect way to stay healthy and happy.  A vegetarian diet is a complete diet, which is associated with high consumption of fiber, vitamins C and E, folic acid, magnesium, unsaturated fat, and numerous phytochemicals. And this is why vegetarians have lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and reduced risk of heart diseases. Vegetarian food is also easy for the body to digest, takes lesser time to cook, is healthy, and most importantly saves your money. Vegetables are vital not just for our healthy living but for the environment too.

It is not necessary to eat meat to get all the nutrients needed for good health. A person who chooses not to eat meat may enjoy better health, because they will eat more plant-based foods, and because they may be more active in making healthy choices.

Click here for Why Vegetarianism ? -

People become vegetarians for many reasons, including health, religious convictions, concerns about animal welfare or the use of antibiotics and hormones in livestock, or a desire to eat in a way that avoids excessive use of environmental resources. Some people follow a largely vegetarian diet because they can’t afford to eat meat. Becoming a vegetarian has become more appealing and accessible, thanks to the year-round availability of fresh produce, more vegetarian dining options, and the growing culinary influence of cultures with largely plant-based diets.

Approximately six to eight million adults in the United States eat no meat, fish, or poultry, according to a Harris Interactive poll commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group, a non-profit organization that disseminates information about vegetarianism. Several million more have eliminated red meat but still eat chicken or fish. About two million have become vegans, forgoing not only animal flesh but also animal-based products such as milk, cheese, eggs, and gelatin.

Traditionally, research into vegetarianism focused mainly on potential nutritional deficiencies, but in recent years, the pendulum has swung the other way, and studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk of many chronic illnesses. According to the Dietetic Association in India, “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”

“Appropriately planned” is the operative term. Unless you follow the recommended guidelines on nutrition, fat consumption, and weight control, becoming a vegetarian won’t necessarily be good for you. A diet of soda, cheese pizza, and candy, after all, is technically “vegetarian.” For health, it’s important to make sure that you eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It’s also vital to replace saturated and trans fats with good fats, such as those found in nuts, olive oil, and canola oil. And always keep in mind that if you eat too many calories, even from nutritious, low-fat, plant-based foods, you’ll gain weight. So it’s also important to practice portion control, read food labels, and engage in regular physical activity.

You can get many of the health benefits of being vegetarian without going all the way. For example, a Mediterranean eating pattern — known to be associated with longer life and reduced risk of several chronic illnesses — features an emphasis on plant foods with sparing use of meat. Even if you don’t want to become a complete vegetarian, you can steer your diet in that direction with a few simple substitutions, such as plant-based sources of protein — beans or tofu, for example — or fish instead of meat a couple of times a week.

Only a vegetarian diet is right for you. Better health should be your goal. 

Varieties of vegetarians

Strictly speaking, vegetarians are people who don’t eat meat, poultry, or seafood. But people with many different dietary patterns call themselves vegetarians, including the following:

Vegans (total vegetarians): The strictest type of vegetarian, refrain from meat, poultry, fish, or any products derived from animals, including eggs, dairy products, and gelatin.

Lacto-Ovo vegetarians: Do not eat meat, poultry, or fish, but do eat eggs and dairy products.

Lacto vegetarians: Eat no meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, but do consume dairy products.

Ovo vegetarians: Eat no meat, poultry, fish, or dairy products, but do eat eggs.

Pollotarians: Avoid meat but may eat fish (pesco-vegetarian, pescatarian) or poultry (Pollo-vegetarian).

Pescatarians: Eat fish but no meat.

SemiVegetarians: Don’t eat red meat but do eat chicken and fish.

Flexitarians: Stick to a vegetarian diet most of the time but eat meat occasionally.

Click here for Can becoming a vegetarian protect you against major diseases?

YES. Compared with meat-eaters, vegetarians tend to consume less saturated fat and cholesterol and more vitamins C and E, dietary fiber, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, and phytochemicals (plant chemicals), such as carotenoids and flavonoids. As a result, they’re likely to have lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and lower body mass index (BMI), all of which are associated with longevity and a reduced risk for many chronic diseases.

But there still aren’t enough data to say exactly how a vegetarian diet influences long-term health. It’s difficult to tease out the influence of vegetarianism from other practices that vegetarians are more likely to follow, such as not smoking, not drinking excessively, and getting adequate exercise. But here’s what some of the research has shown so far:

Heart disease. There’s some evidence that vegetarians have a lower risk for cardiac events (such as a heart attack) and death from cardiac causes. In one of the largest studies — a combined analysis of data from five prospective studies involving more than 76,000 participants published several years ago — vegetarians were, on average, 25% less likely to die of heart disease. This result confirmed earlier findings from studies comparing vegetarian and nonvegetarian Seventh-day Adventists (members of this religious group avoid caffeine and don’t drink or smoke; about 40% are vegetarians). In another study involving 65,000 people, researchers found a 19% lower risk of death from heart disease among vegetarians.

For heart protection, it’s best to choose high-fiber whole grains and legumes, which are digested slowly and have a low glycemic index — that is, they help keep blood sugar levels steady. Soluble fiber also helps reduce cholesterol levels. Refined carbohydrates and starches like potatoes, white rice, and white-flour products cause a rapid rise in blood sugar, which increases the risk of heart attack and diabetes (a risk factor for heart disease).

Nuts are also heart-protective. They have a low glycemic index and contain many antioxidants, vegetable protein, fiber, minerals, and healthy fatty acids. The downside: nuts pack a lot of calories, so restrict your daily intake to a small handful (about an ounce). The upside: because of their fat content, even a small amount of nuts can satisfy the appetite.

Walnuts, in particular, are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have many health benefits. Even so, fish are the best source of omega-3s, and it’s not clear whether plant-derived omega-3s are an adequate substitute for fish in the diet. One study suggests that omega-3s from walnuts and fish both work to lower heart disease risk, but by different routes.

Cancer. Hundreds of studies suggest that eating lots of fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of developing certain cancers, and there’s evidence that vegetarians have a lower incidence of cancer than non-vegetarians do. But the differences aren’t large. A vegetarian diet can make it easier to get the recommended minimum of five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, but a purely vegetarian diet is not necessarily better than a plant-based diet that also includes fish or poultry.

If you stop eating red meat (whether or not you become a vegetarian), you’ll eliminate a risk factor for colon cancer. It’s not clear whether avoiding all animal products reduces the risk further. Vegetarians usually have lower levels of potentially carcinogenic substances in their colons, but studies comparing cancer rates in vegetarians and non-vegetarians have shown inconsistent results.

Type 2 diabetes. Research suggests that a predominantly plant-based diet can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. In studies, vegetarians’ risk of developing diabetes was half that of non-vegetarians, even after taking BMI into account. The Harvard-based Women’s Health Study found a similar correlation between eating red meat (especially processed meats, such as bacon and hot dogs) and diabetes risk, after adjusting for BMI, total calorie intake, and exercise.

What about bone health?

Some women are reluctant to try a vegetarian diet — especially one that doesn’t include calcium-rich dairy products — because they’re concerned about osteoporosis. Lacto-Ovo vegetarians (see “Varieties of vegetarians”) consume at least as much calcium as meat-eaters, but vegans typically consume less. In the EPIC-Oxford study, 75% of vegans got less than the recommended daily amount of calcium, and vegans, in general, had a relatively high rate of fractures. But vegans who consumed at least 525 milligrams of calcium per day were not especially vulnerable to fractures.

Certain vegetables can supply calcium, including bok choy, broccoli, Chinese cabbage, collards, and kale. (Spinach and Swiss chard, which also contain calcium, are not such good choices, because along with the calcium they have oxalates, which make it harder for the body to absorb calcium.) Moreover, the high potassium and magnesium content of fruits and vegetables reduces blood acidity, lowering the urinary excretion of calcium.

People who follow a vegetarian diet and especially a vegan diet may be at risk of getting insufficient vitamin D and vitamin K, both needed for bone health. Although green leafy vegetables contain some vitamin K, vegans may also need to rely on fortified foods, including some types of soy milk, rice milk, organic orange juice, and breakfast cereals. They may also want to consider taking a vitamin D supplement.

health benefits

Click here for Health benefits of being vegetarian

Vegetarian diets are usually rich in fiber and lower in calories and fat than a non-vegetarian diet. Eating this way, whether for a few meals or for decades, can be beneficial to your health in loads of ways, including:

  • Weight Control Following a plant-based diet usually means you’ll take in fewer calories overall (so long as you’re not swapping meat for too many unhealthy simple carbs like white bread and pasta). Studies have found vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) on average compared with non-vegetarians.
  • Heart Help Without meat, your diet will be lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, which ends up reducing your risk of heart disease. Vegetarians tend to have lower levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol.
  • Hypertension Management Eating a plant-based diet may help lower high blood pressure.
  • Improve Insulin Response Going vegetarian won’t cure type 2 diabetes, but it may help stabilize your blood sugar and make your body more responsive to insulin as long as you’re eating a balanced diet. It could also reduce your risk of other complications related to type 2 diabetes.
  • Cancer Protection Vegetarians have lower cancer rates than non-vegetarians, suggesting an association between following a plant-based diet and a lower risk of certain types of cancer.
  • Lower Metabolic Syndrome Risk Some studies suggest people who fill their plates with plants also tend to have lower rates of metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors that may raise your risk of chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
  • Vegan diets lower Blood sugar levels Going vegan may have benefits for type 2 diabetes and declining kidney function.
  • Reduces pain from Arthritis Researchers have reported that a vegan diet has positive effects on people with different types of Arthritis.
  • A vegan diet is richer in certain nutrients Whole grain, fruits, vegetable beans, peas nuts, and seeds make u a large proportion of the vegan diet, they contribute to a higher daily intake of certain beneficial nutrients.

More on the Vegetarian Diet

All of these health benefits boil down to one major one: Being a vegetarian may help you live longer. And research shows that there’s a correlation between health benefits and how strict a vegetarian diet one follows, with strict vegetarians seeing the greatest health benefits, followed by lacto-vegetarians, pescatarians, and non-vegetarians.

The Vegetarian Diet’s Effect on Weight Loss and Weight Management

With a diet filled with vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, vegetarians take in a whole lot of fiber. Fiber helps promote fullness and can lead to weight loss if you take in fewer calories overall.

One study involving people with type 2 diabetes found following a vegetarian diet was almost twice as effective at helping with weight loss as following a low-calorie diet. Overall, vegetarians tend to have lower BMIs than meat-eaters, and research suggests vegetarianism could help protect against obesity.

To see these weight loss benefits, vegetarians need to stick to healthy whole foods and avoid overeating. With all of the new animal-free junk food on the market, it’s become increasingly easier to eat hyper-palatable [vegetarian] foods to the point of weight gain.

 Health risks of being vegetarian –

Experts recommend meeting with a registered dietician who can help you put together a meal plan to make sure you’re sourcing enough appropriate nutrients and sticking to a reasonable amount of calories each day. The dietician can also advise on foods to eat or supplements to take to avoid deficiencies.

Here are a few nutrients that vegetarians risk being deficient in, plus some vegetarian-friendly ideas of how to get your fill:

  • Protein found in nuts, peanut butter, grains, legumes, eggs, dairy, tofu, tempeh, and seitan
  • Iron found in legumes, whole grains, fortified cereals, seeds, and tofu
  • Calcium found in milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, and fortified non-dairy milk
  • Zinc can be sourced from dried beans, fortified cereals, nuts, seeds, dairy, and nutritional yeast
  • Vitamin B12 vitamin found in dairy, fortified breakfast cereal, soy milk, eggs, and nutritional yeast
  • Vitamin D most easily found in cow’s milk

Because vegetarians don’t usually eat as many calories as non-vegetarians, it may not be a good diet for children and teens who are still growing.

Potential challenges of being vegetarian –

The biggest challenge many vegetarians run into is resisting meat-filled foods they’ve enjoyed in the past, such as turkey or a hot dog. You’ll likely need to drastically rethink your meals. Most of us were raised with meat at the center of the plate and having to recalculate that requires a transition period.

Dining at restaurants can also be a challenge, though more and more eateries now have veg-friendly items such as veggie burgers on their menus. Ordering a salad plus an appetizer without any meat or fish is also a good bet. Pescatarians have an easier time dining out because fish is readily available on many menus.

Click here for Tips for success for going vegetarianism –

Dietician says going vegetarian can be healthy — so long as you know what you’re doing. They agree and emphasize that a vegetarian diet needs to be appropriately planned.

Here are some ideas for how to do so successfully:

  • Cut meat from your diet gradually. Rather than going vegetarian overnight, try adding a few meatless meals to your menu each week until you slowly phase out meat.
  • Work with a professional. Be aware of the potential nutritional deficiencies and plan your meals accordingly with help from a registered dietician. With all drastic dietary changes, there are health risks, it’s important to pay close attention to those potential deficiencies.
  • Meal prep! Choose your meat-free foods wisely and keep your fridge stocked with healthy vegetarian options. Meal prepping by chopping up vegetables to toss in a salad or making batches of quinoa or farro to have on hand is also a good idea.
  • Experiment with different flavors. Try out different spices and seasonings to make your meals interesting.
  • Make small tweaks to your favorite dishes. If you’re feeling stuck, try to put a vegetarian spin on your favorite meals. For instance, try vegetarian chili filled with beans instead of chili made with ground beef.
  • Source new recipes. Refer to websites, cookbooks, and social media to find recipes you love. Then, tweak them and add them to your weekly menu. It becomes second nature rather rapidly.

Nutritional Support :

A wide range of products is currently available to support vegetarians and specifically vegans in their dietary choices and as such offers them the same level of safety and convenience enjoyed by non-vegetarians. Some examples are non-dairy milk, fortified foods such as breakfast cereals, juices, and spreads, as well as supplements. Meat-free alternatives, including meat ‘analogs’, which resemble meat in texture, can be substituted for meat in recipes. Vegetarian ready-meals are widely available and many manufacturers voluntarily label their products as suitable for vegetarians or vegans. Otherwise, the list of ingredients, which is a mandatory labeling element on food and drink packages in Europe, provides all the information required to assess the suitability of a specific product in the context of a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Soy, in its various forms (plain beans, tofu, etc.), is a useful addition to the vegetarian/vegan diet. It can meet protein needs as effectively as animal protein, and some preparations can be considered sources of the omega-3 fatty acid ALA (but not EPA and DHA). Soy is also rich in iron in a protein-bound form that appears to be readily absorbed. Some minor plant compounds in soy – referred to as phytochemicals – are also thought to have a protective effect against cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and some cancers. Note that other beans and legumes are also good sources of protein and minerals, so check what is in season.

Vegetarian sources of vitamin B12 include milk and dairy products as well as eggs, all at the same time good sources of high-quality protein. This list implies that vitamin B12 is one of the most critical nutrients for vegans, who may need to use supplements or rely on yeast extract spreads to meet their requirements.

Click here for Surprising ways your body can change when you become a vegetarian -

Everybody needs something different in order to feel their best, so what you decide to eat on a daily basis is entirely up to you. If you feel great after eating a burger, or chicken, or fish, then go for it. But if you prefer to live that veggie life, or if you’d like to give it a try, you might notice the changes to your body when you go vegetarian.

In many ways, a diet high in vegetables and whole grains can improve your health, and even lower your chances of developing certain diseases. Vegetarian diets decrease the risk of many forms of cancer, heart disease, gallstones, kidney stones, osteoporosis, and diabetes. People who eat no meat also tend to have lower blood pressure and lower cholesterol.”

While there are many benefits to eating meat, there is also a lot of research supporting a vegetarian lifestyle. The true benefits of vegetarianism come when you focus your diet on healthy, nutrient-rich whole foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Of course, this lifestyle preference is completely up to you, and what you are comfortable with, but if you are thinking of going full-on veggie, experts say there is a lot to be gained.

Here are a few interesting ways a vegetarian diet may change your body.

  1. Your mood will improve.
  2. Your taste buds will change.
  3. You might take longer to recover after working out.
  4. You will notice more energy.
  5. You might feel uncomfortable in the initial phase.
  6. You will sleep like a baby.
  7. You will feel fuller longer.
  8. You will have clearer skin.
  9. Your hormones can change.
  10. Increases your Life span.
  11. Lowers your cholesterol levels.
  12. Less risk of stroke and obesity.
  13. Reduces the risk of Diabetes.
  14. Fighting Disease.
  15. High fiber content.
  16. Reduces your Depression.
  17. Improves metabolism.
  18. Reduces the risk of Cataract development.
  19. You will have a lean figure.
  20. Less Toxicity.
  21. Improves your athletic performance.
  22. You will start reading nutrition labels and identify potential hazards.
  23. You will find a difference in muscle recovery.
  24. You might feel the urge to use more supplements.
  25. Less Animal cruelty.

 The following are a few ways veganism affects your body.

A well-balanced, whole-foods vegan diet inevitably relies more heavily on foods that can contribute to a higher daily intake of certain beneficial nutrients and therefore is associated with a number of health benefits.

1.A healthier Heart – A vegan diet may help you maintain a healthier heart, primarily due to its higher content of fiber, antioxidants, and other plant phytochemicals from fresh fruits, vegetables, and legumes. When comparing vegans to vegetarians and the typical western diet, vegans have been found to benefit from a potential 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure and a 42% lower risk of dying from heart disease. A higher intake of soluble fiber has also been found to reduce LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels by reducing the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream.

  1. A better BMI – Vegan diets have a natural tendency to reduce calorie intake, depending on how well balanced the diet is and what the consumer’s diet looked like before. Particularly due to the reduction in saturated fat from animal-based foods. As such, vegans have a lower prevalence of overweight and obesity than non-vegans. Research has even found vegan diets to be more effective for losing weight than other types of diets specifically design for weight loss. It is particularly popular amongst dieters who don’t want to actively focus on cutting calories.
  2. Reduced risk of Diabetes – Clinical studies have confirmed that a vegan diet tends to reduce blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and even lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 78%. A whole-foods, plant-based diet has even been shown to reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics more than the diets recommended by national diabetes and heart associations. Diabetics who substitute meat for plant protein may also reduce their risk of poor kidney function.
  3. Less Inflammation – Certain types of animal-based foods can be very inflammatory to the body and so by replacing these with fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes that are packed with antioxidants, flavonoids and carotenoids we allow the body to fight and reduce systemic inflammation. This protects tissues from long term oxidative damage which can over time lead to many chronic diseases including arthritis, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, and even cancer if not addressed.
  4. Improved Mood – Few studies have been conducted on the effects of a vegan diet on the brain however there is evidence to suggest that plant-based eating can help to control emotional states including depression, anxiety, fatigue, and a sense of well being. This again may be due in part to the benefit of increasing levels of antioxidants found in plant-based foods that increase brain health, as well as a reduction in glycotoxins which are found in meat products and cause an increase in oxidative stress and inflammation.
  5. Healthier Cholesterol level – Scientists have shown that one specific vegetarian diet can lower cholesterol almost as well as treatment with medication. Levels of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), the “bad” cholesterol that causes clogging in coronary arteries, fell by almost 30 percent in participants who followed the diet. This was only slightly lower than those who used lovastatin alongside their usual diet. The diet consisted of almonds, soy proteins, high-fiber foods such as oats and barley, and special margarine with plant sterols, found in leafy green vegetables and vegetable oils.
  6. Lower risk of developing Cancer – Research shows that, overall, vegetarians have a lower risk of many different types of cancer, compared with meat-eaters. A vegetarian diet has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular risk factors. Studies have found that the more meat people consume, the higher their risk of type 2 diabetes. Vegetarian food tends to be lower in fat, especially saturated fats, and higher in fiber, than animal-based foods.

 

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Veganism, the plant-based diet which shuns meat and dairy, is having its time in the sun. Since 2008, there has been a 20% increase in the number of self-described vegans globally. Where this motivation stems from is varied, but includes concerns about animal welfare, worries about the environment, and religious reasons.

Many people, though, seek a healthier diet. Research suggests that veganism can have health benefits, if well planned. For those who have pursued a diet rich in meat and dairy for most of their lives, embarking on a vegan diet can lead to significant changes within the body.

The first few weeks

The first thing that someone starting a vegan diet might notice is an energy boost with the removal of the processed meat that is found in many omnivorous diets, in favor of fruit, vegetables, and nuts. These foods will boost your vitamin, mineral, and fiber levels, and thinking ahead about your meals and snacks rather than relying on convenience foods can help sustain consistent energy levels.

As time without animal products grows into weeks, there is likely to be a shift in bowel function either towards a more regular, healthy pattern or an increase in bloating wind, and loose motions. This is due to the higher fiber content of a vegan diet and the simultaneous increase in carbohydrates that ferment in the gut and can cause irritable bowel syndrome.

This may settle eventually and could lead to some positive changes in the diversity of the bacteria in the colon, depending on whether a vegan diet is made up of processed food and refined carbohydrates or is well planned and balanced. Although not proven yet, scientists believe that a high species diversity for gut bacteria could be beneficial for the whole system, in the same way, that ecosystems are stronger as a result of lots of different types of species thriving.

After three months –

Few months into a vegan diet and some people may find that the increase in fruit and vegetables and reduced processed food can help acne to clear up. By this point, however, your stores of vitamin D might be dropping as key sources of it in our diet come from meat, fish, and dairy, and it isn’t always noticeable until it’s too late. Vitamin D isn’t well understood but it’s essential in keeping bones, teeth, and muscles healthy and deficiency has been linked with cancer, heart disease, migraines, and depression.

This is because vitamin D stores are only thought to last about two months in the body. How long your stores last will depend on the time of year that you decide to go vegan because the body can make vitamin D from sunlight. Making sure you eat plenty of fortified foods or take a supplement is important, especially in the winter months.

Within a few months, a well-balanced vegan diet that is low in salt and processed food may have impressive benefits for cardiovascular health, helping to prevent heart disease, stroke, and reducing the risk of diabetes. As the intake of nutrients like iron, zinc, and calcium are reduced on a vegan diet, our bodies get better at absorbing them from the intestine. The adaptation may be enough to prevent deficiencies in some people but not for everyone, in which case supplements can fill the shortfall.

After six months –

Approaching a year on a vegan diet, vitamin B12 stores may become depleted. Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that is essential to the healthy functioning of blood and nerve cells and can only be found in animal products. Symptoms of B12 deficiency include breathlessness, exhaustion, poor memory and tingling in the hands and feet.

B12 deficiency is easily prevented by eating three portions of fortified food per day or taking a supplement, but managing it is very important, as any deficiency would negate the benefits of a vegan diet for heart disease and stroke risk and can cause permanent nerve and brain damage.

A few years down the line and even our bones will start to notice the change. Our skeleton is a mineral store and up until the age of 30 we can add minerals to it from our diet, but after that, our bones can’t absorb minerals anymore and so getting enough calcium when we’re young is vital.

After the age of 30, our bodies harvest the calcium from our skeleton for use in the body, and if we don’t replenish the calcium in our blood through our diet, our bones fill the deficit and become brittle as a result.

Vegetables rich in calcium like kale and broccoli may protect bones, but many vegans don’t meet their calcium requirements and there is a 30% increased risk of fracture among vegans when compared to vegetarians and omnivores. Plant-based calcium is also harder to absorb and therefore supplements or plenty of fortified foods are recommended.

When contemplating the years ahead on a vegan diet, balance is key. Well-balanced vegan diets may have major health benefits. Many of those benefits can be offset by deficiencies if the diet isn’t managed carefully, but supermarkets and food outlets are making it easier than ever to enjoy a varied and exciting vegan diet and our appetite for meat overall is declining. With the right preparation, a vegan diet can be good for human health.

Reasons to Choose vegetarian –

1) Your health: prevent disease. Meat-eating has been linked with cancer, heart disease, strokes, diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis, kidney stones, and many other devastating diseases. By eliminating meat from your diet you can take a crucial step towards a long life of health and happiness.

2) Increased energy and endurance: A vegetarian diet improves your stamina, concentration, and sense of well-being. In one study, athletes who switched to a vegetarian diet improved their endurance to almost 3 times as much as those who remained carnivorous.

3) Avoid toxic food contaminants: Flesh foods are loaded with dangerous poisons and contaminants such as hormones, herbicides and pesticides, and antibiotics. As these toxins are all fat-soluble, they concentrate in the fatty flesh of the animals. Not to mention the viruses, bacteria, and parasites such as salmonella, trichinella, and other worms, and toxoplasmosis parasites.

4) Humans are by design vegetarian: our flat teeth are perfect for grinding grains and vegetables, not for tearing apart animal flesh. Similarly, our hands are designed for gathering, not for flesh-ripping. Our saliva contains the enzyme alpha-amylase, the sole purpose of which is to digest the complex carbohydrates in plant foods. (This enzyme is not found in the saliva of carnivores.) Basically we have all the right apparatus to consume vegetarian products and none of the right apparatus for flesh foods.

5) Care for the environment: by improperly using animals for food, we are eating ourselves off the planet. The raising of animals specifically to kill them and eat them has resulted in incredible waste and devastation of our precious resources. Just one example of the consequences is the fact that due to plundering our farmlands to fatten animals for slaughter, over 4 million acres of cropland are being lost to erosion in this country every year.

6) Help end world hunger: every day forty thousand children on this planet needlessly starve to death. According to the Department of Agriculture statistics, one acre of land can grow 20,000 pounds of potatoes. That same acre of land, when used to grow cattle feed, can produce less than 165 pounds of edible cow flesh.

7) Become a more peaceful person: when we consume animal flesh products we are necessarily at odds with nature and our fellow living beings. Consumption of flesh foods has been scientifically linked with violent and aggressive behavior.

8) Have compassion for animals: animals who are raised for slaughter needlessly experience incredible suffering throughout their life and death. Many people try not to think of the torturous experiences of the animal whose flesh ended up in their hamburger or on their dinner table. But if it is distasteful to think about, consider what it is like to experience it.

9) Vegetarianism is moral and ethical: give the devastating consequences of meat-eating on an individual, social, and ecological level, as thinking, caring beings we should choose vegetarianism. Many great philosophers such as Plato, Socrates, Leo Tolstoy, and George Bernard Shaw have taught the morality of vegetarianism.

10) Animals are God’s property and have a right to life: the living beings temporarily encaged in animal bodies are not here for us to harm and exploit. We are meant to act as caretakers and protectors of animals and the planet, not exploiters and killers. Many world religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Seventh Day Adventists, Mormons, and Jainists all teach that eating animal flesh is wrong.

 

Why switch ?

Because there are so many health, economic, and ethical reasons to switch from regular to vegetarian dieting, why not give it a try? However, when doing so be sure to plan your meals carefully to get plenty of protein, iron, calcium, zinc, iodine, vitamin B12, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Health Distractions

health distractions

Health Distractions

Identifying why and how you engage with personal technology may be the difference between healthy and destructive behavior. Take a look at your favorite digital distractions — social media, video games, puzzles, television shows, podcasts, news, and spectator sports — and ask yourself whether you are using them as tools to build strength, skills, knowledge, and self-efficacy for the future or for a temporary escape from an uncomfortable reality. If it’s the latter, you may want to reconsider the role these distractions play in your life. If the pain you’re escaping is permanent, no distraction will ever heal it. You must either learn new coping strategies or fundamentally fix what is broken.

When we think about personal technology distractions, we must ensure they continue to serve us. Whether it is helping us get through a difficult time in our lives, or helping us build strength and perseverance for the long-term, continually asking “why am I doing this?” can help make sure we’re getting the most out of our distractions.

Click here for Distractions from Medical Practitioners -

Clinical Systems observers have noted a growing, troubling problem in human technology interaction in health care providers’ electronic distraction; and an ever-growing number of hospital staff who are constantly focused on their Personal Electronic Devices (PEDS) such as smartphones, tablets, etc. The personnel is compelled to constantly check social media, text, check e-mail, and surf the web. This behavior will, of course, impact patient care and increase medical errors. The ECRI has listed electronic distraction as one of the top ten medical technology errors for 2013.

Health care professionals make up a high percentage of PED users with over 80 percent using such smart devices in daily work environments, and the number will only grow as we have universal Electronic Medical Records (EMRs) in our health care facilities. With the ever-present availability of these devices comes the realization that there is a compelling behavior to use them for social interaction and to provide pathways of escape during the workday. A front-page article in the New York Times brought this growing problem into public light in late 2011 and has caused a number of healthcare agencies, professional organizations and hospital systems to address this problem. Medical colleges need to integrate electronic technology interaction education into the undergraduate and graduate curriculum so students and residents can clearly understand how their current, socially acceptable fixation on PEDS impacts their professional lives and patient safety.

An excellent published survey illustrated that even though perfusionists knew that it was wrong to be distracted from monitoring cardiac bypass, 50% admitted to texting during procedures. In a recent study of behavior on patient rounds, residents observed that fellow residents missed clinical information 34% of the time because they were distracted by smartphones. Faculty stated they believed the number was higher at 43%. In that study, residents believed faculty missed 20 percent of clinically relevant information due to this technology. These reports are highly troubling, especially in the realm of health care practice but not surprising.

The lay and business literature are full of reports of decreased productivity with the widespread introduction of computers to the workplace. These distractive behaviors are not limited to the workplace. The ever-rising incidence of both motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents and fatalities caused by texting and electronic distraction reinforces that even basic human survival behaviors are impacted by this technological explosion.

The addictive component of this technology has been greatly understudied and may in many ways parallel how cigarette use was at one time highly, socially accepted behavior; and it took a number of decades to clarify its addictive properties. A key tool for evaluation of alcoholism and addiction has been the CAGE questionnaire, in use since the 1970s as a highly validated tool. Questions were asked for audience response and the responses range from 20% to 50% positive for addiction on each, based on the demographics of the audience. It has been common that younger audiences have scored higher for addiction. This makes intuitive sense in that any trip to a mall would reinforce the observation of young people walking about either fixated on their device or holding it at all times in their right hand. The answers to this tool have been eye-opening to audiences and lead them to review self-behavior. More formal studies need to of course be developed and larger populations of health professionals studied to validate this rise in electronic addiction.

