Tag Archives: Fit

Secret To Living Longer

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4 types of resilience,jane mcgongil

Spring break has officially begun! What it means for me? A week off from school! What it means for you? More posts from me to read! I am extremely excited about having sometime out from focusing on school work and spend that time in writing for all of my wonderful readers. Just the other morning as I was getting ready for work, I happened to stumble upon a TED talk and had it playing in the background as I was getting ready. And I must say, it had a huge impact on my day!

Jane McGongil is a game designer by profession and in this video she starts talking about the top 5 regrets of a dying person, and how playing a game can help a person achieve those things while they are still alive. She does an extremely great job in banishing the common myth around playing games – it is a waist of time and it kills brain cells. She scientifically proves that games can in turn have a highly positive impact on people and help them feel better, more confident and fulfilled with their lives. She then goes on to talk about “post-traumatic growth” and how playing certain kind of games help in improving and bringing about life changes after a traumatic incident.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5t3y7EeBhxg

But what I want you guys know the most in this post are the 4 types of resilience – physical, mental, emotional and social.

1. Physical resilience – Physical activity increases our body’s ability to handle stress and heal itself. Eg. adoptive an active lifestyle.

2. Mental resilience – Activities such as creative flow, reading or any kind of concentration increases discipline, determination and the ability to focus.

3. Emotional resilience – Provoking positive emotions such as curiosity, and love increases our overall wellbeing, health and longevity. Eg. hugging your pet, spending time with your loved ones, etc.

4. Social resilience – When we practice positive social engagement especially when touch and gratitude are involved, we get a hit of the bonding chemical Oxytocin. Eg. say thank you to a friend for his/her help, be grateful about your life and all the positive things you are surrounded by.

Now you must wonder what has this to do wit fitness? Well it has everything to do with fitness. Exercises and a good clean diet will only help if you are fit and happy from within. Having a low drive and determination along with low self-esteem or confidence, will not help you develop the will power which is needed to have a fit life. Hence it is as important to be fit from within. So for the next few days, make it a point to do these 5 things with me:

1). Take time out to spend an hour relaxing with your loved one. Eg. your kids, your husband, your friends, family, or even your pet.

2). Genuinely thank people for their help and do a little something to make their day.

3). Spend a few minutes infront of the mirror and tell yourself – “I am the best and I will strive to be better!

4). Smile alot!

5). Play some angry birds for a few minutes everyday 😉

Have a great week all!

5 Ways To Get In Shape For Summer

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Get In Shape For Summer, summer fitness

As the days get longer and the weather gets warmer, the excitement of summer being around the corner fills all of us with new energy and enthusiasm. One great way of using this energy is to get in shape. I have been trying out a few things which have been working for me greatly and I would like to share them with you.

1). Morning Workouts: Try and start a new workout program and schedule the workouts for early mornings. Other than getting one’s metabolism high and burning more calories through out the day, the biggest benefit of working out in the morning is that once you are done, you have the entire day to plan and do other things. The human psychology tries to postpone those events of the day which are hardest to do, and to ultimately not get around to completing them. So in order to prevent frustration and guilt later, push yourself a little extra and get done with your workout in the morning itself.

To get more ideas on waking up early: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qvv2LJdABnk

2). Drinking water before every meal: Drinking a glass of water (approx. 8 ounces) before a meal will help you consume less food. The water will not only hydrate you, but also give you a temporary feeling of having a full stomach. This feeling will tell the brain to only eat as much is required.

Read the rest of this entry

Green Tea: Nectar For Good Health

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By Pallavi Sharma

Green Tea

All you coffee lovers out there, you may not like what I say, but let me be a little at your face. Coffee is bad for you! The only positive attribute to it is its high caffeine content. Yes, I understand that it keeps most of us awake and alert throughout the day and also helps in alleviating asthma by helping relax the airways in the lungs. But little do we realize that in return we are getting back way more deteriorated health than what we had bargained for. Coffee beans naturally contain nitrosamines, which are substances that increase the risk of developing colon cancer as well as other cancers. Now someone can come up with, “Then why not drink “decaf” coffee?”. Well, it may sound surprizing but that’s even worse as according to http://www.farmtreemed.com, “Drinking decaffeinated coffee can cause more harm than good because most “decaf” processes use large quantities of toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. The latter substance is a close relative of the plastic chemical vinyl chloride, which has been linked to certain types of liver cancer. Trichloroethylene is used mainly as a degreasing agent in the metal industry and as a solvent & dry cleaning agent in the clothing industry.”