The key to changing such behavior is education. A number of professional societies have begun to address this behavior through guidelines and inclusion in educational meetings and materials. Professional schools and residency programs need to integrate education on distractions and professionalism into the curriculum. This education and research throughout the health professions will lead to behavior modification and proper human-to-technology interfacing and lead to enhanced patient safety.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices recently provided a number of practice recommendations for medication administration. These include:

(i) establishing a no interruption zone (NIZ);

(ii) ensuring a do-not-disturb approach;

(iii) providing staff education;

(iv) determining the best time for necessary interruptions;

(v) creating checklists;

(vi) managing mobile devices;

(vii) making system improvements;

(viii) managing alerts, alarms, and noise; and

(ix) gathering supplies prior to prescribing, preparing, or administering medication. 

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The ability to shift our attention away from negative experiences is also helpful outside of a hospital setting. Distractions can help us cope with the pains of everyday life. Research on how distractions can be used to control our urges and impulses shows that certain games can help reduce cravings for fatty foods and even addictive drugs. Researchers suspect the cognitive demands of these games redirect our attention away from craving triggers, reducing the painful urge to indulge. Playing matching puzzle games like Candy Crush, Puzzle Blocks, or Interlocked might actually help us distract ourselves away from digging into that pint of ice cream in the fridge.

Distractions can also help us stay fit. Research suggests taking our minds off the pain of physical exercise, with music or television, can improve performance and endurance.

Digital distractions and personal technology can help us be stronger at the moment, they can also help us develop our ability to take on challenges in the future. Certain personal technologies can help us build up our courage, and games are a particularly good way to boost our self-efficacy — our confidence in our ability to overcome problems.

Actually digital games are powerful tools to build strength and confidence because …Constantly escalating challenges requires a willingness from [patients] to keep trying, even when they fail. It instills a belief that if they keep practicing and learning if they put in the hard work, they will eventually be able to achieve more difficult goals. By attempting and overcoming challenges within a game, the cancer patients strengthened their perseverance to keep fighting.

Other digital games have been used to help patients with asthma, diabetes, anxiety, and ADHD; all showing increases in self-efficacy and self-care behavior after playing. More evidence that games can heal is emerging from new digital health platforms that use game-based elements to increase patient participation.

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Clearly, distractions can help us deal with pain and build our courage to tackle future challenges. However, don’t distractions pull us away from our priorities? What about the many products and services, like video games and social media sites, designed to be so good we want to use them all the time? Sometimes we have trouble limiting their use and find ourselves sucked into distractions.

Whether personal technology distractions are a force for good, depends on why and how we use them. “Do you play to escape your real life, or do you play to make you are real-life better?”

There are two modes for how we engage with distracting activities: self-suppression and self-expansion.

Self-suppression is using distractions to avoid negative experiences; while self-expansion is using distractions to promote positive ones. It sounds simple enough, but at times, it is hard to tell the difference between the two. The same activity could be expansive for one person and suppressive for another. It all depends on why the person is engaging in the distraction and for how long.

How can you tell if a distraction is good or bad for you? asking yourself, “Why am I doing this?” If your response is to avoid a negative feeling such as “Because work is boring,” or “I don’t want to deal with anything right now,” the distraction may be self-suppressive.

Of course in some instances, such as burn victims or children about to go into surgery, distractions can be an effective coping strategy. However, these are justified in that the distractions are used as a temporary solution. Once the patient is healed physically, they no longer require the escape from pain.

However, problems can arise when distractions become a permanent escape from an uncomfortable reality. So solutions that don’t build our ability to deal with pain in the future. Temporary distractions used for too long may backfire because Over time self-suppression actually diminishes our sense of self-efficacy … We no longer see ourselves as people who can effectively solve our own problems. When we rely on pain-relieving distractions, be it personal technology, drugs, or other escapes, we may never build our capacity to deal with a painful situation, either physical or psychological.

In contrast, self-expansive distractions involve achieving goals, building skills, or attaining new knowledge that can be used over the long-term. These distractions help us improve ourselves and can build self-efficacy.

For example, answers to the question “Why am I doing this?” that sound like, “I want to learn a new language,” “I want to build a bigger career network,” “I want to know more about my health,” or “I want to improve my well-being,” are the kind of answers that a self-expansive technology can help with. Using distractions with an expansive mindset builds strength while using them with a suppressive one simply shields us from the pain we are avoiding.

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Watching TV during exercise: it may seem mindless to watch TV while you run or climb stairs, the fact is that your mind has trouble focusing on more than one large thing. And, when your mind isn’t focused your body can easily slip into autopilot. That usually means you stay at the same comfortable pace your whole workout. Although you might think that’s what you want, you won’t be getting nearly the workout or benefits you would be if your head was in the game. By switching up your speed and paying attention to intervals in a routine you’ll burn more fat, improve heart health, and maintain muscle. But all those intervals take focus. So, switch off the TV and listen up.

Bad posture: Practically any workout you can think of needs complete attention to producing results. Sacrificing proper posture also means you won’t be using all of the muscles you intend to, so you can say goodbye to those coveted overall results.

Back Strain: Every part of your body is constantly working together—even more so when you’re physically active. That being said, when you start using your arms to hold a phone, tablet, or book, other body parts have to compensate for their usual swinging, momentum-giving motion. The one that has to pick up that slack? Your back. On top of now being less stable, you’re adding a slight twist to your back. Both of these lead to back strain.

Tight Muscles: Think about it: You’re jogging on the treadmill, checking your email or a message pops up on your mobile. Instantly, your mind and body go into stress-mode because of distraction. Instinctively, your muscles tighten, which is especially dangerous when working out. While muscle tension itself isn’t dangerous, going too long without releasing it can make you feel tight and block blood flow to the body. Even worse if you’re too distracted to notice it.

Slow reaction time: While walking on a road or while crossing we are look forward and eyes straight ahead. This should in no way change when you enter the gym. While doing cardio especially, it’s paramount that you look forward, not up or down at distractions. When you do the latter, you risk confusing your body and its reactions. The stress it then goes through trying to deal can lead to various problems.

Injury Risk: Whether you’re getting it going on the treadmill, with weights, or even with your own body, you’re constantly using heavy machinery (or large muscle groups) that requires your full attention. In each of these cases, you need to be aware of multiple things including good form, pace, posture, and how to actually use the tool you’re working with. Keeping all of this in mind is hard enough—let’s not add keeping up with office work, or politics, or your social life to the list. Doing so could lead to mindlessly falling, twisting, pulling, and straining.

Following are a few workplace distractions:-

  1. Noise ( open office concept )
  2. Smartphone
  3. Multitasking
  4. Interruptions
  5. Clutter
  6. Hunger
  7. Anxiety
  8. Emails
  9. Chatting Apps
  10. Decision Fatigue
  11. Meetings
  12. Social Media. 

 

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Following tips ( indirectly related to health ) will help you to stay focused by managing distractions –

A. Check up on yourself – Distractions can be internal as well as external, so start by looking within. If you’re all over the place, ask yourself what’s really going on. What’s the source of your flightiness or anxiety? What do you need to be working on in your life?

B. Pinpoint the cause – Once you have your internal priorities sorted out, look at more external causes. Is it your office setup? An intrusive co-worker? A lack of skill, ideas, or time for something you need to be doing? Burnout? When you can identify the cause, you can fix the effect.

C. Be Prepared – All successful leaders are great planners; they make lists for every major and minor objective. When a task comes your way, spend some time thinking about how you will accomplish it. Write down every step necessary from start to finish, with a timeline (even if it’s a rough one). There is a saying that every 10 minutes you spend on planning saves an hour in execution.

D. Go Offline – Some of the biggest sources of distraction come from email, social media, and cell phones. If you want real focus, take yourself offline until you’ve accomplished what you need to do.

E. Give yourself a break – One of the keys to doing great work is to know when to take a break. When you start to feel distracted, take a break, and then reassess and refocus yourself. It doesn’t just act as a reward–a short break can help your mind become clearer.

F. Turn it out – One of the best ways to tune everything out is to tune into the music. When everything around you is distracting, put on your headphones–find something that can serve as background music rather than music that holds your full attention. Music can help you concentrate, and the headphones signal others that you’re not available to chat.

G. Break it down – Especially when distractions are high, make tasks smaller, and break down your large projects into smaller tasks to help you concentrate and give you a sense of accomplishment and progress.

H. Clean it up – What’s the state of your office or workspace? If it’s dirty, disorganized, or cluttered, invest some time in clearing it out so you can focus.

I. Set a deadline – If you’re working on a complex task, it takes an average of 90 minutes to accomplish anything worthwhile–and about 30 minutes just to get your mind on the task. Once you are in the flow, set a concentrated period of time–and when the time runs out, stop. It’s easier to stay focused when you have an end in sight.

J. Become an early bird – This is a simple thing, but the rewards are great if you can pull it off: Start your workday an hour before everyone else. Use that hour to organize your day and to get started before there are any distractions. Similarly, skip the long office lunches most days and instead give yourself a short break to take a walk or clear your head, with something light and nutritious to keep your blood sugar steady. You’re literally giving yourself time and energy.

GIVE SOME OF THESE IDEAS A TRY.       YOU WILL DEFINITELY FEEL BETTER

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Resolution for 2019

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Already planning your new year resolution? If you are like most people, you will make them – only to break them within six to eight weeks.

No surprise here, like every year most common resolutions : eating healthier, setting exercise schedule Etc., will be ringing in 2019 as well. It’s easy to get overly ambitious and come up with a list of resolutions with no plan for reaching your desired outcomes. And a resolution without a plan or specificity equates to nothing more than a wish. You don’t have to overhaul your life and set five goals at once. So focus on one or two objectives at a time.

Does it also happen to you that all your New Year resolutions get crumbled just in 1 or 2 months? If yes, change your habit now and make something firm for your health and fitness this year. The reason that we don’t complete our intended plans is because we don’t set some realistic targets for them.

Tips to break down your goals –

1. Main Goal

2. 5 year Goal

3. 3 year Goal

4. Yearly Goals

5. Half Yearly Goals

6. Quarterly Goals

7. Monthly Goals

8. Weekly Goals

9. Daily Goals

You need to focus on the step ahead of you but be aware of the bigger picture.

According to various studies you will find one thing common in all the successful people that they all set goals. From short-term motivations to long-term visions, you get everything when you set goals. Similarly, when you make New Year resolutions, you help yourself achieve targets in a given time period.

Apart from all kinds of other resolutions, you should make, resolutions for health and fitness should be given more importance and value since health is all your wealth.

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Are you making resolution for 2019 ? Generally more than half of resolutions fail, but this year make sure they are not yours. Identify right resolution to improve your life, create a plan on how to reach it, and become part of exceptional group of people that successfully achieve their goal.

Pick the right resolution – You will give yourself your BEST at success if you set a goal that’s doable and meaningful as well.

A lot of these resolutions fail because they’re not the right resolutions. And a resolution may be wrong for one of three main reasons:

  • It’s a resolution created based on what someone else (or society) is telling you to change.
  • It’s too vague.
  • You don’t have a realistic plan for achieving your resolution.

Your goals should be smart — and SMART. That’s an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. It may work for management, but it can also work in setting your resolutions, too.

  • Specific. Your resolution should be absolutely clear. Making a concrete goal is really important rather than just vaguely saying ‘I want to lose weight.’ You want to have a goal: How much weight do you want to lose and at what time interval? Five pounds in the next two months — that’s going to be more effective.
  • Measurable. This may seem obvious if your goal is a fitness or weight loss related one, but it’s also important if you’re trying to cut back on something, too. If, for example, you want to stop biting your nails, take pictures of your nails over time so you can track your progress in how those nails grow back out. Logging progress into a journal or making notes on your phone or in an app designed to help you track behaviors can reinforce the progress, no matter what your resolution may be.
  • Achievable. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have big stretch goals. But trying to take too big a step too fast can leave you frustrated, or affect other areas of your life to the point that your resolution takes over your life — and both you and your friends and family flail. So, for example, resolving to save enough money to retire in five years when you’re 30 years old is probably not realistic, but saving an extra $100 a month may be. (And if that’s easy, you can slide that number up to an extra $200, $300 or $400 a month).
  • Relevant. Is this a goal that really matters to you, and are you making it for the right reasons? If you do it out of the sense of self-hate or remorse or a strong passion in that moment, it doesn’t usually last long. But if you build up a process where you’re thinking harder about what’s good for you, you’re changing the structure of your life, you’re bringing people into your life who will reinforce that resolution, then I think you have a fighting chance.
  • Time-bound. Like “achievable,” the timeline toward reaching your goal should be realistic, too. That means giving yourself enough time to do it with lots of smaller intermediate goals set up along the way. Focus on these small wins so you can make gradual progress. If you’re building a habit, you’re planning for the next decade, not the next couple of months.

 

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Set achievable goals – First consider what you want to achieve, and then commit to it. Set SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals that motivate you and write them down to make them feel tangible. Then plan the steps you must take to realize your goal, and cross off each one as you work through them.

Goal setting is a powerful process for thinking about your ideal future, and for motivating yourself to turn your vision of this future into reality. The process of setting goals helps you choose what you want to achieve during the year. By knowing precisely what you want to achieve, you know where you have to concentrate your efforts. You’ll also quickly spot the distractions that can, so easily, lead you astray.

Don’t concentrate on the end Goal. Check your journey.

It’s easy to lose perspective whatever your priorities may be. Whether your focus is, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by day to day life loss perspective on the things that matter.

There is no denying the importance of self-love. It is essential to put yourself first before you can think of others. Aim to get at least one self-care day a week. Whether it’s going for a bath, reading a book or baking, it’s beyond important that you take time to yourself and away from stress to ensure that you stay on top of your goals while looking after yourself.

Making health and wellness your priority in 2019 can be a challenge but instead of focusing on the end goal, concentrate on the journey that brings you to your goals and your goals start with your knowing your health.

Comfortable Sleep –  Sleep is actually one of the most important aspects to consider for a healthy and happy life. Up till now, if you aren’t comfortable with the amount of sleep you are getting, you can make a resolution to sleep a little more.

According to studies,  lack of sleep can lead you towards various diseases including early death. Moreover, one should sleep at least 7 to 8 hours in the night in order to decrease the risk of different diseases and to maintain immune system.

Focus on mental health – To focus on mental health is as important as on your physical health. You should go to the gym and training centers so that you can have a healthy body. However, you shouldn’t forget about your mental health in the meanwhile.

At the start of this New Year, you should make a resolution for your mind in which, you will be sleeping at least 8 hours in the night and eating healthy foods to benefit both your mind and body.

According to psychologists, if you think and speak positively, write down something grateful for you, focus on only one thing in a moment, do regular exercise, eat a healthy meal, take adequate breaks from work, and go to bed on time, you can effectively provide some meaningful benefits to your mind.

Spend more time outside – Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin that is essential in maintaining strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D also maintains a good mood. We get a sufficient amount of vitamin D from spending 20-30 minutes in sunlight each day.

It has been proven time and time again that vitamin D and vitamin D deficiency are linked to a number of emotional illnesses. Conversely it has been proven that light therapy can relieve depressive symptoms, especially in cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Whatever the weather, aim to spend at least one hour outside and one hour off your screens. Artificial light can begin to chip away at your natural circadian rhythm whereas natural light and fresh air can improve your mood and vitamin D levels naturally.

If you are feeling chronically fatigued, maybe you should consider checking out your vitamin D levels, especially if you are vegan or vegetarian as certain dietary regimes can play a significant role in vitamin deficiencies.

Meal Prep – Here we are not connecting meal prep to weight loss.

Think of meal prep as a way to save money, free up time during the week and hone your skills in making healthy and delicious creations all from your own home.

You might find the idea of dedicating 2-3 hours to prepare food for the week ahead a bit daunting or boring but trust us when we say that the benefits of meal prep are numerous.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of preparing meals for the week ahead:

  • Meal-prepping for the week ahead saves time during a busy working week.
  • Meal-prepping takes away the temptation for unhealthy and quick meals.
  • Meal-prepping could be your contribution to saving the planet by using reusable lunch boxes.
  • Meal-prepping can ensure that you’re getting all of the vitamins and minerals you need in each meal.

Practice Mindfulness – Mindfulness is also often associated in health-related “New Year New You” thought but what is the biological reasoning behind those ums, ahs and deep breaths?

It all comes down to cortisol. Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is commonly referred to as a “stress hormone”. Cortisol controls your response to stress, regulates blood sugar, acts as an anti-inflammatory, influences memory formation, controls salt and water balance in the body, influences blood pressure and foetal development.

In one study, it was found that diaphragmatic breathing can trigger body relaxation responses that overtime can change your body’s ability to deal with stress and cortisol production.

To begin the process of practicing mindfulness, you don’t need to an expensive app, membership or equipment; you just need yourself, 10 minutes and a quiet place. Starting the new year by testing your cortisol levels could motivate you to find healthier ways to deal with stress, and you never know, meditation could become your new favourite hobby.

Replace your bad habits with good ones – This happens to one of the most common New Year resolutions that the majority of people across the world make but quite a few of them follow for long. There are various bad habits that we come across in a single day and we can actually replace them with good ones.

For example, if you have a bad habit of taking drugs, you can replace it with going to a gym. Isn’t it a great deal? You should also replace other bad habits like taking more caffeine, more tech-time, and others with some good ones. If you remain consistent in leaving at least one bad habit every year, you will be living a pretty happy life in quite a few years.

Quit Smoking Seriously – Quit smoking, no seriously. Smoking is ruining your health. Whatever the method, find a way to quit and in the words of Nike, just do it.

If that’s not enough motivation, here are some helpful statistics to scare you into at least thinking about it:

  • Nicotine reaches the brain 7-10 seconds after smoke is inhaled. Nicotine is as addictive as heroin and is found in every part of a smoker’s body including breast milk.
  • Smoking increases your risk of cancer X 25.7 times as a woman and x 25 times as a man.

Cut Down on Booze – We’re not telling you to cut booze out, we’re simply telling you to cut down.

Aim to not drink over three standard drinks in one sitting. Focus on making memories instead of losing them. Most importantly, respect the power of alcohol and aim to drink accordingly.

Gym and Training – Gym and training are not only associated with athletes. Rather, a common man should also take care of his body with proper exercise and training. According to studies, many newbies head to their nearby gyms at the start of a year and most of them get disappeared even just after a month.

Having frequency and consistency in your practices is more important than anything. The more frequent you remain at the gym, the more success is waiting for you in the future. Apart from going to a gym regularly, you can also start reading health and fitness related journals.

Fruits and vegetables – There are various potential benefits of fruits and vegetables and you need to avail them more in this coming New Year. Moreover, the two blessings of nature happen to be health-improving and disease-fighting for a human being.

You can make an effective resolution to start a day with fresh fruits or juice and can take a portion of vegetables and fruits with hourly gaps throughout the day. Confused? Well, you can have a salad of vegetables with your lunch and dinner. Moreover, you can also use these two things in a raw form as snacks.

If you keep this habit of eating more fruits and vegetables, you can surely have a healthy life ahead.

Weight Loss – Every new year lots of people make a resolution for weight loss. You can make one for yourself for 2019 because it has become essential to maintain a normal and recommended weight in order to live a healthy, strong, and happy life.

For this New Year, you can make a resolution of 500 extra steps in a week so that you can burn more calories from your body. Since finding time in this modern and fast-moving world is difficult, you need to follow some consistent weight loss practices side-by-side with all your other office and household works.

Stop weighing yourself – The Body Mass Index Ratio (BMI) was created in the 1800s, and yet many people still use it as an absolute measure of their health and wellness. The BMI scale takes your height and weight into consideration. A BMI of 18.5 to 25 kg/m2 reports that you are at your optimal weight but what is the BMI scale really taking into account?

The BMI scale cannot take your proportions, muscle mass or health status into account. Your weight cannot determine your health status further than telling you if you are under or overweight, equally, weighing yourself can often do more harm than good. You cannot quantify yourself by what you weigh.

Preventative healthcare is more popular than ever before. Today you can screen for everything from the lipids in your blood to your liver health. Stop focusing on the number of the scales and instead focus on the markers that can offer you more insight into how you objectively feel.

Live every moment – And last but not the least is the resolution of living each and every moment you get in 2019. Though it has always been tough for everyone to forget about your past and future just to concentrate the present, you can at least try it in 2019.

 

The more you put away the distractions of past and fears of futures, the more you will be able to concentrate on your present. The importance of being present is quite valuable and you must try to remain present in your present.

A New Year comes with an opportunity to have a fresh start. It happens to be a great time to take firm decisions and stand with them. By making the above resolutions, you can enjoy a healthy and happy year with your friends and family ahead!

For Young people – The new year is a perfect time to assess your professional growth over the past year and set goals for the next! Set yourself up for a productive, exciting, and successful new year by focusing on your career.

Following resolutions will help you in your career and your career will flourish in 2019.

Further your education – It’s never too late to learn something new, and furthering your education helps strengthen your mind for future challenges. Choosing to go back to College is a rewarding way to stay competitive in your industry by expanding your knowledge.

Find a mentor – Have you been meaning to enter a mentoring relationship to help grow and guide your professional development? Connect with a mentor in the new year! Mentors can help enhance and hone your skills, bring a seasoned perspective, and help your career in the long-run. Pick a mentor outside of your immediate department so that you can gain new insight into the company and feel comfortable discussing any problems that might arise within your office as you pursue a solution.

Read a book – Reading is fundamental! Take a break from your usual fiction list and jump into new ideas that will illuminate the world around you and your place within it

Volunteer – Volunteering looks great on your resume and it feels good to boot! Find opportunities to give back around your community to help better yourself in the new year.

Add a bullet to your skills section – Developing a new skill can help you grow in your professional and your personal life. By making professional development a priority, you’ll build new connections and position yourself for advancement.

Expand your network – Join a professional network or society and connect with a community of professionals who do what you do and love it, too!

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We’re creeping ever closer to 2019. It’s New Year’s resolution time. Though most of us start off the new year with the best of intentions — be it to get healthy, put our finances in order, or finally learn how to play the guitar — most of our resolutions end up being massive failures. In fact, a whopping 80 percent of resolutions fail within six weeks. But, there are ways to make your resolutions work.

THE COMMON RESOLUTION: “I’m going to eat healthier.”

THE SMARTER RESOLUTION: “I’m going to have at least two pieces of fruit a day and eat a salad before every dinner.”

Why it works: Picking one or two things to focus on is much more realistic than changing your entire diet—and telling yourself when you’re going to incorporate these changes during your day makes it more attainable. Plus, focusing on what you should be eating helps you avoid a restrictive “I can’t eat that” mindset, which often just leads to a junk food binge.

Fruit’s a good choice, since most guys don’t eat enough of it anyway. Plus, having something naturally sweet as a dessert will help eliminate your not-so-healthy sugar cravings over time.  Your diet’s probably lacking vegetables, too, so start every single dinner with a salad. Just hold the creamy dressing, or ask for it on the side, to avoid turning it into a calorie bomb. Vegetables and mixed greens are packed with filling fiber, which prevents you from loading up on extra calories during your main meal—ultimately leading to better portion control.

THE COMMON RESOLUTION: “I’m going to work out every day.”

THE SMARTER RESOLUTION: “I’m going to exercise 2 to 3 days a week.”

Why it works: Going from zero to 100 just isn’t realistic. If fitness isn’t a part of your daily routine, and then you make a pact to hit the gym daily, you’re going to burn yourself out and quit after a month.

The smarter approach? Start hitting the gym a few days a week that actually work with your schedule—say, squeezing in a quick run during lunch, or maybe you hit the gym while your kids are practicing games. It’ll make you more likely to commit and stick with your new routine. Once you know you can commit to twice a week, you can gradually bump your days up. For a full 14-day plan that starts you off with the basics.

THE COMMON RESOLUTION: “I’m going to lose 20 pounds.”

THE SMARTER RESOLUTION: “I’m going to focus on what I can control, like changing my diet and exercise routine, rather than the number on the scale.”

Why it works: You can’t necessarily control the result, but you can control the behaviors that bring you closer to your weight loss goal. Focus on what you need to do to make it happen. That might mean committing to the gym two or three days a week, and fitting in vegetables and lean protein at every meal.

Having a plan lets you keep closer track of your progress, too. When you hit a weight loss plateau, you can go back and assess the behaviors you’re supposed to be doing. If you realize you’re slacking on them, that’ll explain why you’re struggling to lose weight—what you need to work on to get there.

THE COMMON RESOLUTION: “I will land my dream job.”

THE SMARTER RESOLUTION: “I will expand my professional network.”

Why it works: Opportunities are found through people, says career expert. Sending your resume out to a black hole job portal won’t get you the job. Having someone who can vouch for you will.

Identify three or four people who are steps ahead of you in their careers and reach out to them. There’s no one perfect way to do it, but do some research on LinkedIn. You can also tap into your existing network to see if someone is connected to a person at a certain position or organization you are interested in.

Then send them a thoughtful email. Mention you admire their work, and say that they’re doing something you’d like to do, too. Once you’re connected, try to meet up for coffee. The best connections and opportunities arise from real relationships, meaning your relationship has to an authentic one if you want to benefit from it.

THE COMMON RESOLUTION: “I will be a better boyfriend/husband.”

THE SMARTER RESOLUTION: “I’m going to make an effort to apologize when I should.”

Why it works: Generalized promises to be better and make your partner happier don’t normally help you achieve the intimacy you’re after.

Instead, you become more intimate with your partner when you deliver your promises through actions—and apologizing is a concrete action that deepens trust, respect and intimacy. Plus, apologizing lets your partner know that you see and hear them, which is important for any type of meaningful connection.

Admitting you’re not perfect also shows your vulnerability, which can make your partner feel safe in your relationship. It’s not just about saying “I was wrong,” either. Simply just acknowledging you heard what your partner said and that you understand—or are at least trying to understand—how they feel is a good first step. That shows empathy, which is important because it shows your partner that you actually care and respect them enough to put the energy into your relationship.

THE COMMON RESOLUTION: “I will meet the girl of my dreams this year.”

THE SMARTER RESOLUTION: “I’m going to be more present in social situations.”

Why it works: Focusing on what’s going on in the moment can create more opportunities for connection.

If you’re in a social environment, put your phone away if you’re using it as a “space-filler.” Doing so can hamper the opportunity to engage with whoever is around you. If you’re on a date, just enjoy the date for what it is. Devote yourself to the person in front of you and the conversation that you’re having.

Once you meet someone new (perhaps at one of the surprising places to meet cool women), avoid immediately thinking about what the future could hold. Just enjoy the fact that you’re having a new conversation with a new person—and if that leads to something great, then so be it. Suddenly, there’s less weight on meeting the “perfect girl,” and more weight on enjoying that moment with another person.

THE COMMON RESOLUTION: “I’m going to save money.”

THE SMARTER RESOLUTION: “I will create and maintain a budget.”

Why it works: Creating and sticking to a budget gives you the tools to help you save more.

There is no right or wrong way to create a budget, but you want to make it as simple as possible so you stick with it. Use a budget worksheet or just create your own Excel spreadsheet.

Start with your monthly net income, then subtract your fixed expenses, like car payments. Lastly, subtract your discretionary expenses. Try to use the same credit card all month for all your personal spending, which will make it super easy to track. At the end of the two months of tracking your purchases, re-evaluate your budget to see if you can make any positive changes to your spending habits, like reallocating extra personal spending into an extra savings or cutting back on restaurant meals.

THE COMMON RESOLUTION: “I will be less stressed by my job this year.”

THE SMARTER RESOLUTION: “I will decrease my workload in the office.”

Why it works: Parts of your job will probably always cause you some kind of stress, but eliminating unnecessary stressors of it can play a big role in calming you down.

The best way to do this? Meet with your boss to see what can be taken off your plate and delegated to someone else. If you’re genuinely overloaded, make a case to your boss that it’s in the company’s best long-term interests to reassess your workload.

In those cases, you can point out what’s not getting done for lack of time, or what’s getting done, but with less care and attention that would be ideal. Then, you can move on to possibly moving stuff off of your plate entirely.

Just make sure you’re truly swamped and stressed before you do this. If you aren’t really all that overloaded, going to your boss and asking to do less will come across as tone-deaf at best and slacker-ish at worst. So you really need to have a good sense of how reasonable your workload is overall.

THE COMMON RESOLUTION: “I’m going to get more sleep.”

THE SMARTER RESOLUTION: “I’m going to shut off the TV and turn off my computer one hour before bed.”

Why it works: If you’re a parent you know a thing or two about sleep schedules with your kid. But, just because you’re a grownup doesn’t mean you shouldn’t live by the same rules.

Getting into a consistent bedtime routine is a must when it comes to improving both the quality and quantity of your sleep. And, according to researchers, having a sleep ritual may be the best thing for you. Start by deciding what your actual bedtime will be. Then, plan to use the 30 minutes to one hour prior to this time to prepare each night. Maybe you put down your computer and read a book instead. Perhaps you relax in a bath, enjoy a cup of tea, start a new meditation routine, or listen to some soothing. Any of these things will do and will all help you start counting sheep even sooner.

 

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If you’re like most Individuals, you wake up on January 1 with renewed determination to reach your goals. So how can you really make it happen this year—and make the changes stick? While you always want to aim big, the best strategy is to think small—and personal.

When you add them up, incremental improvements are incredibly powerful. If you can improve by one percent per week over the span of a year, that’s a 67 percent annual improvement, which is quite amazing.

When setting your resolution, keep in mind that the only one that is truly committed to your success is you. In fact, research has shown that people who are internally motivated are more likely to stick to a task, invest more time in that task, and be more successful at that task. Stop worrying about what other people think you should be doing and create resolutions based on what is most important to you!”