Naturally, I have hardly ever been a coffee lover. So making that switch to green tea was not very difficult. Initially, it took me a while to get used to it’s weirdly bitter taste, but when I weighed it’s never-ending list of positive effects against the tiny one of that of coffee, it did not take me too long in becoming an ardent fan of it. As I take the first few sips of green tea early in the morning, and as it gradually trickles down my throat, it sends a new wave of freshness through my body and makes me feel rejuvenated and charged for the day.

So what makes it so ideal in terms of good health? Many things! To start off with, it contains polyphenol, a class of flavonoids. These compounds function as powerful antioxidants that can protect your body from free radical stress. The most popular among these is quercetin, well known for its ability to temper allergic reactions and interrupt the oxidation of LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol. Quercetin is also very useful in fighting and preventing cancer. It also plays a huge role in providing pain relief during arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

And for all you “dieters” out there, it may seem like high intake of coffee or caffeine helps one in losing weight, but the diuretic effect of caffeine only results in loss of water from your body and not fat. In fact, intake of coffee perpetuates many of the factors of weight loss through increased stress which results in elevated levels of stress hormone and deposition of fat in the abdomen resulting in continued obesity. On the other hand the presence of ECEG (epigallocatechin gallate), the major catechin found in green tea, helps in raising the metabolism rate, resulting in increased calorie burn and weight loss.

ECEG is also known to be more powerful than resveratrol, a polyphenol that limits the negative effects of smoking and a fatty diet, found in red wine. Hence that’s another reason why the incidence of heart disease in Japan is so much lower than in USA and why one should choose green tea over red wine.

So throw away that coffee and start the day with a cup of soothing and calming green tea. Let it’s enormous number of positive effects fill you with a new energy and take you towards better health and well-being because YOU DESERVE IT!

“Kickass” Cardio

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By Pallavi Sharma

Kickboxing

After having worked out for three years now, I take pride in calling myself a decently fit person by average standards. But this smug and confidence of mine came crashing down on the studio floor when I attended a group fitness class called “The Mixx” at LifeTime, a popular health club in the area. It was a non-stop hour of cardiovascular workout! Everything from aerobics to kickboxing to plyometrics and what have you. I would like to describe the class as being totally, “kickass” (a popular term used these days for challenge and fun:) ). Eventhough it was insanely tiring, it was thoroughly exhilarating at the same time.

So why do cardiovascular exercises seem so important? Well from my first hand experience, I know that when I combined my yoga sculpt classes with running and swimming on the side, I saw myself losing inches around my waist n arm, and surprisingly at the same time lost pounds too, which was perfect! This happened simply because the aim of cardiovascular exercises is to raise your heart rate to 60 to 85 percent of your maximum heart rate (basically fastest it could possibly beat). Now the trick is it to get it high enough so that you can talk but not be able to make long conversations. This is the point where your body starts to burn the maximum amount of fat and you feel victorious to see your weight go down in numbers.

Cardio workouts help tremendously to strengthen the heart and increase bone mass. Now its especially important for women to focus on strong bones as we are quite prone to osteoporosis after menopause. It also has a major “feel good” factor about it due to increased creation of endorphins and similar hormones. So if you see yourself getting crazily hooked to it, dont be surprised! 🙂 Some real good examples of cardiovascular activities are: running, swimming, kickboxing, aerobics, step aerobics, jumping rope and so on and so forth.

So if you want to start seeing results, make it a point to have atleast 3 to 4 (5 or 6 being advance) sessions of cardio work every week for about 40 to 60 minutes each. If you seriously want those extra pounds of fat deposit to start vanishing, with persistence being key, keep your cardio exercises continued. As I am a strong supporter of eating healthy and eating right, starving or those fad crash diets will never help you get anywhere. You may lose a couple pounds here and there, but you will gain that back up in a jiffy as that’s not a lifestyle you can adapt for a long duration of time. So pick and choose what you like to eat, and keep things healthy.

Your body is your temple, your vehicle or to be specific, your car which you need to fuel and maintain. Take care of your body, it will take care of you!