Here are few doable ideas that you’ll be able to transform from resolution to lifestyle.

  1. Set one goal per month.
  2. Add a “Why” to your resolution.
  3. Choose a workout that suits your schedule.
  4. Create your own workout calendar.
  5. Pack emergency snacks.
  6. Commit to taking a stairs.
  7. Measure your food ( in terms of calorific value ).
  8. Vow to wear sunscreen every day.
  9. Tuck away the treats ( out of sight, out of mind).
  10. Load yourself on low carb veggies.
  11. Track your water intake.
  12. Multi task your way to more movement.
  13. Sit Stronger.
  14. Schedule standing time.
  15. Make fit friends.
  16. Upgrade your nutrition starting with one meal.
  17. Make lunch your biggest meal of the day.
  18. Close the kitchen by 8pm or even earlier.
  19. Brush your teeth thrice a day.
  20. Prep for sleep success.
  21. Plank two to three times a week.
  22. Walk 1,000 more steps a day.
  23. Go dry for seven days.
  24. Eat something with probiotics every day.
  25. Swap one sugary food from your diet per day.
  26. Go to sleep at the same time each night.

                Some additional resolutions for real peace of mind.

  1. Create a ‘future expense’ fund.
  2. Cancel your expendable auto-payments.
  3. Give yourself 30 minutes of ‘me time’ a week.
  4. Move your social media app off of your phones your home screen.
  5. Take time once a week to write down everything you have accomplished.
  6. Plan your workout week by week.
  7. Prep one meal or main dish a week.
  8. Make ‘free’ plans every month.
  9. Cut back on bad influences.
  10. Stand to loose something.
  11. Start single-tasking for 20 minutes a day.
  12. Learn to play an instrument.
  13. If you miss a goal feel free to start a fresh.
  14. Always be Positive and realistic.
  15. Take control of your finance.

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We always think of making health related resolutions which more often fails due to various excuses within about six to eight weeks. So lets also focus on another important factor which is personal finance. The start of a new year provides a natural opportunity to look back and offers an extra push toward new adjustments going forward. That’s why New Year’s resolutions are so popular.

Look for some changes in your financial circumstances. Choose just one or two to accomplish in 2019 and you’ll be surprised at the difference in your life:

Your personal finance resolution for 2019 :-

1. Save Rs. 10,000 ( $1500) – Lots of people worldwide have negligible balance in savings. As per successful wellness financial plan You should have always funds for emergencies of about Rs. 10,000 Since finding such funds overnight might be difficult in case of emergency. Try and save about just Rs. 833 per month and you will complete this resolution  by the end of the year…

2. Sell about Rs. 2,000 worth of clutter – Basic for this resolution is to turn your unwanted stuff into cash. Free your home of clutter and build your savings simultaneously.Minimizing your unwanted stuff is as win-win. This is biggest no-brainer  on the list.

3. Remove 25%of your wardrobe – If you are looking for some changes in your financial circumstances, here are the ten best personal finance resolutions to consider. Choose just one or two to accomplish in 2019 and you’ll be surprised at the difference in your life: For example, a closet filled with only items you love, often results in greater contentment—and better control over your urges to accumulate. Additionally, getting ready in the morning is less stressful, allowing you to be productive during your day ahead. That’s always good for the bottom-line.

4. If you are a dual income family, seek to save one spouses’ entire salary – If you and your wife are both working, determine to live on only one salary and put the entirety of the other person’s salary into savings. This will set up financial success at the very beginning. This resolution will take planning and won’t likely happen as soon as the calendar turns to new year, but it is a goal you should choose to work toward in 2019.

5. Make a budget – Seriously consider doing it now if you haven’t done it. Don’t put it off now. This is the year ! If you are not comfortable with traditional type of budget, try something with a different approach like spending plan.-

6. Start saving through monthly recurring – Open recurring account with standing instruction to credit account from salary account. So by default you will be saving desired amount without wasting any time.

7. Embrace shopping ban to challenge your shopping habits – Pick the dates, mark them now, and commit yourself to not spending a single Rupee (dollar) for two weeks (groceries may be a worthy exception). There’s no downside to the experiment—only upside. You’ll learn more about yourself, rethink your consumption habits, and save some money along the way.

8. Invest in retirement plan – Your year of retirement is one year closer. Concern arises if you do not have enough money on retirement. So start saving from today, even if it’s just small amount. Invest today and start a step in that direction by putting some money every month.

9. Make one extra payment of your loan – One extra payment in a year will shorten the length of your loan by about 4-5 years over a period of time. You can spread this out over the course of the  year.

Choose as many points mentioned above  that will help you and you can be passionate about. You’ll be surprised how quickly they make a difference in your outlook towards personal finance.

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Different Types of Exercise II

different types of exercise-ii

Different types of exercise-ii

In today’s post, we continue to share about other exercises that have immense benefits and some of them can be done without any equipment. These exercises can also make your body great as well as can keep some diseases away and if you are already suffering then they can control your disease if you follow a strict routine.

Types of Exercises –

  • Plank every day
  • Sprinting
  • Cardio
  • Calisthenics
  • Surfing
  • Tae kwon do

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Bodyweight exercises are gaining ground in the fitness world due to the practicality and simplicity of getting in shape using your own body weight. Planks are one form of bodyweight exercise that will never go out of fashion.

Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short span of time.

Things that happen when you start doing planks every day are –

1. You’ll improve core definition and performance – Planks are an ideal exercise for the abdominal muscles exactly because they engage all major core muscle groups including the transverse abdominus, the rectus abdominusthe external oblique muscle, and the glutes. The importance of strengthening each muscle group cannot be underestimated either, for all of these groups serve their own purpose. If you strengthen these muscle groups you will notice:

  • Transverse abdominis: increased ability to lift heavier weights.
  • Rectus abdominal: improved sports performance, particularly with jumping. This muscle group is also responsible for giving you the renowned six-pack look.
  • Oblique muscles: improved capacity for stable side-bending and waist-twisting
  • Glutes: a supported back and a strong, shapely booty.

2. You’ll decrease your risk of injury in the back and spinal column – Doing planks is a type of exercise that allows you to build muscle while also making sure that you are not putting too much pressure on your spine or hips. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing planks regularly not only significantly reduces back pain but it also strengthens your muscles and ensures strong support for your entire back, especially in the areas around your upper back.

Check out this article if you would like to find out about how doing planks on different surfaces can impact the effectiveness of this exercise in strengthening your core.

3. You’ll experience an increased boost to your overall metabolism – Planking is an excellent way of challenging your entire body because doing them every day will burn more calories than other traditional abdominal exercises, such as crunches or sit-ups. The muscles you strengthen by doing this exercise on a day-to-day basis will ensure that you burn more energy even when sedentary. 

This is especially important if you are spending the majority of your day sitting in front of a computer. Also, making it a daily 10- to 1 minute home exercise before or after work will not only provide an enhanced metabolic rate but it will also ensure that that metabolic rate remains high all day long, (yes, even while you are asleep).

4. You’ll significantly improve your posture – Planking exercises have a great impact and improvement on your posture. This is great news as a strong posture brings with it a huge number of fantastic benefits.

A good posture keeps your bones and joints in the correct alignment which means both your bones and joints will be better maintained and more healthy, but also means the overall effectiveness of your muscles will be improved.

A good posture will ensure your back or spine is in the correct position and so you will suffer less back pain. On top of everything, someone with good posture looks better, healthier, and more confident.

5. You’ll improve overall balance – Have you ever felt that when you tried standing on one leg, you couldn’t stand up straight for more than a couple of seconds? It’s not because you were drunk- unless you happened to be at the time!-  but rather, it’s because your abdominal muscles weren’t strong enough to give you the balance you needed.

Through improving your balance by doing side planks and planks with extensions you will boost your performance in every kind of sporting activity.

6. You’ll become more flexible than ever before – Flexibility is a key benefit of doing planks regularly, for this form of exercise expands and stretches all your posterior muscle groups – shoulders, shoulder blades, and collarbone – while also stretching your hamstrings, arches of your feet, and toes.

With a side plank added to the mix, you can also work on your oblique muscles. This will provide you with further benefits when it comes to hyper-extending your toes, a movement that is crucial for supporting your body’s weight.

7. You’ll witness mental benefits – Plank exercises have a particular effect on our nerves, making them an excellent means of improving overall mood. How? Well, they stretch out muscle groups that contribute to stress and tension in the body. Just think about it:

You are sitting in your chair, at home or at work, all day long; your thigh muscles get tight, your legs get heavy due to being bent for several hours, and tension develops in your shoulders due to being forced to slump forward all day. These are all circumstances that put too stress on the muscles and nerves.

The good news is that planks not only calm your brain, but they can also treat anxiety and symptoms of depression– but only if you make it part of your daily routine.

How to hold a plank position

  1. Get into a pushup position on the floor.
  2. Now bend your elbows 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms.
  3. Keep your torso straight and rigid and your body in a straight line from ears to toes with no sagging or bending.
  4. Your head is relaxed and you should be looking at the floor.
  5. Hold the position for as long as you can.
  6. Remember to breathe. Inhale and exhale slowly and steadily.
  7. When your form begins to suffer, pull the plug. You’re only benefiting from the plank by actually doing the plank.

How to improve your plank time gradually

  1. Start with the easier variation if needed. You can start with a bent-knee plank if you can’t perform a regular plank yet. If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.
  2. Practice every day. Space your planking exercise throughout the day and do 3-4 times every day. Try to hold the position 10 seconds longer each time.
  3. Perform other body-weight exercises at the same time. Push-up and squat will improve your core strength too.

Are you ready to devote 5-10 minutes of your day, every day, to stay fit, healthy, and, most importantly, strong as a bull? Then jump in and make doing plank exercises a part of your life.

It’s all about hacking your body by building a lasting habit like this.

Who should be cautious in doing the plank?

You need to be cautious doing Planking exercises if any of these risks apply to you:

  • Prolapse
  • After prolapse surgery
  • Pelvic pain conditions
  • Weak or poorly functioning pelvic floor muscles
  • Previous childbirth
  • Overweight

Choose an alternative pelvic floor abdominal exercise or consult your doctor before performing plank regularly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), creating a strong core can help prevent back injuries and improve stability.

Reasons why you should do Plank pose daily –

The almighty Plank Pose has tons of benefits for your body, and all you need to practice it is yourself. Although it may not always be easy, it’s sure to provide you with health benefits that can last you a lifetime.

Plank Pose, or Phalakasana in Sanskrit, is a strength training pose that works all major abdominal muscles, while also strengthening your shoulder, chest, neck, glute, quadriceps, and back muscles. Also known as an isometric exercise, this pose works to contract the muscles by solely holding one steady, fixed position.

How to practice Plank Pose – When done with proper form and alignment, Plank Pose becomes a force to be reckoned with. To ensure you’re getting the most burn for your buck to follow these simple steps for the perfect Plank!

  • Begin in the top of a push-up with your elbows directly under your shoulders
  • Engage your abdominal muscles to squeeze your belly button up towards your spine while maintaining a neutral back
  • Contract your quadriceps and gluteal muscles to firm your legs
  • Keep your shoulders drawing away from your ears, and heels over the balls of your feet

Not sure how long you should hold your Plank Pose? Stay until you feel you can’t keep proper alignment anymore, or try holding it until you feel your muscles starting to burn and your body starting to shake/quiver – then hold it another 15-30 seconds.

And one of the best ways to get the job done is through Planks.

Planks are a supercharged way to tighten your core, slim your abs, and shape your waistline. Many experts now recommend planking over crunches or sit-ups, since planks put less strain on your spine and hip flexors.

Plus, a plank will tone your back, glutes, hamstrings, arms, and shoulders at the same time. That’s a lot of gain for just 60 seconds.

  1. Forearm Plank – The basic forearm plank is a great place to start, but you can multiply the many benefits of planks by trying one of these challenging variations. From the Spider-Man to the Swiss ball jackknife, these will bring you ever closer to an abs-solutely killer core.

If you’re new to planks, the forearm plank is a great way to really feel the burn.

  1. Get down on your mat and place your forearms directly underneath your shoulders. Your hands should be extended and your body lengthened.
  2. Tuck your tailbone and ensure you engage your glutes, triceps, and abs to prevent your spine from arching toward the mat.
  3. Tuck your toes under and lift your knees, so that your body forms a straight line.

Try holding your plank for 20 to 30 seconds, building up to 1 minute or longer.

Pro tip: Let your gaze fall toward your mat, approximately one foot in front of you so that your neck is in a neutral position. t

  • Forearm to full plank- You already know how to do a traditional plank, but transitioning between the forearm and full plank is a great way to progress your workout.
  • Start in the forearm plank position.
  • Move and straighten one arm at a time to lift yourself into the full plank. Try these slowly first to master the transition.
  • Pick up the pace according to your comfort level.

Aim to repeat for 30 seconds for 1 set, performing 3 sets. Build until you can perform the plank for 1 minute or longer, as long as you can safely hold proper form.

Pro-tip: Minimize swaying your hips as you alternate positions.

3. Side plank

  • Lie on one side. Ensure your elbow is directly underneath your shoulder, with your arms flat.
  • Keeping your knees on the ground, stack your legs, and raise your hips.
  • Try placing your hand on your hip or raising it straight toward the ceiling.
  • Squeeze your glutes as you hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

When comfortable with this pose, try lifting from stacked feet instead of knees. Then, you can increase the difficulty and build greater stability with variations like arm reaches, or raising and lowering your hip.

Hold one arm and leg up like a starfish or add a knee pull to challenge yourself further. Be sure to even out your muscle tone by completing 10 reps of each movement on both sides.  hare on Pinterest

4. Walking Plank – Walking sideways with your plank will strengthen your core as well as your upper and lower body muscle groups. These include the deltoids, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and even calves. Start in a full plank position with your hands directly underneath your shoulders.

  • Activate your glutes and abs to prevent injury and gain maximum benefit.
  • Begin to shift laterally by simultaneously moving your right hand and foot to the right.
  • Lift your left hand and foot to meet in the center and return to the plank position.

Complete 5 steps to the right and then 5 again to the left for one set. Beginners should aim for 3 sets, working up to 5. Alternatively, time 1- or 2-minute rounds, working up to 5 rounds.

Pro tip: “This is not a speed exercise, so the more concentrated and slow the pace, the more your core and body will benefit.hare on Pinterest

5. Reverse Plank – By building your strength, fitness experts assert that you’ll gain greater body awareness and control. This full-body exercise targets several muscle groups, including the glutes, hamstrings, abs, obliques, triceps, and shoulders. You can do this on a mat or with a foam roller. Using the foam roller is more advanced. It challenges your triceps while helping alleviate wrist strain.

  • Sit tall on the floor with legs extended long in front of you. Place your hands behind you, either on the floor or atop a foam roller.
  • Engage your glutes, core, and arms to lift your hips, forming a straight line from heels to shoulders. Esraelian cautions against letting your hips sag or lift too high. Ensure that your shoulders are drawn down, away from your ears.
  • You can stop here or continue to challenge yourself by adding a tricep dip: While holding your plank, bend your arms, pointing your elbows straight back.
  • If you want an even greater challenge, add a leg raise: Hold your reverse plank, bending at the hip, and kick your right leg up toward the ceiling. Be sure to keep your hips stable and upper body strength while kicking. Return your leg to the floor with control.

Repeat with your left leg, alternating for 3 kicks on each side to complete 1 rep. Aim for 5 plank reps, holding each for 3 full breaths. Alternatively, time 2 to 3 minutes for each rep.

Pro Tip: “Focus on engaging the back of the arms and think of lifting up off of the ground in order to relieve pressure on the wrists. Take long deep breaths, and if the low back starts to arch, it’s time to take a break.

6. Spider-man Plank ( Knee to elbow ) – Try these “Spider-Man” planks to feel the burn in your obliques, abs, and lower spine.

  • Begin in your full plank position.
  • Pull the knee toward the outside of your elbow and then push it back to return to a plank position. Make sure that your knee is open, so that the inner thigh hovers over the floor as you move your leg.
  • Exhale as the knee rounds forward and inhale as you push back.

Start with 5 to 10 reps on each side. Aim for up to 20 reps on each side as you get stronger.

Pro tip: A little bit of rocking is OK, but cautions to avoid any rotation or sagging in the hips.

7. Plank with an alternating knee to elbow – For another move that will define your obliques, try taking the knee to the outside, pulling it across your torso.

  • Begin in a full plank position.
  • Lift your leg and pull your knee toward the opposite shoulder.
  • Push your knee back to starting plank position. Be sure to keep your abs and glutes tight throughout the exercise.
  • Repeat on the other side to balance out your strength training.

Continue alternating sides for 45 seconds for 1 set. Aim for 3 sets.

8.Plank with a row – This full-body exercise targets the abs, mid-back, and chest, but also activates so many other muscle groups. It also offers a kick of cardio.

  • Grab 2 dumbbells of your choice.
  • Get into a full plank position and place the dumbbells in your hands.
  • Complete a row with one arm.
  • Replace your dumbbell to the starting position.
  • Complete 1 row with the opposite arm.
  • Finish the rep with a push-up.

Beginners to complete 7 reps and regulars should do 15. You can further challenge yourself to finish within 60 to 90 seconds.

Pro tip: The object of this exercise is to not let those hips swap back and forth like crazy. And as always, breathe! Too many individuals forget to breathe in the plank position.

9. Plank jacks – Plank jacks get your heart pumping during your strength routine.

  • Begin in a forearm plank.
  • Jump both feet outward, wider than hip-distance apart.
  • Immediately hop them back into the original plank position.

Plank jacks should be performed quickly, similar to regular jumping jacks. Aim for 3 sets, 60 seconds each, or do as many as you can safely perform with excellent plank form.

Pro tip: Throughout the exercise, be careful not to raise or lower your hips out of the straight-line position.

10.Plank with shoulder taps – Planks with shoulder taps work several muscle groups, including hip flexors, abs, back, glutes, hamstrings, and quads. For the most basic:

  • Start with a full plank modified on knees.
  • Keep your abs in tight and prevent your body from swaying as you lift one arm, bent at the elbow, and cross your hand to your opposite shoulder.
  • Repeat with the other side, alternating.

Start with 10 to 15 reps, followed by a rest, and then repeat for another set. Aim to build up strength so you can perform sets lasting 30 seconds each.

Pro tip: For an added challenge, come off your knees to a regular full plank. As you get more advanced, bring your feet together. This makes maintaining stability more difficult.

11.Mountain Climbers – Mountain climbers activate your whole body, making them a really effective exercise with a burst of cardio. Be sure to keep your wrists, arms, and shoulders stacked throughout the exercise.

  • Start in a full plank position.
  • Place your hands slightly wider than your shoulders and use your upper body and pelvis to stabilize yourself.
  • Tighten your abs and draw one knee toward your chest without letting your hips lift.
  • Extend your leg back to starting position to finish one side.
  • Alternate with the other knee to finish the rep.

This fitness pro demonstrates the movement with a toe tap, but you don’t necessarily need to touch the ground.

Pro tip: As you become more comfortable, you can pick up speed. The faster you go, the more cardiovascular benefit you gain — but be sure to still safely maintain proper form.

12. Swiss ball jackknife – Swiss ball jackknives are also excellent for building strength and stability. It’s important to keep a neutral spine throughout the exercise.

  • Start in a full plank position with your feet on the exercise ball. Activate your abs to maintain stability and align your spine.
  • Roll the ball forward with your feet, pulling your knees toward you. Be careful not to drop your hips or around your back.
  • Extend your legs, rolling the ball back, to return to the starting plank position.

Initially, aim for 2 sets of 4 to 6 repetitions. When you can comfortably do 10 reps, try one of Ford’s advanced variations.

Pro tip: Moving the ball further back increases the resistance on your abs.

13. Swiss Ball pike – Planking on a pike is even more advanced. It tests your stability and core strength.

  • Start with your ball behind you and come into a full plank position, toes pointing down on the ball.
  • Keep your knees locked as you roll forward on the ball and lift your hips.
  • Slowly roll back as you lower your hips, getting back into the original plank position.

Pro tip: If you really want to kick it up a notch, try this super-advanced variation with a press at the top of the pike.

14. Burpees – Burpees will get your heart pounding. That’s why they’re beloved by boot camps and CrossFit gyms alike. Here’s how you do them:

  • Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Squat down, keeping your weight in your heels.
  • Drop your hands to the floor, a little narrower than your feet.
  • Shifting your weight to your upper body, jump your feet back into a full plank.
  • Immediately hop them right back to where they started.
  • Then lift your body to standing, reaching your arms over your head, and jump.

Repeat for as many as you can do with good form.

Pro tip: For an added challenge, insert a push-up while in your plank position at the bottom of the burpee.

Following are benefits to practicing Plank Pose every day :

1. Strengthens Your Core – When it comes to building core strength, Plank Pose reigns supreme due to its ability to work all four muscle groups in the stomach . . . oh, you thought you only had “abs?” The plank strengthens the rectus abdominis (visual “six-pack” muscles), transverse abdominis (deep core stabilizing muscles), and the internal and external obliques (hip and back mobilizing muscles).

2. Increases Muscle Definition – Along with your abdomen, Plank Pose also strengthens the muscles in your shoulders, chest, legs, and back. The functionality of this pose combined with the isometric hold helps strengthen and build lean muscle to increase overall muscle definition on the body.

3. Heightens Metabolism – The muscle strength and mass that can be attained through Plank Pose offers another incredible benefit to go along with those stronger and more defined muscles . . . a faster metabolism! When you increase your muscle mass, you boost your resting metabolic heart rate, in turn resulting in greater calorie burn.

4. Reduces Back Pain – As your abdominal muscles become stronger, the body becomes less reliant on the overuse and overextension of the back muscles. Instead, your body resorts to the now stronger core for everyday activities and exercise, which reduces pain in the lower back.

5. Gives You Better Posture – Achieving better posture is most easily done by ensuring the spine, mid, and upper body muscles are strong and healthy. As you practice Plank Pose, the back, chest, shoulders, abs, and neck engage and work hard to organically adjust your body’s natural alignment.

6. Improves Balance – The isometric hold used during Plank Pose encourages your body to manifest stability as a whole. This, in turn, creates an overall improvement in your balance and coordination. Learning to keep your body stabilized during this difficult horizontal hold ultimately enhances your ability to stabilize in the more natural vertical state.

7. Enhances Bone and Joint Health – Plank Pose allows you to engage in weight-bearing physical activities while reducing the harsh and painful side effects often associated with exercises such as jumping and running.
When you perform Plank, new living bone tissue is created, resulting in both healthier and stronger bones. The physical activity is done during this exercise also promotes circulation in the joints, which allows the bones to move past one another in a smoother fashion.

8. Boosts Mood and Relieves Stress – Practicing Plank Pose, or any physical activity, releases a neurochemical substance in the brain called endorphins, which are known to increase feelings of happiness and decrease feelings of stress. This pose can also aid in tension relief, as your body is encouraged to stretch and lengthen when performing the pose. Plank Pose: The Takeaway

With such diverse and rewarding benefits, it’s easy to understand why Plank Pose is so popular among yogis and exercise enthusiasts alike. Whether you’re just starting out or adding time onto your already killer plank, remember that quality always beats quantity (or time). The moment your form begins to falter is the moment it’s time to take a step back and try again tomorrow.

Ultimately, enjoy your practice. With time, you will grow stronger and steadier. And when that time comes . . . add on another 15-30 seconds to your Plank Pose.

The Best Weighted Running Vests | Shape

Click here for Sprinting-

If you’re like most guys, you do cardio to help you stay lean and show off the muscle gains you get from hitting the weights.  And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.

But when it comes to which type of cardio is best for burning fat, you have to decide which lean body type you’re going for. “If you train like a distance runner, you’ll get a distance runner’s body: little muscle, very lean from lots of miles logged at a relatively slower pace. If you train like a sprinter—short, high-intensity workouts—you’ll get a sprinter’s body with muscle growth and fat loss.

Intensity is paramount. As the intensity rises, more calories get burned. That’s why high-intensity interval workouts are a great choice for getting shredded while maintaining (or even gaining) muscle.

Sprints help in weight loss, build muscle, improve your health, and as a result promotes healthy living

If you’ve decided to shed those extra kilos this summer then stop whatever you are doing and just start sprinting. Did you know that sprinting boosts your metabolism and can regulate your fat-burning hormones, giving you the abs you’ve been dreaming of? Sprinting is not an easy exercise and requires a lot of strength and dedication, but the excellent results it leads to can provide the best motivation.

Running on the treadmill for an hour can often get tedious, and after a few days, you might lose the motivation as well. As a result, your dream to shed weight and get into shape is shattered.

Sprinting can be summed up as running really, really fast in short bursts of output. It is one of the most potent forms of physical training possible and a key activity for building fitness skills (particularly speed, power, strength, and cardiovascular capacity), developing lean muscle and losing fat.

The intensity of sprints is unlimited and you can never outgrow it as an exercise. Whilst your body is becoming stronger and faster with all-out sprint training, the workouts never get easier.

Why Sprint –

One hour of high-intensity cardio = 10 sprints for 15 minutes –

Why sweat extra when you can achieve the same results in a shorter period of time. Sprints give you quick bursts of movements thereby helping you lose weight effectively. They are just as, if not more effective, than jogging for an hour. If you are crunched for the time then going for sprints is the best workout decision you can ever take. It maximizes your workout in half the time!

Sprinting makes muscle –

As sprinting is an anaerobic exercise, it helps to build muscles in the same way that weight training does. However, while weight training you focus on one body part at a time. Sprinting, on the other hand, uses dozens of muscles at the same time, making it one of the most complete muscle training exercises available.

There are studies that show sprinting can enhance protein synthesis pathways which helps in breaking down protein by as much as 230 percent. With the right nutrition and recovery, sprinting can actually promote muscle building, allowing your body to become leaner.

Sprinting boosts metabolism –

There is no doubt that sprinting helps in burning a lot of calories in a short span of time. But, what’s great is that one loses weight even when the workout is over. If you are wondering how the answer is simple. When you sprint, you kick-start the metabolism that allows you to burn more calories even when you stop sprinting. This fact is also backed by a study that reports that sprinting can actually boost the body’s metabolism sharply.

Sprinting takes care of your heart –

Sprinting is not just about weight loss, but also comes with cardiovascular benefits. It can help lower your blood pressure. The fast-twitch muscles (type II muscles) that you are building while you sprint helps in improving your heart function. When you do sprints, you put all your effort into your muscles making your heart pump harder, thus improving overall blood circulation. As a result, your heart is healthy and strengthens up which reduces your chances of heart disease.

 Sprints increase human growth hormone production –

The other exciting benefit of sprints is their ability to naturally increase the production of human growth hormone (HGH) in your body, which also plays a significant role in weight loss and also slows down the aging process by enhancing tissue growth in your body.

Here are some sprint drills for beginners to help lower the risk and develop a base level of fitness…

Build-up Sprints

  1. Pick a distance (100 meters is a good starting point).
  2. Gradually accelerate over the first 40 meters until you reach your top speed.
  3. Maintain that speed for approximately 20m and gradually decelerate until you stop at the 100m line.

This sprint drill is good for beginner sprinters because it lets you experience moving at top speed without the explosive start.

Running Bursts

Another sprint drill to get you accustomed to sprint training is running bursts. This approach introduces higher force levels than the build-up sprints but is still less stressful than true explosive sprint starts as you already in motion.

  1. Slowly build up to top speed and then slow down to medium speed and then accelerate back to top speed.
  2. Repeat this sequence several times.

Advanced sprint training

When competent with standard sprint training and looking to increase the effectiveness and intensity of the exercise you can try some of these suggestions –

  • Beach sprints– good for reducing the impact on the body whilst increasing resistance
  • Hill sprints– like sprint training. but up hills.
  • Weighted sprints using a weighted vest or back-pack for increased intensity

Sprinting and building muscle

Long-distance, steady-state running is counterproductive when trying to build muscle, and even worse, can break down existing muscle mass.

Short anaerobic bursts of activity, like sprints or intervals, actually promotes muscle growth. 

Chronic cardio is for endurance athletes and hamsters. Incorporate sprint training into your fitness regime for effective cardiovascular training without compromising muscle-building goals.

Consider the differences in physiques between your average marathon runner and that of a sprinter. Intensity is the core factor in developing the sprinter’s body.

Sprinting and fat loss

As mentioned above, long-distance running is not the most effective form of burning fat. Whilst running as an activity is good at burning calories, the metabolism isn’t as fired up after the run to continue the calorie burn as it is after a session of high-intensity exercise like sprints.

Sprinting is an effective means of losing weight because it’s much higher intensity, shorter duration running, in short bursts of output.

Sprinting tips

  • Where possible, run on sand, grass, or trail with concrete as a last resort (to minimize the impact on the body)
  • Aim for around ten-minute sprint sessions

Sprinting variations

  • Walking– low level, minimal impact aerobic conditioning
  • Running– long-distance, steady-state running. An endurance activity not as effective for fat loss as sprints and compromises muscles mass
  • Hill sprints
  • Weighted sprints
  • Band resisted running 
  • Beach sprints

The benefits of sprinting

Sprinting builds…

  • anaerobic and aerobic capacity
  • lean muscle mass

…and promotes…

  • growth hormone secretion
  • fat loss
  • maximum power development

Sprinting for beginners

Sprints generate incredibly high forces and for the beginner can pose a high risk of injury if not approached in the correct way.

Sprint Training –

Sprint training is an exercise regimen that burns fat, builds muscle, and boosts BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate). Because studies have shown that short bursts of running are more efficient than long walks or jogs, sprint training is becoming the recommended method of choice for cardiovascular exercise. One of the best things about it is that you can do this training in only a few minutes a day, a couple of times a week, which will save you time over traditional forms of exercise.

With sprint training, there are two basic ways to achieve ideal results:

  • Flat sprints
  • Incline sprints

 What are flat sprints –

Running on a track is the most popular place for sprint training because the distances are demarcated by lines on the ground, making it easy to keep track of exactly how far you’re running. The surface is also good for shock absorption, which is helpful for keeping your joints healthy and free of injury.

Flat-sprints are the perfect way for a beginner to start with sprint training. To perform flat sprints you will run at high speeds on a flat surface. For example, you might sprint on:

  • A running track
  • A sports field
  • A jogging path
  • A sidewalk in your neighborhood

Depending on length and patterns of usage, you might also be able to find a parking lot or other paved area nearby that is relatively flat and would work well for sprinting. Look for an area at least 40 meters long. While pavement is not ideal for running, lots of people run marathons on the road.

Jog one or two laps around the track this will get your body warmed up and ready for more intense work.

Doing a limited number of dynamic stretches before sprinting has been shown to improve sprint times and help the body avoid injury. Dynamic stretches are stretches performed while walking.

Thirty seconds is a good starting time, so long as you have a stopwatch or other device that can alert you when the time is up. Once you improve your stamina and speed, you can increase to longer time periods.

Don’t exert yourself to the full level of your capability right off the bat. Doing so can lead to injury, especially if you’re not using proper form or your muscles aren’t sufficiently warmed up.

You need rest between sprints so that your body can recover and you can sprint at the same speed multiple times. You should rest 3 seconds for every 1 second that you sprinted. So, for example, if you sprinted for 30 seconds, you should rest for 90 seconds; if you sprinted for 60 seconds, rest for 3 minutes.

Four sprints are plenty for your first sprinting session. This may not seem like a lot, but when this kind of intense work is new to your body, starting with too much too soon is a sure recipe for injury.

Walk or slowly jog around the track for about 5 minutes to allow your heart rate to settle and help prevent cramping due to a build-up of lactic acid in your muscles.

Because this is such a high-impact, high-intensity workout, it should be limited to a few times a week and you should allow at least 48 hours in between.

What are incline sprints –

Incline sprints are more advanced and require more muscle to complete without risk of injury. If you are a beginner, it is recommended that you start with flat sprints before moving up to incline sprints. To perform incline sprints, choose a hill with a steep grade and at least 50 yards of running space. For example, you might choose:

  • A city park
  • A hilly road
  • A mountain path

Depending on the hill you choose, you may need to consider traffic flow, availability of sidewalks or berms (if running on the road), lighting, foliage, and the general safety of the area that you will be running in. As with any athletic activity, it’s important to be aware of the conditions and plan your attire appropriately, including whether to running shoes or cross-trainers.

 Jog for 2–4 minutes on a flat area near the hill. If you really prefer it, however, you can do a light jog up and back down the hill to get your body ready for the sprinting workout.

Even though you’ll be sprinting up the hill, you’ll want to do your stretching on flat ground so as not to over-tire yourself. Dynamic stretches are performed while walking, and you can help prevent injury if you do a limited number of these before beginning your sprinting workout.

You can increase with each sprint, but only by about 10%. If you’re new to sprinting, or not in great shape, you may want to wait until the third or fourth session to go all-out on any of your sprints.

Walking down the hill will give your body time to recuperate between sprints. If you still feel too fatigued after getting to the bottom of the hill, walk on flat ground for another 15–30 seconds before beginning the next sprint.

How to do sprint training –

Whether you choose to flat sprint or incline sprint, the method in which you perform sprint training is the same. To get started with sprint training, you will need:

  • A stopwatch
  • A good pair of running shoes or cross-trainers
  • Appropriate exercise attire
  • Drinking water

When you have decided on a location, warm up by speed walking or jogging for about three minutes on your chosen route. If you are an incline sprinter, you can jog in place for three minutes before doing some dynamic stretches. Then, start sprinting uphill.

Your sprint time will be determined by how long you have been sprint training. Beginners usually sprint in 30-second increments. Seasoned sprinters usually sprint for 180 seconds (two and a half minutes per sprint).

Each burst of sprinting is followed by a rest period. The rest period is not for standing around or sitting, but rather for walking back to your starting spot (so you can get ready to sprint again). The constant movement helps you avoid muscle cramps while your body continues to burn calories.

Repeat the run, rest, run actions, increasing your intensity (speed) each time. Begin the first sprint at 50 percent intensity, ending your last sprint at 100 percent intensity. Give the final sprint everything you’ve got.

Tip – Always remember to stay hydrated and consider sprinting indoors during extreme weather.

 

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Click here for Cardio -

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear “cardio”? Probably running, maybe the elliptical machine, or even rowing. But there’s so much more to cardio than steady-state endurance workouts.

The best kind of cardio exercise is compound exercises, which involve multiple joints and more than one muscle group. They improve coordination and elevate the heart rate quicker—plus they allow a person to get a full-body workout in less time and mirror real-life movements.

Skaters- How to do it: Cross your left leg behind your right leg as you bend your right knee 90 degrees. Extend your right arm out to your side and swing your left arm across your right leg. Jump a few feet to the other side, switching the position of your legs and arms. That’s one rep.

Recommended sets/reps: 6-8 sets of 8 reps.

What it works: This works your hip abductor muscles and glutes. That means it will help you build single-leg explosive power—and adding a bigger jump as you alternate legs will make it even more challenging.

 Rollbacks – How to do it: Start in standing position. In one motion, sit down onto the floor and roll back, driving hips and heels up towards the ceiling. Rollback to return feet to the ground and come back to stand. That’s one rep.

Recommended sets/reps: 4-5 sets of 10 reps.

What it works: Rollbacks work on coordination and mobility in addition to strengthening your core.

Burpee 180 jump – How to do it: Start in a squat stance, feet shoulder-width apart. Drop hips down and place palms on the floor, then jump your feet back and lower your body down to the floor. Peel your body up then jump feet forward back into squat stance. Jump up at the top, rotating 180 degrees. Then repeat on the other side. That’s one rep.

Recommended sets/reps: 6-8 sets of 8 reps.

What it works: This is the ultimate total-body exercise: You’ll work your shoulders, chest, quadriceps, gluteus muscles, and hamstrings. Plus, the change in direction will work coordination and spatial awareness.

Lateral toe taps – How to do it: Place a cone, dumbbell, kettlebell, or some kind of target between your feet. Begin with your right foot on top of the target, keeping your weight in your left foot. Quickly switch feet so that your left foot is on the target. That’s one rep. Continue alternating feet while lightly tapping your toes on the target.

Recommended sets/reps: 6-8 sets of 8 reps.

What it works: This is an excellent speed drill that works on hip activation in a single-leg stance. It also works your balance and stability.

Mini-band frog jump – How to do it: Stand tall, with a mini resistance band placed below your knees, feet a little wider than hip-width, and slightly turned out. Squat down and place your hands on the ground between your legs, keeping your chest and chin up. Spring off your bent legs, throwing your arms into the air so your body is fully extended at the top of the jump. Bring your arms back down as you land in the frog squat position. That’s one rep.

Recommended sets/reps: 6-8 sets of 8 reps.

What it works: An explosive movement, frog jumps work mobility in your hips, knees, and ankles.  Using the band keeps your hips activated.

Lateral Shuffle Taps – How to do it: Standing in an athletic stance, feet wider than hip-distance apart, shuffle a couple of paces to the left, then touch the ground. Shuffle back and touch the ground once you reach your starting point. That’s one rep. Continue alternating.

Recommended sets/reps: 4-5 sets of 10 reps.

What it works: This is another speed drill that really challenges your reaction time while working the whole lower body.

Sit Outs – How to do it: Start in a table-top position, knees hovering slightly off the floor, shoulders over wrists, knees under hips. Kick one leg forward across the body, threading it under the other leg and lifting your opposite arm as you drop your hip to the floor. Kick heel back to return to start, then do the same on the opposite side. That’s one rep.

Recommended sets/reps: 4-5 sets of 10 reps.

What it works: This is a dynamic movement that works your core, shoulders, quadriceps, and glutes, plus your mobility and coordination.  It even improves cognitive function because it requires learning new motor patterns.

Bench Runners – How to do it: Stand directly in front of a box with your right foot firmly placed on top of the bench and your left foot on the floor. Tap the box with your right foot and immediately switch feet, touching the box with your left. That’s one rep.

Recommended sets/reps: 4-5 sets of 10 reps.

What it works: This one will improve your agility, and strengthen your quads and glutes.

Jump Rope –  How to do it: Start with traditional jump rope movement. Keeping elbows close to ribs and arms long, maintain a long/vertical spine. Then explore different planes by jumping forward and backward as well as jumping laterally.

Recommended sets/reps: 6-8 sets of 20 seconds.

What it works: Jumping rope improves the elasticity and resilience in lower-body muscles.  Also, it spikes the heart rate quickly. Jumping forward and backward and laterally also works a person’s cognitive motor skills, requiring them to jump in and out of different planes.”

Overhead Walking Lunges –  How to do it: Hold a resistance band or jump rope with both hands directly overhead, arms straight. Keeping your shoulders externally rotated to support the back, step your left foot forward and bend both knees into a lunge. Press through your left heel to stand, then step your right foot forward and repeat. That’s one rep.

Recommended sets/reps: 4 sets of 12 reps.

What it works: This move involves nearly every muscle, but it especially strengthens the quads, hamstrings, and glutes.  And it builds stability in the shoulder girdle while increasing core stability and strength.

Banded Vertical Jacks – How to do it: Place a mini band above your ankles. Facing forward, jump and slice legs forward and backward, moving arms in the opposite direction of the legs. Focus on keeping resistance in the band while maintaining speed.

Recommended sets/reps: 4-5 sets of 10 reps.

What it works: The added resistance in a cardio exercise like this works your hamstrings and your gluteus medius and Maximus.

Fast-Feet Drop – How to do it:  Start in an athletic stance with a long spine and hips back. Start moving feet quickly. Every five seconds, drop chest, thighs, and hips to the floor, then quickly jump back up to fast feet.

Recommended sets/reps: 6-8 reps of 20 seconds

What it works: It’s a total-body movement that works reaction time and speed.

Jumping Split Squat –  How to do it:  Extend your left leg behind you, ball of the foot touching the ground. Keeping your chest upright and core tight, bend both knees to lower your hips until your knee is at a 90-degree angle. Drive through your right heel to explode off the ground. Land softly, then repeat.

Recommended sets/reps: 4 sets of 12 reps.

What it works: This is a powerhouse exercise that works on core stability and strengthens your hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, and calves.

Beast Shoulder Taps – How to do it: Start in a table-top position, knees hovering slightly off the floor. Keeping weight even between the upper body and lower body, lift one hand off the floor to touch the opposite shoulder. Return to center, then repeat on the other side. That’s one rep.

Recommended sets/reps: 6-8 sets of 8 reps.

What it works: Shifting your weight like this works on core stability and strengthens your shoulders and quads.

Mountain Climbers Pushup – How to do it: Start in a high plank, shoulders over wrists, hips tucked up toward belly button, and ribs drawn toward hips. Drive one knee toward your chest, then the other. After alternating eight times, perform two pushups, keeping your shoulders forward and elbows back toward ribs.

Recommended sets/reps: 6-8 sets of 20 seconds.

What it works: This is another fantastic strength and conditioning movement, which also works on core stability.

Dumbbell Thrusters –  How to do it: Hold dumbbells at shoulder height, elbows bent and palms facing each other, feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and sit your hips back to lower into a squat. Explode back up, pushing the dumbbells directly overhead until arms are fully extended. Pause, then lower the weights as you squat. That’s one rep.

Recommended sets/reps: 6-8 sets of 8 reps.

What it works: It’s a compound exercise that combines a squat and a press. It strengthens the entire body while improving stamina and endurance.

Dumbbell Power Cleans – How to do it:  Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, feet shoulder-width apart. Lower the weights toward the floor by pushing the hips back and keeping chest lifted and shoulders slightly in front of dumbbells. Push through your heels to extend your hips and simultaneously curl the dumbbells toward your shoulders, ending in a partial squat. Finish by standing tall with dumbbells resting on your shoulders. That’s one rep.

Recommended sets/reps: 4 sets of 12 reps.

What it works: This is a multi-joint compound movement that increases strength and power through the entire body, mainly focusing on your shoulders, core, hips, and lower back.

Dumbbell Seesaw Press – How to do it:  Stand with feet hip-width apart and weights at your shoulders. Extend one weight to an overhead position while holding the opposite weight at the shoulder. Alternate the weights, allowing them to move at the same time. That’s one rep. (Use a lower weight than you normally would for a shoulder press.)

Recommended sets/reps: 4 sets of 12 reps

What it works: A metabolic conditioning exercise like this builds core and upper-body strength simultaneously.

Pushup Bent-Over Rows – How to do it:  Place a pair of dumbbells about shoulder-width apart on the floor. Grab the handles and position yourself at the top of a pushup position. Lower your body to the floor and then press back up. Jump feet outside of hands and lift chest slightly, knees still bent. Then, pull elbows back towards ribs. Place dumbbells back on the floor and return to start. That’s one rep.

Recommended sets/reps: 6-8 sets of 8 reps.

What it works: This is a compound push/pull exercise—it combines strength and conditioning by transitioning from one position to the other.

Suicide Sprints – How to do it:  Place a cone or target 20 feet from your starting position and another cone/target 40 feet from your starting position. Sprint to the first cone, touch it, and return to the starting position. Then sprint to the second cone and back to start. Alternatively, you can just choose one point, and sprint back and forth.

Recommended sets/reps: 4 sets of 40 seconds.

What it works: Sprinting is the most cardiovascular and explosive exercise. It also strengthens the entire lower body and burns fat thanks to the intensity and speed of every sprint.

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Here are a few lesser-known cardio exercises but result oriented.

Jumping rope – This cardio exercise uses more muscle groups than jogging and challenges your balance and coordination—especially if you practice drills that require extra hand and foot skills. Moderate-intensity rope jumping—about 100 to 120 skips per minute—burns about 13 calories a minute.

Cindy – This Cross Fit Workout of the Day (WOD) burns an average of 13 calories per minute. It’s effective because it pairs three exercises—5 pullups, 10 pushups, and 15 air squats—that work for different major muscle groups, and you do as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes.

Any routine that takes you from standing, down to the ground, and backs up to standing again is an amazing calorie burner because it really spikes the heart rate.

Cross-country skiing – Zipping along on skis delivers a better cardio workout compared to running at about the same pace, thanks to the fact that the sport requires you to push with your lower-body and pull with your upper.

Battle ropes – In a recent study comparing various workout styles, battle-rope exercises came in first in terms of total oxygen consumption and an average calorie burn of 10.3 calories per minute.

Agility ladder – You’ll burn a ton of calories with the short bursts of speed, balance, and coordination it takes to finish a full agility ladder circuit—especially if you run through the drills continuously with limited rest. But your brain might get the best benefit from this type of cardio exercise.

Boxing – You don’t have to get in the ring against an opponent to knock out calories with boxing-style workouts. Hit a heavy bag, work with a partner, or just perform punch combos on air to smash through calories — up to 800 per hour.

Elliptical – These machines were originally designed to minimize the impact on the knees and hips, but still allow a great workout. Because the impact is quite low, the calorie-burning effect isn’t as great as other cardio machines, like treadmills and stair masters. However, the elliptical machine can be an excellent way to burn calories without wearing out your joints. While the average 180-lb. The man may only burn close to 500-600 calories per hour if he’s going at an above moderate pace, you can get even more out of it by switching up the intensity, speed, and resistance.

Add a high incline to really activate more leg muscles, especially your glutes. This movement can simulate stair-climbing without the impact. Lower the incline and increase the resistance and you have a cross-country skiing feel to your workout that really works your quads. As with the step mill, don’t hold on to the handles or rails too tightly as this can reduce your efforts and lead to shoulder or wrist pain.

 

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Click here for Calisthenics -

Calisthenics is a form of exercise consisting of a variety of gross motor movements—running, standing, grasping, pushing, etc.—often performed rhythmically and with minimal equipment, so essentially, bodyweight exercises.

They are intended to increase body strength, body fitness, and flexibility, through movements such as pulling or pushing oneself up, bending, jumping, or swinging, using only one’s body weight for resistance; usually conducted in concert with stretches.

When performed vigorously and with variety, calisthenics can provide the benefits of muscular and aerobic conditioning, in addition to improving psychomotor skills such as balance, agility, and coordination. Many consider calisthenics as “movement through space”, meaning you can move freely without any restriction blocking your full strength.

The ancient Greeks were already practicing calisthenics thousands of years ago. Today calisthenics exercises becoming more and more popular. lists body-weight training, also known as calisthenics, as the second-highest fitness trend for 2016. The exercises are meant to build a strong and athletic body.

Once you can easily perform the beginner exercises, start with the intermediate workouts, and then gradually move on to the advanced exercises to continuously challenge your muscles. Beware to always warm-up before you hit the street with calisthenics and allow for sufficient rest in between your workouts for optimal muscle recovery.

Here’s a list of every bodyweight exercise for All –

Beginner-friendly

Intermediate

Advanced

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For Beginners – 

Standard Push up:  The push up is probably the most popular bodyweight exercise for strengthening your arms, chest, and shoulders. Depending on how wide you place your arms, how deep you go, and how you hold your hands it has many variations targeting different muscle groups.

Since push-ups are relatively easy to perform, very effective, target several muscle groups, and don’t require any equipment, I highly recommend you include them in your workouts whether you’re a newbie or more experienced.

Eccentric Chin Up:  The eccentric chin-up is a great progression exercise if you can’t yet do a full chin-up properly. In this version all you have to focus on is lowering yourself slowly, you don’t actually have to pull yourself up.

Negative Pushup: In the pushup position, slowly lower yourself towards the ground until your chest touches the floor. Then allow your knees to drop and lift yourself back up starting with your torso and then your legs. This exercise is excellent for improving the strength of your core, stability and strength in your biceps and shoulders.

Brock Jump: This is a good exercise for those in the beginner to intermediate range. It focuses on the shoulders and triceps. You will need a small medicine ball or exercise ball to do this. Assume the traditional pushup position with one hand on the ball. You are going to be going up while switching hands. This requires a great deal of coordination as you will need to switch hands while in the air.

Isometric Pushup: In the isometric push up you will not lift your body completely from the ground. Just start as a normal push up. Once you are midway, hold your body in this position for as long as you can. Do not lift your body or move it downwards once you reach this position. This is a great way to check for how long you can keep hanging midway of a regular push upcycle.

Triceps Bench Drip: For this exercise, you need a bench. Sit on the bench and place your hands on the edges (at each side of your body). Now hold the edge with your hands and move your hip forward. Fold your arms and knees and bring your body down until your back touches the bench. Don’t lean too forward.

Then move your body up again. Keep going up and down. You can position your legs a bit forward to make the exercise a bit harder. For the next level, stretch your legs completely straight and put your body weight on your hills. Keep moving up and down.

Cobra Triceps Extension: This exercise is quite similar to a pushup. First, get into a standard push-up position. Bend your elbows and move your hands back so that they are beside your chest. Now push your body up and down while your knees keep touching the ground. Focus on your triceps.

Alligator Pushup: To perform the alligator push up, place yourself in a staggered pushup position with one hand ahead of the other on the floor while keeping your feet on their toes.

In this position lower yourself down, then, while keeping your legs straight, crawl forward by placing your next hand ahead while lowering yourself into another pushup. Repeat this pattern. This exercise improves core and upper body strength, especially the pectoral muscle group.

Torso Elevated pushup: The torso elevated push up is a great way to simplify the pushups without punishing your knees and knuckles. Use a chair, exercise bench, or a weight bar at a comfortable height to provide you the lever to activate your anterior core.

Focus on keeping your lower back from sagging, as you’d do for a plank while providing the thrust with your shoulders or chest (depending on which body part you want to work out). Widen your grip to further engage your pecks.

No Arm Pushup: The no arm push up is a good exercise for your upper back and/or chest.

Keep your elbows on the ground. Your hands should be folded, holding each other in front of you on the ground. Now start doing the push up by activating your chest/back. It should be harder to do than a regular push up but it works your chest and back muscles really well.

Sit Up: The sit-up is one of the most well-known exercises and if you do it correctly it can help you strengthen your abs and core.

Personally, I’m not a big fan of sit-ups because they always made my spine hurt back when I used to do them. I think they are overrated and there are far more effective and easier exercises for getting a six-pack or working on your core muscles.

Ab Crunches: While ab crunches are among the most popular ab workout exercises, many people end up hurting their spine because of improper execution.

While I used to be a big fan of crunches, today I rarely include them in my workouts because I got bored with having to do tons of repetitions to see any results. Nowadays I use far more effective ab exercises than the crunch.

Side Crunch: The side crunch is a very effective exercise for strengthening your obliques.

While I don’t see anything wrong with them, I think it’s not the most effective exercise for this target muscle group. Still, if you’re just a beginner then this version of the side crunch is perfect for starters.

Plank Pushup: This movement works your arms, shoulders, and core. Start by putting your body on your hands and knees. Hands should be right below the shoulders, knees should be right below the hips.

Now, extend one foot and put your hands a little wider. Next, put your other foot in the extended position, too. This position is called the plank position. Fold your arms to bring down your body and then unfold them to elevate your body.

Alternate Heel Touchers: Lay on the ground and band your knees. Your toes should be touching the ground. Keep at least 1.5 feet distance between your feet. Now bend your body sideways to touch one heel on your left with your left hand. Do the same for the other side. Continue for multiple times.

Towel Row: The great thing about this calisthenics exercise is that all you need is a towel and a door and you’re ready to hit your back muscles hard. By varying the height of your squat and how you position your arms you can work your lats from different angles. Overall this is a great technique to train your back with just your body weight and no equipment.

Hyperextension Without Bench: Glide yourself to the edge of a flat bench and continue till your hips hang at the edge of the bench. Cross arms and keep your body straight. Continue to bend to the front slightly from the waist to the best of your ability and ensure your back remains flat. Breathe out when you perform this motion.

Continue to move downward until you feel a nice stretch at the hamstring or until you almost touch the floor. Bring your torso to the original position and repeat.

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Intermediate –

Full Bridge: Start by lying with your back on the ground. Place your hand beside your head and allow the fingers to point towards your toes. Bring your hip upward as you round your back and continuously squeeze your butt, leg muscles, and ab. Push yourself through your shoulders, making sure that your body is in a good stretch. Breathe deeply and remain like that for a second, then lower back to the ground.

Body Weight Biceps Curl: The bodyweight biceps curl is not only a great replacement for the dumbbell curl, it actually has quite a few benefits over traditional dumbbell biceps training. Watch the video to find out more.

If you used to do dumbbell curls and miss them, this can be a great

Spiderman Pushup: This is an intermediate level calisthenics exercise and works the chest, the shoulders, and the core. You will start in the traditional pushup position. When you push down, bend one leg so that it is brought up beside your chest (think of a crawling position but hold your leg off of the floor). Return to the starting position and repeat. Alternate the legs on each way down.

Feet Elevated Pushup: This is a beginner to intermediate level exercise and focuses on the upper chest. To begin, put your feet on an elevated surface such as a bench. Place your hands below your shoulders. Do a traditional push up while keeping your feet on the elevated surface. Return to your start position and repeat.

Jack Knife Pushup: The Jackknife push up is performed by placing your arms about shoulders width apart like you would a push up, then bring your feet towards your hands and back into your push up position. This exercise is excellent for working your shoulders, triceps, and core.

Clap Pushup: Just like a pushup, place your hands upon the floor at shoulders width apart. As you push up from the ground, apply enough of a force to elevate you slightly, allowing you to clap and land back upon your hands. This exercise is great for building strength in your pectoral muscles and explosive power in your upper body.

Frog Stand: To perform the frog stand, place your hands upon the floor and place your knees into just above the backs of your elbows. With your feet off the ground and your arms and core balancing you, maintain this static position. This exercise is great for improving balance and overall strength, particularly in the core muscles and biceps/triceps.

Knuckle Pushup: Similar to performing a normal push up, the knuckle push up is performed by placing your clenched fists upon the floor to balance you. Lower and raise yourself as you would a normal push up in this position. This exercise is superb for improving wrist strength and stability while promoting harder knuckles and stronger grip.

Staggered Pushup: The staggered push up is just the same as an ordinary push up with the alteration of one hand being placed ahead of the other. In this position, lower and raise yourself as you would in a regular push up. This is great for improving triceps, pectoral, and shoulder strength.

Side to Side pushup:  The side-to-side push-up is a variation that targets your triceps with an alternate aim on your chest and shoulder muscles.

Take up a typical push-up stance. Now flex your elbows and lower your torso towards the ground while slanting to your left. Now push back up, making sure that your left arm is taking most of the weight and your right arm is only to steady yourself. Restore to your beginning position. Haul down again, slanting to your right this time.

Thigh Tap Pushup: Place your arms and feet on the ground in a pushup position. Lower your body toward the ground, but when lifting yourself up, lift swiftly to grant a short moment of air-time in which you can tap your hands on your thighs and return them to their primary position. This bodyweight exercise is good for building muscle, strength, and improving your fast-twitch muscles.

Archer Pushup: This is an intermediate level pushup and focuses on the shoulders, the chest, and the triceps. Get into the traditional pushup position but place your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. Instead of doing a regular push-up, lower yourself down while focusing on one arm more than the other. Go back up and repeat this by switching arms on each downward motion.

Dragon Walk: The dragon walk is a good multi-plane movement. Imagine doing a push up while simultaneously moving your hands and feet forward as if you were doing a mountain climber movement. Your core should be kept stabilized and tight during the whole time of the movement.

Note: Although this works your abs and core muscles, this exercise alone is not enough to get a six-pack. In fact, doing ab exercises is a good start, but eating right and learning a few other tricks might play a more important role.

Power Pushup: A plyometric version of the pushup. Good for building explosive pushing power. Get your upper body into a wider than shoulder-width stance. Push your hands through the ground allowing yourself to leap into the air, meanwhile maintaining your feet on the ground. Catch yourself on the way down. Maintain control of your body during this movement. Stop about 1-2 inches from the floor.

Hindu Pushup: An efficient movement that hits multiple upper body muscle groups (back, chest, arms, and shoulders). Start by getting into a downwards dog yoga position. Feet and hands should be shoulder-width apart. Stick your butt out into the air. Let your head dropdown.

To perform the movement, bring yourself down and tuck the elbows in. Dive down into the movement by pulling through the lats. Fully bring yourself out of the dive motion by driving through your hands and extending your upper body. Contract chest, triceps, and shoulders. Make sure the shoulders are braced.

Chest Slap Pushup: This is a beginner to intermediate level exercise and it focuses on the chest and triceps. Assume the traditional pushup position. Go down like normal. When you return upwards, push up with enough force for your hands to leave the ground. Slap your chest with both hands before letting your hands fall back to the ground. Repeat.

Pushup with Cross leg Kicks: In this pushup variant, you will move your legs as if you are kicking something at your side each time you move your body up from the ground. Note that it is called a cross leg, because you should kick to your right side with the left leg, and then in the next cycle you kick to your left side with your right leg.

Explosive full-body pushup: In this push up you need to lift your whole body in the air, each time you push the body up. It is quite an exhausting push up to perform. Be careful not to hurt your hands and toes while doing this.

Reverse Crunch: When doing a reverse crunch you’re basically lifting your legs up while focusing on your ab muscles. It’s a great exercise for engaging your upper abs and if your body fat percentage is low enough the results of this exercise can quickly show.

With that said, I find it pretty hard to engage my abs while lifting my legs from the ground, so I prefer hanging leg raises instead.​

Side Oblique Crunch: A different, more advanced version of the side crunch is this exercise. Instead of laying on the ground, you lift yourself up on one side while supporting yourself on your forearm and do a side crunch that way.

I think it’s a bit more effective than the regular side crunch, but it’s also a bit more difficult for most people.

L-Sit: The L-sit is an intermediate level ab exercise which might look like it’s no big deal, but it’s not as easy as you’d think.

​Antranik has an amazing progression tutorial about how to achieve a perfect L-sit so that you can attempt the much harder V-sit later on.

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Advanced Exercises –

Full Planche: The full planche is a very advanced full-body exercise. It’s very hard to master and I have yet to be able to do it myself. Fortunately, this video gives a perfect explanation about how to progress your way to your first planche.

Again, don’t worry if this exercise seems out of your reach, it is absolutely not required to build a strong and ripped body.​

Pseudo Planche Pushup: The pseudo planche is similar to a pushup, but it involves facing your hands in the opposite direction while lifting and lowering yourself to and from the ground. Placing your hands the opposite way round from the normal push up, balance your torso up on your hands while placing them just above your hip level. This exercise is superb for building strength in your core, arms, balance, and most other muscles located on your torso.

One Arm Chnup: The one-arm chin-up is one of the most advanced calisthenics biceps and back exercises. Only a few people can perform this real feat of strength.

One Arm pushup: With your feet spread wide away on the ground in the pushup position, place one hand upon your hip and lower yourself to the ground with your other arm and push yourself back up. This exercise is great for building arm strength, balance, and muscle development.

This is a very advanced movement, don’t be disappointed if it takes you months or years to be able to perform one of these with decent form.​

Assisted one arm Pushup: Unlike the basic one-arm push-up, for the assisted version you don’t lock your arm behind your body. Instead, you extend it fully at nearly 90 degrees to your torso and rest it on physical support to create the tension and flex your back muscles. The support can be a rock or any suitable household item.

Now bring the other arm in, parallel to your torso, and use that for push-ups. Spread your legs slightly more than your shoulders to make your triceps work harder against your body weight.

One-handed Clap Pushup: The one-handed clap push up is an intermediate to advanced level exercise. First, start in a normal push up position. Now, put one of your hands behind your back. As you rise up doing a one-handed pushup, bring your backhand forward and clap quickly. Before going down, but the hand behind your back again and land on the supporting hand.

Archer Pushup with Rings: This is for those on the intermediate level and focuses on the shoulders, the chest, and the triceps. To do this exercise, you will need two rings about one foot off of the floor that sways freely. You will get into the traditional pushup position with one difference. You will hold onto the two rings. You will go down towards the rings while pushing one arm towards the side. Go back up and repeat this switching arms on each downward motion.

Human Flag Pushup: Begin by placing your hands on the bar greater than shoulder width. It doesn’t matter which is on top. The bottom placement hand will be your supporting hand, which will be facing down. Top hand is also facing down, which is the hand pulling you into the bar.  Shoulders should be locked, while the back is contracted and extended up. Use your upper body to pull yourself up.  Keep the core tight.

Double Arm Lever: This is a gymnastic movement designed to keep your body horizontal. Begin by tucking your elbows towards the side of your torso about shoulder-width apart. Slowly suspend yourself by raising your hip and feet off of the ground and pushing your hands into the ground. Point your fingers down towards your feet.

Two Finger Pushup: Two finger pushups are notably fruitful if you’re looking for ways to build your wrist and hand strength. These are rather advantageous in sports that require strong hands and wrists.

Stretch while face down on the floor and get into a pushup stance. Put one hand on your back, instead of using your palm; use your thumb and index finger to push yourself up. You can use your middle finger to support your index finger, keeping it off the floor.

​Needless to stay, I only recommend you attempt this one if you’re at such a professional level that you’re looking for new challenges to try.

 V-Sit: Once you’re comfortable doing the L-sit it’s time to transition to the more advanced V-sit. It’s a brutal exercise that’s going to strengthen your core and arms and help with your stability. Don’t worry if it takes you months or even years to reach this level.

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The Benefits of Calisthenics:-

You don’t need any equipment. The beauty of calisthenics is that you can do it anywhere, anytime—all you need is your body. It’s one of the only ways to build mass and strength without the use of weights. You officially have no excuse not to work out.

You can build serious strength. You might be thinking: “How, if you’re not hoisting barbells or dumbbells?” But you can accomplish a lot using just your own body weight. If you’re a 100-Kgs man doing a bodyweight pull-up, you’re effectively lifting 100Kgs.

It’s true that you will reach a certain max point of muscle growth with calisthenics because muscle mass comes from progressive resistance, and there will only ever be so much resistance provided by your own body, but that’s where getting creative comes into play. Use elevated surfaces to change the angle of exercises, increasing the percentage of body weight that you’re lifting. Use vertical surfaces (i.e. walls and poles) to challenge your body in new ways, and recruit your core like you wouldn’t believe (human flagpole, anyone?). Go faster, slower, longer, upside down, or increase your range of motion to keep provoking physical and mental adaptions.

You’ll move better IRL. Since calisthenics is all about moving your body in space, it’s the ultimate kind of functional movement training. Functional training means training in a way that will directly enhance the way you perform everyday life tasks or particular physical requirements of your work or sport.

You likely maintain a better form. When using free weights or machines, you can continue to progress your strength and muscle mass; however, people often end up using too much resistance on a machine or weights that are too heavy and that leads to compensating, meaning you don’t execute the exercise properly using the correct muscles. Calisthenics gives you the necessary solid base of strength for when/if you do incorporate external resistance into your training. If you can’t lift your body weight you definitely shouldn’t be trying to lift more on a machine.

You hit every. single. muscle. Calisthenics involves using the entire body and not emphasizing certain muscles over others. What I’m talking about is strength from the bottom of your feet to the tips of your fingers.

You’ll be gentler on your joints and connective tissue. Resistance training—when performed incorrectly, with too-heavy weights, too often, or in a way that creates imbalances—can put extra stress on soft tissue structures like your tendons, ligaments, and fascia. Calisthenics, on the other hand, only develops strength and size in proportion to your muscular system with authentic and natural movements.

You improve your brain-body connection. Calisthenics training develops those fine motor skills that require your brain to work hard as well as your body. Coordination, speed, power, acceleration, strength, quickness, and agility, are all actions that are demonstrated by a body trained in the art of calisthenics.” Think of a gymnast: It takes a lot of strength, flexibility, and stamina to perform these movements, says Calabrese, not to mention unbelievable coordination.

You’ll feel like a badass. Yes, really. There is an unmistakable swagger about someone who knows that they have total control over their body. Truth: Executing a super heavy deadlift or hoisting a massive kettlebell overhead can make you feel super badass, but so does banging out plyo push-ups or being able to pull off a one-arm pull-up.

 

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Click here for Surfing -

Surfing is the sport of riding waves in an upright or prone position. Surfers catch the ocean, river, or man-made waves, and glide across the surface of the water until the wave breaks and loses its energy.

In the ocean, wave riders stand up on surfboards and navigate the water – nearly parallel to the beach – toward the shore. There are four types of surfing waves: spilling waves, plunging waves, surging waves, and collapsing waves.

The ultimate goal of surfing is to ride and progress on the unbroken part of the wave using a surfboard. Nevertheless, beginners can learn to surf in the white water part of the wave.

Many surf historians and enthusiasts believe that the essence of surfing is in body surfing, the art of gliding over the waves using only the body as a planning surface.

The sport of surfing began between the 19th and 20th centuries, but wave riding is an old practice that has its origins in the ancient Polynesian and ancient Peruvian cultures.

Surfing is a sport with multiple interpretations. For many, it’s a recreational activity, physical activity, and a competitive sport, but for others, it is a religion, a lifestyle, an addiction, and a spiritual connection with Nature.

In less than a century, the act of wave riding evolved and gave birth to several other board sports. Skateboarding, bodyboarding, windsurfing, kitesurfing, skimboarding, kneeboarding are, in a way, part of the surfing family.

The future of surfing is bright. With the advent of artificial wave pools and river waves, the sport will attract new participants in landlocked countries.

All Surfers should know the following facts when you start surfing –

The learning Curve – Surfing is one of the most difficult and complex sports in the world. Think about it. Not one wave is the same, so your playground is constantly changing. Elements such as wind, tides, and swells are affecting the waves you surf differently every single day.

It’s a very challenging and enjoyable learning process. Once you catch your first “green wave”, that’s it, you’re hooked! Knowing the learning curve helps you prepare your attitude and expectations towards your surfing. Contrarily to snowboarding, for example, there’s no moment on the 3rd day where you think “Ok, I got this” and then very rarely fall again. In surfing, you will wipe-out for years.

The Importance of Surfboard – In any sport, having the right equipment helps you perform. But surfing is different. It can make the difference between surfing 20 waves or 0 waves in your session.

Choosing the right surfboard will completely change the experience. It’s not about having the “brand new model”. It’s about having the right volume and rocker. The volume is the measurement of how much flotation the board has. It’s a function of length, width, and thickness. Basically, when you start surfing, you want lots of volumes (choose either a longboard or a foamboard, boards that are wide, thick, long, and have a flat rocker). Our favorite boards for the first days are 7″4 Gnaraloo foamboards, they are very thick and wide, but not too long so the nose doesn’t drive often.

We strongly recommend you to ask for advice in a locally owned surf shop. It’s not just important for the economy; it’s also the best way to get advice from people who know what they are talking about:

Choose the adequate surfboard – This is extremely important. It can determine whether you have the best time of your life or the worst. Many surfers will tell you: “start on a beach break, it’s safer”. This is true, but only to a certain extent. Of course, it’s better to fall on sand than on rocks or coral reefs. But the truth is, there are some sandy beach breaks for advanced surfers, and some rocky point breaks for beginner surfers. To make things even more confusing, some spots can be perfect to learn on some days, and on other days only be good for experts. It all depends on the wave conditions.

If you want to know if a spot is good for your level, you must not only look up the spot info but also the daily wave conditions. There are many surf websites and forums loaded with information on surf spots. Some site professionals have written it and their info is usually very accurate. They tell you what type of board you need, adequate surf level, tide, swell, bottom, etc.

Doing some research on the web is always good. But the best thing is to have knowledgeable and experienced surfers that have been surfing the area for a long time. They are the ones who can really tell you where to go according to your surf level.

Have someone to show you basic technique – As seen above, surfing is one of the most complex and technical sports in the world. Imagine learning the wrong basic techniques and then having to “unlearn” your bad habits before you can continue your progression.

This advice comes from inland surfers that started to dedicate their life to surf way too late in their life. The bottom line is: if you’re serious about learning to surf, learn it the right way. Have an experienced friend or surf coach show you the right basics for the first few days.

Learn about surf ethics – There are many, many rules to go by in surfing: don’t paddle inside, don’t drop in, don’t a snake, don’t ditch your surfboard, and so on. It may sound like Chinese when you are new to the sport. 

Nine rules to follow while surfing

  1. Choose the right surf spot
  2. Don’t drop-in
  3. Don’t snake
  4. Paddle wide
  5. Take turns
  6. Communicate
  7. Respect the locals
  8. Hold on to your board
  9. Say Sorry

 The following 3 points are very important for beginners –

Don’t drop in – The drop-in is the main violation of surf ethics. It’s the one we see way too often. Basically, it means “stealing” somebody else’s wave. Quality waves are meant to be ridden by only 1 surfer. This way the lone surfer can enjoy specific powerful areas of the wave, where only 1 surfer can fit.

So how to know if it’s your wave or somebody else’s? When you paddle for a wave, look on both sides (right and left) before you take off. If a surfer is catching the wave further inside, closer to the peak, he has priority. If you are closer to the peak, then you will be the one with the longest ride, so you have priority.

Choose the right spot for your ability –  We have seen how to do this in point no 3 above. This is a very important aspect of surf ethics.

Respect the locals – If you are new to surfing, you might not know this. Every surf spot has its own “vibe”. Some spots are more “localized” than others. This means some local surfers are more “inviting” to strangers than others, and this varies in different surf spots. Just always remember: you are not home. These surfers might have been surfing these waves for years since they are kids. When you get to a surf spot, take time to feel and analyze the vibe. Be positive, respectful, and unselfish.

Useful  tips for beginners

We have mentioned a few tips for beginner surfers, aimed at helping attempt to start the adventure. Why attempt because it will most likely be full of just that: attempts. Aside from these useful tips, expect to put in some work. Just like any other sport, you need to put in some time and effort to learning and becoming better at it. If you follow these tips, you’ll be on your way to becoming a great surfer.

Don’t learn yourself – No matter how easy you think it looks, never, ever approach surfing by yourself. Either get an experienced friend to teach you or go to a surf camp in order to avoid injuring yourself and others, or even putting your life in danger.

Pick a good teacher – If you decide to take some surf lessons, research the teacher in advance. Make sure they are experienced and have good reviews. Sometimes, a good teacher won’t just teach you how to surf, but they’ll inspire you and help you love surfing.

Use a big surfboard – This is one of the best beginner surfing tips you could ever follow. Some people are tempted to jump on smaller, shorter boards as quickly as possible. A large board will help you develop better fundamental mechanics and you’ll catch a lot more waves in the early stages.

Get yourself a soft-top – Make no mistake, in the beginning, you’ll be spending a lot of time sitting on it, rather than standing. Soft-tops are good entry boards and they’re safer for everybody involved than their fiberglass and epoxy alternatives.

Surf a beginner wave – Using a beach that is appropriate for beginning surfers is crucial to your surfing success. Learn to surf on a beach known for good, steady waves and the whole learning process will be smoother. Tackle small waves before you attempt larger ones. Even though you may feel ready, unless your teacher says you’re ready, you’re not. You’ll be upgrading your surf spot in no time with the right amount of dedication.

Spend some time on dry land first – Once you’re at the beach, don’t rush in the water. Spend some time on the beach and do your stretching. Check your leash, your board, and also take a moment to watch the waves. Keep your eye on the other surfers and see what they do. This isn’t a habit that will stop once you’ve graduated past the beginner ranks.

Pace yourself – Once you get into the water you will need to pace yourself. I know how excited you may feel, but if you don’t pace yourself you can risk injury. Remember, you have all the time in the world to surf.

Don’t get tangled with the big dogs – This advice ties in with our previous tips. It simply means keep your distance from experienced surfers, mainly because they’re surfing more challenging waves. As a beginner, you’re prone to making lots of mistakes, and you’ll want to avoid getting in people’s way. The safety of others is just as important as your own safety every time you get in the water.

Get comfortable sitting on that board – As weird as it may sound, sitting on a surfboard isn’t the easiest, nor the most comfortable thing in the world.

Paddle, Paddle, Paddle – Paddling is another thing you will need to practice until you get it right. The key is to find a rhythm and to keep it. This also requires you to be in shape, because it will be quite exhausting the first few times.

Get used to wiping out – If there’s one certainty when learning to surf it’s that you will be involved in a lot of wipeouts. You will fall, and fall, and fall…and then you’ll fall some more. The waves will knock you down, you’ll get confused, and frustrated, and you’ll even get some bruises. All you need to remember is that it’s all part of the game.

Bend at the knees – When you’re on the wave, it is imperative that you bend your knees and not your back. If you bend your back, you’ll not just lose your balance mush easier but trust me, it’s not a good look in surfing’s stylebook.

Stay perpendicular to white water –  When a breaking wave is ahead of you you can either duck under it or race to paddle over. No matter which you choose, once the wave has broken you need to stay perpendicular to the whitewater (the part of the wave that is breaking). If you don’t, you’ve given all that energy more surface area to grab you and your board, pulling you under the water and dragging you toward shore.

Go on a surf trip – Your surfing grows in leaps and bounds with even a single week where you have nothing to do but wake up, surf, eat, surf some more, sleep and repeat.

Have Fun – No matter what you do and where you are, if you’re not having fun, it’s not worth it. Always remember that awesome quote: “The best surfer out there is the one having the most fun.”

 

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Click here for Tae Kwon Do -

Taekwondo (also written as “tae kwon do”, “Taekwon-do” or “t’aegwondo”) is a modern martial art from Korea that is characterized by its fast, high, and spinning kicks.

Forms, or Poomses in the Korean language, are a series of defending and attacking movements performed against imaginary opponents in a set pattern. Through the practice of forms, students come to learn the applications of various techniques of Taekwondo. Forms serve a multi-dimensional role, aiding in the development and refinement of coordination, balance, timing, breath control, and rhythm, all of which are essential skills to the Taekwondo student.

Taekwondo is one of the most systematic and scientific Korean traditional martial arts, that teaches more than physical fighting skills. It is a discipline that shows ways of enhancing our spirit and life through training our body and mind. Today, it has become a global sport that has gained an international reputation and stands among the official games in the Olympics.

Basic Information about Tae Kwon Do –

Let’s take a closer look at the meaning of the word “Tae” “Kwon” “Do.” It is composed of three parts as shown in the English spelling, though it is one word in Korean. “Tae” means “foot,” “leg,” or “to step on”; “Kwon” means “fist,” or “fight”; and “Do” means the “way” or “discipline.” If we put these three parts together, we can see two important concepts behind “Tae Kwon Do”.

First, Taekwondo is the right way of using Tae and Kwon ‘fists and feet,’ or all the parts of the body that are represented by fists and feet. Second, it is a way to control or calm down fights and keep the peace. This concept comes from the meaning of Tae Kwon ‘to put fists under control’ [or ‘to step on fists’]. Thus Taekwondo means “the right way of using all parts of the body to stop fights and help to build a better and more peaceful world.”

Taekwondo today is similar to the martial arts in other Oriental countries and shares some features with them because in the course of its evolution it has gained many different styles that existed in the martial arts of the countries surrounding Korea, like Japan and China.

But Taekwondo is very different from many such oriental martial arts. First, physically it is very dynamic with active movements that include a mirage of foot skills. Second, the principle physical movements are in simpatico with that of the mind and life as a whole. Third, it possesses dynamic poses from another perspective.

Taekwondo can be characterized by unity: the unity of body, mind, and life, and the unity of the pose [“poomsae”] and confrontation, and cracking down. When you do Taekwondo, you should make your mind peaceful and synchronize your mind with your movements, and extend this harmony to your life and society. This is how in Taekwondo the principle of physical movements, the principle of mind training, and the principle of life become one and the same. On the other hand, the right poomsae lead to the right confrontation, which will eventually produce great destructive power.

How come we reach such a unity in Taekwondo? Taekwondo is a way of life, much like having a job, raising a family, fighting for a cause, or any one of numerous raison d’etre. What makes Taekwondo different from these is that it is an activity for survival in extremely antagonistic situations. One must always overcome the enemy that is trying to cause harm. But simply winning a fight is not enough to guarantee one’s safety, because the enemy may recuperate and attack again. Moreover, there may be many other enemies than the one that was just defeated. One cannot ever feel safe unless one gains permanent peace. To attain this permanent or lasting peace, one needs unity. This is what Taekwondo aims for. Otherwise, Taekwondo would be no different from any other street-fighting skills.

Taekwondo pursues harmonious growth and improvements in life through its unique activities. This is why one could say Taekwondo is a way of life. To ultimately enable ourselves to lead more valuable lives, we would do well by finding the guiding principles deeply hidden in Taekwondo.

Because of the military background, there is a general code. These codes are reflected in the so-called ‘Commandments of modern Taekwondo’ and are strongly influenced by Buddhism. These commandments are influenced by the HwaRang Do code of honor:

  1. Serve your lord with loyalty
  2. Serve your parents with filial piety
  3. Trust your friends
  4. Never retreat from a battle
  5. When taking life, be selective

The commandments of Taekwondo are used as a guide for the moral development of students and artists. No student who does not fully understand these tenets can ever hope to master the true essence of the art.

Commandments of modern Taekwondo:

  1. Loyalty to your country
  2. Respect your parents
  3. Faithfulness to your spouse
  4. Respect your brothers and sisters
  5. Loyalty to your friends
  6. Respect your elders
  7. Respect your teacher
  8. Never take life unjustly
  9. Indomitable spirit
  10. Loyalty to your school
  11. Finish what you begin

The Tenets of Taekwondo

Courtesy – To be thoughtful and considerate of others. Taekwondo practisers (both students and instructors) should be polite and show consideration for others.

Integrity –  Integrity describes how you should interact with others. To be honest and good, earn respect and trust.

Perseverance – This basically stands for your internal drive. Challenges allow us to improve ourselves and should therefore not be avoided.

Self Control –  To have control of your body and mind. A Taekwondo student should practice controlling his actions and reactions.

Indomitable Spirit – To have courage in the face of adversity. A Taekwondo student should never be dominated by, or have his spirit broken by another.

How to behave in Dojang. There are a few general rules.

  • Always wear clean Dobok.
  • Clean hands, feet, short nails.
  • Don’t wear sharp things (if you do not have a Dobok, do not wear pants with zippers, etc.)
  • No jewelry allowed
  • Don’t drink, smoke, or eat in the dojang (no chewing gum!)
  • Be on time.
  • When entering and leaving the dojang, make a proper bow
  • Don’t talk, unless it is necessary

Tae kwon do is characterized by the extensive use of high standing and jump kicks as well as punches and is practiced for sport, self-defense, and spiritual development. Training in tae kwon do is carried out by learning individual techniques of kicking, punching, and blocking, which are practiced in a combined series of techniques in traditional sets known as Hyung.

(Proficiency in the graded series of hyung determines rank in the lower grades.) Students also practice basic sparring combinations (id-bo tueryon, “one-step sparring”); these are short, set sequences of attack and counter practiced between partners, after which the students may practice free sparring as opponents. In sparring, blows are stopped just short of contact.

Tae kwon do is practiced as a sport by awarding points to correctly executed techniques during free sparring or by judging the quality of performed Hyung.

Different types of exercise Part I

Different types of exercise Part I

Different types of exercise

Today’s Post is about how different types of exercise can be done and which are good for different health-related issues. We have tried to explain how different exercises benefit health-wise and their advantages as mentioned below.

Types of Exercises –

  • A brisk walk
  • Jogging
  • Climbing the stairs
  • Playing tennis
  • Dancing
  • Cycling
  • Doing yard work like raking, digging, and gardening
  • Swimming
  • Rowing
  • Jumping rope

All exercise mentioned above has its own advantages and health benefits if followed as per instructions and under the guidance of experts.

Different types of exercise emphasize different elements of physical fitness. Well-balanced workout regimens include different types of exercise to help you avoid injury and develop or maintain overall physical fitness. You may perform different types of exercise in varying proportions, depending on your goals. For example, overweight individuals may burn more calories by increasing flexibility, and endurance athletes can avoid injuries by including strength exercises in their training.

Did you know that there are actually four types of exercise, all of which serve varied purposes? Everyone knows that routine exercise is very important for healthy adults for varied functions, including bone and muscle strength, weight-loss or weight maintenance, heart health, and even cognitive health. But there are four different types of exercise: Aerobic (or endurance), strength, flexibility, and balance.

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Click here for Why can’t that be you? It CAN be you.

Whether you’re looking to drop weight, tone up or even bulk up, or to be able to enjoy your favorite activities again, all transformations start with a decision, a mental paradigm shift of taking ownership and embracing your vision as something that is attainable through a series of small victories that you can and WILL win.  If you are looking for a change that transcends your life, the best time to consider what you want to change and how you are going to do it is always now. Remember, doing what you have been doing and expecting a different result won’t work. Here are the tenants of how to achieve the changes you are looking for in your endless pursuit of better.

#1 – The Principle of Individuality

It is critical you realize that except for identical twins, no two people have the same genetic characteristics and therefore will not respond to movement, diet, and changes in their lifestyle at the same pace or with similar results.  This is important because you must have realistic goals and give yourself credit for any change that is a result of your commitment to your goal of transformation.  Give yourself some grace and always show yourself gratitude for what you are doing to make changes. Remember, success is often measured in millimeters, small victories that deserve to be celebrated, and that generate positive momentum towards your larger goals. 2 more reps, 3% less body fat, 1 millimeter less on your waist, etc. Look for your small victories and don’t compare your wins to other people’s progress. You are on your own journey, embrace your positive results, and keep your eyes on your next small victory instead of someone else’s.

#2 Nutrition and Diet

Realize that nutrition and diet play a HUGE role in a complete body transformation. We will explore the important diet and nutritional considerations and techniques to be successful later.

#3 Mix Up Your Training

Maintaining a variety in your training routine is key to enhancing your performance. Staying committed to daily movement is essential for the body, mind, and spirit, but selecting the right exercises at the right time is also critical for long-term transformational success. As we explore the importance of understanding the five components of fitness, I’ll share some easy-to-implement exercise techniques using the TRX Suspension Trainer, which will offer you tremendous variety in your transformational program. We will explore periodization training or progressive movement selection over time. This technique will allow you to progress at your own pace, with significant opportunities for success that will keep you engaged mentally and challenged physically. The TRX suspension trainer is a perfect tool for a total body transformation because it is portable, allowing you to take it anywhere, so no excuses. It is highly adaptable and extremely individual to any fitness goal, no matter who you are.

#4 Sleep, Rest, Recovery

The balance needed to experience training adaptations (progress) while avoiding excessive overload, inadequate recovery and even injury are tricky. The underlying causes are often a complex combination of emotional and physiological factors with training deficiencies creeping in that are highly individual, sometimes making it difficult to recognize. Most symptoms are identified only after they start, and physical function may already be suffering. Overtraining without ample time between workout rest and long-term recovery, coupled with inadequate sleep results in decreased performance capacity, burnout, and injury. We will explore the signs and symptoms of overtraining, including several strategies to create your own sleep sanctuary to facilitate both short and long-term recovery.

#5 The Importance of Routine

Routines help mold healthy habits and healthy habits are a catalyst for large-scale changes in how someone looks and feels when achieved. Creating realistic and consistent training, eating, hydration, and sleeping routines are critical to achieving the fitness and health benefits you have or are working so hard for. The “use it or lose it” concept could not be more true, as detraining can occur in as little as 2-weeks of inactivity. Complete inactivity will decrease physiological function and performance quickly, as demonstrated in research with athletes who have been forced to halt training due to injury. For these reasons, a balance between training and recovery is necessary to avoid burnout and injury. Understanding the importance of progressive overload will enhance your ability to maintain a consistent routine that will keep you engaged and motivated to stick with while avoiding negative overtraining side effects. Several strategies exist to help build a healthy routine, and we will explore these training options in order to provide you with the essential tools to achieve the transformation you’re striving the achieve.

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Click here for What is ‘Brisk Walking

If you’ve been spending hours in the gym exercising to stay fit and lose weight, here’s one more exercise for you: Brisk walking. It is good for your heart.

A study had shown that walking for at least 40 minutes multiple times every week helps reduce the risk of heart failure by almost 25% among post-menopausal women. Brisk walking is also beneficial for the heart as it improves artery health, and counters heart disease in diabetics.

The faster the walking speed, the lower the risk of hospitalization, and the shorter the length of hospital stay. Since reduced walking speed is a marker of limited mobility, which has been linked to decreased physical activity, we assume that fast walkers in the study are also fast walkers in real life.

Walking is the most popular type of exercise in adults. It is free, does not require special training, and can be done almost anywhere. Even short, but regular, walks have substantial health benefits. A study had shown that the benefits are even greater when the pace of walking is increased.

A healthy adult will typically choose a pace of walking which clocks in at about 2.8 miles per hour.  That pace may be partially guided by the rate that your metabolism uses to start accessing fat in your body for fuel, as you move.  A brisk walk is a relative term, since “brisk” for some, is either slow or quite speedy for others, depending on levels of fitness.

One measure to quantify brisk walking is “steps per minute,” and 100 steps per minute is considered moderate-intensity or brisk walking.  Fitness experts typically suggest a pace of 3.5 miles/hour on a treadmill to correlate to brisk walking, for an average person who does not exercise regularly.

If you wear a weighted vest while walking, will you burn more calories?

If you are able to keep the same pace as before, when adding a weighted vest, then you will typically burn more calories, until you become accustomed to the extra weight load.  Once used to the extra pounds, you would then have to also increase your pace of walking to keep burning extra calories.

A weighted vest can help someone who has some physical limitations that prevent them from consistently increasing their walking pace.  By adding extra weight in that example, the person would nudge some extra calorie burn.

The most overlooked and neglected form of exercise. Because it sounds and looks easy, most of us do not bother to walk and question the effectiveness of walking. But we should seriously give it a thought. Brisk walking is a great form of physical activity for people who are obese, elderly, or who haven’t exercised in a long time.

Brisk walking is low impact, requires minimal equipment, can be done at any time of day, and can be performed at your own pace.

Brisk walking is generally a safe way to exercise. However, doing it correctly is important. Following are Five correct ways of brisk walking.

  1. Correct way –
  • Walk a little initially and then gradually increase the time.
  • Warm-up and cool down with a slow, gentle walk to ease you up.
  • Carry and drink water while you walk, to hydrate yourself.
  • Take light, easy steps, and make sure your heel touches down before your toes.
  • Walk on grass rather than concrete to help absorb the impact if possible.
  • Choose walks that suit your age and fitness level.
  1. Correct Time –
  • You need fresh air with green & clean surroundings. There is no point in taking more carbon dioxide than oxygen. Avoid busy roads and traffic hours
  • Energy consumption is the same no matter what time of day a person walks, so go according to convenience.
  • Go on a light stomach. Do not eat an hour before going out for a walk. Fruits or juices are okay.
  1. Correct Speed –
  • Brisk walking means that you can still talk but not sing, and you may be puffing slightly.
  • Keep a moderately intense pace of about 15 or 16 minutes per mile.
  1. Correct Clothing –
  • Dress lightly
  • Dressing too warmly can increase sweating and build up body temperature, which can cause skin irritations.
  • Wear sunglasses, sunscreen, long sleeves, and a hat to avoid sunburn.
  1. Correct Footwear –
  • Wrong footwear or walking action can cause foot or shin pain, blisters, and injuries to soft tissues.
  • Make sure your shoes fit snugly and have appropriate heel and arch support.

Brisk walking has its share of myths and truisms that may or may not be true.

Myth: Walking does no good. Only intense exercise can give you health benefits.
Fact: Brisk walking for just 30 minutes for 5 – 7 days a week gives all the health benefits. Of course, intense exercise has its own share of benefits but not everyone can participate in it. Walking is one form of exercise that most people can do throughout their lives and at least reap the basic health benefits rather than doing nothing.

Myth: To burn more calories you should use ankle and arm or wrist weights.
Fact: Using all these fancy accessories will put you at a greater risk for injury and muscle strain. Ankle weights strain your leg, knee, and hip muscles due to the repetitive unnatural stress along with walking fast. The arm or wrist weights stress your elbows, wrists, and shoulders and can also affect your posture leading to backache and neck ache. Instead, walk a couple of extra minutes to burn more calories and if you want to tone and strengthen your upper body, invest in some time just twice a week to train your upper body muscles with a specific weight training routine.

Myth: Wearing socks is not important.
Fact: Socks are equally important as they protect feet from developing blisters and keep your skin dry from moisture by soaking the sweat. Always wear synthetic acrylic socks or technologies such as cool max, dry fit, and so on.

Myth: Any shoe can be used for walking.
Fact: There are different shoes for different activities. The shoe for a particular activity is designed specifically as per the nature of the sport to absorb the unwanted impacts and provide the required support and cushioning. Therefore, always wear the right shoe meant for a particular activity.

Myth: Walkers should drink a lot of fluids.
Fact: Long time back there was this misconception that drinking water during brisk walking/running would cause cramps and decrease performance. Gradually it was suggested to drink more than required which lead to an imbalance of the fluid-electrolyte levels in the blood (Hyponatremia). The right way is to drink only enough to replace lost fluids. It is advisable to consume sports drinks containing sodium (body salt lost while sweating) rather than plain water.

Myth: Running burns more calories than walking.
Fact: 30 minutes of running and 60 minutes of brisk walking burn approximately the same number of calories. The number of calories burnt during a particular activity depends upon factors such as age, gender, body weight, fitness level, and the efficiency of the performer. Thus, it is subjective.

 

Click here for Jogging

Jogging is an excellent way to keep fit and live longer. Scientific evidence has confirmed that this low-impact slow run decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, hypertension, depression, and anxiety. It also increases your stamina and productivity. So, unquestionably, starting to jog can be the best decision of your life.

Jogging has been endorsed by many medical authorities for its value as a heart exercise and for general physical conditioning, usually to be practiced on alternate days. Warm-up exercises before jogging, properly designed shoes, loose clothing, proper jogging technique, and general good health—as well as sensible objectives—are necessary for the safe pursuit of the activity.

Is it better to jog or run full throttle:

A new study suggests that slow jogging may be a good choice for health goals. Sticking long term with a slow jogging program may be more appealing to the average exerciser, than a vigorous running program. Did you know that slow jogging, a more forgiving exercise regimen than running, is associated with living longer? In fact, slow jogging may also beat fast jogging when it comes to that singular health goal. One to two and a half hours of slow jogging a week is associated with prolonging your life, while the life span of people who jog “often and fast” is similar to people who don’t exercise at all.

Don’t completely abandon your faster exercise regimen, though. More vigorous efforts have other health benefits and can also help when you are trying to maintain your weight, especially after a long term diet program. You may just need to temper the more vigorous workouts with some rest days or lighter exercise days. Slow jogging is a good swap out for days when you’re fatigued or when you simply don’t feel like you want to run a faster pace.

Many joggers do it wrong, which impacts the knees and is considered as dangerous as being sedentary. So, you should follow these effective and crucial 20 jogging tips that can help a complete beginner as well as a pro. Swipe up!

The following are key jogging tips that a jogger should know.

1.Warm-Up – Warm-up is extremely important when it comes to starting any type of exercise. Your muscles undergo constant contraction and relaxation when you jog. Unless you prep your muscles to do so, you can get muscle cramps and may not be able to walk or jog properly. Warming up helps you prep the muscles for the endurance training that you are going to do. You will be able to job more effectively without the risk of injuring yourself.

  1. Set a goal – A goal without a plan is just a wish. So, you must set a daily or weekly goal for yourself. Write down your goal on a piece of paper. For example, “I will jog 2 miles today, and by the end of the month, I should be able to jog 5 miles at a stretch.” This goal will keep you motivated and focused, and you will soon be able to run long distances without feeling weak or out of breath.
  2. Wear running shoes – The next most important thing is to wear the right shoes. Shoes help protect your feet and bones from the impact of the thrust they experience when you jog. Wear comfortable running or training shoes. Talk to an orthopedic doctor if you need specially made orthopedic shoes for jogging.
  3. Loosen up – Loosen up your body so that all the tension from your shoulders, neck, arms, legs, and feet is released. Doing this will help you jog for a long duration and prevent your muscles from cramping. Shake your hands and feet to loosen up your body.
  4. Push your chest out – Many joggers slouch and jog. Not only is this incorrect, but your posture and spine health also take a hit. Whether you are jogging on the treadmill, the road, or a trail, make sure your chest is out, and shoulders rolled back to prevent spinal injuries and improve your posture.
  5. Start slowly – Start slowly by walking first. Increase your walking pace after 30 seconds. By the end of 60 seconds, you should be brisk walking. Then, start jogging at a slow pace. This technique will prevent you from burning out quickly. You will be able to jog for a long-distance easily, which, in turn, will make you fitter and healthier quickly.
  6. Land softly – Stomping your feet will only injure your knees. So, it is important to land softly on the ground on the balls of your feet to dissipate the shock and not directly hit your knees. It will also help you stay strong and jog for a longer duration than you expect yourself to.
  7. Use breathing techniques – Breathing is THE most important part of jogging. Because unless you breathe at a particular rhythm, constantly, you will not be able to pump enough oxygen into your cells. This can lead to muscle fatigue, thereby preventing you from jogging for a long duration. Count your steps and breathe in and out. For example, breathe in slowly through your nose for four steps and then exhale slowly through your nose for the next four steps.
  8. Jog in different directions – Jogging in zig-zag and lateral motions and changing direction frequently will help train your leg muscles to be able to run on any kind of road or trail. You can run uphill and downhill, on rocky roads or race tracks. This will also make sure that you are burning enough calories, and your brain-body coordination is at its best.
  9. Talk to yourself – The difference between a beginner and a pro is not entirely physical fitness. A lot of it has got to do with willpower and perseverance. The best way to build strong willpower is to talk to yourself when you are jogging. Keep motivating yourself by counting the steps and thinking about the benefits you will reap and the adrenaline rush you will get by covering your target distance. Every time you feel like giving up, talk yourself to jog 10 steps more. This way, you will be able to jog long distances.
  10. Look for landmarks – Looking for landmarks is another strategy to help you jog longer. Look for a tree, a milestone, calories you burn, or a building so that you can decide when to take a rest or walk instead of running. After 10 seconds, start jogging again.
  11. Time your steps – Timing your steps is an effective way to improve your jog. Set your goal to jog for 30 steps before taking a rest. Increase this number as you start becoming more comfortable with jogging every day.
  12. Train in intervals – Jogging regularly is equivalent to training for an upcoming marathon or any other sports event. The best way to start doing that is to jog for 5 minutes and take 20 seconds rest. This interval training will help you jog longer and not get worn out.
  13. Practice box jumps – Box jumps are good for strength conditioning and improving muscle power and reaction time. They help train the muscles of your legs, especially when you jog on trails. Box jumps strengthen your thighs and glutes, which makes it easy for you to jog 5 miles at a stretch.
  14. Train downhill – Box jumps are good for strength conditioning and improving muscle power and reaction time. They help train the muscles of your legs, especially when you jog on trails. Box jumps strengthen your thighs and glutes, which makes it easy for you to jog 5 miles at a stretch.
  15. Plank – Planks are amazing for building core strength. From standing up to jogging, every human body motion requires good core strength. If your core is not strong enough, you will not be able to jog for a long duration. Start doing 3 sets of 30-60 seconds hold elbow planks and increase your core strength.
  16. Drink water – Dehydration can also wear out your muscles. So, drink 3-4 liters of water per day. Also, keep a small sipper with you when you jog so that you can keep yourself hydrated and do not give up quickly. However, make sure you don’t drink too much water while jogging. Take a sip or two when you stop or walk to rest for 10-20 seconds.
  17. Beat yourself – You are your own competition. If you jogged a mile at a stretch today, jog for 5 minutes more after you hit the 1-mile mark. This will keep you motivated, and instead of comparing yourself with anyone else, you will have a healthy relationship with yourself and be able to move forward and strive to be better than you were yesterday.
  18. Stretch yourself – After you are done with your run, it’s time to do cool-down stretches. Stretching after a run is as important as warming up before running. Cooling down will help your muscles recover quickly and protect you from muscle injury. Stretch your hamstrings, calves, shoulders, arms, neck, and back.
  19. Sleep – Sleeping and resting help your muscles rejuvenate and recover. When you run, your muscles undergo wear and tear. Resting and sleeping help the muscles rebuild themselves bigger and stronger. Sleep for at least 6 to 7 hours, within 2-3 hours of having dinner, and listen to soothing music if that helps you fall asleep.

Jogging regularly will have the following benefits –

  • It improves cardiovascular health.
  • It helps burn calories and aids weight loss.
  • It improves lung health.
  • Boosts stamina and endurance.
  • It improves muscle flexibility.
  • Builds core strength.
  • Strengthens the muscles in your lower body.
  • Keeps stress and anxiety at bay.
  • Lowers depression.
  • It lowers the risk of certain types of cancer.
  • Fights diabetes.

 

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Click here for Climbing Stairs-


Climbing stairs is a great form of cardio exercise. While climbing stairs, you work against gravity lifting your entire body. This activity strengthens your leg muscles making it a rather strenuous exercise.

Climbing stairs is one of the best exercises when it comes to pure FAT BURN, strengthening the lower body, toning the butt, thighs, calves, losing inches from those love handles and belly, and building great abs. Along with these benefits, it is the immense good it does for your lungs and Cardiovascular System

  •   It is totally free and just about all of us can get access to a set of stairs.
  •   It leverages gravity and the heavier we are, the harder we’re forced to work and the more calories we burn.
  •   It is a relatively intense exercise that quickly increases our heart rate and in doing so can greatly improve our cardiovascular fitness.
  •   It helps strengthen and shape our most common problem areas like calves, thighs, buttocks, and tummy.
  •   It is a very efficient way of burning maximum calories and is great for those of us with limited time to exercise.
  •   It can easily be mixed with other exercises, like walking, skipping, and weight training, to maximize results, and stair climbing workouts are easy to build progression into.
  •   It can be done by almost anyone, regardless of fitness level.
  •   Because it is weight-bearing, it helps build bone strength.
  •   It is low impact and safe for the knees (providing correct technique is used and a preexisting condition doesn’t exist).

The way forward with exercise is quality over quantity. Too many people fix a ‘one-hour’ work out in their mind and if they can’t find time for that’ 1 hour’ they just don’t do it.

Aim for power workouts, 25 to 30 mins max, where you max out your reps, burn those muscles and really get your heart rate up. 35 to 40 minutes should include a great warm-up and an extremely important cooldown.

You can burn more calories walking/running up steps in 30 mins than a 1-hour run or walk, plus it challenges your body.

Start off with a couple of flights, Walk, and run slowly. As you get better, run and then skip 2 steps at a time and run or walk.

In a nutshell –

Burns more calories:

Stair climbing engages your body’s largest muscle groups to repeatedly lift your body weight up, step after step. Thus, using your muscles to carry your own weight is far higher than running as compared.

Maximizes your cardio efforts:

It also raises your heart rate immediately thus maximizing your cardio benefits.

Increases core muscle strength:

Climbing stairs is a great way to amp your core muscle strength.

Tones and sculpts your body:

It also engages every major muscle in your lower body

— glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, abs, and calves to exercise and thus tones your body better.

Low impact workout:

You don’t have to ideally sweat it out while climbing stairs. Just a few stairs every day will give you a good workout

Safety first:

Never run down the stairs, be confident while running up, take a break when needed.

Start doing this regularly and soon, you will be running up flights of stairs, feeling fitter, younger, stronger, and leaner.

While most of us think of exercise as ‘sport’, the scientific evidence shows it is everyday activities like walking and stair climbing that are most closely associated with improved health.

Stair climbing is recommended by doctors and health authorities worldwide because high-quality studies show:

  • Climbing just eight flights of stairs a day lowers average early mortality risk by 33%
  • Seven minutes of stair climbing a day can halve the risk of heart attack over 10 years
  • Just two minutes extra stair climbing a day is enough to stop average middle-age weight gain

Stair climbing delivers these benefits by improving our cardiovascular fitness. It’s officially classed as a ‘vigorous’ form of exercise and burns more calories per minute than jogging.

 Benefits of Stair climbing –

  1. Improved cardiovascular fitness.
  2. Stronger musculoskeletal system.
  3. Tones thighs.
  4. Tightens buns.
  5. It improves muscle tone.
  6. Promotes weight loss.
  7. Increases good cholesterol
  8. Fights stress.
  9. Aids sleep.

Reduces risk of stroke, cancer, obesity, and type 2diabetes.

Pin by goldinalinalbertinavr on tennis girls aesthetic in 2020 | Tennis clothes, Workout pictures, Fit girl motivation

Click here for Playing Tennis -

Tennis is truly a global sport, played by all ages and backgrounds. The simple art of hitting a ball over a net with a racket has captured the imagination of millions. You needn’t wait until Wimbledon to enjoy the cardio and muscle benefits provided by a regular game of tennis. Getting the body of the world’s prize-winning players requires a lot of work but even the amateur tennis player should reap the fitness rewards.

Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent (singles) or between two teams of two players each (doubles). Each player uses a tennis racket that is strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over or around a net and into the opponent’s court.

Tennis is a unique game that consists of many parts in order to be successful. Tennis for beginners involves the tennis technique, footwork, strategy, mental game, and fitness.

All of these areas of how to play tennis must be mastered in order to achieve good results on the tennis court. For a tennis beginner, how to play better tennis is often a demanding and physically tiring task. But with the proper physical and mental training, how to play tennis for beginners will soon be an inherent skill.

Tennis strengthens a number of muscle groups. Running around the court exercises leg muscles while playing a shot exerts the core and upper body. Your overall muscle workout should be well balanced, although obviously your racket arm will be exercised more than the non-racket one.

Playing tennis is more than a great way to stay active as it’s a brilliant workout for the entire body.

Why should you start playing tennis –

  1. Cardiovascular –
  2. Muscle development –
  3. Tactical – Brain development –
  4. Enhances flexibility, balance, and coordination –
  5. Self-esteem –
  6. Longer life –
  7. Happier Life –
  8. It’s social –
  9. The whole family can participate
  10. Tennis teaches a life lesson
  11. Tennis be anything you want it to be
  12. It’s fun
  13. It develops your mind
  14. Fitness
  15. It’s a sport you can play your whole life
  16. Improves aerobic and anaerobic health
  17. Burns calories and fat
  18. Improves bone health
  19. It’s a great cross-training for other sports
  20. Improves discipline
  21. Boosts mood

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Click here for Dancing -

Dance floors tend to be sweaty places for a reason. All of those shimmies and shakes burn energy like you wouldn’t believe—and come with many other surprising health benefits, too.

Dance is an enjoyable health-promoting physical activity that many people worldwide incorporate into their lifestyles today. This physical activity appeals to some who may not be active and therefore may be another alternative of exercise. Dance for health has become an important factor in the prevention, treatment, and management in several health circumstances. It is not only significant for your physical health but it also contributes to your mental health and subsidizes social communication Dance is an art that is learned from many cultures. Types of dance can entail body movements, expression, and collaboration. Dance and health have been subject to a number of research studies that show dance to be a healthy exercise.

If running is like driving on a freeway, dancing is more like motoring through a busy city, he says. All of that starting, stopping, and changing directions burns a ton of fuel even though you’re not covering a lot of ground. Like other forms of cardio exercise, dancing also seems to have mood and mind benefits. A study found that hip hop dancing improved energy, buoyed mood, and lowered stress in ways similar to aerobic exercise.

Of course, the amount of energy you expend has a lot to do with how hard you’re pushing yourself. A gentle two-step isn’t going to measure up to an intense, hilly run. But torching calories isn’t the only upside to dancing.

Just as trail running and hiking better engage your lower-body joints and muscles than straight-ahead, level-ground locomotion, the up-and-down and side-to-side movements of dance may likewise activate and train many of your body’s little support muscles and tendons.

The psychological benefits are also impressive. For decades, some therapists have prescribed dancing as an effective therapy for those who suffer from social anxiety or fear of public speaking. The idea: if you can loosen up enough to boogie in front of strangers, you’re a lot less likely to feel self-conscious when hanging out or speaking in front of an audience. A researcher suggests that dancing can curb anxiety.

Dancing demands a lot of energy output because it involves “movement in all directions. While running, swimming and other propulsive forms of physical activity use rhythm and momentum to keep you moving, there is a lot of accelerating and decelerating in dancing, which the body is less able to do in an energy-efficient way.

Dancing also seems to encourage social bonding and what psychologists call “self-other merging.” Like chatting with a stranger and finding out you both attended the same school or grew up in the same neighborhood, moving and grooving in rhythm with others lights up brain pathways that blur the barriers your mind erects between yourself and a stranger, and so helps you feel a sense of connection and sameness

Finally, the touch aspect of dancing with a partner may offer some special perks. Touch is the first sense that emerges during infancy, and the more experts examine the benefits of massage, holding hands, and other forms of human-to-human physical contact, the more they find that touching improves well-being and reduces stress and anxiety. Basically, dancing with someone else is like exercise and a hug rolled together.

Following are top ten fitness and health benefits to dance –

      1. Forever Young. Dancing is tremendously beneficial in keeping us young. It retards the aging process immensely. It benefits our heart, cardiovascular system, and increases our lung capacity. Fact: The muscle exertion and breathing rates of dancers performing in one dance competition are equivalent to those of cyclists, swimmers, and an Olympic-level 800-meter runner.
      2. Strong Bones, Lubricated Joints.Dance aids in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis for men and women. For women during post-menopause, there can be a significant drop in estrogen levels which stops calcium from being absorbed into the bones.  Dancing can also help keep joints lubricated in order to prevent arthritis.
      3. Calorie Blaster. Dance exercises our bodies to allow for increased circulation. It helps us burn those calories away while improving our stamina. It is estimated that dance burns anywhere from 5 to 10 calories per minute depending on speed and intensity. For example, swing and mambo burn more calories than a slow waltz. Check out approximately how many calories you burn while dancing to your own tune:
      4. Better Blood. New research has discovered that it is necessary to measure both good and bad cholesterol levels when determining our health. Dancing aids in lipid control, which raises our HDL (good cholesterol), and lowers our LDL (bad cholesterol). Dancing is also great for diabetics because it aids in blood sugar control.
      5. Mental Mastery. Dance improves our memory by making us recall steps, routines, and dance patterns making it a great mental exercise for our brains. The big benefit is that increasing mental exercise keeps your mind young, quick, alert, and open.
      6. It’s All About Balance. Balancing yourself in one position may be easy, but balancing in the numerous types of positions involved in dancing is much more difficult. Dancers have mastered the ability to balance themselves in a number of positions. This strengthens our stabilizer muscles while protecting our core and keeping us less prone to injury in our daily lives. Dancing also aids in co-ordination and helps strengthen our reflexes. It is a great way to keep our Central Nervous System and Peripheral Nervous System in tip-top shape by improving the connection of our bodies to our minds.
      7. Socially Satisfying. Dancing is recreational and entertaining. It creates a social life for us while affording us the opportunity to make new friends. Friends help us grow, make us laugh, and support us as we learn.
      8. Culturally Diverse. Dancing has no cultural barriers. People from all parts of the world, with different ideologies, meet on the dance floor. Cultural interaction improves our health by expanding our minds and sharing our spirit!
      9. Groomed to Perfection. Dancing is not only fun and romantic, but it helps promote good grooming because everybody wants to look his or her best while they dance. Good grooming keeps us healthy by keeping us high on hygiene.
      10. A Happy Self. Dance elevates our mood by raising our endorphin levels. This is what allows us to heal stress and depression – two of our immune system’s biggest enemies! It helps us establish our self-confidence and self-discipline. It improves the harmony between our mind and body, giving us a sense of well-being. 

 

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Cycling boosts your brainpower, relationship, health, and happiness.

To be fit and healthy you need to be physically active. Regular physical activity can help protect you from serious diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes, and arthritis. Riding your bicycle regularly is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

Cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to older adults. It is also fun, cheap, and good for the environment.

Riding to work or the shops is one of the most time-efficient ways to combine regular exercise with your everyday routine. An estimated one billion people ride bicycles every day – for transport, recreation, and sport.

Cycling for health and fitness –

It only takes two to four hours a week to achieve a general improvement to your health. Cycling is:

  • Low impact – it causes less strain and injuries than most other forms of exercise.
  • A good muscle workout– cycling uses all of the major muscle groups as you pedal.
  • Easy – unlike some other sports, cycling does not require high levels of physical skill. Most people know how to ride a bike and, once you learn, you don’t forget.
  • Good for strength and stamina– cycling increases stamina, strength, and aerobic fitness.
  • As intense as you want– cycling can be done at very low intensity, to begin with, if recovering from injury or illness, but can be built up to a demanding physical workout.
  • A fun way to get fit– the adventure and buzz you get from coasting down hills and outdoors meaning you are more likely to continue to cycle regularly, compared to other physical activities that keep you indoors or require special times or places.
  • Time-efficient – as a mode of transport, cycling replaces sedentary (sitting) time spent driving motor vehicles or using trams, trains, or buses with healthy exercise.

 Health benefits of regular cycling –

Cycling is mainly an aerobic activity, which means that your heart, blood vessels, and lungs all get a workout. You will breathe deeper, perspire, and experience increased body temperature, which will improve your overall fitness level.

The health benefits of regular cycling include:

  • increased cardiovascular fitness
  • increased muscle strength and flexibility
  • improved joint mobility
  • decreased stress levels
  • improved posture and coordination
  • strengthened bones
  • decreased body fat levels
  • prevention or management of disease
  • reduced anxiety and depression.

Benefits of cycling –

  1. You will get there faster
  2. You’ll have sound and deep sleep
  3. You’ll look younger
  4. Boost your bowels
  5. Increases your brain power
  6. Beats illness
  7. Live longer
  8. Cycling improves your sex life
  9. Heal your heart
  10. Cycle away from the big C ( Cancer )
  11. Loose weight
  12. Avoid pollution
  13. Enjoy healthy family time
  14. Make creative breakthroughs
  15. You can get fit without trying too hard
  16. Boost your bellows
  17. Burn more fat
  18. You are developing a positive addiction
  19. Make friends and stay healthy
  20. Saving Planet

 

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Click here for Yardwork like raking, digging and gardening -

Gardening has been shown to improve health, especially for those who start earlier in life. Spending time outdoors, deepening connection with nature, and enjoying the rewards of your work are all reasons to get out into the garden. But did you know that it comes with the added benefit of cardio? Shoulder workouts? Squats? Here’s how gardening this spring can get you ready for a healthy, active summer.

The benefits of yard work aren’t limited to the body alone. Spending time outside can help calm your mind and allow you to de-stress from the ever crazy world of work, school, cleaning, and technology. Being able to let your mind go while raking or just focusing on the sound of birds chattering while weeding and prepping your garden beds is a great way to give yourself the space to think deeply. It allows you to feel more productive while also connecting you to the Earth, a feeling that just about anyone is grateful for nowadays.

As soon as Spring springs, which for most of us means it’s time to get outside and get those gardens in tip-top shape! If you find it hard to get motivated you’ll be happy to know that things like digging, raking, hauling, and pruning all support you leading a healthy active lifestyle. There is sometimes a misconception that you must be in a fitness center, wearing athletic clothing and dripping with sweat to be physically active. Truth is, getting outside in the fresh air and doing some yard work or doing chores around the house provides a variety of health benefits and you don’t need special clothes.

The average person can burn more than 200 calories per hour doing yard work. Here’s how.

  • Rake — Raking is even better exercise than sweeping, particularly after mowing your lawn. You’ll burn up to 300 calories in an hour and leave your lawn looking spectacular.
  • Dig — Digging is an amazing exercise! It works your back, arms, shoulders, core, and leg muscles, and it will have you breathing hard in no time. Whether you’re digging a new row for planting crops or turning over soil, it’s a great way to get in shape.
  • Hoe — Hoeing is much harder and more tiring than it looks, especially if there is a lot of very rocky ground. Spend a few minutes turning over the topsoil to work up a sweat.
  • Squat while you weed — Most of us like to sit on a chair on kneeling on the ground while we weed, but you can use your weeding time as a chance for a leg workout and to work on mobility. Squat as you weed, and hold the position until your legs burn. Resist the urge to sit or kneel, and you’ll work your leg muscles beautifully.
  • Build something — Building uses our brains and our brawn. Whether it’s a wall, chicken coop, or maybe even a new firepit, the building is a great and productive way to exercise.
  • Push the lawnmower — No more riding mower for you! Get out that old push mower, and be ready for a great workout!
  • Clean up — Load up that wheelbarrow and start carting. Hauling a wheelbarrow works your core, your forearms, your arms, your shoulders, and your back, giving you an excellent upper body workout as you leave your garden nice and clean.

Talk about killing two birds with one stone! You’ll have a spotless yard and be feeling like a million bucks. Well, after a good stretch, anyway. Now kick back and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Yard work and gardening can provide you with a strong sense of accomplishment. If you don’t have a garden, offer to help a neighbor or join a community garden. Don’t forget to put on your sunhat, kick back, relax, and admire the fruits (and vegetables!) of your labor.

Health benefits of doing yard work –

  1. Cardiovascular exercise: One of the favorite benefits of doing yard work is that it is a great cardiovascular exercise. Yard work is a great way to increase oxygen flow to the heart, aids in arterial flow, reduces blood pressure and stress, and gets your heart rate going to give you quite a workout! Just be sure to keep some water on hand and stay hydrated!
  2. Involves your entire body: Yard work is not an isometric movement like lifting weights that works one or a few muscles. Yard work involves your entire body, which means you get a total body workout and develop more strength and fitness overall.
  3. Prevents aging: The more active you are throughout your life, the better. Yard work is a fabulous way to stay active and helps keep aging at bay. It also involves critical thinking skills, which keeps the brain young as well.
  4. Lowers Depression: To prevent depression as you age, it’s important to have friends, stay active, and have hobbies. Consider doing more yard work. Not only does it keep you active, but because you’re out in nature, your stress hormones naturally decrease and depression tends to subside. Also, since you are outside, you’re exposed to natural sources of Vitamin D through the sunlight, which is the best form of antidepressant medicine you can get from nature. Just be sure to wear a bit of sunscreen to prevent skin cancer scares.
  5. Improves flexibility: Along with aiding an improved cardiovascular system, yard work also improves your entire sense of flexibility. Because you’re using your whole body, the muscles and joints are fluid and moving in all types of directions, which increases your ability to prevent muscle pain, inflammation, and static muscles from inactivity.
  6. Therapy: Again, yard work is a time to be by yourself and have some time to engage in activity in nature. Since you’re bettering the way your yard looks, you’ll also get a sense of accomplishment from yard work. All these factors combined make yard work an excellent form of therapy. It isn’t just good for your yard, but also wonderful for you!
  7. Self-taught: Perhaps one of the coolest things about yard work, is many people teach themselves and actually learn by doing. Nature just kind of has a way of showing you what to do and what needs to be done. If you need a little help getting started, check out some tutorials online as well, or just read some articles. Or, just get out in your yard and see what you can do. If nothing else, pulling weeds and watering is a great place to start!
  8. Supply of Vitamin D: Doing yard work can also reduce arthritis pain by helping with the supply of vitamin D in the body.  Studies have shown that working outside in the sun helps to increase the amount of vitamin D in the body.  The ultraviolet light from the sun breaks down some of the precursors of vitamin D to a form that is usable by the body.  Vitamin D helps build strong bones and joints which helps reduce arthritis pain. One of the best things about doing yard work is instant gratification.  When the task is finished, the accomplishment is visually appealing.  The worker can look back over the job well done and see a lawn free of leaves, a bed free of weeds, or beautiful looking flowerbed free of sticks and twigs.

There is a great sense of pride and self-confidence in seeing the immediate impact of a job well done.  And for a time, short though it may be, the stress of everyday life is forgotten.  So when stress is taking over and a relief valve is needed, find something to do in the yard and let the stress melt away while building strong bones and fighting arthritis at the same time.

 

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It’s a full-body workout –

Why is swimming good for you? One of the key reasons is that it’s a total-body workout. Swimming engages your entire body and builds muscle all over, from your torso to your thighs. Each stroke works out a different set of muscles, but no matter which stroke you’re using, the act of pulling your body through the water engages almost all your muscle groups.

Swimming has been called the perfect exercise. After all, you can get all of the benefits of an aerobic workout without any damaging impact on joints, and it can be done by both the very old and the very young.

It is utilized by athletes to stay strong and keep fit when recovering from injury, and there is no fancy equipment needed—just you and the deep blue. Swimming has many more benefits that those obvious advantages are seen on the surface; its improvements to overall health go much deeper.

Swimming is an exercise for people of all ages. It can be easy and inexpensive, and a person can go at their own pace. Swimming helps a person to get or stay in shape, but the benefits also extend to mental health.

People who are 19 to 64 years old should get 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week. Younger children should be physically active as well.

It is important to incorporate strength training exercises into any routine, to keep muscles strong and flexible. As health permits, this should be continued for as long as possible throughout life.

Swimming engages almost every major muscle group, requiring a person to use their arms, legs, torso, and stomach.

Swimming also:

  • increases the heart rate without putting stress on the body
  • improves strength
  • tones muscles
  • enhances fitness
  • helps to manage weight
  • It requires minimal gear! You can work out with only a swimsuit and goggles!

Why swimming is good for you –

Every type of exercise has its selling points. But swimming is unlike any other aerobic workout in a few important ways.

First, the fact that you’re submerged in water means your bones and muscles are somewhat unshackled from the constraints of gravity.

This makes swimming the ideal exercise for people with osteoarthritis, for whom weight-bearing exercise can be excruciatingly painful. According to the research of people with the condition, swimming decreases arterial stiffness, a risk factor for heart trouble. More of his research has linked swim training with lower blood pressure among people with hypertension. The coolness and buoyancy of water are also appealing to people who are overweight or obese, for whom load-bearing aerobic exercises like running may be too hot or uncomfortable.

But don’t be fooled; your body is working hard when you’re in the pool. Water is denser than air, so moving through H2O puts more external pressure on your limbs than out-of-water training, studies have shown. Even better, that pressure is uniformly distributed. It doesn’t collect in your knees, hips, or the other places that bear most of the burden when you exercise with gravity sitting on your shoulders.

How you breathe during a swimming workout is another big differentiator. During a run or bike ride, your breath tends to be shallow and you exhale forcefully. It’s the other way around with swimming. You breathe in quickly and deeply, and then let the air trickle out.

Because your head is underwater when you swim, these breathing adjustments are vital, and they may improve the strength of your respiratory muscles. This kind of breathing keeps the lung alveoli—the millions of little balloon-like structures that inflate and deflate as your breath—from collapsing and sticking together.

Plus, who wouldn’t want a swimmer’s body? Swimming fires up more of your body’s major muscle groups than other forms of cardio exercise. If you think about running or biking, you’re mostly using your lower body.

Swimming not only engages your legs, but also recruits your upper body and core—especially your lats, the muscles of your middle back, and triceps, the backs of your upper arms. You look at pictures of swimmers, and you see how the upper body development is really tremendous.

Finally, your back benefits. Working out in a horizontal pose—as opposed to the upright position your body assumes during other forms of aerobic exercise—may be an ideal way to counteract all the time you spend hunched over a desk or steering wheel.

There’s no hard impact on your back like there is with running, and instead of being bent forward as you would be on a bike, your back tends to be arched slightly in the opposite direction. That may help improve your posture and prevent the back injuries and pain that stem from long stretches of sedentary time.

The exercise is also linked to many of the same life-extending, heart-saving, mood-lifting benefits associated with other forms of aerobic exercise. And it’s fun, which matters. People tend to enjoy swimming more than running or bike-riding. While about half of people who try a new exercise program give up within a few months, people who take up swimming are more likely to stick with it.

If you’re sold on swimming, starting slowly. Don’t try to do too much too early, and focus on proper technique. Consider enlisting the help of an instructor if you didn’t have any formal coaching as a kid. If you’re not used to swimming, it can be hard to relax in the water. Being nervous and tight may limit the sport’s benefits.

Start off with 30-minute sessions three times a week, and don’t forget to take frequent breaks. “You want to ease into it and build up, just like a running program.

Take a deep breath and dive into benefits of swimming –

  1. Swimming improves muscle definition and strength: Swimmers gain muscle strength throughout the entire body. Where runners see muscle build in their legs, swimmers utilize more muscle groups to move through the water. While the legs kick, the arms pull. As the back reaches and rotates, the stomach tightens to power the legs and stabilize the core, making swimming one of the best aerobic exercises to give you a total body workout.
  2. Swimming builds up bone mass: For years, researchers scoffed at the idea that swimming affected bone mass. While more studies are needed, new findings show that previous research dismissing swimming’s bone benefits may need to be revisited.
  3. Swimming helps you stay flexible: Swimming requires you to reach, stretch, twist, and pull your way through the water. Your ankles become fins and are stretched with each kick as you push off against the liquid pressure. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still stretch on your own, but repetitive stretching found in your various strokes also helps with flexibility.
  4. Swimming reduces inflammation: While swimming’s cardiovascular benefits of strengthening the heart muscle are common knowledge, research also indicates aerobic activities, such as swimming, reduce inflammation that leads to atherosclerosis build-up in the heart.

Reducing system-wide inflammation leads to lessened disease progression in many other areas as well, so expect to hear of more benefits as the research progresses.

  1. Swimming holds its own for calories burned: Everyone knows that swimming is a great way to burn calories, but most don’t realize it can be just as efficient as jumping on the treadmill. Depending on the stroke you choose and your intensity, swimming can burn equal or greater calories than running.

Additionally, you don’t have to worry about sweat in your eyes. For example: for 10 minutes of swimming you burn 60 calories with the breaststroke, 80 calories with the backstroke, 100 calories with freestyle, and an impressive 150 with the butterfly stroke.

For perspective, running a 10-minute mile burns around 100 calories. Therefore, a strong 30-min butterfly speed session can burn 150 more calories than running a 5K in the same time frame.

  1. Swimming is safe and suitable for people with preexisting health conditions :

Asthma – The humid environment of the swimming pool may make it a good choice for those with asthma, while the breathing exercises associated with swimming can help to expand lung capacity and give people with asthma more control over their breathing.

Arthritis – As a zero-impact sport, swimming can be great for arthritis sufferers. It stretches your muscles, improves your posture, and has a soothing effect on your body.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) – Because swimming keeps your limbs buoyant, it can be beneficial for those suffering from MS.

  1. Swimming lowers stress and depression: Love that natural endorphin kick? While many talks about a runner’s high, swimming can bring about all those feel-good emotions too.

In addition to the happy hormones, you also can feel a relaxation response similar to yoga. As I mentioned previously, swimming stretches your body constantly. Combine this with the deep rhythmic breathing, and you can experience a relaxation rush that’s very unique to the sport.

Swimming is also calming and meditative, as the sound of your breathing and the water rushing by helps you focus inward and drown out all other distractions. This lowers stress and depression naturally.

Research also shows that swimming can reverse damage to the brain from stress through a process called hippocampal neurogenesis. So, if you feel like you’re drowning emotionally, jumping in an actual body of water may be exactly what you need to find your feel-good feet again.

  1. Salt-water swimming can be a beauty treatment for skin: If you switch from pool swimming to open water workouts in the ocean, you will notice a vast improvement in your skin over time.

Swimming regularly in saltwater helps the skin retain moisture and detoxify to promote new cell growth. You will be surprised how smooth and healthy your skin feels after an invigorating ocean swim.

  1. Swimming can make you smarter: Of course, all exercise is great for the mind, but can swimming actually make you smarter?

The research concluded that kids who regularly participated in swimming were able to master language development, fine motor skills, confidence, and physical development sooner than the control group.

Swimming may also help with math skills, as swimmers regularly calculate the meters swum in sets or interval drills to put their adding and subtraction skills to work.

  1. Swimming may just lengthen your life: While all exercise can produce greater health and longevity, studies point to swimming as one of the best choices for doing so. Researchers concluded that those who swam had a 50 percent lower death rate than runners, walkers, or men who didn’t exercise.
  2. Swimming is a cardiovascular workout: Aside from the vanity aspect—the V-shape swimmer physique with a small waist and broad shoulders are often reported to be one of the most attractive body shapes around—swimming is also a rigorous workout for your cardiovascular system, building strength and endurance, toning muscles, and raising your heart rate without placing extra stress on your body. It also reduces inflammation, boosts lung capacity, improves the strength of your respiratory muscles, and lowers blood pressure.
  3. Swimming rarely causes injury: While running can have a negative impact on your bones and joints, swimming is completely non-weight-bearing (because the water supports your body weight), giving you the opportunity to work out without stressing your joints. There’s certainly some room for debate when it comes to the debilitating effects of running, but it’s also true that the low-impact nature of swimming makes it much less likely to cause injuries.
  4. Swimming improves your sleep: Swimming (like other aerobic exercises) can help people get a good night’s sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, exercise has a compelling link to quality of sleep, and intense activities like swimming can even help people to fall asleep faster.
  5. Swimming is suitable for all ages and fitness levels: Some types of exercise may be challenging for people who are new or feel very unfit.

However, swimming allows a person to go at their own pace, and it can be inviting for newcomers. A person can learn to swim at a very young age, and most swimming pools have a designated area for beginners and people who prefer to swim slowly.

  1. A great skill to have: The benefits of learning to swim safely and confidently can extend beyond mental and physical fitness. In some cases, it may even be lifesaving.
  2. Swimming is good for people with injuries: Having an injury or conditions, such as arthritis, can make it difficult to do high-impact exercise.

Because water gently supports the muscles, swimming is preferred by many who are unable to take part in high-impact, high-resistance exercises.

17. Swimming is good for people with disabilities: A physical disability, such as paraplegia, can limit workout options.

Because water provides resistance and support, many people find that swimming is an ideal option. Because swimming can boost confidence and improve social skills, it may benefit people with mental disabilities.

  1. Swimming is safe during pregnancy: Swimming is a recommended form of exercise for pregnant people.

Added weight can cause joint and muscle pain during pregnancy.

Swimming is especially popular with pregnant people because the water can support this weight. This helps to feel more comfortable while staying fit. It is always a good idea to consult a doctor when undertaking a new form of activity during pregnancy.

  1. Variety and fun: People tend to get bored with repetitive exercise, but there are many ways to keep swimming interesting.

There are several strokes to master and flotation aids to try. Also, classes in water aerobics and polo, as well as racing and diving, can help to add variety.

  1. Swimming Boosts mood: Exercise releases endorphins, which improve the mood. Swimming may also boost confidence and social skills, which can impact a person’s self-esteem.
  2. Swimming is accessible and affordable: Many towns and cities offer public pools with discounted rates. Some offer free access at certain times or free swimming lessons.

Swimming in a lake or ocean may be an attractive option. Always take safety precautions, such as ensuring supervision, when swimming in open waters.

  1. Swimming improves social well being: Swimming is very much a social sport. Swimmers of all ages can take classes together, train together, or work with a coach in the pool. Even if you have a pool at home, it is where you gather with your friends and family.

A study revealed exercising and socializing together leads to improved mental health. Participants in the study had lower levels of anxiety and depression than their peers did.

  1. Swimming teaches goal orientation: Swimmers become goal-oriented in their personal and professional lives. Swimming gives kids and adults something to strive for. Whether it is kicking a kickboard across the pool, improving a lap time, or recovering from an injury with water rehabilitation, setting goals and achieving them is the key. The skills swimmers learn in the pool to realize and achieve such goals are skills that can and will be used out of the pool as well.
  2. Kids who swim become active adults: Swimming is an important activity to help combat the childhood obesity rates, and it is fun too. Swimming has all three elements of physical activity recommended to keep kids healthy: endurance, strength, and flexibility. Swimming provides kids with the tools, skills, and dedication to maintain healthier lives as adults.
  3. Swimming teaches team-building skills: Swimmers on teams or in swim classes have better team-building skills. Swimmers learn to work together, to encourage each other, to communicate, and to become leaders. All of these skills translate into effective leaders in adulthood.

Team-building skills encourage collaboration, goal orientation, inspiration, strategy development, and coordination, which all result in successful careers and professional relationships.

  1. Swimming burns more calories than jogging: When you compare swimming to running, you can burn more calories swimming laps around the pool than you can be running laps for an hour. One hour of vigorous lap swimming can burn as much as 715 calories. The same amount of time running at 5 mph burns only 606 calories.
  2. Swimmers are more confident: Swimming is a confidence-building sport. Early evidence revealed that young swimmers are more confident than their non-swimming peers. This is also true for competitive and non-competitive adult swimmers. Swimming teaches confidence in the pool and in the open water, which translates to confidence on land as well.

Myths about swimming –

Myth #1 – Swimming makes your taller: Although people point to the fact that professional swimmers, like professional basketball players, are tall, this doesn’t mean that the act of swimming is an effective way of boosting growth. Professional swimmers are essentially self-selected through their height. Does swimming make you taller? No, it’s a correlation, not causation.

Myth #2 – Swimming after eating causes cramps – One of the most persistent myths around swimming is the idea that you need to wait for about an hour after eating to go for a dip. This is supposed because the digestive process diverts the circulation of blood away from your muscles. Although this is true, it’s not enough to stop your muscles from performing properly, and there has never been a documented case of drowning because of a full stomach.

 

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Click here for Rowing -

Rowing is a diverse sport offering different types of rowing opportunities, both on and off the water. You might be giving it a go for health reasons or perhaps to try something new and be more adventurous with your exercise routine. Then there are those who love the thrill of competing. Rowing can provide you with all of these opportunities.

Rowing provides many different forms of adventure, whether it is a long endurance session exploring new waterways that you would never be able to experience by land, or being hit by large waves as you try coastal rowing. There is certainly plenty to satisfy the curious or daring.

Whatever form of rowing you try, it is a great way to stay physically active or develop your fitness even further. Rowing works nearly all of the muscles in your body so it is a very efficient work-out; It can be one of the most physically demanding sports… if that’s what you want out of it!

If you decide to take up rowing competitively you might want to know the types of training that you will be doing to make you strong, get you fit, and prevent injury, under the guidance of your coach.

Rowers generally do a combination of land and water training. Land training could include anything from sessions on the indoor rowing machines to circuit training (sometimes using weights depending on your experience) and core stability. Benefits include the improvement of strength and endurance and preparation for your water sessions.

Water sessions might cover technical skills and drills or rowing for extended periods of time, again depending on your level of ability.

Aside from feeling good in yourself, there is plenty of scientific evidence demonstrating that regular physical exercise lowers the risk of many diseases and improves your health. Benefits to your health have been shown to come from as little as 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times per week, so why not improve your health whilst doing something you will love?

There are three main components to health-related fitness, and two of these ‘body composition’ and ‘cardio-respiratory’ fitness are the major factors in preventing illness and disease. Regular rowing can increase your fitness in these areas.

Body Composition describes the percentage of fat, bone, muscle, and more in your body (fat mass and fat-free mass). It is possible to have your body fat measured and this gives a good indication as to whether you need to lose or gain weight (other factors must also be considered).

Cardio-respiratory exercise enhances your lung’s ability to provide oxygen to the blood and the heart and thus to the rest of your body. A lack of cardio-respiratory fitness is closely linked to heart disease. The good news is that cardio-respiratory fitness can be improved very quickly and without being too time-consuming. Rowing is an excellent way to improve cardio-respiratory fitness and give yourself a major health boost.

The rowing machine, also known as rower and ergometer, is the newest trend in the fitness world. And it has rocked the fitness world with its calorie-incinerating benefits. Fitness experts claim that using a rowing machine burns approximately 10-15% more calories than running or cycling!

WHY Rowing?

It’s one of the more calming sports to do, especially in the early mornings when the water is calm and the setting is peaceful. Rowing is an excellent form of exercise, not only because it is good for your health, but also because it can be done solo or as a team to build teamwork.

There is something both relaxing and motivating about being on the water. Once you learn the proper technique, rowing can offer a tremendous amount of physical health benefits, including increased power and strength.

But even if you don’t have access to water and a boat, your local gym has rowing machines (ergometer) that simulate the same movement and resistance as being on the water.

Surprising Health benefits of rowing –

  • Promotes healthy body composition: Rowing can help maintain a healthy balance of fat mass and fat-free mass in your body. If an analysis of your body composition indicates that your body fat is high, rowing can be a good way to burn off fat, as it is predominantly an aerobic sport. In fact, you can easily burn up to 600 calories per hour.
  • Enhances cardio-respiratory system: Rowing enhances your lung’s ability to provide oxygen to the blood, heart, and the rest of your body. A lack of cardio-respiratory fitness is closely linked to heart disease. The good news is that improving your aerobic fitness can be done in short intervals, so it does not take too much time out of your day. All you need is 30 minutes of steady-state exercise – or 10 minutes of high-intensity intervals – in the boat or on the rowing machine.
  • Offers low impact exercise with high results: Both competitive and recreational rowing are unique in comparison to most sports because they exercise all of your major muscle groups. Everything from your legs, back, and arms are engaged while rowing. In addition, rowing is a low-impact sport. When executed properly, the rowing stroke is a fairly safe motion, providing little room for the serious injury often found in contact and high-impact sports.
  • Promotes weight loss: Competitive rowers expended almost twice the number of calories on a 2,000-meter course as a runner in a 3,000-meter steeplechase. However, since rowing is low impact, you will not experience the same wear and tear on your body and joints as you would if you were a runner. Plus, you build strength in your upper body and core.
  • Helps the heart: Cardiovascular training involves any activity that requires the use of the large muscle groups of the body in a regular and uninterrupted manner. Rowing is one of the few non-weight bearing sports that exercises all the major muscle groups.
  • Builds muscle strength: The primary muscles that rowers work are the quadriceps, the large muscles in front of your thighs. These muscles are necessary for extending the knee, and they also serve as hip flexors, which allow you to make powerful leg movements. As your quadriceps become stronger, activities, and exercises such as walking, jogging, lunges, and squats can be done more efficiently and with greater strength.
  • Reduces stress: The consistent and rhythmic activity associated with rowing, combined with being outdoors on the water, has an unparalleled impact on reducing stress.
  • Stabilizes the body: Rowing in a boat requires the stabilizer and neutralizer muscles to fire up. Those same muscles might help to avoid a fall or help keep you from hurting your back when lifting a child or a heavy box awkwardly. Your core, or trunk, becomes stronger and better prepared to handle off-balanced movement.
  • Improves muscle and joint mobility: Rowing conditions many different muscles and joints without straining them, making this exercise ideal for those with arthritis or osteoporosis. The muscles and joints experience a wide range of movements during rowing, which will eventually minimize stiffness and increase flexibility. If you live a sedentary lifestyle or become stiff after long periods of inactivity, loosen your muscles and joints by rowing at a moderate pace for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Offers a full-body exercise: A rowing machine works the lower and middle back, hamstrings, calves, gluteal muscles, and biceps. Rowing works more body parts than most cardiovascular machines, and it provides a low-impact exercise that people of various fitness levels can complete comfortably.

Rowing machine exercises :

Great for weight loss, toning and building muscles, and increasing stamina, this machine is a fitness game-changer. Rowers work out several major muscle groups and will help you develop both your upper and lower body. Most importantly, using a rowing machine gets your heart pumping and lungs working, providing a serious aerobic workout

No matter what your age is, a fitness plan that includes cardio (or aerobic exercise) is an important contributor to your overall health. The benefits of regular aerobic exercise include weight loss, increased stamina, and a stronger immune system. Endorphins released while you work out can also help improve your mood and sleep quality.

Because it requires the use of so many major muscle groups, a rowing machine is an effective way to raise your heart rate and increase your oxygen intake for an effective cardio workout. The adjustable resistance on most rowers lets you easily work up to your target heart rate as well as slow back down to your resting rate.

Although regular rowing is challenging in itself, there are a few variations that you can do to up the challenge and make the workout even more intensive. Make sure to get a good warm-up before going all out with rowing!

  1. Simple rowing – Most people shy away from the rowing machine because they don’t know how to use it. It is important to get the technique right; otherwise, it can result in injuries. The simple basic rowing exercise consists of 3 positions:

(a) The Catch: Sit on the rower and bending your knees, put your feet in the hold. After that extend your arms and grab the handle firmly in your hands. Make sure your back is not hunched and your abs are tight.
(b) The Drive: Push with your legs, straightening them until they are completely unbent and pulling the handle with your extended arms at the same time.
(c) The Finish: After you have straightened your legs completely, lean back making a 45 degrees angle. Keep your arms extended. Then reverse the technique to the original position.

  1. Power Curls: Power curls are great for your biceps. It also challenges the core more because you do your curls while holding the Finish pose.
  • Do the simple rowing 3 times and hold the last one in the Finish position.
  • Now, bending your elbows bring the handle towards your chin and uncurl.
  • Do 4 curls while holding the Finish position.
  • Repeat the whole exercise 5-8 times.
  1. Side rows: Side curls not only work on arm muscles but also help in cinching that waistline. This variation also increases the pressure on the chest.
  • Get into the Catch position. Make sure your back is erect.
  • Now push while straightening your legs.
  • At the same time pull the handles with your arms to your left side and lean back.
  • Do the left side 8 times and then repeat for the other side.
  1. Sprints or extreme rowing: This variation is used to increase the cardio effect of the exercise. Sprints or extreme rowing lessens the intensity on the resistance aspect while increasing the speed of rowing. This results in a greater aerobic activity leading to extra calories burnt.
  • In this exercise, you do the regular rowing, but the difference is you do not take the handle all the way back. Increase the speed of rowing while stopping in the Drive position.
  • Do as many as you can in 1 min.
  • To intensify the exercise, you can increase the time period and the speed of rowing.
  1. Long-distance: This variation emphasizes the strength training aspect of rowing by increasing the resistance and lowering the cardio activity rate.
  • In this variation, do the simple rowing but at a slower pace.
  • Reaching the Finish position, bend your elbows and pull the handle back towards you. Lean back as much as you can while pulling the handle. Do not hunch your back.
  1. Simple rowing with calisthenics: This is not much of a variation but a workout. The change in this exercise is that we alternate rowing with calisthenics exercises.
  • Do one set of rowing (12 times) or row for 1 min.
  • Then do 8 alternate walking lunges.
  • Again do a set of rowing. Then do 8 squats.
  • Do another set of rowing and do plank twists.
  1. Weight loss: Regular workouts on a rower can help you burn calories, tone muscles, and give you increased energy. A rowing machine workout burns an average of 600 calories an hour. That’s more efficient than many other home gym machines on the market. Combined with eating a healthy, balanced diet, using a rowing machine consistently is a great way to help you achieve your fitness goals.
  2. Upper-body workout: As you might expect, rowing machines provide a stellar upper-body workout. Rowers exercise the rhomboids in the shoulders, trapezii in the upper back, and lats in the lower back. The benefits of a stronger back and shoulders include improved posture as well as a reduction in back pain. In addition to your backside, rowing machines also provide a nice workout for your biceps, pecs, and abs, which helps you develop a stronger core. Because you need to maintain a strong grip on the oars, you’ll also develop stronger hands and wrists, which is a big plus for anyone who enjoys activities such as climbing or yoga.
  3. Lower-body workout: Perhaps one of the best rowing machine benefits is the workout they give the lower body. In fact, rowing enthusiasts consider rowing primarily a lower-body workout. The main leg muscles involved are the quads in the upper front of the thighs, however, the calves and glutes (buttocks) also feel the burn. Building strong legs and glutes will help you look amazing and working out the lower body actually burns calories at a faster rate. In addition to improved muscle strength and tone, resistance training on a row machine is a great way to maintain flexibility and balance.
  4. Low-impact cardio: For those who are overweight or have existing joint problems, high-impact workouts may carry more risks than benefits. A rowing machine is a great alternative for those who are unable to perform weight-bearing exercises, such as running, hiking, walking, and yoga. The motion of rowing is natural and low impact, putting minimal stress on the joints. Like stationary bikes, rowers are great for injury prevention and are also an excellent way to strengthen and condition the knees after surgery. While the back strain is a concern, you can minimize your risk by using correct rowing form. Good rowing posture lets your legs do the work, taking the pressure off your back.
  5. Increased endurance: If you feel like your get-up-and-go has got-up-and-went, chances are you may not be getting enough physical activity. Rowing machine workouts may feel exhausting at first, but the long-term benefits of regular exercise will increase your endurance and give you more energy. Because rowing exercise is cardiovascular and works out all your major muscle groups, it’s a step above many other types of workout equipment. With repeated use, you will gain increased stamina and boost your metabolism. More energy means more drive to do the things you love!
  6. Convenient: Just because you don’t live on the water with a rowing boat sitting at the dock doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the same physical benefits from rowing. You can purchase an affordable rower to use in the comfort and convenience of your own home. Sometimes getting motivated to work out is more challenging than the exercise itself. Uncomplicated and accessible workouts, like rowing, are much more appealing. It’s also great because you can recruit a workout buddy to join you for added encouragement.
  7. Affordable: While it’s not hard to spend a pretty penny on high-end rowers, you can find many basic machines that won’t break the bank. You don’t have to sacrifice quality on your rowing machine to save a buck, as there are numerous models with extensive features. You may have access to a rower at your gym, but if rowing is your main form of exercise, you can save money in the long run.
  8. Easy to use: If you’re just beginning your journey to get in shape, the maze of complicated workout machines at the gym might have your head spinning. Don’t worry! Exercising on a rowing machine is relatively simple to learn and ideal for all ages and abilities. It’s important to make sure you use the proper rowing technique when you exercise. It will help to both maximize your workout and minimize the potential for injury. Your feet should be securely fastened in the stirrups with your shins close to a 90-degree angle to the floor. It’s best to keep your back straight, your core engaged, and to row in a smooth, fluid motion. You’ll get the hang of it in no time!
  9. It’s fun: If exercising is something you dread, it is a lot harder to motivate yourself to do it. Making a fitness plan that you enjoy is your key to success. Because rowing works out your entire body, it’s easier to stay engaged while doing it. Plus, you can challenge yourself by increasing the resistance as you become a more seasoned rower. Crank up the speakers and row to the beat of your favorite tracks, put your favorite show on the TV, or recruit a workout buddy for extra encouragement. Once you become a pro, you’ll be feeling so good that hopping on your rowing machine will be a treat!

The rowing machine is a great way to get into shape and burn calories. But it is important to make sure your technique and posture are good. It is advised to gradually get used to the machine with slow simple rowing. Try the variations once you get the hang of it.

Another important thing to keep in mind while rowing is the breathing technique. Inhale while in the Catch position, exhale with force when you pull the handle, inhale when getting back into the original position.

Always end a rowing workout with a good stretching session.

So, when you have got only 30 minutes to work out or are not in the mood to do anything complicated, just hop on to an inside rower. It will blast those pounds and get rid of those extra inches. And a bonus? Rowing is real fun!

Reasons to hop on a rowing machine –

  1. Rowing is an effective aerobic exercise. Its cardiovascular benefits keep the heart and lungs healthy.
  2. You get a total body workout with the rowing machine. Rowing works on all the major muscle groups. It is one of those few exercises, which work on both the upper and lower body.
  3. Only a few exercises burn calories the way rowing machine does. The rowing machine is effective for weight loss as the exercise provides both strength training and cardio workout. Yes! It burns fat and builds muscles at the same time!
  4. It is beneficial for endurance training.
  5. Vigorous rowing engages all the major muscles in the body and tones and strengthens them.
  6. It provides a broader range of motion.
  7. Rowing machine provides greater resistance than cycling. The continuous pull and push motion of rowing provide resistance in not one but two directions.
  8. It is a low impact on nature and can be used by people with joint problems. It is also suitable for elderly people.
  9. Rowing helps in improving the flexibility of the body as well as stamina.
  10. It has a lower risk of injury.
  11. A rowing machine is a good option for cross-training.
  12. The rowing machine is convenient and efficient. It burns more calories in less time.

 

Click here for Rope Jumping -

Rope Jumping

Of all the childhood memories, the most unforgettable is that of games. Among all the games, make skipping your favorite. For one, you could play it with my friends or even play alone. You can load yourself with pancakes, fried food, and not worry about weight gain at all for the simple reason that skipping was enough to burn it all!

Skipping is no new-age trendy exercise. In fact, it has been there for years now. Unfortunately, the rope got lost somewhere in the storeroom.

Basic rules to follow while doing rope jumping –

  • Buy a good quality rope. An inappropriate rope can break while you are exercising and hurt you. So make sure the rope is strong.
  • One of the most basic and common questions that skippers have is if skipping must be done barefoot or wearing footwear. Many studies claim that barefoot skipping is better as it makes your feet strong. It also helps to cure many foot-related problems. Barefoot skipping comes naturally to some. But, most people need to train themselves slowly to be able to jump rope for a good session of barefoot skipping. If you feel pain when you try barefoot skipping, wear trainers or good sports shoes to absorb the shock of your feet meeting the ground repeatedly.
  • Wear a good high impact sports bra. Skipping allows a lot of breast movement. If you do not wear a properly fitting sports bra, it can cause tears in the breast muscles. This will cause your breasts to sag.
  • It is true that skipping can be practiced by people from any level on the fitness scale – beginners, intermediates, and advanced. But, you should keep in mind that skipping is used for endurance training and conditioning, not just burning calories. So, practice progressive skipping to build your endurance level and condition your body slowly over time. So, start small and then gradually increase your speed or the length of time. Otherwise, it can prove to be taxing on your heart and harm your joints.
  • The Jumping Surface for the exercise matters a lot. Skipping exercise should not be done on a carpeted surface or stone or asphalt surface. You should do the exercise on shock-absorbing surfaces, preferably wooden floors or other smooth surfaces to avoid tripping or rubbing, which can lead to injuries.
  • A proper jumping area is required for this exercise. Though skipping can be done anytime and anywhere, it still needs an open area so that the rope doesn’t get stuck in any objects nearby. The area should also have high ceilings or open sky.
  • Rope jumping is a high-intensity exercise and hence one must do a proper warm-up before starting the exercise. Stretching exercises are a must before skipping. Light on-the-spot jogging warms up the body for the high-aerobic skipping exercise.

Few useful tips before starting rope jumping :

How to start skipping – The first thing you should do before you start skipping is adjusting the length of your rope. Hold the handles at each end of the rope, one handle in each hand, by your sides. Now, step in the middle of the rope, keeping the length taut with the ends stretched upwards. Shorten the rope till both the ends reach your armpits.

Hold on! Before we start, let’s see what options we have at hand, i.e., how many types of rope jumping exercises are there, and how will you benefit from each.

Types of skipping exercise: There are various types of skipping exercises.

  1. Double Jump: The most common style of skipping exercise is double jumps. This technique is often practiced at high speed and burns most calories. The intensity of double-jumps can be varied according to the speed and how high you jump; whether you take your feet completely off the ground or just enough to pass the rope. Jumping higher results in slower skipping, but it is good for muscle toning. On the other hand, low and fast skipping is good for HIIT and endurance training.

Here’s how to do it.

  • Steps – Hold the rope stretched upwards and taut, with one handle in each hand at your sides, with your elbows bent and forearms parallel to the ground.
  • Keep your shoulders rotated back, chest pushed out, elbows close at your sides, abdominal muscles tight and your weight on the balls of your feet.
  • Bring the rope forward by rotating your wrists.
  • Jump with both the feet 2-3 inches off the ground to let the rope pass under your feet.
  • Repeat the motion and vary the speed according to your fitness level.
  1. Cross jump – Cross jumps are the least intensive of the skipping styles. The style is often incorporated in high-intensity workouts when one needs a break from high-aerobic exercise. It is better to continue less-taxing cross-jumps instead of stopping altogether.

Steps :

  • The posture for the cross-jump would be the same as that for the double-jump.
  • The difference between the two styles of skipping is that double-jump involves jumping with both the feet simultaneously and the cross-jump involves skipping with one foot after another.
  • Bring the rope forward by rotating your wrists. The movement comes from your wrists and forearms, and not by rotating shoulders or whole arms.
  • First, skip the rope with one foot followed by the other.
  • Repeat the motion as fast as you can without tripping over the rope or spraining your foot.

Now, this next rope jumping exercise is a little tougher in the sense that you must have great balance and endurance. But, with our simple explanation and steps, you will perform this exercise with ease and fun.

  1. Single-leg jump: Single-leg jumps are an advanced level of skipping style, which requires good balance and put more weight on one leg. It should be attempted after one can do double-jumps and cross-jumps fairly well. To prepare yourself for single-leg jumps, you can begin with balancing exercises like standing for an extended period on a single leg or doing asanas like Natarajasana and Garudasana that require balance.

Steps –

  • Hold the handles of the rope, one in each hand; shoulders rolled back, chest out, abs tight and the belly button sucked in.
  • Now, lift one leg bending it at the knee.
  • Start jumping the rope on the single leg that is on the floor while keeping the lifted leg in the air.
  • Do your set of repetitions and then do the other leg.
  • Single-leg jumps should be attempted slowly and with practice. Very fast jumps can result in leg injuries or falls.

These rope jumping exercises will burn the extra calories and slim you down. Rope jumping can also be incorporated into your daily workout routine to get even better results.

Skipping can be incorporated in a workout in many ways. Skipping for 20 minutes suffices for the daily cardio for those who want to lose weight. It also improves the running skills of a person and is used by runners for warming up. Cross-jumps are also practiced as an outdoor form of racing. Double-jumps and single-leg jumps are on-the-spot styles of skipping. Cross-jumps can cover distances. So, you can also do cross-jumps on the tracks.

Alternating the high-intensity skipping with a hold poses like a plank or a low-intensity exercise like knee-highs or butt-kicks burns more calories and conditions the heart. It also ensures that we burn calories not only when we workout but throughout the day.

 

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Here is a sample workout that uses skipping as a HIIT exercise.

The following workout stretches about 15 minutes with 20sec-10sec divisions. Since this is a HIIT workout, it has 20 sec of high intensity and 10 sec of a holding exercise. One 20 sec-10 sec makes one set, and you have to do 2 sets of each exercise.

Start with stretching and warm-up for 5 minutes.

  • 20-sec double-jumps at normal speed. Jump high in the air.
  • 10 sec of holding the plank pose.
  • 20-sec double-jumps at high speed.
  • 10-sec hold of the deep squat position. Make sure your knees are behind the toes. Squat as deep as you can.
  • 20 sec of single-leg jumps at moderate speed. Alternating legs after one set.
  • 10 sec of arm-hugs. Stand straight with your abs tight and move your arms in a way as if you are giving yourself a big hug. Take both your arms as far back and out as you can and bring the inside crossing each other and wrapping around your body. Sweep as big as you can.
  • 20 sec of single-leg jumps at high speed. (as high as you can without the risk of injury)
  • 10 sec of holding the seated C-pose, with knees bent, butt on the floor, calves lifted and paralleled to the ground and torso off the floor. Put your hands at the back of your thighs to hold your legs in the air if you are a beginner or otherwise have a problem with pilates positions.
  • 20-sec double-jumps at high speed.
  • 10-sec chair pose.
  • 20-sec single leg jumps at moderate speed. Alternating legs after every 5 sec.
  • 10 sec of marching in the place at a normal pace. But make sure you lift your knees high and move your arms front and back covering as much area as you can.
  • 20 sec of cross-jumps at high speed.
  • 10 sec of knee-to-elbow tummy tucks in plank.
  • Cool down with stretching exercises for 3 minutes.

Make sure you keep yourself hydrated during the workout. The stretching before and after the workout is important as it prepares the body at the beginning for high-intensity aerobics and in the end, brings the body slowly down from that peak. The cooling down also helps in reducing the cramps that may hit later in the day. Since skipping is a cardio exercise, it is important to consume a post-workout meal with healthy carbohydrates and proteins.

Keep in mind the basics and don’t go all out at once if it has been a while since you last skipped. Ease your body into it slowly and keep it steady, but progressive. Experiment with your skipping styles and sessions. Include skipping as an exercise in different workouts or just do it alone. In the end, it always feels like a fun game and makes us feel energetic and young at heart.

Benefits of rope jumping :

  1. It is one of the best cardio and HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workout.
  2. Jumping rope is known to burn around 1300 calories/hour (now that’s high!). That’s an effective way to melt your fat, right?
  3. Skipping exercise burns more calories in comparison to running. Besides, you need not go outdoors as skipping can be done at any place. What’s more? Bad weather can’t hamper your fitness routine.
  4. It’s one of the most inexpensive forms of exercise as you can buy a skipping rope for less than INR. 100.
  5. Skipping helps in muscle toning as it is a bodyweight exercise.
  6. It improves footwork, balance, coordination, and agility. Most of the runners and other athletes jump rope for training.
  7. It is one of the best exercises for endurance training and conditioning.
  8. Skipping gives a full-body workout. It is especially great for toning and developing the thighs, shins, and calf muscles. Simultaneously, it also works on the abs and arms.
  9. It engages and improves the hip-flexor muscles.
  10. Studies show that skipping exercises put lesser pressure and are less shocking for the joints than running. It is a low-impact exercise when compared to running and therefore a better option.
  11. Skipping enhances cardiovascular health as it improves the rate of heartbeat. It is beneficial for blood pressure patients.
  12. Skipping can be done by anybody and everybody, from beginners to the advanced levels.
  13. It is also known to help in improving bone density.
  14. All that the skipping exercise requires is a jumping rope, which can fit into your purse or handbags and is travel-friendly. So, you will never have to miss your workout. All you need is a rope and an open area to burn calories, and you are good to go.

Now is the time to find your skipping rope.


To be Continued

Rainbow Foods

Rainbow foods

Rainbow Foods

Eating a variety of colors of foods is really important because you find different nutrients in different colored foods, so eating a diet with a great balance of different colors can help your body to get everything that it needs to keep you as healthy as possible. Not to mention the fact that eating a rainbow is just so much fun, check out all of these yummy rainbow recipes – truly a feast for the eyes!

It’s no secret that I love bright rainbow colors, and if we’re talking about edible rainbows, then all the better! I’ve created a list of my top 10 healthy rainbow food ideas, all of which are free from food colorings, using the natural rainbow colors found in fruit and vegetables, just as nature intended.  I frequently think that we are so lucky to have access to such an amazing range of fruit and vegetables, it has never been so easy to eat a rainbow!

The vast spectrum of natural color in fresh produce is astounding! Color also happens to be a very useful indicator (and constant reminder) of the many magical health benefits of fresh plant-based foods. The deep greens, vibrant reds, deep purples, bright oranges & yellows that we see in common and widely available foods provide far more than just “a rainbow” of colorful visual stimulation.

Rainbow diets are a great way to get all of the nutrition you need, as well as making your meals exciting and delicious all at the same time! In part one we looked at what benefits Green, Orange, Red, and White foods bring to the table, so let’s keep going and see what the other colors mean!

Click here for Choose from a rainbow of beautiful fruits and veggies

Is your daily diet starting to look a little bland and boring? Then maybe it’s time to add a little color to your plate. Not only do bright colors make food more fun to eat, but healthy fruits and vegetables in vivid colors have another huge benefit: Different colors typically mean foods have different vitamins and minerals. No single food can provide us with a variety of nutrients we need, so eating foods of different colors can help ensure we get the variety we need. Your guide to essential nutrients in vegetables and fruits by color.

Harness the power of Red: Whether you choose red bell peppers, tomatoes, tart cherries, cranberries, raspberries, rhubarb, pomegranates, or beets, all of these healthy fruits and vegetables are positively packed with antioxidants such as vitamin A (beta carotene), vitamin C, manganese, and fiber, making them great for heart health and overall good health, too. Plus, red apples have quercetin, a compound that seems to fight colds, flu, and allergies. And tomatoes, watermelon, and red grapefruit are loaded with lycopene, a compound that’s said to fight cancer.

Look out for orange: Move around the color wheel just a bit, and you’ll find butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupes, oranges, pumpkins, orange peppers, nectarines, and peaches. Some healthy fruits and vegetables are loaded with the antioxidant vitamin C — citrus fruits in particular — and some, such as carrots, with vitamin A (beta-carotene) for improved eyesight. They also contain potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6 for general health support.

Say Yes to Yellow: Bananas are usually the first yellow food that comes to mind, and with plentiful fiber for good digestion, potassium for preventing cramps, and vitamin B6 for a variety of health benefits, they pack a big punch. Healthy vegetables in yellow include spaghetti squash, summer squash, and yellow bell peppers. The nutrients in vegetables such as these include manganese, potassium, vitamin A, fiber, and magnesium.

Go Green: Virtually all greens are healthy vegetables and worth adding to your daily diet. Focus on spinach, broccoli, and asparagus. Lutein and folate are two nutrients in vegetables. Lutein helps with eyesight, folate helps in cell reproduction, and prevents neural tube defects in infants.

Try a little something Blue: You may be stretching to add blue to your diet, but one healthy fruit is in a class of itself. Blueberries are known to be one of the most powerful antioxidants. Enjoy them any way you like. If you think of the ocean when you think blue, then put water in this category. Everyone put this “blue” item on your list. Water regulates body temperature and provides the means for nutrients to travel to all your organs. Water also transports oxygen to cells, removes waste, and protects joints and organs.

Give the Purple color a Go: Whether you choose blackberries, Concord grapes, currants, or plums, deep, rich purple healthy fruits are brimming with healthy antioxidants. Purple represents the anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant that protects the blood vessels from breakage and prevents the destruction of collagen, a protein needed for healthy, radiant skin.  Aside from fruit, you can also find nutrients in vegetables of the color purple, such as radicchio, eggplant, purple cabbage, purple potatoes, and purple carrots, which are rich in vitamin A and flavonoids.

White rules: Though it doesn’t show up on the color wheel, a number of white foods — such as white onions, garlic, and leeks — serve up nutrients in vegetables. White represents allicin, a sulfur-containing compound that protects against atherosclerosis and heart disease, lowers cholesterol and increases HDL, and has an antibacterial effect against Candida albicans and bacteria. And don’t forget healthy vegetables such as cauliflower, rutabagas, and parsnips, which include vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and fiber.

  

rainbow foods

Click here for Eat a Rainbow every day!

Have you ever heard that it is important to “eat a rainbow” of foods? This may be a good way to think about your diet because numerous functional foods can be recognized and grouped together by their color.  Functional foods are foods or dietary components that may provide a health benefit beyond basic nutrition. Examples can include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fortified or enhanced foods, and beverages, and certain dietary supplements. This fall, dive into the color of the various functional foods listed below and unlock the health benefits that may already be on your plate. An easy way to get more functional foods on your plate is to fill half of your plate with some of the colorful fruits and vegetables mentioned below.

The grandeur of green – In the nutritional sense, green is worth becoming a favorite color! It signifies energy, vibrancy, and cleansing! Green veggies and fruits too, such as watercress, spinach, chard, kale, courgettes, celery, dark seaweeds, rich green lettuces, kiwi fruits, gooseberries, cucumbers & asparagus possess some of the most crucial nutrients for health, energy production, detoxification, rejuvenation, and longevity.

Dark leafy greens such as watercress, lettuce, spinach, rocket, etc. are particularly crucial foods to try and get into the diet on a daily basis. These are rich in chlorophyll (similar in chemical structure to iron), many B vitamins, minerals, and fiber for an overall healthy body and blood system. Leafy greens are very alkalizing too, helping to buffer the typically acidic western diet that commonly underpins most states of disease.

Lutein is a particular plant antioxidant found in kale, chard, and romaine lettuce that helps to protect the eyes & ensure our long-term visual health. Broccoli is a well-loved and widely available vegetable, and actually a great source of vitamin C (as are Brussels sprouts!).  Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant that reduces disease risk, boosts the immune system, improves iron absorption, and promotes wound healing too.

Green vegetables, in general, are excellent sources of vitamin A, and vitamin K too (known to be vitally important in building bone density), as well as many of the B vitamins (such as B6 and folic acid), potassium, carotenoids, and even omega-3 fatty acids. Green vegetables are also what you might term “low calorie, high nutrient” foods, so they can help significantly with weight loss too. Try replacing your starchy carbs (potatoes, bread, and pasta) with a selection of green vegetables, and you might find losing weight a whole lot easier!

Greens and green vegetables are also valuable protein sources, especially when eaten in the raw state. “Raw” means that the food enzymes stay intact, and enzymes are made of amino acids – yes protein! Any well-informed and healthy vegetarian will include plenty of green vegetables in their diet every day, and vegans have to rely fairly heavily on these foods for calcium, iron, and magnesium too.

Say YES to yellow & orange…

The words that spring to mind when orange or yellow foods come into view are heart, protection, and immunity. Vitamin C is certainly visible with yellow and orange foods. In this department, we have grapefruit, cantaloupe melon, persimmons or Sharon fruits, summer and winter squashes, yellow peppers, and carrots; all these are wonderful immune system boosters.

Fresh oranges as we know are rich in vitamin C, but so too are lemons, grapefruits, yellow peppers, and persimmons too. Grapefruits that have lovely pink and red hues also contain lycopene, a star “antioxidant” of the red food group. Cantaloupe melons incidentally are not only deliciously sweet fruits, but they’re also rich super-rich in polyphenol antioxidants. These polyphenols are known to help regulate the formation of nitric oxide, a key chemical, or gas, produced in many cells of the body from the amino acid arginine. Sufficient production of nitric oxide prevents heart attacks and ensures good blood circulation and blood flow.

Melons are also great sources of vitamin C and beta-carotene, or pro-vitamin A that is stored in the liver, and later converted to Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential for healthy eyes and vision, as well as being a key “immune” supportive nutrient. Carrots also contain significant amounts of Vitamin C, as well as B6, and even iron. Let’s not forget squash, as these great winter and summer vegetables are excellent sources of the mineral potassium (important for regulating blood pressure), beta carotene, and many other minerals.

How about a colorful bunch of peppers :

  • Sweet peppers from green, to yellow, to orange and red, beautifully illustrate how nutrient concentrations change with the colors.
  • Yellow peppers typically contain more lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids than green peppers.
  • Red peppers will usually have more lycopene and astaxanthin, two other important carotenoids.
  • Orange peppers will deliver more alpha, beta, and gamma-carotene
  • Purple peppers will provide more anthocyanin flavonoids – most notably found in blueberries, blackberries, and the new “super” Acai berry. Since all of these nutrients can make important contributions to your health, make sure you get into the habit of mixing and matching your use of sweet peppers in salads – go raw, stir-fry, steam-fry, or chargrill.

What’s in White: Just because a food appears to have no color, doesn’t necessarily mean “no nutrition”! Vibrant color certainly isn’t an exclusive indicator of phytochemical content. Whilst some phytochemical pigments do give amazing hues, others are in fact, colorless. Colorless pigments are found in foods such as cabbage, mushrooms, and onion. Most of the pigments we find in these, and other foods are collectively called flavonoids. Flavonoids are powerful food chemicals and counteract the free-radical formation and resultant damage to the body’s cells. When free-radical damage is not controlled, it can cause significant cellular changes, which can lead to cancer or other disease states.

Raving about Red: Strawberries, raspberries, and tomatoes immediately come to mind when thinking about foods. All are super-nutritious, as is the great winter red fruit, the pomegranate, with its sweet, sour and tangy flavors. Nutritionists love the pomegranate too, but more so because of its superfood powers! The rich red juice of the pomegranate is a powerful anti-inflammatory and is a concentrated source of antioxidants, B vitamins, vitamin C, and minerals too.

Strawberries and other red berries, including cranberries are known rich sources of ellagitannins, polyphenols that the body uses to convert to ellagic acid. Ellagic acid has been widely studied in the laboratory, and scientists think it may play a key role in preventing cancer. Another red gem is the little cherry!

Cherries come around later in the year and for a relatively short period of time, so make the most of them when they do appear. Their deep red color again reveals the many amazing antioxidant pigments. These anthocyanin chemicals found in cherries are particularly effective in reducing pain and inflammation, just like pomegranate juice. Cherry juice and pomegranate juice are both commercially produced nowadays (look for 100% juice) and a perfect way to get your daily antioxidant hit!

Cherry juice has been found to help reduce post-exercise muscle soreness, and in turn, helping with muscle recovery. Cherries are also a great food if you or someone you know suffers from gout. Interestingly, cherries have also been found to contain melatonin, which is actually a hormone. Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the brain and regulates the body’s internal clock or sleep-wake cycle. It has other roles too, and research has shown that people who have heart attacks have low melatonin levels. It also plays an important role in the immune system.

Tomatoes are worth picking out amongst the red food group, partly because they are one of the best food sources of a well-known antioxidant called lycopene. Lycopene is one of nature’s most powerful antioxidants, and in fact, you’ll find it in most red foods, as well as those foods with a pink or pinky-red hue. Think of watermelon, red or pink grapefruits and you are looking at some lycopene! Cooked tomatoes have very high levels of lycopene, and have been found to effectively prevent prostate cancer as well as be helpful to maintain good cardiovascular health.

An excellent way of ensuring a quality dose of lycopene is by using lots of tomato puree or rich tomato sauces in your cooking! Remember however that raw, ripe & juicy red tomatoes will have higher levels of other useful nutrients that have not been lost via cooking, so ensure you are getting these into your diet too. Lycopene may also slow the hardening of arteries and the growth of other cancer-related tumors.

Beetroot is begging for a mention of its own, with its deep red (almost purple) color. There has been some significant and very interesting research of late, with regards to beetroots, particularly beetroot juice. Science has revealed the effectiveness of beetroot juice on lowering blood pressure, as well as improving exercise endurance and stamina. This is due to the juice being especially high in nitrates, compounds that convert to nitric oxide in the body.

Nitric oxide has several metabolic effects, such as dilating blood vessels (hence its blood pressure lowering effects) and helping deliver oxygen to working muscles. These and other findings of the health benefits of beetroot juice are also potentially relevant to those with heart disease, breathing complications, or modern-day metabolic diseases.

New research suggests that simple beetroot juice could be a very worthy contender to take the crown as a top sports drink. Certainly beetroot juice is much healthier, compared with many of the sugar-loaded sports and energy drinks on the market.

According to the findings published in the Journal of Applied Physiology, drinking half a liter of beetroot juice every day improved exercise endurance by 16 percent, compared with when they drank blackcurrant cordial. The boost in nitric oxide after drinking beetroot juice makes exercise less tiring. Beetroots are also a good source of the B vitamin, folic acid. Folic acid is critically involved in normal red cell production, so all in all, don’t be afraid to go bananas for beetroot!

Bursting for Blue and Purple :

Blueberries, blackberries, grapes, aubergine, plums, and figs are some of the purple foods we can include in our diets, and for great reason too! You will find some of the highest levels of anthocyanidins and proanthocyanidin pigments in these foods – potent antioxidants found in the fruit, bark, leaves, and seeds of plants. They provide flavor and astringency as well as powerful health benefits. Proanthocyanidin-rich grape seed extract, for example, has been found to have preventive actions on diseases such as atherosclerosis, gastric ulcer, large bowel cancer, cataracts, and diabetes.

One the easiest ways to get daily berry goodness year-round is to buy frozen summer berries from your local supermarket! By all means, choose fresh whenever you can, but fresh are not always available, or affordable. So make the use of frozen, and throw them into smoothies, or onto cereals or into porridge. Of course, you can just enjoy a big bowl full, with some cool natural yogurt, and a sprinkling of raw seeds – a perfect breakfast, or pudding.

Fresh plums and figs make excellent low sugar, low GI snacks, as well as being easy to carry or keep in the car. Both plums and figs also happen to be excellent sources of vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, Vitamin C, and fiber. Blueberries are rich in antioxidants and other phytochemicals but are also a significant source of the trace mineral manganese, and Vitamin K too. Grapes have been positively linked to fighting cancer, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, and other ailments. Aubergines are a good soup or stew ingredient, and famously known as a key food in ratatouille, a dish in which you can use plenty of tomato puree and get your lycopene too! Aubergines are very low in calories, yet rich sources of potassium and calcium. Blueberries are often singled out as little nutritional powerhouses, which they are! Anthocyanins are the pigments responsible for the purple tint of these fruits, and purple veggies too, and are known for their antioxidant qualities. In addition to anthocyanins’ cancer-fighting potential, these plant chemicals also support the vascular system.

There are over 4,000 different plant chemicals in foods that present us with a spectrum of colors to create a truly healthy and balanced “rainbow diet” of whole foods. Nutrition today, and what is now known about healthy eating, extends far beyond the vitamins and minerals we learned about in school or college.

 Tips to help you eat Rainbow food every day –

Use these tips to create more colorful meals:

  • Eat a beautiful breakfast. Instead of boring bagels, eggs, or yogurt, start your day with a green smoothie, oatmeal topped with red berries, or a scramble filled with red peppers, mushrooms, carrots, or other colorful veggies.
  • Enjoy exciting salads. Large, colorful salads are the perfect way to incorporate lots of colorful veggies (and fruits!) into your diet. Eat them for lunch or dinner. And try to have at least once per day.
  • Liven up your lunch. Veggie sandwiches and wraps (including lettuce wraps) and soups, stews, and chili can help you get a balanced selection of colorful foods for lunch.
  • Make vegetables the main dish. Try new recipes for dishes, such as tempeh vegetable stir-fries, vegetable curries, and Buddha bowls.
  • Make a rainbow meal. Try creating a meal that uses every color — red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, and brown. (If you have kids, they may love this idea.)

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Click here for Eating the Rainbow for optimal health!

Why eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is important for optimal health

Eating the rainbow is a fundamental healthy eating tip. (And no, not artificially colored foods )

But what does it mean? Why is it important to get a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables in your diet?

You may be tempted to find a few foods you or your kids or family members like and to focus on eating those. And it can be easy to fall into routines. But the truth is: Our bodies benefit from variety. For optimal health, we need a rainbow of nutrients and colors.

In fact, the variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals in fruits and vegetables has enormous healing powers. And many of them bring their own distinctive colors.

Eating a diversity of colorful foods can be an easy way to get a complete range of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to thrive.

The advice to “eat the rainbow” is often used with kids. And while kids especially need a diversity of foods in their diets, so do adults.

Each color in fruits and vegetables is caused by specific phytonutrients, which are natural chemicals that help protect plants from germs, bugs, the sun’s harmful rays, and other threats.

And each color indicates an abundance of specific nutrients.

Red fruits and vegetables help fight cancer, reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease, improves skin quality, and much more.

Red fruits and vegetables contain phytochemicals, including lycopene and ellagic acid. These powerful nutrients have been studied for their cancer-fighting effects and other health benefits.

For example, a daily dose of tomato sauce has been found to reverse the progression of prostate cancer.  Watermelon is even higher in lycopene than tomatoes, and the lycopene may be more bioavailable.

Watermelon is also rich in a phytonutrient called citrulline, which may work as a treatment for mild to moderate erectile dysfunction.

Also, strawberries have been found to prevent and even reverse esophageal cancer.

Getting your phytonutrients from whole foods is best. In fact, taking phytonutrients, like lycopene and beta-carotene, in supplement form because it may increase the risk of cancer. But consuming these phytonutrients in whole-food forms, like tomato sauce, has been found to decrease the risk of cancer.

Healthy Red Foods

  • Red peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Watermelon
  • Red Apples
  • Cranberries
  • Cherries
  • Red Grapes
  • Red onions
  • Pomegranate
  • Beets
  • Red Capsicum

Tips –

Raspberries: Eating whole raspberries is more beneficial than taking the individual compounds as dietary supplements.

Peppers: High heat can damage some of the pepper’s beneficial nutrients, so it is best enjoyed raw or cooked using low heat for a short period of time.

Tomato: Lycopene is more potent in cooked tomato products such as sauces, soups, or stews.

Strawberries: Choose small strawberries as they tend to contain less water and more nutrition than large ones.

Watermelons: Watermelons continue to develop nutrients after they have been picked and are therefore best stored at room temperature.

Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables improve immune function, reduce the risk of heart disease, promote eye health, and more

Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamin C and carotenoids, including beta-carotene. Some carotenoids, most notably beta-carotene, convert to vitamin A within the body, which helps promote healthy vision and cell growth.

Citrus fruits contain a unique phytonutrient called hesperidin, which helps to increase blood flow. This has important health ramifications. If you tend to get cold hands and feet, eating an orange a day may help keep your hands and feet warm. More importantly, consuming citrus may also reduce your risk of stroke.

Healthy Orange and Yellow Foods to Try

  • Oranges
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Winter squash (butternut, kabocha, delicata, acorn)
  • Yellow summer squash
  • Corn
  • Cantaloupe
  • Orange and yellow peppers
  • Golden beets
  • Pineapple
  • Peaches
  • Pumpkins
  • Pineapple
  • Apricots

Tips –

Orange: Eat the orange whole instead of juicing it. The pith ( the white substance between the peel and flesh) is rich in fiber.

Mango: Mangos are rich in vitamins and minerals. However, due to the high level of fructose, they are best consumed in moderation.

Sweet Potato: Boil sweet potatoes with the skin on as this helps retain the levels of vitamin C.

Carrots: Carrots that are boiled whole retain 25% more of the cancer-fighting compound falcarinol compared to when they are chopped before being boiled.

 Lemon Juice: Squeeze a bit of lemon juice on spinach to maximize the levels of iron.

Green fruits and vegetables boost the immune system, help detoxify the body, restore energy and vitality, and more.

Greens are one of the healthiest foods we can eat. Green fruits and vegetables are rich in lutein, isothiocyanates, isoflavones, and vitamin K — which is essential for blood and bone health.

In addition, green vegetables are rich in folate – a nutrient especially important for pregnant women to consume to help prevent congenital disabilities.

Cruciferous vegetables, like broccoli, have been shown to enhance immune function, while dark leafy greens like kale may improve mood.

Kiwi fruit has been shown to help alleviate a wide array of maladies, from the common cold to IBS to insomnia, and may even help repair DNA damage.

Healthy Green Foods

  • Broccoli
  • Kale
  • Romaine lettuce
  • Collard greens
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Green grapes
  • Green apples
  • Asparagus
  • Spinach
  • Arugula
  • Green beans
  • Peas
  • Zucchini
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Avocado
  • Limes
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Green capsicum

Tips –

Broccoli: Broccoli leaves are perfectly edible and contain concentrated levels of nutrients.

Kiwis: If you are making a fruit salad add the kiwis last minute. They contain enzymes that act as food tenderizers and can make the surrounding food soft.

Spinach: If you are cooking Spinach, opt for steaming rather than boiling to preserve the nutrients.

Zucchini: Spiralised Zucchini is an excellent alternative to pasta.

Lettuce: Instead of bread wraps, try wrapping your food in lettuce.

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables fight cancer and unwanted inflammation and help keep young

Blue and purple fruits and vegetables are rich in phytonutrients, including anthocyanins and resveratrol, and have been studied extensively for their anti-cancer and anti-aging properties.

Studies show that the bioactive phytochemicals in berries work to repair damage from oxidative stress and inflammation.

Red cabbage, which is purple, is one of the best superfood bargains and has the highest level of antioxidants per dollar.

Healthy Blue and Purple Foods

  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Red (purple) grapes
  • Red (purple) cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Beetroot
  • Purple asparagus
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Figs White

Tips –

Blueberries: Eat blueberries raw as the valuable nutrients are damaged when exposed to temperature over 175C

Purple cabbage: Sauteed purple cabbage tastes great and allows for concentrated nutrient retention.

Plums: If you want to get the most from their high vitamin C content, eat plums raw.

Eggplant: Much of the eggplant nutrition is in the skin, so opt to cook it with skin on.

Blackberries: The health benefits of blackberries are extensive however, they should be consumed in moderation as they contain fructose.

White and brown fruits and vegetables protect against certain cancer, keep bones strong, and are heart-healthy choices.

White and brown produce may not be as brightly colored as other foods, but they still are a healthy choice and have phytonutrients.

Like broccoli, cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable rich in an anti-cancer compound called sulforaphane. Garlic and onions are in the allium family of vegetables and contain the powerful cancer-fighting compounds allicin and quercetin.

And phytonutrients in white button mushrooms have been found to inhibit aromatase activity and breast cancer cell proliferation.

Healthy White and Brown Foods

  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Mushrooms
  • Potatoes
  • Parsnips
  • Daikon radish
  • Brown pears
  • White peaches
  • Banana
  • Dates
  • Ginger
  • Turnip
  • Parsnips

 

Tips –

Bananas: Ripe bananas that will not be consumed within the next few days can be placed in the refrigerator. Unripe bananas should not be placed in the fridge as it will ruin the ripening process.

Cauliflower: Studies have shown that three minutes of boiling draws most of the nutrients from the cauliflower than ten minutes of steaming.

Garlic: To maximize the health benefits of antibacterial compound allicin, consume garlic raw.

Potatoes: Allow potatoes to cool down after boiling as this allows healthy resistant starch to form.

Onions: Avoid storing onions with potatoes as they tend to absorb their moisture causing them to spoil faster.

 

Related image

Click here for Eat a Rainbow –

Fruit and vegetables fall into five different color categories: red, purple/blue, orange, green, and white/brown. Each color carries its own set of unique disease-fighting chemicals called phytochemicals. It is these phytochemicals that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant color and of course some of their healthy properties.

What’s in a color?

RED
Red fruits and vegetables are colored by a natural plant pigment called lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce the risk of cancer and keep our hearts healthy.

PURPLE /BLUE
The plant pigment anthocyanin is what gives blue/purple fruits and vegetables their distinctive color. Anthocyanin also has antioxidant properties that protect cells from damage and can help reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease.

ORANGE/YELLOW
Carotenoids give this group their vibrant color. A well-known carotenoid called Betacarotene is found in sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and carrots. It is converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes. Another carotenoid called lutein is stored in the eye and has been found to prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, which can lead to blindness.

GREEN
Green vegetables contain a range of phytochemicals including carotenoids, indoles, and saponins, all of which have anti-cancer properties. Leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli are also excellent sources of folate.

BROWN/WHITE
White fruits and vegetables contain a range of health-promoting phytochemicals such as allicin (found in garlic) which is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Some members of the white group, such as bananas and potatoes, are also a good source of potassium.

Rainbow Chart

Rainbow Foods